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Thoughts on books and book reviews

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Coyote Blue

Just finished reading Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore - his second book and enjoyed it well enough. Not as good as the others I have read, but fun. My favorite quote

A monstrous multiarmed black machine he kept in his spare bedroom simulated the motions of running, cross-country skiing, stair climbing, and swimming, while monitoring his blood pressure and heart rate and making simulated ocean sounds that stimulated alpha waves in the brain. And all this without the risk of shin-splints, broken legs, drowning, or confusion that he might have experienced by actually going somewhere and doing something.

I like the way he throws in the possibility of confusion. Nice.

Blue Skies

Woke up this morning to Blue Skies. Blue blue blue blue. And white puffy clouds. Very cool. Then went running with Walchka - I hate that kid. Introduced me to the wonderful world of interval training. Run 800 meters, walk 400, repeat until unconscious.

Seriously though - the temperature is nice. A little sweaty - and it is most definitely NOT a dry heat - too much ocean for that.

We didn't make it to the Volcano last night due to adverse viewing conditions. Something about not wanted to have to breathe the sulfuric acid that occurs when rain strikes the lava flow. Sometime this week we will get there though.

Made some other observations along the way yesterday.

The Big Island has yellow street lamps. It is an odd sight - being used to white street lights. The reason is because there is a major astronomy station up the local mountain and white lights would upset their ability to find E.T. (and stop him from making all those collect calls).

Yesterday we went to a cool little area where a river comes down some falls and then washes out to the ocean. There was a rope swing on which we took turns flailing out into the middle of the river. Got some good photos I hope - won't know for awhile =). Gotta go digital for my instant gratification.

I am now reading Stephen King's Everything's Eventual. Found a cool quote that I really like:

It occurred to Fletcher that in the end, there might only be one way to tell the thugs from the patriots: when they saw their own death rising in your eyes like water, patriots made speeches. The thugs, on the other hand, gave you the number of their Swiss bank account and offered to put you on-line.

I'm not sure how much I will be able to write in the next couple of days - we are moving from the Lesnett's house in Hilo to a lagoon house in the small community of Kapoho, further south.

I also don't know if I will be renting a bike after all. I would like to - but there isn't really anyone to bike with and the weather looks pretty lame for biking. This might be our only clear day this week. Don't know that I want to drop a lot of bank to bike alone in the rain - especially on streets which have very few marked bike lanes.

Lynden to Redmond

Took the train from Lynden - on the Canada border, north of Seattle - to Seattle this morning. Andrea, Aunt Dawn, and I got picked up by Steff who I knew from the bookstore I work at. Saw Pike's Place Market. Crazy fish throwers - quite entertaining. They flung a giant squid at a girl who screamed and took off - quite funny for everyone. Even the girl came back laughing.

Lunch at the Spaghetti Factory - good food for good prices. Orf, old friend from high school, met up with us after and we left Aunt Dawn to head back to Lynden before we continued on to Redmond where we will be until Monday when we leave for Hawaii.

Walked around Redmond tonight - saw the Town Center, which was a nice outdoor mall. Dropped by the Half Price Books to look for a few treasures in the heat - no air conditioning? Better to walk back to Orf's and swim.

I'm nearly finished with Carl Hiaasen's Double Whammy which was his first fiction book. Excellent stuff - good to learn more about Skink and Jim Tile. If you like mystery - thriller type books, then I highly encourage you to read all of Hiaasen's fiction. Then check out Dave Barry's two fiction books also.

Mt Baker is HUGE

Wow. Aunt Dawn took Andrea and I up to Mt Baker today. It was mid 70's and Andrea got to go sledding! Still got lots of ice at 5000 feet at a peak near Mt Baker in Cascade mountain rage. Got some photos, but none with a digital camera. Apparently snow is common around these glaciers - who knew?

Had a good day - got up and ran which justified a trip to the local Dutch Bakery which Dawn insists is the best. Can't argue there. From there, went to Mt Baker and a good restaraunt in Glacier - the city at the base of the approach.

Other fun things: read a few books in the past couple of days. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn was excellent. Read that, then read the Story of B. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby sucked unless you want a history of Arsenal futbol over the past 30 years. I didn't. Life of Pi by Yann Martel was excellent until the ending which blew. So a little bit of everything in there.

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