Moving soon

Posted on 12 August 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

I admit to being embarrassed to blog at the moment. I’m in the process of creating a new blog and hoping to implement a lot of the changes I picked up at the Problogger event last week. Until then I’m going to take a break from blogging.

I’m sure you want to be kept up-to-date on all of this with the new url to ensure you’re the first people to see the new blog please click on the link below and follow the instructions.

Edit: Button is now disabled due to the new blog being open for business. Swing across to the new Suz’s Space Blog to check out the new colours.

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Rush Job Calendar

Posted on 4 August 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I know this has nothing to do with books but I unearthed it on the weekend and felt it’d be perfect to share with you.

The notes down the bottom read:
1. This is a special calendar which has been developed for handling rush jobs.
All rush jobs are wanted yesterday. With this calendar a client can order his work on the 7th and have it delivered on the 3rd.
2. Everyone wants his job on Friday, so there are three Fridays in every week.
3. There are eight new days at the end of the month for those end-of-the-month jobs.
4. There is no first of the month – so there can’t be late delivery of end-of-the-month jobs on the 1st.
5. A “Blue Monday” or “Monday morning hangover” can’t happen, as all Mondays have been eliminated.
6. There are no bothersome non-productive Saturdays and Sundays.
7. With no 15th, 30, or 31st, no “time-off” is necessary for cashing salary cheques or paying bills.
8. “MIR DAY” – A special day each week for performing miracles.

Rush Job Calendar

Rush Job Calendar

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Collecting Golden Hands Encyclopedia of Crafts?

Posted on 12 July 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

How do you tell the different editions of the Golden Hands Encyclopedia of Crafts apart? I don’t have a definitive answer for you as it’s just way too complicated. I will give you some information I’ve gleaned from the lovely people over at Partworks and from my observations as I’ve been listing various parts of a numbers of different editions.

John was very sympathetic when I emailed him with my confusion and wasn’t able to shed much light into the problem. He tells me that Marshall Cavendish would sometimes re-release popular partworks revamping the first few issues in subtle ways and make corrections. This can cause much confusion when trying to collect the whole set.

Golden Hands Encyclopedia of Crafts was first published in 1975 and has 98 parts including an Index meaning that it will take almost two years to issue them. Out of 200 + magazines I have on hand there are several different publishing dates. Some of them mention 1975, others 1976, more still 1977 and 1978, or 1977 and 1979. They finished issuing the first edition in 1976 so I’m pretty sure I understand that one. I have some with the dates 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979 and I’m presuming the last date is the date of issue. I have some that mention 1978 and have the words ‘2nd edition’ printed on the front cover so I’ve taken the liberty of comparing the table of contents of one printed in 1975 (a first edition) and one with the words ‘2nd edition’ on the front. There were minor differences but really they were only cosmetic.

If you’ve already got some of the magazines and you’re wanting to make sure you get the right printing date to ensure you’ve got a complete set you’re more than welcome to email me about any of the ones I have listed. I’ve listed each magazine separately as I don’t have a full set of any edition. You can access them easily by clicking here. I’m also in the middle of listing some Show Me How magazines and binders, some Busy Needles magazines with their binders and also some patterns for Stitch by Stitch.

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Eclectic Books

Posted on 22 June 2010. Filed under: Collections, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I seem to have a collection of eclectic books. Some of them are novelisations of movies while others are spins offs and the rest are just a little strange.

The novelisations of movies are:

The Great Dinosaur Robbery by David Forrest which starred Peter Ustinov, Helen Hayes, Clive Revill, Derek Nimmo, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Natasha Pyne, Roy Kinnear, Joss Ackland and Deryck Guyler. It’s set in New York where five British Nannies steal the skeleton of a 200 million-year-old dinosaur, not just any dinosaur skeleton but a brontosaurus skeleton. It’s fabulous fun as were most of the Walt Disney movies made in the 1960s and 70s.

“Don’t Look Now…we’re being shot at!” starring Terry-Thomas and Bourvil.

Monto Carlo or Bust with a cast of stars including Tony Curtis, Terry-Thomas, Bourvil, Walter Chiari, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Eric Sykes. It’s set in the 1920s during the big race to Monto Carlo and there’s a lot riding on this race. There’s reputations, inventions and most of all…money.

