Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Asinus aureus

The Golden Ass is a proto-novel from the second century AD. The main plot concerns the misadventures of a young man magically transformed into a donkey. If you like stories with plenty of sex and violence, try this one. (Note: the story might be shocking to this blog's more delicate readers.)


Monster House is a fun movie, and even scary in parts ;-)

The only thing that marred my trip to the movies was my missing part of the show due to a projection error (I'm always the one to inform the theater management). Back in the 5th grade, I was one of the students tasked to run the film projector, so I'm sensitive to projection errors. Do schools even have film projectors any more? If not, how are geeks-in-training recognized in elementary school ? ? ?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sing-along & dance-along

Two amusing videos from YouTube:

1. After watching this video, who am I to feel foolish about singing along to the Eagles? : Crazed NUMA Fan !!!!

2. Dance around the world: Where the hell is Matt?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pink champagne on ice

My favorite track on The Big Lebowski soundtrack (a recent purchase) is The Gipsy Kings' Spanish version of "Hotel California" - unfortunately, I don't have enough Spanish to sing along. Actually, that may be a good thing, since I always felt a bit foolish crooning about "pink champagne on ice."

Bonus: The Straight Dope explains the meaning of "Hotel California".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Free books - mostly Science Fiction

Someone said the mark of a good book is how well it bears re-reading. With that in mind, I have culled my library of books that I did not find interesting or entertaining the last time I re-read them.

I have a box of 50+ paperbacks - mostly "classic" science fiction - Niven, Heinlein, etc. (Somehow I ended up with two copies of The Mote in God's Eye.) Anyway, out it goes.

If anyone out there is interested in classic SF (and some Tom Clancy and Stephen King for good measure), let me know and you can pick out what you like before I take the box to the thrift store.


The meal between dinner and breakfast, according to Taco Bell.
(I had a #1 Combo about an hour ago.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Leave No Trace

I saw an ad in the paper today for "scooping services" - $6/week for one dog, $9/week for two dogs.


Some years ago in Atlanta, I visited an orangery - a greenhouse devoted to growing oranges and other citrus trees.

You may imagine my delight in reading about another sort of greenhouse, the "pinery", in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. A pinery is a greenhouse devoted to growing, not pine trees, but pineapples. They were apparently quite the rage among wealthy landowners in 18/19th century England.

The heroine in Northanger Abbey is similar to Don Quixote, in that she confuses fictional books with real-life. The book is generally considered a minor Austen novel, but it's minor only in relation to her masterpieces. I think it's a fine introduction to the author's work.

Margherita 230

I weighed myself today: 230 pounds, which means I've lost 10 pounds since my shoulder surgery. No big deal. However, I did take leave to eat an entire margherita pizza at Mackenzie River. OK, it was a "buckaroo size" pizza, but still.

Aasheim Field

Last summer I saw some young adults (20-somethings, I guess) playing kickball here. The main requirment seemed to be that one hand had to hold a drink at all times. Looked like fun.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Horsey neighbors

These horses live about 1/4 mile from my house. The folks who own the horses have about 15 acres of land for them to roam.

Movies from books

As I read classic novels this summer, I've found that most of them have been adapted into first-rate movies.

I included Starship Troopers in the photo as a bit of a joke. I'll leave it to those who have read Heinlein's book and/or watched the movie to ponder the nature of my little joke...

Ringneck pheasant

He came with his whole family to enjoy seed that I scattered under my bird feeder.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pirates 2 - credit cookie

Pirates 2 has a credit cookie that ties up one of the minor loose ends.

I enjoyed the movie, though it was very long. Keira Knightley does not get as much screen time as Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. IMHO, though, she is by far the most alluring of the pirates ;-)

I do not drink coffee

And the latest Folger's ad won't get me started. For the scary video, see the 6/23 posting at

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Three novellas

A novella is shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. I recently read three classics:

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea helped push him over the top in winning a Nobel Prize in Literature. The mystical tone of the story is somewhat reminiscent of the short story "The Big Two-Hearted River", which is a good thing.

In Candide, Voltaire savagely indicted the notion of "philosophical optimism" - that everything happens for a good purpose and that "this is the best of all possible worlds." After enduring much violence and misuse, Candide and his companions finally find a reasonable existence in performing useful work as a household community. In the last line, Candide says that "we must cultivate our garden."

Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is filled with unappetizing characters. It's a good study of how not to live one's life.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back home

I'm back home after spending 5 long days (and nights) at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital fighting a staph infection. It's a relief to be home, believe me.