Towse: views from the hill

June 15, 2004

NewsTrove – news search engine

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:49 pm

NewsTrove indexes 192,000 news sources (and the number continues to grow): “websites of major print and television news organizations, plus websites from local market radio and television stations, daily newspaper websites of cities both large and small, government websites, corporate websites, military websites, political organization websites, political commentary and opinion websites, websites of universities and other educational institutions, plus many of the higher quality weblogs.”

Search the results with the online search or checkout “Latest News” or the pre-filtered News Topics, sorted by type and within type by specific topic. e.g. BUSINESS, subtopics: Agribusiness, Alan Greenspan, Arbitron, Asset Allocation, More…

RSS subscription available.

Book roll

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:47 am

Found this here, which found it here, after I tracked the list down after reading about it on BlogPulse.

There’s a film roll floating around somewhere as well. Maybe I’ll track that one down and mark it up.

Or not.

I realized last night, watching What Women Want with the younger younger guy, that I’d seen the movie before, after watching half of it. I must’ve seen it on an airplane, because I don’t watch much TV and hardly ever go to movies. What a dumb dumb dumb movie (except for Helen Hunt, Judy Greet, and Ashley Johnson, who were superb).

Is it just that I really don’t much like Mel Gibson?

The younger, younger guy can’t understand my strong negative reactions to Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, and the like.

“They’re just actors, Mom,” he tells me.


So, how does this book roll stuff work?

Take the list.

Italicize those you’ve read part of.

Bold those you’ve finished reading.

Underline those you own.

Add three to the list.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

8. 1984, George Orwell

9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

22. Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone, JK Rowling

23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling

24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch, George Eliot

28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving

29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck

30. Alices Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett

34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

38. Persuasion, Jane Austen

39. Dune, Frank Herbert

40. Emma, Jane Austen

41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

42. Watership Down, Richard Adams

43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas — the unabridged version in the English translation

