Sunday Morning Garden Chat: “Zen and the Art of Something or Other “

From the gifted, inimitable Ozark Hillbilly:

The so named by my wife ‘Zen Garden’ is finished. Well, for now anyway.

We had a pain in the ass postage stamp’s worth of lawn between the car port and the house that cried out for… Something. I knew back in 2017 when I dug up the old flagstone path and poured a sidewalk that… Something would happen there, I just didn’t know what. During the ’17-’18 winter I built the flower beds y’all saw last year but even then I knew that… Something more was called for. This past winter I bought a 50 gallon kidney shaped “pond”, just like I always knew I would.

For the first few months I just kind of moved it around to see where and how it worked best. I knew that by itself it was lacking and that… Something more would be needed. Obviously we would need a place to sit and a place to park our feet. We would also need to walk to the bench and past because our trash cans are on the far side of it. Also I would need to plant… Somethings or others. All of this required a lot of digging, including the removal of the top 4-6″ of “soil” (actually a concrete like accretion of clay, potosi dolomite, and chert).

Then I set the treated 4x4s for everything to be built on. Laying out the curves for the decking was mostly by trial and error. I could have planned it all ahead of time and worked out the math on paper but that would have made sense and required planning, which after 35 years of following blueprints to the fraction of an inch, I am averse to these days.

When all that was built I was finally able to plant some stuff behind the bench. I had originally planned on a Japanese maple but DUH! I can always use another redbud. The ground covers are a mix: Hosta, Deadnettle, Creeping phlox, wild violets, and a couple primrose. No doubt that will change.

Meanwhile I was also working on the fountain, forming and pouring the concrete for it. I used a ‘lightweight’ concrete formula (sand, portland, peat moss)(not very lightweight) for the catch basins. They took 5 weeks to cure. I let the columns cure for about 2 weeks. I dry fitted them together for about a week turning them this way and that way before finally giving them a permanent fit (the plumbing fittings made this part easy) Even then I had to cut the copper pipe and add some fittings to direct the water where I wanted it to fall. They are not yet finished as I may want to change it a little here or there.

With the last of the construction finished I was able to plant around the pond. There I put Beard Tongue, Salvia, Lambs ear, Sea thrift (armeria martima), Baby’s breath, Ice plants, thyme along the walkway and a Wormwood my son gave me some years ago. With the exception of the Beard Tongue, I bought them all at 50% off. It’s a real mish mash of stuff and as time goes on I will no doubt replace some of it and try to give it a little cohesiveness.

All things considered, Mrs OHB is happy with it, and if Mrs OHB is happy, I breath a sigh of relief.

208 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Oh Ozark:
    This garden has never beenblech

    It’s absolutely beautiful 😍😍🤗🤗

  3. 3
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Wow! Looks awesome.

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    Lot of work, and it turned out gorgeous. Fountains are so soothing; you’ll enjoy sitting outside on the warm summer nights coming up.

  5. 5
    Sab says:

    That’s lovely.

  6. 6
    SectionH says:

    In awe.

  7. 7
    Sab says:

    If Satby turns up, I started my branch fence this week. My husband said he’d seen fences just like it up on North Hill, which is where our Nepali Bhutanese refugees are settling. I went to check it out, and sure enough, they are building branch/wattle fences for their raised garden beds.

  8. 8
    Sab says:

    Scotian, If you are awake, I and others are thinking of you and your family.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    raven says:

    So there is a difference between treated and ground contact treated, right? How long will those 4×4’s last? This is so great I’m afraid to show the princess because the last thing she needs is another idea!! Did you drive rebar through the 4×4’s to hold them down?

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🙋!
    @ Ozark: that’s beautiful! I love the fountain and the paths.
    @Sab: cool, you’ll have to share some pictures. I wish I had taken some while I was visiting that garden. I used all my fallen branches as a base for my new garden bed, but when I accumulate more I may try a version around some less attractive garden planters.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    For the most part, it worked out. There are a couple things where if I had put a little more thought into it (and pencil to paper), they would have turned out more to my liking. Still, I managed to come up with acceptable fixes for each self inflicted conundrum. As far as the plants are concerned, the price was right but I’m really not liking the ice plants in this location. They may go elsewhere before the summer is out.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    If it doesn’t rain today, or after it stops, I intend to start the massive cleanup needed in my raised beds in the back. Right now my irises are in full bloom and barely visible between the weeds, grass and small trees sprouting in the bed. A first pass to try to cut the big stuff down and spray grass killer in the bed is my goal. I spotted poison ivy starting in the small bed next to the garage, so that may get the full eradication treatment. I hate poison ivy more than I like what’s growing there, and it was all there before I moved here anyway.

  14. 14
    satby says:


    I’m really not liking the ice plants in this location. They may go elsewhere before the summer is out.

    😆! I know that feeling. I’ve pretty much decided to move two hydrangea plants to replace them with the shrub roses. The hydrangeas may join the others in the new front bed. They’re only a year old, so they should move easily enough.

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    Speaking of Zen, we watched “Kurosawa’s Dreams” last night and there are some spectacular flower and nature scenes. The ending has a Japanese second line funeral that reminded me of the Dr.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    How long will those 4×4’s last?

    40 years according to the industry specs. I figure till after I’m dead (10 yrs? 20 yrs?), which is all I’m concerned with.

    Did you drive rebar through the 4×4’s to hold them down?

    12″ spikes at an angle, #4 rebar when I ran short.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    It’s gorgeous and now you need a chair and a book. What do you fertilize y our hosta with?

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks, we have a square pond liner that we had rigged up before the addition and we’ll probably do something with that when I retire.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    That’s amazing, OH.


    Good morning.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: When it comes to plants, I am at a complete loss as to what “works” and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to different types of plants working with each other. Covering Ground helped me a lot and gives me confidence that eventually even I can get it “right.” My own propensity towards squeezing every penny I can out of a dollar doesn’t help tho.

    @JPL: People fertilize their hostas? ;-) I work a good bit of compost into the soil and an organic fertilizer (Jobes, usually) when I transplant them and leave it at that. When we first moved out here I’d use bone meal and blood meal for everything but the racoons go crazy for bone meal and dig the plants up to get it, so now I only do that in the fenced in veggie garden.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @Sab: thanks Sab, for saying what I was thinking early this morning. Scotian, thinking of you and your family.

  22. 22
    JeanneT says:

    Lovely! What a transformation!

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @JPL: @OzarkHillbilly: as long as the soil is basically adequate, hostas thrive on neglect. But, they’re not tolerant of hot sun even for part of the day, just low morning or evening sun though they prefer shade. If you think something needs an extra boost to green up you can hit it with a dose of Miracle Grow in either the regular or organic version.
    Edit: poop. It started raining. Accuweather is saying it will continue for at least two hours.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I tried to do some weeding on Friday. Every time, every time I’d try, it would begin to rain 5 minutes later. Once it only waited 30 seconds.

