Monthly Archives: May 2013

May 30, 2013

Depression disagrees with me.  I mean that literally.  It goes something like this:

Me – I’m going to work on my blog.

Depression – No you’re not.  You don’t want to.

Me – Well, how about I read a book to post about in my blog?

Depression – Are you not listening to me?  You don’t want to.

Me – I don’t?

Depression – No.  What you want to do is sit listlessly in bed with the OWN channel on and let your brains trickle out your ears.

Me – Oh.  Okay.  Sigh.

And so, here I am, watching The Day I Almost Died on the OWN channel.  I just finished a mystery book called Compulsion that I could post about.  I have plenty of books waiting to be read, but yet I sit here with what I suspect are glazed eyes and possibly a slight trail of drool going down my chin.  I’m hoping one of my cats will step on the remote control and save me from the mesmerism of bad TV.  Here kitty, kitty, kitty.

Save me.

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May 29, 2013

It’s actually 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday May 28th, but there’s no way I’ll have this together before sometime tomorrow afternoon.  Just got home about 1/2 hour ago from the trivia competition at Native New Yorker (our last night for this month’s competition).  Of the four bars vying against each other in Arizona, we won.  Big Daddy’s in Phoenix came in a close second.  To close.  I don’t know the exact score yet but we were first in Arizona and Big Daddy’s second.  In the nation we were 17th and Big Daddy’s 18.  Nipping at our heels.  J. said that was great because he felt bad winning by a landslide.  Me, I like landslides.

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No new beers were tried this night.  In fact, no beer was drunk at all.  Ice tea was.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that ice tea should never be ordered in a sports bar.  It sucks.  Even with lemon.

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Happily, books have been read.  My latest is a book I’d had on my “to read” list for quite some time before I spotted it used at Mostly Books.  In fact, this book covers a job I once thought of applying for.  Answering 911:  Life in the Hot Seat by Caroline Burau, copyright 2006, published by Borealis Books tells of the ups and downs of 911 operators.  After reading this, it seems to me they have mostly downs.  I thought this would be a quick, fun little book full of humorous anecdotes of those oh so crazy people who call 911 to complain about someone selling them bad crack.  But no.  After reading this book, being a 911 operator sounds like the most annoying, depressing, god-awfullest job in the world and I no longer want to give it a try.  It’s not that it wasn’t a good book, it’s just not what I was expecting.  If you want to know what 911 operators have to put up with, read this book.  If you want to know what the people calling to report bad crack have to put up with, read What’s the Number for 911? America’s Wackiest 911 Calls by LeLand H. Gregory III, copyright 2000, published by Andrews McMeel.

It is now 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29.  Talk about timing.  Post accomplished.

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Every Cat’s A Critic

Every Cat's A Critic

I keep notes for my posts on this blog. This is what my cat Stinker thought of those notes.

SN850820

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May 28, 2013 · 7:46 am

May 26, 2013

I’m depressed.  Flipping through the channels and finding nothing worth watching.  Flipping through books and finding nothing worth reading.  At least nothing I feel is worth reading.  I did finish a mystery book a few days ago, but I don’t think I posted about it.

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Faithless by Karin Slaughter, Copyright 2005, published by Bantam Dell

Slaughter seems the perfect name for a mystery writer.  So perfect that maybe it’s not her original name.  Kinda like Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, who changed her name to fit her writing.  Seems like cheating to me, but a lot of authors do it.  My mom once told me of a doctor she went to, named Dr. Butcher.  I can’t imagine he changed his name and I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t, unless he was moonlighting for Rob Zombie films.  Other than the author’s name, nothing stands out about this book.  Typical cliche mystery.

Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivors by William Ratigan, copyright 1977, published by WM.B. Eerdmans (Illustrations included).

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I would like to point out that my copy is the Edmund Fitzgerald Edition.  Ha!  How cool is that?  As stated above, there are illustrations, but no maps.  WTF?  No maps of the Great Lakes in a book about the Great Lakes.  So, I shall graciously supply you with a map.

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Sorry if they publish small.  They look ok to me on my draft, but you never know.  Reading glasses may be in order.

There is nothing like a great disaster book.  Sadly, this book is only a good disaster book.  There are however a large number of disasters in this book.  In 1856 alone there were 597 disasters on the Great Lakes during the navigation season (which, as far as I could figure out from research if from late March to May).  That’s a lot of downed ships and dead people. You can find more current statistics on collisions and disasters on the Great Lakes at http://www.boatnerd.com (click on Great Lakes Shipwreck Files).  I can’t imagine you would want to though unless you too were a boat nerd.

According to the author, there has been a fortune in sunken treasure in the Great Lakes for the last 3 centuries in the form of copper ingots (no doubt still worth something), beverages (hope they were well corked!), lumber (rather waterlogged by now), and cheese.  Cheese?  A fortune in 3-century-old water-soaked cheese?

Lastly, I will share a few of my favorite quotes:

1.  The ore-carrier Cyprus went down during a storm on Lake Superior. “The big carrier went out into the blow, the water creaming over her long deck . . . .”  Insert sexual inuendo joke of your choice here.

2.  The passenger whaleback “Christopher Columbus carried more passengers than any vessel since Noah’s Ark.”  I was going to make a crack about the passengers on Noah’s Ark not getting room service but the I realized that they probably did.  Not like you could send those f*ckers off to graze, could ya?

I’m off.  The cat just puked on my foot.

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May 25, 2013

I’m working on this post while watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play San Diego.  Badly.  I’m beginning to think the Diamondbacks should have their name changed to the 9th Inners as they often seem to start a game well only to crash in the last few innings.  I had hoped for better things once Putz was out with an injury.  Now there’s a pitcher who lives up to his name.  Putz.

putz

Shave your face while you’re at it.  Looks like his Hitler mustache slipped down his lip a bit before coming to an unattractive stop.

The Devil in Dover

The Devil in Dover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devil in Dover:  An Insider’s Story of Dogma V. Darwin in Small-Town America by Lauri Leba, copyright 2008, published by New Press covers events in 2004 when a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, tried to get creationism back into the school’s curriculum by calling it intelligent design.  This book covers the first school board meetings to to the end of the court proceeding which ensued.

This was a pick for our June nonfiction group meeting by S. (the teacher).  I was afraid to start this book because I was worried that the writing (considering coverage of a court case), would be dry.  I was happily mistaken.  This is a great book!  I finished this in about 2 hours, staying up until 3:00 a.m. to do so.  The author has a personal connection to the subject which keeps her writing fresh and energetic.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book.  It is available at the library so go check it out.

Cover of "Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing ...

Cover via Amazon

Dead in Their Tracks:  Crossing America’s Desert Borderlands by John Annerino, copyright 1999, published by Four Walls Eight Windows.  A journalist follows illegal immigrants as they try to make their way through the desert to what they hope will be a better life in America.  Contains photos that some (and you know who you are G.) may find disturbing.  Frankly the subject of illegals crossing the border is a subject that people get very touchy about so I will only say that I found it well written and fully researched.  If this subject interests you, by all means read this book.  You might also try Illegals:  The Unacceptable Cost of America’s Failure to Control It’s Borders by Darrell Ankarlo, copyright 2010, published by Thomas Nelson.

beer

My latest adventure in beer tasting at the Native New Yorker led me to Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager, brewed by Coors.  If this was what they had pre-prohibition, it’s no wonder they prohibited it.  Probably in the hopes that someone would come up with a better brew.  I can only think they brought it back to make post-prohibitionists aware of the crap they were spared from.  Or maybe it’s like a form of liquid flagellism.  Be prepared for bitter-beer face.

sinister

Three out of three people watching agreed that this movie was so crap that we turned it off with 40 minutes left to go.  No murder or mayhem.  No fear or fright.  Much boredom and apathy was experienced by all.  Remember how bad I said Silent Hill Revelation was?  This is worse.  No really.  Worse.

pyramid head

Pyramid  Head needed to go ballistic on the people in this film.  In fact, the film would have been greatly improved had a mosquito gone ballistic on the characters.

cruella

Cruella Deville is much more frightening than anything  you’ll find in this film.   You might think I’m overstating the facts, but if you really want to be frightened, turn this movie off and go watch the news.

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May 22, 2013

Sitting in Native New Yorker.  Its nice and cool after driving in the heat.  Coronas are 2.50 all day, every day.  My friend G. says Corona is the Schlitz of Mexico.  That’s ok.  As long as it isn’t the Coors of Mexico.  Coors tastes like panther piss, so the Mexican equivalent of Coors would taste like Javelina piss or maybe Chupacabra (which would be Chupacabra piss and the piss of the goat it sucked on).

The bartender, A.H. suggested I try Pacifico, said it was better than Corona.  And damn if she wasn’t right.  Smoother.  Now I wonder if G shouldn’t say Corona is the Coors of Mexico.

