Monday, June 25, 2007

Finished two and I keep getting kicked off the computer

This was a great reading weekend. I finished Great Expectations on Saturday and then started Held at a Distance all over again, yesterday, and finished that up. So, yippee! I've completed the Chunkster Challenge! That's good because I would have felt pretty dismal flunking my own challenge. Here's what I read:

Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair - 453 pages
God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield - 687 pages
Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory - 516 pages
Foreign Fruit - 483 pages
Great Expectations - 475 pages

I substituted a good bit, but actually read more than I expected, finished the book I considered the most important chunkster on my list (Great Expectations) and surpassed my goal. I didn't realize that till just this minute. Cool!

As to Held at a Distance, I enjoyed it a little more the second time around - particularly for the history, anecdotes, and descriptions of the many interesting sites the author and her husband visited. But, I think I'd get along a lot better with the author's engineer uncle than the author herself. I've turned in my review and it should show up in Estella's Revenge around the first of July.

The kiddo keeps stealing my computer because we bought a new game, so I'm not getting online much - apart from the daily webcam visit with hubby. Before leaving, he bought two inexpensive little web cameras and called me repeatedly from his laptop in the living room. That was funny. Anyway, now he's calling me from Australia, each day. I've got one of our clocks set to Australian time and now am aware that Melbourne is 15 hours ahead of our U.S. Central time zone. We just hung up a little big ago (about 2:45 p.m., Monday, here) and hubby was all freshly dressed, beginning the early part of Tuesday. This is cool. He just called me, again. I highly recommend the totally funky experience of talking by webcam. Sometimes the connection is great and sometimes it's not, but it's a very science-fiction-like experience, very "2001" (just a bit late - and where's that totally nifty rotating space station we've been waiting on?).

I cranked the air conditioner early - because the humidity has suddenly returned to normal - and actually got a little cold, this morning. So, I decided to drag the camera outside and warm up. While outside I spotted this little green fellow who thinks he's a leaf (or is trying to convince the rest of us) and was utterly creeped out when I loaded the photos and realized the blob below him was some sort of mite-like creature. . . ewww. I thought he was a lump of bird doo-doo! I prefer bird poop, to be honest.

The green fellow is very small - around a centimeter in length - so the creepy gray thing (which looks like every nasty, parasitic, evil magnified photo I've ever seen of microscopic creatures you don't want in your bed or on your skin) was tiny enough that his legs were not visible until I saw the photo on-screen. Ewwwww!

I also took photos of a green spider, a female cardinal, a lacy gray moth, a noisy robin, some nondescript little gray birds in flight, a Mississippi kite, a magnolia, and a red-bellied woodpecker sticking his tongue out (it's not very good quality, but it's definitely an interesting shot). There's an awful lot of life directly outside our front door. I came inside sweaty, of course. Don't think I'll be getting cold again, today. Oh, yes, and the sign of the day:

Out "of" the book? That can't be right. But, since I'm being instructed to read, I'm certainly fine with the concept - assuming I can read some other books, also.

Kiddo claims I'm starving him and depriving him of important game time, so I'm going to feed him and read. Wishing everyone a terrific Monday - Tuesday if you're on the other side of the world. :)


  1. What a cool bug! Geez, it really doesn't take much to make me happy huh? Why do you tease us with descriptions of pictures but no pictures, huh? lol...

    I should really read Great Expectations. I've read a couple of reviews of it lately. The only Dickens I've read is A Tale of Two Cities and it's one of my favorites. I'll have to fit in Great Expectations one of these days.

    Isn't it strange talking to people on the other end of the world? It's the same time, but it's really tomorrow!!! Sounds like a Twilight Zone episode...dunh Dunh DUNH!

  2. Chris,

    I haven't been posting to my photo blog for a while, but I'll try to start adding more nature pics over there. Isn't the green fellow cool? I got some great lizard pics this morning, too. :)

    Great Expectations is fantastic - don't put it off!!! It's my first Dickens and I'll be reading more, definitely.

    It's a weird feeling talking to someone on the other side of the world, especially on-screen. But, it's also incredibly fun. I'm so ridiculous; I kept putting the camera up to the screen to show him the best of today's photos. Hubby was very patient with me.

