Category Archives: Have A Great Weekend

Have a Safe Black Friday Weekend

Just a friendly reminder: the Triffid Ranch is closed on Black Friday, but we’ll be open both Saturday and Sunday (November 28 and 29) from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In the interim, stay warm and stay safe (a call in particular for friends and cohorts working retail), and in the age of COVID-19, be REALLY glad that the gallery isn’t still in a 1970s-era shopping mall. (The movie may be quaint by today’s standards, but it’s still the best documentary about 1980s-era Dallas ever made.)

Have a Safe Weekend

Okay, lots of interesting news this weekend, starting with the fact that since last Sunday’s gallery tour turned out so well, we’re doing it again on November 22, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, 57 years to the day my hometown got its unofficial motto “Well, aside from THAT, Mrs. Kennedy…” As always, we’ll be disinfecting regularly and mask use over the nose and above the chin is mandatory. Because of sudden developments involving a new day job, we’re still deliberating on opening for Small Business Saturday on November 29, the subsequent Sunday, or both. Stay posted.

And as a shoutout to good friends who made the mistake of inviting the triffids across the threshold, two additional developments. For obvious reasons, the Blood Over Texas Horror For The Holidays show in Austin can’t run this year (and I had such plans for a “Back and to the left” gag on Sunday that would fit right in), so they’re hosting a Blood Bazaar virtual event from November 21 until the end of the year. In the same vein (see what I did there?), Loyd and Sue Cryer of Texas Frightmare Weekend stayed very busy over the ongoing shutdown with their new store Frightmare Collectibles, which officially opens on November 21. Go give them both lots of love, and expect some Triffid Ranch surprises from both in subsequent weeks.

As for festivities, there’s one more on November 23, and it’s personal. Whether or not you enjoy the show, there’s one thing for which I have to thank 57 years of Doctor Who: the character that’s the closest I’ll ever get to getting my grandmother back. And if after reading this you think “that explains SO MUCH,” you’re right.

Have a Safe Weekend

It’s going to be a long week: the Triffid Ranch Sunday Tours start on November 15, and all of this is preparation for some major news at the end of the month. Please don’t feel obligated to come out on Sunday, especially considering recent Dallas COVID-19 news, but if you do, your presence is appreciated.

Have a Safe Weekend

No shows or events for this weekend: after the Porch Sale schedule for the last six months, it’s time for a minor break before getting ready for indoor sales through November and December. Details will follow very shortly, but expect the Sunday schedule to continue for the foreseeable future.

Have a Safe Weekend

Okay, lots going down over the next week, including Saturday’s Halloween Day Porch Sale, what would have been my grandmother’s 95th and my father-in-law’s 89th birthdays respectively, that much-promised Halloween full moon (which should be visible in the Dallas area shortly after dark), and hopefully a lot of good news next week. In the meantime, I plan to join a slew of friends in celebrating the end of the Halloween season with various movies, and I dare anybody coming of age in the 1980s in the UK (or anybody in the US with access to MTV) to hear this song and not think about the greatest vampire ever.

Have a Safe Weekend

We’re down to the line now, folks: one last Sunday morning Porch Sale for the year on October 25, with one last outdoor show on Halloween Day, and then the Venus flytraps, temperate sundews, and North American pitcher plants all get a much-earned rest over the winter. The Triffid Ranch won’t shut down over the winter, though: we have plans within plans, mostly involving Asian pitcher plants and some new surprises. However, if you’re in the mood to see flytraps and Sarracenia, make plans to come out this weekend or next, and remember that masks are mandatory.

Have a Safe Weekend

Two more Sunday Morning Porch Sales and Saturday’s open house to go, and then it’s over for the season. Don’t worry, though. In the best tradition of Jack Skellington, the creepy stuff doesn’t have to stop just because Halloween is done.

Have a Safe Weekend

Based on the weather forecast, Sunday is going to be spectacular, so the Sunday morning Porch Sale is still on. In the meanwhile, there are covers of classic songs, and then there are Kimberly Freeman covers of classic songs, on the birthday of the original songwriter. Enjoy.

Have a Safe Weekend

Just a friendly reminder: things are going to get wild this month, starting with the last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for 2020 running from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm until October 25. We also have plans for Halloween Day itself, so keep tuned in. Until then, music.

Have a Safe Weekend

One more time: no Sunday morning Porch Sale this weekend, because the Triffid Ranch will be out at the NARBC Arlington reptile and amphibian show, so look for the new banners. Bring your masks and hand sanitizer, because it promises to be a hoot.

Have a Safe Weekend

Well, this weekend is going to be considerably more quiet than last: no interviews, no movie commentary, and just the last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for September (on September 26 and 27, the Triffid Ranch will be at the NARBC Arlington reptile and amphibian show). The Porch Sales will continue through October; no word about subsequent interviews, but if they happen, I might tell the story of how I got my record with the FBI.

