So long…

I think it’s about time to archive all the stuff on this blog and start fresh with something new at this domain name….

Finally stopped and took some pictures of my favorite tree

Ay-Ziggy-Zoomba.com hacked…

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Yeah, if you’re looking for info on ay-ziggy-zoomba.com, well, it was hacked. Pretty much every page was injected with malicious code. Luckily, the database that sits behind everything is untouched and was migrated to a newer version of the phpBB software that runs the message boards.

I’m busy cleaning up the mess that the hackers and their code left behind… I hope to have something resembling the old message boards back and functional w/in 48 hours or so.

In the mean time, check out Tony’s great site http://www.bgsusports.com or B.J.’s fantastic blog about BGSU athletics, http://orangeandbrown.blogspot.com/. Catch up on some old podcasts that we’ve done at http://www.bgsusports.com/podcast/, or just enjoy this beautiful summer we’ve been having!!!

Ay-ziggy-zoomba.com will be back soon, and it will be better than before!

Andersyn’s new swing

Andersyn and I went to KMart today and got a swing because she LOVES the swings in the park. Well, she loves this one too, but she was SO pooped today from being upset about her new upper teeth cutting through, that she just giggled a bit and then zonked out!! So stinking cute…

Click here for the full-screen slide show. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperguy/sets/72157621286373379/show/

My first Father’s Day as a father…

Had a great Father’s Day weekend with my two wonderful girls. We didn’t do anything special, just did some hanging out with friends and family and relaxing… just the way daddy likes it.

Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite pictures from the weekend: (click here to see it full screen)

How to grow Buht Jolokia peppers (part 1)

Bhut (Naga) Jolokia Pepper

Bhut (Naga) Jolokia Pepper

I’ve gotten a lot of responses from my YouTube videos asking me how I got the bhut jolokia peppers I ate in them. As far as I know, there’s really only one way to get fresh bhut jolokias at this stage, and that’s to grow your own!! But, HOW??

Which route you chose to take; seeds, or plants, will determine the first step in the process. My recommendation for first-time growers would be to order live plants from a reputable source. I’d highly recommend Cross Country Nurseries! Janie and her crew there have been providing strong healthy plants to people for years. You can’t go wrong going that route. Order early though, as they sell out every year! You’re going to pay a little more, but you get healthy, garden-ready plants delivered right to your door.

The other, slightly more difficult option, is to start your pepper plants from seed. This option is cheaper, but requires a little more time, effort, space… and frankly, a little luck. Personally, I’ve only used one source for purchasing my bhut jolokia seeds, the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. You only have to buy them once though, and then you save seeds for the next season.

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In the ground

Well, I got my pepper plants in the ground tonight. YAY!! Not real happy with the seedlings this year, but we’ll see how things go.

Here’s the varieties I’m growing (so far) this season:

From Rupp Seeds (www.ruppseeds.com)
Early Jalapeno
Cayenne
Chicken Itza

From Cross Country Nurseries (www.chileplants.com)
Sheepnose Pimento
Lemon Drop
New Delhi Long
Assam
Rocoto Red
Rocoto Yellow
Naga Morich
Bhut Jolokia

From seeds I saved or received from friends:
Bhut Jolokia
Mystery Aji from Ecuador

I generally get a few more plants from friends and some left-overs from David at Schedel’s, so there could be more to grow in pots, but this should be a pretty fun mix. Lots of heat in this year’s crop!! Excited to try the Naga Morich especially… and the Chicken Itza from Rupp (where my brother-in-law works).

I’m going to TRY to do a good job chronicling the pepper garden this season. Even if it’s just a blog post to say I watered, or weeded… I want to take some photos, keep track of what I do, etc… Today, I just dug some holes and put some peppers in the ground! Always a great day when that happens! :-)

Here’s some photos I’ve taken of peppers over the past 10 years or so…some are good, some aren’t, but hey, they’re all peppers!

Awesome…

sleeping

A response from my representatives

Well, a couple weeks ago, I posted my letter to my state representatives regarding the Ohio law which prohibits some alcohol sales on Sundays.

