re-posting that weird post to see what happens

May 23rd, 2009 | Uncategorized

Photo 79
Here’s me and Shawn again. He’s the one with the five o’clock shadow. Thanks to all the people who expressed interest in the website helper job. We’re narrowing things down and Shawn will contact everyone soon. New Jersey is still backwards.

I’m sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to report. There was a red breasted grosbeak outside my window the other day.


And I spotted this trillium while hiking last Sunday.


Oh yeah, and here’s a movie of my cat watching that talking cat on the computer. She’s not particularly interested.

54 Responses to “re-posting that weird post to see what happens”

  1. are you working now?

  2. Maggie Jochild says:

    Dinah informs me that the talking cat is using profanity AND bad grammar. No doubt that explains why the refined Dr. W. chooses to not grace the video with her rapt attention.

    Whereas Dinah is both vulgar and rousable, on a GOOD day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alison, you weren’t really posting at 3:28am, were you?? I hope you’re getting a nice nap in now!

  4. Eva says:

    oops. Anonymous was me.

  5. Calico says:

    Have you and Holly found any Morels yet?
    The one you found and cooked last year looked so good.

  6. We did find a morel! Just the other day, in that same spot. But it wasn’t nearly as big or as perfect as last year’s.

    Where are the morels of yesteryear?

  7. Ready2Agitate says:

    OK now I really wanna know – AB have you & HRT read Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”? She’s ga-ga for, well, anything that grows and can be eaten (including morels).

  8. Therry and ST. Jerome says:

    You know, what occurs to me is that the talking cat is using the bad language because it appears to be in heat. It’s making heat-like sounds. Surprised your browser didn’t catch it in the browser’s porn filter. St Jerome was interested, but he’s a guy cat.

    I LOVE rose breasted grosbeaks! Thanks for the view!

  9. Kate L says:

    A.B., the reposting worked like a charm! The first time around, the look in Shawn’s eyes was one of insane frenzy. Now, in the reposting, all I see in his eyes is a calm intensity of focus! New Jersey and Pennsylvania are still problematic, though…

  10. ksbel6 says:

    The morels around here are great this year. Apparently tornados make for good growing.

  11. Patience says:

    Cool to see the Adrienne Rich book sitting on the table (in the cat video).

  12. Renee S. says:

    a friend of mine has a secret morel spot. He brought home 2 large paper bagfuls. I must secretly follow behind him one day.

  13. Ellen O. says:

    I was thinking of snapping a photo of my cat looking over the laptop screen on which your cat is ignoring the yowling cat on your screen. But really….

  14. Alex K says:

    Logging on from Muenchen, just to leave another dot on the worldmap.

    A 15-km bikeride yesterday. Rather a lot, after not saddling up for ten years. But a Biergarten was midway on the trip.

    The pleasant beerbuzz is long gone. My butt still hurts. There´s a morel in that somewhere.

    Which point, of course, makes my comment relevant to the ongoing thread…

  15. Maggie Jochild says:

    Alex K. — groannn…

    And now that I see Dr. W. has been reading On Lies, Secrets, and Silence, her reaction must be read in a different light. As in, the complicated truth is that worth striving for. She is striving for feline honour.

  16. Alex the Bold says:

    wasn’t shawn wearing a red hoodie in the previous photo?

    Or am I losing the one marble I have left?

  17. hairball_of_hope says:

    I vote for that weird post to be deleted, now that the replacement post is working fine. Why have factory rejects on the front page?

  18. hairball_of_hope says:

    I wonder why the Mac webcam produces mirror images. I never use the webcam on my Linux Asus netbook, but I fired it up to test the mirror image thing, and it produced an image with normal perspective (albeit grossly wide-angle, which made my face look really weird, sort of like ‘The Nose That Ate My Face’).

    Do all Mac webcams produce a mirror image? A few of my friends have Macbook Pros, and they’ve never mentioned this. That would annoy the crap out of me if I used the webcam. I’m anal enough that I would mirror flip the image in Gimp before using it. Not so easy to flip a video, however.

    I don’t use a webcam for photography, it’s too awkward. I use a Nikon for stills, and a Flip Mino for video (I could capture some video on the Nikon in a pinch, but it’s not high quality resolution). Both fit in my jacket pockets, the Asus rides in my backpack or shoulder bag.

  19. Ready2Agitate says:

    HOH, your technical assiduousness (if that word means what I think it does) awes me.

  20. Ready2Agitate says:

    – er, leaves me awed.

  21. hairball_of_hope says:


    Yeah, that’s a legit word, and it means what you think it does. Of course in my case, it means I’m hopeless. And that I usually carry all sorts of crap with me, “just in case.” Good thing that my taste runs to tiny stuff, or I’d get a hernia toting it around. I’m a sucker for mini versions of things (laptops, cameras, tools, flashlights, gadgets, accessories, etc.). “Ooooh shiny… and tiny… I want it,” she said.

    as•sid•u•ous adj.

    1. constant; unremitting: assiduous reading.

    2. constant in application or effort; working diligently at a task; persevering; industrious; attentive: an assiduous student.

    [1530–40; < L assiduus, equiv. to assid ( re) to sit near, beside, dwell close to (see ASSESS) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -OUS]

    — as•sid‚u•ous•ly, adv.

    — as•sid‚u•ous•ness, n.

    — Syn.1. continuous, tireless, persistent. 2. studious, diligent, sedulous.

  22. Timmytee says:

    This is all conjecture, having seen only one ever, but I’d bet that the Apple self-camera reverses the pic so that when you’re using it, it seems like you’re looking into a “real” mirror rather than into some kind of weird “Apple-Reverse-Mirror”. A corrected pic might be confusing if you’re only a foot or two away from it while working. Maybe there IS a way for them to correct the picture, but it’s not used by lots of people. (It’s not really important, unless you’re using the map on Alison’s wall to get from PA to NJ, LOL!) Glad to see the hiccup in this site has been fixed. The backlit trillium is beauteous, Alison!

  23. hairball_of_hope says:


    That seems plausible if one is using the computer monitor/webcam instead of a mirror to apply makeup, put in contacts, shave, etc. I’ll bet there are more than a few people who do just that, judging from how many folks I see doing those things WHILE DRIVING. I’m used to seeing women applying makeup while driving, occasionally I see guys shaving, but seeing someone putting in contacts while driving is pretty scary. I keep hoping that’s not the first lens s/he is popping in.

    I really shouldn’t criticize… I’m not a paragon of single-tasking behind the wheel. I eat, drink, yak on the phone, and occasionally I have been known to read the newspaper while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. At least I don’t Blackberry while driving, I know someone who reads and replies to her e-mail behind the wheel. And I don’t mean the rush hour crawl, she’s doing this on the NJ Turnpike.

  24. Ian says:

    Speaking of taking pics of growing things, how are the vegetable beds we saw you and Holly getting on? I’ve not long come back from planting tomatoes and salad leaves in my own little plot and remembered yours.

    I’ve just finished reading about a method of growing crops called the ‘three sisters’, developed by Iroquois women, who were in charge of the crops. In a mound of soil you plany a maize seed at the top, below that you put in a climbing bean seed to grow up the maize plant, then below that you plant a pumpkin or other squash which carpet the ground in between the maize. I’m going to try it out next year.

  25. Ian says:

    Ooops. “Plant”, not “plany”. *blush* Add my vote to the addition of a preview/edit function for comments!

  26. hairball_of_hope says:


    That’s an interesting planting method. The legume (climbing bean) also provides nitrogen fertilization to the soil, which the corn requires for optimal growth. The squash would provide natural weed control, because the large leaves block sunlight needed for weeds.

    I’ve also read that they buried small fish next to the plants, another form of soil fertilization.

  27. Andrew B says:

    Timmytee, you’re right about the Apple photobooth application — the one that’s provided for controlling the built in camera. It does show a mirror image. But I still like Dr E’s suggestion that the map was intended to show PA and NJ from below. The image is corrected, though — lenses being what they are, the image captured must be upside down as well as reversed side to side.

    HOH, according to Charles Mann in 1491, the story about North American Indians using fish for fertilizer has been disputed. Tisquantum (Squanto) did tell the colonists to do that, but he may have picked up the idea in Europe, where he was held as a slave for several years and then traveled before returning to North America. The Indians would have had much less need for fertilizer than Europeans, because they cultivated the land less intensively, moving their fields every few years. Or the standard story may be correct. Apparently the issue is unsettled, or was a few years ago when Mann’s book came out.

