The Other Kitties

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My sister and her family arrive today for a weekend visit. So a housecleaning was in order. This being summer, the cats are, of course, shedding. With a few recent 100F-plus days, I think the process has sped up. A lot. The amount of cat hair I removed from the house would easily qualify as a third cat. The sheer amount was really something. Both impressive, depressing and icky. Bye bye third kitty.

When Multiculturalism Goes Wrong

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So I stopped by Wells Fargo today to ask them to remove me from all their mailing lists (I still get “As a selected account holder..” mail, even though I closed all my accounts there more than a month ago). While waiting to be helped and perusing the product brochures, I was shocked by something I saw.

Wells Fargo probably decided to try to accentuate a multicultural corporate image. Nothing wrong with that on face value, but be careful, people.

On a brochure for their “Prime Rewards Program” is a cover photo of three seated Buddha statues. Doesn’t strike you as a big deal? How would you feel about a picture of a crucified Christ being used to sell credit card bonus programs? As an active Theravada Buddhist, my reaction was much the same a Christian’s might be to seeing Jesus used to hawk goods.

Goodness, people. How did this ever get past review, never mind into the bank branches? Simply appalling.

Especially so as the product is distinctly contrary to Buddhist ideals. “Have more stuff! Get more things! Become attached to self and property!” Great.

Go Go Gadget Ginkgo

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The Japanese maple that was pollarded to the point of being unrecoverable has finally been terminated, and its successor is taking root in a pot for spring planting.

Last fall Kristine asked a guy that does landscaping at VGTI (where she works) to come by and trim back some shrubs near our windows and a Japanese maple that was beautiful, but had a few branches that overhung the driveway that needed tending. The deal was he would be here at 2pm, and she’d show him around.

She ran some errands, got home just before two to find the Japanese maple gone. No exaggeration. It now stood about six feet from the ground and had no leaf-bearing branches left. Just trunks. Pollarded to death. Argh.

So this week, hearing tree work in the neighborhood, I got the remaining trunk brought down. Saved enough for a Yule log, and the tripartite lower stump for a table base. They’re curing on the patio. Enough of the maple.

The replacement is here; a lovely Ginkgo biloba “Saratoga” clone. It’s about a meter high, and just today I got it into a very large container to encourage rootball development and growth. It is, of course, male, as the female ginkgo produces a smelly, mushy fruit. I love ginkgos, and am thrilled to have a chance to start one off. The Saratoga variant apparently is not as tall as the standard ginkgo, which is perfect for this spot next to the driveway.

We’re working on adding stump-removing chemicals to the exposed stump of the maple. In a few months it should be ready to be covered for the winter, saturated, and the ginkgo set about four feet from the old site come spring. At which point an English walnut I have will go into that big container as an ornamental.

I’m Tom Bombadil.