Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 Book List

Here are the books that I read in 2015.

Sleight of Paw - Sofie Kelly
Copycat Killing - Sofie Kelly
Cat Trick - Sofie Kelly
Final Catcall - Sofie Kelly
A Midwinter's Tail - Sofie Kelly
The Whole Cat and Caboodle - Sofie Ryan (aka Sofie Kelly)
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Buy a Whisker - Sofie Ryan
The Silent Girl - Tess Gerritsen
Emma - Jane Austen
Changing Places - David Lodge
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Villette - Charlotte Bronte

Only 16 books in 2015, which is a bit disappointing, especially when one considers that I didn't teach at all this year.  I was doing really well early in the year, but my reading dropped off considerably as the year progressed.  Partially the Austen and Bronte novels slowed me down a bit, but I also had some issues deciding what to read at time.  I'm just not 100% sure what I'm looking for in a book anymore.  I really enjoyed Jane Eyre, but then I found Villette a bit disappointing in the end.  I guess maybe that is why Jane Eyre gets more attention.  Somehow I missed reading the Magical Cat Mystery that came out in the fall of 2015.  I have a copy now and intend to read it soon.  I also have copies of the Kathy Reichs and Richard Castle novels that were published in 2015, but didn't get around to them in 2015 either.  The David Lodge novel is also the first in a series.  I have copies of the other two, but haven't read them yet either.  Oh well, maybe they will all be on my 2016 list.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Why Going to the Zoo Makes Me Sad

Earlier in the summer, my family and I took a trip to Seattle, Washington.  The first full day that we were there we went to the zoo.  We spent almost the whole day there, and I took a lot of pictures (some better than others).  I realized while I was there that being at the zoo makes me kind of sad.  This picture (below) is a good illustration of why that is.
It's not a very good quality picture, and there is a good bit of reflection in the glass, but it is the subject of the picture that tells the story.  While we were there, this gorilla just sat with his (or her, I don't know) back to the glass staring into the distance.  He just seemed sad and like he was really tired of having people look at him all the time. 

I know that there is value to zoos, and that, as a general rule they take good care of the animals and protect them.  But especially when it comes to seeing primates in captivity it makes me feel like I'm visiting a jail just to gawk at the prisoners.  It just feels wrong and it makes me sad.

Oh well, I'm just a bleeding heart anyway, so I guess there is no surprise that I'd feel that way. . .

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Red-bellied woodpecker

I've been getting a real kick out of this guy.  He's a red-bellied woodpecker and he's been really enjoying my new bird feeder.  I don't generally think of woodpeckers coming to seed bird feeders, because they usually eat insects, but apparently they eat black-oil sunflower seed, too.  And this one seems to really like them.  But then again, I would bet that eating seeds out of a feeder beats banging your head into a tree, so I can't blame him.

Zebra Swallowtail

I saw this butterfly fluttering around my gazebo a few days ago and decided to take some pictures of it.  I only had my cellphone to take the pics with, and it is a very old Nokia (dumb) phone.  So I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.

I don't remember ever seeing a butterfly like this one before.  From what I can gather looking online, it is a zebra swallowtail.  The swallowtail shape is new to me.  It just seemed so odd that it's wing are so wide at the top and so narrow at the bottom.  Just not what I think of when I think butterfly.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2014 Book List

Here is a list of the books I read in 2014:

Round Robin - Jennifer Chiaverini
America Again: Rebecoming the Greatness We Never Weren't - Stephen Colbert
206 Bones - Kathy Reichs
Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
Flash & Bones - Kathy Reichs
Bones Are Forever - Kathy Reichs
Bones of the Lost - Kathy Reichs
The Surgeon - Tess Gerritsen
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
The Apprentice - Tess Gerritsen
The Sinner - Tess Gerritsen
Body Double - Tess Gerritsen
Vanish - Tess Gerritsen
The Mephisto Club - Tess Gerritsen
The Keepsake - Tess Gerritsen
Ice Cold - Tess Gerritsen
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Raging Heat - Richard Castle
Oral History: A Novel - Lee Smith
And Another Thing. . . - Eoin Colfer
Bones Never Lie - Kathy Reichs
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat - Sofie Kelly

Wow!  I read 22 books this year, which is even more than last year.  This only working 4 months out of the year thing really opens up my time for reading.  As is rather obvious, I'm still tending toward reading books in a series.  I'm currently all caught up on the Bones series by Kathy Reichs and the Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle.  I've made a good dent in the Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen, as well.  There are still more to be read, but I decided to take a break from them and read something a little different.  I had to read Fahrenheit 451 for class.  Honestly, I wasn't really a fan.  I'm enjoying the Magical Cats Mysteries by Sofie Kelly.  In fact, I've already read the next one in the series since the beginning of this year.  I'll probably read them through before I move onto something else.  I've decided that I don't think I really want to read any more of the Jennifer Chiaverini novels.  I like quilting, which is why I started reading them, but they are just a little too much drama for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thank you!

Thank you, Barbara Oakley, whoever and wherever you are. 

Today I received an unexpected package from Amazon.  Inside was a gift - a Doctor Who fleece throw - and the enclosed note said "A gift from Barbara Oakley."  The item wasn't on my wishlist and I don't know anyone named Barbara Oakley. 

So I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you, and this is the only way that I know how to do so.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Well, it's that time of year again.  The time when people show that they have no idea what the twelve days of Christmas are or when they happen.  The twelve days of Christmas are a season in the Christian church calendar, and they do not fall on the first twelve days of December.  Christmas day is the first day of Christmas.  The following eleven days, the days between Christmas day and the day of the Epiphany (January 6), are the other eleven days of Christmas.
In fact, there are several seasons within the Christian church calendar, complete with color coding.  We are currently in the season of Advent, which is colored purple or dark blue.  Other seasons include Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thought of the Day

After the election on Tuesday, and the campaigns that preceded it, I would like to make a brief statement on political terminology. 

If you seek change - of any kind - you are not a conservative.  By definition, a conservative is someone who seeks to maintain the status quo. 

If you seek change to produce a future that is different, and in your mind better, than what has existed in the past, you are a liberal.

If you seek change to produce a future that is more like the past (because in your mind the past was better), or seek to reverse changes that have become well established, you are a reactionary.

For example, in the time of FDR, the New Deal was liberal, because it sought to produce positive change in society by trying something new.  However, today, seeking to maintain those programs is conservative, because they are well established programs.  Seeking to revoke those programs is reactionary, because it seeks to return to a way of life that existed prior to these programs being established.