45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

46. Animal Farm, George Orwell

47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

53. The Stand, Stephen King

54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

56. The BFG, Roald Dahl

57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome

58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman

62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden

63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough

65. Mort, Terry Pratchett

66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

67. The Magus, John Fowles

68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding

71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind

72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell

73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

74. Matilda, Roald Dahl

75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt

77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins

78. Ulysses, James Joyce

79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens

80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson

81. The Twits, Roald Dahl

82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith

83. Holes, Louis Sachar

84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake

85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

89. Magician, Raymond E Feist

90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac

91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

95. Katherine, Anya Seton

96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson

99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome

102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

103. The Beach, Alex Garland

104. Dracula, Bram Stoker

105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz

106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens

107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz

108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks

109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth

110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson

111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy

112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend

113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat

114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy

116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson

117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson

118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

119. Shogun, James Clavell

120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham

121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson

122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray

123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy

124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski

125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett

127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison

128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle

129. Possession, A. S. Byatt

130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

131. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl

133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck

134. Georges Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl

135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett

136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker

137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan

139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson

140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson

141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson

143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby

144. It, Stephen King

145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

146. The Green Mile, Stephen King

147. Papillon, Henri Charriere

148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett

149. Master And Commander, Patrick O’Brian

150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz

151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett

152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett

153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett

154. Atonement, Ian McEwan

155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson

156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier

157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey

158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling

160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon

161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville

162. River God, Wilbur Smith

163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon

164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx

165. The World According To Garp, John Irving

166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore

167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson

168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye

169. The Witches, Roald Dahl

170. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White

171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams

173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway

174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco

175. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder

176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson

177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl

178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach

180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery

181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson

182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay

184. Silas Marner, George Eliot

185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis

186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith

187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh

188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine

189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri

190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence

191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons

193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett

194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells

195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans

196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry

197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett

198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White

199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews

201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan

203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan

204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan

205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan

206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan

207. Winters Heart, Robert Jordan

208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan

209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan

210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan

211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto

212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland

213. The Married Man, Edmund White

214. Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin

215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault

216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice

217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell

218. Equus, Peter Shaffer

219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten

220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn

222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice

223. Anthem, Ayn Rand

224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson

225. Tartuffe, Moliere

226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller

228. The Trial, Franz Kafka

229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles

231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther

232. A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen

233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen

234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton

235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry

236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read

237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono

238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde

240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley

241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson

242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny

242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon

243. Summerland, Michael Chabon

244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

245. Candide, Voltaire

246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl

247. Ringworld, Larry Niven

248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault

249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein

250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle

251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne

253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson

256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith

257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony

258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum

259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon

260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde

261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde

261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel

263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver

264. A Yellow Raft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris

265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls

268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock

269. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland

270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. O’Brien

271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor

273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg

274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin

276. The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan

277. The Bone Setter’s Daughter, Amy Tan

278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child

279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire

280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman

281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry

282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum

283. Haunted, Judith St. George

284. Singularity, William Sleator

285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson

286. Different Seasons, Stephen King

287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk

288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby

289. The Bookman’s Wake, John Dunning – read this past weekend

290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns

291. Illusions, Richard Bach

292. Magic’s Pawn, Mercedes Lackey

293. Magic’s Promise, Mercedes Lackey

294. Magic’s Price, Mercedes Lackey

295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav

296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker

297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love

299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace.

300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.

301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving.

302. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland

304. The Lions Game, Nelson Demille

305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust

306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh

307. Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco

308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson

309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk

310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz

311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand

312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk

313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu

314. The Giver, Lois Lowry

315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin

316. Xenogenesis (or Lilith’s Brood), Octavia Butler

317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold

319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)

320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill

321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)

322. Beowulf, Anonymous

323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell

324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley

325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey

326. Passage, Connie Willis

327. Otherland, Tad Williams

328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay

329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

330. Beloved, Toni Morrison

331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore

332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin

333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume

334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo

335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev

336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover

337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson

338. The Genesis Code, John Case

339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

340. Paradise Lost, John Milton

341. Phantom, Susan Kay

342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice

343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman

344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson

346: The Winter of Magics Return, Pamela Service

347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz

348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok

349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler

350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime O’Neill

351. Othello, by William Shakespeare

352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats

354. Sati, Christopher Pike

355. The Inferno, Dante

356. The Apology, Plato

357. The Small Rain, Madeline L’Engle

358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick

359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater

360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier

361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder

364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King

335. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass

336. The Moors Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie

337. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson

338. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster

339. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

340. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux

341. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg

342. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy

343. Howls Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

344. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown

345. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo

346. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer

347. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck

348. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

349. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston

350. Time for Bed by David Baddiel

351. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

352. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre

353. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley

354. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff

355. Jhereg by Steven Brust

356. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane

357. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville

358. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte

359. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz

360. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

361. Neuromancer, William Gibson

362. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

363. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr

364. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault

365. The Gunslinger, Stephen King

366. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

367. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke

368. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman

369. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott

370. The God Boy, Ian Cross

371. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Laurie R. King

372. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson

373. Misery, Stephen King

374. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters

375. Hood, Emma Donoghue

376. The Land of Spices, Kate OBrien

377. The Diary of Anne Frank

378. Regeneration, Pat Barker

379. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald

380. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia

381. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway

382. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg

383. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede

384. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss

385. A Severed Wasp, Madeleine LEngle

386. Here Be Dragons, Sharon Kay Penman

387. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales), translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest

388. The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown – haven’t finished this one yet, it’s in a pile somewhere.

