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When she was a lot younger our cat arrived by the back door with a live chicken, unharmed even though it turned out it was from four gardens away on the street parallel to ours. Obviously I didn't know who it belonged to but I walked around the block and tried to imagine from the look of the houses and cars etc. who might own chickens, "Who lives in a house like this?" I was right first time. Any underlying resentment that they might have had about the incident was tempered by the fact that their chicken was unharmed. They were relatively new to chickens and were just letting them wander about in their garden. They promised to be more careful, I reminded them that there are foxes around as well. The next day she did it again.

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Having had many cats and a few mice in my NYC apartment I can attest that some cats are good hunters and others just enjoy the entertainment of watching the mouse run around. I don't know which is worse. Hearing the crunching of bones in the middle of the night is not fun. Nor is seeing a mouse run unmolested under the refrigerator. Even worse when it dies there. They become fragrant. Now you don't miss NYC so much, Edo.

 

Paulette

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Like most New Yorkers, I've had both mice and roaches. But I didn't have either for my last 5 years at Mulberry Street. The building's management sent a guy around to put down poison once a month. You couldn't have him do that if you had a pet though. Cats who are hunters are very good hunters. But owls are the best hunters. 

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I've started turning some of my old photographs into Coronavirus jokes.

 

IMG_3018.JPG

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On 30/04/2020 at 13:56, Thyrsis said:

 

One for the soup pot!

 

Reference strangely shaped parsnip.

 

I love roasted parsnips, already looking forward to that treat much later in the year, however, and I  don't know why this  should be,  I can't take them in soup.

 

Growing parsnips, I always start them off in bog roll tubes under glass and then just plant the tube with the seedling, the tube rots away. You need to watch carefully as the tap root grows much faster than the leaf, and you should plant before it emerges from the bottom of the tube - otherwise you do risk a deformed root.   If you have excellent soil and, crucially, fresh seed, they will germinate sown direct, but the bog roll method is very reliable.  My allotment neigbour used to grow them for show and he used old oil drums containing a specially formulated compost, preparing each sowing station by digging down into the soil with a metal bar and back filling with his special brew.

 

 So endeth the (parsnip) lesson. 

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8 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

Reference strangely shaped parsnip.

 

I love roasted parsnips, already looking forward to that treat much later in the year, however, and I  don't know why this  should be,  I can't take them in soup.

 

Growing parsnips, I always start them off in bog roll tubes under glass and then just plant the tube with the seedling, the tube rots away. You need to watch carefully as the tap root grows much faster than the leaf, and you should plant before it emerges from the bottom of the tube - otherwise you do risk a deformed root.   If you have excellent soil and, crucially, fresh seed, they will germinate sown direct, but the bog roll method is very reliable.  My allotment neigbour used to grow them for show and he used old oil drums containing a specially formulated compost, preparing each sowing station by digging down into the soil with a metal bar and back filling with his special brew.

 

 So endeth the (parsnip) lesson. 

 

Exactly what we have done this year but only two have germinated so far....

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6 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

 

Exactly what we have done this year but only two have germinated so far....

 

You obviously haven't used the correct magic words, but I am sworn to secrecy.

 

We have about 80 planted out and growing nicely but.....

 

I've had total brassica failure this year, none of my under glass sowings of greens have prospered, actually they either failed to germinate or died shortly after potting on.

 

I suspect the temperature range in our allotment greenhouse might be too great, or maybe the stored water contained nasties, or there was something in the soil/compost mix. Whatever it was it didn't affect the beetroot, onions, leeks, carrots or marigolds also started off there. Very strange. I've since raised some plants at home and sowed a row of mixed brassicas directly in the allotment, so we shouldn't  be without greens.

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Have given up with brassicas of any sort. But our first cucumber in the greenhouse is about 2cm long....

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On 30/04/2020 at 16:55, aphperspective said:

I was told by a zoo guy that birds are  unable to feel the effects of capsaicin, that's the chemical in chilli that burns to us. If you think about it makes sense, in the wild Chilli plants and Peppers rely on birds to spread their seeds in droppings.

Andy 

That is a fact. When I first bought my African Gray, I subscribed to “Bird Talk” a glossy magazine about all things parrot. One article said how good peppers were for birds, healthy and all that. So I planted some jalapeños. The two birds, one was a Nanday Conure, loved them.

Only problem is my husband and I kissed our birds’ beaks. Mistake. I only did that once. No more kisses. Then I found there was hot stuff on their feet because the birds held the peppers in a foot to eat them. We picked up our birds with them stepping onto a finger. The index. You don’t want to rub your eye with that stuff on your finger. I began to feel like one of the 3 stooges.  No more peppers for the parrots.

