Bass on Bass

Friday, April 30, 2010


The perfect design for pouring creamer into a coffee cup is also just about the perfect design for pouring water into a planting  pot! 
Saving the environment is on everyone's mind these days. The Public Service spots all emphasize "Reduce Reuse, Recycle". The coffee creamer makers have given the home gardeners of the world a great opportunity to do just that with their liquid creamer containers.. The 32oz size is shown above but I use the smaller size to wet-down the newly seeded 6-packs before placing them in the trays of my plant starting rack. It's just a bit easier to manage than the 32oz bottle while holding the 6-pack in the other hand.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


A friend and fellow choral singer mentioned something last night related to identity security that I hadn't yet thought about. We've both been involved with a particular choir and he expressed concern about the fact that a publicity e-mail he received recently promoting their upcoming concert had all recipients' e-mail addresses in the "To:" line. He stated he felt it was just not at all considerate nor smart to share everyone's address with everyone else on the e-mail list. He said the only considerate thing to do in this circumstance is to address to the list using the "Bcc:" line of the address area of the message. BCC, or Bcc is an acronym for "Blind Carbon Copy" which as the term suggests hides each recipient's address from all other recipients. If we're both on the publicity e-mail list for an organization and they send their mass e-mailing of an announcement using the Bcc: addressing option for us, I won't see your address on the message and you won't see mine on your copy of the message. Thereby both of us would be protected from having our addresses shared with people we neither know nor have any reason to trust. 
Henceforth, unless I KNOW recipients already have each-others e-mail addresses I will endeavor to always address multiple recipients via the Bcc: line of e-mail messages I generate.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Though it looks somewhat benign, this baby Creeping Charlie plant could completely take over the lawn in less than 2 years! This is just a baby from seed. It'll grow leaves 3-4 times this size. I've been battling this little monster in my back yard for 5-6 years. I've applied properly diluted Borax countless times, attempting to keep my warfare "organic", per the instructions found on the University Of Minnesota Ag. Dept. site for eliminating this scourge. The leaves would go brown at the edges within a week after application but not many plants actually died. Late last summer I gave up on "Organic" methods and went "heavy chemistry" on it. I applied Scotts +2. It worked.
"Well, what are we looking at here then" you may ask. Again, it's just a baby from seed.  Besides spreading like wildfire via BOTH root and surface runners this garbage plant also  blooms and sets seeds it drops to the ground. The flowers are deceptively lovely little "trumpet like" purple things. Lawns that are fully infested with this weed are looking a pretty blue-purple right now. Thus is the devious nature of the would be KING CHARLES.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This has been my Sunday morning home for many years now, Grace Episcopal Church of Hinsdale IL. It's a place of Faith, Hope and Love, of worship and fellowship. There's a unique benefit for those of us in the choir at Grace. The nave is laid out , as it is in some other Episcopal churches, with the choir seated split facing each other on both sides of the aisle from the congregation to the communion rail / altar. The choir receives the sacrament first after the Eucharistic ministers, acolytes and priests. We in the choir are seated while the congregation files past us to receive "the feast". Most families with children attend the 1 service per week at which the choir sings. That means we get to watch all the little people and their parents interacting up close during communion. I dearly love that. You literally can't not get a smile out of watching those obviously well loved little faces and those of their parents as they pass. At the risk of being sacrilegious, I leaned over to the tenor next to me after we returned to our seats following reception of the Eucharist today and whispered  "dinner and a show". Obviously it's much more than that but this grandpa to be is going to enjoy the little people as much as possible for as long as God allows me on this earth.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


So.. my wife Jeanne took her godson and our oldest son to the Cubs came today.  I drove them to the CTA train in Forrest Park. I've been on sort of a kick about being unable to figure out how the Cubs could afford a $136M 8 year contract (From 2006) with an outfielder who can't find or catch a baseball. Yes pilgrim, I'm talking about the not so great Alphonso Soriano. Anyway I couldn't help but ask how many he blew today when I picked them up at the train station after the game. They told me it was 2. It would appear he's on track to dwarf his previous record for errors per season of 23. At $17M per year or about $100,000 per game for his totally absent fielding skills you'd think Cubs management would pop for a personal fielding coach for the guy or better yet Al baby showing ANY sense of resposibility to his source of outrageous largess and HIRE ONE FROM THIS YEAR'S $17,000,000.

Friday, April 16, 2010


She found the Joke Wall!!!! See the clip below.


Ned Glowinski got me started...
The classic example of humor EONs ago in my youth, yes pilgrims I did have youth at one time, was Rowan and Martins Laugh In. It was the springboard for the careers of such stars as Goldie Hawn, George Carlin and others. My short search this morning failed to get me a clip of the Joke Wall I desperately wanted but here's some classic Rowan and Martin in the Laugh In style. See the clip on the page.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I've been looking into getting a digital recording device to use for rehearsal recordings and maybe a performance or 2 as well. In it's price range, the Zoom H2 appears to be the only one with dual stereo microphones and has what the reviewers say is the easiest interface via it's LCD panel and buttons on the front. I like the SDHC card recording media. The director of my church choir has one and has nothing but good to say about it.
My 61st birthday has come and gone and no recording device. I had hoped for one from the boys but whatever. Jon being an audio engineer working for Blue Microphone thought he might be able to get one from one of his dealers at "a crazy huge discount" but we'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I missed getting most of the "events" of my 2 sons' childhood "on tape" but now there is a whole new generation of video recording devices no bigger than the digital snap shooter cameras we've all become used to. These could wipe out any legitimacy of reasons to miss the chance with the grand child that's about to enter my life. Just received a Facebook update from Tigerdirect about what seems to be a very good deal on one and am considering buying it. $60 for a kit like this is very tempting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

They're up and growing...YEA!