389. Desire of the Everlasting Hills – Thomas Cahill

390. The Cloister Walk – Kathleen Norris

391. The Things We Carried, Tim O’Brien

392. I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb

393. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk

394. Ender’s Shadow, Orson Scott Card

395. The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card

396. The Iron Tower, Dennis L. McKiernen

397. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

398. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L’Engle

399. Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

400. Hyperion, Dan Simmons

401. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor

402. The Bridge, Iain Banks

403. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Daniel Quinn

404. Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner

405. The Gold Coast, Nelson DeMille

406. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

407. Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis

408. Lost Horizon, James Hilton

I can’t really say for sure exactly which books I own and which I don’t. I erred on the conservative side. I inherited a lot of books, tons of Pratchett, from Casey. The reason the books are waiting to be sorted is so I’ll realize which books I have multiple copies of, which books I own, so when I go into a bookstore I won’t buy a third copy of Golden Compass.

I am not as well read as some people I could name. I can’t even really say which books I’ve read part way and put down. So many … and so many years.

How much is “part way” and how much is “I started a page or two but decided to read something else instead that day”?

Oh, well. This exercise took far longer than I thought it would, but after investing a chunk of time and still being a ways from the end, I slogged through so I’d at least wind up with a list of books I haven’t got around to reading and maybe should.

Just look at all those books on this list that I own and haven’t read. If I get TB or break my back, I’ll have enough books on hand to keep me going for months.

Currently reading: Amy Tan’s The Opposite of Fate and Gerry Spence’s 7 Simple Steps to Personal Freedom

Chicago Tribune | Sex case pits library against cops

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:31 am

[registration required for the Tribune's story]

This isn’t a Patriot Act library story — it couldn’t be because the library and librarians couldn’t have spoken about a Patriot Act story. This is a different story, from the Chicago Tribune:

Sex case pits library against cops

In Naperville, librarians cite state law–and the Constitution–in forcing police to get a court order before releasing the identity of a man accused of looking at Internet porn

By James Kimberly Tribune staff reporter

Published June 11, 2004

This story contains corrected material, published June 12, 2004.

When three teenagers in Naperville’s Nichols Library reported seeing a man fondling himself while looking at Internet pornography, library workers called police.

The man left before officers arrived, so police asked to see who was logged on at the computer. To the surprise of police, the library refused, opening another chapter in the controversy over how much access law enforcement should have to library records.

“We think it is incumbent upon them, since they’re in the business of providing a safe environment and we’re in the business of providing public safety, to cooperate with us,” said Naperville Police Capt. Ray McGury.

The library stood behind the Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act, which says patrons’ privacy must be protected unless there is a court order to release information.

What I find disturbing is the Naperville police reaction to the library telling them that according to law the police must provide a court order before the library can release information about a patron.

The police reaction was sort of a ‘Well, sure that’s the law and that’s all well and good but we’re talking about safety here, law breaking. What if we really need the information and we want it !now!! You mean to say you won’t give it to us?’

The Naperville Police Department believes the confidentiality law was intended to keep it from spying on people, not to prevent library employees from helping officers solve crimes, McGury said.

“I asked them, ‘If a child is snatched from this library do I have to get a search warrant to get information on who was here?’ and they said, ‘Based on the state law, yes.’ God forbid that happens.”

The law says that it’s not up to the police to determine when they do and don’t need a court order. If they feel their need for information is justified, just go get the court order already.

June 14, 2004

So call me easily amused

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:47 pm

When times are slow and/or I’m waiting for something or someone, I sometimes check in with SiteMeter to see who’s been visiting the blog and from whence the visitor(s) came.

My most recent check, within the last hour, served up the following: still reigns supreme of all referers. Thanks, Paula!

Someone stopped by with an MSN search for /aligngifcentre/.

Someone else found the blog with a Google search for /stuart brioza/ — he, who with Nicole Krasinski, makes Rubicon such a fine place to dine. We’re eating there Friday night with Steve and Paula, have I mentioned? (No, not that Paula.)

A Google search for “skate wing” brought a visitor. Arleen (Tuesday’s Child) sent someone along, mayhap herself.

An search for /Chile Prospects hells angels/ brought someone to the blog. Bet they were surprised.

Someone else found me with an MSN search for /wwwnews Hm. I’m sure they were looking for the ABC affiliate in the Bay area but they got a little number about Tim B-L’s blog instead.

