Showing posts from September, 2008

2 Green Books

The first I finished is Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach. It is definitely a beginners book but good for that. It is one to hand to your rich, Republican friends to convince them to make changes. He gives plenty of the regular tips, like changing your light bulbs, improving your car efficiency, drinking tap water instead of bottled, turning off your monitor (not even the whole computer) overnight, stuff like that. But he give you a dollar value for each little change so you can see exactly what's in it for you! Because he also writes financial books, the last part is about green investing, turning the few grand your tips save you each year into hundreds of thousands. In the introduction, he lays out how just 4 tips save you about 3700 a year, which invested turns into 678,000 after 30 years. He also gives tons and tons of websites to visit for further research. I give this one a 6 and i may buy it for 2 of my brothers at Christmas. The other I finished is called Fight Global Wa

WG 19

So this week's topic is to come up with a best books released in 2008 list . so far i've read 82 books, 26 were nonfiction and 64 were from the library. Of those though, only perhaps a dozen (maybe less) were from this year. Here are the 5 best, with the score I gave them at the time. I had another couple of 6's but didn't feel they were as good as the three 6's here. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan -7 , non-fic Duma Key by Stephen King-7 The Dracula Dossier by James Reese-6, though i don't know if it counts as it isn't out yet! Bonk by Mary Roach-6, nonfic Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith-6 So there!


I don't know i've posted any food pics recently. Here's the Pad Thai i made tonight. The sauce was a box but i did the whole stir fry thing myself. extra yummy, not quite as saucy as i like it though. Next time i'm trying chicken. Currently: waiting for USC-Oregon ST

The Weirdest Sci-Fi I've Ever Read

This post is going to contain a spoilery look at Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro . so to add some space for those really not interested in being spoiled, i'm going to post some pics first! One of Chloe. Close up me! R looking cute. So the book! It is a 1001 list book, it counts for both the 1% challenge and my TBR challenge. So i am glad i read it. The basic story, i think, is being told by Kathy. She, Tommy, and Ruth are all clones that grew up together at what seems to be a boarding school named Hailsham. Kathy begins as Ruth's friend, then becomes close to Tommy. As they grow up, Tommy and Ruth become a couple. After they leave school they stay together, with other clones, in a place called the Cottages. They drift apart after Kathy leaves to become a carer, which sort of seems like combination nurse, psychologist, and physical therapist. But not so professional, as she mainly seems to be talking to her patients and driving them around. The patients are

ok, i splurged

So i wrote that I finished Twilight late Friday night and picked up New Moon on Saturday. I finished New Moon today and will be getting the final two from amazon tomorrow. So yeah, i splurged on books, spending $45 in the last few days. I'm a grown up, dammit! I can do what i want! I liked New Moon , not quite as much as Twilight . Bits, like Bella's depression, were far too familiar for comfort. I'm personally still deep in the whole "nothing seems real" phase to be able to read about it in others really. But I really liked Jacob. I am not sure how Meyer can try to set anyone up as a rival for Edward. Jacob is a sweet, young guy though and, setting aside the age thing, exactly my type. I hope things turn out well for him. One thing I don't understand is why Bella wants to be a vampire RIGHT NOW. She's seen how difficult things are for the Cullens, having to move from place to place and pretend to be in high school or college over and over


So I finished reading Twilight , by Stephenie Meyer , last night. Technically, i guess it was this morning about 1 am that i finished. This afternoon while i was running around i picked up the second one, New Moon, in hardback even, because that's all Davis Kidd had. That should give a good indication of what i thought. A solid absorbing book. Yes, it is young and teenagery. yes, there's not a lot of actual story. But it is intense. The book brings back every sappy, consuming, passionate feeling of being newly in love, especially that first time. Love is always dangerous but for Bella Swann extra so because she's in love with Edward, a vampire. He lives with his vampire family (though they seem to get on much much better than the groups in Anne Rice's chronicles) and can read minds. Just not Bella's. She moves to Oregon to be with her father, whom she barely knows, because her mother has recently remarried. She's a junior in high school and really

One I Don't Agree With

In an attempt to give some other perspectives, I've found a quote I don't agree with. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work. Henry IV, Part 1, Act 1 Scene 2 I so disagree. Sure, you might be bored of doing the same play every day. But trust me, it would suit me fine. I am the person who, while comprehending that some people actually enjoy working, can't imagine doing anything more than tolerate a job. So yeah, reading, hiking, playing on the internet, talking to friends, traveling, watching movies, swimming, cooking, volunteering, practicing yoga and visiting family would pretty much keep me occupied for years!

