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Literary Snobs

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Jan 13, 2009, 3:11pm Top

We've got a pretty strong group of people here, the spirit is kept very congenial (and collegial) so why not have a place where we can drop news about important events and accomplishments in our lives, whether that be a new grandchild, completing a degree, a book deal...or the fact that my Boston Bruins are kicking ass.

Updates as events warrant...

Jan 13, 2009, 3:27pm Top

It's cold here. Not much is happening. (That would be the Twin Cities.) Finished revising my "vampires in space" novel -- not as lame as it sounds. Also, it has a very unchaste vampire lead character ;)

No book deals, but I continue to channel my snark into new blog posts.

Go Brewers! ;) And Ferrari -- the few, the proud, the F1 fans. (NASCAR is declasse and boring as sin.)

Jan 13, 2009, 3:42pm Top

Colin Wilson did quite well with vampires in space. As did Peter Watts, come to think of it.

I say: go for it...

Jan 13, 2009, 3:44pm Top

our son has abandoned us for the twin cities...He graduated from macalester in 2006 and shows no signs of heading back to the warmer climes from whence he sprung. He did say it was VERY cold when he called for his mom's bday a couple of days ago; had no pity for our whining about prospective lows in the upper 20s this coming weekend.

Jan 13, 2009, 3:48pm Top

Cold...and snow up to me arse. Lots of shoveling, pausing to shake my fist at the sky...and then more SHOVELING...

Jan 13, 2009, 3:50pm Top

Maybe Dante was right in making Hell a frozen landscape ;) I guess that's why "fire and brimstone" preachers don't do very well with me. Plus all the rock bands, Gandhi, and Jewish stand-up comics will be in Hell with me. Take that, Rick Warren

Jan 13, 2009, 4:45pm Top

Is he the arse who'll be appearing at Obama's inauguration?

Jan 13, 2009, 4:53pm Top

Unfortunately, yes. One has to appease the closet cases, chicken hawks, incompetent capitalists, and cultural philistines who comprise the Social and Economic Right of the US.

"Salt of the earth. You know, morons." -- Blazing Saddles.

Rick Warren is the Stephanie Meyer of theological hucksters. Writing lazy books for lazy people. Hopefully he'll be outed before the Inauguration, as per Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, and Roy Cohn. The extreme gay-hating right is full of sodomites. One has to flush them out and then the GOP will collapse into a puddle of concentrated stupid.

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 5:04pm Top

Finished writing audio tour script for museum exhibit. Now to work on the content for web page for said exhibit, where audio tour can be podcasted.

Curated my first exhibit w/ current museum, the Oklahoma History Center (http://okhistory.org), which opened at the end of November. Exhibit is on the Latino history of Oklahoma.

Literary Content:
Researching for the exhibit, from what I can tell, Tomas Rivera probably wrote ...and the earth did not devour him in Oklahoma. At least part of it.

Jan 13, 2009, 5:04pm Top

8: What about the LaHaye/Jenkins books? I guess they are worse than Stephanie Meyer....

Jan 13, 2009, 5:07pm Top

Wasn't it only the very lowest reach of Hell - Cocytus - that was ice?

Jan 13, 2009, 5:19pm Top

No, that was Saskatchewan in fucking January.

Ben: well done. Knew you had a good head on your shoulders.

Jan 13, 2009, 6:08pm Top

i totally lucked out; the one time i went to Saskatoon in early Jan (instead of early August) the weather was just lovely. A little below freezing, but clear. A friend of my uncle's (whose funeral i was attending) took me out in the fields where i saw several snowy owls for the first (and last time).

Jan 13, 2009, 6:10pm Top

A lovely city, Saskatoon, we try to get there once a month. Glad you saw it when winter was behaving itself.

Jan 13, 2009, 6:14pm Top

i think we'll try to trek up to Saskatoon this coming summer; haven't seen my Canadian cousins in way too long - 6 yrs or so. I guess i need to get a passport now; Patty and i are l one the few couples in existence w 5 geography degrees between them and no passport.

Jan 13, 2009, 6:27pm Top

Sherron has a passport but Mr. Never-goes-anywhere here doesn't. A waste of time and money...at least until I get that inevitable call from the Nobel committee...

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 11:49pm Top

Gordy Howe my childhood hero was from Floral, Saskatchewan, i believe. we called him the Lord our Gord, not too bright catholic boys then.

Jan 14, 2009, 8:56am Top

Hey, Gordie's practically a living God in Saskatchewan...or most of Canada for that matter. Lots of good, tough hockey players hale from this part of the world. We don't grow milquetoasts up this way. We lead with our elbows (and always congratulate each other after a good scrap).

There's a term, "a Gordie Howe hat trick", know that one? That's a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.

Jan 14, 2009, 11:46am Top


In the coming days I'll be commencing serious work on my third novel and, thus, will be drastically cutting back my time here on LT. Only so many hours in the day.

I will remain a signed up member of this group (I've pretty much divested myself of everything else) and will pop in when I can.

Know you'll all understand. 'Nuff said.

Jan 14, 2009, 12:42pm Top

Good. Get to work!

Jan 14, 2009, 10:44pm Top

Thanks, Ben...

Jan 14, 2009, 11:32pm Top

No problem. After all, what does a writer do? WRITES!

PS, My favorite magazine, Fine Books & Collections, recently killed off the print version with a whack of irony and decided to go online only. Sad. But, I was just asked to join the "corral of bloggers" (6-7) for the now-online-exclusively-version of Fine Books & Collections. (Insert happy dance here). Time to take my own advice.

Jan 15, 2009, 6:39am Top

'T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad, I'd assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet.
He liked crossword puzzles too.

Jan 15, 2009, 10:20am Top

"T. Eliot, top bard,
notes putrid tang emanating,
is sad, I'd assign it a name:
gnat dirt upset
on drab pot toilet."

Poorious, I had no idea you were one of them there modernist poets. I like it! Has kind of a Cummings-ish appeal. Keep it up!

Jan 15, 2009, 10:41pm Top

It sounds like a limerick.

Jan 15, 2009, 11:49pm Top

try reading it from end to beginning.

Jan 16, 2009, 6:13am Top

Ooh, it's an anapest! No, I mean anaphore... or was it paleograph? Neat, anyway.

Jan 16, 2009, 9:23am Top

I think you mean petroglyph.

Jan 16, 2009, 3:26pm Top

Velodrome, obviously.

Jan 16, 2009, 3:30pm Top

Surely it's a diplodocus?

Jan 16, 2009, 4:46pm Top

I swear, if this doesn't stop...

(Grinding teeth)

Jan 16, 2009, 6:10pm Top

A lesser-panjandrum!

Jan 16, 2009, 6:31pm Top

No, no. A grand boojum. Definitely.

Jan 16, 2009, 7:52pm Top


Last chance, you bunch.

Just...quit it...

Jan 17, 2009, 4:51am Top

a dazzling display of, i'm not sure what. i'm underwhelmed by your collective.wit?
lesser-panjandrum: takes my breath away.
grand boojum: my fucking side is splitting.
enough, already.

Jan 17, 2009, 9:31am Top

I know, sometimes I could throttle these playful brutes. And when I say so, they get amused because I splutter. Best let it go. I'll find SOME way to get even...

Jan 17, 2009, 9:42am Top

It is a damn fine er, you know what. I suppose we should have said that.

Edited: Jan 17, 2009, 3:55pm Top

i have a tough hide. but was cursed with some standards. i hurl myself, most often, at ideas, i gladly let the nitwits live. where would we be without them? let it go, i certainly will.

Jan 17, 2009, 4:10pm Top

A homonym? By which I mean "caliber" of their character and not ... oh I give up.

Edited: Jan 17, 2009, 5:00pm Top

A homo nym? Not here you don't! We won't have no homo nyms in my neighborhood. Stand tall against the homo nym agenda!

Where does that homo gene-ized milk come from anyway? Eh?

Mama don't 'low no homo nyms round here
Mama don't 'low no homo nyms round here
We don't low what Mama don't 'low anyhow and
Mama don't 'low no homo nyms round here!

Jan 17, 2009, 7:18pm Top

The next person who gives Gene a joint without my express approval is a dead man...

Jan 17, 2009, 7:59pm Top

forty: much heat, no light.

Jan 31, 2009, 11:46pm Top

A plug for my radio play "The First Room", which airs nationally the first week of February--you can listen to it on CBC Radio, stream it on line or on Sirius Satellite, maybe grab the podcast--

Anyway (and strictly FYI):


Feb 2, 2009, 2:58am Top


Feb 2, 2009, 10:09am Top

Hope he's having a tall glass of Jameson's somewhere...

Feb 2, 2009, 10:14am Top

What? Who drinks whiskey in a tall glass?

Feb 2, 2009, 10:21am Top

Irishmen...and drunks (Joyce was both).

Feb 2, 2009, 10:24am Top

Ian: since this is your group and it's now approaching an important milestone, I suggest you send our 100th member a nice gift.

The complete works of their least favorite author along with a complimentary canister of gasoline and book of matches. That sounds about right...

Feb 2, 2009, 10:33am Top

Ha. This group with 91 members is more active than Science Fiction Fans with... 2900 members.

Feb 2, 2009, 11:26am Top

Round of applause for the snobs. Put yer hands together, people.

I'm screwed. I've got so much work to do, drop in here for a quick glance and the next thing I know an hour has passed 'cause I'm swapping views (and invective) with some funny, irreverent folk who make me laugh my ass off.

Every time I say "now back to work", something else catches my eye.

Feb 2, 2009, 1:01pm Top

#49 not at the moment...w/ the dread Cyops (psyops? cyclops) forging a thread that has threatened to take down the internets all by its lonesome!~
fe fi foe cometh; 1+1 doesn't always equal 2 (shocked, shocked)..1+1 = 10 but i don't think he's wandered into different number bases.
I made my most as*holy comment on LT ever, i believe, and he (?) took it w/out breaking stride.

Feb 2, 2009, 1:52pm Top

Hey, ladies, my radio play "The First Room" is posted on CBC Radio and you can listen to it before it's official broadcast on Friday (and for a short time afterward as it will be archived). If you've got a few minutes to spare:


Bob, I can't imagine you making an asshole-y comment but, in this instance, I'm sure it was more than deserved.

Feb 2, 2009, 2:05pm Top

How about the complete oeuvre of Stephanie Meyer and some turbo laxatives? (Anyone that's seen "Dumb and Dumber" -- no, not Dubya's upcoming memoirs/coloring book -- knows what I mean.)

I'm against book burning, unless you're cold, but I'm not against defiling literature by other means ;) Book burning has too many conservative and prudish associations. For it to really count, the defilement has to done against the spirit of the book. Like giving Atlas Shrugged to a hardcore Maoist. Or spilling soda or coffee on Twilight, since it was written by a Mormon and they can't drink soda or coffee. Or giving away a Robert Jordan book with 2/3s of the pages ripped out, because they were filler.

