March 17th, 2020


Ice Age Temperatures

 ... were 2-4 degrees colder than now.  We're headed for changes 2-4 degrees warmer again.

Let me tell you how much it sucked explaining that the ice was gone and never coming back, the mammoths was gone, everything changed.  A whole way of life, gone.  Nobody had refrigeration for thousands of years. >_< 

That's what 2-4 degrees means: everything you ever knew, gone.  A totally different world.  

Dry Rub Recipes

Lots of flavor.  Minimal calories, fat, or carbs.  Dry rubs often contain salt or sugar, but you can reduce or omit these if you don't want that ingredient.

By the way, try naked salad with a spice blend instead of a dressing.  It can be amazingly good.  Our Indian restaurant brought us some on the side of an appetizer we had ordered, a few lettuce leaves and cucumber spears and tomato wedges.  We devoured all of it.  Any spice blend you love that is good on savory things should be worth a try for naked salad -- or try a sweet spice blend on fruit.

Cooking Tests

Test and decide what you like.  Don't let other people tell you what to do with your food, even if they are "experts."  They're not doing the work or eating the results.  Advice, recipes, food science -- it's all good inspiration but it's no substitute for experimenting in your own kitchen.

Boiling pasta -- I use half a pot to a pot of water, depending on how much pasta, maybe half a teaspoon of salt, and a splash of olive oil.  I don't want the pasta to taste salty, and the oil keeps it from sticking.

Frying eggs -- I love eggs fried in bacon grease.  Otherwise I will use ghee, which doesn't burn.  My parents say that frying eggs in coconut oil makes them taste like coconut, dreadful. :P

Cooking bacon -- I grew up making it on an iron griddle, which produced excellent bacon.  Now we use the microwave.


Heat Stress

Heat stress threatens many more people in the future.  Some places are already close to the survival limit, which means they'll pass it soon, and more will follow.  Many places have no legal limit to how hot it can be at work and thus no guarantee people won't be forced to work in deadly heat.  However, some heat waves have stopped most work over a wide area because people just couldn't move.  It used to be the case that acute kidney damage went away if treated, but now there's a rising trend where heat stress makes it permanent.

Now put these together: rising heat in some of the world's most populated areas, minimal legal protection against heat waves, reduced number of days when people can work, and increased risk of fatal heat stress or life-threatening illness.  That means a lot of places will become effectively uninhabitable before they cross the wetbulb threshold, because people won't be able to work enough to support themselves without getting sick or dying.  The ones who can leave will do so.  That area holds millions of people at the least worst scenarios we're unlikely to see, over a billion at the worse ones, and potentially much more after adding in a few more years of "we didn't think of this factor" increases in how bad it's really going to be.

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED. Thank you for your time and attention. Please keep an eye on this space as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "anything goes."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Stuck for ideas? You can find prompts by ...
* browsing planned poems for Aquariana and the Maldives, The Big One, Broken Angels, Calliope and Vagary, Officer Pink and Turq, Pips and Joshua, or Shiv.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page for favorite threads or characters.
* browsing my QUILTBAG list, Romantic Orientations in My Characters, Sexual Orientations in My Characters, Gender Identities in My Characters, or My Characters with Disabilities for favorites.
* naming a poetic form you'd like to see written.
* picking a prompt from my current bingo cards: Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19, Ladiesbingo Card 9-2-19, Food Fest Bingo Card 3-1-20
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* choosing an unusual word.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.
* anything short. I could especially use short poems today as other prompts are likely to run long.

What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "anything goes." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things of any type. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.

Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.

3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your Dreamwidth, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "anything goes." See above for details.  If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation.)  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for future use.

Today's Smoothie

Today's smoothie used:

1 cup almond milk
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup frozen honeydew chunks
1 pear

The result is unobjectionable, but it doesn't actually taste like much.  This would probably work better in summer with fresh honeydew and honey pears (which being smaller would need at least 2).