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    Interesting dispute about the fish as fertilizer. I’m guessing there were regional differences in use of fish as fertilizer (or perhaps merely the fish bones). The bones would provide calcium and phosphate to the soil, and would increase the soil pH (make more alkaline). In the pre-BSE (mad cow) era, bone meal would be used by modern gardeners for the same purpose.

    If the “three sisters” method were employed, there would be less need for crop rotation/moving of planting fields, because the natural symbiosis of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the legume root nodules would provide urea and nitrates to the crops.

    It’s also interesting (at least it’s interesting to me) that the “three sisters” method provided two crops (legumes and corn) with complementary amino acids/proteins, which eaten together provide a complete protein source in a non-meat diet (à la “Diet For A Small Planet”).

    So… the Narive Americans seemed to do two things really well here… complementary crops which self-fertilized the soil and reduced competing weed vegetation, and complementary proteins which produced a healthy diet not dependent upon meat sources.

    And of course it was the Aztecs and Mayans who domesticated maize from the grass teocinte in the first place. Think about that as you munch on your popcorn in the movie theatre.

    As for me (no garden these days, just garden lust), I’m busy thinking up other crop combos to go along with the “three sisters.” The “ratatouille tribe”… tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant [aubergine] (to provide ground cover for weed control), onions and garlic (alliums can be trained to grow up the tomato stems, and they provide some insect resistance), and green peppers (doesn’t do anything for the tribe except complete the recipe). Maybe throw in some marigolds for insect control on the tomatoes (and a nice table decoration for the ratatouille meal), although I never had any luck with marigolds keeping bugs off the tomatoes.

  29. Jessica Bessica says:

    I used to get tons of morels in the yard at my old house. They grow around dead elms. yum!

  30. Maggie Jochild says:

    The three sisters method is prevalent among First Nations people throughout the Americas where corn was a staple grain, not just the Iroquois. In fact, it’s most associated with Southwestern, Mexican, Central American, and mountain folk of South America. And it’s no accident that it provides a complete protein based on grain-and-bean combination instead of killing animals. Hunting and fishing were labor-intensive and often seasonal, but agriculture (likely developed by women) was the basis for civilization, for stored foods through times of famine or disease, for extra which allowed the accelerated rise of arts and culture, and which offered enhanced opportunity for education, for extending the life expectancy of children and elders. In some geographically-conducive places in the world, such crop combinations led to animal domestication, another quantum leap forward (read Jared Diamond). In other places, such as much of the Americas, grain-eating animals appropriate for domestication and exploitation were not available, beyond chickens, guinea pigs, and llamas. But the three sisters provided the basis for Mayan, Aztec, and Moundbuilder ascendancy, and did a lot to help Caral usher in the Incas as well. It’s almost a holy food in parts of Texas, where cattle ranching is sparse but everybody can build a mound, plant three seeds, and keep it watered enough to produce food for the year.

    It may save us yet through the coming necessary revision in our eating habits.

  31. Feminista says:

    The Moosewood Low-fat Cookbook has a great recipe for Three Sisters Stew,which here in OR can be eaten near the Three Sisters Mountains.

    Then of course there are the Chekovian 3 sisters who never quite make it to Moscow…

  32. Ame says:

    My sister-in-law swears by basil plants to keep bugs off the tomatoes–the bruschetta buddies?

  33. ksbel6 says:

    Saw the Star Trek movie today and was just thrilled about the “lightening storm anomaly.” I just love that show and all of its spin offs (is that one word?)!

  34. Jain says:

    Since I first heard about Cod here (world history through an important fish) I’m ready to share my new enthusiasm for Jack Weatherford’s Indian Givers: world history through through how the foods and cultures of the peoples of the Americas changed Europe and Asia and Africa. Love those big ideas, different lenses.

  35. Holly says:

    Not so fast, Botannica Bechdelova! It was I who spotted that Trillium illuminata whilst hiking up Stowe Pinnacle last weekend! But you sure did take a purty picture.

  36. meg says:

    According to an article in the most recent New Yorker, we’re in the midst of the Sixth Extinction Event… I find this oddly reassuring.


  37. hairball_of_hope says:

    Totally off-topic, but good news nonetheless… Bloomberg is reporting that Obama will nominate Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice to replace the retiring David Souter:

    ¡Viva las Borinqueñas!

