October 25th, 2015

The Librarian

Why my to-read pile sometimes shrinks backwards ...

Succumbed to the urge to start re-reading Dan Abnett's Triumff today instead of carrying on with any of the other half-read or unread books littering the place. Sometimes the reading just has to be something that matches a braincraving and the mere concept of the "Cantripwork Couteau Suisse, or Schweizer Offiziersmesser", aka the Swiss Army Sword, is exactly what my brain needs today. That and the continuous tongue-in-cheekness and snark of virtually every word of the book. :-)

(frankly I suspect I wanted silly comfort reading to compensate for the disappointment of discovering that, unlike the sensible Great Britain and several other countries, Canada isn't switching off of the wretched daylight savings time until NEXT weekend ***pouts***)
The Librarian

Ah, the only flaw in "Triumff"

Which I'd forgotten until I read it again. Character milking a heifer. It's only a brief moment in the tale and I grasp that this is the present-day of an alternate universe where Magick was developed instead of technology in most of the world (except for Beach, which we know as Australia ... the native peoples there decided Magick was a developmental dead end 300 years ago and currently have gleaming high-tech cities and excellent sanitation and health care). But some things cannot be explained away by the ol' AU gambit and the fact that you don't get milk from heifers is one of them.

For the baffled, where I grew up farming/livestock terminology tends to be very precise because it's often important. A female cattlebeast (yes m'dears, that is the singular of the plural "cattle") was a heifer from the day of her birth to the conception of her first calf. For the duration of her first pregnancy she was a bred heifer. She became a cow when she gave birth to her first calf and let down colostrum and then milk for that calf and retained that status to the end of her days.