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Amparo Bertram

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09:34 pm: On the fence
When I remodeled my kitchen nearly two years ago, I added a dishwasher for extra convenience. The main problem with dishwashers, though, is that they're not great at getting cheese off of things. Since most of my washable items, particularly silverware, end up with cheese of one kind or another on them, I have to rinse them off before I load them in the dishwasher.

I am right handed, so I hold the sponge in my right hand, while the silverware is in my left hand. The dishwasher is on the right side of the sink, because that's the only place it would fit. Therefore, every time I wash a piece of silverware, I have to reach diagonally across and down to place it in the silverware basket. Doable, but awkward, and I generally end up dripping water on the floor while I'm at it.

Tonight I had a brilliant revelation. I can take the silverware basket out of the dishwasher and put it directly in the sink, so I don't have to reach anywhere, I can just drop the silverware directly into it. You can tell my eight years of college paid off, right? ~_~

In less exciting news, Management officially announced our new schedule this week...and it's exactly the same as the one they proposed before, without making a single concession based on our concerns and objections. We pretty much figured that's what they would do, but it's still disappointing. Thus, we will be meeting with the union lawyer sometime in the next few days to start the grievance process. At least I now know my schedule through most of June.

This weekend the weather has been rather dismal, with heavy cloud cover and chilly wind. I worked out in the yard as much as I could during the warmest part of the afternoon, trying to clear out more weeds. The blackberries are in full bloom now, with bees constantly buzzing around them. I should have a great crop before too long. I also spotted a plum on my Santa Rosa tree, though I have no illusions that I'll actually get to harvest it before a squirrel steals it. The cucumbers and squash plants are doing quite well; the extra compost I added to the raised beds back in winter seems to have had a positive effect.

I've been having fence contractors come out to see the yard to give me an estimate for putting in a beagle-proof fence. That's my main home improvement goal for this year. Looking ahead to adopting Benny got me scanning the local animal shelter web page to see what kind of dogs they have, in case I want to adopt a companion for him. It turns out their dog population is about 80% chihuahuas, with most of the rest some kind of pit bull. They also have BUNNIES. (Not that I would get a bunny as a companion for a beagle, but they're cute to look at.)

I just got the results back for the board game trade that I'm participating in next weekend for KublaCon, and it's quite positive. I offered 12 games/game promo items in the trade, and I ended up with 8 matches, so that's a pretty good ratio. I even managed to trade away a bag full of Bleach manga (with a board game promo) in exchange for a game, so that saves them from the recycling bin.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:jojobruin
Date:May 23rd, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Sorry I'm late!

Small things in life can make a BIG difference. Glad you figured out an easier way to place your dishes.

The age old story of management pushing ahead a problematic agenda lives on. I was hoping they'd make some concession. Will filing a grievance against them affect your future? Wish you best of luck!

Yes, last weekend was chilly. I was out on the archery range, getting my fingers frozen off in the gold gate park. This weekend seems a bit more promising.

I didn't know you have squirrel problems too. My deck gets raided by squirrels at least 4 or 5 times day. Even the thorny branches of the berry plants aren't enough to deter them from grabbing, biting and jumping at the fruits. I always hear how much you get to harvest. How do you manage to keep any of your crops?

Congrats on your plum! What does "raising beds" do?

Have you decided on Benny already?

I hope you have a nicer warmer weekend.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 24th, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC)
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Will filing a grievance against them affect your future?

If you mean, will they retaliate? That's not allowed, and would be grounds for another grievance, probably even more serious.

I always hear how much you get to harvest. How do you manage to keep any of your crops?

I still lose a lot, particularly from the fruit trees (figs, apples, persimmons) and grapes. It helps to have fruits that ripen to a yellow/green color, because then it's harder for the animals (particularly birds) to tell when they are ready. For example, I grow yellow raspberries instead of red or purple. Using netting over bushes and trees helps protect fruit from birds (though it doesn't really affect squirrels).

What does "raising beds" do?

It has a couple of benefits. For one thing, it prevents me from accidentally stepping on the growing area and compressing the soil. (Plant roots have a harder time growing through compressed soil.) Also, higher areas warm up sooner in the spring. The edges of the beds help to contain any compost that I add, so that it doesn't spill out into the walking paths where it would be wasted.

Have you decided on Benny already?

I've known for years that I would adopt Benny when he retires.

[User Picture]
From:jojobruin
Date:May 26th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Right, I know retaliation is not allowed. Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped management from doing that. I've seen that happen to staff at hospitals. I hope all goes well with the grievance process.

Thanks for the tips on netting and fruit color when ripe. I'll remember them.

Does your raised bed look like this? http://eartheasy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/raised-garden-beds-01.jpg

Have you posted any images of your garden lately? Just curious and wanting to live vicariously through yours. =P

When will Benny retire? I love dogs. I'm happy to hear he'll have a nice home after he retires.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 27th, 2015 01:00 pm (UTC)
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Does your raised bed look like this?

Similar, but mine are edged with brick.

Have you posted any images of your garden lately?

Not since the wisteria in April. I'll probably post something about the beans in a few weeks when they are bigger.

When will Benny retire?

He's got one more year to go.
[User Picture]
From:jojobruin
Date:May 30th, 2015 07:25 am (UTC)
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Wow, the bricks look nice! The color and layout somehow reminded me of Mario Bro from Nintendo. =P Did you lay the bricks too? They are perfectly stacked - very professional looking.

Cool, I'll wait for an update when you think your beans are ready. Can't wait to see them!
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