Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Best Photo-Catch was this one

I love to point a camera in a public place and freeze a second in time in a perfect situation that says it all in one "click". It hardly ever happens, perhaps 6-10 times in the decade I've blogged. It was a slow year at the 'blog. But this photo of the young anonymous woman with flowing tresses and just the right stance, innocently evaluating some used books for purchase in the Public Market in Milwaukee one Saturday afternoon in late winter was perfect. I edited by cropping and framing--that's all. Avid readers will get this instantly.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Stack of Books to Mention; a Reading Round-Up.

I discovered Louis L'Amour this year when I found a paperback copy of "Jubal Sackett". An interesting adventure of an early Virginia colonist's travels thru the unknown country to the Rockies to resettle himself, friends and a Native American woman--and oh, his pet buffalo named Paisano.
Why has this story never been made into a movie?

Another of the vintage John LeCarre novels, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". The best of his I've read so far. Deeply layered plot and elegant word smithing. Subtle. George Smiley may be my favorite character in fiction.

"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen takes you to a magic place: a curmudgeonly old gent in his nursing home recalls his youth. After an early traumatic tragedy, he runs away and joins the circus in the 1920's and meets the love of his life. the literary enchantment reminded me of the totally engaging and original plot in "the Beautiful Ruins" that I read earlier.

"Who is Conrad Hurst?" by Kevin Wignall was a lean, mean little thriller about a soldier of fortune suffering post traumatic stress disorder after two shocking events. With no emotional ballast, he simply takes jobs as a stone cold killer-hit man in modern Europe until cascading events bring him back to his senses.

"Embers" by a mid-20th Century Hungarian writer Sandor Marai is a story of betrayal. Of course, I was reading a translation; I found it "flattened", somehow. It was readable, by I'm not sure I would recommend the book. I'm old; this story was too old for me.

"And Justice There is None" by Deborah Crombie. The book cover says the author is writing in P.D. James territory; if "London" is what is meant, that is true. The mystery written, Elizabeth George-style, by an American lady from Texas writing a London centered police procedural. For me it was "what to read on the train till I find something else"; a bit light and gimmicky after one is reminded of P. D. James.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Father's Birthday. He'd be 96...

A scene from his funeral at Arlington Cemetery with many of his favorite family members from the DC area. Our older son on the right, our in-law Michael in the center.  Being interred at Arlington was important to Dad, he had it all arranged well in advance.

Monday, December 7, 2015

For Cousin David: A Photo of our Mothers, along with thoughts and prayers.

My Cousin David is doing poorly, very sad to say. He is near 90 and very ill, I've heard.

I found this photo, taken about 1923 or so. The little girl is my Mother and the older girl is David's Mother. David was born a few years later.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...