13 July 2008

Big Apple

The Apple Store in New York City.

One More

Yesterday I polished off Introduction to Bookbinding and decided that while it's a reasonable book in its descriptions of how bookbinding is done, it's not really one I could recommend to someone wanting to actually try bookbinding for the first time. Not nearly enough diagrams, for one thing. You kind of already have to know what the guy is talking about in order for it to make sense. Anyway, some interesting differences between what he says and what I learned.

In addition to books, I tend to accumulate unread magazines, which I've also been working to catch up on lately. I'm totally up to date on Fine Books & Collections and the CBBAG newsletter, though I still haven't read the CBBAG journal (first issue!) yet. I'm working on the latest Wired (which I subscribed to a couple of months ago), but haven't cracked the latest Mac World yet (boy got a free short subscription when he bought his iMac). At least I'm not behind on it yet. I have an issue or two of Skeptic, which is a thick tome and tends to get left till last. And then there's a year's worth of Scientific American from when I had a subscription (2006, maybe?). I just got a couple of back issues of Biblio on eBay that I'll start soon, though I'm trying to decide if I should grab a couple full years worth from another seller, even though it means I'll end up with doubles of about six issues (it would also mean having all 3 years worth of the magazine). I have to decide on that soon, as the auction ends late tonight. And finally (maybe--there may also be unread magazines lurking about in here that I'll find as I organize) I have two and and half issues of Book Collector to get through. It's only quarterly, but it's a thick, text-heavy journal that takes me a while to plough through. Even though I could never afford to actually collect most of the books they cover, there is all sorts of useful information for bookbinders and scholars-or-books in there. They used to have actual bookbinding articles, but I don't think they do that much anymore. It makes it worthwhile to look for back issues on ABE, though.

So anyway, aside from reading, I've basically been taking it easy this summer. Probably drinking a bit too much cider, but at least I've been getting lots of sun and bicycle exercise. Today has gone and got a bit overcast, and last week I had to take the bus once due to rain--I'm hoping the sun comes back so I can avoid the bus to work and ride my bike for the rest of the summer.

Work is good. I'm working on a series of "wanted" posters for famous figures in book and print history. Of course I started with William Morris. I did some proofing on Thursday and stuck one of the early proofs up on the shop wall. Apparently, two people asked about buying it, and one was serious enough that she left her card and wants us to post her one when they're done. I hope she's not disappointed that the final poster isn't the same brown ink on off-white laid paper as the proof. Instead it'll be red text and black image on a sort of soft grey almost-handmade St Armand paper. I'll get started on the final printing on Wednesday.

In other news, the boy and I are contemplating a road-trip to the States near the end of the summer. I really need to get to BC to visit everyone there and sort out my stuff that's in storage, but as it turns out, Bill hasn't been to visit his people in longer than it's been since I've visted mine. Plus his best friend will be visiting his family in the same area around the same time and he lives in Japan, so this could be the only time in a long while that Bill would be able to see him. My only hesitation is the cost. Though we will have people to stay with.

The idea is to rent a car here and drive down through New York State, hang out in Brooklyn for a few days (the boy has grandparents and other relatives there), then proceed to Pennsylvania for a bit, where we'd meet up with Scott-the-friend-from-Japan and his wife and kids, and also with boy's dad and littlest sister. Then we'd load up the car with a nice rug and some old type (boy's dad deals in antiques) and head back in time for school. The fall break or the winter holidays, then, would be visiting BC time.

First, though, I have a digital camera to finish paying off.

11 July 2008

Nap Time

09 July 2008

Oh Yeah

Forgot to mention: If you don't have Facebook but still want to see the pics from Sunday's cycling, there's a slightly different selection of them on my Flickr stream (link to the right, under "Visit Me").

Today is a day to Not Do Very Much

It's one of those days where I either should have just gone to work (I had a choice between today and tomorrow and didn't sleep much last night so decided to work tomorrow when I might be better rested) or stayed in bed. I managed to pour my after-lunch cup of tea on the table, my feet, and six pages of comics artwork. Fortunately, the art isn't completely ruined, just a tad wrinkled and tea-stained on the edges. Still, it was just one more thing on a day when I was already feeling a bit down.

