Thursday

Apr. 18th, 2013 02:23 pm
nightdog_barks: (Puppy Toss)
Big line of storms rolled through at about 4 this morning, with lots of rain, thunder, and lightning. Apparently that helped put out a lot of the fires from the fertilizer plant explosion last night in West, Texas. You can read more about that craziness here and here. The Nightdog family is nowhere near West; we're approximately one hundred miles to the north, so we saw and heard nothing. Everybody in this area knows West, though -- it's one of the many communities settled by Czech immigrants, and the big signs for Czech bakeries (kolaches, mmm) are a truly familiar sight on I-35 for folks driving south to Houston or Galveston.

I did finish Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, and I have conflicting feelings about it. Cutting so people who don't want to read about it don't have to ...  )

Started reading Stephen Harrigan's Remember Ben Clayton, and so far it is pretty good.

Everything green is still growing; should be ready to transplant some of the tomatoes this weekend.

Anything else? Oh, watched the Sabres/Bruins last night. Terrific game.

Saturday

Apr. 13th, 2013 01:09 pm
nightdog_barks: Retro comic illustration of a woman wearing a futuristic space helmet by W.T. Benda (Rocket Woman)
Good god, the weather is beautiful here today. We'll be transplanting the tomatilloes to their big pots this weekend. The tomatoes and peppers are growing at varying rates -- a few of the tomatoes are almost ready to transplant, but most are still pretty small. An opossum came calling night before last -- I watched as he ambled across the deck, but he didn't touch any of our plants. He went on, hoovering through the grass for bugs.

Have been reading Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child and am a bit more than halfway through. It's a fairly straightforward story -- an older couple trying to make a go of homesteading in 1920s Alaska, but there's a BIG dose of magical realism in the form of a "wild child" who couldn't possibly live in the wilderness, and yet somehow ... seems to. Ivey drops just enough hints to suggest that the child could be real, and yet. Really well done so far, and I'm eager to see how it turns out.

Also was poking around YouTube last night and ran across a NEW video from Genki Sudo. I love these guys, and I must've watched it five times. In this one, our boys travel to South Korea and China, and somehow manage to establish Lasting World Peace in Asia. :D

Sunday

Mar. 31st, 2013 03:46 pm
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
Relocated all the rest of the seedlings to their intermediate pots. The tomatoes are growing, but it's the peppers that are the real surprise. All of them look strong and feisty, ready to get going. Also saw a bee in the flowers on the Meyer lemon tree -- what a welcome sight! Before that, watched the Blackhawks CRUSH the Red Wings, 7 - 1. That's what's called "opening a can of whup-ass." HA.

Have been reading Will Ludwigsen's In Search Of and Others. Creepy, creepy short stories, and very good so far.

Sunday

Mar. 24th, 2013 03:32 pm
nightdog_barks: (Thumbelina)
Why is March such a LONG MONTH? Can it just be done yet? Rain yesterday with thunder, including one blast right over the house that sent the dog running for her den, where she stayed the rest of the day. Ferocious COLD winds today out of the north; moved the seedlings back inside and transferred the tomatillo seedlings to larger small pots. Also moved the lemon tree inside and now the house is perfumed with lovely scent. Also brought the olive tree in, and ... it looks like there are teeny-tiny flowers buds on it. O_o We are supposed to have a spring freeze tonight and tomorrow night, after that everything will go back out.

Thursday

Mar. 14th, 2013 12:53 pm
nightdog_barks: (Orchard green flower)
Sunny and warm, beautiful weather. Must run a couple of errands today and it will be good to get out. Seedlings are all getting their second set of leaves, which finally makes them look like the plants they're supposed to be. We'll have to start transplanting soon. Potted some lemon thyme and dill I bought at Calloway's a few days ago, also one of those teeny-tiny grocery store roses.

Was looking last night at a Housefic WIP I haven't touched since 2008. We'll see.

About 3/4 of the way through The Circus Fire; it is without a doubt one of the saddest books I've read in a long time. :-(
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
The peppers finally decided to sprout a few days ago, and we have tiny curls of serranos, bird chilies, corno di toro, and poblano poking up from the potting soil. Note to future self: pepper seeds obviously like it warm. Either move the trays into the sun earlier or invest in a warming pad.

Have started reading Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black, which is about a psychic and her assistant/manager who travel around England giving "readings" (i.e., messages from the dead). Oh my god what great writing.

Otherwise ... blah. Very much at sixes and sevens these days.

