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Song: The 12 Days of Halloween — Creative Fancy

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F699841903&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=500&maxheight=750&dnt=1

Here is a song by Dave Plassman, performed by him and his daughter, using a digital voice recorder. We hope you enjoy. You have to hear it to believe it! This song is probably safe for work.

via Song: The 12 Days of Halloween — Creative Fancy

A vampire in distress — Chronicles from Concordia

Dr. Nadja Albertsen is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. This blog entry is translated from her original in Danish. It’s no secret that our bodies need…

via A vampire in distress — Chronicles from Concordia

Roh Tries: Kumquats!

Kumquats are a cute little orange citrus fruit, about the size of a really big olive, that is native to South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.  They have been cultivated in China Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia for quite some time.  In Cantonese “gām-gwāt 金橘” literally means “golden orange” or golden tangerine.

So, you may be wondering, what in the heck do they taste like?

I tried some a couple weeks ago and liked them so much I bought more.  This is what it is like to eat them.

Imagine a very small orange with a rind that isn’t bitter, is thin, and tastes sweet.  Imagine that the fruit inside tastes like a cross between a lime and a lemon.

Originally, I didn’t know any of this.  Then one morning I went into my local Albertsons (the upscale one) and saw a wonderful golden pile of tiny fruits in the produce section.  The pricetag was rather high, so I only bought a few.  But I HAD TO KNOW the secret of the mighty kumquat.  It couldn’t just be a fun-to-pronounce name.

When she was putting groceries away, the spouse looked at my little bag of orange goodness and said “what?  kumquats?”  However, she knows how I like trying new things and thew\se were right up my alley.  I read up on them online and prepared to make my experiment.

When you bite into this fruit you have an initial impression of sour juiciness, but as you chew, the sweetness of the rind mingles with that sourness and makes a very nice flavor that is more complex than that of most oranges.

They also have a light, delicate scent, and are a little better if you roll them between your palms before eating them, to release the fragrant oils.

I would always eat a kumquat whole, or at most, sliced in half.  Cutting them up small would be an issue.  Though, I might not mind making marmalade with kumquat rind instead of orange zest – that might be quite good!

The best kumquats are bright orange with a glossy, blemish free skin.

If you like, here is more information on this amazing fruit!

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-are-kumquats-2774810

kumquats.PNG

 

Horse Isle 3 – A Tour of the Dark Forest

The various Biomes of the Infinite Wilds are all interesting in their own way, and most look pretty cheerful.  The Dark Forest is a wonderful exception to that, and a perfect place to explore as Halloween draws closer.

The Dark Forest is rather pretty from the outside, with dark red cliffs and rust colored water.  Once you enter, though, your vision is limited by perpetual fog.  This gives the Biome a wonderfully spooky atmosphere.

mulberry bush
Mulberry Bush

When night falls, though, the Dark Forest really shines.  There are spooky trees that occasionally show red, glowing eyes.  There are also odd plants that cast a red glow.  Also, in the deepest parts of the Forest, you can find the occasional graveyard.  Nobody knows who left the gravestones, though TigerTon Village has a quest that attempts to explain it.

boneyardBoneyard at night

There are also plants here that your horse will be afraid of, Spiderwort flowers that make good dye ingredients, and mulberry bushes that also have silk cocoons.  It was plain that the Dark Forest was lovingly designed!

creepy plant
Eek!  Scary plant!

Two tips for adventurers:

If you are trying to gather Dark Forest Essence, stay on the edges of the Biome so you can see inside.  Spot the various glowing balls and go in after them, then come back out so you can see again.  This is a much easier way of finding Essence.

The horses here are tiny and dark, so if you want to breed miniature horses, this is the best Biome to catch them.  However, I’ve really only had luck by using the Wild Whistle, which costs 100 Mobla to use.

red light plantred lampcreepy tree onecreepy tree

Talking with Luca (in space) — Chronicles from Concordia

Luca on screen. Credits: Ivan Bruni PRNA/IPEV Dr. Nadja Albertsen is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. This blog entry is translated from her original in…

via Talking with Luca (in space) — Chronicles from Concordia

Mini-story: A Dark Night

This was in response to a challenge to write a spooky story in 200 words or less. According to Libre Office, this is exactly 200 words.  It certainly helped me get more bang for my buck, verbage-wise!

 

Why is that bell ringing?

I wondered this as I walked along the dark, foggy street. It was late and I knew the people at home would be wondering.

I checked my phone again – no signal. Strange behaviour for a trusty device.

The bell continued to toll, deep and sonorous. It sounded like nothing modern.

My steps quickened as I dashed from pool to pool of light, cast by the yellowish streetlights. A chill went through me as I thought about the darkness that lay in the alleyways. No one else was around, and I suddenly realized that all the shop windows were dark as well.

Still the bell rang. An image came to mind, an old Buddhist temple in Japan. Though I tried to focus on the modern details around me, the pavement and the signs and the street lights, I couldn’t help but think of mossy stone walls and a festival honouring the dead.

I hurried on, wanting nothing more to get home. Then, as I passed one particular alleyway, I heard drums and dancing feet. The bells were loud enough to split my head…

…I ran off into the fog, turning my eyes away from lantern light.