Lest We Forget. Fair Use under Creative Commons 4.0. From:

April 25 is ANZAC Day, a day set aside in Australia and New Zealand to honor those who served in the militaries of both countries, and especially those who died in war. The men of Australia and New Zealand answered the call, first of England, then all free peoples, in the Boer War, WWI, WWII, Korea, and many other conflicts. We in the US don’t always think of Australia and New Zealand as having a military presence, because we don’t see them, but ask the people of East Timor and other places. You’ll learn a lot.


Art and Music: A Familiar Snippet

Shoshana is a hard voice to write through. This begins just after Oddly Familiar.

Two days later, Shoshana opened the back door to her studio and turned on the lights. A note rustled down from the switch, and she jumped, then crouched and picked it up. “Power connection now protected. Didn’t find any other problems,” she read aloud. Her landlord had signed it over the electrician’s tiny, precise cursive. She folded the note and added it to her business forms file, then went into the main gallery to check for phone messages on the machine. None. She glanced out at the main space and sighed. A tree had grown there during the power outage. It rustled a little in the wind from somewhere. This would never do—no one could get around the tree to look at her art!

Shoshana eased around the trunk and studied the leaves. Acrylics. She’d need to paint it in acrylics, if only so she could finish faster and get back to that second commission. She returned to the work area and dragged her heavy easel out into the gallery, then found the proper board and set that up. She assembled the rest of her tools, then maneuvered a small work table into the gallery, followed by a drop-cloth, just in case. She visited the tiny washroom in the back, then set to work. Continue reading

Two Steps Forward, One Sore Back

I caught myself cheating on the shoulder press on Saturday. Ow. Don’t do that.

I arched my back against the weight and tried to use body English. The good news is that I caught myself and promptly corrected my form. The bad news is that I managed to pull a muscle anyway. It really let me know when I was doing dead-lifts in between shoulder press sets. That last three inches to put the bar on the floor? Yeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhoooowch. Continue reading

Earth Day – Yawn

Rant follows. You’ve been warned.

So today’s when we are supposed to feel bad about using plastic and having opposable thumbs, or something.

I’m a conservationist. I believe in wise use of resources in order to benefit the most people over the longest time possible, based on the best knowledge that we currently have. I also heartily agree that we need green-spaces, places like parks, nature preserves, and well-managed habitats for wildlife of all kinds. We are stewards of this world, and we don’t always do as good of a job as we could, but we’re learning. Continue reading

Christus Resurexit!

An early Renaissance/ late Medieval resurrection by Andrea di Bartolo 1390-1410. From the Walters Art Museum. 

Today is Easter in the Western branches of Christianity. The Orthodox will celebrate it next week. Really, if we stuck with scripture alone, Easter should always be the same “weekend” as Passover, but Christians just had to make it more complicated – bureaucracy, you know. 😉

To borrow from the Orthodox, or at least Orthodox-inspired, Easter tradition:

Saint Sulpice is the other “big” church in Paris. Improvisation is a major organ “thing,” and he is working from several chants and hymns in this prelude.

A blessed and wonder-full Easter to those who celebrate it!

Saturday Snippet: Storm on the North Sea (Familiar)

Sooooo… there I was, trotting—OK, slogging away—on the treadmill at the gym, when not one but two stories in the Familiar universe jumped me. One has a Familiar, the other a sorcerer (I think)  but ties into Lelia’s ongoing training. This is from one of them. I sense two collections of short stories, otherwise it’s going to be one set of over 100K words. Oh, yes, the Lammkontor is a real place, and the food tastes amazingly good.

“Hast du deine Jacke?” Heike stood in the doorway, one hand on the heavy wooden doorframe.

Her Familiar’s voice came from the shadows inside, “Ja, aber die Knopfen…” Walburga’s frustration became apparent when she hopped closer. Heike could see the out-of-order button problem, and shook her head a little. Wallaby paws and fasteners…

She turned and crouched as Walburga reached the doorway. Heike fastened the jacket buttons, adjusted the hood so it fit better around the wallaby’s dark glasses and ears, and stood. Walburga cleared the doorway in two bounds, then stopped to nibble the salt-grass in the yard as Heike closed the heavy wooden door. The postman happened to be driving by, and his van slowed as he stared at Walburga, then sped up again when he saw Heike watching him. She smiled a little to herself. By the time he finished his route, all of Husum and most of Schleswig-Holstein would know that they’d rented the summer cottage. Continue reading