  38. hairball_of_hope says:


    Does the book cover other things transferred to/from the New World via the Columbian Exchange, such as organisms, diseases, etc., or only the foods and cultural items?

    Wiki on the Columbian Exchange with a good list of exchanges:

  39. hairball_of_hope says:


    I’m assuming you are referring to Mark Kurlansky’s book on cod. Did you read his book on salt? Our language is still littered with references to the value of salt (salary comes from the Latin ‘sal’), a person is worth her/his salt, etc.

  40. hairball_of_hope says:


    Any orchids in the Vermont woods yet? A botanist friend e-mailed me a gorgeous photo of Cypripedium acaule (Pink Lady’s Slipper) this morning, and she says hundreds of them are blooming in the woods in Connecticut and Massachusetts right now. Pretty good for an endangered species.

  41. hairball_of_hope says:

    Also completely off-topic but fun…

    Perseus Books is doing a wacky quick publishing job in time for the book show this weekend in NYC. They are taking suggestions from the public for first lines to imagined sequels to famous books. The winning entries will be published in “BOOK: The Sequel.”

    Some examples from their website:

    HappyMeals are all alike; each unhappy meal is unhappy in its own way. —From Anna McKarenina (sequel to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy)

    Times like this we seek expertise, Of one well-versed in legalese. He’ll furiously draft an airtight defense, And you might not pay for your negligence. —From When the Lawsuits Begin (sequel to Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein)

    This is a literate and erudite community, I’ll bet some of us will have fun with this.

  42. C. says:

    Ugh. 8 has been upheld.

  43. hairball_of_hope says:

    Boooo… the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 8 banning same sex marriage, but ruled the existing same sex marriages which took place before Prop. 8 remain valid:

  44. Renee S. says:

    The appellate court should overturn this….
    How can there be equal rights for only some of the people?

  45. iara says:

    @hoh: Help! Book sequels thingie you mention sounds like fun. I had this idea for a sequel, it is called “Fan Home” (sequel to … you know what) and is about this blog. But I am drawing a blank on the first sentence.

  46. hairball_of_hope says:


    (…digs out her autographed copy of “Fun Home”…)

    How about the following:

    Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed upon for a snort of “airplane glue.”

    (… apologizes profusely to AB for making a mess of her opus…)

  47. hairball_of_hope says:

    Another typo… that should have been “prevailed on,” not “prevailed upon.”

    Another vote for preview/edit feature on the blog.

  48. hairball_of_hope says:


    Oh, it was supposed to be about the blog…

    Let’s try this one:

    Like many blogs, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a shot of “bacon.”

  49. hairball_of_hope says:


    During the interview on our local NPR affiliate today, they read some of the entries for “BOOK: The Sequel.” There were an awful lot of parodies of Moby Dick; my two favorites were:

    Moby Dick II: The Reckoning

    “Ishmael? Shmishmael! I was big, I was white, and the ocean was mine.”

    … and …

    “Call me Shamu.”

    Technically, the second one doesn’t qualify, you have to come up with a title for the sequel as well as the first line.

    I’d like to work on one in French and English for Albert Camus’ “L’etranger” (“The Stranger”). But my French sucks; it was bad nearly 40 years ago when I last had a French class, and it’s gone downhill since.

    The original first line:

    “Aujourd’hui, mama est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.”

    “Today, mama is dead. Or perhaps yesterday, I don’t know.”

    I submitted a parody of James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”:

    Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

    Once upon a time and a very bad time it was there was a nurseoo coming down along the hall and this nurseoo that was coming down along the hall met a nicens little old man named stephen doodoo…

  50. Jain says:

    Hairball of Hope–I loved Salt, too. The Weatherford book starts out with silver from Bolivia & the transformation of the European economies, covers how the Canadian fur trade yielded corporations, goes on through amazing food stuff, through Iroquois democracy, quinine…there’s really a lot in it.

  51. R says:

    I just spotted the book on your desk, Adrienne Rich, awesome.

  52. FreedomRed says:

    Hi people !
    I just want to say hi, and to check if there is anyone from Toronto here ?

  53. BlueHornet says:

    This look interesting,so far.
    If it’s not just all bots here, let me know. I’m looking to network
    Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.

    See ya,