Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peter Pan take two...

So yesterday I didn't get a chance to take some pictures of the inside of the Peter Pan Story Book that I posted to the blog -- today I got a chance to take some pictures. Unfortunately, this format doesn't seem to do the vivid colors much justice.

Hopefully you can click on the pictures to get a better view.

This particular picture of Tinkerbell got a mention in one dealer's description for the fact that it is a rather "Hot" version of Tinkerbell -- not a kiddie version. That dealer was right on the money. This picture looks more like a Vargas pin-up than a Children's fairy story fairy. It's quite nice though.

And the colors (which aren't showing up really well on this) are so VIVID (I know I used that word before, but I'm stuck for an alternative).


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Picture Story book of Peter Pan

I'm going to try to add some pictures of the inside illustrations of this -- the colors that Roy Best used for his illustrations are WONDERFUL. Very reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish color-wise, but the style of the humans is completely his own. This particular copy of Peter Pan starts with the play version of the book and modifies that to fit a children's picture book.

The story has, of course, been jiggled around to be for younger children but it's not really the text that's of interest here, it's the illustrations.

As I said, I'm going to try to add some more pictures to show you what wonderful illustrations they are.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Packing Iron... Gunleather of the Frontier West

Nope - no children's books today (I do have a nice one that's coming up in the pile -- hopefully by next week).

Today it's gunleather of the Frontier West. This book shows great illustrations of the leatherworking including tooling, doo-dads, etc. that helped win the West. If it weren't for the gun holsters, there would have been far fewer gun fights to boast about -- if it hadn't been for the saddle holsters, there would have been fewer shoot-outs between the cavalry and the natives.

Well, wishful thinking on my part, I'm sure.

However, this book is filled with gorgeous color photographs of different types of leather holsters, gun belts, and other assorted gun leather accessories with detailed descriptions which can be used by those studying the Old West -- the former owner, a leather worker himself, used the book to get the details he needed to make replica gun leather goods.

Not a children's book, but neat none the less.

Monday, July 20, 2009


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. His words, recorded on a scratchy tape became some of the most famous words in modern history:

"One small step for man -- one giant leap for mankind."

It makes chills run down my spine just to think about it. How very momentous an event this was. Humans had left their own planet, traveled through the vacuum of space and reached our nearest bumpy, rocky neighbor The Moon, landed and stepped out onto it.


Since that time, science fiction writers have continued to dream of reaching other planetary objects -- Mars in particular is a big draw (and if you haven't read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy about terraforming Mars --DO SO). But our pace following up those dreams with reality has come up far shorter.

At the top of this post is a picture of a book which Buzz Aldrin wrote in 2005, illustrated by Wendell Minor that tells younger readers all about the adventures he had in 1969. For many young children, the idea of stepping foot on the moon is nothing spectacular -- it's a fact in their history books. They don't really understand just how difficult it was, how much blood, sweat, tears, and how many hardships preceded the bouncy steps down the lander's stairway and out onto the surface of the moon. Buzz Aldrin's short walk was the culmination of a decade of technological innovation, of tragic disasters and lost lives, of small accomplishments and spectacular triumphs.

What a day.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Another week of summer vacation...

I mentioned the Boy Scout badge for Gardening... ? Well -- we're starting to reap the fruits of our labor. However I didn't want to have number one son pick any of the Zucchini until we were given permission. Finally, we took measures into our own hands as this was WAY TOO BIG a Zucchini. So we picked it. Found out later we had permission to pick WAY earlier. Oh well. I made a very nice zucchini bread out of half of it. The other half turned out to be too hard to eat as a veggie plate piece. From now on we pick them MUCH SMALLER!

Quick flip of the thought here --

Man -- I keep trying to keep up the blog thing every day. It's HARD!

I suppose, if I didn't have kids (whether or not they are are on summer vacation) it might be easier to spend extra time on the computer and get all the things done I want to get done (the list is MILES long).

Yet, today, I got to sit for about two hours straight on the computer and I gotta tell you, my rump is not a happy camper. It would help if I wasn't sitting on a wooden stool... yeah, but...
And I NEED to get up and walk around more. I'm starting to flab out around the edges.

I finally got the pictures from the last week or so downloaded to the computer (so you guys who have Iphones and can do everything from your incredi-machines can laugh all you want -- I need some down time without technology taking over my life .. and that includes sending, receiving, photo-ing, chatting via text, blogging, updating & generally keeping my hands on the keypad non-stop)

Since I did get the pictures to the place where they need to be to get on the blog, I'll run a few up this here flagpole:

Last week my sons number one and number two and their friend all went to baseball camp together and then spent the afternoons hanging at our house. Here's a sort of group shot with the three on the bottom step starting from the right being my gang. They had a blast, learned lots AND -- this year it wasn't 110 at 9:30AM with smoke from 2000 fires hanging in the air until you couldn't breathe. This year was much nicer weather wise.

To keep sons number one and two busy for some days on summer vacation, its fun to take day trips. Son number two loves to try and fish (operative word is TRIES - no fish have actually been caught as of yet). This picture shows number two son (number one was hiding) plus three other friends. Nice trip --BUT we decided that we'd head out into the reaches of nature on a day when it was 110 by 11:00 AM -- AND we had to hike over rocks, and slippery slopes with trails that were six inches wide and with possible snakes and poison oak.... (only faint possibilities mind you, this is a state park just up the road from us). Fun stuff.

This is the finally built float for the Boy Scouts / Cub Scouts entry in the 4th of July Parade: Officially entitled: One Hundred Years of Scouting: 1910. Present and Beyond.

