Posted by jukkahoo
Or so my doctor says. Sirpa (sixth!) saw me last Friday and we decided that my lump has melted a bit and will probably continue to do so, and therefore there is no reason for me to continue seeing a doctor on a weekly basis. Next check-up: Ides of Mars.
This has been a bit of a drag: waking up one morning with an irritated lump, just after you've been told you're OK and normal life lurks just around the corner. January was a bad month and February has started with a flu, so things aren't too shiny or happy in Casa Tali. But we shall endeavour to change our combined sour face to something far more cheerful, healthier and positive.
I have also been to a dentist. I don't really want to talk about it.
Have you noticed how gad-awful cold it is?
I've been reading a bit, not too much since I was a bit on the gloomy side of things and I couldn't be that interested in anything more demanding than tube-watching. I actually watched several dozen episodes of Enterprise. How sad is that? But I did read few books.
Like John Maddox Robert's Hannibal's Children. It's an AH with the point of convergence at the gates of Rome, whilst Hannibal is outside, waiting to get in. And he does. It is a good, solid book, which smells a LOT like Roberts is going to be write a number of novels in this world. I'm personally looking forward to that. No real review here, since it's one of my Kutspah-books for the next Tähtivaeltaja. As is Ian R. McLeod's The Light Years. A superior book that ranks high on my list of great, new speculative fiction books. Something like China Miéville, something like Sean Stewart, something like (ghasp, a Real Author!) Charles Dickens. Look for it, you'll like it too.
Another book I read just recently, is Simon Winchester's The Surgeon of Crowthorne (it is in fact one of our dozen or som BookSale-books, more of that later). This here is a biography of sorts, about two men, who both had a wee bit more than just a bit to do with Oxford English Dictionary. Dr W. C. Minor was a millionaire Civil War (American, that is) surgeon - and a madman and a murderer. Dr James Murray was the editor of OED. Minor moved to London after Civil War and lived in various "ill-reputed areas" of London, before he killed a total stranger and was sentenced to mental institution, since he was considered to be totally bonkers (most probably paranoic schizophrenic). English correctional system had just "invented" humane methods and since Minor was also American, he got sent to a spanking new Broadmoor Asylum. From there he assisted as a volunteer contributor (reading LOADS of books and collecting words from them) of the OED for several years.
Murray was also somewhat oddball himself. Since the family was poor he was forced to quit school when he was 14, but he was so smart and eager to learn more, that at 17, he was the vice-principal of the said school. He also tried to teach Latin to cows and, my personal favourite: "...comparing, in lexical terms, the sheep-counting numerology of the Wowenoc Indians of Maine with that of the moorland farmers of Yorkshire". Eventually he managed to find himself with the Best and the Brightest of the British scholars and was finally chosen as the editor of OED.
This is microhistory, interestingly told and with a sensible ratio of serious academic jargon mixed with genial banter and humour. Liked it a lot, not the least because it's rather short (200 pages) and it tells a tale worth telling. Winchester has a good sense of telling a good story instead of the facts (which he also mentions, but on occasion very cursorially). This has all the ingredients for a very nice BBC-drama. Will Self calls this "Tour-de-force", so it must be good.
As said, we went and checked the BookSale last... (Thursday?, no) Friday - and managed to spend far too much money. Not that there was that many really interesting books, but because the Sale-part of this hullabalooza has been lost, probably forever. OK, half-price is good, but if one compares the sale-prices with, let's say six-seven years ago, the gap is huge. Those days you could really make some finds and save a LOT of money, but now - in order to do the same thing - you have wait for the very final days of the Sale and count your blessings. Not that much to write home about, me reckons. I have these few items I'm interested in, but not really that much, that I'd be willing to pay the price that is there right now. We'll see what happens.
And if you don't already own a copy of China Miéville's The Scar, go NOW. Akateeminen is selling for measily €5,90. Buy it, buy two and give the other one as a present.
I went to HKL ticket service at the Railway station and loaded some value to my Travelcard at the counter. The nice woman servicing me decided that I needed new covers for my card (she was right, the old ones were pretty torn) and gave me them. But only after she had taped a luminous tag to it. I kept wondering the need for that the whole time I was sitting on the bus. I keep my Travelcard in my pocketsies, no car (nor the actual driver of any vehicle) can see the reflection from there. What a silly idea! Am I now supposed to wave the blasted card in my hand while promenading the dark streets and alleys of our fair town? And then I saw the light. Just like with them fri£@$€ng Rose petals!!! By the way, Tuhkis-Yuza is a complete moron, a regular nimcampoop: he figured out the solution in 15 seconds! Ha!
Does anyone know which is the first actual Finnish comic book? And when it came out? I came across this rather delightful sequential picture book today and it is from 1905.
Next weekend promises to include only turkey and more turkey. Syksy is in Finland and Da Prufussionaals are having a real good old honking turkey-film festivities at Nalle's place. Hot diggity dang!