Friday, October 8, 2010

Ugly Pumpkins Rule

This gnarly dude is in great demand. See the AP article below.

After elevenish mews, darling Felines... has Halloween sunk it’s spook-tacular claws in you yet? The Kougaress is feeling it, but the Wearies have gotten her, along with a bout of feeling like she wants withdraw for some introspection time. A time out.

Yep, some penning pep, moi got more written on Kandy Apple, and is liking it. She’s at the point in the story where it’s time to pull the strings together and setup the final scenes. After all, Kandace, Zol, and Zin must have their Happily Ever After.

If you’re into the stars, or Astrology, it’s looking like everything will revolve around relationships, couple relationships and simply the way humans relate with each other. So, it could be an opportunity to strengthen those relationships that mean the most to you. Also, there may be an opportunity to resolve issues.

THE FIVES got moi again... whew! The numbers are after her recently. 444 got her good today.

Pumpkin Farmers Profit From Odd, Ugly Varieties

DAVID MERCER | 10/ 6/10 06:52 AM |AP article

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After decades of trying to grow perfect, round, orange pumpkins, farmers have found many people believe nothing says Halloween like a warty, twisted gourd in a weird color.

"Anything that's ugly or weird or unusual, it just sells like crazy," said Randy Graham, who grows 40 pumpkin varieties near Champaign, Ill.

At least in part, the market shift reflects the commercial growth of Halloween, and the fall season surrounding it, farmers and others said. Popular arbiters of home style such as Martha Stewart regularly talk up unusual pumpkins on television and the Internet.

And, U.S. farmers are growing hundreds of unusual varieties to satisfy consumers' desire for something new, plant breeder Jamie Hoffman said.

"We put a fair amount of effort into pumpkins that are not round and orange, something that's different," said Hoffman, who owns Outstanding Seed Company in Monaca, Pa. "Sometimes we get surprises – pumpkins that are multicolored and warted."

The National Retail Federation estimates 68.5 million Americans will buy a pumpkin to carve this year, an increase of 5 percent in the past five years. In all, Americans will spend $1.63 billion on Halloween decorations, although it's unclear how much of that money will go toward odd pumpkins.

But those who do spend have plenty of choices.

Many of the unusual pumpkins are hybrids – combinations of other, existing varieties. But some farmers have begun growing heirloom varieties that buyers from a century ago might recognize, such as blue-green Jarrahdales from Australia and the reddish, flat-bodied Rouge Vif d'Etampes.

There are also specially bred varieties the like warty Knucklehead. Hoffman pointed out a deep irony in their popularity.

Warts are a dominant trait and, if pumpkins or their cousins the squash are left to breed on their own, warts will likely develop. Although they're harmless, Hoffman said breeders have long fought warts because they turned off customers.

"Plant breeders worked feverishly over the last 50 years to get rid of warts," he said.

Now, breeders and farmers look at the lumpy disfigurations a little differently.

"Something unusual for Halloween, that maybe had warts and stripes – that'd be pretty cool," Hoffman said.

Pumpkin breeding is done by hand, with breeders using pollen from one variety to pollinate another, he said. Most have a good idea of what they're shooting for and, in general, what they'll get based on the pumpkins they're working with.

Hoffman, who opened his company six years ago, said he once dreamed of selling seeds for his hybrids at $25 a pound. Now, growers pay up to $200 a pound for something good, he said.

Graham, the Illinois farmer, said that reflects consumers' willingness to pay more. When he was a child, pumpkins were an inexpensive tradition.

"You went to the grocery store and each child got a pumpkin – you carved it, you went trick or treating and that was that," he said.

But in the past decade, he's seen people spend $50 or more on pumpkins and other Halloween decorations.

John Ackerman grows 150 pumpkin varieties on his farm near Morton, a central Illinois community that bills itself as the pumpkin capital of the world. Libby, the brand that accounts for about 85 percent of the canned pumpkin sold in the U.S., grows all of its pumpkins around Morton.

Ackerman started out part-time, growing big, beige Dickinson pumpkins for Libby to can. But in 1998, he grabbed a hundred or so that had grown too far down in a creek bed for mechanized pickers to reach and set them out in his yard.

"Amazingly, people started to stop and ask, 'Are those for sale?'" he said. "I think my reaction was, 'By golly, they are for sale.'"

He's now a full-time farmer growing pumpkin varieties from all over the world.

"I'm always looking for that next, neat thing," Ackerman said. "Some of them are long and tall, some are deeply ribbed, some have (thick stem) handles."

But not all the new varieties make for good eating, and Ackerman said he still has a soft spot for the pumpkins that got him into the business.

"That common old, beige-looking Dickinson pumpkin makes a pretty good pie," he said.

Authoress news and mews ~

OH! It was so cool to see the ‘buy page’ for JUST ANOTHER PARANORMAL HALLOWEEN. Mojo Castle Press does a fab job. ~ ~


Thursday 13 - Find Time For Sex
by Mary Quast

In a recent weekly poll, statistics showed that most people believed a typical couple should have sex three times a week if not every day. How does this compare to you and your significant other?

From ~

Venus, the planet of love and beauty goes retrograde in Scorpio, the sexiest of all signs, on Friday, October 8 at 07:05 am UTC (3:05 am EDT, 12:05 PDT).

Sensual Venus goes retrograde every eighteen months for about 40 to 43 days, and will remain retrograde in Scorpio from October 8 to November 7. During its retrograde cycle, Venus will move back into Libra on November 8, going direct in Libra on November 18.

A Venus retrograde period usually indicates a time where we review and evaluate the relationships in our life. However, the powerful cosmos energies this year emphasize the need to completely overhaul the way we approach all our relationships.

