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Space Saving Balcony Planter

Apartment balconies are usually long and narrow, which makes finding planters that provide enough space for plants and you difficult. So what do you do if you want plants on your balcony that can provide a bit more privacy and beauty, yet you don't want to give up too much of your precious space?

Make your own. I made this planter for under $10, you only need a few basic tools, and you can have it done and planted in minutes. This planter can be customized for any length and you can swap the metal for rigid plastic. My balcony is north facing with tall evergreen trees in front of it so I'm not worried about the metal getting too hot for the plants. The measurements of this planter are - 4ft long, 1 ft high, and 6 inches deep.



Finished planter filled with ferns, coleus, and hosta. Looks kind of sparce now, but it will fill out nicely in just a few weeks.

Materials Needed:
(1) 2X6 board, 8 ft in length
(You can have the store cut the board to these measurements: (1)45 inches, (2)13 inches, (1) 11 inches. Most stores like Menards and home Depot are willing to do this)
(2) 14 inches high by 4ft long galvanized aluminum flashing
9 galvanized screws
40 or so finishing nails - get a small box
hammer
screwdriver

NOTE: If you do not have a electric screwdriver, you can use a hammer and construction nails instead of the screws

STEP 1
Drill three holes in the bottom of your longest board. Space them out evenly along the board staying away from edges. This is for drainage. If you don't have a drill/screwdriver - pound three nails all the way through and then pull them out.


Yes, this is my dad using a drill press, but a screw/drill or even a hammer and nails will do just as well for you.


STEP 2
(You may want to wear gloves to protect your hands) The top edge of the flashing is sharp and you don't want to cut yourself every time you dig around in your plants. What you are going to do is lay your flashing along the edge of a table the long way, with 1 inch over the edge. Using your hammer, tap along the edge of the table on top of the flashing to make a crease. Then fold the flashing over (like folding a piece of paper) To get the flashing to fold onto itself, use your hammer to make it lay flat.


Your flashing will now measure 4 ft long and 13 inches high. Do this to both pieces of flashing, only along 1 top edge. Then set your flashing aside.


STEP 3
Lay your 45 inch long board on your work space. Take one of your 13 inch long boards and butt it to one end of your 45 to make an "L". Put three screws into the end to secure the shorter piece to the linger one. Repeat on the other side so it looks like a giant "C".




STEP 4
In the center of the long board, attach the shortest board with 3 screws so now it looks like an "E" This center board will give support to the flashing so it doesn't bow out when filled with dirt.

STEP 5
Attach the flashing. Lay the flashing on top of the giant wood "E" and nail it down with finishing nails. Space the finishing nails out about every 2 inches or so. Do the same on the other side of the planter with the second piece of flashing. Make sure that the folded edge is on top and the smooth side faces to the outside.


My dad, pounding the finishing nails into the flashing.

STEP 6
Put some rocks in the bottom to help with drainage and then put your potting soil in and add plants.

When you put your planter (any planter) out on your balcony, make sure it has something underneath to hold it up at least 1/4 of an inch, if you don't have a saucer of some type under it. Otherwise the drainage holes won't work and the bottom of your planter may rot out. You can use 2 patio bricks, plastic furniture leg squares, or even plastic drink coasters. You can make this planter in any length, just remember to put in a center piece every 2 ft so the sides don't bow out. I'll be making a few more so they go the entire length of my balcony. Add a few railing planters and some hanging baskets and my North facing balcony will become a welcome summer retreat!

Today's Favorite TSA Tweets

@ExJon - Dear Janet Napolitano, Can we put some of these aggressive TSA screeners at the border? Love, Arizona


@CelluloidBlonde - Dear Obama & Clinton: Being violated by #TSA agents is not "frustrating." It is being violated.


@elizmccracken - I am absolutely obsessed with all of this TSA stuff. I feel like it's a test administered by the ghost of Benjamin Franklin.


@ShitMyDarthSays - "Flying home to Tatooine for turkey day. Got a pretty serious TSA patdown. I find their lack of faith... arousing."

@TatiFrango - We're one terrorist attack away from "President Palin" so the next time the TSA pats you down, close your eyes and think of Alaska.


@SnyderMan37 - Baby, I'd totally be your TSA Screener. #badpickuplines


@asilentflute - Next time I fly I'm going 2 put a QR code on my penis so the TSA body scanner operator can get involved in my viral UGC campaign. #marketing

@BoucheDag2k - Thanks to the TSA's thorough searches, it's cheaper to buy an airline ticket for my wife than to pay for her annual Pap smear.


