Saturday, September 20, 2008
places that have known the fragrance of roses and the seeds of zinnias
Then there are places that have not seen anything but the grass or trees that have been
an unbroken chain for millenia. Ours is the task to change it or preserve it.
I cannot change the fact that there will be new houses in old places.
I can help them find the plants that are best suited to that place
and how to maintain the integrity of the environment.
Follow the directions on the label. La Label es La Ley. Why is it so much easier for the female of the species to grasp this idea? Because they actually learned how to follow the directions of a recipe? Application of chemicals whether they are considered organic or not. Some chemists despise the terms "organic" and "chemical" when it comes to agriculture, gardening or landscaping. The others just giggle and wag their heads in disdain. They have entered the vernacular and I am stuck with them for lack of better options.
Not following the directions on the label of the bag, bottle or container of stuff whether it came from the petro-chemical industry, squeezed out of an orange peel or was scraped off the barn floor means that it can be ineffective, dangerous to non-target species or a waste of money. If you spray orange oil as a herbicide willy-nilly anywhere you have a mind to and without regard for established procedures then you will cause harm where it was not intended. Applying any product without regard for the directions is going to cause problems.
There are so many products on the market that fail to live up to expectations. I thoroughly detest "weed blocker" because it does not work as promoted. In fact it actually makes the situation worse. I have pulled up far more of this weed laden fabric and impermeable plastic than I have ever laid down. One of my previous bosses was crazy about the stuff. It wasn't as though we did not have an unlimited supply of mulch and compost. He was convinced that this cloth would prevent weeds from growing. It does not. It cannot. A perennial plant will grow through it and embed itself in the fabric. Nutsedge will embed its tubers in the fabric meaning that extraction of them is impossible other than cutting out the fabric and splicing a fresh piece.
It sucks. It doesn't make my job easier, it makes it harder. The only time I find fabric like this useful is as a backing for a dry stacked wall to prevent or retard the soil from seeping through the gaps in the blocks or stone. That is it. As a weed preventer or barrier it is worthless.
Another product which seems to be heavily promoted is Atrazine. Supposedly a wonder bullet capable of rendering any lawn on par with a USGA green. The problem is that they don't bother to inform you outside of the very small paragraph buried in the boilerplate that it is mobile in the soil and can damage trees, shrubs and flowers. Gee, that sort of info might be handy.
I am downright anal about putting out chems of any kind. I want to know as much as is available about what it does and what to expect. I want to know about any risks or shortcomings of the product. The retailer just wants to sell me something. I don't begrudge him that fact.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I asked the man when we went on tour if he had problems with migratory birds bothering the greens or fairways looking for grubs or other insects. His reply was yes it happens occasionally, but it really was not much of an issue. I inquired as to his method of excluding these federally protected species of avian attackers of good golf.
"Oh, I just tie the dog between two trees for a few days and then they leave."
Yeah, it requires some serious brain power to grow grass.
Flowers on the other hand will confound the most dedicated of gardeners. As if they were bent on a suicidal deathwish they receive our loving attention with all the regard of a catatonic patient. Coddling, coercion, cajoling in any measure will garner me nothing with some of the more recalcitrant ones. Some survive and even thrive as a means to spite me. "Oh you ignore me now! I will show you, you sorry sonofabitch! I am gonna bloom my ass off! Take that!"
They perturb and intrigue me. They never cease to surprise me.
Grass is easy, corn is easy, flowers are hard.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Shall i say we are more like an amalgam or the conglomerated collection of souls?
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
On a paper towel
When the shock wears off
the bouts of sad are fewer and farther between
you begin to realize you are alone
it is likely to be that way for the foreseeable future
when you split the blanket it is
so much more than the partitioning of stuff and belongings
or even who is the primary conservator of the children's welfare
it is that you must recollect yourself
pick-up from the murky mire move on
find some worthwhile tasks you can simply occupy your time with
Somewhere down the road I’ll feel like myself again
despite the fact that they tell me I sound more like me than anytime
in the last decade
something is missing and amiss
I am not he who was before and I am not sure I want to be
I would feel a little better if the me I am now is ok with everybody else
even if I am not sure who that is
The strings do not know words
They know not the limitations of
Language culture or time
Notes are universal, rhythm is inherent
Music is born into us
As much as our color of hair or skin
Even if we have no talent, no skill
Music touches us and the ear that hears
A soul that is stirred
By the sounds of string and wind
The skin of a drum
Is not enslaved by words
Even if a mind cannot grasp a song in a language not my own
My heart, mind and soul
Can nonetheless be touched by the presence of music
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Only those who are familiar to
1. First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.
2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.
3. All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on I-35." No one knows for sure what 'Mopac' means.
4. Burnet Road,
5. It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on.
The Chamber of Commerce calls this a scenic drive.
6. The rush hour is from to .
The rush hour is from 3:30p to .
Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from
You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light and the beginning of the red light creating a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all.
8. If you like being an individual, don't even think of working for Dell. You'll be branded like cattle and made to walk all over town with your Dell Tag around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop. Ninety-eight percent of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell.
When someone says "Michael Dell", Dell employees are trained to face Round
Rock, hit their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and forth.
9. Just remember that Mopac IS Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy IS 360; and U.S. 183 IS Research Blvd.,
10. If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time, a female UT student applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.
11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention).
Construction on I-35 AND U.S. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!
12. Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in
'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either. And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!
13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET.
14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire.
15. Stay away from the
16. And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on
And you wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'?
