Sunday, August 31, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.


We spent a few hours at the State Fair today.  Mostly we wandered.  I only had my beloved Cheese Curds and they did not disappoint.

We took the Park and Ride Bus and it was smooth as usual.  The new hub however was a terrible mess of lines of people waiting to get tickets.  Half and hour in line?

Then as we entered the fair you looked down and it was just a sea of humanity.  The whole place was that way.   Hot from people though the temp itself was in the reasonable 70s.


Doctor Who: Into the Dalek

Shades of the movie Fantastic Voyage the Doctor, Clara and two soldiers from a rebel ship are miniaturized and sent into a haywire “good Dalek” who is malfunctioning after having seen the birth of a star, and experiencing beauty.

I thought it was amusing the Doctor named the Dalek “Rusty”.   It sort of personalized him.

In another echo of Fantastic Voyage, the Dalek’s anti-bodies attack our little group when one shoots a grappling hook into the “floor”.

The episode is a race to find what is causing the malfunction and see if it can be used to turn the other Daleks from their destructive ways.

There is more of the theme of getting to know the new Doctor as well.  He asks Clara if he is a good man.   At the episode’s beginning and end she has to say “I don’t know”.   From what I’ve seen so far, my answer would be “not particularly”.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Librarian D.O.A. Booknotes

City of Darkness and Light: A Molly Murphy Mystery by Rhys Bowen

Molly is happily settled in with Daniel at her Patchin Place home.  Baby Liam enjoys life as only a baby can.

Two letters arrive.  Daniel’s mother is unexpectedly going on a trip across country with a friend.   Molly’s beloved friends and neighbors Sid and Gus are in Paris hoping to persuade the circle of artists there to promote Gus and her paintings in the community.  Impossibly, they invite her to join them there.

This isn’t something that could be managed on Daniel’s police captain salary, but what a lovely dream, eh?

At dinner there is the sound of a window breaking.  As Daniel and Molly head towards the front of the house there is a tremendous explosion and then fire.  Molly is knocked out for a few moments then finds and digs Daniel free. 

The steps to the upper level where baby Liam and nursemaid Aggie are have disappeared into rubble.

Desperately they go into the street calling for the fire brigade.  Daniel climbs to the second story window of Liam’s room, returning with a small bundle.

The New York Police have decided to crack down on a new group called the Cosa Nostra.  Daniel, who is leading the effort no longer has a safe place for his family in New York.

With his mother out west, there is no safe place to send Molly.  Unless they can go to Paris with Sid and Gus for a visit.

Sid and Gus pay for passage and Molly begins a long voyage with a baby and a rather ratty fellow passenger in tight ships quarters, nearly deathly ill herself for the length of the voyage.

Arriving in Paris, Molly and Liam aren’t met by Sid and Gus.  Making their way to the address the women gave her, Molly finds they have been missing for several days.  She talks her way into using their apartment until they return, but there she is, in a foreign country, with a tiny baby and no money or friends.
Somehow she will need to talk to the denizens of the artistic community to see if she can recover her lost friends.


Bulbs in the Basement Geraniums on the Windowsill: How to Grow and Overwinter 165 tender plants by Alice and Brian McGowan

Every year about this time I bring in my houseplants. There are always a few tender perennials that look so nice yet that I think I’d like to bring them in too.  And how about this plant over here…could I overwinter that inside?  As I was looking up plants that overwinter well again last year (a yearly search) I saw a reference to this book, and found it via Amazon’s used book service.

It has a huge list of plants that will do nicely inside, or that can take in and keep through the winter, bringing them back into bloom in early winter.

All the information you need is here, including what a tender perennial is, and a nice chapter called “Overwintering 101” which talks about the environments indoors that will suit plants.  Find out how to take cuttings, how to prepapre and entire plant to come indoors and what to do about pests.
Wonderful watercolor drawings show you how to do everything.


Simply Beautiful Rubber Stamping 50 Quick and Easy Projects by Kathie Seaverns

I’ve managed to do Christmas Cards each year for the last couple of years and I have fun and really like them.  I haven’t managed to do birthdays though, and some of it stems from lack of design inspiration.