Have a Safe Weekend

And it’s a busy safe weekend: Friday belongs to gallery renovation and new shelf installation, Saturday belongs to Frightmare HQ video (an interview at 2:00 pm Central and a guest host for a Twitch Prime Watch Party screening of Annihilation at 7:00 pm Central), and Sunday to this week’s Porch Sale. To paraphrase one of of great philosophers of the Twentieth Century, Paul says check it out.

Have a Safe Weekend

Sunday morning, it’s the Triffid Ranch Porch Sale. Friday night, though, take the time to hook up the Panoptikon DJ streams, in fond reminiscence of when Labor Day weekend always marked the beginning of Happy Goth Season in Dallas.

Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale – #19

The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale is a regular Email newsletter, with archives available on the main TTR site at least a month after first publication. To receive the latest newsletters, please subscribe.)

Originally published on July 17, 2020.

Installment #19: “A Little Deluge Will Do Ya”

July in Texas, to folks who don’t live here, brings up one impression: blasting heat. After 38 of my last 40 summers in Dallas (two were spent trapped in Portland, Oregon, which has its own summer weather issues), it’s hard to argue with that impression, because that pretty much sums up July…about half of the time. Figuring out which half, though, is the fun of it, because you won’t find any hints as to how a summer is going to proceed until about two-thirds of the way through.

For those outside of North Texas, we may not have the same plant diversity as the famed fynbos of South Africa, but we have a lot of the same climate. Although it may not appear so when you’re on it, but the northwest portion of the state is at an incline, and one that you can’t appreciate until you try driving a big truck toward Amarillo and realize that the aforementioned incline requires slipping into lower and lower gears. That incline, the Edwards Plateau, is a little show of plate tectonics, as the irresistible force of the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean and the immovable object of the great Pacific Plate mean that everything to the west of Dallas is gradually crumpling and buckling. Meanwhile, the Great Plains to the north constantly heat up this time of the year, setting off winds that are fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, leading to a constant south wind through Dallas for about nine months of the year. The sun goes down and the south wind usually dissipates, only to start up the blast furnace shortly after sunrise.

What does this mean? It means that you should buy cookies and beer for every Dallas-based meteorologist you ever meet, whenever they need it, which is all of the time. With precious little warning, cold fronts bracketed by the Rockies pass down past the Texas-Oklahoma border, only to run into that south wind coming up from the Gulf. They don’t just release gentle rains, either: the collisions usually produce huge waves of small but intense storms that rip through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex like a shotgun blast through tulle. Ten to 30 minutes of intense rain, and then the south wind cuts through and sucks out every last drop of moisture out of the area. When the winds stop after dark, the local humidity rises a bit, and we may even get enough clouds to hint at rain. As soon as the sun comes up, though, it’s back to hot, sunny, and dry enough to make every breath feel like concrete aerosol.

Oh, but the fun comes when you make the assumption that this will continue. The end of July is always hot and dry, unless a cold front passes through for a week and makes everything cool and rainy. It’s always the same through the day, until you see a storm front coming out of the west dropping so much rain that it looks like a wall of water coming at you. That rain is always diffuse, until you’re standing on one side of a street under a full sun watching the other side of the street drown under the onslaught. That rain is always coming, until you look at weather radar and watch as the storm that just pummeled Fort Worth evaporates halfway to Dallas. Oh, and those storms always rush out of the west, until they suddenly come steamrollering in from the Louisiana border. The one absolute is that we haven’t seen snow flurries in July since the mid-Pleistocene, but grapefruit-sized hail is just as much fun, especially for pedestrians and cyclists without easy access to shelter.

And what does all of this have to do with carnivorous plants? It means that you need to have pity on all of your outdoor plants, and not just the carnivores. You can move out of the way of Texas weather. They’re kinda stuck.

Outside Events

Welp, since Texas Governor Greg Abbott keeps plagiarizing his COVID-19 policies from an obscure 1974 teleplay (and I suspect that life will again imitate art when his supporters decide that he’s insufficiently ideologically pure), shows and events keeps getting cancelled because nobody can guarantee the safety of attendees and vendors. The latest casualties are the rescheduling of the New Orleans Oddities & Curiosities Expo previously set for August 29, and the Houston Horror Film Festival previously set for the subsequent Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, their new dates for 2021 are the same weekend, and that weekend is the weekend after the rescheduled Austin Oddities & Curiosities Expo, so I’m having to delay New Orleans and Houston for 2021. Please: if you’re interested in either, please don’t stop planning to attend when it’s safe to do so. Until I’m able to be in three places at once, though, it’s just not an option for this little carnivorous plant gallery.

