Sorry it’s been so long since the last blog post! An entire week of food poisoning has left me alternately sick and playing catch-up. But I have finally more-or-less caught up, and I have much to report!
First, I have finally finished sewing warp and weft swatches to my painted-warp samples, and photographed all of them with help from my friend/assistant Ruth. And, of course, from Fritz, who helped us set up:
Here’s the finished photography rig:
The lights are LED panels, a mix of yellowish and white LEDs, that allow me to adjust the color temperature of the lighting. For photography it makes very little difference since I can adjust the color temperature in post-processing of the photos, but it will make a difference when shooting video later. I switched from large compact fluorescent bulbs because I think I’ll get more even lighting (with less heat) from the LED panels.
You might have noticed that one of my other assistants was conspicuously absent from the photos. Where was she? Not to worry, she was providing critical assistance by protecting another batch of samples:
We had a fan going in the room, and it would have been tragic if the samples had blown away! So she sat on them to keep them in place, and nicely pressed to boot. Such a considerate kitty!
Meanwhile, you may recall that the tomatoes, three weeks ago, were happy, healthy little tykes. No more. They are now happy, healthy killer mutant ninja tomatoes, chanting FEEEED MEEEEEE!!! as they start flowering and preparing for Total World Domination:
The Fuzzy Mix aren’t quite big enough to start breeding to the other tomatoes, but in another day or two the flowers should mature enough for me to start attempting cross-pollination. This will be an adventure of a new and different kind! I am armed with YouTube videos and an electric toothbrush for pollen collection. All I need now is an “Evil Tomato Breeders for a Better Tomorrow” T-shirt. (Fortunately, I have a Thermofax machine, so I can screen print myself one in no time!)
(And yes, I have completely lost my mind. But you knew that already.)
Some of the tomatoes, however, are microdwarf tomatoes that I got from fellow tomato breeder Dan Follett. They will not be conquering the world through giant growth, but through petite adorability. This one, for example, is a fuzzy fine-leaf microdwarf, and should top out at about 11″ tall. I find the foliage fascinating, and plan to try breeding it either to Fuzzy Mix or Fruity Mix or possibly both. I haven’t anywhere near the space to breed out all these crosses but oh my the temptation and the possibilities!!!
Anyway, I’m still playing catch-up from my week-long bout with food poisoning, so off I go again.
One more note before I go, though – health update is very positive! At my latest checkup with my diabetes pharmacist, she spent twenty minutes raving about how exceptionally well I was doing (“I never see numbers like these!”), and finally said I was doing so well that I didn’t need to see her anymore – I could just get my medication refills from my primary care doc. And I just got my blood sugar tested a few days ago, and my A1c (three month rolling blood sugar average) is down to 6.1, which is well out of the diabetic zone. This means my medication is working exceptionally well. I’ve also lost ten pounds in the last four months, which helps a lot as well.
Despite all that, I have not lost any strength – I can still deadlift 560 weasels (140 pounds), and squat 660 weasels (165 pounds), much to my (and my trainer’s) delight.
So while I intend to continue working at diet and exercise, things are going very well indeed. Hurray for that!