I think my cards may be a little busy.  It takes me several hours to do each one.  Tons of thought.  With no artistic sensibilities.

This is where rubber stamping comes in.   If you have the stamps you can make wonderful little scenes or features and just color them in with all the pleasure of a five year old who didn’t know they had no talent, but how they did love a crayon and coloring book.

Simply Beautiful Rubber Stamping has fifty projects with ideas simple and more complex.  You can easily adapt any of the projects to your own needs.   I love her color choices and layouts.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.



TNT Wednesday nights 7 central

Sean Bean is an FBI operative who does deep undercover work.  He has whole sets of Legends or personal histories and personas he can drop into at any time, and can seamlessly create new ones as needed.

He apparently is able to become these personalities for a time, and after doing it for many years he is unraveling, and isn’t quite sure at times who he really is. 

Sean Bean’s acting is really showcased here as he drops into a new persona on the fly, complete with mannerisms and accents.

A mysterious hooded man makes this situation worse by following Martin Odom, (Bean’s “real” character) then telling him that “they” don’t want Odom to know who he really is.

There have been two Legends so far, one a man who infiltrates a militia bent on destroying an important conference with bombs, the other a dealer in arms who works to keep a noxious gas from being released by terrorists.

Supporting staff is excellent.  I really like his boss.  I like Detective Rice from downstairs at the FBI who is investigating the death of the hooded man in the subway and who won’t let go of Martin as the prime suspect in the case.

Crystal, the lead of the unit Martin works for annoys me terribly.  Lantern-jawed is the phrase that comes to mind.  And she never gives Martin a bit of a break or any credit, she just keeps picking away at him.

Martins' x-wife is a harridan that looks like someone socked her in the eyes every other episode.  Man she’s painful.  Martin’s son is just the sweetest kid.

Five more episodes to go.

Librarian D.O.A. Booknotes

The Black Tower P.D. James

This was a selection of our Mystery Book Group (which I haven’t attended all summer, guilt guilt).  I had read P. D. James before and didn’t care for her book for some reason.

I enjoyed this one enough so I will as time go back and read her other books, particularly the ones in this series.

This is part of a series featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh.  Dalgliesh is recuperating from an illness and responds to a request for help from an old friend who is a  priest at a remotely located nursing home for people with profoundly disabling diseases called Toynton Grange.

The theme of disability and how it affects the individual and those who care for them runs throughout the novel.  Since there are deaths, some of the severely disabled individuals die helplessly, and some are suspects in the murders.  It just puts such an odd twist on things.  Our hero is also very weak, often helpless to do what he wishes he could do to solve the murders.

Staying at his friends cottage at the Grange, Dalgliesh begins to suspect that his old friend was murdered.

There are many suspects, motivations abound.  The real reason behind the murders comes as a vast surprise, and is cleverly laid out throughout the novel.


Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

The third John Rebus mystery has detective Rebus working to solve the case of The Edinburgh Strangler.  The killer targets little girls.  He is able to separate them quickly from their increasingly vigilant parents, and disposes of them in different parts of the city.

Police know there must be something they all have in common but they can’t see what it could be.

Rebus is undone by the case even before his own daughter is targeted and abducted.  Racing against time and plagued as always by memories from his time spent in the Army, fragile Rebus works to find his little girl and stop the killer.


A Death in Lionel’s Woods by Christine Husom


A Death in Lionel’s Woods is part of  the Winnebago County Mysteries featuring Sergeant Corky Alekson.  These are set in what is a fictional representation of Wright County Minnesota.  I can see the landscapes and the people in these novels so vividly because they are so well known to me.

The Corky character is just the sort of police officer you would want to come and help you.  Smart, caring, brave, absolutely determined to solve the crime.

 A woman’s is found in an isolated spot in a woods wearing a long dress, thin, emaciated.  Under her body they find Baggies full of money and a photograph of what may be the woman in healthier days with two small children.

