L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 919, April 23, 2017
Happy Errf Day!
by Jeff Fullerton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Day one of first vacation week of the year is here at long last.
And what could amount to my first birthday present was in the form of a package found on my porch when I got home late last night. The order from Laporte Avenue Nursery which so happens to be an assortment of Irises, dwarf chrysanthemums, columbine and other alpine plants ordered from a rock garden specialist in Fort Collins Colorado. That's El Neil’s home town I do believe—and also the setting in which his character Winn Bear started a new life in the alternate world of the Probability Broach where the city bears the name of LaPorte instead.
Greater LaPorte that is. I keep thinking of the scene where the detective from the city of Denver (which is apparently non-existent in that timeline) is first introduced to the term in the plush, air conditioned Telecom booth by the friendly red headed cartoon operator.
Who is unable to find any listings for the police department he his looking for on the entire planet—or solar system for that matter!
As for the nursery; I actually stumbled across it doing a search last summer for Dryas octopetala —a well known arctic and alpine plant perhaps most famous for the high frequency of its pollen in the layers of core samples of lakes and bogs that define its namesake; the Younger Dryas period that was a brief but intense episode of global cooling that punctuated the time of the rapid warmup and meltdown of the continental ice sheets at the end of the Wisconsin Ice Age some 15,000 years ago.
I’ve tried to grow that one a number of times before but could never get it to take. Last attempt a few years ago it didn’t last the winter—ironically—being an arctic plant you’d think it would be rock hardy in this climate. My guess is that a combination of winter wetness and the organic potting medium may be causing it and a few other species of alpine plants to rot. I’m beginning to think that the rich black peaty stuff that many plants come potted in from the garden centers and mail order nurseries may not always be conducive to their survival long term once they are put in the ground. From my own experience and also what I’ve learned from the plantsman Don Hackenberry—many of these plants do better in mineral type soils. In many cases -pure sand is the ideal growing medium. So I was hoping to try that one again.
Unfortunately the nursery in LaPorte did not have that one in stock this year—though it does carry an assortment of other plants worth trying in the newer sections of my rock garden between the two sets of turtle pens on my south perimeter and so I ordered a nice assortment which I plan on setting out this afternoon.
Which otherwise does not look too promising as far as weather goes. Especially after another stretch of nice sunny days in the 70s that ended on Thursday with a summer like day that hit 80 before the storms rolled in late afternoon to put a reversal on the warming trend. Yet the warmth still lingered somewhat for another day. Friday it was warm enough to feed some night crawlers to the turtles outdoors and I would have cut grass but my Troy Bilt Pony has a major flat that requires replacement of the tire.
It’s always something. The new plants and a week off with the return of warmer days will help.
Currently as I write this late Saturday morning I note that it is unseasonably chilly and dreary day outside that is lucky to break 50 degrees. But that won’t stop the climate alarmists from beating their drums. Already they are gearing up for the coming heat wave of summer like warmth to hit the eastern US this last week of April—which I’m looking forward to because it means that most of my turtles and fish that remain indoors can go outside—possibly for the season if stays decently warm.
And yet that is a bad thing from what I got from the article. And there is another heat wave in India. Yet it was snowing in Eastern Europe with an event worthy of Grandma’s account of 18 inches of snow on the 18th of April in 1928! Snow on the tulips, tree limbs breaking , canceled global warming conferences and the whole 9 yards! If we could have gotten that here with Washington snowed in and the Errf Day march and maybe another Algore speech canceled on the account of a late spring blizzard—it would have been amusing to say the least.
It has been noted that Mr Gore tends to have that sort of luck with major cold snaps or snow events following him to the ends of the Earth to put the kibosh on his ten thousand dollar a head speeches and such. Haven’t heard from him lately which makes me wonder if he didn’t freeze to death this winter?
Another thing I have often noted is that doomsday scenarios are way overrated. Between religious preoccupations with the end of days and the preoccupations of environmentalists with pending ecological catastrophe—the latter have won the contest hands down for being the most idiotic and asinine. You only have to look back to the numerous failed predictions from the first Errf Day in the 1970s. You read this stuff today and most of it is roll on the floor laughable. Yet like the religious apocalyptics; that won’t stop them from trying again and again. And again! Every year no matter what—it is destined to be the hottest evah!