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The words of a child
Some little blurb in the paper about a glow in the dark fish in pink and green
There are many reasons to cry
I can read the funniest funnies in the world
But if I am determined to be sad
Monday, May 19, 2008
John Lee Hooker
Hey, yeah I know him
saw him down there at Antone's
premier gig in Austin, TX
I swear he had five fingers of whiskey in a highball glass
Big fat Gibson guitar sitting there tickling the strings with part of the house band and the remainder of his crew, long haired whiteboy working lead beside him and a tall black man blowing sax
I was on a chair at the back, girlfriend standing before me, wondering at the spectacle of a man
I will not soon forget "Tupelo", even if I did not hear it that night
I read one time the efforts of a man to write into musical notation what the man rendered into sound
It was complicated and was the best effort he could muster, to transcribe into notes what the man played in the honky-tonk
all he had was a piece of plywood, his guitar and himself
I heard the first thing BB King played was the wire from a broom, between two nails on the front porch, his slide was the spool remaining from the thread
find a way to translate that into four lines of notations
every good boy does fine...is insufficient
pavarotti cannot read music
john lee can't either
and those who write music
have a hard time figuring out what EXACTLY
either one was doing on the stage or recording
and I am in the audience
somehow I am amused by all this
you can either measure the speed of the electron
or find its place
you cannot do both
measure me this
find me the substance of a man
weigh the words and find their mass
i challenge those who would measure out this life
who would know exactly what is the facts of the matter
you can only get so close
then you have to feel it
and that has no ruler, no scale
no rule book
you have to find it for yourself
Saturday, May 10, 2008
i still think hippies were germinated back during WWI when the rest of the world was
still thinking war was an honorable task and not something found at the
wrong end of a gun walking at a trench
some men went mad
and others just made like it was so, who would know?
throw another thousand men into the breach of fortifications
and let them billow upon the waters of lead
yes, let us walk into the gunfire of the implacements of machines
brilliant! let us salute the brass with our ass
so well informed, so shall we fight our fight
let us walk into the teeth of the guns
and perhaps we shall survive going over the top
when the brass asks, no tells us
you, go here and do this
and it is patently idiotic
we tend to buck at the idea
why are we expected to do any less now?
if the marlboro soldier of this latest war
has found himself divorced
what is that to the VA?
such is the lot of the veteran
we treat our disabled lobbyists better than we do our veterans
and that aint right
art: George Grosz, "The Convict"
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Finally saw the DNC's hard-hitting commercial
that which has raised and will continue to raise the ire
of the RNC and anybody on the other side of the aisle who voted for this damn thing
they ought to run it in every damn market that exists, until we all know it by heart
I did a diary on protest songs, like that was a first
got some comments and lots of links
it was reassuring to see the young and old remind me
of what I did not remember and was not aware of
good stuff maynard, eat it up
i cannot get through seeing the "War Pigs" edit on Youtube I found
without tears and anger, even now I choke up
I applaud them who gave it to all of us, lest we ever forget the images
that they do not want us to see
if we, the nation, decided to park the dead of the Civil War
in Mrs. Lee's rose garden
let us park our memories in Crawford and Kennebunkport
lest they ever forget. Let it be as the albatross that follows their every tack
haunt them into the grave of their own making
I cannot forget. Whiskey will not kill it
weed only magnifies the sharp images in my brain
my heart bleeds liberally upon page and there is no recourse
but to protest and be active, keep blogging, keep sending emails and money
fight the power. make them die like we have died
I will not relent. I cannot relent.
I owe them too much.
Save our souls.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Being a man where I knew
the smell of churned turf and sweaty pigskin
it really wasn't too far a leap of logic
that the flying fight of hockey
would appeal to my better parts of sportsmanship
and my inner demons of bloodlust and battle
I am awaiting the outcome of what shall be
to see the same and say I was there
I cannot skate any better than a milk cow
But I know a good game when I see one
sport does not know nationality, religion or color
of skin or flag. It is but a game we play
if it is a good game we play and watch
I found stick and puck or it found me
at any rate the 2OT is coming up
and I am out of beer
it was the 5th longest in the modern era, so they say
at 1:23A Central Time on Cinco de Mayo the captain scored
it was over on a Monday morning
sudden death football and extra innings do not compare
the rules do not change, they carry on as before
they survive on sheer guts it seems
I remember games like these
Friday, April 25, 2008
Golfers whine and complain about EVERYTHING. I know from personal experience that they will bitch about anything they can find when they aren't having a good round. The pin placement is poor. The fairways need to be mowed. The beer isn't cold enough and the ball washers need more soapy water. This is why I love it when they have to work hard to make par. I detest tournaments where the winning score is double digit negative. That is golf for slackers. It is part of why I love seeing them have to deal with the fast greens and vicious wind when it gets unseasonably hot in Augusta or down at the Player's in FLA. I want the course to fight back. Rolling over and showing its belly in submission should not be an option. I wish they made EVERY tournament have the same characteristics as the US Open.Work your ass off and quit your bitching.
I get really tired of complaining sports figures, whatever their endeavor. It is a freaking game that you get to play for money. No matter how you spin it, no matter what you say, you get to play a game I have to pay for to do something I love and get paid for it. The least complainers I know are hockey players and even they are prone to it at times. Bad ice, bad fans, bad refs, whatever, shut up and play. Nascar drivers hollered about the track in Texas for the first few years. Eddie Gossage got so irritated with them he finally said the same thing, "Shut up and race."
Sure, they have every right to complain, bitch and moan. I also have the right to call them on it. If there are valid reasons for their complaints like water leaking under the track, poor ice conditions, anything that might present a real safety threat, those should be and are addressed. But, complaining because of something that is inherent in the sport or is equal to all players is pathetic and shameful.