Monday, December 3, 2012

Growing Mexicola Avocados



     Growing avocados can be rewarding and cost effective, especially when you see the price of avocados in the grocery store these days.  You must, however, pay attention to the type of avocado tree you purchase depending on the area of the country in which you live.  The following advice is based on a California Bay Area climate, meaning hot summers and freezing winters without snow.  Avocados are a tropical fruit so if you do not live in a tropical climate, it can be challenging to keep an avocado tree alive through winter.  Enter the Mexicola avocado tree.
(right, small Mexicola avocados ready for guacamole)

      All avocado trees need a year or two post-purchase in order to mature into a fruit producing tree.  After a year or so of caring for your young, fruitless tree it will begin to produce flowers.  The following year, a young tree will then produce its first fruit.  Usually, this first fruit will only just begin to grow and then die off.  Don't be discouraged.  This is just your tree's trial run at making fruit.  The following year, your tree will produce plenty of avocados.  Mexicola trees are high-producing with hundreds of small avocados on one mature tree alone.  The Mexicola Grande tree does not produce as much fruit as the Mexicola, but its fruit is much larger so you get more meat per fruit.

(left, Mexicola Grande tree late fall)

     For whatever reason, there is a lack of information on the web regarding the Mexicola, which I hope to correct with this post.  The Mexicola, and its larger variation the Mexicola Grande, is a great option for those of us that live in a climate that is warm in the summer, yet cold in the winter.  Mexicola trees can handle weather down to 17 degrees Fahrenheit.  They produce small, yet delicious fruit and are one of the only variations with edible skin.  The Mexicola's skin is very thin and hard to peel away from the fruit.  The Mexicola also has a large pit so it takes several avocados to get a good amount of guacamole.  When the fruit is ripe the avocado turns a purple/black color and does not like to stay on the tree long after ripening.  Oddly, after picking the avocados they are best when wrinkly, super soft, and almost seem over-ripe.

     Fruit trees are heavy feeders and need proper water and fertilization.  We use Espoma brand citrus and avocado organic fertilizer every October, February, and June (pictured right).  This can be purchased at any Home Depot, Lowe's, or your local nursery.  We also believe that consistent watering is a key to avocado success.  Make sure to water your avocados at least every other day, but do not flood the base of your avocado tree.  This will drown the tree and stunt its growth.  I say this, however, with caution as your avocado tree will need a lot of water.

     In addition, many people tend to get prune-happy and over prune their tree.  Remember, an avocado tree needs its upper and lower leaves to protect the trunk from sunburn in the summer and frostburn in the winter.  Therefore, trimming your Mexicola is an art form.  Make sure to get the tree branches off of the ground while at the same time leaving the trunk protected.  I like to wait to prune a tree until after winter so as not to risk exposing a tree's core to freezing.  This may mean it looks a bit messy during the fall, but it will be worth it come spring. 

     Traditionally, a Mexicola tree is harvested September through November, although we find our trees produce well into November and even December.  Wait until the fruit's skin is entirely purple/black before picking.  During this time, you will find your trees produce a constant stream of avocados.  Even though Mexicolas do not need another tree for pollination, I find more success with two or more trees. 

(Above you can see the difference in size between the Mexicola and Mexicola Grande)

     Pest Control Tip:  If you find that rodents, squirrels, birds, racoons, or any other animals are stealing your fruit there is an easy, organic way to protect your trees.  Take a spray bottle and mix a lot of hot sauce with water.  Spray the mixture onto the growing fruit.  It will not taste good to the hungry creatures in your yard.  It may leave a thin, white film on the fruit that simply wipes right off.  Problem solved.

Above, a Mexicola Grande Avocado

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Media/Hollywood's Liberal Agenda - Add To Our List!!

Many love to believe that the news they watch or the media in general is neutral.  Ironically, these are the same people who say that Fox News has a right-wing agenda and cannot be trusted. Let's be honest, the media is dominated by left-wing perspectives.  So much so that when one channel puts out a different perspective, the left creates a campaign to destroy it - i.e., Fox News.  The term media is not inclusive to just the news either.  Media includes the news, movies, television, books, magazines, newspapers... you get the drift. 

