Sunday, April 30, 2006

garden mania

I am sore. My knees hurt, my back hurts, and I have blisters on my palms. And I am happy about it.

We finally got outside today. I planted a clematis that has been growing in a plastic bag for two weeks, ever since White Flower Farms sent it to me. I trimmed the rosebushes—looks like we lost one, but I’ll give it another couple of weeks. I trimmed away a lot of the wildness from the roses and the iris bed.

And raked. Trying to get the part of the “lawn” cleared up so we can rototill it so we can put some seed down and have a chance at actually seeing green there besides onion grass. A lot of small branches all over the place. Stanley started trimming some of the dead branches from the shrubs and something took hold of him since he just kept trimming and trimming the entire section. I was thrilled as it’s needed trimming for about, oh, five years or so. As he trimmed, I raked. And raked. Tomorrow we’ll have to drag all of the debris out of there. An unbelievable amount of brush.

We met our new neighbors today. They like our dog! They seem like really nice people and are planning to actually garden!

Stanley managed to mow about two-thirds of the yard. I wasn’t anywhere near as high as it’s gotten in previous years, but it was still about a foot high, lots of dandelions this year (I love the way dandelions look in the back 40). Here he is, mid-mow (click to enlarge):

Stanley mowing the lawn for the first time in 2006

My tulips are a little wild this year—and its seems like the yellows just opened and already they are blown. But the colors are just gorgeous (click to enlarge):

2 tulips, copyright lee fleming thomson, April 29, 2006

Several of the new ones I planted last year are in bloom (I took pictures of those with my film cameras). Not as many have come up as I remember planting—I attribute that to the squirrels. The fritallaria I planted in fall 2004 are blooming again this year—they’re pretty. And I wonder if this year the wisteria will finally bloom. I suspect not. I suspect I will never ever get to see it bloom. Lot of birds nesting in it this year.

We’ll work more in the yard tomorrow, after we get back from brunch with Helene.

Oh, I finally got the pictures I sent off for developing for my Holga—they came back and some of them are just extraordinary. Will scan those pretty soon to post.

Time to make some dinner.


posted by lee on 04/30/06 at 12:34 AM

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

catching up w/ the lamont campaign

Petition training for the Ned Lamont for Senate campaign is on Wednesday at the various campaign offices around the state. Don’t know yet if we’ll be able to get to it, but we will certainly try.

A question for the campaignmeisters: why is it so hard to find the addresses for the local offices on ? And the phone numbers—I had to call headquarters to get a phone number for the Norwalk office. Seems like a no-brainer to add this info to the main site, with maybe a name or two and contact info. Sheesh. And who are the people in those photos? And where is stuff I can use to push Ned on my website? (Go ahead—ask me to help!)

I need to remember to go to the Registrar’s office and affiliate with the Dems. I’ve been an independent so long I keep forgetting that I have to do this in order to vote in the Primary. And the only reason I am doing this is to vote for Ned Lamont. I am not looking forward to unleashing the dogs of campaign donation seekers—Stanley is a registered Dem and he gets so many phone calls begging for money he’s getting really pissed off. So, you can see how committed I am to Lamont, to risk double the number of begging calls.

Aldon sent me a bunch of links to recent postings and news articles re: Lamont & Liebermouth. It’s much more than I have time to deal with (I get Google alerts about the campaign as well), so I settled for looking at (here are the search results: And I think it’s cool that Aldon is getting some notice for his behind the scenes work.

Liebermouth lost even the remotest chance I would ever vote for him with his comments about driving to another hospital to get Plan B. Just shilling for the Catholic vote.

posted by lee on 04/23/06 at 09:14 PM

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5+ inches of rain just today

And it’s still coming down, though not nearly as hard as before. Ugh. We have pots and buckets all over the house to catch the leaks (we really need a new roof) and the cellar has turned into the River Styx. Stanley was baling, but had to go to Weston to deal with an out-of-town client’s house. Here is our back yard (click to enlarge):


Helene, over in Westport, lives on the Saugatuck River and while she’s on the first floor, her garden apartment neighbor is under water. Their landlord, Peter Palmer, is in Florida, so they called the fire department—but the WFD didn’t have the equipment needed to pump out the apartment. So Helene and her neighbor have been dragging furniture and stuff up to Helene’s porch. Helene lives on Richmondville. ( has a lot of pictures of the havoc over that way.

Just glad we live on top of a hill.

The Dogwoods Are in Bloom
One dogwood (I think the Japanese dogwood) is nearly in full bloom and one (the American dogwood) is kind of iffy right now. I took the first two of these pics from the bathroom window on the second floor—the blooms look greener when viewed with the eyeball than these show. Damn cat tried to climb me to get to the open window (I pulled down the screen to shoot), which made me lose my balance and when I grabbed the window to steady myself, it closed and smashed my fingers—frelling cat ... nothing is broken, but oy. The third picture is the American, taken from the balcony. Still to early for that one, I think. Click the images to enlarge them.

Dogwood, west side of the house, April 23, 2006, by Lee Fleming Thompson

Dogwood, west side, April 23, 2006 by Lee Fleming Thompson

Dogwood, back, April 23, 2006 by Lee Fleming Thompson

Seems like the flowers glow in the gloomy weather, doesn’t it?

Stanley has been gone a couple of hours now—so I suspect the problem he’s dealing with is much worse than anticipate. Bet he’s in a foul mood when he gets back. Oh joy—this has not been a very good week for him (his hard drive crashed, and it’s going to cost us $1,500 to recover the data. Backups? I don’t want to get into that ... let’s just say there is no way we’re ever going to pay for data recovery again, or else ... )

posted by lee on 04/23/06 at 07:43 PM

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

here & there on the web & a stupid ibm adv

Love my toy cameras and I’m always looking for more information about them. I took a look through this site, put together by photographer Marcy Merrill: After you’ve poked around in JunkStore Cameras, take a look at the rest of her site, a lot of interesting stuff that she has the patience to document (much more patience than I would have). I really like her photography too. Lots of interesting experiments.

