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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 2/17/18 edition

February 17, 2018

Can we all agree, Donald Trump is the least empathetic president we have ever had, which is too bad since the families in Parkland, FL need his comfort?

Can we all agree, there is nothing Mr. Trump can do to comfort the grieving parents in Parkland,  unless he addresses gun ownership and the NRA?

Can we all agree, there may be some reason to hope politicians will at least listen to young people who are the future voters and simply  want to know why they continue to be slaughtered at school?

Students in Florida make their feelings known. Will the politicians listen?

Students in Florida make their feelings known. Will the politicians listen?

Can we all agree, the FBI made a serious error by not paying attention to warnings about Nikolas Cruz, but calls for the resignation of the FBI director are just political posturing?

Can we all agree, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments  have put an end to Mr. Trump’s claim that there was no Russian interference in the 2016 election? It also adds credibility to intelligence officials who know they will try again in 2018.

Can we all agree, the latest salacious stories about Mr. Trump’s multiple affaires probably will not change any opinions about him unless some criminal charges result?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump has no interest in seriously reforming the nation’s immigration system or protecting ‘Dreamers?’

Can we all agree, changes to the White House security process are aimed squarely at the Prsident’s son-in-law Jared Kushner?

Can we all agree, opponents of VA Secretary David Shulkin, probably will not be appeased by the resignation of his chief of staff?

Can we all agree, the Trump cabinet is the most ethically challenged group of individuals ever to serve in government?

Can we all agree, the new report detailing the causes of our air pollution may be a revelation to some, but experts have been warning about the dangers of everyday chemicals for years?

Can we all agree, new tariffs on steel imports will not revive the US steel industry?

Can we all agree, Mitt Romney may win the Utah senate seat, but it will do little to prevent the continued destruction wrought by Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, Rience Priebus’s revelations about what goes on in the Trump White House simply confirm what we all knew?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s condemnation of domestic violence rings very hollow given his past actions?

Can we all agree, many Democrats are hoping Jacob Zuma’s resignation in South Africa is repeated here?

Can we all agree, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren did her best to blunt the criticism she knows is coming from Mr. Trump – as soon as he figures out what she was talking about?

Can we all agree, the Germans may have hit on a great idea by  considering free public transportation?

Can we all agree, it’s pretty clear the drive to include a citizenship question on the census is just another Republican effort to prevent immigrants from being counted?

Can we all agree, in any other administration, that fact that US backed forces killed Russian mercenaries, would be a major international story?

Can we all agree, we all want to watch the Winter Olympics, but there are just too many events that do not interest Americans – especially if we are not favored to win?

At least one TV news show had a little problem with the location of the Winter Olympics.

At least one TV news show had a little problem with the location of the Winter Olympics.

Can we all agree, neither  cost estimates of $30 million nor opposition from abroad,  will do much to dissuade Mr. Trump from staging his military parade?

Can we all agree, anyone who has flown to Hawaii, understands the helpless feeling of the passengers on a United Airlines Flight when an airplane engine came apart over the Pacific Ocean?

Can we all agree, banning tackle football before high school will be a good first step, but the reality is that head trauma in high school and college is enough to do permanent damage?

Can we all agree, no one should plan dinner at Applebees?

Can we all agree, Trump’s food stamp program, providing pre-packaged food to food stamp recipients,  would be funny if he were not serious?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s infrastructure plan is just another bad idea that has mo chance of becoming law?

Can we all agree, Mr. Trump’s budget plan is not worth the paper it was printed on?

Can we all agree, if the Obama portraits at the Smithsonian were designed to stir debate they have succeeded?

Can we all agree, paid sick leave may do a better job of preventing the spread of the flu than the vaccine which is only 36% effective?

and finally:

When you look at those roses your bought on Valentine’s Day  think about where they came from?

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A guidebook for growing roses

October 10, 2015

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 8:09 am


Juliet:  “…What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, By another name would smell as sweet; Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes…”


As a gardener with over 100 roses to tend, Juliet’s often misquoted lines reverberate every time I walk into  my back yard. She was right, every rose would still bloom, and spread its fragrance if they had a different name, but somehow the individual names are tied to their identity.

Psychologists claim that human names actually partially determine our profession. I wonder if the same is true for a rose.

