Sunday, November 1, 2009

So Lazy

I haven't blogged for a month. And it's not as if nothing happened--it's just that I was too lazy to write about it. The weather has been pretty normal for fall here--warm to hot some days, cooler others. But we also had an unusual storm, the remnants of a cyclone, that dumped three inches of rain on Sacramento in a couple of days, and 40 mph winds. That's not much for most places, but for Sacramento--a desert climate--it's major. The plants loved it and so did the humans, mostly. The cats were split, with Emma sitting in the window to get the full picture, while Dash retreated to the Panic Room (linen closet) for the duration. Dash is only three, so his experience has been of drought; a lot of rain is very strange for him.

Fall here also means that some of the spring bloomers bloom again. The roses, which took a break during the heat of the summer, are putting out a few tentative blooms, and if the weather is moderate (doesn't turn too cold), they should bloom until mid-December. Pelargoniums are also in bloom, but the hardy geraniums appear to be going dormant. I'm experimenting with diascia, which I grew in Oakland. It bloomed for months there, but here not so much. In fact, it keels over dead in the heat--of May! I purchased one plant and am going to see if it does better in the fall to spring--as a cool season bloomer.

The trees have been turning color. J and I took a drive to the foothills last weekend, hoping to see some fall color. We did--green and brown. Most foothill natives are either evergreen or oaks, and oak leaves just turn brown and fall off the tree. (I know this well, as I have an oak tree in the back yard and have been sweeping up oak leaves and picking them out
of the plant pots for several weeks now.) But I did visit Georgetown for the very first time, and determined that I wouldn't want to have to commute from there to Sacramento. The road out is winding and narrow, and would be less than enjoyable in the dark. It's a pretty drive though, on Sunday afternoon, with little traffic and no deadline.

I also replanted the same section of the back yard that I replanted last October. I wasn't happy with it again, so I ripped it out and started over. This year's version has retained the tree mallow from last year (which suffered some damage in the storm), which has been joined by a fringe flower, butterfly bush, ceanothus and cistus. I wonder if people will starting putting money on whether I tear out this incarnation next year.

On the various issues of the day:

1. I'm amazed that we're getting such a lousy health insurance reform. It's not even going to cover everyone, and it's going to provide more subsidies to the health insurance industry (which hasn't done an exactly stellar job to date). What are these people thinking? I know, it's all about the campaign contributions, but do the "moderate" Democrats and President Obama have to be so obvious about it?

2. Afghanistan. Sending more troops is likely to strengthen the Taliban. Worked for the Soviets--now we can do it too.

3. Our local planning administration gave the go-ahead to a Nestle bottled water plant, which will take our tap water (yes, tap water), pay industrial rates for it (very cheap), and then re-sell it to us for premium prices. As it turns out, the administration fast-tracked the process and no one found out what had happened until the facility was half-built. Aside from the fact that we're on water restrictions because of the drought, the bottled water "industry" is
one of the most worthless wastes of money ever conceived. Right up there with Credit Default Swaps. Even the little town of McCloud managed to keep Nestle out. We'll probably end up doing what Bolivia did to get rid of Bechtel--pay them money to leave. Bolivia at least had the excuse that the World Bank forced them to do it. And Sacramento is a world-class city. Uh huh.


wburg said...

Agreed about the silliness of Nestle--one interesting side note is that one of Mayor Johnson's "volunteer" staff just resigned from the city to work for, guess who, Nestle! If she had been an actual city employee it would represent a huge conflict of interest, but because she wasn't officially working for the city it's okay.

I know sometimes Sacramento can feel like a desert, but it really is not; we're more of a Mediterranean climate. Deserts get less than 10 inches of rain a year; Sacramento gets twice that, plus the agricultural benefits of being a river valley/delta area. This "desert" produces about half the country's fruit and vegetables... that ain't cactus out there.

PeonInChief said...

You're right. Sacramento isn't a desert, but we still don't have sufficient water to be giving the stuff away--aside from the whole issue of the ecological damage done by the bottled water industry.

And I'm not surprised that yet another of Mayor Johnson's "volunteers" has inappropriate industry connections. Appalled, but not surprised.