Saturday, February 28, 2009

March-In like a lion, out like a lamb?

Or maybe I should paraphrase a very famous literary line....."The winter of our discontent"

Which ever one seems appropriate to your mood works for me. This morning, I have seven and a half inches of snow on the ground, and it is still snowing fairly hard. I've checked the NWS radar and the storm that is providing us this snow, has been stationary for at least four hours now. It does not show any hints of moving along, either. The forecast was updated at 7 am, when I already had over six inches, to say another two to four inches are to be expected. Hmm, that adds up to maybe ten inches.

Immediately, a past spring time storm comes to mind, where we got about 30 inches in just over 24 hours.....gosh I hope not! But March (even though it is not the new month yet) is typically a mix of a sunshine, peppered with snow storms. One year, we had 24 or 25 days of sun, but also got over a foot of snow-go figure. I would rather have the sun-and we are still forecast to have sun tomorrow. Clear skies mean the temperatures will drop too, darn it. Oh well, spring is not too far away now!

I am happy to report I have baby peppers peeking up from the flats on the starting rack. Today, we must dig out the tall saw horses so that I will have them available when it's time to move them under better light. Next up, cabbage and brussel sprouts!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It begins!

This morning, I was greeted by what gardeners can only call "a heavenly aroma". That scent that permeates the house, of wet starter mix :)

Yesterday I started 8 flats of peppers-two of which are from seeds I saved and of course I am not positive how they are going to germinate. Peppers are usually pretty easy, but you never quite know for sure. Then, as I was rooting around in the left over seed packets from last year, I stumbled across two unopened packages of dark blue, trailing lobelia. So I thought, what the heck! Laid in a moist layer of starter mix and oh so carefully sprinkled the powder-like seed across the surface. Then it was carefully placed inside a clear plastic bag and put under light. Of course I must remember that the one flat (if it germinates well) will end up making up to 9 more flats!

So I am debating whether or not to buy hundreds of cell packs and flats, or just try to wing it with what I have on hand. I did get an offer to sell my extras from a store front, so that is something to consider too. The plan is that I will only have the lobelia, pansies, tomatoes and a few peppers here at home-everything else will get delivered to the greenhouse-which will have heat about the first of April.

Also on the "should I or shouldn't I" list, is whether or not to start the tomatoes, which are heirloom varieties which take longer to germinate and get going. And the usual cabbage dilemma also-if I start OS cross now, it will need potting up into something by about the mid April. Will I have room for that? Hmm, I think I will go ahead with the tomatoes, and wait on the cabbage for another couple weeks........

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A very scary Tuesday

Reports are rocketing around the web, and in emails, about the financial news coming out of Europe yesterday and today. Several national exchanges have closed or been shut down to stop the bleeding, but it looks like the whole house of cards is about to go. I had confirmation of that when I heard the DOW closed down another 275 points. Look for Poland, Ireland, England and Japan to fold next. We are likely close behind, if not already started-tomorrow we will all know for sure.

You can read more about these matters and what they mean to us online at places like and . There has been a big currency move, into dollars, and into gold of course.

What is it with Tuesdays anyway?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cl flagging costs real lives :(

I knew that the flagging would cause serious problems, and I knew of at least one horse that was not rehomed due to the tonight I find this:

Livestock Flagging - $1
Reply to: see below Date: 2009-02-16, 8:12PM AKST
To who ever is flagging the livestock section, You win, The Goats lose! I finally gave up after repeated flagging even though allowed on craigslist, so they both went to the butcher yesterday. I was trying to sell them to a good home but your repeated flagging gave me NO choice. I hope you are happy....
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interestsPostingID: 1037993048

Read 'em and weep, you self righteous, wanna be pompous hall monitors.

I hope you sleep well at night, thinking of the deaths YOU are responsible for.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Even though it's February.....

It's time for gardening!!


There may be plenty of snow and ice outside, but this month is the "seed starting" month for me. I have already placed several sizable orders, and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. This weekend, I need to get the hot peppers going-the hotter the pepper, the longer to maturity :) I have some seeds from habenero's that a friend shared, so those are first in. Then, if I have everything planned correctly, will come plantings of vegetables about 12 days apart, starting about mid March.

My dear husband dug out and readied the seed starting rack for me, and I have another here at work, waiting to be put together. Each rack will have 8 shop lights, so 16 flats per rack. We have done a little arranging and the HPS system is ready to go, which should fire up in about three weeks.

