Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I can't keep trees in my back yard

I've lived in this house for 17 years.  In that time I have had  7 different trees in the back yard.  Five have died for various reasons.  One is on its last leg.

Currently I have a Chinaberry tree that is struggling to stay alive.  Every Spring a different limb is dead.  But it still sprouts leaves so I don't want to cut it down.

I also have a flourishing Palo Verde tree.  That one makes me nervous.  It seems to have no problems.

The flowering cherry was the first to die.  The symptoms were that of Texas Root Rot.  So the replacement tree was moved 15 feet further east.

That one, an Acacia, didn't do badly.  Until it was uprooted by a microburst.

Planted with it was a second Acacia.  Oddly, they seemed to be different types even though they were bought at the same time and at the same nursery.

That Acacia got struck by lightning and never really recovered, succumbing finally to some sort of beetle infestation.

The lightening-struck Acacia was replaced by a fast-growing Ash.  That was a badly pruned specimen and resulted in a second, free Ash planted near the first.  They lasted less than two years, seemed to be flourishing.  Then both died simultaneously within weeks of the Spring growing cycle.

So I decided to go metal.  I bought a six foot tall spinner to decorate my back yard.  It doesn't give off much shade, but at least it's pretty.


And it's cool to watch.
video

Maybe I need more metal art? 



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why put up with bad behavior?


I've started watching the new series, Backstrom, and it made me wonder why television writers think people will put up with bad behavior just to get results.

Sherlock Holmes is brilliant, but let's be honest, he's kind of a dick.  Yet John Watson, Lestrade, even John's wife, Mary, put up with Sherlock's ill-manners because he gets the job done.

I stopped watching The Big Bang Theory two seasons ago because I grew tired of Sheldon's antics.  And the way the gang pandered to them.  Ditto House.  His brilliant medical diagnoses did not excuse his anti-social behavior

Surely people would not be that tolerant in real life.

Then I thought of my youngest brother.  Steve is intelligent, charismatic, and has done in-depth studies on religious history and can converse on the topic for hours.  He is also so drug-addled that he is barely capable of taking care of himself.

So his friends take care of him.  And they are happy to do so.

He lost his license and can't drive.  And refuses to take the bus.  But there is always someone willing to take him wherever he needs or wants to go.

He was completely incapable of arranging a trip for Mom's funeral.  His caregivers and friends made all the arrangements, made them again when he missed his flight, and even packed his suitcase for him.

They are there to pick up the pieces after he's gone off the deep end - yet again.

Honestly, I don't understand it.

But I now realize that the television writers are reflecting real life, not creating fiction.