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Brad's Blog

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Sept. 2

I took this picture of some of our many dahlias now in full bloom (with Butters wishing I was doing something more adventurous in the background).
Labor Day weekend included pleasant weather in the 70's, 75 classic cars in the park on Sunday, and the usual small parade and park celebration on Monday.  I played a set of mostly Beatles songs just after the parade.

Sept. 6
The Newport Music Festival (20 miles from home) is becoming an annual thing with me.  As usual I took photos of everyone...  I enjoyed the Wild Coyotes old time music from the Pocatello area as well as the hyperactive version of old time presented by the Blackberry Bushes. 
    The garden is cooling down with the weather.  We've still got great corn from the second planting, tomatoes, potatoes, a few green beans and broccoli, and plenty of raspberries and blackberries to have with pancakes or granola.

Sept. 10
"At my door the leaves are falling, a cold wild wind has come..."  That's from one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs, but it applies tonight as the first frost looms.  Usually the first frost comes with a cold wind that turns still overnight... That might eventually happen, but it's currently windy, which makes covering the tomatoes, squash, and dahlias more problematic...
    In advance of the cold, I picked the last sweet corn and the ripening and largest tomatoes, leaving the rest to see how they fare by the dawn's early light.

    A couple weeks ago I played music at the West Central Farmers Market in Spokane, where I was approached by a promoter who is starting a Porchfest this Saturday afternoon--10 porches within walking distance with 20 musicians and poets entertaining (2 sets per performer at different locations).   The weekend weather is looking good for this event, after a couple days of cool highs and freezing nights.  So I am participating in this "first annual" event.  The only drawback was the idea of moving the performers to different porches between sets, which in my case involves moving my sound system...

Sept. 12

Here's a picture of Butters at the beach yesterday (this part of the beach is grown up with water smartweed.
The frost last night was a killer, but covered plants did pretty well.  The squash were uncovered and a lot of the leaves were frozen, but I think they will continue to draw sustenance through the vines and roots and hopefully more will ripen, as the weather is headed back towards 80 in a couple days.
For a while I've been partially dipping pots with my scrap glaze, which is all the other glazes collected and recycled, then dipping them in the lavender glaze to get a pretty blue.  I finally did a couple of tests combining the two glazes and now I've got a pretty mottled blue:

I suppose it's about the color of my lost crystalline blue, but without the nagging glaze defects.  I'll be glazing a bunch of pottery with this, as I expect it to sell well...

Sept. 13
    The first Spokane Porchfest went off well as far as I could tell.  I played at a very modest older house on Broadway first, which had about a dozen people in attendance, including 4 or 5 young kids, a pool table and ping pong table set up in the back, and face painting by one of the hosts.  The second site was along the Summit Parkway, the high end of the new Kendall Yards development, and across the street was about 50 people from the housing association eating a catered outdoor white linen tablecloth kind of dinner.  Both places had attentive and appreciative listeners.  I saw a couple of the people from the first place came over to the more concentrated porch parties while I was setting up at the second.  The weather was perfect, and the end time of 7 coincided with sunset, which would have become cooler in a hurry...

Sept. 15
    Our brother-in-law Jack, who lived in Spokane, died over the weekend.  The immediate impact was that I had to do the Sunday church service, both music and sermon, which went well, albeit a lot shorter than the usual service...       There will be memorial service next Sunday...  Jack was a kindly uncle to our children, his own having grown before he married my sister-in-law Joyce.  He'd been a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, later working in the defense industry...   He was always quick to adopt new technology, and they were the first to get us started with their hand-me-down computers, like the one they called Fred, a 286 with a 40 meg hard drive, or a prelaptop "portable" computer that weighed about 15 pounds with an 8 inch orange CRT screen.  Those definitely got our kids engaged with computers.  When we'd visit them along the Alsea River in Oregon, he'd take us for rides in his truck Old Blue, or stick the kids on his riding lawn mower and let them ride around the yard.  He was always a big sports fan, and in more recent years, my son Birrion and I would often drive over to watch Monday Night and other football games with him.  Aside from fervent disclaimers about players on the screen, he was always kind to us...

Sept. 20
    I picked all our summer apples a couple days ago--12 boxes this year, and many of them larger than the apples you see in the store.  I think these apple varieties are Yellow Transparent and Lodi.  They are similarly tart in taste, and make great pies and applesauce (with added sugar).
    It's still been hot enough to swim (mid 80's) although the water is cold enough, and the Mill Pond low enough, that it's not a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  The memorial service for Jack will be on Sunday...

Sept. 25
We still have a couple relatives with us from the wedding.  The weather has remained pleasant with short sleeves, and a few of us still swim (me a couple days ago).  Whatever survived the first frost is still chugging along in the garden, including squash and tomatoes and carrots and black- and rasp-berries.  Our potatoes have done very well for us this year, and we dig a hill or two as we need them...  Our bartlett pears are ripe (but few), and I still need to pick our brown pears.


Sept. 26
The biggest news this week has been that the road in front of our house was chipsealed, so it should be a lot less dusty next summer.  When we moved to Spirit Lake in 1982, my mother asked if the roads were paved, remembering the primitive west from when she lived out here when I was born.  Oh yes, we said.  We had bought in February, and found out in the spring that the roads were gravel, with many a pothole.

yellow rumped warbler, fall plumage

American pipit
We saw these two new birds at the beach at Farragut State Park today.  The lower one was working along the edge of the water, and is a little brown jobber my friend and excellent photographer Jerry Ferrara identified for me.   The upper one has a yellow throat, sides, and above the tail in back, and Susa identified that one for me.  

Books read and other media of note:
Destiny Doll by Clifford Simak One of my favorite of the golden age of sci fi, this story feels more like fantasy than sf, but it works well...

Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley  His satire is always fun, but slightly more pointed when Washington is the target.  Like all great American satirists, he's an equal opportunity skewerer...

Permanence by Karl Schroeder 
This was good modern hard sci fi--concepts I'd been thinking about like tethered bolo ships to create centripetal "gravity,"  also quite reflective about what it would take to create a permanent culture worth sustaining over the millennia.

A Maze of Death by Philip K Dick
Dick's novels are seldom what you think.  This one seems to be a futuristic Agatha Christie whodunit, but has several plot twists to make it more...

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie As a former librarian I would have enjoyed a public library more as the setting, instead of an English manor house library, but Miss Marple ferrets out the rats in the end in a thoroughly entertaining manner.

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