I Need a Time Machine!

Posted: July 3, 2015 in Articles

Today I read in my history book that there is an ongoing debate about Homer, the Greek poet who wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey. The debate is about who he (maybe it?) was. The theories cover a large range of possibilities, from him being the one single genius whom we have always thought of as “Homer” to being a collection of poets using one name.

I thought that was interesting. They have evidence for their various theories, but it was not in my history book. As usual with ancient history, no one can tell for sure. There is no way to confirm theories like these, especially from ancient history, which is why if I had to pick any time in which to live, I would pick ancient times.

Someone really needs to build a time machine!

$3,000 Bottle of Water

Posted: July 1, 2015 in Articles

We have a Ford van that’s pretty old, and for the past few days, it has been at the shop. The FORD shop.

Our van needed 4 new tires, new brakes, new spark plugs, and several other things. The tires alone were $835.80 and the brake rotors, pads, and other brake miscellany were $843.39. Labor was $1366.60. Tax was $95.25.

In all, the bill came to $3,038.11!!

The man at the car shop gave our dad a bottle of water because he spent so much money fixing the car. Haha. That’s what our dad said. Our dad also said that they forgot to give him a valium with his water bottle.

Our dad is a pretty funny guy :)

At the end of June, we, like everyone else, are getting a lot of produce from our garden: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, peppers, our first few green and wax beans, beets, and various kinds of squash. We’re also about to get corn, and we are still picking blueberries. Lots of them at this point. In addition, we’re getting various greens, like kale, lettuce, and Swiss chard, but we stopped getting broccoli and strawberries a while ago. Our garden is doing really well and we’re still keeping up and staying happy about it all.

Seed planting has slowed significantly, but every once in a while, more beets, radishes, or snaps are started. We also started more zucchini and yellow squash because we had had so much rain that a couple of plants got ill and we pulled them out. Pretty soon, we’ll be starting our fall crops. I think a few broccoli seeds have already been put in actually.

Anyway, one squash in particular that we got today is really nice. We call it a flying saucer squash, but it’s actually called a Sunburst squash. It looks like a flying saucer, anyway. We haven’t tried it, but just speaking aesthetically, I like it a lot. It’s a nice bright yellow. Some more will be ready tomorrow so we will actually get to eat them then.

Anyway! Keep your gardens strong now that the novelty will begin to wane and July’s heat and humidity will set in and make us feel lazy.

By the way, we only harvest what our mother thinks she can deal with on any given day (except for certain spoilables like berries or tomatoes). So the one picture shows some of what was to be dealt with today. If we were to harvest everything and bring it all in and lay it on the counter, there would be an unhappy person in the kitchen.

Churches: Open for Business!

Posted: June 28, 2015 in Articles

Recently, a service was begun by the “Face Six” facial recognition company. The service is called Churchix, and it came out just four months ago. Thirty churches from around the world are currently using it. They scan their regular attendees’ faces and use the data they get to know which people attend what services, events, etc. They also use the technology to find out which people are regular attendees and ask those people for donations.

Probably only churches with large or medium congregations would use this technology, but let’s be honest; it sounds like the purpose is only to get money. While obviously every church needs money, every service has an offertory; do they really want to be in the business of pressuring people to give?

In any case, whether or not those churches need more money, it sounds like using Churchix is just turning gathering together on Sundays into a business.

It’s certainly becoming easier and easier to tell which churches are real.


Source: Churches Are Now Using Facial Recognition to Increase Attendance and Donations

Yes, another bug. This one isn’t for its looks, though. It’s very destructive. It’s called a Tomato Horn Worm, or Manduca quinquemaculata.

We saw a tomato plant in our yard that had its leaves eaten completely off, and while at first we wondered if it might be some sort of animal, we remembered that our dad said there’s a bug called a tomato horn worm that eats tomato leaves.

Today we were up at 6:45 anyway, and we heard that dawn or sunset is a good time to find them, and indeed, we found one. A good way to tell if one of these is on your plant is by, well… its poop. No need to describe it, we have a picture. But that’s a tell-tale sign, anyway, along with naked stems. But you can literally follow the poop to find the creature.

The good thing is, when we threw it in the chicken coop, they had a fun time, and now they know what it looks like and tastes like, and that they like it. Hopefully while in the garden they’ll see them and take care of them.

By the way, this worm is much smaller than the last one we found, but it was still bigger than any caterpillar or worm we’ve seen around here.