Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Books - The Good, The Boring, and the Embarrassing

My choices at the library two weeks ago were not the best I’ve ever made. I, Alex Cross was the usual Patterson fare. To be honest, I read it first and now I can’t remember much about the plot. My best pick was Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child. When I began to read, I had my doubts about this one, but, as usual, Mr. Child delivered. I don’t think this man knows how to write a bad, or even mediocre, book. A very good read.

I picked two books by an author I don’t think I’ve ever read before--Ted Dekker. I saw a movie not long ago that was based on one of his books. It wasn’t a great movie, but I thought the book would be better. The first one I started was Boneman’s Daughter. I read about half of it and skimmed to the end. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time reading the whole thing. I also skimmed Thr3e. I don’t think it was any better than the movie. I was bogged down by Mr. Dekker’s psychological claptrap. It went way too far becoming mind-numbingly boring.

I also checked out and read a few paperbacks that I won’t mention. They are of that genre that I don’t care to admit that I read occasionally.
After I read this post, I realized that I may have left an inaccurate impression of my reading material.
When I said that some of it is embarrassing, someone, I suppose, could infer that I'm into porn. I'm not!
To give a hint of the genre I mean, think Fabio. E-e-w-w-w! I'm blushing to admit that much.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


One of the most memorable times in a young man’s life, or so they tell me, is catching his first fish. This is Levi’s moment. He told his Boopah (Mr. Fixit), “I caught it all by myself.” Bella looks proud of the one she caught, too. 

The setting is a campground not far from here. They camp whenever they get the chance.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The ongoing copyright infringement legal mess continues when on May 12 a federal court ruled against the peer-to-peer file sharing site, Limewire. I don’t quite understand the legal theory. I wonder if it will go any further into the privacy of individuals. If I buy a music CD and I want to copy it so that I can put one in the car and maybe another one in the truck, does that mean I can be prosecuted? What happens if I decide I’m tired of listening to a particular CD and I want to sell it in a yard sale (which I am going to do), can I be criminally and civilly prosecuted? Isn’t the theory the same as the current P2P file sharing suits? After all, the artists and publishers aren’t being paid. I don’t know; I’m not an attorney or a judge.

The artists and music industry retailing the products are pushing the cases forward so I want to know if authors and their publishers feel that they are being cheated by our local libraries and used bookstores. It seems to me the premise is about the same as in the music industry. Do authors feel they are losing royalties whenever a library buys one book and that book is read by several hundred people? Do the publishers feel that my local library is taking a bite out of their profits by letting people read the same book again and again and again? Has anyone ever sued a used book store for reselling books without giving the authors and publishers their cut? Again, am I going to be arrested for selling books in my yard sale? Will there some day be a penalty if I decided to let a friend borrow a book?

By the same token, will I have some Fed knocking on my door to count all the DVD’s I have made with my DVD recorder? My heavens, do you know how many Agatha Christie mysteries I have recorded that were aired on PBS? I have even more Sherlock Holmes programs. Could I be arrested by Interpol if I decide to sell a DVD movie I bought at Wal-mart? If the situations are analogous, and it seems to me they are, I could be put in the pokey for the rest of my life and the rest of my lives in my next two reincarnations. Wow, the implications are mind-boggling!

I really would like to know if the P2P sharing can be compared to libraries.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Make Me an Offer

A new project has me in its grip and I can’t seem to make much progress. In fact, it seems to have disrupted my life. We can’t park our car in the garage any more, and I can’t seem to finish one step without creating two more steps that must be accomplished before completing the first step. It seems to be a real catch-22.

I decided that I can no longer live with the state of our house; the answer seemed to be a yard sale. So far I have cleaned the storage room downstairs and the bathroom next to it that has become the storage room annex. I piled the junk the treasures in the garage to await cleaning, sorting, and pricing.

My next sacrifice is my paperback books. I want to get rid of the ones of a certain genre that I’m embarrassed to admit that I ever read. If I get rid of the hundreds of those, I will be able to shelve or box the ones I want to save. That’s easier said than done. I can’t start shelving until I remove the unmentionable ones off the shelves. I can’t finish that chore until I round up about a dozen more boxes. I have learned a lesson--paperbacks are extremely heavy. Mr. Fixit had to use his hand-truck to move one large box to the garage. Now I am taking the empty boxes downstairs and filling it a few books at a time. I must have gone up and down those steps a hundred times yesterday. The bad new is, I’m only in the middle of the “D” shelves.

I should have everything ready for the sale around Thanksgiving.


Saturday evening when we were returning from our Mother’s Day dinner with the family, the traffic on the highway suddenly slowed to about 35 mph (a 65 mph zone). After a mile or so, we saw the reason. There was a pick-up slowing both lanes of traffic because everyone was afraid to pass him. He was weaving from side to side running into the median and then veering back across to scrape the guard rails. It was horrible to watch. I was afraid that the people coming up behind us would hit the slowly moving cars, but that didn’t happen, thank heaven.

The older man finally ran off the right side of the road where there was no guard rail and ran up an embankment. Several cars ahead of us stopped to help him. He was lying beside the truck. He didn’t appeared to be injured, but he did have some sort of big bandage on one of his knees. Maybe he wasn’t drunk as we suspected, but perhaps he was under the influence of medication. Either way, it was a scary situation, and he could have killed someone.