 The media used to be covert when promoting left-wing agendas and demonizing conservative capitalists.  In the past, the left only hinted at their agenda through the media.  They of course needed the ability to deny any presence of a leftist agenda to the public. Today, however, the left has so pervaded the media it no longer hides its agenda. Oddly, the media still denies its left-wing tilt even as their behavior becomes more outrageous.  How stupid do they think we are, or maybe, how stupid are we?

 It seems that no matter where we turn these days, the media is shoving its leftist agendas down our throats.  The sad thing is, many people are completely oblivious to it.  That's the nerve wracking part - the left so dominates the media that it has made it the norm to hear anti-American, anti-conservative, anti-capitalist statements.  This is the type of thing that used to get one black-balled from the entire entertainment community.  Now, you are black-balled from the media when you promote American values.  Does anyone else see a problem here?

 Just to prove a point, below is a list of all types of media that outwardly attempt to demonize conservative, capitalist thinkers and beliefs.  Please comment and add to our list.  The arrow with the most toxic poison is the one laced with the truth!

**SEX & THE CITY: "SHORTCOMINGS" (TV, HBO, 1999) - As much as I love this show, its writers love to promote a liberal agenda.  And no, it's not through a sexual topic or outrageous scene.  In the episode Shortcomings, the writers make it cool to be liberal and equally cool to bash conservatives.  The lead character, Carrie, meets a man with a great family.  The man's mother is a worldly writer, former member of the peace corps, and otherwise super cool woman that she loves.  His sister also happens to be a lesbian.  The mother says to Carrie: "I didn't care that she was a lesbian, so long as she didn't turn out to be a Republican." They both share a laugh. There is nothing wrong with being a lesbian, but neither is there anything wrong with being a Republican.  How obvious can they get?

**THE FAMILY STONE (MOVIE, 20TH CENTURY FOX, 2005) - This movie was terrible, not only in its shameful attempt to demonize conservatives, but also for its lack of entertainment.  Regardless, the movie begins with a conservative woman being taken home to meet her boyfriend's family.  She of course, as a 'conservative,' is completely cold and shut off.  The family, which is liberal, is fun and fantastic as usual. She is considered weird and uptight because she does not want to sleep in the same room with him in his family's home, especially being the first time she meets them.  She is ridiculed as a total outcast. Needless to say, the portrayal of conservatives leaves much to be desired.

**GLEE (TV, FOX BROADCASTING, 2010) - In the first season of another great show, the writers could hardly wait to shove anti-conservative characters into their scripts.  A lead character and high school cheerleader, Quinn, gets pregnant.  She of course has a conservative, Christian father.  So what do the writers have him do?  He screams at the mom, loves guns, and kicks out his pregnant teenage daughter.  Need I remind you that this is not how conservatives behave.  Did Sarah Palin kick out Bristol when she got pregnant?  I don't think so.  One would think that the liberal media would remember this fact due to their continued focus on it ever since she was named on the ticket.  But the media doesn't care.  Any chance to influence the public, especially the younger public, and indoctrinate them with ideas like conservatives are hateful and liberals are great, they pounce on.

**KATHY GRIFFIN (COMEDIAN) - Let's just start by saying that this woman is hysterical.  That is, as long as she isn't making jokes about politics.  She says outrageous things, but she is a comedian and should have the right to do so.  Like when she says that Rush Limbaugh dreams of getting jacked-off by Ann Coulter, complete with commentary "Oh yeah, suck it Ann."  She gets praise and rave reviews for jokes such as this.  If, however, a conservative comedian were making comments like that about liberal figures, one cannot deny that they would not become a media darling.  Let's be honest about who gets the praise and who doesn't.

