Anna Grace — Sarplaninac — 11/11/21

This is Anna Grace, my new lgd (livestock guardian dog). She is a Sarplaninac (pronounced “sharplaninatz”), a breed that originated in the Shar mountains of Macedonia and Serbia, where it has been used for centuries to protect livestock against wolves. This is such a revered breed in its homeland that there is even one pictured on Macedonian coins.

Anna is one year old — her birthdate is 11/03/20 — and she currently weighs 84 pounds. She’ll probably be 94-100 pounds by the time she finishes maturing.

Miscellaneous spring pics, with duckies

bullfrog in one of my pots
Marsh, aka Marshmallow, aka Mr. Marsh Man
Tashi, the Anatolian shepherd


These are pics of Dublin in my van yesterday as we got ready to drive home, and on my property today exploring my driveway.

A recap of Dublin’s history: roughly a year ago, he was abandoned in an apartment when his original owners moved out. He was microchipped, and from the chip the most recent owners, who rescued him from the empty apartment, were able to find out his registered name and birthdate.He is AKC registered. This owner has failing vision and can no longer handle him and called me to give him up to rescue; although I haven’t actively done rescue for about 10 years, my number is still floating around the internet, and once or twice a year I get calls from someone wanting to adopt or place a dog. By coincidence, one of my remaining two senior dobes just died, and I’ve been gearing up in the last few weeks to adopt a new dog from a shelter — but, of course, I’d rather have another dobe! So the timing was serendipitous.

Dublin is going to be a work in progress. I have not had any trouble with him so far, except that he really, REALLY wants to eat my cats. Reeeeeeaaaaaally wants to. A muzzle and a lead are going to be required elements of retraining him for a good while.  In addition to that, he has a history of being tormented by children in the apartment complex where he lived, so I am going to have to be VERY careful with him in public until I can see how he reacts. Again — a muzzle will be involved. Other than those two things, he seems to be a fairly typical young male doberbrat who thinks he is King of the World and who hasn’t had somebody in his life who can really take charge and teach him what’s acceptable. He’s intelligent and wiggly and already quite velcro, which is normal for the breed; and he hasn’t shown any bad behavior with the other dogs, though his exposure to them has been limited so far.

I was able to find his registration info on the AKC site, and he is nearly 3 years old rather than the 2 years I was told, but that’s okay. More humorous is that it turns out he’s a “Z” doberman — which is doberman shorthand for a dog that has an albino doberman somewhere in his family tree. That’s funny because I fought for years against the breeding of albino dobermans when I was active in rescue. Sigh! He is scheduled for neutering on Wednesday, which would be happening with or without that “Z” designation, but I am extra-special happy to be removing those genes from the population!

Oh, and his most recent owners have been calling him “Doobie”, but — yeah — I don’t think so! Right now I’m working on reminding him that Dublin is his name, but I’m not 100% sure I’ll stick with that either. We Shall See!

I love this breed so much!

Tashi — Anatolian Shepherd — and Friends!

These pics were all taken this spring and summer. She’s about 3 years old. It’s very difficult to appreciate her size in these photos, but I’ll list the weights of the other dogs in the pics and the video so you can compare.

Here is Tashi showing off her beautiful face.
IMG_6489 copy IMG_5693

Here is Tashi being a Vicious Killer. Also giving a duck a heart attack.IMG_6597 copy

Here’s one of my credentials (Spot) NOT having a heart attack. The black doberman at the edge of the photo (Kenna) was about 75 pounds.

Here’s what happens during shedding season.

Dogs being goofy!
1. The black doberman (Kenna) was about 75 pounds.
2. The lab mix getting viciously massacreed in the video (Jane, aka Plain Jane) is about 60-65 pounds.
3. The bald blue doberman being goofy in the video (Jackson) was 95 pounds last time he was weighed. Yes, he’s lumpy as well as goofy — it’s pretty common for old dobermans to grow a lot of lipomas! (And blue dobermans are very commonly bald — it’s a condition called Color Dilution Alopecia.) And what he’s doing is digging for imaginary moles — it’s a thing he does. He actually catches a real one every once in a while!

