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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Well this post is the result of a few comments, and then also the fact that I ate a--nevermind.

So yeah, raw food. I haven't really done much with a raw-food diet, but I adore eating raw stuff. Milk for instance. I don't feel like going into a detailed discussion of the raw-milk question. Suffice it to say that I drank raw milk at every opportunity when I was in California. LEGAL there....the government has no right to regulate whether or not people can sell raw milk. Nor does it have any right to regulate what milk producers can say: if it's true, they should be allowed to say it.

This issue is to do with artificial bovine growth hormone. rBGH has been shown to be harmful to cows [causing mastitis and other problems] and humans. Linked with cancer, in fact, because of its mimicking of human growth hormone.  As a result of people wanting milk from cows not treated with rBGH, many producers label their milk as 'rBGH-free'. The government, lobbied by the big-milk industry, wants to outlaw this.


It would 'cast doubt in consumers' minds on the safety of milk NOT labeled'.  Cast doubt.
Would be unfair to producers using rBGH.

The same thing happened with a beef producer who wanted to test all their cows for BSE [mad cow disease]. ALL their cows...and label the meat as tested...and the industry wouldn't let them, because it would cast doubt on the safety of meat NOT labeled. Only a tiny percentage of cattle are tested for BSE.

And then this evening I randomly decided to eat a raw egg yolk. In my defense the egg was JUST in from the henhouse and still a bit warm. It was sitting on the counter waiting to be made into esoteric pasta looked yummy....well I took and cracked it, and picked the yolk out in my hand....and SCHLOOP.  :D  I was kinda nervous bout the taste, I am not keen on underdone eggs....and I sorta cheated, I mostly just gulped it down.   :D  Then proceeded to gross out my friends with the tale...hehe.

I can expound on why the danger of salmonella from my hens' eggs is negligible. Way I hear it, [and I practically have my doctorate in this sort of stuff...] hens that are raised in confinement, as in commercial egg production, are too much protected from bacteria. The salmonella bacterium, according to my Culinary Arts teacher, is very weak: it dies out when it competes with the Mostly Harmless bacteria found in farmyards. This is why it's more dangerous to eat store-bought eggs than home-grown, for the most part.

Oh, and stuff like what I just said may be illegal in a few years, enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Footing the Bill

I am quite batty, I think...I am footing the bill for the registration of our FIRST Lego League robotics team...which is a SIZABLE fee. Let us hope the team pays their dues and the grants materialize. I am also buying a laptop for CAD work [likewise for robotics]. There is a class in Autodesk 3ds Max given by one of the local FRC teams, and 3ds Max requires a Windows operating system  -.-    Spent a few days trawling frantically through and pages of robotics forum discussion on what makes a good CAD computer [good graphics card, mostly]. Then this morning one of my friends did some hunting for me and came up with this rather awesome critter. All the specifications, for $800. 

Hrm, I have also kept busy chasing rabbits with feral roars [as witnessed by a friend on Skype >:D ], cutting and drying small amounts of hay, catching escaped goats, running around the homestead with a knife stashed down my shirt [in pursuit of the rabbits], hunting down a pie-cherry tree, subsequently pitting [by hand] a lot of cherries [solo] with music playing in the background [my FIRST robotics competition playlist :D ]

Thursday, June 24, 2010

back in town

Our vacation to Southern California was very sunburnt, listened to Nightwish, failed epically to do any writing, smelled an insane amount of jasmine flowers, ate avocados, swam way too far out in the ocean, met a very dear fellow blogger  :) and was on the road for 17 hours straight on the way home.

Yes, I kept a detailed account for the first couple of days....reprinted below.

