Book Report

One of my goals for 2016 was to read more books. I had the very low target of at least one a month, not counting boring stuff I read for work (like, Advanced Web Metrics or The Discipline of Content Strategy; real page turners, I assure you). Here are some non-work titles I managed to get through during the year:

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard

The Phantom Army of Alamein: How the Camouflage Unit and Operation Bertram Hoodwinked Rommel, by Rick Stroud

East West Street: On the Origins of ‘Genocide’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, by Philippe Sands


The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf

A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry, edited by Czeslaw Milosz [slim volumes by individual poets don’t count as “books” for this list; but a whole anthology does]

The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee


Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, by Max Hastings

Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation, by Karl Jacoby

Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, by Peter Hessler


Jane Eyre, by Emily Bronte


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Tom Jones & Sly Stone

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Post-Halloween sugar hangover

There are many families with young kids in this neighborhood, and we were expecting troops of trick-or-treaters. But alas, only three visits last night, totaling seven costumed candy-grubbers. I feel bad I was so miserly in doling out the chocolate bars and Jolly Ranchers. Now, of course, I’m eating them all.

Sonja was a black cat for Halloween, though we left her hat in our car which, unexpectedly, was still at the mechanics on Friday. But Hilary fashioned a very clever substitute by cutting up a foam rubber door bumper into some cat ears and sewing them onto the detachable hood of one of Sonja’s jackets.

There is a video of Sonja in her cat suit (sans hat, unfortunately) up on YouTube, and a couple others of Sonja playing with her new doll. Sonja’s getting quite good at putting words together, and seems to enjoy telling you about things that happened to during her day. Last week when I picked her up at day care, she told me how she had bumped her head on the door frame, and later hit her chin. As she was saying “head hurt sad” and “chin hurt sad” she demonstrated by leaning first her head and then her chin against the door frame.

Sonja helps her doll clap its hands

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New pictures (at last)

Sorry to be so late with these. Since my last post, we took a trip to Idaho, bought a house and moved, took a trip to Denver for Hilary’s sister’s wedding, and have not really had much time or energy for anything other than working (which, alas, we have to do), cooking, eating, and chasing after Sonja. But as of today there are three new galleries up in the Image Mine, and some new videos available on Sonja’s YouTube channel. Thanks for watching!

Update: One of the new videos we just uploaded–

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More baby pictures

We put some hanging plants on our deck to welcome spring, and a couple weeks ago discovered that a pair of house finches have built a nest in our fuchsia. This weekend the eggs hatched. I didn’t want to disturb them, so took only a single quick photo.

I don’t know how common this is, but it also happened to this guy–and he’s got much better photographs. I found his Flickr gallery while Googling to discover when finch eggs usually hatch.

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