Venus conjuncts Mars in Scorpio within hours of the retrograde, the Sun and Moon are in Libra and Saturn is conjunct Mercury also in Libra. In deep, dark, secretive Scorpio, Venus intensifies its core energy and needs a transcendental connection -- one that goes right down to the marrow of your soul.

This is a time of intensity and there may be wrinkles to iron out in your closest relationships. This is the time to just let go and feel the agonies and ecstasies that come with Venus in Scorpio.

As Kahlil Gibran, the poet, tells us sorrow and joy are inseparable. In order for us to experience pure delight, one has to also experience the opposite.

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears."

Be prepared for a roller coaster ride of your deeper emotions. Be ready to experience the full spectrum of your feelings, and emerge cleansed -- a wiser soul and better able to forge the kind of bonds which make you know you are loved.

Relationships will be the central issue during the next couple of months. It is an accepted fact that relationships are complicated -- some are easy and natural while others are complex and difficult.

Now ~ FIRST! just for the big cool cats ~ from the Flash Cat...

Happy Courtship on another Earth

X-Serial Flash in Two Hundred ~ Sylva and Zeke’s story continues...

Part 648 ~

Sylva felt the butterflies take over her stomach. As much as she looked forward to being with Zeke on his ranch. Even though, she had this ‘sense’ of being home. Still, the ‘jitteries’ had her real good. “Donkeys are tough as the dickens, darlin’ mine. They chase off cougars and are always on the lookout for predators. Sylva nodded, gripping her cowboy husband’s hand tighter. “Oh, wow! That must be your home.” A sprawling house with a red-tiled roof had come into view. “Nope. That’s where Grandpa and Grandma Vintorr live, along with two of my uncles, and their families.”

Zeke cupped his Sylva’s shoulders with his palm, lightly massaging. Fractious as a filly, that was her body language. “How many generations of your family live on the ranch?” she asked. “Dad’s grandparents, all four of ‘em, live on the western range. And we got room for any of the family that wants to stay here, or live permanently. That is...” Zeke halted. Hell, he might as well tell his woman. Her little body had tightened with expectation. “There is one side of the family. Varmints, as we call ‘em. Used to be rustlers. Dad banished them some twenty-five years ago.”
Part 1 - 15 ~ see blog ~ January 15th Cometh, then Part 15... and before...
Part 16 ~ 647 ~ see the Kougar’s prior bloggies... or the Passionate Ink forum, the FREE READS page ~ ~ OR! Now available on The Romance Studio Forum, JANUARY 2009 through JUNE 2010 flashes ~ ~ Click on the FORUMS, then Savanna Kougar ~ the Fantasy Lair ~

Culture jamming slamming time...

Microsoft Proposes Government Licensing Internet Access

SEARCH TERM ~ government licensing internet

~ ~

Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, October 7, 2010

A new proposal by a top Microsoft executive would open the door for government licensing to access the Internet, with authorities being empowered to block individual computers from connecting to the world wide web under the pretext of preventing malware attacks.

Speaking to the ISSE 2010 computer security conference in Berlin yesterday, Scott Charney, Microsoft vice president of Trustworthy Computing, said that cybersecurity should mirror public health safety laws, with infected PC’s being “quarantined” by government decree and prevented from accessing the Internet.

“If a device is known to be a danger to the internet, the user should be notified and the device should be cleaned before it is allowed unfettered access to the internet, minimizing the risk of the infected device contaminating other devices,” Charney said.

Charney said the system would be a “global collective defense” run by corporations and government and would “track and control” people’s computers similar to how government health bodies track diseases.

Invoking the threat of malware attacks as a means of dissuading or blocking people from using the Internet is becoming a common theme – but it’s one tainted with political overtones.

At the launch of the Obama administration’s cybersecurity agenda earlier this year, Democrats attempted to claim that the independent news website The Drudge Report was serving malware, an incident Senator Jim Inhofe described as a deliberate ploy “to discourage people from using Drudge”.

Under the new proposals, not only would the government cite the threat of malware to prevent people from visiting Drudge, they would be blocked from the entire world wide web, creating a dangerous precedent by giving government the power to dictate whether people can use the Internet and effectively opening the door for a licensing system to be introduced.

Similar to how vehicle inspections are mandatory for cars in some states before they can be driven, are we entering a phase where you will have to obtain a PC health check before a government IP czar will issue you with a license, or an Internet ID card, allowing you to access the web?

Of course, the only way companies or the government could know when your system becomes infected with malware is to have some kind of mandatory software or firewall installed on every PC which sends data to a centralized hub, greasing the skids for warrantless surveillance and other invasions of privacy.

Microsoft has been at the forefront of a bid to introduce Internet licensing as a means of controlling how people access and use the world wide web, an effort that has intensified over the course of the past year.


Wish Upon on a Blue Moon New Year...
May your most romantic dreams come true...

Introspective smooches from the Kougar...


Serena Shay said...

Wow, that is one knarly pumpkin, but I can see where it might have its uses. You could put a really gruesome face on it to scare the tricks and treaters at your door...but alas, I like the nicely rounded ones with cute little smiles. :)

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, yeah, I can see the appeal of both the gnarly pumpkin and the cute adorable pumpkin... I always smile when I look at my little pumpkies.

Maybe, I should try growing both... that is, if my health cooperates.

Serena Shay said...

Oh my, Savanna, I hope you're feeling okay. ((hugs)) and positive thoughts coming at ya!

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, thanks, right back at ya!

It's mostly my ongoing conditions. It's just such a struggle to deal with sometimes. And, it irks me further because it wasn't something I brought on myself, it was from a whole lot of injustice.