An Embarrassment of Riches

Checking Out Can Be Rather Like Harvesting a Tomato Patch. There's So Much Good Stuff There--and More Is Added Every Day

By Nancy Bartels

It's tomato season at my house. Last winter, with the snow two-feet deep on the ground, I heard the siren song of the seed catalogs. Eight tomato plants seemed like nothing. Even in May, when I planted them, they looked lost and a bit ridiculous inside their tomato cages—six or so scrawny inches of fledging plant dwarfed by four feet of wire support system. That was then. This is now.

I've been harvesting for the better part of a month. Every morning another half dozen or so are ready for picking—the romas for sauce, the heirlooms for salad and sandwiches, the cherries for snacking. There's an impressive stack of containers of home-made sauce and zipper bags of whole tomatoes in my freezer, plus some lovely jars of dried tomatoes soaking in olive oil for bruschetta and pizza topping. But I confess, when I check out the giants now, which have long since outstripped their cages, and I see the number of tomatoes still ripening, I want to say "Enough, already!" An embarrassment of riches indeed.

Checking out can be rather like my tomato patch. There's so much good stuff there—and more is added every day. On our home page alone, a click of the mouse will take you to our latest features, online exclusives, new products, videos, white papers, jobs, answers to your automation questions from experts, the SoundOff! blog and more.

When picking tomatoes, it pays to get in among the leaves. Some of the best of the harvest is lurking behind those big green leaves, hidden from the casual observer—just like For example, a click on the "Online Guides" button takes you to entire collections on EAM, automation, batch manufacturing, process analyzers, wireless technology, sustainable process automation and Béla

Lipták's e-book on distillation control and optimization. The "Community" tab takes you to CG's other blogs, links to all your favorite columnists and "The Directory of Lost Companies." Behind the "Multimedia" tab are all our videos, podcasts and marketing intelligence reports. The "Magazine" tab reveals an archive of Control articles that goes back to 2003. The "Topics"  tab takes you to all of CG's resources on a variety of automation subjects—advanced control, loop tuning, safety systems, SCADA, Stuxnet and valves, among others, and the Industrial Networking resource center has back issues, white papers, news and products.

There's a lot to take in all at once, but, like all those containers of sauce in the freezer, it's good to have them "put by" for when you want them.