A NEW kinda Day

…and one suitable for JOTS…

NEW STUDIO: Take a look at Doug Thompson’s new digs in the Floyd Village Green. And stop by–maybe when you come for Winterfest (Jacksonville Center this weekend) or at Dickens of a Night–Floyd’s Downtown Christmas Celebration. That’s next Friday night, December 7, when you can visit THREE bloggers and get signed copies of their books in one convenient location: David St. Lawrence, Colleen Redman and Fred First, plus Lee Chichester and Patty Woodruff. The place: Notebooks, across from the Country Store.

NEW NEWSPRINT: I’m doing a little column twice a month now for a new Roanoke newspaper, the Star-Sentinel. The first edition went out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You can download the entire first edition in pdf, and while you’re there, consider signing up for a year subscription!

NEW SOFTWARE: Grab a free copy of SnagIt 7.25–a screen capture software on steroids. It has some very powerful and useful editing and capture options that make it a good choice, even if you had to pay! Also, be aware of Buzzword (a slick flash-based word processor soon to be acquired by Adobe). And consider iwantsandy: a stupid name but a pretty smart email-based way to get reminders, store info, and plan your week. And if you use Firefox, Autocomplete Manager is a must-have. I use it many times every day to find webpages I want to get back to.

NEW TOYS: I got a phone call last week from a Graphic Design group that had found a couple of my images on Flickr. They want to use them in the design of 9000 Christmas cards sent from some big law firm somewhere. I get paid (and they put my contact info in them!) Hmmm. What Windows program can I replace with MAC for that amount?

NEW FOODS: I was delighted to find a nice piece in Orion on the humble “ground nut”–a native edible long forgotten. This was especially relevant for me as I realized just last summer that the cursed twining vine taking over our creek banks is indeed Apios americana, the ground nut, or Indian potato. Ann pondered just the other day: what WOULD we eat if commerce broke down and the deer ate our garden (again) that year? Here’s part of the answer. This little tuber is abundant, and the price is right.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Uhh Fred, Friday is December 7th! I hope to see you there. The Rotary Club of Floyd will be serving Hot Chocolate over by the Bank of Floyd. I’ll probably use my office (next to Doug’s) for warming up after my shift.