Should I be concerned about the fact that our government is selling the ownership of six US ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates? (One of the ports is here in Baltimore.) Bush is now distancing himself from the deal and the chairman of the DHS is threatening to veto it all the way up the line, but I don’t know if this is simply political rhetoric or if it’s actually a threat to this country’s security. The ‘Merican in me sez it’s a bad idea, even if I don’t actually believe that our docs would suddenly be swarmed with UAE nationals. However, I’m seriously concerned that we’d sell off control of such important gateways to the country to a foreign-based power with little or no fanfare (or any Congressional hearings…did you hear them talking about it? I sure didn’t). Given the state of sheer panic this Administration likes to keep us at—which is really the only reason I can give for their second term—I’m surprised they tried to end-run this little deal around us, and I wonder who is making money on the deal (and why nobody’s dug up that story yet.)
Update: NPR reports that the current nominee to run the U.S. Maritime Administration, David Sanborn, was a former top official of Dubai Ports World, the overseas company mentioned above. Also, the current Treasury Secretary, John Snow, was a former official of the CSX corporation, who sold their port interests for over a billion dollars, to Dubai Ports World.
Last week’s entry for the Alphabet Project is live. Now, before you start saying things about my fascination with blondes and their underwear, I’ll have you know that this week’s entry is also a woman, she’s not blonde, and you won’t see her underwear. In fact, that would be kind of gross. (I’ll also have you know that my wife suggested this one.)
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on pre-grown plants at the Friendly Neighborhood Home Superstore this year, Jen and I decided to start our own seed in the basement. Partially inspired by my father’s success (the man can make plants grow from moon dust) and partially inspired by our lack of funds, we bought several mini-greenhouses, their accompanying heating mats, and a bagful of seed. Unfortunately, hubris clouded our better judgement, because after reviewing the space and height requirements for each species of plant we’re starting, it became clear that we don’t have the massive acreage needed to cultivate everything we bought.
For the record, we’re putting in three species of tomatoes (we love our tomatoes here), eggplant (I’m a recent and avid convert), cucumber, pole beans, soybeans (edamame is the shiznit) and a Blackwater-sized army of marigolds and nasturtium to fend off the bugs. We also have an additional pile of pretty flowers to start in a few weeks for the other gardens.
Jen has spent hours poring over book after book, collating information about friendly plant species, best planting practices, soil composition, and harvesting tips. Even so, we spent the better part of Sunday planning out the timing—different seed goes in on different dates, sort of like following the Olympics or reading a complicated train schedule—we then plotted the size, shape, location and arrangement of our vegetable garden-to-be in the backyard for maximum sun exposure and drainage requirements. (Unfortunately, we are cursed with a sloping, shaded, and unevenly drained yard, with a minimum of southern exposure and a swamp in the corner.)
Last night, we put 72 seeds in to bake for six weeks under a grow lamp in the basement, and I transferred our schedule to iCal so that we’re on track with the plants. Let’s hope our efforts are not in vain.
Well, in light of the fact that John K. (of Ren & Stimpy fame) has a weblog, and that he posted a few caricature sketches, and they make my pitiful attempts look childish and boring, I picked an “L” in the Alphabet Project. I have it almost ready to start. However, I’m helping a friend move tomorrow, and I’m helping someone else put stuff into storage on Saturday, so it may be a while before I get to this one. (Hint: it’s a woman, and she’s cool.)
Thanks to the lovely Mrs. Gatewood, we got a lovely valentine in the mail yesterday. I didn’t get to post it yesterday because I was running around picking up the ingredients for Valentine’s dinner. I made a shrimp, bean and spinach salad (with a dill viniagrette), olive tapenade on french bread, and paired it with a bottle of Red Truck wine (which I’d recommend—when the Bag of Money hits, I’ll buy a case and stock it). I think Jen enjoyed the meal.