Friday Five: The Random Research Edition

I’m happy to report I’m still chugging away and still on schedule to finish the draft of Prodigal (Dead Hollow Trilogy Book 1) by the end of the month. And by next week, I promise I’ll come up with a different working and scheduling metaphor. 😉 I did have a few slowdown moments this week. The orange cones came out when I reached a point in my loose outline that said, “Something else happens here.” Seriously. That’s what it said. Told you it was a loose outline. But I’m happy with my solution, and I managed to catch up my word count, too.

Sometimes, when my brain was noodling on solutions and I didn’t want to spin out too long, I allowed myself limited time to look up answers to some of the questions that litter my Scrivener file in red comments or paper my laptop with Post-Its. You may recall me posting a Friday Five way back in the mists of time. This week, I thought I’d use that format to share a few research highlights (that in the end may or may not find their way into the story).

  1. Apparently, we no longer wrap ribs. Not the barbecued kind, the Mixed-Martial-Arts-looks-so-much-easier-on-TV kind. That ACE bandage that felt so good squeezing your aches is no longer recommended because it can constrict your breathing, and possibly even contribute to contracting pneumonia. Knowing that, you might just want to skip the ring altogether.
  2. Close-up of Deer face by Jay Wennington from stocksnap.ioThere’s a great David Sedaris riff about gun laws in different states on the Live at Carnegie Hall album. Apparently in Texas and Michigan, you can hunt if you’re blind. There’s nothing nearly so titillating in West Virginia, but they are pretty easy-breezy with their gun laws. There is no permit required for open carry of firearms, or for concealed carry of firearms so long as you’re over 21. (You can concealed carry if you’re 18-20, but you need a permit.)
  3. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has a 50-page pdf of hunting regulations on its website, including a 6-page table devoted to when and where you can hunt White-tailed Deer. Also, in case you’re wondering, there is no season for coyotes—you can hunt them whenever you want (unless you’re hunting at night with artificial light or night vision technology; that season is January 1-July 31). Did I mention that we didn’t even have coyotes in West Virginia when I was growing up?
  4. I also have to share this because I appreciated it so much. It occasionally drives me a little batty that everyone is shifting to having everything as digital streaming. Newsflash: the infrastructure isn’t there yet everywhere, even in the U.S., not to mention being cost-prohibitive for many people. [Stepping down off the soapbox.] That’s why I wanted to kiss the screen when I saw this on the WV DNR page: “This is a large (6MB) file and may take a long time (20 min or longer) to open on a dial-up Internet connection. If you wish, instead, to receive a printed copy, please visit an authorized Hunting License Agent or request a copy from a DNR district office.” Bless their hearts.
  5. From guns to varmints… Spare me the rabies fear-mongering (there’s only been one human fatality recorded from raccoon rabies; bats are more likely culprits), raccoons are cool. According to the oracle, a.k.a. Wikipedia, “For climbing down a tree headfirst—an unusual ability for a mammal of its size—a raccoon rotates its hind feet so they are pointing backwards.” Don’t hurt yourselves while trying to reproduce that feat of the feet (sorry, I’m allowed to be punchy on Friday). Also, while you can own a raccoon as a pet in Austria and Germany, you cannot own a single raccoon. You must own at least two to prevent loneliness. Everybody together… awww.

Novelty Coffee cup by Luis Llerena from stocksnap.ioI feel like the DNR things were pretty closely related, so here’s an extra bonus bit of insight into my work week. I must have a cup of coffee in the morning (sometimes more, never less) to function, and I am the coffee maker in our house. A couple of nights ago, my husband was at the sink and said something along the lines of, “I don’t know if I should tell you this, but the scoop was in the coffee maker.” Let’s be clear: the little, black, coffee-designated tablespoon was inside the used French Press. My response was that I can’t imagine having pushed the plunger without noticing that extra chunk blocking its path. And yet, I hadn’t had my cup of coffee… Maybe I should stick to cold drip.


[Deer face by Jay Wennington and Coffee cup by Luis Llerena, from]