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Pot Luck

by: JayinPhiladelphia

Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 21:23:50 PM PST

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Things NOT to do on a SEPTA bus in Kensington: admire the big, beautiful bag of za'atar you picked up from a spice shop down in the Italian Market on your way home from South Philly. Because after a beat, you'll realize it looks remarkably like a giant bag of weed, seeds and all.



Pot Luck is an open thread.

JayinPhiladelphia :: Pot Luck
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Pot Luck | 113 comments
Careful there, Jay. After all, you're not in Washington (4.00 / 1)
where the authorities no longer bother with the casual weed consumer.

So, your Rutgers is moving to the Big 10. Have they no pride? Or are they maybe thinking that given how bad Big 10 football is, they just might have a shot at one of the big 4 bowl games?

I can't believe... (0.00 / 0) 8-5 Wisconsin team, which finished third(!) in their division, is going to the Rose Bowl.

Yay, NCAA and BCS!  Eye roll.

This entire bowl season seems like a gigantic middle finger to me, personally.

Rutgers did their usual "get as close as possible to a BCS bowl, then say 'ha ha ha, we're only kidding!'" choke thing.  Up 14-3 early, then a TD to make it 21-3, which would have ended the game and clinched the Orange Bowl, got called back due to a stupid penalty.  Boom.  They ended up losing 20-17.

Kent State lost, so now Donkey Fucking State might sneak into the BCS again.  If Boise finishes in the Top 16 (likely), and ranked above Louisville (the lowest-ranked BCS Conference champion, also likely), they're guaranteed a BCS bowl slot.  Even though, as usual, ten of their wins were against junior varsity high school teams.

Oregon is clearly a Top 2 team in the country this year, but one bad half of a game makes it so that they'll never get a shot at the title.

Alabama will, though, because they lost earlier than Oregon did.  To a worse team, too, but hey none of that matters.  They were beating up on SE Tuscaloosa's summer camp volleyball team, or something, the day Oregon lost to Stanford.

And I hate Notre Dame, but I have no choice but to root for them now.  Ess Eee See!  I'm gonna go get sick now, excuse me.  Blah!

[ Parent ]
Wisconsin won their conference. How did they end up (4.00 / 1)
in the conference title game if they finished third in their division? Okay, Ohio State is out of post-season, otherwise they would be headed to a bowl game, maybe BCS championship. The Buckeyes are undefeated, but if they were eligible would the BCS still give the nod to 'Bama, because you know SEC?

So, I get that Wisconsin gets a bump to 2nd in their division because of the Buckeyes, but how did they get bumped up to the conference title game?

Not football related, but how is your dad?  

[ Parent ]
Penn State... (0.00 / 0) bowl ineligible, too.  Wisconsin finished behind PSU and OSU in their division.  They only went 4-4 in conference play, yet they ended up making the Rose Bowl.  Go figure.

My father's home, and doing the rehab thing.  Has to learn to walk again and all that, but he'll be okay eventually.  The surgery did fix his back, and he can now stand up straight again for the first time in like two years.

[ Parent ]
Good news about your dad. (4.00 / 1)
It must be great for him to be able to stand straight up again.

[ Parent ]
Oh right Penn St. (4.00 / 1)
How could I have forgotten about the Nittany Lions?

[ Parent ]
And... (0.00 / 0)
...Temple football is now head coach-less.  I'm gonna walk down the street and let them know I'm available!  ;)

[ Parent ]
We'll call it Jay's March to the T. (0.00 / 0)
Berks Street will never be the same after my triumphant arrival on campus to accept the position!

[ Parent ]
Bowls... (0.00 / 0)
The only question on the BCS bowls, I believe, is who will play Florida in the Sugar.  Boise State and Northern Illinois(!) are both 'on the bubble,' such as it is, since the rule is that if a non-AQ team finishes in the BCS Top 16, and ranked ahead of the lowest-ranked BCS conference champ (Louisville, who was unranked last week), they earn an automatic slot.  Boise was 20 last week, and Northern Illinois was 21.

If neither gets in, I'd say Oklahoma will likely get the last BCS at-large bid.

Tomorrow we'll know for sure.  9 of these slots are a lock, I'm pretty sure.  Here's how I see it for now...

BCS: Notre Dame - Alabama

Fiesta: Oregon - Kansas State

Rose: Stanford - Wisconsin

Orange: Florida State - Louisville

Sugar: Florida - Boise State / Northern Illinois / Oklahoma


Russell Athletic: Rutgers - Virginia Tech

[ Parent ]
I would love to see the Irish beat 'Bama. Everybody seems so (4.00 / 1)
sure that the Tide will win. A loss to the Irish in the Big Game would help to put the kibosh on all this SEC worship.

Notre Dame's strong suit is its defense. The offense is a little ragged. Everett Golson could become a very good QB, but he's young and inexperienced.

So, can ND score against the Tide defense? I do think the Irish defense can hold back the Tide offense. "Bama is not a big scoring team, and the Irish defense has been stellar this season.

Northern Illinois will not get the Bowl game bid. My guess is the bid goes to our favorite whiners from the idaho state capitol. Tough luck, Sooners.

[ Parent ]
Nice! (0.00 / 0)
I was pulling for Northern Illinois to get it.  Though I'm surprised they got the Orange Bowl.  That's usually Big East - ACC, isn't it?  'Everybody' on the internets seemed convinced the RU - UL game on Friday was for the Orange Bowl, including me.  Huh, go figure.  Again...

[ Parent ]
I was wrong. Northern Illinois gets asked to the Orange Bowl. (4.00 / 1)
Too bad about that obscure Idaho team.  