From seeds I saved from last year, I also have a mix of tomatoes, plus pumpkins, and something else I have tucked away but can't recall just off hand, lol The only flowers I will be starting myself are some snapdragons and of course, the pansies. I do pretty well with pansies and they tend to have lousy germination, so I am looking forward to the challenge. Sometime over the next week or so, I need to go gather up all my flats and cell packs and get them prepped too.

Last year I did about 70 flats (counting what I kept at home) and the majority went to a friends' nursery/greenhouse over in Palmer for resale. This year, I am hoping to at least double, if not triple that number, with any excess I hope to peddle here at work. Plus I am thinking of building a raised bed at work, just for cabbages ;) It gets a tremendous amount of sun right here, so as long as I can keep them well watered, they should do very very well.

I can't wait to smell DIRT!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CL chickens

My my, it seems my blog here is more widely read than I had supposed.

Funny how my CL rant (below) was flagged off this morning....whilst many others remain ;)

So anyhow the nonstop baiting and flagging continues. One poor soul has had his ad flagged down three times already today. Another person I know, put up an ad, and it was down inside of ten minutes. Perfectly within the TOU, but still flagged. It's obvious that a lot of people are making assumptions about who is who, and flagging everything they click on.

So, who's ready for popcorn?

Monday, February 9, 2009

I admit it, I lost my temper

and against my better judgement, posted in the Craigslist ongoing fray:

New Anchorage CL rules - $1 (Alaska)
Reply to: see below Date: 2009-02-09, 12:57PM AKST
Ok, got it!! Farm machinery is not allowed, because farm machinery come from *farms*, and you know, farms are *businesses*. After all, our wealthy farmers here are all big AgriBiz!

But lights for growing are okay, and so are pots to put your starts in. But you can't sell or share or give away your excess plantings!

Any livestock animal, as defined by the USDA is strictly forbidden to be sold, traded, leased, or given away. On this list, you may not sell for meat, either! Therefore, you own it, you feed it, and don't even *think* about trying to find a new home, period!

No fleeces from sheep, no hair from goats, nor a single egg may be sold. Those are "parts" of animals that are not in "packaging", therefore, against the Anchorage TOU.

Most specifically, you must NOT post that you have hay, or grain either, since these are not "packaged" according to the Anchorage TOU either. Even if you have extra and you are sure someone else could *really* use it, too bad! Not acceptable!

No firewood even if you are freezing, either-got that?

In short, here are the allowable items: Growing equipment (limited to lights and timers and ballasts, etc), pots and trays.

Snow blowers-sometimes.

Hand implements, miscellansoue tools not easily identified as possibly being able to generate a dollars' worth of income to someone.

Books (sometimes)

No websites of any kind, no announcements of any kind, and most especially, no farm or ranch names, and you better not have a well known phone number either!

Please feel free to expand on this list, I am sure to have missed a bunch! In other words, this Farm & Garden is useless for almost everyone. No wonder Alaska s List is doing so well!!

Farg, what a bunch of carp! I swear only a few ads stay up every day, absolutely everything is being flagged off-everything :( It is petty, stupid, and vicious, and it does NOT serve the community in any way. Like I said above-no wonder Alaskaslist is doing great!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Local Craigslist implodes

Craigslist used to be a marvelous meeting place for us all here. I have found a number of really good deals there over the past few years. But due to continued flagging, I have stopped attempting to post any ads there of any kind. Especially in either the Pets, or Farm and Garden. I have brought this topic up before but it bears revisiting because it is completely out of hand now. It's stupid, petty, and a real shame.....nary a horse ad can stay up, or hay, or goats, sheep, chickens, eggs, anything at all. I watch people keep putting their ads up and see them flagged off within hours, sometimes even minutes. I really feel for them, as I have been targeted also.

This morning I checked to see if any of the ads were still up, and nope-around 90% have been flagged down-nearly every one of them completely within the CL TOU. Then I clicked on this one, due to the title.'s a HUGE post, but worth the read!

Horse Fodder (Big Lake)
Reply to: [?]Date: 2009-02-07, 7:01AM AKST
Nazi Flagger Witches Exposed (See What The Witch Hunter Bagged!) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reply to: see below Date: 2008-11-30, 11:39PM AKST Nazi Flagger Witches Exposed by Witch Hunter Sponsored by No Flag Nuts! I learned from some network analysis that I performed here recently on Craigslist that there is a relatively small group of Nazi Flagger Witches, who have self-appointed themselves to what they believe is the highest, most important position in all of Alaska today--"Craigslist Pet Section Monitors." For the most part, as it turns-out, it's only four people (using the term loosely) who are continuously making life miserable for the unfortunate few here in the Pet Section who are unlucky enough to find themselves caught in their cross-hairs. Whenever these witches spot an ad they don't like (for whatever arbitrary reason), they will all jump on their broomsticks en posse to conjure their evil magic, and flag the ad off of Craigslist.

