Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Up at Nathan and Sarah's for the pumpkin party the other night, I took this picture:

Couldn't get the horse to keep his head up; he was too busy eating. And actually, the picture that I took was this one:

Took a little while with the clone brush to get rid of the power lines, but I think it was worth it. You can still see them if you know where to look, but that's about te best I can do...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Muffins with Julien

Couldn't decide what to have for breakfast this morning, and Julien talked me into making chocolate muffins. Actually, DOUBLE chocolate muffins - he was very specific about that. Here are the bakers:

(Yup, that's what it says. Mich's apron, originally, but I kinda took it over. Not true, though...)

The best part of baking...

Ready to go in the oven. Funny, I didn't take any "after" photos of the finished product, but they turned out pretty well. Maybe with this and my recent vampire cupcakes, I've finally overcome my weird mental block with being able to make cupcakes and muffins...

Vampire cupcakes

Saw the recipe for "Vampire cupcakes" that made the rounds on some blogs last week, and had to give them a try. This is the main post that the others referred to, with the recipe that I used. It was a little cakey; if I make them again I think I'll go with a simpler cupcake recipe. Still have some of the filling left over, so I'll probably make some to take to work next week.

Easy Halloween costumes

Librarian and a construction worker. Heh.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A head start

Not much more to say...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bike ride

So I've been trying to get out for a mountain bike ride, ever since the marathon, but weather or other stuff have conspired against me. Finally made time to do it this morning, although the weather wasn't perfect - cold and windy, actually, with a little blowing snow at times. That sounds worse than it was, though - I wore shorts, a long-sleeve t-shirt and a light vest, with full-fingered gloves and it was about perfect. Here's the route I did:

And some pictures:

Some pretty clouds near the top, but this was where it started snowing a little.

Looking east toward Sparks.

The trail ahead.

Looking down Park Canyon toward Rancho San Rafael.

From there I rode through the tunnel under McCarran into Rancho San Rafael, across the dog park, and down Washington street toward home. Took a silly fall, though - I was stopping to adjust my seatpost back up as I got back onto the pavement, and coasted to a stop on a concrete sidewalk. It was pretty slippery, my foot went right out from under me, and I went down kinda hard. Landed flat, though, so it was OK. Embarrassing, though...


After glancing at the cover of this a few times as it went by at the library, I decided to give it a chance. Pretty good stuff - well written, good attitude and fun. "Dishwasher Pete" gives us the rundown on his life, his theory of dishwashing and his "quest" to wash dishes in all fifty states. (His quest eventually fails, but for good reasons - I won't spoil that..) Made me want to track his next book when it comes out...

Book 75

New job

This post is kind of late, but I wanted to see how thngs were going before I wrote about it. I started a new job within the library system last week - I'm not at a branch any more, but in the Technical Services/Collection Development department, working as a cataloger. Basically, what I do (or am being trained to do, right now) is apply cataloging rules to items in the library's catalog. Mainly, this involves editing the MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) code to match our library's own local rules. Here's an example of a MARC record for a book that I just finished. I'm starting to get a feel for what to look for in the records, but I've got a long way to go. It's kind of like learning a new language - at this point I can order dinner and find the bathrooms, but I'm still far from fluent. But I think this kind of job is really going to suit me, so we'll see how it goes...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sofia cuteness

Haven't posted any family pictures for awhile, so here's some random Sofia cuteness:

Sofia talking on the phone to Grandma Gail.

Posing with an outfit...

The new favorite bathrobe - "Mingos!"

And waiting for popcorn...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Gum Thief

I had no idea that Douglas Coupland had a new book out until I noticed this the other day. I really enjoy his work, despite the fact that his author photos remind me of my egocentric high-school Honors English teacher. His sense of humor as well, which is a good thing. Anyway, The Gum Thief is a twisty little story told through letters, diaries, emails and a recurring work of fiction-in-progress. It's the story of a middle-aged "failure" and a young goth-y girl who meet while working at an office-supply superstore and basically ignore each other other than their batting diary entries back and forth. It's fun most of the time, deep at times, and left me with a pretty good feeling.

Book 74

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Leaper was a new book that caught my eye on the shelf. Not sure what attracted me to it - the size, first - it seemed about right. Then the subtitle - "The Misadventures of a Not-Necessarily-Super Hero" got me. Sounded promising. In the end, I didn't like it quite as much as I had expected - didn't have quite the brand of humor I like, and noodled off into ruminations on the meaning of Faith. But it did hold my attention through the end, which - quick little read - didn't take long to get to...

Book 73

South of the Pumphouse

Happened on this on the shelf at the library - had no idea that Les Claypool had written a book. Turned out this was pretty enjoyable - crude, profane and immoral, but enjoyable. Claypool writes fairly eruditely about a young father revisiting the small town he grew up in for a fishing trip with his brother. Drugs are taken, things go badly, fish aren't caught. Decent little twist at the end.

Book 72

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Service Included

I don't remember where it was, now, that I heard about Service Included, but I know that the minute that I did, I put it on hold at the library. Came just a few days later, and I dove right into it. This is my kind of book. It combined tales of waiting tables (which, although I've never done, I seem to really like) with some foodie stuff (although with a really non-snobby, heartfelt bent) and tales of New York (which I've never visited, but, again, kind of enjoy reading about.) Phoebe Damrosch tells her story of starting out waiting tables to a captainship at Thomas Keller's Per Se with wit and honesty. I really enjoyed it.

Book 71


This book caught my eye while at another branch of the library - always fun to scan shelves that you're not so familiar with. Cruciverbalism is part crossword history, part insider's how-to. It's written by Stanley Newman, a serious crossword fanatic and editor of one of the few nationally syndicated puzzles. Pretty interesting, and lots of tips on how to improve your puzzling. One of my favorites: If the top row has a long word, look for it to contain lots of consonants - since most words start with consonants, the down clues that run off the top line probably do too.

Book 70

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Call of the Weird

Louis Theroux starts this book off with a disclaimer about how he doesn't want it to be another tour of "weird America." I'm no connoisseur of the genre, but it seems to me like a pretty good description of this book. Theroux tours the country (mostly the west) revisiting people that he had interviewed for a BBC documentary series a few years ago. He's an interesting writer with an engaging style, and the subject he picks are varied and definitely weird. White supremacists, male porn stars, alien conspiracy theorists and gangster rappers are a few of the people he catches up with. I really like his descriptions of his interviews and thoughts about how these people have aged with their beliefs.

Book 69

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Words in a French Life

Kristen Espinasse is the author of French Word-A-Day, a blog that I've been meaning to get on my feed reader for some time now, but just did today. I loved her book, Words In A French Life - it traces her life from growing up a self-described "desert rat" in Arizona to marrying a Frenchman and settling into life in France. I love her descriptions of her children, who are always correcting her grammar. Very fun book.

Book 68

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Razor's Edge

It's been awhile since I've read anything but newer fiction, but for some reason, I thought I should reread The Razor's Edge. (Maybe I talked about it with Patrick on the Alaska trip this summer.) It's possible that I have only read this once, and I can't remember exactly how long ago that was, but I was struck by how much I identify with the main character. I remember that from my first reading of it, but I'm surprised that I still do - I had expected that I would be less idealistic or something.

The Razor's Edge is the story of a young man who, after going through World War I, travels the world in search of his own religious experience. His actions seem inexplicable to his friends, but he continues on his own path. It's told obliquely, from the view of a writer acquaintance who sees him only every few years. I'm having a hard time putting into words what this book meant to me, but I would recommend it.

Book 67