**EAT, PRAY, LOVE (BOOK, PENGUIN BOOKS, 2006) - Have you ever been excited to read a new book, especially when you feel that it may provide good insight or parallels to your own life?  This was that book for me.  Unfortunately, it's hard to get past the liberal undertones.  For example: the book sets out questioning God and all religions really.  This grabs a good progressive's attention immediately.  The reader is then warmed up with statements like "learn how to speak Spanish, the better to help me communicate with millions of my fellow Americans." page 23.  Or making friends with a "Serbian war criminal."  As a reader, you start to get the hint that these comments serve a purpose. By page 33 the lead character is name dropping those she wished would sign her petition.  Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Bono are just some of the names mentioned.  I so loved this book and was hoping I was wrong, but by this page I got a feeling that there was a political undertone going on.  Then my suspicions were confirmed. On page 48 the writer no longer holds her tongue: " I had the inability even to get upset that the Republicans had just stolen a presidential election..." At that point, I was so disappointed.  The book proved to be everything I was hoping it wasn't.  A media outlet looking to shove another liberal undertone down my throat.  I've yet to finish the book...

**JULIE & JULIA (MOVIE, COLUMBIA PICTURES, 2009)- This enjoyable comedy starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams was a fun feel-good movie.  The movie follows Julie, a woman blogging about cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook, while at the same time documents the life of Julia Child.  But of course, once you catch wise to the liberal objective permeating through Hollywood, you cannot help but see it.  Apparently, a subtle attempt at demonizing conservatives no longer works, so Hollywood is now obvious in their approach.  During a scene where Julie's boss discovers her blog, he says to her, "A Republican would have fired you!"  Are people really still arguing that Hollywood has no agenda?!

**WALL STREET (MOVIE, 20TH CENTURY FOX, 1987)-This crime/drama starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen was touted by Hollywood and took home several Academy Awards.  When a movie starts winning Hollywood awards, you know there must be a liberal slant involved somewhere. In Wall Street, the big bad corporation is taking down a poor little airline and it's union workers.  Wait, the Union and its workers are the victim and the corporation is the bad guy?  What a shock!  I hope you can sense the sarcasm...

**GLEE: "MAKEOVER" (TV, FOX BROADCASTING, 2012)- This entertaining show makes yet another appearance on our list for its overt bias.  Liberals are aware of how popular this show is and they have, of course, pounced on the opportunity to throw in their agenda.  While Curt is interviewing at with the editor, played by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, he responds to a question about who his style icons are with "Michelle Obama."  Don't forget this is the same SJP who recently hosted an Obama fundraiser at her NYC home.  Back on the show's high school set, ditzy character Brittany is running for president.  She tells her VP, Artie, "I'll be president and you can make all the boring decisions." Artie's responds with "So I can be Cheney to your Bush."  Not to mention the other off hand comments throughout the entire show, like when Brittany says she wants someone to prove that her opponent Blaine was born in this country.  Again, who says the media isn't bias?

**WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN (TV, BRAVO, 2012)- Bravo puts out reality television that I cannot get enough of.  From 'The Real Housewives' franchise to shows like 'Flipping Out' and 'Tabitha Takes Over' this station is a favorite of mine.  Unfortunately, as an offshoot of NBC, I cannot get away from its liberal bias.  Andy Cohen, one of the station's executives and host of WWHL, happily pushes the liberal agenda like a good comrade.  Andy has a game called "Plead the Fifth" were he asks three difficult questions of his guests and they can only take the fifth to one question while answering the others.  Andy played this game with guest Rachel Maddow, a left-wing pundit on MSNBC.  Every question had something to do with saying something nice about a conservative politician.  For example, "Who would rather be stuck in an elevator with: Romney, Gingrich, or McCain?"  Then they all laugh as they crack jokes about how awful it would be.  At least he was honest about the fact that the most difficult thing for a liberal to do is be civil to a conservative.

**A FEW GOOD MEN (MOVIE, COLUMBIA PICTURES, 1992)- I recently saw this movie again and was reminded how entertaining it is.  The movie is about a young military attorney who is put on a case where he finds a high-ranking General has given orders to have a subordinate hazed to death.  I could not help but think that this is really another movie with a liberal agenda.  The plot revolves around the premise that high-ranking military men are so drunk with power that they order inferior subordinates to be hazed to death.  How many movies are released about what heroes our military men and women are in this country?  How many military movies show high-ranking officials in a good light?  It is so obvious.

**BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON (MOVIE, UNIVERSAL & MIRAMAX, 2004)- In yet another movie that Hollywood drooled over, the liberals are again successful in shoving a liberal agenda down our throats with most of the audience completely oblivious to it.  In the beginning of this sweet, romantic comedy the lead character, Bridget, goes to her boyfriend's high-profile work benefit.  There she meets his work associate who says he does not believe in charitable giving.  Bridget laughs only to find out he is serious.  She responds by commenting "this is the type of thing that an old, bald, Tory (which is the British word for conservative) would say." At that point the camera flashes on the party which is all old, white men. Need we say more?  Never mind the fact that the rich are the most charitable in this country, or that the United States is the most charitable nation in the world.  Liberals are determined to brainwash this nation into believing that success should be punished and that government is a charity.

**THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK II (MOVIE, UNIVERSAL PICTURES, 1997)- In this sequel to the mega-hit Jurassic Park, scientists venture off onto an island where park creator John Hammond engineered and nurtured the dinosaurs for their first few months of life. A hurricane destroyed the containment vessels and the dinosaurs were living freely every since.  Actor Jeff Goldblum's character is one of the scientists who ventures onto this island.  When John Hammond is confronted with the possibility of his evil nephew exploiting the island and the dinosaurs, he asks Jeff Goldblum's character to save the island as a nature preserve.  Jeff Goldblum responds with the comment, "so you went from a Capitalist to a Naturalist, unbelievable."  Again, pushing the notion that Capitalism/Conservatism is somehow contrary to the idea of wanting to save nature.  This is yet another pathetic example of trying to push the agenda that only liberals care about the environment.  I ask liberals to check out the environment around leftist/Communist nations like China, or Russia.

**DAZED AND CONFUSED (MOVIE, GRAMERCY PICTURES, 1993)- In yet another movie glamorizing pot, under-aged drinking, and being a "cool" kid, I was not surprised to find it loaded with anti-American, anti-Conservative messaging.  This is a fun movie focusing on typical American high school kids in the summer of 1976.  Not only does it exacerbate the idea of how "cool" it is to be a popular kid, but it is flagrant with its anti-American message.  In one scene, on the last day of school before summer, the hip, young high school teacher tells the kids that to remember during the bi-centennial 4th of July celebration they are celebrating that a bunch of white slave owners didn't want to pay their taxes.  As a historian I can't even begin to go into the amount of historical ignorance that the comment exudes, but let's just say The Declaration of Independence had nothing to do with that sentiment.  We must also remember that the filmmakers were no doubt educated by the leftists in our education system, so that is likely what they were taught themselves.  Poor fools.  In another scene, one student remarks that they wanted to go to law school so they could work for the ACLU and help people that are getting screwed.  Not only do the filmmakers know that most of the kids who watch this movie have no idea what the ACLU is, they also know that they will walk away from this movie thinking the ACLU fights for the rights of the little people.  Never mind that the ACLU is an extreme-leftist organization that boasts anti-American, pro-Socialist agendas or that it sets-up most of its law suits (meaning that they plant people in situations so they can then turn around and sue).  As usual, Hollywood prays on the fact that the masses are ignorant, by design, so they can fill your heads with whatever information they want.

**THE BIRDCAGE (MOVIE, NICHOLS FILM COMPANY, 1996)- Let me start by pointing out that Mike Nichols, who owns that film company that produced this movie, is married to newscaster Diane Sawyer (his fourth marriage) and his grandfather was a leading theorist on anarchism (those who want to overthrow the government).  This is just to point out where these people come from and the nepotism that exists in Hollywood.  This movie is not surprisingly about a man, raised by a gay couple, who falls in love with a conservative Senator's daughter.  Because conservative politicians are evil, they will never let her marry him if they know he has two fathers.  So, when the families are to meet, Nathan Lane's character dresses up as a woman to pretend that he is the boy's mother instead of his second father.  Nathan Lane's character engages the Senator, played by Gene Hackman, in a conversation about political issues, including gays in the military and abortion.  Nathan Lane's character goes on to say that he does not support gays in the military, but then again had discovered that Alexander the Great was a "fag."  Because that is, of course, how conservatives talk.  He then switches the conversation to abortion were the Senator attempts to sympathize with those that kill abortion doctors, because evil conservatives support the murder of abortion doctors don't you know.  Nathan Lane's character goes on to say that they shouldn't kill the doctors, but instead kill the mothers because they were going to abort the child anyway.  Of course, the conservative Senator then takes a liking to Nathan Lane's character.  This was one of the most ridiculous characterizations of conservative ideals I have ever seen.  But then again, how else would Hollywood describe conservatives but as hateful, ignorant monsters?

