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About SoTier

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    Jamestown, NY

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  1. SoTier


    My 2020 garden update. Several weeks ago, I turned a short piece of plastic sewer pipe, about 2' diameter by 1' high into a raised bed in which I planted lettuce, radishes and spinach. Because of the cold weather, the seeds were slow to germinate and then grow, but they've taken off now. It's time to sow some more lettuce in it. I dug out the lemon balm and catnip from my herb garden, planted the lemon balm along the outside of the herb garden so that it will form a boundary, and divided up the catnip into 1 large and 2 small clumps that I potted up. The big one I will replant in my garden and give the other two away. I left the chives, garlic and some onions that apparently resowed. I filled the rest of the bed with extra soil to raise it up, and planted 5 Ozark Beauty strawberry plants. I put in 4 Romaine lettuce seedlings among the strawberries because they will be done before the berries send out runners. I rototilled existing garden space plus the areas where I planned to expand. Then I built the raised beds from the 3 yards of garden soil I purchased (at least half of which still remains). I have one bed that's two feet wide and 25 feet long and about 4 inches higher than the existing garden. The second bed is about 21 feet long. In one irregular corner, I put in a bed against the fence. Along the south side of the garden is a 4 foot by about 15 feet raised bed that I'm building up with more soil as I plant seeds and seedlings. I have a drainage area right along the garage which is still a work in progress plus an entrance area from last year that's covered with landscape fabric and wood chips. The paths between the two long beds and the shorter wider bed are wide enough to fit my garden cart. So far, I've planted 21 tomatoes, 4 eggplants, 2 zucchinis, and a small area of yellow and red onions. I still have a few red onion sets to plant plus 4 celery and 4 parsley plants. I still have room for green beans,carrots, basil, and dill. I made the main garden, the currant patch, and the herb garden/strawberry patch dog proof with a two foot high wire fencing because my dog Gibbs gets inspired to digging out plants by watching me digging and weeding. While Gibbs could easily jump the fence, he isn't even interested in the area unless I'm in it. It should keep out any stray bunnies or woodchucks that come into the yard, too. I currently have 2 makeshift wire gates. Earlier in the spring, I built a raised bench along the fence in a sheltered area behind my garage. It's about 12 feet by about 3 feet. I planted 10 asparagus roots there and some peas, but those don't seem to be likely to sprout. I think I should have just spent the money to get actually started plants but I was cheap. The area in front of this would-be asparagus patch is going to grow okra after I build the raised bed for it. Okra needs really warm soil to germinate, so I will plant that some time after June 1.
  2. I saw two once thirty plus years ago at my late father's. They apparently came out of the woods to feast on the ripe grapes in his vineyard near the house.
  3. Why not? Andrew Luck was a superstar on the Colts even as a rookie even though he had limited offensive talent around him -- and not very good coaching -- until the Colts brought in a new regime and hired Reich as their HC. I don't think that Mahomes would have the numbers that he has in KC but I think his talent would be apparent to all. The major difference between the Bills and the Pats of the last 10 years was team philosophy. The Pats were dedicated to winning football games. The Bills were dedicated to enhancing their bottom line until the day Russ Brandon was fired in 2018. Under Brandon, who took over the team in 2006, they hired poor/mediocre HCs or first time NFL HCs with the exception of Pegula being conned by Rex Ryan, traded away or didn't resign the best of the young talent they acquired (how about letting 3 All Pros go between 2009 and 2017 -- Jason Peters, Marshawn Lynch, and Stephon Gilmore?), and made "splash" FA signings intended to put butts in the seats rather than help the team win -- most egregious being the signing of Terrell Owens for Dick Jauron's lame duck season in 2009?
  4. The Diggs trade was a good move because of the Bills need for a true #1 WR for this season. They simply couldn't afford to wait 2 or 3 years for a WR drafted in 2019 to develop -- if he ever did -- when they need to decide by 2021 whether they'll pick up Allen's fifth year contract, and they can't judge him accurately if he's short on quality targets. One of the big problems last season was that Allen only had 2 reliable receivers: Beasley and Brown.
  5. I think that your point is invalid. Some teams like the Chiefs, Eagles, and Ravens consistently find top players in the draft and seldom waste their first round picks, and when they have the opportunity to a special player, they go for it. Other teams, including the Bills but also teams like the Browns, until very recently seem to always pick the wrong guy. The evidence that you've offered is "cherry picked". First of all, using a single draft class proves nothing. Some drafts have more top end talent than other draft classes, and some classes are just down right putrid. Somewhere on line some writer posted a list of worst draft classes from over the decades. Conversely, some drafts are loaded with talented players, sometimes at one position and other times at several positions. Over several decades of draft classes, it's rather clear that players taken in the top five or the top ten of any draft are much more likely to have success in the NFL than players drafted later ... and it's rare that late round picks become NFL stars. I would also argue that the decision to pick up a fifth year option is not necessarily an indicator of whether or not a player has lived up to where he was drafted, especially on teams that have undergone a regime change or at positions that aren't highly valued, such as running back. I find it interesting that you selected the top six picks from 2017 rather than the top five or the top ten. In that same draft, the 6th through 10th picks were ... 1.7 Mike Williams WR Chargers 1.8 Christian McCaffrey RB Panthers 1.9 John Ross WR Bengals 1.10 Patrick Mahomes QB Chiefs Mahomes and McCaffrey are both great. In fact, Mahomes seems likely to be a generational talent if he stays healthy. Stephon Diggs was injured in both his sophomore and junior seasons in college but still decided to declare for the draft. Those injuries impacted his draft rating.
