Friday, September 13, 2013

Guinea Update v3.0

Yesterday I fixed a place outside under the out building deck where I could put the cage for the guineas.  It would be dry and high enough off the ground where predators shouldn't be able to reach them.

I couldn't get the guineas in the cage.  They were more scary than before all the attacks but they were still relatively unafraid of me.  I just can't put my hands on them.  Not anymore, they were too fast.  I could still herd them but they refused to go into the cage.  After several attempts I gave up trying.

About dark they flew up in their usual tree to roost.  I need to explain about this tree.  It is not really a tree.  It is some kind of shrub that resembles a tree.  My nephew the gardener said years ago it was the largest of its type he had ever seen.  It has grown considerably since then.  Anyway it is probably 18 to 20 feet tall but as you can imagine being a shrub, the trunk and limbs are small in diameter.  You can shake it easily and I wondered why the guineas liked roosting there because the limbs they roost on are unsteady at best.  At worse they sway wildly when it's windy.  I have an oak tree near it.  Its first branch reaches out to the top of the shrub.

Around 2:00 AM this morning I was nearly asleep.  I heard a slight sound like a small limb brushing against a window.  I figured it must be Leo wanting in but it didn't really sound like him and he wasn't at the door.  I went outside and looked up into the shrub.  At least two raccoons!  It seemed impossible that they could be walking on the limbs they were on; the limbs were so small.  Before I thought I grabbed hold of one of the shrub trunks and began shaking as hard as I could.  Then I remembered the story of how dangerous raccoons can be and backed off.  I had left a shovel on the deck and I grabbed it.

How I wished I had a gun!

I heard one of the guineas fly but couldn't tell where.  The raccoons did not fall out of the tree.  Instead they just climbed higher and over onto the oak tree branch.  They wouldn't come down out of that tree.  I finally gave up and came inside.

One thing I realized.  Maybe why the guineas preferred that shrub was how flimsy the limbs are.  Its shaking could warn them of danger?  Maybe it was an evolution thing.  How they survived?

This morning I went out to see if any of the guineas had lived through the night.  Incredibly all five were alive and well!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Strangers

My guineas are being killed.  I wrote this short work of fiction this morning to get my mind off that.  Hope you like the story.

The old woman with her buggy full of groceries hesitated for a moment near the checkout area of the Piggly Wiggly.The store was practically empty and the girl at the express checkout called to her.  "Ma'am, I'll check you out here."

With that the old lady swerved her buggy to the side of the counter and began unloading the groceries.  She had the look of old women you don't often see anymore.  Gray wiry hair that weeks ago had a permanent but was now over grown and slightly unkempt as if it had been carelessly brushed a few times before she left home.  There was no makeup on her face and it was gently wrinkled around her eyes and mouth.  She was slightly overweight.  It showed in her sagging throat, her fatty upper arms and belly.  And she was wearing a dress.

She wasn't aware of the younger man standing next to her buggy until she laid two bunches of bananas on the counter.  He said, "I'm going home with you."
She looked around at him not knowing what to say.  He was a nice looking middle age man, nicely dressed."  The man smiled and quickly added, "it looks like you are going to make banana pudding."
She smiled, "why yes I am.  My husband loves it."
"I do too," the man said.
She continued talking as she and the man unloaded the buggy.  "The doctor says I have to be careful about how many bananas Ed eats, he can get too much potassium."
"If that doesn't make him too bad sick, the pudding is worth it," the man joked.
The old woman laughed a little.
The man loaded the buggy with the checked out groceries while the old woman slowly and carefully wrote a check for payment.  When she was done the man said, "where's your car?"

The old woman grew a little apprehensive.  It was one thing for strangers to be friendly but this was getting out of hand.  The man had a firm grip on her buggy though and she couldn't think of a way to get rid of him politely.
She pointed to the right front doors of store, "this way."
She walked in front of the buggy and the man followed her her quietly.  The noise of the buggy wheels on the pavement seemed uncommonly loud as the silence between them became increasingly uncomfortable.

When they reached the car, she said, "I've never seen you in the store, do you know me somehow?"
The man said, "I'm not from around here and I'm looking for a lady about your age.  Have you ever heard of a woman named Janie Kuykendall?"

A look of wonder came over her face.  Her eyes brightened and widened, mouth parted as she almost whispered, "that was my maiden name."
Tears filled the man's eyes as he extended his arms.  He said, "Mom."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Missing Link

I have not told the guys at ABftS I was writing this.  If they read it, they may say I'm way off.  So guys and everyone, this is just my thoughts.

When I read The Missing Link I had not read any reviews at  I like A Beer for the Shower so I bought their book and read it.  When I thought about writing this blog about it, I looked up the reviews at amazon.  Several of the reviews talked about an updated Alice in Wonderland.  I don't know about all that.  Here's my take.

I usually do not like fantasy mixed with reality - at all.  I want a story to be all reality or all fantasy.  You might argue The Missing Link is just fantasy in the way Superman or Batman is.  Not for me.

I was dropped into a real world that was quickly descending into chaos.  Civilization was cracking as quickly as a chef can crack a dozen eggs.  The computer guy was going nuts because the internet was down and everyone else in the office wanted him to fix it - fast.  Especially the pretty young thing who had a thing for pornography.  Some of the descriptions here turned me off a bit but it did serve to reinforce the idea that this was reality.  Outside the building other things were happening fast and furious and part of that came crashing into the building as the cool, bad ass, level headed security guard was on his watch.

Then the reason for all the havoc became apparent.  The goblins showed up!  Folks I have "fought" a lot of monsters in RP online games.  Those people go to a lot of trouble creating ugly and scary things for people to hate and fight.  They do an admirable job but they have nothing on these authors.  The goblins come to life immediately and begin chomping with their sharp little teeth and gulping down anything internet related.

Reality to fantasy.  The authors did a fine job with this.  The transition is seamless.  The computer guy is true to life.  I can't say that is completely true of the security guard.  I couldn't really buy into a bad ass guy named Mickey with a billie club named Gladys.  But it is funny.

The action is non stop.  It is not long before you are introduced to a group of homeless people who are extraordinary individuals and one them has an extraordinary dog.  The most impressive of this group is a female McGyver gifted in the art of making whiskey and weapons.

Soon you are introduced to the computer guy's girlfriend who is a gamer.  Unlike many of us who've played games and imagined we were in that world, Molly's dream comes true.  There is an old saying, "be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it."  I don't know if Molly ever wished to be in a fantasy world but she was sucked into this one.  And it was awful!

She began being accosted by various creatures and once again the authors shine.  For me the most memorable of the least memorable group were the bird guys.  Bawk!  "We'll just need your credit card number."

Twiddledum and Twiddledee show up and become Molly's "friends" but they're a lot like some of the "friends" you get on the internet.  The difference is these guys are amusing.  Sir McAffery showed up and did his thing.  He will always be George Bush in my mind.

I can't really talk about the type of humor in the book.  That has never interested me.  If something is funny I don't care what type humor it is.  Also profanity doesn't really bother me.  For me the book was funny, it told a good story and it is very easy to read.  Twiddledum loves this.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Update for page

Folks this is not really a new blog.  I have posted a new page.  It is my first attempt at fiction in over 30 years.  The name of it is Everybody Lies  Enough said.