Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Composting by Bob Flowerdew

One of the Bob's Basics books, Composting is obviously about composting, building bins, mixing debris to create the perfect mix to easily compost, etc. The most important thing I learned from the book, oh yeah, dear Dad was doing it wrong. And considering I learned my gardening skills from Dad (and less so, from my mom), I am also doing it wrong. Opps, well, at least, I now know better.

It is actually not surprising that both me and my Dad are guilty of composting in the wrong way. After all, we both learned though example, and in conditions where compost bins were frowned upon. Essentially we learned to use trenches (which Bob Flowerdew calls a lazy way) and a single bin. I am not sure what my neighbors, or my wife for that matter, will think if I set up an additional bin--and I think that I really two more after reading this book.

One thing that this book has talked me out of is the idea that the small rotary (self-mixing) and "dalek" bins will do any good given the amount of plant debris that I have to deal with. If I am understanding the mechanics of composting properly, they are just not big enough to generate enough heat to properly cook the compost, as well as lacking proper air circulation. This bit of information probably saved me some money--I say "probably" because there always seem to be better things to spend the money on...I am never sure what I would do if I actually had money to spare.

So I am hoping that the information in this book helps me. Time will tell. I did reset my compost bin today, and utilized some of the information from this book.

On a sidenote, my wife has read a few pages of this book also, and she finds it interesting. That counts for a lot.

I am giving this book five stars.

[This book was brought at Tattered Cover, a local Denver bookstore. It was found on the bargain shelves.]

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Words (1982) by Paul Dickson

Words: A Connoisseur's Collection of Old and New, Weird and Wonderful, Useful and Outlandish Words (1982) by Paul Dickson is a collection of words--literally, a collection of words. And just like the author, I must admit that I collect words. I think that most writers collect words; after all, words are our stock in trade.

I brought this book in an used book store years and years ago. It was probably Capital Hill books; the penciled three dollar price on end page is a reminder of how much I paid for the book. My copy is well-used; the spine of the paperback (a Dell tradeback) is cracked in the middle, leaving the book in two parts; still I hang onto it, not wanting to throw away my old friend.

Inside of it are chapters are collections of words that relate to the military, drinking, and how to describe someone who is drunk, some medical words, and a lot of areas that I initially would not have realized had specialized vocabularies. There is even a chapter of words relating to prophecy and divination, which inspired me to create my own such list of divinatory words.

If you can find a copy of this, and love the curious words that the English language, buy it. I am not sure if it is in print anymore, but I am not parting with my copy--sorry.

[I gave this book a five star rating on Goodreads.]