Here are the boys on the float on 4th of July morning. Again, a great weather day -- not 105 in the shade. It topped out at a modest 95 which was do-able. However, it does take ALL morning. Out of the house at 8:25 - back for lunch at 1:30.....

Hopefully tomorrow I'll actually put up BOOK PICTURES!

I've got some fun new books to list and am looking forward to writing about them.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer -- we are!

Who knows where we'll be off to next.

(evenings are taken up though with a new baseball team for number one son)

And HOPEFULLY, I'll start being able to do my work again on a scheduled basis next month when school is set to resume. This includes DAILY blog posts. (Yeah, right).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Friend the Atom...

I have listed a few books on atomic power recently -- all of them have been for adults on the perils of atomic weapons and what problems could be caused by these weapons in the hands of the US and other nations. This is the first book I've seen that covers the history of the atom and it's possible uses, etc. that is for children. Granted, it's for kids over the age of 9 or so (my opinion) but if you take a gander at this book, Heinz Haber (the author) and The Disney Studios did a great job on a basic overview of the subject. The history starts as far back as Democritus, the Greek Philosopher who first wrote down the idea of an Atom and then goes on through Galileo, Gassendi (that's a new one to me), Newton, Boyle, Lavoisier and the discovery of the elements, John Dalton, and Avogadro. Then it goes on to discuss new technologies that have come from the finding of the atom and on to give possible ideas of how the atom could be used in the future. Neat stuff. Actual history and theory.

While the book is written fairly simply, it's not a "talk down" sort of book and really is quite detailed.

I might have to put it aside and read it myself.


Monday, July 6, 2009

What a weekend.... wow!

I was hoping to have pictures of the float for you -- I DO have them, I just haven't had the time to get them from my camera to the blog. It's been a LONG (and very fun ) weekend. It started last Week with Friday setting up the float.

I did tell you I was in charge of the whole shebang right? Well I was.

But, with some help from the other parents, and some artistic thoughts from the kids (that's a HOOT.... you had to be there to here & see what it is THEY wanted) we got the float ready for the parade. It only took three+ hours. Luckily, this year, the weather has been kind & it wasn't 100 degrees at 8:00pm.

Saturday, we got out of the house at 8:15AM to get ready for a 10:00 parade start time. Our float was number 55. I got to walk the whole parade route with a couple of the older boys & we threw out candy and waved.

I thought it went over rather well.

We got home around 1:00PM. Then it was time for a tiny rest, and I got to go out and sell fireworks for a couple of hours.

After that, it was a quick dinner and fireworks of our own. Maybe next year we'll go see one of the Fireworks shows put on by the city, but for this year, it was small, NOT noisy fireworks with a bit of flash. The best (according to sons number one & two) were Pop-its and sparklers (with an occasional ground bloom thrown in for good measure).

Sunday, it was fix it day with Uncle Lance (and cleaning day, and shopping day and generally trying to get control of everything that had gone one the previous week).

Today was day one of a week long baseball camp for both boys & their friend. Afterwards, they came over here for the rest of the day. For the rest of the week, see the previous sentence, rinse and repeat.

Hopefully NEXT week I'll be able to get some real work done. I'd like to get back to data entry, show some pictures and maybe go book hunting.

We'll see.

This summertime thing with kids on vacation from school... man, it's tiring!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Victoria: A Pig in a Pram ...

Here's another pig book -- I find that books on a particular subject or animal seem to come in bunches. I had a month's worth of mice books; now it's time for pigs (again). This particular book has wonderful black and white illustrations by Paul Kennedy and the text, which is for kids, but is somewhat of a memoir of a portion of the author's life, deals with the pets her family had when she and her siblings (all seven of them) were young. Victoria, the pig -- was a real-life pet. Here's the beginning of the story for you:

"My life has been full of questions which I have never been able to answer. I suppose most lives are full of these questions. Otherwise, lives would be too dull to be borne; and none of us could possibly live them.
One of my many unanswered questions which keep coming back to pester me is how my mother ever managed to endure all the pets we always had around the house when we were young. She had to endure eight of us children since, after all, we belonged to her, at least in part; but she really did not have to endure all the pets we had, all the creatures who messed up her neat rooms, ruined her rugs, knocked the babies over in an excess of affection, and made the air vibrant with their barks, whines, snifflings, bleatings, cawings, and grunts. Why and how she put up with them all is still a mystery to me. But she did."

If I had another half hour to sit, I'd end up reading the entire book (it's not long). It's funny, somewhat silly and gives a wonderful view of life as a child in the 1930's (approximately).

Transformers movie... Cool stuff..

So we went to the Transformers (2) movie last Saturday. I did mention that it received rotten reviews (one I saw received a 1 & 1/2 stars.... ). I have to say I disagree with the ratings.

First off -- I KNOW when I'm going to a summer smash-em-up blockbuster type movie that I'm not expecting edification.

The plot had holes in it. Yeah. So what!

The graphics were AWESOME, the adventure / suspense / cool factor was high and it was quick moving. If it had been truly bad, I would have stopped feeling my suspension of disbelief and I didn't. There were a few kinks here and there, and I did spend a bit more time than I could have looking for where Shia LeBeouf had the cast / wrapping on his had because he rolled his car in real life and smashed it to smithereens.

Ok, I did find Megan Fox to be more of the sexpot than anything else, but frankly, it was OK by me and I know that that's what the director wanted.

It wasn't Shakespeare -- BUT -- I wasn't expecting Shakespeare.

So I was fine with the whole thing.

Son number one wants to see it again.

Maybe we will.