Saturday, January 03, 2009

Exercise log

I only had time for 65 minutes today, but I pushed up the leg effort a notch during the second half.

Why I don't have kids

Boss: My daughter's turning two tomorrow.
Employee: What can I get her? Anything she doesn't have that she really needs?
Boss: An "off" button.
from Overheard in the Office

Friday, January 02, 2009

Exercise log

Ninety minutes for my first workout of 2009. Yay me! I'm going to try to exercise at least 4 times a week. (I have a combination recumbent stationary bicycle-rowing machine.)

Movie mini-reviews

  • Valkyrie: Pretty good, but I wish they had shown how the conspiracy started. Cruise was OK.
  • Defiance: I liked it, despite a couple of instances when Daniel Craig's character makes eloquent, articulate speeches totally uncharacteristic of his rough-hewn, poorly educated background. Some of what appear to be movie clich├ęs (e.g. the white horse) were true, according to someone who met one of the brothers. (I have also heard that white horses are quite common in that area.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Donald E. Westlake died!

My favorite mystery writer died suddenly yesterday. Donald E. Westlake, creator of the humorous crime series featuring the very talented (but equally very unlucky) burglar "Dortmunder," apparently had a heart attack while on vacation in Mexico.

I love his books. I'm reading one of his more recent books now, Put a Lid On It. Though he wrote a lot of comic crime novels, he was just as good at writing serious ones. He wrote another series of books about a totally "hard-boiled" criminal, Parker--though Westlake used the non de plume "Richard Stark" for those. And that wasn't the only pseudonym he used.

I heard him speak a couple of times, and he autographed a few of my books after one talk. I remember him being asked how he felt when a successful book of his was made into a not-so-successful movie. He said he thought of them as he did his children--he raised them as well as he could to adulthood, and then wished them luck and sent them out to succeed or fail on their own.

He wrote more than a hundred books in all (using manual typewriters!), and I'm not sure I've read even half of them--so there will be plenty of Westlake in my future. And there is one more scheduled to be published this year. Still, it's sad he has died. He was only 75.

Happy New Year! (except...)

There are already two unsettling events to start off 2009.

  • Petitions were filed to reverse the Kalamazoo, MI ordinance adding gays, lesbians and transgender individuals to their non-discrimination law.
  • Helen and Betty have taken down their message board (where I am a semi-retired moderator). Hopefully this is just temporary, while they figure out how to handle the recent trends of "me-ism" and partner-unfriendly posts. (They took the board down once before for a couple of weeks or so, to revamp.) They have just journeyed from Brooklyn to Wisconsin, where Helen will be teaching for the next several months, so they are a bit pre-occupied. When they get things sorted out, I'm hoping they will figure out a way to make the board work again. I miss it already.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Weekly free associations

  1. Destined :: to win

  2. FAIL :: blog

  3. Camping :: yech!

  4. Only you :: can prevent forest fires

  5. Incessant :: noise

  6. Tomorrow :: is another day

  7. Impressive :: collection

  8. Riches :: wealth

  9. Dislike :: like

  10. Speaker :: of the House

  1. Carpet :: tacks

  2. Bottoms :: tops

  3. Music :: sound

  4. Nails :: acrylics

  5. Watch it! :: ??

  6. Your life :: is yours

  7. Candies :: no-no's

  8. Chafing :: dish

  9. Svelte :: I wish

  10. Ding :: dong

HT to Unconscious Mutterings.

Plat du jour

An orthopedist, I presume.

Sunday, December 28, 2008