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Hydroponics Tuesday has grown so much that it has a website of its own. Visit www.hydroponicstuesday.com to see it's new home.

New Castle County Jury Duty 2008: Time Served
1/17/2008 8:49:00 AM

My recent experience with jury duty in New Castle County has come to a close.  Although I didn't get a chance to do very much, I learned a lot about the process.  For those of you living in New Castle County, Delaware, here is an overview of the jury duty process:

  • You receive a sternly-worded notice in the mail.  This notice contains a demand that you report and a questionnaire about your background.
  • Next, you are expected to reply with the questionnaire.  Optionally, you are able to cite reasons why you are unable to attend.
  • If you elected to cite reasons for being unable to attend, you should expect a strongly-worded "REQUEST DENIED" postcard to arrive in about 7 days.  The county makes it very clear that they place no value on your time whatsoever; and that "they" get to call the shots.
  • On the day of your service, you report to the courthouse.  Generally, you are to report at 8:30 AM.  I'd recommend arriving at the parking garage around 8:00 AM.  Expect traffic, as it's in the center of the city.
  • Expect to go through the intrusive "security" screening.  Remember to leave you cell phone in the car.  Additionally, the court prohibits PDA's, iPods, and nearly anything electronic that isn't a laptop.
  • Next, you will check in at "Suite 1800", the jury duty "holding tank".  It's a big room which seats at least 300 people.
  • Shortly after check-in, you'll be shown a movie about how lucky you were to be chosen.
  • Now you wait.  I hope you remembered to bring a book (or perhaps a laptop).  No internet access is available for laptops, but there are a few heavily-restricted web terminals in the side room.  There are five of them.  You may have trouble securing one.  Note:  This room also contains more comfortable chairs than anywhere else in the courthouse.
  • It's possible that you may be called to audition for a jury, but the odds aren't very good.  In our group of about 200, only about 40 were called to even audition.  Most of us just sat around until the trials concluded.

I apologize if I sound critical of the experience.  Truthfully, I have no objections to serving on a jury.  However, I do have objections to how the process is administered.  It seems very silly to me that of 32 scheduled jury cases on 01/16/2008, only a single case required a jury.  This could easily have been settled without requiring 200 people to lose a day of work.  Additionally, the court really needs to learn some manners.  I would have been in a much more favorable mood, had I not been treated like a criminal at every step.

Regardless, I'm off the hook for at least two years.  Behold my glorious certificate:

JuryDutyCertificate.jpg

Official Debut of HydroponicsTuesday.com
1/1/2008 8:38:00 AM

It's been a long time in development, but I'm proud to announce that Hydroponics Tuesday has finally moved into it's new home.  For those of you that have read the Hydroponics Tuesday column on BarnyardBBS, you'll now find that Hydroponics Tuesday has grown up, and has a dedicate website of it's own... HydroponicsTuesday.com.

The new dedicated website offers new opportunities for the column to grow, and to explore new directions.  For example, the new website features some new sections, like articles and reviews.  I realized a few months ago that with the recent growth in readership, Hydroponics Tuesday needed to expand beyond a weekly column.  The new sections of the website will let us share more detailed writeups on specific topics, which can be more easily navigated.  Many of the topics in the articles have been mentioned previously in the blog, but serve a common interest by being expanded into full articles.

I'm writing more frequently now, and more content will be appearing often. 

This will be the last post that is carried on BarnyardBBS.com.  From now forward, all new material will be posted directly to our new home at HydroponicsTuesday.com.

Ok, now to cover some actual news about my pet projects...

The experimental homemade aeroponic unit has been running "wet" for about two weeks now.  She's perfectly watertight.  We've just waiting on the new eggplants to mature enough to join the party.

At this point, I'm pretty happy with the stage of the new aeroponic unit.  However, only time will tell.

Additionally, we have two new additions to the growing room, they just aren't set up yet.  I gave Jess a new EcoGrower for Christmas, as she wanted to try a drip system.  She also got a drip-ring WaterFarm, which we're thinking about using for a pomegranate tree (don't ask which variety yet, we're still researching).

Actually, I'm looking forward to using the EcoGrower for an experiment.  I'd like to do a head-to-head competition between a drip system and an aeroponic system.  Although I'm quite sure that the aeroponic system produces faster growth, I'd like some objective evidence to support my opinion.  We're growing two "Black Beauty" eggplant seedlings; hopefully they'll be a fair comparison.

Here's a photo of the new batch of strawberries.  They've just emerged as sproutlings.  They're living in the MegaGarden, and they'll remain there for a while.  For those of you not familiar with our growing setup:  We use an Ebb & Flow system called a MegaGarden as our "nursery" for baby plants.  It's lighted by a 125W Compact Fluorescent system, and the nutrient mix is formulated for vegetative-stage plants.  When the plants are mature enough, they're moved out of the MegaGarden, into their final homes. 

Hydro-2008-01-01b.jpg

Also, here's a photo of the baby eggplants that have recently emerged.  They're living in the MegaGarden as well.

Hydro-2008-01-01c.jpg

This week's overview photo:

Hydro-2008-01-01a.jpg

PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.  
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesThis fellow is always partially covered by the eggplant, and is not as large as the other strawberries.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantLots of flowers and fruit. We're regularly getting fruit and frequently trimming back the leaves in order to give the strawberries more light.
#18Black Beauty Eggplant
Recently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#19Black Beauty EggplantRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#20Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#21Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#22Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#23Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#24Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#25Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.