Bokashi Update (Again)

I know you’re all dying to know how it went… well, we managed to find a composter* and trundled out there with our Bokashi bin. Something was clearly horribly wrong, however. When the bin came out of the house, the smell produced as it was moved was… bad. Exceptionally bad. We bagged it up and even still could smell the foetid odour.

So, we pulled up at our land (after visiting a garden store, ACE hardware, and finally the Eastside Urban Farming place**) and plonked the composter down, unceremoniously, as the rain poured down on us. And then I opened the bin. Oh good holy fuck did it smell.

Even as a seasoned emergency nurse, I was concerned I might hurl. With fine technique I launched the contents into the compost bin, and then we piled wet leaves on top, damping the smell down a bit. I had planned to take a photo, but the horror of the scent was beyond comparison so I skipped that step. Then using one of the puddles of water around the place I rinsed the bin, wiped it out with bio-degradable cleaner, rinsed it, rinsed it some more, wiped it some more, rinsed it some more, and eventually conceded that it smelt less-bad-enough that we could bag it up again and throw it in the back of the car.

So raging success it was not.

Having googled – it may have been too wet, or our stuff may have sat on the counter too long, and we possibly want to be better at draining it. The white fuzzy fungus is apparently exactly what we want, which it was showing… so I’m not sure exactly why it went so horribly wrong.

We’re going to continue with the other bin, and when we’ve cleaned the other bin out more thoroughly, we’ll try another attempt without anything wet-ish. I’m wondering if the wet tea-bags and wet-coffee-grounds are the problem.

And hopefully it’ll rot down quickly, because I really don’t want to have that smell again next time we go out there.

Bleuch.

*which it turns out is harder than you’d think if you’re trying to shop at independent stores
** oh such a bad place. So bad. I will spend faaaaaarrrr too much money there.

Sadness

It is with some sadness that I announce the passing of my swimming costume (or swim suit, if you must). It’s withstood my lackadaisical care for 15 years, more or less. Normally I’d not be so attached to a piece of clothing, but I bought it as a gift for myself before I went into hospital. I still remember riding my motorbike to Stroud’s one and only sporting goods shop and grabbing it in my lunch break a few weeks before I was admitted. And wearing it was pretty much the first time I went swimming as an adult. 

So it’s a slightly sad feeling to know it’s been replaced. But the elastic was rock hard, and had gone very, very yellow. 

Minor league annoyances 

I did not in fact get to watch tank girl, because the box I thought was filled with DVDs was in fact not. Instead it’s a box containing a few random CDs. The film archive is clearly still in storage. Sadly that also means no ???????? Katakuri-ke no K?fuku, at least not for a while. Which is a shame as there are a big group of new people to break. 

Events of late

The ongoing disasters that are the US and the UK seem to be continuing unabated.  As I watch the UK continue to debate the validity of my existence and the US continue to demonstrate that a large proportion of citizens want me to be gone,  or alternatively dead, I’m finding it harder and harder to remain positive about the future. 

We have reached the point where we’re actually making bigger spends on our house project (on top of the original big spend of buying the land). This week we’re paying the designer (I’m assuming he’s not an actual architect) which is a not insignificant chunk of our remaining money that we can’t get back if we suddenly have to flee the country. Which worryingly is not an impossible situation.  

In our state this week a Sikh man was shot for the mistake of being brown in the US.  And in various places people have been shot for being brown and foreign. And I know for many people of color this is just another normal day. And I sincerely apologize for not doing more to combat it before, although I’ve been pushing along nudging in my quiet British way. But still. Way below good enough. 
But to actually be concerned for my safety on a regular basis is, quite frankly, shit. To have that aching paranoia – should I be here? Should I stop here? Is that someone I need to avoid? Its exhausting.

And to do that while we try and make decisions about building ourselves a home? Well, it’s not great. Let’s put it that way. 

Break (of sorts)

So today we headed out with the intention of going to a march. Specifically, an ACA march which had some link to Danny Heck – our local congresscritter. So we hopped in the insight and drove on up to an area of Tacoma. We had actually decided not to go yesterday, for a variety of reasons, but this morning our conscience won us over – we headed up there.

And… were disappointed by the lack of diversity. I am aware that Tacoma’s way more diverse than a lot of Oly, so we were hoping to see some non-middle-class and non-white faces. And I know that I have little that I can say to criticise others. I have never organized a march in my life, nor have I done overly much political – I keep trying, but work is overwhelmingly busy and I struggle to get everything needed done in any given day.

But seriously, in the middle of Tacoma, in a park which is clearly being used by a non-white local community, and virtually every person in that march that I saw was white and (from the vehicles, clothes and people, and my stereotyping) pretty much middle class. My beloved is right, we need to be reaching out to other communities. Making connections with other groups. The fact that the left has so staggeringly failed to bring our message to groups that would actually benefit enormously from leftish policies is one of the most disappointing things about us.

It’s also one of the things that scares me the most.

