Sunday, June 26, 2011
It rained this morning, and it's Sunday, so the dogs and I took the day off. I have some pictures of the muscadine vine showing how far it went in two weeks. First, from June 10. This is the top of the vine.
Then, from June 24, two weeks later, same vine.
You can see that I didn't figure out what to do until the vine was half way up to the second wire, then trained it back down to the first wire when I had two (actually three but I pruned the middle one off) sprouts after I cut it back.
And this is what it looks like now.
That first wire is 67 inches above the ground, and the tip of the growing vine is 18 inches out from the post. The bottom branch is 18 inches out too, but only the last 8 inches are growing along and attached to the wire. It takes three years to get the first crop, I have read, and it will be interesting to see how many other things I do wrong.
The seedless vines all died, then sprouted up again with new growth. One of them has had several of the new leaves shrivel up and die, and I have no idea why. I spray them with neem oil, which is supposed to control everything, but if there is a virus around I guess they are doomed. They all look healthy again right now, but they aren't very large.
The other thing I have is a couple of pictures of me with my head shaved, and one yesterday with 16 days growth. I don't need a pocket comb any more. From the 10th come this:
And then, from yesterday, comes this:
I think I'll just use the dog clippers to keep it about this short - no bother with the barbers any more.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
As far as I know, these are all basal cell skin cancers, which grow slowly. It has been several years since Dr. Albergo froze off the two spots on top of my head, so they have been there a long time. The ones by my eyebrow and on the side of my face are very small. As long as he does the one on top of my head first waiting shouldn't be dangerous (although shaving my head several times can be irritating), and I did put it off two months myself.
The big thing is that with Mohs surgery for a tiny little one you wind up with a hole about the size of a quarter before it is sewn shut. I can't imagine how he will get enough scalp to cover the one on my scalp even if the first ring doesn't show any cancer spreading beyond it. If there are two rings I may wind up shaving my head pretty much forever.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
While I was fussing with the computer I also shaved my head for a visit to the dermatologist. I was shocked to see three lumpy red circles about the size of a quarter (or maybe a nickel for one). He biopsied just five places (all on the left side of my head) and said he would do the left side first and take on the right side later. It turned out that one of the two spots hidden by hair was a cancer and two of the three tiny little things on the side of my face were. He can't do the first one until August 10, and will do only one Mohs surgery at a time. My first appointment was on June 9, so he won't get to the right side of my head until 8 months after starting the left side, if his backlog stays at two months. He suggested that I come back in four months last time but I said six, and now I figure there will be business for him forever. He has a captive audience.
As Art Linkletter said: "Old age is not for sissies."
Monday, June 20, 2011
I have experienced my first virus. After wiping out my computer I got into safe mode once and ran the antivirus through a complete system scan, but it didn't check as many files as it had before, and it said everything was fine (which it wasn't). I finally took this computer to White Hat Computers, and paid $160 to get rid of the virus and save everything on the computer. I had an external hard drive that backed up all of my personal files, but I didn't want to mess with a new computer if I didn't have to.
After a day and a half I got the computer back, and pretty soon I had three antimalware programs running. Two of them found a couple of viruses the first evening, and more the next day, until the computer crashed again almost exactly 24 hours after I got it back. I was angry enough to format the hard drive and reinstall a bald six year old operating system.
In the middle of all this I rented a post office box and bought a new notebook computer - not the best, but running with a dual core Pentium processor, which is better than the one singe processor I had - a 64 bit processor with a 32 bit operating system.
I don't know how many days it has been, but it looks as if I now have both computers up, configured with all the features I like, and with all the personal files I want. I have two copies of all the programs now - one in the external drive and one in this computer. I had them all in the notebook, but decided that I could live with just two copies. All of the ancient software is up to date, and today I got the 2003 Office, which was at 2007 Office status, updated so that it runs all of my Excel files. There was one that it choked on, and I'm not sure but I suspect that it's close to the 2010 versionnow.
At this point I am running just two antimalware programs and hoping for the best. I never experienced a virus before, and formatting the hard drive caused an amazing amount of work to recover. I hope it's my last experience with this. Now I don't know what to do with the post office box I rented while I was planning to go back to paper and mail.
Monday, June 06, 2011
When I'm out walking by myself I have all these neat ideas for a blog, but when it's time to actually write something my mind is blank. I guess I'm going to have to start making notes to trigger my memory. I have a new notebook started because I lost the one I had been using. That's pretty irritating, and may be an indication of advancing age because I looked in my two shoeboxes, and I even have a note from my fraternity when I was a pledge, telling me where to find pigeon droppings between Christmas and New Years. And I did find it. Since I have records all the way back to Case, I suspect that Alzheimer's is creeping up on me.
I mowed the grass this morning, ran the weedeater around the house, shed, fence, and sidewalk and driveway, and then broke out the blower and got rid of the mess left by the weedeater. This is a pretty neat blower - with the concentrator it puts out a 500 MPH jet of air that I used to clean out the mud and wet leaves in the gutter of our park model trailer porch. I was using it without the concentrator, of course, but I found out it could blow the sand out of the piles of the carpet I used to cover the sand on the east side of the garage. I had no idea how much sand was there until I accidentally hit the carpet just inside the gate. When it rains here it's usually a thunderstorm, and the water brings sand down the hill behind the house, over the sidewalk, and out to the street. Living on a sand dune has been a new experience for us.
After that I had a shower and shave and put on clean clothier, and my back hurt. I couldn't figure out why until I remembered picking up the top of the BW's concrete fountain yesterday, but I can't blame her much because after an hour in a recliner I felt fine again.
The Noble variety of muscadine grapes are still shooting up. Both vines put out three shoots after I cut off the growing tip, and I am keeping two. I did plant one cutting from this vine, pulling off the bottom leaf and leaving two baby ones. We'll see if I get another vine. Here are some picture of the south vine.
This is a view from the south, showing that the vine has two shoots - one nearing the top wire (about four inches to go to be at the 5 1/2 foot high wire) and the other unfortunately too high that I will train back down to the lower wire cable. The second picture is just the first one cropped.
These two show the same vine from the north. You can see the tendril wrapped around the clothesline and the highest tiny leaf if you look closely. It's getting close to a right turn, after which it will have 20 feet to go if the seedless grapes don't show a lot more enthusiasm. Three are sending out new leaves, but they look pretty sick to me. I can't wait to see what happens.
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