Thursday, December 17, 2015

Which holds more truth

A. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

B. The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Only The Good Die Young

After winter, it's been a long wait to see what will grow new leaves, or what has been overtaken by the short freezes. It's been easy to go out and take pictures, but I haven't been uploading them consistently, so here's catching up from each dormant state to whatever it could muster up in spring.
Azaleas during Winter
Pomegranate Tree right after Winter

Azaleas and Pomegranate tree grown back

 That's one mini flower bed. Just some little flowers and two bushes. The dogs like to dig in there a lot. Over the winter we got 9 cubic yards of dirt and mulch dumped in the driveway that Sanjay and I wheelbarrowed to the backyard to our new big flower bed. We got it set up to look like this:
Back flower bed
Other angle
It's looks really empty because there aren't many plants in there and even the ones that are still alive have no leaves during the winter so it blends in with the dirt and fence. Here's what's in there:
Crepe Myrtles, basically sticks
This was in Januaryish, we had to cut them this small to fit all four in my car.

Now they have leaves at least

Hopefully soon they will start flowering.

I still have high hopes for some blueberries and blackberries, but all through winter I can't tell if they are dead. But then I went to Lowe's when they got their new shipment of blue and blackberries and it looked exactly the same as mine, just like this:
Now they look a little more like this:
The one on the right has started flowering and has a lot more green, the one on the left only has leaves in like two spots.

Blueberries before

Blueberries after
Those are the plants that I've gotten attached to because they've been here at least about a year. We've put in some stuff that I haven't gotten so attached to yet:
Some bottle brush. We had some right outside the office at my last job, and it was full of bees and butterflies for what felt like all year round.

The only stuff I've started from seed. Made a little bed for sunflowers.

The hardest part was that they're supposed to be 18" apart, so you have to choose the best ones and kill all the rest to thin them out.

Habanero pepper baby plant

Tomatoes, I got like three different varieties of tomatoes, but if they actually all live we will have to many because tomatoes aren't Nishadi's favorite.

Some little annuals

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazy Pills

All I want for a government party is one that's less invasive in both social and economic issues. Screw me right?

Here are some issues I'm passionate about, and want more accurate information and research readily available:

 - More sustainable agriculture
 - Actual Net Neutrality, where the companies that own the roads can't own the shops on the roads too. If that were the case, the companies could create monopolies by having really nice roads by their shops, and horrible little roads by competitors' shops. (If it were people owning these things it wouldn't be as big a problem) The federal government can't even manage their own medical website and Title II would put a committee in charge of the whole internet infrastructure. It could be worse I guess, Title II isn't the worst thing that could happen.
 - Internet should be open to everybody
 - Transparency of Medical costs
 - Politicians only know how to make money and or create/find loopholes in laws. How can we expect them to understand issues that would be cleared up by analyzing data?
 - People can't expect to influence the government as much as corporations do

I plan on adding things to this list as I argue with people about them.

Generic political rant: politicians seem to be in left field. They start off on the right issues heading on the right base path but then veer off into left field. Then the opposing side goes off chasing him in left field still trying to tag him out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gardening in Houston

Now that we have full time jobs, a house, and a dog, there is less time to go around. Here is a little bit of productivity we have managed outside of the office:

Our backyard. Nishadi gets full credit for the pink bougainvillea flowers and sturdy stands. She gets all the credit in part because they have thorns and I strongly dislike thorns.

Red Silk Pomegranate tree/bush. Hopefully this will bear fruit eventually. It does not have any fruit right now and I'm not sure how old it is supposed to be before it is supposed to start growing actual pomegranates.

Tangerine tree. I've brutally ripped off most of the baby tangerines, because supposably it helps the tree focus on growing roots. That wasn't much fun but hopefully it proves worthwhile. I did leave  a few though, I couldn't help it.

Planting everything I hope I have done more work than necessary. I dug out like a 5 or 6 foot radius (wide and deep! I hate the Houston clay!) for each tree, and created a mixture of native soil, my own compost, and purchased compost and azalea soil. Then make sure it is on raised ground when you fill in the dirt around the root ball, and cover it with mulch.

Mostly I'll learn from trial and error, but the resources I've used for research so far:
Neil Sperry's website and book and specifically this post

Our berry bed. I built a trellis for blackberries to grow on. Hope it doesn't kill them off. There are two bushes under there. On the left is the arapaho bush, which as far as I can tell only has one branch still alive. The right bush is the Ouachita, which you can barely see one of its white flowers blooming there.

