Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture

Nina's in there somewhere.

I tried to get a Nina picture this week, but she wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get the camera ready, so the above is all we get. She really is in there somewhere, though.

Meanwhile, I did hear back from Merrifield Garden Center, regarding this post, but it was short: they understand my concern but "don't know anything about this." They did give me the number of their IT person to call, which I might do on Monday, but if I do: is there really anything useful I can tell him? I mean, in theory Merrifield should be able to stop the site from using their name and logo through legal means, but I don't know how that would work, since the site's registered to someone in the Netherlands. Surely there must be a government agency that deals with this sort of thing, right? And that's not really something the IT department would be dealing with anyway. So . . . any suggestions?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Music Video: Mendelssohn, String Octet in E-Flat Major, Opus 20, 3rd Movement

I think I found this via MetaFilter, but don't remember for sure.

The piece is written for four violins (reds and oranges), two violas (yellow-green and green), and two cellos (blue and purple). Saith Wikipedia:

Felix Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 was composed in the autumn of 1825 (completed on October 15)[1] , when the composer was 16. He wrote it as a birthday gift for his friend and violin teacher Eduard Rietz (born October 17, 1802); it was slightly revised in 1832 before the first public performance on 30 January 1836 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus.[2]

The person who did the visualization has over a hundred other videos on YouTube which do the same thing (sometimes in a different format), covering pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Satie, Debussy, Chopin, Vivaldi, and so if you liked this, you might also like those.

Pretty picture: Macodes petola?

No flowers on this one, but that's okay. Leaves like these don't need flowers.

I'm not 100% sure on the ID; there was no tag, except for the price tag. (I removed the price because I find them distracting, but it was $30. I would have removed the sticker altogether if I had the sort of picture-modification skills to do so.) M. petola seemed like the most likely possibility, but if you have some expertise with these and know it's not, please leave a comment.

The lack of ID means I can update the orchid show scoreboard again:

wrong tags: 5
incomplete tags: 1
missing tags: 3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Random plant event: Coffea arabica

Back in March, I noticed some growths on my Coffea arabica that looked like they might be flower buds, and got all excited about this, both because it was a sign that the plant was happy and because I'd never smelled the flowers before and was looking forward to finding out what that was like.

Unfortunately, at some point in early to mid-May, the plant flowered and I missed the whole thing. I didn't know about it until I pulled the plant out of the corner to water it and found dried flowers still clinging to the stems:

The dried flowers had no odor I could detect, so I still don't know what Coffea flowers smell like. Not firsthand, anyway. (Secondhand, I hear they're similar to jasmine.) There will be other opportunities, obviously. It's just frustrating to get so close and then miss it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Adventures in Spam

I don't normally publish spam comments, but the laziness and ineptness of this one tickled me.

Merrifield garden center1 said...
Congrats! You have a beautiful blog and I enjoy reading your posts. Your kitty picture is adorable.

This is one of the adorable kitty pictures they were talking about:

So, not having anything better to do this morning,2 I tracked down the Merrifield Garden Center on-line and sent them this:

I was wondering if anyone could explain to me why my blog is being spammed on your behalf. It's coming from this site:

and I wouldn't mind so much except that it's pathetic, lazy spamming. I mean, on Saturday, "Merrifield garden center" left a comment telling me that "Your kitty picture is adorable," when it was 1) more than one picture, 2) of balding spots, 3) on a dog.

So if this is something you're paying people for, you should get your money back. Nobody likes to be used (I'm not getting anything in return for inadvertently promoting your business) and disrespected (if you're going to hire someone to advertise on a third party's site, you might at least have them read the posts they're parasitizing). While it's true that I wasn't aware of your business before, and am now, I also have a thoroughly negative opinion of it, which surely can't have been your intention.

As far as I recall, this is the first such spam about MGC I've gotten, but the same gardencenterguide (and the UK version, gardencentreguide) has been leaving comments like this for a while now. So, if you think I'm overreacting, keep in mind that from my perspective, this has been going on for months: you're just the first place I could find contact information for.

Fair warning: your response, if any, is extremely likely to wind up posted to my blog.

I'll let you know if they reply.


1 Link removed, because it wasn't even a link to the Merrifield Garden Center; it was a link to a "gardencenterguide" website, which has been spamming me for some time now, along with the UK version ("gardencentreguide"). And fuck those people.
2 Totally not true; I have a completely ridiculous list of things to do today, and will almost certainly not get all of them done. It's been this way for months.

Pretty picture: Robiquetia cerina

The tag said Robiquetia cerinEa; it's actually Robiquetia cerina. Let's see the running total up on the board!

wrong tags: 5
incomplete tags: 1
missing tags: 2

I was initially puzzled as to why someone would bring an orchid whose flowers weren't even really open yet to the orchid show, but all the photos that come up with Google look more or less like this. A few of them have flowers that are slightly open, but not far enough for any real detail to be visible.

And apparently this is interesting? To some people?