After only 3-5 days I have a bunch of plants sprouting on the starter rack. That's the magic of Seedling Heating Mats. There's one under the 10" x 20" tray in the picture. I may yet have plants suitable for transplanting when the time is right in mid-May. Starting as late as April 8 without the mats would make that impossible. It'd take as long as 2 weeks to get them all to sprout. I started a bunch more items just yesterday. You can see the edge of a 9 pack of heat hardy lettuce to the right of the labeled 6 packs in the photo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oh yeah, I sing too

One of the groups I sing with is The Michael Teolis Singers. We have a concert coming up. At this point here's what the program will be though it is subject to change.

Holiday Song                Schumann (1910-1992)
Quiad Justitiam             Martinon (1910-1976)
Messe Breve                 Rota (1911-1979)
O Pulchritudo                Menotti (1911-2007)
Sure on This Shining
Night                           Barber (1910-1981)
Negro Mother               North (1910-1991)


Johnny Appleseed         Siegmeister (1909-1991)
O Lady Moon                Hovhaness (1911-2000)
Michigan Morn              Reed (b. 1910)
Sing, Sing, Sing             L. Prima (1910-1978)
                                   popularized by B. Goodman (1909-1986)
Guys and Dolls
(medley)                      Loesser (1910-1969)

Here's our website;

Driven to trellis

Vertical gardening: trellises are how I do it. I came up with this design after a coworker mentioned he made his out of electrical conduit. Sadly, that coworker died of a heart attack at 48 years old. You can't over estimate the benefits of marriage to the right woman. He was a bachelor. He was also the one who came up with the Saint Jeanne name for my wife. I'd say he knew me pretty well. I digress. The instructions in the picture and below are what I sent about the trellis design to my niece in Florida responding to her plea for guidance in starting a garden.

I use that style of clamp, drilling the arch for the screw so the top can be better supported by the 3/4' (or 1' if you chose) conduit verticals. I ran out of room in the picture for the last assembly instructions. All that was left was to drill the pilot hole for the screw attachment of the top to the verticals, screw them on and pull down the netting. I weigh the netting down with another extra assembled cross piece woven in at the bottom of the net. The fencepost driver is a big tube like thing with handles on the sides and a steel hammer welded inside at one end. You slide it over the post you've hand started and bring the internal "hammer down" repeatedly until the post (the 3/4" x 10' conduit here) is driven in a couple of feet. A link to a fence post driver is just below, as well as 1 for an example of trellis netting.
            Try it and have fun. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ah Spring...GOTTA MOW GRASS!*!*!

Spring is sprung. The birds are singing. The lawn is getting to be a beautiful green. Uh oh, grass is greening up, that means we GOTTA MOW THE GRASS, right? No problem pilgrim.We need the exercise anyway, having been slugs all winter. I know, speak for yourself (myself). All that being said, who really wants to mess around with all that smelly gas and oil necessary to use those gas guzzler mowers? Again, no problem pilgrim. There has never been a greater selection of rechargeable battery powered electric mowers. In the last 10 years or so there have been some real advancements in both battery and DC electric motor technologies. The average battery powered mower is ~ $300-$400 these days which is definitely competitive with quality gas powered mowers. I even saw a riding mower that's battery powered on line. Not being in the market( I have < 3000sq ft of lawn) I didn't check out comparative pricing on that one. I've been mowing with COM ED( Chicago) for 5 years now via my little old Neuton EM 4.1 14" mower. This mower is so quiet I can carry on a conversation with someone while mowing along, I've done so on the front lawn a bunch of times  due to folks stopping to ask about it. They see I'm using an electric mower and are grabbed by the absence of a cord. 
 A major question I get is how long does it run on a charge? I can mow my ~ 3000 sq ft at least 1 1/2 times on a charge. I have 3 removable battery packs primarily for mulching down the fall leaves in place, but that's a whole other posting.
I wouldn't go back to gas if you paid me to. 
Check out the options here:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another year of gardening

Very interesting thing today, I FINALLY got around to starting the tomato and pepper seeds today and discovered evidence of a "senior moment" weeks ago when I ordered my seeds on line. There were no tomato seeds in the order! The 3-4 varieties I intended to order never made it into the final list.

True to my usual luck, the local ACE still had a full compliment of tomato varieties on their seeds racks. I found and purchased 4 varieties worth growing.

Into the "dungeon" they went, "secured" in new 6-packs and onto the ~20 year old planting "RACK".

I also started some basil and oregano. Those oregano seeds are MICROSCOPIC. I could barely feel them between finger and thumb. There was no way I could see most of them against the soil-less mix in the six-pack.

So starts the yearly adventure in gardening. Will it do as well as last year's shown above?