"We left for California, to visit grandparents near LA, Sunday morning at the unheard-of hour of 8:45 AM. Usually we are lucky if we are out of the house by 10....
Started getting ready for the trip Friday, to some extent. Friday was also my last day of class at CHS, owing to the fact that I would be far away this week :D  
Well Thursday night, in addition to preparing for the second trig final exam, I typed up The Quotes. In addition to taking notes in math class each day, I jotted down the frequent amusing quotes by the class, or teacher.  I fully intend to post these soon. Anyways there was a page, front and back, of 8-point font quotes. 
Friday morning I was up early. Printed up The Quotes [all 15 copies thereof]. I also was struck with a sudden enthusiasm to wear Appropriate Attire on my last day of school. This proved to be medieval Scottish hopefully to come. Lots of green plaid, to say the least, hehe. No sooner had I got well in to the school library, and the end-of-class bell rung, than I hears THA PIPES going at it. Bagpipes. There is this one lad at CHS that plays the bagpipes, and is let run around loose  :P   Today, I suppose graduating the next day, he was kitted out in full Highland garb and had a small entourage of drummers. They paced round the halls above the library. It was all quite exciting.   [The rest of that day, we had 10 minute breaks between classes, and as soon as the bell rang UP would start the pipes.] 
My quotes page, a Parting Gift for the class, was met with mass hysteria by the class :)   
The test went pretty well. QUITE well in fact. Right at the end I got hung up on the EXACT SAME SORT of problem that had fouled us up the day before.  Nevertheless, I GOT the problem just as the class ended.....another sprint to victory  ;) 
Then it was out to me dad's school, to help him tidy his classroom before the summer break. We did this rather faster than usual, but still did not get home until late, due to little excursions to shop for food and other things. 
We had by this point laid out a plan of action, to prepare for The Trip. In fact, we'd already established the fact that we would NOT be planting seedlings the morning we left. Plants were going to be safely in the ground LONG in advance. [That has occurred rather infamously before big goes along with the paradigm that encourages waiting until JUST before dark to begin mowing the lawn.]  

Is it even necessary to mention the fact that dad was out at dawn Sunday, putting tomatoes in the garden? 
We made a heroic effort, all right. I believe I may have even done a little work on that front Friday after school. I certainly did not PACK UP on Friday. I saved that til Saturday  :P  We ran around rather frantically, to farmers' market, and more stocking-up in town, and back home to rendezvous with the folks taking care of our critters, and so on. Spent the afternoon washing produce to take with us, and packing, and yelling out the window, and so on. And planting the morning I had the revolutionary idea of using the carrot-bed for tomatoes. This revolutionary idea was cemented by first attempting to dig holes in the cement-like garden clay, and by noticing that the lovely raised-bed full of Sandy Loam was full of carrots that had monumentally failed to sprout.  Dad hailed this idea with a look of awe [I think] and we went at it. First of course we had to go at the WEEDS and encountered rather a lot of slugs. But anyways we got a lot of them planted...not ALL though.
Sunday I got up at 6:15....was awakened at 4:45 by birds making a racket in the yard. They do that....tweeting, chirping, and so on. The swallows are particularly bad. Well dad went out and started feverishly planting the rest of the seedlings. By a heroic effort [aided by me working backstage on food-packing], he got them all in the ground....there must have been 50 or so tomatoes and assorted seedlings. 
Then we dealt in hoses and chicken-waterers and signs for the gal taking care of Tha Critters. 
 We were going to try to leave at 8 AM. At 8 AM, therefore, we were racing from one end of the house to the other, and back out to the car, all with the Tascam audio recorder sitting on the kitchen table, recording every NUANCE. Such as this gem:  
Dad [seriously]: This could set us back. Where are the chia seeds? I am going to eat only chia seeds on this trip: I am going to be like the Aztecs.  
We eventually got on the road, minus the chia seeds. It is highly ironic that Oregon simply POURS rain for TWO MONTHS SOLID, when the rain is supposed to stop around April [or at least let up], and then, two days before we leave for California, clears up to beautiful sunshine. 
It is a good two-day drive to get from our place to my grandparents', south of Los Angeles. The first day was rather brutal....about half an hour down the road Dad commented that he was getting also turned out, half-hour down the road, that we [or rather I....] had neglected to pack enough towels. especially the big fluffy ones that are nice to sit on. We went through the Willamette Valley [lots of trees], Southern Oregon [different kind of trees], and  Northern California [no trees]. Well that is an overstatement, there ARE trees. In spots. Palm trees, too! And oleander, lots and lots of oleander. Ordinarily we make camp about Williams [Sacramento-area] but we got such an early start that we made it all the way through to Monterey.
 I like California farm country, if there's little farm houses mixed in with the acres of crops. A California farm-house follows a certain and invariable patter. Smallish, usually white wood house [or mobile home], with willows around it for shade. A small plot of vegetables. Variations include farm animals, wild sunflowers, oleander hedges, wash hanging on the line, and rosebushes. All in all a very pastoral, Steinbeck-ish image, and one that I would far rather see than unbroken miles of crops. 
Near Sacramento I waxed nostalgic: 'Ahh, dear old Davis!'...Davis, where, I may say, I have only been once in my life. Several years ago we traveled with the robotics team to the Sacramento regional, which was held at a stadium in Davis. That was what we might term the beginning of the robotics saga, so I naturally have fond memories, hehe.    
The Northern Cali rice fields always make interesting window-watching. At this season the rice is just poking above water....acres of water with green fuzz on top. 
It was nice and warm all through the middle part of Cali, much nicer than cold Oregon...even though it was about 95-100 the whole way. When we started through the mountains to the coast, the fog came up as promised. By night it was chilly and damp.   
We checked into our favorite hotel in Monterey, the Padre Oaks, after a 12-hour day of driving. I was all ready for bed when the parents decided to go out for a walk. I had just finished getting into my very disreputable nightshirt and declined to get back into more suitable togs. A solution presented itself in the form of my wrinkled and sketchy trenchcoat, which I proceeded to throw on. "