**THE AMAZING RACE: "YOUR TAN IS TOTALLY COOL" (TV, CBS, SEASON 22, 2013)- This show was, before this episode, one of my favorite television creations.  This game show takes teams of two on a race around the world as they attempt to find clues while completing difficult tasks.  Enter the Communist producers at CBS.  During its twenty-second season, the teams were sent to the Communist country of Vietnam to complete a leg of the race.  I was absolutely shocked at what happened next.  First, the teams were forced to sit through several performances of a song that glorified Communism (as we learned through sub-titles).  Second, as if that wasn't outrageous enough, the teams were then sent to find their next clue at the site where one of our B-52 bombers was shot down during the Vietnam War.  Several of our military men died and others were taken as prisoners of war as a result of this disaster.  Not to mention the Vietnamese have a shrine set up there to memorialize how they took down the "evil American Empire."  This was the most blatant, disgusting example I have yet to include in this list.  You really must watch the episode in order to understand my disgust.  To make matters worse, when Americans and veterans alike were outraged, CBS initially refused to comment on the matter.  Only after a week of outrage did the execs at CBS finally issue an apology, if you can even call it that.  As I have said, Communists have stated for over one-hundred years that they would never be able to take down America from the outside, so in order to collapse it from within, they would have to control education and the media.  Job well done.

**MODERN FAMILY: "THE WOW FACTOR" (TV, ABC, 2013) - This was another one of my favorite shows until the liberal writers and producers ruined it for me yet again.  The character of Jay is married to a much younger Colombian woman.  The couple has just had a child.  During one scene Jay walks in on his wife speaking Spanish to the baby.  He responds by saying, "careful or he will wind up having to push numero dos when he calls the DMV."  His wife responds with "by the time he is grown up it will be numero uno."  Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.  If she loves Colombia so much, why not choose to raise her kids there.  Oh that's right, because it is a country run by drug cartels with no freedom.  I hate to break it to all of you Spanish speakers, but America was founded by English speaking individuals.  It is our language so get used to it.  It's called assimilation, you all might want to look it up.  Sadly, there was a time where immigrants were proud to be able to speak English and be American, but that is no longer.

**CLUE: THE MOVIE (MOVIE, PARAMOUNT PICTURES, 1985) - If you have ever sat through a history course covering the McCarthy era, I'm sure your liberal professor informed you that it was all a big government hoax.  Never mind that Joesph McCarthy was absolutely correct, and that thousand of Communists were hiding in our education system, media outlets and government.  Never mind that their goal was to rid the world of  Capitalism, freedom and ultimately America.  Just be a good, uniformed liberal and listen to your professors.  This leads me to the movie Clue, based on the murder-mystery board game.  Being based on a board game you would think there was no way that liberal politics could be a part of the story.  Oh, how wrong you were.  This movie has three alternate endings, everyone a bit different from the last, with the exception of one thing.  The blackmail portion of the movie was all about government creating a red herring to cover-up its own sinister motives.  In all the endings, the only similarity is that Tim Curry's character claims that Communism was just a red herring.  Driving home the point that so many of our Communist professors indoctrinate our youth with; Communism is the victim.  Tell that to the millions who have died at the hands of Communist dictators around the world.

**MIAMI RHAPSODY (MOVIE, HOLLYWOOD PICTURES, 1995)--this comedy, starring Sarah Jessica Parker (Gwyn), scrutinizes marriage while looking at the relationships surrounding engaged Gwyn.  Everyone surrounding her is married, and most are having affairs.  While speaking to her father (played by Paul Mazursky), he tells her that he is not perfect and she needs to know this because she and her siblings put him on a pedestal.  She tells him, "don't worry, we lowered it when you voted for Bush."  I mean, could they be anymore obvious? 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Warning To Those Considering A Puggle As Your Family Dog!


