Giving the chickens a new temporary home.

Previously we had them in a plastic bin. The kind you store random useless things in. I knew that they grew fast, but I think me and the wife were both a little unprepared about how fast they would grow out of their container. IMG_0455

We had a play pen inside that I like to call Jackson’s screaming inducer. We definitely weren’t using it anymore and we thought it would be better suited to enclose the chickens. IMG_0491

It works pretty well. They cant jump over and it gives them a little more space to run around. We figure in about two weeks we will be able to put them out in their coop So they can have a little permanence. There’s a video below. Please like, comment, and subscribe. Thank you.

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3 Main things about ‘Ready Player One’ (book review, spoiler)

‘Ready Player one’ is amazballs, first and foremost. Its story is unique and brilliant. The main characters are deep and relate-able. I recommend this book to anyone, not just lovers of Sci-fi. When the movie comes out, I will definitely be the first in line to see it. I love the book that much, but as Austin Powers put so politely, “Having said that, I do have some thoughts.”

Could have been longer

This is more of a compliment than a criticism. I personally would have loved to be a little more immersed in the world Ernest Cline. He does such a great job of explaining the world, but he doesn’t really go in to any detail of what is possibly happening in the real world, not the OASIS. But I totally get that, in a fast paced book like this explaining the real world and not sticking to the main story could have frustrated the reader. Which brings me to my next point.

Could have been a little slower

The clues to Halliday’s quest for the Easter egg were extremely vague. I grew up in the 80’s and I thought I would have a pretty good handle on the clues given, but I was lost. That aside, I would have been perfectly OK with letting the story play out and reading the protagonist discover the clues, but I felt such a urgency to find them out I found myself Googling the clues and trying to figure them out for myself. I LOVED that the author was able to pull me in to the story hard enough to make me google stuff, but I lament for my heart rate and blood pressure.

Alternate ending?

I loved the ending. It was happy and everybody had what they wanted. The geek got the girl and the jock got rekt. I really thought during the height of the arc that there was going to be some kind of “Everyone needs to wake up”, which I got attached to. So when Parzival was shown the big red button I thought for sure he would push it. I wasn’t quite disappointed that he didn’t push it, but there was a piece of me that wanted to see the death of the dream. I guess it would have been cool to see Halliday regret his creation. I would have loved to see this under-story where Halliday realized that he spent his life in his own imagination and he loved it at first, but then when humanity spent their life dreaming and left the world to ruin, he knew he had made a great mistake. It would have been cool, but I think that would have belonged in a longer epic type battle to save the world and not just the OASIS.

So there you have it, my two cents (clink, clink) I loved the book. I just wish it was longer so I could enjoy more of Ernest Cline’s fantastic writing. Thanks for the read. Like and subscribe if you wish to.

 

The name of the wind (book review)

OK, wow. Let me first start out by saying that I don’t pay much attention to others’ reviews and hype around ANY product. It was suggested to me by audible and I decided to give it a go since I was waiting for We are legion, We are Bob’s sequel to come out. My first instinct was to sneer at this book. I don’t regularly read fantasy, because I was under the impression that they are mostly similar and sometimes I feel like I am reading the same thing over and over. I am a Tolkien lore master and I love the fantasy realms and ideas, but most today cant do what Tolkien did. I learned through this book, that’s OK.

This book is amazing in its own right. It is book one of three named the kingkiller chronicles. It’s story follows the life of a bright young kid named Kvothe. The book starts in the present day of the world in which many strange happenings present themselves. The world is in upheaval. The people that should be enforcing the law are the ones most frequently breaking it. We learn that the name of Kvothe is a name of legend, of mystery, yet Kvothe himself is living in secret under an alias.

His name is such a household installment that a person has come to record the facts of his unbelievable life. Patrick Rothfuss’s writing style is on point. It is easy to read and he is one of those authors where you can tell he has the entire story all laid out ahead of time, unlike a large portion of authors today that form the story as they write. I’m not a fan of this type. Its too vague, and you can tell that they themselves don’t know where they’re going with the  story as they tell it. Its almost like hearing a kid tell a ghost story around a campfire. Rothfuss does not do this.