My analysis showed that it was a group of just four witches who are responsible for most of the terroristic Pet Section flagging here in Alaska: one who works at Chevron, one who works at Providence; one who works for the State of Alaska DOT and the other who is apparently just a private ACS user who sits at home all day, policing Craigslist along with the aformentioned other three, who actually do this from their workplace computers during weekdays, and then from their homes when they're not at work. (See My Witch Hunt Results below for more details). You'll see their rants throughout the day, harping endlessly, and belittling users about certain puppy ads, certain business ads, certain dog house ads, certain dog walker ads, certain pet sitter ads, certain dog training ads, etc., ad nauseum, and then go "on and on" in their posts about how certain advertisers have rehoming fees that are "too high," or admonishing people that the Pet section of Craiglist is "for SPCA/PETA-recognized organizations only."

That's all just a smoke screen, folks. First of all, they don't seem to really care whether the ad is a business ad, or not. You'll see ads that they never flag throughout the Pet section that are posted by a wide variety of businesses (some with links to full-blown Web sites) that offer things like "pet insurance," "pet clothing," "pet-sitting," "specialized dog collars," "tear stain remedies," "cat boarding," "oral health products," to name only a few. It doesn't really seem to make any difference whether an ad is a "business ad," or not. What seems to matter most to these witches is whether it's a business that they (in their sick minds) "approve" of, as opposed to all others. In my opinion, they definitely seem to apply what amounts to a "double standard" when selecting which ads of the "business" type to flag, or to gripe about. Secondly, they seem to zero-in on ads that feature certain breeds of dogs (Pitt Bulls, Ridgebacks, Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, etc.) and leave ads that feature other (less intimidating) breeds alone, when there's not even any discernable difference in the nature of the advertisement--except for the breed. They also seem to pick on people trying to find good homes for just about any purebred litter of puppies, whether they are of the guarding variety, or not. These fraudsters even go so far as to call and/or email people who are advertizing puppies, but don't post a price, pretending to be potential buyers. Then, in their infinite wisdom, if they decide that the advertiser is asking more than what the non-profit rescue businesses are selling their dogs for ($150 and up), will post rude admonishments aimed at embarrassing the poster, and then flag the ad off of the site.

(suvalley back in-I am having to copy and paste, so paragraph breaks are not in the correct location, sorry about that!)

Suspiciously, I've also noticed that cat, and cat-related ads never seem to get flagged. Has anyone else noticed this? Additionally, they are always sure to post reminders to people giving away cats, warning them to "carefully check the background" of whomever they give the cat to, so as to ensure that the "poor creature" doesn't become "snake food." I wonder why it is that you never see them posting the same warning to folks giving away small dogs. It seems to me that a Boa Constrictor or a Python wouldn't care whether he's eating a cat or a small dog for dinner. Just an observation.

Anyway, these decrepit old losers seem to be quite "unjust" in choosing which ads they target for flagging. This is exactly the kind of behavior you might expect from a group of people (if you could call them that) who have no greater purpose in life than to sit at their computers all day in order exert what amounts to their delusional and narcissistic notion of power over the users of the Pets section here at Craigslist. I bet it energizes them, and makes them feel so GOOOOOOOOOOD to make life so miserable for so many people, and to do it anonymously (or so they thought). I believe it actually gives their sad lives some sort of perverted meaning. Well. You know what the Hindu say about "Karma" don't you? The payback it promises is inescapable.

(Here's the main point.....please keep reading!)

My Witch Hunt Results During the afternoon, on November 25th, I set-out a series of Nazi Flagger Witch Traps aimed at identifying the IP addresses of the Nazi Flagger Witches who continue to spend way to much time conjuring their evil magic here at Craigslist. Now that I'm done, you'll find everything you need to identify and shut 'em down right here! Obviously, Nazi Flagger Witches aren't a very smart group of people. They apparently don't realize that you can't remain anonymous on the Internet when someone with the know-how and the proper network tools wants to discover which rock it is that snakes like them crawl-out from under.

Don't worry, this didn't involve doing anything illegal on my part, and all of the information I gathered is already publicly-accessible to you, me, and everybody else on the Internet, for that matter. You just have to know where, and how, to look for it. You also need to know how to set a workable trap which allows you to capture the IP addresses of the witches you're hunting.