[ Parent ]
Temple basketball. (0.00 / 0)


Australia (4.00 / 2)
In one of history's most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia's largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms. Not to be outdone, the nation's other dominant supermarket chain, Woolworths, has already begun phasing out factory farmed animal products. In fact all of Woolworth's house brand eggs are now cage-free, and by mid-2013 all of their pork will come from farmers who operate stall-free farms. Coles and Woolworths together account for a dominant 80 percent of all supermarket sales in Australia.

See video:

For all that people aren't all that happy with the really big outfits like Coles and Woolworth's (4.00 / 1)
It's companies like that, with market share like that, that have the power to really bring those husbandry systems into the mainstream of farming. Hopefully they'll be compensating the farmers for the extra labor, and hopefully not to many in the public will complain about the prices going up a little.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Standing in a Sea of Pom Poms (4.00 / 2)
Back when the New York Botanical Garden exhibit called Kiku was held at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory it was truly a photographer's dream. The original large flower show that was wrapped around two large lily ponds and surrounded by national landmark Victorian glass architecture was more than just beautiful. It was like traveling to some far away place to to understand Japanese culture and art.

Now that the show has been downsized and moved indoors to a modern glass house on the far end of the garden grounds, it is much more of a challenge to a photo buff and seldom seen by garden visitors. The photos from this year might not be as easy on the eyes but this form of living art is still breathtaking.

Take this one plant for an example. That's right, about sixteen feet long and eight feet high and it is just one plant, a single stem that has been trained, sort of a high wire act for flowers. The Japanese call it Ozukuri or "thousand bloom." As amazing as training all of those blossoms is, think about getting them all to bloom simultaneously?

Back during the Victorian glass and lily pond era I wrote something here trying to explain this ancient form of living art, Kiku: Japanese Autumn in the New York Botanical Garden. Kiku has almost nothing to do with individual blossoms but in a modern glass house with too much concrete I mostly got in close to observe the chrysanthemum. Here are two of my favorite individual blossoms from this year.

So let me take you on the five cent tour of the new Kiku, this compacted version at the Nolan Greenhouse. But I should explain that I'm not complaining, the show is great and what is going on is amazing. Breathtaking but not as photographer friendly.

Originally American gardeners were sent to Japan to learn Kiku from Japanese masters and the first few shows, those lavish displays that stuck strictly to the Japan's art form were too expensive to continue. Instead of letting all that art and education be lost, Kiku is practiced year round behind the scenes in the Bronx and this is the new smaller autumn show of their work.  


Now the shows are not as much about the purity of Kiku but a sort of East meets West experiment. What is going on behind the scenes each year is like American gardeners experimenting with the Japanese art. The photo below makes a good example is a good example of the American experimentation going on behind the scenes. Two classic Kengai or "cascades" surround an Americanized version of Ogiku or "single stem."

In the new location I did a little experimenting myself.

Another year of Kiku has ended. I guess it became the way the Japaneses celebrated the end of the growing season, a form of Thanksgiving. The 2012 show has already ended, Sundown on Kiku in the Bronx.

Hopefully as the gardeners do their thing where nobody sees each year and learn more about Kiku, there will be another big show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Perhaps the next show will be both about the ancient form of living art and what American gardeners have done with this amazing cultural exchange program.      

That's amazing! (4.00 / 1)
I want to do something like that with edibles next year.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

A very good friend of mine came over and got my tractor running today. (4.00 / 2)
He gave me a list of things to get - oil, fuel filter, oil filter, anti freeze and, most important - a new battery.

Thing started right up after sitting for about 2 years. Gotta love a diesel engine! He said if it'd been gas he'd have had to work on it for hours.

Love my little tractor. It's a Case International 255 with a front end loader.  

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

Joanne, have you moved to the new farm yet? (4.00 / 2)
Will you be there  in time to get spring crops in the ground?

[ Parent ]
I'm planning on spending my first night there (4.00 / 2)
on Monday.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
hey we're moving the same day! (4.00 / 1)
I pick up my keys for my new place on Monday night.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I'll bet your move will be easier than mine (4.00 / 1)
I've been packing all week. At first I thought I'd take a load a day down to Gervais. But I soon found out that wouldn't work as I didn't have enough hours of daylight to pack, load, haul, unload, come back up here and pack again. So I decided that it would just be better to pack everything, and then it's all ready to go.

A friend of mine is going to take the tractor, brush hog and trailer down to Gervais for me on Sunday. I'll be taking enough stuff down on Monday to be able to live down there. But I'll still be coming up here to load/haul more stuff and to clean up the house. I should have the house emptied by the end of next week.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
since I don't have to move (4.00 / 1)
any tractors or livestock, I bet you're right!

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Congrats to both of youze! (4.00 / 1)
I'm in this apartment for another 16 to 22 months, probably, until I can buy a place.  Looking at rowhouses in the Puerto Rican neighborhood up around Tioga and Frankford at the moment.  Also around Kensington and Somerset, and up on Lehigh around 5th.  I'll end up with something in Kensington, Hartranft or Fairhill for probably between $25 - $40k.  Staying in this little corner of North Philadelphia forever, yes I am!  ;)

[ Parent ]
You can buy a place for $25-40 thousand? Really? (4.00 / 2)
A place with indoor plumbing and electricity? A place with a roof and walls? How is it that real estate is so inexpensive in Philly? Those are 1960s prices for goodness sake.

[ Parent ]
You can get some for under $10k around here, actually... (0.00 / 0)
...but those are the ones that need work.  $35k or so is what I'd expect to get something good around here, which won't need much work.