If you are on the fence about buying this book, don’t hesitate, buy it. You’re already interested enough to like it at the very least.

Chickens! Round two. Their first couple weeks on the homestead.

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Chickens, Chickens everybody loves chickens. My wife especially. This woman goes so far as to hint to me that “It would be nice to have a house chicken.” She drops me other ‘hints’ on my Facebook page including links to purchase chicken diapers and practical uses for chickens in the house. I love all animals, but I don’t love them that much. These birds are cute when they first hatch, but they get messy and chaotic REAL QUICK. Not that they are hard to manage, because they’re not, but they are not the type of pet that stays indoors, in my humble opinion. IMG_0455

We bought them from Grace brothers in Cleveland. We have been going there for a couple years now and we love the people that work there and the small shop is geared toward selling city homestead local items – which we are all about. They don’t cost much only a couple bucks each, I mean like 3 or 4 bucks, so its easy to get carried away and get a dozen little peepers right off the bat. As always we got several different varieties. I think the count is: 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Barred Rock, 2 Delaware, 2 Easter eggers, 1 Golden Buff Orpington. So we will have white, brown and blue eggs. IMG_0457

Our previous chickens were dear to us, but when we moved out to the country here in Newbury, we had to let someone else take care of them since there was no coop built at the new house and we had to tear down the old coop at the old house to get it ready to sell. So we had a friend of a friend watch the, down in Lodi. We decided not to take them back as the person who was watching them loved them so much and they she had said they had gotten quite used to their surroundings. So fast forward to two weeks ago, My wife finally broke me down enough to go and get the new temporary juvenile coop and the chicks. IMG_0462

For right now they are safe and warm in the tote while it warms up enough outside for them. Enjoy the video below. Like and subscribe if you wish to.

Baby needs a new pair of shoes

Well, it happened. Jackson got his first pair of shoes today. He is 13 months old and walking now. It’s been raining for the last couple of days now and my backyard is a giant pool of water. great to breed peepers that you can hear in the summer, terrible if you want to enjoy walking around in your backyard barefoot. Its a sloppy mess out there. Yesterday we had Jackson out walking around in the grass and me and the wife came to the realization that we have to buy this child shoes. For the world. His first pair.

5 gardening tips that I wish someone would have told me about.

WP_20160817_09_08_03_ProSo you want to be a gardener? Awesome! Growing your own fresh vegetables in your backyard can be very rewarding. There is nothing like walking through your garden and viewing how things have changed, and feeling the anticipation of how a certain food might turn out. There is also something so satisfying about the way a food tastes when you know it comes from your land made by your hands. There is a huge difference between ‘fresh’ at the store, and fresh from your backyard.
I have been around the growing of vegetables and other foods since I was 3 years old. It is one of my many passions and I consider myself to be quite good at it, now. Even with my parents and my neighbors gardens to get a good knowledge base of what I was doing, my first couple of attempts of gardening were marginal at best. I was growing things sure, but I was wasteful, impatient and clumsy. These tips are for the very greenest newbs to gardening. They were somehow left out of the internet when I started. Good luck.

⦁ Grow what you like

This is numero uno for all people that ask me for advice when they first start a garden. I started my garden growing zucchini and pumpkins because my mother had always grown them and I loved how they looked as they sprawled across the garden. It wasn’t until I harvested them and they sat in my fridge and rotted that I realized, “I hate zucchini!” I’ve always hated zucchini, but I grew it because I liked the idea of growing it. I wasted so much space and time and sweat and effort growing the dang things and they went in the trash. Avoid this by making a list of vegetables that you LOVE to eat and start there. Whether it be brussel sprouts or table grapes or sweet corn. Plan to grow what you love to eat, what you know you will eat. This avoids waste. It sounds like a simple no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people grow stuff that’s destined for the dumpster.WP_20160824_11_08_03_Pro

