In Tennessee, October is an iffy time for gardening and the weather-guessers don’t offer much help. During the summer their inaccuracies may mean having to water on a day we didn’t plan to, but little else. In October a new foe comes a-calling: frost.
Some of the crops in my garden will handle frost just fine: lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic to name a few. These will grow just fine on into the winter. But the last of the summer crops are not so hardy.
I still have tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, red potatoes and sweet potatoes growing heartily and producing. I hate to rip these out for fear of a frost that dos not come, then get an additional two weeks of Indian summer where more of those items would have ripened. I still have two flats of green tomato relish canned up from last year’s frost aversion.
So I keep covers handy: bed sheets, light blankets, plastic sheeting all work well. I keep a box of spring clamps in the barn as well to secure these to my box frames. Until we get an actual freeze, this will keep the plants alive by keeping the frozen dew off the plants. Play it safe: cover up anytime a frost is possible. (Read More…)
My, but it has been froggy weather lately. That may have something to do with the rain we’ve had all week; lots of rain, consistent puddles, tadpoles = frogs. Although I think most of those I’ve seen are tree frogs. I’m sure the ones I’ve heard are tree frogs: their trilling is pretty distinctive. I don’t know what conditions are favored for these critters to breed.
Kathy caught a young bullfrog the other evening and tried to eat it. Kathy is a dog; don’t get too freaked out by that statement. Marie stopped her because she knows some frogs and toads are poisonous. I don’t think we have those here, but it could give her an upset stomach and cause her to puke up frog bits in our house. Yech! I disposed of the dead frog.
Here a Frog, There a Frog
A while back Marie and I made a trip into town. When we got there Marie noticed that a tree frog and made the trip with us by snugging into the passenger side mirror housing; in the small gap between mirror and housing. It was just sitting there looking at her. I can only imagine what it was thinking after that ride! I hope it likes it’s new home, for it was gone when we came back out to head for home. But that was just the first of many! Read More…
This week’s Classic Sci-Fi Movie selection was another great example of the 1950’s creature features, except this one stands head & shoulder above its brethren. Movies like Beginning of the End, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Monster From Green Hell, The Giant Gila Monster prove entertaining in a “so bad they’re good” fashion. But, despite its Saturday Matinee style title, Them! delivers a crisp and witty script, high quality performances from the actors and some decent special effects – considering that this film was made in 1954. Continue reading Movie Review: Them!→
September 30th, 2015 was the 10th anniversary of the release of the movie Serenity (wow, has it been 10 years already?) Though it was canceled after a single season, Whedon has said that Firefly is his favorite creation. The series inspired intense fan devotion, and fan devotion is exactly what Whedon credited for its 2005 big-screen revival in Serenity.
The original The Day the Earth Stood Still, made in 1951 starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Lock Martin, and Frances Bavier, has become more than a classic, it has become an icon of classic Sci-fi. This is a bit odd because the movie does not contain any of the usual hallmarks of early Sci-Fi: no massive explosions, no creepy monsters, no flying saucers whizzing around destroying things. This film made its mark because of superior writing and some truly memorable performances by the cast.
To be clear, there is a flying saucer; but it lands on a park in Washington DC and stays there (in a very unthreatening manner) throughout the movie until its departure at the end. There is a fairly fearsome robot that could be considered the “monster” of the film except it does not go on a rampage; its role is purely defensive. And there is an alien, but he’s not some tentacled monster with eight eyes. In fact, once he gets out of his space suit he is able to walk around the city unnoticed because he looks so human. Continue reading The Day the Earth Stood Still→
This American pulp adventure, dieselpunk film starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Givanni Ribisi, written and directed by Kerry Conran is his directorial debut. The action is fast, the dialogue terse and witty, and the characters are larger than life. The script is very well written and, of course with this cast, the acting is excellent.
Jude Law is the almost superhero, millionaire, mercenary aviator Joeseph “Sky Captain” Sullivan who is called upon to save New York City when it comes under attack by giant robots. Giovanni Ribishi is his brainy scientist/inventor side-kick, Dex. Gwyneth Paltrow is the old-flame, spunky newspaper reporter, Polly Perkins, who gets pulled back into Joe’s life when she is contacted by a German scientist who is fleeing a mad genius named Totenkoph (Lawrence Olivier) who is bent on destroying the world. He gives her information vital to Joe and Dex’s quest to find out where the robots came from and what they are after. This mission takes them all over the world and causes them to enlist the aid of Captain Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), who also has a history with Joe. When they finally ferret out the mad genius and his secret World of Tomorrow, what they find is more surprising, and sinister, than any of them had dared imagine! Continue reading Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow→
If you like Doctor Who and Young Sherlock, you’re sure to like this solid Sci-Fi romp through the novels of H.G. Wells. Even if you’ve never read his novels, this four hour, 3 part mini-series from the Hallmark Channel will delight and amaze you.
The tale opens with a reporter (played by Eve Best) coming to an aged and highly successful Wells’ home to interview him about the inspirations behind his most successful books. Reluctantly, Wells (played by Tom Ward) begins a tale of adventure, romance and mystery which begins when he was a struggling pulp writer haunting the local university laboratory for inspiration. And what inspiration he found! Continue reading Movie Review: Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells→
“When production on Destination Moon began in 1949, everything about the project was state of the art. The great science fiction author Robert Heinlein co-wrote the script (based on his novel Rocketship Galileo) and served as technical adviser. The film’s astronomical visions were realized by Chesley Bonestell, whose artwork virtually defined the look of space travel at the dawn of the rocket era. Destination Moon is even noted in NASA’s official timeline of space-travel history, and almost inevitably won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It remains a milestone film, not so much as classic science fiction but–like 2001: A Space Odyssey 18 years later, as an attempt to visualize the reality of space exploration. (To educate the audience on this topic, Woody Woodpecker makes an animated guest appearance, hosting an instructional film on the basics of rocketeering.)Continue reading Movie Review: Destination Moon→
Battle Beyond the Stars, starring Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, and a host of others is the story of a young man who ventures out from his pacifist home planet when it comes under attack by the evil tyrant Sador. His mission is to find mercenaries who will come defend Akira and save his people. His vessel, Nell (which reminds me of a flying moose with breasts) is the last corsair in existence and comes with a sharp-tongued artificial intelligence. Continue reading Movie Review: Battle Beyond the Stars→