An AOL search for / brought someone interested in seismology. A visitor referred by sceloporus hippolytis, another from Arleen, multiples from Paula.

What to make of it all? Nothing much. I’m simply curious, poking through the referrals, reading the entrails, wondering about my visitors.

El Raigon searches bring the highest percentage of random searchers these days.

I continue to be intrigued by the steadfast faithfulness of, who visits often to check out my blog updates.

Gee, a fan. … from Philadelphia. No, not W.C. Fields. Hi!

June 11, 2004

10 Super Foods You Should NEVER Eat!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 1:04 am

From those laugh-a-minute folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 10 Super Foods You Should NEVER Eat! and the reasons why.

Bugles? I think maybe the one and only time I had Bugles was back in 1970 or so, but Alfredo sauce. mmmmmmmmmmm.

"The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle"

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:07 am

I’ve been having fun today, checking the weather in Seattle from the Space Needle Webcam, which you can move from here to there and zoom with buttons.

June 10, 2004

Not the spirit. Not the letter either.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 10:28 pm

There’s all sorts of turmoil in alt.fiction.original and alt.writing. The turmoil is spilling over into misc.writing. The controversy swirls around Dr Zen, as is often the case. The controversy is over Zen’s critiques of work posted for critique in AFO.

“But they’re posted for critique!” you say. “How could it be controversial to critique them?”

Well, Zen crossposts his critiques to alt.writing, which is where he stashes interesting threads he finds elsewhere. Crossposting is a bit of the controversy, it seems. (“I only intended AFO to see this piece, not the world!”)

The big flap, however, is over Zen posting without using the x-no-archive=yes flag which tells Googja not to archive his post when the original poster used the x-no-archive flag originally, intending to keep the work out of the Googja glob of posts.

“What does it matter?” you say.

Well, first off, if you use the x-no-archive=yes flag, not only won’t Googja store your post, but no one using Google to read Usenet posts will even see your post. If a work for critique and all critique thereof is shielded behind the x-no-archive flag, folks using Google are missing out.

“So, what?”

The Zens of the world are providing their critique advice not only to the individual with the request but also to lurkers and readers above and beyond the person whose work they’re critiquing. If Zen wanted to provide one-on-one critiquing, he could do so with e-mail. As it is, if someone uses Google to read Usenet, Zen’s work is unavailable, if he shields it — as some are requesting — with the x-no-archive flag.

But he isn’t, and there’s the rub.

One of the AFO posters commented, “But the no archive thing. Jee-sus. How self-obsessed can you be? People use this group for stories they may try to publish. Publishers search Google sometimes. I was barred from a competition I’d won exactly because of that.”

So cheat, this fella says. Post to Usenet for help and critique and feedback, but use the x-no-archive flag so publishers and competition judges won’t be able to track you down.


These spotlessly honest folks complaining about Zen and x-no-archive want critiquers of their x-no-archive’d work to x-no-archive as well, so that even a hint of their work won’t show up in the Googja archives. Please critique, but don’t archive your critique because your critique will reference my work as well and I told the publisher it had never been published.

Some publishers don’t consider a Usenet post publication. Others do.

The guidelines at OnSpec specify, “We do not read E-mailed or faxed submissions, and we do not buy work that has appeared in print or on the Internet.” There are no fuzzy waffling words defining a different “is it published?” status for publishing on a web site, webzine or Usenet newsgroup.

For this publisher, publishing “on the Internet” means “published” and they won’t buy it.

My take is, if you want to workshop your work before submitting it for publication and you deal with publishers who consider any appearance on the Internet as publication, don’t post the work to a Usenet newsgroup. Find some other venue: a private mailing list, e-mail.

Is it legit to post your work on a Usenet newsgroup for critique, using the x-no-archive flag to tell Googja not to archive it so you can later fib about whether it was ever on Usenet? Is it legit to skate around an editor’s requirements by using x-no-archive so you can lie about the status of your work, so that an editor, searching for your story on the Web won’t see that you’ve already shared it with the untold millions of lurkers?

