Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It snowed!

Snow gathered on my car
On my car window

Snow on the shrub beside my walkway
On the shrubbery at the front of the house

In the front yard
In the front yard

Unfortunately, the snow has turned to rain again so the bit on the ground has already begun to melt away. I haven't checked out the weather forecast yet so I don't know if there's more rain/sleet/snow in store for us or not.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Emotional extremes . . . sort of

At a southern university, students in the psychology program were attending their first class on emotional extremes.

"Just to establish some parameters," said the professor to the student from Arkansas, "what is the opposite of joy?"

"Sadness," said the student.

"And the opposite of depression?" he asked of the young lady from Oklahoma.

"Elation," she said.

"And you sir," he said to the young man from Texas, "what about the opposite of woe?"

The Texan replied, "Sir, I believe that would be 'giddy up' ."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What's in a name?

The As are all done . . . as of this exact point in time, at least.

Two thumbs up for

I ordered the Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade from to load on my new computer. It arrived on Thursday and I tried to install it. It, however, did not want to be installed. It kept telling me the key was invalid. So I sent an email to Amazon about the problem. I expected to have to go through a hassle since I had opened the software to install it and nobody wants to take back software after the seal is broken. I also expected to have to wait forever to get any sort of response.

Well, color me one very happy and satisfied customer. When I got home yesterday there was an email waiting for me that directed me to send the software back to Amazon. It also included a link to a UPS shipping label for me to print out. So today I printed out the label and shipped the bad, uncooperative software back. And waiting for me when I got home was an email informing me my replacement software had shipped.

If I hadn't already been a very satisfied customer, I would certainly be one now.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008 | Scientists make cat that glows in the dark

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 6:01pm BST 23/10/2008

By day he is just a normal tabby but when the lights go out this ginger cat glows in the dark.

. . . cont.

Now playing: Loreena McKennitt - The Highwayman
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I was a bad girl

I bought a new laptop today. My desktop is 7 years old and my other laptop is 6 years old so I decided a deserved a new computer.

I've spent the day uninstalling all the crap that comes preloaded on the unit and downloading and installing the stuff I really want to use.

This is the new computer's inaugural post.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008 | Palin uses her elected office to promote religious causes, at times with public money

Palin uses her elected office to promote religious causes, at times with public money

By GARANCE BURKE | Associated Press Writer
12:59 PM EDT, October 11, 2008

WASILLA, Alaska (AP) _ The camera closes in on Sarah Palin speaking to young missionaries, vowing from the pulpit to do her part to implement God's will from the governor's office.

What she didn't tell worshippers gathered at the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown was that her appearance that day came courtesy of Alaskan taxpayers, who picked up the $639.50 tab for her airplane tickets and per diem fees.

An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate's record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.

. . . cont.

The New York Times | Legislative Panel: Palin Abused Authority

Legislative Panel: Palin Abused Authority

Published: October 10, 2008

Filed at 11:47 p.m. ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket.

Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report to a bipartisan panel that looked into the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain.

. . . cont. | McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred

McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred

By Frank Schaeffer
October 10, 2008

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee - an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.


. . . cont.

The Associated Press | NY election mix-up: 'Osama' on the ballot

NY election mix-up: 'Osama' on the ballot

By RICHARD RICHTMYER – 22 hours ago

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Who is running for president? In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for "Barack Osama."

. . . cont.

(How incredibly childish and petty and obvious.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Way News | AIG execs' retreat after bailout angers lawmakers

AIG execs' retreat after bailout angers lawmakers

Oct 7, 9:13 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Less than a week after the federal government had to bail out American International Group Inc. (AIG), the company sent executives on a $440,000 retreat to a posh California resort, lawmakers investigating the company's meltdown said Tuesday.

. . . cont.

(And this comes as a surprise how?)

abc news | 'Tis the Season of Election Dirty Tricks: Scaring Student Voters

'Tis the Season of Election Dirty Tricks: Scaring Student Voters

Flyer Warns of Undercover Police Presence at Polls on Election Day


Oct. 6, 2008—

Election officials and watchdog groups are bracing for the wave of sneaky or suspicious phone calls, leaflets and emails that typically hit battleground states in the final 30 days of the presidential campaign.

Young voters at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. have already been targeted, with students reporting that flyers have been posted around campus warning that undercover police will be at the polls on Election Day looking to make arrests.