  25. 25
    donnah says:

    It’s a lovely transformation! Congrats on a job well done!

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Looking in vain for the wet bar.


  27. 27
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yeah, predicted to continue off and on for a couple more days. Followed by hot, humid, and buggy. I should have just gotten a condo 😉

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @NotMax: thought that was at Cracker’s place.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:


    Brought back recollections both pleasant and not so. 30 Old-School Car Features Those Under 30 Might Never Have Seen Before.


  30. 30
    Baud says:


    They forgot to mention that there was only one side mirror on the driver’s side.

    I can’t believe manual transmission has fallen so far that it had to be included on the list.

  31. 31
    SFAW says:

    That garden is one of the most Unblechiest things I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for all the pics, including the in-process ones of course.

  32. 32

    What a beautiful zen place!

  33. 33
    donnah says:


    I have a classic car, a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain. She’s a beauty, with newer exterior paint but original interior. There’s a long fabric covered strap across the upper back seat which is a pull-up to help get out. Jazzy. It has automatic transmission, but it has “Armstrong Steering” and brakes that require long planning and a heavy foot to make the car come to a stop.

    I was at a cruise-in one weekend and another classic car owner said she took her granddaughter out for a ride in her car. The little girl asked her to please roll down her window for her. The woman said, “Honey, just turn that crank and it will go down” and the little girl said in amazement, “Well, what will they think of next!”

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: It’s on the porch and consists of a bottle of white wine and a plastic cup for me. My wife doesn’t drink, and the few visitors we get bring their own.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Also too, no mention of bench seats.

  36. 36
    Lapassionara says:

    This garden is wonderful! If your violets are like the ones in my yard, they will take over. Not a horrible fate, unless they are in the wrong place, like mine are. Plus, they disappear in winter. Which may be a good thing.


  37. 37
    biff murphy says:

    Nice job!

  38. 38
    Baud says:


    Yeah, I think trucks don’t even have bench seats anymore.

  39. 39
    Baud says:


    Generation BB is going to be fascinated by objects that don’t need electricity to run.

  40. 40
    Lapassionara says:

    @Baud: My truck has a bench seat. One of its many virtues.

  41. 41
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: They left off the steel dash like my 66 has.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:


    Heh. Two-tone upholstery? Separate starter button?

    require long planning to make the car come to a stop

    I hear ya. Had a ’68 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon which drove for almost two years without a brake pump. Took that long for someone, anyone, to find a replacement as that year Chrysler had used two models – one with hexagonal fittings, the other with round ones. Can’t remember which was the rarer but that was the one I needed. Unpowered power brakes even more of a PITA than non-power brakes.

    First time I had to use the brakes after the pump was finally replaced, used both feet to stomp down hard on the pedal, as had become accustomed to, and almost sent myself through the windshield.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    @Lapassionara: And my Our Lady Of Guadalupe gear shift knob!

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: My 2005 Dodge p/u does.

    @Raven: I remember dash magnets.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have a rat fink hangin from my mirror!

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    I also have manual vents in front of the door.

  47. 47
    TS (the original) says:

    That is one amazing garden. I am so happy if I plant something in a pot & it actually grows. Fabulous garden design & build.

  48. 48
    Aleta says:

    Designing these lines inside a small space — wow.
    Walkway to die for.

    @NotMax: @NotMax: From the title I was expecting things much further in the past. Uh oh.

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @satby: Thanks. I planted dozens under a large maple tree and I’m just impatient waiting for them to fill in.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    Wow, that’s a beautiful garden! Well done, Ozark!

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Unpowered power brakes even more of a PITA than non-power brakes.

    Same with power steering. Of course nowadays with serpentine belts, if one component comes to a halt, so does everything else. Ah, the good old days when I could go for months without power steering.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    Forty years from now, the youngs will be fascinated by cars you had to drive yourself.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Damn, do I miss those, had almost forgotten about them. My favorite thing hanging from my mirror? A string of really cheap Mardi Gras beads that a 4 year old boy gave me after he noticed I didn’t have any.

  54. 54
    donnah says:


    Two tone upholstery, yes, but just a key start. Driving her is like piloting a parade float. She rolls like a dream on open roads, but steering for turns and stopping require a lot of advance planning.

    She’s like a goodwill ambassador, though. Driving her down the street, I see people literally stop what they’re doing to get a closer look, little kids wave and smile, and when I’m at a red light, I get lots of shout outs about what a cool car she is. It’s a fun way to travel in spite of the quirks and extra work.

  55. 55
    Lapassionara says:

    @Raven: Where can I find one of those?

  56. 56
    satby says:

    @JPL: dozens?!? In a year or two you’ll be looking to move some of them, they can really spread out. The good news is they’re easy to split and transplant.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:


    People may scoff but there’s something positively magical about some of those multi-ton land yachts.

  58. 58
    Aleta says:

    @donnah: I bet a person could sleep in the front seat too.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:


    The manually operated ankle tickler vents?

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Things I miss on vehicles:
    Wing windows
    Manual door locks (my truck just loves to lock itself whether I’m in it or not)
    Window cranks
    Listening to Jim White on KMOX (AM radio) while driving at 2am across S Dakota like I was in downtown STL.
    CB radios were handy when traveling by caravan in Mexico

    I will never never never miss drum brakes. Mental and physical torture devices designed to drive everyone over the edge.

  61. 61

    Very nice job. I like the mixed textures/ matierials. Any thought by you or MHB of putting a lattice wall up between the garden and carport?

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    Ozark — that is a beautiful garden space. I loves me a water feature. Whether you are sitting right there or across the yard, the sound is so evocative. Well done, Blech Master!

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Yes! Nothing like at the end of a long hot day of sweat and sawdust, opening them suckers up and feeling the sawdust fall away from your legs as the sweat dries. AC just doesn’t do it

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @Aletaet al.

    Presume the writer or editor intentionally left off push button transmissions. “Nah. The youngs will never believe THAT ever existed.”

  65. 65
    HinTN says:

    @NotMax: I know a soon to be 35yo that intentionally bought a manual shifter on his Audi.

  66. 66
    zhena gogolia says:


    Same here.

    I’m going offline later today and will be back 6/15. Maybe if I stop looking, the Dumpster fire will end.

  67. 67
    Kristine says:

    That is lovely!

    Serious garden envy.

  68. 68

    @zhena gogolia: Hope you’re doing something fun during your BJ hiatus.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:


    Saw a late model Subaru parked outside the polling place last election which had a for sale sign on it noting it had a manual transmission.

  70. 70
    Kristine says:


    When we first moved out here I’d use bone meal and blood meal for everything but the racoons go crazy for bone meal and dig the plants up to get it, so now I only do that in the fenced in veggie garden.