Anyways,  the rest of the trip was very satisfactory. There was some discomfort in the way of sleeping, including a terrifying moment in SoCal when I, at 4 AM, heard a distressing loud crash sort of noise outside....I immediately thought it was a bomb, and thereupon resolved never to live in a city.....then there was the small earthquake that happened a few minutes after we got ensconced in my grandparents' house.....but yes, all in all it was fabulous :) And awesome to finally meet a fellow blogger that I've gotten really close to in the last few months especially.  
You-all folks on the East Coast, we must have a REUNION at some point! :) 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Enthusiasm is just another word for 'working your tail off'

Guess I made up for those three posts in one day by not posting all week!  School is wrapping up, for which YAY. But I'm going to miss my math class....

Our plans to start a FIRST Lego League [FLL] team at our school are progressing epically. All week I've been sending emails and plotting and talking with faculty and running around school with a clipboard.
Sarah [another robotics geek] and myself have been meeting at school, hashing through fundraising and other plans. It goeth well.

Tuesday we had a particularly productive day. We talked to several principals [high school and elementary] and obtained permission to officially have homeschoolers on the robotics teams...all the teams...and we now have a Robotics Department at Santiam [school], pretty much. We'll be starting a Jr.FLL team, and at least one FLL team. This means students will have a robotics program available to them from 1st grade all the way through high school.

We were also the happy recipients of a generous donation by one of the elementary teachers, of a sizeable quantity of legos, and several RCX lego kits. Nowadays FLL uses NXT systems, but these will be useful for us mentor-types to learn on....

At one point we [we being my dad the robotics and art teacher, Sarah, and myself] were striding determinedly through the school, three abreast. In the middle, me, armed with clipboard and feeling like we were out to save the world. In a way, we are.

FIRST is not about robots. It is about inspiration. If our young people want to be engineers, if they have a burning desire to succeed at something other than sports [to take a common example], we will have succeeded.
When I was at Championships in Atlanta, I had the feeling a few times that if everyone in the Georgia Dome felt the way I did, we would change the world. Thing is, feeling a certain way doesn't do much. Even enthusiasm [much as I hate to admit it] can't do everything. Maybe the difference is, for me enthusiasm is a code word for dedication, hard work, obsessive research, and a certain willingness to scream your lungs out at Regionals.

I know how FIRST has influenced me, I was thinking about this in assembly at school yesterday. In how far I will go to support people, my team or whatever. This was my third year at regionals and things are so different than the first year.  Now, I cheer at every full stop. The reason I had a sore throat for days afterwards was because whenever our team was on the field, I was yelling. At our end-of-season team party we watched a video that one of our mentors took at regionals: at one point the audio is completely distorted, the volume levels are maxed out because I was shouting a few seats over. I don't even scream like a girl, it's a YELL.  When the first round of awards was being given out on Friday evening, I wound up standing and clapping and cheering for each team that received an award. Our team was sitting at the top of the stadium, no-one stands up at the top of the stadium. I did....this coerced part of my team to do the same.  I meant it: I was happy for those teams.