The flyer reads like a friendly letter to fellow students relaying a warning from an "Obama supporter": "He informed me that on the day of the election there will be undercover officers to execute warrants on those who come to vote based on the anticipated turnout," writes the anonymous student in the letter which was later posted on the Drexel College Democrats website. "He advised me if I had any outstanding warrants or traffic offenses I should clear them up prior to voting."

. . . cont.

The Nation | Who You Callin’ a Maverick?

The Nation
Who You Callin’ a Maverick?

Published: October 4, 2008

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

. . . cont.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Rolling Stone| Make-Believe Maverick

Make-Believe Maverick
A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty

By TIM DICKINSON Posted Oct 16, 2008 7:00 PM

This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.

. . . cont.

Bill Maher Takes On Palin's Debate Performance

Tina Fey As Sarah Palin In VP Debate On SNL

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tina Fey As Sarah Palin: Katie Couric SNL Skit

Palin's Witch Hunting Pastor

Op-Ed Columnist - McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere

Op-Ed Columnist
McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere

Published: September 27, 2008

WHAT we learned last week is that the man who always puts his “country first” will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House.

For all the focus on Friday night’s deadlocked debate, it still can’t obscure what preceded it: When John McCain gratuitously parachuted into Washington on Thursday, he didn’t care if his grandstanding might precipitate an even deeper economic collapse. All he cared about was whether he might save his campaign. George Bush put more deliberation into invading Iraq than McCain did into his own reckless invasion of the delicate Congressional negotiations on the bailout plan.

. . . cont.

(Note: This editorial is at The New York Times which may require a login to read. Lots of people don't like creating accounts like this because they require you to give a valid email address. I have only one word to say about that . . . gmail . . . or maybe hotmail . . . or maybe even yahoo!mail. I have a junk account with gmail I use for these kinds of registrations. I recommend getting a junk account to everyone.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin Problem

September 26, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

Palin Problem
She’s out of her league.

By Kathleen Parker

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

. . . cont.

Palin should step down, conservative commentator says

September 26, 2008

Palin should step down, conservative commentator says

Posted: 06:20 PM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

(CNN) – Prominent conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, an early supporter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, said Friday recent interviews have shown the Alaska governor is "out of her league" and should leave the GOP presidential ticket for the good of the party.

. . . cont.

She talks, we cringe

One-On-One With Sarah Palin
CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric Interviews Alaska's Governor On The Ailing Economy

Watch CBS Videos Online

I'm back!

The Prodigal Son is fine. The cats are fine. I'm fine. The house is probably fine.

I got home last Monday. I went to work on Tuesday. Tomorrow will be the first day I can work on getting the mess on the house cleared up - assuming I can find someone who will answer the phone or return my call when I leave a message.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here's the mess I have to deal with:

Tree branches laying on my roof after Ike
Deadwood hanging over my entry way to the house

I don't know yet what kind of damage might be under the deadwood, but I don't think it is anything significant.

All in all, we fared well this time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We be OK

I'm at the Best Friend's house using her 'net connection to make this post. I am still staying with my parents since the homestead still doesn't have any electricity. The Prodigal Son and the cats weathered the storm really well. So did the ol' homestead, as a matter of fact. The only damage the Prodigal reported was several branches falling on the roof and part of our fence laying in the neighbor's yard.

I don't know when I'll return home. I've lived without electricity in the past so I know I don't want to go through that again. I've already shot off an email to the Boss to let him know I haven't returned to the area and I won't be in to work in the morning - assuming the office will even be open.

I also don't know when I'll be able to post again, but I did want everyone to know we are all alright.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

McCain criticized Wasilla earmarks in 2001

From Randi Kaye
CNN Correspondent

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain criticized two of his future running mate's hometown projects in broadsides in 2001 against congressional "pork-barrel" spending, records from the Arizona senator's office show.

. . . cont.

Obama accuses McCain camp of lies, phony outrage

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 11, 1:25 AM ET

NORFOLK, Va. - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday accused Republican John McCain's campaign of using "lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics" in claiming he used a sexist comment against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Calling it "the latest made-up controversy by the John McCain campaign," Obama responded to the Republicans' charge that he was referring to Palin when he used the phrase "lipstick on a pig" at a campaign stop Tuesday.

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics. Enough is enough," he said.

. . . cont.

Olbermann: Republicans have hijacked 9/11

An American tragedy made into a political commodity

By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
updated 8:20 p.m. CT, Wed., Sept. 10, 2008

As promised, a Special Comment about our sad anniversary tomorrow.

Or, more correctly, what our sad anniversary tomorrow has been turned into by the presidential administration, and the current Republican candidates for President and Vice President.