The landowner who called in the report of the dead woman’s body knows nothing about her or how she may have gotten in his woods.   He is hiding something though, that is evident to Corky right away, but she can’t imagine what it might be.

Corky, who may have made a few enemies over time has someone stalking her at her home out in the country where she lives alone.

Oddly tied to the main crime of the novel is a neighbor’s sighting of a young boy who is seen cleaning dishes and a kitchen in the middle of the night each night, in a household that only has a little girl, no boys.

Lots of plot threads and twists, the most suspenseful novel in the series so far.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Librarian D.O.A. Booknotes

After a very long dry spell of not reading much I've been reading and am a happier soul.  Determined to write them up somewhere along the line I've been stacking them up in my craft room near my computer as a hint that I should just do it. 

I have actually started picking them off my pile and typing in thoughts in my apparently beloved Word.  Here is the first batch.

Librarian D.O.A  Booknotes


The Fallen Charlie Higson

The Enemy Series Book Five

The Fallen finally offers some answers to questions regarding the origin of the zombie plague. 

A few of the kids operating out of the Imperial War Museum have some scientific aptitude and they are hoping to find the origin of the disease and perhaps create a cure.

What might have been a trip of a few hours across London to get medical equipment and back turns into days.   Characters making the trip die, revolt spawns back at the museum as the group known as “The Holloway Kids” tries to fit in with a new group.  There is a traitor among the Museum group who brings destruction down upon both groups as they struggle.

These books are wonderfully fast paced and tense.  You’re rooting for these kids, and almost always the most sympathetic of them seem to die.  Sort of like The Walking Dead and the constant danger that favorites will be killed off.


The Ploughman’s Lunch and the Miser’s Feast Brian Yarvin

Nearly a year ago we had a wonderful trip to England.  Our picky picky selves were determined to try some pub food and local foods this time so we didn’t eat at Kentucky Fried every single day (Agh that happened one trip. So awful. So gross.) 

One of my favorite things that I tried in various places was the Ploughman’s Lunch which most often consists of cheeses, fruits, greens, ham, eggs and those odd little white onions.  There was always something that I liked and would eat in a Ploughman’s lunch.

This book has wonderful recipes for all sorts of things we tried and didn’t try.  Spotted Dick, really quite nice. Pease Porridge. Bubble and Squeak.

This would be great to read before you go so you know what to ask for, and it is totally fun to see what some of the foods were that you saw but weren’t bold enough to try.

Have your own nice pub meal right at home!


Seven for a Secret Lyndsay Faye

Sequel to The Gods of Gotham


Timothy and his brother Valentine become involved in the dire business of “slave catching”.  This is a lucrative business in 1846. It is so lucrative slave catchers steal free citizens off of the streets and from their homes, often with the blessing of the newly formed Police  and local politicians.

I saw the author locally and she said for her Valentine was the moral center of the stories, but he is so amoral that bothers me terribly.  Luckily, as I’m reading, Timothy is everything I’d want in a hero, brave, humble, determined to do what is right for everyone regardless of their color, sex or station in life.

This is a complex story, with so much information on the slave trade and the efforts of blacks at the time to find a way to defend and protect their loved ones while having no legal rights.  It seems such an impossible way to live, and find dignity, but they manage, just as people now somehow find a way to lead lives of freedom with the scales ever weighed against them.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.

Sunday 8/24/14


Dr. Who

I watched the new Doctor Who last night after seeing a David Tennant episode earlier in the week and liking it.  I haven’t watched since Tom Baker was Who, not sure why.

My guess is I didn’t like whoever followed him.

I thought Peter Capaldi was a fine Who.  Sort of a Shakespearean persona. Planet of Puddingheads!
His companion annoyed me for much of the episode, being rather whiny and unaccepting of the new doctor. 

She apparently wanted her own doc version, and had a smidgen of romantic interest in him.  Now Who is old and gray and wonderful. 
In the piece at episode’s end with the previous doc, it was touching, but honestly, his head looked like it was made of wax.  She liked that?  Hmmpf.

I thought the episode needed more Who and less companion.

