Of Purple Paint & Short Stories

Yesterday and today were spent, in part, with cans of Krylon ™  spray paint in the color designated by TX Parks & Wildlife as “NO HUNTING PURPLE”.   The idea is that instead of posting “No Hunting” signs (where they inevitably get stolen, shot up, mysteriously blown away) , you simply paint the top of your fence posts purple.    Not every fence post but enough that anyone approaching the fence sees the purple warning.  We had previously tried “No Hunting” signs with the usual results.

The problem with spray paint on fence posts is of course the spray.  Texas air is very rarely motionless, and fences are long, even on our place (the north fence is a half mile long).  Also it doesn’t cover as well as paint from a can, but I couldn’t find a can of NO HUNTING purple paint, just the spray cans.  And it’s not just any purple that’s listed in the law, but this particular purple (which, by the way, doesn’t cover brown or green posts well at all.   Mostly I sprayed T-posts.  T-posts (for the uninitiated) are metal posts with a T cross-section, driven into the soil by a “post-driver”, a heavy piece of pipe with a heavy piece of iron over one end and a handle on each side.  You put it over the top of the T-post, lift it about a foot, and slam it down until the T-post is in the ground solidly enough.  Builds shoulder muscle or destroys the joint, depending.

Our T-posts consist of a mix of T-post ages and types, because (being savvy country folk) we salvaged the old T-posts of the original fence, now battered, bent, rusty though they be.  NEW T-posts are painted white or silver on the top end and the rest green.  Old T-posts usually have some remnant green on them, but quickly grow rust here and there, where the wires are fastened into them with thinner wires wrapped around the post.   Ours are also spaced apart with twisted wire things I can’t recall the name of (it’s not “spacer”)  so that cattle are less likely to push their heads through and move the wire around.  Cattle are not deterred by barbed wire strands, if they can get their head in and slowly, firmly, lift one of the wires up and step on the one below.   At any rate, I sprayed the tops of a lot of T-posts, and the pipes R- uses in the line braces along the way  (some people in the past foolishly used hackberry in line braves–it rots and then the line or corner brace goes all wonky.  Yesterday I did the east part, from the creek most of the way through the dry woods (used up a whole can) and today I did the west end (west of the creek to the NW corner.)

What I also did yesterday that cheered me up a lot was write a new short story, start a second, and today finished that one.  This was s little test to see if NewBook was a fluke, a miracle but one that was only good once.  Nope.  The fiction generating part of my brain is back in order and still working.  Hurray.  The new stories are both about the young (mid-20s) Kieri Phelan, a long way from becoming king of Lyonya.  I was trying to re-write a story I’d written while working on the original Paks (but lost) and instead I got something compoletely new that fit, and something that is, I think, better than the original was (from what I can remember of the original.)

Tomorrow is another trip to the bank (for case) and feed store (for hay and a sack of horse feed)  and another walk around the land, on which I might just be carrying my spear.  Purely for exercise, of course.

But now it’s after midnight, so as Pepys would say “And so to bed.”

14 thoughts on “Of Purple Paint & Short Stories

  1. Congratulations on the short stories! I’m very glad to hear that WriterBrain continues to work for you.

    I see that there’s at least one on-line source for a gallon bucket of No Hunting Purple paint:
    It sounds like you’ve finished at least for this time, using the spray paint. The gallon says that it’s latex paint; the spray can doesn’t say. I see the price of the spray can is higher ($9.50) than at your local Tractor Supply ($7.50), but maybe the gallon at $38 (plus shipping?) might still be worthwhile, for repainting in another year.

    1. Practicality…I’m not walking down the fence row carrying a gallon can of paint. Gallon cans of paint are heavy and awkward to carry. I’ll pay for the lightweight can of spray paint, that I can carry easily in one hand while having my 6 foot bamboo pole in the other, for balance if I need it, while walking on the uneven rocks piled against the north fence in places.

  2. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! as commanded by Richard S above. It is wonderful to know you are writing more and it’s coming easily. Now if only it were not such a long process from your computer to my reading space. Knowing that something is in the works will have to do.

  3. I hope your nozzle finger isn’t too stiff, that’s a lot of spraying even if in short bursts.

    Yay for more proof writer brain is firing in a writerly fashion again!

  4. Wooohooo! I am so glad to hear that writer brain is back and flourishing! I hope you will be keeping these short stories and will perhaps publish them in a Paksworld book of short stories. I would love to read them.

    Will the Gnomes be making an appearance in the new book?

  5. Totally OT …
    I found this today in a friend FB post. A wonderful piece of off-beat knowledge, and offered here as a possibly useful idea:
    ” In medieval England people consumed two to three pounds of bread every day. But their appetite for bread was likely nothing compared to that of medieval horses who, after a day spent lugging cargo at high speeds across the British Isles, would often devour coarse loaves of horse bread.
    Today, feeding bread to a horse might seem like the whimsy of a sentimental pet owner. But in pre-industrial England, it was the best technology available for powering the horses on which English society relied.
    Horse bread, typically a flat, brown bread baked alongside human bread, fueled England’s equine transport system from the Middle Ages up until the early 1800s. It was so logistically important that it was more highly regulated than its human counterpart, with commercial bakers adhering to laws dictating who could bake horse bread, as well as the bread’s price, size, and occasionally even its composition. The ubiquitous bread was made from a dough of bran, bean flour, or a combination of the two, and typically was flat, coarse, and brown.
    According to some estimates, medieval horses consumed about 20 pounds of food per day. These huge animals were responsible for hauling people and cargo across England at high speeds. After a long haul, exhausted horses had to rebound quickly for another trip, so they needed carbohydrates and protein, fast.
    Bread solved this problem in two ways. First, it saved time and energy because it was “pre-digested,” says William Rubel, author of English Horse-bread, 1590-1800 and a leading historian—and baker—of this functional bread. “Bread, where you’ve ground the food and baked it, pre-digests it, so you get more calories released more quickly.”
    Second, horse bread concentrated, in a travel-friendly object, nutrients that owners would otherwise have to gather from vast quantities of grain and grass. “I am convinced that horse bread is a very reasonable solution for the ongoing problem of how do you feed your horses. They require a massive amount of feed and in a medieval economy, it must have been a logistical nightmare, especially while traveling,” writes Madonna Contessa Ilaria Veltri degli Ansari, a medieval reenactor who baked horse bread for her own modern-day horse based on ancient English recipes, in a paper on the topic. “I consider that horse bread is the period analogue for the pellets we use today.” ”
    Obviusly this is an early form of horse nuts, but it is something I have never seen incorporated into any spec-fic story 🙂
    [now if you were only still using FB I could have shared it with you >:> ]

    1. I had heard of horse bread but not in that detail. Thank you! Horse bread is the answer to a specific problem coming up in NewBook II so your timing is PERFECT.

      Have you run across a wonderful book I inherited from Kathleen Jones (who also left me her gorgeous palomino Illusion, sadly no longer with us–died at 26), “Horses in Shakespeare’s England” by Anthony Dent??? I can’t find my copy now because the huge stack of horse books migrates irregularly through the house and the individual books then get buried under SF, fantasy, history, mystery, thrillers…etc. I’m trying to re-order the shelving generally, but it’s very slow. Shakespeare himself is back on the floor at this moment.

      If FB would let me back on, I’d be there, but they offer no way to recover a lost log-in and don’t recognize any of mine.

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