Gray Flannel Dwarf


What were they thinking?

Now, I can’t consider myself an expert gardener. I like to grow vegetables in the summertime, but that’s about my limits. I do know how to do a little research before I grow something, though.

Similarly, I can understand if someone makes an honest mistake, and plants say, one evil, vicious little plant in a yard. But three?

I’ve mentioned my battles with wisteria before, and I kept ours mostly under control this year. Nonetheless, I went out there today with a saw and separated the top of the bush from the bottom. Literally “separated”, due to the fact that the massive numbers of vines and shooters are permanently attached to an almost dead tree already. I took the saw to the vine, sawed through both trunks and three major branches… and the result is this disembodied wisteria body hovering three inches above the stump. I will Round-Up the sonofabish later.

In any case, reading some more on the web about it, I found out that the Butterfly Bush we have is also an invasive plant in some locales. No wonder it grew so big.

Wisteria, English Ivy, and now Buddleja…all of these things were planted by the previous owners of this house. Genius!


Have merci on me

Sometimes, when your college degree is rarely used, it makes itself known at odd times, resulting in somewhat obscure jokes that no one gets.

Someone was talking about thousand island salad dressing. I mentioned that I don’t really like it, that I never liked French dressing in the first place. I then went on to say that thousand island was a salad dressing experiment that went horribly wrong. And then…

“It’s like the maginot line of salad dressings.”

Where the heck did that come from? Oh yeah. That history/poli sci thing.

I’m sure this happens to jess (and probably catfish) all the time, too.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:32 am


The Peak of Good Taste

I was a bit surprised this morning to hear an ad on the radio for Nissan of Apex, to the tune of “Jingle Bells”, featuring the line, “Just minutes from the chemical spill.”

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 4:06 pm

Smart Money…

…I hope.

I just got notice in the mail of the impending (February!) expiration of my home warranty. Of course, therein they also supplied a number to indicate how much it would cost to renew.

Well, I can’t remember offhand how much it was last year, but it certainly wasn’t $489.

Now, I’m not gonna bust the chops of my current home warranty company — they’ve done a great job getting coverage claims taken care of, I can’t complain too much. But nearly $500 for a warranty seemed a bit steep… and with a kid on the way, every little bit counts.

Enter USAA… they’ve got a recommendation for another company, and through them, I saved about $150 on this company’s base coverage package. It may differ slightly, but it’s about the same. Tack that hundred back on to get AC coverage (which isn’t included in their base) and my home warranty is going to be about $380-ish. Not so bad.

One thing this new provider doesn’t cover as base are the washer/dryer/refrigerator appliances. I could tack that on for another hundred, too. I deemed that coverage unnecessary, however. One weird thing I learned when moving to NC was that, generally speaking, these major appliances don’t convey when a home sale occurs. Dunno why — maybe it’s the market, or maybe the market in DC was just so off-kilter — not sure. Either way, I was surprised to have to buy these items upon moving down here. In any case, because of this, they’re all less than two years old in our home, so I would think I could avoid warranty, at least for a while. Didn’t have that option with the old company, who threw everything and the (ahem) kitchen sink into the mix for one fee.

In the end, lower home warranty costs, and the claim deductible is fifteen bucks cheaper too. I trust USAA’s recommendation, and am hoping it works out in the long run.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 10:19 am


And Thus, the Woodwork Begins to Utter its Revelations

So what are we seeing, this day after the 2006 elections?

First there’s Rumsfeld’s resignation — which honestly shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone… when you have people calling from within the military for it, that stings more than any partisan attack.

But what do we see next? Oh-ho! Have we, dare I say, forgotten Poland? Lest we have, the newest news from our most-referenced ally of the 2004 election is that they’re saying they were misled into joining the war?

Warsaw decided to take part in the war with Iraq on grounds of untrue information which it received from the US administration – former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski has told a German daily.

The resistance, those hiding, those biting their tongues for so long are now coming out of the woodwork. That Kwasniewski’s statement comes so soon on the tail end of the US elections I don’t think is a coincidence, and I think we’ll see a lot more, both from within the confines of American walls and outside.

Mr President, your arrogance in national and international affairs has been supported by deception, unsurpassed unitarianism and outright hot air. But this most recent news is just another whiff of the stagnant stench this administration has been trying to bottle up for six years now. I don’t think it will be the last, however… and perhaps your biggest problem is that you’ll no longer be able to sell it.

If anyone can find an English-translated copy of the German article above, that would be great.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 3:29 pm

So, interesting.

A few of my less-malignant thoughts.

* Mr President, you’ve not only exhausted your political capital, you’ve maxed out your credit line and are a bit delinquent on payments.

* One of the talking heads on TV last night pondered how the next two years would pass for the GOP and the President. I hope they pass about as well as a kidney stone.

* I’d bet even money that Santorum ends up with a teaching job or some sort of lecture post at Patrick Henry College… it’s pretty damned close to his Virginia home.