@pcarney1984 - @evandawson I'd take the TSA job. No pressure, can piss off the public immensly while not making people safer and keep my job? I'm in.
Headache is gone. I went to watch the Husker game last night and I was in so much pain I could hardly stand the light and the noise at the bar. Still enjoyed the fuck out of the Huskers kicking K-State's ass! Got home at 10pm and collapsed in bed. Slept all night, woke up with no headache. It appears the Huskers have cured me. I'm considering offering them cultus for that, leaving a few offerings and such. Who am I kidding? I already do that and have always seen going to Memorial Stadium as a pilgrimage. The ramp up to the game itself is certainly a mystery religion. I've talked about that before and posted a clip of what it is like (last year) so it was funny to read this article on the Wild Hunt - http://wildhunt.org/blog/2010/10/interview-with-christopher-knowles.html

Christopher Knowles, author of “Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes”, proposes in his newly released book “The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” that rock n’ roll concerts and dance clubs are our modern mystery religions, and the performers are fulfilling ancient archetypal roles as gods and goddesses incarnate.

Dude - experience the Tunnel Walk at a Husker game and you will know what a modern mystery religion, with 74,000 people in a full blown ecstatic state is like. I won't recount all of it - you have to experience it first hand. But the crowd is brought together in solemn tribute for the National Anthem with a fly over. The crowd stays standing for the marching band to get things going - a transition. The crowd starts doing chants, and I mean the entire stadium is chanting. Then the huge screens get going with flashes of past Husker tackles and touch downs. The crowd is cheering. Then...you feel it. The music starts, so low but so bass heavy that you feel it long before you hear it. The Tunnel Walk starts. The crowd claps in unison during this video. They start stamping. After 3 minutes of this the crowd hits a fever pitch and the team runs out onto the field. All the energy of the entire stadium is directed at these young men. The stadium shakes and vibrates from all the cheering. It is an insane experience.

Seriously -watch this video!! It's only 3 minutes long...but it will give you an idea of what's it's like.



Great weekend ahead so much to do and great weather. It's going to be sunny and warm and I have lots of fun stuff to do! Tonight is date night with my husband. Movie, dinner, and sex. Justin will be gone. Saturday - I have a meeting and two stories for PNC to do during the day and then at night we are going to dinner with friends and going to another friend's art show. Sunday I'll go clean up a stretch of highway in the morning with UMPA and then the afternoon will be at the Zoo feeding Prairie dogs. I love them!

Sarah Palin wants to Meet me Yeah right. I got this email. Aren't I special?

Dear Fellow Women Activists,

Sarah Palin wants to meet you.

You are invited to join Sarah Palin and our conservative candidates running at all levels at a rally to kickoff our Party’s final push to victory in Anaheim, CA, on Saturday, October 16th or Orlando, FL, on Saturday, October 23rd.

Ticket information:

* $20.10 FOR GENERAL ADMISSION or $90 for the reserved section if tickets are purchased online ($25.00 or $100.00 respectively at the door) -- but space is limited and tickets are going fast. (Children under 15 are free.)
* $950 FOR A SPECIAL RECEPTION WITH SARAH PALIN at either location if tickets are purchased online ($1,000 at the door). Benefits for those who are able to attend this reception with the Governor include a photo with her and the unique opportunity to discuss the critical issues facing our country with other grassroots leaders.
* SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: We also want to extend additional levels of participation to you ranging from the $950 level up to $30,400. These include special seating at the rally, special recognition at the event, multiple tickets to the Reception, a private meeting with Governor Palin, a commemorative copy of her upcoming book, and a yearlong membership in one of our RNC major donor clubs.

To reserve your tickets today, simply go here. After you place your ticket order, you will receive a separate email to print your tickets and avoid Will Call at the rally.

Sarah Palin looks forward to meeting you at one of these great events. Working together, I know we will win the battle to save our country.

Thanks for all you do. Together, we can WIN.

Jan Larimer, RNC Co-Chairman

Public entry - DADT - Pure Politics

On DADT, the Republicans don't really care and the Democrats had no intention of repealing it. Both sides played pure politics and, as usual, the ones getting screwed are you and me.


The Bill in question was a Defense funding Bill. One that was sure to pass. Therefore, it is an attractive Bill for our Congressperson's to tack shit onto. Fairly early on, it was common knowledge that a repeal of DADT was going to be tacked onto the funding Bill and it didn't cause too much of a ripple on the Hill. Oh, there would be Republicans who would have voted against it, but it would have easily passed. After all, there are not enough Republicans currently in Congress to successfully block any legislation unless Democrats join them in blocking it.

