Archives for the month of: July, 2012

Again with the limits. Sick & bored I began playing Skyrim again. So much fun but also so dangerously addictive! It’s hell on my wrists, back, neck & shoulders if I play too much.

No more than one hour per day. If I overdo it I know I’ll quit playing altogether eventually but I’d rather avoid that pain and the damage I know it does over time, plus the game is just plain fun. So. No more than one hour per day. I hope my next batch of course material gets here tomorrow. That would help.

My apologies to anyone who was expecting a heavy-duty hydroponics blog. I haven’t got the set-up space/money for that. We’re working on that long-term but in the meantime I’m afraid it’s only our little rubbermaid 46 watt system and whatever else I come up with to fill the inbetween time.



Actually it’s two streetlights and fuzzy focus but I thought it was pretty cool.

Person accepted our counteroffer on the house. They have unil Friday to secure financing. Contract’s not worth the paper it’s printed on til then. Refusing to get excited yet.

Still sick but it seems to be subsiding. Here’s hoping.

I am impatient for the next batch of locksmithing lessons to get here. I have the horrid sensation that I am wasting valuable time.

What else to do? The internet is so reactive now and I am frozen, unsure of what to search. Not to mention the physical toll. If it weren’t for yoga I suspect I might be paralyzed by now. I love computers abilities and the web, but it’s all compounding our societal health problems.

I’m afraid even the locksmith course might be a waste of time, but surely no more so than regular college these days. At least I’m learning something practical. How can you tell if you’re going in the right direction?

My real underlying focus remains food. It’s a pervaisive societal problem that I can actually see solutions to, but I can’t work on it effectively without money. Survival takes up unreasonable amounts of my paycheque right now. We’re downsizing and trying to come up with better ways to earn a living.

Still sick. This illness seems determined to go through every possible permutation of a head cold. First it was a painful sore throat. Then it felt like my head was full of cottonballs and my nose was dripping thick disgusting mucous. Now that’s wearing off and I’m developing a nasty dry hacking cough. Still nuking it with the tea and hoping, basically. I’m still upright and functional, though I almost wish I wasn’t.

After we’d given up hope on the house selling and started planning for staying here, we got an offer yesterday. Not quite what we’re looking for. Put in counteroffer today. Now we wait.

I’m essentially a bag of nervous sick right now. Wish I could sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time.


Our YouTube Channel hit 30,000 views today!  Woop woop!


Did some long-overdue pruning this morning.


You can hardly tell. I only pruned off the leaves that were already turning brown near the bottom of the plants. Better air circulation now, and you can get a better view of the fruit.



Some of them are starting to ripen.


I think we’ll put them on ripen in the next day or so, leave them for a week and then flush with water.

Lever-tumbler locks still mystify me. Lesson two talks about them. They’re apparently not used much anymore which explains why I’ve not been able to locate one to practice with. (by which I mean take apart)

I understand the general idea of how it works but trying to picture the actual mechanics is frustrating. I’m tired of watching lockpicking videos. If any actual locksmiths read this you should consider making & uploading an instructional video about this cause they’re sadly lacking.


Despite the strep throat, I’m still on days off and not entirely immobilized.  I decided to tackle the hands-on project for Lesson Two yesterday.  Disassemble, rekey so it doesn’t work, rekey so it does work, put back together.


Surprisingly straightforward.  The only bit I had trouble with was prying some of the wafers out of the plug because I wasn’t sure how hard I could pull without breaking anything.  Some of them were quite stubborn, but I got them all out eventually.  The pliers on my Leatherman worked best.

There’s all the wafers and springs.  It doesn’t actually matter if you mix them up since the next part of the lesson tells you to mix them up on purpose and then figure out the proper sequence again.


Halfway through re-keying it.  You can see two of the wafers and three empty slots.  The spring goes in the wide end of the slot and then you press the wafer down on top of it til it catches.

Again, slow and picky but not that hard when you get down to it.  I have a much better understanding of locks than even three weeks ago.

Lots of typos and the page-number references don’t always line up, but the actual locksmithing training seems pretty solid so far.

Finished lessons two and three.  Now waiting on the next shipment and reading ahead.

Blech.  My turn for the strep throat now.  Yucky and ouch.  They describe it as razorblades in your throat and I can see why.  It hurts in long strings lengthwise down the windpipe.  The lab called Brian back yesterday, by which point he’d mostly recovered already.  They did confirm our diagnosis.

The throat lozenges and my herbal brew have very similar effects.  Both coat the throat and relieve the pain.  To be honest we’ve both been alternating between the two.  They’re also killing the bacteria and taking it to the stomach, which digests it as usual.  Stomachache.  And then you sit on the throne for a while.  Not fun.  Sleep.  Next day feel better.





Herbal tea recipe for releif of strep throat:

1 part each:

yarrow, fireweed, poplar buds (I’ve added twinflower before too, which is nice but I don’t have it on hand)

I have a little metal tea-ball they sell for loose teas.  I just sort of eyeball amounts and stuff one side of it with loose ripped-up plant matter, then add boiling water and let it brew for 20 minutes.  I like to add honey halfway thru as well.


The beautiful and the ugly about my hometown two steps away from each other on my walk today.


Also this: