Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A House Divided…

A House Divided…

The other week when we were at the farmers market Cara noticed that the Champaign Democrats were selling Obama signs. Against my urgings she got one for the yard. I was however very adamant that I wanted equal representation.

My first step was to look on the “interweb” to find the Champaign Republican headquarters. Several addresses were given on different sites including one near art mart in Lincoln Square Mall (the mall). After looking at the addresses with no success, I tried calling the listed number. I got the voice mail and left a message requesting a sign. A few days later I went to the address from the message, which was a law office. I the back room w/ no distinguishing signs denoting it as the headquarters for a county of 200,000±, a nice woman told me that they were out of signs and probably would not be getting any more.

Somewhat discouraged both at the state of the party in Champaign Co and my distinct lack of a sign I returned home, and informed Cara that she could put up her sign. Fortunately, 2 days later I received a call that they had gotten another shipment of signs and I could pick mine up whenever it was convenient, and while I know we are canceling each other out, so are 100M other Americans, and at least we can do it in style.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sayonara Bush

Sayonara Bush

Wait Wait, before you head to the comment section (like you always do), this is not anything political. However, I’m sure Cara would love to make a corollary. This is the complement to the "popular" blog article “Tree Planting Tips and Ginkgo Facts”. While we still love the Ginkgo and it is settling in quite nicely. There is a bush in front of our house that Cara hates. After some discussion I finally agreed that we could get rid of it and replace it with something nicer.

The first thing we did was hose the whole think down with roundup, and don’t get chincy. Sure enough a week later it was dead as a doornail. I gave it an extra week just to make sure it was dead all the way down to the roots.

Then I wrapped the base with a tie down strap and hooked it up to the hitch on Old Blue (the Saturn). While Old Blue held some tension on the bush I cut roots around the perimeter with a shovel. I hopped in and gave it some gas, and pop went the tie-down. Fortunately, in typical Gutzmer fashion I happened to have a professional 4” tie-down left in the garage.

The “trucker grade” strap did the job and drug the bush out into the driveway, along with most of the rocks. After it was out I wrapped up the top part with the broken strap and took a chain saw to the base. Now we have a delightful fall decoration for the front of the house, and in the spring we can plant a new box hedge.

Note: The optimal means for pulling plants out of the ground with a vehicle is to put a wheel hub from a discarded tire in front of the plant and to put the strap or chain over that so that you are pulling up instead of sideways. I did not have any old wheels laying around.