Saturday, June 27, 2009

Movie day

I KNOW that the new Transformers movie has received ROTTEN reviews... but, since I begged my husband to rent a copy of the first movie so we could watch it (he and the boys had seen the first movie in the theater, I hadn't) and he DID rent it (and we did watch it), we are going to see the second movie today.


As a family.

Even if the ratings suck. Most likely, it's an ordinary (as in typical) action flick with lots of explosions and chase scenes, which reviewers don't care for.

I don't care. I get a day out, a movie of some kind, popcorn (with EXTRA butter-- even though I'm exploding my diet in the process) and some fun.

I'll let you know how the movie went later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hard at work... almost

Well I didn't take off for the wilds of the open road today as I thought I might. Instead I got three books listed, cleaned up a little, took some pictures for the next batch of books to list and THEN played a tiny bit of hooky. Son number one went to work with his dad. Son number two went swimming with friends for a while this afternoon, so That's when I hit the road....

Except, it was still in Modesto.

And it was only an hour.

BUT, it was fun. Found a very small stack of books.

I still wish I could fly off to exotic parts and magically find $3,000. books lying in wait for me at 10cent prices....

Maybe that's just an early summer daydream.

Maybe it's because I'm feeling a bit cooped up at home with the WHOLE family here (though generally we've all been behaving well).

Maybe it's because data entry is tiresome, eye-straining and rather boring....

Whatever it is, I have to figure out a way around it & get BACK TO WORK!!!!

Hey, at least I finished February's stats. I think that's a bonus.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day Dreaming of book scouting...

I'd really love to spend the day out book scouting. I had the urge this morning to grab the car keys, pack the boys up and just hit the road.... where? who cares. As long as in the end there's a few book spots to stop at and an ice cream sundae to consume for energy....

But... instead I've been a good book dealer who stayed at home, entered some more data (nine books listed, two sold), is planning on working on more of February's tax info to get back to keeping better tabs on the year, and looking up ideas for our Fourth of July float for the parade (boy scout stuff... I happened to stick my hand up AGAIN for float duty and this year I get to do most of the design conception work ... at which I'm horrible!)

So no flying off with the breezes today. But in my mind, I'm out on the dusty road (in 100 degree heat today), searching for the next great find to add to my website stock.

It's amazing how romantically exciting the job of a bookseller can sound -- until you get to the part where you have your rear end parked on a seat, staring at the computer screen for hours on end, madly typing away.

That part is just plain slog work.

Tomorrow is out because my favorite spot up the road closes on Thursdays to restock, but Friday....

Well, we'll see where the wind takes me (and the boys) that day.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another article uploaded to my website...

I just finished uploading article number two: Terry Pratchett: Fantasy, Humor and...

to my website. I've got a bunch more to add, which will be done as time permits.

If you'd like to take a look, here's the link: Terry Pratchett: Fantasy, Humor and...

I've got some youth fiction series info, some SF / horror / Fantasy articles and some other things I can't even remember that I wrote that I'll have to poke through and add to the site.

The nice thing for some people is that I have bibliographic info on a bunch of these authors -- research done that might not be found elsewhere. I should probably charge for it...

At any rate, it's there. Enjoy reading it.

I still don't have any photos of Son number one from camp, but I have heard rumors of great blackmail video WILL be available at some point in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing (and USING ) it.

Now it's back to actual data entry!

(oh, and looking up prices, etc. on another small non-fiction group of books to buy.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Goofy Scout photos... and more

So why is it that young-ish boys when asked to pose for a photo HAVE to stick their tongues out? And this particular goofy boy always finds an even weirder way than normal to stick out that appendage...

Son number 2 was a bit ambivalent about going to Scout camp this time and his attitude went up and down a bit (down especially when hungry... and he's growing, so that's ALWAYS...). But in the end, he really did enjoy himself. I hear snippets of things he's learned in his discussions with friends and with his dad, so I know some things stuck in his brain.

This year's theme for Scout Camp was Native Americans, so we had Indian Lore, fun Indian crafts and lots of feathers (thanks to a GREAT leader for our den... I was an assistant leader for it last year & we sure could have used some extra stuff like this for our group).

As always, there was B-B Gun shooting and Archery lessons which we all enjoyed. Son number 2 earned at least three Webelos pins and a handful of beltloops and academic pins -- in three days time -- they stuffed him full of work and fun and it Exhausted our brains!

Here's goofy tongue photo number two. I left out others. And the ones showing his backside to the camera for obvious reasons.

Here's me -- I actually got son number two to take a decent picture of me and my bull's eye --

One of the shots hit the X, the other landed in the 10 point area. GO MOM!

I didn't get to shoot the B-B gun though. Not this time. Maybe next year.

We have one & a half years of Webelos before son number 2 joins his brother in BOY scouts. I'm looking forward to all of it.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're Baaaaccckkk.... well, partly

Cub Scout camping is done -- son number two (who is now a Webelos 1) and I are back from camp. Son number one (who became a boy scout this year) has today & Friday still to go. Supposedly coming home Friday night (instead of staying over til Saturday morning to pack up and leave), should arrive home filthy dirty, tired and energized with five or six Merit Badges sometime around 1AM on Saturday morning.


I hear that, except for the cats being their rowdy selves, the house with just two adults was VERY QUIET (and that they LIKED it that way!)

I'm hoping to have a few pictures to put up.

Question -- For son number two, I was there to get photos of fun stuff. What do you do for the son who isn't with you? Give him a cheap camera and ask friends to take pictures? Hmmmm...

PS: Someone on Facebook thought it would be good to have the entire article posted to my blog as those are swept (in some weird computer way) by the Computer Gods & this will help with my website (supposedly.... )

So for the moment, I'm posting the link to the actual article. Hopefully, if I get a chance this week, I'll post the entire (LONG) thing.


Here's the link: Madeleine L'Engle: Time, Space and the Tesseract

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quick Break....

Yesterday it was three baseball games and an end of season pool party (and I sunburned the back of my neck & face AGAIN...). It's been cool this season, relatively speaking (IE: No games played in 110 degree weather, but even these overcast days like yesterday are days I SHOULD be wearing sunscreen (well, the boys too, but...) and I KEEP FORGETTING to put it on my neck & face.


Today we leave for Boy Scout camp. So I'll be taking a quick break.

Hopefully I'll be back on Thursday.

We'll see how long it takes me to catch up on real work first. I will try to remember to take pictures for you.

Have a great week & wish us good weather!
(For the first time in over five years, we're not expecting 95 - 115 degree weather at camp. In fact, in checking this morning, it was 45 degrees at 6:00 and supposed to go to 75-ish). For us, that's nearly winter weather...



Friday, June 12, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle: Space, Time and the Tesseract

I just had to say---


I got the first of my articles up on my website. After a day's hassle with the goofiness of Microsoft Word not liking the upload editor of my website, I finally got the entire article up (and hopefully the same font... that was the big kicker... the two editors didn't want to swap fonts...)

So now I can say I've done it.

The next articles should be a piece of cake (knock on wood).

If you've never read Firsts Magazine, this is a painless way to start (well, if you like young adult and science fiction too). The copy of my article which is on my website is the PRE-edited by an actual editor version, so there ARE definite changes to the one in the print copy of the magazine. Most of those changes are editorial voice issues, and not textual errors, so it's really no big deal.

I go off to Boy Scout camp with BOTH number one and number two son this week and will be gone for a bit from blogging, but after I get back, I'll try and add a few other articles to the site.

PS: if you didn't know, there is a link to my website on the left side of this blog (it says "Visit my website")

Once there, the article is listed on the Navigation bar Under Madeleine L'Engle...

(PPS: Any time you see a book listed on this blog, chances are that it will be found for sale on my website as well, so you can use the link liberally).

(PPPS: Really, I don't mind. In fact, I'd really like it if people started buying books from the website via the blog. If they did (and noted it in their checkout -- I might be willing to give a discount. AND it would mean I'd try to spend more time updating the blog with new, interesting bits about books and books that I have for sale.)