It's all about the neighborhood, really.  Still quite rough around the edges, and many problems with open air drug markets, unfortunately; but if you're a pretty big 30-something year old guy who keeps to himself, rides public transit (no expensive car stored outside to worry about) and is not averse to being legally armed, it's all good.  ;)

Of course, about a mile down the street in Fishtown the very same rowhouses start at about $200k, and then down into Northern Liberties they go for over half a million.

[ Parent ]
I don't think you could buy anything, not even the most (4.00 / 1)
rundown fixer-upper in the worst neighborhood, in Portland for less than $100K.

[ Parent ]
It's the style, too, I'd guess... (0.00 / 0)
The endless rowhouse blocks around here, which were only constructed in the first place as cheap worker housing for the mills and factories.  Tiny lots, small 'backyards' with house fronts right up to the sidewalk, no driveways or anything like that, shared walls, etc etc.  There aren't any single detached homes to speak of within probably at least three or four miles of my apartment, when I think about it.  I would guess they'd go for more even in the poorest neighborhoods of the city, though.

[ Parent ]
Although... (0.00 / 0)
...that doesn't necessarily guarantee they'll be cheap, either.  The million dollar homes in Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square are rowhouses too, after all.

[ Parent ]
It's always amazed me (4.00 / 2)
that prices on homes and land can have such big differences. I was listening to a program on wine and the host was talking about land values for vineyard land. All the way up to $40K/acre for prime planted land. I couldn't believe it and I asked my dad. He said, yeah, that's what it goes for around Dundee.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
so true (4.00 / 1)
good luck buying anything in San Diego. One former co-worker of mine was buying a house around here back in 2005 or so and he got approved for a $1 mil mortgage. And this guy didn't make millions... MAYBE he made $100k, if that. But that was just the norm around here. Around that time, I saw a kind of dumpy looking small house that was going for $700k.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I think that was one reason why (4.00 / 2)
Harold's son Steve may have bought a house in Norco. I think he paid under $100K for it.

Of course, if you don't really, really like horses, you probably couldn't handle living in Norco. Pretty much everything is horse oriented in that city. Vehicle parking is restricted to certain streets, but I think horses can go anywhere.

It really is Horse City USA. If I was going to move to any town in California, it would be Norco.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
oh really (4.00 / 1)
we're not THAT bad down here! :)

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Something like this... (0.00 / 0)
...would be perfect for me.  Great location, too!

$27,500.  Annual taxes are a couple hundred, heh.  Note the lot size.  The first thing I'd have to do is rip off that hideous, cheap siding and restore the cornice and the brickfront.  I hate seeing that crap on rowhouses here.  And the covering of the cornice in that manner is just inexplicable, yet unfortunately all too common.

[ Parent ]
Even better one! (0.00 / 0)
A bit closer to where I am now.  Not sure why it's even cheaper though, and allegedly needs no work?  It's in a slightly better neighborhood than the last one, too.  The first property is just three blocks from the largest drug corner in the city, unfortunately.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's because... (0.00 / 0)
...the owner can't spell 'plumbing,' and can't even correctly spell the name of its street, either.  ;)

[ Parent ]
I like this one better. It's the siding vs. the brick. (4.00 / 1)
The siding, as you noted, is pretty awful. Brick is nice. Although, now that we know the east coast gets earthquakes, you'd have to reinforce all that brick. Still, more square footage for not any more money and a better location.

How much natural light comes into a row house? The pics of the 2nd one are very dark. What is the layout of a typical row house? Living, dining kitchen on first floor? Bath and bedrooms on 2nd?

I am still stunned by how inexpensive real estate is back there.  

[ Parent ]
They go back farther than they look... (0.00 / 0)
...but not too far, of course, as you can tell by the square footage.  Most of the cheaper ones are also two stories, while the three story rowhouses naturally tend to be more expensive (and to be in neighborhoods which historically were and / or still are better off).

There's also more light than you'd think (though obviously not as much as you can get in a detached home), likely a function of most rowhouse blocks being of uniform height.  The shadows from the older churches and the textile mills (both of which tend to be massive, and about 5 stories) in this part of the city can sometimes block out light to immediately adjacent blocks, as can the El trestle along Front, Kensington and Frankford.  Corner properties also get more light, of course, as they're open on three sides instead of two.

The layout for the two story homes, at least around here, seems to generally be living room, eat-in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on first floor, and two bedrooms on the second.  Many have at least semi-finished basement-ish cellars used as laundry rooms, as well.  Though I'd be surprised if that were standard in the $25 - $30k range.

Trinities are an interesting mostly-unique-to-this-corner-of-Philadelphia local housing style as well, though they tend to be extremely expensive as most are approaching, or are over, 200 years old, and are in places like Fishtown or Rittenhouse Square.

[ Parent ]
House hunting is exciting isn't it? (4.00 / 1)
If you do wind up buying (especially if you've never bought property before), are you going to use a realtor or do a direct sale from the owner?

That's amazing on the prices. You couldn't even find a fixerupper for those kinds of prices in Oregon. Even with a loan you could have a place like those paid off very quickly. And owning your property outright is SO NICE!

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
I have at least two years to figure it out... (0.00 / 0) there's time to look into it, at least!  I would lean toward direct sale, but I don't know anything of the potential drawbacks there yet.

[ Parent ]
And it's... (0.00 / 0)
...probably much nicer when you can do it at your leisure, and when you don't have to find something quickly, isn't it?


[ Parent ]
Definitely (4.00 / 1)
If you don't go through a realtor, just be careful. I was house hunting one time when I was working construction and made plenty of money.

I came across an ad for a house in SE Portland that was a fixerupper (that's a great way to build sweat equity and get into a bigger and potentially better place if you're able to do all or most of the work yourself). Anyway, it was a private sale by owner. The house had some issues, but nothing that I couldn't handle. And the house on a fairly nice lot was for sale for under $100K.

The catch - the owner was moving to Texas and had a loan. Instead of me taking over the loan, which would have required me to pass a credit/income check, etc., he wanted me to send the money to him and he would make the payments. Yeah, right.

What would have happened was I would pay the money to him, he wouldn't make the payments to the bank, the bank would foreclose and I'd be out a house and money and no way to recover any of that.

Also, you need to figure closing costs and who traditionally pays for the title search and insurance in your state or area. In Oregon it's traditional for the seller to pay for the title search and insurance. Harold's kids didn't want to do that. But the Keene Rd. seller did. You want to make sure the place has a clean title and no encumberances when you purchase it. The title company will handle that. Title companies are incredibly important. They not only check the seller and the seller's property for encumberances, judgements, etc. but they also check the buyer. And, when the papers are all signed, you'll know that any encumberances are satisfied and cleared. That's what escrow is all about.

If you're getting a loan, the lender will probably require inspections, which is a good thing for you. The previous potential buyers here were all trying to get loans to purchase the place. So I alredy had a well report, the "as built" for the septic system and leach field had already been pulled and was available. Having either worked or been around construction all my life, I didn't bother with a structural inspection, I did my own, so I knew what I was getting into with this place (which is a LOT).

And it's so much better when you're not rushed like I was. I'm just DAMNED LUCKY that I had good connections, and my realtor was able to find a place like this one for me as fast as she did. This place is perfect for what I want to do. The fact that it's further out than Mulino is way offset by the condition of the soil and the out buildings. I told my realtor that I'd buy the place for the out buildings alone. That and the well, which is an irrigation well. 'Nuf said.  

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
34 degrees... (4.00 / 1)
...and I've just spent the past 15 minutes outside in only a tee shirt (well, and pants too!), sweeping the pavement (Philadelphian for 'sidewalk'), setting out the trash and a couple other tasks.  In total comfort.

I've surprised myself at how well I've acclimated back (backlimated?) to northeastern weather.  Except for snow, of course, but I've always hated that, and will never accept it.  Never!


Go me!


Also, weird weather returns for the weekend, and early next week.  Will be almost 70 degrees again on Monday.  December 10.

ugh (4.00 / 1)
If only there was a season that didn't involve either cold weather or mosquitoes, I swear I'd move back to Wisconsin.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
oh my god (4.00 / 2)
that's terrible. It's not surprising that the estimated # of suicides has risen dramatically over the years but it's still a much higher estimate than the last one I saw several years ago, and it's horrible and shocking.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I rememebr that conversation that you and I had with Vandana Shiva (4.00 / 2)
It sent chills down my spine then but at the time it seemed like speculation on a very small number of deaths. Those words above, I just hope it is greatly exaggerated.

My experience tells me 'it's just American business as usual' but I'd like to think there is some hope in our government, that some amount of humanitarianism trumps the bottom line.

If it is anywhere near true it verifies this nation's reputation as exporters of death. I guess the State Department won't have that movie on their watch list.    

[ Parent ]
the number you gave (4.00 / 1)
is almost certainly too low. That is because the statistics are not good and often a suicide is not counted as a "farmer suicide" unless the man (men only) have a title to the land. So if they rent or if their dad has the land title, then they are not a farmer suicide in the stats.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
as for our state dept (4.00 / 1)
just watch their behavior in this latest war between Israel and Palestine. Disgusting.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
So sad (0.00 / 0)
the furthest thing from Democracy on earth, the United Business of America.  

[ Parent ]
Norristown, PA... (0.00 / 0) an awesome-looking little town.  I need to hang out there for a few hours one day!  Was there for just a few minutes last night, after riding the Norristown High-Speed Line for the first time.  Train dork, and all.  I'm collecting all of SEPTA's routes.  I only need to ride a couple more regional rail lines, and the Media and Sharon Hill streetcars.  :)

Anyway.  The Montgomery County Courthouse, and its accompanying town square, is friggin' awesome.  I wonder if I can get in there for a tour or something one of these years...

LaMichael James. I'm watching the 49ers-Dolphins game right (4.00 / 1)
now. Finally, LaMichael is getting some playing time for the Niners. I'm surprised at how happy I was to see him in the game. He's a small guy, but he's holding his own on the field. His longest run was called back because of a penalty, but that happens.

Keep it up, LaMichael.

In other football news- three Beavers football players are in jail in Linn and Benton Counties awaiting arraignment are a variety of felony assault charges. These stem from, of course, a bar fight this weekend. What I've read so far indicates this was the typical drunken bar fight caused by something stupid and unimportant. Mike Riley is out of town recruiting. I expect he will have things to say about this when he gets back tomorrow. I suspect these three will not be making the trip to the big bowl game.

My Main Man Number 9 came through earlier today... (0.00 / 0)
...and the Eagles won a game for the first time since September.  Whoo!

In amazing fashion, too.  I walked away from the teevee in disgust after they missed a 31-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter, then came back a bit later and of course they were losing again.  Foles led them all the way down the field for the winning score, though, capped off by a sliding touchdown catch on the sideline as time expired.  Now that there's some great poise from a rookie!

I remember Nick Foles was the only Pac QB who really worried most Oregon fans (Andrew Luck never had the receivers to strike fear into anyone by himself), and I loved that draft pick.  Lookign forward to next year, when (oh please, hopefully!) we'll have a new coach and an experienced Foles starting at QB.  Look no further than Miami for what a new coach and a new QB can do for an NFL team.

Good to hear of LMJ.  Casey Matthews is the only Duck on the Eagles roster, and Brandon Hughes is the lone Beaver.  The Eagles also have a Portland State kid on their roster.  Ryan Rau.  I wonder if he's the only Viking on a current NFL roster?

