Properly introducing Noah, plus some tree planting

Well, when I last wrote I still had a hoarse voice from being sick, but that has now gone back to normal, so come Monday morning I’ll be back at it for The Nick White Show.

Party time’s over Nick, so hurry up and finish. Also, the first show back features you and the missus. Sorry not sorry. BTW, it’s her birthday so I hope you remembered to get her a good present… you did remember to get her a present, right? RIGHT?!

About all I did for Nick this week was write a couple short scripts for future use and assemble this “tile” floor for the Whites’ laundry room:

Well, I guess that’s better than nothing, but it sure didn’t feel like I got anything done since I wasn’t filming and editing as I usually would be.

But in the meantime, I spent some time working on a new project, Noah’s Archipelago. I mentioned it in last week’s blog and, well, I decided to stick with Muppet-style heads because that’s how the character design got firmed up in my mind, so it’s roughly how it came out in the first test cartoon (drawn on my iPad with an Apple pencil in Procreate):

I have thumbnails for a comic strip version of a skit I wrote called “Noah’s Ark” from when I thought I would do this project as a puppet show, and I’m thrilled even with just the thumbnail version. The real strip will look even better. Let’s hope I get it done by the end of the month.

First thing one of my friends commented on upon seeing this cartoon was that Noah looks like Bono.

Well… that’s because the original idea for the project was I was gonna have a puppet do a snarky rock news show. The puppet was a character called Glen, and then I thought I’d give Glen a girlfriend Gigi who wanted to gossip about movie stars instead and I’d have Glen and Gigi argue Punch-and-Judy-style (before I realized I’d need 4 hands to do this properly).

Then I thought it would be fun to have rock star puppets come on as special guests… until I remembered that I fucking hate that cliché gimmick when other shows do it, also I realized how much extra work would go into it.

But in the meantime I had mentally conjured a Bono puppet for this purpose along with a Jon Bon Jovi one and an Axl Rose one.

Anyway, I scrapped that idea and even scrapped the news show idea because I thought the dynamic between Glen and Gigi would be more interesting. Then I got to thinking about where to set the show and their life stories and all that and decided that Glen played in a couple tribute bands, because I used to know someone who did that and I knew a little bit about that whole scene.

And thus that “Bono puppet” came back into play as one of Glen’s rivals from his local tribute band scene… Noah from the local U2 tribute band, who also sings in a Creed tribute band, but who used to sing in Glen’s Mötley Crüe tribute band as well as front a Marilyn Manson tribute band except his latest wife Ruth is Christian and doesn’t approve of any shouting at the devil or Antichrist Superstar-ing… and Noah is both a pushover and possibly somewhat of a kept man/gigolo who knows what side his bread is buttered on, so what Ruth says goes as long as she has her trust fund or until she kicks his cheating ass out.

But for now, Noah is rocking the Bono look since Ruth’s favorite band is U2, and also it plays well with the wealthy widows whom Noah is always trying to fundraise from for various charities and whatnot. (And if said wealthy widows want to pinch his cheeks and slip him a little something extra just for him, so much the better… the Marilyn Manson look wasn’t nearly as profitable, though his last wife did seem to enjoy it for a while.)

I will have to do some cartoons of Noah in his former tribute guises… perhaps shaking his ass whilst singing along to “Mobscene” or “User Friendly” (“I’m not in love, but I’m gonna fuck you ’til somebody better comes along”) when Ruth’s not home to get all pissed off and start a fight about it.

What else… I’ve been trying to get the spare room organized to use as storage for art supplies and inventory when I get my shit together for a couple illustration-based Etsy ideas I have on the back burner.

So far I’ve only gotten the one shelving unit assembled and partly loaded, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a tidy little stack of small canvases that ranged from 60% complete to 100% complete. And I’d only remembered completing one of them. Thanks, 2020 Pyra!

