Saturday, May 13, 2006

Darwinian Gardens: Open For Business

It's our second spring as homeowners, and as the first fiddleheads are uncoiling in the planter bed, I'm dreaming of the splendor of what promises to be a tomatoey August.

I've covered the downstairs desk with a plastic bag and my verdant little seedlings are surging upward toward the windows and the blue bulb desk lamp. Peat pots line the windowsills and spill out onto the patio.

Truth be told, I'm an awful, awful gardener who compensates for his lack of skill with sheer numbers--it's a shock-and-awe attack on spring. I'm sort of the Donald Rumsfeld of planting, sending my dutiful troops out on a fool's errand to almost certainly meet a cruel fate. Any tomato plant that survives the summer and produces fruit has done so in spite of me.

Neverthless, nature is persistent. Last year, tomatoes took over the planting beds, much to the amusement of my wife's family. Cousin Dan asked, "So Steve, when are you going to put in the winter wheat"? In mid-April, I began to notice seedlings poking their way through the dirt--volunteers from the previous year.

Without a doubt, these early volunteers are the heartiest of the hardy seeds--able to withstand both my malignant neglect and a Canadian winter.

As I've watched them grow, it occurred to me that maybe I'm just the sort of slacker capable of creating an Ubertomato. If I continue my sadistic, Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest garden year after year, and grow from the previous season's volunteers, maybe I'll have tomatoes hardy enough to grow on the permafrost some day.

Here's the Darwinian Garders 2006 Starting Lineup...

Tomatoes: Nebraska Wedding, Big Black Volunteer, Purple Calabash, Stupice, Black Prince, Black Sea Man, Camp Joy, Moonglow

Herbs: Oregano, Lime Basil, Black Opal Basil, Santo Coriander, Sacred Basil, Genovese Basil, Thyme, Sage

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An Open Letter to Bush Jr.-Jr.

During the elections, an indignant Stephen Harper took great umbrage at the accusation that he would be a pawn of the United States.

Judging from his recent actions, the Canadian Prime Minister seems intent on following the incredibly successful template for international military and diplomatic success laid out by George W. Bush.

While he's at it, perhaps he should ask Kobe Bryant for dating tips and Stevie Wonder for a haircut.

While Harper's shameless, witless, policy plagiarism should elicit derision, the human cost of his folly is no joke.

Like George W. Bush, the tough-talking Stephen Harper is adept at using troops for photo-ops, but when it comes time to honour them after they've made the ultimate sacrifice, he's nowhere to be found. While he pledges someone else's child will not "cut and run", he himself cuts and runs from the grieving parents of fallen soldiers.

Like George W. Bush, Harper has banned the press from photographing flag-draped coffins...

Stephen Harper's government has also discontinued the practice of lowering the flag to half-mast to honour fallen troops--more Bushlike "Strategery".

Do you think you can play this country for fools, Mr. Harper? Do you think you can pour a bottle of antiseptic over this whole foolish endeavour and make this war seem painless?

It isn't, Mr. Harper, and you can't.

From the Hamilton Spectator:

At the funeral for Corporal Matthew Dinning in the southwestern Ontario town of Wingham on Saturday, Lincoln Dinning projected home movies of his late son on a large video screen, with the final images showing his son's remains returning to CFB Trenton.

"Now I'd like to show you some of the video that Mr. Harper wouldn't let you see close up of Matthew's arrival home," Dinning told mourners Saturday.

He added that his late son had been angry about the federal government's decision not to lower flags to half-mast on the death of a Canadian soldier.

Sandra Buckler, Harper's head of communications, told The Canadian Press yesterday that Harper won't comment on the remarks made by Dinning's grieving father. Turner, Payne, Dinning and Bombardier Myles Mansell were killed April 22 when their light armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb near Gumbad, north of Kandahar.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Celebrity Grudge Match: 50 Cent Vs. Oprah

Advantage: Oprah

"In an interview with The Associated Press, 50 complained that Winfrey rarely invites rappers on her talk show: ``I think she caters to older white women.''

Hey Fiddy,

By attacking the programatic content of Oprah's show, think of the damage you're doing to your image: What self-respecting gangsta rapper sits at home watching daytime T.V.?

The only thing more lame and washed-up than a rapper on Oprah is an L.L. Cool J. sitcom.

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