Times flies when…

Times flies when you’re beating your head against your keyboard all day…. or maybe the blackouts just make it seem that way.

Blargh

You know your morning is shot when it takes you half an hour and multiple attempts to drink from an empty coffee mug; before you realize the cup is empty and you need to go get coffee.

Thank you Canon!

Five years, one month and three days ago, I bought myself a Canon PowerShot S500 Digital ELPH digital camera. Around this time last year, I gave the camera up for dead but never got around to chucking it out and now I’m very glad I never did. Then around a month or two back, I heard via SEB that there was a recall on some Canon cameras where they would fix the camera at no cost even if the waranty had expired. I checked the service notice and saw my camera was covered by it.I contacted Canon, followed their instructions, shipped my camera to them and had it back in my hands (and working!) in about 2 weeks. Very nice!

Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Note: This review is based upon an uncorrected proof which I received via a giveway on GoodReads.

I don’t, as a rule, read True Crime; I do enjoy a good mystery. So when I saw this book being offered in a giveaway over at GoodReads.com; I felt I just had to enter.  Then when I was home sick the other day, the book arrived in the mail. Given I hadn’t yet noticed I’d won a copy it was a very pleasant surprise.

I moved the book to the top of my to-read list and once I started on it was glad I had done so. It’s strange; there’s no quick paced action,  no tense drama yet I couldn’t put it down. Maybe it was the author’s fasincation with Gilkey (the theif)  & Sanders (the “bibliodick”) or maybe it was the author’s own fascination with this private world of rare book dealers. It certainly wasn’t the characters that drew me in. Gilkey was given the most “pagetime” but he wasn’t very interesting. Simply an unrepentant crook (all protestations to the contrary) who choose credit card fraud as his easy method of living the good life, which happens to involve owning rare books. Sanders was slightly better but seemed too angry/bitter for much of the book.

While I’m still not sure why I enjoyed this book, it’s safe to say it was an good read.

Lessons learned and things accomplished

While I’ve been out on furlough this week, I accomplished a few things around the house (though not perhaps as much as I would have liked) and in the process I learned a few things about myself.

  • I handle hot weather now about as well as I did when I was twelve, which is to say I handle it badly.
  • My hands do not have the same steadiness when painting a room, as they had 10-15 years ago.  While the overall job doesn’t look too bad, some of the trim work was done to less than my old standards.
    • Along those lines, I have to say I do not particularly like these foam brushes.
  • Honey-suckle bushes produce a lot of pollen.  Pollen that sticks really well to the leaves on a honey-suckle bush and which you won’t necessarily notice until you’re trimming the honey-suckle bushes and pulling out large branches.  Naturally the branches of a honey-suckle bush tend to intertwine themselves, so you have to pull really hard to get them out and yes, pulling them that hard also flings the pollen up off the leaves and directly at you.
    • While I’ve never been officially tested, I think I can safely say I am allergic to the pollen of a honey-suckle bush.
    • Also, if my wife ever convinces me to be the one to trim those bleeping bushes again, I will –at the very least– have to wear some sort of dust mask to keep the pollen from my sinuses.
  • I still hate plumbing projects.
    • Especially unexpected ones, like having your toilet break.
    • On the bright side, the toilet didn’t leak all over the floor and it was a repair simple enough I could do it myself.
    • But I still have plumbing.
  • All programmable thermostats are not created equal.
    • In particular, having one that divides the day up into 4 blocks that do not match your schedule just as bad as not having a programmable one.
  • A bike that has been reasonably well cared for and put in storage (e.g. hidden in back of garage) for a few years does not cost very much to be put back into ridable condition.
  • Riding a bike around my neighborhood is just as enjoyable now as it was when I first learned to ride.
    • After building up a good amount of speed, you start to coast along and it feels kind of like you’re flying.
    • While my knees & legs certainly don’t care for all the various hills around my neighborhood, those hills will help me get into shape as I ride around more.
    • And since Cedar Rapids is trying to be more “bike friendly” maybe some day I’ll be able to ride my bike to work.
      • That won’t be happening this year as: a) I need to get into better shape first and b) I still would have to get across Collins Rd during rush hour. *shudder*

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