Spot again, just because!IMG_E5934IMG_E5830trim



Dragon Awards and Amazon Sales Rankings

The Dragon Award winners were announced today. There’s been quite a lot of controversy about them over the last two years, in part because of ardent campaigning by some authors and factions and in part because of evident lack of controls on voting. The DragonCon website itself insists that email addresses is the only info it gathers from voters, opening up the possibility of ballot-box stuffing; and it also states several times that Dragon admins can change any votes or award results at their sole discretion — meaning that they can assign awards to whomever they like for whatever reason they like.

In any case, the shortlist for these awards was an obvious mishmash of genuinely popular works and books that nobody had ever heard of aside from a very small but rabid set of rightwing agitators. So the award reveal today was an object of much interest for quite a few.

Interestingly, none of the serious rabble rousers won any of the awards. The winner most closely affiliated with them, in fact, appears to be Larry Correia — and since his books are relatively popular in their own right, I don’t ascribe his win to them.

In fact, in all of the novel categories but one, the winner in each category was either the highest or second-highest seller in that category as determined by today’s Amazon paid Kindle rankings. In the one category that does not fit that pattern — fantasy novel — something hinky appears to be going on, since at least one of those books has had an astounding rise in its sales rankings in the course of just a few days. (I’ll post more on that in another few days when I’ve gathered more data.)

Here is the raw data for now:

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers — #15,731
  • Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards — #642,997
  • Rise by Brian Guthrie — #747,598
  • Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli — #165,122 (KU)
  • The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi — #10,714
  • Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey — #4,815
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu — #10,767
  • The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier — #102,048 (KU)

Best Fantasy Novel (incl paranormal)

  • A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day — #11,677 (KU)
  • — 8/27 (free, no paid ranking)
  • — 8/14 121,874
  • — 8/12 #66,735
  • Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter — #16,374
  • — 8/27 17,347
  • — 8/14 18,115
  • — 8/12 21,548
  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo — #29,984
  • — 8/27 31,817
  • — 8/14 25,892
  • — 8/12 16,246
  • The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta — #140,755
  • Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi — #340,734
  • Beast Master by Shayne Silvers — #2,627 (KU)
  • Wings of Justice by Michael-Scott Earle — #71,208 (KU)

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter — #406,925
  • Firebrand by A.J. Hartley — #629,430
  • It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett — #129,871
  • Swan Knight’s Son by John C. Wright — #156,297 (KU)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas — #1,733
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray — #56,726
  • The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan — #4,468

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • The Span of Empire by Eric Flint and David Carrico — #56,542
  • Starship Liberator by B.V. Larson and David VanDyke — #6,086 (KU)
  • Caine’s Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon — #117,864
  • Invasion: Resistance by J.F. Holmes — #53,291 (KU)
  • Cartwright’s Cavaliers by Mark Wandrey — #1,657 (KU)
  • Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz — #98,076 (KU)
  • Aliies and Enemies: Exiles by Amy J. Murphy — #60,688 (KU)
  • Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox — #3,388 (KU)

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Breath of Earth by Beth Cato — #214,998
  • Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler — #96,331
  • Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli — #224,577
  • No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah — #95,171 (KU)
  • A Change in Crime by D.R. Perry — #770,720
  • 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught by Eric Flint — #36,767
  • The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville — #100,668
  • Fallout: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove — #74,702

Best Apocalyptic Novel

  • The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz — #1,103,176
  • A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys — #152,419 (KU)
  • ZK: Falling by J.F. Holmes — #85,397 (KU)
  • Walkaway by Cory Doctorow — #14,523
  • American War by Omar El Akkad — #4,773
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (withdrawn by author) — (#1,150)
  • Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz — #324,840 (KU)

Best Horror Novel

  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle — #6,052
  • Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells — #51,214
  • Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn — #380,131 (KU)
  • The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood (withdrawn by author) — (#148,566)
  • A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau — #33,639
  • The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers — #347,561 (KU)
  • Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga — #100,576
  • Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten — #186,623

US Publishing Revenue Survey, 2015

I thought these numbers were interesting:

Total sales by format

Downloaded audio: $552 million
eBooks: $2.84 billion
Paperback books: $5.23 billion
Hardback books: $5.40 billion


Number of units sold by format

Physical Audio & Downloaded Audio: 81 million
eBook: 424 million
Paperback & Mass Market: 1.18 billion
Hardback: 577 million


U.S. Publishing Industry’s Annual Survey Reveals Nearly $28 Billion in Revenue in 2015