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On your own time, rapid, fire

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

A shortage of time prevents me from saying much these days, but a few quick points need to be pointed:

  1. Sunday morning will find me up at an ungodly hour so that I can get a bout of dog training in before heading up to Eden Mills for the rest of the day, where I plan to catch Alexander Macleod, Leon Rooke, and whoever else.
  2. The discovery, via Nigel Beale, that the Governor General doesn’t keep a collection of the books that win the Governor General’s Award is just plain depressing. I guess that’s how much Canada prizes its literary culture.
  3. Here’s some bitching about author photos from someone who evidently knows jack-shit about portrait photography. Three of the cliches that post supposes are unique to writers are, of course, staples of portrait photography in general. And if you were going to make an environmental portrait of a writer, what environment to choose other than that where the writing gets done? But don’t mind me; if photographic cliches irritate you, by all means blame the writer.
  4. I like this Globe piece on “the death of do-it-yourself” because, while I have no interest in fixing cars, it applies to all kinds of other things. We shall soon become a nation of people who have no idea how things work. I like stuff I can figure out how to fix. Every year, there’s less of that stuff around.
  5. Ashley Gilbertson’s photos of military rations from around the world brings back memories both pleasant and less so. Thankfully, the Canadian Forces have discontinued the most unpopular menu selection, Ham Omelette, affectionately known as “lung in a bag.”
  6. Oh, look. Seems PTSD is going to be the flavour of the day for a while.
  7. As evidence of just how far behind I am, I will now comment on Samantha Haywood’s 16-day-old piece on preparing the perfect manuscript. Well, what to do? The economics of publishing resemble an inverted pyramid, where the point is demand, the whole thing wobbling precariously under the pressure of a zillion people convinced their story must be told. Nothing we can do about that. So apparently, Peter Cheney in the Globe is wrong, and do-it-yourself isn’t dead at all. Except that we still can’t do it our fucking selves, can we?

And that’s all I have to say about that, as Forrest Gump liked to say. Or at least, that’s all I’m willing to say about that at this time.

The walking blues

January 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Earlier I proposed that I might take a bus down Broadway into Kitsilano, but why bother with buses when you have feet?

Google Maps informs me that I put 11.2 km on said feet this evening; in penance for eating that hamburger, I’ve turned my heels into two of the same. Note to self: do not wear your work shoes on these expeditions. Your work shoes suck.

But I did turn up a couple of interesting things, including some Irish nonsense by Flann O’Brien, and a hardcover called Adult Entertainment by some guy called John Metcalf. Add that hardcover Ninety-Two in the Shade from yesterday, and I’d call that a successful business trip.

Never mind the database index I blew up this afternoon. These things happen.

Categories: used books

Vancouver 1, Edmonton 0

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Used book stores on Whyte largely a bust. Only one find of interest: John Metcalf’s The Teeth of My Father. Used book stores in London are better.

If any of the four people who read this blog are from Edmonton: what’s a good used book store?

Categories: used books
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