Friday, February 11, 2011

A week in Reno

Headed home after a week working at the Reno, NV plant. Don't know if I could have taken any more...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Morning at the Flea Market

I spent this morning at a local flea market (or the dirt mall as we call it). After the first few tables I noticed that the items for sale this morning were a little weirder than the usual fare. So I decided to take a few pics of the more odd items... here they are.

#1 First off, new tires too expensive for you? Check out Leo's Discount Tire Service. he works out of an old U-Haul truck. Just like WalMart, drop your car off and do a little shopping.#2 Ever wonder where those Mexican wrestlers get those fabulous masks? Think you want to give it a try? You'll need to get your costume first!

#3 It starts to get a little sketchy with the fresh shrimp & live crab guy. He has fish too! I tried to get a better picture but the guy was giving me the evil eye. He wasn't too keen on my snapping pictures.#4 Now we're starting to enter the dark side. Need some brass knuckles? I actually considered buying one, just because I could.
#5 This one takes the cake. Now there are plenty of tables that sell dented cans & boxes of food, aspirin and the like. But this one..... yes, that large damaged box with faded graphics is contraceptive gel! I mean, come on..... I really don't know if I can type everything I want to say. Are you that desperate? Then there's the issue of trust and confidence.....
Okay, enough with the bad and on with the good. The reason why I come here is for some of the freshest fruits vegetables in town. There are a few tables and makeshift stores that sell fresh fruit & veg at dirt cheap prices. Avocados $0.75 each, onion, $1/pound, watermelons $3 each, cucumbers 6/$1! Not only cheap but fresher than any grocer in town! And you can get a pinata!
Anyway, as always, your comments are more than welcome!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden Update May 2010

I spent the morning working in the Victory Garden. I weeded around some carrot, radish & swiss chard seedlings. Checked on the progress of everything else & took a few pictures.

Here I have some green Stupice tomatoes. I didn't get them into the ground until April so they're blossoming a few weeks later than last year. I'm also growing Hungarian Heart, German Johnson & Black Krim tomato varieties. The only other variety besides the Stupice to have green tomatoes is the Black Krim. Although all of the plants have flowers blooming.
In between the tomato plants I planted two varieties of cucumbers, Marketmmore 76 & Japanese Climbing. I did this last year and the cukes did very well climbing up the tomato cages. I also planted sunflowers at the end of the bed and maybe they will also serve as a base for the cucumbers to climb up. I also tried something new to support the tomatoes. I strung twine in between poles in the ground to serve as supports. Hopefully the cucumbers will like the twine to climb up too.
The zucchini and yellow squash are starting to blossom too. I've stick with my favorite zucchini variety, Black Beauty, again this year. Last year I was only able to get a few zucchini before the plants were destroyed by insects. I'm not sure what bugs attacked the plants last year but we'll see what happens. I also planted to some crookneck yellow squash. I've never grown these before but we have a few good recipes that use yellow squash and would love to have some fresh squash to use.
Also in the bed I planted some more sunflowers and some pepper plants. For peppers this year I planted Wenk's Hot Yellow, Ancho and also Anahein. The Wenk's Yellow Hot and Anaheim already have blossoms and small peppers. The Anchos have some small flowers but no fruits yet. They were also the last to get planted, about 2 weeks later than the others.
Lastly a picture of my bean fence. On the right of the fence I have Purple Podded beans and on the left I have Kentucky Wonder. I've grown the Kentucky Wonder the past few years and have had great success. The idea of growing purple beans led me to try the Purple Podded ones. They're supposed to turn green as they cook. In front of the fence I'm growing garlic. I just harvested some of the garlic scapes. They're the flower shaft that sprouts up before it goes to seed. I snipped them off to prevent flowering and to encourage bulb growth. They also taste great, we use them in recipes like green onions. They have a strong garlic flavor instead of onion.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

My hockey alter ego..

Snaps to the Bruins winning in OT yesterday! 2 quick thoughts.... Miro Satan has been the best mid-season pickup on any team this year. All for a pro-rated $700,000 ! Also, can someone explain to me why Marc Savard doesn't have an Olympic gold medal from Vancouver? He is definitely one of the top 5 Canadian centermen in the NHL..... somebody must have had it in for him when picking the team....

Ok, while getting my playoff hockey fix & commentary on, I noticed an ad for Bud Light. You can put your picture on a hockey card of your favorite team. Each round of the playoffs releases a new "generation" of cards. Here I am when Milt Schmidt and I formed 2/3rds of the famous Kraut & Potato line .

Orr, Sanderson, Espo, Chief, Keaveny.... We won it all in 1970 & 72....

