Sunday music: Dresden Dolls

This Boston-based duo is my favorite punk cabaret band. (Well, there aren’t many others, far as I know.) Night Reconnaissance (language warning) is not my favorite track from them. But it is a song about stealing lawn ornaments.

For beginners, best to check out their session on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic before working up to their concert performances. (War Pigs is a favorite.) Find more videos on their very cool website.

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Full disclosure

sloggerI feel it’s my ethical duty to disclose the text of this email I just sent to the good folks at sloggers:

Hi Alec:

Sorry to be so long getting around to this. Life has been hectic.

Let’s go with the standard:

Size 12 (mens), prefer brown but color doesn’t matter much to me.

I appreciate your support of GardenRant. They are good folks with more influence and reach than you might expect.


After a suitable evalution period, I’ll add them to my garden footwear review.

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Why I love my job: Mulch races

mulch races

One of our faculty in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University is Nina Bassuk. She’s the director of our Urban Horticulture Institute and knows more about how to choose and grow trees in cities than anyone else I know. She co-teaches a woody plant course along with her husband, Peter Trowbridge, who is a faculty member in landscape architecture.

The last few weeks, Nina and Peter’s students have been working on their final class project — installing a new planting along the north side of the Plant Sciences Building, right outside my office window. The new plantings — which feature mostly newer cultivars that are popular in the industry but not found elsewhere on campus — are replacing some old, scarggly yews and will serve as a living lab for future classes.

Lest you despair that youth today aren’t interested in plants, I live on another planet where 20-somethings are passionate about plants. They got a taste of the real world today, when the mulch deliverers dropped the mulch at some distance from where it was needed. There weren’t enough wheelbarrows to do the job. So they grabbed some rubber mats from the construction material lying around from the library renovation, made some twine handles, and races around with the mulch, making short work of it.

Does my heart good to see the joy with which they go about their work.

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