Friday

Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:16 pm
nightdog_barks: (Green Tree)
Sunny and much cooler -- we're supposed to have a couple of light freezes this weekend but that hasn't stopped the useless Bradford pears in the neighborhood from starting to blossom. Also we have a winner in the New Seedlings Category, and it's SPINACH. Yep, tiny little stems of Bloomsdale Long-Standing spinach uncurling from the potting soil. No signs of any of the peppers yet. :D

Started reading Joshua Ferris' Then We Came to the End and am liking it, although I'll be the first to admit it's hard keeping some of the characters straight.

Really liked both Person of Interest and Elementary last night. Cutting for spoilers ...

Person of Interest )

Elementary )

Also, Mister Nightdog just looked at the seeds, and the Thai basil has sprouted. It wasn't there this morning. But no peppers yet.
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
1) Started peppers, spinach, Thai basil, and a few cilantro seeds today. The peppers are serranos, poblanos, an Italian sweet pepper called Corno di Toro, and McMahon's bird peppers. The tomatoes and tomatilloes are still growing.

2) Finished Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and really liked it. I thought the ending was a bit of a fizzle, but otherwise two thumbs up for this dysfunctional, creepy, funny story with some of the most unreliable narrators I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

3) Started reading Max Brooks' World War Z. Because I can.

4) Watched Battleship the other night and actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would (despite the many gaping plot holes). The chicken burrito bit at the beginning made me laugh out loud, for real. Watched most of Thor last night -- Chris Hemsworth is remarkably hot, although I am seriously reminded of a happy Golden Retriever puppy. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

There. Four things make a post.
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Our seeds are sprouting! Tiny little tomato and tomatillo seedlings peeking up and uncurling from the potting soil! :D :D :D

Monday

Feb. 4th, 2013 06:35 pm
nightdog_barks: (Horse Weathervane)
Went ahead and started some seeds -- tomatoes (Arkansas Traveler, Black Krim, Pink Belgian) and tomatilloes. Will stop by Lowe's, probably tomorrow, to get some pepper seeds -- most likely serrano and possibly poblano. We have corn but will have to wait until after our last frost. Which is generally mid-March around here, but with the weather this year, who knows? We may have our last frost this month. O_o

Tuesday

Jan. 22nd, 2013 12:30 pm
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
Bright sun, 51 degrees (10.6 degrees Celsius). Errands to run today, including picking up a couple of new pots for the deck at Lowe's. I'm going to be starting a few seeds sometime next month and am looking forward to it -- probably some tomatoes and tomatilloes. The seedlings I planted last year for fall tomatoes did eventually produce, but it was too late for all but ONE to ripen. *g* But it did ripen, and it was utterly delicious (it was a Pink Belgian). The Black Prince plant also produced one last tomato, which surprised us. So. Burpee also has a new variety of sweet corn that supposedly will grow in a container, so I'm going to give that a try. :D

Still reading John Sayles' Moment in the Sun -- I'm about 400 pages in (it's very readable) and I've finally realized that it reminds me of reading a James Michener novel, except without all the historical/scientific/geological backstory that Michener would stuff into his books. Which is neither good nor bad; just an observation.

Watched that new Kevin Bacon show The Following last night, and was very surprised it was on network TV (Fox) and not Showtime or HBO. Not because of the writing, but because of the very dark themes and levels of violence. I'll probably watch the second episode, but unless the writing improves dramatically I doubt that I'll stick with it. On the other hand, who knows? I still watch Hawaii Five-0 every now and then. ;-)

Also, cheese fire shuts down Norwegian roadway tunnel.

Thursday

Nov. 29th, 2012 03:26 pm
nightdog_barks: (Oak Leaves)
Bright sun, warm. One of our tomatoes grown from seed (the Belgian Giant) has produced a baby tomato! We shall see if it actually gets to the ripening stage (we're giving it as much sun as we can), but I'm still excited that it actually worked. We've grown other vegetables from seed (okra, zucchini, yellow squash, etc.) but never tomatoes. So this is excellent news for next season. :D

Watched the first episode of the new season of The Hour last night (on BBC America) and loved it, ESPECIALLY the new news chief, Russell, played by Peter Capaldi, whom we had never heard of. He is amazing.

Have been reading Karen Russell's Swamplandia! (which I keep wanting to call Finlandia! or Fordlandia!) and really liking it.

What else? Joe Biden goes shopping. Also, I watched part of the original 1972 Solaris last night. Couldn't watch the whole thing, but what I saw was creepy as hell. Yikes.
nightdog_barks: In the morning mist, a huge oak tree rises in a field (Field Oak)
Wonderfully cool day today, possibility of frost and/or a light freeze tonight. Brought the tomatoes that we've grown from seeds in (the Arkansas Traveler and the Belgian Giant) -- they are both growing happy and strong but we may have started them too late. A lesson for next year, if so. The plants we bought in the spring (the cherry toms) have new fruit and the basil plants have reseeded all by themselves and are growing afresh.

