Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Carpet Makers

by Andreas Eschbach

Eschbach is a German science fiction writer. Until a couple of weeks ago when I wandered through Barnes & Noble on my way home from work, I'd never heard of him. I found his book, The Carpet Makers on one of the tables B&N litter their aisles with. The cover didn't particularly grab me nor the title. But the author's name did so I picked it up and read the blurp on the back. Nothing to write home about. But it was a book by a German translated into English so I bought it.

Honestly, I didn't expect much when I picked it up very early this morning and started reading it. But I couldn't put it down once I began. Like the characters in the book, I needed to know where and I needed to know why. And believe me, why will blow your socks off. Not only do I give this book two thumbs up, I'll borrow the Prodigal Son's thumbs so it gets four of them.

Trust me. Read it.

The Official Website of the Tolkien Estate

A new Tolkien book is due out in April of next year according to the still under construction Official Website of the Tolkien Estate. It is The Children of Húrin.

I have pre-ordered my copy from

Elephant Dung Paper

And you thought it was a joke . . .

Elephant Dung Paper

Sri Lankan Elephant Dung Paper

Creative Papers Online: Elephant Dung Paper

Rainbow Gifts USA: Handmade Elephant Dung Paper

MSNBC | Recycling's next frontier: Poop as paper

Having stayed up till 4:30 a.m. and having been awake for a bit more than half an hour, I really feel there should be some pithy comment to make about this topic but I am at a complete loss. Someone else will have to be pithy on my behalf.

Dancing elephant smiley

Scientific American: Special Report: Lucy's Baby

Scientific American: Cheating DNA Death: How an Extremophile Repairs Shattered Chromosomes

I'd have to be some kind of nut

You Are A Walnut Tree

You are strange and full of contrasts... the oddball of your group.
You are unrelenting and you have unlimited ambition.
Not always liked but always admired, you are more infamous than famous.
You are aggressive and spontaneous, and your reactions are often unexpected.
A jealous and passionate person, you are difficult in romantic relationships.

Not bad . . . for a German

You're 40% Irish

You're probably less Irish than you think you are...
But you're still more Irish than most.

I'm worse than I thought

You Are 24% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Had a day out

Can you believe it? The Prodigal, his girlfriend, and I did lunch in Houston at a very nice restaurant with a wonderful waitress who got a very big tip from me. And then we went to Best Buy and dug around. And then we picked up an iced caffè mocha for me at Starbucks. And now I'm at home listening to music while I do a little puttering on the computer.

It was nice to get away from home for a while.

Angel Unaired Pilot

They call it a pilot but it's actually a promo. But, hey, it takes me back to the good ol' days of TV.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I found Rocky Road!

In that little local grocery that always smells so bad. It was right next to the Chocolate Almond Marshmallow which is, for all intents and purposes, Rocky Road made with marshmallow creme - yuck! So I picked up two half gallon tubs.

And a quart of buttermilk which I've also been craving.

And Haribo Gold-Bears which I didn't know I wanted until I saw them.

Life is good!

Now I know I'm doing something wrong

You Are 25 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

I must be doing something wrong

You Are 32% Slacker

You have a few slacker tendencies, but overall you tend not to slack.
You know how to relax when the time is right, but you aren't lazy!

Should I ask for a raise?

Your Life Is Worth...


I'd settle for pretty

You Are Pretty Logical

You're a bit of a wizard when it comes to logic
While you don't have perfect logic, you logic is pretty darn good
Keep at it - you've got a lot of natural talent in this area!

A Prophet Soul with a Nomad Heart

You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I've been industrious

For some inexplicable reason, I've felt the need to play on the computer so I've updated my name list.

Ever have the feeling you're from Mars?

One of the errands I was running this morning was the hunt for a new toilet seat. All I want is a simple padded yellow seat for the Prodigal's bathroom. Or even a simple light blue one. Obviously I'm the only person on Planet Earth who's ever thought of getting a padded seat in either of those colors because there are none to be had in this town. I can't even find any in those colors in that awful plastic the seats are normally made of.

So I've done a cursory hunt for padded toilet seats online. ~ insert that contemptuous noise which sounds like a pig sneezing ~ I can get white seats with all kinds of things embroidered on them. I can even get tan/beige seats with all kinds of things embroidered on them. I even found a site that will custom make me a padded toilet seat in any of several colors including the yellow or light blue I want provided I'm willing to give them my first born child as well as an arm and a leg.

Geez! When did I turn into an alien?

Whatever happened to Rocky Road?

A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for Rocky Road ice cream - specifically NOT the kind made with marshmallow creme - so I asked the Prodigal Son to pick me up some while he was out running some other errands for me. Three stores and two phone calls later, there was no Rocky Road to be had except the kind I don't like.

