Archive for September, 2012

The bright colored pictures and photos in this book tells Ginny’s story through text messages, poems, notes (sticky notes, notes from her mother, etc), web pages, report cards and even hospital bills. It is truly a uniquely written book that gets the story across in a fun and funny fashion and with plenty of surprises within.

As stated in the title, this is the story of Ginny’s eighth grade year. The ‘stuff’ are all the notes and papers and assorted odds and ends that are shown on the pages. A real estate brochure opens the book along with a note from: The Management aka Ginny’s mother, a lawyer.  There’s a calendar, the countdown to Grampa Joe’s visit.

As the pages progress one learns about Ginny’s budding romance with Brian Buckvic. They bond in science class after dissecting worms. Through flyers the reader learns of her joining cheerleading. It’s from her poems, they must one every week for English class, one learns how Ginny feels about what happens throughout the year, a year with many changes besides moving and getting a boyfriend.

I got a kick about the bill from Mr. Computer’s Fix It Shoppe. Several pages showed her computer screen with a soda can in front. Each time I thought: that’s an accident waiting to happen, and sure enough, her mother had written on the note: We’ve told you a million times not to put your drink in front of the computer.

The only complaint I had about the book was sometimes the print was to small, but that’s no doubt just a problem for us older folks who wear glasses.


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Dear Hamish,

Thank you for the letter and the photograph. Tis a fine trophy indeed. One day we’ll do the highland fling together again and win the big one. I was sorry to hear about your window. At least it wasn’t broken. Ask the farmer if he has something called ‘goo-gone’. It may only be available in the colonies, but there be something similar in Scotland. I don’t know why the twins would mark it up with kissy lips and they were the ones to do it. Mum said something about the color coral blush the other day.

I had to cheer up Pawnee Kitty the other day. I don’t why I was the one, but then I was the only one here. She was all sad. A sad Pawnee Kitty is worse than a cheerful one. One’s eyes can’t help but be drawn to her form sitting there on a pillow, ears down, tail still, a slab of that dreadful turkey jerky in her paw unnibbled. I tried to ignore her, I did, to no avail. Every time I snuck a glance, she seemed sadder and sadder.

Do you want to read me Croft and Pasture magazine,” I hollered. She loves me magazines.


Usually she about grabs it from me hooves.

It’s the latest one. I just got it yesterday.”

No, thank you.”

Usually she’s reading it from behind me back.

How about a game of footie?”




Of course she’ll say nay to that. Maybe if I whip something up special in me Easy Bake oven. So, I made some scones and filled them with whip cream. The person bought one of those cans, a can mind you, where it fizzes out. It fizzed all over. In the scones, on the scones, everywhere. I’ll clean it later I thought and off I went with me tray of scones.

A wee bite and a story to go with it.”

No… oooh. Scones.” She took one. “What happened to you?”

Progress. I had her interest.


You’re whip creamy.” She leaned forward and licked me tam.


You’re all covered with whip cream! There’s even some in your ear!” She grabbed her mobile and took a picture of me. “And I want a story about the twins. And then can I read your magazine? You said I could. Does it have the funnies in it?”

And on it went. I don’t know what’s worse, happy Pawnee or a sad one.


And that’s it for today. Your friend,

Angus. McSheep.


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Not only did I put off reading this book, but I wondered why I picked it up.  I suppose I choose it  because it was set in the future, a gloomy future where chocolate is banned among other things. It sounded a bit Romeo and Julietish, which is the main reason I hesitated to start reading. I am not a Romeo and Juliet fan, although I do like West Side Story.

Thank goodness I don’t always listen to myself.

Anya is the daughter of a mobster, the head of a chocolate syndicate murdered years before the book is set. The sixteen-year-old holds herself as the protector of the family, her dying grandmother, her brain-injured older brother, and younger sister. One can only feel in awe of her how she carries herself (despite that she dumps spaghetti on her ex-boyfriend’s head). Win is the son to the new assistant DA. He falls in love with Anya who tries not to fall in love with him.