    ::files fact away for for future reference because I live at the edge of a nature preserve::

  71. 71
    chris says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, yes and yes! I also miss the headlight foot switch. It worked well and was cheap and easy to replace. And… you could drive with one hand and put your arm around your SO. ‘Course that required a bench seat and a three(or 4)-on-the-tree shifter which they didn’t even mention. For those wondering, yes, you could reach through the wheel with your left hand and shift.

    Lovely garden, hope it gives you many years of pleasure.

    I always admired those who drew up garden and walkway layouts but we never did it. Just throw a garden hose on the ground, move it til it looks good and start digging. My boss called it the organic method.

  72. 72
    Aleta says:

    The mosquitoes in town this year make the place feel like the life in the countryside I always intended. Those unexpected gifts that come to those who wait.

    Crabs are flowering now and the birds are just blooming w/ songs. They’re probably thrilled about the insect boom, so OK, fair trade.

  73. 73
    HinTN says:

    @NotMax: PNDLR could get confusing unless the other car in the family was a straight shift, which it was.

  74. 74
    Immanentize says:

    My first car was a ’67 Chrysler 300 with a 440 and Holley double pumper. That thing was HUGE! It had a “three body trunk.”
    Did anyone mention the floor mounted high beam button switch?

    I’ve said it before, my ideal cars have:
    Round headlights
    Side vent windows
    Rear windows that crank all the way down, dammit!
    And you can see the ground beyond the engine.

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    G&S withdrawal in 3…2…1…

    Any flying machine jumping in the offing?

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @W. Hackwhacker: Yes, most definitely something as I hate hate hate having the ass end of my butt ugly truck intrude on my meditations, but NOT lattice as my wife hates hates hates lattice with the heat of a thousand dying suns. Don’t ask why, I have and she really can’t articulate it. Doesn’t matter anyway, if momma’s not happy…

    As of right now, my plan is to build a 3′ high knee wall of white oak slats across the opening, then possibly a woven branch trellis on top of the wall itself. shrug We’ll see what kind of visual break I actually end up with, I don’t want to lock myself into any kind of plan.

  77. 77
    Immanentize says:

    My current car (2011 Audi) is manual. That car has been a huge target… Rear ended twice, crushed by a tree, and sideswiped by a jerk in an F250. But the car is so clean — and worth nothing now that it has been recreated in most places.

    So I was looking at new cars — I still want a manual all wheel drive sedan. Really they no longer exist.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:


    And can see the rear edge of the trunk when turning one’s head to reverse.

  79. 79
    Immanentize says:

    Bamboo woven or just tied up right for a barrier wall in that space would be nice…. And it lasts.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    That fountain is fucking awesome! The whole thing is beautiful, but jeez, that fountain! And how nice to have the time to work on instinct!

    If this doesn’t get rid of the blechs, nothing will…

  81. 81
    Aleta says:

    @zhena gogolia: have a wonderful break.

  82. 82
    Quinerly says:

    Beautiful! Love it, Ozark!

  83. 83
    NotMax says:


    I suppose a roll down fabric shade with a picture of a tropical beach printed on it would be too tacky.


  84. 84
    boatboy_srq says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: that garden is awesome. Doing something like that with the next place I get.


    The reality is this: Unless their parent or grandparent drives a big diesel-powered pickup truck, most of today’s youth will never experience a diesel engine firsthand. A shame? Maybe. But they also missed the train wreck that was General Motors’ 5.7-liter diesel V-8, which polluted Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, and Chevrolet cars (and probably the atmosphere) in 1981. Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions cheating scandal pretty much put the kibosh on passenger-car diesels in the United States.

    Emphasis mine. The US will never get anywhere close to Kyoto or Paris so long as coal-rollers like this writer are informing the driving set.

  85. 85
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Aleta: Mosquitoes are far worse in STL than they are out here.

    @Immanentize: Pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had p/ups that I could literally climb into the engine compartment with the engine to work on it.

  86. 86
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: far worse in STL
    Is it usually that way? Fewer birds, or the rivers around it, or why do you think? Here they’re usually worse in the woods. The bogs still win though.

  87. 87
    debbie says:


    Manual door locks (my truck just loves to lock itself whether I’m in it or not)

    Similarly, my Civic has a feature where if I press twice and hold down on the unlock button, all the windows will go down (nice on hot summer days); however, it then waits till I’m about six feet away to relock the locks. Stupid car.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:


    Last manual I owned was an ’84 Dodge Colt Vista. Zippy little beast.

    Visiting friend – six foot eight and over 300 pounds – was astonished at how comfortably he fit into a front seat, with head and leg room to spare.

  89. 89
    Immanentize says:

    67 300
    I forgot about the rear wheel panels that half covered the back tires….

  90. 90
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: That has the look of a Mars Rover

  91. 91
    Aleta says:

    The first car I drove had two gas tanks, a choke and a separate shifter for low gear. My bil gave me use of one of his Scouts for a year. They were a joy to drive. I liked the steering.

  92. 92
    Scotian says:

    @Sab: @satby:

    Yes, still here, and thank you. I just got up a little while ago
    The pain is moderate, but I need to keep a clear head for a few more days while getting affairs in order so only using morphine codeine combos for now.. I can tell already though that isn’t really enough and will get worse.

    Don’t worry that I’m going to try to be stoic man about the pain killers, as soon as I can get basic arrangements set In place I intend to upgrade, and will see my doc later this week to do so.

    I am very pleased and flattered to find out I was noted by so many here whom I respect, including those I did not always agree with, but the two are NOT the same at all. It helps to know that my writings and thoughts have left such impressions on/with such quality people, and in turn sparked more from them. That was always why I did this, from my old local bbs days in the 80s to even back ar Drum’s Political Animal blog during the GWB years and wherever I could, although I used to use my name in the 90s but getting married caused me to go to alias mode given some of the extremists the right spawned in both our nations over the past few decades.

    Well, back to resting/lurking for a while, I hope all have a good day.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:


    Yup. Had those on the T&C wagon as well. It also came with different size tires on the front and rear axles. H on the front, K on the back, IIRC. And, just to f*ck with the owner, reverse threaded lug nuts on the rear wheels.

  94. 94
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Fun + work, I guess. But whenever we go anywhere, their weather is the worst it can be. It’ll be 97 in Portland this week.

  95. 95
    Another Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I replaced the starter on a slant 6 Dodge for a friend of my mom. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Didn’t even have to get under the car – it was right there!.


  96. 96
    NotMax says:


    International Harvester? Family of four could set up housekeeping in the extra space under the hood.


  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:


    What is G&S?

    No, nothing adventurous. Not for me.

