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ed_rex July 23 2014, 16:02

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joycemocha July 23 2014, 15:55

The Year of Wacky Gardening–Midsummer report

I’ve decided that this is the year of wacky gardening. Due to upcoming life changes, unlike previous years, I don’t know where we are going with a garden for next year. We may not have much of a garden, if any. Or we may co-garden with a friend in a different, more coastal, microclimate. I don’t think we’ll have Farpoint up and running yet. So this year I am determined to do the things I’ve wanted to do with my current gardening space all along–such as a coherent autumn/early winter/overwintering strategy, for one. It’s all good, but the key is that this year, late August does not mean I have to start cramming writing into the morning, work and horse into the afternoon/evening, and I have little time and energy for maintaining the outdoors. New adventures lie ahead for late summer and fall gardening, and by golly, I’m going to try them.

Additionally, a neighboring urban hen has decided that our yard is Chicken Heaven. I don’t mind her scratching under the bird feeder, but her sampling of the windfall apples and the broccoli is Right Out. She’s a pretty thing–a White Rock, well-conformed, would probably win blue ribbons at a chicken show if not championships. Neighbor says she is a good layer. From what I’ve seen, she’s also an excellent forager with a wide range of preferences.

She’s smart. She started by crawling under the fence, then, when I blocked it, she went the long way around. Flew over the driveway gate, walked up the driveway of the flag lot she lives on, around the front of our long house, and back along the side to the delights of our backyard. That’s a pretty involved route for a chicken brain to figure, but she’s got it down. She would make a wonderful free-range farm hen with her smarts, but an urban hen? Not so much.

Some days I have chased her out of the yard up to three times. This morning, I caught her meandering around the front, just as the neighbor came around to catch her. He saw her fly over the fence.  We pursued her, he captured her, and Things Will Happen. Alas, but if I wanted chickens in my yard, I’d have a more protected garden. We’ll see if I still chase chickens for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, in the name of garden succession, I’ve been plotting on how to replace cabbages. I’m going to see if we can get regrowth from this batch of cauliflower (done so before) but not with the cabbages. We’ve eaten two of the four cabbages and I think Number Three will get harvested tonight. Three of the four cauliflowers are viable and we’ve harvested one. I think Number Two gets harvested tomorrow. I’m going to check out a couple of hipster Portlandia garden shops to see if I can get late season cabbage starts and hope for cabbage for Thanksgiving.

I harvested the last crop of edible pod peas on Monday and pulled the vines. This batch has been quite prolific and I still got over a pint on the final picking. But the vines were mostly dead, with about six inches of green. Still, I was harvesting edible pod peas for a month. Not bad. Now we’re moving on to green beans. The first harvest of Blue Lakes was quite productive–a pint and a half, and I need to pick again.

The garlic was disappointing. I did harvest some heads with big cloves, but I didn’t get all the regrowth I wanted. I think this line has petered out. Too bad. I’ve been cultivating it for twenty years, but the past three years have not been as productive as I like to see. We’ll eat it all this year.

I’ve been harvesting onions all along. Besides planting a full packet of sweet yellow onion starts, I planted some red onion starts. They aren’t big but they are yummy. I’m hoping to be able to harvest a batch that will keep in the basement and have my own onions to eat all winter.

The Gravenstein has been dropping apples for two weeks, and I’m at the point of being buried. While I’ve been taking apples to the horses, it’s time to pick apples and put some away in the basement. I’ve made one apple crisp (will make another today) and an apple cake. I’ll probably make apple pie later on in the week. I canned twelve pints of applesauce and froze a scant quart of applesauce on Sunday. Today I plan to make apple juice (after I go buy quart jars, alas, I keep letting hubby talk me into getting rid of canning jars). I should be able to get six quarts out of that, and I might do a second round. However, I’m also going to start putting apples away in the basement and giving some to friends. It’s a good apple year, and the apples are both plentiful and big. I definitely want to take advantage of the bounty. I might even fire up the dehydrator.

Tomatoes are just starting to come on. This year, if I get buried, I’m making tomato sauce in pints.

Yesterday, I started the fall harvest replanting. More edible pod peas that I hope will be ready to start picking about the time that the Blue Lakes peter out, plus onions, in one bed. In another, more onions, plus beets and rutabagas. I’m contemplating finding a spot for carrots and, of course, thinking about when I need to plant overwintering crops for early spring harvest. I’ve never really tried to do this before. Should be fun.

And now it’s time to wander off and pick up jars. Onward.

Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.

al_zorra July 23 2014, 15:31


The new entries of friends on DW and LJ show up just fine. In both IE and Chrome

But I can't see anything new I post on either IE or Chrome. They are there though because I'm getting messages about the multiples of the last entry.

