Friday, May 26, 2006

A Religious Moment

Today, after applying an army of grub-killing nematodes to my decimated rained. I've prayed for this happy outcome for weeks. Here are the facts: Nematodes are living microbes and you have to apply them within a day or two of receiving them. They need to be watered into the soil to be effective. I have a well that produces 4 gallons per minute and about two acres of lawn. Do the math on that and you'll realize as I did that if it doesn't rain after setting loose the nematodes, I'm screwed. But it did rain.
Of course, when I say I prayed for rain, I mean that figuratively. I pray for peace. I pray for the health of my children and the fate of the globe. But when I pray for things like David Ortiz homeruns, fresh bagels at the co-op on Saturdays -- or rain -- it simply means that I want it. The Almighty (Yes, He has a website, but no blog yet) has no obligation to fulfill these requests as far as my poorly attended faith is concerned, and besides, when Ortiz hits a homer he gives the Big Guy credit on national television every time he does it. When I get rain for my nematodes after praying for it I sit on the porch and say to my oblivious infant son, "Damned if it didn't rain." From strictly a PR standpoint God would be nuts to listen to me. And He isn't nuts. Unless you get into some of that Old Testament stuff. I wonder if raining frogs on Egypt is anything like applying nematodes? Did it rain afterwards? Now there's a new question to take to Sunday school with you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

200 Million Nematodes and Not a Drop of Rain.

There's a line you don't get to write everyday. No sooner have the flood waters receeded across New England when I find myself the proud owner of a quarter of a billion live microscopic nematodes whose job, if they choose to accept it, will be to burrow into my lawn and kill the Japanese Beetle Grubs living there. I don't know how they do this. The grubs look about like a popcorn shrimp, only disgusting, while 25 million nematodes come attached to something the size and thickness of a playing card. They probably kill using stealth and overwhelming numbers. And maybe numchucks.

The problem is that the conditions in which to apply nematodes to your lawn is just before or during a rain. Of course, it is clear, beautiful and dry as bone out here. So, since these little critters won't stay alive in their padded mailer for very long, I find myself in the unpopular position of wishing for rain for the Memorial Day Weekend. If it does in fact rain, New England, you have me to blame. I will, however, weather the scorn with the help of a couple hundred million grateful nematodes.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rainy Day Thoughts

Okay, whoever has been praying for rain in New England can stop now. It's like asking for a drink of water then being thrown in the pond, which our neighbor to the east has been. With close to a foot of rain over the last few days there are over 200 schools in New Hampshire closed for flooding. Although Vermont remains relatively well-drained. It is a constant curiosity to me that two states separated by no more than an imaginary line down the west bank of the Connecticut River can be so completely different in politics, weather and geology. I can see New Hampshire from my kitchen window, but as soon as you cross the river you can see and feel the difference. It's made out of solid rock and is not called the Granite State for strictly poetic reasons. Vermont, on the other hand, could appropriately be called the Blue Clay State, at least according to the 400 feet of the stuff holding up my house. They call it the Green Mountain State because we have mountains and they are green.

I admit a grudging admiration for New Hampshire. If you're going to live in a Red State, that's the one you want. "Live Free Or Die" is the coolest in-your-face state motto in the Union. Vermont's bilingually redundant "Green Mountain State" shows a surprising lack of imagination in a state so filled with Yankee independence, creative thinkers and alternative lifestyles. Wouldn't something like, "Vermont - It's all Downhill to New Hampshire" be more fun? Or perhaps a tip of the hat to the fact that Vermont was an independent republic before Texas was even a twinkle in Sam Houston's eye. How about "Vermont - The Original Lone Star State" or "Vermont - Not Just Another Colony"

In any case, it's still raining in the Green Mountain State and it's still overflowing the rocky banks of the Granite State rivers. So, like I said, you can stop praying for rain now. Let's pray for drainage for awhile.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baseball Tonight

I'm listening to the Red Sox-Yankee game on XM. I can hardly imagine anything I'd rather be doing. I've become quite a Red Sox fan since we moved out here three years ago. I have a hard time relating to the long suffering Boston fans who had their hearts broken year after year and finally win the big one. I'm a fan for a year or so and they take the Series. I expect to see them win another. I don't think I'll live long enough to feel cursed, or even denied. After all, I started out as a Mariners fan.

If you live around here you're supposed to hate the Yankees, but I can't sustain it. In fact, every time they gobble up a player I admire -- A-Rod, John Olerud, Randy Johnson, Johnny Damon, et al -- I hate them a little less. I know you're supposed to hate them more and then hate the players who turned coat, but think of it like immigration and the Great Melting Pot. Each time a quality player becomes a Yankee, the team becomes less like themselves and more like everybody else.

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