Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    “Can you lift this, or should I work a pulley?”

    “I think I can get it, but be ready to spot me so I don’t drop it.”

    “There isn’t enough room in here for me to jump in and catch squat.  I’ll be right behind you watching it fall.”

    “Have I mentioned what a treat it is to work with you, Lyons?”

    “Hasn’t come up,” she answered.

    “Imagine that.”


    (from The Years Ran Like Rabbits by Anna Taylor)

    7*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Monday, June 01, 2020

To Reread or not To Reread


    I've reread Brave New World, Waiting For Godot, and Slaughterhouse Five. That's about it. Why read something a second time when there are zillions of interesting books out there that you haven't touched yet?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Nutty Buddy


    The best Little Debbie snack ever!  And I should know; I've tried them all.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Claudine had mentioned that Claude had just broken up with his boyfriend, too, so he was unattached: all six feet of him, accessorized with rippling black hair and rippling muscles and a six-pack that could have been featured in Abs Weekly.  Mentally add to that a pair of brown velour-soft eyes, a chiseled jaw, and a sensuous mouth with a pouty bottom lip, and you’ve got Claude.  Not that I was noticing.


    (from Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Estragon



    Oh neat!  It looks like Barney & Clyde are doing Waiting For Godot cartoons for a bit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hoarding


    I admit it.  I hoard books.  But only ones I haven't read yet.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Florence


    I like 'em both.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    “Let me provisionally say that we knew each other nineteen years, seven months, and around fifteen days when he passed away so tragically.  I have kept careful records my whole life.  The only data I won’t be able to record is the exact time of my own death, unless I commit suicide, which I have no plans to do.  But my lawyer has instructions to burn all my notebooks when I die.  They are of value only to me, not anyone else.”

    Wallander was starting to sense that Sundelius was one of those people who did not get enough chances to talk to others.


    (from One Step Behind by Henning Mankell)

    9*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Darwinism


    Evolution.  Just a theory.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    A few entrepreneurs realized that there was a market for higher quality ice cream in small containers at high prices.  In 1961 Rose Mattus and her husband, Reuben, developed such a brand and called it Häagen-Dazs.  The success of this brand name proves that Americans like their food to have foreign names – the way they will use coriander only when it is called cilantro and the way sherbet has made a comeback under the name “sorbet”.  The Mattuses intended “Häagen-Dazs” to sound Danish, though there is no umlaut in Danish.  But if you wanted a word to look foreign, what could be better than an umlaut?


    (from Milk! by Mark Kurlansky)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Cornhole Competition


    We were reduced to watching a "cornhole" match today during breakfast. That's apparently an updated word for "bean bag". I am not making this up.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Word for the Day


    Word for the Day: "Proustian" (adj.): relating to or characteristic of the French writer Marcel Proust or his works, particularly with reference to the recovery of the lost past and the stimulation of unconscious memory.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Before the Virus, schools taught all sorts of subjects, but now they stuck to the basics.  Enough to communicate and survive in a world of rudimentary living.  And parents could stop sending their kids to school whenever they wanted to.  It was more important for your kid to help grow food or sew shirts or fish or chop wood or keep an old car or bicycle going.  Or to work one of the necessary jobs in town.

    (from H2O by Irving Belateche)

    6½*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

John Cage

    We are committed to posting anything that touts John Cage's masterpiece, "4 Minutes, 33 Seconds".

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Scams


    FRAUD ALERT!!  I paid $11.99 for this e-book at Amazon.  Not only does "instant pot" never appear, but there isn't even any mention of cannabis in it!! 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Hammer Time


    Once it's been seen, it cannot be unseen.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sneezes


    Three.  Almost always.  Four is cause for alarm.  And yes, I'm OCD.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

To Facebook or not to Facebook


    The saddest part is that they usually log on to Facebook to tell you this.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    “Is it safe to talk here?”

    “Well, sure,” I said.  “Why not?”

    “The place isn’t … bugged?”

    “Well, we have an exterminator come once a month, but in a neighborhood like this you can’t expect –“

    “No no!  I mean microphones, listening devices.”