I'm really hopeful for them because I held off on blackberries because of the thorns - but these two varieties don't have thorns! The downside is they probably need more cold winter than Houston usually provides, so I'm guessing they only grew well for the local nursery because of this last abnormal winter, and they will soon die off.

The bushes outside the trellis are blue berries. The tiff blueberries is the tall bush on the left, and the brightwell berries are on the low bush on the right.

It's easy to see the flowers here, (I don't remember what kind, they are annuals of Nishadi's choice) but it's difficult to see the strawberries. There are a few Everbearing by the tall Tiff blueberrry bush, and a few chandler in between the trellis and the brightwell berries. I've heard to expect these strawberies to die in Texas heat without several precautions that I dismissed by planting as seen here.

Next time you visit will hopefully be in season for some harvesting! We've already had some of the blueberries from thees bushes, but those formed before planting this last weekend, so it doesn't really count as much.

I keep repeating the word "hopefully" because I haven't really done this before. I don't want to get too attached to growing my own food, however meager, so in my mind they will all be dead by winter. On the other hand, if they succeed, I want to try growing from seed and other harder things.

Bella for scale, before we bought brick

Some Ouachita seem to be doing well.
We haven't tried any yet, do you think that one is ready?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stolen from The Binkleys in Phayao:

"Our primary allegiance is not to the US nation, the president, a particular political party or even a particular political system, such as democracy.  Also, our tactics do not involve staging protests, trying to shutdown large cities, demonizing those with whom we don’t agree, posting vitriolic words on social media and using violence to get our way.  Rather, our allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and our tactics involve faithfully serving those around us, especially in small ways, with the love of God.  The more we become like Jesus the better we are able to do this.  Our political opinion is that when people in the US give their allegiance to Jesus above all other allegiances the US will become a better place."

From this post, with some minor changes of course. As I read this passage it hit home more and more.

Nishadi and I continue living in a state of weird disbelief. Kinda feels like we are living in someone else's house, like kids playing a pretend game or something.

I have had a continual inner dialogue about what church to place membership at. It always feels like a really epic conversation inside my head but I assure you it is simple minded. I just don't know how to choose. I'm excited to finally decide on a place and start doing some work.

I hope Manziel ends up in Texas somewhere, it would just be more fun to watch.

Monday, February 24, 2014

One of my favorites Ecclesiastes 3

Do people really gain anything [profit] from their work [toil]I saw the hard work [task] God has given people to do to keep them occupied. God has given them a desire to know the future and  placed eternity and an awareness of time in their hearts. He does everything just right, appropriate,  and beautiful in its time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing or discover and find the work that God does from beginning to end [humans cannot discern the “right time”]So I  realize that the best thing for them is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. God wants all people to eat and drink and be happy in their toil, which are gifts from God [the little pleasures are distractions from the meaningless world]I know that everything God does will continue forever. People cannot add anything to what God has done, and they cannot take anything away from it. God does it this way to make people respect [or be afraid of] him.

What happens now has happened in the past,
    and what will happen in the future has happened before.
God makes the same things happen again and again.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Simple Thoughts and Ramblings on Psalm 1

God's blessings follow you and await you at every turn: when you don't follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, when you avoid sin's highway, when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse. For you, the Eternal's Word is your happiness. It is your focus - from dusk to dawn. You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper. For those who focus on sin, the story is different. They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind, left deserted and alone. In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment; the guilty will be separated from the innocent. Their road suddenly will end in death, yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.

As for the updates, we have a house now, and it's really weird. I'm the crazy guy from fight club worrying about couches and tables and things. I wouldn't mind if they all burned down. I wonder what I would do with the money if it wasn't put towards stuff like furniture. If I was certain I would use it in a way that showed other people there is a God....I don't know. Sometimes I can retroactively trick myself into thinking the decision I made was the best decision to make, and then future Cameron looks back and wants to slap my previous self. Then future future Cameron looks back and wants to slap both future Cameron and previous Cameron.

I guess I was going to have to grow up sometime. Not talking just about furniture. I put other things before God every day. I do the minimum that I can hope won't make him outright angry with me. I have so much potential to succeed in everything I do and show everyone around me that God is in control, but I search for happiness and the Eternal's Word isn't always the first place I look, and it's not what I focus on.

I'm glad there are other people that You came and died for too, because  it would be pretty stupid if it was just me, even though I'm pretty sure you would anyway. But that makes it all the more stupider that you did do it, because I know for a fact none of those other people are better than me.

I have a wife and a dog, and I come home and snuggle with them on the couch and watch old episodes of the office, and I love my life, and I think we will continue to do well when it all turns back to dust.