Well, Can You?
Can you pass the citizenship test? (Yep, I did. I paid attention during Civics—I even liked it.)

Ye Gods!
Need to check up on a god? has data available on more than 2,850 deities. (Jesus is under the middle-eastern mythology category, in case you’re wondering.)

Must-have Resource for Jeopardy Buffs Which, sad to say, does not have a search engine.

Today, I wanted to work in the garden. And take a picture of the dogwood tree, which started blooming on April 20 this year. But it’s raining and dreary and so chilly that Stanley turned the furnace back on. I need a break from making websites so I think I’ll, um, maybe work on cleaning the house? The furballs are massing for an attack and we’ve lost the cat somewhere in the piles of clothes in the guest room, so off I go.

Advertising Dregs
But not before making an observation about IBM’s current ad campaign. It’s the commercial with the blue flowers floating all over the place, masses of the same flower (I have no idea what the point of the flowers is supposed to be—designer barf, I suspect). At any rate, the theme of this commercial is “I’m not like everybody else.” So to hammer the theme of uniqueness, the admeisters have hordes of people singing exactly the same line at the same time in the same way (“I’m not like everbody else” by The Kinks). Methinks IBM needs a new advertising agency—and fast. What a wombat this commercial is. I can’t even figure out what they’re selling. Blah.

posted by lee on 04/22/06 at 07:53 PM

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

generate your own web 2.0 beta site

Cool tool, but you have to set up your own apps. Or rather, beta apps.

posted by lee on 04/04/06 at 06:05 PM

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

01:02:03 04/05/06

Read this on news from me:

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

This won’t happen again until 2106. Stanley pointed this out to me. File it under “weird stuff I like to know.”

posted by lee on 04/02/06 at 09:05 PM

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the vehicles are gone!

The people came yesterday and took away the van and the Nova. Yes! They were happy, Stanley was happy (he hates giving old cars to the junkyard—“Why should they make money off of my car?” He’d rather give them to someone who will use them.), I’m thrilled.

It’s so pretty out today—I’m about to go out with my “new” Kodak Duoflex III (the one Stanley gave me for Christmas). And I found a place that develops 120 film via mail order, and even one that I THINK will develop my 620 film (which is really just re-rolled 120 film—I just need the spool back and I don’t know if the place I use for processing the 120 film will return it ... )

I would like to test out my new roto-tiller. But guess who wants to try it out first. He said he hasn’t given it to me yet.

Oh, and Stanley sez there is an area of lawn that was indeed reclaimed from the dust—he said the grass is growing fierce and fast around the birdbath. Hmmm. Not exactly a huge swath of lawn, but nice to know it’s possible.

I guess I forgot to say that my roto-tiller was delivered by Fedex on Saturday morning at 8:30 am. Maybe the delivery person knocked because Ginger sure went crazy—she even went downstairs to see who was at the door—and she rarely goes down without me. I’m glad he left it—I managed to drag it into the foyer and then went back up to bed. I didn’t know Fedex did Saturday deliveries for ground shipments—they must’ve wanted to get it out of the way or something.

posted by lee on 04/02/06 at 04:33 PM

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

roto-tilling the odds & ends

We’ve had two unused vehicles parked in our driveway for longer than I care to admit. One is a Nova from 1996 1986 that still runs (needs new brakes) and would, once in a while, just not start. I got it for nothing from my brother-in-law, who got it from his father, and it got me to Branford three times a week for a couple of years. By the time the odometer quit, it had more than 120,000 miles on it.

And Stanley has a van that he ran into the ground. It finally got more expensive to fix it (in terms of both time and money) than to get another decent used van. He doesn’t need anything fancy because he uses the van for work only.

We tried to donate these cars to the Kidney Foundation, but they were rejected as being too old and we were told it would cost us $35 per to “give” them to the charity. Nuts to that, Stanley said—we’ll just junk them at the junkyard. They’ll haul them away.

Only, in order for them to do that, ya hafta set it up. Time passed, we were busy, and before we knew it trees were sprouting through the rust spots. But this week, I’d finally had it with them and asked Stanley to get rid of them. Which he started to do—he used the van as a repository for the stuff that needs to go to the dump, and this week he emptied and made a couple of dump runs. We were getting so close to getting rid of them!

Today, it was so weird, but these people stopped by to ask if we were interested in selling the van and the Nova. The guy is a mechanic, and the woman has an equally old Nova hatchback, and they were interested in at least getting the vehicles for the parts. Selling them? Hah! Stanley told them, “If you haul them away, they are yours.” So, tomorrow, finally, oh please oh please, they’ll be gone. We even found the titles without much trouble. That’s a big one I can cross off my (or rather Stanley’s) to-do list.

Our lawn reclamation project from last year was a failure. We did get some more grass in the bare areas, but it look more like failed hair plugs than anything remotely resembling a lush lawn. Or even a non-lush lawn. Just a tuft here and there. We had to accept the fact that it is going to take some serious work to turn back into lawn. The ground resembles hardpan more than anything.

So Stanley asked me if I wanted a roto-tiller. Yes! So he ordered a Troy-Bilt for me. Via Amazon. And if finally shipped yesterday, though according to Fedex tracking it took a day to get from Northern Kentucky to Northern Kentucky. He says they’re walking it, which is why the estimated deliver time is between April 18 and May 4.

More "roto-tilling the odds & ends"

posted by lee on 04/01/06 at 04:39 AM

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