Repealing DADT would be good for Democrats appealing to their base, right? What would be even better? Well...if they could also tack on something that would make a portion of illegal aliens citizens. (DREAM) If that would pass, well, that would be something Democrats could use in this election.

If it didn't pass? That would be just as good. The Democrats could flog Republicans with how hateful they are and that would ramp up the Dem base, too. In fact, it would probably work even better to get the Dem base fired up and get them to show up at the polls this November. Because as grim as the polls look for the Dems, the enthusiasm gap between R and D voters looks even grimmer.

Now we get to the Republicans. Another charming group. Yes, they wanted the Funding Bill to pass. Yes, many of them don't want to repeal DADT. But none of them are going to vote for the DREAM act. No way and everyone knew it.

How they saw it, if DADT was repealed, most of them could say they voted against it, it was in a needed Bill and those dirty dogs played dirty pool by attaching it to a funding Bill for our troops. Voting for repealing DADT buys a Republican very few votes. Yes, Indepedents care about this issue, but not very strongly. Voting against DADT also doesn't buy them many votes, but it also doesn't piss off a good chunk of their base. Most of those who are passionate about repealing DADT are die hard Democrats and they will never, ever vote Republican.

Now you throw in DREAM. Voting for that would do more than piss off the GOP's base, it would piss off Independents. Big time. So the Republicans dug in their heels and voted "NO" in a block.

The Bill still should have gone to a vote and then passed. But because DREAM was included, you had a few Democratic defectors who crossed the aisle and joined the Republicans.

So you could headline this story: Republicans Block Repeal of DADT or you could title it: Democrats Poison Repeal of DADT and both headlines would be correct, to an extent. But the headlines should have read: Dems & Pubs Fuck Over Gays Again

Today is the Deipnon

This will be the first Deipnon celebrated in our townhome.

During the day....I'll be cleaning up, getting the garbage out, trying to put more things in their place. All our bills are paid so I don't need to do any bills today. I have an obligation to fulfill so I need to finish that up today. I found the local food shelf so I'll be making a donation there.

Then, tonight (after I go to Star Wars in Concert) I'll be purifying the new pad with incense and I'll put the plate of eggs and garlic out.

___________________________________________

I've been looking for where I'll have our family altar set up in our townhome. Not quite sure yet where. I would like to say that a person would know the place I really call home by seeing which place has the altar. But that wouldn't be correct. The place that has my garlic press is the place I call home.


International Pagan Coming Out Day - May 1

In talking with activists in the GLBT community about what advice they have for the Pagan community in our fight for equal treatment I've decided to launch a project. An International Pagan Coming Out Day on each May 1st. Similar to the National Coming Out Day that the GLBT community sponsors, it would a day to encourage and support those Pagans who are ready to come out of the (broom) closet. A day to honor those who are already out. And a day to acknowledge those who are still closeted due to fear of physical harm.

We have taken so many steps forward in this battle and we need to take a day to celebrate that and celebrate those who are actively working to help all Pagans secure their rights. To learn about what we still need to do and how we can get involved.

Finally, a day to raise awareness of Paganism among the general populace and give a familiar face to the Pagan rights movement.

If this is something you like to assist with - let me know.

I'll be creating a web community shortly. My husband will assist with all the legal fun. Here's a list of what I need help with and I'll be adding to it. Or you can suggest what you would like to assist with.

1. Logo creation
2. Executive Committee - need representatives from different traditions. must be willing to work together and have some experience on a board or organizing events.
3. People willing to be the point person in their geographical area.
4. Help with content and design of a media kit

Birthday gift for my mother

My Mother's birthday is July 2nd and it is hard to find a gift for her. Our tastes are very different and she has most everything she wants.

This year I'm making her a vertical garden.



The one I'm making is smaller than this. I'm making it out of a small metal garden trellis that has a bird on the top. Basically...you just wrap a sheet of moss around horizontally. Then wrap a sheet around vertically but make sure the bottom is sealed like a pocket (open ends on top. Then you wrap the thing in bird netting to hold it together. Stuff some potting soil into it. Then add some plants by making small cuts into the netting and moss. Water it. Stick it into the ground, lean it against a wall, or hang it on a wall. If you hang it on a wall, make sure it isn't touching the wall or your wall will get water damage.

