?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Picardy is such a silly region. For months on end it will sit there,… - Balinares — LiveJournal

Apr. 19th, 2010

07:50 pm

Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry

Picardy is such a silly region.

For months on end it will sit there, sullen and wet, shrouded in dull grays and browns. And then, midway through April, it suddenly wakes to the whole Spring thing, flails its figurative arms in total panic, and BAM, green. Overnight.

And then it just keeps greening.

It's like going to bed in Poland and waking up in Guatemala.

Within a matter of days the meager vegetable pelt that made it through winter became a knee-high jungle for cats to get stranded in forevermore. Allow it to grow further and abandon all hope.

When we moved in, the garden had remained untended for months. Getting it back under control required drafting my father and the unholy hybrid of lawnmower and Howitzer that, I believe, he must have acquired on the Russian black market.

After which it befell me to keep it in check, one way or another.

C.'s parents, who are awesome, offered us a lawnmower. It is a valiant lawnmower. I can find no fault with it. But it's a lawnmower. If the word 'garden' might be stretched to encompass the tract of land around the house, what grows there stopped qualifying as lawn somewhere around the Precambrian era.

And last Spring saw me stepping meekly into the local gardening shop, on the hunt for some tool or other to bring things back into a pretense of civilization.

A sales rep found me nosing around the strimmer shelves, and ventured to interest me in some model or other. A single glance at me, and he directed me toward the newb models, with electronic starters and automated this or that, all while I hesitantly tried to convey the behemothian nature of the vegetation being discussed. At which point he paused, took me a bit further into the power tool area, where I did not dare to tread on my own, stopped in front of a somewhat bulkier model, and said with a sideways glance at me: "Then again, you've got that one." Brief, meaningful pause. "It's got more torque."

I know when I'm being tested.

Moments later saw me standing alone in the face of my jungle, wearing gloves, protection glasses, and a body harness with, hooked upon it at my hip, the power tool of noteworthy torque.

I started it.

The rotating head dematerialized. In its stead, a transparent disc of wind vibrated faintly. I moved the wind disc into a clump of vegetation. The clump dematerialized as well.

Much, much later, I stopped the engine, standing in the middle of a close-trimmed tract of land above which floated a faint green mist, panting with the kind of numb exhilaration that comes only from 1/ close battle and 2/ power tools.

Only few carcasses of lost cats were uncovered in the process.

On that day, the trimmer earned both its renown and its own proper name. Now nettle moms with a ten mile radius scare their seedlings with tales of El Molinator.

You know it's gonna be good when the manual explains in precise details how to take it apart to the smallest elements, fully expects you to, and the thing ships with all the tools to do so.

All this to say that this last weekend marked the yearly awakening of El Molinator from its winterly slumber.

Many shrubs and weeds knew what it was to be mulched in the depths of a Molinator that day, I can tell you.

And because the biggest clumps were made of chive, of all things, now my garden smells of French cuisine.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:bossgoji
Date:April 19th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Many shrubs and weeds knew what it was to be mulched in the depths of a Molinator that day, I can tell you.

I am the Nettlekeeper, are you the Shrubmaster?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 19th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
THANK GOD someone got the reference!

Also 'Shrubmaster' is giggly fun and there's got to be something to do with that title. Hmm. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:bossgoji
Date:April 19th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Y: THERE IS NO GOJI, ONLY YOMIKO.

...stop that.

Y: Spoilsport.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 19th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thread winner! :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kefen
Date:April 20th, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
(Link)
I'm horribly ashamed to have missed it...

Also, did I ever tell you you were made of a particularly bright variety of win?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 20th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yes. Yes you did. I suspect you of planning to get into my pants.



... Carry on. :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kefen
Date:April 21st, 2010 08:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh come on! Now you've got a wife and kid, really... in your pants? That'd be really dishonest of me!

...

Your wine cellar, however...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:crustycurmudgeo
Date:April 19th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What a wonderful post! PernMUSH lost a great player when you retired.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 19th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Bah, I say. Bah. People on PernMUSH is who I learned it all from. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kefen
Date:April 20th, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
And people still learn from you too, so it all works out fine! :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 20th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Next up: Things You Didn't Know Vim Could Do.

One of the perks of my new job: learning stuff. Really learning stuff.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kefen
Date:April 21st, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, one of my colleagues, our local Linux guru — as in 50-year-old-regular-kernel-contributor guru — taught me how to use '*' and '#' in vim yesterday (which is next occurrence of current word and previous occurrence of current word, respectively).

(Well, I did teach him about :sp and ^W-UP ^W-DOWN so it's a mutually beneficial deal!)

What else did you learn? *curious* I guess we're both due for a New Job post.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 21st, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh well -- these days I rarely work with less than two or three split windows, moved around and resized as the need arises, and about as many hidden buffers which I sift through with a nifty little extension which is not unlike the filesystem browser or the file/class/method tag list provided by other extensions. Tests are called right from inside vim (and so is Spyrit for that matter). And a pretty color theme that's easy on the eyes.

Also, Ctrl-V. Seriously, Ctrl-V.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:footpad
Date:April 19th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can just bet that when you get in from Molinating the garden, C. has to forcibly restrain you from wearing horned helmets and teaching B. to brandish his spork.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 20th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Actually, after a session with El Mo, my own muscles forcibly restrain me from doing much at all. x_x
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:weasely
Date:April 20th, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
(Link)
*I* want a french cuisine garden! :S
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 20th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well. Try to water your vegetables with red wine and see where it takes you from there? =)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:aisheth
Date:April 22nd, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ah yes, I much enjoyed this post. Reminds me of my battle with bramble. So far, I win the battles, but alas, the bramble is definitely winning the war (and taking over parts of the farm).

Be mindful of something called "Vibration White Finger". (You can wikipedia it) I was warned about it by a landscape gardener. His college got it. He says, if your hands feel tingly when you turn the thing off (eg, to put more fuel in), take a break.

Okay, okay, one episode of culinary smelling herbicide isn't going to do anything, but who knows, you may go mad and decide to bring out El Molinator on a weekly basis and it sounds like a powerful sort of machine.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:April 23rd, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
(Link)
Whoa. I definitely get tingly hands after long sessions of work. It's good to know that I should be careful. @_@

I'm glad we don't have bramble problems here, on top of the rest. Well, we do have one bipolar raspberry bush. Half the year, it sulks in the corner of its bed at the angle of the house. And then sometime around the turning point of Summer, it cheers up overnight, and thence sprouts pound after pound after pound of fruit, which we have to down with a smile to spare its feelings. Which makes it so deliriously happy that it doesn't usually stop until late November. By then there's not much sun left and the fruit are tiny and sour, so we stop consuming them. This instantly sends the bush into the blackest mood, and it sulks at us stubbornly until the next Summer.

Thank heavens that plant is well confined to its bed. Otherwise I wouldn't put it past it to have a psychotic episode one night and murder us in our sleep.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:aisheth
Date:April 23rd, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Aha. I would not be surprised however if it were to blow you a raspberry when your back is turned !
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)