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Plastic on the squash bed

Plastic on the squash bed

The sun will rise this morning at 6:31, and set 14 hours and 36 minutes later at 9:08 this evening. We’re now losing about 6 minutes 43 seconds a day. It’s starting to feel like fall, though, if not quite like winter. The official airport temperature hasn’t dropped below freezing yet, though it reached 33 °F Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure it was colder out my way.

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

I’ve put the plastic cover on the squash, put row cover on the potted mints, and started bringing the rest of the potted plants into the garage overnight. I also separated the hoses from the outdoor faucets. Even “frostproof” fittings can be damaged by freezing if the hoses are left attached. So far the only actual frost damage I’ve seen was discoloration of the growing tips of the pineapple sage. The forecast suggests slight warming next week, but lows are still forecast in the 30’s.

It’s dried out a little, though it’s now official: 2014 was the wettest summer in nearly a hundred year of records in Fairbanks. Certainly it’s the first summer I’ve had to do almost no watering!

logo WWW Vet

Sunday is the day for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for links to other participants) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

I’m following on from last week with Rescue Operation.  Here Roi is speaking first.


Hubble ACS/WFPC2 Image of Globular Cluster M13
Source: Hubblesite.org
“Wif and I weren’t there, but who else was missing? Derry and Kaia? Where—oh, no. Possible interspecies contact, and Derry’s the best xenotelepath we’ve got, and nobody else can touch Kaia on communications problems.”

“Get them back,” Emeraude said. “You can contact them, can’t you? Wif, too.”

Roi nodded.


But can they do anything?

Snippet Sunday logo

SFR Presents logo

It’s Saturday and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, a blog hop where we share about 200 words from something we’ve written. For rules and links to other participants, click the logo above, but it may not work today. SFRBP seems to be on a hiatus, though I’ll continue posting.

I am still posting from Both Sides Now, a WIP that blends science fiction, adventure, politics and a touch of romance. Kevi’s hands are too badly injured to allow him a normal grip on a marker, so Coralie has wound bandages around one to give him something to grip.

This time Kevi was able to grasp the roll of bandage, though he was clearly unhappy with his final result. “And I used to call myself an artist,” he said disgustedly. “I think it’s recognizable, though. Those are the symbols for medical supplies, food, clothing and shelter. They should be on the outer boxes. The medicines are the most important. If you can spot something with these subcodes, those are the general codes for painkillers, anesthetics, and antibiotics—but they’ll likely be in smaller packages inside the large boxes.”

“Can I borrow your horse, Doc?” Coralie said as she headed for the door. When she was gone, Doc turned to Kevi. “You’re willing to do this?” he asked.

Kevi met his eyes squarely. “Humanitarian aid.” he said. “Perfectly legal, even if Zhaim hadn’t started this. Weapons or ammunition—maybe, if those predators move in. But you’d be stupid to attract attention by using them on Confederation troops.”

Doc nodded. “That’s what Mik and Terry keep telling us. Hide and be quiet. It’s not easy advice to follow, especially for the younger men. Did I tell you Mik’s hoping Terry will marry Coralie? He’s the one man she doesn’t seem afraid of.”

Predators? They’ve run into pumas on the trek to rescue Kevi—and pumas (or other large predators, or any felines at all) were not included in the terraforming of Horizon.

Year 10 Day 345

Credit: Kevin Schafer/UC Davis photo

Credit: Kevin Schafer/UC Davis photo

It’s a good thing I’ve learned to check the weather at a teleport destination, and set an automatic “return home” if I feel any danger. In nine fivedays I’ve actually managed to fly all day southward on no more than a handful of days.

Other days? Well, Patches has good days and bad, and when she has good days and her memories of favorite places touch my mind, I take her to those places. She doesn’t do much but lie in the sun, but she feels happy.

I never teleport into a lightning storm. That’s a lesson I learned years ago. But I decided that if I never teleported into cloud or wind, I’d never get very far south. Yes, the northern oceans are stormy, but not like this!

I’ve reached about 50° South, and with no sign of ice or land. I did, amazingly enough, see a bird today. It was soaring, rather than pumping its wings in flight, and it didn’t look as if it needed to land very often. It seemed to be getting its food from the water, which was teeming with life. Could it really be that far from land?

Quotes from Andre Norton

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between August 21 and August 27, 2014.

Warding cover“Who can swear certainly to anything of the Power?” Andre Norton, The Warding of Witch World. Frost, refusing to promise something she is uncertain of.

“No two Powers are alike—just as no world copies another to the last blade of grass.” Andre Norton, The Warding of Witch World. Frost, again saying she can not be sure how the Power will work.

“Always the Dark will rise—for it cannot be entirely driven from any world of man.” Andre Norton, The Warding of Witch World. Koris, at the last great conference after the Warders have returned.

“We must always strive to learn more and put what is so learned to proper use. Andre Norton, The Warding of Witch World. Koris again. And this sentiment, especially the second part, is very appropriate for today.

Storm Over Warlock cover“He had a right to be alive, hadn’t he?” Andre Norton, Storm over Warlock. Shann Lantee, feeling as if he has been somehow blamed for being the only survivor of the Terran camp.

“There is no reason for us to advertise our being alive.” Andre Norton, Storm over Warlock. Ragnar Thorvald, pointing out that taking a Throg weapon, useful though it might be, would alert the aliens to possible survivors.

