Nautical Ear Worms

I’m in the process of going through various video sources to augment the notes I’ll give students over WWII. Let’s say the quality of what is available . . . varies widely. And some things can’t get through various filters.

So, I was hunting for newsreel footage of some things, and started hearing music playing in my head. And grinned, because I hear that music every single time I start talking about WWII in the Pacific. [Waits for OldNFO to flee] Continue reading

I’m Blaming Kenny Rogers

This ambushed me as I was listening to the single of “Planet Texas.” I have no idea where it will go.

“Thank you, sir.”

Heads and optical sensors turned at the archaic words and accent. The woman smiled at the server and took a flute of sparkling pear juice. She turned to her escort and raised the glass in a salute, head tipped to the side, hat brim half-concealing her smile.

“You’re welcome, ma’am.” Her escort smiled and raised the glass in return. He took her free arm and they walked farther into the room. Several of the diplomats frowned and moved out of their way, avoiding any social contact. A murmur of discontent flowed below the conversations in the sparkling reception chamber. How dare a diplomat go armed? Did he not trust the security scanners and robo-guards? And who had approved the weapon? The couple ignored the murmur, nodded to a representative from Sanduska, and made their way to the star wall. Continue reading

Woodpeckers at Work

Ah, the sound of a busy-signal that’s not one. I have mixed emotions about woodpeckers. I love seeing and hearing them. I don’t love seeing them on the trees around RedQuarters, because that often means that we are about to lose either the entire tree, or a large branch. Every tree we lose is between $5,000 and $30,000 property loss. Yes, having shade is that important around here! Continue reading

Book Review: The Heart’s Enchantment

Sanderson, Cedar et al. The Heart’s Enchantment J. F. Posthumus ed. A short story collection, Kindle e-book.

I needed a total brain break. Short fiction sounded good, and I never read romance, so this would be different. I know of several of the authors in the list, so I decided what the heck.

Short version: Good book, I liked some stories better than others, a few were a touch steamy for my taste, but all are well written. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit: Fire and Power

The opening of one of the stories in G-Familiar.

The black Shire mare leaned against her harness. “Whoo, that’s a big one,” she exclaimed. The chains from the horse collar and straps grew taut, then began to strain as Magda leaned more. Barbara, standing beside the log, extended a tiny bit of magic, smoothing the place where rough bark met the hard dirt. The tree trunk shifted a millimeter, then a centimeter. Magda took a step, and another, and began walking with ponderous, thudding steps over the duff-covered ground toward the place where a truck could collect the logs.

“I’m glad this is the last one of the day,” Barbara said, keeping one hand on the log. She preferred walking beside her Familiar, but as tired as they were, using magic at that distance from the log would lead to more problems than it solved. Sweat dripped off of both of them. Birds caroled among the trees, but not as many as there should have been. The drought had kept some from coming to the mountains, and others had passed farther to the north, where the North Sea and Baltic moistened the air. Continue reading

Scaling Mount Whatever

Someone in the neighborhood took a delivery of dirt to fill in low places in his yard. That was back in 2019. The mound is still there, waiting for him to get a moment free to move the dirt. The local toddlers find it nigh unto irresistible. Their mothers are less pleased. Some wag (not me) put a little flag on top giving the elevation.

It reminds me of a larger mound and a similarly free spirit. Continue reading

Toward the New Century: Protestants in America Part Four

The Civil War marked a shift in Protestantism. For one, denominations and associations that parted ways before the 1861-65 war didn’t always go the same theological direction during the years that followed. For another, the country saw a shift in immigration that brought in more national denominations, and more Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Changes in science and political philosophy added tension to the religions scene in the US (and England and Europe), eventually leading to the creation of Fundamentalism. WWI left religion in the US relatively untouched, and split us away from Protestantism in Europe, a divide that has grown wider in the century that followed. Continue reading