Another AFO poster claimed he was using x-no-archive not because he was trying to scam publishers but because he didn’t want his family reading something he’d written. My advice there? Don’t publish anything to Usenet you wouldn’t want your mom or Aunt Emma to read. Just don’t. If you plan to do so and plan to use the x-no-archive so Mom and Aunt Emma can’t find your post in Googja, you must realize you have no guarantee that someone won’t follow up on your post and leave off the x-no-archive flag.

You also have no right to tell someone else that they must not archive their own posts because they reference one of yours.

When Steve Madere and his wacky crazy crew began archiving Usenet in 1995, they started from scratch and they started small. At the beginning, they didn’t archive alt, talk or soc. They started from Day One. Only later, after the Deja archive was well underway, did they begin archiving alt, talk and soc and also begin reaching back, creating an archive of older posts from backup tapes held by institutions, companies and individuals.

When Google bought Deja, they found even older resources and pushed the archives even further back.

No one in 1985 dreamt that in 2004, someone could retrieve comments they made in Usenet in 1985, but as Madere said way back in 1995, “When you post to Usenet, it automatically gets propagated to tens of thousands of computers. So anybody who posted something to Usenet and then later on has any kind of privacy concerns about it must have seriously misunderstood what they were doing.”

Instead of using x-no-archive=yes and yammering on (and on and on) that anyone referencing your post should do the same, Just. Don’t. Post. To. Usenet.

Hazardous waste. Dump.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:34 pm

Chuck came over yesterday afternoon, right on schedule, and we discussed … prices — what prices homes had gone for, what homes currently on the market were priced, what prices people had asked and what prices they’d accepted.

The price he thinks we’d get for this tree lush flat acre, in one of the best school districts in California, nestled in the verdant foothills of the majestic (or so the real estate agents say) Santa Cruz Mountains, is more than I would’ve thought possible back before the boom/bust of the early part of this decade. The price Chuck thinks we’d get is far less than what his nibs is hoping for, based on a couple recent sales in the immediate neighborhood. We’ll see who’s guesstimate is right.

You live in a place for twenty-going-on-seven years and you develop an affection for it. I’m sad to think that whoever buys this place will probably scrape it, fill in the pool, put up an ersatz Il Lago Como villa with, perhaps, a basement home theatre and a new pool a bit further to the back of the property.

It’ll be lovely I’m sure.

For his nibs, the tugs are, of course, even more painful. His dad built this place in the late forties and, except for a gap when he went off to university and then to grad school and then taught at university for four or five years or so, this place has been his home. That makes what? Fifty-five years minus a multi-year gap over a quarter century ago.

The three bedrooms and two baths upstairs were built with his own hands and a bit of help from a carpenter friend and the carpenter’s painter brother. Sure he’s attached to this place. I helped him lay a parquet floor on the second story back in our courting days. The house is part of me too.

Chuck asks again, “Are you sure?” He doesn’t want to deal with seller’s remorse when the offers come in.

We have the escrow in Dogpatch closing near the end of the month if all goes well. We have a week at Sierra Camp too. This year the older younger guy and his spouse will be joining us. June is pretty well shot, time-wise, for any intense house fixingup.

Plan is, as of yesterday, to start prepping Dale for sale starting the first week in July. We’ll need to clear out the dreck and have everything ready to show. Plan is to have all inspections and reports complete and all paint touchups, yardwork and carpentry repairs finished by August 1, at which point we’ll throw the house on the market and see who’s interested.

Today, I hauled all the half-empty, half-full, almost-empty, almost-full cans of paint and varnish out of the shed out by the horse corral, out of the pool’s pump house, out of the tool shed, out of the garage. I called and made an appointment tomorrow at 10:45A with the Hazardous Materials folks. Our younger son, my steady helper, will show up and turn in as much old paint as possible. Being as paint is considered a hazardous waste, we can’t move more than fifty pounds at a whack in a single vehicle — about eight fairly full cans.

