Thursday, February 18, 2021

Fish and Flop


Yesterday was another day of mostly reading. I had to catch up on my New Yorkers, because after turning my back momentarily to live my life, I suddenly had FIVE of them sitting on the hall table. Those things proliferate faster than rabbits or field mice.

But they are interesting. I was especially intrigued by this article about a young woman who's trying to help the Catholic Church map all of its real estate holdings. Believe it or not, this has apparently never been done -- at least not to the extent she wants to do it, using mapping software that can express all kinds of information spatially. When she approached the Vatican with the idea they basically looked up from their ancient yellowed parchments, held a candle aloft and wondered what on earth she was talking about. But they seem to be coming around, and she thinks making them aware of their vast properties can help with goals like conservation and stewardship.

I sent the story to my brother, because he's a city planner and knows all about GIS (the mapping and data software) and its applications. He'll be into it.

Speaking of which, he wrote me to say everyone at my mom's retirement community has been vaccinated for Covid-19, so he believes he'll be able to visit her more easily now. Even though he lives only a few miles away, he's been restricted in how much he can see her. And I haven't been home since September 2019, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get back and visit this summer. I'm tempted to buy a ticket now, to use my British Airways credit and get a visit on the calendar, with the understanding that coronavirus is unpredictable and any plans could go belly-up at any moment. I'd kind of like to get at least one vaccination under my belt first.

Have you seen Radio Garden? It's an amazing web site that allows us to listen to radio stations all over the world. I think that link will take you to London, but you can choose any dot on the globe and hear live broadcasts -- yesterday I was listening to stations in Tampa, my hometown, as well as randomly selected snippets from Kathmandu, Easter Island, New Zealand, France, Morocco, Namibia and elsewhere. It's really incredible. Talk about a small world.


I went out and staked up all our daffodils, which were flattened by our inclement weather. When I thought about it, I realized they collapse every year, and I did some research on why that is. Apparently the bulbs are planted too shallowly. We didn't plant them -- they were here when we moved in -- and although we could dig them up and plant them deeper, that sounds like an awful lot of work. I think I'll just keep staking them up every spring.

(Top photo: A fishy sculpture on a fence in Golders Green.)

50 comments:

Moving with Mitchell said...

I never knew that about droopy daffodils. The fish fence is a wonderful piece of art. I've got my hotel reservation for NYC end of August (they offered a deal I couldn't pass up), but I haven't yet made plane reservations. I wonder when the best deals will be available (and, yeah, I'm assuming I'll have had the vaccine by then).

Frances said...

I read about Radio Garden ( on another blog assuming you hadn't mentioned it before?)last week and had a little play with it. Amazed at how it could possibly work. Even found a station on the north coast of Iceland!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thanks for the link to Radio Garden. I will definitely be investigating that in more depth.

Unknown said...

I'd like to see a map of land the Catholic Church own. I believe a lot of properties along the banks of the Thames are owned by the church.
I had an app for years that allowed me to listen to any radio station around the world. After checking I must have deleted it. I think it was called Listen Now.

Debby said...

I hadn't heard of Radio Garden! That is wonderful!

Bob said...

I've a feeling the Catholic Church will find they own most of the world, and then will do nothing with it.
I haven't visited my father--he lives on the Left Coast while I am a Rightie--since 2019, and am looking forward to traveling out there again!
Thanks for Radio Garden. I'm gonna check it out.

Peter said...

I gave up on the New Yorker, they just piled up and made me feel guilty. Sometimes I am sorry but..... I am going to give Radio Garden a try, sounds fun. Cheers

crafty cat corner said...

Just spent far too much time going round the world listening to radio stations, lol thanks for that Steve.
Briony
x

Ursula said...

Steve, who'd have thought that you of all people, has power bring me to tears with one of your posts.

I flicked around mainland Europe (no English in hearing), dipping in here, dipping in there and I am overcome by I don't know what. It's not exactly nostalgia, not exactly being homesick. It's something pulling at my heartstrings. Thank you. What a find. You, and Radio Garden.

U

Ms. Moon said...

I love the fishies. They look like something you'd seen in Apalachicola, or on St. George Island.
As to the New Yorkers- Jesus! Do they ever stack up! I've got to figure out a way to prioritize more time to them. Haven't read the Catholic land ownership thing yet. I agree with Bob- they'll probably discover they own everything except the parts that the Mormons own.
So. Speaking of Apalachicola, the first thing I did on Radio Garden was to click on WOYS, Oyster Radio! Somehow, the fact that I could listen to that so-familiar station among all of those other stations in the world absolutely slayed me.

Marty said...

I do find myself reading articles in the New Yorker on subjects I'd never dream I would find interesting. I still remember a many, many-paged one about parrots that I read by a lake on a summer day.
Keep your mask for the plane anyway. Someone who just received company here in Florida (and really? company? now?) said that the trick on the plane is you don't have to wear a mask if you're eating or drinking, so everyone immediately asked for a drink and nursed it.

robin andrea said...

I read about Radio Garden and tuned into a few shows all around the world. It was fun. Everyone seemed to be listening to Rock N Roll.
Love the fishes on the fence. I would love that for our backyard fence art. Beautiful.

robin andrea said...

Whoops, I hit publish before I was finished. I wanted to write that I really hope you do get to see your mom this year. That would be so lovely.

Sharon said...