I won't tell you how I did that though, but I will say this: Craigslist makes it SO EASY that any of you could do it. Truly, it's so simple, I have a hard time believing I'm the only one who's ever figured-out how to do IT. Suprisingly, it only took four people to flag my Nazi Flagger (Witch Trap v 1.0) ad. Five users, including the same four from my first trap, participated in the flagging of my second trap (Witch Trap v 2.0). I would have thought that it would have taken more than four, but it didn't. What you end-up learning from these two trappings is that it only takes four witches to ruin things for everybody in Alaska (at least during the early afternoon hours), and that Craigslist should definitely raise their Flagging Threshold for Alaska during this time period to a much higher number. Their programmers probably thought there's wasn't enough users up here to justify a higher threshold like other places (outside) I'm sure enjoy. You can tell Craigslist as much by clicking here...

Even more suprising was the fact that three out of the five flaggers were people who were at work while they were flagging my ad: One at Chevron; one at Providence Hospital; and the other at the Alaska Department of Transportation. I'll bet their bosses will be glad to find-out how they spend their days at the office. The other two were private ACS customers: one with a cable connection, and one with a DSL connection. No doubt. Those are the ones sitting home all day, surrounded by 20 cats in houses that reak of urine, policing Craigslist for the SPCA and PETA. On November 26th, someone posted an ad claiming that it was "just baloney"--that "nobody could see your IP address while you're flagging ads at Craigslist," so I answered the challenge, and set-out my Nazi Flagger (Witch Trap v. 3.0) in order to demonstrate just how ignorant that poster was. For Pete's sake, he couldn't even spell "balogna" correctly. What the !@#$ could he possibly know about IT. This time, it took a total of eight users to flag my ad, which stayed-up on the site for less than four minutes before they brought it down. What really gets me is that the imbeciles ACTUALLY AGREED to have themselves "publicly-identified as Flaggers" by clicking on my (Witch Trap v 3.0) link. What total !@#$%ing idiots!

Strangely, even though it was after 6:00PM here when I set the trap, the Chevron employee, the Providence Hospital employee, and the Alaska DOT employee were all snared yet again. Wow! No wonder they have to work so late. They must spend all day, and the evening too, policing the Pet Section here at Craigslist. When do they ever find time for work? You can add both of the aforementioned private, ACS users to the list too, plus a new one this time, as well as two GCI users who weren't caught in any of my previous traps. What I encourage everybody to do now is to use the contact information I provided below, along with the witches' IP addresses, in order to send an email (or telephone) message to their Network Administrators. If enough of us complain, their Network Administrators will HAVE TO take some sort of action against them. I've even provided a copy of the e-mails that I eventually sent, so that you could get an idea of what might be a useful way to approach the matter. At the very least, their Network Administrators will pay a LOT more attention to what these jackals do at their computers all day. I can promise you that. Most companies like Chevron, Providence, and certainly the State of Alaska, often have really strict Internet Usage Policies that often forbid employees from even visiting sites such as Craigslist (for personal purposes) via their networks. Believe me, as someone who knows the biz, companies, state governments, and private ISPs all take a very dim view of people who use their network to harass other people, which is exactly what these Nazi Flagger Witches do to so many people here at Craigslist every day.

If you take the initiative (like I have), these witches may just lose their Internet access, and, in the case of the Providence employee, the Chevron employee, and the Alaska DOT employee, maybe worse. Don't feel bad about it though, folks. WE are the victims here, and any action we may take aimed at stopping the harassment we are forced to endure here daily at the hands of these witches can only be viewed as "self defense," and therefore "completely justifiable." You know. If they'd of just left that poor dog house poster alone, I probably wouldn't be doing any of this, but when people start picking on kids like these witches do by flagging their ad all day (every day), and others too, (especially the lost dog ads), good people like us have a duty to step forward and do something in order to put a stop to it. You have to draw a line in the sand somewhere in life, and that's exactly what this Alaskan is doing right now. Are you with me? If you are, then happy hunting, my friend. Together, we can burn some witches! (metaphorically, of course)

suvalley back in here-the point here is this: Even flagging on CL is not anonymous. You can, and possibly will be identified, if this keeps up. I have flagged just a few things-the moron who keeps posting the impossibly cheap newer tractors (obviously a scam) and a couple local people who were posting in blatant disregard for the TOU, like super long rants or a bunch of website links, things like that. I flagged two people selling hay: The person from the L48, and one local guy who posts every single stinking day-you have to wait the required time before reposting-which he would know if he bothered to read that TOU he agrees to, but I only flag him if it gets annoying, like ten or more in a single week.

