Friday, February 16, 2018

Garden Wisdom

Over the decades I have spent getting acquainted with the local dirt, two of Audrey Hatfield's tips from "How to Enjoy Your Weeds" have proved invaluable. The first is about pest control. Hatfield advises if something is moving slowly enough, step on it. If it's moving too fast, let it go, because it will probably kill something else. It doesn't hurt to identify your target.

The second is equally simple: when weeding, unless it's gone to seed, lay the plant you have pulled on the soil near the one you want to protect. Slugs like to eat things that are wilting-30- More after the jump.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Whole Onion

Last summer I discovered perfectly wonderful small onions at the Geek's Favorite Grocery Chain. Paired with a couple of juvenile zucchini, they were just the right size to saute' with no leftover raw onion to menace the atmosphere in the refrigerator. Now that larger onions are on the market, I slice and saute' a whole one and use the leftovers in soup or as a garnish for grilled meat -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Rolling Case

Freight is freight, no matter what source of energy moves the goods. For the last twenty years, nearly everything in the house has come in on foot. I have a collection of specialized totes that I use as the shopping list suggests. A rolling briefcase with four spinner wheels is my current choice for a grocery list that includes liquids. The case is small enough that I can't hurt myself towing too much weight. It's also ideal for cruising narrow aisles, because I can roll it vertically so other shoppers don't trip over it. 

The case is good for its stated function as well, fits under an airline seat, and holds enough clothing for a few days on the road. Winter days in Seattle are so dark that I fit it with a red flashing running light from the bicycle section of the Great Big Hiking Co-op -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sweet Writing

I use a fountain pen. The duplicator-bond ordinaire that I preferred for utility work disappeared from the market a few years ago. I made do with copy paper, but just barely.

I stumbled across a ream of printer paper from Digital Pioneer that is rare stuff for handwriting: smooth, fast, and with just enough tooth to offer the excellent control that enables playful script. It's great value for the money, although not archival. Most unusually, even for the finest papers, the stuff writes equally well on both sides -30- More after the jump.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Pleasant Alternative To The In-box

Now and then a blizzard of paper related to one task drifts into my in box. The archival quality storage boxes offered in the art department of the North End Academic Bookstore are ideal for coping. They stack well, vary in depth, and are far more pleasant to handle than the usual paper management materials I find in stores. I can use them for storing textiles, photographs, and ephemera in addition to their practical function in the home office -30-
More after the jump.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Take A Seat

I favor vintage hardwood folding director's chairs over other leisure seating, because they are comfortable for persons of widely varying size, portable, folding, and elegant. Arne Jacobsen's history of furniture is the history of this chair, the first one of which was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. It's a portable throne, known in medieval Europe as a faldstuhl, or folding stool.

Thirty years ago, I ran short of replacement canvas. Finding new seats was a six-hour jaunt herding a heavy station wagon around unfamiliar suburban roads. A couple of seats failed last week, and replacing them used up the stock of new ones I had been hoarding. Five minutes on-line yesterday brought me a pair of custom-cut replacement seats from a provider aware enough to sell seats separate from the much longer-lasting back canvases -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Once I learned that mail room and filing tasks are the key to keeping clerical systems flowing, getting the "important" things done became trivial (touch wood). Last fall's data breach caused me to rearrange security priorities, because it's hard to concentrate with my heart in my mouth.

The Great Big Search Engine offered security training for children this week. A quick click on the offering made it clear that, like dog training for owners, on-line training for elders is in order. The term "parental tech support" is familiar, and the impolite term for feckless comes to mind more than once when I'm researching best practices -30-

More after the jump.