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Ask Me Questions
sword
tiger_spot
I feel kind of boring. You wanna ask me some questions so's I have things to talk about?

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Do all the non-trivial zeroes of the Riemann zeta function lie on the critical line?

Sure, why not. It's the hip place to be.

How do you feel about surprise parties? Have you ever had one? Would you WANT one?

Also, what do you know about container gardening? Depending on where I move (soon, I hope!), I will be interested in starting such.

I have never had a surprise party, and I would not want one. I like to be able to anticipate nice things, so keeping it a surprise prevents me from doing that. I may or may not have the social oomph to enjoy a party if I haven't planned for it, so that's a problem too.

Now, I would like a party with some surprise aspects -- for instance, if I knew there was going to be a party at a certain time, but someone else had planned it for me, so the location or theme were a surprise, that could be fun. I like it when other people do the work of arranging social events.

What I know about container gardening is this: Anything you put on a south-facing balcony in this area will dry up and die. There is just no way to get enough water into a container to deal with full sun southern exposure. (Maybe drip irrigation would work. Maybe.) Make sure you've got enough depth for the roots, but most plants need less horizontal space than you'd expect. "Square foot gardening" sounds totally awesome and adapts easily to containers, but I haven't tried it.

Anything you put on a south-facing balcony in this area will dry up and die.

Unless you live in San Francisco, in which case, the south-facing back deck is the best place to grow plants. Between the fog and the shade from nearby buildings, my plants sometimes struggle to get enough sun, but I get tomatoes, herbs, some green leafy veggies. It does dry out quickly, but with big enough pots, it doesn't dry too quickly to handle. I do get enough heat, though, since the walls and asphalt surface of my deck hold some heat.

My advice for urban container gardeners is to get large pots and good soil (and get a worm compost bin if possible to keep making your own nutrient-rich compost; my worm bin is a large plastic storage bin with holes drilled into the sides, nothing fancy, but still going strong after two years of benevolent mostly-neglect). And then plant a variety of things and find out where the plants like to be and how much water seems to be good for them. It's a lot of experimentation, but it's fun.

Er, right, by "area" I meant south end of the peninsula. That is one of those vague words, isn't it?

Worm bins are great, and boy are those little wormlets tough. My problem with worm castings for containers was that I never did figure out how to effectively separate out the worms -- while I'm comfortable tossing a few worms at the dirt around a plant in the ground, I don't want any stowaways in container plants. Do you have any suggestions on easy ways to get the worms and the castings separated?

Nope, not really. I just have worms in my planter boxes, and they seem fine there.

I have found that, when exposed to light, the worms want to hide underground, so sometimes I take a large tray, cover it with newspaper, spread out some worm compost a couple inches thick on the tray, and leave it like that for the afternoon or overnight. (don't put it in the sun or it will get too hot and dry for the worms.) Most of the worms will move towards the bottom, seeking out the darkness and moisture there. So then I skim off the top layer of compost, which is mostly worm-free, and I marvel at the cuteness of the bottom layer, which has hundreds of worms all huddled together in awesome looking squirmy knots.

Nope, not really. I just have worms in my planter boxes, and they seem fine there.

I have found that, when exposed to light, the worms want to hide underground, so sometimes I take a large tray, cover it with newspaper, spread out some worm compost a couple inches thick on the tray, and leave it like that for the afternoon or overnight. (don't put it in the sun or it will get too hot and dry for the worms.) Most of the worms will move towards the bottom, seeking out the darkness and moisture there. So then I skim off the top layer of compost, which is mostly worm-free, and I marvel at the cuteness of the bottom layer, which has hundreds of worms all huddled together in awesome looking squirmy knots.

wheni was little i wanted to be a singer, a poet, a teacher, an actress, and a (train) engineer. i've realized i don'tquite have the talent for some, wouldn't want one, am kinda one, and am one.

what did you want to do/be compared to what/where you are now?

I wanted to be either a park ranger or an astronaut. Teacher floated through now and then in that way that it tends to because so many of the adults one knows as a kid are teachers.

I don't want to be an astronaut anymore, because the whole military/pilot thing is very not-me, but being one of the scientists sending experiments up to figure out closed ecosystems and so forth would be totally awesome.

I also think I would like the part of being a park ranger that involves answering public questions and giving educational presentations and managing trail maintenance and finding lost hikers, but I'm not sure about the law-enforcement aspects.

I drifted into editing and standardized testing completely accidentally. I kept trying to steer back towards science and environmental education, and it kept not working because the jobs I actually got offered were the ones most like what I'd been doing previously, not the ones I most wanted to do. My current company seems like a pretty good place to make (at least the first part of) that shift within, but I haven't seen quite the right thing become available yet.

I have developed firm opinions about what to suggest college students who ask my advice do during school -- and I will pay my kids' living expenses if they summer-intern at something they actually want to do instead of having them find a paying job that they don't necessarily want to get locked into for the next umpty years.

I've never asked: why the handle "Tiger Spot"?

When I was a pre-teen, my friends and I had this alter-ego superhero team in which I was a shapeshifter, and that was my superhero name.

This is a really boring story, because the reason it was my superhero name is because it was already my AOL screen name. This was back in the day when everyone online was told to never give out your real name or where you lived or any personal information at all, which seems kind of laughable these days but was the style at the time. I liked tigers, so when it came time to create my screen name, I typed in "Tiger"... thought that it was probably too short, thought for a minute... typed in "Spot" and that was that. I've kept it since then, in various e-mail addresses and so forth, because consistent findable online identity yay.

(But it's the superhero thing that really got me attached to it.)

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