Due to Dentist…

and eye-glasses shop (dark glasses, at last!!!), and waiting at drug store for prescription, and grading, I lack a brain sufficient to blog.

It turns out that there are very few lens labs remaining that grind glass. Combine that with lousy timing—right before school starts—and you get to wait a month and more for glass lenses to be ground and put into frames and shipped back. But I now have two pair of indoor glasses and a pair of dark glasses once more.


August Doldrums

The garden is in the fighting-to-survive-until-autumn stage. The area is bracing for one more round of really hot weather before the Tri-State Fair wraps up in mid September, because it is always hot during the fair. That’s just how it goes, and is part of the tradition. We had a grey norther through this week (glory, glory alleluia!), but the 90s and even low 100s are not banished. So the plants endure, just like the rest of us. Continue reading

Rural Roads

Ah, rural roads, county roads, blacktops, “pave,” Farm-to-Market roads… All the ways to get geographically challenged when you are going from the North Forty to the Back-of-Beyond. (Not to be confused with the back of Burke, which everyone knows you cannot reach unless you are going somewhere else. If you pass a large, black stump, you are near the Back of Burke. And in Australia.)

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Yes, And? So what? Who didn’t?

Welcome, Instapundit readers and other visitors! Thank you for dropping by.

So, this year marks 400 years since enslaved Africans were brought to eastern North America. That the Spanish and Prortugese had already been bringing African slaves over, and that almost every other people on the American continents practiced slavery, and that the rest of the planet practiced slavery, doesn’t seem to matter. That slavery is still practiced today, in part because some religious texts positively command it, doesn’t matter to those who are concerned with chattel slavery of Africans as practiced in the British colonies.

Yes, slavery has been around as long as humans have been around in sufficient numbers to get into disputes. And it continues, either openly as slavery, or as debt-peonage, or concubinage, or debt-slavery, or “life servants,” or “gift servants.” Only Europeans tried to end the practice, because they believed that all men were created equal, and that enslaving people was no longer a right and moral practice. But that doesn’t count, or so the New York Times and other sources suggest. Continue reading

Somewhere in all that, there’s a playa

This has been a good year for plants around the playa lake beside the county blacktop* on the way where I work. The playa and surrounding land really needs a good burn, or to be grazed down, or both, but the proximity to the road precludes that, at least for the moment. Plus a burn-ban, so now is not the time.

A whole lotta grass and forbs) and sky.

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Painted Villages

To the west of Krakow is an area known for the folk-art on and in the houses. The painting started out of necessity, and then became an art-form, complete with classes in how to make the stencils and which paints to use for what surfaces… It also shows just how wonderful life was under the Communist governments.

Painted on an old barn

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I’m trying to get caught ahead, because I will be doing concert stuff all day on Saturday (0800-2100).

I’ve gone through Shikhari 6 again, and will let it sit for a week or so before sending it out to beta readers.

The climax of a new Familiars novel hit me on Monday night while working on a piece of music. My muse has an appalling sense of timing, since I was sitting on the front row center, right in front of the conductor, in the middle of the piece, at the time.

The cover for Fountains of Mercy is in the final stages and once that’s done, all that is left is formatting and upload. The artist will begin the cover of Hopling and Pouchling not long after that.

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Better for the Planet?

Apparently, because of not living on the Coasts or in a major city, I missed the memo that 1. waffle cones will save the planet from the evil polluting effects of cardboard bowls and plastic spoons, and 2. that plant-based ice-cream has a smaller effect on the environment than does Ye Olde cow-milk sort. Since I’m a fan of waffle cones, I see no problem with people eating the serving dish rather than throwing it away, although some of the bright colors (hot pink, kelly green, electric blue) are a touch disconcerting.

I’m not certain about the plant-based ice-cream being better for the planet, though. Continue reading

Two Mighty Days: August 17-18, 1969

I grew up around people who took hurricanes very seriously. They’d all lived on the Gulf Coast when Hurricane Camille struck in 1969. Not since 1935 had such a powerful storm swept onto the low-lying areas around the Gulf of Mexico, and in part because of that, some people didn’t take the storm that seriously. After all, it was just another hurricane, so there’s be wind, and rain, and water in the usual places, but nothing really out of Gulf-Coast ordinary.

I’ve ridden out Category one and two hurricanes, on what was then the far northern side of Houston. “The rains fell and the wind blew,” but that was all the excitement at my grandparents’ house. But those were weak, and further weakened by coming ashore and moving 50 or so miles inland. Not a Category Five storm riding a plume of unusually warm water. Warm water is hurricane fuel, and the Gulf was warm in the summer of 1969. Continue reading