(Saddleback Valley Bromeliad Society), 15(6)p.5,  June, 2008.




By Terry & Jerry Krulik

I was recently in Thailand, and for the first time was there during their Songkran
festival. This is a multi-day religious, and fun, holiday. All during Songkran,
expect to get not just wet, but soaked! People, especially the younger ones,
and most farangs (foreigners), roam the streets with a bewildering variety of
water cannons and squirt guns, all riotously colored. Some people have 2.5
gallon plastic tanks strapped to their backs, with tubes running to their guns.
Locals load 55 gallon drums of water in pickup trucks and crowds of riders soak
motorcyclists, by-standers, and pedestrians. The local governments stash open
topped 55 gallon plastic drums on many street corners. Water trucks fill the
drums every morning, then other trucks dump ice in them. People without water
cannons use dishpans to dump water on you. I don’t have photos to show,
since I did not want my camera destroyed. The watch repair store had to take my
wrist watch apart and thoroughly clean and dry it, with a hair drier, before I left

I was describing this to Terry and also talking about the fancy water cannon I
got for my 5 year old granddaughter. Terry immediately said, “I want one of
those!” I was quite curious and asked why she wanted a water cannon for
herself. Terry replied that she immediately realized that this appliance would be
perfect for a higher calling than merely soaking people.

You may know that we have LOTS of bromeliads. Many are hanging at high
levels. We also have lots of plastic shelves top heavy with light-loving plants.
Terry is not happy climbing ladders to fertilize them, nor am I. She usually
resorts to flinging basins of fertilizer solution on the less accessible plants.
Well, now Terry has a much easier and more fun way of doing this necessary
chore. Here are photos of her, with her new appliance, and in action.

Terry has the gun filled with fertilizer solution in the photos. It works very
well. The super sized gun gets even to the far corners of the front patio, where
it is almost impossible to fertilize by any other means. After we did the
photos, she fertilized all the front plants, then started on the ones in the
back yard. This is much quicker, safer, and easier than using a ladder.

Ask Jerry: Conundrums Clarified for the Courteous
Chlorophyllophile (Gardener) Part 4, PUP TALK (Saddleback Valley Bromeliad
Society), 15(6)p. 8,  June, 2008.

Dear Jerry

I have a fashion question. I love to garden. However, the outfits that I see
people wear are SOOO tacky! They are old and stained, baggy and torn, and not
at all fashionable. Is it wrong to garden in designer labeled clothes and Gucci
sandals? I do use sunscreen, modest jewelry, and minimal appropriate make-up,
of course.

Fashionably perplexed

Dear Fashionista

As long as you have a sufficiently rich and tolerant spouse, why not? I
personally have to suffer abuse after having plants drip sap on my clothes, rip
holes in them, and lacerate my skin so it bleeds all over everything. So even
when I start with my church clothes on and stroll in the yard while waiting, by
the time my wife is finally ready, it looks as if the paid gardener is accompanying
her to church. I have noticed that she has become much quicker about getting
ready, though.

Definitely not a fashion guru



Dear Jerry

I have an acquaintance, a fellow club member, who is one of those know-it-alls.
No matter what topic—growing, nomenclature, judging, traveling to see plants---
he knows better, has been there first, etc etc. The trouble is, he seems to be
right all the time, but then how do I know? Can he just be overwhelming us with
spurious info when he is at an actual loss for the right answer? How do I bring
him down to earth?

(signed) Overwhelmed and resentful

Dear Resentful

It sounds like you have a bad case of sour grapes. After all, there are two
classes of experts. One is the real one like me, humble, modest, accurate, and
eager to share my knowledge and experiences. The other type can be arrogant,
loud and overbearing, pushy and obnoxious. Especially if they contradict me.

How badly do you want to get back at this person? I assume you don’t actually
want to spend the years of time and money and study, to become equally expert
yourself? You just want them to acknowledge, at least once, that there is
something that they don’t know and are wrong about.

It used to be easy to quote fake authors and papers, but the internet has
screwed that up. It is too easy to search, and people turn skeptical the fourth
time you state, well, she only published in Bulgarian, so that’s why it is not on
the internet. Nowadays you have to be more creative.

Have you considered setting up a fake web site? They are not that expensive.
Blog sites are pretty suspect, and too easily traced back to you. Set up a
realistic name, like (GOTCHA),
specializing in bromeliads and their problems. Describe yourself in glowing
terms, and freely steal info, photos, and articles from other sites; to add
authenticity, you may even reference the links and their copyrights. This also
removes most of the work from setting up the fake site.

Now set up the fake info on your site, maybe using some type of improbable
plant photo. You can do wonders with Photoshop, changing flower colors,
shapes, placement of blooms, even grafting disparate plants seamlessly. Fake a
name, a few photos, an exotic hard to visit location, and so on. Use an
anonymous mailing service to pass on the link to your friend, and hope he
bites. You can take it from there.

You never heard it from me