Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Behold – the mighty dandelion, slayer of lawns

Ah spring is here in all it’s hay fever inducing glory! Robins be damned – it isn’t spring until the ubiquitous dandelion pops up and terrifies lovers of bowling green style lawns. I love dandelions and don’t quite get the obsession some have with eradicating them. I know peope who go out with their bottle of weed killer and spray, spray, spray away trying to kill them all off. Not sure how much Round Up they use, but they are  successful in killing off the bees and not the tough little dandelion. I figure when the apocalypse hits all that will be left will be cockroaches and dandelions.

If I had a lawn, I’d dig it up and seed it with wildflowers. I’d also let the dandelions grow too. Yea, I’d be a neighbourhood pariah … “quick get the kids inside, here comes that crazy dandelion lady”. Maybe I’d make dandelion necklaces and wear them when I stroll around the neighbourhood, inviting people in to drink some dandelion wine and really scare the jeebers out of everyone. That would be fun.

So if you look out your window and spot the evil little yellow flowers appearing on your lawn, take a deep breath and keep telling yourself "they are only daisies... little yellow daisies" and leave the sprays in the cupboard.   


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Balcony surprise - lilacs in the city 20 floor up

I was just out on the balcony about 15 min ago and was shocked to see this:

Lilac Tree balcony garden

Our lovely and much neglected lilac tree survived the winter. We're 20 floors up and we get furious wind gales all winter long. We thought it was a gonner, but a few weeks ago we thought we saw signs of life. 

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Bitter Grounds brain farts - site design failures

Danger Sign - Brain Fart Ahead

I screwed up last night. Was feeling tired but wanted to tinker a bit with the site’s design and I broke one of my cardinal rules – NEVER adjust the layout live unless you know what the result will be. Test off line first and if all goes well, nip behind the curtains and make the changes. Those immortal words “nothing will go wrong” (that always lead to trouble) flitted through my brains and I plunged head long into a few adjustments.

WELL … things didn’t go to plan. If any of you logged on last night, my humblest apologies. It must have looked like I’d lost my sanity for about 2 hours. I’d been working on a different banner for the site – something that is a bit more interestig and less dour than the dark landscape I had. After sketching out some ideas I sat down and put the banner together and loaded it up. Not bad, not bad at all.  So far so good.

Then I got frisky…

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Meandering towards spring

Incredible change in the weather. It’s not sub zero, rainy, cloudy, sleety (is that a word?) blah for a change. Just a beautiful spring day here in Toronto.   In the space of about 2 weeks, we’ve gone from -10 with the wind chill to a balmy, lovely 13 Celsius (that translates to 55 F for my American friends). Lovely jubbly! It’s been a dreary, dreary month. The sunshine is such a break.

The sun and warmth means garden season isn’t long off now. Traditionally it’s the May long weekend – also called the 24 weekend to symbolise the case of beer that will be sacrificed over gardens all over the country. I’ve been rethinking my little balcony garden. We’re up so high, we get tremendous winds so some plants don’t do well. Plus there is a  temp difference, always a bit cooler (especially at night) than on ground level. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it over the last few years. So we need fairly hearty plants to deal with wind, intense sun in the afternoon and possible chills in the evening.

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The Theory of Headphone Entanglement

How does this happen? Image of tangled headphone cables

This is a mild case, only 3 knots and 5 loop de loops. Some mornings it takes 5 minutes to
figure out how to untangle the mess. Is there a scientific explanation like the “Theory
of Headphone Entanglement”? Or do cable pixies come in during the night and weave
knots with our headphones. Some days I swear I have a Gordian Knot on my hands. One morning I tossed the headphones on the desk and bought a new set (a modern method of taking a sword to the
problem) out of sheer frustration.

I have a 4 hooks on the wall with various cables strung on them and they all seem to be afflicted with the same problem. I carefully hang the cables, making sure they are straight, and BAMMO within a week it l looks like a den of orgasmic snakes in the throws of mating. I've taken to hanging a shirt over the cables so I don't see them when I walk by.    

Arrggg ….

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