  98. 98
    Aleta says:

    @Scotian: hello

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @Scotian: I’m so sorry. Hugs to you and your family.

  100. 100
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: yes. Oh, and I forgot about changing the oil, so easy to check and drain.

  101. 101
    zhena gogolia says:


    Thanks for checking in. We are with you.

  102. 102
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: White oak is forever, which is why I use it so much. Cheap as dirt at the sawmill too. I’m pretty settled on the knee wall, what happens above it I don’t know.

    @debbie: Amazing what one can do in 2-3 hours a day. The fountain was fun. Originally I was going to have a set of “stacked” lily pads for the water to cascade down but the various issues with controlling the water flow changed my mind to this simpler configuration. I like the catch basins more than I thought I would, much more than I would have the lily pads I was originally thinking.

    Was sitting on my porch taking a break from the sun Wednesday when a pair of robins flew to the top most basin, then plopped down into it’s 3″ depth and took themselves a nice long bath.

  103. 103
    satby says:

    @Scotian: I hope you got a chance to go back to yesterday’s morning thread to pick up the rest of the good wishes sent your way that continued into the wee hours this morning.

  104. 104
    zhena gogolia says:


    The garden is gorgeous. My husband and I would like you to transform our yard, please.

  105. 105
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scotian: Rest easy.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    My bad. Gilbert and Sullivan. 3 a.m. martini-driven conflation of you and SiubhanDuinne.

    Mea culpa.

  107. 107
    NotMax says:


    We’re supposed to change the oil? (palm/forehead)


  108. 108
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: I had a friend who went thru so much oil he figured he didn’t need to change the oil, just the filter every now and again. I thought he should change his vehicle.

  109. 109
    debbie says:


    You should be very proud. I predict marvel will be quite envious!

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @Another Scott

    Saw a report once on those gargantuan trucks used in mining and such. They employ a V-8 engine as a starter.

  111. 111
    debbie says:


    All of us touch each other in ways we’d never have imagined. You’re no exception!

  112. 112
    chris says:

    @Scotian: I was thinking of you this morning. My offer stands, I’m 200km from you and I will be in the city for a couple of days starting July 1. Can run up any time if necessary.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    Oh my god. That is amazing, Ozark. So beautiful. The rest of us are going to need therapy if you guys keep displaying all these amazing garden creations, week after week.

  114. 114
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: Here’s the one he let me use, same color but it had a top and not shiny or sparkly clean inside. He taught me to drive on it in the late 80s (CA of course) and let me use it or his ’65 one for a year and a half. It was still running and was willed to a camp/outfitter about 3 years ago. (I think only the 65 had 2 gas tanks) He’d bought them in the 60s in grad school in MI.

  115. 115
    MomSense says:

    Ozark, your garden looks great. I hope it is zen for you now that all that hard work building it is finished.

    I’m going to do some weeding today and hopefully start work on the wild berm behind my house. I liked it when it was just a nice wooded space because it gave me some privacy but the neighbors behind me have been clearing out everything on their side, removing all the leaves and other material, and putting plants in. It’s also bordered with stones now. Every garden bed, tree, and foundation plantings have a thin border of stones around them. Why?

    Anyway the asking about what I’m thinking for my side has begun. I’ve got the steep side so I can’t really plant it unless I do terraces and that can’t be accomplished with random found stones. I may do a spite hedge of high bush blueberries and make them look at the ugly berm behind it.

    It took me 10 tries to type bush without my phone auto capitalizing it. My phone also suggested the word crimes after bush. Ha!

    I’m listening to the Mueller Report and it is making me feel incredibly stabby. If anyone wants to commit campaign finance violations all they have to do is ask some shady business people who can’t be bothered to learn campaign finance laws to help with their campaigns. Hmm, why not do this in other areas. Just ask shady business people who don’t know SEC regulations to help with your hedge fund. If you can’t prosecute people because they were too stupid and/or lazy to realize they were breaking the law then that opens up so many possibilities.

  116. 116
    NotMax says:


    If anything like the one I was occasionally a passenger in, had a heater which, on a good day, would keep a gnat warm.


  117. 117
    NotMax says:


    My phone also suggested the word crimes after bush.

    Truly a smart phone.

  118. 118
    MomSense says:


    Good morning. I’m happy to see you here but very sorry to hear about pain. You are very much in my thoughts.

  119. 119
    MomSense says:



    I tried to watch Russian Doll because I’ve heard such good things but I couldn’t handle a certain scene that is too much like a recent real life experience. And yet I managed to watch Chernobyl even though that was so unbelievably horrific. It’s really strange what causes a stress response and what doesn’t.

    Anyone else have really inconsistent triggers?

  120. 120
    Aleta says:

    Trump is ‘perfectly happy’ to hit China with new tariffs if Xi meeting doesn’t go well, Mnuchin says.

    Perfect time to get tough in that meeting, after bragging about his victorious hard dealing with Mexico.

  121. 121
    Elizabelle says:

    @Scotian: Hope you make a lot of progress with getting your affairs in order, and then, some really good pain relievers. Glad to see you here.

    Good morning, jackals.

  122. 122
    Aleta says:

    @MomSense: Mine are consistent—pretty much everything by now.

  123. 123
    NotMax says:


    Extortion R Us.

  124. 124
    MomSense says:


    I’m headed in that direction.

  125. 125
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: You mean “Made to Look Like a Fool by the Hostage but our Suckers Lap it up Anyway R US”

  126. 126
    NotMax says:

    Way, way, way OT.

    Scene in movie on TCM just now. Eve Arden in a dress so low cut that her breasts have tan lines.

  127. 127
    NotMax says:


    You betchum, Red Ryder.


  128. 128
    Kristine says:

    @Scotian: We’re all thinking of you and your family.

  129. 129

    @OzarkHillbilly: That sounds even better!

  130. 130
    feebog says:

    OH, what an awesome job. I like the fact you just kind of laid it out and let it happen. Please post more pics when you get the carport area done.

  131. 131
    Another Scott says:

    In other news…

    DeLong points out something obvious this morning:

    Moral fault attaches to anybody who pays money to or works for the New York Times. You need to do better. Just saying: Jeet Heer: “They should publish two editions of the New York Times: one made up just of beat sweetener to please Trump & his staff and another that publishes just, you know, the news.” Daniel Radosh: These two articles were posted to @nytimes within an hour of each other. Seems like one of them has to be incorrect, right?:


    Have a good Sunday, everyone. Especially Scotian.


  132. 132
    Gelfling 545 says:

    That is beautiful. Just lovely. And nothing is quite as exciting as a new garden!
    Heading out to my sister’s place in a few minutes to consult over her garden. My sister and I are 10 years apart so we weren’t close as kids but gardening brought us together as adults. “A garden is a lovesome thing.”
    I’m feeling a bit sad. Well, more than a bit actually, as I garden this spring because this may be my last year as a gardener. It looks like I’ll be putting the house up for sale & looking for an apartment next spring which the realtor tells me is the time to sell in Buffalo. So no new gardens for me. 😢

  133. 133
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    I’d like to see a piece where former reporters opine on what the NYT has become.

