Monday, July 30, 2007

It's is starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Stuck 500 'Prestige' Red Poinsettia cuttings fresh in from Guatemala today. Students will manage them throughout the fall in Greenhouse Operations and then there will be a sale just after Thanksgiving. I actually got to spend time in the greenhouse today :-) ..........don't tell anyone I was having fun.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Attack of the Tomato Killers

Christine has a couple of tomato plants out back and recently, over a couple of days, the plants became about 30% defoliated. The culprit was Manduca quinquemaculata or the Tomato Hornworm. Ultimately it makes a beautiful Hawk moth, but it takes a lot of Solanaceous leaves to accomplish that goal. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing one of these things...they have mass. This one was about 4 inches long and maybe an inch around.

Look at those little appendages designed for shredding tomato leaves :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A day to forget...

I was at the Kansas City Airport by 7:30 am for a 9:00 am flight. The flight was overbooked, so I volunteered for a four-hour delay, $400.00 voucher, and free upgrade to first class. Things were actually looking good. After all, there was a Starbucks and I had my laptop...I could work.

Just as the final zone is loading the Delta agent calls my name. Someone didn't show, so I can get on the early flight and instead of the goods I get seat 22A and 2 coupons for a free beer, cocktail, or disposable headphones.

I get to Atlanta. Finally get to Starbucks and the barista is a wise ass. She asks my name for the order and as she writes it on the cup she asks me to spell it. OK, now I am worried "B-U-D-D-Y". Simple order nonfat, no whip, Mocha...what I always get. Well she gets a big laugh from the Atlanta crowd at my expense when she loudly calls out my name.

It was pretty funny and the Mocha tasted big deal.

So my turbo-prop connector to Asheville is an hour late. We finally board and a thunderstorm breaks out when about half of us are on the plane. They close the ramp due to lightning. We sit without AC for over an hour. Remind me to thank the inventor of deodorant and curse the people who refuse to be part of the 20th century by using the stuff.

We finally takeoff close to 3 hours late. I arrive in Asheville and just as I head towards the parking lot it starts to pour. On top of the rain, I now have to get through a major Interstate Construction site at rush hour.

This would be a perfect post for Travels and Tribulations, if only this had happened to Bullbunky instead of me :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kansas City, MO - Final Day

...and yes that is Stedman Graham. In addition to inventor Doug Hall, a VP from Boeing, and a VP from Toyota; Stedman spoke!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kansas City, MO - Day 2

OK, every time I travel to a "big city" I feel a bit out of sorts. Lots of bright shiny things (like this sculpture suspended from the lobby ceiling) and lots of dingy, dark, dirty corners. I am not cheap, but even I complain about how much everything costs.

Conventions are designed to separate attendees from their money. From the isolated conference center hotels to the seemingly endless fees attached to everything. Cab rides, airport transfers, and limited eating choices just about do your travel allowance in.

The architecture can be interesting. This is a neat sky walk that leads from my hotel to a mall where I can buy overpriced goods.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kansas City Bound....

This was the view out the window of my departing flight today. I have a thing about appearances. I just think at the airport this should not be the last thing folks see before they leave our area. Western North Carolina is truly a beautiful place to live and I think our airport should reflect that. I am sure it is a budget thing...but this sign has been in disrepair for over a year now.

Now on a more intersting note, I am reading a book by Victoria Finlay entitled Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Some of you know I am a graphic design real skill to speak of, but I love the stuff. This book was reviewed in a magazine and I was intrigued and I have not been disappointed.

So many interesting stories, but here is the most bizarre factoid so far. The female cochineal beetle is white on the outside and feasts on Prickly Pear (Opuntia spp.). Now if you pop one of this little beetles between your fingers a bright red color is produced. This 'dye' is extremely valuable and there are Prickly Pear farms that are infested with cochineal beetles purposely. In the United States the dye is used in eye shadow and Cherry Coke...among other things :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Caveman for a day.

I got to play 'caveman' for a student orientation skit today. It took the makeup artist about two hours to fix me up. She said I was easy because I had many Neanderthal features already and wouldn't require much in the way of prosthetics, but I would need lots of hair :-)

Thinking about walking...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Today Sitting Up, Tomorrow The World...

Christine took this picture of Seamus sitting up on his own today. He can manage the balancing act for about a minute and a half at a time.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Christine has a camera to....

Christine took this picture off the back deck. I know sometimes I mention how nice my bicycle commute into work is, but this gives you a better taste for how magical it can be.

...and what would a blog post be without Seamus :-) Christine took this picture to. That bear and handkerchief size attached blanket is just about his favorite toy/comforter in the world.