I could hardly put this book down and I hope there is a sequel for there is much I still want to learn about her life, to see the incredible woman she’s becoming. Anya is a strong character. She’s not a ninja type. She doesn’t wield swords or guns, but she’s as tough as they comes and one can see her struggles to be that way, making her all the more special.

The only thing I did not like were the asides to the reader. They did not add anything to the story and I ended up skimming over them as if they didn’t exist.

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Netbook Update

It’s been nearly two years since I acquired my netbook. I am quite pleased with it although I do think there could be some improvements, but I knew that when I bought it, an AVUS eeePC, that I get what I pay for and that means dealing with a smaller screen and with Starter Windows 7. Other than that I like it fine. I love the battery life. I can get a good six, seven hours with it and it’s come quite handy when the power goes out. I bought an external drive for it so I can watch DVD’s if I want.

I’ve seen people with their iPads and I have decided that is not what I would want. It is not something I’d want to type on; talk about a small screen The iPad is more for the Internet user. If I had access to the Internet all the time I might not get my writing done.

A laptop would have been too big and too expensive. I don’t need massive RAM or ROM to type. I only work on small projects on the netbook and all others I do at the comfort of my desktop.

I suppose one of my biggest peeves is that that the usb ports don’t always work. Some days I have to replug in my mouse several times or the netbook won’t read my flash drive. That means going into control panel and doing some tweaking. The taskbar won’t disappear when I need it to and I do need it to for several programs I use. I hope that’s an easy fix.

Other than that it is working fine for me. Hopefully it will last awhile because I do tend to keep my technology for a long time.

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My Photojournal


Every weekend I drive to Columbia. It’s a two hour drive and I can pretty much drive it blind folded by now. For over ten years, I’ve driven it twice a month, but now with my Dad gone and my Mom ill, I go every weekend. It started getting very boring.

I love photography. Ever since I got my new, digital, camera three years ago, I look for opportunities to take pictures. There are spots along the road, Hwy 321 to be precise, that I’ve wanted to photograph. For the last three months, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Every Friday and Sunday evenings I drive along and look for potential picture spots. Sometimes I’ve scoped them out the week before, memorizing the spot to stop and hoping there’s no car behind me so I can slow down and park on the grass strip by the road. At first I tried to pick three places each way, but that proved too much so now it’s only one or two.

The neat thing about my photojournal is meeting people. In the tiny town of Olar I met a man who remembered as a young boy delivering packages from the train depot to the stores that lined one side of the railroad track. These stores are now all boarded up.

Last week I stopped in Norway. On a corner sits a three story building with a fancy front. It’s now an insurance agency and I’ve always wanted to take a picture of it despite all the telephone poles surrounding it. I took pictures of it, the ‘court room’, and this tiny hideaway I’d never known existed if I hadn’t stopped.

Before leaving I took another picture of the insurance building. A man came out and we started talking, or he started talking, I just listened and asked a few questions. The building had been built in the 1920’s. The front of the building has the same type stone as the church down the road. It was being built at the same time and the owner of the building was a deacon of the church. He bought the stone fair and square, but people talked he might not have. As I suspected it had been a bank, one of two in the town. The current owner is the son of the man who owned the other bank.

The bank didn’t fair well because the depression came. The owner bought cotton for a dollar a pound and shortly after it was selling for two cents a pound leaving him with one heck of a problem.

He sent several sealed train car loads of cotton to the mill and when they arrived they were empty. The bank owner blamed the railroad. Since the mill had paid for the cotton, the Pinkertons were called in. They found out the bank owner had bribed someone at the depot to run empty cars to the mill. Shortly after that the man went kinda crazy and wandered around town.

With stories like this, my photo safari is blossoming to more than I expected. I get great pictures and I get great memories I can incorporate into my own manuscripts.


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