  134. 134
    frosty says:

    @Scotian: Scotian, I’m glad you posted here because I read your post last night too late to comment. That’s terrible news you received and my heart goes out to you. I hope you’ll take care of yourself as best you can.

  135. 135
    Kay says:

    Funny. Some of Trump’s low quality hires believe other low quality Trump hires are gross grifters:

    As White House aides in Washington spent the week fielding frenzied inquiries about potential tariffs on Mexico, and trying to cut a deal to stop them, other top aides spent the workweek attending swanky dinners abroad, golfing at a Trump-branded course and visiting quaint pubs in Ireland.
    Some of those stuck at home were embarrassed by their colleagues’ behavior overseas, conversations with officials inside the White House and in the broader Trump orbit revealed, believing it sent a poor message.

    You can see the photos of the public employees promoting Trump’s gold course on social media. This wouldn’t fly in state government. It would be frowned upon if COUNTY employees did it here while on a work trip, but it’s a-ok in the Trump White House. They do it to suck up to Dear Leader. They know they’ll be rewarded if they financially benefit the Trump Family.

  136. 136
    Kathleen says:

    @Scotian: Holding you and your family in the light.

  137. 137
    Kathleen says:

    @Elizabelle: Good Morning, Ms. EBelle. Nice to see you back.

  138. 138
    Kathleen says:

    @NotMax: Did you by any chance catch Harlan County USA on TCM yesterday (it was on yesterday evening here).

  139. 139
    NotMax says:


    You can see the photos of the public employees promoting Trump’s gold course on social media.

    Mashie notes?

  140. 140
    Elilzabelle says:

    @Kathleen: Good morning.

  141. 141
    Kathleen says:

    @debbie: If you check Twitter, Soledad O’Brien doesn’t hold back on calling out fellow journos, even Andrea Mitchell whom she said she values as reporter and friend.

    ETA It appears that I, too have moved to Threadkill Lane. Glad I found my true talent.

  142. 142
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    NPR’s only citing the article saying the “deal” had been arrived at months ago.

  143. 143
    NotMax says:


    Was aware it was being shown but too stark for my demeanor at the time to handle. Did you happen to watch it?

  144. 144
    Kay says:


    I really don’t mean to criticize them so much but they’re doing an awful job on the Trump “Mexico will buy ag products” story.

    They’re treating it as if Mexico DID NOT agree to buy ag products. While that is true – the government of Mexico did not agree to buy ag products- the more important fact is “Mexico” doesn’t buy corn. Companies and people in Mexico buy corn. That’s why Trump can’t make a “deal” where Mexico buys corn. Because the state – the government- doesn’t buy it.

    The issue was never would Mexico buy corn, or how much corn they would buy. Trump can’t direct that and Mexico can’t promise it, because “Mexico” isn’t the buyer. The issue was TARIFFS. To make this mess they’ve made even worse, NAFTA was GOOD for ag products. No one ever said NAFTA was bad for ag products. The idiot in the White House and his low quality hires have so (deliberately) incredibly screwed up this whole dialogue that nothing is true anymore. This whole discussion is a fantasy.

    They’re making it worse. They are supposed to clarify and explain and they are making it more muddled and false.

  145. 145
    debbie says:


    That’s a start, but I’d really like to hear from the reporters who predated Judith Miller et al. — the reporters whose bylines were enough to want to read the articles, no matter the subject.

  146. 146
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kathleen: In moderation for saying “good morning” back. On the left coast this morning. Got some marine mammals in my future. After breakfast.

  147. 147
    debbie says:


    They’re making it worse.

    Yep, like the ambassador (didn’t catch his name) who said it is likely Israel will hold onto a part of the West Bank. Well, that’s certain to speed negotiations along! //

  148. 148
    Kay says:


    It’s cute when they promote one another. One of the public employees promotes Sarah Sanders. The grift is becoming layered. There are levels below Trump. Smaller commercial “brands” beneath the huge Trump family grift. Like offshoots of a business. There’s enough graft to go around and share it with the Huckabee-Sanders tribe, surely!

    The second tier grifters are now getting a cut.

  149. 149
  150. 150
    tybee says:

    @Aleta: i drove one of those for a while at a job. reverse on the 3-speed went all they way to the dash. don’t know how many times i smashed a finger on that damn thing.

  151. 151
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: And you will not find those bylines any more on the main NY Times webpage. No bylines; you have to click the story (waste a click) to see who wrote the thing. Awful policy. Maybe so they can sneak more Maggie Habermann in on us. Who knows?

  152. 152
    Kay says:


    Here’s why Mexico ( by which I mean commercial purchasers and eventually consumers) does or doesn’t import X amount of corn. Population, so demand, and trade terms. Presidential proclamations or decrees to “buy corn” are not a factor.

    It isn’t that he didn’t do what he said he did. It’s that he can’t do what he said he did.

  153. 153

    I’m still reading the Mueller report. Here’s a bit of a speech Trump dictated for Sessions to give (which he didn’t). How anyone could hear it and now know Trump wrote it is beyond me.

    I know that I recused myself from certain things having to do with specific areas. But our POTUS…is being treated very unfairly. He shouldn’t have a Special Prosecutor/Counsel b/c he hasn’t done anything wrong. I was on the campaign w/ him for nine months, there were no Russians involved with him. I know it for a fact b/c I was there. He didn’t do anything wrong except he ran the greatest campaign in American history.

    Trump told Lewandowski to give that to Sessions and if Sessions didn’t read it, Lewandowski should fire him. At the time, Lewandowski was a private citizen.
    Sweet cartwheeling Jesus.

  154. 154
    japa21 says:

    So impressed.

  155. 155
    Kay says:


    I think it keeps them loyal. So Huckabee-Sanders can promote her brand from the White House (and Hope Hicks, Woman Of Mystery) as long as they promote the larger Trump Family products. Everyone wins! Except the people who pay their salaries.

  156. 156

    I love your Zen garden. I would love to do something like that in my yard. Does you has plans? For someone with no skills like me, it looks like a multiple year project.

  157. 157
    Another Scott says:

    Meanwhile, in Mississippi… TheHill:

    Jim Crow-era provisions in Mississippi’s state constitution meant to exclude African Americans from winning political office could decide this year’s race for governor, and Democrats are suing to block it.

    The provisions, added to the state constitution in 1890, require a candidate running for governor to win both a majority of the popular vote and a majority of the vote in more than half the state’s 122 legislative districts.

