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June 2009
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Little of this, little of that

Blog pix 1263 San Francisco in the dawn's early light....or 9:30am. Close enough. I went into the City via BART Saturday to meet up with Bev and Jewel, finally! and get in a yarn crawl. The yarn crawl ended up being ImagiKnit - which alone was a crawl in itself. I think we were there for three hours and never noticed the time. I found some yummy J Knit Blog pix 1268 and Jewel picked up what I think was some Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn for herself and as a gift while Bev stayed strong and bought only for others. Bev's sister in law Karin came with but i can't remember what she bought! We talked shop  - it's so much fun to for a chance chat with a fellow tax preparer. After we wore out ImagiKnit, we walked a block or two over to Dolores Street Cafe (yum) for some much needed late lunch then Jewel dropped me back off at BART, because typically when I'm out having fun, my head sabotages me. Okay, possibly it was also from staying up half the night most of the week finishing off books and then working like a fiend. But for some reason, I like the first theory.

Blog pix 1260 I also finally made it to the Farmer's Market at the SF Ferry Building! It's only been there for ages. The Oakland Ferry doesn't go directly to it until noonish and for some weird reason (I commuted on BART for something like 15 years) I was leery of BART. But BART worked beautifully, I barely waited for a train either way, maybe because it was 9am and 60 degrees on Saturday morning rather than noon and 102 degrees on a Sunday afternoon? the Embarcadero station is only a block away. Some of the more crowded shops inside the Ferry Building have booths outside, Acme Breads, Cowgirl Creamery. (Farmer's Market SF Ferry Building)

(My backyard garden. Darn, I forgot to take a picture of the Mystery Vegetable Tree.)

Blog pix 1251 In knitting news, I'm still knitting Mom's Stole, the SIL's cable scarf, Dad's Cardigan, my beaded scarf and the Curve of Pursuit. I'm making no discernible progress on any of them.

There is nothing on TV. Well, Law & Order Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight on Sunday, The Closer on Monday, Warehouse 13 tonight, Leverage on Wednesday, Burn Notice on Thursday, Eureka and Mental - both on at 9pm on Fridays, argh........see? Practically nothing.

The NCIS repeat about Vance's past is on tonight. Don't miss it.

Look what I got for my birthday!  Early, I admit. I just couldn't wait, especially since I crunched the numbers and can't get to Sock Summit. (Airfare tripled. That eats into my stash enhancement which is probably not a bad thing but geez). From Opalescent Jewels.  The necklace itself is gorgous but the clasp! For once, I can get it on and off all by myself. Cumulus in the Ocean

I finished The Age of Reason Begins, 1633, The Solitude of Prime Numbers and A Taint in the Blood ( Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak) and then spent a couple of listless days trying to figure out what to read next. It's not that I have nothing to read, it's that I have so much I want to read! The short stories, Ring of Fire (which should be read between 1632 and 1633, btw), the next to last (so far) Kate Shugak book, A Blog pix 1252_edited Deeper Sleep? Mike Carey's Dead Men's Boots? Moral Relativism by Stephen Lukas?  Any suggestions?

I ended up stacking them all next to me and knitting on the Curve of Pursuit while watching a press conference on CNN. Robert Gibbs is loosening up.

Hez sez "Why would anyone eat vegetables when there are tasty loafers like these around?"

Cowell Smokestack, July Book Round Up, Pt Reyes Seashore

The Cowell Smokestack is no more. I'll never be able to find my house from Mt Diablo again.

Blog pix 1218 The demoliton, beginning, middle and end. Whoops, no end picture. Between not having my camera and the iPhone scrambling the pictures (why does it do that? Why? It's really annoying).Blog pix 1220 (Hey! I found my camera cord! Yippee!)  

The end will come. I promise.

Hmm. Oh, the June book update. Is it really already July? I've got to start writing these as I finish the books.

Regions of Germany by Dieter Bose (L) 2005. I picked up this book as a direct result of reading 1632 by Eric Flint - I know nothing about the 17th Century and less about the German provinces.

Margaret Pole: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership by Hazel Pierce (B) 2003 273p. A girl can only go so long before returning to the 16th Century and England.  Margaret Pole, a woman who had more right to the crown than Henry VIII did, whose brother was executed when Catherine of Aragon came from Spain to marry Arthur, still formed a great and lasting friendship with Catherine, was a loyal friend and godmother to Mary, Henry & Catherine's daughter (and not say, Mary Tudor, Henry's sister that my gorgeous Alice Starmore sweater was inspired by), a landowner and power in her own right (due to the death of her husband, a marriage that for all intents and purposes seemed to be quite happy). If she hadn't tangled w/Henry VIII over property rights - 15 years worth! She might not have made herself quite so disagreeable in his eyes and ultimately sent to the Tower and executed as a dowager of 67. Maybe. Henry VIII strikes me as easy to offend, especially when you have something he wants.

Blog pix 1222 Dissolution by CJ Sansom (HB) (M) 2004, 400p I've had this on my TBR shelves since 2004 (hence the hardback bit) but I was disappointed. Matthew Shardlake isn't as smart as he thinks he is and despite all his own flaws and circumstances, only too willing to believe the mores of his times.

Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1994 286p My new favorite heroine, Kathy Mallory is rescued from the streets at the age of ten (she says eleven) by Louis Markowitz, New York City cop. His wife immediately falls in love with the child and they raise her as their own. But Mallory (as she insists everyone, including Louis, call her the day she becomes a policewoman) has been badly emotionally damaged as a child. (Not physically, of course. She's the requisite angelic blonde with amazing computer skills and physical prowress.) The series follows her as we discover what happened to her as a child (not in this book) and how she gradually grows a soul. (Website has spoilers.)

Blog pix 1230 Paradise by A L Kennedy (L)(N) 2004 286p. Wow, what a wallop. Amy of Knit Think (whoops, wrong reviewer! Sorry! [name deleted] Ex Libris had posted a review and I had to read it, if only because of the quote she cited.  We follow Hannah, an unrepentant drunk. Her justification, her story, is both mesmerizing and flat out horrifying. Why she searches for oblivion, how she deals with the day to day reality of frequent blackouts - her view that reality is a story that she tells herself, oh, it has to be read to be understood. But that said, I feel that I was given a tour, an apalling but thorough tour, through the mind of an alcoholic.

Breakup by Dana Stabenow (M) 1997 242p. Back into the arms of Kate Shugak. It took me a bit to process the death in the previous outing but it was handled well. Breakup, aka, Spring, a time of new beginnings in Alaska, or maybe more of the same amplified. Kate has more on her plate than usual, what with two bear encounters in the first few pages, a plane crash and a body turning up in the thaw a scant three miles from her homestead.

Blog pix 1233 The Man Who Cast Two Shadow by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1996 336p. Mallory on the hunt for the killer of a woman at first thought to be Mallory herself. The act that set the murder into motion would have never occurred to me so the murder was a mystery until the denoument. Don't fall in love with Nose, the cat.

Killing Critics Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1997 400p. Oooh, I thought that Nose was heartbreaking (albeit thankfully ambiguous). The murder victim and the eventual........well, not the killer. The killer was awful but the eventual discovery of the...accomplice, I suppose, was heartrending.

Jumper by Stephen Gould (L))(SF) 1992 352p. I've got to pick up the DVD, I have a feeling I'll like Hayden Christiansen better as Davy Rice than Stephen Gould's Davy came across in my imagination. A wee bit too weepy and clingy but it's not as if the boy doesn't have good reason. And oh, how I wish I had his ability.

Blog pix 1239 The Stars Are My Destination by Alfred Bester (L)(SF) 1956 197p. I didn't love this one as much as I thought I would either but it sure was a wild entertaining yet thought provoking ride.

The Uncrowned King: The Sensation Rise of William Randolph Hearst (L)(B) 2009 466p. Provincial mouse that I am, I expected this to take place in San Francisco and San Simeon. It appears the boy had a life before and after the Examiner - one as a newspaper editor to be reckoned with in New York with his recently purchased Journal. He went up against such luminaries as Joseph Pulitzer and Charles Anderson Dana. I learned that I knew nothing about yellow journalism or the Spanish American War. I didn't even realize the Spanish American War was over Cuba. Gah.

Blog pix 1154_edited Death Masks by Jim Butcher (L)(SF) 2003 378p. Harry Dresden! I knew I hadn't read Jim Butcher's last Harry book, Turn Coat, but I didn't realize I was missing three in the middle. This time out, Harry is facing a duel with a Count in the White Court, looking for the missing Shroud of Turin and tangling with various folks on both sides of Good Guy/Bad Guy.

Stone Angel by Carol O'Connell (L)(M) 1998 400p.  Mallory finally confronts the demons of her childhood and we find out what happened.

The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic (L)(N) 2005 257p. Any book that starts with a poem from Marina Tsestaeva starts out on the right foot. It's an uncompromising look at Tanja Lucic, an emigre from the former Yugoslavic states, who has landed a teaching postition, and her students and their "new" life in Holland. Bleak, sure, but the author has an eye for phrasing and description.

Blog pix 1186 I'm sure you'll all be happy to know, California, land of sunshine and movie stars, is broke and will be issuing IOU's.

I'd like to throw out every last legislator, Republican and Democrat alike.

Dudes, it's not your party, it's your STATE.

We're stuck with an extra 3 billion dollars of debt, thanks to the missed budget deadline.

I love that the special election, when we told them to find the money someplace other than police and firefighters, the elderly and the children, they read as "Oh, the voters don't want to decide" and not "Morons, some things have to be spent".

I mean, of course, other than their nifty car allowances and per diems.

Oooh, this just in. State parks can revert back to Federal holdings if the state doesn't keep them open so Angel Island and the top of Mt Diablo will stay parks. Hurray for the Feds!

(pictures: Cowell Smokestack from the topBlog pix 1192 of Cowell Road, the view from the deck of the Pt Reyes Lodge, Pt Reyes beach, the trail to the Whale Watch at Pt Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes Lighthouse. Do you see that walkway down to it? THIRTY STORIES. Darn. It's not open on Tuesdays. It was Tuesday.)

(also pictured: the Trellis Lace washcloth and what Adrie calls my Fair Isle Finger Cot. See? Knitting. That's the stole, the stole that appears to be 50 inches wide. How long does that need to be to be a rectangle when it grows up?)

Hez says "This mouse looks tough but he sure is lazy. Is he a California legislator?"