[ Parent ]
This was just down the street, btw... (0.00 / 0)
Kensington man charged with growing pot in his house

"Even today, I don't have a bad word to say about them," Anderson said Friday after news broke that Vinh Quang Nguyen, 41, had been arrested and charged with growing hundreds of marijuana plants in his three-story house in the 2300 block of Frankford Avenue.

Authorities raided the house Thursday and reported they found 343 full-grown plants - many of which were more than five feet tall.

Investigators also found 150 plants "in the incubation stage," according to Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

More than 500 pounds of marijuana was recovered, including three large bags of cut marijuana, Jamerson said.

Marijuana should be legal, and the $1 million bail is fucking insane, but yeah.  This is the immediate problem -

Nguyen had an "elaborate and dangerous electrical wiring system" to power the heat lamps needed to grow the plants, the District Attorney's Office said.

Those fucking growhouses can burn an entire block down at any time.

Agents from the District Attorney's Office Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency also reported they found a system set up to use fabric softener to mask the odor of the marijuana.

And yeah, the odor was definitely not hidden.  Heh.  I just thought it was someone who smoked on their stoop a lot, though.  Didn't realize it was a giant growing operation right there.

Where is... (0.00 / 0)

I feel lonely being the only Pennsylvanian here now!  I thought we had matched the Oregonians in terms of sheer numbers, but they now hold a 2-1 advantage!


Okay, sorry.  Felt like being a little goofy tonight.  Excuse me.  Carry on now.  :)

Yes, where is Lee? I haven't seen her around (4.00 / 1)
in awhile.

[ Parent ]
She's been posting on FB (4.00 / 1)
Maybe she's busy, with the holidays and all. I know I hadn't posted on here in a while. It's not that I wasn't around and checking fairly regular. It's just that I was busy, and FB is where I do most of my posting on things. I've got a personal page and I've got a page for the farm and I do some marketing over there too.

In fact, it was on FB that I made the connection with a friend of mine who's the realtor who found this place in Gervais for me.

BTW, I spent my first night and ate my first meal here last night. Gervais is home now, and I'm commuting up to Mulino to take care of the livestock and clean the place up so it'll be ready for Harold's kids to do what ever it is they want to do with it.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Portland coffee roasters... (0.00 / 0)
Wow, I hadn't even heard of close to half of these.  I wonder how many have just opened up over the past nine months since I left?

Here's the only one really close to me.  ReAnimator Coffee.  They operate out of South Kensington somewhere, I haven't tried them yet but I'm gonna head to one of the shops it's available at soon.  I've been mostly sticking with Old City Coffee at Reading Terminal Market since I got here, mainly out of convenience.  I need to branch out soon, though!

Masked gunman on the loose in Portland mall. (4.00 / 1)
As i type this i am watching live TV coverage of a shooter armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle at Clackamas Town Center. Reports are that the shooter is wearing a white mask and body armor.

Reports so far are that at least 2 are dead and at least 7 are injured. Witnesses say the gunman walked into the mall and started shooting immediately. While many shoppers have been evacuated from the mall, many more are still  inside, hopefully in hiding.

Authorities from the Clackamas County Sheriff's office are now saying that they believe the shooter has been neutralized. They don't know if he is dead or captured. Apparently, they believe he is neutralized because they are not hearing any shots.

Update: the shooter is dead as are two other people. (4.00 / 1)
The shooter was male.  

[ Parent ]
I've been hearing about that (4.00 / 1)
the husband of a friend of mine is a first responder on the scene.  

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Made the news here... (0.00 / 0) a 'top of the hour' story.  Meanwhile here in Philadelphia, in a story which only got a brief mention, a couple neighborhoods over from me in Nicetown, someone was shot at over 40 times with an assault rifle on a city street corner last night.  Not quite sure what to make of the way those stories were prioritized / presented by the local stations here.

[ Parent ]
Endangered properties... (0.00 / 0)
The current list from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

They'd better not wreck Family Court (and Logan Square) by sticking anything on top of it.  Also, despite my general dislike for the style, District Health Center #1 is one of the rare types of those buildings I really like.  It looks better in person, doesn't really photograph well.  I admit to some ambivalence about the Roundhouse, although the historical preservationist in me grudgingly accepts saving it.  Its main problem is that it's an inward-looking fortress dropped into the heart of Center City (and the heart of America!  Independence Hall is only a few blocks away) which doesn't play well at all with any of its surroundings, including Franklin Square right across the street.  In fact, Franklin Square's renaissance amazes me, considering it's surrounded on all sides by things like that, and the traffic sewer of a highway to its immediate north.


More bad news for Philadelphia's struggling inner city main streets.  Words.  I just don't have any.

The development, called Plaza Allegheny, will have five primary structures for a total of 72,000 square feet, along with a grocery story and parking spaces for 290 vehicles, according to Peter Tantala, an engineer for the developer. Tantala called the project "a traditional, suburban-style shopping center in the city."

We're still doing this shit in 2012?  Fucking ughh.  Cherry Hill is over the bridge, assholes.

I'm almost certainly gonna end up living right near this monstrous, soul-sucking piece of shit, too.  The good news though, I guess, is the giant parking lot will be a magnet and provide fertile working grounds for North Philadelphia's armed robbers, so that maybe they'll stay off Kensington Ave and our other still-worth-being-on main streets.

Just out of curiosity... (0.00 / 0)
...I've been trying to find out what year smoking was banned on the NYC subway.  Ha!  You can't find everything on the internet.  This information does not seem to be available anywhere.  I'm surprised how hard this information is to find, actually.

