Is It Meat? Sometimes…

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?

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.

Merchant and Empire: Justice Delayed

The wheels of the gods grind slow, but grind they do.

Eight days later, Tycho frowned under the brim of his hat. The great-haulers shook their feathers and hissed to themselves, as if echoing his thoughts. Rumor was true, as the walls ahead of them proved far past any least remaining thread of doubt. The water mage Trollanus had taken to walking with Tycho and he frowned as well. “The walls ought not block the road.”

“Nay, not on this side of the river, sir.”

Instead of an open road, albeit with trees too close to the edges for safety or comfort, a large and heavy gate with walls on each side stopped travel nigh unto a mile from the ford. “His Majesty did not extend Harnancourd’s rights so far. Did he?”

“The council in Rhonari had not heard so, sir, but the counts here are,” Tycho sifted words, weighing them as carefully as he weighed foreign coins. “Not always prompt to inform others of changes.” Continue reading

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