Catie George

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since Oct 20, 2016
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Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
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Recent posts by Catie George

Thank you Skandi! Coincidentally, I just started my first bean sprouts in nearly a year last night, good to know how to make nicer looking ones as mine are rarely great.
My closet isnt a safe place to hide in an alien invasion. Even with a plastic sword.

Dreaming about studying is not a substitute for actually studying.  Even if everything seems so clear and simple when the alarm goes off to get up early to study more before your final exam...  

The real book is never anywhere near as good as the book my subconscious writes to fill in the gap when I fall asleep reading.







2 days ago
I have been surprised by my worms ability to deal with a bit of aerobic heat. I several times have thought I must have cooked them as the bin heats up, only to look a month or two later and see them thriving and that the population has exploded.

I would definitely try it, but suggest perhaps thin (1-2 ft) beds of material to allow heat to escape, and not continuously adding fresh, perhaps have several bins/piles, and let the worms digest it over the course of a month or two before adding new material. If you have access to additional carbon materials, that may also be of help if it is particularly hot.

Please let us know if it works!
1 week ago
Thanks Carla!

We had a wonderful meal, just mom and I, rather than the whole family because of Covid. Thanksgiving turkey, and a whole whack of veggies. Proud that other than 1 kind of pickles, olives, cranberries, and some celery in the coleslaw, all the veggies, potatoes, and pickles and herbs were homegrown this year. We have a long standing tradition to count the veggies on the table at Christmas and Thanksgiving in our family, this year we managed 11, matching my grandma's record with just 2 of us eating.  Cheated, as a lot of those were pickles and I am counting pumpkin pie as a veggie.

I think we spent as much time putting away leftovers in the freezer as eating, a turkey is a big meal for just 2!
1 week ago
I use python. Free, open source, good online help documentation and, more importantly, what a program i use for work is written to use for automating tasks.  Matlab is awesome for engineering and science but not exactly a versatile langauge through it teaches you lots of the skills. Unfortunately the licence is bloody expensive, but there is a knock off open source version I believe. R is what lots of statistics and graphing stuff in journal papers is done with.

Honestly, unpopular opinion - any language he enjoys if he isnt being paid to do it. I think programming is kinda like reading. Once you can read in English, you can pick up reading in French or Italian easily enough because you know how letters and punctuation works and just need to lean a few different rules. My university taught introductory programming with a useless unheard of language. Useless in real life, BUT we programmed robots in class and had a blast, and the fun of it made me more inclined to learn more. We also did Matlab, and some python, and something else that I forget now...  I don't program much recently - but I have enough background to bash my way inelegantly through small tasks in other languages, and know what to google/how to think when i encounter one.

I find a basic knowledge of SQL queries useful too.
2 weeks ago
Mine was mediocre to poor. About 1.5 milk crates of potatos from 100 row feet. Got more than I planted though, so not my worst ever year :)

My potatos are so dense you can barely cut them, small, and remained at surface. To be fair, I was blaming my soil (barely managed to chisel a 6" furrow to plant them, and insufficient hilling, but everyone else in the area is reporting a bad year for potatos, so I blame the big drought we had in early summer instead.  Soil is much more workable after a year of mulch, hoping for better results next year.
2 weeks ago
One comment is that you may want to consider an alternative source of heat for when you are away or ill. My childhood home was heated by wood stoves, to go away for more than a day or two and avoid frozen pipes, we also had electric baseboard heat. Now, when my dad is ill or injures himself, he also uses the electric heaf until he is well enough to carry in wood again.

Another house i lived in just had an outdoor wood furnace, which was much more even heat though it used more wood than the woodstoves. However, there was no electric heat, so it was difficult to leave the house for any time in the winter (we set up portable heaters)

My uncle has a propane furnace, but radically reduced his heating season with a simple well placed woodstove in the basement. The propane furnace kicks in on days the woodstove isnt sufficient, and, again, he can go away in the winter without fearing the pipes will freeze.
3 weeks ago
Oh damn. I am sorry!!! Bloat is something i am always worried about.

i wouldnt have suspected bloat with those symptoms either, and my experience with vets is that they arent much use even when you bring a dog in with 'somethings not right" until what that something is becomes obvious.

I am so sorry, Elle. Losing a dog is really hard, losing two dogs in a few weeks is pretty unbearable.
3 weeks ago
Honestly, even living down the road from where problem bears are relocated, i never dealt with bear issues. Why? We burnt our garbage (not an environmentally sound solution!!!), washed plastics, cans, etc before putting it outside to bring to the recycling depot,  Or hauled it to the dump regularly, and had dogs around. The only time we ever saw a bear in our yard was when the last dog was old and no longer roaming- a young bear sauntered down the drive, and our old dog and cat (!) warned it off.  People were spread out enough that there was no NEED for the bear to pass through our yard, though i occasionally saw bear sign in the woods. When i walked, i usually had the dogs, and chatted with them, or would whistle or have a set of bear bells in higher risk seasons. People in the area hunted and ate bear too, which controlled the population as well.

At work - i have been to many remote sites and have been around all 3 species of Canadian bear. The only one we had bear issues in was one where they had an open dump site instead of an incinerator with tall fences. Even there, the only time i was ever at risk was when i was moving garbage to my truck(bears smelled it, and came into the building because the door was open!!!) or dropping it off at the dump (i accidentally hit a bear that i didnt see in the head with it when i threw it). I carried bear spray in the woods, never used it, did not leave food or garbage in the vehicle, and travelled with another person. We did have one black bear stalk us for a bit, but he seemed more curious than anything, and left when someone honked a horn. I also once walked without noticing within 100 m of a grizzly and her two cubs sleeping in the grass - she was habituated to humans being noisy nuisances but not sources of food due to strict garbage and bear protocols, and didnt even watch me walk past.

For me, the most environmentally sound bear control measures are the prosaic ones - clean your garbage, have a couple large dogs around, be loud so they hear you coming, and eat them when the population gets too large, or if they start becoming problem bears.

(Oh, except for polar bears, which are bloody scary, very smart, and DEFINITELY think of humans as prey. Heard way too many "polar bear lay there for days before attacking" stories to like polar bears).
3 weeks ago
First frost was more than a week ago here, trees are about half bare now. It has been a wet fall, so not as glorious a show as usual. Went swimming a couple days ago, quite crispy now.

No, i am NOT ready for it. Fall is okay, but not interested in that white fluffy stuff yet. Am ready for my neighbours to start raking, so i can steal the bags to bed my garden down for the winter!
3 weeks ago