container gardening

Terry got an early start on our container garden this year. She bought tomatoes and peppers several weeks ago, and we got some squash seedlings and Swiss chard the Saturday before last at the annual Gilroy Demonstration garden plant sale.

So now Terry is working on:

  • celebrity and big beef tomatoes
  • relleno, Anaheim, and bell peppers
  • zucchini and crookneck squash
  • pole beans
  • blueberries
  • Swiss chard

and our perennial green onions.

Since it’s all in containers we should be able to maintain our crops while still reducing our water usage in the midst of the drought.

We’re looking forward to lots of home-grown veggies this summer.



For those of you who always thought that “Footsteps in the Sand” was too mawkish and syrupy, and for those of you who are aggravated by the evangelicals who believe that the earth is only six thousand years old and that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, Enjoy!


how things evolve

For a long time I had a regular commute into Silicon Valley. I was normally in the office four or five days a week. A few years after we moved here to Gilroy Terry got a job that allowed her to work from home when she wasn’t on the road. That meant that she generally took care of dinner when I came trudging in after a long day, even though my commute was generally on the train rather than on the freeway.

As my work situation evolved, I was working more and more with people in other locations rather than in my local office, and I was in the office once a week, and then once a month. When my campus closed I became a full-time remote worker.

What also evolved is that I became responsible for dinner. It just happened. These days I generally cook dinner, though I may once in a while ask Terry to fix something. At times she may volunteer a specific dish. But mostly I take care of dinner during the week.

I’m not complaining. I rather enjoy it. It’s just interesting sometimes how things evolve.

recognizing the obvious

I’m off to Houston through Wednesday for work-related meetings. My blog will continue on its regular schedule, however.

Sometimes it takes me a while to recognize the obvious. I guess I’m like most people that way.

When the microwave beeps and I’m not ready to take the food out I’ve long opened and closed the door so it doesn’t keep beeping at me. I realized recently that all I have to do is to press the Stop | Clear button. Duh.

When I’m packing up food in my FoodSaver, it will create the vacuum and then seal the bag automatically. But if there’s not enough empty plastic above the level of the food, sometimes it will create the vacuum but not seal the bag. I just recently realized that when that happens I can press the Seal button and do a manual seal.

We replaced the sliding glass door in the back with a French door many years ago. To lock it you need to turn up the handle and flip the latch. For the longest time I thought you had to do the two simultaneously. It was only recently I realized that you can turn up the handle and then turn the latch. Very convenient if you have something in your hands.


Sacred Music Friday: Salvation Is Created

Music appropriate for Lent.

Salvation is Created by Pavel Tschesnokoff, performed by Northern Lights Chorale, Bruce Phelps, Conductor. Benson Hall, April 24th 2010.

not such a good idea

For some years Terry and I have been drinking a brand of tea which I first discovered in Oklahoma City in the 1980’s. I get the tea through the mail. I first dealt with the founder of the company via postal mail, and now communicate with his daughter via email and order from their Web site. We recently noticed that something wasn’t right with the taste of the tea, and we got a replacement shipment that still wasn’t that light taste we were used to.

I thought maybe I should change my morning drink and perhaps I would enjoy coffee, something I haven’t had for years except in the form of espresso drinks. I bought a bag of Starbuck’s coffee beans, and looked for a single-cup cone filter holder. I had to make three stops to find one, and then was misinformed as to the correct size of filter. That should have told me that something wasn’t right here. If something is taking that much effort, it’s probably not the right thing to be doing. But there was a small supply of filters with the cone, so I proceeded.


My body was out of whack for 24 hours. It’s back to tea for me.

Some experiments are not worth undertaking. Yes, I’m sticking with tea.


radio matters

When I was in Claremont in the mid-1970s, the region’s classical radio station was KFAC. It was a radio station people loved to complain about. The pieces played were too light. Or they played only a single movement of a symphony. Or why did a classical station need to broadcast a syndicated newscast? Of course it would have been easy enough (through good chunks of the day) to turn the dial to the public station KUSC for classical music, but it was, after all, fun to complain.