    “Oh, those!  Oh, sure, we’ve got lots of those.  In the light switches mostly, and here and there.  But they don’t work any more.”

    “Are you sure?  You’ve deactivated every one?”

    “Well, most of them, rats ate the wiring.”

    (from The Spy in the Ointment by Donald E. Westlake)

    6½*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Temporal Paradoxes


    There are some downsides to time-travel paradoxes.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Monday, May 04, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Two things became apparent: first, that Ralph Waldo Emerson had lived and died in the 1800s and therefore could not have written any letters dated September third, 1940, and, second, that his writing was so dense and arcane that it couldn’t possibly have held the slightest interest for my grandfather, who wasn’t exactly an avid reader.  I discovered Emerson’s soporific qualities the hard way, by falling asleep with my face in the book, drooling all over an essay called “Self Reliance”.

    (from Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Sunday, May 03, 2020

Pipes


    Get your mind out of the gutter.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Friday, May 01, 2020

Book Lovers


    I'm guilty of all of these, except #8.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Pirius said slowly, “I can’t come back.”

    Luru Parz laughed.  “But it doesn’t matter.  Sentient or not, it will only be a copy, like a Virtual.  And it won’t last long.  It has to be you, Ensign.” (…)

    Pirius looked at the frame.  He felt numbed, not even afraid; perhaps his imagination was exhausted.  He shrugged.  “There are already two copies of me running around the Galaxy.  I suppose I’m used to be being split in half.  When shall we do this?”

    (from Exultant by Stephen Baxter)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Vrrooom!


    We have one of these on our street.  And at 3:00 AM too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fitbit Step Goal


    This really helps me meet my daily Fitbit 10,000-steps goal.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Even in the tropics, where the difference between winter and summer is minimal, temperatures can vary significantly between the rainy and the dry seasons.  Organisms have developed all sorts of ways of dealing with those variations.  They hibernate or estivate or migrate.  They dissipate heat through panting or conserve it by growing thicker coats of fur.  Honeybees warm themselves by contracting the muscles in their thorax.  Wood storks cool off by defecating on their own legs. (In very hot weather, wood storks may excrete on their legs as often as once a minute.)


    (from The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert)

    9*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Friday, April 24, 2020

Drano


    Bet on the Drano, Barney,

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Food Science


    You can argue with me, but you can't argue with Science.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    “You drunk?” Thomas said.

    “Drunk on the love of a good woman,” Pirmin said slapping Thomas on the arm with one of his huge hands.

    “Found out her name yet?  Perhaps she had time to shout it at your back while you were riding away in the dark.”


    (from Altdorf – The Forest Knights by J.K. Swift)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Sunday, April 19, 2020

New Cologne


    I'm gonna get me a bottle of this.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    “What’s going to happen to Winky?” said Hermione, the moment they had left the clearing.

    “I don’t know,” said Mr. Weasley.

    “The way they were treating her!” said Hermione furiously.  “Mr. Diggory, calling her ‘elf’ all the time … and Mr. Crouch!  He knows she didn’t do it and he’s still going to sack her!  He didn’t care how frightened she’d been, or how upset she was – it was like she wasn’t even human!”

    “Well, she’s not,” said Ron.

    Hermione rounded on him.


    (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling)

    9*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Art Appreciation Wednesday


   I can feel relaxation taking hold of my consciousness!  At least until someone opens the car door. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Wales


    Say what you want, Wales has the kewlest national emblem in the world.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Mr. Barbecue-Smith arrived in time for tea on Saturday afternoon.  He was a short and corpulent man, with a very large head and no neck.  In his earlier middle age he had been distressed by this absence of neck, but was comforted by reading in Balzac’s “Louis Lambert” that all the world’s great men have been marked by the same peculiarity, and for a simple and obvious reason: Greatness is nothing more or less than the harmonious functioning of the faculties of the head and heart; the shorter the neck, the more closely these two organs approach one another; argal…  It was convincing.

    (from Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Science Sunday


    The Theory of Relativity has never been so clearly explained.