“That sort of thing just isn’t supposed to happen.” Sue Ann Bowling, Tourist Trap. Penny, speaking to Roi after his carelessness with the warnoff has brought on a puma attack.

Sunflower QuiltThe sun will rise today at 6:10 and set 15 hours and 24 minutes later at 9:34 pm. I can no longer drive places in the evening without checking the time, and we now have astronomical twilight (sun between 12 and 18° below the horizon) for about 2 hours just after midnight.

Lemon PhaleonopsisWe’ve had a few more showers, but we still haven’t reached 2” for August. We are almost half an inch above normal, though. Temperature has also been slightly above normal, but that’s still mostly in the high 60’s in the daytime. As far as the forecast is concerned, mostly cloudy with chances of rain and normal temperatures for the next week.

I’m thinking more of house plants now, and couldn’t resist an orchid. Hope I can get it to rebloom.

logo WWW Vet

It’s Sunday, and time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.) I’m still quoting from the opening of Rescue Operation, and this is a continuation from last week. Emeraude speaks first, replying to Keishala’s statement that some planets (including Central, where they live) accept slavery. The second speaker is Roi.


NGC 1275 (Perseus A) Multi-wavelength Composite
Source: Hubblesite.org
“Yes, there are planets that accept slavery, but Horizon doesn’t and never has. Anyway, people will accept things from their own governments that they’ll go to war to keep from having imposed on them from outside. Roi, was it a full binding vote? Can it be broken? Fast?”

“Eleven to nine, so twenty voted. That’s five-sixths of the Inner Council—all that’s needed. Wait a minute.”


Short sentences, but excited people can talk that way.

Snippet Sunday logo

SFR Presents logo

It’s Saturday and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, a blog hop where we share about 200 words from something we’ve written. For rules and links to other participants, click the logo above.

I am still posting from Both Sides Now, a WIP that blends science fiction, adventure, politics and a touch of romance. Doc has just mentioned his frustration that though they have access to stolen Confederation supplies, they have no idea what they are.

Kevi was suddenly alert. “Do they have the Confederation codes on them?” he asked.

“Yes, but we can’t read them. We don’t even know if any of them are medical supplies.”

“I know the codes,” Kevi said thoughtfully. “If you have a marker and something I can write on I’ll show you the top-level symbols for medical supplies, food, and shelter. No telling what drugs are there until I see the boxes, but I’ll know how to use them and if there are things we need.”

We need? Coralie grabbed a marker stick and pad off the counter that served Doc as a desk, but Kevi was unable to grasp the narrow marker. He tried, frustration clearly growing, but his hands were simply too distorted to handle something so small.

“Maybe it’d work better if I just looked it over and picked out the boxes with medical supplies,” he said finally.

Doc snorted. “Other side of the valley, on those feet? No way. Not if I have to sit on you.”

“Give it to me,” Coralie said sharply, snatching up the marker. She selected one of the cloth rolls from the bandage shelf and began re-rolling it around the marker stick. “Try that,” she said when she was finished.

Year 10 Day 300

I can’t explore to the north this time of year. Not only is it bitterly cold, there is no sunlight. But in studying the images the ship captured as we crashed, there appear to be ice caps at both poles. And at this time of year, a little after the southern solstice, the southern polar regions should be at their warmest and brightest.

Granted, this continent I am on does not extend very far south – barely 35°. I can see nothing but ocean south of it, no matter how high I levitate. The images, which were taken at nearly this point in the seasonal cycle, are not much help, as there are too many clouds to tell whether I am looking at land or ocean.

That many clouds, of course, translates to stormy. After a day of flying due south from the southernmost cape, I was soaking wet and exhausted. I considered teleporting to the pole, which I could have done – I’ve learned that much. But what if this south pole is not water? What if it is high, perhaps even as high as the snow-capped mountains I have seen? Teleporting myself into sold rock, or even solid ice, is not a good idea. Even I know that!

So I will teleport each day to the coordinates I left the evening before, fly southward until I am soaked and cold, and then teleport back to my home. If I teleport into a region of thunder and lightning I will leave, but so far these clouds seem not to belong to that kind of storm.

Quotes from Terry Pratchett

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between August 14 and August 20, 2014. The first 6 are by Terry Pratchett, from Mort.

Mort cover“Magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances come up nine times out of ten.” At least in Discworld!

“It’s the people the gods ignore who get the really rough deals.” The gods take an interest in tragic heroes, but sometimes it’s even worse to be ignored.

“The awesome splendour of the Universe is much easier to deal with if you think of it as a series of small chunks.” Mort, just apprenticed to Death, is trying to deal with cleaning the stable of Death’s horse.

“People don’t want to see what can’t possibly exist.” So they don’t.

“REALITY IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS.” Death, explaining to Mort that those surrounding him are aristocrats, who are very good at not seeing what they don’t want to.

“PEOPLE CAN’T EXPECT TO HAVE ME RUNNING AROUND AFTER THEM ALL THE TIME.” Death, the first time he sends Mort out to attend deaths.

“What was wrong with her, that she had forgotten so thoroughly the dangers of her home?” Sue Ann Bowling, Homecoming. Marna’s thoughts just after she has almost been attacked by a butterfly cat, forgetting the predatory nature of these beasts.

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