Sunday, June 05, 2011


It has been extraordinarily hot here on Peanut Road but, as I hoped for a post or two back, the summer rains are finally showing up. Oh, they may be fitful for a while and it will continue to be hot -- and occasionally hotter -- but at least we're getting some afternoon showers (and storms) to cool things down.

And also to water the many plantings, though I'm not ready to stop with the hose yet! At least I'll feel able to transplant some of the flowers now. Any trees or larger bushes will need to wait a couple months. Unfortunately, Tuck and his buddy from next door -- a smaller puppy of similar age -- have been tag-team digging in the garden and flower beds. They're just a couple of rambunctious teenage boys.

If only I could train them to dig out the weeds and leave the veggies!

There is fruit coming on some of the trees. It looks like I'll get my first tiny crop of peaches. I have the Three Ps growing here -- peaches, pecans and pears. All well-suited to a deep-south garden. There also is a bumper crop of the tiny wild cherries. I've several small seedling cherry and pear trees I'll be setting out in the fall (probably).

As far as berries go, not much this year. I picked wild blackberries when they were in season but didn't get much off my own brambles. The blueberry patch has a total of one berry. They'll do better eventually, as will the elderberries when they get a little bigger. And I do finally have healthy hazelnuts and may be separating some that have come up from the roots for planting next year.

I really don't like having big oaks in the yard and am gradually eliminating them. Cut a smaller one down last year and ringed a medium-sized red oak so it's now a dead tree for the woodpeckers to play with. I've tried ringing the rather substantial live oak out front but it doesn't seem to have worked so far. Deeper cuts, maybe? In the mean time, I'm cutting out many of the lower branches to let some light through. I'd much rather have flowers and fruit trees in my yard so I'll get all the oaks down eventually.

addendum: taking down those big trees should also improve my television reception!

* * *

On the subject of really hot weather, sort of, I just couldn't stand having my long-ish hair so I've cropped it pretty short again. Not buzzed or anything, just my typical short Caesar cut. It works okay for me. It also works with a beard so I'm not shaving -- except 'around the edges' -- for a few days now. I'll shape it later, when I decide just what I want. Maybe that 'Dr Mark Sloan' look...or is that 'Dr Benton Quest'? It's a good choice for someone with a relatively thin beard and the mustache and goatee look is, well, sort of common these days. Dated, even. :)

Anyway, it's a pain to shave when it's really hot as the face is inclined to be sweaty and sticky. I sometimes wonder why guys shave at all. Seems a bit unnatural. Even perverse, maybe -- why do we want to look like girls?

Okay, I suspect we're actually trying more to look like boys, i.e. more youthful, but even so it hardly seems worthwhile. Just why do men have beards, anyway, and women (most of 'em!) don't?

Just off the top of my head (I suppose I could research it but don't really care THAT much), I can think of two reasons. One would be to protect our throats in battle. It's hard to sink ones teeth in an enemy's throat when there is a thick beard protecting it.

The other is a little more subtle: it hides our expressions, making it harder for others to tell what we're thinking or feeling. This could also be an advantage for 'aggressive' males. I guess, though, we want to know how the women-folk feel about things.

* * *

Once again thinking about publishing stuff. Books, magazines, web sites and all that -- I may put something up here in a while about ideas for a magazine but I've no intentions of trying to put one out again as long as my current situation continues.

Books and such are another matter. I have been sending out material to magazines again. Not that faithful about it, I'm afraid, and easily distracted! But I also do intend eventually to publish some of my own stuff (or even someone else's). Who knows when?

I've once more been thinking about fonts, too, as I like my stuff to look good, if and when it gets out there. These days, one ideally would employ fonts that look good both on paper and on screen. Some simply work better in one application than the other. One of the best and most versatile all-purpose fonts I've found would be Palatino Linotype (or the almost identical Book Antigua). Looks good online, looks good printed. And it's installed on most PCs so it's web-safe (though if a font is embedded in a PDF that is no longer a consideration). Been using it a lot lately for my own word processing purposes.

As long as I'm on this general subject, when I first had a website -- the original Insolent Lad or maybe the second generation version -- I worked up my 'tile set' for use. It was just a set of graphics with various colors and sizes of a decorative (and rather simple) tile design. They've been sitting in my files for a few years now and I'd kind of like to use them again somewhere on the site. All my main pages -- the ones linked to domains -- are already designed to my satisfaction so these would have to go in some subsidiary section where I want to 'color-code' the pages. Maybe an archive of my writing? Perhaps when I get a magazine going? Don't know...just have a hankering to use 'em!

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