Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Way To Kill Time If You're Bored

If you're bored and have time to kill you really should head over to clikr.co and start clicking. It's just image after image, clicking one randomly leads to another. There are images of all kinds, from nature photography to self portraits to Photoshopped masterpieces (or messterpieces) to cartoons, you name it. Not all are safe for children due mostly to language with a little bit of adult subject matter occasionally thrown in

I'll leave you with a couple gems to start you off on a cute overload. The first image is the one you'll see if you click the link above

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Smell Of Spring

Tonight I was reminded of one of several sure signs of Spring, the smell of Elaeagnus umbellata, or as it is often known either Autumn Olive or Silverberry. Both of those common names are misleading, it's not an olive and usually fruits in late summer, and the fruit aren't silver. Yay for proper botanical names, at least with those you always know which plant you're talking about.

I don't think much of the plant itself, personally I consider it a noxious weed or a trash plant. It's highly invasive, practically indestructible, and it can and does grow just about anywhere and everywhere. Here in Pennsylvania it grows rampant in roadside areas of all types, from full sun to fairly deep shade. It's not much to look at, a scraggly looking mess with no real shape or form ranging in size from a large shrub to a small tree with a lot of very large thorns. Its leaves have a distinctive silver color on the bottom, often giving the entire plant a silvery appearance.

Then there's the fragrance, drive past a few of these in the evening or throughout the night and it's like you're driving through olfactory heaven. They cover themselves with small creamy white to yellowish flowers that are ridiculously fragrant, sweet but not cloyingly so and with a somewhat spicy smell as well. It's one of my most favorite things to smell. If its essential oils were distilled into a perfume base then any woman wearing it within 50 feet of me would need running shoes and a cattle prod. Yes, it's that good!

The fruit are quite good, however much like a persimmon you better wait until they're fully ripened before eating them. Let's see, how to describe the effects of an unripe persimmon or Elaeagnus fruit, hmmmm..... Have you ever seen the old episode of the Tom and Jerry cartoon where the mouse feeds the cat a spoonful of alum, and it shrivels the cat's head down to about 1/4 size? Well, that's about what an unripe persimmon will do to you, and unripe Elaeagnus isn't far behind. It kind of feels like it's turning your mouth inside out, leaving you with an hours long case of dry mouth. They fruit rather prolifically, large clusters of small red berries resembling semi-translucent holly berries. They are supposedly very nutritious, so eat up!

In bloom, in its full scraggly and shapeless glory.
Image found at livingafield.com
Here you can see the silvery underside of the leaves.
Image found at discoverlife.org

Last but not least, the fruit.
Image found at davesgarden.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How To Solve The Federal Deficit Problem

I saw this on facebook today and found the thought amusing enough to share. It's elegant in its simplicity but will unfortunately never happen because of that very quality (simplicity), and because it might actually work and that is strictly against Congressional policy. It would also hold Congress accountable for its own incompetence, something those self-serving assholes will never ever do. Ever.

"Pass a law mandating that should the deficit ever exceed 3% of the GDP then all sitting members of Congress would become permanently ineligible for re-election."

Problem solved. Of course there'd have to be an exception written in there for times of war but that should only apply to war to defend the US or answer direct threats, it should not apply to wars on abstract concepts, wars on sovereign countries who pose no threat to us and made no threats against us, nor wars waged to meddle in the affairs of other countries.