. . . continue reading or listen to it instead . . .

Women Against Sarah Palin

This is a text of an email I sent to

Sarah Palin opposes the issues I support. She does not speak for me nor does she represent who I am, what I think, or how I feel. I honestly believe she was chosen by the Republicans as a token to assuage the Clinton supporters and to attract more of the kind of voters who have helped the Republicans run this country into the ground. The Democrats showed how far this country has come by having both a black man and a woman vying for the highest elected office of the land. The Republicans had nothing to counter that except another tired old white man who is all for more of the same so they attempted to baffle us with bullsh*t by dangling a fresh young white woman, who is also all for more of the same, in front of us. In my case, it didn't work. Being a Texan, I know bullsh*t when I step in it.


That bad boy is heading straight for me - as of the last update anyway. I want to leave but the Prodigal Son wants to stay because we can't pack up all the cats and take them with us. At this point, I don't know if I'm going somewhere else or not. If I decide to leave, which will likely be this afternoon, I won't have computer access since I will go to my parents who still haven't embraced the 'net. If I stay, we will likely lose power if Ike really does make a beeline for us. That could happen Saturday or Sunday and last who knows how long. I will try to post later to let folks know what I've decided.

Regardless, hold good thoughts for the Gulf Coast area. We're going to need them.

(The last hurricane that bothered this area was in 1983 - Alicia. The Prodigal Son was about 7 months old at the time. We stayed here during that one.)

Which Palin would you rather have?

This is me tomorrow

more animals

Monday, September 01, 2008

Land of the free, part three | Federal government involved in raids on protesters
As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue -- see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway -- it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Story

In November, 2007, a small group of six citizens - two screenwriters, a physicist, a marine biologist, a philosopher and a science journalist - began working to restore science and innovation to America’s political dialogue. They called themselves Science Debate 2008, and they called for a presidential debate on science. The call tapped a wellspring of concern over the state of American science.

Within weeks, more than 38,000 scientists, engineers, and other concerned Americans signed on, including nearly every major American science organization, dozens of Nobel laureates, elected officials and business leaders, and the presidents of over 100 major American universities. See who here. Among other things, these signers submitted over 3,400 questions they want the candidates for President to answer about science and the future of America.

The Process

Beginning with these 3,400 questions, Science Debate 2008 worked with the leading organizations listed to craft the top 14 questions the candidates should answer. These questions are broad enough to allow for wide variations in response, but they are specific enough to help guide the discussion toward many of the largest and most important unresolved challenges currently facing the United States.

The Questions and Answers

Barack Obama's answers appear below. John McCain has said he will also answer the questions.

Read the questions and Obama's answers . . .

And a little closer to home

The Spy Who Billed Me | Blackwater Gearing Up for Hurricane Gustav
Blackwater Worldwide is currently seeking qualified law enforcement officers and security personnel to potentially deploy to provide security in the possible aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. This is the first time Blackwater has mobilized under its controversial Homeland Security contracts. Blackwater did deploy security personnel to assist New Orleans in wake of Hurricane Katrina and this resulted in great controversy since it was the first time a private military corporation had deployed on US soil.

Land of the free, part two

Majikthise | Inside an RNC raid
Thanks to the miracle of cellular technology, I was able to talk to a homeowner while his home was surrounded by police conducting an RNC-related raid.

I reached Mike Whelan, a waiter and army veteran, by phone at his duplex at 951 Iglehart Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Whelan invited independent observers from the group LegalWatch stay in one half of his side-by-side duplex while they monitor RNC protests.

Whelan describes himself as a supporter of the RNC demonstrations, but says he is not affiliated with any particular group. "I want to build a country that's based on good social values," he said.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The land of the free

Not. | Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.

The New York Times | Dozens Detained Ahead of Convention
ST. PAUL, Minn. — On the weekend before the Republican National Convention, law enforcement agencies detained dozens of people and issued a series of search warrants aimed at groups believed to be organizing demonstrations while delegates and Republican officials are in town.

How stupid do you think I am?

When I heard Obama had picked Biden to be his running mate, the first thought that flashed into my mind was that McCain had to pick a woman to be his so he could be part of the history being made with this election. Let's face it folks . . . The only way the Republicans could stay in step with the Democrats was to actually pick a woman as the VP candidate since the Dem's had a woman AND an African-American vying for the top position and the African-American got the spot.

When McCain's running mate was announced, my first reaction was, "Who?" My second was, "How stupid do you think I am? Am I really supposed to think you're not jumping on the bandwagon?"

