Category Archives: rantings

The White House will have a garden.

Oh yes.  It will.  The New York Times is reporting that Michael Pollan’s dream will come true, as a 1,100 square foot patch of [useless] White House lawn will be dug up and replaced with 55 varieties of vegetables and fruits.  While in the end I am guessing this will mostly be symbolic, I think it is a pretty cool symbol.  I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.

If only all of us a garden for fresh veggies and fruits to chow down on whenver we pleased…(and a whole staff to take care of them and cook for us too…).  In any case, home gardens are all the recession rage these days, as are chickens and local farmers’ markets, which is of course good news for food, farmers, and the people who eat them.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the NY Times article:

“First of all,” Mrs. Obama said, “there’s nothing really cooler than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”

AND

“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.

There have never been truer words.  Heirloom Tomatoes are gifts from the gods even if they generally sell for the ungodly price $5+/lb, which means they only for elitists of course (or just that they are the best thing on this planet).  Next project: chickens roaming the lawns.  Anyways, garden on y’all. [New York Times]

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Why exactly did I start a blog about chickens?!? (updated)

So a friend of mine is writing an article about chickens and asked me why I started a blog about chickens and if she could quote me.  I happily obliged and rattled off some ridiculous rambling treatise attempting to answer her question.  I haven’t read it again since I sent it to her.  But since this a blog, and blogs are inherently about oversharing, I figured there is no reason my dear readers can’t hear what I shared with her and will potentially (though unlikely??) be published material and therefore be more credible(?).  So here you are.  My reasons for starting this blog, as I so wrote in a facebook email to a friend, today.  They may or may not be true…

besides being your average internet narcissist and over inflated ego monger, i originally started my chicken blog, Chicken Diction, for distinctly subversive reasons.  while i was immediately enamored with my (at the time) six hens, i really wanted to use the frequently perceived oddity of backyard chickens to subtly point to ways of sustainability and creative alternatives to the way people generally imagine the world around them.  seriously.  the more i thought about the role chickens play in our society and culture, the more i realized i had stumbled upon the perfect way to poke fun at culture, and show off a little bit of home grown resistance to corporate-big-box-pre-packaged-life.  in some ways i feel like that overstates the simplicity of any hope i had for the blog, because while i wanted to do all of that, i also knew that the only good blog was a self-deprecating one, which meant avoiding a preacher-like persona, even as i was pointing out things that really mattered to me, like water-harvesting, local food, good (also local) beer, and community activities.  of course, at times Chicken Diction simply functions as a photo album i don’t actually have to sit down and go through with my family who is far away.  it is also a bit of mental diarrhea for those random moments at work when i really want to (over)share something with people.  i really can spend hours just watching my chickens.  i will talk with them and make fun of them, sometimes threaten them with soup recipes or a bbq if they aren’t laying eggs.  some of them let me pet them, while others run at the first sight of me for no reason other than their hard-wired dna from centuries roaming the jungles before they were domesticated.  if someone were to watch me, spending all that time watching and talking to my chickens they would probably have me certified, or if i actually had time to put all my ideas that occur to me on my blog, then i think my friends and family would start to wonder if there really was a screw loose.  hopefully i will be posting some video of chickens in the near future.  we’ll see is my random moments and uploading time will coincide anytime soon.  but actually, if i was really self-critical of this blog (why stop now?), i would call it some lame attempt to be clever by filling in the void of having no children to blog about, therefore i blog about chickens and even though i publicly believe that to make me a better, more creative, and less obnoxious of a person, i am no different than all of my relatives who do exactly that, only about their actual family.  me, all i have are chickens, and their endless compost.

The following are very pertinent follow-up questions to my previous ramblings.  Remember, you heard it first here folks!!!

Why do you spend so much time watching your chickens?

i think it is a combination of strange, voyeuristic amusement, and that i am free to think of other things and ideas that i only ever think about like when i am in the shower or on long road trips. and there is a certain element of anticipation, in waiting for the day’s harvest of eggs. sometimes i find myself trying to will another egg laid. but it’s like the worst version of watching water boil or toast pop up – i have only ever seen one egg actually laid, and that was by accident.

And how many chickens do you actually have?

started w/ 6. one died quickly of unknown reasons. had five for nearly two years then my neighbors decided it would be fun to have baby chickens but didn’t have a plan for what to do when they started jumping/flying over the fence and eating my vegetables. so when confronted with the simple request that they do something to stop that, they gave me three more. they currently lay very small, but not quail-size-small eggs. all told, eight very content hens, albeit frequently loud and grumpy for no good reason.

While it’s NOT…hotter than the inside of a live chicken!©…

…It is still pretty damn hot for February – EVEN in Tucson, Arizona.  So for all you global warming naysayers and skeptics, including those of you who flat out refuse to listen to anything that spills from the lips of Democrats regardless of how truthy it just may be, and no matter that they are simply the other side of the same useless coin…here is something along the lines of PROOF that is yes indeed it is getting hot in here:

Yes, it was warm, as in record-setting
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
by Tony Davis

Tucson’s weather broke a record Monday, with a 91-degree reading that felt more like late April or early May than February.
Monday was:
• The warmest Feb. 23 on record, compared with a previous record of 87 degrees in 1989. The mercury hit 91 at 2:24 p.m. and was at least 90 for three minutes. The normal high for this time of year is about 70 degrees.
• A day when the low temperature was also the highest minimum temperature on record for the day: 58, compared with the previous record of 54 in 1920.
• The second-earliest 90-degree day in February on record, after a 92-degree reading on Valentine’s Day 1957.
• The fourth 90-degree reading in February in Tucson since records started being kept in 1895.
• The second straight day in which Tucson had the warmest temperature in the country. On Sunday it was 83 degrees.
“It could be worse. It was 100 degrees in Hermosillo today,” National Weather Service meteorologist John Glueck said.
A strong high-pressure ridge over the Tucson area has pushed temperatures up and will keep them high all week.
Today, the high is expected to be a 90. It will cool to the mid-80s on Wednesday, and stick in the low to mid-80s for the rest of the week.
hot-chicken1

Lack thereof.

I am tired of buying eggs to eat.  My eight chickens are bordering on uselessness and I can barely stand it.  Barely one egg a day.  It’s difficult to blog about nothing.  It’s like the Seinfeld of chickens, but not so funny or well paid.  Damnit all.

In other backyard garden related news, Mari’s father chopped up our one and only Magdelena Big Cheese Squash that we grew a couple months back and made a delicious  pot of Locro.  For those of you who don’t know what locro is, you should look into booking flights to Peru immediately and finding a good restaurant to sample it along with all the other goodies of Peruvian cuisine.  A-MA-ZING.  And to hear Mari and her family tell it, BEST-IN-THE-WORLD.  My stomach is currently full of this squashy goodness.  MMMM.  Fortunately, one does not need eggs in order to make locro, otherwise we would be S-O-L.

Lately it’s been…

…hotter than the inside of a live chicken!© And for those of you who didn’t believe that this fantabulous saying would ever make it’s way into the jargon of pop culture, here is verifiable proof that not only has this saying become ever-so-popular, but that it has spread out of the chicken mecca of Tucson, AZ all the way across the state line to California. That’s right, if this trend was a crime, it would now be federal. My friend and co-worker from Los Angeles, California sent me this picture just this morning, as she witnessed temperatures in Pasadena at 6pm on Saturday rise exactly two degrees hotter than the inside of a live chicken!© Thanks to all those committed Chicken Diction aficionados out in the world.

So say my chickens too…


“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.”
– Ed Abbey

(For more Abbey quotes you can go to this nifty webpage.)

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