Hiawatha – 2018 Edition. “Liawatha” by Tom Kratman.

I wrote 4000 words on Merchant and Empire yesterday, and the end of the book is in sight. My brain is fried, therefore I present a little something by Col. Tom Kratman. Language warning for the poem, so it is below the fold. Yes, it is very political.

The Song of Hiawatha is a 19th century epic poem based on actual mythology from the Indians near the Great Lakes. Although people make fun of it, Longfellow’s poem is a great story, although the ending is a little strange for modern readers. It, and Evangeline have been parodied many times.

However, during this election season, the poem serves as a wonderful setting for, well, you’ll see. The opening of the original’s second section: Continue reading

Winter’s Paw

Snow brushed the High Plains on Sunday. Come Monday, sleet and sandhill cranes warned that summer’s reign is over, and that winter comes in whether you are prepared or not.

Moisture from the Gulf of California combined with a cold front from the Canadian Arctic to scatter snow over the short grass as the temperatures dropped into the upper to mid-20s F. People scurried to bring in potted plants and cover those too large to move. Come Monday, a lot of us work up to mushy pansies in the flowerbeds. At Redquarters, out pocket microclimate seemed to have protected a lot of plants, and others had been tucked up against the house wall out of the wind, and covered in tarps. Continue reading

Just in time for Halloween

Is now available.

Ah, October, when goths brace for an onslaught of “Halloween’s not for three weeks,” and Lelia grits her teeth against retail madness. But all is not well when failed summonings, deluded psych teachers, and swirls of insanity abound.

Can Lelia and Tay solve the mysteries of the Off Ramp of Doom and the Bonnie Creek not-hauntings? Or have they met their match? And will Tay and Angus quit sniping at each other? [OK, probably “No” on the last one, at least not until the heat death of the universe and/or the second coming of your preferred redeemer.]

Is It Meat? Sometimes…

Good afternoon, Instapunderati! This was a follow-up of a post about medieval definitions of food, focusing on chestnut trees. Thanks for visiting!

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Copts, and some other groups of Christians are strongly encouraged to fast during certain parts of the religions year, most especially during Lent. This led to some interesting zoology, because you could eat fish, or at least some kinds of fish. So the question arose: is it fish?

The answers were yes, no, and what season is it? Continue reading

Nut, bread, or Meat? Forest or Cultivated Woods?

Welcome, Instapundit readers! The book listed at the bottom of the piece is available in print and e-book if you are interested.

Are chestnuts bread, meat, or nuts? The Romans weren’t certain. Some Roman writers had doubts that the results could be eaten by man, and lumped chestnuts in with oaks and beech trees, wild trees that provided mast, or fodder for pigs. other writers disagreed and called the chestnut nuts “chestnut nuts,” and put them in with almonds. And a few held out that the material inside the conkers was really meat, and might fall under the restrictions for Lent and other fasts.

All this for one tree? And yes, chestnuts are wonderfully, deliciously edible. And the trees have adapted humans to their survival, or vice versa. But back in Late Antiquity/Dark Ages, things weren’t quite so certain. Which leads to some fascinating history. Continue reading

Due to a Lot of Stuff…

This is today’s post. I had a concert, plus the end-of-quarter Day Job work, plus moving things around to get ready for the first freeze/hard-freeze of the season, and trying to get Oddly Familiar ready to go, and a post for MGC ready.

The target release date for Oddly Familiar is the 16th, but it will probably be the 17th.

Autumn Light

All I could think of was the line from Kings about “And he shall be as the light of the morning…after rain.” Well, that and hear the opening chords of “Holy Radiant Light.” Just before I drove to rehearsal Monday night, the clouds broke apart, revealing the evening sun shining between clumps of blue-grey low cloud. Continue reading

Dog in the Car: A Rant

So there I was in traffic, waiting for the light to change. The SUV beside me caught my eye. The driver had her window down a little, and was letting a lap-dog stand on her chest and the steering wheel, looking out the windshield.

Later that day, I did a double take because it appeared that a mastiff was driving. No, but he was leaning across the driver, peering out the open window. Continue reading