I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

From the mouths of assistant university police chiefs:

A man and a woman were shot to death in the University of Washington’s architecture building Monday morning in what may have been a murder-suicide, university police said.

Officers responded to reports of gunfire found the two in an office on the fourth floor of Gould Hall, Assistant University Police Chief Ray Wittmier said. He said a weapon was also found in the room.

“It’s quite possible that the suspect is one of the deceased,” Wittmier said. [Emphasis added.]

Is he confusing suspect with perpetrator, or is he being coy?

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

It Wasn’t Supposed To Be A Punchline

Michelle Malkin is right, this is funny, unintentionally:

KIMBERLY SHRUM grips a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and aims at a target 25 yards away.


A hot shell casing hits the floor, joining hundreds of others littering the concrete at Jackson Arms Indoor Shooting Range in South San Francisco.

Update: Who am I to snicker? I once refered to the Springfield XD as the Springfield XP. So I am as ignorant as a journalist who either didn’t pay attention to or even attend the event she was covering or who decided to Hollywood up the experience.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Noggle Library: Update

In September 2003, I posted pictures of the Noggle library. As some time has elapsed since then and we have found a replacement for Honormoor that allows us to house more books without displacing any cats, let me boast upon the bookshelves we have now.

Brian's read books

A long view of the hardbacks I have read. Good readers will spot books recently reviewed (Forever Odd by Dean Koontz and Come To Me In Silence by Rod McKuen). Yes, I have read those books, and they are a large portion of my 1200+ strong library of read volumes.

Brian's read hardbacks, shelves 1 and 2

Note that the first set of shelves are doublestacked with a miscellany of fiction and nonfiction, unsorted and shelved by maximizing the number I can fit onto the shelves.

Brian's read books, shelves 3 and 4

These shelves contain the recent fiction I’ve read and also represent the only segregation I have going on in my library. The top shelf on the left contains my Ayn Rand books, including early printings of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead (as well as the copy of The Fountainhead I bought when I reread the book in 2005). On the second shelf of that bookshelf, I have all my poetry, from Edna St. Vincent Millay and Wordsworth to my mid-1990s chapbooks from local authors.

The left bookshelf contains my Robert B. Parker collection (first 3 shelves), my books about being a writer (4th shelf), and home improvement (bottom shelf).

Brian's unread books

These three shelves contain the volumes I have not read yet. Most shelves are doublestacked. You can see in the center bookcase how my collection of Classics Club books has grown (compared to the picture from 2003); I still haven’t read a single volume from the set. I don’t know how many books I have in here, but I hope it’s enough to tip my personal library to 2000. Jeez, I suck.

Some computer books

Here’s a shelf of computer books that I haven’t read, for the most part, but they will be handy reference guides when Windows 95 comes back into fashion. These shelves also contain some writing reference guides and some music reference guides.

Paperbacks and such

To the left, we have many of my paperbacks, some of which I’ve owned for 20 years now and many of which are older than that. I don’t know that I ever went through a stage where I bought a lot of new paperbacks, although I have picked them up from time to time. Now that they’re ten bucks each, forget it.

This concludes my section of the tour.

A shelf of Heather's books

Some of Heather’s books.

More of Heather's Books

Another bookshelf whose contents belong to Heather.

Most of Heather's books

The bulk of Heather’s hardbacks. I don’t know her system or how she keeps track of what she’s read. I rely on my wrote system of “On the read shelves, I read; on the to-read shelves, I must read,” which has bitten me in the past. Maybe she just remembers.

Heather's cookbooks and textbooks

In our dining room, we have Heather’s cookbooks, textbooks, and volumes of poetry. As you can see, the shelves are no longer full, as Heather is on a spartanization binge. What happened to the woman I married?

An interesting note, the bottom shelf of the bookshelf to the right contains my Time-Life Old West series that I inherited from my aunt. This bookshelf is the only one in the house that contains books that belong to both Heather and I. I’m very obstinate in not conmingling our books.

Heather's music books on the piano


Heather has also removed quite a few of her music books from the piano.

The guest room bookshelves

The guest room contains some of Heather’s paperbacks and sewing books. The sewing machine is also in the guest room. We keep hoping the guests will make themselves useful, but no. They just come and sponge off of us during the holidays (I am talking to you, Butler!).

Jimmy's room

Finally, we have the boy’s collection. With this many amassed in only nine months, it’s obvious who will eventually have the biggest library amongst us.

How many bookshelves is that? I’ve lost count.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Book Report: The Prize Winner’s Handbook by Jeffrey Feinman (1980)

As some of you know, I consider myself something of a Sweepstakes Bodhisattva. I’ve seen this book in different places since its inception, and when I saw it again on the table at one of last week’s book fairs, I knew I had to have it, if only to compare my knowledge to its.

This book was written in 1980 by the head of one of the independent judging organizations. He doesn’t hide it, but he does want to offer some insight into the fundamental honesty of the process as well as offering tips on how that sweepstakes contestants can take advantage of that process to have a slightly better shot at winning.

The book takes on sweepstakes, contests, lotteries, and bingo, with about half the book (it seemed) going to lotteries and bingo. There aren’t many ways to shade winning the latter, so there’s a bunch of history to pad the book out from pamphlet size.

Essentially, the tips are enter often and follow the rules. But if you’re interested in contests and sweepstakes, it’s worth a quick glance. It weighs in at 128 paperback pages, and I read the book in about an hour or so.

Books mentioned in this review:

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Feds Get Their Man

A reader (and by reader, I mean someone who found this site while googling Lou Sengheiser) sends along a helpful link to his federal indictment press release.

As you know, I’ve previously been sympathetic to Sengheiser (here and here). I’ll still stand on innocent until proven guilty, but it’s not looking good for him.

Least I can do, since his brother seemed like a nice guy and gave us a good rate on our wedding reception hall. The Shania Twain CD thing notwithstanding.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Book Report: Forever Odd by Dean Koontz (2005)

My wife bought this book for Christmas last year (that is, Christmas 2005) because I’d liked Odd Thomas. As with the preceding book, the narrative voice of Thomas is exceedingly conversational, but this book at this time struck me as too much so. Odd Thomas, who sees silent dead people, gets a visit from the recently dead father of a friend. Someone has killed the father and has taken the son. Although early signs point to the first husband of the boy’s mother (and his birth father), it looks as though the boy is actually bait for the one person who can find him… Odd Thomas.

The book was a quick enough read and pretty engaging; however, some of the narrative voice seems like fluff, and I have to wonder whether this and its 2006 counterpart Brother Odd are merely one story stretched over two books; the ending of the book sure seems like a setup. That’s poor form.

Books mentioned in this review:


Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Book Report: Broken Prey by John Sandford (2005)

After reading Winter Prey, I flashed forward 12 years in Lucas Davenport’s future. He’s married to the woman he met in Winter Prey, and their children and she are in London, leaving Davenport a psuedobachelor. Instead of watching movies all night, he has to deal with a serial killer who appears to mock the MOs of three serial killers institionalized in a single Minnesota hospital. Early indicators point to a recently-released inmate, but that wouldn’t have made a 300 page novel, would it?

I figured out whodunit pretty early, but I rode along with Davenport and his team as they went down one blind alley after another. But it’s the journey, not the destination, for the most part. I’ve got a couple more prey books on the shelves, and I should get through them and get my complete list together since Prey books are plentiful at book fairs.

Books mentioned in this review:

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories