I’ve had most of my orchid collection in semi-hydroponics for around 4 months now. The verdict is that my orchids seem to love this method of culture and, well, I mostly do, too. Mostly. It does have a few shortcomings. For one, it is a pain in the rear to completely drain the old solution out of the pots, cover the drainage holes, fill the pots to the brim with water, and then drain them completely to flush out any salt build-up or decaying organics.
I really don’t remember when I first heard of Linux but I do vaguely remember the first time I saw a Linux desktop. I was at my friend Mitch’s place in the very late 90’s and he had it running. I remember he said something about “X Windows” and I remember thinking it was ugly but neat. He was the only friend I had who shared my love of computers though his skills and knowledge were (and still are) greatly beyond my own.
If you use either LibreOffice Online or Collabora CODE, you’ve probably noticed that a healthy chunk of the menubar area is taken up by an icon that looks like colored diamond with a folded corner as well as a block of text (if the browser window is wide enough). I think these projects are great and I believe they deserve to splash their branding within their products as they see fit but, in practice and for reasons I can’t explain, I get irritated when I see it.
Since starting my orchid collection, I’ve always used traditional media such as orchid bark and sphagnum moss in either traditional glazed ceramic orchid pots or plastic net pots. There are a number of shortfalls and inconveniences to this method, the biggest of which is the investment of both time and money required to replace the media every one to two years as it breaks down. To combat this and the need to frequently water when using traditional media, Ray Barkalow developed a culture method called semi-hydroponics.
Earlier today my family welcomed its newest member, Jordy Kruszka! I’m excited to add a nephew to my collection and therefore gain even more awesome guncle powers. He’s a healthy little guy and both he and my sister are doing great.
If you ever had the pleasure of meeting our Golden Shepherd puppy, Charlie, it is with a heavy heart that I report that this morning we had to make that terrible choice all pet owners dread having to face. He was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphatic carcinoma over 9 weeks ago, a disease that is usually terminal within 6 weeks of diagnosis. He was doing remarkably well until this weekend when his breathing became labored and shallow and he started having frequent fits of coughing as he struggled for air.
Today, a dream is coming true for me thanks to my unbelievable boyfriend, my amazingly generous sister and her husband, and my flexible and reasonable work. I grew up and even started college in Arkansas. As a kid, I hated it. I thought there was nothing to do. I didn’t think much of the locals. I yearned for beaches and cities and more excitement! Partially in pursuit of those, I moved to Florida in August of 2000.
Kenny and I went on an expedition to see if we could spot carnivorous plants in Longleaf Pine Preserve for my birthday. There are reports of Drosera capillaris, Drosera brevifolia, Sarracenia minor, Pinguicula caerulea, and Pinguicula lutea in the area and I was excited about the prospect of observing carnivorous plants in situ. The preserve has wide paths with ample room. There were large patches of Mimosa strigillosa, many of which were flowering.
I ordered some Typhonium venosum corms from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs at the end of April. They were shipped quickly and arrived well-packed on May 4th. I planted them immediately in the only spare planter I had. Ten days later, they were already almost the length of my hand. This is them on May 14th. After only 16 days, May 20th, the tallest flower spike was 16 inches tall and had averaged an inch of growth per day!
Kenny and I met up with our friends Anthony, Allen, Clayton, and Ryan to see Muse, Thirty Seconds To Mars, and PVRIS at the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, FL. PVRIS was a great opening act. They were followed by Thirty Seconds To Mars. Jared Leto has a lot of energy. It started pouring before Muse came on which was pretty inconvenient for those of us on the lawn.
That we understand it is ethical to terminate an animal’s life under certain circumstances without even getting the consent of the animal but we can’t accept that a human has the capacity to choose to terminate their own life baffles me. We should be discussing the wrong and right ways, the wrong and right times, the ineligible and eligible people. This is like abortion, drug policy, and sex education. Determined people will find a way so let’s arm them to make safer decisions that are better for everyone instead of trying to shame and bully them.
Well, it is time for more surgery. My doctor identified a developing inguinal hernia about two years ago and it has finally become enough of a problem that it required surgery. There were a lot of delays at the hospital. I arrived at 9:30 and didn’t go into surgery until late in the afternoon. This is the area before surgery. The surgeon helpfully marked the correct side with a sloppy “yes”.
Kenny and I attended a presentation titled “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies” by Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Walt Disney Theater in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, FL. It was an entertaining review of when movies got science right and when they got it hilariously wrong. The photo above is just a shot of the gorgeous theater before Dr. Tyson took the stage.
I am expendable. That is the lesson this election has driven into my head. I am expendable and so many of my countrypersons proudly hold an incredible amount of contempt for people like me and my marginalized friends. My employer didn’t offer me health insurance until they were forced to under the ADA. I have relied on that insurance to be able afford the doctors visits, medication, corrective lenses, and even surgery I needed to make my life more livable.
There was a Puscifer concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. We went and it was a crazy, entertaining show. For those keeping track, that makes twice in 2016 that we’ve seen Maynard live.
I have a tiny indoor garden full of carnivorous plants. They are thriving and it brings me joy. I find it very relaxing to care for these little charges. Perhaps if I lived in a more tolerable climate, I’d be into fuller scale gardening. Across the back, left to right: Dionaea muscipula (‘dente’ Venus flytrap), Sarracenia spp. (Carolina yellow jacket pitcher plant), Drosera capensis (cape sundew). Front: Drosera aliciae (Alice’s sundew), Pinguicula primuliflora (primrose butterwort), Cephalotus follicularis (Albany/Australian pitcher plant), Dionaea muscipula (‘Red dragon’/‘akai ryu’ Venus fly trap)
I had some blood work done as a part of a routine physical last year that indicated hypercalcemia (increased calcium in my blood). My doctor ordered some additional blood work to verify the results and narrow down the cause. Life was a little crazy at the time, I wasn’t that concerned, and I hate needles so I didn’t get around to the follow-up blood work until August of this year. The hypercalcemia was still present as was abnormally high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Kenny and I went to see Brand New and Modest Mouse at the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, FL.
I’m pretty sick of “he shouldn’t have resisted.” I’m pretty sick of “he had a gun.” I’m pretty sick of waking up every day to find out more lives have been taken by people who are supposed to be there to help. Resisting arrest shouldn’t be a capital punishment. Having a gun shouldn’t be a capital punishment. Complying with an officer’s request for your license and registration with your seatbelt on shouldn’t be a capital punishment.
It’s been found to deliver “no significant effect” , produce “no significant difference” , and have “no effect” . Please stop wasting your breath. 1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11761499 (2001) 2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16023511 (2005) 3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567 (2006)
I appreciate those who reached out. I am safe. I am heartbroken and horrified but safe. But I have a lot to say about two of the most dangerous and toxic pillars of American society. This weekend, religion and guns combined to rip out the heart of a community. People who so often needed a safe place were murdered in their sanctuary. I know another emotional Facebook rant won’t budge the needle but it is cathartic nonetheless.
This is just a quick pic I took with my niece while Kenny and I were visiting my sister and her family in West Bend, WI. Isn’t she the cutest?!
We weren’t allowed to take a picture during his show, so this is a picture of an empty stage that would soon have Bill Maher on it. Kenny and I went to see him at the Maxwell C. King Center in Melbourne, FL.
I took Kenny to see Florence + The Machine at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. It was an amazing show. Florence is really friendly and adorable and energetic.
I was honored to be invited to be a join a great friend’s wedding party. I brought this handsome fella as my date. We clean up pretty nicely, right?
If anyone is interested in trading out Ubuntu Touch for Android on their Aquaris M10 FHD, here’s a quick how-to (and un-how-to). It should go without saying that you will lose all data on the internal storage and that this is probably dangerous in some way and could even brick your device! To switch to Android: Step 1. Download and extract the flash tool. Step 2. Download and extract the Android image.
Kenny, his sister, and I got to see Tool at the CFE Arena in Orlando, FL. This was a concert I’d been waiting my entire adult life to see. I’m so happy we were able to experience this together. The show sold out in SECONDS so we had to pay pretty steeply for tickets but it was entirely worth it. This was also the first time I got to meet his sister, Heather, who flew into town for the concert.
You guys… I’ve been an uncle for about 40 minutes. I’ve got a healthy, beautiful little 6 pound 7 ounce, 19.5 inch niece. Everyone welcome Annika Lynn Kruszka into the world! :‘)
Kenny and I got to see President Barack Obama when he made a re-election campaign stop at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL.
I mean to write this every year but never get around to it in time. I have a lot of reasons to dislike the holiday season. The primary reasons are the compulsory gift-giving, the layers of lies perpetuated to new generations, and the renewed loss of hope in humanity… but I’ll save that rant for another day. I’m writing this to tell you why you shouldn’t get me a gift, provide you with the few types of gifts I will accept, and (as extra motivation) tell you what I’ll do to unacceptable gifts.