⦁ Grow what you know / Know what you grow

Starting a garden with no help but the internet and the advice of the teenager that works in the garden center at Home Depot can be daunting to say the least. Getting your feet muddy and completely changing how your yard looks can be even more daunting. Starting a plant indoors in a pot gets you acquainted with the plant itself. You can grow almost anything in a pot inside. Or outside for that matter. I know a guy who lives in an apartment building on the tenth floor that grows tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets. You can do beets to onions to pickling cucumbers. Even potatoes in larger pots. Getting something started on a small scale will get you acquainted with the amount of work it will be if or when you scale it up, and you don’t have to rent or buy a rototiller. I actually still follow this tip myself if I’m doing something like starting a new vegetable or I just want to grow something I can walk by and snag and munch on. I do this with garden green beans. So delicious.
There are mountains of books and information on the internet nowadays that will explain the different growing techniques and strategies for growing certain vegetables. If you want to grow tomatoes don’t grow them in sand. If you want to grow potatoes do use sand! Every different type of vegetable has its own style and way it will grow the best. Like, when I first started I put my tomato plants 6 inches from each other because that looked completely OK when they were just sproutlings. When they took off it was a nightmare to manage. Your veggies might need stakes, trellis, pits, mounds, rows, sand, certain fertilizers, shade, constant sun, soil high in phosphorous, well drained soil, rocky soil There are a lot of different strategies to grow any veggie. These aren’t ironclad rules, but they really help. Take the time to learn your plant and form a plan. It makes everything else so much easier.

⦁ Love your plants

I’m not a very mushy person and I don’t mean sleep by your plants and tell them your secrets. I just mean go the extra mile and commit to your investment. Vegetables that we eat today have been cultivated from other different plants and bred and bred and bred. So, like a pug that cant breathe, your vegetables are prone to fungus and insect predators, but luckily it only takes a little attention to ‘nip things in the bud’ before things get out of hand. I think you’ll also find that taking a look at your plants every other day is therapeutic and fun to do.019 (2)

⦁ Organic / Heirloom / non GMO

Hang on folks I’m going to get a little snarky. In every gardening circle there’s that guy. You know the one. The guy who cant shut up about what heirloom seeds he uses. Or the lady that swears by her imported Ethiopian all organic bat dropping fertilizer. If you want to be one of these people by all means, knock yourself out. And I really mean the best to you, but if you’re a newb and you’re starting a garden just to have a little fun with the interest of eating healthy as a benefit, save yourself the migraine and don’t listen to these people. Does heirloom okra taste better than regular giant eagle okra? I don’t know, but I’ve got a better question for you: Who cares? If its grown by your hands its almost guaranteed to taste better than store bought. And you’re doing this for fun and the reward of having fresh veggies at your fingertips. Don’t add confusing topics to something that is really not very confusing at all. Seed goes in dirt, add water and sunlight, patience, eat.

⦁ Patience

Last, but certainly not least is patience. I can not tell you how many plants I have ruined by over-pruning or over aerating the ground or over-watering, harvesting too early. All mistakes that are brought on by my tremendous lack of patience. Now you might not be that person. You might be saying “Daryl, I get the cheapest most slowest delivery option on all my internet shopping. I don’t ever pass anyone on the highway. When watching youtube I never ever skip an ad!” Well, good for you. You don’t need this tip then. Most of the time plants do just fine all by themselves. Save for the occasional pruning in some cases, they really don’t need you to be out there with a stopwatch and clipboard making sure that they pass milestones. Your first couple attempts might be rocky. Don’t try to grow the worlds largest pumpkin right out of the gate. Just take it easy. Let nature take its course. In time you’ll learn when they need you and when they don’t.
Above all else have fun. And good luck!FB_20150909_03_32_01_Saved_Picture