Red Dirt RubyConf 2011

  • Keynote
    Aaron Patterson
    Open source contributions include:
    ARel, Nokogiri, and Mechanize
    Aaron Patterson - AT&T Interactive
  • Keynote
    Dr Nic Williams
    Open source contributions include:
    Hudson.rb, RoR Textmate Bundle, and ChocTop
    Dr Nic Williams - Engine Yard
  • Conference Themes
    nike basketball shoes germany
    A disturbing dispatch from the turf wars I was eating some salted almonds the other day when the doorbell rang. It was a guy from TruGreen, which used to be called ChemLawn. He wore a polo shirt with the company's logo stitched across it, the word TruGreen with a leaf sticking out of the "n," like an earthy Nike checkmark. He asked if we wanted the company to treat our lawn and said we could really benefit from it. He must have noticed, on his way to the front door, that a half an acre of mud and withered crabgrass is located pretty much where our lawn should be, now that the snow has melted away. I stiffened, having decided several years ago that our lawn should be free of chemicals, what with our daughter and two dogs playing across it. As a cancer survivor, I'm especially sensitive to needlessly exposing myself and those around me to potential carcinogens. A main way to keep Kentucky Bluegrass thriving, sadly, is using "pre emergent crabgrass killer" and regular chemical applications to kill off the resilient weeds. So we'd let our lawn go to weed. And this time of year the truth about our empty lawn becomes startlingly apparent, in contrast with the lush sod of our neighbors eager for its first chemical dosing of the season. I nicely told the man from ChemLawn er, TruGreen "no thanks." "Why don't you think about it?" he said, leaving his card. When I returned to my salted almonds, I had an existential moment. I stared at the package of nuts, the words "Grown in California" stinging my eyes. And it occurred to me why the ChemLawn man's visit bothered me so much. Here comes a guy trying to sell me a lawnful of Kentucky Bluegrass, a relatively delicate plant that requires a heckuva lot of water and chemicals to keep thriving in its constant battle with crabgrass. And here I was munching on a nut that requires a heckuva lot of water and chemicals to grow in California, a state that's in the middle of its worst drought in a century in large part because of tens of millions of Americans like me who live thousands of miles away and eat its fruits, vegetables and nuts. So after nike 2 year warranty the ChemLawn man left, I did the most environmentally sound thing I could think of: I threw the card in the recycling bin. Hello America! Do you remember there's a Climate Change crisis brewing? This Big Blue Marble we share is overheating, drowning in pollution, withering, and flooding, so why are people going door to door to encourage the use of herbicides and wasteful water practices and frequent grass cutting by gas powered mowers for no other purpose than to create a nice looking lawn? The average household dumps 60 gallons of water a day on conventional lawns, and toxic lawn herbicides and pesticides run off into lakes and streams. That's why I'm nike shoes air force looking into clover. That's right the type you get down on your hands and knees for and search through with your kids looking for a four leaf clover and if you're really lucky a five leaf. Sure, it's gotten a bad rap as a weed, but it's actually not a weed at all. It's inexpensive and tough and feels nice and cool under bare feet (if you ignore the occasional bees) and you don't really need to mow it and grows in any type of soil and stays green even when you don't water it. There are other low maintenance and resilient alternatives to traditional grass. But clover has a nice sound to it. I hear a melody playing through my mind: "I'm looking over, a four leaf clover, that I've overlooked before." As soon as the nighttime temperatures stop dropping to freezing, I'm gonna buy a few bags of the seed and work it into the soil. Though I'm generally not a superstitious person, this year I'm casting my lot with the lucky. I weed eated and mowed lawns for the state every summer though college. I promised myself when I finally had a house I would put a tennis court in the back and on one side a basketball court and other side a driveway. The front I hadn quite worked out, I was thinking a vegetable garden or just white stones, no grass. My wife loves our green she does not care that our lawn is basically weeds that I mow every two or three weeks. Whatever grows, grows. We also have kids, no pesticides and no watering. Well maybe a water balloon fight u of l nike shoes a few times a summer. My wife especially likes when the dandelions sprout, yellow with the green is so pretty I think some of our neighbors really, really, hate my comment >