Showing posts from January, 2012

Beware the Staff of the Ninja Cow

They come out of nowhere in the middle of the night: pitch black Angus cows.  My friend Ian calls them ninja cows, as driving at night is pretty scary when these masters of camouflage creep out of their pastures and onto the road.  My ego took a serious blow when one of these ninja masters hit me in broad daylight.  With a pole.
My parents raise Herefords, who are pretty gentle in compared to Angus, but any cow can be dangerous if a person's being stupid.  My dad has a picture of my brother riding a Hereford bull at age three.  Well, not so much riding as sitting on it while it ate hay.
The selling price is a little higher for what we call black baldies, which are a cross between a Hereford and a Black Angus, so Dad runs a few Angus bulls, usually shooting for a herd of calves that are about half pure-bred Hereford and half black baldies.

Just after Christmas, I was helping my dad do Bangs vaccinations, which involves crimping medicine into a heifer's ear with a nasty looking, g…

Review: Pilgrims of the Sky, by Natania Barron

After Maddie's fiancĂ©, Alvin, disappeared, she tries to disentangle herself from Alvin's family and makes the heart-breaking decision to move away from his mother and his endearingly broken-minded brother.  A box of books, a guilt trip, and an unwilling favor later, she's sharing bodies with Matilda in the Second world.


Pilgrims of the Sky had many strengths.  My favorite part of the book is the vivid way Barron paints the other worlds.  I applaud Barron's vision, especially considering the fact that I have the artistic skills of a third grader and the descriptive vocabulary to match.  She manages to make the setting interesting without spending too much time on description.

My favorite character was Randy, a special man that reminded me of several of my students in a very charming way.  The cast of characters was quite large, and the difficulty of developing them was apparent.  I saw why the cast had to be so large, but it did make keeping names straight rather di…

I Didn't Forget About You

Ladies and Gents,

I apologize for my lack of activity on my site.  I've been working on two tricky posts, posts that I'm taking time to make sure I do right. 

The first is an explanation of how to get agriculture right in fiction.  When my friend Michael Spence mention he didn't realize that grazing wasn't referring to a near miss by a bullet, I realized I needed to include pictures.  The article is ready to go, I'm just waiting for some pictures to be sent to me by a relative.

The second is a review of the book Pilgrims of the Sky.  I allowed the holiday insanity derail my reviewing schedule, so the review will be posted as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience, and happy reading!