I finished reading Elizabeth Peter’s The Falcon at the Portal last night and while I did enjoy it; I’m finding that I like the newer books in this series less and less. The idea that Ms. Peters is the Editor of Emerson family’s personal papers and has assembled the books from the remains of Ameila’s journals and some manuscripts/letters written by Ramses & Nefret just isn’t working for me. It didn’t help that this story took a darker turn that most of the Ameila Peabody mysteries (e.g. not all of your favorite characters walked away unscathed at the end of this book). For having a darker end than I cared for and continuing this trend of assembling the story from the “incomplete and scattered papers” of the Emerson family; I’m only giving this book 3 out of 5 points.

Since I knew that I was getting a bit tired of a steady reading diet of mysteries; I didn’t bring the next Amelia Peadbody mystery with me. Instead, I’ll be reading Dennis L. McKiernan’s Silver Wolf, Black Falcon next. Since I’m stuck at the home office all week, I will most likely finish this one in the next couple of days.

Disney recently released an extremely cool toy that a friend of my, Bryon, has always wanted. It was a bit pricey, but AWelkin talked him into getting it. He did a review of it that got posted over at the Captain Toy website. After reading the review, I wish I had the money to get one. Ah well, you win some; you lose some.

I finished reading Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. the other night. I’ve been a bit busy, hence the delay in writing up my little review of the book.

First, there’s a couple of things that you should keep in mind about my opinion on this book:

  • My general reading interests keep me firmly planted in the fiction section, so this was quite unlike anything I’ve read
  • Prior to reading this book, I have had little to no direct exposure to Franken’s work.
  • I didn’t vote for Bush.
  • I don’t like the way the Bush administration has been handling things since they came into power.
  • I am not a lawyer or an election official but I still think the 2000 presidential election had some fishy things going on in it (particularly in Flordia).

Now that I’ve got those disclaimers out of the way, I can tell you that I greatly enjoyed this book and will definately be looking at borrowing the rest of Franken’s books (from friends or my local library). Franken’s sense of humor and sharp sarcasm really struck a chord with me. That I agreed with a lot of his points throughout the book, didn’t hurt either. One of the things that I really liked about the book was how well Franken (and his team of Havard students) documented all the quotes that Franken used, via footnotes at the bottom of the pages and in the bibliography at the end of the book. It really gave the book a feeeling of professionalism that frankly, I wasn’t expecting. From what I’d heard about the book via the media; I was expecting it to be more along the lines of drinking burnt coffee made with reused grinds rather than the smooth latte that it went down as. However, that is not to say that the book is without it’s faults.

When you turn the page to a new chapter, you can expect it to have little or no connection to the previous chapter; this makes for a very rough transition between chapters and reduces the readibility of the book. Also, at points Franken lowers himself to the level of the people he’s complaining about in the book (the Right) by resorting to childish namecalling. Generally, he does it after he’s just finished quoting somebody from the the Right do it and walked you through several paragraphs to show how wrong that person from the Right was. Sometimes it’s even funny when he does it; however overall, it’s not a technique that works for me. I’d rather have seen him stay above that sort of thing and instead just continue to use things that the Right have said to show their inconsistencies and stupidities.

Well, that’s all for now (my break’s over and I need to get back to work). I’ll be reading Elizabeth Peter’s The Falcon at the Portal next.

Trisha McFarland-from The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon-You're a nine year old girl that gets lost in the woods.  You have a great deal of determination, and you know how to take care of
Trisha McFarland-from The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon-You’re a nine year old girl that gets lost in the woods. You have a great deal of determination, and you know how to take care of yourself, even when you’re scared.

Which Stephen King character are you?
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Ok, that’s just weird. A) I’ve never heard of this SK book* and B) the first question in the quiz lets you pick if you’re a male or female. Being a guy, I naturally choose male and still ended up being a nine-year old girl.

* Back in my high school days, I was a SK nut and read everything I could by him. Later I lost interest in his work but I didn’t realize that he’d released enough stuff that he’s got books out there that I’d not even heard of.


You belong in the world of the laid-back, blue-sky lovers.
You belong on a lazy-day beach or anywhere where you can set up a relaxing bench or chair and watch the world go by. You don’t want to make any changes, watching is enough to make you content. The blue of the sky and the light of day beat into your soul and you drift into the world and around without harming anything or making any ripples in the fabric of humanity. Enjoy your peace, few have it, though few would want it at the cost.

Where do you belong?(ANIME IMAGES)
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Ok, that one’s a bit better. I’ve been told by some of my friends that if I were any more laid back; I’d be dead.


If you only knew the power of the dark side.
Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis.
“You do not know the power of the Dark Side.” There are two possibilities: you are a Star Wars geek, or you are unreasoningly scary.

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
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Actually, there are 3 possibilities. You’re a Star Wars geek, unreasonable scary or both. And the correct phrase from Star Wars is “Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side”. Of course, there are much cooler Latin phrases out there. A former co-worker had one that started off as “Excuse me stewardess, but I believe you are on fire.” When translated into Latin and back into English; it came out as “Pardon this intrusion, air slave but it is my belief that you are covered in flame.” Or at least something very close to that. I’ll have to see if I can find a copy of the e-mail with the exact text in it again.

Edited on 12:37PM 24 March 2004: I just ran into the co-worker who did that translation and the retranslation back into English was: “Pardon me , air food slave but it is my deep religious conviction that your clothes are on fire.” Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the Latin version memorized and his notes on it are packed away in boxes in preperation for his move. He mentioned that another of our co-workers should have a copy of the phrase but when I checked; he doesn’t think he has it anymore. I’ve also done some checking around and I definately don’t have it. *sigh* Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with that.


You are Schroeder!
Which Peanuts Character are You?
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Ok, I was hoping I’d get Snoopy but given the rest of the Peanuts cast; I could have done a lot worse!


anime chick
You are a human shadow. If a loved one needs you, you are always right at his or her heels! Your deep social connection with human beings produces your qualities of genuine caring and charisma. However, at times you are naive to the true nature of your loved ones. Remember that humans’ gift of free will does not always lead them in wise directions. But your essence of love and friendship represent the other precious gifts of humanity. Overall you are a strikingly valuable and innocent being who has a lot to give.(please rate my quiz cuz it took me for freaking ever to create)

What Kind of Shadow Are You? (with gorgeous pics)
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White Dragon
You are a white dragon, pure and noble, you would help humans if they desprately need you. You are kind and wise with a heart of gold.

Which Dragon resides in your soul? (cool pictures!)
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My inner child is ten years old today
My inner child is ten years old!

The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether I’m off on my bicycle (or pony) exploring, lost in a good book, or giggling with my best friend, I live in a world apart, one full of adventure and wonder and other stuff adults don’t understand.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
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Weapons are not your thing. You would prefer to
pummel your opponent to death with your fists and feet. You show a lot of Honor but some power still eludes you. I can give you this power, I can make you stronger, join me.

How would you Murder?
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I just finished reading The Ape Who Guards the Balance, by Elizabeth Peters. We got to see a bit of all our favorite characters again and overall was a decent read, but I have to admit that I prefer the earlier books in this series. Ramses & co. just aren’t quite as interesting to me as Peabody & Emerson and unfortunately, Ramses & co. are taking a bigger and bigger role in the series. I’ve heard that isn’t necessarily true in the remainder of the series, but I’ll have to wait & see to find out.

I give this book: 3.5 out of 5 points.

The next book that I’ll be reading is Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Normally, I stick to fiction but this book got so much press that it intrigued me (plus some friends of mine have a copy that they’re lending me). I hope to have finished it in a couple of weeks, but we’ll see.