    If a candidate who wins the popular vote does not win a majority of state House districts, the state House itself chooses a governor.

    The district provision was meant to dilute the power of black voters, who tended to live — and still do — in geographically compact areas.

    The legacy of a gerrymandered political map drawn by white Southern Democrats who packed black voters into a small number of legislative districts still exists today: African Americans make up a majority of the population in 42 of 122 legislative districts, and in 37 of those districts they account for more than 60 percent of the population.

    Because of the recent realignment of white Southern voters away from the Democratic Party and toward Republicans, the legislature that was once dominated by Democrats now has a Republican supermajority. The GOP controls 72 of the 122 seats in the state House.


    It’s long past time for abominations like these to be stricken from the books. We need a national 21st Century Voting Rights Act. And we need to get it done as part of the 2020 campaign. Waiting for another Census to roll around will enable far too much damage…


  158. 158
    Kay says:

    @Another Scott:

    It’s worlds better than it was in 2000. Now Republicans openly admit they suppress minority voters and Democrats fight them on it. We all used to have to pretend it was about something else. It’s easier when everyone stops lying. Win or lose at least now no one is pretending this fight is about something else.

  159. 159
    Citizen_X says:

    Bravo to Ozark Hillbilly for coming up with a beautiful solution to one of those no-grass-grows-there in-between areas!

    @Aleta: Years ago, I am certain that several, ah, professional ladies learned that you could get a really great tip by saying, “Ooh, Donald! It’s so big!” Now the rest of the world is learning that trick.

  160. 160
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: Thanks for making that point. I haven’t seen it anywhere else and just absorbed what written. Now that you say it (Mexico the country is not the buyer) it’s so clear.

  161. 161
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No, as I told Anne:

    I could have planned it all ahead of time and worked out the math on paper but that would have made sense and required planning, which after 35 years of following blueprints to the fraction of an inch, I am averse to these days.

  162. 162
    Kathleen says:

    @NotMax: I watched the entire film several years ago and, for reasons you cited, I only watched bits and pieces last night. As many times as I have criticized Kentuckians over the past several years for inflicting their racism and hate on the rest of the country by continually re-electing McConnell and Paul, I’ve never forgotten how brave, courageous, smart and fearless those people in that film were. They are part of the reason I can’t bring myself to revile the poor and working people in the hills of Kentucky. I do, however, believe the entitled racist white upper middle/upper classes in KY are the real villains.

    My favorite scene last night was when the scabs attacked the picketers and told them they would “get” rid of the one African American (they used “N” word of course) striking miner in their group. One of the striking leaders, a woman, leaped up and said, “That man you called (N-word) is more of a man than you’ll ever be”.

  163. 163

    @OzarkHillbilly: A rough outline then, of the steps you followed?

  164. 164
    Kathleen says:

    @debbie: I like your idea but I fear we will never see any cogent criticism from former (Edited to Correct) Times/WAPO or other prominent mainstream reporters.

  165. 165
    Kathleen says:

    @Elizabelle: Sounds lovely! Enjoy your day!

  166. 166
    Another Scott says:

    @Kathleen: I did a quick search to find out what Liz Spayd has been up to since the FTFNYT canned her and the “public editor” position. Other than her being hired as a consultant for FB, she seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Her last tweet was on February 20..



  167. 167
    Tazj says:

    @Gelfling 545: That’s hard. I saw your garden on here, and it’s beautiful. As someone who lives in the Buffalo area I really can appreciate it because with a such a short season we don’t have the time to fool around.

  168. 168
    Marvel says:

    @debbie: SUCH a wonderful garden space — well done OH!!!!!

    (PS – Envious!)

  169. 169
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: I am appalled that the media spend so little (or no) time reporting on this phenomenon. A major political party is actively preventing people from voting because of their skin color and political affiliation. I think media’s failure to make this issue front and center speaks volumes about its venality and corruption.

  170. 170
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’ll try and put something together for you in the next few days. If you have Anne send me your email I can send it to you that way.

    I can already tell you this much:

    Step 1: Buy water feature/pond
    Step 2: Place it in yard
    Step 3: Buy Covering Ground
    Step 4: Read Covering Ground front to back, don’t skip any pages
    Step 5:…….


  171. 171
  172. 172
    John Cole says:

    I am jealous- there is no place in my yard with shade.

  173. 173
    Kathleen says:

    @Another Scott: I still maintain there was a coup in the works during the Obama years (Snowald, anyone?) which resulted in Trump’s election and subsequent horrors. I know key media figures/publications were actively engaged in championing Trump and his agenda. Another hallmark of the coup was the deliberate fomenting of divisions within the Democratic party. I went off on this tangent because I wonder if there are written or unwritten “agreements” in place between the Fascists and their media fluffers which could account for her behavior.

  174. 174
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    (PS – Envious!)

    Wow, I feel like I have just been knighted by the royal doyenne of Balloon Juice gardening. ;-)

    Time for me to go all, have a happy.

  175. 175
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We bought a 1960 Ford pickup in 1970 from a friend. It was a straight six so we could stand inside the engine well like that. We paid $650 for it and got that much when we sold it in ’74. I think we added a quart of oil to it once a week because the little gasket that cost a quarter to buy, the one between the engine and the… transmission? would cost more than $100 to replace. We were young and poor so we didn’t. I think we bought retreads once during those four years, and a battery. Trying to remember but I think the bed was wood. It ran great and mr opiejeanne drove it to work every day for nearly 4 years. I don’t think we ever took it to a shop for repairs because it was so simple we could do the work ourselves.

    The 55 Chevy we bought many years later though, that thing required a specialist. It was also a straight six.

  176. 176
    Kathleen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I got so carried away with my rants that I neglected to tell you how beautiful your garden is and how much I appreciate your brilliance at planning, designing and building beautiful spaces in your life. I wish I had talents like yours.

  177. 177
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John Cole: Heh, precious little sun on my place. Keeping the veggie garden in the light is a never ending curse. Someday I’ll stop growing veggies just because I can’t stand the thought of cutting down another tree.

  178. 178
    Another Scott says:

    @Kathleen: As Henry Louis Gates’ “Reconstruction” makes clear, it’s been going on a very, very long time.

    A link from another site that covers the same things that Gates did last night (at least we saw it last night):


    [Rutherford B.] Hayes, a Republican, lost the popular vote in 1876 but assumed the presidency after considerable controversy and negotiation. The Electoral College gave him a one-vote edge over his Democratic opponent, but Democrats challenged the decision on grounds that some states submitted two sets of returns.

    Facing the possibility the country would be left without a president, both parties considered taking the office by force.

    But in the end, the Republicans struck a secret deal with Southern Democrats in Congress, who agreed not to dispute the Hayes victory in exchange for a promise to end Reconstruction and withdraw federal troops from the South.

