September 29, 2006


cat curled on back in box with paws curled

Posted by jeffy at 11:50 PM in Cat Blogging | Comments (0)

September 28, 2006

Lost Glove #98

work glove with suede cuff in the gutter

Another glove from back in August. Pretty sure this one was on Gilman Blvd logical-West of the post office.

Posted by jeffy at 07:38 PM in Lost Gloves | Comments (0)

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Elegant woman with guards with horsesAnother flashback review. I finished this back in early August and gave my copy away so I can't check back.

The book starts out from the point of view of a young singer, part of a travelling company which has been chosen to perform the funeral rites for a monarch. During a break in the performance he follows one of his fellow performers when she leaves the group and suspiciously creeps through obscure passages in the palace. In this way, the young man finds out that some of his cohorts have ulterior motives. He also finds out that they will go to rather extreme measures to distract anyone from finding out what those motives are.

Later that night, he follows his newfound knowledge into a situation that shows that the conspiracy he has glimpsed is more subtle, more widespread, and more powerful than he could have suspected.

The gist (and this is kind of spoilery even though these revelations come in the first couple chapters) is that there are two competing wizards who are locked in a fragile balance of power over control of the various principalities of the region. The son of one of the wizards was killed in a battle to conquer a country. In revenge, the wizard erases the name of that country. No one who was not born there can hear the name spoken, or remembers that it ever was. All physical artifacts of the country's culture are summarily destroyed. The country is renamed as if it were a sub-region of another country, long its enemy.

Of course, the country's name is Tigana. The conspiracy the young singer has discovered is made up of citizens of that country and their goal is to get their homeland back. The rest of the book (and there's a lot of "rest", it's a doorstop, even in paperback) shows the course of their attempt.

It's a significant achievement to write a book of this complexity about such an unlikely conspiracy and have each twist and turn of the plot feel relatively realistic. It would have been easy for the thing to feel like it had been engineered rather than being an account of actual events in the lives of real people. While some of the events are awfully unlikely, Kay manages to show the people who participate in and precipitate these events in a way that made me believe them capable of the feats they are depicted as having achieved.

Posted by jeffy at 07:10 PM in Book Reviews | Comments (0)

September 25, 2006

Lost Glove #97

folded glove with a hole in the pad of the index finger

Taken back on August 14th and I am not sure where I saw it now. You'd think I'd be smart enough to always take at least one picture that places the darn things after all these years. I think it was up on 56th Street just west of 220th Ave, so we'll just let that be the memory, shall we?

Nice to see a glove that actually shows some pre-loss wear and tear.

Posted by jeffy at 01:30 AM in Lost Gloves | Comments (0)

September 22, 2006


cat lying asleep between two pillows

Posted by jeffy at 11:59 PM in Cat Blogging | Comments (0)

September 21, 2006

Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

progression from ape to man on bright backgroundI've got a big backlog of reviews to write. It's been over a month since I finished this book, and my copy of it stayed in the Philippines, so I can't cheat and look up the names and such. That's my excuse for the vague.

Archaeologist dude with a past (heh. He had trouble on a dig where he found cool stuff and tried to keep it away from the indigenous folks whose land it was on) is led to a cave in the Alps where the thoroughly frozen and well-preserved bodies of a man, a woman, and a child lie. They appear to be a transitional stage between cro-magnon and homo-sap (or whatever the right terms are). The couple that led him there disturb the site and on the way down the mountain there's an accident throwing everything into uncertainty.

Elsewhere, a biotech firm is foundering, while the wife of the founder is attempting to rustle up customers for their gene therapy in the former Soviet Union, and incidentally running across 50-year-old mass graves that seem to have resulted from an attempt to stop a plague that had something to do with pregnancy (the bodies of the women are pregnant, mothers, fetuses, and fathers were all killed before being interred.)

We soon find out that there's a virus going around that causes miscarriages.

And the rest of the book has our characters stumbling around trying to find out what the heck is going on.

Bear is a fine writer so the resulting book is readable, but it feels like the final solution came first and he then tried to figure out ways to keep his characters from figuring it out too soon. The result just felt too engineered to be real for me. There's a sequel which might be the book he wanted to get to, so I'll probably give it a chance.

Posted by jeffy at 08:19 PM in Book Reviews | Comments (0)

September 15, 2006

Sleeper with watcher

cat asleep with head down on couch. Awake cat in background.

Posted by jeffy at 11:43 PM in Cat Blogging | Comments (0)

September 08, 2006

Holding down the fort

cat lounging on placemat

This is from back in the spring. We'd locked the cats in our bedroom for the day when we had our big birthday party. When we let them out they tore around the house to make sure all their stuff was still where it was supposed to be and then Theo planted himself here like an immovable object.

Posted by jeffy at 11:31 PM in Cat Blogging | Comments (0)

September 01, 2006

Jungle Gym

cats playing

When we were looking at this house to buy, we saw this original 1950s mahogany screen in the dining room and immediately thought "cat toy!" and we were right.

cats interacting

They play vigorously until we dig the camera out.

cats being aloof

Posted by jeffy at 11:46 PM in Cat Blogging | Comments (0)