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Amparo Bertram

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04:40 pm: The waiting game
The supervisor shadowing days have been going pretty well so far. No word yet from the chief regarding our schedule, which means we're all still in limbo as far as making future plans is concerned. For example, several months ago I registered for a convention over Memorial Day Weekend (which I was going to have off); now I have no idea whether I'll be able to attend. The continued uncertainty is frustrating and stressful.

I only had a one-day weekend, so I accomplished as much as I could. I managed to get the front yard relatively weed free. It's sprinkling a bit this weekend, so I grabbed several old, uneaten CSA carrots that had been sitting around in the refrigerator and planted them in the front yard. Hopefully the light rain will help them settle in, and I'll get pretty white flowers this summer.

Speaking of flowers, my wisteria buds are finally beginning to open. I can only imagine how pretty it will look in a couple years when the vines have covered the entire top of the pergola.

I managed to harvest another couple stalks of asparagus, which I chopped up and added to a quiche. The hard thing about growing so many perennials is waiting years before they get to full production.

Comments

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From:megory
Date:April 6th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Your wisteria are absolutely gorgeous! Looking up at them to the blue sky above makes them look very lacy. It's a beautiful look for Easter!

I'm glad they are shadowing your team at work. I hope the supervisors are able to see the wisdom in the way things are done right now and can all advocate for things that make good sense.
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 6th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
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I hope the supervisors are able to see the wisdom in the way things are done right now and can all advocate for things that make good sense.

It would be nice if that were the case. However, the latest word from our union representative is that the chief is throwing everything from our proposal out the window and making up an utterly insane schedule for us. It looks like we're headed for a rough time.
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From:megory
Date:April 6th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)
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It didn't occur to me to mention this before, but I wish it had. I'm reading a book on my Kindle called "Nonviolent Communication: a Language of Life." (There's a second edition available now.) It's a super quick read, and it could have some ideas that might help your message to her be more acceptable. I know that you are not actually able to speak to your chief directly, but there might be something in the book that could be helpful.

I am so sorry it is coming to this. I know that the second week of observations isn't over yet. Maybe speaking to the supervisors using any of the tips from the book might produce something good. (I'm the eternal optimist and would love to see it not come down to a rough time for everyone.)
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 7th, 2015 12:40 am (UTC)
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Maybe speaking to the supervisors using any of the tips from the book might produce something good.

It's a nice thought, but in this situation, it isn't likely to do any good. She's just fixated on getting her way, and she doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks.
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From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 7th, 2015 12:09 pm (UTC)
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Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that. I really had hopes that things were going to work out okay.

If you're in for a tough time, I only hope it will be over quickly and your job will be awesome again soon.
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 7th, 2015 11:00 pm (UTC)
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I really had hopes that things were going to work out okay.

The chief is apparently looking to run her schedule ideas past the union representative in a face-to-face meeting. The rep is hoping that I can attend (because I have a reputation for remaining calm, whereas other handlers tend to yell and swear) to present our case. Maybe that will help.

If you're in for a tough time, I only hope it will be over quickly and your job will be awesome again soon.

Some of the proposed changes leaked to us are extremely drastic. We are fairly certain that if the chief gets her way, the canine seizure numbers will take a nosedive. The big question is whether she cares. If she does (or if someone in the chain above her does), then we may have a chance to fix things in a couple months when we can point to the numbers.
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From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 8th, 2015 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Good luck in your meeting! I hope that goes well, or, if not, that the changes won't last long.

It just really sucks that someone had to come along and try to ruin your awesome job.
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From:mangaroo
Date:April 7th, 2015 01:38 pm (UTC)
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:-(

For the short term, i will hope that this doesn't disrupt your convention plans.
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 7th, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
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For the short term, i will hope that this doesn't disrupt your convention plans.

I really hope that the chief is willing to honor my existing plans and allow me to take annual leave, even if she puts me on a different schedule. I've asked, but have not received a reply yet.
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From:sara_tanaquil
Date:April 12th, 2015 12:57 am (UTC)
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Ugh, I missed this update earlier. I will keep hoping for the best. Why must supervisors suck? (I have been lucky to have some good immediate supervisors, but university administration is universally detested for a reason.)
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 15th, 2015 04:32 am (UTC)
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The wisteria is gorgeous. How long does it take for asparagus to go into full production?
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 16th, 2015 01:31 pm (UTC)
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How long does it take for asparagus to go into full production?

