Saturday, January 26, 2008


As South Carolina Dems go to the polls today, NPR's John Ridley offers another take on the aspect of race in the Democratic primary. In a nutshell, Ridley says we all know race is a consideration in America, so we're better off knowing up front how the candidates think/feel about it. I enjoyed this essay and agreed with most of it, except for his slam of Obama's answer to the question about whether or not Bill Clinton was "the first black president." Actually, I think the ONLY way to answer that question was with humor, and I'm glad he pulled it off. Lots of stuff to think about here.

News from the gardening world. The NY Times says drought-tolerant plants and plants that can withstand harsh conditions with a minimum of care are the hot things in the marketplace this year. Well, duh. From the article:

Sedums and fragrant creeping thymes are being marketed as “Steppables,” “Jeepers Creepers” and “Treadwells,” because these old-fashioned plants have been rediscovered for their ability to take beating sun and very little water. They will ramble over that bare slope where the grass can’t grow, or creep between pavers on the patio, or stones in the garden path.

Yeah, we've got sedums and thymes for just this reason. But let me tell you, in Colorado, they still take a beating when we get up into the 90s!

The writer ends the story with this note: I left the show with an optimistic feeling: maybe the gloom and doom of global warming and high fuel costs have given us gardeners a road map to smaller, hardier gardens that give back to, rather than take from, the earth.

What a concept.

Download ebooks and audio ebooks legally and for free. As a consumer, this makes me happy. As an author...I dunno how I feel. Check it out. What do you think?


Julie Layne said...

I think it's pretty much like checking a book out at the library, which you want people to do because it means the library purchased the book, right? Helps your publicity in the long run.

We have the same deal at our public library here, but unfortunately, it's more trouble than it's worth to me so far. First, you still have to recheck the book after three weeks, even though you don't get fined, and I have a hard time listening to a full audio book in three or even six weeks because I don't commute anywhere. You can't pass them to anyone else because they are protected in many ways. They are not as "shareable" as one you have purchased, although some will probably find ways to hack the system...but the hackers will always be with ut. :-)

Second, the ones at our library only work on a select few MP3 players--NOT ipods at all, and the player has to be a guaranteed to play WMA player, and those are not all that common. In the long run, if the patron goes to the trouble of figuring it all out and listening, you've probably got a fan for future books.

I think it's a good idea--with quirks and perks. :-)

Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for the pointer to the NYT article. With our new large yard, we are still trying to figure out what to plant to cover a lot of bare hillside in a waterwise manner.

As for the PDF and audio books, I agree with Julie Layne. I don't see much difference from checking books or music CDs or movie DVDs out of the library.

I believe in Europe, authors may get a royalty based on their books' presence (or possibly use) in libraries. I think we should adopt a similar system here. Libraries are good in so many ways. Many people can't afford books or don't have the place to store them. People who live in towns with poor schools can educate themselves at the public library. People who don't know the first thing about research can get help and find expensive reference books at the library.

Sustenance Scout said...

Carleen, catching up here; I agree with Julie and Shauna and LOVE Shauna's idea of copying that nifty idea of royalties paid for books placed in libraries.

Also love the colorful collage of plants in this post. My sedums and ice plants are sturdy little buggers. I'm not surprised some folks are just learning about Xeriscape gardening; with the drought they had in the Southeast last year I'm also not surprised it's suddenly a hot topic all over. K.