Showing posts from July, 2014

My pin oak is sick!

Have you ever heard of wasps laying eggs into a leaf?  I had not either until my pin oak got sick this year, perhaps just to teach me an extravagant biology lesson.  

A few weeks ago I noticed some swollen brown bumps on its leaves; the back of the leaf was covered with a fine white dust.  Therefore, I wrote to the Plant Doctor at the Botanical Garden here in St. Louis.  Like this:

Dear Plant Doctor,
My pin oak needs your help.  The symptoms are: many round brown bumps on the top of the leaves that correspond to brown stains on the back of the leaf.  There also seems to be some whitish dust on the back of the leaves.  The unfortunate thing is that I believe the whole tree is affected by this. 
I was wondering if you can tell me what the disease may be and if there is any treatment for it.  I am attaching a few photographs.
And the good doctor wrote back with unbelievable news: 
Hello Gabriela,
Your good pictures tell us that your pin oak has been attacked by two different organisms, a small…

Vintage Missouri

All this more or less is stuff I have come across in my daily travails in or around St. Louis in the past few weeks.  In no particular order, the glorious Amorphophallus titanum  at Missouri Botanical Garden and  how to shoot fish in Missouri river.

Enjoy Vintage Missouri.

And then, a few days later, poof!  The tip of the Universe falls over.

Now to the more serious matter of killing jumping fish in Missouri river.  This is how you shoot fish --- well - you shoot, all right, 'cause you have the tools.  They (the fish) jump like devils from water just to drive you mad 'cause it's impossible to hit them.  

It's a lottery and they are holding the winning numbers.  They are just too damn fast.  But the river runs furious at your feet, the  morning is lovely - what's to stop you?   

Kindle Unlimited and the end of roylaties

Today amazon announced Kindle Unlimited, a Netflix-like subscription program that gives readers access to 600,000 e-books, 2,000 audible books and a variety of other minor other perks for a total price of $9.99/mo. 
 "Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audio-books on any device for just $9.99 a month."
The news is great for readers, of course.  But for independent authors (and potentially all authors) ...that's a different story.  With Kindle Unlimited, a new club has just been formed and the price for admittance is exclusivity.  Because, my dear friends, exclusivity is wonderful when you are the owner of that exclusive property, not when you are the entity owned.  
As far as this club goes, being outside of the club is bad (terrible visibility and the fact that someone will have to pay outside a subscription for you to make a sale) and being in the club is not much better (loss of control over revenue per book; phasing out the royalty system)