The answer to my first question - "Who?" - was fairly simple. A friend sent me this link - and the answer was made abundantly clear. Palin is all for raping the land as long as no one profits illegally from it.

And the second and third questions . . . Well . . . I don't do bandwagons.

What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective.

Quoted from the blog post What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective.

So, if McCain had made his selection six months ago, the squeaky-clean governor meme would have made a little more sense. But, Sarah Palin is currently under an ethics investigation by the Alaska state legislature. The details of this investigation read like a trashy novel, and I suspect that the players will soon have newfound celebrity on the national stage. I’ll try to explain for all you non-Alaskans who suddenly have good reason to want to know more about Sarah Palin. For those of you not interested in trashy novels, feel free to skip ahead. Here it is…what we in Alaska call “TrooperGate”.

Sarah Palin’s sister Molly married a guy named Mike Wooten who is an Alaska State Trooper. Mike and Molly had a rocky marriage. When the marriage broke up, there was a bitter custody fight that is still ongoing. During the custody investigation, all sorts of things were brought up about Wooten including the fact that he had illegally shot a moose (yes folks this is Alaska), driven drunk, and used a taser (on the test setting, he reminds us) on his 11-year old stepson, who supposedly had asked to see what it felt like. While Wooten has turned out to be a less than stellar figure, the fact that Palin’s father accompanied him on the infamous moose hunt, and that many of the dozens of charges brought up by the Palin family happened long before they were ever reported smacked of desperate custody fight. Wooten’s story is that he was basically stalked by the family.

After all this, Wooten was investigated and disciplined on two counts and allowed to kept his position with the troopers. Enter Walt Monegan, Palin’s appointed new chief of the Department of Public Safety and head of the troopers. Monegan was beloved by the troopers, did a bang-up job with minimal funding and suddenly got axed. Palin was out of town and Monegan got “offered another job” (aka fired) with no explanation to Alaskans. Pressure was put on the governor to give details, because rumors started to swirl around the fact that the highly respected Monegan was fired because he refused to fire the aforementioned Mike Wooten. Palin vehemently denied ever talking to Monegan or pressuring Monegan in any way to fire Wooten, or that anyone on her staff did. Over the weeks it has come out that not only was pressure applied, there were literally dozens of conversations in which pressure was applied to fire him. Monegan has testified to this fact, spurring an ongoing investigation by the Alaska state legislature. But, before this investigation got underway, Palin sent the Alaska State Attorney General out to do some investigative work of his own so she could find out in advance what the real investigation was going to find. (No, I’m not making this up). The AG interviewed several people, unbeknownst to the actual appointed investigator or the Legislature! Palin’s investigation of herself uncovered a recorded phone call retained by the Alaska State Troopers from Frank Bailey, a Palin underling, putting pressure on a trooper about the Wooten non-firing. Todd Palin (governor’s husband) even talked to Monegan himself in Palin’s office while she was away. Bailey is now on paid administrative leave.

As if this weren’t enough, Monegan’s appointed replacement Chuck Kopp, turns out to have been the center of his own little scandal. He received a letter of reprimand and was reassigned after sexual harrassment allegations by a former coworker who didn’t like all the unwanted kissing and hugging in the office. Was he vetted? Obviously not. When he was questioned about all this, his comment was that no one had asked him and he thought they all knew. Kopp, defiant, still claimed to have done nothing wrong and said to the press that there was no way he was stepping down from his new position. Twenty four hours later, he stepped down. Later it was uncovered that he received a $10,000 severance package for his two weeks on the job from Palin. Monegan got nothing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another favorite for 2008

I've got to admit that since I've joined Library Thing, I've bought several books I would not have considered buying before if I'd simply stumbled upon them in a bookshop, and I've bought books I'd never heard of because I live in the back hole of civilization.

Because of Library Thing, I bought The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. It is a wonderful book about a 12 year old boy coming to grips with the death of his mother and the inclusion of a stepmother and half brother into his family by withdrawing into a fantastical world. The blurb on the back of the book says it all:

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While he family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his won -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Joe Biden

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Go to work, don't go to work

Edouard is wreaking havoc with the work schedule. At 7-ish this morning I called the employee hotline to discover conditions were such the office would open at 10 a.m. but a new advisory would be put up at 9 a.m. so check then before coming in. I just called the hotline again and apparently the area where I work is currently being pounded by rain so the office is closed again . . . however . . . A new bulletin will be put up at 10 a.m. so call back then.


It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't take me an hour plus to get to work. During the hour drive time conditions can change so much getting an update at 10 a.m. won't tell me what to expect when I get into the area around 11-ish. Oh, well.