However, it seems that my Blogger blog is OK.

If it was a cache-cookies problem wouldn't there be problems with everything, everywhere?

What is the matter here?
kate_nepveu posted to con_or_bust July 23 2014, 15:02

Free memberships to Shamrokon (Eurocon) and others

Originally published at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. Please comment there ( comment(s)).

The following memberships are currently available free, first-come first-served, to fans of color/non-white fans. Please see the Request Assistance page to claim them.

  • (new) Shamrokon, 22-24 August 2014, Dublin, Ireland. Shamrokon is the European science fiction convention (Eurocon) which is held in a different country each year. Its Guests of Honor are Michael Carroll, Jim Fitzpatrick, Seanan McGuire, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Ylva Spångberg.

    An individual has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Nine Worlds Convention, 8-10 August 2014, London, England, UK. It’s about gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party.

    Nine Worlds has donated ten memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed by August 1, 2014; eight memberships remain.

  • Loncon 3, August 14-18, 2014, London, England, UK. Loncon is the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). Its Guests of Honor are Iain M Banks (in Memoriam), John Clute, Malcolm Edwards, Chris Foss, Jeanne Gomoll, Robin Hobb, and Bryan Talbot.

    Loncon has donated five attending memberships to Con or Bust and has matched up individuals’ donations of attending memberships up to another twenty. At present, eleven attending memberships have been claimed and thirty-six remain available.

lyda222 July 23 2014, 15:00

Podcast of Silliness

Yep, Mason and I are still at this... if you're interested in hearing the two of us talk about our favorite manga's current weekly chapters, check us out: http://mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/you-are-my-sunshine-eighteen/

Also, I drew more Renji fan art: http://junko222.deviantart.com/art/Relaxing-in-the-Human-World-470045243

And now I have to run as I have many birthday presents to wrap for a certain manga podcast co-host who is turning 11 tomorrow.
cherylmmorgan July 23 2014, 14:38

Beth Gwinn Photo Kickstarter

Originally published at Cheryl's Mewsings. Please leave any comments there.

Neil Gaiman

My friend Beth Gwinn, who has been the main photographer for Locus for as long as I can remember, has a Kickstarter campaign going to fund production of a book of her photographs of science fiction and fantasy writers. The above photo of Neil Gaiman is a sample of her work. I used that photo because one of the rewards available is that Neil will be signing 3 copies of a previously un-published print of him. Beth is a great photographer. I do hope this gets off the ground. More more information, see the Kickstarter page.

scarlettina July 23 2014, 14:15

I need some personal Pips

On a different but obscurely related topic to my last LJ post (made just minutes ago), I made the following post on Facebook last night and wanted to memorialize it here, with a couple more observations:

"Midnight Train to Georgia" really is one if the greatest pop songs ever recorded. [N.B.: It won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in its year.] Never gets old. Gladys Knight recorded one for the ages. And I just love those Pips.

What I love about the Pips' back-up is that not only is it just plain awesome, it's really affirming for the narrator of the story. She's made a decision and they're behind her all the way. I think we all need Pips. G-d knows I do.

A friend responded: I totally want Pips. I never really thought about it before, but you're so right - we all need someone to soulfully sing "I know you will" when necessary. :-)

If you want to know how awesome the Pips really were, you ought to see them doing their thing without Gladys Knight. And if you want to know how beloved they are, here's a kind of spoof/tribute, with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and the impossibly hot, impossibly cool Robert Downey, Jr. (Whoever directed this skit is an idiot, though. There's a gag at the end that he totally botched. It was a gag in bad taste, but his direction just made it lame, as well.)

My friend is right. There are days when we all need that back-up chorus validating our choices. (And, you know, if they all looked and moved a little more like RDJ, I would so totally not mind.) Today is one of those days.
scarlettina July 23 2014, 13:46

With a cat in my lap, I reflect upon the morning

"Life's a bitch and God's an iron, and I need a drink and a rubdown."--suricattus

That pretty much sums things up right now. My state of mind is the result of two pieces of e-mail I received last night. I'm not going to get into detail about either one, except to say that one was my fault (or at least it feels that way) and the second sort of exacerbated the feelings produced by the first. I received them both relatively late in the evening. I had a shot of whiskey and went to bed.

Weather: I wake this morning facing showers and thunderstorms in Seattle, suitable to last night's personal storms and to the dramatic urge. While the area needs the rain--it's been a very dry summer--I don't welcome the return of the darkness. It's always hard for me to take.

