Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Do I mean the title of the first track from the new OK-GO album, whom I'm off to see tomorrow night (I'm sacrificing seeing the thrilling 2 hour finale of American Idol - jeez the Oscars is barely that long!),

or what I said when I tried to turn the handle on the composter

or what I said when I cut into my nice organic jacket potato this evening?

Or could it be all three?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weigh in #3 - May 20th 2010

Our second official weigh in. A whopping 11oz for the last two weeks. So since the start of Earth Day, four weeks ago we've thrown out 25.5oz, so less than 2lbs in 4 weeks. I think that is pretty good going for our target of 100lb.

So roughly our allowance would have been about 8lb and we've done less than 2lb.

Composting and worms bins are going great guns, although I did break the handle off the tumbling composter. Wonder if it has a warranty!

Hope everyone has a great weekend and remember

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Monday, May 17, 2010

World Cup 2010


Hi my overseas friends. If you are not going to be visiting me anytime soon and you want to use this page to pay for my World Cup 2010 Prediction Pool then follow these instructions.

Firstly, open up two new internet tabs or browsers, and cut and paste these two addresses, don't click on them otherwise you'll lose this page:


This is a currency conversion tool you'll use later on and


and this is a copy of these instructions!

In a moment, when you click on the "Buy Now" button below, you'll be taken to a new page, where you can pay me via Pay Pal, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PAY PAL ACCOUNT.

Clicking on the "Buy Now" button will re-direct you to this page. If you don't have a Pay Pal account, click on the continue button I have circled here in red. It will allow you to pay with your credit card.

If you pay via this method, then the cost is USD$26.00. This is because Pay Pal charges me 2.9% +30 cents which comes out to $26.025. An extra buck doesn't sound like that much, but when there's a handful of you it starts eating into my own pockets!

In case you've never played this pool before, I don't take any of the money myself. 100% of the money people pay goes towards the prize fund. I even have to pay my own $25.... and I always loose!

For transparency I always send a copy of my predictions to three other people. If you like I can send it to you... in the very unlikely chance I might win! Ha ha ha ha.

For currency conversion, please use xe.com, which you hopefully already opened. Please convert your currency to USD$26.00. Pay Pal might have their own conversion capability, but I think they charge either you or me for the privilege.

Please make sure I get the payment by 12 Noon June 9th 2010, Pacific Coast Time, USA.

Good luck and thanks for playing!

Okay, are you ready? Set, Go!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weigh in #2

Well not much to say here other than we generated so little rubbish last week that we did not put it out. So hence no weighing!

It looks like we will be doing the weighings every two weeks based on our experience so far. Everything going to plan so far.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garden Update

So, time to take a look at how the garden is doing.

This is my little corn row, nothing like Kansas but these seem to be doing well. Not too badly eaten by the earwigs! They're the Country Gentlemen Heirloom variety.

The Fiji Apple tree, looks like it will have a bumper crop.

The re-furbished strawberry bed is starting to produce. I love strawberries.

The Nasturtium Alsaka Mix is to help attrack bees and pollinating insects and keep snails away, alledgedly.

Look closely, those are the tomato seedlings. Tomatoes not doing so well this year, but there's plenty of good growing time yet!

To help with our challenge of less than 100lb of rubbish to land fill, we invested in a 60 gallon tumbling composter made by Keter Plastics. We got it for only $98 from Home Depot. So far it's been working pretty well. Garden waste and most of our food scraps go in here and also we're using some paper products too.

Inside it has some fins that help keep it aerated. Clearly it's time to take it for a tumble. It's classed as a "hot composter" which means the temperature gets pretty warm in there to help speed up the process.

We also have a more traditional compost heap, where we put a lof of the garden waste as well. I think now it is looking more "brown" we might transfer it to the hot composter, to try and keep the ratio in there of 66% "browns" to 33% "greens"

The upside down grapefruit skin you see is meant to attract garden worms.

Some of our other food scraps make it to our worm bin, shown here with some nice healthy looking wiggling worms. Its' getting time to feed them again soon and harvest the worm castings.

It sits in a shady corner of the garden so that they don't cook in the sun.