Now playing: Loreena McKennitt - Santiago
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photo meme

1. (The "Zenélö kút" water tower on the Margit Sziget in Budapest), 2. (ice cream), 3. Mark Keppel High School, 4. (blue), 5. (Clive Owen), 6. Crown Royal, 7. (Ireland), 8. (cheesecake), 9. (National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe), 10. (peace), 11. (integrity), 12. (D&D)

Want to play too?
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

Swiped from And She Knits Too!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The two best books I've read so far this year

The New York Times | Stonehenge Used as Cemetery From the Beginning

Ken Geiger/National Geographic

Stonehenge Used as Cemetery From the Beginning

Published: May 30, 2008

"At least part of the mystery of Stonehenge may have now been solved: It was from the beginning a monument to the dead.

"New radiocarbon dates from human cremation burials among and around the brooding stones on Salisbury Plain in England indicate that the site was used as a cemetery from 3000 B.C. until after the monuments were erected around 2500 B.C., British archaeologists reported Thursday."

Astronomy Picture of the Day

 A Twisted Solar Eruptive Prominence from an image of the sun

A Twisted Solar Eruptive Prominence
Credit: SOHO Consortium, EIT, ESA, NASA

Now playing: Edouard Lalo - Symphonie espagnole Op. 21: V. Rondo. Allegro

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love lists of books

This one seems to be making the rounds right now. I've come across it on a couple of blogs I read so I thought I might as well get on board especially since I am an actual LibraryThing-er (LibraryThing-y?)

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick

Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre

The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged

Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World

The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses

Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir

The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed

Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values

The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Horus and Bear

Horus looking right at the camera
Horus attempting to investigate the camera

Bear being nonchalant
Bear being nonchalant

Now playing: Coldplay - Clocks

In my yard

I think this is a canna growing in my yard

Now playing: Anuna - Christus Resurgens

Alien plant life

OK, it's not really alien plant life, but there are some huge mushrooms growing on a median here in town. I've been noticing them for a while and today I finally broke down and took a couple of snaps of some of them. And being the kind and generous person that I am - stop snickering, it's not polite - I'm sharing the best photo of them here.

Large whitish mushrooms in a cluster

Now playing: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon

(I know it's April and that's a Christmas carol playing, but it's one of my favorites so I see no reason not to listen to it when the mood strikes - or it comes up in rotation in my music library.)

Now playing: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)

(Yep, and that's another one. Also a favorite.)

Parents Fight Over Which Gang Toddler Should Join


I'm not even sure how to respond to something like this. I cannot imagine a more heartbreaking ambition for my child than wanting him to suffer the same meaningless life I lead. The deliberate destruction of hope just leaves me speechless.

Now playing: Sisters of Mercy - Black Planet

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Things have been boring

Nothing much is going on. I've managed to make a nice dent in my TBR pile. Unfortunately, as soon as I finish a book I seem to replace it with at least two more.

I'm currently reading a book called "Too Big To Miss" by Sue Ann Jaffarian about a large sized woman sleuth who looks into the apparent suicide of a friend. I've only read the first three chapters but I suspect I will buy the rest of the books about Odelia Grey. I have so completely identified with the character it's truly frightening. Not only do we share a love of cheesecake and Thin Mints (or whatever those Girl Scout cookies are called), but we also have cats (one in her case, several in mine) who've moved in with us because they wanted to. And there's the sense of humor and the way of looking at the world.

Or maybe it's just finally there's a character I can actually relate to.

Now playing: Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I sympathize entirely

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

~ snarf ~

Your Monster Profile

War Goblin

You Feast On: Tofu

You Lurk Around In: Shopping Malls

You Especially Like to Torment: Lawyers

Talk smart

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inside/outside Izzy

I don't think I've mentioned that Izzy has decided she is an inside/outside cat. She has and she's quite adamant about it. When I got home from my ramble, she greeted me as I got out of the car.

Izzy looking up at me as I try to get our of the car

And then she had to show me how happy she was to see me so I could let her back in the house to eat and drink.

Izzy looking up at me while doing that sexy kitty roll thing on the sidewalk

Silly kitty!

Ghostly Rainbow

I tried to snap a pic of Rainbow, but she decided to move so I have this ghostly image of her. I still think it's kewl the way that happens.

More from my yard

Looking up at the basketball hoop not quite amidst the magnolia leaves

The old knotty tree next to my house still leafless

An empty acorn shell laying next to a twig in my driveway