  3. I have never used a webcam before. I'm almost afraid to. Is it okay if I can see them but they can't see me? LOL

    Congratulations on finishing the Chunkster Challenge, Nancy! I will make a point of getting a copy of Great Expectations to try. Maybe I already have a copy . . .

    I am so grateful that my husband and I have separate computers. We'd be fighting over the computer constantly. Haha

    Have a good rest of Monday, Nancy!

  4. Lit Kitty,

    If you don't want someone to see you, it probably defeats the purpose a tiny bit. LOL But, I understand. I couldn't understand why on earth my husband wanted to see me while he's gone, but once I got used to the idea it kind of grew on me - I sure like seeing his face, every day. Plus, you can bet I've put the camera at the most flattering angle!

    Thanks! Great Expectations is so good that I'd recommend grabbing a copy. I had an old ugly HB and decided to get a Barnes & Noble Classic PB because I thought it would be easier to hold (and it'll look better on the good shelves). I know that's ridiculous. I've found duplicates of several books, lately, as I clean.

    You know, hubby and I don't really fight over the computer. He typically just sits down when I walk away! Quite the opportunist. Youngster has his own computer but it's antiquated and doesn't run the newer games. Silly me for giving in to that game, but he's antsy about having Dad on the other side of the world, I think, so I got it to occupy him. We're currently taking turns.

    Thanks! Hope you have a fabulous evening!

  5. Perhaps your Bible verse means to read a section from the book. *shrugs*

    I'm having the same problem with my son. I can't get on the computer until he goes to the bathroom, or to work. I'm missing out on reading some of my favorite blogs. I'm afraid everyone will think I no longer love them. :( I'll have to post a warning about that soon.

    That is the cutest little leaf bug.

    I finished 'Great Expectations' for my TBR Challenge too. I just love Dickens, but he requires such a commitment, I don't think I'll read more of him until after summer (when my sanity returns).

  6. Kookie,

    I don't know; I think I'll look that one up and see if they just cut it off mid-sentence or it's a typo.

    It's a pain sharing, isn't it? I told Will he was just going to have to let me have a good, long turn and go to bed - really, he could stand to get some sleep; it's been a long day and he's got a rash from doing sit-ups in the grass without a shirt. Dummy. I think most people understand if you don't find time to visit, now and then. It's about the kiddo's turn and I've barely blog-hopped at all, myself. Sigh.

    Isn't that leaf guy adorable? He didn't fool me, though. LOL

    "Requires a commitment" is right. I gave up on Great Expectations earlier in the year for just that reason - you really do have to concentrate, especially given the quantity of characters to keep straight. But, I'm glad I finally squeezed the book in. It's a gem, isn't it?

  7. I'm excited to hear what you thought of Great Expectations! Since you write for Estella's Revenge and all. ;) Now you see my influences.

    Glad to hear you liked Held at a Distance better the 2nd time around.

    And what a photo! Definitely creepy, but also very cool.

  8. You finished Great Expectations?

    Now I'm ashamed to admit that it is one of the few books I couldn't finish. I wanted to like it. I really did but reading it was too much like punishment.

    Of course, that was a few years ago. Maybe I should revisit it? What did you like so much abou it?


  9. Anonymous4:51 AM

    Congratulations on finishing! I had read GREAT EXPECTATIONS in high school and hated it - aren't you supposed to hate everything assigned to read in high school? I read it again last year and loved it. What a difference a few (HA) years makes!

    We only have one computer and I have to share it with Shelby and Dom. Dom hardly ever uses it, and Shelby does most of her visiting later in the evening, so it's been working out OK.

  10. Congratulations of finishing your challenge!

    What an utterly creepy creature - that white fluffy thing with legs! Ugh.
    We have been experiencing some nature in our our yard in the form of eggs. They keep turning up all over the front lawn. I suspect a duck layed them under a tree and left them when they didn't hatch (which has happened before). But some creature keeps moving the eggs around. My daughter said that since they didn't hatch, now they're the kind you can eat. Um, right.

  11. Happy Tuesday to you from the other side of the world :)

    I know you meant down under but I thought I'd take advantage of the nice comment.

