Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Country Music and Slumpage


Bear with me - my thoughts this Saturday are a little philosophical.  I had a work-related training last week about communicating conservation.  That likely sounds trite but it is one of the biggest challenges that exists in the field of natural resources.  People don't like to hear the doom and gloom message about all that is being lost and what that might mean for life on this planet and most of us delivering the message are a) not educated in communication and 2) scientists who are uncomfortable presenting anything but facts penned in by numerous caveats which makes us sound like we don't know what we're talking about.  And we are still ignorant about a lot of things; we have only begun to really understand our world and how it is all connected (which is one of the main arguments for conservation - "The first rule of intelligent tinkering - keep all the parts.").  The problem is that "the other side" is just as ignorant but they aren't hampered by the ethical imperative of admitting that ignorance.  But I digress.  A lot. Sorry.

What I wanted to bring up about the training is that the trainer gave us an interesting exercise to describe ourselves, i.e. write our bio, using our natural address.  What natural environment gave rise to who we are today, what experience in the outdoor world drove us to become conservationists.   Everybody in the room read theirs and it was incredibly moving.  Mine was:  "My name is Stephanie Shepherd and my place is on the edge of the Atlantic ocean, vast, unknowable and wild and in the middle of the prairie that somehow reminds me of that ocean."  Whether it drove you to become a natural resources professional or not, I think many of us have this origin story, this sense of natural place, of what inspires us and keeping that in mind and recognizing it can change the view of the natural world and our place in it quite a lot!  So what would your bio look like?
Doggies Love Fall


So I went to see Little Big Town in concert last night.  Didn't know I was a Country Music Fan?  Well I'm not, really.  I like older country music and in fact my very first concert ever, at the age of 10, was Willie Nelson (Favorite Song on Favorite Album). Why my dad thought it was a good idea to take his 10 year old daughter to a Willie Nelson concert, I'm not sure - I probably begged to go.  The thing I most remember about it is that there was this gigantic drunk cowboy sitting in front of us that equally fascinated and terrified me.  ANYWAY, basically if it's got an acoustic guitar, some drums and a bass, maybe a little harmonica or piano it's my kind of country music.  Add in a fiddle, banjo and or a mandolin and I get even happier (i.e. I love bluegrass best of all). Electric guitars have no business in country music. None. I had not even heard of Little Big Town before Thursday when my friend asked me to go to the concert with her.  They were decidedly NOT of the old school variety and I suspect my hearing may be permanently impaired (and Hey Kids! Get Off My Lawn!) but it was kind of fun.  I actually enjoyed the openers quite a bit more than the main act particularly the first opener, Cam, who performed with two acoustic guitarists. She had a fantastic voice and appeared to have written all her songs herself which were equally fun and heartfelt.  So how do you feel about country music?  Got any favorites that I should check out?

Little Big Town



Nothing much.


First, I wanted to mention a nice article on SF Signal that has very short essays from a BUNCH of great authors on what book(s) started their love of Science Fiction and Fantasy literature.  It's a lot of fun.

Finished Last Week:

Not a darn thing.  I am in a bit of a reading and TV show slump at the moment.

Currently Reading:

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: So maybe some day I'll pick this up again?  Until then it will sit here on the currently read and look encouraging.
  • The Founding (The Morland Dynasty #1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: This is the first book in a series that follows a single British family through numerous generations into modern times.  This first book takes place in the early 15th century.  This is such a fascinating idea and I have high hopes but I have to say the characters in this first book are shallow and are doing nothing for me.
  • Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak:  Despite the presence of pirates it is not making me happy mostly because of deficient humor and boring main characters. 
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey: Space Opera!
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik: I think this book may be suffering under the influence of too much hype.  I like it okay now that I am halfway through but still not craving it.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater:  The second book in the Raven Cycle which focuses a bit more on the character of Ronan.  Very close to finishing this one!
  • Murder on Washington Square by Victoria Thompson (Book #4):  This is becoming a go to cozy historical mystery series for me.  It is the only book I am currently feeling drawn to read.

Added to the TBR:

This is kind of a new thing I may try, listing books that get added to my Goodreads TBR list each week.  Maybe it will help burn them into my mind a little bit better, get them on some other folks TBRs and it will give me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!



SUNDAY:  Re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Thoughts on the book and it's movie after a second reading.
TUESDAY: Review of In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker A mash up of Science Fiction and Historical Fiction which works pretty well but maybe not as much as my high hopes.
THURSDAY: Romance Re-read: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. Revisiting a couple of romances for very different reasons.



SUNDAY:  Re-read thoughts about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix plus a re-watch of the movie.
TUESDAY:  This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about pairing authors you'd like to see write a book together.  This is a pretty intriguing topic and we'll see if I can put together any coherent thoughts on it!
THURSDAY:  This week's Tough Traveling topic is 'Pure Good' about those characters that are never ever bad. The only one that comes immediately to mind is Melanie from Gone With the Wind which isn't exactly SFF.... I'll have to contemplate this one.  Join in if you have some ideas - its a fun meme hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.  Otherwise I will likely post a book review.

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