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August 2012

You can’t tell a fish not to bite

We had arrived on station at eight that morning with 10 live-lining-size Norfolk spot frisking about in our aerated bait tank. My longtime friend Mike Kelly was in the bow with a short light-casting rod, intent on getting a 5/0 hook just in front of his baitfish’s dorsal.

Heaps of Beautiful Tomatoes

I’m so pleased with my garden this year. In early spring I built four new raised beds out of some reclaimed lumber scrounged from a local sawmill. I was rewarded with heaps of beautiful tomatoes by early July. My best producing tomatoes are Cour de Bue, an ox heart variety, Brandywines, Romas, and June pinks, another early potato vine type. I’ve been freezing tomato sauce for a while now.

If you’ve got to use weed killer, now’s the time

Spraying weed killer is generally a bad idea. Spraying must be done with great care and careful targeting when the wind is calm. But if you need to spray to kill underbrush, late August and September is the time.     When foliage is mature, photosynthesis is in high gear and the roots are being resupplied. In other words, the sugars being produced by the leaves are now translocating back to the roots. Root resupply generally begins in mid-July and is at its peak in August and September.

After almost a year at sea and nearly 40,000 miles, the Volvo Race is a true endurance test

The 39,270-mile Volvo Ocean Race is the greatest test of human endurance in the guise of sport on the planet earth. It’s life at the extreme with its own curiosities.     Starting the nine-month race in Spain is always fun. The Spanish know how to throw a good party, and the royalty-crowned pomp and circumstance befits such an epic voyage.

Don’t miss the Perseids, the best of the meteor showers

The moon reaches last-quarter Thursday, rising around midnight. Look for the faint lights of the Pleiades star cluster, marking the back of Taurus the bull, 10 degrees above the moon.     The next night, or rather morning, the moon rises near 1am, now just scant degrees from Aldebaran, the red heart of the bull, and Jupiter, forming a tight triangle. Brilliant Venus trails this pack by about 20 degrees.

Erase this unnecessary remake from your mind

In the near future, the world has become almost uninhabitable. The only areas with breathable air are The United Federation of Britain and The Colony (Australia). The rich one percent live in the UFB and force The Colony to occupy slums and work grueling hours in factories.

Four versatile boys take on Romeo and Juliet

Is Shakespeare R&J a new take on Romeo and Juliet — or a throwback to the theater before King Charles II when women were not allowed on stage and men played all the roles?     Playwright Joe Calarco has reset Romeo and Juliet in a Catholic New England boarding school for boys. Reading Romeo and Juliet is forbidden. Why we never know, though the boys’ reaction may be reason enough.

Maryland lawmakers return to take up gambling in their ­second special session of the year — here’s what you need to know

When?     Opening Thursday, August 9 and running “two or three days,” according to Sen. President Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller, a champion of expanded gambling.     Certainly no than 30 days; the Maryland Constitution forbids it. But in the fall of 1991, a special session on congressional redistricting came close, running from Sept. 25 to Oct. 22.

Drink deeply of 2012. It’s a vintage year

Summer is half over. August 2 marks the midway point between the solstice, which began our summer on June 20, and the autumnal equinox, beginning fall on September 22.     That’s the woeful way of saying we have half the season of good times left. So let’s make the most of it.     Over the years Bay Weekly has made an art of gathering ways to enjoy summer. You’ll have misspent your summer if you haven’t made time for these.

A starting bell “makes for an orderly market”

Clusters of customers and a couple dozen sellers wait along Fifth Street for the bell to ring at 6 o’clock sharp. That’s the signal to start at North Beach Farmers Market.     “We need a bell at a market of this volume,” says Mike Cox, a Mennonite farmer from White Oak Point Farm. “It makes for an orderly market where everybody’s on the same footing.”     “This is my first night market, and it’s been a great success,” Cox says.