Thursday Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I was ensnared by another author interview on NPR, this time with Sally Bedell Smith, discussing her new biography, Elizabeth the Queen, The Life of a Modern Monarch.  The interview was a delight, and the book sounded fascinating.  Maybe, I thought, I should surf over to Amazon and one-click it onto my Kindle. 

But then I thought about the photos.  The book was sure to be full of photographs.  How could anyone tell the story of Elizabeth’s long reign and family without lots of photos?  And if there’s one thing my Kindle is not very good at, it’s pictures.  The new Kindle Fire may be a different story, but my keyboard Kindle is less than a year old, and I’m not interested in replacing it.  I bought it for reading novels, and it’s great for that.  But not for pictures.

So a few days later I stopped by Barnes & Noble (with a gift card from Christmas) to look at the book.  I was right.  It’s full of photos, a veritable family album, from the montage on the end papers to the interior photo sections to the photos at the beginning of each chapter.  It’s also a satisfying 663 pages long, including 120 pages of source notes, bibliography and index (Kindle is not very good at those, either, despite the possibility of internal links–I do miss flipping through pages.)  Needless to say, I bought the book.  I’ve only read the beginning, but I’ve flipped through all the pictures.

If your interest in history runs more to the nineteenth century American West, check out Petticoats and Pistols, a recent addition to my favorite blogs list.  Scroll down the left side of the screen to the categories list for all sorts of interesting articles.

Another of my recent discoveries is Pandora.com, an Internet radio site with a vast assortment of preset channels.  Pandora doesn’t stop with presets.  You can design your own musical background: pick an artist and Pandora will not only play what you requested but will also bring up similar music.  Click on thumbs up and expand your channel, click on thumbs down and ban that choice.  I’ve been listening to the WorldBeat channel, and also to one of my own featuring Martin Denny.  Remember “Quiet Village?”  Probably not, but Denny and his exotic, tropical jungle music were very popular when I was in high school.  His recordings are now available on CD, a long way from the battered old LPs in the brightly colored album sleeves I remember.

I enjoy visiting the dashboard of my blog to see what search terms have brought visitors here.  Recently I’ve had at least three hits from “raccoon-proof cat feeding stations.”  I’m not only mystified by the concept (squirrel-proof bird feeding stations, now that makes more sense), I can’t imagine how many pages of Google search results it would take to associate that request with this blog.  I do have one picture of a raccoon and a cat, but definitely no feeding stations of any kind.

Somebody missing a cat?

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