Whatever Notes: October Edition
Posted on October 3, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 26 Comments
Oh, look, pumpkins. They’ve begun their two-month moment in the sun: Jack-o-Lanterns for October, Thanksgiving pies for November, and then back to wherever these gourds go for the rest of the year (I think a commune in the New Mexico desert). They’re adorable, they are.
October this year is going to be a little hectic for me, in no small part because for two weeks of it, I’ll be in Germany, touring (actually, I’ll be touring Germany for about ten days, and then spending a couple of days sleeping when I get back home). So from the 13th through the 24th, I’m likely to put the site on a semi-hiatus, which means that while I will update the site from the road when/if I can, you probably shouldn’t expect more than pictures and a few sentences. Hey, I’ll be busy. It’s possible that instead of the semi-hiatus I might invite a guest blogger during that period, but haven’t decided yet. If I do, of course I’ll let you all know (don’t ask to be the guest blogger, please).
Either way, for about a third of the month, I’ll likely be scarce around here. During that time, depending on my connectivity capability in Germany, I’ll try to be keeping up via Twitter and Google+, so if you’re not getting your Scalzi fix there, try those. Before and after those dates, it’ll be business as usual.
Also, while I’m in Germany, there won’t be any Big Idea entries. To make up for it, next week I’ll have Big Ideas on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You know I wouldn’t leave you without any new books to learn about.
And that’s the state of things here in October.
Well, Germany deserves your presence as much as we do. Have fun!
Good thing I’m on G+ and Twitter already.
I think Ghlaghghee would make a fine guest blogger. (did I spell that right?)
The Halloween traditions of carving a Jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating have got to be the two worst holiday traditions there are. The former is a waste of food at a time of pumpkin shortages while the latter is dangerous for kids (walking around at night?) and encourages poor eating habits. My son and I are going to be turning out the lights, making popcorn and watching scary movies. This year I think the original “The Haunting” made in the 60s. So instead of it trying to scare you using over-the-top special effects it uses subtlety and implication.
No pumpkin shortage here — Ohio is exporting pumpkins to places where there are shortages, and in any event we buy all of our pumpkins from local farmers. Just doing our part for the economy. You go ahead and be a pumpkin grinch if you like.
Making popcorn and watching scary movies with your kid is cool. My experience with trick-or-treating is that kids sufficiently well-parented can walk about safely in the night (especially if, with younger children, they are accompanied by parents), and can be convinced of the value of stretching their Halloween candy by having only a couple of treats a day rather than gorging it all down in a couple of nights. That’s how we’ve done it, in any event. Seems to work so far.
Those pumpkins are just right for making shrunken-head jack-o-lanterns.
Just curious, Scorpius, what is your evidence pumpkin shortages? I don’t want to see people hoarding pumpkins and thereby creating artificial shortages because of your spreading of unfounded Internet rumors. ;-)
As far as Halloween treats, my wife started a tradition quite a few years ago of having very little candy and instead buying many different little toys (no moving parts), that you can get online for quite a reasonable price. The younger kids don’t seem to mind at all, and the tweens haven’t complained yet. And if we have a small turnout, the toys keep just fine for one more year, while we buy different ones to restock.
For your pumpkin-shortage-related news, see:
I love Pumpkins.
Pumpkins are great…
biodegradable, reactive targets to use to practice for the coming zombie apocalypse.
We planted pumpkins last year in our small city back yard; later we went on vacation for a couple of weeks in the summer. When we got back we found vines all over the place, with a bunch of pumpkins growing on them– not terrifically large, but no shortage of them. At least around here, they seem like zucchini– plant a little, get a lot.
Are things different with pumpkins elsewhere?
Good god man! Do you not know those things can tun on you? http://www.diggercomic.com/?p=658
Nellie: OMG, that rocks! Thanks for sharing!
Ah, Halloween, the one time of the year you can legally scare the crap out of the neighborhood kids (and their parents if you are lucky).
I ran into a dentist once who encouraged his children to wolf down all the candy in one day and then brush & floss carefully, rather than let their teeth stew in the stuff for days.
Oooh, pumpkins. Once they start showing up in UK supermarkets I’ll be able to make pumpkin pie, yay. Now I need a recipe for pumpkin pie. I keep finding recipes that all call for tinned pumpkins, but we don’t have that here.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the pumpkins used to make Jack-o-lanterns are a different variety than the ones that get eaten.
It may be a waste of a perfectly good field to plant them in the first place, but it appears that for the most part, not-carving up a big, round, orange pumpkin, is a waste of non-food.
I’m picky, but I would not eat those pumpkins that are sold for being decorations. Takes a lot of chemicals to keep them pretty and big. Plus when they get that large the meat is stringy and tough. Baking pumpkins are usually smaller and not as great for carving.
We never get trick-or-treaters. Our house is too close to the highway.
Don’t know about houston, but my wife and I always bought jack-o-lantern pumpkins and painted faces on them rather than cutting them. After halloween, the same pumpkins were slaughtered and made into pies. Worked just fine.
I maybe a Pumpkin Grinch but not a Halloween Grinch. That’s because it’s Scottish in Origin, and since it’s Scottish that means it’s not CRAP!
And if you get that joke you’re probably part of Generation X.
Just curious but would your tour coincide in anyway with Gail Carriger’s? She will also be in Germany this month. Have a fun and safe trip. Since we’re very close to Ohio, I expect our area is probably doing okay with pumpkins this year. I always roast the seeds from my squashes and eat them. I may or may not be carving a jack-o-lantern this month. It depends more on time and my creative motivation than it does on anything else.
CrypticMirror @ 1:51pm:
I just found these online and so can’t speak to whether the final outcome(s) will be any good–the methods differ a bit, but but they do seem to cover all the needed info:
on hiatus for a third of October???
Its 1582 all over again…
@Syd, thanks :o)
I’m already looking forward to your Munich visit something crazy.
Any word on what exactly you shall be doing? Reading, Q&A, signing?
Have a good trip, bring back lots of stories.
New Mexicans do not let the pumpkins make it to a commune. We make jalapeño pumpkin soup out of them.