Number the 5th

Found a good one! From women's eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world. Love's Labour's Lost, Act 4, Scene 3 Damn Right! On a different note, something quite cool.

Quote Number 4

I am giving a longer one today, both melancholy and strong. Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. Julius Caesar, Act 2 Scene 2 So what are we looking at here? A speech by Caesar. He's saying he's not worried about death, nor should anyone be. I love the first line because it is such a universal feeling. Every time i have to get blood taken i freak out, shrinking my veins and making it more difficult for the nurse to find them. If i know in advance of the appointment that I'll have blood drawn i worry and worry over it. How bad is it really? not very. So why do i worry about it? who knows. for the same reason my friend literally cannot speak in front of a crowd whereas i can do it, i just am not very good. for the same reason some p

When is St. Cripsen's Day?

Why, it is on October 25th. I am going a bit different for today. Since my quote is so long, I'm giving you Kenneth Branagh's interpretation. I thought about Olivier's but you get to see a really young Christian Bale in this one (at about 2:30). I love this speech; it has such a great maleness that i can't begin to describe. Brash confidence, strength, youth and power coming together in just a few minutes worth of words. You get everything: a sense of the speaker's personality, motivations, goals and aspirations. A few years ago the Belcourt Theater held a contest on 10-25 for the best performance of the speech. I should have gone, even just to watch. Though i know a big section of it, i'd in no way be able to perform. stage fright sucks! I finished Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost the Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need to Get it Back by Ann Vileisis today. It is another 4. Again, not awful, but more scholarly history of industria

A Quote and a Book

So i thought about trying to dig up a happier or friendlier quote but i didn't find one i liked so there! "It is fit I should commit offense to my inferiors" Cymbeline Act 2 Scene 1 Who doesn't feel superior sometimes? Especially we lucky few in Customer Service. Work has been awful these last few days (hey, i know, lets build call centers in south Texas! what could possibly happen there!) and i'm just not feeling "friendly and helpful" :) I finished The Book of Vice-Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) by Peter Sagal today. He's the host of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR, a program i fully admit i don't "get". The book was ok, a 4 on my list. I kinda felt like it was a bad draft of something by Mary Roach. It was interesting but i think the publisher should have left of ..and How to Do Them from the title. It would be better served with ..and Why to Do Them , no double entendre intended. It is really about wh

Weekly Geeks 17

So this week the Geek topic is quotations. I have so many of these written down this will be easy. I am going with all Shakespeare. some weird ones i hope. The first I actually wrote down after i saw the play in Nashville. "Thus I turn my back, there is a world elsewhere" Coriolanus, Act 3 Scene 3. I've never been suicidal but if i ever decided to leave a really pissed off suicide note i would end with that line. it is the literary equivalent of Cartman's "screw you guys, I'm going home" line. I love it; the preceding scene has the people of Rome banish Coriolanus, a war hero. He has a long speech that really amounts to "you guys are going to really miss me and i hope you eat shit and die" but of course far more eloquently. The great speeches always end an Act in Shakespeare and that one ends Act 3. I'll have a friendlier one tomorrow!

The Last Narnia Book Pissed Me Off

Ok, if you've read it you know what happens. Now, it isn't so much what happened that bothered me but that we get no real reason for it. Lewis isn't much on character and we haven't seen anything from that particular person in several books. So why kick that person out? And the fact that everyone else doesn't care boggles my mind. Ok, at first they don't know exactly what has happened (although it is hinted when Lewis discusses how people look) but once they do find out there is no feeling of loss? what about Eustace and Jill? don't they care that they may not see their parents again? And Aslan's powers must have diminished. Aslan was able to summon the various children whenever he wanted to before but this time requires a convenient accident? The book was more violent and racist as well. Yeah, The Horse and His Boy had some rough passages too but i don't remember people yelling "get the Darkies" either. wow. it sucked. The

Very Funny Science Stuff and Random Other Things

I like the Hawking lines. September is Local Food Month. Go visit a Farmer's Market! I also figured I'd do a bit of an update on my challenges. ACK! TBR-6/12 Russian Challenge-3/4 required YA Challenge- 9/12, though 5 weren't on my original list Science Book Challenge-2/3 Name Challenge- 2/6 RIP 3-1/4 10 out of 1001-i give up! i forgot about this one and have only read 1 that counted. 1% Challenge-3/10 Chunkster Challenge-kinda forgot about this one too. I've noted 2/4 but i've probably read another 2 for it. may have to go back and check a few to see if i've finished. I feel like i've forgotten something. Maybe not.