We’re going to need more than one drop-off appointment, obviously. Tomorrow, I’ll tag along in a separate car, carrying another fifty pounds of old paint. Then we’ll see how many more appointments we’ll need before we’ll have disposed (properly! legally!) of the cans of old paint that seem to accumulate as years go by.

The fix-up process to prepare Dale for sale really began when we started sorting through the piles of stuff from Casey’s place and the stuff we brought out of Customs before it sold.

With the sorting and dumping of old paint scheduled for tomorrow, though, I really feel like the process is no longer a game and a bit of dreaming but is well and truly under way.

Oh, my.

June 9, 2004

[FOOD] Lüx, Luke and Kitty Sung’s new place on Chestnut

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:09 pm

We got the word yesterday in e-mail.

Today we are excited to announce Luke and Kitty Sung’s new restaurant, Lüx, which will open on June 8th.

Lüx will be serving Asian small plates from a French chef’s point of view.

Lüx is located at 2263 Chestnut Street, between Pierce and Scott, in San Francisco. We will be open Monday through Saturday for dinner from 5:30 until 11:00 beginning on June 8th.

Lüx will be open Monday through Sunday for lunch from 11:30-3:00 beginning on June fifteenth. To make reservations call us at 415.567.2998

We look forward to seeing you at Lüx!

Luke and Kitty Sung

Our younger son is spending part of each week in San Francisco as an unpaid intern at a non-profit at the Presidio. “Wanna come?” we asked. He did, so his nibs made a reservation for 8:30P and we walked over. (Fifty minutes to walk over. Fifty minutes to walk back. At least it makes some dent in the calories consumed.)

The place was rocking, packed full of people. Some had been drawn by an e-mail from Luke and Kitty. Some had stumbled over the place, not realizing they were attending a first night.

Luke came over and introduced himself to our son when we came in. Luke hadn’t been at Isa last summer when the three of us ate there. “Hi, I’m Luke,” he said, offering his hand. “Hi,” the younger younger guy replied, giving his name in return. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Dinner was filled with good things. Our son was suitably enamored. No foie, alas. Luke had told us that the closest thing to foie on the menu was a chicken liver dish I might like. The point of Lüx is to have a less formal restaurant experience, with light Asian/French fare. Less cream and rich foods, more seafood, more citrus.

When Luke came by to talk, we were reminiscing about the day we’d discovered Isa in spring 2001, nine months or so after he’d opened. We’d been drawn in by the menu he had posted on his window, drawn in by the fact he had both foie and sweetbreads on his menu.

Ah, he said, his eyes lighting up. Those are two of my best dishes, but I can’t have foie on this menu. This menu has lighter fare than Isa and foie wouldn’t fit. …Sweetbreads, though. … Maybe a sweetbread salad with mixed greens, arugula, a light fruity vinaigrette … ah, he said. You could see his mind whirling about the possibilities of a sweetbread salad, light enough to suit the menu.

Luke and Kitty closed Isa for the next two weeks while they concentrate on Lüx. They’ve brought staff from Isa to supplement their new staff. Our waiter was the same waiter we’d had a couple weeks ago at Isa.

We ordered eight plates, but I wasn’t keeping track so I can’t give the ins and outs of flavors and decorative pieces of green. Here are my memories, brief as they are:

ceviche – yummy. The broth was spicy and when spooned up after the fish was gone, tasted very gazpacho-ish. The youngest of us doesn’t much care for seafood, so he tried this dish and left it to his elders to split the rest.

chicken livers on a mixed green bed – delicious. Grilled — with bacon fat? Tasted like it. Even better than the chicken livers I had on Monday night at The House.

wonton filled with warm goat cheese served with a relish made with dried apricots – yummy. We squabbled over how to split the plate equitably.

crab soup with corn – my least favorite of the dishes, but being as the rest were so extraordinary, this isn’t to say the dish wasn’t good. The soup was thickened with egg swirled into the broth. Our non-seafood eater had several spoonfuls and left the rest for us. Unlike Isa, Lüx doesn’t arrange to split bowls of soup, so if you don’t want to spoon out of the same bowl, you need to order separate bowls. We were just in a tasting mode, though, so we shared the same bowl.

zucchini croquettes – melt in your mouth. “This is the way you’d like to always eat vegetables, isn’t it, Mom?” Oh, indeedy it is, I thought. The croquettes were served simply, on a black napkin set on a plate. There were five. How do you divide five by three? Very carefully.

