one week garden stop action
Sunday, August 21 2011
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York
I don't like to miss developments in the garden at this time of year, but since those developments can come too slowly for the impatient, sometimes it's good to go away for a week and come home to see the changes over that time period. When we'd left for Virginia, nearly all the tomatoes were still green and only a few were beginning the transition to red. A week later, many are ripe and many more are a week away from becoming so. The vines themselves have grown a lot, requiring newer, taller poles and more twisty-ties. The sunflowers have made some progress in unfurling their petals, though not as much as expected. Then there is the giant pepper plant with its huge, heatless fruit. It's disappointing chemically, but nevertheless impressive in the way that successful crops in a garden can be.
The overall lushness of the garden and the persistence of puddles in the yard gives further evidence (in addition to the spectacular growth of mold in our house) that rains must have fallen frequently during our absence.
Gretchen's father had given us his old Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer/scanner/fax. Its advantages over our old one, which I'd bought back in 2000, are numerous. The old one only had a parallel interface, while this new one can act as a network printer and can even communicate via WiFi. The only reason Gretchen's father didn't want it was that it was imcompatible with Windows 7. Today I tried it out and found that it could print from a Windows 7 machine (which is good, because Gretchen's main computer runs Windows 7), though all the vaguely-malicious drivers for sending scans from the printer are indeed incompatible. But that's not a big problem; you can still scan to a plugged-in compact flash card and then read from that card over the network (in any operating system) as if it were a network drive.
For the past eight years, we've never used the old inkjet printer for anything except sending faxes, and that will be the main function of its new replacement. Though the old one had been down in her basement library, we decided the new one should be in my laboratory. But to make that work, I'd have to hook up some telephone wires that I'd had to disconnect due to a wiring problem some months ago. So I found myself spending a lot more time than expected taking apart a phone jack, testing the wires for a short, and then putting it all back together again. I was doing this in the wall between the laboratory and teevee room, though this was just a connection point to a wire in the north wall of the laboratory, where ultimately the printer was going to have to live.
While we were away, our DVR managed to copy lots of shows, and today both of us took turns watching our respective (and mutually exclusive) shows, partly just to open up some new hard drive space. A DVR's capacity is not infinite (ours can hold a half terabyte).
Meanwhile, particularly towards evening, the weather was hot and muggy. It was the kind of weather that makes your sweat accumulate until it becomes a nuisance: dripping either down your back, or onto books and electronics.
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