The Dracula Dossier

I finished a really good book last night! I received a advanced review copy of The Dracula Dossier by James Reese from Librarything and immediately realized it was perfect for the RIP challenge. I started it on September 1st and finished in a week. Had I not had to get up early on Saturday for hiking I would have stayed up late to finish which is always a very good sign! It is a great premise: what if Bram Stoker knew Jack the Ripper and wrote Dracula as a response to his experiences fighting the killer? The story is told through Bram Stoker's diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings, the same format as Dracula . Set in 1888, we begin with Stoker depressed, vaguely self distructive and very dissatisfied with his life. He's basically the COO for The Lyceum, the playhouse of Henry Irving and Ellen Terry and indispensable to Irving. But Stoker feels he is wasting his life and his talents. He's at a crossroads, a crisis point. He meets an American doctor, Franci

I am NOT allergic to

Yellow Jackets! Great right? Fabulous information to know one would think. oh, you ask how i know this? That is a good question; let me explain. Yesterday R and I went hiking at Fall Creek Falls . It is a beautiful state park in Tennessee. We walked down to the Cascade Falls with Chloe, which was a nice walk. She had a great time splashing in the water on the slippery rocks. We'd packed a lunch (hummus, pita bread, broccoli, Doritoes, bananas) and decided to next take a 3 mile loop hike and picnic at some point. the first mile was fine so we stopped, ate and rested for a bit. Once we'd gone another quarter mile the ordeal began. R was about 10 feet in front of me with the dog. He suddenly STOPPED and said "hey there's a beehive." So i start looking around in the trees but he's pointing down at the trail itself. There was a dug out spot on the side of the trail where i can see bugs moving inside even from the distance. He kept standing there and Chloe

A Food Meme

I got this off Amazon's blog of all things. They pulled it from Very Good Taste . Bold are things I've eaten/tried. You're supposed to cross off anything you completely would never ever try, but i'm willing to nibble on anything not alive and not dead human so i'm not crossing off anything. There's a few things i have no idea what they are!! The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred: 1. Venison 2. Nettle tea 3. Huevos rancheros 4. Steak tartare 5. Crocodile - I've had alligator, which isn't on the list, so i am counting this. 6. Black pudding 7. Cheese fondue 8. Carp 9. Borscht 10. Baba ghanoush 11. Calamari 12. Pho 13. PB&J sandwic h 14. Aloo gobi 15. Hot dog from a street cart 16. Epoisses 17. Black truffle 18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes 19. Steamed pork buns 20. Pistachio ice cream 21. Heirloom tomatoes 22. Fresh wild berries 23. Foie gras 24. Rice and beans 25. Brawn, or head cheese 26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper 27. Dulce de

BTT for 9/4

I found this week's question kinda cool. I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them. Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading. Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends? I would say yes and no. With Twilight specifically, i did buy the book both to see what all the fuss was about and because my little sister (14) was ecstatic about it. as she hadn't really done much reading for pleasure before the last year or so i am curious

Vote Obama, PT 6

Tell it like it is brother!

Vote Obama, PT 5

For all the science literate, or those who hope to be! McCain hasn't answered yet but Obama has.

Some Reading

So yesterday, between staring at various weather related news items and predictions, i finished up two books i've been working on the last few weeks. Six Degrees , by Mark Lynas , details the environmental changes as the average global temperature rises. Specifically, he shows what changes we'd expect at one degree, two, three, etc up to six. While the one or two degree world doesn't look too different, evidence suggests that once the global temperature is up by three degrees, natural feedback processes force everything hotter, faster, so that six, or more, is almost inevitable past that point. it isn't a bad book, at all, but it is extremely depressing. Ok, if i needed to emigrate, or cope with some kind of environmental catastrophe, or drastically downsize my life, right now that is something i'm capable of. but what about in 2038 when i'm 62? or 2058 when i'm 82? that's when these massive changes will start to really kick in, depending on how t

Hanging out over the Long Weekend

Bunch of stuff going on. My family has invaded! well, not exactly, but after hearing the warnings about "category 5" and "storm of the century" my mom, sister and brother came up to visit me. they arrived yesterday and unfortunately drove a 10 hour drive in about 12+ hours due to all the traffic. It is great they are here but we are still a bit worried about all the various people who stayed. Yesterday I pigged out before the guests arrived! went to a barbecue in Franklin, TN and had: ribs, cheeseburger, mac and cheese, super hot bratwurst, potato salad, sweet pickles, homegrown tomatoes. mmmmmm. Fun with friends. I went canoeing with R on Saturday, with our dog Chloe. so i burned up a bunch of calories before i ate on Sunday! The Harpeth river was packed; we'd stop and bunches of people would pass us then we would pass them later. Due to doggie stops, the 4 1/2 hour took about 7. It was fun though. I got to swim a bit even. so today we'v