I don't mess with anything else, and reading the ads is always interesting and educational. If the small business section was not such a cesspool of junk, I might put an ad there. Instead, I use the newly formed AlaskasList, where you get 30 days for free and no flagging or other BS going on. They have pretty tight content control, so you don't have to endure this endless series of attacks, flags and rants. Naturally you can find my ads in the Alaska Horse Journal....where I am told they get 200,000 hits a month-superior exposure for the cost of the ad.

It is too bad that just a few rotten apples are going to spoil this barrel. I hope they are feeling proud of themselves....but if I ever find out who they are, I am going to out them HERE. Enough is enough!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Everything and nothing!

That's the term I use when I am right at the moment spinning my wheels-lots of things going on, but it feels as though I am not really making progress.

First, Mt Redoubt. If you have been checking the Alaska Volcano Observatory website as much as I have, you will have noticed the two big spikes of activity on the webicorder yesterday. It's fascinating to get this hard data basically real time, isn't it? Of course, since we aren't geologists or volcanologists, or -ologists at all, we can't interpret the seismic activity we see. Even though they keep saying "has not erupted" it's still a little unnerving to see the unrest go on, day after day. When I see a wide solid band on that RSO webicorder.....well, it looks like an eruption to me, lol! On a good note, my son has quit pestering me with questions about the volcano. In his nine year old mind, volcanoes explode in a huge way (thank you, Hollywood) and the volcano is dangerous to us. He was reassured when I told him we would not be covered in lava ;) And then we spent some time on the AVO website, as a little education can provide a great deal of peace of mind.

Second, the relentless trumpets of the media, over the financial mess. Every day, some new bad thing, and every day, another story about the pork contained in the stimulus package. I am seriously disappointed that our new president is not showing much leadership. Saying that "if it doesn't pass, it will be worse than the Great Depression" is not very comforting, now isn't it? If the news would start reporting some of the more positive things going on, confidence would then increase dramatically. We need confidence because we have all been stung deeply by losses in our retirement and 401k portfolios. And do keep an eye on the legislation to be introduced to take that 401k money from you......while the big ruckus is the trillion dollar "stimulus" package, other, more nasty items are not getting the press they should. Hang on to your wallets, socialism is being shoved down our throats!

Third, the organic supplement. I have the recipe basically done, am just awaiting the final analysis. Once I have that, I can break it down into per ounce quanitities, and get that uploaded to the one local Yahoo! group that is most active. I posted about this yesterday, and did get quite a bit of response....another 20 people on board and I can swing this purchase. The biggest hurdle is shipping, of course. There just is no cheap way to get it from PA to Alaska, darn it.

Fourth, the horse end. Let's see. The Princess is slated to picked up this weekend, bound to a comfortable life of semi retirement in Fairbanks. Heated barn, mounds of shavings and little girls to dote over her-and how great is that? It is absolutely the best outcome I could imagine and I am delighted :)

Today, Lard Butt gets new digs and his life of leisure is over for the coming months. Of course I am stuck here at work, but I have confidence this will go relatively smoothly and that he will settle in just fine. I will have plenty of updates and photos over the coming months, don't worry!

On the weekend, I have a horse arriving for vacation boarding. Nope, no vacation for the horse, but the owners, lol I am sure she will settle in just fine since she is already on basically the same diet I already feed. So tonight we will shuffle things around just a bit in preparation for that, or maybe not. Just have to see how Reba handles Lard Butt being gone, first ;)

And of course let's not forget the gardening. I hemmed and hawed a long time about whether or not to get another HPS system, and finally decided to just make another rack like I have at home. It's basically a heavy duty shelving unit, with eight lights. Two shop light fixtures are hung over each shelf, which provides me space for four flats. I was also able to find some ProMix at a halfways reasonable price too, so I have a couple bales to get started. Last year I went through at least six bales, and fully expect to use ten this year with the additional starts I have been asked to provide. When I am complaining about tending these baby plants, and groaning over my sore back from filling flats, watering, turning, seeding, planting and transplanting...someone remind me why I do this, ok?

Almost one pallet of stall mats has a new home, which is great. Still haven't managed to get home my own, but hopefully one day next week. And the hay vans continue of course, as I am in the midst of collecting deposits on yet another one. After putting together the majority of my paperwork for taxes, I have figured out I need to revamp the way I keep track of things, lol from here on out, each van will have its own file!

And that is what I mean by "everything and nothing" :)