Book burning is too prole-ish for me. Something you'd expect after Sarah Palin has another child or prior to her Sunday witch-burnings.

Feb 13, 2009, 9:02am Top

If I'm not mistaken, this group has now boasts 100+ members. And so far, not a single flag.

Congrats, Ian.

Congrats, everybody...

Feb 13, 2009, 9:04am Top

Indeed, that's despite having no control over the membership...

Feb 13, 2009, 10:36am Top

But getting flagged so increases your street cred ;) It's like Salman Rushdie getting a fatwa.

Feb 13, 2009, 5:31pm Top

#56, I so want to flag you. But I don't want to piss off Cliff. Hmm. I may be back later.

Feb 13, 2009, 5:33pm Top

Flag this: Rushdie's book was unreadable, which is why he gave it a needlessly controversial title. Stroke of marketing genius that sort of had unintended blowback. I loved Midnight's Children, but come on.

Feb 13, 2009, 9:48pm Top

for the Canadians amongst us..going down to the local comic book store in Chapel Hill NC, got behind a car w/ the NC vanity plate "EHCANADA."

Feb 13, 2009, 10:03pm Top

Well, THIS Canuck smiled...

Feb 13, 2009, 11:27pm Top

I liked the Satanic Verses myself. Maybe another Classic Tome to put on the reread pile.

Anyone here see the premiere of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse"?

Feb 14, 2009, 12:30am Top

not yet..but did read the comic book prelude to Serenity this evening.

Feb 14, 2009, 12:47pm Top

Yes, and loved it. Not at all what I expected, but another Whedon rock'em sock'em success. It's going to take another episode or two for me to decide who the good guys are, if any. Of course the bad guys were obvious.

Feb 15, 2009, 12:21pm Top

I've made rather nasty statements before about my disdain for Canuck writers. Well, here's the late Pierre Berton, sending himself up. Something to tweak your personal laugh track:


Feb 16, 2009, 5:24pm Top

So how was the Leafs game, eh?

Prepares to duck ...

Feb 16, 2009, 7:47pm Top

I'm not a Leafs fan, they just seem to get televised nationally more than the other teams--the Toronto-centric universe of CBC-TV and its lackeys.

I'm a lifelong Bruins lad--that'll come as no surprise judging from the tone and tenor of my posts, I'm sure...

Feb 17, 2009, 12:23am Top

I'm remembering The Kids in the Hall sketch where Scott Thompson plays this hick who gets seduced by a "big city gay" and it involved a Leafs game. Those guys were comedy geniuses.

Scott Thompson's faux biography of Buddy Cole is hilarious.

Feb 17, 2009, 10:50am Top

Kids in the Hall, at their peak, were pretty fine. The best Canadian comedy about. Apparently, they've signed a deal to do a limited series with CBC that will air some time in 2010. It will be built around a specific concept, recurring characters, so we'll see how it goes.

Feb 17, 2009, 11:04am Top

The best Canadian comedy about.

Bet there was lots of competition...

Feb 17, 2009, 11:41am Top

Your sarcasm is appreciated...and appropriate.

There's just something wishy-washy about this country that takes the edge off everything (especially the arts)--it's like we're afraid to be too harsh, gosh, we might offend somebody. Kids in the Hall was a delicious exception but they hung around too long, started repeating themselves. Three or four seasons and then fade out would have been the way to go. Individually, their careers didn't exactly flourish which is why, I suspect, they've reunited for this new proposed series.

CBC is similar to BBC in that I think the mealy-mouthed people in charge don't want to offend any minority group or get letters of complaint after a particularly touchy subject or taboo is addressed. Recently, CBC censured a hockey sportscaster who decried the growing "pansification" of the game because some gay viewers objected to the term. How fucking moronic. Three or four letters are sufficient in this country to launch a royal commission costing millions of dollars.

"Hate speech" is the catch all term now, all debate and discussion immediately shut down if race/gender/sexual orientation are brought up in anything but glowing terms. We've moved from the tyranny of the majority to the tyranny of the minority and I wish someone would explain to me how this can be a GOOD thing...

Feb 17, 2009, 12:19pm Top

No, we've moved from the tyranny of common sense to the tyranny of idiocy.

Feb 17, 2009, 12:37pm Top

I'd like to get rid of the whole tyranny aspect altogether.

Feb 17, 2009, 11:01pm Top

I was just reminiscing about all the truly fabulous sketch comedy that has come out of Canada when my mind plunked down on "The Red Green Show" and what is probably, to this day, the funniest sketch I have ever seen on the TV.

This fellow, Red Green, the Canadian Redneck, styled himself as something of a handyman. He and his sidekick Harold, I believe was his name, were always inventing truly useless, goofy devices to make various jobs easier. One of these devices was a rig that would sand both sides of a door in no time at all. Basically, the door sander consisted of two four foot wide industrial sanding belts, one on top and one on the bottom, between which a door was slid, coming out sanded at the end. This seemed like a great idea if you needed a door sanded. What made it all go so horribly wrong, as most of Red and Harold's projects did, was the 350 hp Chrysler engine turning the belts. To demonstrate, Red took a door and positioned it at the start of the sanding area, between the belts with the belts in neutral and the engine idling. Now imagine what happened next. Red engages the sanding belts and revs the Chrysler engine at the same time, the belts grab the door and fling it about 100 yards through the front of the cabin carrying debris in its path the whole way. If anyone had been standing in front of the thing they would have been ripped in two. However, laying out in the yard almost to the creek, as I said about a hundred yards away was a perfectly sanded door. Priceless stuff.

Red Green was a fairly uneven show. Some episodes were pure gold and others just so-so, but it gave me the biggest, hardest, most bad-ass laugh of anything I've seen on TV, and believe me I've seen a lot.

Feb 17, 2009, 11:03pm Top

I was just reminiscing about all the truly fabulous sketch comedy that has come out of Canada when my mind plunked down on "The Red Green Show" and what is probably, to this day, the funniest sketch I have ever seen on the TV.

This fellow, Red Green, the Canadian Redneck, styled himself as something of a handyman. He and his sidekick Harold, I believe was his name, were always inventing truly useless, goofy devices to make various jobs easier. One of these devices was a rig that would sand both sides of a door in no time at all. Basically, the door sander consisted of two four foot wide industrial sanding belts, one on top and one on the bottom, between which a door was slid, coming out sanded at the end. This seemed like a great idea if you needed a door sanded. What made it all go so horribly wrong, as most of Red and Harold's projects did, was the 350 hp Chrysler engine turning the belts. To demonstrate, Red took a door and positioned it at the start of the sanding area, between the belts with the belts in neutral and the engine idling. Now imagine what happened next. Red engages the sanding belts and revs the Chrysler engine, the belts grab the door and fling it about 100 yards through the front of the cabin carrying debris in its path the whole way. If anyone had been standing in front of the thing they would have been ripped in two. However, laying out in the yard almost to the creek, as I said about a hundred yards away was a perfectly sanded door. Priceless stuff.

Red Green was a fairly uneven show. Some episodes were pure gold and others just so-so, but it gave me the biggest, hardest, most bad-ass laugh of anything I've seen on TV, and believe me I've seen a lot.

Feb 17, 2009, 11:13pm Top

Very dopey humour but it had its moments, Gene, for certain.

"Red Green" will live long and prosper in syndication--some episodes were even beamed up to the crew in the space station; as you know, without duct tape, humankind could not exist in space...

Feb 18, 2009, 9:56am Top

Even the Onion thinks Jane Austen and Zombies is a stupid idea:


Feb 22, 2009, 10:38pm Top

I think I finished my book inventory. I still have some books left at my parents' home -- space issues, I live in an apt, etc. So I'm more than half done. Hooray!

Mar 18, 2009, 10:35am Top

Literary Snobs is now more active than the Twilight Club.

"Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta."

Mar 18, 2009, 11:50am Top

w00t. There's hope for the human race yet. Well, for some of the human race...

Edited: Mar 18, 2009, 12:10pm Top

The part of the human race that doesn't sparkle in sunlight ;)


Apr 4, 2009, 3:44pm Top

My friend reads those book (Maximum Ride, I mean). She keeps trying to get me to pick them up. I just smile and nod, knowing that it will never happen. *sigh* I keep hoping I'll improve all of my friends' literary tastes (I have a Twilighter for a friend, too), but I'm beginning to think it's hopeless.

I hope that made sense. I just got back from the ACT and feel more that a bit brain-fried.

Apr 5, 2009, 11:25am Top

People just don't seem to want to challenge themselves with books these days. An easy read is vastly more preferable to a tome that makes you work for meaning (or comprehensibility).

Difficult novels (or, really, any type of art that veers away from easy digestion) are a hard sell. To friends, colleagues...and, increasingly, agents and editors, who are swiftly becoming as stupid and unrefined as the contemporary readers they're trying to appeal to.

Apr 5, 2009, 4:49pm Top

Speaking of difficult reads, I picked up the 4-volume Writers of the Other Europe, edited by Philip Roth. Bruno Schulz, Tadeusz Borowski, Kis, and Kundera Except for Kundera's light sexual fables, the rest of the volumes are difficult, lyrical, and bleak; Borowski's especially ("This way to the gas, ladies and gentlemen," -- Best. Title. Ever.)

Here's a pretty accurate map of the US:


Apr 11, 2009, 10:15am Top

i dunno..I've gotten 1 friend to read Valente - IFF one likes the fantastic, her journeys through take as much concentration and effort to both get through and to appreciate as any current writer. She uses a very overwritten style with connections flowing forwards and backwards constantly and it's v. easy to lose oneself totally w/in her worlds.

Apr 11, 2009, 10:17pm Top

As a lifelong resident of "dumbfuckistan" I have to say that the coasts are full of shit.

Apr 14, 2009, 9:29am Top


God, that got my morning off to a grinnin' start.

Thanks, Yosh...

Edited: Apr 14, 2009, 9:25pm Top


and then go to the "Awards" link. I think the " ' " mucked the cut and paste

ok..we really like the preserves made by this Canadian firm - but have been intrigued/terrified by "Susie," the company's spokeszombie. For a firm that only dates back to 1989 we were curious about the Village of the Damned/ Lovecraftian sound/appearance of Susie, whatever sort of being she is. The Morello Cherry preserves are really good, all the same. The added goodness of human blood, no doubt.

Apr 14, 2009, 11:01am Top

Sorry, Bob, your link doesn't work.

Try again.

Apr 15, 2009, 5:10am Top

One of my stories was published by Pantechnicon magazine a week or two ago. You can either read it online here, or download the PDF from here. The story is titled 'The Amber Room'.

While I'm at it, I'll also plug my interview with Bruce Sterling, and my review of his new novel, The Caryatids, in the latest issue of Interzone.

Apr 15, 2009, 10:51am Top

I highly recommend both pieces--well done, Monsieur Ian.

Apr 15, 2009, 11:08am Top

There's also a collection of Burroughs miscellanea entitled Interzone There's an early draft of Naked Lunch called "The Word."

Apr 15, 2009, 11:13am Top

"The Word, gentle reader, will flay you down to the laughing bones and the author will do a striptease with his own intestines..."

Wm. Burroughs

Apr 15, 2009, 11:16am Top

Karl, I believe the magazine was originally titled after the Interzone in Naked Lunch.

Apr 30, 2009, 3:18pm Top

Just returned from the library book sale and, I must say, this year I scored some real beauties...for a mere 50 cents each:

THE ILIAD (Richmond Lattimore, Translator)
A MONARCHY TRANSFORMED (Britain 1603-1714) (Mark Kishlansky)
SOLIBO MAGNIFICENT (Patrick Chamoiseau)
SNOWCRASH (Neal Stephenson)
THE DROWNED WORLD--SF Masterworks (J.G. Ballard)


the gem of the them all, a hardcover edition of J.G. BALLARD: THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES. The beautiful Flamingo edition from 2001. Over 1,000 pages of the master's short fiction. Pristine condition, doesn't even look read. Originally listed at 25 pounds or $54.99 Canadian.

Few of the aforementioned books were library copies, most were personal copies people donated and so there are no stamps or annoying cards. I'm frequently amazed by the treasures people literally give away without a second thought. I see this impressive pile of terrific books, picked up for next to nuttin' and--

Excuse me, I have to go lie down for awhile...

Apr 30, 2009, 3:37pm Top

Congratulations, Cliff! We rejoice with you.

Apr 30, 2009, 4:28pm Top

Uh, Anna, I was more looking for the "oozing envy" and "teeth gritted with avarice" sort of reaction.

Foiled again...

May 1, 2009, 11:26am Top

I had a short article about small press books and libraries 'published' on the NYRB Classics blog.

May 1, 2009, 11:29am Top

Post a link, give us a look.

May 1, 2009, 11:48am Top

Yoshomon/inaudible, that's a good list of pointers. I have sent in recommendations for a few books that my county library system doesn't have. I need to make a list.

May 1, 2009, 11:52am Top

Thanks, inaudible. Interesting info. I'm passing the link to my librarian friends.

May 1, 2009, 1:26pm Top

That's a good piece--I have a number of those NYRB classics (included THE INVENTION OF MOREL and THE GONCOURT BROTHERS JOURNAL), one of those Crimethinc books...and, of course, Dalkey Archive is a fine press.

The small presses (including, as we mentioned on another thread, PS Publishing in England) are publishing some terrific work or rediscovering lost classics. They serve an invaluable role and are held in high esteem by those who revere the printed word.

May 1, 2009, 2:15pm Top

>95 CliffBurns: - I'll admit to envy over Ballard's Complete Stories.

May 1, 2009, 2:38pm Top

Atta boy! And I mean PERFECT condition. Someone likely shelled out big bucks for it, read one or two stories, didn't like 'em and saw the library sale as a chance to dump the tome and gain three inches of shelf space.

I will treasure it.

May 2, 2009, 12:41pm Top

i think most of us haunt & heart local library book sales. As i noted after coming back from our spring sale - for some reason the Pittsboro sale has gotten a rep among used book dealers (well, i know why - there are a couple of very wealthy retirement communities in Chatham county and folks moving into them donate all sorts of material to the sales) and it is a hell of a fight to push through the dealers w/ their scanners and bags when the sale opens. I know we've donated ~ 500 books over the years (returned w/ about half that) but i don't think dealers were much interested in what we donated.

First day - trade paperbacks and hardbacks $2., 2nd day $1 and then Saturday a grocery bag of books for $5.00.

My best was the 1st ed. of The Man in the High Castle one yr and then the 1st SF book club edition of the same the following. The source(s) of old, classic SF books has been drying up over the last few yrs though.

May 2, 2009, 1:29pm Top

"The source(s) of old, classic SF books has been drying up over the last few yrs though."

Yup, I've noticed that too. In the case of Asimov and Heinlein, shan't miss their musty volumes, filled with sophomoric prose. But it's even harder to find stuff by someone like Stapleton; must drop in to BookMooch some time and see if there's anything by O.S. available.

May 2, 2009, 4:10pm Top

The SF group read is just wrapping up First and Last Men. Mayhap someone over there can give you a hand, with that book at least.

May 2, 2009, 7:23pm Top

Thanks for the tip, muchachos.

May 10, 2009, 5:22pm Top

Sent a writing sample to "The Joe Bob Report" (as in Joe Bob Briggs) to be a book reviewer for the site. I'll see what develops. Hope he likes my review of a Warhammer 40K book. He might go for a book about battle nuns fighting space mutants.

May 10, 2009, 9:58pm Top

Won a softball game tonight 22 to 2.

May 11, 2009, 12:03am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

May 11, 2009, 8:57am Top

That wasn't a softball game, that sounds more like a cricket score. Who were you playing? The over-90, all quadriplegic squad?

May 11, 2009, 9:00am Top

Bit low for cricket, which has scores like 160 for 3, or 215 all out.

May 11, 2009, 9:01am Top

If I ever watch enough cricket to actually figure out the rules, someone commit me. I promise to go quietly...

May 11, 2009, 9:06am Top

The rules are quite simple:

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

May 11, 2009, 9:18am Top

I just had the most amazing flashback to Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine.

No matter where you run, Sales, eventually my people will find you...

May 11, 2009, 9:44am Top

Sounds like baseball to me.

May 11, 2009, 9:48am Top

Baseball as imagined by an eccentric village idiot in Shropshire, the kind of guy who has baling twine for a belt...

Edited: May 11, 2009, 9:51am Top

Surely baseball is for village idiots? Its rules are simple: hit ball with stick, run round in circle.

Edited: May 11, 2009, 10:53am Top

It's a little more nuanced than that, Ian, just as I'm sure Cricket is a bit more nuanced than your rather amusing description above.

the question I have is how large the hearth must be to get cricket on it.

May 14, 2009, 12:00pm Top

No no, it was slow pitch softball. We were playing the local Fox News affiliate.

May 14, 2009, 12:57pm Top

Those of us who are familiar with such things knew it was slow pitch softball.

Amateur baseball games seldom end with such a score, nor do fast pitch softball games, whose typical scores are 1 - 0 and 2 - 1.

May 15, 2009, 3:01pm Top

I had to share this article with all of you.


May 15, 2009, 3:29pm Top

That's good satire. Funny, with an edge.

May 15, 2009, 4:43pm Top

A little dated, but quite funny. This explains BushCo prior to 9/11.

May 21, 2009, 11:05am Top

I have a job interview today!

May 21, 2009, 11:06am Top

Luck to you, bro.

May 21, 2009, 11:31am Top

127: Best of luck!

May 21, 2009, 11:34am Top

127--Good luck!

May 21, 2009, 11:46am Top

Thanks a lot.

Edited: May 27, 2009, 10:13pm Top

Just posted a new short essay on my blog, the subject: the struggle to find time and energy to read.

The essay is Cliff-specific, obviously, but I'm sure a number of you will relate to my dilemma:


May 27, 2009, 6:44pm Top

I was so looking forward to reading your blog but I can't seem to get in. Hmmmm

May 27, 2009, 6:47pm Top

I would think that adding an "m" to the end of his link would solve the problem. That, or Cliff is just teasing us: he has, in fact, locked out all the riff-raff; only the truly elite may read his blog. Alas, you and I didn't make the cut.

Edited: May 27, 2009, 8:10pm Top

Hmmm that really sucks. First time here at this link. I thought it was rather interesting. Maybe if I stick around I might qualify. All things are possible if you want it enough.

May 27, 2009, 10:14pm Top

So sorry I screwed up that link, folks. I fixed it and hope you'll give it another shot.

Mea culpa.

May 27, 2009, 10:14pm Top

"Lock out the riff-raff"

I'll get ya for that, Medellia, m'dear...

May 27, 2009, 10:20pm Top

I'm afraid you emboldened me when you hit me with that "I've Never Been to Me" video last time; no punishment could possibly exceed that.

May 27, 2009, 10:23pm Top

True and I regret the impertinence.

Kick me, I deserve it...

May 27, 2009, 11:07pm Top

Am I qualified to kick too?

May 27, 2009, 11:16pm Top

Thank you CliffBurns for allowing me to read your blog. I have to be honest and tell you that I didn't read a whole lot but from what I did read I know that I will be returning.

May 27, 2009, 11:25pm Top

Which is more than most people say after even a brief exposure to my blog.

#140--careful what you wish for, Medellia kicks like mule on crank.

May 27, 2009, 11:29pm Top

That is hard to believe Cliff

May 27, 2009, 11:33pm Top

Ooh, Cliff... just for that, I think I'll refrain from kicking. No, my revenge will be subtle, and it will come when you least expect it...

Edited: May 28, 2009, 12:48am Top

"Revenge is a dish best served cold."

It's really time I hired a bodyguard.

May 28, 2009, 1:06pm Top


May 31, 2009, 11:50am Top

I still find it remarkable that despite the relatively small size of this group, we always seem to have a disproportionate number of posts compared to far larger groups.

A tip of that to everyone who keeps this group interesting, active and vital.

May 31, 2009, 1:06pm Top

Active readers make active post-writers. Plus we're an opinionated besieged lot. That makes for people who want to have their opinions voiced. It's not like we're a herd of Twilight-reading bobble-heads who all agree with each other. We have our share of Bolano-haters, Pynchon-dismissers, and DeLillo-is-so-overrated-ers. Nothing encourages posting like healthy intelligent debate and camaraderie.

A very welcoming environment and very supportive, without descending into group therapy and groupthink.

Edited: Jun 8, 2009, 10:20am Top

Well, ladies, this technophobe (at the repeated urgings of my wife) has taken the plunge into high tech and bought himself a brand, spanking new iMac. The point is to give myself the opportunity to create and edit short movies based on my work, as well as composing music and having access to all kinds of neat software (including, at some point, voice recognition, which will, hopefully, spare my tormented fingers further abuse).

Hard to swallow that initial outlay of loot but I've been increasingly frustrated by the limitations of my twelve year old Mac--it was a dependable machine but it is just light years behind what's available on the market today. You pay more for Macs but, hey, I'm a Mac guy and my one experience with an IBM-type computer did not go over well (though that was many, many years ago).

There will be a learning curve and I have to cultivate patience (NOT my strong suit). Those of you as close as Minnesota may hear my outraged shrieks and multi-syllabic cusswords.

You might wanna pick up some earplugs, at least for the first few months...

Edited: Jun 8, 2009, 1:28pm Top


My first real computer experiences come from a Mac. (Well, almost - very first was TRS-80s in computer math class where I learned enough Basic programming to have the computer read "beth loves tom loves...", you know, so it would repeat.) My first real job was a very small company that had two Macintosh computers, one 128K and 512K. We referred to the 512 as "the big machine." These numbers horrify my high school students. This makes me chuckle because they don't know about trading your data disk with your program disk over and over again just to save something. That 1984 Mac was the one I first learned about office programs on. I remember when I first saw Windows I thought, "Oh, it's just like a Mac but on the right side." (I hope that doesn't get me sued or anything.) I hope you'll pardon my nostalgia.

