Saturday, May 01, 2010

Dick the dick that keeps on giving- updated

Mike Papantonio, an environmental lawyer on the Ed Show just now: An 'acoustic switch' would have prevented this catastrophe - it's a failsafe that shuts the flow of oil off at the source - they cost only about half a million dollars each, and are required in off-shore drilling platforms in most of the world...except for the United States. This was one of the new deregulations devised by Dick Cheney during his secret meetings with the oil industry at the beginning of Bush's first term.

--ericlewis0 at Daily Kos [emphasis in the original]

If you did not think the American people were getting screwed over in Dick Cheney's secret meetings with energy executives you are too naive to breathe.

From Allen G. Breed and Seth Borenstein at Associated Press:
The oil slick over the water's surface appeared to triple in size over the past two days, which could indicate an increase in the rate that oil is spewing from the well, according to one analysis of images collected from satellites and reviewed by the University of Miami. While it's hard to judge the volume of oil by satellite because of depth, it does show an indication of change in growth, experts said.
That's triple in size, if I may underline.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars:
...[T]his is going to have an impact on coastal life reminiscent of Katrina -- all bad. Indeed, with no end of the pollution in sight, and the spill having reached such massive size already, it's conceivable that not only will the entire Gulf of Mexico, and all its coastal areas, be rendered lifeless and unusable for generations, but that the entire Eastern Seaboard will be awash with oil as well.
From RUSSELL GOLD And BEN CASSELMAN at the Wall Street Journal:
Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn't respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.
--the BB

Flowers all planted. At last.

There is damage from the harsh winds of Wednesday and Thursday and the cold yesterday and last night. My basil is blackened and wilted. Sundry branches have broken off. My lilac has sustained damage.

But today was mostly lovely where I am and I took advantage of it. With the exception of some new basil I am keeping in the kitchen until after tonight, which is supposed to be cold also, I have planted all the flowers that were waiting to get into the ground.

Oh, and the ones I have purchase in the last two days on impulse.

This section has been reworked. One of the bare root roses from last year just was not doing much so I ripped it out. In its place is a Golden masterpiece (just left of center in the foreground). On the right is a Julia Child rose (another yellow rose) that I saw and loved today. Behind and to the left are two Nearly Wild single pink roses to complement the China Doll tree rose in the left foreground. I put lots of annuals around them. Between the two yellow roses is a red knockout double.

When I talked to Kathy today she said that as long as I don't get to thirty roses, I'm OK. The current count is 28.

The color pots I put in for Easter are holding up well and provide cheer right outside the back door.

This is a new crescent of all white flowers planted in front of the grapevine. This went in today also.

Here is a view of the southwest corner. A new semicircle of red carnations and red/pink dianthus surrounds the Singing in the Rain rose in the left midground. The Lady Banks rose in the right background is covered with its butter-yellow blooms. (You may click on any photo to enlarge and see more detail.)

This is a view of the northwest corner with reworked areas and all three peach trees.

Several of the roses from prior years are now full of tight buds. If it really warms up by the middle of next week, which it is allegedly supposed to do, there may we quite a show coming up.

We have had the most dramatic skies yesterday and today. You can look in any direction and be awed and fascinated. Patches of blue break through here and there. White clouds, dark gray clouds, curtains of rain falling though mostly not reaching the earth, awesome mountain vistas, wisps of cloud, pale tattered veils of precipitation evocative of ancient curtains in the breeze or the smoke of hundreds of campfires, every conceivable shade of gray. I cannot begin to express it in words and I could not take videos while driving (even if I had the equipment and knew how to use it). There was an apocalyptic edge to it all as well, with skies this dramatic, snow falling when the ambient air was in the low 50s, sunshine at lunch time. Spring in New Mexico.

And that is the report for today. Time to put my aching, scratched, filthy body in the bathtub.

I hope you are having a blessed weekend.

Христос Воскресе!

It is still Easter. Alleluia!

--the BB

Heart thread - 05/01/2010 - updated

MP forwarded this from Suzer:
Will you please post a prayer request for my cousin, Cindy, her husband, Joe, and their two daughters, Morgan and Christina? Cindy and Joe's 5 year old son drowned today on a family fishing trip.

Needless to say, our whole family is in shock and grief. Why such things happen, I will never know.

Their son, Joe Jr., was fondly known as Deuce. Last summer, she posted a video of him on YouTube, as he sang at a local baseball game.

