My sister reminded me about this one

Today in Klingon fables, as told by Kahless to Gowron in the STtNG episode “Rightful Heir:” 

Long ago, a storm was heading toward the city of Quin’lat. The people sought protection within the walls, all except one man who remained outside. I went to him and asked what he was doing.

“I am not afraid,” he said. “I will not hide my face behind stone and mortar. I will stand before the wind and make it respect me.”

I honored his choice and went inside. The next day, the storm came, and the man was killed.

The wind does not respect a fool. Do not stand before the wind.

Gee, why does this story feel so relevant to the experience of living in America right now? Oh, right. Willful ignorance & pure hubris.

Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Stay in your lane.

It’s windy out there. The storm is already here.

Random Monday musings, mostly TV-related

1. Schitt’s Creek. I succumbed to curiosity at last, after I dunno how long since it seemed like all my friends were recommending it. Just in time for the series to end its regular run. It even sucked in Spouseman, which is a high compliment for any TV show, but especially one with no action and WITH lots of awkward situational humor. Now we just have a wait for the last season to post to Netflix.

2. I haven’t had much energy or focus after supper lately, so I’ve been re-watching NCIS episodes. And it has occurred to me that it isn’t a police procedural at all. Hasn’t been one for at least 5 seasons, maybe as many as 10. It’s an hour-long family sitcom dressed up in a worn-out, comfy old police procedural bathrobe.

3. Landscaping barrier cloth is horrible stuff. Maybe it’s good in high-erosion zones where there’s no soil, but laying it down over heavy clay soil is just…what a WASTE. It doesn’t stop weeds, weeds grow right on top of any mulch atop of the landscape cloth. All the cloth does is block helpful worms n other critters from traveling up into the mulch to loosen & improve the topsoil by mixing things up, and traps the poor plant roots down in solid clay away from all those nice nutirients.

I mention this mainly because I’ve spent the last three days ripping out multiple layers of landscape cloth hiding under the mulch & weeds in most of the planting beds. No wonder the soil in those beds was dead, and no wonder the few salvageable perennials were struggling so much. I’m still mostly going to be growing dirt in this yard for the next couple of years, but the horticultural foundation is,not nearly as bad as I first feared. So. Happy times in the garden.

That’s it for now. Until later!

Writer Reading Report: Smoke Bitten

Thanks to NetGalley, I received two ARCs (advanced reader copies) of upcoming novels by two of my favorite authors. Here be my short but heartfelt reviews of the first one I finished. It’s out now, so you don’t even have to wait!

Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs.

I expect most people interested in Smoke Bitten have read some or all of the preceding books. Smoke Bitten is the twelfth in an urban fantasy series about Mercy Thompson,  part-time coyote, full-time auto mechanic, Volkswagon owner, seer of ghosts, and neighbor to a werewolf alpha.

So if you’re checking reviews because this book looks interesting, you’re right! It is!

I always recommend starting at the beginning of any series as well=established as this one–or at least with a book closer to the beginning.  That said, if this is the only Mercy Thompson book you can find, it’s a great chapter in the ongoing saga, and a decent introduction to the complex, entertaining dynamics between members of an ever-increasing cast.

Honestly, any plot summary without spoilers would be either redundant or too vague to be useful. The important points. First, as with most other books in the series, the events in Smoke Bitten take place over a very short time frame.  Second, the action is local, and the stakes more personal than world-changing.

The plot shines brightest when Mercy is dealing with her friends and family. Often she’s making hard choices between people and rules, between principle and practicality. In this book, a problem arises from the solutions to problems resolved in previous books.

It’s a tangle of big personalities, old grudges, and buried mysteries, with all the emotionally satisfying, complicated I’ve come to expect from this author.