And besides, nowadays, Macs just look so much cooler.

Edited: Jun 8, 2009, 2:11pm Top

And what's wrong with nostalgia?

The Mac I'm replacing is a Power Mac--I'd have to check the configurations for the RAM, hard drive memory, etc. I think it runs at 33 Mhz, whereas the iMac is something like 2.66 Gigaherz, which is insanely fast.

My old Mac is up in my office and this computer, the one I'm typing on now, is the family computer, used for internet, the boys' homework and their bouts of World of Warcraft. It's a PC and fast but I wouldn't get one for my personal use. The iMac (arriving in about eight days) will be in my office and used exclusively for my projects. Selfish, perhaps, but we writers need our space. I don't play games (on-line or otherwise), it will be utilized for writing, film and music work.

I bought the iWork software with the iMac and I'm a bit nervous using that instead of Word, which is what I've been using for 13 or fourteen years. Anyone have any experience word processing with Pages? Our friend Rob convinced me that I'd quickly adapt and not to worry about it but I'm such a creature of habit and a worry-wart to boot...

Jun 8, 2009, 5:37pm Top

The way I understand it Macs are for people too dumb to figure out the needless complexities of the PC. It should work for you, Cliff, real well.

Jun 8, 2009, 5:40pm Top

Gene, you've been taking etiquette lessons from Monsieur Sales again.

You nasty man, you...

Jun 8, 2009, 5:42pm Top

What's smart about preferring needless complexities?

I have spent all my life learning and working on PCs so Macs confuse me, but they aren't exactly hard and they seem much more intuitive - I suppose if I ever got one it would not take that long to catch on.

congrats, Cliff, on the new computer.

Jun 8, 2009, 6:44pm Top

Thanks, Anna. As I said, I suspect a learning curve and I hope it's not so steep that I require rope and pitons.

"Delivery in 8 business days"--I'll spend that time saving years of accumulated files and stories onto a jump drive. Worried about formatting loss when I transfer some of this stuff to the Pages software, which is why I queried if anyone else had experience with Pages. Sound off, folks...

Jun 8, 2009, 8:09pm Top

>151 CliffBurns: - Pages is pretty damn simple, more so than Word. There are some things that annoyed me occasionally, but one gets used to it. Everything important should be somewhat self-explanatory, unless I'm forgetting something, which would not be surprising.

I pretty much only use Pages now. Put me on Word, and I imagine I'd be confused and irritated.

Jun 8, 2009, 9:10pm Top

That's VERY encouraging. Thanks so much.

How about formatting--did you ever take a Word document and open it with Pages? I'm particularly concerned about my 460 page novel, which features footnotes at various points. I'm terrified of having to go through the entire document, paragraph by paragraph, and getting everything re-aligned.


Jun 8, 2009, 9:21pm Top

i think that your new machine is plenty powerful enough to dual boot and, eventually, you might run Dragon under XP, which remains the leader in voice recognition (having just had a cortisone injection into one of my knuckles to deal w/ OA, earlier today).

Jun 8, 2009, 9:24pm Top

Injection...in your...knuckles?

Jesus CHRIST, Bob! Are you trying to scare the piss out of me?

Edited: Jun 8, 2009, 9:44pm Top

>157 CliffBurns: - You're very welcome.

I haven't yet, but I'm trying it as I type... and I was right about being bewildered by Word. Took me a few minutes to find the footnote option.

If you have a document that is that long, it could be worrisome. I tried altering one of my current Word documents to test it out. I opened it using Pages, and counted the lines on one page: 29. Opening it with Word: 28. Because footnotes go at the bottom of a page, I can imagine this causing you problems.

I have a Mac with both Word and Pages, so if you don't want to go through the hassle with Pages, you could always get Word, too. It may be worth it for you. Sorry that isn't quite encouraging.

Jun 8, 2009, 9:45pm Top

it really doesn't hurt. And (esp as the knuckles, unlike hips/knees/ankles aren't weight bearing joints) there's very little problem w/ hastening degeneration. My rheumatologist actually doesn't like giving the cortisone injections because, evidently, many of her patients complain about the injection (but not about their effects). But, really, (and i am most defn not masochistic - at least about pain i can't perceive myself as controlling - i get a shtload of Novocaine at the dentist's when i need a filling) - w/ a good rheumatologist the shot is really a very trivial and shortlived twinge (the site IS sprayed w/ a topical anesthetic). I've had probably about a dozen injections into mostly my thumbs and index fingers, over the last 3 yrs - today was the middle finger of my left hand, and i had one 4 mos ago into a tendon in my shoulder that had been keeping me from swimming, none of the shots has been an issue. Now a neighbor/doctor friend whose hip was nuked from a tae kwon do(sic) had her hip joint injected and that was quite a different matter as the shot has to go quite a bit deeper.

Jun 9, 2009, 12:49am Top

Irieisa: Thank you for trying that little test for me. Not totally encouraging but I promised my wife I would TRY to cultivate patience with this new system. After all, the new capabilities are for me to explore and "play" one of her favorite words (as an educator and Arts consultant). Assist me in growth in fresh directions and disciplines. There will be glitches and I must endure then ol' "trial and terror" method of learning. I tend to go ballistic around technology and gadgets that don't work the first time you plug 'em in and fire 'em up. Gotta do something about that, grow up and act my age.

Bob: was your post supposed to be ENCOURAGING? I couldn't stop rubbing my hands and squeezing my fingers as I read it.

Jun 9, 2009, 12:54am Top

My arthritis is on the inside of my knee (left side of my right knee), but the injection goes through the outside of my knee (right side of my right knee). The first time I had it, I continued to read my newspaper so as not to face it. The second time I was curious so I watched.

I told both doctors, orthopedic guys, that cortisone is my favorite placebo.


Jun 9, 2009, 1:02am Top

I can't decide if you guys are sadists...or masochists. Regardless, when I think of n-n-n-needles, piercing skin, pushing past bone...

With you gits, I don't need horror novels.

Jun 9, 2009, 2:30am Top

>162 CliffBurns: - No problem. If nothing else, you could use Pages for new documents but not the old. Whatever works best, I suppose. I tend to do things wrong with technology; then I get frightened and brood over "what the hell" I did. Technology does not like me. Games don't like me either. Modern life really IS unfriendly, eh?

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 9:17am Top

I don't know anything about 'Pages" but I know a bit about injections, although I can't seem to remember what I was injected with. I have fibromyalgia and use to get 20 - 40 injections weekly. That was a few years ago. I use to cringe going to the doctor's. I could never get us to it. He would quickly jam these needles in my place of pain. I would recite the alphabet outloud and as fast as I could as he promised to stop once I was finished. Oh the pain!!! It feels good to have left that part of my life behind.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:41am Top

If one more person talks about injections, especially before I've finished me first cup of coffee in the morning...

20-40 injections per week--Jesus, if that were the case I'd say, "aw, the hell with it, I might as well become a heroin junkie".

Irieisa: You may be right about having BOTH Pages and Word. Of course, the notion of giving that bastard Bill Gates a single dime makes me cringe like a beaten dog. Appreciate your advice and feedback. I'm with you on modern technology. At heart, I'm probably a Victorian. A return to steam engines, telegraph...and TYPEWRITERS that don't talk back to me and tell me I'm using improper grammar...

Jun 9, 2009, 10:12am Top

Those days are behind me Chris. I hated as much as you sound like you would have hated it.

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 10:33pm Top

>167 CliffBurns: - On the topic of drugs, I've always thought that if I had the time and money to be a druggie, I might as well spent said time sleeping. It's cheaper, it doesn't seem quite as lethal, it's easy, it's pleasant. If I'm going to waste my life away, I'd rather be frugal about it.

Haha, I'm sure Bill Gates wouldn't mind whether you contribute to his money pile or not. If you don't and struggle with your other options (which I doubt you would, but this is hypothetical), you may ultimately be the one who loses. You're welcome for the feedback. I'm not sure what I am at heart; on the one hand, I make use of technology so much, on the other, I'd probably have been happier if I never knew of its existence. As long as I don't use a chamberpot or a mysterious pit in the ground, I think I'm good.

Jun 9, 2009, 11:09am Top

Yes, if modernity means indoor plumbing, I have to say I'm all for it. Every time I have to use some primitive bathroom facility (at the beach or cottage or what have you), the clean freak in me cringes.

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 11:24am Top

>170 CliffBurns: - This is why I can never go traveling, not to mention my dislike of vehicles in general. It is going to be horrid when I get my license. I just hope I don't run anyone down, not so much for their sakes as for my own.

Personal though vastly unimportant news: yesterday I graduated from middle school. Hooray, I now have a primitive education that nearly everyone else also has. Isn't that a reason to jump up and down and celebrate?

On to high school...

Jun 9, 2009, 11:37am Top

You mean you are not yet an adult. Whoa, had me fooled. I've only known a handful of pre-high school graduates who have as keen an eye and ear for this sort of discourse before, no one in middle school. My experience with middle school is something I choose not to think about. Especially since I am not in a position to apologize to most of the girls I knew then. I was a pretty unpleasant adolescent boy.

Jeeeeeeeeze, I can hardly believe it! Congratulations!

Jun 9, 2009, 11:42am Top

Excuse this Canadian git: what the hell is middle school? Grades 7-9? Here we have elementary school (up to grade 8) and high school (grades 9-12).

Edited: Jun 9, 2009, 1:37pm Top

>172 geneg: - Thank you, geneg; I much appreciate the compliment. I don't make for pleasant company myself. I'm rather silent, since I prefer to listen. In elementary school, however, I let loose a bit more; some other children were... scared of me. It surprised me when I learned of it, but made me smile. A pleasant, pleasant memory in a time full of horrible experiences. Elementary shall be the worst of all school periods for me.

>173 CliffBurns: - Haha, that system makes a lot more sense to me! Middle school is the same as junior high, and covers grades 6-8. It used to be 7-8, until someone decided to change it, which was very stupid in my opinion. In my local middle school, they just stuck some little rooms to the side of campus, and for some reason the sixth graders are separated from the other grades by a fence. Why in the world did you put the grade in middle school just to segregate them? I'm... mystified.

Jun 9, 2009, 11:58am Top

Your six graders are fenced in? Man, that must be one TOUGH class.

Gene's right: you display a lot of sophistication of thought for someone your age. Well done.

Jun 9, 2009, 1:37pm Top

>175 CliffBurns: - Indeed. Poor sixth graders, all alone behind the fence... not to mention that the school looks rather like a prison complex. It's a grim scene.

Thank you very much, CliffBurns. I'm grateful for the praise.

Jun 9, 2009, 4:47pm Top

I have my DipLit exam next week (BA in 2 years); I am flippant over it, not because I do not know the subjects studied (my highest mark was 80% this year), but because everything I know (all in my head) needs to be organized properly. But fear not, I have 4 past exams to try before Tuesday, so I suppose it's just a case of getting to grip with the exam conditions.

It's also probably because I am tired after having worked all year, my energy has gone down like a souffle.
Let's see how it works on Tuesday, then?
Until then...

Jun 9, 2009, 5:00pm Top

177: Good luck! Let us know how you feel about it...

Jun 9, 2009, 5:51pm Top

Best of luck with those exams--and remember, it's ONLY your future at stake.

No stress...

Jun 9, 2009, 11:05pm Top


Jun 10, 2009, 12:05am Top

sonia, is diplit the guy version of chick lit?

BTW, have you all been playing with the new collections? I have added my wish list as well as the library books I've read recently but not bought. I am not sure what will come of this centralized knowledge, but we shall see.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:02pm Top

>178 anna_in_pdx:, 179, 181
Thank you for your kind words of wisdom! ;-)

re. 181: DipLit - very funny! lol
It is a 2-year university diploma, just before the BA in Literature...

Jun 11, 2009, 10:16am Top

I finished revising my sci fi thriller. Just wondered if anyone would be willing to be a beta reader for me. In a nutshell, it is The Sopranos meets Dispatches with some Warhammer-ish elements thrown in.

Jun 13, 2009, 11:50am Top

Seems like only awhile ago I was offering congrats to this group for welcoming its 100th member.

Now we're approaching 200 and I wanted to note another great, momentous watershed moment in the history of literature, an epoch-changing--

All right, all right, maybe that's laying it on a bit thick.

But you know what I mean. Thanks to one and all who have joined and contributed to the discussions here and, again, kudos to Ian Sales for getting us started last October.

On a personal note, I'll likely be cutting back my presence on LT in the coming weeks. Trying to teach myself how to use the new iMac as well as embarking on my summer writing project (always a busy time for me). But, never fear, I'll be around.

See you among the book shelves...

Jun 13, 2009, 12:11pm Top

Hopefully if one of these job leads can pay off, I can spend less time on LT. I enjoy the camaraderie and conversation, but the whole "need to make money" thing.

Jun 14, 2009, 11:29pm Top

My husband sent me this link a while ago, but I was so busy at the time that I just today got to check it out:


"a book about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."

Jun 14, 2009, 11:54pm Top

We inflict pleasure on ourselves, numbing and dumbing us so we can forget about exporting our Orwellian freedom to foreign locations. The best of both worlds.

They were both right, it's just that the wealthier countries get pleasure while the Third World gets Orwellian tyranny and torture.

Jun 15, 2009, 12:30am Top

I seem to be on a roll with the goofy websites today. Found this:

Jun 15, 2009, 1:27am Top

>186 emaestra: - I couldn't find a way to make the imagine bigger so I could read it... Damn.

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 9:03am Top

Me neither.

But the jetpack bit is brilliant. If I could paste that bugger on a t-shirt, I would in an INSTANT.

Jun 15, 2009, 9:02am Top

Jun 15, 2009, 9:24am Top

Dear god. What a load of macho bullshit: "The man who tells you he's going to shoot you will not shoot you". Yeah right. That's true right up until the moment it isn't. And then you're dead.

Besides, Learjet = executives = men in suits who are more likely to pull out a wodge of money than a gun...

Jun 15, 2009, 10:00am Top

It had the feel of a movie treatment, didn't it? That was my first impression. As my buddy Gord said when he sent it my way: "This one has a smell to it..."

You can see someone like Nicholas Cage or Bruce Willis snapping up film rights, but queek.

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 10:24am Top

>190 CliffBurns: - I second that, completely.

>191 CliffBurns: - Is that actually... real? It can't be, can it? If those neo-Nazis really wanted to keep the plane, they could have, assuming they were half-decent (as) neo-Nazis. Else, they wanted to avoid more police attention, or they just weren't very good at doing what they supposedly do. Shame on them.

>192 iansales: - It's possible the man who tells you he will shoot you will instead assault you with something else, though; that doesn't exactly prove any better, but the end result is pretty much the same, just through different means. If this was the case, that macho-man would be so very screwed...

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 12:53pm Top


inre my post at #186 - if you do CTRL + you can zoom anything. Of course, this is assuming you are using Firefox. And I'm pretty sure my copying didn't get the complete link so try it at 186.

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 12:59pm Top

>195 emaestra: - I think Huxley's concerns are of more consequence in reality than Orwell's...

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 1:44pm Top

I don't know what brought up the Huxley/Orwell question above. I will say that the Bush administration, and indeed most Republican communications relies heavily on a form of NewSpeak. Blue Skies Initiative that loosens restrictions on pollution is a classic example. Most of the talking points on the Republican side of the health care debate are sound bites created by Frank Luntz, a devotee of NewSpeak. The idea is to avoid describing the real world, describe the world you wish was the real world. If you do it hard enough (sort of like clicking your heels together three times with your eyes tightly shut) it will become the real world. There is a major and very dangerous difference between the real world and the wished for real world. Bush believed Hussain had weapons of mass destruction because he wanted to, not because anyone told him such was the case. How did that work out?

As I posted elsewhere, Charles Krauthammer, a very highly respected radical thinker recently said Fox News not only created an alternative to the mainstream media, they created an alternative reality. That's the power of language. Unfortunately, reality doesn't speak any known human language. So when we create alternative realities we are lying to ourselves. A most dangerous thing to do.

It would be useful to read Jurgen Habermas, Jean Boudrillard, and especially this, by Pierre Bourdieu. If you read this and understand it, it will give you an idea of the way language is used for purposes of power. These are antidotes to the worst excesses of Post-Modernism. Which, boiled down to a nut, says nothing is but what you make of it. That is absolutely false.

So I would say, to my mind anyway, Orwell and his concerns are more important at this time.

Jun 15, 2009, 1:33pm Top

Sorry to bust in on this deep talk but...

I am currently upstairs in my office, typing this on my brand spanking new iMac. Took me about fifteen minutes to get everything up and running. That's what I love about Mac, eh?

Gonna spend a chunk o' time getting acquainted with this beauty. Lots of memory, programs to make movies, music, etc. etc. etc.

This is like a new beginning to my writing/artistic life...a bit daunting but exciting as hell.

Further updates, as they say, as events warrant.

Jun 15, 2009, 1:42pm Top

Good luck, Cliff. I hope it is everything you wish it to be. I'll be looking forward to some of that music stuff on youtube. Don't be shy about pimping it. I'm sure we will all be excited to hear it!

Jun 15, 2009, 1:48pm Top

Aw, Gene, yer a fine fellow. Thanks for the support. Right now, I feel like a bonobo ape with a slide rule. Thank God for my tech-savvy wife and kids.

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 2:37pm Top

>197 geneg: - I realise now that I didn't word what I meant right, and with this realisation I choose to do absolutely nothing because, upon thinking about it, I can no longer decide whose concerns are more valid. They both seem valid enough to consider. Way to commit to one side of the argument, I know.

>198 CliffBurns: - Good luck with that Mac.

Jun 15, 2009, 4:56pm Top

Got a temp job through October. I'm still looking around and applying to museum jobs and such, but it'll be nice to be solvent again.

Jun 15, 2009, 5:49pm Top

Congratulations! Don't spend all your hard earned dough in one place, okay!

Jun 15, 2009, 6:17pm Top

202: So happy to hear it. Congratulations!

Jun 15, 2009, 6:52pm Top

Hey, all you smart employers, look out:

There's a Wolff at the door!

Stick with it, Karl...

Jun 15, 2009, 7:45pm Top

Good to hear, Karl!

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 8:42pm Top

Defn. agree w/ Geneg. Orwell portrayed the sickness of anti-speak and its sequellae brilliantly. And i don't know how political language is manipulated outside the USA - but the republicans have been dizzyingly effective users of anti-thought and anti-speak.

Gene mentioned the "blue skies" pollution mandate. A little less well known was the "healthy forests initiative" which ostensibly portrayed as a Smokey the Bear sortof thing, really was designed to give timber companies access to the largest and most valuable trees on federal land.

But the whole rhetoric of "War on problem X" results in massive failures. I'm sure there were earlier instances, but from LBJ & "the war on poverty," Nixon & the "war on cancer," everyone and the "war on drugs", to dubwa's "war on terror," the "wars" have led to less than successful non-conclusions. And if you define a problem as something to be conquered as opposed as a problem, however complex, that needs solving (or at least ameliorating), the political and social mindset invoked becomes part of the problem.
"Terror" is particularly insidious as terror is a method - how does one defeat a "method" as opposed to possibly dealing with an ideology?

"It (English) becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the
slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.
George Orwell

Jun 15, 2009, 8:41pm Top

Ever since the Palmer Raids, thinking for yourself has been rather declasse in these United States. Better to watch "Dancing with the Stars", support foreign wars against those pesky brown people, and go through the motions genuflecting towards our common idols: the State, the Church, and the Corporation.

If I was President, I'd put The Book of the Subgenius in all high school classrooms and remove A Separate Peace from the reading lists. That and legalize gay marriage AND polygamy.

Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 9:40pm Top

>208 kswolff: - You'd regulate the shit out of polygamy, though, yeah? No more child brides?

You just might get my vote!

Jun 15, 2009, 10:07pm Top

Of course. Government with a decent amount of regulation is a sensible thing. Only the child-raping ecclesiarchs of the Holy Mother Church would object to enforcing age of consent laws for marriage.

That and legalize pot ... with the consequences for being stoned and driving the same as a DWI. Fair's fair.

Jun 15, 2009, 11:49pm Top

Cliff, don't know if you've conquered the transition from Word docs to your new Mac system, but one thought I had was that you might look into OpenOffice--I believe it's freeware from the Unix folks--one of my computers runs Ubuntu and OpenOffice, which mimics a lot of Microsoft programs--Word, Excel, etc. I admit I haven't used it enough to know what it does to the formatting, but there's a good chance it might be kind.

Just a thought . . . and no pennies into Gates's pockets thereby.

Irieisa, are you bored at school a lot?

Jun 16, 2009, 12:01am Top

I tried converting some of my old files from a jump drive and something is definitely wrong. This new Mac won't touch them. Open Office might do the trick and I'll definitely have a look at it. Gotta do something to save those old files: there's fifteen bloody years (at least) of writing stored there. And I still recoil at buying a Mac Word system from old Billy Gates (ptooie! ptooie!). Vicious, cut-throat capitalist now masquerading as a benevolent philanthropist. It's enough to make ya puke.

My God, people, this iMac is something--so many bells and whistles. Spent all day mucking about, saving my old book marks, getting a new desktop and screensaver. If it wasn't for Sherron and my sons, I'd be as lost as Jack Torrance in that snowy maze.

This has definitely been an eye-opening (and daunting) experience.