I actually sold a 2 page spread to the magazine consisting of a story and pictures. It wasn’t about burning eyes and lips, though.

Betty

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Are the readers here a different bunch? Hmm. Here's this week's blog:

 

https://edostrange.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-liverpool-lockdown-so-far.html

 

Hi Ed, fun blog! I prefer your blog profile picture, you look happier!

 

Can you tell I'm bored? 🤣 Back to guitar and keywording....

Edited by Steve F
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12 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

Have given up with brassicas of any sort. But our first cucumber in the greenhouse is about 2cm long....

Bad year for Cucumbers and Courgettes this year for me, all the young plants have Mosaic Leaf Virus. Not sure where its come from, all grown from seed and its a brand new greenhouse this year. Parsnips all good though, grow them the same way as my carrots in 10" pots on 2" centres nice and neat (must be the ex military in me).🙂

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

That is a fact. When I first bought my African Gray, I subscribed to “Bird Talk” a glossy magazine about all things parrot. One article said how good peppers were for birds, healthy and all that. So I planted some jalapeños. The two birds, one was a Nanday Conure, loved them.

Only problem is my husband and I kissed our birds’ beaks. Mistake. I only did that once. No more kisses. Then I found there was hot stuff on their feet because the birds held the peppers in a foot to eat them. We picked up our birds with them stepping onto a finger. The index. You don’t want to rub your eye with that stuff on your finger. I began to feel like one of the 3 stooges.  No more peppers for the parrots.

I actually sold a 2 page spread to the magazine consisting of a story and pictures. It wasn’t about burning eyes and lips, though.

Betty

I love Parrots very intelligent and inquisitive birds. When i lived in Malaya (now Malaysia) my neighbour had a Macaw that used to sit in his shoulder and inspect his ears. I am always wary about putting my finger near a beak that can crush a Brazil nut!.

Andy

Edited by aphperspective
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I like parrots in principle but that beak is a real worry. I had a girlfriend long ago who had a couple of African Greys. We got on OK but they did have a tendency to put holes in me just when I was getting confident. As pets they have the redeeming feature of long life. Cats and dogs give you affection and companionship but don't often live past 15 years so you are going to feel a lot of hurt from time to time.

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Posted (edited)

Repurposing a chest of drawers as a book case for OH's 40- odd years of Private Eye using long-neglected timber from the upper reaches of the garage, and reminding myself why I  set up the circular saw on a spare hand drill. Because gardening is one thing, but hand sawing timber for joinery is for mugs.

Of course, I never think of taking photographs or vid until I've finished.

Edited by spacecadet
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1 hour ago, Robert M Estall said:

I like parrots in principle but that beak is a real worry. I had a girlfriend long ago who had a couple of African Greys. We got on OK but they did have a tendency to put holes in me just when I was getting confident. As pets they have the redeeming feature of long life. Cats and dogs give you affection and companionship but don't often live past 15 years so you are going to feel a lot of hurt from time to time.

 Parrots tend to be more attached to the Female in a house and can get very possessive i've been told. 

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And some can just enjoy biting. Our male gray, who was bonded to my husband, bit me numerous times. Bad enough to send me to the Emergency room for stitches. My female is sweet and laid back. The male, Bogie, was full of testosterone and ornery. Yet a very talented talker.

After my husband died, I re-homed Bogie because he wouldn’t let me handle him.  I believe pets need held and loved with personal interaction and he wouldn’t allow that. Once he knew I was afraid of him, I lost the battle. After many bites, but two very severe bites stitches-worthy, I couldn’t stop being afraid.

I vetted many people, and I finally found somebody who was excellent in parrot psychology with nerves of steel. He’s happy, I call her about him regularly. 

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Basically, I make or receive daily phone calls to or from an old British retired nurse.  We share a helper and we're both not going out much without masks and have been sending him to shop for us.   Nobody is quite sure what's happening in Jinotega or in any part of Nicaragua.  The government and its opposition are using the pandemic to take digs at each other (not the different from some other countries).   Haven't felt up to taking photos.  Did get flu and pneumonia shots but had to go to a country clinic to get those as my town rather pissed off the government in 2018 and was doing religious processions in 2019 that felt like they were more political than not.  My time-share boy cat has finally realized my dog is an ally in dealing with the ferals.  Two cats spend time staring at the fish and one cat has developed a taste for fish kibble.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Repurposing a chest of drawers as a book case for OH's 40- odd years of Private Eye using long-neglected timber from the upper reaches of the garage, and reminding myself why I  set up the circular saw on a spare hand drill. Because gardening is one thing, but hand sawing timber for joinery is for mugs.

Of course, I never think of taking photographs or vid until I've finished.