    Hayes made good on the deal. He swiftly ended Reconstruction and pulled federal troops out of the last two occupied states, South Carolina and Louisiana.

    “Instead of withdrawing, he should have sent additional troops out there,” [St. Louis Congressman (Democrat William] Clay said. “An 1871 report to Congress says that in nine counties in South Carolina, there were 35 lynchings, 262 black men and women were severely beaten, and over 100 homes were burned. The Ku Klux Klan was already riding roughshod.”


    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”



  179. 179
    opiejeanne says:

    @Scotian: Was so sorry to read your news yesterday. Your voice here will be missed despite being a near rare thing. I’m on the Left Coast and I didn’t see the post until this morning so I’m way behind everyone else. It’s only a little after 8 here but I woke up at 6 because of the cats and I’ve been trying to catch up with everyone else.
    I hope you are able to be made comfortable. My favorite uncle had the same as you but the doctors used to worry about addiction back then so I know he suffered unnecessarily.

  180. 180
    WaterGirl says:

    @Scotian: Just reading about what you are going through takes my breath away. I hadn’t seen your comment last light and I am so sorry to hear your news. I am just so sorry. I don’t know how you manage to get there, but I am wishing you peace as you face what is ahead.

  181. 181
    Sab says:

    We added on a new room to our house a couple of years ago. It looks like a room but it really is just a glorified porch. It doesn’t have a foundation.

    A woodchuck has decided to build a burrow under it. There’s a big hole, and I see the woodchuck scurrying off to do whatever they do during the day.

    I think it’s cute. Should I be concerned? If I force it out it will probably be promptly eaten by coyotes.

  182. 182
    oldgold says:

    After a week of researching like a dipsomaniac on my slug beer traps, I woke to the errors of my ways.

    My intent was to ruthlessly kill the slugs, except for those chewing on the kale.

    As I was fiendishly setting my slug beer traps, filled with Bud Light Lime, my neighbor Noah Tall sauntered over: “OG, have you considered PETA?”

    Me: “OK, OK, I will switch-out the Bud Light Lime for Beck’s Double Diamond Blonde.”

    Noah Tall: “You better read”

    So, I did and it touched the smithy of my shriveled soul.

    When slugs and snails are eating seedlings and newly planted vegetables overnight, not only are plants harmed but the gardener’s heart is also damaged by the killing. At worst, this war leaves gardeners feeling desperate and hopeless. It is exactly these desperate people that I wish to help.

    Frequently the dead slugs do not get buried. But if killing is the method of choice, at least you should give the slugs a dignified burial.

    Reading that last sentence, chugging my last bottle of Bud Light Lime, I screamed “Amen” followed by “Uncle” and declared the Slug War over.

  183. 183
    Aleta says:


    Woodchucks prefer to feed in the early morning and evening hours. Favorite foods include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lettuce, broccoli, carrot tops, and grasses. When not feeding, they enjoy basking in the sun. Do not disturb them during their relaxation! They have been observed dozing on fence posts, stone walls, large rocks, and fallen logs close to the burrow entrance. Place their fresh vegetables 2x a day on large, flat rocks or fresh-cut logs that you have carried noiselessly to scenic, sunny spots.

  184. 184
    Another Scott says:

    @Sab: Groundhogs are tough.

    We’ve got a concrete slab by our raised deck. Lots of animals have taken up residence there over the years – a possum, a raccoon, a groundhog, etc. We had a trapper out years ago. He caught a possum using apples, etc.

    I don’t like using trappers because around here they can’t release them somewhere else – they’re euthanized.

    The groundhog that was here most recently went elsewhere after a few weeks – our dog worried it enough that it moved on to quieter environs.

    We’ve got at [least] one family of groundhogs at work. They generally live near building foundations, but they have also made a couple of huge holes in a hillside. I haven’t seen as many of them since some foxes moved in…

    So, I can’t really offer any help on what to do, but I wish you good luck!

    tl;dr – get a noisy dog or some foxes. ;-)


  185. 185
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: amazing what *you* can do in three-four hours a day!!!
    I read this post & you were complaining about a “postage stamp’s worth of lawn” and I looked at the picture & thought, what is he even talking about? That’s a nice suburban lawn, that’s what you’re supposed to have when you have a house, isn’t it?
    And then you transformed it into a multi-tiered fountain, walkway, and water garden.
    I am seriously amazed.
    Also how is everyone up at the crack of dawn on Sunday??

  186. 186
    Suzanne says:

    The garden is absolutely lovely.
    I know you said that Mrs. Ozark doesn’t like lattice, but there’s some lovely metal landscape products on the market for creating “green screens” that she may like better, yes? Not sure if they would be aesthetically appropriate. We have lots of modern landscape out here.

    Scotian, I am so, so sorry. I’ll be thinking of you and sending you best wishes.

  187. 187
    J R in WV says:


    My Dad’s Studebaker had those. What about the floor-mounted hi-beam switch? First time I drove a car with a steering wheel mounted hi-beam switch I was lost and confused!

    ETA: and the triangular vent window that could scoop the cab full of air in 12 seconds at 30 mph?

  188. 188
    Kathleen says:

    @Another Scott: Yes it has . Sadly this state of affairs has not been more consistently and openly reviled for all those years. (Though kudos to activists and organizations that have been fighting these issues in court for decades).

  189. 189
    Tazj says:

    @Kathleen: I have no idea if a coup was in the works but they certainly promoted him beyond anything that could be considered reasonable or balanced or fair journalism or journalism period. Coverage of the empty podium and excusing the racism, misogyny and stupidity of his speeches, while excoriating Clinton for stating the truth that some of his supporters were bad people, would make any sane person want to rant. Having Conway, Lewandowski and Carter Page on television every five minutes during the campaign didn’t help things either.
    Where are the op-eds calling for Trump’s resignation? As others have stated there’s almost more talk about whether it would have been better if Clinton would have resigned in 1998 than if Trump should resign now.

  190. 190
    Sab says:

    @Chacal Charles Calthrop: We are still up from 3 am the night before because we olds have insomnia.

  191. 191
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @Scotian: Hey Scotian! Long time no blog — we used to chat at my blog, Cathie From Canada, when I was actively posting there — then I got sick about three years ago and have hardly posted since, even though my health problems are resolved now.
    I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, terrible news for you and your family. I am thinking of you and wishing you well. You are a unique voice in our politics and I always appreciate what you have to say.

  192. 192
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’m a G&S fan too, but didn’t see how they fit into this conversation . . . .

    I assumed you thought I was planning to try to steal Siubhan Diunne’s thunder. Never!

  193. 193
    Kay says:


    It’s hysterical. Trump sounds, literally, like a Communist. He says he has made an agreement with another country for that country to buy agricultural products. And what, store them them in the Mexican government silo for distribution to the workers so the US meets production quotas? Or will we force Mexicans to buy them?