Movies: In other news, I saw "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" last night. Not only is it a remarkable technical achievement, it's just a really good movie. I want to see the next film in the series, like, tomorrow. (And yes, it's coming. The director of "Dawn" has already signed on.) Somebody, please, give Andy Serkis the special Oscar he so richly deserves. He has invented a completely new form of acting, and he's a master. (In the meanwhile, it looks like he's going to be in the new Avengers and Star Wars films. Glad to see him so busy and in such high-profile projects.) Tonight, I'm seeing a press preview of "Guardians of the Galaxy" with SA, my friend the film critic. I could use something light. Here's hoping the movie succeeds.
deadlinedames July 23 2014, 13:42

Dame-to-Dame Read-FORETOLD



d2drdoneAnnouncing the first Dame-to-Dame Read along!

Or as we will affectionately be referring it to as the #d2dr.

You might have noticed the box to the right. Readers will be able to follow along with the #d2dr hashtag on Twitter, or right here in the side widget.

So, what is a Dame-to-Dame Read?

Two or more Dames are going to choose a book and do a live reads together. Some will be our books and some will not. We’ll be tweeting fun things-quotes, observations, whatever comes up. It’s a one day reading party and we are inviting readers to join in the fun.

And there will be prizes!d2drdone2

For this first one, there will be two winners who will each receive a $25 gift certificate to an online bookstore of their choice along with a ecopy of FORECAST by Rinda Elliott.

So, starting at

10 a.m. EST on July 29th,

we will begin with a fun announcement here on the blog…with pictures of Dames reading. Feel free to read along, retweet, etc. We’d love for you to come and play! We’ll be choosing winners from readers who tweet or re-tweet with the hashtag #d2dr that day. Feel free to ask questions if you have them or let us know you plan to join in the fun.

Dames reading this first time are Devon Monk (@DevonMonk) and Karen Mahoney (@kazmahoney) and Rinda Elliott (@RindaElliott) will be playing along because the first read is…





It is written that three Sisters of Fate have the power
to change the world’s destiny.
But only if they survive…

The Lockwood triplets have had the prophecy drummed into their heads since birth. Still, Raven, the eldest of the sisters, can’t believe it’s really happening. She’s the reincarnation of a Norse goddess? One of the sisters is destined to die? When it starts snowing in summer in Florida, the sisters fear the worst has come to pass. Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world, has begun.

Raven finds herself the secret protector of Vanir, a boy with two wolves, a knowledge of Norse magic and a sense of destiny he can’t quite explain. He’s intense, sexy and equally determined to save her when it becomes clear someone is endangering them. Raven doesn’t know if getting closer to him will make a difference in the coming battle, but her heart isn’t giving her a choice.

Ahead of the sisters is the possibility of death at the hand of a warrior, death by snow, death by water or death by fire.

Or even from something else…

Sisters of Fate

 The prophecy doesn’t lie: one is doomed to die.


marthawells July 23 2014, 13:36

No subject

New books:

* Doghouse by L.A. Kornetsky
Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard has begun to make a name for herself as an unofficial champion of the tongue-tied. When a mysterious stranger comes to her with landlord trouble, she convinces her bartender friend Teddy Tonica to help her once more.

* Dust and Light by Carol Berg is up for preorder
How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her....After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

* Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier
Erenthrall—sprawling city of light and magic, whose streets are packed with traders from a dozen lands and whose buildings and towers are grown and shaped in the space of a day. At the heart of the city is the Nexus, the hub of a magical ley line system that powers Erenthrall. This ley line also links the city and the Baronial plains to rest of the continent and the world beyond. The Prime Wielders control the Nexus with secrecy and lies, but it is the Baron who controls the Wielders. The Baron also controls the rest of the Baronies through a web of brutal intimidation enforced by his bloodthirsty guardsmen and unnatural assassins.

* A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson
Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villains and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

* The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney
agical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill. It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger. Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.

* And there's a half-price ebook sale at Book View Cafe. The books on sale are here.
p_m_cryan July 23 2014, 12:35

***Now*** I have the con exhaustion.

Or it may just be the heat.

I did make it to NECON; it really was up until the last minute knowing whether I could afford to attend and could leave the store well-tended in my absence.

I did have a good time... a better-than-good time. As a newbie-no-more, it was interesting to see the dynamics around me. I'm not quite integrated into its con-family-whole [third time's the charm, I'll wager, based on observation], but I have my own little subsets of people to hang out with there, as I do at Philcon.

There was a concert on Thursday night with con guests, and Friday night there was the guitar circle, so I got to feed my soul and evade social anxiety at the same time. Unfortunately Saturday night it rained, so the outdoor activities were curtailed.

I was a vendor there for the second time running, and sales were very strong.