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Case of the....

I've had a stack of Erle Stanley Gardner mysteries (in book club hardback with dust jackets) on the shelf for YEARS.... mostly Perry Mason mysteries, but a couple of the other series as well (one D. A. mystery).

Erle Stanley Gardner was the Louis L'Amour of the Mystery world (well, one of them at least) with not only masses of books published, but GOOD books to read, overall. I used to watch the Perry Mason courtroom dramas when the ran in re-runs -- showing a bit of my age here -- but they were fairly decent too.

The thing is, I think these books should have sold years ago. They've been on my shelves for at least five years, possibly more. All have dust jackets. All are generally in very good to very good+ condition. The prices are decent and in range.

So why is it that one or two have sold over the years and not the rest?

Who knows.

I do know that the time I had a 1st edition in nice condition of one of the titles, it sold in less than six months.

The book club editions.... that seems to be a different story.

Maybe I should read one this week. Maybe if I set my sights on keeping even one of the volumes out of the reach of customers for a couple of days by putting it on my to read pile, that will force the universe to react.

I don't know.

Even if they still don't sell in another year, or two, I'll probably hang on to them. The covers are cool, the stories are decent and Erle Stanley Gardner is a classic mystery author (well, you know, popularly classic. He's no Dashiell Hammet, even on a really good day).

In other news, I know I promised to start work on uploading my First's Magazine articles to my website this week.

First things first though.

I have to FIND the darned articles to put up.

THAT'S still on my list. It's do-able.

Watch me do...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Lion and the Carpenter... Arabian Nights...

The Arabian Nights -- one of the most famous series of stories / fables / fantasies / morality stories ever written. But no one actually knows when they were originally written, or even what language they came from. Persian? Arabic? something similar? Attributed to Shahrazade (various spellings abound, this is the spelling from this particular translation) and supposedly created over a period of years while the formidable lady tried to keep her head by keeping a cranky and easily bored king amused... the stories are timeless and well developed and little nuggets of wonderfulness, each in themselves and as a whole.

This particular volume is an over-sized, but thinnish picture book style edition which includes only a few of the stories. Illustrated throughout in black and white and full color by Sandro Nardini, the book was originally published in Italy. This copy is a possible (more like probable) 1st English Language edition. The pictures are great, the stories captivating and the book as a whole quite pleasant.

It makes me want to dive in and read the whole 2001 Arabian Nights.... (with the Maxfield Parrish Illustrations, of course).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer schedule.. screwed up again....

I keep thinking that the way somethings go together -- like hot dogs and buns and chili and cheese -- summertime means I might be able to get some work done.


Today, we have our 11 year old friend over (he'll be a regular Monday visitor during the summer ) and it SHOULD be a fun thing to have someone to play with right on hand... but
Geez... three boys in one house and the noise level goes through the roof, the whining starts & no one can seem to remember how to share (except sharing wrestling techniques which end up painfully).

WORK? what's THAT!


Tomorrow, I'll try again to get work done.

what do you think the odds are going to be then?

Thought so.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The attack of the killer website...

I have read AGAIN, and been reminded AGAIN that I need to put my articles from Firsts Magazine (I've been writing for them since the 90's) on my website.


The problem is the execution of said idea.

This week, I plan to tackle that job and hopefully get a few of my articles up to the site and visible.

Wish me luck.

And if that goes well, I'm going to try to upload the folder of html pages that I made for my final project for my HTML class a few years ago. It's all about Madeleine L'Engle and contains some very useful information and a bibliography... I have to figure out how to get it up to the site & to make it work again....

Hurts my brain just to think about it.

Maybe I'll let son number two do it. He can figure out internet stuff without even taking a deep breath. Bah!

Little Bear's Playtime by Frances Margaret Fox

The date on this book is 1935 (it's not a first, that would have been 1932, but it's charming all the same). The book includes a series of short vignettes / stories about Little Bear and is illustrated with both black and white and full color plates by Frances Beem. The stories range from: Little Bear's Nearest Way Home, to How the Three Bears Ate Supper Together, to When Old Neighbor Spider Helped Little Bear.

