Saturday, September 10, 2016


For our anniversary we went to a new restaurant, River. Perhaps you can guess where it is located. It was reported to be very good but somewhat pricey. On the plus side, I didn't think it was more expensive than half a dozen other places around town (We spent $55). The food was good, but not great. Specifically, I had shrimp and grits. The shrimp were wonderful and the grits were too mooshy. The special Parmesan chips tasted good but they were kind of crumbled and it was hard to pick up the smaller pieces. The decor was nice and the staff pleasant, and you can eat outside on the river. Of course, it was dark, and we couldn't see the river. It is located in an upscale strip mall, but once you get to the actual restaurant, that is not apparent. I give it a B.

The Jerusalem artichokes are blooming. The flowers look remarkably like sunflowers. We had a lot more rain this summer than we usually do. Normally a third to half of the Jerusalem artichoke stalks wither away, because they really need a lot of water. Even in years when we don't find the time to dig them to eat them, at least they brighten up the late summer garden.In addition, we have three kinds of roses blooming, cosmos, hyssop, zinnias, day lilies blooming again, mock orange blooming again, Turks hat, red honeysuckle blooming again, Kyria blooming again, rose of sharon, clematis, obedience plant, crepe myrtles, gardenias again. Climate change is really messed with the flowers' annual reproductive cycle.

The book signing for footprints in stone last night went very well. About 70 people showed up, and I think about two thirds of them bought books. Some were friends who just came out of solidarity. The Alabama Museum of Natural History went all out. There was an unusually large variety of snack food for such an event, and they really made a nice display of trace fossils from the Minkin site. Actual fossils, poster size reproductions of the color paintings from the book, and the video that film students made when they interviewed us about the project is playing on a miniature screen of a type I haven't seen before. The exhibit will stay up through Christmas, so there will be plenty of time for people to see it.

It was funny, because when we arrived, there were a whole bunch of people from the Press, including several I have corresponded with but never met. I also met a new geology professor at the University and some friends I hadn't seen in about a decade.

Each of us spoke for about 10 minutes and all in all we had a great time. The Press is trying to arrange some similar events elsewhere and whatever comes to pass I will definitely let you know.

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