Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Young Oak Vineyards - Vol. 22: Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts!

Well, those dastardly little devils have taken down five more beautiful, mature grapevines!!!!  I can only think of the old Boy Scout Song that I mention in the title.  Fortunately, I talked with a neighbor who had a similar problem when they were starting their vineyard.  In fact, they lost their entire vineyard to gophers and had to replant the next year.  Hopefully, we can avoid that when my neighbor's Gopher Guy, "Landscape Pest Control", recommends a treatment for my vineyard!  I will keep you posted!

Hey, one of the great things I get to do as a science teacher is experience a lot of wonderful displays & events involving science.  So, two weeks ago I was able to fly on the "Vomit Comet" with three other fellow science teachers from my school, along with a group of math & science teachers from all around California to experience weightlessness just like the astronauts!  We invited news reporter Bob Redell from NBC channel 11 along and he got alot of great footage of my fellow teachers and our department chair, Joe, with some great sound bits (sic joke!).  You get to see me fly like "Superman" and one of our chemistry instructors, Pat, eats M&M while floating in "Zero G" weightlessness, not to mention Joe's minor stomach problem.


I recommend everyone go do this!  The company "Zero G" flies out of Las Vegas where you too can experience it too.  It only costs $5,000 per person.  And for $15,000 you can fly on the "Platinum Plan" with Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and have dinner with him afterwards!  Or you can do what Martha Stewart did and charter the entire jet for $150,000 and take 35 of your friends along for "the most incredible birthday party ever"!

I went a cheaper route and didn't pay anything, by becoming a teacher and applying for a grant with the Northrup-Gruman Foundation, who pays for science & math teachers to experience weightlessness to enhance their teaching and get their students excited about careers in science & math !  I have already used some of our weightlessness experiments that we did in "Zero G" in my classes and I am planning on many more this year!

Hope you are enjoying our beautiful fall weather.  The crush is on and it would be time to pick my grapes if the birds hadn't eaten all 40 of them.  Oh well, we are hoping for many, many more next year!  (Note to self:  get bird netting before next year!)

Wishing you a most wonderful "Indian Summer" from down here in the vineyard,
John