August now looms ahead of me in its stifling heat and its unpredictable foot-traffic patterns. I'm wearing a scoopnecked shirt, shorts and fishnets to work today... that's practically naked, for me.

I'm off to tackle my office and its scary desk.

saare_snowqueen July 23 2014, 10:26

For They Have Sown the Wind, Alessandro Perissinotto - Review

For They Have Sown the Wind, Alessandro Perissinotto, Translated from Italian by Cindy Stamphill, Edizioni Piemme Spa, 2011, translation: 2014, 203 pages, ISBN: 978-1480426542

A lawyer is going to visit a client in prison… Sounds like the start of a bad joke; only this is not a joke, although the situation is very bad. A man, a teacher, is in prison accused of killing his wife. He insists he is innocent, moreover his mind “has filled up with butterflies, or ants or with dust.” He is finding it almost impossible to write the diary of events that his court appointed lawyer has requested – to help him, the teacher, remember, and the avocat to understand. To help expedite this process, the counsellor asks the court to release a box of photographs the police found in the teacher’s house when they arrested him. These form a visual chronicle of Giacomo Musso and his wife, Shirin’s life. Two elements, the photos and accompanying diary entries create the structure on this powerful and engrossing meditation on love, and the ways in which modern conflicts and biases can impact on it.

Superficially a classic tale of doomed young romance across cultural borders, the first third of the book seems almost too idyllic. Giacomo and Shirin meet in Paris where he is bartending in a trendy café to supplement his salary as a contract employee at the Cité des Sciences where he arranges educational exhibitions for school children. She appears as part of a crowd of regulars that includes Sebastien, an aspiring stand-up comic and her boyfriend. Imperceptibly, at first, they begin falling in love. Shirin is Iranian, the daughter of wealthy exiles: Giacomo is an underemployed, over educated farmer’s son from Piemonte, in Northern Italy. The vast differences between them are irrelevant in Paris. Only when they move back to Giacomo’s home village of Molini, do the author’s darker purposes begin to emerge.

We, along with our young lovers, have been set up. Northern Italy, birthplace of the far right Lega Nord is home to some of the most vigorously racist, anti-immigration populations in all Italy. As the Molinese community begins to press its desire to have their children in their ‘specially created school’ taught not only the traditions and dialect of the region, but proper Christian ideals, Shirin’s hitherto anti-Muslim stance begins to shift towards sympathy for the Muslim women in the area and rage at the community for lumping her into a culture she had rejected. Reading these passages, I found myself wondering what the UK Ministry of Education and the braying idiots of the Daily Slime would have to say about such a ‘Trojan Horse’ type of school.

Italy today, with its long seacoast and proximity to Northern Africa is under siege.  Weekly it seems the news is filled with yet another set of painful stories and photographs of desperate people risking everything to reach a European shore. Thus Italy, like Greece, with their vast, structural, economic problems are being inundated with floods of determined, destitute refugees that humanity decrees must be embraced and cared for. It’s an impossible situation. Add to this the high visibility of the incomers into introverted communities suspicious of any newcomers and you have multiple recipes for disaster. In For They Have Sown the Wind, Alessandro Perissinotto has elaborated one, but in such a powerful and poignant fashion that the end, when it comes, seems totally expected and appropriate.

It would be easy to hate the callous, ignorant villagers of these traditional mountain communities. The mayor of Badallo in particular is presented as such a hypocritical pig that it the reader is tempted to feel he ‘got what was coming to him.’ Several of the other supporting characters are presented in more nuanced fashion. Antonio, Giacomo’s boyhood friend, remains loyal, even as the village turns against their school-teacher, while the family of the old man who insists on remaining in his isolated mountainside home is caught in a bind that many with truculent aging parents will identify with.

One of the things which made this novel such a powerful read, is the author’s refusal to offer absolutes. None of the characters are all bad or all good. They are enmeshed in a web composed of modern society’s evils and temptations with few, if any, clear guideposts for right behaviour. I can, however, totally recommend Shirin to my women friends who have been demanding a female protagonist with agency, although they may not be happy with what she does with it.

A fixture on the North Italian literary scene, the author earned a degree in Semiotics, later publishing a Dictionary of Fairytales. He now teaches at the University of Turin and has published several acclaimed novels. For They Have Sown the Wind, in Italian, Semina il Vento, published in 2011 won the Premio Fenice Europa 2012. One other novel, Una piccola storia ignobile, was translated into English as Blood Sisters, in 2011

The translation by Cindy Stamphill is excellent. The language flows smoothly even as it presents the flavours of the local community. This is a demanding read. It asks us to set aside easy judgements about why people behave the way they do. I am happy I was able to read it.  5*****

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