#1 Zero History

Cover of William Gibson's Zero History

Cover of William Gibson's Zero HistoryFinally, after determining I’d read 100 books this year, I finished the first one today.

After picking it up off and on since late summer, I polished off William Gibson’s Zero History. Yes, it’s a hard copy, as virtually all of my books are. I stare at a screen all day for work; for leisure, I turn it away.

But not off. One of the charms of Gibson’s work is that I need a dictionary at hand, not often, but enough to keep a browser window open. (My hard-copy dictionary is the Oxford, and it’s a bit clunky for quick use.)

This book is the sixth of his I’ve read, closing out a trilogy with Pattern Recognition and Spook Country. I’ve seen this set called more accessible, as it is set in roughly contemporary time, but I find I’m pleased to have started with the much more challenging Neuromancer and the rest of the Sprawl trilogy. If I hadn’t been exposed to all that glorious weirdness, struggling to wrap my head around a few things, I wouldn’t have gone so all in on the rest of his work.

That said, while I have four more of his books on my shelf, I’ll be taking a break. There’s some dystopia and horror calling, and even a bit of poetry.

Maggie dozing while I read

Pet Pics, 101416 edition

two dogs fighting over a box

dog chewing box
Abbey loves boxes. If one is opened, she runs in and looks up eagerly. They usually are awarded to her. [Aug. 22, 2016]
Abbey is unlike any dog we’ve ever had. She’s a mix, for one – half Labrador retriever, half golden retriever. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but her parents’ colors are fox and black.

She also has personality quirks that are new to us on this fourth dog we’ve had. None of our other dogs, for example, showed any inclination to lie on the arms or backs of furniture. And while they liked food and food containers and food wrappers, cardboard boxes were of no interest unless they, well, smelled like food.

Not this one. Sure, that box she has in the top photo might smell ever so slightly of the rice and spices that were wrapped in plastic within. But she is equally happy to bound off with a Kleenex box.

And it’s infectious, apparently. Maggie never showed any interest in boxes until Abbey had to have them. Curious, she started investigating, and now they fight over them.

Daryl? Well, as a friend of mine once noted, you could put a postage stamp in the middle of a sports stadium and a cat would find it and sit on it. Box = cardboard = paper = approved.

two dogs fighting over a box
The beginnings of a box fight. Yes, I removed the tear-off strip from the Reynolds Wrap box first. [Sept. 30, 2016]
two dogs fighting over a box
Mid-fight. [Sept. 30, 2016]
dog chewing a box




To the victor go the spoils. [Sept. 30, 2016]









dog chewing a box
Look at that happy face. Could you deny her? [Oct. 6, 2016]
cat lying on a box
Mine. [Oct. 9, 2016]

Pets Pics, 100216 camping edition

Abbey leaping in lake

No, we haven’t just returned from camping. In my house, it’s hunting season (archery deer), and too cool to have the windows open all the time but not quite time to put the yard to bed for winter.

I still wanted to share these dog photos from summer camping, though:

Abbey swimming
I like this photo because you can see the path Abbey takes in the water. This is Grousehaven Lake at the Rifle River State Recreation Area near Lupton, Michigan, our favorite place to camp. [Aug. 5, 2016]


Abbey leaping in lake
Dogs don’t get much happier than this. [Aug. 5, 2016]


Abbey and Maggie at camp
Abbey and Maggie swam separately (it’s what the handlers could handle) but relaxed together afterward. As we say, “A wet Lab is a happy Lab.” [Aug. 5, 2016]


Maggie on sleeping bags
In the period before I took the sleeping bags to the dry cleaner, Maggie made good use of them.

Pet Pics, 052616 edition

Blonde dog lying along back of loveseat face to face with giant stuffed dog

One day I came home and on the sidewalk leading up to the porch was a giant stuffed dog. My son had found and salvaged it. My daughter claims to want it, but has yet to take it to her apartment, so in the meantime it is a living room fixture.

Black Lab chilling on loveseat with giant stuffed dog looking over the back
Maggie, unfazed. [April 25]
Blonde dog chilling on couch overlooked by giant stuffed dog
Abbey, looking like a snack. [May 10]
Blonde dog lying along back of loveseat face to face with giant stuffed dog
Abbey the goat in one of her common chilling spots, the back of the loveseat … with company! [April 20]
Blonde dog using giant stuffed dog as a pillow
The (stuffed) dog was on the floor. I was on the floor, stretching my back, which meant Abbey had to join me. Then she noticed a pillow … [May 1]