john mcginnis

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since Jul 07, 2013
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Recent posts by john mcginnis

I posted to this thread, I think about what I did to some clay soil. There was a stretch on the property that was bare clay soil. Even the leaf drop would be swept away by the wind. Barren with a overstory of oak. That was 2 years ago. I laid down cardboard and a layer of wood chips. That first summer I saw some improvement in the trees and the leaf drop was captured by the scrabble nature of the wood chips. Mushrooms sprung up in the Fall.

Now I have a different problem. Trees! Or I should say small oak saplings coming thru the mulch layer in droves. The oaks are punching right thru the cardboard. The soil has been modified sufficiently that it has become a veritable nursery. I selected saplings that are at the tree line to extend the edge. The balance I have terminated with prejudice. In 2 years doing very little I have eliminated a small weed problem, protected the soil and received some free trees for my efforts. Not a bad return on my time.
1 month ago

Mike Barkley wrote:One never knows when a friendly critter will drop by for dinner. Or to be dinner. It depends:)

Had a trio of 9 banded outside the kitchen window yesterday afternoon. Cute, cats did not know what to make of them. Kept sniffing and the 'dillos just ignored them.
1 month ago
For me its the sounds. Sit on the back porch and hear nature sing.

Whoever said they were moving out to the country for peace and quiet, never have I suspect.
2 months ago
From an IT perspective:

* Yes your laptop has batteries. However pay particular attention to the watt rated consumption _while in use_, not the idle state condition. Motherboards have widely different usage profiles.
* Some purpose built all-in-one desktop units use less power than a laptop. So if you had minimal battery available somewhere you would get more usetime out of it.
* What is the rating of your gateway router? And does it actually have a battery? I have a device provided by spectrum, has provision for a battery, but none are provided. Go figure. If you use internet that is a critical consideration.

2 months ago

Loretta Liefveld wrote:

John Hutter wrote:

( I was amused by the fact that the rocky mountain Wheaton labs "clay" had enough sand/silt bits for me to make out lots of individual sand bits with my naked eye....  naw, that's sandy/silty AF based on where I am from!)

..... use the brick clay land to "cultivate" whichever weeds are going to thrive in it without you, in your climate.  /quote]

haha!!!   Love it!  Yeah, I grow great weeds! I had no idea that the Oregon coast had so much clay!  But then, you do say 'valley side', so not so close to the coast.  Willamette Valley??

As the movie tag line says -- "Welcome to the party pal!" My land here in Texas is clay pot territory. I have found that putting down wood chips helps. Especially summers so the clay does not fry in the baking sun. The trees appreciate that. But most of our gardening is raised beds out of sheer necessity.

3 months ago

Lina Joana wrote:First, I am a lefty. Trying to find ways of not smearing the ink made it slow, and gave me poor penmanship. And often failed, leaving me with an ink stained hand and smeared paper.

I am a lefty as well. I remember the torture my teachers put me thru "... only use your right hand of you flunk!", still I persisted. They even got the point of rapping my knuckles to try and stop me. I out of sheer orneriness developed the ability to write right to left. That solved the smear problem but created others. Like I had to determine how the words would fit to a line.
3 months ago
Hah, hah! Nice examples! But heck lets get down to basics. Raise a couple of turkeys, pluck some feathers and make some quills.

My greatest gripe about stick pens is you never get to use the whole pen ink. Almost to the pen, a gap develops in the supply tube and you throw half of it away.
3 months ago

Tatiana Trunilina wrote:I was thinking of planting Sea Buckthorn on my Southern slope, but people say it doesn't do that well in Texas, it's too hot. I think the only Nitrogen fixer I can bet on is acacia, but it's not edible, I don't think.

Fellow Texan here. Heck with the Buckthorn! There is a variety of Mesquite that is a nitrogen fixer and you and I know Mesquite is well adapted to Texas, fact it can be an obnoxious weed if left unchecked. :) Great for smoking meats.

Cultured Mesquite
4 months ago
Okra -- Absolutely loves the heat. Select a variety that grows shorter.
Cassava -- long season and somewhat spindly but you might be able to make a go of it.
Sweet Potato -- Loves the heat.

Generally any vegetable that originates from West Africa would be a good candidate for hot conditions.
4 months ago
Minor suggestion. For the more mundane items -- cables, lugs, fusing, etc. Go to McMaster-Carr. They are THE industrial maintenance supplier for US industry. The products they offer are top notch.
5 months ago