Archive for October, 2009

Packing Mt. Bookpile

Posted October 29, 2009 By Jandy

My 4 year old granddaughter was over last night and tonight. She’s old enough now to help and help she did.

The only organization I have for Mt. Bookpile is by size. I gave her boxes, showed her the books, and let her go. I watched over and straightened the books up to the side. She’s never packed for moving before; how would she know? Her first pile went right in the middle of the box, chuckle. Once I got her started, she quickly caught on. Before she was done she packed 4 nice size boxes for me. It kept her out of trouble and helped me – win-win.

I also read to her. She and I read How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. We also read How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food. Those are both wonderful books for reading aloud to young children.

I never specified what length or level the books for the 999 challenge have to be. Those two books just happen to work in my challenge. I will give one concession to the pre-school books – I’ll count them together as one for the challenge. Besides, this isn’t the first time I’ve read them aloud to her. If she has her way, it won’t be the last, either. I’ll have earned that challenge spot… Of course she earned being read to, as well. That’s 4 less boxes I have to pack.

Huh? Headlines

Posted October 29, 2009 By Jandy

Men, Women No Longer Needed to Make Babies?

Where’s the fun in that?


Test Your Chicken Knowledge

Posted October 27, 2009 By Jandy

Do you think you know your chickens? There’s a glossary available that’s all about our feathered friends. Chicken Glossary

(I couldn’t resist…)

Reading Interruptus

Posted October 24, 2009 By Jandy

A year ago we moved into our current home. We knew at the time the landlord was refinancing the property. Two days ago, bank representatives came to our door. The property was foreclosed and sold at auction. We have three weeks to pack up and move out.

I haven’t gone back to check, but I’m pretty sure I whined in this blog last year about the hassles of moving, especially all my books. I’ve acquired a few (read that many) more on Mount Bookpile because we’ve had more space for book shelves. And we have three weeks to find a place, find enough boxes, get packed, and get moved.

Sigh, we never know what curve ball is going to be thrown at our lives. In the major scheme of things, this isn’t bad. Still, right now it’s frustrating and irritating and annoying and… and… and…!

OK, I’ll go pack another box of kitchen stuff now.

Huh? Headlines

Posted October 20, 2009 By Jandy

Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?

Someone recently did a study on the usability of beer bottles as a weapon. A full one is more dangerous than an empty one…

If I haven’t mentioned this before, there is a wonderful blog, NCBI ROFL, that features odd, funny articles that appear in the medical and scientific journals. Today’s is a study “To document risk-taking behaviors by girls during beach week.” (spring break week).

2009 National Book Awards

Posted October 20, 2009 By Jandy

The finalists list for the National Book Awards from the National Book Foundation has been announce. Check it out here.

Since I’m usually a few years behind when it comes to literary reading, I haven’t read any of the books or authors on the list. Maybe next year…

Thanks, LazyGal, for the notice.


Posted October 18, 2009 By Jandy

The San Diego County Library presented “Page One: Celebration of the Written Word” at several branches this weekend. At the branch in Poway there was a science fiction and fantasy panel that included Alica Henn, Jeanne Stein, and David Brin. Although I hadn’t read anything by the two women, I like Brin’s work. Earth is my favorite of what I’ve read by him.

I live here in the county and was pleased to be able to attend the panel. They all are interesting and Brin is a very entertaining speaker. It was a enjoyable session both for the readers of their work and for would be writers as they discussed the practicalities of their craft.

My rant? There weren’t more than 25 or so people in the audience – and I understand that was one of the better attended panels of the weekend. Joseph Wambaugh, a world renown mystery writer, had less than 10 attendees to his talk. There was a romance writer panel on Saturday that only had two people come. The Latino panel after the science fiction panel had around ten people.

Where were all these authors’ local readers? I mention the local bookstore Mysterious Galaxy on occasion in this blog. If they were to have Brin there, I’m sure the audience would be well over 50, plus you’re implicitly expected to buy his book to be signed.

The library sessions are free. Afterwords the authors were available to talk and sign books. Yes, there were book available to buy through the Friends of the Library to get signed. But the authors were all approachable and easy to chat with. A purchase wasn’t necessary. We in the audience learned that Brin has three teen aged children. So he and I chatted about the troubles in that part of parenting. I assured him that he will get past that. I told him how now my daughters are good friends – but when they were teens…

Hey folks – the economy is in a downturn. Take advantage of your local library and its programs. Your property taxes probably help fund it. Use your money wisely.

Oh, yes, I bought of copy of Startide Rising and Brin personalized it when he signed. Now I’m going to check out Alicia Henn’s and Jeanne Stein’s work. I might like it.

Duh! Headlines

Posted October 14, 2009 By Jandy

Dizziness in discus throwers is related to motion sickness generated while spinning

Yep, I believe it. (Admittedly, this particular headline was put up as sarcasm – but it’s too good to ignore.)

Web Site

Posted October 6, 2009 By Jandy

Four months…four months! BUT,

Jandy’s Reading Room web site is updated. I’m not completely pleased with the pages, but need to take a break from design. They are definitely viewable. And since I accidentally uploaded over my home page tonight, I figured tonight was a good as any for uploading everything.

It’s time foThe Shimmer by David Morrellr you… I’d like feedback (other than the font in the right hand column is too small. I know it is, but the style sheets are hiding some formatting I haven’t found yet).

If you don’t normally go to my review site, I’d like you to take a quick peek and give me criticism – both good and bad. After that, you don’t need to return unless it’s part of your normal web browsing anyway.

Now I’m going back to David Morrell’s new novel, The Shimmer. This thriller featuring Close Encounters of a Third Kind or Roswell type lights has sucked me right in.

Web Page Update and 999 Challenge

Posted October 4, 2009 By Jandy

The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-ReverteFor September I only added four books to my 999 Challenge list. My reading was down this month, too. But as I mentioned in a previous post I’m close to finishing up my web page upgrade. I think I’ve finished all the individual pages Now I have to finish up some layout and menu problems. The main page still needs finishing, too.

If you like good historical stories and mysteries, check out Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Fencing Master. It’s very well done. It shows the political climate and machinations of the time. The monarchy was in trouble and the people as a whole were demanding more recognition. It also shows the cultural changes of the mid 1800’s Madrid. The fencing master is older and a dying breed. When he was young fencing was still an art and still the method of fighting. Now guns are taking precedence and his approach is scorned by more and more people. Perez-Reverte captures the personal conflicts the fencing master has as he faces aging and watching his life disappear. Then when the 50+ year old man falls in love his life becomes more complicated. (Of course love always complicates things, doesn’t it?)