Monthly Archives: September 2007

The day in news – as I see it.

Handcuffed kids steal US border agent car

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Three Mexican minors detained in California on suspicion of smuggling drugs stole a U.S. Border Patrol car while still wearing handcuffs and drove it back across the border to Mexico…(oops)

Myanmar Buddhist monk stands before police

Ahmadinejad visits NYC and is treated as Bush should be

Navy to mask Coronado’s swastika-shaped barracks

CORONADO, Calif., — The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air…(why not just stick with honesty?)


Sowing seeds.

Sunday we planted three beds of vegetables for our winter garden. Everything from broccoli to kale to lettuce and carrots. I have high hopes for this planting for a couple of reasons. The first is that with the help of Chris, Megan, and Jonathan we dug two completely new veggie beds that are no longer under the looming shade of the large Chilean mesquite tree in my backyard (which incidentally is fabulous for the summer beds). Last year the veggies definitely suffered from too much shade and not enough warmth, so hopefully this will be the solution. Also, I was able to add some lush, dark beautiful compost to all these beds. Between the large amounts of food scraps, weeds, shredded documents from the office, and the occasional load of food scraps from the local co-op, not to mention the chickens own special fertilizer and their help digging around in the compost, this was by far the best concoction of natural, home-made compost I have ever been a part of.

Supposedly the seeds I planted on Sunday will grow into food that one day this fall and winter we will cook, fry, steam, and eat. I have seen this work before. I have been a part of it and even responsible for it, but I never cease to be awed at the magic that takes place under that dark warm soil, only to poke its head out and eventually make its way to my mouth. There is always a bit of a question mark hanging in the air after such acts of believing. And really in the end, there is so much that has nothing to do with me. Very strange indeed. But satisfying. Really damn satisfying. Especially when it works.

Rainy sunset from the porch last week.

Because it matters what people say on blogs.

But it does matter what happens here.
Check this out too.

At least I don’t have hyenas for pets.

There are some friends of mine who think that having chickens in my backyard is strange. Seriously. Everything from blank stares to uncomfortable pauses followed by a “wow…” that trails off into some other discussion. The number of times I get asked “what do you have chickens for?” is quite astounding considering that each person in this country consumes 250 eggs per year(two eggs every third day) and 53 pounds of chicken (that’s about a drumstick a day). Regardless of the (unenlightened) crazed looks I may sometimes receive from friends and acquaintances, nothing compares to this.

This family in Syria keeps hyenas as pets. Now, I once spent the night on the Serengeti in Tanzania while studying there. Me and 26 other people were camped out in a circle, only to be woken to the most devilish cry from the depths of hell I have ever heard in my short three-decade life, coming from a full-grown smiling, big-eared animal seen above. I can’t imagine waking up to that on a regular basis, and if my neighbors and friends knew just how terrible that sound was, they would be overwhelmingly thanking me for my choice of backyard chickens. But from now on when I get strange looks about raising chickens for eggs, compost, and entertainment, I will say, “well at least I don’t have hyenas for pets.” That’ll make ’em think.

This saying will surely join “it’s hotter than the inside of a live chicken!” in its place as a colloquial, well-read opinion on the general state of things. I now give it to the blogging world as but a small contribution to an ever growing sea of knowledge that helps us get through our day. You’re welcome world.

I’m in love with this scene…

It is no surprise to anyone that I am a helpless/hopeless romantic, but this is one of my most favorite new films (somehow Will Ferrel is endearing), and this scene and song has been stuck in my head for days. Now it will be stuck in yours. Enjoy.

One of these eggs is not like the other…

In case you were wondering how we know which chicken gives which egg, here you can see the obvious difference between the darker Rhode Island Red (Hayduke) eggs and the lighter egg from the Buff Orpington (Cracker). The Araucanas (Sally, Maria Algo, and Al Carbon) have yet to start laying, and once they do they should have blue-ish green colored eggs. In any case, pretty soon we will be swimming in eggs (mmm…nice thought huh?) of all colors. And if you have never had the experience of walking out of your house each morning and finding eggs just waiting for you in the chicken house, then you should come visit and you too will able to make an omelette with the freshest of eggs and basil from our garden. It will be one of the most satisfying meals you can ever eat – until you do it again.

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