In 1989, long after I left Claremont, KFAC dropped the classical format and immediately Saul Levine switched his KKGO from jazz to classical. It had, in fact, started out as a classical station. Levine has been in the classical music business in one form or another ever since. In 2007 he switched KKGO to country and moved classical to the 1260 AM frequency he owned. He has had his K-Mozart (KMZT) brand on various frequencies and locations over the past several years. For a short time it was on a relatively weak AM signal in San Francisco.

When Terry and I were in Monterey for our anniversary in March I was scanning the dial on the radio at the hotel to see what kind of listening we might have for the evening. I came across two classical stations, which surprised me, since I didn’t think there was a broadcast FM classical station in Monterey after KBOQ dropped the format. There is KAZU HD2, which is available online or if you have an HD radio, but I wasn’t aware of anything via standard FM broadcast. It turns out that Levine had recently bought the 95.1 and 97.9 frequencies in Salinas/Monterey and they were broadcasting KMZT. Very cool, since, as I discovered when we got home, I can get one or the other in my car radio around town in Gilroy.

InternetRadioI also added KMZT to my internet radio. In fact I booted the San Francisco classical station KDFC off the one-touch buttons in favor of KMZT, and relegated it to my menu list. I felt a bit guilty about that, since KDFC has been around forever and I’ve been a member since they made the switch from commercial to non-commercial in 2011. I also felt a bit guilty about moving KAZU HD2 lower down in my one-touch list and listening more to KMZT.

I’m not sure, though, why I should feel guilty. KDFC tends to do the same thing that we accused KFAC of in the 1970s – being a little too light in their programming choices. As for KAZU, they simply broadcast the NPR classical service out of Minneapolis. I assume, though I don’t know, that KMZT is programmed out of Los Angeles. So if I enjoy it the most, why not keep tuned there.

We will, however, continue to listed to KAZU HD2 on Sunday evenings. I love Valerie Kahler’s sexy voice, and I enjoy her musical selections, which often trend in the direction of sacred music.

The nice thing is that I have plenty of choices when it comes to classical music.

remembering what’s important

I’ve long known that my friend Tahoe Mom has chosen to forego Sunday morning worship in a church in favor of a quiet, meditative Sunday morning at home. What is interesting is that she wrote about that a week ago Sunday, which was the same Sunday that I skipped church.

waferIt was, in fact, the first time in umpteen weeks that I had I skipped church. I simply needed a break in the midst of Lent. But I didn’t spend the time in quiet and meditation. I slept in, had breakfast, did my normal New York Times and Trader Joe’s run (which are close to St. John’s by the way), did major yard work (and was sore Monday), took Tasha for her walk, sat down and did my monthly bill pay routine, and prepared dinner to put in the pressure cooker. All work all day. I was none the better for having skipped church that day.

I need the Bread and the Wine, but every once in a while I seem to need to miss it in order to remind me how much I really do need it. And it was good to be back this past Sunday to experience it again.

Putting Away Childish Things

PuttingAwayPutting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith
Marcus J. Borg
HarperCollins Publishers, April 2010, 356 pages
Amazon Kindle Edition $9.78, Amazon Paperback  $13.17

Marcus Borg is known as a scholar of religion with a distinctly liberal perspective. His nonfiction books on the Bible, religion, and theology reflect that perspective. This is his first foray into fiction.

The book is about Kate, a passionate, young tenure-track professor of religion at a small liberal arts college. She is invited to apply for a one-year visiting professorship at a well-known liberal school of theology. One of the professors there was formerly at the college where she received her B.A., and Kate had a brief affair with him shortly after graduation. There are a couple of sub-plots as well, but Kate’s dilemma as to whether she should apply for the position and whether she should accept it if offered is the core of the book. The pivotal issue is that doing so could jeopardize her tenure at her current school.

The book held my attention. I sympathized with and cared about Kate, and I loved being immersed in the environment of academia. I thought there was some padding in the book, in that Borg quoted both passages that Kate read in her daily devotions and passages from reading assignments given to her students. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and loved experiencing the world that Borg created. I was sad to leave it.

Sacred Music Friday: Panis Angelicus

The choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Panis Angelicus, setting by Cesar Franck