Dog Days Done!

Wow, the Dog Days of Summer should be done anyway, you know, when Sirius the Dog Star aligns with Sol and we all sweat and guzzle water. We had the heat waves alright; they should be gone for a while. And we’re only in the 90s today (humph).

Oh, Barky! Cool Off!

I haven’t used any air conditioning in the cabin or car all summer and don’t intend to start now. On the inferno days I just work in the underground basement where it’s like a 20 degrees cooler respite. Except being down there made me notice several issues that need attention…oh well.

Oops! Barky heard me jabbering!

Curiously Curved Trees

As many are aware, I live far out in the Kentucky woods on 100 acres of wild forest in a log cabin I designed and built. From the get-go, I have wondered why there are trees of several types that mysteriously start bending, usually a few feet up the trunk, and continue or even twist as they grow larger. Examples:

Sure, if a new tree is growing on a hill or monkeys start swinging on them, they’ll bend. These don’t fall into either category. There are many more around here, too. So why this Shag Bark Hickory or that Post Oak? Mystery indeed!

A while back, I published a series of books called ‘Take-A-Break Shorts’. They each have a few short stories, grouped by the type of story; about a dozen eBooks at only $0.99. There’s a story, a sci-fi answer set at the end of the Civil War called The Curiously Curved Trees. Read the whole story here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085161BHG/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p2_i5

Possible Hope?

Striving to help the light and dump the dark

Trying to keep busy sewing dresses, skirts, jackets

or painting on canvas

Weeding the garden

Making bread, yogurt, cookies

Writing…

Job ripped from me, no friends, no pay, alone

Reason for eating regularly?

Reason to keep my heart beating?

Reason to imagine soaring sheep?

Sheep bleating in the clouds – yes, I could pull another crazed story from my brain. Forget it.

Today? Cozy in my homemade jammies and housecoat, what about today? Get dressed!

Too much sewn , I don’t need more bread or yogurt, nowhere too hang anymore paintings, all outside is dormant. Another story or book? Nobody reads them, so why?

In the early morning sun’s shadows, I walk to the end of the long gravel driveway and see the wild yellow narcissus plants budded out. I look closer. Many new ones, the established ones have big, tinted buds, and there! There are a few in bloom! Spring’s grand harbinger! Possible hope? Barky nudges my knee for a pat and wags her tail.

SNOW GEEK!

After rain, rain, rain and more rain, I got jazzed to not only get some snow but 8 or 10 inches of it! I’ve lived in New York, California, Illinois, Florida and a little Indian Ocean atoll, but have the dearest attachment to my birth state of Kentucky. I love the environmental diversity, the equality of seasons (usually) and the log cabin I built here amidst the woodland and wildlife.

Yet I still love science and the fascinating areas of astrophysics and energy production. I study the climate issues and pick out the constellations on clear nights. I write science fiction with real science issues in them.

These two aspects coalesced on a snowy afternoon, impelling me to etch a Snow Geek in the freezing white fluff. Enjoy your day!

Silly but fun, needed for sanity sometimes!

New Nukes?

I listen to PBS in the mornings and this morning, I heard an entire show looking into the new nuclear power plants. Are we finally going to admit that nuke power has a strategic place in managing our chaotic climate? As noted in recent posts, I joined the US Navy nuclear machinist program in my teens!

I live in the most beautiful yet most filthy state in the US: Kentucky. The birds, trees, flowers, rivers, the entire state could be a natural haven. Except that for over a hundred years Kentucky has jabbed and stabbed nature with deep coal mines and worse, the open strip mines where gigantic monster bulldozers scrape entire forests and the wildlife away to get to that coal. This is all over the state, not just the eastern Appalachian part.

Where I live in western Ky between Owensboro and Bowling Green there were two strip mines that were much too close; I passed them going to college, the store. One in Hartford, one in Paradise. Remember the song? “Daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County, down by the Green River where Paradise lay? I’m sorry my son, you’re too late in asking; Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.” – John Prine. He gets into gory details, too.

The nuke power we know was based on the US Navy Admiral Rickover’s new submarines that could stay out for months at a time without refueling, submarines that went under the Arctic ice cap. That was revolutionary for our military.

USS Nautilus, 1st Nuke Submarine

I got out and worked at San Onofre, the three-reactor site in San Luis Obispo, California. I worked in the reactor compartments, around the waste, doing repairs, I wrote in the newsletter, planned high radiation jobs. I got an award for my high rad work planning article in the Nuclear News, the industry magazine. I worked in on-site drills for nuke safety with four area hospital emergency rooms.

Waste was the biggest issue. Now the tech is ready to not only make a TMI event impossible but also not add to the hidden piles of high rad waste deep in the Rockies and elsewhere. In my Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure series, the colony planet of Tenembras would not have survived without the nuke plant that made the oxygen for them to breathe as the planet was populated with no live ecology. Dissidents were dumped there to die but the nuke plant was integral not only for O2 production but in getting galactic aide as well. Here’s a coffee cup I designed and had made at Zazzle back then:

My Keep-It-Hot Coffee Cup!

Nuke power was dangerous but I worked it anyway. The new tech is not. Let the new tech nuke power team up with the solar, wind, hydro and other accepted power sources that cannot provide the amount of energy the new nukes can. The new nukes need to be part of the future’s energy mix.

Hornets, Yikes!

Living out in a Kentucky forest in a log cabin is idyllic and close to Mother Nature. I hear a wide variety of birds, see skinks and lizards scampering across the front porch, watch for deer and ‘possums every time I drive to and from the Post Office or Grocery.

Alas, Mama Nature also features the ferocious HORNETS that can cause grievous hurt and even kill when they gang up. Were they out in the woods I would not bother them. They built a nest right above the back garage door to the outside. And they get into the garage.

Ferocious Indeed!

I use the garage to store the thousands of books I sell in the Old Lady Who? online ABE Books bookstore, I have the clothes racks and shelves for more items to sell since I got fired last Christmas; gotta pay insurance, taxes, internet, electricity and oh, food bills. I sit at the desk in there for hours at a time to put more books into inventory and suddenly hear that dreadful deep buzzing – another one got in. Stop everything!

Last night I decided to watch a DVD (Hidalgo) and lounged on the sofa. About when they were on the ship to the Middle East, I felt suddenly uneasy and leaned forward to look back. A hornet was two inches from climbing into my hair. I generally do all I can to save wildlife, but these guys have GOT TO GO!!!

In the Living Room!