The Lock Artist was a very intriguing novel about a mute safecracker. After a traumatic childhood experience, Michael never talks again. Through a series of incidents, he uncovers a real talent, even a gift, for cracking safes. Told in an interesting first person fashion, written as an autobiography, with alternating childhood and later chapters, I enjoyed it very much. Not a whole bunch really happened, but the story was told with real style. Micheal's experiences became yours and you really pulled for him to get on the straight and narrow.
Sorry, but I just couldn't get into The Tricking Of Freya. Telling what could be an interesting story of Icelanders transplanted to Canada, trying to hold on to their heritage, it just wasn't all the interesting in the end. I gave up.
The Expiration Date tells the amazing story of a guy down on his luck and some time traveling pills. Can he go back in time and solve his father's murder without tearing up the fabric of time? Seems unlikely, but in a typically brash fashion, Swierczynski manages to pull it off. The story hurtles along to a very wild conclusion, again trademarks of Swierczynski novels. While not as crackling as The Wheelman or especially The Blonde, it's still a tremendously fun ride.
I listened to The News Where You Are as a book on tape and found it an excellent slice of life book. Not really much of a mystery, despite its nomination for an Edgar this year, it tells the story of a news anchor trying to figure out the somewhat puzzling death of a former co-worker who has gone on to bigger and better things. I really enjoyed the repartee, laughing out loud a few times. Frank, the protagonist, is just trying to figure things out. His 8 year old daughter is very precocious and his mother, in an old age home, is truly a curmudgeon. O'Flynn's descriptions of BBC newsroom politics, old age, and time marching on, really hit home. While more of a 3.5 star book, it's worth while enough for 4. The narrator did a very nice job.
Gone Wild is another entry in Hall's long running Thorn series, although Thorn himself doesn't show up for quite a number of pages. Told mostly from Allison Farleigh's point of view, this wild thriller about exotic animals, poachers and wildlife preservation has plenty of memorable characters. Maybe too memorable in some cases, as the bad guys in this book are quite over the top, both in craziness and money. Like all too many recent thrillers, it depends too much on stupid police. In one case, Allison is shot at while in a zoo at night, and the night watchman is killed, but the police don't believe her story at all, pinning the killing on a random robbery. And no one in power seems willing to lift a hand to help out, despite the mounting evidence. And the two main antagonists, Orlon and Rayon (I kid you not), just don't seem bright enough to have survived this long. So it was a fun read, but nothing too believable or deep. Maybe a good beach or airplane paperback.
It seems that a devout, good couple was about to get married, but a tragic car accident ended their lives.
When they got to heaven, they asked St. Peter if he could arrange for them to be married, saying that it was what they had hoped for in life, and they still desired wedded union. He thought about it and agreed, but said they would have to wait.
It was almost one hundred years later when St. Peter sent for them. They were married in a simple ceremony.
So things went on, for thirty years or so, but they determined, in this time, that eternity was best not spent together.
They went back to St. Peter, and said, "We thought we would be happy forever, but now we believe that we have irreconcilable differences. Is there any way we can get divorced?"
"Are you kidding?" said St. Peter. "It took me a hundred years to get a priest up here to marry you. I'll never get a lawyer!"
I am totally confused. What exactly would make you abandon your car in the middle of a busy road? I can see if you were in traffic that wasn't going anywhere, but someone had to be the first to put it in park and just walk away. Bizarre!
Here in Medford, we have a remarkable amount of snow on the ground. I don't think we've actually set any records, but I'm pretty sure it has been a long time since I have seen this much snow actually on the ground. Certainly not since we moved here over 10 years ago, and I probably since at least '95/'96, but maybe even going back to '78.
We live in a cul de sac, so the plowed snow mounds are getting immense. The neighbor threatens to get a flag, hire some Sherpas, and climb to the top of what we affectionately call "Mt. Rita" to claim it:
And the picnic table out back is merely a bump in the yard at this point:
Unfortunately, it looks like this next storm is going to be one of those ugly rain/snow mixes, like the one the other day that came through from Chicago. I'd much rather have snow than the "mix". We had some graupel come down the other day, which is some strange stuff. It's like it is raining sidewalk salt!
splash of absinthe (I used the wonderful Spanish absinthe Obsello)
I'll quote the good doctor's mixing instructions, which came from the late Tome Handy at the Sazerac Bar :
Frappe an old-fashioned flat bar-glass; then take a mixing glass and muddle half a cube of sugar (1/2 tsp) with a little water; add some ice, a jigger of good whiskey, 2 dashes o Peychaud's bitters and a piece of twisted lemon peel; stir well until cold, then throw the ice out of the bar-glass, dash several drops of absinthe into the same, and rinse well with the absinthe. Now strain the Cocktail into the frozen glass and server with ice water on the side.
I finally came across a bottle of Peychaud's in a local grocery store, of all places, so I was dying to finally mix up a real Sazerac. To "frappe" a glass means to fill it with chipped ice and let it set a while. It didn't say to add any ice to the drink, so we didn't. It tasted real good!
For beers, we had a hit and a miss. Micheal brought over a bottle of Southern Tier iniquity Imperial Black Ale, which was the hit. Really full taste with lots of things going on. A "black" ale, which is odd for an IPA but really works here.
Finally, for gaming, we finished up the last of the "Terrorist Hunt" maps in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The last two were just "dark" versions of previous maps, including our toughest one. But we must be getting good at it, because we did pretty well on all three. Then Michael made it safely home in Yet Another Snowstorm, but that was 3 storms ago!