I liked that Mother Bear wanted the family to all eat together -- something we do try to do at home, but because there are four, and sometimes five different schedules to keep track of, not really possible all the time. Here's what Mother Bear says: "Families should be together at mealtime, especially at supper," said Mother Bear. In the case of this story, Mother Bear's reminder came because Little Bear went out to the forest to explore & forgot to come home for supper. He found every stream, tree, leaf and bug to be so interesting that he couldn't help but forget the time.

Nice thought. It's something we should be remembering to do today. Pay attention to what's around us & find it so interesting that we can't pull ourselves away (nature please... NOT computers!)

At any rate, this group of stories can be read today both for their easy reading, fun value for children, but for adults as a reminder of what life COULD be like when we're not plugged in & tuned out.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sale on the Website -- 45% off all stock

Just a quick note for those of you who might have an interest....

My website is having a Summer Sale with a 45% discount off any stock on the site.

It goes from today (June 2, 2009) through June 7th.

In order to receive the discount, enter coupon code SUMMERSALE09 during checkout.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Pictorial History of American Sports...

This book - the Pictorial History of Sports is one I got in that big batch of mostly non-fiction I picked up two months ago (wow - time flies).

At any rate, this was not one of the big items from the collection, but I've gotten around to listing it in the database this morning.

I thought I'd poke through it to see what sort of odd sports have come and gone in American pastime.

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN there would be something just plain yucky.

Ok. Get this. While early puritans frowned on sports (along with anything that could crack a smile), there were still games / sport available to eager participants. Mostly easily understood and normal sort of pastimes like foot races, shooting sports, etc. But in New Amsterdam, the inhabitants brought with them this little gem:

"Today the area is surrounded by skyscrapers, but the little park still preserves its original name. Not so gentle wsa the Dutch-imported sport of gander pulling (with an illustration that I CAN'T get on my camera that would come out decently). If a man pulled off the bird's head while passing in the swift current, he was given the gander. If he failed, he got a ducking.

The illustration shows a gander tied by its legs on a string over a river. The man is on a plank at the edge of a boat and he's trying to grab the bird by the neck to do the icky and obvious task of wringing its head off. The picture shows the man mostly toppling off the boat so I'm going to assume that this particular participant lost the game.

There are a few things that were probably obvious to the crowd who thought this was great sport that people today don't --

first off I'm going to assume that the bird was ALIVE. Otherwise, there's really no sport to yanking it's head off.

Second, I'm assuming that Ganders are lo less savage tied upside down over a river than they are upright and barrelling down at you with wings spread and mouth open (note, this comes from experience -- I took my sons to an apple farm that had geese which you could pay to feed .. the geese were, at the time, bigger than both my sons (2 & 4 at the time) and when they come blazing across the grass at you with full out wings and beaks at the ready, you RUN... at least we did. Son number two was quite traumatized at the time).

Three, I am guessing that ganders weren't that expensive an animal to keep / maintain, as having them available for the sport seems to not be a big thing -- of this I am completely unsure.

It's obvious that yanking a gander's heads off was no big deal -- casual cruelty to an animal (which you were then given as a prize to eat) seems the norm at the time.

And if that game isn't enough to put you off your feed, here's another gem:

"In contrast to the gentle sports described on the opposite page was a method of fighting common in frontier America, known as gouging. A bare-knuckle fight was as mild as a church supper compared to this brutal sport - if it can be called a sport. It gouging brawls, anything went. Kicking, biting, and knee-ing were allowed, and the gouging itself, performed by grabbing the hair near the temple and scooping the eye out of the socket with the thumb nail, was the ultimate aim - like a K. O. in modern boxing. Gougers used to let their thumb nails grow long for that purpose. "


Just Yuck.

Of course, I know that today there are still events that have the same yuck factor but...

While this book does indeed point out some unusual and rather negative sporting events, the majority of the book is dedicated to very interesting tidbits of information about the genesis, history and Americanization of a great number of sports -- many of whom still exist today.