And, hey, bobmcconnaughey: this new, tiny, delicate keyboard means that I can't pound the hell out of it and that may pay big dividends for my long-suffering fingers. Christ, I hope so.

Keep that advice coming, folks, it's much appreciated.

Jun 16, 2009, 1:42am Top

conversion depends on SO many factors. But one of the many virtues of Open Office, in addition to being free, is that it has a nice non-proprietary file format, that works in Linux and Bill Gates world. And can save files in any format you might want. I have Ubuntu and XP at home. Not a pain at all. And iirc the new Mac OX is based on Linix, no?

(on the other hand, flaky memory IS a pain. but not, so far, enough of one to do more than swap out a couple of old dimms for new. My biggest fear is that the mobo may be funky, but i do need to work out the 6 gigs of ram to make sure they're all OK before i bitch.)

Jun 16, 2009, 2:45am Top

Word processors have had a nice non-proprietory format for many years - Rich Text Format.

OpenOffice Writer is... not as polished a word-processor as M$ Word. It's perfectly serviceable but some things it doesn't do as well.

Jun 16, 2009, 9:00am Top

It's funny, I dragged all my files from my old Mac onto two jumpdrives and when we went to call them up, some had been saved as .docs and opened fine but the vast majority of them were "Non-executable" (.exe) files and we couldn't open fuck all. My former Mac was an old bugger and I was running Microsoft Word 97 but I find it hard to believe this new bugger can't (at least) open the fuggin' files. We haven't put away the old one yet and i may have to set it up again and re-save everything in a different format, which would entail a lot of work. Don't be around me the day I have to do THAT.

Sherron, like Ian, is not impressed with Open Office and doesn't believe it will open those .exe files but, if I'm feeling up to it, I may download Open Office today and give it a shot. I suppose if it doesn't work out, I can always chuck it.

Welcome your thoughts but remember: I ain't no tech geek any anything beyond point and click is terra incognita to this hick.

Jun 16, 2009, 9:14am Top

You should not have any documents as .exe files. Those are programs. Documents will be either .doc or .rtf, or, for OpenOffice, .osd.

Edited: Jun 16, 2009, 9:35am Top

So...why aren't they all translatable...aye, there's the rub. I did nothing different, merely dragged all the files on my old desktop onto the jumpdrives and shut everything down. Sigh. Ah, Sales, if there was such a thing as an instantaneous matter transporter, I'd have your ass beamed to my home office and stand behind you with a baseball bat and a gaffing hook while you made everything work. I'll get it, I just have to be patient (which, as previously mentioned, ain't one of my virtues).

Meanwhile, I've got my Sennheiser headphones plugged in to the back of the iMac monitor, bopping to Elbow:


Jun 16, 2009, 10:08am Top

Some of those files on your desktop may have been programs rather than documents. You should put documents in a folder specifically for documents. On a Windows PC, M$ Office would use My Documents as a default. I'm not sure what the OS X equivalent is.

Jun 16, 2009, 11:02am Top

If there are files that you are fairly sure started out as Word docs that now have .exe extensions, you could try simply changing the file name back to the .doc extension. Caution: this will almost certainly cause a notice that if you do this, the file may become unusable. On the other hand, it might work.

Note that you'd be doing this with files that you've transferred--the original file, on the old computer, wouldn't be affected.

Other possibilities to get the files transferred (I've always been a "let's try this and see" kind of user, though backups are essential to this approach!):

1) try emailing them to yourself and opening them on the Mac;
2) save a copy as a .txt file and transfer that, see if you can open it--with the caveat that your formatting will probably be lost;
3) tedious but worth a shot as a last resort: print out files from PC, scan them into the Mac. Note that this will be much easier if you have a sheet-fed scanner!

Good luck!

Jun 16, 2009, 11:22am Top

>210 kswolff: - Good to hear on all points. If you ever run for any public office, I'll vote for ya.

>211 ejj1955: - Oh, naturally. Why do you ask?

Jun 16, 2009, 11:28am Top

Thanks, folks. Great advice. I'll try a few things and if you hear I'm in jail, you know it didn't quite work out exactly as we'd hoped...

Jun 16, 2009, 2:34pm Top

>220 Irieisa:

Well, between the fact that you are probably more intelligent than half of your teachers (conservative estimate) and the fact that they are teaching to the slower members of any given class, I would expect that you would be bored out of your mind much of the time.

For what it's worth, some of your college classes will be better! In the meantime, thank goodness you have LT as a refuge . . .

Jun 16, 2009, 4:29pm Top

>222 ejj1955: - Here in America, we cater to the lowest common denominator!

...Unfortunately, it's not just America. Sad. Thanks for your compliment, though.

At this point I'm accustomed to boredom, so it's all right either way. I've learned the great art of escaping into my head. It's quite an entertaining place. LT, likewise, is very interesting, and thus far my experience has been good.

Jun 17, 2009, 1:09am Top

Message removed.

Jun 17, 2009, 2:23am Top

Don't bother with the link in the previous post--spammer alert.

Jun 17, 2009, 1:20pm Top

>178 anna_in_pdx:
Just to say the exam went ok, two of the questions turned up that I practiced on previous exams at home for training. Whatever the mark is, I just want a pass! My head felt like cottonwool after 3 hours of writing non-stop. The feeling of relief is great though. I tidied my office today, and filed all the course's stuff. And on to the new course in September, A300 'The twentieth-century literature: texts and debates'. But today, as a reward for my hard work this year, and as a relief from yesterday, was 'no reading' day.

Jun 18, 2009, 11:03am Top

That's it, it's official. I have joined the ranks of the Great Redundant Unwashed. Er, I mean, I now have lots of free time to focus on my writing. And reading.

Jun 18, 2009, 11:16am Top

#227 - redundant? Do you require commiserations or congratulations? (In short, is this a nightmare or a great relief and a chance to find a new direction ...?)

Jun 18, 2009, 11:25am Top

It means no job, so no income. I have enough put aside to last me about 9 months, so I can focus on my writing for a few months. But another job would be nice.

Jun 18, 2009, 11:33am Top

Eeek - I think I would have terrible trouble focusing on anything else because I'd be worrying about money too much - but I'm sure you're made of stronger stuff and will make those nine months count!

Good luck, and here's hoping it turns out to be what Homer Simpson would call a "crisertunity"!

Jun 18, 2009, 12:08pm Top

I've read your work and you should be a full-time writer. You're that good. I know you'll use this "crisertunity" (love that) to create some fascinating prose, stuff that you've set aside because full-time employment sucked up too much of your life and energy.

I have every confidence in your abilities. Best of luck, muchachos...

Jun 18, 2009, 12:17pm Top

Ian, best of luck. Maybe it's the perfect time to spend six months, say, writing full-time and see how that goes--and, in the meantime, perhaps things will improve with the economy sufficiently that if you do have to job-hunt, you can do so in better times.

Jun 18, 2009, 10:12pm Top

Ian...the best of luck...It might be a good idea to keep your eyes open to start your own home-based business. I am wondering if that is at all possible in the UK. It would be perfect to find something you can do at home while writing your book. At the end of 9 months your buiness could already be up and running and making you income. I would look into if I were you.

Jun 21, 2009, 3:02pm Top

Sherron has spent most of the morning saving all my old files as .docs so we can transfer them to the new computer. Looks like it's going to work this time (crosses fingers).

Also, "Happy Father's Day!" to all you dads out there. Here's a peek at the gift my family dropped into my lap at lunchtime today:


Do these people know me or what?

Jun 21, 2009, 3:41pm Top

LOL, I particularly like the "this is the way it was" tagline on that.

Jun 21, 2009, 4:28pm Top

Looks like the transfer of old files worked!

My confidence is such that I've boxed up the old Mac and stuck it down in the basement. Can't bear to part with it yet (this new one has yet to prove its bones) but it's in permanent storage until the day it finally goes out the door. I asked my friend Rob if there was any use for a computer, vintage 1995, and he thought for a moment before replying: "A boat anchor, maybe?"

Just to show you what a maudlin bastard I am, before I put the old tower in a box, I actually KISSED it, thanking it (out loud) for its durable performance and dependability. If computers eventually take over the world, I'm hoping this old beauty will put in a good word for me.

Jun 21, 2009, 4:43pm Top

>236 CliffBurns: - But what if it's a guy-computer (if there is such a thing; I'm not actively seeking the truth on this one), and a straight one?

Though, considering you called it "old beauty," I suppose it must be a fem-bot... How you know I don't want to know.

Jun 21, 2009, 5:14pm Top

Tsk, tsk, so young to have such a deviant imagination.

Edited: Jun 21, 2009, 8:30pm Top

>238 CliffBurns: - At least I have more control over the deviant part now; when I was little, it was much worse. I don't even know why I made Ken rape the Barbies; no one had told me about sex just yet, but...

Edit: Though it was just play-rape (or dry humping?), since the dolls didn't exactly mimic human anatomy quite right.

Jun 21, 2009, 10:15pm Top

Are you sure Barbie wasn't willing?

Jun 21, 2009, 10:40pm Top

>240 ejj1955: - Some of them were. Most of them weren't. Ken was willing enough to make up for that, though.

Jun 22, 2009, 8:03pm Top

not much posting for a couple of weeks as i won't be reading for the duration, letting my left eye recover from a detached vitreous. Not serious at all unless it leads to a detached retina. Since i read w/ my left eye and it moves rapidly about the page from about 4-5" away, i'll be taking a hiatus. Actually chatting w/ a opthomologist friend he noted that tv/movies were good since one's eyes were generally focused straight ahead. So catch up on some dvd viewing. But this will be about the longest i've ever gone w/out reading since gods knows when. To bad we don't watch tv. sigh.

Jun 22, 2009, 10:40pm Top

Time to crack out the audiobooks. Best of luck with the eye surgery.

Jun 22, 2009, 11:41pm Top

Hang in there, Bob. Speedy recovery to you, man.

Jun 23, 2009, 2:21am Top

thanks..i phrased my note wrong. I'm working at avoiding the need for retinal reattachment. Vitreous detatchment is pretty common as one gets older. I'm mostly pissed because this happening at this time was just stupid w/the bozo hitting my eye whilst i was swimming in the lane besides him. Watched an Eddie Izzard performance this evening which was fun. And i think i will go see what our library has in the way of audio books on cd.

Edited: Jun 23, 2009, 9:35am Top

There's a new David Sedaris (WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES)--and you know how terrific a reader he is. Even the audio book might be hard on your eyes, though, because you'll be crying with laughter.

Here's a link to the podcast of his interview on CBC Radio--"Q" is a pretty decent program and Ghomeshi is a good interviewer:


Jun 29, 2009, 3:10am Top

David Sedaris is a local boy. His father was part of the first "team" to be brought into the Research Triangle, working for IBM in the late 50s. Not totally random, since the head of the comp sci dept. @ UNC-CH soon was Fred (?)Brooks the guy who designed the IBM 360/370 which formed the basis for much heavy duty scientific/business computing for a good couple of decades. I suspect that was part of the deal. And lots of cheap land and 3 good to excellent universities w/in hailing distance. I think my eye is fine. Actually looking at a computer screen from a couple of feet back is a lot easier than reading a book from 5" away w/ my good eye, that was the one that was hit.