Some more bloody squirrel damage. There will be an escalation of hostilities very soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The First Real Weigh In

I'll keep it short since there is a bizarre election result unfolding in England with all sorts of implications, the best one I feel is that we may FINALLY move to a proportional representation system.

Follow the results here

So, above is the picture of our first two weeks of rubbish from this challenge, weighing in at 14.5oz, so well within our limits by 17.5oz for a two week period.

I'll try and work out how to make a totalizer for this page over the weekend.

For now, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cataclysmic Squirrel War

"Never has so much, been owed by so many to so few". So said Churchill during the Battle of Britain some time ago, and as the political Battle For Britain wages across the Pond I almost forgot to tell you about the hand to hand combat I engaged in this morning with the bushy tailed bastards that invade my garden.

Whilst Ananda and I were making salads this morning I saw a squirrel run right past our patio door. As quick as a flash of syrup I launched myself through the door, stooping gracefully on my way out to grab a shoe, and chased, not one but two of the vandals off the deck.

In their desperation to escape they tried to clamber, one up the side of the house, and the other up the trellis for the jasmine. Launching my shoe, with about the same accuracy as the one thrown at W's head, I scared one of them up and over the neighbours fence. It was every suirrel for themselves at that point!

The second vandal had a harder escape as he jumped onto the metal down pipe for the rain gutter, and there he clung for his dear life, since squirrels don't climb metal so well.

We stood face to face, eye to eye as I wondered what I could find to throw at him. He watched, heart beating for my next move.

Being in the garden, the closest thing at hand was an empty 3 gallon watering can which was duly launched at him. I would like to say I scored a direct hit, but alas no. However, victory was still mine as he fell to the ground from his slippery metal sanctuary and then scrambled up onto the bush.

Unluckily for him he chose the wrong branch and headed away from safety and towards my hose, which I obviously turned on full blast and gave the little bugger a good soaking as he fled, in squirrel defeat, back up the garage roof.

I promise tomorrow I'll get back to talking about the garbage challenge. It's weighing in time again!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Garden and Garbage - The Poop Loop

Well I was a bit down in the dumps when I got home from work. Pain in my arm and neck and a conversation with me real estate agent about my short sale-deed-in-lieu-foreclosure mess.

It was a lovely evening here in Northern California, so I did some pottering about in the garden.

Firstly I picked the second crop of strawberries that we have grown!!! The first crop picture above was a bit small, only two of them, but the second one was a whole five!! If strawberry growth obeys the laws of mathematics, then the next crop should be 12.5 strawberries. Of course chaos theory is part of maths too.

Next I checked on my worm bin. We've had the worm bin for about 18 months now and struggled at times to keep it going. We've tried everything. I think the first batch of worm all drowned themselves ("drowned dead sir !"), because the spigot in the bin allowed about 4 inches of worm tea to build up, so if any worms ventured down below they would inevitable die.

So I modified my worm bin. I punched a hole in the bottom and then glue some mosquito netting over it to stop insects from getting in and worm from getting out. I then made a raised platform and put another mosquito netting frame on that platform to stop the worm from wiggling to the bottom.

This way we managed to keep alive the 2nd batch of worms we bought through the winter. The red wigglers were far outnumbered by the white pot worms though, and although not harmful, they’ve just not as cuddly and cute as the red wigglers.

When we moved house I set the bin up in one shady corner of the garden, where it got thoroughly soaked, and that’s when the population of the white pot worms exploded.

So, when I was convalescing after my surgery I went through the bin little by little sorted the red wigglers into a new temporary home and getting rid of the pot worms.

Once I was happy with the new colony of red wigglers I placed them pack in the worm bin with some food and some ground up coconut husk and left them there for about 6 weeks, untouched.

So, I was very happy with my nice surprise when I opened the worm bin to find lots of big fat red wigglers all looking very happy and content!

The worm castings, or their poop if you want o not dress it up so much, will be valuable gardeners gold for my veggies this summer. It’s a poop loop cos any veggies we don’t eat, or the cuttings from say the end of a zucchini will end up right back in the bin, so they can eat it, poop it out and then I can spread it on the garden again!