So while I was out running some errands this morning, I decided to hunt for Rocky Road. Well, the only Rocky Road I found was on the way to the post office where the city is digging up the street and busted road debris is scattered everywhere.

Being an industrious sort, I went straight to the horse's mouth and discovered that Rocky Road is now a rotational flavor. When did that happen? I've been eating Rocky Road for years and it's always been there when I wanted it. This is so not fair!

Eat your heart out, Pocahontas

A photo of me showing off my pigtails

Another view of my pigtails

Or maybe not. Considering I took these pictures of myself with my cell phone while sitting in my car, they really are bad. ~ snerkle ~ When I first got my current job just a bit over a year ago - can you believe it's already been a year? - I cut my hair to just a hair short of shoulder length. As you can see, said hair is just a bit more than shoulder length now. I opted for a disreputable set of braids instead of a disreputable ponytail today to run my errands in. Don't ever accuse me of not being spontaneous. ~ snerkle ~

Oh, and ignore the double chin. It isn't mine. I have no idea how it snuck into my pictures.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards Dies at 73

Her family said as governor she was most proud of two actions that probably cost her re-election. She vetoed legislation that would allow people to carry concealed handguns, automatic weapons and "cop-killer bullets." She also vetoed a bill that would have allowed the destruction of the environment over the Edwards Aquifer.

She grabbed the national spotlight with her keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention when she was the Texas state treasurer. Richards won cheers from delegates when she reminded them that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, "only backwards and in high heels."

Richards sealed her partisan reputation with a blast at George H. Bush, a fellow Texan who was vice president at the time: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

This is a sad day for Texas. Ann Richards was the only politician I ever actually liked.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sunrise, September 6

BBC NEWS | Health | Seaweed anti-obesity tablet hope

Scientists have pinpointed a unlikely potential weapon in the war against obesity - seaweed.

They found rats given fucoxanthin - a pigment in brown kelp - lost up to 10% of their body weight, mainly from around the gut.

I seem to be doomed this year

. . . to fall on my . . . well, actually, that's the only part I haven't fallen on . . . yet.

I took another nose dive. This one involved a cat and a bag of trash I was trying to put in the garage. The bag of trash saved my upper body from serious injury but it did not prevent my knee from hitting concrete (or is it cement?) and swelling to the size of a cantaloupe. I don't think there is serious injury involved, to either me or the cat, but I'm at home with ice on my knee just to make sure. It hurts, but it feels like a bruised hurt and not a broken hurt or a torn hurt. I'll be able to tell better what kind of hurt it is once the swelling goes down.

Monday, September 04, 2006

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature / Deep ice tells long climate story

Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at anytime in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms.

The in-depth analysis of air bubbles trapped in a 3.2km-long core of frozen snow shows current greenhouse gas concentrations are unprecedented.

BBC NEWS | Health | Autism risk linked to older dads

The team of UK and US experts said children born to men over 40 had a six times higher risk than those born to men under 30.

They said the study in Archives of General Psychiatry was further proof men also had "biological clocks".

To brake, or not

I didn't get my brakes fixed on Saturday as I had planned, and I didn't get them fixed today either . . . sort of.

On Saturday I discovered the major chain brake shop at the mall had closed down completely. That surprised me. It was still in business a month or so ago when I bought new tires for the cars. And the two mom 'n pop brake shops in town were closed for the weekend because of the holiday. And Firestone was so jammed full there was not a single parking space to be had in the entire parking lot.

I went to Firestone this morning and they were actually open and remarkably not busy so I stayed there for the hour and a half it took them to grind the rotors (whatever those are) so I could drive the car for a couple of months before I have to find and spend almost $300 to get said rotors replaced. On a good note, my brake pads are in excellent condition.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Net browser promises private surf | School official launches sagging pants crusade

DALLAS - A Dallas school board member has had it with baggy pants that overexpose.

Ron Price has asked the Dallas City Council to look at strengthening the law to give citations to those who expose their underwear.

Oh, my goodness. I wonder if I could get the ol' home town to pass a law if I become a school board member and complain about having to look at people's underwear hard enough. Maybe I could even widen the law a bit to include citing women who insist on wearing tops that expose their bra straps. That's really disgusting.

(Please note my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek despite finding it incredibly tasteless to wander around in public with one's undergarments showing.)

Well . . .

(Yes, I know. Such a deep subject for such a shallow mind.)

The man they hired to replace my boss who quit has now gone as well so I am boss-less again.

This is a three day weekend, for which I am truly thankful. I've had the hardest time waking up this week so being a lazy bum for three days sounds like just the thing I need.

Tomorrow I have to get my brakes fixed . . . probably. They aren't squeaky but braking is kind of rough. The car has started to shake.

Let's see . . . What else is there? Not much. Just work and reading and the odd bit of knitting every now and then.

Well, I'm off to bed.

Later, 'gators!