Please pray for this family, as their grief is something I just can't imagine. There are no words.

Thank you,

Suzer, at the now defunct "Wheel Inside the Wheel" blog
May young Deuce rest in peace and rise in glory. May his family and all who love him be surrounded with love during this tragic time.

Kathy is recuperating from her surgery yesterday. It went well and she feels worlds better already.

Let us continue to hold the Gulf Coast in our prayers.

We give thanks for Mark's safe return home from Haiti.

For those killed by bombs in Somalia.

Followup on Molly the Wonderdog:
Update: x-rays etc revealed no likely other tumors so went ahead with removal of Molly's left eye. She handled the anaesthesia well and we all await results of lab work on the eye next week. Thanks so much for the prayers.
From Petty Witter at PEN AND PAPER:

Hi Jonathan. Just wanted to let you know that (my husband), THEMETHATISME, was admitted into hospital last night (May 1st). Severe abdominal pains, he's waiting to have scans etc though at the moment they seem to think it is probably a kink in the bowel as opposed to any kind of obstruction or perforation. Will keep in touch.

(via OCICBW)

--the BB

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Klan comes to my back yard - updated

OK, it's not the Klan, but there are sheets in my back yard tonight. And I think they look ominous.

After two days of fierce winds and off-and-on snow flurries today, we are slated to have a freeze tonight after midnight. I am trying to preserve my fruit. We shall see.

All those items on the ground looking like green olives are actually Santa Rosa plums knocked out of the tree by the winds of the past two days.

And the two shots immediately above are the peaches I am trying to protect. You can easily see there are more than the branches will be able to bear, so after frost and wind I will continue thinning by hand. It is all such a crap shoot. But the reward, when and if it comes.... Ah!

I do hope I can plant this weekend.


Promoted from the comments because it just made me laugh my ass off:
Oh, for goodness sake! You Americans have no liturgical sense whatsoever!

Passiontide finished weeks ago. Those veils should have been removed before the Easter Day services.

Really! It's not rocket science, you know.
--the BB

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Il n'y a point de racisme ici

h/t to watertiger, who gives a h/t to res ipsa loquitur

--the BB

Heart thread - 04/29/2010 - Updated

Let's get out our beads and pray up a storm tonight.

(Probably a bad analogy with the fierce winds whipping through New Mexico right now.)

My dear friend Kathy is having surgery tomorrow to break up kidney stones. She has been in pain for so long, let us pray that this brings relief soon and that the passing may be swift and tolerable. May God guide the doctor and all who minister to her. May recovery be rapid and total.

Susankay asks us to pray for Molly:
Paul -- we left Molly-the-WonderDog with vet/boarding yesterday as we departed to visit kids and grandkids. Got a cell phone message this afternoon that Molly has a tumor in her eye that is probably malignant and she will need to have her eye removed. Unable to contact vet but will try to talk to him tomorrow. Prayers for discernment on how to proceed. And that Molly not have pain.
Let us pray for the regions of the Gulf as the oil spill nears land. (Cf. Mimi here and WSJ here.) I just talked to Mimi as she was taking a walk and she can smell crude oil in the air.

Let us pray for the people of the UK as the election nears.

For the Chinese schoolchildren attacked with knives.

For Margaret as she participates in the Race for the Cure. For her husband Joel and their son Juan.

For Jack and his family.

For women everywhere in the struggle to have their full personhood honored.

For Mother Lauren.

For Esther.

For Tom.

For those consumed with confusion, anger, despair. For the lonely and the frightened. For those who live with chronic pain. For those who struggle to face each day.

UPDATE: We have requests from David@Montreal.

For Rose-Marie and her family.

"Ongoing healing prayers also asked for Mark (Mapko) and my cousin Frank and Dorian.

Travel mercies for Mark, returning from Haiti today.

love always- always Love"

Let us pray.

--the BB

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Herb pots

Part of last Sunday afternoon's planting was two herb pots. One has a stunning pink pelargonium and the other a purple and white columbine as central focal points. Around the edges are about eleven herbs. So close to the back door and the kitchen!

We have had very strong winds today, predicted to be stronger tomorrow. I opted against planting tonight and brought some of the waiting plants indoors. They were all watered last night and were dry this evening. Sigh. Perhaps Friday I can finally put them in.

