Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dreaming of a home orchard?

I certainly am! Fortunately for us city dwellers, dwarf fruit trees are all the rage now. These trees not only don't grow as tall as standard ones, they tend to bear fruit at a younger age, too. Less waiting, more munching!

Check out the Garden Web forum for a discussion of recommended fruit tree vendors. Also, Trees of Antiquity specializes in heirloom fruit trees. And here are some top UK suppliers for you Brits.

(image form Gene's Backyard Orchard--go Gene!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

This seems like a good idea.

This website offers a novel service: a place to share with close friends and keep track of who borrowed what from you. Let's face it, most of us don't lend out books or DVDs often because we have all experienced not getting these items back from well-meaning friends. But wouldn't it be nice to be able to share big-ticket items like specialty garden equipment or a pasta maker or the newest hardcover best-seller or that full series DVD collection to people we trust to take care of them and return them? Families with kids can also share toys and games, maybe even Halloween costumes. And how many times a year do any of us use a carpet shampooer? But it's useful if you have carpeting, and sharing is cheaper than renting one every time.

I am thinking of things we might find useful on occasion but don't have space to store, either; like a power washer before painting the house. Or a canning pot for putting up tomatoes in the fall.

I am all about reducing, reusing and recycling. seems to be a good way to create an organized system for sharing stuff with friends. So check it out!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Age of Aquarius last!

This article is one of many that announce the alignment of Jupiter and Mars this morning. Yes, folks, on this Valentine's Day, "Love will steer the stars" from this point onward.

The song "Aquarius" from the groundbreaking "tribal love rock musical" Hair was a catchy invocation of this celestial phenomenon. The "dawning" of the Age of Aquarius is certainly the appropriate way to put it: the new astrological age, like the ones that came before. We are leaving the Age of Pisces, dominated by Christianity (ever wonder why Christ is symbolized by a fish?) and entering the sign of The Water Bearer, which is meant to signify a time of social upheaval and potential for positive change, a time of enlightenment and personal freedom.

"Harmony and understanding,
sympathy and trust abounding,
no more falsehoods or derisions,
golden living dreams of visions,
mystic crystal revelation,
and the mind's true liberation!"

Some analysts believe the true age will not begin until 2600 AD, when the Vernal Equinox moves into the constellation of Aquarius. But today's alignment signals that we are well on our way for the New Age that will last roughly two millennia. And we thought New Age was a fad of the 1980s! That was just a warm-up, witchlings. Let's see if we can work some serious magic for change now. And be sure to get your tickets for the new production of Hair in New York this spring!

(Image from

Sunday, February 8, 2009

CSI: Bio-diesel and tree-huggers named "Silver"

This week's forthcoming new episode of CSI (entitled "Deep Fried and Minty Fresh") features shenanigans at a fast food restaurant that includes theft of large drums of cooking oil. Cue the investigation of a local bio-diesel co-operative, where a loopy tree-hugger who calls herself "Silver" works. The video preview can be found online here.

So...we've seen plenty of pagans portrayed in ridiculous ways on prime time TV; it appears now they're going after environmental activists, too. Watch for Silver to say we all need to care for Mother Earth. Amen, sister! But do you have to act so flakey when you say it? And why is she called "Silver"? Is this meant to be a wee slight against neo-paganism's most famous author of that name, Silver Ravenwolf?

No wonder global warming is simultaneously melting and freezing the planet (it does both, you know; climate change is about intensification of weather patterns, not just overall warming). People seeing these sorts of portrayals are very likely going to become convinced that giving a crap about Planet Earth is for geeks and weirdos.

ETA: The bio-diesel angle was interesting. A couple of "hippies" (why do people call modern-day environmentalists by this quaint archaic name, I wonder?) steal barrels of leftover cooking oil from restaurants, process it into bio-diesel and then return the containers. But one of the barrels turns out to contain a dead body. (well, that's recycling too, kind of) It might have been interesting to explore these characters further, especially since they were prominently featured in the preview. But the show basically treated them as fringe types who literally live on the edge of the "normal" community.