Sunday, January 24, 2016

Slow Learner

It has been said that I am a bit slow on the uptake. Well, sometimes I am and sometimes I am not. For example, today is the day in January that it got up to freezing. I took advantage of this by draining the water tanks for the horses, scrubbing them while they were still wet, and refilled them. There are just two. One is a 100 gallon tank and the other is 150 gallons. If the temperature is not about freezing the ice will freeze to the inside of the tank before I get it scrubbed, thereby causing lots of bad words to come out of my mouth in a short period of time. Plus the tanks don't get clean. So, you see, I am smart enough to wait until the temperature is about freezing or above. Eighteen years of formal education did that for me. Besides how could I not do nice things for these faces:
And this poor old mule
Or when Draugen really decides to lay it on thick with one of his, "I'll do anything you want tomorrow for a cookie today" looks.
Now the slow part.

I rediscovered reading about 10 years ago when I was taking some classes, mostly online. Between semesters I missed studying so I found some non-school books to read along the lines of The DaVinci Code and others. A trip to Iceland really locked me in, however, and I started reading historical fiction along the lines of Halldor Laxness, Icelandic Nobel Prize winner. With the help of Professor Batty and our friend and personal librarian DarienFisher-Duke  I received guidance and understanding in my literary pursuits. The books are starting to pile up at this point. I tried reading some history and fiction, but seemed to come back to books that were mysteries, police procedurals, and such. Then I realized I really liked the ones set in Iceland and Norway, giving in to those roots of my background. Of course I also have Jewish, Irish, British, Russian and probably other roots, as well, but the Scandinavian stories are the ones that draw me in. The books are piling up and then the Cooker gets me a Kindle for Christmas. Here is a potential space saver. Well, I got to love my little electronic library on which I could also check my email and such. The first one gave out about a year ago and I got another (Fire HD) at that time. There are at least 80 books on my Kindle, but I am not sure exactly. I can only get enough time to read about a book a week.

Sometimes it is nice to hold a real book in my hands and I have to get one to read. While a paper book doesn't have nice backlighting for reading in bed, it is still a tactile pleasing experience. Since I am in the boonies and don't have any good bookstores within a hundred miles I have come to rely on The Great and Mighty Amazon. This is not always an inexpensive way to read books, but you get what you want when you want it. It's just like anytime I want to know something or do a little research I just jump on the interwebs and there it is! Just like magic! A fast connection and there you are. It also is not free.

But I have to go to town  about 5 days a week for work. Guess what they have in this town of 1152 people? A library! It is a half mile from where I work and I go right past it at least ten times a week. You know what they have in there? Books! Not a great huge pile, but enough to keep me out of the bars. They also belong to a bigger library system and can get books for me and call me when they arrive. They also have some ebooks available in various formats. Because I tend to read books that may not be on the bestsellers list they may not be able to get everything I want to read, but they certainly have some of them which helps me save space and money, two things that are not usually in abundance in my world.

Oh, what to do about my reading habit? How can I save money and space and still get what I want?
Hey! I've got an idea! Try the library . They have books there!
No shit?
They may have had to write in clay tablets or papyrus, but libraries have been around for two or three thousand years! What a novel (pun intended) idea!

So now I am reading a series by a Swedish author, Henning Mankell. Don't tell my Norwegian relatives, though, they may think I have lowered myself a little. They have to understand that there really are intelligent and gifted Swedes. You know, like Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Nobel, ABBA, and one of my personal favorites, the Chef

There you have it! Jono discovers the library! I have rejoined the world of the living. Who says you can't teach an old dog? Woof, woof!

As long as the cats have "BIRD TV" All birds, all the time, everything is happy around here.


  1. ABBA - JUST SAY NO! no ABBA will EVER appear for my dance party posts!

    cute horses!

  2. Yay for books, however you get them! I love the convenience of ebooks, but libraries are truly special.

  3. Dragon thinks like I do. And libraries are indeed addictive!

  4. Just saw that the evil spellcheck "corrected" my spelling of Draugen's name. Curses evil spellcheck!

  5. Dee laibrooree eest u guut surss o buuks, laik buuks on cuuking dee feesh und cheekin. Bork bork bork!

  6. I'm forwarding your post to my favorite librarian who happens to live in the same house that I do. That's a mixed blessing, however, since she also likes to read and so she has a habit of stealing my books. Also, as a librarian, she has the authority to "fix" my library fines. But in an excess of moral highmindedness, she refuses to do so ... even when a book is overdue because she spent five days reading it!

    Anyway, book a week ... that's pretty good, I'd say.

  7. anne marie, Thank you and thank you. I forgot about Ann-Margaret!

    Jennifer, Studying for endless hours in the library as an undergraduate must have soured me for a few years. Now I'm all grown up. Maybe.

    Donna, Spellcheck is the curse of modern times. Draugen doesn't mind as long as he has hay in front of him.

    Ahab, It is scary how easy that is to understand. Bork bork bork!

    Tom, That's as bad as having a cop for a spouse. They borrow your car, get a parking ticket, and then you get the summons. You have my sympathy and envy at the same time.