Next up... My years playing with Ray Bourque...... Stay tuned....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hanging out at the Bee Bar

Spending a Saturday lounging around the house, working in the garden. I'm about 2 weeks later than I usually am but I planted much of my garden today. While digging in the dirt I was accompanied by a constant humming for the girls. Both hives have been quite active over the past few days. Coming and going, landing and flying..... they're busy as, well... you know.

I was taking a few pictures and tried to get one of the girls hanging out at their local watering hole. You might not think of it at first but bees do need a source of water. A good urban/suburban beekeeper provides a source of water for them. If you don't they'll go off and find their own watering hole, usually an inconvienent spot, like your neighbor's swimming pool. Not a way to be a good beekeeping neighbor. Anyway, so I made up a little watering hole they can use. It's just a clay pot with some old tiles and rocks in the bottom that I filled with water. It took a few days for the girls to find but now they have a place to cool off and relax when things get hot. Here's the best picture. I caught one bee is coming in for a landing!

Here's a few other pics of the hives full of activity.

And one last picture of the garden. You can see the garlic growing in the front and some beans already sprouted and ready to climb their fence.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bachelor weekend & Checking out the girls

A busy morning today...

It's the start of spring break for the kids, Sheridan had a dance recital last night and danced wonderful. All 3 of them will be spending the next week with their dad. That leaves just me a Hot Momma for the week. WooHoo! But.. for the next 2 days she's a workin', that leave me as Bachelor James for the weekend! What to do?......

I got a great start to the weekend already. So far I've painted fence pickets, fired up the lawnmower for the first time this season, cut a bit of the back yard to make sure the engine was running right, cleared out weeds from the garden so I can plant the victory garden this week & lastly checked on the girls in the bee hives.

Last week I installed a 2nd hive in the yard. I needed to check on it to make sure the queen was laying eggs, the workers were drawing out honey comb & collecting nectar. I opened up the hive and was very pleased at the progress. I found the queen and she looked well. The workers were drawing out the comb and I even saw a bit of nectar being stored in some of the comb!

Last year's hive looked even better. Of course it has more bees and already has a 2nd level (super) added. When I took off the top I was quite surprised. With all of the warm weather recently the girls must have been working overtime because I soon realized that 2 supers were not going to be enough. The top was full of honey, pollen & larva. Soon they would need more room. I added a 3rd super. Here's a picture.The really great part about this is that the bottom 2 supers are where the bees live and store the honey they'll need to get through the winter. Anything above these 2 supers is what I'll get to keep in my honey harvest! It's April 3rd and they have already fullfilled their needs and are contributing towards mine! I didn't harvest any honey last year but from what I hear a good hive will make about 5 gallons of honey! Hopefully with the two hives I'll get close to 10 gallons!!

Lunchtime.... a nice big plate of meat loaf, mashed potatos, carrots and Brussel sprouts washed down with a cold beer. what's on the agenda for this afternoon??.... a nice long motorcycle ride and maybe a quick trim of the front lawn.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free Dog House (plus labor)

We've just finished a great weekend project! We made Diego a doghouse. But the best part of it all was that the only cost was elbow grease!! We used an old wooden pallet as the base. I was able to scrounge two 2x4s from work (they are sometimes used as load locks on incoming trailers). The walls are made from pieces of plywood I originally bought when we needed a make-shift countertop in the kitchen during our remodel. The paint was all left over partial gallons from various painting projects over the years. I didn't take any pictures of the beginning of the construction but here's a few of the finishing touches. Sheridan did all of the painting, including making Diego's sign. The last bit was some free shingles from our neighbor, Mr. Hodges. He had half a package left from an odd project.

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It's been noted by some that I haven't posted anything in a while. It's not that I haven't had interesting/witty/smart things to say; or cool pictures to share with the world. It's just that I've been busy. Busy tweeting.

The problem with this blog is the upkeep. I feel obligated to post pictures and ideas. I don't know why, I can count the number of unique readers on both hands. I'm not letting down the masses. What I have been liking about Twitter is it's limitations. 140 characters. That's it. A tweet by definition has to be short and sweet. I'm released of the obligation to produce a high quality post with pictures. Also I like that I can tweet on the go. With my fabulous iPhone I can make comments on life anytime or anywhere. With Pickles & Beer, I must wait until I get home to compile the post.

But fear not! I am not abandoning my sweet home on the web. I do think I want to post more regularly, especially pictures. This is a much better format for that than Twitter.

So, be patient. More to come soon. I have a good post brewing in my head. If you want to follow me on Twitter I'm SCBruinsfan.