Saturday, May 28, 2005

Nothing technical here

Totally not technical today. In fact, except for a couple of questions in the morning, today was just a "be outside" sort of day.

This was the first really good weather of the season so far -- it was in the 80's yesterday and mid 70's today (26-28 C), mostly sunny except for one thunderstorm that rolled through. We had just mulched all of the gardens around the house, so now it smells like wet mulch, which is actually a pleasant smell. Nice being able to have the house open for a change. Did the spring clean on my home office this morning, I have a lot of plants in there and they seem to just spray sap all winter (really big ficus tree, the one I'm sitting in front of in that picture in the upper corner especially seems to "leak" sap from the leaves). So, lots of sticky floor space to clean up as I moved the bulk of the plants onto my porch.

(I know the picture is bad, but this is sort of what it looks like looking out my front porch)

Right off of my office at home is a small screened in porch. Perhaps my favorite place to be, "my end of the house". It was supposed to be a sun room, but I took it over for work. Fortunately it is surrounded by alot of trees and is on the north end of the house (note to architects, when designing sun rooms, southern exposures in the hemisphere I live it work best). So, even though it has lots of windows, there is very little direct sun (which would sort of ruin the whole computer experience). But lots of nice views.

From the windows I have seen many deer, fox, and once a baby bear was to be spotted. Lots of wildlife. I have a bird feeder right off of the porch and there are always a ton of birds out there (and squirrels, that is a constant battle, I think I finally won though -- they haven't been able to get to the feeder for a while now. Human 1, Squirrels 0, but I'm sure they will be back for a rematch, they are just planning now).

Everything is growing like crazy now. I don't live in town, I live out a ways - and have three acres. 2 acres of trees and 1 of grass to cut. My neighbor on one side has 24 acres (it used to be a farm, they have the old farm house and surrounding propertly). Needless to say it is very "green". He hasn't been running the tractor for a while so the field he has is very overgrown, I prefer it that way.So, right now -- everything looks and smells "clean".

A friend of mine once said to me "I love it after the rain, the world smells like it just had a bath". And so it does... Anyway, hope everyone enjoys the long weekend if you have it -- memorial day and all.



Blogger Pete_S said....

Glad I don't have that much grass, especially now that I have to cut it - I managed to avoid that for 15 years whilst my wife thought my hay fever was too bad to go out - but now she knows better.
Enjoy the weekend!

Sat May 28, 05:17:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

You're very lucky to have that much rain, and that much green. Three years into a very long drought, my 10 acres are looking incredibly tired, dusty and, above all, brown!

'Tis the Australian way, apparently... but it does get just a little depressing after the first foot of water has evaporated from the dam, the earth has set as hard as concrete, and the wildlife (not all of it benign) comes closer to the house in search of water and something tender to eat.

Your view, fortunately, looks splendid, and I trust it helps you cogitate effectively! Seems to be having the desired effect, anyway!!

Sat May 28, 08:09:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Tom Best said....

Yes, but how do I call a C program from PL/SQL in 7.3 ?!

Just kidding.

Sat May 28, 09:46:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Bundit said....

Have you see many deer, fox ... from you windows or windoze ?

Just kidding.

Sun May 29, 12:38:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Wow! 3 acres. So jealous. In the bay area, we pay more than half a million for an TINY house AND we can just reach out and touch our neighbor's house. Would love to have the view and space you have.

Have a great weekend.

Sun May 29, 12:44:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom, you must be kidding yourself thinking you won the battle with Squirrels. :) No way Hose, these creatures are way too smart and determined to be outsmarted by humans and their 'toys' :))

Sun May 29, 04:02:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Glad I don't have that much grass,

Takes one hour a week on the John Deere. Actually -- it is one hour a week I cannot hear anything but the lawn mower, it is "my time" :)

You're very lucky to have that much rain

Yeah, for every up there is a down though. Trees + too much rain + wind = lots of trees falling down. Last summer, we ended a drought, with more rain than we needed. Lost lots of tree's and had to have some nearer to the house chopped down.

from you windows or windoze ?

lots of good analogies there. They both need frequently cleaning (dirty windows)...

They both break easily.

Wow! 3 acres.

Not only that, but your earth moves from time to time. I don't think I could ever live out there -- visit, yes, too often -- but I don't think I could live there. Too many people, too small a plot of land.

you must be kidding yourself thinking you won the battle with Squirrels

As I'm reading this, the squirrels are in fact figuring out how to walk up the screen to get near the roof, to slide out to the bird feeder and drop on it. I'd electrify the screen if I didn't think it would only have the effect of shocking me :)

Yes, score one for the squirrels.

Sun May 29, 04:18:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Gabe said....

So all is nice and green ... what is it like in winter? No need for a big rig to go shopping?

Sun May 29, 07:05:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

So all is nice and green

Well, fall can be the pits sometimes. Leaves, a single leaf weighs next to nothing, but get it together with a couple billion of it's closest friends and -- well, you have some weight there.

My approach -- run the mulching blades at the highest height and just drive the John Deere over them, then get the backpack blower on (I never thought I would strap onto my back an gas powered engine, it just doesn't see "smart" you know) and blow them out from the gardens around the house.

When I was growing up, we lived on a corner lot with sidewalks. I know better than to buy a house on a corner lot with sidewalks (you easily have 3 to 4 times the sidewalk of your neighbors).

