Saturday, 26 April 2014

Enviromentally Safer Weed Control? I hope so

I  offer  a recipe for a "safe" weed killer  -  I damn well hope so, even though I am not a skilled environmentalist.

Try this for spot weeding on driveways, brick pavers, crazy paving areas, and hard to reach weeds in flower beds.

It has no noxious chemicals which will remain in the soil for many generations.


1 gallon white vinegar

1/2 cup of table salt

1 tablespoon of dish washing liquid.

MIX WELL then transfer to an old and cleansed spray bottle.


Spray on "spot weeds"  on a hot and sunny day on which there are no prospects of rain,  after the  dew has evaporated. It will work well,  but may need two applications.


1.This is for spot weeding only. DO NOT USE IT ON LAWNS unless your aim is "super accurate" as it will kill weeds in your lawn AND the grass itself.

2. Salt is a vegetation killer so this recipe should be used sparingly.

3. I truly believe that this is more environmentally friendly than commercial products such as Roundup etc., but of course I may well be wrong (obligatory disclaimer).

4.  There are some "weeds" which should be embraced and eaten!


Friday, 25 April 2014

Ramblings of a sentimental old duffer.

1.  When I look at my dog Penne and call her name she wags her tail with enthusiasm. 
Sometimes I do not have to say a single word to evoke her tail wagging -  a look in her direction is more than enough to make her happy.
But I get teary eyed at the thought that she was deposited at an animal shelter just over five years ago. 
 I think "who were the damn idiots who left her there, why did they not appreciate her".
My thoughts move on.
"Wow", I say, "what god-incidence led to Penne being left at Sarasota's Humane Society just at the time when I decided to adopt a dog?'
Penne brings so much pleasure to my life.

2. "God willing and if the crick don't rise" I'll be in England a few weeks from now, there to enjoy my 70th birthday.
It will be a blessing to be with my eight siblings.  Most of all I will rejoice to see our "big sister" Maureen.  She is a fabulous woman who, with her husband Bernard, brings joy and blessing to so many of their family members and church friends,
Maureen and Bern, together with my beloved youngest brother Martyn and his wife Wendy will join me on a cruise from England to Norway and back.  Whoope-dee-doo!
The prospect of this time with my big sister and my little brother (with their spouses) also brings tears to these old eyes.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

There is the world, there is the USA, and by golly there is Texas.

Wise and thoughtful Americans (and others) will have well formed and sensible views about the American State of Texas.
They will think along these lines:
The State of Texas is like a family uncle.  
This uncle  is opinionated, he is a bloviator, he is self referential, he is entirely certain that his opinion is the only one which is worthwhile or valid.
He is not at all certain that he wishes to be a member of the family, but he enjoys the  benefits of family life.
 The State of Texas loves the benefits which arise from being part of the USA.
Yet, at the same time  Texans all too often espouse views such as those which are seen in the following photo':
These are views that move the hearts and minds of Texans away from the ideal of a common good in the United States, towards selfish, lawless, and dangerous individualism.
On a car in Texas  (photo' via L.G.)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Strange expressions

1.  Why do we say that something is to be  "auctioned off", when all we need to say is that it is to be auctioned?

2. Why do we "print up" from our computers when all we need to say is print?

3. Why did a cook on the Food Network say (today) that she was about to "fry up" some bacon rather than saying that she was about to fry the bacon?

4.  Why do those being interviewed and asked a question on the radio or T.V.  frequently begin their answer with "so"? (This initial response has become ubiquitous.   At first I heard it only from those whose native language is German, but who were speaking in English. I conceded that it was a useful "bridge word" to enable the person being questioned to have a brief second for thought.  Now I hear it all the time from native English speakers.)

5. So why do I enjoy being a curmudgeon?

Monday, 21 April 2014

It's from France - Shock, horror, disbelief.

Have to tell you that denim was not created by Lev Strauss somewhere in the wild west.
According to Public Television's travel guru Rick Steves it was first conceived and made in Nimes, France,
Hence de Nimes -  or denim.
(Blame Rick Steves if this information is incorrect).

Sunday, 20 April 2014

An awful joke which I made up this morning.

"It was during a terrible bout of bronchitis that Nigel first read Great Expectorations"