varied thrush

Snow is Coming! 1  

Recently an “old-timer” in Boulder Creek remarked that he knew snow was coming because the varied thrushes were back. That’s not good news, for here the quiet sound of snowfall is punctuated by ripping crashes as trees drop overloaded branches or simply fall over because it doesn’t happen often enough to keep the trees “trimmed.”

Balloons and books at Book View Cafe

Giveaway at the New Bookstore in Town 5

We’ve officially launched our new bookstore over at Book View Café, and we’re giving away books to celebrate. It’s been quite a process getting to this milestone, as vividly described a couple of weeks ago by Linda Nagata, whose WordPress-fu was indispensable to the effort. We’ve been running the bookstore in “stealth” mode since then, and […]

Ambush Proposal 1

In May of 2003 I had a rather delightful problem on my hands. Deborah and I had been “serious” for five years, and we had been looking forward to marriage for some time, but I hadn’t felt easy about proposing to her before her divorce was finalized. But now it was, and I could. The […]


Ruler of Naught

Ruler of Naught: Coming December 27 from Book View Cafe 6

Updates: December 28: Sherwood and I talk about how ebook publishing let us dive into rewriting a 20-year-old space opera at Scalzi’s Big Idea. December 28: Sherwood Smith talks about Star Wars, Dave Trowbridge, and the Zing! of inspiration. December 27: Deborah J. Ross talks about The Lesbian Chocolate Sex Scene, or Life With Exordium. December 27: The The Phoenix in Flight is on […]

When a Book Can Change You Forever  

In the acknowledgements for the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods, Neil Gaiman mentions “the inimitable Harlan Ellison, whose collective Deathbird Stories burned itself into the back of my head when I was still of an age where a book could change me forever.” (my emphasis). At Loscon this year, Sherwood Smith, Deborah, and I […]



The Parable of the Young Man and the Old  

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went, And took the fire with him, and a knife. And as they sojourned, both of them together, Isaac the first-born spake, and said, My Father, Behold the preparations, fire and iron, But where the lamb for this burnt-offering? Then Abram bound the youth with belts and […]

God bless Peru

We got our the first red potatoes of the season yesterday. They started life as about 50 potatoes that neighbors gave us two years ago because they’d sprouted. I didn’t harvest last year because the plants didn’t do well. This year they came back up more vigorously. There are about six more rows that should […]

A new mesopredator in our semi-feral garden 2

Gayatri in the garden for the first time (From Blog Pictures) I maintain a semi-feral garden to encourage a lively ecology of beneficial insects and predators, which tends to minimize the need for intervention to control pests. To attract bees, small wasps and other useful insects I let catnip, feverfew, foxglove, white clover, lemon balm, borage, […]

What a Good Dog! 3

Our German Shepherd Dog Oka had a vet adventure today, and his good behavior saved his owners several hundred dollars. From Blog Pictures Oka is almost eleven, although he still moves like a much younger dog, with that uncanny floating trot that only the GSD has. But for several years he has suffered from pannus […]

Westercon 2011

Deborah and I will be at Westercon 64, with bells on. Here’s my schedule, with my own take on the subjects. Friday @ 2:30 California room History Is Written By The Winners. How much of what we know about bunk history may be wrong and how do we find out? Friday @ 4:00 PM (Crystal […]

It Stops Here

I will not raise my precious child to kill your precious child. And if it is within my power, I will not hand over my beloved child to others to kill your beloved child, or to learn how to kill the one you cherish. –Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. (From via The Western Confucian)

The Rapture is an Alien Plot 1

Have you ever noticed that belief in The Rapture seems to correlate pretty strongly with an unhealthy interest in the way other people behave, not to mention a certain obliviousness to one’s own behavior? Fred Clark touches on this from time to time both in his brilliant chapter-by-chapter dissection of the Left Behind novels and […]

Photo by Marc Nozell used under a Creative Commons license.

Colmer Montpelier C Clarinet (ca. 1820)

Rossini Listened Here

Yesterday I got the chance to play a clarinet that is almost 200 years old! I was up in the Richmond visiting Daniel Deitch for some tweaks on my Buffet R-13 soprano Bb clarinet and repairs to a friend’s oboe, and spotted this clarinet in his workshop. It’s a “simple system” boxwood C clarinet made […]