Took a short walk down the street this afternoon and met a couple of neighbors who are usually away. They were out with their dogs -- a pair of Shelties, one of whom was a blue merle named Reggie. Reggie kept wanting to sniff Chango's butt, so Chango spent most of the encounter hiding behind my legs. The Shelties were both gorgeous dogs, though, with beautiful, fine faces.

Watched some small-school football tonight (Cincinnati at Louisville) which turned out to be an exciting game and went into overtime. Mister Nightdog cooked a brisket. Still reading John Gimlette's Wild Coast, which is very good. Uploaded some new icons (to Dreamwidth). I've thought about trying a Plus Account on LJ to gain a few more icon slots, but I fear I'd be subjecting my f-list to advertisements, and I don't want to do that. (I also don't want to give LJ any more money, or anyone else to, so no.) #firstworldproblems, as the Tumblr and Twitter folks say. :-)

Thursday

Jul. 5th, 2012 02:20 pm
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
Hot and humid. Watered all the deck plants; Chango helped prodigiously (and got very wet but also very happy), and the sun was hot on my back. The tomatoes still have some blooms but look like they are done for the season, but the lone pepper plant has four or five peppers growing. One of them looks about ready to pick. :-D

Finished Barney's Version last night, and I think this is a case where I can say the movie IS better than the book. Not sure what I am going to read next. I do have Shehan Karunatilaka's The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, which won the UK's Commonwealth Prize this year, and which looks very good. (Also, note the book's title in the UK. Interesting change.) So. We'll see.

Sunday

Jun. 17th, 2012 03:29 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Put together one of these today! It was super-easy to assemble, and everything actually fit together, ha. Now I have four extra shelves for plants out on the deck. Chango assisted ably, by sitting close enough so that I could put an arm around her and give her hugs. After a while she simply leaned on me, but only until she saw something interesting in the backyard (a crow).

Friday

May. 4th, 2012 12:20 pm
nightdog_barks: (Horse Weathervane)
Sunny and warm. Home-project yesterday as I moved the Black Prince tomato plant that was in too much sun -- it needed something to lean on in its new spot, so I cut a section of scrap chicken-wire into a makeshift screen and attached it to the metal table that the pineapple plants live on, then carefully moved the Prince (the freaking thing is over FOUR FEET TALL). Anyway, in the process of moving, a happy discovery -- two green tomatoes! YAY.

Reading back and forth between Edith Pearlman's Binocular Vision (short stories) and Under the Sun, Bruce Chatwin's collected letters. Need to do housely things -- Mr. Nightdog is away, and there are so many things I can get done when he is not here. *g*

And why is it not Monday yet? Gah.

Thursday

May. 3rd, 2012 03:56 pm
nightdog_barks: (Jackrabbit Sun)
Warm and sunny, 90 degrees (32.2 degrees Celsius), but it feels as if it's 94. Watered deck plants; will have to move one of the Black Prince tomatoes because it is more in the sun than the others and it Does Not Like. When I was watering the big Norfolk pine, I surprised a bright green anole, who leapt from the tree to a windowframe, where he sat and watched me. I told him I was sorry, that I didn't mean to scare him. :)

Also saw a Great Crested Flycatcher this morning, but only because he was squawking at the dog. *g* Was out and about today and had to turn on my car's AC. Ugh.

Wednesday

May. 2nd, 2012 01:26 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Made Insalata caprese last night with our own ripe patio tomato and basil! And it was ... good. *g* I wish our local stores carried real buffalo mozzarella, but it looks like we'll have to make a pilgrimage to Central Market or Whole Foods for that. Oh well. It was still good -- the tomato was beautiful and juicy and sweet, and the basil was delicately spicy and fresh. Mmmm. Can't wait for more of our tomatoes to ripen.

Eh, that's all I've got so far. :)

Thursday

Apr. 26th, 2012 01:06 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Picked first tomato from the patio plant, left four more, have set the one I picked on the kitchen counter to ripen a bit more. Soon we'll be able to make Insalata caprese with our own basil. And it will be delicious. :-D

Friday

Apr. 13th, 2012 01:40 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Cloudy, warm and humid. Supposed to get some big thunderstorms Sunday morning, so that provided the spur to go outside and give some needed support to the tomatoes. I still had some tomato cages, so I carefully tied the plants to those with some lengths of old pantyhose. One of the plants had fallen over this morning because it was stretching so high. Chango helped by getting as close as she possibly could without occupying the same space and sticking her nose into the tomatoes. :D

In other news, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey is a BAMF, and that's the truth.

Also, perhaps this interesting story from the BBC could have some bearing on the House series finale? Or not.

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The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge

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The Astaires: Fred & Adele, by Kathleen Riley

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