Anyway, an interesting fact.  Philadelphia is the largest US city in which smoking is still legal in bars.  Although in practice, very few still allow it.  And the law is that in order to allow smoking, the bar must derive more than 90% of its income from alcohol sales.  So, basically just the good ole' corner dive bars that don't sell food.  Brewpubs and the like couldn't allow it even if they wanted to.

Anyway, back to searching.  I want to know what year that was, damnit!  Also, I wonder what year smoking was banned in baseball stadiums.  I remember giant Marlboro billboards inside Yankee Stadium when my dad used to take me there as a kid in the early and mid-80s, but I'm pretty sure they were banned right around that time, too.

Jay, have you tried searching for the dates that the various (4.00 / 1)
states and cities banned smoking in the workplace? Or when they banned smoking in public places?

I don't think you will find anything specific to Yankee Stadium or the subway.

[ Parent ]
Take a look at this, Jay. The smoking ban in New York is (4.00 / 1)
much more recent that I would have thought. The state ban passed  in 2003.

Check this out.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (0.00 / 0)
I've found some on that, but the subway must have been long before any statewide or citywide bans.  It would have been an MTA agency thing, I'd think?  As you noted, the statewide ban is only relatively recent, but I know for sure that smoking on the subway hasn't been allowed in a long time.

Just curious when it was implemented, as there's that scene in Saturday Night Fever, which I just watched the other day, with John Travolta smoking on the subway as he rides it all night.  And being the eccentric that I am, I've spent an inordinate amount of time lately wondering if it was legal then (I was minus-2 years old in 1977), or if he was just being a dick, like the guy here in Philly who lit up on the El, inside the train, between Girard and Berks as I was coming home the other night...

[ Parent ]
And speaking of illegal behavior... (0.00 / 0)
...a friend of mine still insists that NJTransit commuter trains have a BYOB policy, despite the fact that drinking alcohol on a commuter train is very illegal.  Everywhere.  Yet he does it, and amazingly enough he's never gotten in trouble for it (this is why NJ can't have nice things! heh).  I find another seat when he does that, as I've long since given up on dissuading him from this antisocial behavior.

I don't know what's more embarrassing, btw.  The fact that he drinks beer on the train, or the fact that his train beer of choice is a 40-ounce bottle of Budweiser.  I think I'm gonna go with the latter.

[ Parent ]
Obviously, his choice of beer is his worst offense. (4.00 / 1)
Not only does he lack the good sense to not drink on mass transit, he lacks good taste.

Just how good a friend is this guy?  :-)

[ Parent ]
Smoking ban became law in July of 2003. (4.00 / 1)
After reading this, I think both the subways and Yankee Stadium fall under this law. Now, it is possible that Yankee Stadium enforced its own ban before the law took effect.  

[ Parent ]
They both did... (0.00 / 0)
...I just can't find out when for sure, and it's one of these things that's gonna bug me until I do find out now.  It's possible smoking was never allowed on the train itself, now that I think of it, but who knows?  The internet certainly doesn't!  I've stumped it, heh!

[ Parent ]
Unwritten law? (0.00 / 0)
Maybe it was just a 'courtesy' policy kinda thing until it was actually written into law?  Kinda like 'don't eat, don't drink, don't put your feet on the seats?'  Perhaps it was just a common sense "don't do this" thing that probably just went under some kind of general public disturbance law when it had to actually be enforced, kinda like 'don't relieve yourself on the side of a building?'

[ Parent ]
Smoking bans are a much more recent development (4.00 / 1)
than we think. We've gotten so used to them that it seems they've always been around.

Travolta's character was not breaking any laws when he lit up on the subway.

[ Parent ]
It was not legal (4.00 / 1)
It has always been illegal to smoke on NYC mass transit. It wasn't about cigarettes, the match was just as illegal. It was treated as a fire hazard.  

Years ago during long train delays someone could have gotten away with going between the cars and. if respect was shown by the cigarette disappeared quickly, cops would turn a blind eye on outdoor platforms. It was understood that you could smoke in areas where you didn't pay yet but that was against the law too, just not enforced.

But other than those acceptations the law was very strictly enforced. I find it funny now when I see a young cop giving a warning to a smoker on a subway platform. I was so strictly enforced because it is a dangerous fire hazard and the young cops think it is all about second hand smoke.      

[ Parent ]
And this holds true everywhere... (4.00 / 1)
The fire hazard thing.  Which makes me wonder why it was ever legal to do so, for so long, in so many other enclosed places as well?

[ Parent ]
Tipping point... (4.00 / 1)
And now I wonder what the 'tipping point' was for bans to extend to airplanes, amusement parks, etc etc.

[ Parent ]
According to this, smoking in NYC subways (4.00 / 1)
[ Parent ]
Yeah, saw that one... (0.00 / 0)
...but I don't believe it.  There's no sourcing, and I know for sure I never encountered anyone smoking on the subway as long as I remember as far back as the late 80s / early 90s.  1998 may have been a date for a ban on smoking on the platforms while waiting for the trains, but I can't find any second sources on that either.

[ Parent ]
Check this out. It is the state regulation on smoking (4.00 / 1)
in public places and places of employment.
Look for section 1399-0. Smoking Restrictions. Go down to #5 and 6.

[ Parent ]
Big East is d-u-n, dun. (0.00 / 0)
Now it's the basketball schools fleeing.

The seven Catholic schools in the Big East have agreed to leave the conference and are debating the process of departing it, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

How DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova leave the Big East is still undetermined.

The presidents of the seven schools conducted a teleconference with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Thursday morning. The presidents are expected to issue a statement on their schools' future in the next 24 to 48 hours.

A bunch of top-tier basketball teams amongst them, gawn.

Out Temple, out!  To the ACC, now!

Or shit, back to the MAC even!  Heh.

