Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Searching for Shoshanah



Mount Horeb is a friendly town, perhaps not quite as friendly as the postcard indicates, but my mission today was to meet up with the mysterious "Shoshanah" AKA Jojiba. The first contact was at a wool and knitting store where her book was prominently displayed:



The store's manager knew Shoshanah well, and even gave us the details on the breeding between her ram and Shoshanah's ewes. Exploring the city further, the trail had gone cold but I found some of her artwork forlornly displayed in a shop down the street:



Things were looking better (albeit a little fishy) when we finally got together at her sprawling ranch—left to right, Shoshanah (AKA Jojiba), BAH, The Weaver and yours truly:



Thanks again, Shoshanah, for the great food and drink and the sociable atmosphere, as well as years of provocative, amusing and inspiring posts!



(And thanks to "Big Z" for her photographic contribution with the composite group shot.)

By Professor Batty


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gonstead Guest Cottage

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

We've been here before; a few random views from our current stay:



The Weaver and Owner Joyce Wall inspect the grounds:



Art lamps line the driveway:



Twilight gives the cottage a faintly sinister air:



TOMORROW: Dinner with Jojiba.

By Professor Batty


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Mondays in Iceland - #63

The Silence of the Sea
by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
A Þóra Guðmundsdóttir Thriller
Victoria Cribb, translator

This is the sixth entry in the series centered on an Icelandic lawyer who has a knack for getting involved in gruesome multiple murders. This is the fourth book of Yrsa's that I've reviewed. They've always struck me as being competent, if somewhat uninspired. The strong point in all of these is the plotting, their weakest points are in character psychology and atmosphere. The interaction between Þóra and her assistant Bella is particularly awkward.  Because the story is fairly complex, a good deal of time must be spent in exposition and going over chronological details. This is an important consideration; if you like your mysteries to be nebulous and beguiling you won't enjoy this. Conversely, if you like to have all your "ducks in a row," you will appreciate this novel. 

It is a "ghost ship" mystery—a repossessed luxury yacht crashes into the Reykjavík's Faxaflói Bay with no crew or passengers aboard. The missing passengers, a bank representative and his wife and their twin daughters, were aboard, ostensibly to return it to Iceland, where it could resold by the bank. The story switched between the current investigation and the events aboard the yacht. There are several unnerving incidents aboard ship and as the story progresses things become gruesome. I think that this story would be better experienced as a movie. Nevertheless, it is a compelling read, although I was somewhat disappointed by its ending.

By Professor Batty


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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Madison Carnival

A neighborhood school held its 100th anniversary:



There were dancing girls, waiting:



They each had a moment in the sun:

By Professor Batty


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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Madison

Impressions from a weekend in Wisconsin's capitol city:


Homeless persons possessions under bridge, John Nolen Drive


Harley, King Street


Students, East Wilson Street


Sardine Bistro, Williamson Street

By Professor Batty


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Friday, May 20, 2016

Street Candy


Minneapolis, 1975

Umm… chocolates, almost a full tray.

Do you think it would be alright if I sampled one?

They look OK to me.

I wonder why someone left them here?

Maybe they're poisoned.

Just one bite couldn't hurt, could it?

By Professor Batty


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vice Advice



When I retired a few years ago, one of the first places I went to was my old buddy Rich's tobacco shop.

"I need a new vice." I said.

Rich answered that he could fix me up right away. We'd been through this before, the pictures shown here are from over 40 years ago. I didn't get hooked then; I didn't get hooked now, either. Our friend Joan tried out a pipe or two, but it didn't take for her either:



Rich still has his shop; he's moved at least four times, but his store remains the go-to place for new pipes, pipe repair, custom blended tobacco, and even some of the newer nicotine delivery systems. I don't think he's aged a day:







By Professor Batty


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