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Monday, June 4, 2012


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You may have noticed the following posted in the status line of many users of social media:

For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning - any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

The reality is that expectations of privacy by the user are outlined in the 'privacy policy,' 'terms of privacy,' 'legal terms,' and other such legal notices that you show you've read and agreed to when you establish a profile with various online sites. This includes Facebook, but also other sites. If you haven't already negotiated a modified agreement before signing up, you can only delete your account. Otherwise, any information you disclose while a member of that site is subject to the terms to which you've already agreed.

Posting a notice like that above will not protect your privacy or negate your contract. But protection from snooping by businesses and government entities is only half of the equation.

Anyone on your friends list could accidentally compromise your personal information by disclosing it. Often this is done without malice. However, once you've posted information, you have no control over how viewers of that information use it. An example of this may be a funny picture you post of your child. A friend likes your photo on his or her wall. A friend of that friend shares the image. In a flash, a personal family moment is being scrutinized by strangers.

If you'd like more information on internet privacy and security, read INTERNET SURVIVAL: PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


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Father's day is fast approaching. My dad is an avid farmer, but this season has been a tiring one for him. I figured it would be nice to give him a raised bed for his favorite plants (the ones he doesn't want the bunnies to have). I was inspired by Ana White's post here. (Be warned, if you follow her link, you will likely be lured into planning lots of fun projects.)

Any tool which helps a person produce all or a portion of his own food helps to increase his quality of life. A gardener with several seasons of experience becomes a valuable source of practical wisdom in his or her local community. Gardening allows you to set aside a portion for the winter months. It provides you an opportunity to share nourishing, nutrient dense foods with others.

Raised bed gardening requires an up-front investment in the initial preparation and planning stages. Afterwards, the beds become less labor intensive than traditional ground level gardening. Some of the benefits of raised bed gardening include:

* Allows easier access for gardeners to tend their plants.
* Extends the growing season as the elevated soil is warmer.
* Can be used by apartment dwellers (balconies & rooftops) and those with limited yard space.
* The containers hold the soil you choose. You don't have to settle for poor soil conditions.
* Protects garden soil from compaction.
* Provides adequate drainage.
* Permits more plants per square foot because walking space is outside of the planter.
* Creates a barrier that discourages animals from eating your plants.

There are some differences in my box and the one designed by Ana, but the basic construction elements are the same. (Click on any of the images for an enlarged version.) First, I made my box 3 boards high (cedar dog-eared fence pickets), using the full length of the pickets for the sides and 1/2 the length of the boards for the ends. I used a pull saw to remove the dog ears before construction. The fence pickets were on sale for $1.59 each. I purchased 10. I also purchased a 12-foot pressure treated pine plank that was 8 inches wide. This was cut in half and used to create benches on the sides of the planter. These can be used as seating or just a handy shelf for gardening tools while working around the plants. 1 x 2 pickets hold all three boards together on each side. I used segments of 2 x 4's to create braces to hold the benches. Also, I kept the upper level of the end boards longer than the bottom two, creating a support on which the ends of the bench boards could rest.

The entire box was assembled using wood screws. I also used corner brackets on the interior corners where each board met to give added stability. All boards were pre-painted with contrasting paint purchased from the $5 shelf. The next time you're in the home improvement store, check for cast-off cans of paint. These are colors that have been mixed and not purchased. They are offered for sale at DEEP discounts. I look for latex, indoor/outdoor base and top-coat all in one.

Tools used included a Irwin Dovetail Pull Saw, Black & Decker electric drill (with screwdriver and drill bit). The pull saw is my new favorite tool as it gives me smooth, sanded finish cuts without chewing or splintering my wood. My electric drill never loses power like battery operated models can. I've used it for MANY projects for almost 20 years. It's a power-horse of a tool. I needed some clamps and appreciated an extra pair of strong hands to hold things in place during assembly.
All in all, it was a relatively simple project.

The interior of the box is sized 17" deep 33" wide x 71" long. It will easily fit into the bed of a standard sized truck or the back of a family van (if it's the kind with rear seats that collapse).

This box has no bottom. We will lay poultry wire on the ground and set this on top before filling with topsoil. The wire will keep burrowing pests away from tender plant roots. The cedar planks are weather resistant, rot resistant and will help repel harmful insects.

Kay is . . .

a perpetual student of things I find interesting and (I hope) helpful to others. Feel free to use and apply all information with a healthy dose of common sense. :-)

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