Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Early 1977. I was stationed at NAS Pensacola, Florida. (Yes, I was Air Force, but the technical training for my specialty for all services was provided by the Navy.) A Marine from New York, who just went by Brock and I never knew his full name, sometimes recited his poems to me as we sat over drinks at the enlisted club.

Brock was fascinating, rebellious and creative and slightly insane, but also very much a Marine. When the Marines drilled on base, their leader would sing out the cadence in a way that sounded almost like yodelling. I used to nag Brock to yodel for me, when we walked back to the dorms, but he never would.

For years...well, 27, to be exact...I remembered a bit of one of Brock's poems. A waitress, saying wistfully, "I wish that I were beautiful..." And on impulse, I plugged what I could recall into google and discovered: Harry Chapin Lyrics :: A Better Place To Be.

Brock didn't write those poems he recited. And I don't like the song.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

My Vegetable Solution

I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for seven years now, and this was going to be my last summer attempting to grow vegetables. I just couldn't take the repeated disappointments.

We've all seen those ads for the EarthBox™, I'm sure. This year, desperation outweighed skepticism, and I ordered a few.

This evening, I picked carrots and zucchini and snow peas for dinner...from my own garden! So it's a little silly to be so thrilled -- after all, farmers have been doing this for centuries. But the pride of starting with a handful of seeds and turning it into actual food (or helping...nature does most of it) is a wonderful seasoning. And I have to think that using the EarthBoxes made a big difference.

My proudest garden achievement, though, is the eucalyptus tree I've grown from a seed...more on that another day.

my EarthBoxes

(obligatory disclaimer: I have no connection with the EarthBox company or their products)