Cara Brotman at John Kohler's garden

I love this so much. At first I was all, "Oh man, John invited another earth-woman daughter of the corn into his garden. This is going to be a drag" but Cara adds so much through her excitement and her ability to describe what she is tasting and how it changes. Cara is the type of visitor you'd like to have in your garden. She's perfect.

Land O' Lakes butter

The company changed their logo to remove the native American native.

Words all over the place about this. The guy who painted the logo was an American native. But that doesn't matter anymore. I never buy this butter anyway. Presumptuous. Although I did just now buy some Irish butter that is twice as expensive for half as much. It's a test. We'll see.

Then in comments this guy says:

"Future generations of teenaged boys will be denied the fun of cutting a flap out of the butter box in the image and putting the maiden's knees in that window. Ahh, the good, clean fun of the 20th century."

Cut a flap out and that makes a window. Insert knees presumably from another of the same picture.

So that she has tits! Instead of the box that she's showing.

oooOOOOOOOOOoooh. Now I see it.

Let's call that "Land O' Lakes boob trick" and see if there's a video on YouTube.

There are a million of these. Done different ways to varying degrees of artfulness. Some make a flap out of the whole front from the box that she's holding to the bottom of her knees, then fold the long flap such her own knees are brought up to cover the box. 

Prurient. Just my sort of thing. 

But then your thumb must hold it for you to admire that tiny space where her knees covers her display box and your own big fat thumb is right there holding the flap in place, and the whole front is ruined. 

 Other methods allow you to remove your hand so you can admire the whole label from a distance with only a small window adjusted to display her tits from another picture. 

Apparently teenage boys were all over this logo applying their vast collective creativity to minuscule effect. 

Aerogarden Peter Peppers

There are two Aerogardens with chile peppers, one old style with fluorescent lights and the new one with LED lights.

The first Aerogarden is planted with seven Peter Pepper plants. Apparently one in the back died and I only just now noticed it. So, six Peter Pepper plants.

The second Aerogarden has nine compartments, but only four are planted with Peter Peppers.

That's ten Peter Peppers total.

But look at the difference in results between types of Aerogardens.


The plants are young and budding all over the place. A bud appears at the first Y in the stems. Both tops of the Y also produce a leaf, a flower and another Y stem. Sometimes it makes a ᴪ so the plant builds a structure exponentially upward and outward. They appear very unplanned. 

And there is nothing worse, it just breaks my heart to see little shriveled flowers fallen onto the Aerogarden platform unfertilized. It means those peppers are wasted. Each flower has its place in the structure. Each of the fallen flowers means another wasted spot in the structure. 

The baby plants under the domes are Habanero peppers. 

I'm planting two types of peppers this year; Peter Peppers an Habanero. 

I figure I can buy all other types easily enough and a lot less expensively than I can grow them.

The old-time fluorescent Aerogarden did very well. The Peter Peppers germinated quickly and the plants grew rapidly. They flowered and produced fruit almost immediately. 

The new LED Aerogarden did even better. The leaves are larger and much darker and much more compacted. There is very little elevation between layers so it grows in height more slowly and the buds develop a little more slowly presently. I kept peeking in and seeing buds developing but not opening. I think they're opened now. I haven't checked today. I don't know how the bottom leaves are getting any light. I'm ready to remove one of the four right now because it is intruding on the Habaneros that are just babies. I'll put it in a 4X4 pot and keep it very wet with the same treated water and near the same lights. 

Both Aerogardens had the same liquid organic fertilizer and dry organic fertilizer from MI Gardener.

They are both watered exactly alike. 

Both Aerogardens did very well while the new LED one is blowing my mind. When I put the plants outside I'm not sure that partial sun can do as well as this Aerogarden full blast. These are densest chile plants that I've ever seen.

Geodes shadowbox frame

I thought he'd have the boy do something artistic. What thought went into this arrangement of stones?

They spaced out opening the package of stones over several days. I thought they'd spend ten minutes bashing open geodes, done, then that's it for the next thing, but no, they paced themselves like stoics.

Two boys with a large heavy mallet that could smash each geode to bits if the boys didn't control it and both with attitudes that they had been opening geodes all their lives.  

On one of the days, the older boy lined up the opened geodes in a splendidly interesting way. I wanted him to do something similar for the shadow box frame. Apparently it became more important to show all the stones. 

I sent them the stones. Seeing the box of geodes is more than box of stones, later I sent them the shadow box frame. I figured they could save the best. Apparently they're saving everything. 

I searched Amazon, found them, ordered them, that was it. 

Later I went back to read reviews. 

Always read worst first. They say some are duds. One says all of them were duds. Some say they are all blue. Some say all are the same uninteresting thing. 

Then the 5-star ratings. 

They love absolutely everything about them; booklet, little display stands, great variation in colors, white, red, blue, clear, green. Great fun. Girls love it. 

I researched a lot.

A video of a young woman shows her attempting to open a geode with a hammer at her dining room table. Her nails are painted bright red. You sort of see the geode behind two hands with fingers tipped in bright red. Then you see only red. The mesmerizing movement of ten red dots massaging a rock unnecessarily is calculated to draw your attention off the rock and onto her sensual hands. Her hands pause and pose with the rock repeatedly such to maximize red fingertip exposure and not to show the rock. It's boring. 

And you're sitting at home watching and thinking, "Goddamnit woman, smack the thing with the hammer already." And the whole time the constantly moving red dots get nowhere with the geode. I turned it off. I have no idea if she gets it opened or not. 

See what I mean? 

I couldn't watch it.

I don't know how it ends.

Then I saw another video of a boy with his father. Dad was watching without interfering. The boy had a better hammer than the girl but he was hopeless. He had no frame of reference, no way of knowing how hard to hit the hammer. He did okay but it took a very long while. 

The boys did much better than any of the other videos. With their daddy's guidance (my brother), they got such aplomb. 

They both know the mallet can smash the rocks to bits so the trick is controlling the impact. It's the opposite problem that the girl has. It's a series of decreasing control. My brother picked the right tool.

He is extremely involved with the boys. He watches them and he gives them a few directions. The boys treat him as another of the boys, the best one, the one that guides them and provides them. It's very Lord of the Flies. They both want his attention so badly. They both want his respect. 

I saw these, went to Amazon, bought them.

After that I realized there are a lot of other sources right there on Amazon. They don't have to be from National Geographic. Actually, there are tons of these geodes. I read the reviews for all of them. I enjoyed reading about their experiences. I learned that very many are duds. To expect that. I learned that sometimes people are not happy. I worried about the boys being disappointed. I tried to prepare them. Turns out National Geographic is a fine kit, a very good choice. The whole family loved it. As we see you get a lot of crystals. The Ukrainian wife liked reading the book and identifying the stones. She liked having the vocabulary for the rocks. Even the dog! They crack open a geode and the dog rushes in and grabs a geode and runs off with it. He doesn't know why the rock is interesting he just knows the humans think it's spectacular so he took the center of attention. 


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