Monday, July 28, 2014

Choosing a Book by its Cover...

It must be much more difficult to write in the horror/thriller genre than I imagined. I loved the "cover art" on this 1988 paperback edition of Peter Straub's "Koko". The mysterious title and cover image "felt" like the book would be about primative tribes, perhaps. The first pages revealed a Vietnam War theme; instantly you are able to see the face of the soldier in the cover design. From there, the story was disjointed, the characters one- or at best two- dimensional. No one I could care about, even the hero. The female characters were worse. What seemed to delineate "good" characters from "bad" was that all the good ones remembered and loved all the details of the Babar the Elephant stories. Segments of the plot were completely unresolved. Where was the editor? I try to finish any book I start. This one was a real drag.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Chess Player....

on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. A pretty, colorful and bright tourist scene in June in the city. That day we saw an exhibit at the Field Museum of items that were last displayed at the Colombian Exposition in 1893. We walked a lot that day, had lunch in a downtown pub and came home.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Is this Me...I'm sad and mad....

I woke up at 4:22 AM today; it was pitch dark and no sounds of early birds chirping! We are a month past summer solstice. It's happening already. Darn Australia is getting the sun back and it will soon be winter here. Whah, oh whah!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The "Nike Report" Part ll: the 'before' and the 'after'....

Some months ago, a dear friend shared rather sad news that her allergies made it impossible to keep their beautiful pet bird (of 30 years). Nike had to be donated to a bird sanctuary near their home. The thought was that a new home with a family could be found. The good news is that Nike has adjusted to the sanctuary very well! When school children come to visit, he is a performer and "instructor" and clown. He loves the attention; the sanctuary is considering keeping him as a permanent resident.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

While Planting Recently...

This energetic brown spider, with a big sack of eggs? I wonder if it's a brown recluse? PS: EEK! I google-imaged it; unfortunately it looks very much like the dreaded "recluse". Then I looked at images of the injuries caused by the critters' bites. (I shoulda killed it.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Man Repeller" or Selfie with Cataract Surgery Eye-Patch....

Hey, Kids, here's Mother fresh from the cataract surgeon for Eye #2. Honest, it didn't hurt at all. Except for near distance, my vision is near-perfect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

We Never Tire of "The Girl Who..."

Whatever she does, Lisbeth Salander never seems to run out of power! I read "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by the late Stieg Larsson recently. The paperback edition had over 800 pages. I don't know how many times I read about one or another character getting out of bed, putting on the inevitable jeans, white tee shirt and dark jacket, making "a coffee" and breakfast of bread, cheese and maybe fruit, etc. before going off into the world to accomplish the impossible. Lisbeth is helpless in a hospital bed for much of the novel, after being shot and buried alive by her evil relatives in the last novel "....Played with Fire"; still, once she gets going, with the help of a few true friends, she practically defies gravity; walls, locks, jail cells, the public perception of her guilt, other people's passwords, nothing stops her. She appeals to the small, frail, perhaps beaten and abused, little person in many if not all of us who are basically trying to do the best with what is at hand; hoping to somehow prevail aginst forces seeming to be strong and organized against us....or is it just that the pages melt away as we ride our trains or buses to and from our jobs each day, absorbing the danger and excitement we wouldn't dare step out to find? I wonder how many people have visited Stockholm or Gibralter to catch a hint of the magic of these novels? It's a real shame that Larsson died before the classic thriller manuscripts were discovered.

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.