I heard back from representative Jeff Wagner (R) within a day. His response follows:

Mr. Cummings,

Thank you for your e mail. I am certainly not an expert on this issue especially since I do not drink. I am 48 years old and in my lifetime what is acceptable on Sunday has changed considerably. When I was a kid very few stores were open on Sunday, most people did not shop, mow lawn etc. The prohibition on Sunday liquor sales is probably a holdover from that time and I can understand the wishes of some to change that. That being said in my lifetime I have also witnessed what I feel is a deterioration of society. Since the time I was a kid the divorce rate, crime rate, children born to single moms, etc have all gone up considerably as well. Is lack of respect for Sunday and God connected to the deterioration of basic values in society? I think so. I for one do not believe in the misguided notion of separation of church and state. You cannot find that phrase anywhere in our Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. That phrase was taken from a private letter from Thomas Jefferson and has been taken way out of context. Do I think not allowing wine sales on Sunday really makes us that much more moral? No, but allowing it would be another step in the wrong direction in my opinion.

Jeff Wagner

Wow… um… ok. First of all, nowhere in my message did I mention “separation of church and state.” I did ask the question “What business does the government have legislating religion??” I’m sticking with that… The rest of Mr. Wagner’s response is rambling and pontificating. “Lack of respect for Sunday?” Oy… Jews believe in God, no?? Their sabbath is Saturday, right? Hmmmmmm…. How about a lack of respect for cultures other than your own, Mr. Wagner?

I could go on and on… but let’s give my other representative a little time here too. I finally heard back from state senator, Karen Gillmor (R) yesterday (almost 2 months after I sent my email). Here is what she had to say:

April 14, 2009

Dear Mr. Cummings:

I received your e-mail expressing your opposition to Ohio’s law prohibiting wine and liquor sales on Sundays before 1 o’clock p.m. I apologize for the delay in my response, but we are currently in the midst of constructing a very difficult budget.

I saw that you also sent your letter to Representative Wagner. He was kind enough to share his response with me, and I agree with his position on this issue. I have also witnessed the deterioration of our society through my lifetime, and I do not wish to add to this trend. Although you did present a valid point regarding the collection of more revenue for the state, I feel that this law is one that does not need to be repealed.

Thank you for your correspondence; I do appreciate hearing the opinions of my constituents. If you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely Yours,
Senator Karen L. Gillmor
26th District

KLG:rs

One of the things that really gets me here is that she “compared notes” with rep. Wagner before responding to me. Nice that she “appreciates hearing from her constituents” though… especially while she’s working on this “very difficult budget.” Didn’t my idea actually have budgetary implications??

Look, I’m a Christian. Know what? I like beer. Know what else??? I like beer on Sunday as much as I like it on Wednesday. I like wine too, like the hard stuff on occasion as well. Sounds to me like my elected officials think I’m contributing to the “deterioration of society.”

Is this the perfect example of “holier than thou,” or what?? I’ll remember this come November. Don’t these people work for us?? Seems like once they get elected, they become elite… happens to almost all politicians from what I can tell.

That government is best which governs least. — Thomas Paine

Check one off the bucket list!!

What a GREAT day we had yesterday at the Final Four in Detroit. This was fulfilling a life-long desire of mine… and even though I won’t be going to the national championship game tomorrow night (deferring to a good MSU alum friend) it was nothing short of a “dream come true” kind of event!

We were part of the second-largest crowd to ever view a basketball game (at least until tomorrow night’s game, when I just bet we’ll drop to third) and got to see a fantastic game (and a not-so-great one too).

The energy and emotion in that building from the predominantly MSU crowd was infectious. I went in not really rooting for any one team, but was a State fan by the middle of the first half and will be rooting for Sparty tomorrow night!

Here’s a Flickr slideshow of some of the best pictures I got. LOVE the panorama at the end… it’s worth waiting for. :-) Click here to see it full-screen:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperguy/sets/72157616399736726/show/

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