As for everything else scheduled for 2020, it’s a wait-and-see schedule right now. NARBC Arlington is still on for September as of this writing, and AquaShella Dallas is still on for Halloween weekend, so keep checking back for details. We’ll have a Triffid Ranch show sometime between now and when the Dallas Cowboys finally win a shutout World Series pennant: I promise.

Shameless Plugs

This time on Shameless Plugs, it’s time to hype up a longtime vital service while everyone is refocusing on cooking on their own. As an enthusiastic lover of spice that ranges from “medium hot” to “that salsa just peeled the enamel off my teeth in big floppy strips,” I’d be remiss in not mentioning that the crew at Defcon Sauces has been experimenting with a lot of new rubs, sauces, and powders, and the Defcon Malum allium garlic powder is now an essential spice at the gallery for lunch breaks. (I bow to nobody in my appreciation for the Defcon Habby Horse hot habanero/horseradish sauce, so the Malum Allium was a very welcome surprise for roasted vegetables and other dishes that could use a bit of a kick.) Edgar Harris says “check it out.”

As an additional recurring plug, the Dallas goth club Panoptikon already has a special place with the Triffid Ranch (co-owner Jiri forgets more about carnivorous plants in his sleep than I’ll ever be able to learn), and the ongoing shutdown has hit it as hard as every other club in the area. That said, the crew has become very proactive with regular Friday and Saturday night events via Twitch, and the Friday night streams are now essential listening while I’m working at the gallery. And now you know why it’s been a little while since the last Triffid Ranch Twitch event: no way am I interrupting their show for any reason.

Recommended Reading

They were delayed for a while due to printing issues, but the reprint of Redfern Natural History’s Drosera of the World just arrived, and each volume is potentially dangerous if falling from even from a moderate height onto an unsuspecting bystander’s head. All three of them together could kill a moose, and the interiors are just as lethal to anyone wanting light reading. All three are beautiful volumes of the world’s known sundew species, with the stunning color photos we’ve come to expect from Redfern. When they’re sold out, the odds are pretty good that the only place you’ll be able to get them is at an estate sale, so get your order in before they’re completely gone, and don’t worry about the price. If anything, they’re underpriced for the value.

Music

Regular newsletter readers may already know how much of the Triffid Ranch gallery soundtrack consists of entries from Austin’s One Eyed Doll, and singer/guitarist Kimberly Freeman has been busy during the pandemic. She currently has a large selection of new songs and covers in the Kimberly’s Quarantine Playlist on YouTube and elsewhere, including the only cover of John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels” I’ve heard that’s worthy of the time. Go give them all a listen, and join me in looking forward to new entries as events keep grinding on.

Have a Safe Weekend

The last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for August runs this weekend, and the schedule for September is now up. (Because the NARBC reptile and amphibian show in Arlington is still on, there’s no Porch Sale for September 27.) After that, August 31 is celebrated the way it has been every year for the last 35: a big pile of barbecue, a lack of prior commitments, and the annual viewing of one of my all-time favorite films. And so it goes.

Have a Safe Weekend

The plan for those wanting to view the large enclosures in the gallery: the fifth anniversary open house starts on Saturday, August 22 at 6:00. For those seeking smaller plants, the Sunday Porch Sale starts on August 23 at 7:00 and runs until noon. For everybody else, we have music.

Have a Safe Weekend

As usual, the Triffid Ranch Sunday Porch Sale runs this Sunday, and every Sunday this month, from 7:00 am to noon. (For those who have been asking this week, yes, we can take cards. As I like to put it, “What the hell do you think this is: the Twentieth Century?”) Next week, keep an eye open for both the virtual and in-person open houses, as we try to open up for something approximating a normal gallery schedule. Until then, music.

Have a Safe Weekend

Big surprises are afoot for this Sunday’s Porch Sale, so long as the weather holds (and this being Dallas in August, it probably will), but until then, a bit of pop culture commentary. With the recent hype about MTV announcing a reboot of Beavis and Butt-Head, a re-reboot of Ren & Stimpy, and a spinoff of Daria, it’s disappointing and a little aggravating that nobody at MTV is talking about reviving the most unusual of its animation experiments…a show scuttled by management after weeks of being pre-empted by Road Rules reruns. it’s definitely time for a revival of Downtown.

Have an Early Safe Weekend

Because it’s someone’s birthday today.

Have a Safe Weekend

Thanks to a shoutout from Dallasites 101, i welcome all of the new folks coming across the Triffid Ranch for the first time, and welcome you all to the Porch Sales running every Sunday from 7:00 am to noon. And for those wondering about the big deal with carnivorous plants, here’s a combination of fascination and elaboration. Enjoy.