When our team was called down for the Xerox Creativity Award....that was one of the best moments in my life. Running down to the floor of the stadium, past dozens of teams....down at the bottom, where the enthused teams stand, people had their hands out giving us high fives. You have to experience it, to know what I'm talking about. That was success.  Of course writing an essay at midnight was also success, but a different kind.

This sounds self-centered, but the best way I can describe FIRST is to tell what it's done to me.  Now I care about what other people have carries over into other things. I start a standing ovation for my friends' play, I cheer at ballet concerts [ballet concerts are very QUIET usually], I started the audience clapping in rhythm during the can-can piece [which the dancers like], I cheer at tiny robotics scrimmages.  FIRST hasn't been responsible for all this: it's just made me think more about how much effort people put into things, and want to recognize that effort.

I took the SAT again last Saturday.  I did a shameless promotion of FIRST in the essay.

Trigonometry final exam today: first part of two-part final, this with a partner. Tomorrow it's by ourselves, no calculator. That went very well. In fact things went along swimmingly until we got to the last problem, which involved working through two nasty trigonometric equations to prove that they are equal. Always requires oodles of work and sometimes one will pop up and kick your tail.

This one kicked our collective tails. My partner and I spent a good 45 minutes, and 3 pages of scratch paper, working out that one problem. We went down a lot of rabbit trails: as partner complained to the teacher, we had 45 minutes in which to go down as many rabbit trails.

The class period ended. Break passed, still we scribbled frantically. The next class period started, the teacher approached us to say 'The time has come...' but just a moment before that I had gotten off down the right path at LAST and scrabbled down the last box round the answer just at that moment.   ADRENALINE. High-five with my partner, who mentioned the fact that I dominate at math, and out the door, shaking from a combination of caffeine and adrenaline. Another WIN moment :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

midnight madness

Yes I am posting three times in one day. I promise, they're all worth reading.

I just finished my math [at 11:45 PM, very late for me]. I've got a trig quiz tomorrow...various bits of homework and extra credit stuff finished up.  I got home from the book sale [in the started to mist gently..@ Tragedy, what have you drizzled gently all right.
ANYWAYS, I got home and dealt in a couple of emails. Then had to deal with the grant-writing situation. I'm applying for a grant for our robotics team from these folks and the dratted thing is due tomorrow. I got most of it done but we need a 'collaborating partner'. I hunted up three different local organizations....finally had success on the LAST one, at the eleventh hour. Hallelujah!  
All evening I was making phone calls and writing emails and hunting down contacts. Also chatting, which was VERY distracting. When a CERTAIN SOMEONE keeps mentioning the tick they found on their knee, and subsequently LOST somewhere in the room ['he is LURKING!'] it is hard to focus on grant-applications.

But finally success!!  At 10:30 I had an enthused conversation with the head of something-or-other outreach at OSU's program: we worked out a DEAL [she at first thought I was one of the parents, not a student. WINNAGE.]   There are BIG PLANS afoot. This could be a huge opportunity for our team to start a FIRST LEGO-league team, which I had really wanted to do but doubted I had the leadership to do.  EXCITING TIMES. I selected our collaborating program, edited a few more things, and submitted the grant app  :D  :D   It being due TOMORROW.   Classic stuff.

a non-tornado, denim skirts, and trigonometry

Am currently encamped at a homeschoolers’ hold-out in Oregon: i.e., homeschool book sale in the state capitol of Salem. 
Why do all homeschoolers dress alike? Heh...we conform just as much as public schoolers are supposed to. Just to different standards.....
 There’s always a few mothers in denim skirts...I can see a girl now who could have been me a few years ago, in denim tiered skirt [pale blue, slightly grubby] and oversized t-shirt with a horse graphic...did I mention that a majority of homeschooled girls are horse-crazy? I used to be. And long braid down the back. 

This is horrible, I sound exactly like anybody making a stereotypical statement about homeschoolers, smug in my own public-schooled psyche. 

Then there are the other homeschoolers, the ones that dress ‘hip’ in skinny jeans or black or whatever. Ergh, I used to despise them too, and now I’ve become them. 

