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Personal Product Review

My personal order from my Caf Press store came in today, and I’m pretty pleased. First off, despite multiple spell-checkings, I was paranoid I had misspelled something somewhere, but I did not, so that was good. I got my myself my “I Hate Your Politics” White T-Shirt, my Athena Starchild Mouse Pad and the “I Hate Your Politics” Mug, and all came in nicely printed and legible — the last of these being of mild concern because, after all, there’s a lot of text on these things. Of all the pieces, I think the mug comes out looking the best, probably because it’s got a bit of color to it. I actually got two mugs because Krissy wants to take one to work — here’s hoping she doesn’t actually get fired for it.

Anyway, at this point if you feel you must buy a single John Scalzi product, I’d go for the mug. This is not to dissuade you from buying anything else, mind you, if you have your heart set on a t-shirt or the mousepad. But if you just can’t decide, go for the mug. If you feel like you can get through life without having something with my name on it, I’ll live. Somehow.

I’m giving some thought to adding more product, since it costs me nothing to do so and I’m vain. I’ll mull it over and let you all know what I decide to do. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Ghlaghghee perusing my new mug and apparently objecting to something in, around, or about it. Can’t please everyone.

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How Does Our Garden Grow

Being that we live the country life and all, it’s only natural that we should have a garden, and by “we,” I mean my wife and my father-in-law, since any attempt my me to grow something from the earth is doomed to hideous, depressing failure. My wife and FIL do not have these problems; they plant something in the ground and it grows, joyfully, sprouting and blooming and growing until the two of them come along to yank the literal produce right from them. Talk about alienation from one’s work. If plants had political affiliations, they’d all be Marxists.

The garden is pretty large — larger, in fact, than our entire front yard back when we lived in Virginia, and large enough that there’s no way each year that we can possibly eat all the produce that grows in it — we end up canning enough tomatoes to power Chef Boy-ar-dee for a year and foisting Ball jars of preserves on friends, family and random passersby. Come along to the house in September or October and when you get back home all your neighbors will think you stopped off at a farmer’s market. That’s a hint.

In this year’s garden we have potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, radishes, and several other plants that I am assured are edible at some point. In terms of long term investments, we have asparagus, growing in that box in the front of the picture, and blackberrys, whose trailing vines are supported by wires hung from those crosses (so, no, we’re not crucifying our produce). Neither the asparagus nor the blackberry plants will produce anything appreciable in the first year, so by planting these things, we’ve signaled our intention to stick around, I suppose (our 30-year-mortgage also suggests such, just not as verdantly).

Our house is situated on former farmland, and we’re surrounded by farms as well, so not entirely surprisingly, the garden grows like gangbusters. Even someone with a black thumb like myself can understand why New England farmers crawled over each other to abandon their rockstrewn plots of land and head west to the Ohio territory as soon as it opened up: There’s rich soil, hardly any rocks, and humid but largely temperate weather. If you can’t grow something in Ohio, it’s likely you can’t grow it at all (except maybe bananas and palm trees), or, like me, everything green thing you touch dies screaming.

I don’t mind. I’m not the gardening type anyway. I’ll just enjoy some of the couple thousand tomatoes we’ll undoubtedly have by the end of the summer. My contribution to the gardening process is consumption. And that, I do well.

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