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Archive for February, 2010

Not Hungry Anymore!

When I was shopping with my girlfriend Dottie we found these birdseed “bells” for only 2.00 so we both got one for the smaller birds. I proceeded to hang mine on the tree outside my sliding doors hoping to entice the Warblers close for some photos…..

Ummm, but guess who found the seed I put up?!…  and in just two “visits” managed to eat nearly all of it …and what was left…

…fell to the ground!  IF he could I am sure he would walk away with the piece that fell lol. The above photo isn’t very good because each time he hung down like that the bell would swing back and forth and so the photo is blurry…

 

There’s no denying who the culprit is!

But I didn’t mind who ate the seed… at least it was enjoyed!

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The Canary Trainer

The Canary Trainer by Nicholas Meyer

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.; 2nd THUS edition (March 17, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0393312410

 

 From Kirkus Reviews

Fresh (or stale) from his encounters with Freud (The Seven-Per- Cent Solution, 1974) and Jack the Ripper (The West End Horror, 1976), Sherlock Holmes comes up against the Phantom of the Opera, with mixed results. Disguised as a Norwegian violinist who replaces a performer at the Paris Opera who’s been frightened off by the Phantom, Holmes is blackmailed by the woman, Irene Adler, into contracting to protect soprano Christine Daa‚ (who’s so innocent that she believes the mysterious singing master who calls himself “Nobody” is the Angel of Music) from her ghostly patron. At first the Phantom seems intent on terrorizing everyone but La Daa‚: her replacement as Faust’s Marguerite, the oblivious incoming directors, even the new woman who tends the Grand Tier left boxes. No sooner has Holmes guessed at the Phantom’s identity, though, than he spirits La Daa‚ off to the cavernous Opera basement for the requisite–and anticlimactic–finale. Should appeal to those fans (and there will be plenty) who can overlook the undistinguished stylistic pastiche–Holmes rather unwisely narrates this lost adventure himself–the footnotes that explain every last Holmesian reference, and the unfortunate poverty of the plot.

This book began a tad slow for me.  Watson asks Holmes to tell him some things that happened to him when he was “presumed dead”. 

Having a chance to begin life over Holmes goes to Paris and manages to get a job playing violin in the opera orchestra under an assumed name.

The book picks up it’s pace as it goes along and of course eventually turns into one where you just keep reading until you know all the answers!

There are shades of Dickens underworld here in Paris and at times almost forgot this took place in Paris not England! 

It was a tad different from most Holmes stories in that it was only Sherlock on the adventure, as he told his close friend Watson, a few times, he wished he was their to help him.

It was very enjoyable.  I think I liked this one better than the West End Horror.  I can see why people asked Meyer to continue writing about Sherlock.. I think he had an excellent ability to do so.

If you like reading Sherlock Holmes I do believe you would like this book.  Now, I wouldn’t mind running across an old copy of Seven Percent Solution by Nicholas Meyer!

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 Temps are going up and down and up and down around here.. some days I see quite a few of the “regular birds” and other days hardly any at all…

George and Gracie are still here (the Moorhens)

Ibis are lilke chiggers… you can’t get rid of them if you tried..

I spotted “Dead Eye” (he’s m’boy!)… kinda Regal isn’t he?!

…he was deeper into the water than usual… and seemed to be studying the water intently, I thought he was watching for the tiny fish…

…then I found out  it was bath day!

 

 

I’d have offered him some soap but I figured he might try to eat it!

*hiccup*bubble*hiccup*bubble*

Later in the day I found the Anhinga drying off on the top of a tree..

 

Well I guess that’s more then enough from the Pond for today….

 

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Almost Astronauts

Becky reviewed this book and I knew at once I had to read it.

Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (February 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0763645028

 

From Booklist

“Space gals. Astronettes. Astrodolls . . . Who do these women think they are?” The media mocked them. Male astronauts did not want them, and neither did then vice-president Lyndon Johnson. If they were to let women into the space program, blacks and other minorities would be next. Nearly 20 years before the U.S. officially admitted women into the astronaut program, 13 women, known as the Mercury 13, fought for the right to soar into space. This dramatic, large-size photo-essay covers their stories, along with the exciting politics of the women’s liberation struggle in the 1950s and ’60s (“What is a woman’s place?”) and the breakthrough science and technology surrounding space exploration, including details of the would-be astronauts’ tests and training. The chatty, immediate style (“Picture this”) and full-page photos make for a fast read, and the crucial civil-rights history will stay with readers. The long, spacious back matter is part of the story, with detailed chapter notes and a bibliography.

Of course, before you even begin to read this you know the final outcome, that indeed there are female astronauts and even female captains of shuttle flights. 

(above: Susan Helms March 2001)

As I read Becky’s review I remembered some of the struggle for woman to be able to go into space.  …and wouldn’t you know that the reason I remembered some of it is because Nichelle Nichols (Uhura: Star Trek) was in the mix of things going around encouraging females and females of all colors to enlist to be an Astronaut if this was a longing they had to do.

I wondered as I read this book if that would be mentioned and although it was only one line… it WAS mentioned!