Another van just pulled up opposite me...I am sitting in the car [mini-van], because I already browsed the books and there isn’t really anything. Workers at the sale got early access...hehe, I WORKED....brought our own books in and placed them round at the appropriate sale tables, trying to get out of much work because my wrist is almighty screwed up from The Dalles. last week’s robotics event in The Dalles, we were setting up the field and all. There was a plethora of strong burly lads, I could very well have slacked off and said ‘Phsh, let them handle the heavy stuff’. I even had a very valid excuse: I was filming the whole thing. But NO, I must needs get in there and show off the fact that even though I probably can only lift about a third of what any lad can, I nevertheless will work just as hard as them. This resulted in my getting aforementioned wicked cuts on wrists, and in my right wrist becoming rather badly screwed up. I don’t think its sprained, it just hurts a lot when I move it from side to side.  That happens a lot in my daily life. 

Or it MAY have been the wrench-turning, which I also did a lot of [on my side on the gym floor, when our robot broke]. I can usually figure out a way to injure myself pretty badly using nothing but an allen-wrench and some lock-tite [glue that is put in screws before the final installation]. 

I have a feeling that I am going to seriously injure myself some day, merely for the admirable purpose of showing off. The ironic part is that it will almost certainly be when there is no-one else around, and I am just showing myself that ‘Oh yes I can! Watch me heft this plywood!’ and then....*crunch* *agony* *Stoicism* 

Well yes. The wrist situation. It’s happened before [namely the first week of build season, when we cannibalized last year’s robot. I was eager to show my dedication and really went at those screws. They’d been lock-tited of course...] but never for this long, it’s going on two’d be amazed how much a right-handed person puts sideways pressure on her right wrist. Yesterday I tried to become ambidextrous in math class. The writing-with-left-hand part didn’t go so well. 

Oh! Today in math class I was told I resemble a rabbit. This sounds awful, but it really isn’t. It’s the wide-eyed bounding enthusiasm I usually have in math class. A sandy-haired rabbit.    You ever read Stargirl? Well one time I got called Stargirl, too. By my French teacher...I was walking past, in bright red robotics team shirt, with an immense bag over my shoulder, hair in two long braids, and trademaked jaunty walk....I was hailed with ‘Bonjour, Stargirl!’.  It seriously made my day. 

Also, trigonometry is officially awesome. Law of Cosines allows you to find the measures of all the angles and sides in a triangle, given only two sides and an angle....

Hmm. Seems to me I was talking about this-here book sale. And the mini-vans pouring into the parking lot. We had a tough time getting here, ran into a load of traffic on I-5 coming up but we wound up ahead of schedule, even. 

Last year we attended this same book sale. It is an episode that has gone down in our family folklore so to speak. The weather had been threatening for days...the day before it had been unusually warm, and a thunderstorm came up in the evening and drenched the place. By morning it had blown over but the atmosphere was still oppressive. We drove to Salem [about an hour] and attended the book sale. By 4 that afternoon we were packing up our unsold books when it got dark very fast. The sale is held in a church gym; I made a trip to the car with a load of books and I have never seen a cloud make the sky dark that fast. I think I remember a sickly sort of look to the light.  When it started hailing, very suddenly and very hard, most of the kids helping pack up raced to the gym a few minutes we went back to the tables, sorting through the unsold books. 
   Then came a moment of terror. A man, one of the dads I suppose, announced [over the pounding rain and hail] that there was a tornado coming down the street and we all needed to evacuate the building [which had a metal roof]. I have been terrified of tornadoes for as long as I can remember. As I like to state, there is a reason I do not live in the Midwest. Well we evacuated that building all right, across the street to the main church building. The street was covered with flowing water, still bucketing down rain. There was no sign of the tornado, I’m not sure if it ever actually touched down in Salem. We huddled inside away from the windows, very damp but not too cold because it was still far warmer than it ought to be in Oregon in June...

We were worried the power might go out [we later learned it did, in my hometown]...I had dreadful visions of being stranded in Salem with the grid was not a happy thought. But soon enough the storm passed and we were let back into the gym. It was still raining a bit. 

We got home and found out next day that in fact a tornado had touched down near my hometown. In a field a few miles from our house they found a spiral pattern in the grass...although as one of my friends said, if they have to ascertain it was actually a tornado from prints in the grass, it does not really count.   It is still a local legend however...or at least I like to think so, I doubt anyone in my town remembers weather events as well as I do. 

Garden goings-on

Monday I undertook to ‘do’ the garden. Dad rototilled it Sunday, and the weather obliged by promptly dousing the whole thing with rain most of the night. This, I may say, is the exact same thing that happened last year, except that year we were to blame because we really did till too early. No-one can say that June is early. 

Monday was absolutely muggy. I adore Oregon when it is muggy, because the heat and humidity never begin to reach the horrific levels attained by the East and South. 
The rain steamed up from the grass, the poplar sprouts smelled up the air with balsam, and so on and so forth. 
Chickens ran around [jungle fowl]. Flowers dripped on unsuspecting persons. 

In the late morning I got out into the garden to inspect damages, with a few flats of seedlings in tow. The night’s rain had caked over the surface of the newly tilled soil....I waded in. When my shoes gummed down and stuck fast, I abandoned footwear altogether. The soil was WARM...unheard of.  

We have a rare quality of clay on our property. You can take fingerprints in it. This is good for the amateur forensics expert, but rather an unwelcome discovery for the root of a hapless vegetable. 
It is also positively SLIMY when very wet. 

My dad was lured over...he can never resist looking at the garden. He started chucking peat moss at me [despite not remembering what it is called: ‘Do you want some, ah, spaghnum moss in that muddy spot?’]. Early on I realized I would need to make little footpaths through the mud. These became treacherously slippery until blanketed with peat moss. Peat moss is a boon to mankind! 

Well I took a heavy rake [did not take it, first sent long-suffering father off to get the feet being entrenched in clay] and started going over the clay. The bits that had been, ex post facto for the most part, covered with a tarp were reasonably dry. 
Dad: You don’t want to overwork it! Just remove the bits that would hinder a little plant from developing...
Me: *Snort of laughter* EVERYTHING would hinder a plant from developing....

We dug holes for the tomatoes and made jokes about ‘you’re actually supposed to strip all the leaves off and just bury the little central stem’. 

Dad made a comment about ‘it looks like a river of mud doesn’t it? Just kind of snaking through the one of those mud-slides in [insert name of third-world country which I have forgotten]’. 
‘It’s horrible, absolutely horrible!’ I declaim in a tragic voice, then bust up laughing. 

The ground steamed and we steamed and the grass steamed and we discussed the matter of corn-planting in earnest tones. The question of when to plan the corn was a serious one, and fraught with consequences. At length dad goes inside to fetch the corn [which I had put in little bowls near the kitchen sink, to sprout...just that morning]. 

He doesn’t get very far. Still enmired in the mud, and worrying over the corn, I hear a shout from across the hen-yard: ‘There’s a wet chick here!’ 

Let me back off and explain that our hens have been ferociously broody in the last few weeks. One hatched a batch....before I could intervene, another hen secreted a few eggs and BAND, more biddies. There were two broody hens on that last batch of eggs, plus SPARE BROODIES.  There was yet another chicken sitting on about 6 eggs, I knew they were going to hatch soon but they WOULD choose that day to start in....

Hatching biddies require a certain amount of intervention on my part, and more so in this case because the idiotic hen had pushed the biddy out of her had just hatched...hence my dad’s cry of ‘Wet chick!’. 

I was really not equipped to deal with a hatch of chicks by this time. Nevertheless I hauled myself out of the mud and ran, panting with laughter, to the hen house. We discussed frantic plans for a heat lamp and cardboard box...after being poked inquisitively, the hen ran off the nest and we did not consider it a loss. Occasionally hens are horrified that these little fuzzy things are stealing their eggs. 

Dad rummaged up a heat lamp from some dark recess of the garage and he’d just gotten the chick cosy when up comes Bethie, to state that the hen situation is +1.  One of the surplus broodies I mentioned was on the scene and we foisted the chick under her. 
I think the chicks wound up back under the original bird...later that day. 

Spent, we turned out attention back to the neglected corn. In fact I got all the corn into the ground, and a lot of the tomatoes, and all the cucumbers by nightfall. 

Tuesday the saga continued. Monday night I had refused to cover the garden [with dad’s help] with was late, dark and I had just showered off the mud. Well Tuesday I got home from school and it started to rain. I heroically went out to drag the tarp forth from its hidey-hole on the back lawn. That tarp was HEAVY. It was full of rain and muddy, and sluggy besides [slugs reach terrifying sizes in Oregon]. I trotted it forth to the garden and covered it Atlas-like wait, that was Hercules. A Herculean task.