October 12, 2011
It's been a few weeks since Vic and I updated you on our adventures in keeping chickens. And, yes, there have been developments in that regard. When we last left this story, we had acquired a new barred rock hen to replace the late Henny Penny. Late as in "deceased," not late as in "tardy. " And it was from natural causes. We didn't eat her. Sometime after Henny Penny's demise, her two teammates, Chicken Little and Henrietta, quit laying. Egg production was way down. I was looking forward to eggs from our new young hen, but she ceased laying two days after we got her. We soon learned why. Like Henrietta, she's molting her feathers.
March 8, 2001
In the name of home maintenance, Vic and I reluctantly contributed to the smog in our air recently. We had our house painted inside and out. As I breathe in paint fumes from the curing oil-based enamel, I'm grateful that paints in the future will pollute the air less than they do today. Believe it or not, house paints are a major contributor to our area's air pollution. The petroleum-based solvents in paint are hydrocarbons that react in sunlight with nitrogen oxides to form ozone, which is a major component of smog.
February 21, 2002
Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray I hope your Valentine's Day involved candy and roses. We usually go out for a romantic dinner or enjoy a weekend away. Not this year. Vic had to teach a Goldenwest College Biology 101 lab the evening of Valentine's Day. The next morning he was leaving for a three-day weekend to lead an Audubon birding trip to the Salton Sea. It looked like romance was out. Vic had a solution to this dilemma. I had been working on a guide to the invertebrates of the Bolsa Chica.
March 23, 2000
The experts tell us the rain is over for the season. We suppose that's a sure sign you'll find this Thursday's paper soaked in the driveway. But for the purposes of our column, let's assume the experts are right. According to the National Weather Service, big changes lay ahead with weather that's going to shift more rapidly than a politician's views in an election year. They say that due to global warming, we're headed for an extended drought. In these times of added stress to the environment, our thoughts turn to the native plants and wildlife.
September 21, 2006
Our house is like a roach motel for paper. Once a magazine, book or piece of paper checks into our house, it never checks out. This is part of why Vic and I produce only about 16 pounds of trash each per week. In comparison, the average American produces 31 pounds of municipal solid waste per person per week. However, that figure includes waste produced at work as well as at home. About 22 pounds of our trash is newspapers. We dump them in the trash and let Rainbow Disposal recycle them for us. But we recycle our aluminum cans and plastic water bottles to collect the cash.
November 25, 1999
The last Thursday in November is traditionally a time for giving thanks. For Vic and me, it's a time to gather with family and friends and eat the traditional foods of our people, who were mostly Midwesterners. That means we chow down ungodly quantities of turkey, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, and traditional round cranberry sauce -- round because it's straight from the can! Everything but the cranberry sauce is made from scratch, the way my mother and aunts and grandmothers made Thanksgiving dinners.