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1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 1 reply · +2 points

Hrmph. I suspect this will prove to be not my kind of book. I'm not interested in this type of relationship-centered story (be the relationships romantic or otherwise) when they're set in general vicinity of here and now. I can sometimes be intered in them when they're set in other places and times, whether they're historical fiction or set in the author's time and place -- but as with all stories, setting is the most important must-have. These chapters contained little physical description of people, places, or things, and I don't know if improvement lies ahead. But I'll try it. I haven't investigated anything like it since I tried to read Middlemarch because Barbara Kingsolver loves it, and swiftly noped out in boredom. Barbara Kingsolver is my longtime moral compass and a wonderful writer, but she and I do disagree about a few things, including Middlemarch and gazpacho.

I think I was predisposed to dislike Emma before the book's first sentence ended, on the basis that "handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition" describes someone enviable and I tend to dislike real or fictional people who I envy. So I'd be an especilly biased judge regarding her character.

1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

And yeah. I've never watched The Secret of NIMH, but I loved All Dogs Go to Heaven, and The Rescuers really sounds more than a little reminiscent of it in plot as well as tone and style.

I sometimes call my mom's dog "Shmoops," among many other nicknames. So it's werid to see a villain named Snoops.

I can thank the Read-Watch for teaching me, and you for reminding me, that "cel" and "cels" are words. Handy words for use Bananagrams.

1 day ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +1 points

V'z thrffvat Znex rvgure sbetbg nobhg gur certanapl (zbfg yvxryl) be qvqa'g frr ubj whfg "fgenvtugravat gur phfuvbaf" nebhaq Eulf pbhyq yrnq Zef. Fvzary gb qrgrpg fbzrguvat gung unq cerivbhfyl orra haqrgrpgnoyr gb obgu bs gurz.

1 day ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +5 points

"A citadel of seafood" sounds very appealing, if the seafood gets eaten promptly. The phrase could also describe an aquarium. :p

*Cooking* a lobster is easy: put it in a pot of boiling water for a little while. Removing all its bits from the shell it afterward is the difficult part. I prefer to avoid that, and opt for lobster rolls when I'm in Maine. Except in my invertebrate zoology class where we each got a lobster (bought cheap from someone local, I think), examined its external anatomy, cooked it, and examined its internal anatomy while eating it. Good times.

Thanks to this book, I just had a dream involving the line in "The City of New Orleans" that always gives me thrill-chills:

"And the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers ride their fathers' magic carpet made of steam..."

So here's the song: https://youtu.be/TvMS_ykiLiQ

4 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +2 points

I don't recall even hearing about this one before the Disney Read-Watch featured it. I read a small part of a book version of The Rescuers Down Under umpteen years earlier, in which the boy and the kangaroo save an eagle from a poacher's trap; I thus thought *they* were the Rescuers and knew nothing of any mice. The Read-Watch post didn't convince me to seek it out, though its image of Bernard and Bianca snuggling was wonderfully cute and the "sequence involving the mice, a pipe organ, and the alligators" sounded intriguing. I did look up YouTube clips of the albatross's "questionable" takeoffs and landings, wondering how close they were to the notoriously clumsy crash-landings and labored takeoffs of real-world albatrosses that spend most of their lives on the wing. The fiery landing in the bayou is unnatural, of course, but otherwise it's pretty realistic. I also haven't watched The Rescuers Down Under, so I don't know how much biological Truth in Television is included there, though I'm kind of curious.

Incidentally, one of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's camera livestreams is currently providing 24/7 online coverage of an albatross nest in New Zealand. It mostly consists of a big fluffy chick lying still, as bird nests do, but a parent occasionally visits and these highlights are duly recorded and offered. I'm promoting the feeder and nest cams everywhere nowadays for indoor wildlife-watching, so here's the albatross: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/royal-albatros...

5 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +8 points

I badly want stories about the Netherglades and their human and nonhuman inhabitants, with or without Rincewind's misadventures therein. That would be vastly more interesting to me than this story about trains.

Crackle initially seemed an odd name for a troll, not being a common reference to some type of stone or stone-based substance. It is a ceramic glazing type/technique, which I'm guessing is the inspiration here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craquelure#Craque...

I like the bit in an earlier section where someone says you don't need a watch when you can hear the train move on schedule. I don't think the freight train that passes through my town is quite as precise, but I can hear its whistle from far away when it comes through in the late afternoon, at the right time to block at least one set of major traffic corridors during rush hour. I've also lived in other places with precisely-timed loud noises, namely a foghorn and a factory's shift-change whistle.

5 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 1 reply · +4 points

I've never read that book, but maybe I'll try it out in order to take part in this .

6 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Hogfather'... · 0 replies · +1 points

Actually I meant the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa in New Mexico. It was much more fun than Ten Thousand Waves.

PSA: On the subject of hot spring in New Mexico, avoid the roadside ones in Las Vegas. I went in them once. They were scalding hot, and then I disturbed an adjacent nestful of wasps.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +7 points

I haven't read the handbook, but according to the L-Space Wiki, it profiles Verity Pushpram's winkle stand at the Ankh-Morpork train station. This reassures me that she was not destroyed by the competition from newly high-quality imported seafood.

In our world, "avant gourd" (or avant-gourd) is a popular descriptive phrase regarding gourd art and the name of at least one artistic enterprise. :D

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +8 points

I love Dibbler's indefatigability. *Every* time some juicy new phenomenon grows in Ankh-Morpork, he's there to grab a large or small piece of it, no matter how many times his enterprises more-or-less-literally crash and burn. He can be said to "gull" people, but *he* is the one who's like an actual gull in his fearless and mettyphorically (and sometimes literally) omnivorous opportunism. <3

If Moist's knees were respectful and responsive to him, he's luckier than some people. As Jarge Weaver thought in Maskerade, it came to something when your vertebrae ganged up on you. Mind you, Moist has also needed chiropractic care on occasion (the occasion after he absentmindedly let a golem give him a back rub).

I'm currently rewatching Mark Reads Going Postal, so the railway's step-by step expansion across the continent brings to mind Moist's experience doing much the same thing with the revived postal system.

Goblins' pidgin speech weirds me a little. On Discworld, we only see its like elsewhere on trolls, and then only sometimes.