I'll admit it, "freely and unreservedly" (which John Cleese movie am I channeling here?)-- sometimes I'm not very mechanically inclined. Saying that reminds me of taking an aptitude test for my high school guidance counselor who was working on her Master's Degree. The results were a hoot. They all seemed to be either high up in the rafters or down in the sub-basement. I either really liked something, or I loathed it. Miss Young mentioned that the others she'd had take the test were all "middle ground." I imagine my results were a bit more interesting. My highest results? Either an officer in the armed forces (*snort*) or a criminal defense attorney (*eye roll*). My lowest? Mechanical aptitude.
This week I'm pretty sure I found another spycam. There's an app Denis and I use on our iPads to control the TV, DVD player, and Roku. For some reason, Netflix likes to make me froth at the mouth. There's a lag of several seconds (10-12!) between my pressing the button and the action being performed. It's maddening. So much so that I soon want to act-- and sound like-- a berserk chimpanzee. This week, I couldn't get the sound to work, although I tried the normal fix-its several times. While all those mechanical gizmos were grinding away, deciding whether or not to obey my command, I remembered that the power had gone off for a couple of seconds that morning so the Roku box may need to be reset. I put the iPad down, stood up, and hobbled over to the other end of the room to reset the box. Just as I put my hand on the Roku box, the grinding stopped, and everything started working properly. See?!? These things are watching me and laughing!
Whew! I'd better mosey on out to the corral and get a grip... Head 'em up! Mooooooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- How did English end up with There/They're/Their?
- Bilingual authors are challenging the practice of italicizing non-English words.
- President Bill Clinton and James Patterson on crime fiction.
- I once included a link for a bookshop in Scotland that lets you stay there and be a bookseller for a day. A Critic Sells Books Down by the Seashore was written by a man who actually took them up on it.
- Found: Three poisonous books in a university library.
- Charles I's "message for the future" has been discovered in a book of poetry.
- Visiting an experimental, do-it-yourself library in Brooklyn.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an ancient mummification workshop.
- The mystery of the Basel papyrus has been solved.
- The Romanovs' art of survival. And in other news, DNA analysis has confirmed the authenticity of the Romanovs' remains.
- A megalithic tomb uncovered in Ireland is the "find of a lifetime."
- A mysterious sarcophagus in Egypt has been found not to house Alexander the Great's remains.
- A gallery owner's $15,000 gamble on a storage locker has paid off big time.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- The Pacific Northwest orca population has hit a 30-year low.
- How noisy males control the gnu's cycle.
- This footage of jaguars in Panama could save their lives.
- Eight endangered black rhinos have died in a sanctuary.
- Tree shrews love hot peppers because they don't feel the burn.
- Florence Sabin pioneered her way in medical science, then made sure other women could do the same.
- Why Diana Gabaldon believes Joaquín Murieta is the outlaw-hero we need.
- Yekaterina Budanova shot down Nazi pilots with great skill, but her feats are mostly forgotten today.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Traveler Food & Books, a small-town Connecticut restaurant, gives each diner a free book from its vast library.
- The Literary Man Hotel in Portugal is a bookworm's dream.
- An Airbnb reading retreat in each of the fifty states.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Twelve country classics that capture the spirit of noir. (The best country music is crime fiction.)
- Ten historical crime novels that explore the age of empire.
- Twenty crime novels in disputed territories and divided cities.
- Ten popular TV shows you (likely) didn't know were based on books.
- Eighteen books that stay with you your entire life.
- The curious origins of sixteen common phrases.
- Five mysteries set in Italy's strangest locales.
- Twenty-one crime novels set during revolutions and rebellions.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!