I'm making it tomorrow, I'll try to post a photo of it when I'm done.
Materials Needed
1. Small battery power fan
2. Foam cooler
3. Knife
4. Pen
5. Later - batteries and ice



Directions
1. Buy a small foam cooler - you can find it in liquor stores and they run about $3.
2. Buy a small battery powered camp fan. Make sure it is smaller than the top of the cooler. I got mine at Target for $12.



3. Lay the fan on top of the cooler. Draw around the fan with a pen.



4. Carefully cut through the foam cooler. Depending on the size of the fan, you may need to cut a bit smaller than the fan. You want the fan to nestle down into the top of the cooler without falling down in. If you don't cut carefully you will break the lid.





5. On the upper side of the cooler, cut some squares into the foam. Do this all around the cooler, but don't make them so close together that it weakens the cooler.





Basically - you are now done. To make the air conditioner work, fill the cooler with ice and put the fan on top of the lid. Turn the fan on. The fan will draw warm air into the cooler through the holes in the side of the cooler and will blow cool out through the fan.

Tip - put your ice into large ziplock bags. The ice will melt overnight and you can use the water in the ziplock for washing, drinking, and cooking the next day.

ALTERNATIVE

Here's an alternative way of doing this. If you go this route, you really need to put the ice in a zip lock bag or water will run all over your tent. Do the same basic steps as shown above.

If you have a small fan with a tilting base like this:





Cut your holes on the bottom of the cooler instead of on the sides.




The finished air conditioner will look like this:



and will blow the air at a slight upwards slant instead of directly up like the first version. Just depends on how and where you are going to use it as to your preference.
Reposting in the clear for Debbie -

A friend of mine is a consultant for banks. He goes to banks and is helping them access their current residential property debt (from people defaulting) and figuring out how to help the bank manage that debt in a way that doesn't drag the bank under. He travels all over the USA and was in the Twin Cities so I was able to chat with him.

His thoughts - get ready for another housing bubble to burst - home prices could fall further. Also - the banking industry, as a whole, is on the edge of going under despite how many are trying to show a rosy picture. That's cheerful.

2 years ago, they saw massive defaulting by mostly blue-collar workers. So the home prices were very modest and so was the debt the banks were staining under. Now, there were a whole lot of them and quantity became a problem. So, the banks needed to be bailed out. What he is seeing now is all the white collar and higher defaults. Masses of them. Unbelievable numbers of them. And the debt is not small. Say a person paid 7 million for their home. Now, it's worth 2 1/2 million and they are so far underwater that they are walking away. That's a huge hit the bank is taking.

My friend says there are so many defaults coming in, and at such a high price point, that all they are doing is trying to process Deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure as fast as they can to minimize the time and the costs. This type of procedure used to be almost never done because it usually screws the bank really hard and they give up any claim of getting the unpaid debt from the home owner. But it's also the fastest way to process all this debt, and speed matters now.

And because of all these foreclosures - the bulldozers are coming out. My friend is helping banks to swap properties so that they can get homes that are adjoining one another and bulldoze them down. They will sell them as undeveloped lots for a fraction of what they could sell the home for. But homes really aren't selling and now that the home buyers credit is over, they REALLY won't sell. So rather than pay for the utilities to stay current and pay the property tax for the next few years, the banks are cutting their losses in a very extreme way. It shows you how desperate they are. (Note: They are considering bulldozing 25% of Detroit homes - this is what the city is being driven to)

He also said many of the banks he is working with are right on the edge of going under. What could tip them under is that commercial properties are now cascading into foreclosure. He thinks there will have to be another bank bail out shortly or we may see our banking industry collapse.

This is just one man's view so I don't know what to think of it. I don't know what to think about the economy, unemployment, houses, etc. But I don't see things getting better.

If you are into tarrot - We are in the midst of The Tower and all the stones haven't fallen down yet and we can't rebuild until they do.

The Tower behind the cut
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Celebrating the Deipnon

Intro

In Greek, deipnon means the evening meal, usually the largest meal of the day. Hekate's Deipnon is, at it's most basic, a meal served to Hekate and the restless dead once a lunar month. This article sets forth: 1) a brief history including the practices of Hekate's Deipnon in antiquity; 2) a small (and necessarily incomplete) summation of Hekate as She relates to Her Deipnon; and 3) some of the more common ways Hellenic Polytheists celebrate the Deipnon today. This article makes no claim to be a complete, all-inclusive, or a formal scholarly work. When possible, sources are noted and historical facts are separated from opinion.

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