Archive for February 2014

Old Faithful   10 comments

Old Faithful under a starlit sky.  Photo: Jacob W. Frank. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/27/14.

Old Faithful under a starlit sky. Photo: Jacob W. Frank. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/27/14.

The Zombie Apocalypse   1 comment

Ringo - Under A Graveyard SkyI don’t generally like post-apocalyptic literature.

I don’t avoid it, necessarily, but I don’t seek it out.

I certainly don’t seek to read novels about zombies. On the other hand, I loved the 2009 movie Zombieland. It’s nice popcorn, and that’s a good thing to watch on cable. IMHO.

John Ringo is a prolific author that writes military sci-fi. He’s written several series that I have enjoyed: notably, the Posleen War series (dealing with the aftermath of an alien invasion), and the Empire of Man series (dealing with a fighting force marooned on a planet that has to fight to get home).

My favorite series, though, is the Paladin of Shadows series, which features a James Bond/Rambo type hero that saves the US from a nuclear attack … and then fulfills a lot of contemporary fantasies in the 2006 novel, Kildar. The hero, Mike Jenkins, avenges 9/11 by single-handedly ending another terrorist plot, rescuing the victims and avenging their pain by killing the plot leader, a prominent terrorist leader in the Mideast.

His new series may just become my new favorite, however. It follows a family as they work to survive a zombie apocalypse. A disease is created by some unknown group; the result of that disease is an infected population that attacks anything that moves.

Ringo - To Sail A Darkling SeaThere is no known cure to the disease, and it is a blood born pathogen, so a bite by a zombie creates another zombie. The zombies aren’t dead, so we’re not dealing with Thriller zombies … but a feral, biting human attacking other humans is zombie enough for me.

The first novel, Under A Graveyard Sky, starts with two brothers that actually have a plan for what they’ll do if society is going to crash. They’ve got code words, even. Suddenly, you’ve got one brother working to save his corporate bosses, while the other brother is working to save his wife and their two teen-aged daughters while sailing up the Hudson River to avoid the crazed attackers that are taking over Manhattan.

The second novel follows the family as they decide to make a difference, and work to rebuild society.

I’m not a fan of post apocalyptic literature … but do love a great read.

I’m not a fan of military literature … but do love a great read.

That’s what you get here. Both of these books are page turners. They are laugh out loud funny at times. Ringo’s dialogue from female teenagers is spot on. His dialogue from arrogant, self-entitled jerks is spot on.

The action in these novels just doesn’t stop. Get yourself a glass of your favorite bourbon, put some rock ‘n roll on the stereo, and settle in. This is a good ride.

The third novel, Islands of Rage and Hope, is due in August. Can’t wait!

More

John Ringo’s Official Website

Posted February 27, 2014 by henrymowry in Reading

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Apricot Mallow: Sphieraicea ambigua   Leave a comment

Organ Mountains   Leave a comment

Organ Mountains, New Mexico. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/28/13.

Organ Mountains, New Mexico. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/28/13.

Posted February 25, 2014 by henrymowry in Photography

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A Beautiful Sunrise   1 comment

Photo: Steve Gadecki. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/22/14.

Somewhere in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park (In National Park jargon, AKA SEKI). Photo: Steve Gadecki. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/22/14.

Lake Clark National Park   3 comments

Where Is It: It’s not a part of the road system, so access is by air or boat. The Park is about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The Birth: From wikipedia:

It was first proclaimed a national monument in 1978, then established as a national park and preserve in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park includes many streams and lakes vital to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, including its namesake Lake Clark.

It Happened Here:

During the 20th century the future park area was lightly populated by people with a high tolerance for solitude. One such person was Richard Proenneke, a former Iowan who came to Alaska in 1949. Proenneke lived at Twin Lakes from 1968 to 1999 in a cabin he built himself, feeding himself through subsistence hunting and by salvaging meat from animals left by sport hunters. A compilation of movie footage shot by Proenneke of his life in the wild was compiled as a documentary, Alone in the Wilderness. Produced posthumously, it has become popular on public television in the United States. Proenneke’s cabin is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Size: 4,030,015 acres

# Visitors: This lightly attended Park had only 13,000 visitors in 2013.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

The Lake Clark area is special for its diversity of flowers, plants, trees, and lichen in a relatively small area. Four of the five biotic communities found in Alaska – coastal, lakes/rivers/wetlands, tundra, and forest – exist in the park.

Animals: From TravelAlaska.com:

Lake Clark is home to a full complement of subarctic wildlife species. Land mammals include brown and black bears, moose, the Mulchatna caribou herd that numbers more than 100,000, Dall sheep and wolves. Harbor seals, beluga whales, Steller’s sea lions and sea otters are seen along the coast while the rivers and lakes feature outstanding fishing for salmon, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, northern pike, lake trout, and rainbow trout.

Fees: There are no fees to enter or camp in the Park. If you’re going into the back country, there is a voluntary form that the Park requests you fill out.

Staying There: There are private lodges within the Park boundary, but there are no improved campsites in the Park.

Contact Info:

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
General Delivery
Port Alsworth, AK 99653
Phone: (907)644-3626

Don’t Miss This: If you’re going into the back country, make sure you are familiar with the principles of Leave No Trace. Here is how it’s explained by the Boy Scouts of America. How wild is this Park? From Gorp.com:

For the self-sufficient adventurer, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a paradise found. It’s a wild land in which—unlike many other national parks—no “improvements” to nature have been made. All camping is primitive and there is only one maintained hiking trail.

More

National Park Service: Lake Clark National Park

TerraGalleria.com: Lake Clark National Park

A Bear Hug, Perhaps?   Leave a comment

Horsing around in the appropriately named Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Horsing around in the appropriately named Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/21/14.

Who Doesn’t Love Cheese & Crackers?   12 comments

HandcraftedI’ve heard it for years.

I was working in the garage workshop last weekend, and a neighbor wanted to hire me to redo her kitchen.

I’ve ignored it. Always.

Until now.

Given that Mrs M’s Handmade is about to be an actual business, it seemed that I needed to help out. In a week or three, the website will be up. In a month, we’ll be at the Santa Clarita Street Fair.

So, it was time to get ready.Cheese and Wine

22 Cheese Boards are now ready for sale. All of the boards are approximately 8″ x 10″. All are unique. The most prevalent wood is hard maple, but I’ve also used purpleheart, yellowheart, red oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, teak, padauk, jatoba and honey locust. They are all finished with mineral oil, and then a beeswax/mineral oil topcoat.

The Okefenokee Owl   3 comments

Graham McGeorge snapped this amazing photo at Okefenokee National Wildlife Reserve. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/19/14.

Graham McGeorge snapped this amazing photo at Okefenokee National Wildlife Reserve. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/19/14.

Posted February 20, 2014 by henrymowry in Photography

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California’s Cadiz Dunes   Leave a comment

The United States Congress designated the Cadiz Dunes Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 19,935 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/18/14.

The United States Congress designated the Cadiz Dunes Wilderness in 1994 and it now has a total of 19,935 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/18/14.

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Alabama Hills of California

Stornetta

The Butterfly Saved By An Airport

Portraits: Migrant Mother, 1936

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Vasquez Rocks Natural Park Area

Our Hills Will Burn

California Juniper

California Black Oak

California Buckwheat Spring

California Buckwheat Fall

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