 

I quite enjoy a spot of DIY but not sure that I agree with your view on hand sawing, taken at a steady pace, it's quite therapeutic.

 

However I have recently come across two useful bits of kit that do make life a lot easier. One is an impact driver power drill.  Our younger son has one, it drives in screws like a knife through butter. Sadly I can't really justify the purchase. The other is a set of ratchet clamps, much more convenient than G clamps, and cheap to buy, mine came from Aldi.

 

Possibly my most useful bit of kit, which I have had for longer than  I can remember, is one of the original B&D workmates, some of their stuff is not suitable for sustained heavy use, but that workmate has served very well.

 

DIY using Workzone Quick Ratcheting Bar Clamps to hold a wooden workpiece onto a B&D Workmate workbench while sawing. - Stock Image

 

Talking of tools, I have several that have outlived their usefulness, for example a valve spring compressor from the days when you had to decarb your car or bike's cylinder head including grinding in the valve seats. These days, when I open the bonnet/hood I don't have much idea what all of the bits are for.

Edited by Bryan
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Note that today, 4 May,  2020, I have 7777 images in my Alamy collection. Will that make me a lucky guy? I hope so.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

I quite enjoy a spot of DIY but not sure that I agree with your view on hand sawing, taken at a steady pace, it's quite therapeutic.

 

However I have recently come across two useful bits of kit that do make life a lot easier. One is an impact driver power drill.  Our younger son has one, it drives in screws like a knife through butter. Sadly I can't really justify the purchase. The other is a set of ratchet clamps, much more convenient than G clamps, and cheap to buy, mine came from Aldi.

 

Possibly my most useful bit of kit, which I have had for longer than  I can remember, is one of the original B&D workmates, some of their stuff is not suitable for sustained heavy use, but that workmate has served very well.

 

 

 

Talking of tools, I have several that have outlived their usefulness, for example a valve spring compressor from the days when you had to decarb your car or bike's cylinder head including grinding in the valve seats. These days, when I open the bonnet/hood I don't have much idea what all of the bits are for.

Perhaps I'm the mug, then, but my hand sawing is rubbish. Except for trees with the hand chainsaw. But when you can go through 1" timber at about 2"/second it's no contest. As long as it's straight. That's my other weakness- measure once and cut twice, me.

Yes, got the electric driver (I think you could get a decent cordless for under £50 these days- Vonhaus do them and I can recommend the brand) and the old Workmate. We've just inherited a mini toolbox- type version as well, OK for small stuff. No need for both AFAICS.

Could do with the clamps. The valve spring compressor is a poor substitute.

Edited by spacecadet
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Last night was bliss. The Northern Territory restrictions have been partially lifted. This allowed us to have a Happy Hour with camping neighbours, socially distanced of course, around a campfire. Oh the smell of that fire... I missed it so much. It's so much part of the Bush in Oz. 

 

Then today, as we are now allowed to drive for non-essential reasons, we went hiking up a trail through the West McDonnell Ranges foothills on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Oh joy!! Breathing fresh air and birding at the same time. Then, we went for another walk at Simpsons Gap, the only open reserve in the West McDonnell for now. I'm revived.

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3 hours ago, gvallee said:

Last night was bliss. The Northern Territory restrictions have been partially lifted. This allowed us to have a Happy Hour with camping neighbours, socially distanced of course, around a campfire. Oh the smell of that fire... I missed it so much. It's so much part of the Bush in Oz. 

 

Then today, as we are now allowed to drive for non-essential reasons, we went hiking up a trail through the West McDonnell Ranges foothills on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Oh joy!! Breathing fresh air and birding at the same time. Then, we went for another walk at Simpsons Gap, the only open reserve in the West McDonnell for now. I'm revived.

 

Loving reading this.  It's been so tragic here to have been stuck inside, after what seems to have been the best Spring, weather-wise, in the UK (the south, at least) for many years.  Can't wait to get outside and visit some of our lovely locations here in the UK (abroad will have to wait for this era to end/a lottery win! 😂).  Been made more aware than ever of my own mortality, and would love to get to see some places while I can!

 

Um, if some of that seems a bit negative, it wasn't meant to be! 😁

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Posted (edited)

Yes, it is so ironic that we are having this dry, sunny spring weather—Mother Natures little joke? The Liverpool Echo says there were no deaths from COVIS-19 in Liverpool today. Sounds good, but I have trouble believing good news.

 

I stumbled over this list in The Guardian. The 100 Best Novels. 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/17/the-100-best-novels-written-in-english-the-full-list

 

I've read 46 of them. Hmm, not half. But . . . just 4 more to get to 50%.

 

Mister 7777 here.🤪

Edited by Ed Rooney
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