Peking duck wraps – delicious. The Peking duck came with a touch of hoisin. The “wraps” weren’t really. The hoison-flavored shredded duck meat was served in lettuce cups with pinenuts and shredded cabbage. A hit with all three of us.

hanger steak – deliciously spiced. Served in three pieces so it was easy to share. Cooked medium rare. I gave my son an extra portion of mine, being as he’d given up his fair share of the ceviche and the crab soup. The steak could’ve been more tender or the steak knives sharper, but the flavor was superb.

flash deep-fried green beans – called green beans tempura, iirc. Can’t say what the flavoring was, but these beans were delicious. Thin, very thin green beans. The beans were tossed in the hot oil just long enough to crisp the outside and warm the beans through. Despite that description, the beans weren’t greasy. The spices were perfect.

We each had a creme caramel for dessert. Our son had ordered a chocolate mousse, but they’d run out so Luke comp’d him a creme caramel in exchange. When we got our bill we found out that Kitty had put all our desserts on the house. Eight dishes, comp’d desserts, coffee for two of us and a bottle of wine set us back $$$, which was approximately what we’d paid for the exceptional dinner we had on Monday night at the House.

Our younger son much preferred Lüx and I’d make the same choice, if I had to choose. The nice thing is we can eat at Isa or Lüx, if we don’t mind walking fifty minutes each way or taking the bus or calling a cab, but we also have the House serving up delicious food in North Beach within a ten-minute walk of home.

Luke seemed pleased with the opening night. There were things, he said, he was already thinking of changing. I hope he adds the sweetbread salad. I also hope he opts for a new menu design. The menus last night had black lettering on a roast coffee brown background. Pretty, but the contrast was insufficient, making the menu hard for older folks like me to read in the subdued lighting.

Yummy dinner. We’ll definitely be back on a regular basis to see whether a sweetbread salad appears on the menu, but there are so many other places we haven’t been.

A restaurant must be above average, usually far above average, for us to return. Lüx definitely meets that criteria. Isa. Aqua. The House. Piperade. Zarzuela. Others…

We’re going with friends back to Rubicon next week. Going with other friends back to Isa in July. We’re taking our older son and his husband out to dinner somewhere this weekend. We’ll see how adventurous they’re feeling, and how far they’re willing to walk.

June 6, 2004

"Never mind all this. How’d the party go???"

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 10:17 pm

Twenty-five years, redux.

Twenty-five years we’ve given this party now. Twenty-five years spring and fall. We were giving the party before the younger guys were born — the first party was some three months after we got married. We were giving the party when I was eight months plus pregnant with the older younger guy. We were giving the party when the younger younger guy was three months old and his older brother was almost three. Back when, we started cleaning for it weeks beforehand because of the inevitable trash and destruction that two toddler types could wreak.

This year was different. The house was a-shamble and I was stressed beyond ken. I worried that I’d never get the place in shape for the party. I had nightmares of monsters stalking, waiting to pounce.

The last week was a push to clear out the family room of all the miscellaneous stuff and bookcases filled with more stuff. There were multiple trips to the Goodwill with boxes and bags until the younger younger guy, who was my mainstay and steady helper, was embarrassed to make yet another trip and asked one of his parents to go along with him.

The last but one day, the younger younger guy was helpful beyond belief because he worried about my sanity.

… but in the end the place was clean. His nibs got home from work at 3P to help with the final prep. I even had time to wash and wax the floor. The counters were cleared and washed. The refrigerator in the garage was stashed full of sodas and beer and white wine that had been chilling since Tuesday. The plates and cups and glasses and ‘ware were in place.