He IS a wonderful teller of his own stories.

Jun 29, 2009, 11:05am Top

I enjoy his rubber-faced sister Amy, too.

Edited: Jun 29, 2009, 11:16am Top

Glad to hear your recovery goes well. For those of us with families that are as nutty as trail mix, Sedaris is a comic genius. And I think he's even funnier on audio CD, reading his stuff.

I've been working, not spending as much time as I'd like on LT, hanging out with youse people. Some good discussions going on right now...but summer is the busy season for me. In my (temporary) absence, Bob, I appoint you to keep an eye on Ian, don't let him get away with his "neo-Bolshie, smart-alecky-look-at-me, I'm-a-toffee-nosed, thin-blooded-git-from-a-smelly-extinct factory town" routine.

And NO ONE bring up Lawrence Durrell and the fact that he's unreadable and quite likely bound for literary oblivion.

Jun 29, 2009, 1:04pm Top

I saw Sedaris read live a few years ago, and he left me in tears. His books are hard for me to read because I laugh so hard!

Jun 29, 2009, 1:09pm Top

I thought the funniest Sedaris book was the one about living in France and taking French lessons (Me talk pretty one day). The chapter on having a religious discussion in pidgin French left me in tears from laughter.

I browsed When you are engulfed in flames in the bookstore a while ago and it looks very funny - but I think I'll wait for the paperback. He was just here in Portland, doing a reading from it, and I had some sort of conflict that day - would have loved to see him.

Jun 29, 2009, 11:17pm Top

Me talk pretty one day sounds like a good title for Dubya's memoirs.

Jun 30, 2009, 12:23am Top

>252 kswolff: - The thought never occurred to me; all too perfect.

"An inspiring story of unyielding hope..."

Jul 6, 2009, 11:19am Top

I found something really cool to share with all of you writers. I plan to use this with my students when school starts. Enjoy.


Edited: Jul 6, 2009, 12:59pm Top

>254 emaestra: - I'm not sure I want to write about a Chinese elf losing a loved one. ;-)

There are some very nice combinations, but that was not one of the best. Funny, though. I seem to keep getting funny ones...
The pursuit of (or in) a Cuban race car.
A lawyer and a nuclear disaster.
A hippy dwarf has a conflict with a god.
Al Capone's slave lets go of something.
A queen becomes a fortunate road warrior.
A damned alien is a fish out of water.

Heheh... This IS fun. Especially the hippy one.

Jul 13, 2009, 11:37pm Top

Here's a link to BBC 3's adaptation of Tennyson's IDYLLS OF THE KING, in case anyone's interested. Good for the next week or so:


Jul 14, 2009, 11:12am Top

Ty Cliff I will check it out later.

Jul 14, 2009, 6:40pm Top

Jul 14, 2009, 9:46pm Top

I will have to pass on that one

Jul 16, 2009, 1:12pm Top

Just posted a short film tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on my site. God bless the wonders of new technology (iMac, I love you) and my wife's ability to understand it and explain the ins and outs to a complete arse like me. Anyway, the film is here, for anyone interested:


It's also, natch, available through YouTube. Enjoy, folks.

Jul 16, 2009, 4:44pm Top

We need a photo for this group. Anyone have a gun and a copy of some over-rated piece of trashy fiction?

Jul 16, 2009, 7:10pm Top

No gun. Plenty of copies of over-rated pieces of trashy fiction, some of which I have guiltily enjoyed and some of which I have hated (my book club keeps me well-supplied with the latter).

Jul 17, 2009, 11:35pm Top

I am totally broke, but "browsing" on eBay, I found a complete set of the Great Books of the Western World from Britannica going without any bids for $1. Okay, there are still eight days and it would cost $120 to ship it from Germany, but still. If any of you are in the market, here is the link:


Jul 18, 2009, 12:12am Top

I realize I've been really neglecting this group. Whoa.

Started reading manga again. I thought I dropped that stupid habit.

I'm also moving from New York to Florida in a few weeks. My companion said she would buy the audiobooks for the trip. I trust her judgement...but I'm still nervous.

Jul 18, 2009, 10:05am Top

261: Check out my profile picture. It might make you chuckle.

Also, check out the blog "Caustic Cover Critic." There's some beauties in there.

Either that or Monsieur Sales can put a picture on of an Alexander Durrell tome.

Jul 21, 2009, 8:34am Top

See this. I expect you all to buy a copy of the book when it is published next year.

Jul 21, 2009, 10:41am Top

Round of applause for Ian, ladies and gennulmen...

PS is a fine publisher. Well done, lad.

Jul 21, 2009, 10:58am Top

Many, many congratulations, Ian. Well done, indeed.

Jul 21, 2009, 11:05am Top

Congrats, Ian, I'd be happy to buy a copy when it comes out. Keep us posted on that!

Jul 21, 2009, 11:16am Top

Looking at the list of PS authors, you're in good company there - congratulations!

Jul 21, 2009, 11:18am Top

To be fair, they bought another story off me last year, which is due to be published in one of their Postscripts* anthologies either late this year or some time next year.

(*it used to be a magazine, but from this year it's changed to a quarterly anthology)

Jul 24, 2009, 6:04pm Top

Well, I believe I mentioned entering an Ayn Rand essay contest before, so here's an update. I'm a semi-finalist, so I get thirty bucks. Compensation is sweet.

Now as soon as they put the topics up for the next one, I'll start. Maybe I'll do better this time; I want more money!

Jul 24, 2009, 6:18pm Top

Congrats! And you can piss off the Ghost of Ayn Rand by giving the money to a left-wing charity or buying Volume 1 of Das Kapital

Edited: Jul 24, 2009, 6:55pm Top

>273 kswolff: - Thanks!

I would do the latter, but unfortunately I already have it. What to get instead...

It really amuses me that I got anything at all. My essay was a piece of shit, to be frank, made worse still because I hated to think about Anthem at all. Ah, and I wrote nearly all of it in one day. I almost feel bad for the people who cared more than I did, and either got the same prize as me or nothing at all... Seems rather demeaning.

Edit: I almost forgot. Maybe I got a prize because of all the praising of Ayn Rand and her philosophy I did in that essay. Wasn't fun to do, though.

Edited: Jul 24, 2009, 10:40pm Top

Haha, well congrats!

One of my old high school friends actually *cringe* LIKED the book, and entered the contest seriously. She complained to me that all she got was another copy of the book.
I wish I asked her for it. I could have burned it or something.

Anyway, I'm headed back to college (and my first apartment!) next week. I just bought a bunch of pots and pans for my new kitchen. (Me being "excited" is probably putting it mildly.)

Jul 24, 2009, 11:00pm Top

>275 TheLeMur: - Thank you!

Oh, my. She liked it, and didn't win anything (besides an extra copy)? This was the first essay I'd written in years, so I had no idea what I was doing... I'm a bit startled.

Also, after rereading the email I got, it says I'm getting my thirty dollars, an official letter of notification, and an award certificate. The third item confuses me. What IS it? I can think of two things it could be, but I'm still very curious.

All that aside, have fun with your new kitchen utensils, TheLeMur!

Edited: Jul 25, 2009, 1:42am Top

Lemur, I remember buying all that stuff for the first time. Two of my best friends and I got an apartment at 18. Kelly and I were the only ones who didn't have to work on a Friday night. Excited for our new domestication, we went to the store to buy house stuff. We put off most stuff because Kelly's mom had a Sams Club card and we were, well, poor. At the checkout with only a toilet brush, as cheap as it was going to get, a cute guy had quite a laugh on us. Two young chicks with no better plans than a night with a toilet brush. We didn't care, we had our own place!

Have fun at your new digs.

Jul 25, 2009, 11:20am Top

>276 Irieisa: I'm sure the award certificate will be suitable for framing! Reminds me a bit of winning the Betty Crocker "Homemaker of Tomorrow" award (yeah, I'm a lot older than you!) in high school. For years I've been adding, "it was a standardized test, not a cooking competition!" I have that standardized test gene, so I did well.

On a sort of related note, two things I've found extremely useful in having my own place is a decent set of pots and pans and a decent set of knives. Didn't spend a fortune on either of them (certainly under a hundred each), but they make life so much easier than the really crappy stuff I had previously. Good pots not only cook better, they clean up more easily--soooo worth a little extra money initially.

Trust me--I won the Betty Crocker award!

Jul 25, 2009, 11:36am Top

Yeah, but it's okay. She was one of those people who think they're really intelligent, but have narrow-minded views about everything.

I don't know yet what my roommates are bringing, so I'll probably cart what I have down there and then we'll all see what else we need. I'm mostly glad to have a stove and not have to eat off of that awful meal plan. (I lived in the school dorms last year, where the meal plan was required.)

Jul 25, 2009, 8:11pm Top

>278 ejj1955: - We'll see, we'll see! It wouldn't be an award to make me proud, though.

So, are you a Homemaker of Tomorrow or a Homemaker of Today? ;-)

>279 TheLeMur: - Just out of curiosity, by narrow-minded views you don't mean quite the same thing as narrow-minded opinions (if that makes sense)? By the latter, I mean not necessarily narrow views but narrow-minded opinions on everything.

Jul 30, 2009, 4:58pm Top

Just heard from Amazon.ca. My copy of Pynchon's INHERENT VICE is on its way.


Jul 30, 2009, 5:17pm Top

>280 Irieisa: I guess I'm a homemaker of today, in that I have a home today . . .

And I've heard from half.com that my copy of The Stars My Destination has been shipped!

Aug 6, 2009, 7:58am Top

Hey, iansales, I was just posting a batch of BookMooch parcels off and saw your name on one you mooched from my husband, Ralph - hope you enjoy it!

Aug 6, 2009, 8:05am Top

Which book was that? I've mooched a few in the last week or so.

Aug 6, 2009, 8:24am Top

No idea, as it was sealed up - I'm sure Ralph will be marking it as sent when he's back at his computer ;-)

Aug 6, 2009, 9:03am Top

k. cool. I look forward to receiving it - whatever it is :-)

Aug 6, 2009, 6:23pm Top

BookMooch? What is this?

Edited: Aug 6, 2009, 7:45pm Top

BookMooch is a book trading site, www.bookmooch.com, that allows you to post books you'd like to give away. When someone asks for a book you've posted, you send it out (paying the postage, generally the cheapest choice, media mail) and get a point. Then you can use your point to ask for a book someone else has listed; they send it to you and you get books turning up in your mailbox, oh, delight!

That's basically it, although there a few little twists--like, you actually get a tenth of a point for each book you post, so if you post ten books, you could then mooch a book even if no-one has mooched yours yet. And you get extra points for sending books out of your own country.

BookMooch is one of the sites you can list on the "also on" section of your profile page on LT, too.

I may sound like a fan: I am. I've gotten about 80 books from the site in the last year or so, and bought perhaps 5.

Edited: Aug 7, 2009, 4:14am Top

I love the fact that BookMooch is international - I've sent/received books to/from far-flung corners of the world (I think my favourite was London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd to Reyjkavik).

In the last few years, I've sent 947 books and received 739, and always have at least 50 books sitting on Mount TBR - bliss ...!

Aug 7, 2009, 6:24am Top

I've found that a lot of the books I want are from US-based bookmoochers... and they're not willing to send outside their country.

Aug 7, 2009, 7:42am Top

#290 - yes, that can be a problem. Due to financial issues, I've had to go to a "my country only" setting too, after having sent many books abroad, but the Angel network (someone else within the same country who is able to send abroad acts as a go-between) works extremely well, in my experience.

Aug 7, 2009, 3:59pm Top

Huh...that sounds neat! I shall have to look it up. Thanks, ejj1955.

Aug 9, 2009, 8:53pm Top

Just posted the text of my radio play "The Innocent Moon" on my blog:


The drama celebrates my devotion/affection/love of space and science fiction and my childhood adoration of those guys with "the right stuff", the astronauts who went to the moon...and took our imaginations along for the ride.

Aug 15, 2009, 10:28pm Top

Somebody liked my writings on Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, since I just got recruited to write TV reviews for a website called "The Best TV Shows You're Not Watching":


Not a money-making venture, but it may increase my blog's readership. Always a good thing.

We'll see what happens. Luckily Dollhouse got renewed for a second season, so I'll have plenty of material to write about.

Aug 16, 2009, 11:16am Top

A gig is a gig, kid. Get your name out there, get noticed, get a buzz. The key to making it in the internet era...

Aug 16, 2009, 12:15pm Top

Either that or join Yellington J. Crazypants in shouting a town hall meeting.

Aug 19, 2009, 6:43pm Top

Following up on my Ayn Rand prize...

I got my money, my little certificate, and a paper telling me something about the contest. (Apparently over 16,000 people entered, so even though I was only a semi-finalist, not too bad.) It also told me to go to the website so I could receive a free book, and I've just received it - The Fountainhead. Now I'm all set for future contests. The book also came with another free book, an Ayn Rand sampler... They really love giving this stuff to people, and I fancy I know why.

So, I'm relatively content. :-) Free stuff, free stuff!

Aug 19, 2009, 10:23pm Top

...and something to burn, if it's a long, cold winter...

Aug 19, 2009, 11:19pm Top

>298 CliffBurns: - I'll keep The Fountainhead at least till the end of high school, when it will be useless contest-wise. Then, perhaps, I shall do to it what I did to my Barbies - behead and smash with hammer, then string head up and use as cat toy. :-) Well, the paper equivalent.

Haha, one of these days I'll behead The Fountainhead... This amuses me.

Aug 20, 2009, 2:20am Top

I managed to pass the exam for the Diploma! ;-)
On to the next level! It's like a video game...

Aug 20, 2009, 9:15am Top

Level up!

And well done.

Aug 20, 2009, 9:24am Top

Congratulations, Sonia!

Aug 20, 2009, 9:58am Top

297> Return the book to a store for credit and get a better one. Do you have The Savage Detectives yet?

Aug 20, 2009, 11:30am Top

>303 inaudible: - You can take books into stores for credit? And no, not yet. Unfortunately I feel someone is on the verge of a hissy-fit regarding my lovely books, so I'm laying somewhat low.

Aug 20, 2009, 6:08pm Top

>304 Irieisa: That's one reason I like BookMooch--I can pretend that the number of books going out is about the same as books coming in, with the big difference being that the ones coming in are ones I want and the ones going out are ones I'm not interested in. So I'm always getting new (well, used, but different) books but not really spending money except on postage. Win/win.

Aug 20, 2009, 6:59pm Top

>305 ejj1955: - Haha, but nearly all of the books I have are ones I want, since I just donated all the others - too late for me...

Aug 20, 2009, 7:29pm Top

Yes, just tell the store you got the book as a gift, and they will let you return it (if it is in new condition).

Aug 20, 2009, 11:40pm Top

>307 inaudible: - ...I'm amazed. And really really wish I had known before I'd gotten rid of the books I wasn't interested.

The copy I got, though, has a sticker on the inside. Also, I would've needed to read this one anyway, so I'll keep it around for now, at least.

Aug 24, 2009, 7:55am Top

Used bookstores often provide trade credit for "used" books as well. Also a little less dishonest, if you care about such things. I'll also vouch for BookMooch. I recently bought about 1000 books at an auction (all to buy one book!) and have been filling wants as I go along. Not posting all of them as I don't have room for these to sit around my house. Pull what I want and take the rest to a local used seller.

Aug 24, 2009, 10:43am Top

...a thousand books...at once...

Ben...Ben....I'm envious...I'm awed...

What book were you after that you bought all 1,000?

Edited: Aug 24, 2009, 10:48am Top

>301 CliffBurns:, 302

Many, many thanks for your kind wishes! :-)
So far, my interest for literature has always been amplified, rather than dwindled, by the amount of work - no rest for the wicked!


Edited: Aug 24, 2009, 12:06pm Top

I was after some old books on fly-fishing (got a couple!) and found a 1536 (not a typo) book of poetry during the preview. No one else saw it. Truly phenominal. Not an Aldus, but nice. I got many other gems along the way, but now I have a lot of stuff I don't need. Would any of you done any different?

Aug 24, 2009, 2:11pm Top

Depends on the state of me checkbook, Ben, me lad. 1,000 books to get one...and THEN I have to find shelf space for the other 999--or really good homes for them, which would take some time, in and of itself. Giving away or shipping scores of books?

But 1536...(nodding admiringly)...yes, that's a REAL find. You won't manage coups like that very often. So I completely understand your enthusiasm. Envious and awe-struck--yup, that about sums up my feelings...

Aug 24, 2009, 2:15pm Top

Yes, the schlep factor is not to be taken lightly, even for a grand total sum of $50.

Aug 24, 2009, 2:17pm Top

F-f-f-fifty bucks for 1,000 books? Including the 1536 lovely?

Ben, you lucky, lucky bah-stid!

My envy and awe just got ratcheted up another 5 notches...

Aug 24, 2009, 2:32pm Top

I grow in my own estimation as well. The $50 was the cheapest part. It also represents 6 hours of being jostled by dusty, sweaty bibliophiles in a boiling hot, forgotten warehouse in the wrong part of Oklahoma City on a Friday night.

Aug 24, 2009, 2:56pm Top

I know exactly what you mean. I once sat all day though an auction so I could buy a cedar chest for $30. Getting it home was not easy, either. Worth it, though.

Aug 24, 2009, 5:44pm Top

Not sure anyone's actually posting personal messages on this thread anymore, but I'll mention that I've got a story in 'New Stories from the South 2009,' which just came out.

Aug 24, 2009, 5:58pm Top

318: Congratulations! I will look for it.

Aug 24, 2009, 5:59pm Top

318--That's great! Also will look for it.

Aug 24, 2009, 6:36pm Top

Well done, Geoff. An antho appearance always has a special resonance to it--those are the ones you remember with special fondness and pride.

Good on ya and write on!

Here's the link to Amazon for those who wanna pick up a copy:


Please tell me that's the right book. Edited by Madison Smartt Bell? That's pretty damn impressive, man...

Edited: Aug 24, 2009, 8:01pm Top

>318 GeoffWyss: (and onwards) - I'll be taking a look if I'm allowed anywhere near a Barnes & Noble. Which reminds me...

Cliff, are your books available new anywhere or would I have to buy used?

And, back on the topic of personal messages, I started high school today, though orientation was last week. I feel remarkably drained, though not because of schoolwork; we didn't even do any of that yet. (And I'm looking forward to it just a bit, too.)

Ah well, at least it wasn't as bloomin' loud as last week - I think they wanted to deafen us. Not something I especially appreciate.

Aug 24, 2009, 8:19pm Top

This thread is getting too long.

Aug 24, 2009, 8:22pm Top

High school is fodder for kids with bright minds, observant habits, artistic inclinations and sharpened sensibilities. Enjoy yourself: consider it a sociological experiment, your own private Skinner box...

Aug 24, 2009, 8:39pm Top

>324 CliffBurns: - I've found thinking of it as such makes it much easier to attend. ;-) I'm also happy to see the list of required reading for Lit class:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice and Men
Fahrenheit 451
The Odyssey
Romeo and Juliet
and assorted unnamed stuff.

Not bad, right? I was bracing myself for much, much worse!

Aug 24, 2009, 9:17pm Top

>325 Irieisa: That does look like a good list. Where are all the modern books that so many schools assume are necessary to catch the attention of students?

(I think I've read them all--To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in the last year. It was wonderful.)

Aug 24, 2009, 10:09pm Top

>326 ejj1955: - Ah, indeed. Not that all modern books are bad, of course, but...

Anyway, very relieved to see those on the list instead of The Samurai's Garden or Beloved. I would have wept a little inside.

Aug 25, 2009, 1:15pm Top

Yep, Cliff, that's the book. The M.S. Bell introduction is kind of not so good, but I can't speak for the rest of the stories yet; haven't had time to read them yet.

Sep 14, 2009, 2:28pm Top

I've just posted the four short stories that cost me my entire summer on my blog, free reading for one and all.

Why do I put myself through this? It certainly ain't the money, that should be manifestly obvious. But I welcome the thoughts/opinions of some of the well-read, smart folk in this group. As much as I rag you, I do respect your discerning tastes. Well, except for Jane Bronte...er, Emily Austen...er...


Sep 14, 2009, 2:40pm Top

And, coincidentally, I've just posted a story to my blog here. It's called 'The Amber Room'.

The story was published earlier in the year by Pantechnicon magazine, but their site is now marked as insecure and unreachable - they've had problems with hackers. So I've put a link to a PDF copy of my story on my own blog.

Edited: Sep 14, 2009, 3:19pm Top

Yup, these days a writer must be capable of a little DIY.

Looking forward to reading "Amber Room", Ian. I like your approach to fiction; your work is original and literate and it's going to lead to bigger and better things. THAT is manifestly obvious...

Sep 14, 2009, 3:13pm Top


Actually, Cliff, I think you might have already read 'The Amber Room'.

Sep 14, 2009, 3:18pm Top

I KNOW that, dummy.

If you'll read the comment on your blog, I said as much.

I was giving you a general plug, a ringing endorsement, the closest thing to a word of praise you'll ever hear from me and, Sales, you had to...

Must be something in that Sheffield air. Cadmium particulates, mercury, heavy metals that affect the senses...

Edited: Sep 14, 2009, 3:20pm Top

Corrected the typo: make that "DIY". As in "do it yerself".

Limey git.

Group: Literary Snobs

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