  A good girlfriend of mine recently bought her family a Puggle, a fairly new breed of dog that is half Pug and half Beagle.  She went on vacation and, being the animal lover that I am, she asked me to babysit their six-month old Puggle for the week.  She also told me that she was having problems with the dog due to his hyperactivity, dominate behavior, and destructive ways.  They had even called the breeder and considered sending him back.  Since I have watched other dogs for weeks and some for months and had some dog training background, I figured it would be no problem.  Boy was I wrong!

  From the minute I picked up the dog, Rocco, chaos ensued.  Right after I picked up Rocco I drove us to Pet Food Express to pick up some food for my own dog and cat (and a likely treat for my new Puggle pal).  As I pulled into the parking lot I rolled down the window to let some air in.  I didn't quite trust Rocco as my girlfriend had informed me of his problems.  So, even though we were in the car, I left his leash on and held it in my hand so he could not jump out of the window and get away.

   Regardless, as I slowed down and pulled into a parking space, Rocco got out of his collar and jumped out my passenger window.  I had to chase him around a busy parking lot for ten minutes to catch him.  My heart was pounding as I worried that he would get hit by a car, and never mind the fact he cost the family $1000.  Thank goodness she had given me a package of treats as we left, so I was able to coax him over to me eventually.  Needless to say, I marched into the pet store and bought him a harness.

   He continued to terrorize my life for that entire week. At my house he jumped on my bed, humped my sheets, bit my pillows, ripped my comforter, and never seemed to run out of energy.  I have a lot of patience with animals but this dog put me to the test.  I hate to say it, but he spent a lot of time in his kennel the last couple of days of my watching him.

  Although my knowledge of this breed is limited, I met another Puggle owner on one of my many walks with Rocco who said the energy level was through the roof.  And just the other day I walked past a soccer field and saw a woman being dragged behind a Puggle running around like a maniac. I don't think enough research has been done on this breed, but it does not seem that Puggles are good family dogs.  They are half hunting/tracking dogs that need to be on a ranch or somewhere where they can run around all day.   

The Horrors of Hair Removal By Threading!

   For those of you who, like me, were blessed with hair in places you don't want it, you understand the trials of hair removal.  Shaving tends to give me razor burn.  What's worse-hair or red bumps?  So for years instead I got my bikini area and legs professionally waxed.  I eventually gave up the waxing because I hated having to let my hair grow in between waxings, and let's be honest-it hurts.  Now I usually only wax if I am going on a summer vacation so as not to have to worry.

  I usually bleach my upper lip to take care of a slight mustache, and I mean slight.  I had it waxed once years ago, but never went back.  For whatever reason, recently I had the bright idea to try threading my upper lip.  Threading is a Middle Eastern practice whereby strings are used to pull out all of your hair.  It was the most painful experience of my life! My upper lip was numb for two to three days afterwards from all of the trauma! So take this as a warning-unless you have an ungodly amount of body hair in sensitive places, threading is not likely for you.  The only thing I can say for it is that I hear threading your eyebrows for shape and clean-up is tolerable.  But as for your upper lip--intolerable!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Real Housewives Of New York Shake Up!

While Bravo continues to bring us television that we cannot get enough of, with its latest string of firings we cannot help but wonder what was Executive Producer Andy Cohen thinking? Although we agree that The Real Housewives of New York franchise needed to let go of new-comer Cindy and alumni Kelly, we were all shocked that fan favorite, Alex, and the one fans love to hate, Jill, also got the axe!  While Jill Zarin likely did not want to return due to viewer backlash over her bitchy and elitist behavior, Alex McCord wanted to return but was not offered a contract.

In a move that seemed somewhat like the popular cheerleader dissing the honor student, fans are left wondering what Bravo has up its sleeve.  Even though Alex is a bit different from the rest of the cast, she and her husband, Simon Van Kempen are strangely interesting and weird all at the same time. Viewers love a good dose of weird! It was nice seeing a couple who had some connections, but still wasn't on the inside of the New York social scene.  Come on Bravo, shock us all and have Alex return next season!  The viewers would love it and it would garner up some good press as well!!