I was confused by the lizard lady and her wife in Victorian London, not to mention the potato guy.  Still, they acquitted themselves well.

Not a fan of omniscient villains so I didn’t care for the lady in the garden at the end.

Off we go. At least I’m not attached to the previous Who as most are. Be gone, Wax Head.



I watched the new show Intruders as it promised to be a bit scary, a bit sci fi, a bit X-Files.

It is clearly meant to be scary, confusing and you aren’t supposed to have a clue as to what is actually going on.

The Intruders are what? Aliens?  They appear to either kill or take people over or somehow reclaim them?

James Frain is the baddie who goes around shooting everyone rather mercilessly.  For some reason he doesn’t kill a nine year old who is transforming? Or getting her memories of another life back?

Apparently this will have repercussions, and he should have plugged the poor kid.  Not that her mom was paying any attention to her or anything.  And the kid killed her beloved cat.  Under the influence of the alien ? madness.  Now she wants revenge.

The other person I like is an ex-cop whose wife appears to be in the middle of being reclaimed.  She starts dancing to jazz (omfg!) and next thing you know she disappears while on a business trip. The husband recovers her phone and finds texts that make it sound as if the wife and a lover plan to bump him (the husband) off.

This is eight episodes, I’m intrigued, I’m in.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.


 Saturday August 23, 2014

I haven’t kept this up in ages though I have tons of things to babble about.  It is working for me to write posts in Word then copy them over on my other blog so I will see what I can do here.

The Garden

A terribly disappointing year.  It was so cold into June that I couldn’t feel comfortable planting my warm weather plants.  I got late starts on everything I did put in.

On the plus side I have been finding that seeds from previous years germinate fine so all the things I didn’t start can be done for next season.

I had no success with seeds started on my light stand this year. They just all withered despite my efforts.  I thought I had down the whole process and I have great seed starting tools but we got zippo.

Seeds started right in my raised beds, even started late,  just flourished.  Figure A plant outside.

Flowers… man, they are so slow to grow those I need to start way early indoors for sure.

I need to do serious fall cleanup and prep of those so that they are ready to go as soon as something resembling spring arrives.

I gave away about 80 plants to my little sister from the west side of the yard.  They are very happy in their new home and I am happy not to have to have tried to move them within the yard here.

I have to mention my arthritis is like sooo awesome and painful and it hampers me incredibly from working in the yard for more than a few hours of time.  Very bad.  Not how I pictured things going at all.



Way back in my callow youth all original programming stopped in late May and all summer was full of re-runs and old movies on TV.

Now, there are all of these little mini-series which if successful get more than one season.  They seem to run from 8-10 Episodes, then if they’re lucky they come back in a year.  Kinda dicey.

We actually haven’t had real cable in ages but have it again now.  So we’re getting Showtime and HBO and can watch some of the things offered there.

I missed True Detective but it seems intriguing so I may try to watch it on Demand yet.

I loved Penny Dreadful set in Victorian times with vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein, possessions.  I’ve seen it compared to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I liked that movie and haven’t read the books) but it isn’t anything similar for me.  
As a caveat sort of comment, I was pretty shocked at the (Insert Sex Scene Where Everyone Appears Bored… But Damn They Sure Are Buck Naked) here and in other prime cable shows, but I now just shake my head and endure them.  Honestly, someone should be looking as if they’re having a good time but nooo.
We started watching Black Sails on Showtime ( a pirate show, yo ho) because we liked NBCs Crossbones so much and had seen them compared.   I thought John Malcovich as Blackbeard on Crossbones was mesmerizing and loved the rest of the cast.  It did not get a renewal, but Black Sails was apparently given a second season so we’ll catch it when it comes again, as it were.  Very mechanical sex in that one, good grief.  The acting was better in Crossbones across the board.

We started watching Legends on TNT with Sean Bean.  It’s an espionage thriller that is great after only two episodes. A real showcase for Sean Bean.  I must say so far it looks like Sean gets to live and everyone else on the team gets picked off one at a time.  Death sells.

More fascinating babbling Soon.    Librarian D.O.A.