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This past week, there was a bunch of online/tech chatter about a new (just emerged from stealth mode) hardware + services startup called Mill.   It is from the founder of Nest, who's thermostat changed that entire product category, so the history of success instantly gives this new thing - a composting bin + a service to take your food waste - some credibility.  Mill is a super-fancy kitchen composter that basically cooks your food waste to ensure the bin doesn't start stinking.   #13 on this past year's list was to do more with composting - including under the sink kitchen food waste .  I have the bin, I just stopped filling it in not for any particular reason. The Mill news was enough to nudge me back into the kitchen scrape food waste game.  It didn't take long to fill the little bin with vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grinds and house plant foliage.   I used a compostable bag to line the bin, but it was *so* compostable that it had already started to break do

More Evidence: Bob Dylan Songs Are Best Sung By Female Singers

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Thirteen years ago, I wrote a blog post here on the blog where i posited that Bob Dylan was, perhaps, the best songwriter for female singer s.  What I meant was that female singers who covered Bob Dylan songs were eye-openers for me.  I included (maybe?) the most-famous cover of "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele .  But, what really has stuck with me is Sheryl Crow's version of Mississippi.   Note here:  I recognize that we're (now) in 2023 and the notion of female vs male singers (that I used initially back in 2010) might not be a valid or appropriate framework for everyone today.  That's fine.   I'm going to use that construct here - with positive intent - because I think it makes sense for this discussion.   Back then, posting musings on various topics on personal blogs were a thing 1 and that's where hot takes like this lived.  But, the conversation around my (apparently provocative) post was taking place on the Bob Dylan news/forum site:  Expecting Rai

Variety vs Cultivar vs Sport - Gardening Parlance - February 2023

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I'm nothing if not a gardener who keeps learning with every shovelful of dirt and every keystroke digging around the Web. And, I'm also guilty of calling things the wrong name from time-to-time. Part of what I've tried to do is to learn the actual plant names (genus species) vs. the trade names. But, I've also thrown around the terms 'variety' and 'cultivar' and 'sport' all over the place and NOT really learned when/where to use each one. What prompted me to think about the terms was an email from Gardeners Supply where they showed some 'common gardening terms' including Variety and Cultivar.  Here's a landing page  they have of those and other gardening terms like hybrid, heirloom and open-pollinated. A couple of nuggets from  that page : Many commonly available plants are varieties or cultivars, with interesting features that make them more desirable than the straight species.  Some cultivars are patented, making it illegal to propa

An Early Look at Some (Potential) Priority Projects - January 2023

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This post is laden with caveats.  Potential, Early, Initial.  I'm thinking of this as a sort of mental workshop via blog post writing and publishing.  What better way to force ones self to begin to identify, list and rank priorities than to run through some of the potential options.   Priorities?  Yeah...I've done this a few years now - in an attempt to reign myself in when it comes to buying and placing plants.  Starting back in Winter of 2020, I started to write about some 'priority areas' that I knew I wanted to address and those 'areas' ended up being one of the KEY INPUTS (and often the first few items) on my annual Yard and Garden To-Do list.   Having recently published my 2022 'scorecard' , I want to think about where we go in 2023.  Again...I'm going to re-caveat this whole thing:  this is a workshop post.  Just spit-ballin' things here.  It will be messy, but I think it will be helpful.  What this isn't is a full exploration into e

2023 PW Plants Of The Year - January 2023

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Proven Winners has come out with their 2023 plants of the year recently and the list includes a few things of note (for me) that are worth getting to know a bit. Before I run through the ones that standout to me, I thought it was important to remind (myself) what Proven Winners uses as their criteria.  Now...Proven Winners is in the business of selling A LOT of plants, so what they say are their 'winners' are grounded in that:  commerce.  But... here's what they say are their criteria :   Easy to grow Iconic Readily available Outstanding landscape performance Easy to grow...for who?  Them...in their greenhouses?  Or, me the intermediate gardener with a shade-filled yard that lacks irrigation in Zone 5b?   Readily available speaks to their ease of growing, so they're really saying 'easy to grow' twice. That last one:  outstanding performance.  This one is the key.  Again...performance of what?   There are other groups who name X of the year - like the Perennial

Why Didn't My Paperwhites Bloom? January 2023

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We're one month past Christmas.  I think that's enough time to pass for me to officially declare that my PaperWhites are a failure.  No blooms at all.  I bought them in early November - a week-plus ahead of when we traditionally buy and start our Amaryllis bulbs.  But...here's the key (I think):  I bought them from the orange big box store .  I planted them as directed:  in gravel.  And watered them in up to the middle of the bulbs.  They responded immediately.  And strongly.  With a thick, dense and vibrant root mat that came off of each of them.  They also shot up new green shoots from the top of the bulbs.   Based on what I've done before (with Amaryllis bulbs) and what was suggested on the Web, I watered them in with a diluted alcohol mixture .  In an attempt to stunt their growth and keep them from 'flopping over' and getting too leggy.   I last checked-in on these in mid-December.  More than a month after the roots emerged.  And they all had multiple green

2022 Google Maps Location Timeline - January 2023

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Earlier this year, the fine people at Google shared an automatically-created "Timeline" of my travels based on Google Maps and the location tracking via my Android device.  There's lots of worth-while discussion about technology and privacy, but I think this is a pretty good use case for using the technology and information that you personally create by navigating the world into something interesting - and very personal.  I've posted about this recap in the past - here's the version that I shared in early 2021 that covered my COVID year including the 'stay at home' days .  There's a SHARP contrast between Jan and Feb and the rest of the year that the data shows. What about 2022?  We did a little travel and I was back in the office more than in 2021.   Here's a few looks at the data below.  First...modes of travel.  Walking vs. Driving vs. Transit.  Very little walking in January and February.  That's interesting. Similarly...though...driving wa