Dear Ted and Jody


Good Morning Ted and Jody:


I sent off for a copy of the original I Robot book by Isaac Asimov after a brief exchange I had about the movie with Pete a week or so ago and how different the book was from the movie (the book was a series of short stories tied together with a narrator interviewing historic characters in the future).  I reread the first story in it last night before bed.  It was much like reading 1984 in 1985.  While the story is cute and I liked it; the story was set in the late 1990s (written quite a few decades prior), I suspect if I did a sci-fi piece I would not use dates to which the reader would be able to relate as it causes some disbelief that is not healthy for a sci-fi story (after all, sci-fi is incredible enough—it is supposed to be, but also believable).  I think attempting to push things into a specific future makes sci-fi stories less long lived.  Compare Treasure Island or War of the Worlds with any sci-fi piece that uses dates in the current era and you see what I mean.


The blackberries here are mostly the Himalayan blackberry that Luther Burbank introduced back around 1885 to the Pacific Northwest.  They begin ripening in late June (although I have seen some ripe berries in May) and continue through the first frost.  While I am picking from one part of a bramble, bees are working right alongside me pollinating more blossoms in the continuing cycle of ripening of more blackberries throughout the summer.  Indeed, were I not picking them, I would be trying to clear them out, for the species is very aggressive and seems to want to take over any space that it can.  For example, I have a small flower pot on the back porch that Nancy used two years ago.  Even without watering it last year, a seed got into it and it is now sprouting a blackberry vine along with a flower I planted this year from seed.  I am amazed at it and haven’t decided what to do about it—let it go and see if it produces in that 10-inch pot or get rid of it.  By way of contrast to domesticated plants, the raspberry plants Juli gave me last year in the spring, produced only a pint or so of raspberries, however, they seem to have strong new canes and should produce a healthy crop next year.  Were they Himalayan blackberries, they would have taken over the whole back yard, cedar chips or not.


As it is the blackberries on the edges of my place have yielded over 3 ½ gallons of berries (all frozen for later wine making) and I fully expect to get at least the 5 gallons (actually 20 pounds according to the recipe that I use) I need, one pint to one quart a day as they continue to produce for the balance of the summer.  I have found that picking every 36 hours seems to give me the best yield for the time (about 30 to 40 minutes)-morning the first day, the next afternoon and then skip a day and the fourth morning again. (Here I fool myself into I thinking I am getting out in nature, and I have a “production” or “work” schedule for picking J.)


I looked outside at 3 A.M the other morning and noticed I could see definition in the clouds with patterns of reflected light from two small towns in one direction and a few stars in another direction.  So about 40 minutes before sunrise, I got out on the western shore of Silver Lake.  Sure enough, I could see a thin line of light in the eastern horizon. I estimated the cloud cover was at 10,000 to 12,000 feet as I could see the outline of Mt. St. Helens and she is at 8,000+ feet.  Normally the light show begins around 20 to 30 minutes before actual “official” time for sunrise according to the Weather Channel on my Samsung smart phone.  That morning the time came and passed and then a few minutes after the “official” sunrise, the sun shone on the underside of the clouds and produced a light show.  I shot the color show with my Panasonic Lumix (Panasonic DMC-ZS40) from a western view of Silver Lake, at the public boat launch site.  I say “official time, as I do not think the Weather Channel App prediction takes in to account the height of the mountain range relative to my position for giving the time of sunrise—I can’t imagine they are that accurate.


Warmest regards, Ed



About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
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