I still have to get more stuff put away and sorted through and I might well take apart the spare room bed and either lean it against the wall or take it to my dad’s house to store it since I really don’t have overnight guests and could use the square footage. Plus I think if I wanted to claim that room for deductions once I have my business stuff set up, it can’t be used for any other purpose and even though I don’t have guests it’s probably best to not even have the bed in there just in case.

On to the garden. The good news is I can smell the roses and honeysuckle again, however slightly.

The bad news is I found a small wasps’ nest on the overhand of the covered patio, so I have to get that shit you spray at the nest at dusk to kill them and hope they don’t come after you when you do it.


In happier garden news, I finally got the veggie beds planted (outside of the herb beds that have perennial oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage and just require some clean-up, of course). I should come in just under the wire to harvest corn and peas at the end of September, and I bought a couple tomato plants, 3 cucumbers, one pepper, and an asparagus. I also seeded dill and spinach.

Tomatos, cucumbers, and dill seeds

There were some tomato seedlings that were already growing because I didn’t do an appropriate fall clean-up and some seeds had been in these beds, so I left the 3 strongest-looking ones and we’ll see what comes of them.

Still plenty of time to plant greens and radishes, since they have shorter maturity dates.

I’d mentioned about wanting more trees a couple weeks ago. There is a bit of an update wherein I picked up 2 pear trees on sale at Canadian Tire, one being an Orjas pear and one being a 2-variety Asian pear tree, but I haven’t planted those yet, nor a fig that I picked up this week.

In the front yard I had a spot where I could put a relatively narrow tree and while I’d thought to slap a fruit tree in there, I opted instead to go for a Franklin tree. It was also on sale at Canadian Tire and will get white fragrant flowers from late summer through frost when I don’t have much else going on for flowers, and it won’t get much beyond 12′ wide, which is perfect to give some privacy for the dining room.

Poor little fucker… it was one of the balled-and-burlapped trees where you pull it out of the pot and have to cut a bunch of twine off the rootball and yank the burlap off before planting.

When I did, I saw the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen: the soil that tree was in was like concrete almost. Hard clay and though the mulch on top of it in the nursery pot was soaking wet, the clay was bone dry. I hosed it down and called my father (who was over helping in the backyard at the time) to come have a look and he helped me knock the outer layer clay off til we could see the sad little white roots trying to get out.

I think this fella’s gonna be a lot happier in his new home – I may have a fair amount of clay in my soil, too, but it’s a crumblier clay which will be much easier for the roots to grow in.

Freshly planted amongst the liatris, which should be in bloom next week.

It’s short at the moment, but that might be stunting due to that nasty clay ball it was trapped in. I don’t know if it’ll bloom this summer, probably not, but at least it’ll be able to put on a fair amount of root growth in the 3 months until the frost comes.

That brings us to the silk tree. I had gone to the local garden center for the tomatos and other veggie starts and I couldn’t resist wandering over to look for silk trees, assuming they’d all be huge ones I’d need my dad’s truck to bring home.

Well, mostly they were. But there was this one baby that would just fit in my car.

It also so happened that the baby was the lone species tree, and that it had the best hardiness rating, down to -15 Celsius.

I’m pretty sure it got to -11 here in January/February this year, and some of the other varieties were supposed to only be hardy to 0 Celsius.

So, I grabbed the baby and brought it home and planted it:

It’s only up to my ribs, but it should grow up fast.

Let’s wrap it up with some flower pics, of which there are still a few this week while we wait for the late summer show.

‘Lady Gardener’ rose
Some kind of tiger lily
Escallonia (sp?)
Veronica and Daphne
Clematis which is either ‘First Lady’ or ‘The President’ and ‘Oso Easy Cherry Pie’ rose
This is either ‘Grenada’ or ‘Sheila’s Perfume’ – they look very similar and both are in this bed and I don’t remember which is which.

I don’t think I’ll have any sunflowers this year, or at least I should see some shoots by now and I don’t see nothin’.

Guess I’ll have to plant some next year again.