“Taking Care of Business”

by ESP on January 20, 2013 · 5 comments


The Patch computer has taken a turn for the worse the past couple of weeks.

What started off as a slight motherboard sniffle quickly mutated into something much more sinister, ultimately resulting in my laptop not booting up even in safe mode. Yes it was time to see a specialist for a professional opinion.

I will have the final prognoses later this week, in the meantime I am relegated to writing this post on ancient laptop that obtains power from a modified bicycle and an elaborate series of wheels and pulleys that reside in the corner of my living room.

HG WellsThis is really annoying for anyone trying to watch TV due to the annoying clanking and whirring and spinning of its old fashioned drives. “Aw come on dad, tell me you are not going to type,  Ninjago is coming on!”

Another unfortunate prognosis was made this week that caused a flurry of activity involving our washing machine, combs and copious amounts of coconut oil.


You guessed it…


head lice.



Pediculosis capitis


Brrr, brrr and more brrr.

This shot was taken through a magnifying glass.


My wife, being a hairdresser, on discovering these hard to spot critters, went swiftly into action. With the silence of a nit-picking professional ninja she gathered up sheets, fabrics, clothes, combs, brushes and hats…our washer and dryer have been running ever since. At some point during the activity we all smelled a pungent burning aroma but could not figure out where it was emanating from. A couple of hours later:


It turned out that it was my comb…in the microwave!


“Captain, any threat of contagion has been neutralized”.


With the neutralization of the Klingons, events have returned to our usual definition of normality.

DSC09163 For him it was back to stripping the seed heads from the cattails…


…giggling, and depositing them over his grandparents and resident house elf.

For our creatively tormented chef, some rather dubious looking “oysters” on-the-half-shell remarkably found their way onto the evening menu:


Err, thank you Chef?

And where there are cattails, a fire is never far behind:

This fire used two cattail heads as tinder with some impressive fall on your back results:

Some Indians burned these mature seed heads to extract the small seeds from the fluff to add to gruel and soups. If dried the seed heads (still attached to their stalks) can also be dipped into melted animal fat or oil and used as torches.

Other things happening in the Patch:


I can smell you but I cannot see you.


We have a number of resident cats in the Patch that torment him on a daily bases and as much as he sounds ferocious, all the cats know he cries like a baby, he really does cry like a baby. Normally he has a significant beagle howl but when a cat clips him with a sharpened claw all his vocal bravado immediately retreats into a ridiculous dog-scream, he is a shadow of his former self.

Edvard Munch_The Scream

When the unimaginable occurs and his embarrassing”scream” has been emitted for all to hear and laugh at, he retreats to a safe distance and lets out a normal howl, but it is not quite normal, it is an ego shattered howl and he knows that everyone else knows that it is.

I cut back my gopher plants a few weeks ago and they have rallied, producing a lot of new growth


I will cut back the old spears further when these new shoots get bigger. The old spears provide some protection from trampling (especially if sharpened into latex dripping points)


This year I also have two baby gophers that I did not plant:


Let there be gophers.


It looks like it is going to be a good year for whatever this is? baby Larkspur?


A couple more before and after shots of a recent garden design I have completed, here is the front proposal:


Grass removal, naturally.

Meandering pathways replace linear walkway / driveway to facilitate a more interesting flow through the space both functionally and visually.


Stay Tuned for:



All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


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1 Bob Pool January 20, 2013 at 11:13 pm

A picture from the Time Machine, how cool is that?

Head lice….brrrr!

The new design looks great. I love gardens with big rocks.

2 Les January 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Your daughter will love you forever and ever for posting this on line. It will be floating around the interwebs for decades to come for any potential suitor to see.

3 ESP January 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hi Bob.

Thanks on the design and yes, brrr on the head biters. She is all clear again now though. I am unfortunately still using my time machine laptop, mine is still getting fixed and is now being wiped back to factory settings! Argh.

4 ESP January 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Hi Les and haha yes most likely, still with an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occurring each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age I doubt if her future suitor will have avoided it :-)

5 Annie in Austin January 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm

There were cattails in a swamp not far from my childhood home and we were told that cattail fluff was used for stuffing life preservers during WW2. We were not informed that cattail fluff is good for making little bonfires. In spite of creepy crawlers, your kids sure do have fun, ESP!
The tiered front garden design looks pretty cool. Although I first thought it was a kind of reflecting pool, my guess now is that the tier steps are gray gravel or rock. And tipsy Santa is gone, right?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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