A.H. was right on things today.  Right there with the beers, right there with suggestions.  A great bartender!  She gave me a sample of Tornado (IPA) beer,  knowing that I am trying new beers for this blog.  If I didn’t believe it sacrilegious to not finish a beer, I would have spit that out.  Pronto!  It tasted like cat urine smells.  Should you want to try a beer that tastes that cat urine smells after being fermented for 5,000 years, drink Devil’s Ale, brewed by SanTan Brewing Co. in Chandler, AZ.  I made the hubby finish that sample for me.

Our Tuesday night trivia group is still the first of the four bars in Arizona that are competing.  Our score is:

Native New Yorker:  442,226 (Tucson)

Dell’s:                      335,945  (Casa Grande)

Big Daddy’s:            326,485  (Phoenix)

Fuzzy’s:                   325,026  (Surprise)

Sorry no books in this post, just drinking.  But if y’all want good food, fun trivia and a great bartender, come on over to Native New Yorker when A.H. is working and have some fun.  You might just see me there as well, drinking.  In the name of science for the blog of course.

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May 21, 2013

I recently was at Bookman’s and purchased an older-looking paperback in the Paranormal section of the store.  Voices From The Edge of Eternity compiled by John Myers, copyright 1968, Pyramid Publications.  You know what?  Had I read a little beyond just the back cover blurb I would have found out that this is a God book.  I don’t do God books.

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My next selection turned out somewhat better.  Not In Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America by Christine Wicker, copyright 2005, HarperCollins publisher.  It seemed at first I had made a big mistake as the first chapter was about her attending a Vampire and Victims party.  Really?  Vampires and Victims?  Those sad little people who dress up and try to tell us that Lestat really exists?  Wackos, nuts and geeks.  If you wish, you may sing that to Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher.  It works.  I know.  I tried it.  HOWEVER (and I emphasize the however), the book rapidly improved once she got away from the vampires.  I do warn however, that she goes back to the vampires and the werewolves and even finds a few fairies.  No, not the ones that live in San Francisco.  The middle chapters of this book cover Hoodoo.  Mark that.  Hoodoo.  This is different from Voodoo and Voodoo was not discussed in the book.  If you want to find out more, read the book.  This blog is an opinion, not a dissertation.

lucky mojo  This is the Lucky Mojo Curio Company, whose proprietress gave the author much information on Hoodoo and root magic.  It looks an interesting place.  If you wish to see what they might have for you, go to http://www.luckymojo.com

In short, I enjoyed most of this book and rolled my eyes at the rest.  Christine Wicker is an enjoyable writer and fun to read.  Give this a try.

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Lastly for today, a quote from Nancy Drew The Clue in the Crumbling Wall.  I know, I know, it’s a children’s book.  But they’re good reading if you want something you can read in an hour and that makes you laugh almost as much as Dave Barry.  In chapter 2, Nancy’s purse is stolen.  Her purse “contained her driver’s license, car registration, some credit cards, money, and cosmetics.”  Her reaction?  “I suppose I should be thankful I didn’t lose more.”  What more could she lose?  She had everything in there except the proverbial kitchen sink.  Remember Monty Python’s Life of Brian?  The little old man about to be stoned?

Making it worse?  How could it be worse?  Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah!

This would have been a far more believable reaction.

MAY 20, 2013

You  know, keeping up a blog isn’t as easy as I had hoped.  It’s rather daunting to sit in front of a blank computer page or piece of paper and say, I’m going to write now.  Yup.  Any day now, writing will get done……I’m waiting….tap, tap, tap.  Sadly the tap, tap, tap is the sound of my fingernails on the desk and not the keyboard.  I seem to come up with the best and wittiest comments just as I’m drifting off to sleep and not while actively working.  But isn’t that the way of it?  Someone insults you and then a few hours later you think up a great comeback.  But I digress.  Let’s get back to the books and read one for the Gipper!

I finished Death of the Mantis: A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley.  Yes, actually finished it despite the fact that it was the reading equivalent of dining on bread and water.  It was tasty enough though that I wanted to know how it ended and identity of the killer was a surprise.  However I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you were really hurting for something to read.  I will share with you one last quote.  When I read this paragraph, I could only wonder when the hell Carl Sagan had arrived.

“It’s incredible, he thought as he gazed upward, how many stars you can see when there are no lights around . . . . billions and billions of stars.”

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