So I've decided I just won't do very much today. Fuck trying to get something done. I tried that, and ended up with soggy art. So I added some photos to Facebook, and I'll write some in this blog. Maybe later I'll do some work blogging and start organizing the content for a "video games based on movies" article. Or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll fire up the PS3 and lay some ghosts to rest, or shoot some bugs, or kill a few infidels, or tear up a racetrack. And maybe I'll go to the post office, which is sort of like getting something done, only it's to mail some BookMooch books, so not really. Or maybe I'll go buy a video game I can review for work, which is also sort of like getting something done, but also not really.

Anyway. On the Finishing Half-Read Books Project, I got to the end of Lost Discoveries a couple of days ago, and have been making good progress on Women and the Book. No more new finds of half-read things, though I think I might be partway through a book on Zen that's around somewhere.

And just so you don't think crappy days are the norm around here, Sunday was a very fine day. The boy and I cycled around Halifax, stopping at the Public Gardens, the waterfront, and Point Pleasant Park before retiring to the humble abode for giant hamburgers. I got a horrific sunburn which is just becoming bearable today, but it was a great day anyway. I put some photos up on Facebook, and here's one of me on the beach (after I put on a long-sleeved shirt even though it was too late for my shoulders):

Photo by the boy, of course (who I have decided should be called "Billy Z" (the "Z" being pronounced "Zee") (I haven't informed him of this yet). And speaking of the boy, here he is:

(I call it "Blue Boy.")

07 July 2008


05 July 2008

Self-Portrait in Bill's Glasses

My favourite photograph so far this summer.

More and More

More finished, more half-finished.

I finished Tom Sawyer, which turned out to be much better in big chunks than in small doses, so two reading sessions later, it was over. I'm still not sure why I had trouble getting into it, but now I'm ready to tackle some more Twain. Well, once I've polished off some more of the half-read books on the list.

And speaking of half-read books, yes I found a couple more. One is The Great Airship by Lt. Col. Brereton, a truly abysmal boy's adventure novel from sometime between the wars (I suspect--there's no date on it). It cost me all of a dollar in a tiny "bookshop" located in a garden shed in New Brunswick. I actually have quite a fascination for boy's (and girl's) adventure novels from around the turn of the century and just after. I have a small collection of them that feature airships and am always looking for more--but I think I'll make this a post all on its own. The book has a certain appeal, despite the terrible writing.

The other book is one I picked up on sale at the book fair when the Congress of Learned Societies was in St John's in . . . 1997, I think. It's called Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence, edited by Jane H.M. Taylor and Lesley Smith. It's a proceedings from a 1993 conference, published with additional essays in 1996. Very scholarly, which explains why I didn't get very far before setting it aside--I was researching and writing my Master's thesis at the time. I picked it up again last night and decided to start over at the beginning since I didn't remember the two essays I had already read very well. Really interesting stuff, and so far quite readable.

It reminds me, for some reason, of an ex-boyfriend. I had seen a book on Celtic archaeology at the bookstore where he worked one day a week--it didn't have a price, so I asked him to check next time he worked. As I recall, my birthday was coming up, and I hinted that it might make a nice gift, if it wasn't too expensive (though I also suggested that it probably was too expensive). I have a small collection of Celtic archaeology books, and this one was a thick anthology of essays by different scholars. So he reports back a while later and it was pricey, as I had suspected. "You wouldn't want it anyway," he said. "It was really technical and full of charts and diagrams."

Erm. First clue this was not the man of my dreams? (Actually first clue was probably that he was a Christian Scientist, but I did try to be open-minded.) I guess he never noticed that I actually sometimes read scholarly books for fun. And maybe he forgot that my BA is in archaeology. One lesson I learned: it's a bad idea to go out with a man who feels threatened by your intelligence (assuming he finally figures out that you have it).