Generally, about 3 years. It definitely needs patience.
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 18th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC)
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3 years!? Isn't that almost like many fruit bearing trees?

I just remembered - were you in Niigata for a while? I'm debating if I should take a trip to Itoigawa geo park in Niigata. Any advice?

I hope your weekend is going well.
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 18th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)
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3 years!? Isn't that almost like many fruit bearing trees?

It can be...though trees generally take 3-7 years, so three would be on the low end. The important thing is that they spend that time establishing a strong root system to sustain themselves for the long term.

I'm debating if I should take a trip to Itoigawa geo park in Niigata. Any advice?

I haven't gone there personally, since it was a long way from where I lived. But if you enjoy hot springs, Niigata has got you covered.
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 19th, 2015 01:01 am (UTC)
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I see, I see! Should the grower prune flowers to prevent fruit bearing in the first 3 years to help conserve energy of the young tree?

I do enjoy hot springs. In fact, I'm going to Yu no shima (湯の島) in Gero, Gifu this time. Have you been? I'll let you know what I think. =P

Itoigawa seems difficult to tour without renting a car and I'm not really sure if I want to go through the trouble of renting one. The suggested "hiking trails" are essentially a 2 lane road with no shoulders. With many blind turns, I'm not exactly sure if it's safe for long distance hikers.

The Hokuriku shinkansen makes getting to Kanazawa through Nagano much easier now. I'll be using it this time. Have you had a chance to use it?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 19th, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Should the grower prune flowers to prevent fruit bearing in the first 3 years to help conserve energy of the young tree?

I doubt there is any need to do so. From what I've seen, the tree either doesn't produce flowers or succumbs to early fruit drop if it's not ready. The only time I've heard picking off flowers to be useful is for blueberries.

In fact, I'm going to Yu no shima (湯の島) in Gero, Gifu this time. Have you been?

I've never stopped in Gifu. I've heard it's nice, though.

Have you had a chance to use it?

I've never used that one, I always traveled on the Jouetsu Shinkansen.
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 22nd, 2015 05:05 am (UTC)
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I see... My blueberry plants have stopped growing larger since last year and they are only 1 foot tall. In your experience, do you think I should pick off the flowers to promote growth?

I just looked on HyperDia. Hokuriku shinkansen wouldn't work well for going to Niigata. You are right. Jouetsu is the way to go. =P
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 22nd, 2015 10:30 pm (UTC)
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In your experience, do you think I should pick off the flowers to promote growth?

Picking off the flowers doesn't promote vertical growth, it just prevents the plant from pouring energy into fruit production while its roots are immature. So if the plant is still young, or recently transplanted, it might help the plant grow a better root system. That won't necessarily make the plant grow taller; blueberries tend to respond to light levels when it comes to vertical growth. (That is, they grow taller in the shade, they stay short in full sun.)
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 22nd, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
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I see... How interesting.

Are blueberries well suited for the foggy weather in San Francisco? After how many years do they age and produce less fruits?
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 26th, 2015 01:38 am (UTC)
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Are blueberries well suited for the foggy weather in San Francisco?

About as good as any shade-tolerant fruit, probably. It depends on the variety, though. The biggest problem is chill hours in the winter. The southern highbush varieties don't need as much cold in the winter, so they do better.

Keep in mind that there are dwarf varieties that are supposed to stay short. So if your plant has stopped growing, it may be a dwarf.

After how many years do they age and produce less fruits?

They should last decades.
[User Picture]
From:jojobruin
Date:April 28th, 2015 06:07 am (UTC)
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Right, I read southern highbush varieties do better in milder winters. Thanks for confirming that. Let's hope it's the dwarf variant because they haven't grown any taller for a year.

What do you think the sunlight requirement for raspberry and blackberry? How well do they tolerate partial or full shade?

Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 28th, 2015 01:07 pm (UTC)
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What do you think the sunlight requirement for raspberry and blackberry? How well do they tolerate partial or full shade?

In nature, brambles are undergrowth plants (they can grow under the canopy of trees in a forest), so they're fine in shade.
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From:jojobruin
Date:April 30th, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
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I see! Cool. That renews my hope. It also confirms my suspicion that I'm the one causing them to underproduce last year. Not sure what I did wrong though... In fact, I'm so clueless I'm not even sure what to ask you. Hmm.
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