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Delaware Political Rumblings
8/29/2007 9:48:00 PM

The Wilmington city council has recently approved a "redevelopment plan" that seeks to unlawfully seize private properties under the guise of Eminent Domain.  The "South Walnut Street Urban Renewal Plan" seeks to force the sale of 61 individual parcels (primarily businesses) to make way for new residential development.

This is another recent abuse of Eminent Domain, which have become so popular since the Supreme Court ruled on the Kelo vs. New London case.

I contacted my local representative, but sadly, I do not live in the formal city limits of Wilmington, and had no representation in the city council hearing.  However, I would like to take a moment to comment my representative for his well-reasoned and well-meaning stance on the issue.

My state representative is Robert Gilligan (Bob).  He's an honest man, which is rare amongst politicians.  Although I've only lived in the area three years, Bob has always been accessible.  I met him at a neighborhood meeting.  He routinely visits neighborhood gatherings, to meet his base.  He returns phone calls personally.  I like that.

I feel that he does an excellent job representing my concerns.  He has been proactive in the past about such issues, and he has made it clear to me where he stands on the issue of Eminent Domain.  He offers direct answers, which is a rare commodity. 

Here are a few key points that he mentioned to me:

  • When Kelo vs. New London was first decided, the state responded with an amendment to the Delaware Code that clarified the protections for Delaware residents.  Based on this, he questions the legality of the actions taken by the Wilmington City Council.
  • The state legislature is currently adjourned until the winter.  I cannot help but think that the Wilmington City Council waited until the adjournment to pull this stunt.
  • If a loophole has been discovered in the 2005 amendment to the Delaware Code, I've been assured that it will be closed during the next session.

Thanks Bob, for representing the interests of your constituents.

Here are a few articles dealing with the current Eminent Domain mess:

 

Hydroponics Tuesday: Repotting... Mostly.
8/28/2007 9:31:00 PM

It's been another week, and everything is doing well.

I spent some time this week potting and repotting some of the plants.  I know that I'll be starting the aeroponic TurboGarden up again sooner or later, so I thought I'd migrate things into the aero (net) pots wherever possible.  I managed to get most of the plants moved, but I was limited by space.

As I mentioned last week, some of the strawberries were starting to get algae growing on the surface of their rockwool cubes.  Although I don't think it's a problem, I don't care for it.  I only want planned vegetation in my garden.

I used replanting as an opportunity.  Now the rockwool cubes are fully covered in hydroton; so the algae won't get any sunlight.  I'll check it in a few days, but I hope the hydroton inhibits further growth.

The lettuces are getting large.  I accidentally broke some leaves during their transplantation.  They're tasty.

I offer two pictures this week.  The first is the #8 strawberry, in it's hydroton-filled aeroponic pot.

Hydro2-J.jpg

This week's second picture is a close-up shot of #'s 15 and 16, both of which are lettuce.  They're all over the place.  I've hung their leaves off the side of the tray to make space.  The tray is packed tight (since everything expanded when it got it's own pot).

Hydro2-K.jpg

Keeping with my promise of solid record keeping, here's this week's chart:

PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  I ran out of space, so this one is still just rockwool.
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3.0" tall.  The largest of the strawberries.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  I ran out of space, so this one is still just rockwool.
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  I ran out of space, so this one is still just rockwool.
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3.0" tall.  The second-largest of the strawberries.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.0" tall.  Rockwool cube has been placed into a hydroton (small grain) filled aeroponic pot.
#10Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Heirloom TomatoApproximately 14" tall.  I've recently tied it to the lightstand for support.
#11Delicious Heirloom TomatoPreviously killed through personal stupidity.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantIt's about 6" tall, and it looking quite healthy.  Recently placed into aeroponic pot.
#13Monet's Garden Lettuce
Approximately 13" tall (if it stood).  Replanted into a standard 5" pot (I needed the aero pots free).
#14Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 12" tall (if it stood).  Replanted into a standard 5" pot (I needed the aero pots free).
#15Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 13" tall (if it stood).  Replanted into a standard 5" pot (I needed the aero pots free).  I broke a leaf during transplant.  Tasty.
#16Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 11" tall (if it stood).  Replanted into a standard 5" pot (I needed the aero pots free).
#17Lime Basil
Looks healthy.  About 5.0" tall. I wanted to give it a dedicated pot, but ran out of room.  Since it's still fairly small, I'm hoping to move it later.
#18Delicious Heirloom TomatoApproximately 11" tall. Replanted into a standard 5" pot.  Almost large enough to support from the lightstand.
Content, Blog, & Gallery Control Update Posted
8/23/2007 6:51:00 PM

I've just posted an update to the controls project...

Now the Content Control, Blog Control, and Gallery Control have full localization support.  They already include translations for English and Dutch (thanks to Peter de Graaff), and can easily be translated to other languages.  They allow for complete localization, including dates, time zones, and language options.

The project is also published at SourceForge, and has been updated with the new changes.

