Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Boat Show 2013 - A Win/Lose thing

OK, so I was dead set on NOT going to the boat show in Toronto this year. For starters, its $18 to get in . I can think of a lot more exciting ways to drop Twenny-bucks. Then there's Toronto traffic, lines, and parking. Usually I go to the show, enjoy myself for half an hour, and then come away empty handed, and tired and grumpy after having walked for 3 hours looking at things I will never buy.

I wasn't about to do that again this year. Staying home with my feet up was a much better plan. I even ordered the parts I wanted online through a friend in the southern states so I would have no reason to go.

Then my neighbour showed up with free tickets.

Then a night opened up with no plans.

Next thing you know I was fighting Toronto traffic down the Don Valley Parkway en route to the boat show. Parking was $11 this year. I backed out of the kiosk and drove a block to find free parking at Ontario Place.

Ha! Take that bloodsucking bastiges.

I got in the hall and the place was empty. Not just a little bit slow, but totally empty. It was like someone had announced free tickets to a Leafs game and the entire boat show crowd had up and left for the Air Canada Centre or something. I nosed around the sailing area but very little caught my eye. Apparently my favourite sail loft has moved to Lunenburg Nova Scotia and joined forces with some other loft out there. I got an Ontario Sailing sticker to slap on the Thunderbuggy (my new-to-me old Suburban) and I asked the folks at GAM on Yachting to stop running the Cradleguys ad I placed about 5 years ago since I was no longer set up to run cradles around.

Then I made my way to the Garhauer booth. This is where the Win/Lose continuum is a little convoluted. See, the new sheetleads that I got from Florida were here. They were reduced to almost the same price I had paid. I got an extra pair so that when we do sail changes I don't have to swap out the sheets. And I got a docking cleat. And then I sauntered over to the Rigging Shoppe's booth and picked up a Lifesling. All of a sudden my free trip to the boat show was getting pricey.

I did the smart thing and got outta there in a hurry. Which means I never toured any of the big boats or checked out crap I had no interest in buying, and I got out before I got miserable and tired. So I think I won, but my wallet lost. I think?

Anyway for a free trip, the boat show ended up a little pricey.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Seed Starting

Whaddaya do when a friend from Tennessee tells you her Cornus Florida Dogwood has gone to seed and is making a mess of pods in her backyard?Ask her to send seed, of course. And what do you do when you are moving and have a patch of columbine you just love? Save the seed heads of course.

And of course since I like things that are a little nutty, I had to try 3 different methods of seed starting just to turn this whole escapade into a scientific journey.

My seed starting equipment will show 3 methods of lazy dude seed starting, and involve an investment of about $5 in equipment and $9 in starting mix. First the equipment & methodology.

Method 1 - Used jug (in my case antifreeze) - cost $0.00
Method 2 - Used salad container greenhouse - cost $0.00
Method 3 - Discount rack Christmas decoration storage box - Cost $5.00 (+/-)

All the stuff which includes the bag of seed starting mix (vermiculite, topsoil, peat, manure, etc.) some extra vermiculite since it was lying around, and leftover disposable cups from our Christmas parties.

The seeds. Florida Dogwood on the left, columbine on the right. Since Columbine is like a weed and easy to start, it will give early indications if all is going to plan. Dogwood is an unknown to me, so will take patience.

At first I thought I would mix the starter soil with the vermiculite in the salad container.

OK perty, but not enough volume, and (duh) I can't transfer to the cups easily for the salad container greenhouse. Further mixing to take place in the Christmas ornament storage box.

Helpers helping. They're cute. Should improve the blog's hit count.

Used salad container greenhouse filled and planted.

Salad Container greenhouse and Christmas ball storage container filled, planted, and ready for cold strat. Jug planter to be sealed up.

Everything ready for cold stratification, with cute helpers to boost the blog hit count.

Now all the planters are sitting out on the porch, and the juice jug is buried up to the tape line in the garden (with the lid off). As instructed by a gardening friend. After a month or so I'll bring in the ornament storage and salad green house to put them under lights. The juice jug will stay out until spring. It's anyone's guess which containers will show the best results.