    I don’t particularly mind that he sounds like a communist- I don’t care what he says- but that isn’t how any of this works.

  194. 194
    Kathleen says:

    ETA: Meant to be reply to Tazj:

    The National Narrative Reality Show Script does not yet require Trump’s resignation because his handlers are still finding him useful. When he’s outlived his usefulness (as Nixon did), look for the new script narrative in the second season when the Very Serious People (courtesy of Atrios, I believe, whom I currently abhor but I digress) solemnly intone 1) Trump needs to go 2) Mike Pence is the Rethuglicans’ “One True Savior” 3. “Responsible Rethuglicans” like Pence, Cruz, etc. who will vanquish Democrats and their hued and vagina-ized Identity Politicized have risen.

  195. 195
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @Scotian: And I must add this W.H.Auden poem, which I think of whenever I hear of someone dying before their time:

    As the poets have mournfully sung,
    Death takes the innocent young,
    The rolling-in-money,
    The screamingly-funny,
    And those who are very well hung.

    So Scotian, which one are you?

  196. 196
    J R in WV says:

    We put out the hummingbird feeders not too long ago, after wife saw one flying around the porch where they normally are.

    So 4 or 5 days in, empty! So we’ve got some out there. Fighting for rights to the sugar nectar. Buzzing each other, chasing around. So cute. Cats are frustrated, because they have NO SHOT at catching a hummer, none.

    Ozark wife loves your water feature! I think it’s nice too.

  197. 197
    Sab says:

    Unless I hear/read otherwise I am assuming a woodchuck under my house is no big deal. He/she might eat my lettuce garden, but otherwise harmless.

  198. 198
    J R in WV says:


    @Aleta – et al.

    Presume the writer or editor intentionally left off push button transmissions. “Nah. The youngs will never believe THAT ever existed.”

    Our first car was a 1961 Plymouth Fury II or maybe a III with a push button transmission and a 318 V8. It lasted from our marriage until we got back to WV from my USN hitch on the guld coast. When we came back north in Feb, everything froze!

    No speedometer, cable froze, no emergency brake, cables froze, Transmission was tricky. WE sold it for $100 bucks to a kid that thought he could fix all that and the rusted out bodywork too.

    So glad modern body panels are galvanized steel now, and well painted. Dad’s only Buick had both rear fenders rust out in 18 months, there was a stripe on the inside that didn’t get painted, and the bare steel rotted out in no time. He was furious! Would have been mid-70s, the last American made convertible at that time.

    He got rid of it and bought a roadster from Germany. Thinking a 1977? It had a couple of minor things that irritated him, that they seemed unable to fix, so he traded it for a ’79 450SL, which he had for 20 years – it suited him perfectly.


    Unless the woodchuck passes away in a hard-to-reach (or impossible to reach) place under there. That would be bad…

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    Ruckus says:

    I bought my first new car 51 yrs ago. It had 4 wheel drum brakes and bias ply tires that refused to work in the rain or if someone spit on the road. There must be something wrong with me, I don’t miss that car or any number of cars that followed. And I bought it after trying to make my first 2 cars work reliably at all. I like cars, trucks and motorcycles, that actually work well, and have nice features that make my life easier. The nostalgia craze passed me by long ago. My youth wasn’t better, it was my youth. Of course in my youth I was physically sicker than so far in my old age, maybe that’s why nostalgia was the one thing I didn’t catch.

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    Ruckus says:

    Dad had a 61 Chevy pickup that used 2 quarts of oil, 2 quarts of trans fluid every tank of gas. That was after it was 4 yrs old. Now it did have about 140,000 miles but still. I know of people getting 200,000 – 250,000 miles out of more modern cars without being nearly that bad. But. Most of that was the manufacturing inabilities that was the only way available then. What was considered high precision was less than what we do all the time now by orders of magnitude. 1961 was when I started doing machine work. I still do that today, but in hardly any of the ways we did then. A lot of processes weren’t even concepts then. And a lot of new processes then have been refined so far that they are almost hard to recognize. It may be difficult to imagine but the Boeing 777 was the first commercial plane completely designed on a computer and was first flown in 1994. It is difficult for me to imagine because back then I used computer aided design and manufacturing in my business and it was, like all things computer back then, dramatically less useful than today’s products.

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    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: My mom had a 1970 GTO, and my best friend had a 1970 428 CobraJet Mustang Mach I. We loved those cars.

    But they were horrible death traps. We usually got 14 MPG with the GTO – 16 on the highway if we babied it. :-/

    Yeah, things are so much better with cars these days. In just about every way (except affordability).

    A current neighbor has a ratty 427 Corvette. When he drives by, you feel the need to take a bath in some solvents to get rid of all the gas fumes (the thing runs incredibly rich compared to modern cars because they had no good way to control detonation with carburators, and clearances were so large because the metals used were so crappy, etc., etc.).

    My dad had a 1955 Chevy Bel Air that he loved. It didn’t even have a PVC valve – it used a “draft tube” to prevent pressure buildup in the crankcase. Things like that were why highways had a black stripe running down the middle of the lane back then – it was oil!

    Give me a modern auto any day.


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    Another Scott says:

    @Another Scott: “It didn’t even have a PVC PCV valve …”

    I blame autocorrect. I really do.


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    J R in WV says:

    @John Cole:

    No shade? Not yet…. dude, YOU planted that willow tree!!!

    There will be shade under there.

    Poplar trees cast great shade, and grow reasonable fast as well. But you have a small backyard, so you would have to make a choice.

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    hotshoe says:

    By the time I get to reading the “Sunday morning” chat, it’s already evening, west coast USA, so I know this is too late, but I want to get this on record: Summer has arrived without mercy. Expecting high temp records to be broken in wide areas tomorrow and Tues; touched 100F today in my neighborhood, 99F at the official weather station at the local little airport.
    But ya know what they say: it’s a dry heat.

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    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    Probably dead thread but here goes. Notice that I like modern motorcycles much better than the old stuff as well as those things with more wheels. They work. They work much better. I have ridden well over 1/2 million miles, so some level of experience. And the one best thing about now is the mostly lack of oil on the ground, especially at stops. Trucks and cars, other than the now old, old stuff, have closed crankcase ventilation and mostly don’t use anywhere near the level of oil that they used to, because of the mfg abilities of modern production.

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    TomatoQueen says:

    @Sab: No. Woodchucks are the world’s expert varmints at undermining the foundations of your dwelling by digging and nesting. Once they become established they can do a helluva lot of damage. Bastards were instrumental in the closure of Newington Children’s Hospital, Newington, CT because the woodchucks, visible in daylight with whole families taking the air, essentially made the place fall over. Cute little bastards tho’. Just don’t let it stay.

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