September « 2008 « verdure
Sunday, September 28th, 2008

My bank failed. On a Thursday no less, having lost “$16.7 billion in deposits between Sept. 15 and this past Wednesday [Sept. 24].” WaMu now has the distinction of being “by far the biggest U.S. bank in history to fail.”

WaMu’s failure is my first personal exposure to the greater abstract housing turned credit crisis overflowing into everything else. It’s been a gentle introduction. WaMu branches were open on Friday, and their website works just the same. The $100K FDIC limit is a distant horizon for me, so I’ve not been fretting about my checking account.

But it’s not like my bank’s problems are isolated or unique. I see no evidence that this is the worst of what we’ll see, as we’ve done nothing to fix the underlying failures that got us to this point. I worry that we are still too ignorant and pacified as a whole to force any real change for the benefit of all instead of the bailout of the few. Indeed, we can’t even seem to agree that there is a systemic problem. Is it such a drastic step to ponder if there is actually good cause that businesses mistrust the soundness of their peers? Does anyone think that giving free money to a host of gambling addicts is the way to solve our problems? Why are we getting emergency, hastily thrown together legislation, when it’s been obvious since Bear Stearns at the very latest that we were in for some serious pain and perhaps some thoughtful relief could help us on the way down? Being a measly middle class taxpayer, it’s rather difficult to not be cynical when told that you get to bail out the wealthy who have no incentive to not do it all again. Pelosi says, “We sent a message to Wall Street: The party is over,” but from what I understand of the latest proposal, while more palatable than the first outrageous excuse for a plan, we’re still offering up plenty of fresh beer, except the likes of me still isn’t invited.

Uncategorized | 1 Comment |
A good problem to have
Sunday, September 21st, 2008

We picked our first of the two pumpkins. They have turned out rather larger than we were expecting. We made a pie and two loaves of pumpkin bread with the first half of one of them, and used some of the remaining pie slurry in french toast this morning.

We also have lots of ripe tomatoes. Probably half of the red ones have issues, spots on the bottom and the romas are cracking and not ripening evenly, but almost all are still quite usable. We made a salsa tonight that we will put in taco salad tomorrow.

The very welcome warmth in the first half of September has faded now, and so we picked the remaining watermelon today. (The only other one was on a vine that died and Mike had to pick it before it got ripe.) This one, while a bit lopsided and not as flavorful as could be, was ripe and juicy.

Mike replanted lettuce, spinach and peas while I was off in Alaska. Slugs have been going after the seedlings directly in the ground, but the others are doing pretty well, especially since it has gotten cooler.

Uncategorized | 1 Comment |
what’s left
Monday, September 1st, 2008

Our 3 day weekend hasn’t, and doesn’t have much hope today, of reaching 70 degrees. We still have lots of plants with green fruits that really could use more heat before fall sets in.

Here is a watermelon (one of two that have gotten to any size) in front of a butternut squash (we have two or three fairly small ones).

Our pepper plants all at once stopped dropping their flowers and now has plenty of green peppers maybe 3 to 4 inches long, in addition to the original one that is just now starting to turn color.

The first pumpkin, out on the rocks below the garden area, was turning soft. Mike threw it across the street into the blackberry bushes. The bushes rejected the poor pumpkin and tossed it down the hill. We have one more decent sized pumpkin that is better sheltered in the mass of foliage in the main garden area that we hope won’t rot before we get to eat it.

And of course we have lots of green tomatoes still.  At this rate, I am hoping that we manage one more batch of roasted tomatoes.

Uncategorized | No Comments |
Monday, September 1st, 2008

This is a bit out of order, but:

We found out why you should not plant carrots in pots. Even if your winter is lasting forever. We pulled them up around August 1st. One or two were too tough to eat. The others tasted fine (I didn’t notice any difference between the various colors), but were small and contorted. The leaves on on all were lush and happy. Too bad that’s not the part you eat.

The yellow squash, after we moved the plant to less intense spot and got better at watering the correct amount, gave us several large, creamy squashes. This is from Aug 18.

Since then it has finished flowering, and mildew has started to attack the leaves.

Uncategorized | No Comments |