homefront news: i got a surprise this morning, the mortgage broker that i briefly considered going with before discovering that he wasn't too honest about what kind of rates he could give me (that's a nice way of saying that the guy was a bona fide crook), he called me at work. he was suppose to call me friday, 4 days ago, but i guess i wasn't important enough to get a call. he started saying that because of my salary, because i was buying a condo, that no matter what rate he found, his company would have to add some sort of penalty. i waited politely for him to stop talking before i said, "i've got some bad news for you. i'm going with another company, cambridgeport savings, they gave me a better deal. i signed the papers today, already sent it away in the mail." dead silence on the other end of the line. i think maybe he thought that he had me hook, line, and sinker, but didn't realize that i had shopped around and that i already had a much better deal in my pocket. if he'd been upfront with me about the market conditions instead of playing me so i'd fall for a higher rate, maybe he still would've had my business. it's always nice to con a conman!

looks like i already know what i'm going to be doing this weekend: uprooting our bamboos and putting down an underground barrier around the roots. they're getting way out of hand, everytime i go out into the backyard i see more spikes jutting out of the lawn. this is a full scale bamboo invasion! i think some of the shoots have been eaten by animals though, i've seen signs of gnawing. and once they've been broken, ants seem to really love the bamboos as well. but all the hungry squirrels and hungry ants won't solve the real problem, which is there are rhizomes running rampant underground, spreading bamboos now out to 10 feet away from the epicenter.

tulip skirt


poppy case

giant onion

this year we look to be getting some awfully big poppies, based on the bud sizes. i rather have quantity than quality when it comes to flowers though, although poppy flowers last for a while, just like anemones. i can't wait for them to bloom, a touch of orange in an otherwise very purple/blue flower garden.

final display

ladybug larva


most of the anemone flowers are dead, their petals fallen off, nothing left but the flower's center, soon to become seeds. even in its final moments these flowers are still beautiful, if you know where to look.

i've been seeing ladybugs around, but this is the first time this season seeing their larvae crawling around the leaves of trees looking for aphids to eat.



the irises are out! the one we have growing in the backyard were actually salvaged from my great uncle's garden. it's hard to get good photos of irises because of their three-dimensional nature. any sort of flat image of these flowers doesn't do it justice. maybe i can try some stereo photography on a windless day with a tripod. for some reason iris flowers always remind me of p-orbitals from chemistry (forgiven me, i took two semesters worth of chemistry in college).

and all this garden talk makes you wonder, "gee, this is all very swell, but are you still finding some quiet time to kill nazis?" the answer is yes, tonight i went back to wolfenstein, back to my important night job of dispatching nazis. i haven't played in almost 2 weeks, but killing nazis is like riding a bike, really.

corridor of dead nazis i mauled down with a mounted machine gun

nazi guard about to get sniped with my rifle