Hydroponics Tuesday: A Freeloader In The Garden
8/21/2007 7:58:00 AM

We have a new "guest" in the garden this week.  I don't know the back story, but here's the tale as I understand it:

Jessawick walks over to me, holding a green leafy chunk of plantlife.  I don't know what it is, but the rest of it is growing in a planter near her desk.  Regardless... She's holding a chunk of plant matter.

She asks if she can put it into the MegaGarden, in the hopes that it might sprout some roots and survive.  Mmmmm.  Foreign plant matter.  Hopefully, it won't hurt things too much.

Freeloading plant matter aside, here's this week's update:

Everything is doing pretty well.  I've still avoided starting up the aeroponic unit (I'm stalling because a 400W HPS bulb is expensive to run).

Algae has started to grow on the rockwool cubes of the strawberries.  It makes sense, as they are very slow growing.  They haven't yet formed a canopy, so algae growth is natural, I suppose.  Thus far, I've just scraped it off (with a paper towel).  It's not out-of-hand; and it's also the only algae in the entire system.  It doesn't seem to be a threat, the strawberries are still quite well.

Everybody else is growing as expected.  The lettuce(s) are larger, the tomato plants are larger, everybody seems happy.  I'm still keeping with the slightly higher than usual pH... It's been about 6.8 (tap pH in my area) since the beginning.  I'm taking the lazy and stable route, with good success.

I'm probably going to move some of the other plants into the aero-style net pots shortly.

Here's an overview of the plants at the moment.  Notice the large green freeloader in the foreground.

Hydro2-I.jpg

Keeping with my promise of solid record keeping, here's this week's chart:

PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.  It looks like two seeds have been growing, rather than just one.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 2.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.  It looks like two seeds have been growing, rather than just one.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 1.5" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#10Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Heirloom TomatoApproximately 12" tall.  Lots of secondary leaves.
#11Delicious Heirloom TomatoPreviously killed through personal stupidity.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantIt's about 4" tall, and it looking quite healthy.  Soon to get an aero-pot.
#13Monet's Garden Lettuce
Approximately 11" tall (if it stood).  We've got roots roaming the bottom of the tray.
#14Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 10" tall (if it stood).  We've got roots roaming the bottom of the tray.
#15Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 11" tall (if it stood).  We've got roots roaming the bottom of the tray.
#16Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 9" tall (if it stood).  We've got roots roaming the bottom of the tray.
#17Lime Basil
Looks healthy.  About 3.5" tall. It's getting more leaves.  Looks tasty.
#18Delicious Heirloom TomatoApproximately 9" tall.  Looks quite good healthy.  It's younger than the other tomato, so the smaller size makes sense.  It needs transplanting to an aero-style pot.
Hydroponics Tuesday: Progress and Aero-Pots
8/7/2007 10:54:00 PM

As you may remember, last week I was thinking about starting up the aeroponic TurboGarden... However, after much thought, I've decided to keep everything in the ebb-and-flow for a bit longer.  Here's the situation at the moment:

I've replanted the four lettuces (letti?) and the two tomato plants.  They're now living in the net pots (for the aero), and are surrounded with small-bead hydroton.  I'm planning on moving them into the aero at some point, but for the time-being; they should be happy.  Hopefully, this transplant will make them easier to move when the time comes.

The plants seem pretty happy.  I've been letting the pH run a bit higher than in previous growing sessions; it's about 6.8.

The lettuces are looking healthy.  The tomato plants are growing quickly.  Damn, strawberries grow slowly.

Here's a picture of the plants at the moment: 

Hydro2-F.jpg

Keeping with my promise of solid record keeping, here's this week's chart: 
PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.  It looks like two seeds have been growing, rather than just one.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.  It looks like two seeds have been growing, rather than just one.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRoughly 3/4" tall.  Looks very healthy.  Growing slowly, as strawberries tend to grow.
#10Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Heirloom TomatoApproximately 8.5" tall.  Secondary leaves are strong.  It's getting larger by the day. Excellent health.
#11Delicious Heirloom TomatoPreviously killed through personal stupidity.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantIt's about 2" tall, and it looking quite healthy.  It's a slow starter, but appears to be doing well.
#13Monet's Garden Lettuce
Approximately 7" tall (if it stood).  Looks very healthy.  Transplanted into a hydroton filled pot.
#14Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 6.5" tall (if it stood).  Looks very healthy.  Transplanted into a hydroton filled pot.
#15Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 8" tall (if it stood).  Looks very healthy.  Transplanted into a hydroton filled pot.
#16Monet's Garden LettuceApproximately 7" tall (if it stood).  Looks very healthy.  Transplanted into a hydroton filled pot.
#17Lime Basil
Still quite small, but looks healthy.  About 1.5" tall.
#18Delicious Heirloom TomatoApproximately 6.5" tall.  Looks quite good healthy.  It's younger than the other tomato, so the smaller size makes sense.