I had a southern exposure in my prior house, people across the street had a northern exposure. My desk was a frozen wasteland all winter -- their driveway and front porches were -- I know now "southern exposure good".

This house, I've learned "trees are neat, but if it is a deciduous forest - think twice about it...

Winter is not bad, looks like now, just brown :)

Spring is the best.

Sun May 29, 07:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Martin said....

Well, the solution is obvious off course, just bind them and you will not see those squirrels again ;)

Mon May 30, 05:42:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

What a progress!

"Takes one hour a week on the John Deere"

Since I'm not a native english speaker I had to translate the word "acre"

Tom, do you actually know, how one acre was defined?

"The acre was selected as approximately the amount of land tillable by one man behind an ox in one day" found at wikipedia

Welcome to John Deere century!

Mon May 30, 10:38:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Scot said....

You could always get a couple of cats. We have some, and they do quite well against the squirrels. But then again, that solution might be worse than the problem as far as the birds are concerned.

Tue May 31, 09:49:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

You could always get a couple of cats.

Does everyone know that cats can live for like 20 years. I wish someone would have told me that 13 years ago... 13 down, 7 more or so to go :) Totally an indoor cat (we had 2, but one passed away).

Cat, Dog, Hamster, Frog, Hermit Crabs -- we have them all.

A quick spray of WD-40 on the pole holding the bird feeder seems to be doing really well for now. At least it adds to the amusement factor as you watch them jump onto the pole and sliiiiddddeeee down to the ground. Sort of scares the birds away, but I feel better..

Tue May 31, 09:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Dave T said....


I recommend the following:

The battle is never won.


Tue May 31, 10:10:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous denni50 said....

hey Tom...

your property looks absolutely 3 acres I am envious. I live about 3 or 4 hours away from you(Virginia).

I live in an old neighborhood were properties are fairly large I have 3/4 acres of property and my backyard looks like a mini park
with large pine and maple trees.

I have all kinds of birds,opossum,rabbits,field mice,snakes,hawks and owls sitting
in trees,even an occassional woodpecker.
Last weekend when I was working in the backyard I had this tiny baby snake(must have just been hatched) almost ready to slither into my workshop room..I took a broom and gently pushed him(her?) out from the door's entrance and watched it
slither off into the wild grown area back of my house. They keep the mice and rats in check so I hope he/she had lots of baby siblings.

I feed them all and let nature take care of the rest(birdseed, old bread,biscuits,peanuts).
It is my sanctuary with my 2 best gal-pals Missy and Roxanne (Shephard mix and Rottweiler).
Named 'Roxanne' after my favorite Police song(Sting). Missy gets on the roof of the house and surveys the area(she jumps on the deck then the small shed roof, workshop roof then house roof) my neighbor took pictures of her running back and forth across the roof. People stop by and comment they have never seen a dog running around on a roof.

Do all my home improvement projects(within reason) and property maintenance.

hey Tom...can others post pictures of their property on your blog?(if you don't mind and how would it be done?)

Tue May 31, 12:46:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I have all kinds of birds,opossum,rabbits,field mice,snakes,hawks and owls sitting
in trees,even an occassional woodpecker.

lots of snakes :) My mother in law who lives with us hates them. But we have those too.

Woodpeckers -- lots.

And next month (mid june) the frogs will come out like you don't believe. Sometimes, you come inside from the back at night and your ears are ringing from the frogs.

as for pictures, my "free" blog account doesn't have any room for that (that picture of mine is coming from asktom actually). You'd have to upload to yahoo or something and use an IMG SRC= tag.

Tue May 31, 01:17:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous denni50 said....

that's fine Tom...just thought I'd
share with you.

You have late summer here
all the crickets come variety is really strange looking, they end up in the house, everywhere....trying to get to sleep at night with a symphony of cricket chirpings is maddening.

Tue May 31, 01:30:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

I think your battle is lost - look at what squirrels can and will do:


Tue May 31, 06:02:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Dan Kefford said....

Well, fall can be the pits sometimes. Leaves, a single leaf weighs next to nothing, but get it together with a couple billion of it's closest friends and -- well, you have some weight there.

Ahhh... but that's free composting material. I run my mower over all the leaves after they've all fallen, and dump them into a gulley that I've turned into a compost pile. (Granted, I have a substantially smaller yard than yours.) By the next season, I have about 10-15 wheelbarrowfuls of nice soil.

A quick spray of WD-40 on the pole holding the bird feeder seems to be doing really well for now

I've seen some zingers from you on your other site, but this is about the funniest post I've read. I'll have to remember to tell my father-in-law about this one.

Wed Jun 01, 02:48:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous dtphan said....

looking at your "forest" made me "blue" with envy. Very happy for you. Keep on blogging.

Thu Jun 02, 02:40:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Re: the wd-40 anti-squirrel grease on the bird feeder pole -- I used Crisco to similar effect. My kids and I watched the squirrels jump and slide, jump and slide for an hour, better than Monty Python. I figure the extra weight they gain from eating the lard when they clean themselves will slow them down some too (or increase the rate at which they slide down the pole)

Mon Jun 06, 09:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Can you please tell what things did you consider while choosing this camera.

What else models caught your eyes.

Wed Jan 25, 05:51:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

about my camera (this picture on this blog- a cheapo camera phone picture)

Wed Jan 25, 06:49:00 PM EST  


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