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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween work day

Ken has done a lot of traveling and has had a number of public appearances to prepare for, so there hasn’t been a lot of time for farm work this fall. But this week he has started catching up. First step: clean the litter out of the garden. Second step: throw on some compost. Next: […]

Free clover, all you can eat

Click on image for high-resolution version Everybody eats the abbey’s clover — rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, chickens, deer. And who knows who comes in and eats it in the dark of night. I’ve seen this chipmunk several times lately outside the abbey’s side door. I’m wondering if a family of chipmunks has taken up residence […]

Sourdough in winter

During a couple of early cold snaps, I learned that making sourdough bread takes forever in a cold kitchen. Though all the experts seem to like the idea of a long, slow rise, I don’t have forever. The leaven process must complete overnight, and the rest of the job must be done in time to […]

Apple expedition

What an apple should look like Someday the abbey’s orchard will have a stand of grand old apple trees that will supply a variety of apples from late summer until fall. But unfortunately the abbey’s orchard is only five years old. Though it’s producing apples, the young trees can’t make apples faster than the squirrels […]

John Twelve Hawks: I’m not James Frey

Source: I had email from John Twelve Hawks this afternoon. He had seen my recent blog post, in which I mentioned speculation in some big-city literary circles that John Twelve Hawks is a pseudonym for James Frey. “… I can confirm … I’m not James Frey,” John Twelve Hawks writes in the email. He […]

2013 summer garden, R.I.P.

Click on image for high-res version As you get closer and closer to the last pepper of summer, or the last tomato, or the last basil, it all gets increasingly precious and picturesque.

Thinking rationally about apocalypses

Albrecht Dürer Apocalyptic thinking is in fashion. The apocalyptic threads in contemporary culture are everywhere to be found in books (both fiction and nonfiction), movies, television series, and the news media. We are riding a long wave of pessimism, with polls showing that something like 80 percent of the population think that life is getting […]

Empathy for mechanical things

A small area of the interior of my 1954 Collins 75A-4 receiver, which has 22 tubes and lots of rotating shafts attached to its inductors and condensers It is universally understood that human beings — at least the better sort of human beings — have empathy for other human beings, and for animals. But empathy […]

Another movie deal for John Twelve Hawks

Source: We learned this week that the mysterious John Twelve Hawks has sold the movie rights to his next book. It was first reported in Deadline Hollywood, and the industry is buzzing with the news. John Twelve Hawks, you will recall, is the author of the bestselling Fourth Realm Trilogy, which (in my opinion) […]

Ken dines in Dingle (without me)

Photos by Ken Ilgunas Ken is in Ireland, near the end of a six-week trip to England, France, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. He’ll be home in a few days. I insisted that, while he is in Dingle in County Kerry, he have dinner at my favorite place — Benners Hotel. This evening he emailed […]