Low tech/high tech

It’s been quite a week for us!

The extra long holiday weekend allowed us to keep up with the usual chores and fit in some extra fun. So, we took a road trip out to visit with Andrew and Misty of Geek.Farm.Life podcast fame. We went out for an enormous brunch, made cream, butter, and bread (well, I watched as these things were done expertly by Andrew), fed animals, and just generally hung out. The last time we were there was in deep winter and the change in season made quite a difference in our visit. We were able to walk around the farm a bit and admire their huge garden. I really enjoy visiting with them and wish we lived a bit closer.

Mark brought along his new recorder so we used it to make their weekly podcast. (You can hear it in action here, and remember you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast.) He also brought his video camera and shot a few interesting clips for his growing collection of random movie-making shots. One of these days, he’ll have enough for an epic pic, I guess.

Speaking of gardens, ours is coming along nicely now.

Four raised garden beds

Note the second bed from the front. Before I went away to Toronto for a weekend of fun, that bed contained vigorous pea vines and many, many chard and beet seedlings. All was “securely” covered with bird netting to keep the hungry hens at bay. The “Houdini chickens” found a way in while I was gone, though, and they destroyed the bed. Since this is the third garden bed they’ve somehow messed up (how do they get around the bird netting???), we had to find some way to address the situation, or I would never get to eat a homegrown veggie again. The solution:

Home made chicken run

Now the hens have plenty of room to roam, and they are confined away from the growing garden. This run is only temporary. It wouldn’t stand up to a determined predator, so I do still lock the hens inside the Eglu run at night. Note that I mentioned the run only; now that they are inside so many fences (3 to be exact) and the weather is warmer, I don’t feel so compelled to lock up the coop door itself at night. So, no more arising bleary-eyed at dawn, either! I leave the food inside the run, too, so they get get up when they want to in the early morning, nosh away, and I refill food and water at my leisure when I get up. I still have grand plans to build a more permanent run and coop before winter.

On Memorial Day itself, I decided I deserved to take it easy. So, I sat on the porch and knitted for a while, then moved inside to take a nap on the couch while watching some TV. And so, it was while I was dozing and watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus on BBC America that the TV decided to quit working. I really didn’t notice as I was only half-way awake at the time. It was only later when Mark wanted to show me his latest and greatest mini-film (clips of me at the Chicago GreenFestival interspersed with clips of the dairy goats on Andrew and Misty‘s farm…hey, what is that supposed to mean???) that we discovered the TV was truly dead.

We bought this TV in September 2007. It’s a blend of old and new technology, with a built in HD tuner (so we can use the roof antenna when we want to) and a flat-screen, slimline picture tube. We decided to go with a picture tube rather than an LCD because it was “proven technology,” time-tested and dependable, supposedly. Then, a little over a year later it dies. It’s going to cost us about $300 to fix it, which is hard for me to swallow considering how much we paid for the damn thing a year-and-a-half ago.

We’ve been sans TV this entire week, and will have to continue this way until next Thursday when the repairman comes back with the part. I guess if there’s something we really want to watch, we can use our ‘puters for that. I’m actually kind of enjoying spending my evenings just catching up on podcasts, though. And since it’s already summer hiatus time, it’s not like I’m missing key episodes of my favorite shows (30 Rock rocks!).

I guess I’m learning that as much as we live in a high tech “always on” world, it’s still possible to dial back and survive without. Which is a valuable lesson, right?

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