Thanks for that link to the radio site. I'm going to play around with it. It sounds fun. Speaking of the Catholic Church, last night I watched "Angels and Demons" on Netflix. I don't think I had ever seen the movie before but I read the book many years ago. Dan Brown certainly has a "thing" for wild religious conspiracies.

The Bug said...

I love the fish fence! I do hope you get to visit your mom (and your other relatives!). I feel fortunate that I've been able to see my dad pretty much when I want to since he lives at home. We all wear masks & I try to not stay too long. Now I'm less worried - they had their second shots on Tuesday.

Linda Sue said...

Five New Yorkers- nearly do-able...we had to discontinue, so much to read! Most all of it excellent. Interesting about how much land/property the Vatican owns. Maybe they can finally do something good on earth- preserve it, good plan!

Ellen D. said...

My daffodils are always the first thing to come up in the Spring (usually April) and we always have a cold spell that flattens them all but they pop back up so nicely when they get a bit of warmth and sun. Nature is amazing! You are so sweet to go out and stake each one... a kind and thoughtful man.

Edna B said...

It would be really nice if you could get to see your mom this year. Hopefully, you'll be able to get the vaccine soon. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

Allison said...

Only five? We have a stack 6 or 7 inches tall. I feel guilty every time I see it. I wish they would go to twice a month, maybe I could keep up.

Catalyst said...

Thanks to Radio Garden, I was listening to Radio 4 from the UK this morning and there was a discussion about the increase in mud due to the rain and the crowds walking on the grassy areas as they try to stay 2 meters from others. And the lady being interviewed, in Sussex I believe, said the daffodils may have a bit of a struggle this year due apparently to all the rain you're getting.

Margaret said...

I'll have to give that Radio Garden a try although I'm not very auditory and quickly lose interest in listening to things. (why I don't do audio books) I would like to take a trip back to NY to see my daughter, SIL and grandson, but my dad's health is deteriorating such that I'm not sure I should. :(

Sarah said...

That's good news about your Mum's vaccine and your brother being able to visit her. Hope you can get over there in the summer. The article about Catholic church property holdings sounds interesting. It is surprising that they had not really done that before.
I hadn't heard of radio garden and am going to go and check it out in a minute-thanks for the info!

Kat said...

Check out the drive and listen website. https://driveandlisten.herokuapp.com/
It has cities all over the world to watch a driver and listen to a local radio station at the same time. Pretty interesting.

Michael said...

That fish art looks fantastic. Thanks for the radio garden mention. I have never heard of it before.

Janie Junebug said...

I hope you're able to visit your mom. No doubt she'd be thrilled.

Love,
Janie

Steve Reed said...

I bought a ticket to Florida for July and it was surprisingly cheap. But then, no one wants to go to Florida in the summer.

Steve Reed said...

I haven't mentioned it before, but it was making the rounds on Facebook -- maybe you saw it there? Yeah, it's incredible how many accessible stations there are, and in such remote places!

Steve Reed said...

Well worth your time!

Steve Reed said...

Hmmmm... your app sounds very similar to this website.

Steve Reed said...

Isn't it amazing?!

Steve Reed said...

In a way, if they do nothing with it, that will be good. I never thought of the church as a force for conservation, but since there's apparently a lot of property involved, it could be!

Steve Reed said...

Every time I read The New Yorker I am captivated and I learn so much, but JEEZ -- it IS a battle to keep up with them!

Steve Reed said...

There are worse ways to waste your time! LOL

Steve Reed said...

I had a similar reaction hearing the community radio station in Tampa where I briefly volunteered in college!

Steve Reed said...

The best thing about that Catholic article was the remarkable woman doing the work -- young and smart and super-motivated. I was very impressed by her. Now you can listen to Oyster Radio regularly!

Steve Reed said...

I think that's the joy of The New Yorker. It's written so well that they make almost any topic interesting. I might still struggle to read about NASCAR, but then, I'm not sure how likely The New Yorker would be to do a NASCAR story.

Steve Reed said...

It's amazing how American and English-language music dominates the globe. Aren't those fish great? And yes, I think a Florida visit is going to happen. I'm thinking positive!

Steve Reed said...

I saw "Angels and Demons" in the theater and I don't remember a thing about it! But I did like the book "The Da Vinci Code." It's all baloney but it's fun.

Steve Reed said...

I've purchased a ticket to see Mom, so I think it's going to happen, barring any unforeseen viral developments. :/

Steve Reed said...

"The New Yorker" IS a kind of exquisite torture. I'd never thought of the church as a force for conservation, but why not?!

Steve Reed said...

Or maybe just obsessive! They might have re-righted themselves, as our snowdrops did, but the daffodils were really FLAT and the buds were getting eaten by slugs!

Steve Reed said...

It's looking like a visit might happen!

Steve Reed said...

Oh lord, when I get that many I just recycle them. I know I'm never going to catch up.

Steve Reed said...

And being trampled by muddy pedestrians! Yes, the paths seem VERY wide now, as people try to avoid mud but wind up just creating more.

Steve Reed said...

My mind always wanders when I'm listening to something with a plot.

Steve Reed said...

I was also very surprised that the church hadn't mapped its holdings before, but I get the impression that the Vatican isn't on the cutting edge of technology.

Steve Reed said...

I just spent a few minutes driving down the oceanfront in Rio! Awesome!

Steve Reed said...

I'd hang those fish in our garden, or maybe even in the house!

Steve Reed said...

Looks like it might happen in July! Fingers crossed!

37paddington said...

Good news about your mom. Radio Garden! Thank you!