Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photos by Lil Sis

Lil Sis sent me these gorgeous autumn photos, because she knows I miss the changing seasons a lot this time of year. Aren't they stunning? Thank you so much, Lil Sis! They made my day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo Challenge #2

Okay, so it seems obvious that the next photo challenge should be Thanksgiving, as we're about to turn the page of the calendar into November.

But the Jane Voohees Zimmerli Art Museum in my old stomping ground, Rutgers University, has a theme for several exhibits and lectures of and on water. I think it might be intriguing to dovetail into that. I wish I was there to check the exhibits themselves out.

So, any preference? Water would be a challenge for me right now, as November is not a watery month in the desert, but that would definitely increase the challenge aspect.

Friday, October 22, 2010

News on the Dog Front

The New York Times today has a story about how vets in Los Angeles are performing brain surgery (modeled on human brain surgery techniques) on dogs (and 1 cat) with Cushing's disease, a pituitary gland tumor. Cushing's disease affects humans, but affects dogs at much higher rates. The canine (and feline) tissue samples are going to be used to develop drugs that will benefit both human and animal patients.

Sammies develop Cushing's at somewhat above average rates, so this is is good news for all us Sammy lovers. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Quote of the Day

"No sensible person thinks that having something written down is better than knowing it."
Scrates, in Plato's 'Phaedrus' (paraphrase)
Quoted in my Phi Beta Kappa Key Reporter, Fall 2010 issue.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Big Sis' Book Photos

So my house is full of books.  Books in the library, books in the kitchen, in the dining room, in the living room, in the hallway, in every bedroom.  There are even two in the bathroom, in case of emergencies!

I collect various books.  Yes, I'm a hoarder!  I collect books on books.  Books on decorating with books, books on making books, books on the history of books, books on publishing, books on bookstores, books on selling books...  You name it - if it has to do with books, it stands a darned good chance of making it into my collection!  Here's one portion of one shelf...

Here's one of my cookbook sections.  I also have the entire right section of my library wall filled with cookbooks.  Yes, I know, for someone whose strongest connection to cooking is her maiden name I am addicted to cookbooks and recipes!
Here's the library wall with a couple of display shelves thrown in for good measure.  The left side (not visible) is signed first editions on the top 5 shelves, with assorted titles on the bottom two shelves.  The second section, on the left in the next photo) is general fiction, Harry Potter, and children's books.  The next section includes dictionaries and reference works on the top two shelves, with two sculptured buildings, a schoolhouse and nursery rhyme sculptures, with books about books below them.  Just below that are a couple of shelves of motorcycle books and gardening books.  In the center section are books about books, Shakespeare, some collected Depression glass and cobalt glass and photos, and miscellaneous picture books on the bottom two shelves.  The fifth section includes health books, books on organizing your home and tons'o'decorating and home improvement books.  And as mentioned before, the entire right section is cookbooks (also not visible in the photo).

Here's a close up of my Harry Potter section:  books, ancillary products such as CD-ROM versions, collectibles, note cards, and a collection of Dan Fogelberg CDs thrown in there 'cause I just wanted it off the sofa!

And this is what I'm reading now...

So now it's your turn to pick a photo topic...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Photo Challenge: Books

Okay, Big Sis, you posted the first photo challenge: books. I realized while searching for this theme to photograph that I must think of books very differently than you. They are not just paper or hard cover to me; they can be  electronic, or audio, or even printed out. Perhaps reading material is a better term, but books seems a cozier word, an older word, and one that everyone understands without getting into boring specifics (like 'audio'). So it's less about the form, and all about the content to me. Sure, I recognize the traditional book is beautiful, but  as long as I can read, I don't care what form the words come in. Here are just some of the books I live with (and more photos to come as I explore this theme a bit more).

My favorite book:

There are boxes of textbooks just like these stacked in my shed.

The top shelves of this bookshelf are cat and dog books and journals, the bottom, my class lectures and basic textbooks.

Some of my fiction books.

A very messy cookbook shelf.

All of this is why I love this: my Kindle. Currently I am carrying 337 books in my purse. I love that! As you can see from this page of my Fred, I have books, .pdfs for work, and even two word games.

How could you not love a Kindle when the screensaver rotates through pictures of famous authors, the Gutenberg press, and some gorgeous public domain book-related art? Dame Agatha and the Audubon birds are my favorites.

Since we have a library at work (not show, at least not yet), my messy cubicle uses the bookshelves to organize my current projects more than books. But note the scientific journals falling onto the floor.

And audiobooks. My current 'read' or 'listen' on my iPod.

But I also use Adobe overdrive. Here, a galley of a biography of Emma Darwin I am currently reading.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Big Sister's September Reads

My Lies, by Meredith Maran - This was an interesting read, not because it was published by Wiley, but because I've always found the concept of "false memories" fascinating.  This is Meredith's autobiography.  She pulls no punches but writes with brutal honesty about her involvement in helping victims of abuse and incest.  She talks about her marriage and how it failed.  She talks about her later relationships with women.  She came to believe that she was abused by her father when she was younger.  She lets it split up her family; she becomes estranged from them all.  But eventually she comes to believe that she remembered falsely, that he hadn't hurt her at all.  And she admits the difficulty she faced in apologizing to her father, in growing close to her family once again.

1022 Evergreen Place, by Debbie Macomber - I always thought that the idea of living in a duplex next to the man you would eventually fall in love with was a great one.  And this story proved it.  A clean little romance that holds its own in the series.

Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio - This collection of short stories was strange, which I suppose I should have expected given that Neil was one of the editors, but I saw Jodi Picoult's name on the list of contributing authors and bought the book.  Several of the stories really weren't my style, but for the most part I enjoyed them.  At the very least, I enjoyed the format.

Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks - This is my all-time favorite Sparks title.  Katie moves to a small town in North Carolina.  We learn, eventually, that she is running from an abusive husband.  In the meantime, she learns to trust again, and love again.  She falls in love with Alex, and with his two children, and almost begins to believe she can have a real life again.  Needless to say, Hubby Dearest shows up again and while all ends well, albeit tragically, the best part of the book is Katie's friendship with Jo.  And that's ALL I'll say about it!!!

Spider Bones, by Kathy Reichs - Another book with Temperance traveling from Canada to North Carolina to Hawaii to save the day.  How is it possible that the same man can be buried in several different graves?  Read this one and find out!

And I just started Merchants of Culture, a non-fiction book about - drumroll, please! - the trade publishing industry!  I'll let you know next month whether it was a good read...