Meanwhile, lots of lovely flowers to enjoy in the yard.

The cottonwoods have begun cottoning in the Rio Grande Valley. Yesterday there were minor swirls of cottony fluffs at lunch time and lots more as we left work. Today it has increased. Soon we will see them flying everywhere.

I am going to settle down and watch The Princess and the Frog tonight. Gotta have my intellectual stimulation.

--the BB

The north wall border

Here are pictures of the north wall border planted last week.

Plus an extra climbing rose photo from the south wall.

--the BB

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This afternoon's photos

This afternoon I managed to finish the plantings around roses and two large pots with herbs. My fingernails are very dirty and my body aches but I am feeling very content with the weekend's accomplishments,

Gaillardia, calendula, coreopsis, white meadow salvia, dwarf marigolds, white petunias planted in front of a white iceberg tree rose.

Carnations, dianthus, dahlias, and two pink flowers (whose names I have already forgotten) planted in front of a climbing blaze rose that was a bare root three seasons ago and is lush and thriving this year.

Lithodora, salvia, nemesia, and blue and purple petunias at the base of the Black Tartarian Cherry tree (which has a few cherries growing on it).

Wallflower, dahlias, petunias, and the purple daisy-like flower (whose name I have forgotten also) planted at the base of the Santa Rosa plum.

Here you can see the new climbing Blaze rosebush on the left, the Lady Banks rose that just burst into small yellow blooms today, the yellow collection at its base, and the burgundy iceberg rose with purple dianthus in front of it. This is the southwest corner of the yard with reflections of sunlight from the windows of my house hitting the wall.

I hope you enjoyed today's garden tours. I saved a few photos for later.

--the BB

Sunday brunch and garden tour

Brunch has ended and I am about to run an errand then return to planting. Here are some pics since I promised.

The west end of the new north wall planting

Sweet William at the base of a rose bush
(just for Margaret and Joel)

The yellow mix of calibrachoa, petunias, lilies, and snapdragons
(with a couple blue petunias thrown in) at base of Lady Banks

The blue planting of Grace Ward lithodora, nemesia,
salvia, and mixed blue and violet petunias at base of cherry

The salad at brunch: a bed of mesclun with feta
and raspberry vinaigrette, asparagus, avocado,
kumquats, strawberry, and grape tomato

For the foodies among my friends: We then had a whole wheat sourdough French toast (with vanilla and cinnamon in the egg and half-and-half batter) with fresh strawberries, blackberries, butter, and maple syrup.

Time to get cracking and see how much more I can finish planting before sundown.

--the BB

Heart thread - 04/24/2010 - updated

Let us pray for the Gathering of Nations, the great annual powwow held in Albuquerque this weekend. May the Great Spirit bless the First Nations, preserve their heritage, and bring healing to the People.

For those killed, injured, or displace by the tornado that struck in Mississippi. For all who mourn and all who now face the task of rebuilding their lives.

For those slain in the genocide of 1915. For their descendants and relatives throughout the Armenian diaspora who remember and mourn.

For Leonardo Ricardo's continued healing. He reports chez Mimi:
Thanks Mimi, the eye operation appears (yes, even I can see the progress) to be healing properly...although I can see almost 20/40 on the test for the operated eye the next day (with my all new lense from Texas implanted and silicon removed) there is still cloudyness (like a steam bath)...I still use my right eye mostly and need to use drops and pills on the leftie as it comes into better focus during the next weeks...I´m thankful for all of you that watched over me and wished me well with your kind thoughts and prayers.
For nuns who minister faithfully and put up with crap. Thanks for the wonderful post, Elizabeth.

For all churches celebrating St Mark the Evangelist. I especially remember St Mark's, Berkeley, the parish that sponsored me for ordination, and St Mark's, Richmond, where Margaret serves.

A Prayer of Black Elk
Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.

All things belong to you -- the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live.

You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.

Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice. At the center of the sacred hoop You have said that I should make the tree to bloom. With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather, With running eyes I must say The tree has never bloomed.

Here I stand, and the tree is withered. Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.

It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then That it may leaf And bloom And fill with singing birds!

Hear me, that the people may once again Find the good road And the shielding tree.

And prayers for JimB's swift recovery from leg surgery. He reported today: "Woke way too stiff and painful to make mass."

Mitakuye Oyasin. (For all my relations.)

--the BB