Thursday, April 30, 2009

Too cool...

I logged onto -- a very cool website that lets you catalog all your books, really handy when you have upwards of 2,000!!! -- and discovered a really great message was waiting for me...

Yesterday I logged on and noticed that the Early Reviewers list was about to close. Early Reviewers is a program through -- you sign up and request a preview copy of books from various publishers. It's free, and there are usually a couple dozen books available with hundreds of people signing up for each one.

So today, I get the message that I have been chosen to receive a copy of This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go.

Here is the Amazon listing for this book... Product Description (ISBN 0312540620, Paperback)

Have you been attacked by a great white shark? Gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Been exposed to anthrax? No, you haven't, or you'd be dead. This Will Kill You reveals the intriguing facts behind the many ways humans bite the dust in encounters with deadly bugs, hungry predators, natural disasters, and freak occurrences. Thoroughly researched and illustrated, not to mention thoroughly hilarious, this book describes in deathly detail what happens to the body when it’s struck by lightning, slimed by a dart frog, or flung from a mountaintop.

No other book has ever peaked under the Grim Reaper's robe in such a straightforward and irreverent way. With a foreword by a physician at the Mayo Clinic , an afterword by a funeral director, lists of history’s most notable deaths, and a unique death rating system, everything you need to know about the ways in which we go are included in these pages.

This is great, because this is the book I would most have liked to receive. The one book on the list that I actually thought to look for. Yeah, I am a little weird and gory at times. I have a small collection of books on death and plagues and cholera and the Black Plague (and I just ordered a couple more plague books. I don't know why I am so interested in this stuff. I just am.)

So I will write up a review and post it here (and on once I have read it...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Woo! Spring!

It's in the 50's and sunny. Those last belligerent little piles of snow must surely be gone soon, no?

There have been the first tiny hints of green as well...the houses across the street seem to have a greenish sheen to their lawns. I haven't spotted anything budding yet, though.

Bears have been spotted out and around town, so they are leaving their dens.

Our day is now sixteen hours long -- sunrise at 6 ish and sunset at 10 pm ish, according to NPR. It's very weird, the days get longer by five minutes a day, so seems like we went from hardly any day at all to almost all daylight.

The mountains are still snow-capped. Maybe not as snowy and magnificent as they were earlier this year, but still pretty dang awesome looking.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I never worried with any of the kids if they were eating. They were all great eaters.

(Besides which, they were babies. Nine peas is a full serving for a baby. I have always wondered at the moms who worried about their kids not eating, when really what they were worried about was that their kids were not in fact eating meals that would have made a longshoreman go "whoa. That's a lot of food." There's a reason baby and toddler dishes are little...)

Any way. So. Not one to worry about whether the kidlets were eating enough, even when Thor spent six months eating pb&j instead of ANYTHING at all that I made for supper. He ate apples and banana bread, which is a great vehicle for sneaking carrot and wheat germ and flax and oatmeal into your kids.

Now, these days, if Abe is eating, if Abe deigns to sniff at the food in his dish, I walk the other way around the kitchen counter so as hopefully not to disturb him. I will wait to refill my coffee cup. I will sit at the computer for an extra minute (like that's a hardship...) Because YAY! He's EATING! Not that he's particularly skinny or underfedish, but the dog just doesn't eat as much as he should. (Mojo, on the other hand, wouldn't miss a meal if he were in a coma.)

Because of course, I have adjusted my life to the dogs. Right now I have Things To Do, but I am reluctant to get up because Abe just curled up next to me and looks so content. (Both dogs feel compelled to follow me about the house all day, so once I get up, he will feel the need to follow me up stairs and to the bathroom door...)

Right. Edited To Add...I didn't mean you, obviously. I realize there are kids who truly seem to think food and eating are optional. But really, I have met moms who seem to think they have not done their job unless their offspring downs the equivalent of a nine course Thanksgiving meal thrice daily. Those are the moms I was referencing up there, not you, my loyal reader!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Right. Posting TWO DAYS IN A ROW.

Are you stunned? Me, too.

Zachary called it a drought of posting, but then he skipped calling me for days and days and days, so we are even.

(Zach it would kill you to maybe call your mother? You are too busy with the college stuff to pick up the phone?)

We rearranged the family room...I don't know if I mentioned that here...

It involved unloading three tall bookcases, each with five shelves absolutely stuffed with books (But it alphabetical order by author! You should be impressed. Mostly our books have been shelved by the "hey! I can stuff it in right here" method.) plus a short bookcase with three shelves. And the computer armoire, which is pretty but damn heavy. And the TV cabinet.

Mark and I moved the TV into position, and then I muscled two of the tall bookcases into position and one short one. And loaded books back into one short and one tall bookcase.

Then Thor and I moved the last bookcase into position, and realized the whole lineup -- which consists of two tall and two short bookcases plus the tv cabinet -- had to be shifted three inches to the left, because of the cable outlet. We could have left them in place, but then the last bookcase would either be bending and kinking the cable as it comes outta the wall, or the bookcase would have to be four inches away from the wall.

And if one is four inches away, the rest of them would have to be four inches away too, so they line up right and evenly and tidily...

But bookcases four inches away from the wall means that things would always be falling behind them, and it would look stupid besides.

So Thor and I muscled the bookcases over, unhooked the TV (because we did not want to drop the TV and wreck it, because we only have four other TVs. Yes. I think we have too many TVs. I don't know why. Perhaps the TV fairy likes us better than you.) and shifted the whole shootin' match three inches to the left.

(Unfortunately Thor just unplugged everything without you know, looking to see how it all fits together, which means that the DVD player is still not hooked back up. We have to use the XBox to watch DVDs right now, because no one is interested in wrestling with the stupid cords behind the TV...)

Now we have a bookcase in the living room, which is nice, except that it's got a bunch of books by Jimmy Carter and Al Franken and books about liberal values and stuff. Since most of the people we know are far more likely to have a McCain sticker on their bumper than an Obama one, it could get a little interesting.

But then, I have not really tried to hide the whole idea that I am a liberal progressive kinda gal. There are more of us than you might think in the military family.

If you go up the stairs, on the landing is a big old institutional green/grey metal barrister cabinet. It is awesome, and will be even more awesome when someday I have it painted bright red and fill it with dishes in my kitchen.

When I have a kitchen that has enough room for a bright red metal barrister cabinet...

Friday, April 17, 2009

I know. I am a terrible person.

Ignoring all of you for weeks.

No reason, really, other than just so not having the energy to go online and read and comment and write.

And I have had things to write about...

Lets see...Finally the snow is MELTING!!! The last snowfall was Easter Sunday night, and it vanished within two days! YAY!

Although at the time, it was disheartening to walk out Monday morning to this:

Easter Snow._4507_edited-1

Did you notice that my Suburban is standing in the driveway? I used to have a warm heated garage stall for it, but that was before this...

ashfall, new car

ashfall, new car

ashfall, new car

That's Mark's old Jeep in the top photo and his our new Honda Civic behind it, and Mark driving the new Civic home for the first time, and a shot of our car (and some snow mixed with ash. Because we did get that one time of ash falling on us, our teeny brush with Mount Redoubt.).

Completely juvenile moment...the newsreader on BBCAmerica news just called Captain Phillips (the guy who was held by the Somali pirates) the world's most famous seaman.

Say it out loud to yourself. See? Juvenile. I told you.

Also...We went to Spamalot last night. It was awesome. It was full of Monty Python humor (I fart in your general direction.) and John O'Hurley played King Arthur. Great sets, great songs, great actors, the whole thing was fun from beginning to end. I have a couple photos of Thor and Tess waiting for it to begin in my phone, now I just have to figure out how to get them into the computer. I may never manage that feat, as it would most likely involve me actually reading the damn book that came with my new phone...

Oh, yeah, more awesomeness...

ashfall, new car
This is the new Civic's radio. See what it says? That's right, it says IPOD! One of the awesomest things about having a vehicle built this century is that it comes with a built in IPod connection. A BUILT IN IPOD CONNECTION. My Suburban is so old even the cassette thingies -- the ones you plug into your IPod and then you can play it through your car stereo -- those thingies don't work in it.

ashfall, new car
But now, I plug my IPod directly into the USB hub in the armrest. So very cool.

Unfortunately for me, I drag the dogs with me a lot, because they LOVE going for a ride. They are psychodogs if you say go or ride or put on socks. (I must put on socks alot before I go places, because they get crazed when I do. Of course I put on socks alot just before I go somewhere, because I don't much wear socks or shoes at home. Hereditary hot feet.)

I gotta go get Tess. So there you go. I posted something!