The coffee pot was set to go and the corkscrews were laid on the counter. We were putting the sofa covers back on after laundering when the door bell rang. Someone who’d flown in from Seattle for the party was on our doorstep: “Hope you don’t mind me showing up a half hour early. I’ve come so far….” I left our early guest and his nibs downstairs while I showered and changed out of my dirty, dusty clothes.

The party went fine, Arleen, and thanks for asking. We saw loads of old friends, some of whom we don’t see that often. Jim from Seattle shows up maybe once every five years. Others show up twice a year without fail. Some couldn’t make it because they had children graduating high school, children who’d come to flings themselves. Most of the folks with younger children decided to leave them home this time. There were a mere handful of kids, but plenty of adults.

The party originated back in 1979 as an engineering group get-together. His nibs’ engineering group had tried group get-togethers with spousal equivalents at a Chinese restaurant, but you didn’t get much of a chance to talk to everyone, and so, the FUTS (Future Systems Engineering) Fling was born. Twice a year, spring and fall, the engineering group got together with spousal equivalents and children for a potluck feast. We provided the wine and beer, flavored sparkling water, sodas, coffee, tea, plates, ‘ware, cups and glasses and everyone else brought something to eat.

At the beginning we made lists and had signups to make sure that there were n hors d’oeuvres and m main dishes and d desserts and s salads … Because the company sponsored the event, the company reimbursed us for our libation and paperware costs and reimbursed the dish-bringers for the costs of whatever they’d brought. Eventually, I relaxed and stopped taking signups. People weren’t there for the food and wine. They were there for the others. If everyone brought salad, it meant that everyone felt like eating salad and we’d have a strawberry-spinach salad and a potato salad and a fruit salad and a …. If everyone brought dessert, everyone felt like dessert.

No one ever went away hungry and there was always a wide variety of things to eat.

Eight years after the flings began, I went to work for the company too. The following year his nibs left the company, but the flings kept happening at our place because they’d always happened there. A few flings after that, the company founder/president refused to continue paying for the FUTS flings because he noticed that after each fling, one or more of his employees left to work for his nibs at his new company.

Cut free of the company purse strings, we continued to provide what we had always provided and folks continued to bring their dishes. Even without the company sponsorship, the flings thrived and we began inviting engineering nerd types who no longer worked with us at the company and hadn’t been eligible to be invited as long as the company had been sponsoring the event. Eventually, some nerds who may have been only marginally connected also joined the ranks.

I stopped working for the company in 1992, but the flings continued … and continued … and continued. Eventually, the invited guest list totalled probably something like a hundred plus nerds and SOs and twenty plus children. Not all would come every time, but by having the party twice a year, we could be sure of seeing almost everyone at some point every year, year and a half. We watched children grow from babies to teenagers, drop the party, grow more, come back for a visit. We had two twenty-year-olds at the party Friday night, and a couple seven-year-olds and some in-between. No babies, but then the average age of nerd has been pushing up there and the youngest nerd is now … over forty.

It’s been a long time. A quarter of a century. Hard to believe.

We all like each other, like getting together, like catching up on the news, angling for work, offering work. The big subject of conversation Friday night was, “You’re selling this place? BUT WHERE WILL WE HAVE THE FLING????? Is this The Last Fling? Say it isn’t so.”

Maybe it was The Last Fling or maybe Dale won’t sell by the fall and will still be available as a party venue. Maybe we’ll have the party at Hill and everyone can take Cal Train up and make plans to spend the night in San Francisco, as someone suggested. Maybe we’ll have the party at Dogpatch where the parking is better.

Maybe someone else will take over the hosting duties.

Or maybe it was The Last Fling.

The party was good as it always is, and as I always know it will be even as I’m stressing out during the pre-party run-up. The FUTS folk are good folk, intelligent, interesting, nice. We always have a good time, no matter what sort of stress it is to set up for the party.

That’s why we’ve hosted it for so long.

That’s why people have been coming for so long.

That’s why everyone was asking, “BUT WHERE WILL WE HAVE THE FLING?????”

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress