I've been a combination of busy and devoid of all thought lately. I suppose that's not really going to hurt the Internet's feelings--it's got enough anti-political vitriol laying around to keep it busy for a while. I'm embarrassed to be a South Carolinian right now, but then again I've been embarrassed to be a South Carolinian since at least the last time I lived in South Carolina, which was...2006. I firmly believe the US needs to enact the Wyoming Rule of representation at the very least, though a representative layout more akin to the House of Commons wouldn't go amiss. The House's primary problem right now is that six illiterate farmers and a goat in Idaho currently have the same voice as two million people in Brooklyn, and even the goat's interests were separated out of the rest of the goat voting bloc through gerrymandering. The House of Representatives is in no way representative of the actual interests of the population as a whole or even the individual areas that are nominally represented. Until they manage to do the one thing they're supposed to--Represent the will of the actual people--not impose third-world, unconstitutional religiosity on their unwilling constituents, not draw lines through the middles of cities for the express purpose of silencing communities who they know would be better represented by someone else--they lack any semblance of credibility or authority, and should be dissolved.
My tomatoes got established very late this year--didn't actually get my first fruit until August--and the first week-long wintry windy rainstorm came in mid September and blew in blight, so there went that. I uprooted them yesterday--it's already dark outside by the time I get home from work so I'm limited to dry-ish weekends to prepare my garden for winter. What a waste. I got about 30 or 40 cherry-sized tomatoes off of six vines in five weeks. That's pathetic. Two years ago they produced delicious orbs in their hundreds all summer--this year the snails got to eat more than I did after the fungus took hold and the vines' defences (and flavour) weakened. The apple tree was bizarrely bountiful this year though--probably fifty or more apples on a quite small tree, all quite sweet, crisp and beautiful. Last year there were 0. Two years ago there were 4, all so sour even the foxes wouldn't eat them. Apparently apples like weather that everything else hates--extra long, extra cold, extra dark winters. A good year for apples is a rather lousy year. The courgette, after I got off to a rocky start (of the seeds I planted, one germinated, and once it was established I put it outside to watch it get eaten down to the ground by snails in one night--I swore revenge but no matter how many I throw at the fence those bastards reproduce like the zombie hordes--but then my mother-in-law gave me a healthy young plant and it took off like Beatlemania) has done very well, and indeed is still doing very well. I harvested two yesterday, one which was over 9" long. I'm starting to think that, as tomato growing is so depressing, it might be a good idea to halve that crop, or maybe just not bother with them at all, and fill the space with courgettes. Or maybe other squashes--I bet I could get some pumpkins or butternuts to grow. Or leeks. Something hearty and, y'know, Nordic. I really hope my tulips stick around from this year because I haven't added any new bulbs this year.
I convinced one of my students to get an eye test when she consistently couldn't see what she was doing while welding--I always thought it was too dark until I put my glasses on, then magically I was able to make out the shape of the join by the light of the weld. Hopefully she'll enjoy the same improvement and gain some confidence in the metal shop if it turns out she does need welding glasses.