Noted: New Cards Are Here!

I’ll receive 150 sets of freshly-minted note cards (all four sets) later today from WordsPrint, and have them out tomorrow, 11 – 3:00, at Bells Gallery, downtown Floyd during the Christmas Bazaar at the high school. Below, the text that appears on the back of each of the new Glimpses of Floyd set with the thumbnails at least temporarily in the sidebar. See the Note Cards Slideshow.


PINK FLOYD ~ ON THE CROOKED ROAD: Anywhere near the one county stop light, the pace will slow down a bit for north-south visitors on Route 8 from the Blue Ridge Parkway to I-81, and for east-west travelers on Highway 221 from Hillsville to Roanoke.

THE BUFFALO: Unique biologically, geologically and culturally, Buffalo Mountain at almost 4000 feet is visible from many places in Floyd County. Its distinctive form is part of the emblem for the county, and claimed as namesake for the high school sports teams.

COUNTRY STORE CANDY: Music is not the only thing present in great variety at the Floyd Country Store. The bins stay full of candies, some varieties not seen since it could be bought for a penny!

FARMERS’ SUPPLY FRONT WINDOW: Floyd County’s single traffic light, seen through a “lawn globe” inside the old-fashioned hardware store.

FLOYD FRIDAY NIGHTS: The sun sets behind a Floyd County Jamboree Friday night scene along Locust Street as visitors come and go. The energy inside the Country Store is often matched by the pick-up groups outside making music under the stars.

Monastic Mountain Mystery


Found: a large structure looming against the otherwise natural skyline at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 145.

If anyone can correctly identify this unidentified edifice, it’s yours. It seems to have wondered into its current location since the last time I traversed that stretch of America’s longest national park and nobody seems to know its name or who it belongs to.

As it certainly seems determined to stay in its new home, we might at least give it a name.

Anyone? And its purpose and how it came to be situated in the viewshed of the parkway? I feel certain there’s a story here. Not even the Friends of the Parkway could tell me very much.

More Things Mac

Syphid Fly on Chrysanthemums

Apologies. I recently replaced a 4 yr old Thinkpad with a MacBook Pro and am in training, all thumbs, rearranging the furniture, experiencing the peaks and troughs of unmet and exceeded expectations. Bare with me.

Toxic Mac
Don’t inhale. Toxic clouds hovering around (some, not mine) MacPro Towers–they say.

Mac Flix for the Restuvus
Netflix Watch Now has not been for Mac purists, and only by committing an act of infidelity (using Parallels to switch to PC mode and running –argggh!–MSIE) could one view the 15 free to watch movies and 6 TV series via n-Flix. That’s changing.

Sweet and Sour Mac
Okay, what I really mean is hot and cold. What a contrast in thermal experience is the MacBook Pro. It’s aluminum case on fall mornings upon first opening the lid to touch refrigerated keys gives one the illusion of sticking a tongue to a pump handle in February. Moments later, the loins experience the opposite end of the range of temps (up to 111 degrees). Apple explains “it’s a notebook, not a laptop.” Whatever you say.

Mac Fingers
My brain is working hard to overcome Thinkpad proprioception given the new feel of the MacBook keyboard. Not there yet, old habits die hard–like reaching for the backspace key. Took me 10 minutes to figure that one out first time. How intuitive is Fn-delete–and how convenient? Not. And finally, one tap and two-finger taps for left and right click. That was not default, either.

Trackpad Tranquilizer
Speaking of the touchpad on the MacBook Pro, I’ve been disappointed when the touchpad seems to become anesthetized to my touch–finger zips across the pad and the cursor just sits there in a coma until you throw a glass of cold water in its face. If it persists, I’ll whip out my Applecare policy. Meanwhile, at least for Firefox, I discovered this smooth scrolling add-on which really makes a big difference, at least for cursor control and page navigation when in the browser.

Google Blog search: Mac
Google have (is that right?) reconfigured their (its?) blogsearch page to make it more like Google News. It tends to give cleaner results than a search for any given term on Google proper if it’s info from blogs and not a trillion other pitches or outdated pages that you’re interested in. Link above is the page for “mac” results from today’s blogs.

Mac Insects
I honestly don’t know if this lovely Syrphid fly prefers PC or a Mac. I only know I’ve never seen such an abundance of them in any one place than on our newly-emerged mums. You have to look twice to be sure they are not wasps–and that’s just what they hope (some wasp-shaped and wasp- striped species more menacing-looking than others). Warning: more insect pix likely coming–maybe even a little movie complete with BUZZZZ!

Thanks for Your Vote



See how your representative voted on this environmental education initiative that thankfully, in an era of unrelenting bad news, is some good news for the future of our children and grand children.

Find out more about the No Child Left Inside efforts at their webpage.

Thank you, Congressman Boucher, for your support.

Food Fetish


And is it any wonder: toxic spinach, toxic buttbloating burgers, toxic food ignorance and indifference. Do we need more information or more self-control / less death by diet impulses?

Will power and caloric restraint cannot (yet) be legislated, but other information we can and will soon have before us to ignore at our peril (or whim). Consider the following:

The Guvernator has just mandated that CA restaurants will in future put caloric contents on menus and indoor billboards (invest in colored chalk!). WaPo

New food labels will show country of origin for beef, chicken, pork, fruits and veggies  WebMD

And the “average shopper” may soon be able to compare the food values of various grocery store items using the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), a system supported by some of the largest grocery store chains. The results, hopefully, will be better choices by shoppers and better product formulation by industry so their products score higher on the scale. BalancedHealth

Meanwhile at my house, I’m thinking more about quantity, availability and storage of the food we produce or otherwise gather: for the potatoes from the garden lacking a proper root cellar; same for the turnips we may harvest in a month. And what about more wild foods (like the butternuts and walnuts we’re accumulating or the wild grapes pictured here from just down the road?) One particular wild food comes to mind that grows well at meadow’s edge, more on that in another post by and by.

In these days of National Angst, we may be more concerned about the eating than about what’s eaten. Yet life (and food education and regulation) must go on or we’ll still be fat and food-toxic the other side of the Dark Cloud of our days. So here’s hoping for better times ahead, and bon appetit.