Still, having made the trek we debated some other actions that were going on, but my immigrant status means that caution tends to be the better part of any kind of valour, and instead we decided to engage in a day of self-care.

We went around Point Defiance Park, for a bit of a wander. We had lunch at the Antique Sandwich Company which was one of Kathryn’s occasional haunts as a child. Visited the world’s most depressing nursery (more dead plants than alive ones). And then meandered down to the Tacoma Art Museum for an utterly amazing exhibit. The Outwin 2016 exhibit had some incredibly powerful portraits. I’m not usually that interested in portraiture, although I have more space for modern portraiture than classic imagery.

But this was truly exceptional work.

And then, occupying the flipside of culture, we headed to Tinkertopia, which is kind of along the lines of what we’d like to do as a store. Not exactly, but it’s in that region. And I picked up a record player for my office (because that’s what my office needs, obviously). It’s a 1950s Decca P-903 that needs a *lot* of love. The case isn’t too bad, although the handle is missing (sadly). However, turning it on it does make a pretty awful noise (they’d already turned it on, so I was feeling daring).

If anyone has a P-903 service manual that’d be handy, because I suspect things are sad internally. The motor’s certainly running but ooooh that deck needs (at the very least) lubrication.

Still, it’s another thing I won’t have time to tackle for a while, but when I do it should be fun.

’til then…

And now I think it’s time to watch Tank Girl :)

App / Browser extension concepts

Concept the first: When you hover over a Senator or Representative’s name (or an MP’s name in England) a little pop-up box appears (like the spelling corrections one) which identifies major companies that have donated to that individual (or PACs that support that individual). Also major individual donors. Also a little percentage of “small donations” vs “large donations” for their last re-election campaign.

Concept the second: Further extension such that if you visit one of their websites a scrolling banner with the branding for every major company that donated to / supports them trundles across the bottom of the page.

Anyone with better coding skills than me want to make it happen?

A Bokashi update, and other shite.

So Bokashi first, since I’m aware that this is basically a Bokashi blog now. So the first bin is most of the way through it’s two week fermentation. It’s producing less and less of the vicious orange slurry that you can apparently use to keep drains clear. We have been tipping it down the drain, usually just before doing washing up, because it smells fierce.

The second bin is not doing so well. I suspect this is my fault, I transferred the squishing spatula from the first bin, which I’d made the decision early on not to bother to wash. This, I suspect, was an error. In the new bin with all that space it more or less instantly turned into a giant puffball of mould. I scraped it off, and shoved the mould well down into a layer, but the next time we opened it, it was the same. And since then, each time it’s been worse smelling. The first bin smelled vaguely fermenty, but this smells – like a food waste bin. Today I’ve fished it out and washed it fairly thoroughly, and I suspect that it’ll just be another bokashi job. Chop the veg up, squish it down, wash the masher.

Next week we can take it out of the bin and see what the fermentation process has done. Not sure how we clean it, given that we have no-where outside to wash it… Still, we can face that problem down when we get there.

Despite the challenges, and the amount of time it takes, it’s something I can do.

Which feels important.

Continue reading “A Bokashi update, and other shite.”

Non-delights of adulthood

Kathryn pointed out the inherent falsehood in the phrase

“I am so entirely done with this”

Which we both often proclaim, just before we go on to deal more with whatever is causing the doneness.

On which note, I’m so entirely done with vile petty bigots persecuting transkids, and transpeople, and anyone who’s not exactly the same as them.

I hope they are haunted every waking moment – and I hope their sleep is entirely nightmares filled with the traumatised and beaten people who commit suicide thanks to their bitter, evil campaigns.

Gently frustrating

So one of the things I miss from the UK is relatively clear pricing.

It’s frustrating to never actually know how much something will cost – you pick it up off the shelf and then some tax is added. Depending on the item it might have more than one tax on it… which means I never know until I get to the till how much things will cost.

More annoying though is the habit of places (mainly car places) advertising big-ticket items with completely misleading prices. Like, oh, this car is $15900 to buy. Only, it’s only that price if you get it on finance, qualify for every rebate they can come up with, oh, and it’s actually lease to buy which means that it’s $15900 over 5 years – then you get to pay the $11,000 residual value. Which… as far as I’m concerned means its actual price is $26900.

I’m used to car places advertising the lowest possible price which is only available if you get the base-level trim in which the seats have been replaced with milk-crates and you have a few hundred quid of registration fees and delivery fees on top. But deliberately misleading pricing where you say it’s to purchase, but exclude over $10k of cost from the ‘purchase’. This is what I call bullshit*.

* Our insight is not getting looked after properly, because I don’t have time to look after it’s many hand-built quirks (i.e. it’s leaking and I don’t have time to fix the now three places it seems to be leaking from**). Also I *hate* burning petrol. So I’m constantly trying to wheedle a way to actually afford an EV to replace it.

** ETA: Apparently it’s probably leaking from the same place as it’s leaking on the passenger side. Which means another $100 worth of clips and time. I really need another me to fix this.