The World’s Greatest Athlete starring Tim Conway, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Amos, Roscoe Lee Browne, Dayle Haddon, Billy DeWolfe and Nancy Walker. The coach was having trouble, he was always losing…until one day he brought back a young jungle boy from Africa.

1941 starred Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune, Warren Oates, Robert Stack, Treat William. The plot, if there is one, six days after Pearl Harbor, a Japanese submarine surfaces off the coast of California. Its mission – to capture Hollywood…the result – total unbridled lunacy!

Jabberwocky was created by some of the Monty Python team and starred too many people to list but included Michael Palen, John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Annette Badland, Harry H. Corbett and Terry Jones. It is the story of King Bruno the Questionable’s attempt to save a cast of thousands from the threat of the Jabberwocky. I’ve only just found this book so haven’t had time to read it as yet but I suspect it’s as mad as anything done by the Monty Python team.

The original novels based on television series are three books about Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of Control and I’m sure you all know about him and Captain Nice. Mild, meek, mother’s boy Carter Nash is Captain Nice, the super-human protector of Big Town. With these books anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the funniest possible moment and in the funniest possible way. All four of these books are written by William Johnston.

As for the rest, well they’re a miscelleous bunch of wackiness. We’ve got:

The Trouble with Mobb’s Mob, written by Ray Slattery. It’s set in New Guinea and the Pacific war is raging…somewhere off in the distance. It’s a book about a bunch of Aussies braving the war behind the lines. It’s neither exciting, gripping, bloody, suspenseful or sexy. But it is funny.

Kings Cross Crims by Michael Hunter. Set in Sydney, Australia the mob are being harrassed by Detective Reilly so they decide to build underground and that is where the hilarity ensues as Madam Sadie’s daughter likes the new engineer just a tad too much.

I’ll Plead Insanity by David Cross. I picked this book up from a little shop in a little town somewhere, possibly in Warburton, quite some time ago. I was enchanted by the idea of the plot which seemed rather far fetched and also by the idea of a far-fetched plot set in Australia. A summary of the plot goes a bit like this: Richard is a young widower whose wife, it seems, has fallen over a cliff and been eaten by a shark (except her left leg). He constantly tries to get young women into bed and fails at every turn. There is a policeman investigating in Maigret fashion who gives Richard a cookbook but Richard manages to stuff up the most basic of recipes. So many strange things happen including things that go bump in the night.

Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake is set in New York. We have a dozen statues one of which is made of solid gold and is worth a million dollars, they all get mixed up and chaos mixed with hilarity ensues.

The very last one has a bitter-sweet story. It’s called Two Lucky People by Tony Kenrick. It’s the story of two people who have the same very rare disease, they’re going to die in one month and they’re both feeling very sorry for themselves and for not having done anything useful in their lives, then they meet Mason Ramsey and decide to help him fulfil his dream of having a concert hall in a poor neighbourhood. Mason was being threatened by Giogios Kolynos. Kolynos was an ex-gangster who had the best of everything: he had the best secretary; the best address; the best apartment and the best staff. Harry and Grace set out to change all of that.

I know I’ve left lots of information out of this article, but the thing that brings them all together is that they’re all quirky and humorous. Some of them have a sad story in them but there’s so much goodness in them that I want to read and reread them over and over again. Others are just totally mad and need to be read many times in order to understand the madness.

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Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Posted on 10 June 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’ll just set the scene.

It is a dark and stormy night three figures hunched around a cauldron, illuminated by a streak of lightning. “As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?”
There was a pause.
Finally another voice said, in a far more ordinary tones: ‘Well, I can do next Tuesday.'”

This is a cut-down version of the opening scene of Wyrd Sisters and if you’re familiar with Macbeth you would have noticed some major similarities. Wyrd Sisters is Sir Terry Pratchett’s take on Macbeth and is the second book to feature the witches. He takes Macbeth apart, pulls out all the most important elements and then puts it together in a Discworld manner. The witches are our familiar trio: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. We have all the important elements, an assassination of a king who then remains and haunts the castle.

We also have my favourite cat in literature – Greebo. We see much more of him in Witches Abroad, but that’s another book for another time.

