Episode-2364- Listener Feedback for 1-22-19 — 12 Comments

  1. Regarding hydroponic fertilizers (and yes they do work great as general purpose liquid fertilizers), check out The Urban Farm products at…

    I’ve been using their Texas Tomato Food (TTF) for 4 years now, and the results have been outstanding. Here’s a 5 year long tomato growing thread at Tomatoville, plenty of people are using TTF all over the country…

    I know the stuff seems expensive at $40/gal (Hey Jack, a TSP discount would be awesome!) but it is concentrated and dilutes to 256 gallons of actual fertilizer. Like some others in that 5yr forum thread, I’ve tried alternatives over the years and found “cheaper” or piecemealed options end up costing about the same with less impressive results. Buying a 4pk gets you a bit of a discount, and you can mix and match even though the web site doesn’t allow it, call them for details. Ed, the owner, has always been friendly and helpful.

    Almost forgot to give you FAIR WARNING….

    If you use TTF, especially with tomatoes in a true hydroponic system (I use an ebb and flow system myself) prepare for 2-3x normal plant sizes, even if you prune heavily.  I have grown tomatoes in the same spot for 25 years with a good support trellis that was more than adequate to support my plants.  The first year I used a hydro system I had to emergency retrofit additional support and eventually a high arching arbour tunnel to support the plants and create a path for walkling/access.

    Most importantly the tomatoes are exceptionally great tasting!  Better than all my previous years grown in the ground or containers.

  2. I tried a longer post here with links but it keeps disappearing so trying a shorter version, no links…

    Regarding hydroponic/liquid fertilizers:

    Search for Texas Tomato Food (TTF) from theurbanfarm dot com.  If you want to read a 5 year long thread on its use take a look at the tomatoeville forums.

    Yes it is a little pricy but worth it IMO, due to better fruit set, larger yields, longer production season, stronger plants with fewer pests/disease issues.  And the tomatoes taste awesome!  I’m a 4, going on 5, year happy customer of TTF and a few other products in an ebb-n-flow hydro system, containers, and in the ground.

    Jack, a TSP discount on The Urban Farm fertilizers would be fantastic if you could pull it of, especially in time for the 2019 season!  🙂

    • Just approved your longer post, with links. If a post contains more than two links it doesn’t disappear or anything but it is moderated.

  3. Colleges in the USA are first going to go the way they went in the UK; mass consolidation. I defended my urban planning thesis last Friday and walked the campus since 10 years ago and they’ve remodeled most of the student spaces to look like penthouse suites. It’s ridiculous. Just like crappy corporations that bought back their stock with tax cuts for temporary gains at a display of health; universities have used that 600% tuition hike over the past generation to fluff up their reputations, but as Jack said, it’s all appearance. Rather than scale back and improve their programs’ practical returns for the individual and financial health and staying power, they did superficial upgrades. It’ll come to some sort of head.

    Pharmaceutical companies are moving into marijuana; lobbying to keep it illegal while they do R&D on how to dominate the market for when the lobbying ultimately fails. Always count on certain industries and certain companies to screw the masses to corner markets!

  4. Count me in as one who would like a whole episode on that terrific greenhouse heat idea and ones like it!

    I’m glad Jack mentioned choosing native plants. Not only are they apt to be well adapted, they also support native pollinators which benefits your whole garden, orchard, etc. Also, some of the plants that are banned or listed as invasive propagate way too readily by seed dispersal or transmit plant diseases. Going ahead without researching might mean being the wrong kind of jerk to one’s neighbors or successors. Getting out the privet thickets in my woods that came from hedges of seventy years ago is an ongoing job.

    Colleges: Denise summed it up. It has been called an “arms race” of amenities. The day I listened to this segment I saw a notice from the CFO of the college where I used to teach: austerity procedures, every purchase to be approved by Division chair and then him. The same week, the new and almost totally unnecessary upgrades to the student center – along with a campus pizza parlor – opened. Gosh, could there be a connection, ya think?

  5. Wanted to mention also that I saw the video of the young man and the old drummer, and did a bit of research too. Two groups had permits that day for demonstrations: Right to Life and Indigenous Rights. So both had reason to be there. What I saw did not show either one interfering with the other- although the old man might have felt the young one was standing uncomfortably or disrespectfully close.

  6. “Although the old man might have felt the young one was standing uncomfortably or disrespectfully close.”

    No that old man is a lying prick.  The kids were done with their march.  They were waiting for a bus to pick them up.  A bunch of assholes started harassing them.  The old man said he went over to prevent escalation and then gets in this kid’s face.  He is a lying prick, a common agitator at things like this.

    He is also guilty of stolen valor claiming to be a Vietnam combat vet who was called a baby killer when he came home.  He was never in Vietnam, never left the US during service.  He was in the Marines for 4 years, went AWOL 3 times and was discharged as an E1.