  12. Andi,

    Well, you know I loved it. And, yep, now I get the meaning behind "Estella's Revenge", especially as you were using it in the first ezine version. I hope to write a review, soon. This has been a hard week for writing, with the kiddo snatching the computer and afternoon storms (it's rumbling, as I type).

    Me, too, on Held at a Distance. I still found her whiny, but there's a lot to be learned from the book.

    :) on the "creepy but cool".


    Yep, finished it. It's sometimes a difficult read because he wrote some oddly convoluted sentences. If a particular sentence bogged me down, I learned that I'd figure out the context of what he was saying by just marching on. Maybe that would help you? What I loved was the emotion, the language, the many ups and downs, the characters, and the humor - pretty much everything. You have to hang in there with Pip; he can be annoying, but he redeems himself in the end. :)


    I don't know if I would have liked Great Expectations in high school - hard to say. I had hardly any lit courses at all. My son read it, this year, and enjoyed it, but I can imagine it might have been rough to focus on when younger.

    We're doing okay on the sharing, so far. I go off to read or do housework and warn the kiddo when I need a turn. He's been pretty nice about just turning it over when I ask.


    Thank you. Yeah, I think that fuzzy gray guy is disgusting. I felt itchy for an hour, after I saw the photo! But, I did have things walking or landing on my legs the entire time I was outside with the camera - gnats and ants, mostly, I think. We have an awful lot of bug life. I'm fine with butterflies and critters that look like leaves, but there are lots of others I could do without!

    How neat about the eggs! Were they abandoned? I wouldn't eat them, myself. Are you on a lake?


    Thanks. LOL Yeah, you're not really that far away, but it's still cool talking to someone in Italy! :)

    I just talked to the husband a bit ago. He's getting up so early, like 4am, and today I straggled awake at around 11:30. I can hardly move. The come-and-go storms are putting me in headache hell. This is going to be a take it easy day!

  13. King James Committee speak.

    That is the cutest green bug.

    I'm still in denial that the Chunkster Challenge ends Saturday. I'm not officially ending now even though I'm obsessively knitting and not reading and there's no way I'm going to finish my official book choice....but still. Maybe.

  14. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Congrats on finishing your own challenge! I was bad, just one book but it was a fantastic book so that's okay then. So what do you have planned next for us bookworms :)

  15. Carrie,

    You can give yourself a new mental deadline for the Chunkster. What the heck, right? Just pretend it's still going on and maybe you'll stay motivated. :) BTW, I don't see you on the check-in post list, here. If you haven't signed up at the sticky post, please do. I'll be giving away a quote mug and some other little goodies and it doesn't matter if you didn't finish everything.

    I like that, "King James committee speak". Could be. Could be they made a faux pas - those signs aren't always accurate, scripturally speaking. I haven't bothered to look.


    One book is better than nothing, right? I'm glad it was one you enjoyed! I'll have to think what to spring on you next. LOL

  16. I love the webcam. We use it here so my kids can talk to and see their cousins on the other side of the country. Cheaper than airline tickets!

    Congrats on finishing the challenge!

  17. Gentle reader,

    That's a nice idea for a webcam! I probably ought to get one for my mother. :)

  18. Well, I live in the city ( not downtown but city limits), but only a few blocks from the Mississippi River. I do believe the eggs were abandoned and another animal found them. A few years ago a mama duck layed right by our front door under a tree. She was there for entire month, only leaving in the wee hours to eat I suppose. Unfortunately it was a very rainy and cold month (May) and the eggs never hatched. At that time we just covered them up. There's a lot of nature here in the city!

  19. Oh, I wouldn't eat them either! Who knows what is inside at this point!!

  20. Oh, poor mama duck. All that sitting for nothing! I wonder what went wrong.

    "Who knows what is inside"? Eww. Bad thought! LOL

  21. Nancy, I see you have been considering The Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge for ten days now. I am in the process of choosing six books and signing up, so pick six and do it with me! Looks like fun.

  22. Bonnie,

    I actually am planning to post on that one, today. I've been looking around and I have loads of books that I'd like to read which qualify. Watch for a post. :)


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