  8. Books are magical. And I agree with you Jono - I also have a Kindle and it is an amazing thing but there is something about holding a book in your hands.

    Just reading this post brought back that wonderful book-mobile/library smell. One of my favorites.

  9. Beautiful animals - and I include the mule.

    And ABBA and the Swedish chef were staples of my university years, so I have fond memories of both.

  10. Well I'm glad you mentioned the tactile pleasure of reading a real book, although Kindle must be the future in a world that needs to conserve trees. I may be stereotyping, but I'm guessing there aren't many laughs in Icelandic and Norwegian fiction. :)

  11. I practically lived in libraries when I was a kid growing up. They were central to my development!

  12. I'm a regular library user although I don't go as often as I used to, before they cut back their evening hours. I'll get on a mystery kick every once in a while, I think the Scandinavian ones are the best, beginning with Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, who I read in the 70s.

  13. Ah yeah, we both love all things books. I'll admit I don't hit up the library as much as I should. There's something wonderfully lazy about being able to order, receive, and read a book all while laying in your bed, thanks to the Kindle.

  14. When I was growing up out in the sticks (which is back of the boonies), the extension library service kept us all sane. It was a wonderful system whereby the central library mailed out a catalogue with all their books, and we could select what we wanted. (I can't remember what the book limit per order was, but it was probably around 10.) A week later the books would arrive in a big canvas envelope with shiny dome-snap closures, and we'd pull out the treasured new books, put in the previous batch, and send it all back along with our order for the next go-round.

    These days, though, I never go into the library - I'm such a bookaholic that I must OWN all the books I read. As you can imagine, we have an entire wall of bookcases with all the shelves double-stacked floor to ceiling, plus several hundred books on my Kindle. And I keep buying more. But (in my own defense) I can read three or four books a day, so I *need* a big TBR pile. If I don't have at least eight books lined up, I start to twitch.

  15. Agi Tater, When in college I was fascinated by the really old books. Some were several hundred years old. I held them as though they were a time machine.

    jenny_o, Nothing like being able to look out my front window and watching the hairy beasts. Jim Henson was a genius.

    Gorilla Bananas, Much of what I read is fairly dark, but there is humor in those cultures. The last mayor of Reykjavik was actually a performing comedian when he was elected to office. Are you any relation to Gorilla Monsoon?

    Debra, I always wondered why you wear fingerless gloves. It was those cold Canadian libraries, but you still had to turn the pages, right?

    Professor, Ours is only open one evening a week. I like the settings in those books and see them as a travelogue with a story attached.

    ABFTS, Lying down is my favorite reading position. It becomes easy to read myself into a nap. My cheapness is overcoming my laziness this week.

    Diane, I like owning them, too, but it is getting impractical. All of yours are on my Kindle.

  16. I live for our library..and we have a great one..
    speaking of Norway...????? I just finished a tv shown made by Norway called Occupied...oh boy was it good..can't wait for season 2.

  17. "Friday night and the lights are low...dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen..." I love ABBA. And libraries. They feel very nostalgic, which is kind of sweet and kind of a shame.

    Read on, my friend, and be well.

  18. hi jono ,loved your post your writing is so pure and straight from heart ,

    books are precious ,they compete my day along with steamy cup of tea,hope you are enjoying your readings

  19. JACKIESUE, I just picked up two books that they ordered in for me. Thanks for the TV tip. Apparently, the Russians don't like it so it must be good!

    Robyn, You'll notice that it gets easier to feel nostalgic as there gets to be more to feel that way about. It is a collection of time.

    baili, Thanks! The short daylight hours and the cold weather are conducive to reading and sipping.

  20. As a kid I used to read so much that I was afraid I'd run out of books to read. Then I found some antique books in the attic, old novels written in the old German script. I taught myself how to read this old typeface (had to ask my grandmother a few times, she remembered some of it) so that I could read those books.

    Sadly, now it sometimes takes me months to finish a book. I can't wait for retirement!

  21. Your horse and mule look quite content with life.
    The problem with digital books is no bragging rights for your fine home library. I prefer real books but digital books can be acquired over the ethernet. A book per week is good going. I can only manage that with fiction.

  22. OK, on your next foray into the library, look for "Buzz Aldrin, what happened to you in all the confusion?" by Johan Harstad.... great book, I just finished it, Norway, Iceland, Faeroes. You'll like it.
    I like real books better then e-books, but I've never had a Kindle so too soon to tell.

  23. Love it, Jono. I've been reading a bunch lately too.
    Hey, FYI for your Kindle - there is an app called Overdrive that is a free digital library. It usually works with your existing library cards. They let you know if/when your book is available, and you can download it to your Kindle for free for a ltd period of time, Like a library book.

  24. P Peeper, That old script is difficult. S and F look nearly the same and the swirly script in general slows everything down. Language is always changing.

    Blog Fodder, Mostly, not always, I read fiction. I see enough reality on the news. History will catch my eye now and then. I know it is one of your favorites.

    Shammickite, That sounds like a good one. I'll put it on my list.

    Dawn, I have downloaded it , but haven't used it yet. Our regional Library system has over 5000 eBooks in the mystery category. I went through it and made a list of about 15 books I will read in the future.