    He is a total piece of shit, being a “Native America” or an old man doesn’t absolve one from being liar, a man that taunts children and a sorry human being.

  7. Fake news: when a major news channel posts one day about the horrible kid disrespecting the native American and day or two later it posts “another view”  not we were wrong

    Colleges and online learning: for many people online classes do not work as well, whether it is lack of self-discipline or the need to interact with others.  Doesn’t mean books and material can not be online and available to students for free.  Doesn’t mean much of your work can’t be done online. Makes grading easier (but at times more expensive for the student if you have to pay $100+ to have access to key codes and unlike books you can’t resell it to another student afterwards).

    My youngest will have her computer engineering degree in July and she can do either hardware or software or a combination of both.   She went to a STEM job fair in September for “practice” along with a dozen resumes she made the day before, (last minute decision to go, she thought you get your degree then look for a job or at least wait until her final semester- seems places look for their top talent in September with offers coming in and accepted by end of Nov. ) She did a great job on her resume, included pictures of herself and various projects, etc.  Talked to a several companies, picked up a bunch of swag, passed out most of the resumes.  Had some interviews, more interviews afterwards, forms and stuff to fill out, eventually more than 1 job offer with great staring salaries.

    We learned there is a shortage people to take software jobs, they pay better than hardware. Software positions were like we don’t care what specific things you know how to program, just that you can and we will teach you to do what we need. Hardware jobs had all kinds of deep technical questions, paid less.  There is especially a shortage of women in both fields.

    Some who are very organized and self-motivated can go online and learn free stuff, build a programming portfolio on GitHub, network and find a job, but that is hard for many and without solid deadlines they let life get in the way.  Or take an online course.  For those who want to physically interact with others, more structure, a programming boot camp is another option to look at. They also have labs with stuff you may not have at home. For $10-20K and a few months (some include housing) you may get a job similar to someone with the 4 year degree. Shop around.

    • My view is that if you can’t do a significant amount of your work in a self led manner, you don’t belong in college in the first place.   This is my main point anyway, so many of these college grads are fundamentally no smarter when they come out than when they went in.  Many of them “earn grades” by simply agreeing with teachers.

      My nephew for instance took a class that was supposed to be about the constitution.  From the drafting of it until modern times.  The amendments, why they were done at the time they were done, etc.

      That was the syllabus, he told me 85% of this class was about why Donald Trump sucks.  That pretty much if you agreed with it, dog piled on in discussions, etc. you got an A in this class.

      Indoctrination aside, this is not an education and this is not a student doing better because they are in classroom.

      I am back to the concept that perhaps 30% of people should even be in a college of any type.  Degrees are becoming worth less and less over time because pretty much everyone has one.  Now as you pointed out, SKILLS remain valuable because only so many can or will develop them.

      I think success rates of students doing online work vs. class room work has very little to do with discipline and more to do with in many schools now a student has to really really really try to fail a class to do so.  When people are paying 40K a year to a school they are essentially buying  a degree.

      Conversely a computer is not going to change a course about the constitution to why the pink pussy hat protestors are right.  It will not pity you when you didn’t do the assignment right.  It won’t think you are hot and appreciate your low cut blouse and the fact that you stay just a little after class and ask cute sounding questions.  It will give you the work, judge the results and coldly assign a grade.   The lower success rate is far more because the results are objective vs. subjective.

      I know these kids largely don’t learn shit in school because for 15 years of my life I employed them.  I employed a guy with a marketing degree from TCU.  Their program is one of the most respected in the nation.  He could not do an analysis of a campaign, he had no ideas at all for any effective marketing.   As a marketer, he was fundamentally useless.  More over no head for business, no ability to manage a cost center, nadda.

      He graduated with a 3.8 and was offered a partial scholarship to go on to an MBA.  Instead he went and tried to get a job.  Manged to get one and was close to losing it.  I am not saying this kid was dumb, just his degree was useless.  He did figure that out.

      He bought a stack of SAMs manuals on PHP, MySQL and Graphic Design.  He locked himself in his apartment for 2 months.  He became one of the most sought out website developers and designers in the DFW area.  The only reason I could even afford him is he was having a kid and needed flexible work schedule and to be close to home and my office happened to be 3 miles from his house.

      So if this kid came out of TCU with a 3.8 GPA and a degree in marketing as was not capable of doing anything useful in that field, how useful is college for most students today.

      What has happened is the cash cow of easy loans and a marketing campaign of “everyone should go to college” has resulted in about 70% of high school grads going to college.  70 percent!

      If you take out the very low income areas, the number is closer to 90%.  That is insane.  The average IQ in America is 98, there is no way 70-90% of our population is capable of actual university level work.  So they dropped the bar to harvest the cash.