This is a wonderful book. I actually reviewed it for my year 11 English Literature class which I took a few years ago. I did all the right things for my talk including reducing the talk to point form and writing them down onto cue cards, I even took the cards with me to the front of the class and looked at them. That was where the cards fell down completely as I changed the order of my speech while I was talking, so I’d come to a particular card realise I’d done it throw in an aside of ‘I’ve mentioned that already’ and throw it away. Actually, I threw the cards away as I used them, it was much more fun and I even got a couple of laughs with it.

If you’re desperate to hear and see me say a few words about this book you can watch the video.

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Dudcon III

Posted on 6 May 2010. Filed under: Conventions I've attended, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Dudcon is the convention you have when you’re not having a convention. It will be run on the same weekend as AussieCon 4 and the organisers are doing their best to schedule their events around Aussiecon events. The most important thing happening at Dudcon III will be the Ditmar Award Ceremony and the BBQ or some other event that might involve food or alcohol. I’m very excited about Dudcon III as they’ve just accepted me as a Corporate Sponsor. There are only two Corporate Sponsors as at the time of writing, Slowglass Books and Suz’s Space, it’s funny how we both sell books online. I envy his stock though, science fiction and fantasy to die for. Membership for Dudcon III is fairly cheap with memberships running from $10 to $100. You can find more details including progress reports on their website.

The other minor event happening that weekend is AussieCon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention and the fourth one to be held in Australia. AussieCon is where you can vote for the Hugo Awards, you need to be financial member to be eligible for voting. You will find me at AussieCon 4 with bells on, or maybe a witch’s hat and cape if they let me dress up.

There’s a lot happening that weekend including something I can’t talk about yet but my time will come. I’ll post it here when they take the tape off my lips.

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This is not a post

Posted on 28 April 2010. Filed under: Rant and Rave Time, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I’m taking an idea from my friend, Lee at Quit Your Day Job. He did a post that wasn’t a post and so am I.

I’ve had a grotty week. Anzac Day was fine, but it took Monday out of my week and Monday is generally a good day for getting things done, Tuesday morning I developed a migraine and as at the time of writing it’s still with me. I’ve kept going through the pain and discomfort as it’s not a terribly bad one as migraines go, but it’s made my thinking a bit fuzzy and I’m hoping I’ve made good decisions during this time. I do have to take stock with this as it could be a revisitation of the migraines I had when the kids were young, they were hormone based and lasted three whole weeks, the pain did improve a little each day but it still lasted for three weeks. There are other things that could be causing them and I’m going to take the easy option for the next few nights and wear my mouthguard. If you get lots of migraines then I suggest you give Dr James Boyd a visit and read up about bruxism and why it can cause migraines. My two possible main causes could be bruxism and that’s fixed by wearing the mouthguard for a few nights or hormones and that could be fixed by adjusting my diet for several weeks. I do not like adjusting my diet as it involves getting rid of all the yummy things such as coffee, tea, chocolate as well as several other foods; this explains why I’ll try the mouthguard first.

I’m going to make myself a light box. Today was the first day I had a chance of taking photos as the light was about right and the rain held off and both of these events coincided with me actually remembering to take photos. I took photos of three boxes mostly full with science fiction and fantasy. It was a wonderful time as these are my favourite genres and it’s been a while since I got these books so I’d quite forgotten which books were there. I knew about the Edgar Rice Burroughs, but had quite forgotten about Clifford Simak, Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card and other great authors so it was quite an adventure to work my way through the books exclaiming over my favourites. It’s going to be much easier to plan my week if I have a light box and it will ensure I won’t be at the vagaries of the weather. I read some instructions written by another Melburnian blogger, Darren Rowse, and somewhere on his website I read how to make a lightbox. It’s a good thing I remember the details as I can’t find the article any more. I’ve got my box and I now just need some light, white fabric or tissue paper and the rest is easy. Hopefully it will make my books look that much better.

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Book Shops

Posted on 15 March 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I’ve been having such fun just now. There’s a couple of photos circulating and my friends are really enjoying them. This one is in Buenos Aires. It’s in an old 1920s theatre and the possibilities are endless. I would have liked to embed the photo here but they’ve done something clever and it’s not possible.

So, this next one is a video and I’ll send you through to The Bookshop Blog to watch this one. It’s a bookshop in an apartment in the US and it’s truly an education. You can read more of my writing there as I’m one of their regular writers.

