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Tuesday, 07 January 2020


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@John: would love some recommendations on sci-fi/fantasy from your reading of the last few years. So many books that my kids bring home in this genre are part of multi-volume series. I have something of a bias against story telling in that multi-volume mode(smacks more of marketing than good story telling). But I'd dip a toe in on the recommendation of someone who loved the genre.

My own recommendation for an excellent a one-volume read in the genre: _Spinning Silver_ by Naomi Novick. Wonderful, spritely prose from a world-creator who knows that good writing is the key to story telling.

My current strategy for finding new reads has been to throw myself on the mercy of book store employees and librarians after explaining the kind of thing I am looking for (and what I hope to avoid). _Spinning Silver_ was recommended by an employee of a bookshop in Madison, WI. I was headed east on a bicycle, and wanted something for the evenings. But that, as they say, is another story.


First, thank you for your own writing. It brings me peace and an escape from the grind.

Thanks too for telling us of your loss. I’m sorry there will be no more bunny walks.

I’m a bit surprised you mention some big names with a low standard in writing during 2019. I thought it was just my own view. Maybe it was just a year for some to churn out a formula...

My initial reaction to the lengths and most likely expense you went to, to save your pet was one of criticism for lavishing such care on a dumb animal,but when I read the full article I felt deeply ashamed of my first reaction.
May I offer my sincere condolences to you on losing such a great companion and loving pet and say how lucky the dog was to have you rescue and take such good care of it for the years it was with you.

Yeah, I did a ZNO book of Arwen and Naomi after they'd both died, and people still look at that around here. There's a framed triple portrait of Lilith up on the wall here, too.

One of my favorite photos of our first Wheaten Terrier Kiri is framed and sits on a shelf over the computer. I took the photo right after we got her using a Kodak disposable camera. I never get tired of looking at that picture. We had been trying to train her--something we decided simply cannot be done with a Wheaten and pretty much later verified when we hired a personal trainer for our second Wheaten Christie. The poor guy was so frustrated with his efforts we finally fired him to save him from stroking out.

Although untrainable, I had taught Kiri to give me her paw when I asked and she would comply if she felt like it. We were playing in the back yard, rolling around together in the grass when I simply said, "Gimme your hand". So there she is in that photograph, a little fur ball, looking more like a teddy bear than a puppy, with her paw waving in the air. Technically it's a disaster. And I love it. I also get teary when I remember Kiri, her antics and her sweetness. It was sad to lose her and my wife and I grieved for the longest time. But after a few months we felt we could love again and we found Christie in southern Missouri and brought her home. She's even more willful than Kiri but also more affectionate.

Loving a dog is the best thing a person can ever hope to do with their life.

In March of 2016 I had a stroke - hit my right leg and arm. After a couple of days in the hospital I moved to a rehab hospital for a few weeks. The good news was that I pretty much recovered - walk with a bit of a limp and have some "aiming" issues with both leg and arm. The bad news was that my wife went home one night from visiting me in the hospital and found our Goldendoodle on the floor and unable to move. She took him to a very sophisticated animal hospital where he was diagnosed as having had a stoke, on one side. He was fourteen, used to walk several miles a day with my wife and was as animated as puppy. We (actually my wife) did everything possible for him but, unfortunately,he never made it home. What are the odds? - I have a stroke (no history) and my otherwise healthy dog has one at almost the same time.
A couple days ago I was looking at photos on the computer and ended up on a favorite picture of Benji. That led to looking at all his pictures from literally the day we got him until maybe a year before he passed. I wanted to print one but got so caught up in looking and remembering, that I really couldn't get to grips with it. I plan on going back to it soon, probably to print a picture of him as a puppy that is identical, in pose, to another of him as an adult and put the two together.
We have another dog now - terrific little guy named Buddy that really gets confused when we call him Benji.

I’ve had great the joy of three dogs in my life. I often dream of them, and sometimes wake up ready to walk one or another, although it’s been 50 years since the first died and nearly 20 years since the last. As they were all analogue dogs, I only have a handful of photos of them, with all bar one being black and white; so no photo books for me. My present lifestyle would not be fair to a dog - I am away far too much - but I will want two when I am ready to make up for it!

Our beloved hound got a video:
Shows the evolution of digital cameras as much as anything.

[That's very nice. :-) --Mike]

My wife was a long time professional photographer and I am a long-time hobbyist, and yet most photos hanging on our walls are of our dogs, all of them rescues, including our two current mutts who are getting older way too soon.

Sounds like Scout had a rough start but an awesome life once he was rescued.

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