Now the “scientists”—if that’s who are truly behind it—are organizing marches all around the planet. Marches for Science it’s being called. I guess it is going to be something like the Million—Fill in the Blank—March meets that stunt where everyone turns off their lights to make the First World look like North Korea—on steroids! Given some of the antics of the latest installment of the Kim Dynasty I’m convinced that my renegade social sciences professor from Pitt was right in his predictions that the greenie weenies would want to keep a few nukes geared up to check the possibility of anyone else staging a counter revolution against a forced march back to the low tech feudal subsistence society of the Middle Ages.
It could be argued two ways; that environmentalism is a convenient vehicle for establishing a centrally planned economy modeled on Soviet socialism that the Marxists among us have always wanted—or the totalitarian Soviet model which is the only real way to force people to live modestly and sustainably in the fashion that environmentalists have always wanted. Obviously it’s a combination of both. But it could easily backfire on them considering the environmental track record of Russia and the other East Bloc nations during the Soviet era. It was an environmental hell hole with the worst pollution the likes of the days when the rivers used to catch fire in Ohio and Greenpeace activists were thrown in jail along with the leaders of labor unions and other dissidents. It was all about forced industrialization at all cost to surpass the productivity of the West and the people were turned loose to forage for themselves on their own time so they wouldn’t starve as a result of the systemic failure to provide basic necessities. Like in the case of contemporary Venezuela where they are now eating the wildlife along with pets and zoo animals!
Based on observations like that and my knowledge of how things like turtles are collected wholesale for Asian food markets I have always predicted that environmentalists who go around gleefully predicting the collapse of modern civilization ought to be careful what they wish for. I have to admit my thinking in that vain was initially inspired by something Jerry Pournelle wrote a while back.
In a nutshell it would be really ugly with many species of animals being eaten into extinction as Western stomachs are also inclined to become as Catholic as Asian ones when it comes to facing actual hunger. And Venezuela which was not long ago a prosperous modernizing society is proof of that.
They’re eating the poor anteaters—Yuck!
So I’m going to celebrate my birthday on Errf Day today with another friend who shares the same birth date along with one of Ray’s daughters and of course the one for whom the date was truly chosen to commemorate—Vladimir I. Lenin : founder of the Soviet Union.
Thought about lighting up another brush pile and throwing on an old tire for show but it’s probably too wet to kindle a fire effectively.
Happy Errf Day!
It looks as if Hillary may have fallen out of fashion with the hip millennials who were parroting the “I’m With Her” mantra during the election in 2016. Apparently “Her” now means Mother Errf!
Day went pretty well. It even brightened up a little bit while I worked on planting the stuff that arrived the previous day. Best to get it all in the ground sooner rather than later so new plants have the best chance possible to establish themselves before summer droughts and more importantly- winter arrives.
Some of the stuff I put in last Fall is taking well.
All of last Summer’s hard work paid off in the way of the perfect site to plant the Iris ruthenica and dwarf penstemons including the California native rupicola which got tucked sideways into a gap between two big rocks to give it the best possible drainage. The dwarf chrysanthemums got planted where they can fill in the space occupied by Crocuses after those disappear for the season. And the Formosan Lily got planted in a gritty, gravely sandy loam mix in a small pond basket sunk into a pocket of the same above the Rosyside Pool.
It is a replacement for the one I got from Plant Delights last spring; which bloomed magnificently last summer and set a bumper crop of viable seed- and then found an excuse to rot that fall. One of the frustrations of horticulture I hope we’ll be able to overcome someday by making them GMO! The hell with putting up with this damned bullshit in the way of frosts, freezes, borers, beetles and blights. And environmentalists who want to tie our hands behind our backs so we can’t fight back whenever they are trying to sacrifice us or whatever we hold dear upon the alter of the Mother Errf religion. Better them on Rand’s alter to the Virtue of Selfishness!
There may be goodness and beauty in the natural world. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to imitate or improve on it.
The turts of course were quiescent as they hunkered down in the water awaiting the return of warmer days.
It will be soon.
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