At this point you can stop and have a think about your local bookshop and what makes it a bookshop. Is it the shelves? Or maybe it’s the types of books, sometimes it could be the people behind the counter. This article is about the layout and the building. I’ve participated in a number of conversations about second hand bookshops this week and yesterday it was fortuitous as we we’d left the book launch and were walking down Chapel Street when my OH pointed out a building across the road which used to be a secondhand bookshop. It was one of the shops mentioned in a previous conversation and he told me it used to be a fantastic bookshop and took up all three storeys of the building. I didn’t think to take a photo but it doesn’t sell books now.

I’ve been wanding around the web looking for various bookshops and have hit a goldmine. Here’s a glorious one at Vilnius University. Take note of the frescos.

I like to visit different bookshops and there are some really different ones around. There’s this first photo in Lausanne which I feel is rather sterile and I wouldn’t be comfortable in it and the next photo is one in Sydney which is the opposite and I’m definitely not comfortable there either.

This next link is an article in the Guardian and you’ll find 10 fabulous bookshops in this article including the one from Buenos Aires.

Another thought. Do you prefer small bookshops or would you prefer to visit a large bookshop and get your daily exercise just by browsing the shelves?

My final thought will be this website with a focus on Shanghai. The first article is on a bookshop in Fuzhou Road. It only has 27 storeys of books.

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Colin Thiele a South Australian Treasure

Posted on 17 February 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Colin Thiele, a name from my childhood. He was born in Eudunda in November 1920 to German parents. He only spoke German until he attended school at Julia and it was at school that his love of the written word started. He died at the age of 85 in September 2006, the same day of Steve Irwin’s death, so his passing was not marked in an appropriate way. There should have been much more happening but Irwin was a much more prominent man and so he overshadowed Thiele. He was a wonderful author and the books he wrote about the Coorong describe it as the beautiful place it is. If you read the books and then look at the pictures on this site you’ll see just how right he was.

His books are just pure poetry and I can lose myself in them at any time, I know they’re written for children but they’re just as enjoyable for adults. I reread both Storm Boy and Blue Fin recently both of which were made into movies with the same boy as the lead actor and I couldn’t believe how fitting they were for adult and child alike. I’ve just had a look at the cast of both movies on IMDB and they both had a sterling cast with David Gulpilil in Storm Boy, but he gets to be included in a different blog.

I’ve currently got Chadwick’s Chimney in front of me and I’m debating whether it is in good enough condition to sell or if it should just go back to the op shop. It’s a book I don’t recall reading but the synopsis shows the same excitement and adventure as his other books. Storm Boy is about a boy who is brought up on the beach of the Coorong and saves some pelican chicks. He looks after them, feeding them, caring for them and eventually teaching them to fly. They do fly away but one of them, Mr Percival, comes back from time to time. Blue Fin is about a boy on his first voyage and the trials and tribulations he goes through as he ends up the only conscious person on the boat during a storm.

I wish I could thank Colin Thiele for his writing as they were so good and gave me so much pleasure over the years. Reading can be an escape and his books certainly were that.

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Black Saturday

Posted on 7 February 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

This time last year was a dreadful time for all involved. The weather was shocking with the temperature going up to 47 degrees celsius and huge gusts of wind it felt like walking in a furnace, adding to the horror weather some fires had started outside Melbourne. I’d had a Discworld meeting on Black Saturday and coming home by train was just disgusting, I can’t even imagine how people in and near the fires must have felt. 173 people died during those fires and so many houses were destroyed completely, the countryside was devastated with so many animals being caught up in it. There were very few happy stories.

We’d been booked at Marysville on Australian Day but had to change it to Labour Day due to my Step-Dad’s passing. We never made it to Marysville and haven’t yet decided when to return there but we will. A week or two after the fires had started to become under control I managed to get through to the people who ran the cottages we’d booked into and was so relieved to hear they were all okay. I heard their story and refused their offer of a refund on our deposit as I figured it was the last thing they needed, I also hoped we’d be able to stay with them again some day. I don’t know when or if that will happen as I’m struggling to find them on the internet. Maybe they’re among those people who have moved elsewhere to start afresh and if so, I don’t blame them and will be wishing them all the best.

I’ve been listening to so many remembrances over the last couple of days and have been trying to figure out how I could do a minute’s silence on a blog…it’s just too difficult and so I ask you all to spare a thought for those who lost loved ones, or were injured or lost pets and property. It’s only been a year and the healing and rebuilding has only just begun.

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