Thursday, July 31, 2008


Bushel gourd flower
Originally uploaded by Liz Castro
Yesterday morning, I weeded several rows of pumpkins. The bees were happily buzzing around the bright orange flowers.

But I looked over at the rows of gourds and they looked downright sad: wilted and closed up white flowers and no buzzing activity at all.

It was only because I forgot that gourd plants (lagenaria siceraria) only bloom from dusk to dawn and rely on night-flying insects for pollination, like hawk-moths.

This picture doesn't quite do them justice, but they are quite beautiful at dusk, very bright against an ever-darkening field of big lush (but malodorous) gourd plant leaves.

Rejecting comments quietly

I like having comments enabled on my blogs, but I am also wary of doing that without moderation. There is too much comment-spam out there. Other times I just don't want to accept certain comments but at the same time I don't necessarily want to say "I'm rejecting your comment." (Who me, passive-aggressive?) My method up to now has been to ignore comments I'm not interested in accepting, but my comment moderation list is getting too long.

So I was curious about what happens when you reject a comment on Blogger. Does the commenter get a note that says they were rejected or does the comment simply not appear?

It's hard to tell because you can't reject your own comments, and if you post a comment anonymously, then they certainly can't send you an email to tell you your comment has been rejected. So, I logged in with a separate Google account, posted a comment, and then logged out, then logged in with the first account again and rejected the comment.

So far, I have not received any email telling me that my comment was rejected. Which is what I expected, but it's nice to have it confirmed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Welcome to my blog, did you bring food?

This is piggie #1:
Did you bring the food or not?

My friend Nancy Bea came to visit recently and a frequent topic of conversation was "why wasn't I blogging". Honestly, I didn't have a very good answer. I'm always trying to write, always saying I want to write, always thinking of things to write. It seems like a good recipe for starting a blog. Only, what would I write about? And who would read it?

Right now on my mind there's this weird dichotomy between tech and non-tech. I go outside and weed way too many rows of beautiful gourds and pumpkins, or feed the pigs or the chickens, but all the while I'm thinking up new ways to create wikis for all my friends and relations. So, I'm hoping this blog will be a reflection of what in Barcelona they now call "neo-rurals": those folks who have left the city looking to reconnect with the land and our food and a simpler life, but who are still completely in love with technology and every last gadget they can drool over, if not actually have arrive on the next UPS truck.

So I hope I can use this space to write down tips about squash bugs and wiki farms, about Flickr and fencing. Mostly, I just hope I can use it to start writing.

More of my books