Anything but the Big East.  Forget no longer having automatic entry in the football playoff system in a couple years, the conference may just up and fold before the new system even gets here...

Why does everybody hate the Big East? (4.00 / 1)
Who's left in that conference?

[ Parent ]
Temple. (0.00 / 0)
And we gotta get out!  Argh.

And then UConn (likely going to the ACC), Cincinnati (I'd be shocked if they don't announce their departure by next year, too) and South Florida, of the current schools.

The new schools coming in are Boise State and San Diego State (they can back out of joining at any time, and there have been recent rumors that they will), along with Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, Tulane, East Carolina and Navy.

Pretty much on par with Conference USA or the MAC, right?  And it's not even clear if they're the best of those three conferences.

[ Parent ]
As far as the background goes... (0.00 / 0) was back room politics and financials and whatnot, and the pull of the president of Providence (a basketball only school), who was (or still is?) president of the conference, who was said to make all decisions favoring basketball over football (you'll recall the upper-tier football teams at that time started leaving almost a decade ago when Virginia Tech, Miami FL and Boston College fled to the ACC).  I never followed that too closely, so I can't expand upon it, but it makes sense.

[ Parent ]
Villanova... (0.00 / 0)
Also, Villanova (basketball only school at the moment, whose football team wants to make the jump from FCS to FBS) might have been a leader of the seven Catholic schools leaving the Big East, since their football team can't move up to FBS with Temple back in the conference.  Two Philadelphia teams (even though Villanova is in the suburbs, but close enough) in the same football conference isn't gonna be allowed to happen by the one that's already in.  I'd guess Villanova football will probably announce a not-too-far-into-the-future move up to FBS Independent as soon as they announce their departure.

[ Parent ]
Acorn squash... (4.00 / 1)
I do believe this pound-and-a-half fella in my kitchen right now is the first of its kind I have ever purchased.  Also picked up some Penn Crisp celery, a couple onions, garlic, carrots and a can of crushed Jersey tomatoes at the Fair Food farmstand.  NY State pinto beans from last week are soaking right now (shoulda done that last night, bah!), and I guess tomorrow for dinner I can do some kind of roast acorn squash and pinto bean stew kinda thing.

Now if only I ever learned how to bake bread.  That's next on my to-do list!

Once I start the new job, I'll be living in my second apartment, a spartan studio in Newark (or Jersey City) for four or five days a week, and I won't have a teevee or computer up there.  So this is a good thing.  It'll force me to cook and bake (and read!) much more than I have been doing lately.

for the squash (4.00 / 1)
Cut in half, rub with olive oil and salt, bake at 350 for 1 hr. And you can just leave the pulp and seeds in and eat those too if you want. I eat everything but the peel but my ex eats the peel too.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
Jill, do you bake yours upside down (4.00 / 1)
so the seeds steam? I love pumpkin seeds roasted, but I hate cracking them to get at the meat inside. If the skins are soft from steaming I'd be doing up my squash with the seeds inside. Never thought about winter squash seeds like from the acorn.

I'm going to grow some of those naked seed pumpkins next year so I don't have to crack those darned things.

My favorite way to do up acorn squash is cut side up with butter and brown sugar. I scoop the seeds out and then pierce with a fork and fill the center with butter and packed brown sugar. Bake at 350° for an hour or until cooked through.

But I've recently gone to steaming it and other squash in the oven upside down. Red Kuri is really good that way with just a little butter mixed in when it comes out of the oven.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Jay, two homes? Why? What is this new job that (4.00 / 1)
will make you an interstate citizen? Is this a temporary job, and is that why you are keeping the place in Philadelphia?

[ Parent ]
The plan... (0.00 / 0) to work there for a few years while saving up for a house here, and then to be able to come back down here and work elsewhere (closer to home!) for less.  I view it as a temporary inconvenience (the going back and forth every week), to help achieve my long-term goal of being settled here for good.  This will be paying more to start than I've ever made in my life, but it isn't exactly something I want to do for the rest of my life, and it doesn't really offer much of an opportunity for advancement.

That's the plan for now.  Of course, plans can change.  We'll see.

The two homes will be cool to talk about. :)  But it isn't as glamorous as it sounds.  Heh.  It's really just two tiny studio apartments in two of the poorest inner cities in the country.  I could be able to afford one really nice (for me) place on, like, the Jersey City waterfront or in Center City, but the problems with those options are 1) I have no desire to ever live in that state to the east of me full-time ever again, and 2) I couldn't handle a daily Philadelpia to North Jersey train commute.  I'd go insane in like three weeks.

So this is the best option for now.  Who knows, maybe in sixteen months I will be "JayinNewark" again, but for now I'll see how this works out.

[ Parent ]
So, what's the job? Can you tell us? (4.00 / 1)
I know you love Philly. So, I hope things work out the way you want them to. Newark, eh? So, are you going to become BFFs with Corey Booker? I hear he might run against Christie.

[ Parent ]
It is... (0.00 / 0)
...a unionized general labor job, hence the relatively high starting pay.  It's in the vicinity of Newark Airport, which is actually in Elizabeth, the city just south of Newark, and is unfortunately once again (just like my last NJ job!) in an area where the buses don't run*, so another major annoyance will be having to bike or walk through a couple miles of streets which are very bike and pedestrian unfriendly on both ends of my commute, but oh well.  Such is life here these days.

Booker will probably sit it out in '13, since Christie's move in cozying up to the president after Sandy (and just before the election) had the effect of giving him the sort of 'bipartisan' halo he needed for reelection.  Christie will squeak by some unknown State Rep by 3 points in '13, and Booker will win Drumthwacket in a walk in 2017 with about 60% of the vote.

Oh, and thanks!  I hope things work out this way, too.  :)

*I'll never understand why NJTransit has such a severe aversion to running buses through industrial areas, where thousands of jobs are, while they run half a dozen bus lines to the malls on the outskirts of town a few miles away.  Sigh.

[ Parent ]
Cory Booker... (0.00 / 0)
Ha, I was right.  Still have a feel for the pulse of things in that state.  But I doubt he's gonna run for Senate in 2014, though.  I don't think Booker's personality is suited to being a legislator.  If he does run for Senate in 2014, it'll only be because he's following the Obama path and planning to run for president in, probably, 2020.

[ Parent ]
This morning's view (4.00 / 2)

Twice a year I get to do a one week gig in my favorite building in NYC. I love it.  

Hope your week's going well! (4.00 / 1)
I was there once!  ;)

[ Parent ]
Awesome! (4.00 / 1)
And a happy new year to you, man.

One day you gotta get down here for ours.  And the Barnes, too.

[ Parent ]
Is this the Met, Eddie? (4.00 / 1)
I've never been to NYC. So, I'm not sure I have the building right. I do know it is a museum. A museum with some beautiful pieces.

Thanks for the pics.

Have a very Merry Christmas, Eddie. I love seeing your pictures of New York. Someday I'll get there.

[ Parent ]
I almost moved to Santa Fe once, btw... (4.00 / 1)
It's interesting to ponder where our choices (or non-choices) take us.  By just a stroke of whatever it was, I could have been in New Mexico, or Oakland, or Boston, or Austin right now, if only a thing or two would have gone a little different along the way.

Oh well, I been around the world* and I, I, I... I can't find... well, you know.  ;-P

A bookstore anywhere in Philadelphia is my dream!

*Or at least the US

[ Parent ]
Jay, are there no bookstores in Philadelphia? (4.00 / 1)
A city with so many colleges? How is that possible? Or are there bookstores, but they are all big chains, no private ones? No Annie Bloom's or Broadway Books and certainly no Powell's?

[ Parent ]
A bookstore of my own... (0.00 / 0)
To open, I mean.  ;)

There's a ton of others already, though!

[ Parent ]
The closest one to me... (0.00 / 0) Port Richmond Books, though oddly enough I've never been in there.  That needs to change very soon.

The one I go to most often is Book Trader in Old City, or the Friends of the Free Library store over by the Art Museum and the main library branch.  I forget its name.  Used books, mostly for $2.

Another favorite of mine is another whose name I can't recall (argh!), but it's on Fairmount, and is a typical 3-story rowhouse packed with books everywhere except for the stairs.  They have a whole room of history books I often poke through.

[ Parent ]
Rain, rain, go away... (0.00 / 0)
Although the weather report consistently, oddly, regularly claims otherwise (seriously, I'm about to fit myself for a tin foil hat - "expect dry conditions for the next six hours," my ass!), it has pretty much been drizzling here non-stop for about ten days now.  With occasional breaks in the form of heavy rain.

Seriously, wtf?!  Stop already!  Did Portland's December weather follow me here?  It even snow-flurried a bit in Center City around 3 o'clock today, on my way home.

Seems like weeks since I've seen the sun.  That's not supposed to happen here!  Argh.  Whine...

But at least... (0.00 / 0)
...the Sixers finally won again tonight!  So all is good with the world.

And it also appears that Andrew Bynum may actually possibly play a couple minutes in a Sixers uniform this year, too.

(Speaking of things that followed me from Portland - oh look, a big guy with ruined knees.  It's Greg Oden 2.0, sigh...)

[ Parent ]
Tomorrow will be a first. (0.00 / 0)
I will be rooting for lossington to win a college football game.  The Las Vegas Bowl.  They're playing a bunch of whiny blue-turf trolls from Idaho, whose mascot is actually a donkey and not a bronco.  As much as I'd love to see both of them somehow lose, I know only one can.

So I have to pull for the only school which ever went 0-12 in Pac-10 history.  Had to get that shot in, of course.  ;)

Go, Huskies! (4.00 / 1)
Can't bring myself to root for the smurf team. Hate to cheer for the Huskies, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

A football fan must have some standards.

[ Parent ]
I wonder... (0.00 / 0) many first-place votes the smurfs will get in the final AP poll if they win?  Only half-joking.

[ Parent ]
Well, the smurfs team won 28-26. (4.00 / 1)
They beat the poor Huskies with a field goal in the last minute of the game.  

[ Parent ]
Needed almost every second... (0.00 / 0) beat a thoroughly average, middle of the Pac-12 team, by just a couple points.  Just further proof that if the smurfs had to play a BCS conference schedule week in and week out, they'd be lucky to win 8 games most years.

Ah, but anyway.  I guess this means there's now going to be a split national championship, eh?  ;)

[ Parent ]
Greensgrow attacked... (0.00 / 0)
From their facebook page -

Last night in a unique Christmas calling card some elf broke down our gates broke into the vehicles by smashing the windows relieved us of some equipment and stole all the batteries from the Big Farm trucks. Great. Happy Christmas to you, you scum bag. I hope it was good crack.

I guess that's what the more-than-usual number of police cars were doing down the street last night.  Ughh.  Lowlife scum, I hope they got robbed by another pair of junkies on their way to Kensington Ave to buy their heroin.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! and best wishes for the New Year to (4.00 / 1)
everyone here at LaVidaLocavore.

I've learned a lot here. It has made me a better gardener and a more aware eater. And, thanks to Jay, I get a little football talk in, too.  

Merry Christmas to you too Casey (4.00 / 1)
and everyone!

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Joanne, thanks. Are you completely (4.00 / 1)
moved into the new place?  How do you like it so far?

[ Parent ]
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