I very much enjoyed reading about the hardships they went through back in the early days of the space race. I did not know that when President Johnson took over the office that he was so against woman in space because then he would have to allow “other minorities”.   That alone surprised me so much I began to wonder why Kennedy picked him for a running mate!

Much of the book pointed out how all the “men” seemed to have the same look upon woman… the old “barefoot and pregnant, stay at home cook the meals” view.   Unfortunately many of us were brainwashed into that view and actually bought it and did it… we are now the ones having so much trouble with little to no money to survive on social security because we were led to believe it was a good thing to stay at home and take care of the family. *big sigh*

I admire these woman for not giving up and making a difference so that “eventually” woman did get into space.  Now, I am not a get on the soap box person with all the equal rights stuff (not saying I don’t believe it.. I am just not a big speaker on it)… but I have always believed that if the person can do the job and do it well then they deserve the job no matter male or female, white, yellow or black or what religion… as long as they can do the job and do it well, be it going into space or being a garbage man (person) they deserve the job dang it!

Anyway… thank you Becky for bringing this little book to my attention! I am very glad I read it!!!

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My girlfriend came and picked me up early Saturday morning to take me to the Farmers Market.  This one is in Fort Pierce and is a combination Farmers Market and Crafts and it’s set up every Saturday.

Below are some photo’s of my day…

(lots of fresh veggies..of course!)

Among the crafts an artist sat painting while browsers checked out the finished products.

This craft below amazed me… they are all made of wood and all carved with a chain saw!

The show is next to the Indian River which divided the Mainland from Hutchinson Island.. they had a nice wide wall by the water that you could sit on and look over the water.  Green caught my eye and I looked down to see the rocks below..

…and look what was patiently sitting out in the water wondering if any food was going to be tossed his way…

They also  had a live jazz band!  They were quite good. I haven’t heard the nice melodic sounds of a saxophone in … forever!

After we mulled around the Farmers Market we decided to hit some thrift shops… and we both wound up getting books! (big surprise huh?)

The books below are: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Francis Hodgson Burnett, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, The Ragman’s Son by Kirk Douglas  and Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart.

The Ragman’s Son is turning brown and not in great shape but hey.. .50 cents folks.. and it’s very readable yet!.  This whole pile cost me One dollar and sixty-two cents.  And of course, once again, my tbr pile grows instead of declining! 

Since we don’t do thrift stores every week I will put myself on the book ban again.. Thankfully, since I will now only buy books from series I am already in to there aren’t many coming out..

The House on Durrow Street: by Galen Beckett (sept 28 release)

Secret of the Dragon: by Weis and Hickman (march 16 release)

Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison: by Brandon Mull (don’t know date)

The Magic Thief: Found : by Sarah Prineas (May 25th release)

God of the Hive: by Laurie R King (april 27 release)

The Necromancer: by Michael Scott (May 25th release)

The Fiend and the Forge: by H. Neff (March 23 release)

There are a few other books to series but no titles or release dates yet, One would be the next Stephen R Donaldson book

So…that’s not bad having 8 (and most likely no more than 10) books coming out lets see if I can actually get my tbr pile down under 100 books! (y’all can stop laughing any time now!)

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West End Horror

West End Horror by: Nicholas Meyer

Paperback: 224 pages (but mine is a used hardback)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. (June 17, 1994)
ISBN-10: 0393311538

Product Description

Selling two million copies in earlier editions, this is the second of the rediscovered Sherlock Holmes adventures. “Acquired” from a widow whose husband was descended from the distaff side of Holmes’s family, this mystery finds Holmes solving a double murder in London’s theater district.

I have both is book and The Canary Trainer by Nicholas Meyer (I will read the Canary Trainer next) He begins both books with the letter from a widow claiming to be a relation and having some stories that have never been published for sale…  Nicholas purchased them.

This is actually a small book and a short 224 pages, so don’t ask why it took me so long to read it because I don’t know why other than I can’t get out of this slump I am in.  But I did quite enjoy this book.

I love Nicholas Meyer both as a writer and director, and for the life of me I can’t read anything Sherlock (like the Mary Russell books) without hearing Basil Rathbone’s voice in my head!  I know many people like others who portrayed Sherlock but Rathbone was who I grew up on so no matter how many others did him in movies his voice will always remain Rathbones! 

This was a good mystery!  Some familiar names bounced around, like Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw and even Bram Stoker!  I like when I recognize names in a book.  It would be hard to talk about the mere 224 pages without giving anything away so I can’t really say much… but if you have enjoyed other Sherlock stories I have no doubt you will like this one as well.

Naturally it’s a murder mystery (actually 2 murders) with a twist to the ending. I would have liked a little more description of the different areas they were in England but that’s probably because I’ve never been there and love seeing them in my mind.

So…. if you like Sherlock and never heard of this book…it might be one of interest to you!

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Early Morning..

We’ve been having some chilly mornings but I found the big…

…. and the small still around!

..the Ibis huddled for warmth..

Later in the day the airplane that sprays for bugs was flying low over our apartments.. it woke Boo and shook him up for a bit.. but he managed to stayed glued in the chair with the blanket…

…. and just because it’s “that time of the year again”….

Boy howdy! Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy?!! lol

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