Daily Archives: July 29, 2011

“I prefer the term ‘artificial person’ myself.”

Back when I started this little trek into horticulture nearly a decade ago, I thought things would settle down a bit. I mean, I know that orchid people are weird (in the Old English meaning of the word) and rose people are even worse, but not everybody could be as fundamentally broken as science fiction people, right?

Oh, I had no idea. None. Witness my friend Amanda Thomsen of the very disturbing blog Kiss My Aster and her fascination with building gardening robots. I can’t help but think that I’ve seen this movie before, with the same soundtrack:

Okay, that’s a bit cruel, but I have to admit that there’s this odd fascination with gardening robots in science fiction. In reality, too, for that matter. The underlying idea is that while humans should be the ones to do all of the fine-tuning, there’s no reason why you can’t leave robots to do the weeding, pruning, mowing, and other menial tasks. At least, until they rise up and tell humanity to bite their shiny metal asses.

Ah well. As a kid, I made most of my spending money by mowing lawns throughout my neighborhood in obscene summer heat, and I didn’t have a problem with doing the mowing myself. Having a robot on hand to clean up the piles of dog crap that most of my customers let build up, though, would have been perfect. These days, I still wouldn’t complain about a robot that took out the treerats going after the tomato plants, with a bit more precision than the motion-sensitive lawn sprinklers currently available. If it could clean out the gutters while waiting for its next hit, so much the better.

Have a Great Weekend

And now a bit more greenhouse music:

Contest: Last call on the Joey Boxes

Just a friendly note: the Joey Box contest ends tomorrow, and there’s still technically time to get one in. You like to receive odd things in the mail, don’t you?

Presented without context

And now I’m understanding why I see so many of those hexagon tanks from the late Eighties being abandoned at estate and yard sales. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a standard glass top for one of these, without making it yourself?

Addenda

For further grins and giggles, I’ve discovered that the threat of picking up that glass case offers unlimited entertainment possibilities. It takes a certain demented mind to come up with brand new ways to torment the Czarina, or in my case, a mind wracked with the 24-hour summer flu going around. I come up with all sorts of Lovecraftian takes on destroying one’s sanity when mortally ill (I’m by now notorious for leaving ER techs in helpless laughter while they’re trying to suture me back together), and this one was a beaut.

By yesterday evening, I was feeling lucid and coherent enough to join my parents-in-law for dinner. Naturally, the terms “lucid” and “coherent” are subjects of intense discussion when talking about my train of thought on my better days, and when in this condition, I’d leave Charles Manson shaking his head and muttering “That boy ain’t right.” Also naturally, it’s not a perfect night unless the Czarina bellows “Now, LISTEN, Sparky!” at least once while we’re eating. The cats and I have one thing in common: we cannot sleep at night unless we’ve had a good beating.

We were starting on my mother-in-law’s exemplary pot roast when I broached the subject. “You know, I had a great idea about that case…”

“NO.”

“But it occurred to me…”

“NO.”

“Now there you go, cutting me off, and I haven’t even said ‘How does Brundlefly eat?’ yet. I can get away with saying this: you knew I was like this when you married me.”

*sad, hopeless sigh, as a tiny portion of her soul decided to play Russian roulette with an automatic to save time* “Am I going to regret this?”

“Not at all. I have an idea that would make salvaging that case a sane and reasonable proposition.”

She put her chin on her hand, just waiting for my non-Euclidean logic to justify my being capped in my sleep and buried in the desert somewhere. “Really.”

“Absolutely. It would be great…”

“Yes?”

“…it would be wonderful…”

“Yes?”

“…it would be a perfect…”

“SPIT IT OUT!”

“It would be a perfect enclosure for a crocodile monitor.”

I will say that Akira Kurosawa would have been amazed and impressed by the Czarina’s economy of movement with a killing blow at that point, and her mother joined in with a glare that would have burned a hole in the wall had it been aimed at the wall instead of between my eyes. Her father just rolled his eyes and told himself “At least he’s better than the last husband,” which really isn’t saying much. The night was rent with screams and the occasional reminder of “Hey, at least I’m not blowing the mortgate money on drugs, right? RIGHT?” Some people just don’t know when they have a better deal than they had a decade ago.

Anyway, if you don’t hear from me by Monday, it’s because the Czarina will have taken the issue with my sneaking down to the hotel to rescue that case under her wing. Four rolls of duct tape are enough to immobilize any human alive, and please don’t ask me how I know this. And I’ll be giggling “And you BELIEVED me?” the whole time? Oh, our tenth anniversary is going to be an absolute blast.