Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gelato and a Double Shot Latte, Please

05/19/07 Saturday
Weather: Morning: Sunny and warm. Afternoon: Partly cloudy and very warm. Evening: Clearing
0746 hrs Temp: 73.2F Humidity: 76% Barometric Pressure: 30.03
1608 hrs Temp: 87.4F Humidity: 32% Barometric Pressure: 30.00
1110 hrs Temp: 66.9F Humidity: 69% Barometric Pressure: 30.09

Once again everyone needed me for one thing or another and I didn’t get anything done around the Hacienda. I did get out for a couple of hours (and then some) this afternoon for a little hog hunting, or so I thought. Details in an upcoming story.

We were invited by some very close friends to dinner in St. Petersburg. Not only did we go to a new Italian restaurant, complete with gnocchi, but we also found a gelato shop. The gelato was delicious and the coffee stupendous. “Paciugo Gelato Caffe” on Beach Drive in the Parkshore Plaza. The coffee was strong and robust, a Kenyan blend I was informed. Just what I needed after a trying afternoon. A young fellow named Dylan, was our server, and once again we were lucky enough to get an attentive and dedicated person to attend to us. If you ever get down here, stop by and indulge! You won't be sorry.

Albert A Rasch

Makes You Wonder... Just Where Are You Headed?

This is from a post I submitted on PaleoPlanet earlier this morning. The discussion started on another topic altogether but drifted in this direction. This is a topic that I am still formulating my opinions on, but rest assured that you will see much more on in the coming posts. Read on.


This brings to mind the issue of sustainability. I emphatically agree with Drewbear, Todd, and Tai Goo. There is nothing worse, IMO than this consumer driven, disposable, virtual society that we have allowed to be created around us.

I must say though, that as the creators of this... mess... we are responsible for cleaning it up. Now I realize that I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I'll say it anyway.

I try to support local enterprises as much as possible.
I try to leave things better than I found them. (Neater and cleaner anyway!)
I recycle stuff to new uses.
I grow vegetables and plant trees.
I make decisions weighed by a framework of proper ethical thinking.
I might take shortcuts, but if I claim to be good at it, it will show in the finished product.

It is difficult to change ingrained habits of decades of cultural norms, but it is up to each and everyone of us to open their eyes, and minds, and decide: "Am I doing what's right? Am I going to leave this place better than when I got here?"

Its the small steps that add up to giant leaps for mankind.

Where are you headed...


They'll Never Learn, If You Don't Teach Them

05/18/07 Friday
Weather: Morning: Scattered clouds and warm. Afternoon: Partly cloudy and very warm. Evening: Clearing
0600 hrs Temp: 67.0F Humidity: --% Barometric Pressure: --.--
1432 hrs Temp: 93.4F Humidity: 38% Barometric Pressure: 29.91
1152 hrs Temp: 70.9F Humidity: 80% Barometric Pressure: 30.00

Really tired today.
So I took a nap. First voluntary one in 40 years. Still didn’t make me feel much better though.

Anyway, we went out with our good friends tonight. We headed out to the Italian Kitchen in Riverview, and once again the food and service was spectacular. (Ask for Larry, he is a very attentive and knowledgeable waiter.) If you are ever passing by Riverview Florida make sure you stop by. The canolies are fantastic; reminds me of the ones in Little Italy back in NYC.

The conversation revolved around the state of education in the United States. What passes for education, quite frankly, is pathetic. The classics are nonexistent, basic skills are poorly taught, citizenship and American history are virtually ignored. The complete solution to this travesty escaped us. There is a definate need to raise salaries and hire to better standards. Accountability needs to be ingrained in the system. Parents too, need to be held to higher standards and held accountable.

In our home the classics have been read, American history is a subject of conversation almost daily, and both my boys can read well above their grade level. Make of that what you will.

No planting today, not enough time. Fortunately I have tomorrow off and I’ll be able to get caught up. But I did find the time to check the hives again and found them as busy as yesterday. The pollen coming in is a light yellow color.

There’s a cold front heading this way, and they are saying that there may be a frost. Unbelievable at this late date.

Albert A Rasch

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nice Day To Be In The Garden

05/15/07 Tuesday
Weather: Morning: Sunny and warm. Afternoon: Partly cloudy and still warm. Evening: Clearing
0806 hrs Temp: 71.4F Humidity: 91% Barometric Pressure: 30.06
1030 hrs Temp: 87.3F Humidity: 50% Barometric Pressure: 30.15
1539 hrs Temp: 90.5F Humidity: 39% Barometric Pressure: 30.06
2108 hrs Temp: 74.3F Humidity: 59% Barometric Pressure: 30.06

Finally planted the corn! I got about three rows of twelve feet each done. I’ll do the same tomorrow and the day after, and then I’ll wait two weeks and do it again. If I keep on doing it that way, I should have fresh organic corn well into December.

Now, as I was digging out the paths, it occurred to me that turnips would do just fine planted between the corn, and while I was at it why not some marigolds too.

The okra gets planted next, just to the south of the corn. I don’t think I have to space out the planting time with okra, but I think I’ll do it just the same. I love deep fried okra and gumbo.

The garden is really coming along nicely. The first three rows are nice and straight, the tops raked smooth, and most of the grass and weeds gone. Just ten more to go. I also strung up another section of wire. So at least one side is complete.

Last but not least, we prepared a planting strip around one of the landscape trees in front of the house. Cristal planted flowers under the tree, but the tree has several low branches which obscured the flowers. Instead of cutting the tree's branches, I suggested we just move the bed further out, and when those flowers have grown, we’ll move it out again. I went to the compost pile and filled the wheelbarrow. On the way back I tossed in a couple of shovels full of sand and mixed it well. In the meantime, Cristal demarcated the bed, weeded the area well, and watered it. I came in behind and filled the area in with an inch or two of the compost/sand mix. Then it was watered again. Tomorrow Cristal will plant the seeds; I think she has Zinnias and Marigolds.

I walked all the hives again and every one of them was quite busy. Plenty of pollen still being brought in. Yesterday I was able to get an exceptionally good photo of H0607's queen. If I knew how to post it here, I would!

Albert A Rasch