  6. I am unwilling to blame Daboll for the Bills poor offense in 2018 and 2019 because of the dearth of offensive talent that has been a problem all through McDermott's tenure. In 2018, the Bills simply didn't have NFL caliber offensive talent. The handling of Allen by the Bills n 2018 was reprehensible -- and it was decisions by McDermott, Beane, and probably others higher up the corporate food chain that resulted in the Bills starting the season with Nathan Peterman under center and with non-NFL caliber OL and receivers. When Allen got hurt, the Bills brass failed to bring in a competent veteran QB for a month! Moreover, the Bills supposed QB coach hadn't actually coached QBs in 30+ years. When Beane corrected all three of those serious deficits in 2019, including bringing in almost all new offensive assistants, the team improved significantly. They were still thin on talent but at least the starters were generally better than waiver wire refugees. With the continued development of current offensive players and the 2020 additions, the Bills finally have enough talent to enable Daboll to be judged fairly. I don't think that the Bills offense will ever resemble the Chiefs' offense but that's again on the FO and HC not the OC.
  7. My statement was "millions of people died from starvation, domestic violence, addiction, suicide, disease, crime, etc.", and I think that that's accurate over the span of what is generally considered "the Great Depression" by historians as starting in late 1929 and lasting until at least through 1939 when an increase in defense spending finally brought real recovery. Tapia Garandos' 1930-1933 time span for the Great Depression is ahistorical and seems to have been used to make the data fit his thesis: if the period between 1934 and 1937 is considered a recovery like the one after 1921, then the period between 1930-1933 can be considered similar. Historians, however, estimate that unemployment between 1930 and 1939 never fell below about 20% (actual unemployment statistics weren't tracked or calculated at the time). Moreover, some of the causes of death that I mentioned like disease -- there was an increase in the incidence of tuberculosis during the 1930s -- don't necessarily happen quickly, and other causes, like domestic violence, weren't tracked.
  8. This. I could see the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns all making the play offs -- although they might all lower their win totals if they take turns beating one another.
  9. Today there's a tendency to romanticize the Great Depression and find many positives that stemmed from it, but millions of people died from starvation, domestic violence, addiction, suicide, disease, crime, etc. It was a horrific experience for anybody who lived through it, and it scarred them forever. For example, the extreme poverty many people experienced during the Depression turned many survivors into hoarders. My father never, ever threw anything out. My step-mother was just as bad. They even saved used plastic bread bags to wrap things in rather than throwing them out even when they had collected so many that they could never use them all. I don't buy the narrative that surviving the Great Depression enabled the American people to persevere through WW II. It's a nice story but in reality the American people were very reluctant to commit to even helping Great Britain against the Nazi much less to actually going to war because so many were so disillusioned by their experience in WW I. The attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized sentiment against Japan, but there wouldn't have been support for war against Germany if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US on December 11, 1941. I suspect that the American people's response to WW II would have been exactly the same if the Great Depression had never occurred. Mental health is more than just death from suicide. As others have mentioned, PTSD is likely to be a permanent part of millions of people's lives because of the pandemic. There's been a significant rise in domestic violence reports and opioid deaths are also manifestations of how the isolation during the pandemic is impacting people's mental health. I expect there probably has been increases in child abuse incidents as well.
  10. A bit "territorial"? Ounce for ounce, nuthatches are bigger bullies than bluejays! They're better behaved these days when they occasionally visit my feeders but when I still had my old ash tree along the driveway (it was suffering from ash die-back and had to be removed), they included both the tree and the feeder station within their "turf" and would fearlessly run off other birds, even some larger than themselves.
  11. How can anybody be arrested for "unlawful carrying a firearm" in Texas? Isn't that one of those states that allow carrying concealed weapons?
  12. Feeding birds in late winter/early spring really helps them because by then most natural food sources are depleted and migrating birds are flying through. Many more -- and frequently many different species --- birds at feeders. Actually, black squirrels aren't that rare, at least in some areas. They are a color variation of gray squirrels, and black generally being dominant over other colors in most mammal species, they can even become the only color in some small areas. The "problem" with black squirrels -- as with white ones, too -- is that they are more vulnerable to predators because they aren't as well camouflaged as grays.
  13. Among several things yet TBD just for 2020 are: a) how many games will the Bills win? b) will the Bills make the playoffs? c) will the Bills win the AFCE? d) will the Bills win their first playoff game since Clinton was POTUS? Also yet TBD is whether Josh Allen is good enough to be a respectable starter much less a franchise QB. Don't be counting your Lombardis before they're won, dude.
  14. I've found that the first thing to do to prevent mice is to clear out all the vegetation right around the foundation of the house/cabin and then seal the access points. Mice can get in through tiny spaces, so seal any crack or space with a sealer like Great Stuff. If you have a basement, check for cracks/spaces/holes from the inside on a sunny day. Windows, doors, and utility entrance points need to be sealed. The cabin at our family camp is set on piers, so it's about 24-30" above the ground. We used corrugated metal roofing panels cut several inches longer than the space between the ground and the wall and then sunk several inches into the ground to mouse proof the cabin.
  15. I live right in the city but I have a pretty large lot and the area is somewhat suburban. My "regulars" are chickadees, cardinals, bluejays, downy woodpeckers, house sparrows, house finches, robins, and starlings. In the winter, I also get dark eyed juncos and both hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers. More intermittent visitors are flickers, rose breasted grosbeaks, gold finches, hummingbirds, and mourning doves. When there were a lot more white and blue spruces in the immediate neighborhood, I also got white breasted nuthatches and tufted titmice. When the choke cherries ripen (I have two trees on the fence line), I get clouds of birds, including catbirds and cedar waxwings. I keep hoping the waxwings will nest in my cedar trees but they apparently just come to get drunk on the cherries!
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