Cats Some folks think cats are too aloof, too independent. I like that independent streak most of them have and don’t mind them staying out of my face most of the time. My big things are that they allow petting and they don’t climb the curtains. Take this poor little thing here, Tima. She was booted out of her home for some reason, away from all she knew. Then she got left at the dog pound AKA the Animal Shelter and placed in a crowded room with all manner of strangers. There she languished for four solid months and was slated for death. Animal Shelter people are wonderful and I appreciate them immensely, but I also know they get far too many animals and can’t care for them like a home can. What did it hurt me to take her in? She’s definitely one of the aloof ones, but golly she’s no problem to have around and anything that snuggles up with a teddy bear is okay in my book.

My SweetheartMy original cat is Krink Pestercat. I was coming home to the cabin at twilight  a dozen years ago and saw little squirming things in the middle of the gravel road so I stopped. There were two tiny kittens so young their eyes weren’t open yet, dumped by some &*#$# in the road and they were so covered with ticks I had a hard time seeing what color they were. Of course I scooped the wormy things up in a box and took them up to the cabin. I picked the ticks off and bathed them and had to risk worm treatment. I kept them warm and held them, petting them gently like a mama cat cleaning, as often as I could. After a couple weeks their eyes opened and they seemed like they would make it, but the little boy died. Krink, with one ear folded backwards, has been my closest sweetie since.

Rescue a cat, it’s good for your karma.

Home Sweet Home

A friend of mind urged me to share why I don’t heat or cool my house. The cabin here looks rough on the outside, but it is nice inside with four pairs of skylights, lots of room, a huge library, a two car garage, two stories and a full basement. It also has a nice heat pump. I leave the heat on ‘frost watch’ (about 40 F) and don’t use the cooling at all.

You may think Kentucky isn’t that far north or south and it doesn’t matter, but 40 F in the house all winter needs to be experienced. Toothpaste doesn’t want to come out. Bread won’t rise. No brewing until late spring. The microwave fogs up when I heat something. The refrigerator won’t come on because it is set at 40F and when it doesn’t run, the freezer compartment doesn’t stay cold. The cats get VERY friendly, wanting to snuggle all the time. I have to leave the radio on all the time (standby) because if I turn it off, the circuits get condensation and I can’t turn it back on for a day or two. I have a wood stove in case the electric goes out.

Why? Because I think people, certainly Americans, are crazy about constantly either heating or cooling to get a perfect temperature. Is all of that energy consumption really worth you personal comfort? Do you wonder how much pollution and CO2 is associated with your demand for being able to wear a t-shirt inside all of the time? How much coal do you need ripped from the Kentucky countryside in order never have to wear a sweater?

I go home from work and , if it’s cold enough, change into my long  johns and add a sweater or sweat shirt and sweat pants. If it’s colder than that, I add a hip-length super-fleece jacket and pants. By layering as needed, I can stay cozy all the time, especially since I have a thermal blanket at the ready by my easy chair. In the summer I unlayer, usually ending up in a tank top and loose skirt. I have one window fan and lots of screened windows. The full basement helps moderate temperatures.

“I can’t do that, I have kids.” Right. You are teaching your kids that a constant, narrow range of comfort is normal and good. I was raised in a house heated by a Warm Morning coal store that sat in the kitchen. My job in the winter was to go outside to the coal pile and chip some from the ice and snow so Ma could start the stove up. My sisters, brother and I have few colds or other sicknesses and we know for a fact that winter is cold and summer is hot.

“I have a medical condition.” Do what your doctor says, I’m only trying to make you think. Thinking includes making an informed decision whether messing with the thermostat is proper for you or your family.

“I have a right to slurp up as much energy as I can pay for and don’t care about how much of the poisonous residue ends up in the air for little children to breathe.” I have nothing polite to say to folks like that.

Today’s Patriots vs the Patriots of 100 Years From Now

A reader asked me what the heck I had against the Patriots, the conservative Republican-ish party since I lambast them in my books. I have nothing against those folks! I wrote the stories before the Patriot Movement got into the news so much, the name is serendipidous. I chose to name the bad guys Patriots because patriot is a cherished concept in America; to be a patriot shows a deep and abiding love for what makes America great. In my story, the economy went to pot when the climate-changed weather and rising sea started tearing up the coastal cities. Here’s an excerpt:

“We had a neighbor at our first house that had a Fiat Mobius that he swore ran on olive oil. He’d say, ‘Essstrrra virrrgin olive oil’, rolling those r’s. It was a real showpiece, grass green, low to the ground, convertible.”

“They made an electric version of that, didn’t they?”

“Yeah, but it didn’t rev, and man oh man he liked to gun that engine. Ended up stuck on some tracks and got smithereened by a freight train.”

After a few minutes of reflection, Doc said, “I wish I could forget the first panicked coastal evacuations, with all the pollyannas out in full force while everybody kept saying their town was ‘another New Orleans’. I got so sick of hearing someplace was ‘another New Orleans’.

When people got fed up with political dithering while the storms got worse and displaced coastal folks looked for shelter, they allowed a coup. The ringleaders used the Chinese-Capitallist model and to make the overthrow palatable, and they named themselves the Patriots. They eliminated the Congressional posturing and the reign of lobbyists, but also savaged Freedom of Speech as well as other Bill of Rights freedoms. The Freedom of Speech movement (News Front or Freaks) was spread far and near as a grassroots means of taking the government back and that’s a main element of the books – the struggle of the news Front organizartion – the true patriots – against the usurping Pats. Here’s another excerpt:

Marta worked at digesting this information, linking what sounded like facts to other things she’d heard. “And you? You were sentenced for asking the wrong questions? About Holland?”

“Sweetie, how do you think I know this stuff? And about those other blacked out colonies? I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck and ask a few questions to the schmo on the street corner; I was a member of News Front. Heard of them?”

“You were News Front?” Marta sat up ramrod straight, a jolt through her spine and a flood of pictures racing across her vision. Suddenly the ambient lighting was painful; she closed her eyes. In a scared little voice she said, “I saw News Front people, I have nightmares about them.”


“I saw them at the refugee camp in Nijmegen.”

Naomi, shocked speechless for a good minute, whispered, “You saw them? Nijmegen is in Holland. You’re talking about the South Netherlands Mega-Camp. Why were you in Nijmegen?”

It was the tyrant Patriots that turned interplanetary exploration and colonization into punishment for the Freaks and gave the elites somewhere to dump the millions of people displaced by the sea or by the elites.

Honest, there’s no connection to current political parties and as a former US sailor, I respect the Americans who fight for our constitutional rights in words and in deeds, whatever their affiliation.

To read it for yourself, go to

TaDa! My New Book IS HERE!

Y’all I am giddy with excitement to have my wunderbook The Distant Trees out amongst the heathen! I’ve come to think of these sci-fi, interstellar travelling characters, even the weird aliens, as real folks and have kept writing down more of what they’re getting up to, they never seem to quit. That’s unless I kill them off, traumatic, that. The good guys get mangled up sometimes, but the bad guys … well sometimes they get off scot-free. C’est la vie!

Buy it at

At least until I can figure out how to work these durned widgets. Thanks!

The Distant Trees, Aw-right!

How about a sci-fi tale set in the next century featuring tyrannts, underdogs, illegal aliens, outerspace aliens and great gobs of erudite adventure? Maybe The Distant Trees is for you!  This blog will talk about my science fiction books, world travel, nature and the joys of drinking homebrewed ale and wine. Welcome and keep in touch!

Judge for yourself, buy a copy, and Thanks!