Lacto-fermentation notes!

So I’ve a another new hobby: Lacto-fermenation. Best known as homemade sauerkraut. Here’s what I’ve got so far after some false-starts and multi-failures.

Experiment One – traditional sauerkraut

1 head of green cabbage
1.5 Tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon caraseed
Ferment for 9 days.

Maybe a little too salty but a success!
Second experiment – started 4/19/14

1 head of green cabbage
1.5 tablespoons salt
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
¼ teaspoon pepper

It needs something sweeter. It’s definitely salty, not too much but I’ll cut back next time.
Experiment Three

Third Experiment – started 4/19/14

1 quarter head of red cabbage
1 quarter of an onion (appoximate)
¼ ish tablespoon of salt
¼ tablespoon caraway seed.

It was ready at 13 days and great. Sweeter but with balance, Alicia said makes a good Reuben,

Fourth experiment – Just another traditional much like third experiment I started it May 3.

1 head red cabbage
2 small onions
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon caraway seed

Fifth Experiment – Carrot Sticks

1.5 lbs of carrots
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon salt in 2 cups water
Pour over carrots/garlic and wait.

Daddy Issues excerpt

Here’s an excerpt from Daddy Issues.

In this bit, the main character has a gun and has the man who hurt his daughter in his sights. What’s he do? Is a violent society useful? He writes:

“Pocketing Dad’s .38 wasn’t planned either. But I had it. I knew dad had it for years and while I knew mine was in the system, the chances of his being registered anywhere were nil. I was fingering it. It’s such a little thing. It can do so much damage. I could pop him right now. I could end him. He’d just be another shooting on the eleven-o’clock news. Just another statistic in our violent society. Violent society? What crap. Maybe it’s violent but it’s also good. A violent society is a vibrant society. Orson Welles makes a little speech in The Third Man. He says, “In Italy under the Borgias, they had thirty years of warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace — and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

This sums up any answers to questions about a violent society for me. I bet a lot more daughters went unraped in Italy than in Switzerland.”

Here’s the scene from The Third Man he is writing about. Very cool scene.

Novella/Short non-fiction book club

For the past year and a half, I was involved in a book club. The goal from the beginning was to read new fiction and discuss it.

This was good for me because I rarely read new releases. Having the book club focused like this was a way to force myself to read outside of my comfort zone.

But two problems quickly popped up. First off, usually only half the people in the club finished (or sometimes even started) the novels. This somewhat defeats the main purpose of book club – discussing the book. Second, most new fiction is crap. It’s nihilistic. It’s crass. It’s poorly written. It’s often juvenile.

I’ve parted ways with that book club in search of something else. I still want to read good fiction and discuss it with folks. I don’t buy the excuse the people are too busy to read but will simply bow to the self-inflicted constraints of modern life that people don’t make the time to read.

So, with that in mind, I want to start a novella club. There’s a treasure of historical and contemporary novellas out there. And, by definition, people should be able to finish them.  We’ll have plenty to read…..and the time to read them!

Finally, I tire of reading fiction so I did want the flexibility to read non-fiction. Maybe we can swap off every month.

If this sounds interesting to you. Let me know. We’ll decide on a book and meet at a local drinking establishment (alcohol and/or coffee) in the Cincinnati/NKY area to discuss them.

Why I wrote the novel Wrath – the life and assassination of a United States Governor

Sometime in 2008 I was doing the pre-internet equivalent of web browsing – aimlessly roaming the public library. I’d pick up books, sample a bit then move onto something else. In the ‘BIOGRAPHY’ section a slim, 130 page blue book caught my attention.

It was William Goebel: The Politics of Wrath by James C. Klotter. I sat down and read it straight through. I’m a history buff and I’d never heard of William Goebel. I learned he was a divisive Kentucky politician in the vein of a Huey Long who remains the only United States Governor to be assassinated in office.

Why hadn’t I heard of him? This was a great story. As I read, my curiousity grew 100 fold.

Somewhere in the middle of the book, we learn that five years before becoming governor in 1900 and being assassinated himself, Goebel shot a fellow Democrat in broad daylight…while standing next to the Attorney General of Kentucky. This event is somewhat glossed over in the biography. This was not Klotter’s fault. It was his first book and the limited space he was given forced him to stick to the facts.

But Goebel, the president of the Kentucky senator, shots a politician on the streets next to the chief law enforcement officer of the state and then goes on to be elected governor? What a story!

And that’s the one I tell in my novel Wrath – the life and assassination of a United States Governor. I released it in February but we’re making a few changes that I think will make it a much better novel. It will be available soon.

Spoon – A Prescott Carmichael Jaunt is out!

You can find links to the short story at Amazon and for the Kindle and Nook @

Here’s the description

Just fired and sitting in a bar, Jake Gibb gets a phone call. It’s a job offer from the mysterious investment advisor Prescott Carmichael. Jake soon learns providing ‘client service’ involves more than answering the phone or filling out forms. When a historic spoon goes missing, it’s up to Jake Gibb and Mr. Carmichael to figure out the ‘who’ but also to learn the unnerving ‘why’.