Would it make a difference if John F. Kennedy were bright red, rather than snowy white? Was the hybridizer trying to equate virtue with the name of a fallen president.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Mr. Lincoln, a tall statuesque red rose is often cited as the standard for the color, but Ingrid Bergman, or even Frankly Scarlet might be preferable to some.

I am often asked which rose is my favorite. I can honestly say they all are. After years of cultivating, weeding, trimming and feeding, I know that each rose has its day. There is a moment, sometimes when the rose just just emerging from its bud form, before it has fully opened up, when it typifies the most perfect example of it’s form.

At that instant, which may only last a day, or a morning, it is my favorite.

I’ll admit that, in the Spring a few months after everything was trimmed back and they are all blooming simultaneously there are often a few favorites every day.

I really can’t decide. Some are favorites because they are just dependable and easy to maintain. Fame, another red entry as well as Top Notch and About Face, both along the bright orange spectrum all fall in that category, but it doesn’t make them any less attractive. Like puppies at a dog show, they are still the perfect embodiment of their form.

Mooonstone, which suffers from rust almost every year, still produces beautiful pink-edged blooms. And the bees certainly don’t care about the damaged foliage as they crawl around the petals looking of pollen.

Julia Child, which is among the most prolific, explodes into braces of yellow which quickly fade. But in that moment when one stem can contain a sun colored beauty, along with another bud waiting its turn and a third still hidden from view, it too is my favorite.

I could go on but as the fall gives way to winter, I thought it might be a good time to post my attempt at a rose growing guidebook.

Roses always seem to intimidate new gardeners, but maybe my experience can help. Remember, to paraphrase a saying from the world of orchids, a gardening expert, is just someone who has killed a lot of plants.You are welcome to download the PDFs.

If you already grow roses, or are just thinking about planting one or two, download both sections, and let me know what you think.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Rose Book3_P-1-4

Rose Book3- P5-9


As always comments are welcome. Happy gardening.


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The 2015 Rose Show

March 30, 2015

Filed under: Gardening — Tags: — admin @ 6:37 pm

I never get bored with roses.

I hope this little show explains why.

These are the first of the 2015 season in my back yard.

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This Year’s Rose Winner

March 13, 2015

Filed under: Gardening,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:19 pm

If you follow me on Twitter (@eariess) or Instagram (eariess) you know that I’ve welcomed the first rose of the season to my garden.

This year’s winner is “Day Breaker,’ a colorful tea rose which, I

Day Breaker, 2015's first rose

Day Breaker, 2015’s first rose

suppose, was named after the red sky which warned sailors of impending storms (Red at night sailor’s delight, red in the morning sailors take warning).

Or it might be named after the bloodshot eyes left over from last night’s party. In any case case, Day Breaker is a colorful, medium sized plant, which is disease resistant and sports bright green leaves to set off the red-orange tints of the flower.

For most of you, this is already too much information, but for any garden followers, I thought you should know what you’re getting, if you run down to your local nursery to buy one.

This is the first time Day Breaker has been my earliest rose. You would think that given genetics, that the same rose would be first each year. But, I find the coveted crown seems to rotate around my garden, based on factors that I’m just beginning to understand.

Like most rosarians, I trim back my roses each January. How severely I trim them plays a role, as does the amount of water, fertilizer, and sun. Since I try to treat every rose equally, I’m pretty convinced the trimming techniques must be the deciding factor, although I think I ply my shears with equanimity.

Last year the first rose to bloom was Gertrude Jekyll, a pink/lavender specimen named for a rather famous, horticulturalist and designer from England. In other years, Living Easy has been first, but the truth is, I don’t know what factors lead a specific rose to out-bloom any of the 100 plantsI have.

I just know that my wife and I delight in the first rose, and can’t wait for the show that will surely follow.

As they show off I’ll show you a few.

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Today’s Rose – plus

October 16, 2010

Filed under: Gardening,Photos — Tags: — admin @ 12:54 pm

Weather has been warm in Northern CA and my roses have been enjoying a late flourish. As the weather cools and New Englanders can look at fall foliage we get to enjoy color in our own way.

Today’s rose:  and  two bonus orchids

Sexy Rexy

An orchid pas de deux

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