Fun Day Fotos

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Gwilk with the groaning table full of books at the beginning of the afternoon.

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The “Free Books” sign shifted to a more sensible position. Having it hanging from the umbrella was wonderfully visible, except that the wind kept catching it, making the umbrella spin round, and occasionally hitting a “customer” in the face!

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The end of the day, and only a few books left on the table.

You Vill Haf Fun!

On Saturday one of the local schools held a Community Fun Day (which MrPloppy reckons sounds like something that would be held in a totalitarian state: “Ve vill haf a community fun day and you vill haf fun! Zere vill be laughink and singink and enjoyment! You must haf fun now!”), and gwilk arranged to set up a Bookcrossing stall as a temporary OCZ. When I was down in Dunedin last weekend rarsberry and boreal had given me some books to bring back up for gwilk, and I wanted to contribute a few of my own as well, so I thought as I’d have to go to the Fun Day to drop off the books, I might as well volunteer to hang around and help out with the stall. And it did actually turn out to be a fun day – the weather was lovely, and we were kept busy explaining Bookcrossing to people, and reassuring them that yes, they could take a book, and no, they didn’t have to pay. We had a table piled high with books at the beginning of the Fun Day, and three hours later when it finished (it was more of a Fun Afternoon, really) we only had five books left – not bad going! I’ll add some photos later.

Here’s the list of books I added to the table (including the ones donated by boreal and rarsberry). Gwilk probably contributed about twice as many, plus JONES2 stopped by part way through the day and topped up the table with a few more.

A Daughter of the Nobility by Natasha Borovsky
Birds by Clara Hussong
A Season of Swans by Celeste De Blasis
A Third Ladybird Book of Nursery Rhymes
Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Benjamin Goes To Hospital by Dr Tony Lipson
Beyond the Bus Stop by Delph Gay
Blondes End Up Dead by Bevis Winter
Boy in Bangladesh by Palle Peterson
Bright River Trilogy by Annie Greene
Crystal Cat by Velda Johnston
Deliciously Lean (recipe book)
Donne: Songs and Sonnets by AJ Smith
Girl With Green Eyes by Edna O’Brien
Australian Explorers by Carolyn R Stone
Herald of Joy by Pamela Belle
Hunters of the Animal World by Maurice Burton
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
Jessie Takes the Reins by Susan Saunders
Maggie by Lena Kennedy
My Big Book of Fairy Tales
New Arrivals by Jane Wynne Willson and Robert Ashby
None to Make You Cry by Denise Robertson
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Presto! Magic Treasure by Peter Lerangis and Jim Talbot
Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ by Robin Lee
Star Ka’at by Andre Norton
Take My Word For It by John Marsden
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Day of the Donkey Derby by Joan Fleming
The Disappearing TV Star by Emily Rodda
The Dream by HG Wells
British Trains by Maxwell Taylor
The Great TMT Cake Bake (recipe book)
The Grubby Fairy by Michael Guy
The Invitation by Catherine Cookson
The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
The New Zealand Girl Guide Handbook
The Seed and the Sower by Laurens van der Post
They Missed the Bus by Terry McLean
Wild Wood by Jan Needle
Wise Child by Monica Furlong

No catches yet, but a lot of the people who took books seemed interested in the idea of Bookcrossing (there were some of course who just wanted a free book, but that’s ok too), so I’m hoping I get a few.

Currently reading: A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race by Carl Sagan and Richard Turco (which gwilk brought along to the Fun Day, but somehow found itself in my bag instead of on the table – I’ve got no idea how that could have happened! 😉 )

What FutureCat needs

Yeah, I know, I said I never do these quiz things, but this one amused me, especially when I tried it out (just taking the first ten, rather than the applicable ones):

  1. FutureCat needs a cold shower.
    It *is* quite warm today, but I didn’t think it was that bad yet.

  2. FutureCat needs a smack daddy.
    Do I? I don’t even know what a smack daddy is, and I suspect I wouldn’t like it if I did.

  3. FutureCat needs to be a biatch!!!
    Um, I’d rather not be, if that’s ok with you (anyway, cats are queens, not “biatches”).

    I’ve often thought that! I’m not normally quite so emphatic about it, though.

  5. Poetry by FutureCat: Needs a title
    But I haven’t written any poetry since high school, and I’m sure I used to always give my poems titles (in fact, my titles were usually better than the poems!).

  6. But the competition is getting tougher, so FutureCat needs to keep on improving.
    Ah, so I need to go back and give my poems *better* titles, is that what you’re saying?

  7. FutureCat needs to do five things.
    Well actually, according to the rules of this game, I need to do ten things.

  8. But if the people are emotionally needy, then FutureCat needs space.
    I think I need space anyway. Otherwise, I’d be all jammed in amongst things and I wouldn’t be able to move, or breath… or exist, really. Space is good.

  9. FutureCat needs a tutor who can help a client with their Probability Exam in the Somerville area.
    Hang on, I can do probability! Why do I need someone else to do the tutoring? Oh yeah, probably because I don’t know where Somerville is…

  10. FutureCat needs the earth energy in her life to learn how to ground and be more practical.
    Ground isn’t a verb. However, I know how to *grind* coffee, and use a grinder to put an edge on tools, and I think I remember how to use a grinder on a yacht. I think that’s quite practical.

  11. With her representational style, FutureCat needs heavy visual depiction of her subject in order for it all to work.
    Well I *am* a union rep now. Though I don’t think I’ve been doing it long enough to have a representational style. And I’m sure I can make sense of the job without needing pictures.
    (Yes, I know, I’m supposed to stop at 10, but this is too amusing (well, *I’m* amused, anyway!))

  12. FutureCat needs help.
    Quiet in the cheap seats!

  13. FutureCat needs to be charged for her crime.
    Crime? What did I do??? Unless you mean the fact that I’m wasting company time and resources playing on the internet when I should be working – does that count as “theft as a servant”? *FutureCat looks anxiously over her shoulder to make sure her boss isn’t looking*

  14. FutureCat needs an adviser with exceptional listening skills.
    That’s ‘cos I talk so quietly.

  15. Feeling that FutureCat needs a tutor to help her, Drake hires Lauri Parrish, a teacher for the deaf.

  16. Oregon is just where FutureCat needs to be to let her creative juices flow.
    That must be why the titles of my poems are so unsatisfactory: I’ve never been to Oregon.

  17. FutureCat’s butt is so big, it needs its own limousine.
    Now that’s just cruel! I’m sure I could fit it into a much smaller car… (and if you recognised the quote, you can probably guess which name I really put into the search engine)

  18. FutureCat needs to repay at least 10K to the authorities.
    Okay, but what are the 10 Ks I need to repay? 10 kb of internet usage? (I’m sure I’ve used more than that!) 10 kg of sausages? 10 kittens?

  19. It’s not everyday FutureCat needs my help.
    Yes it is! You said up above I need help.

  20. FutureCat needs to do more and customers should take this matter as a reason to stay away from this terrible retailer.
    I agree with the needing to do more (right now, I need to do more work), but I’m not a terrible retailer! I’m not a retailer at all.

  21. FutureCat needs to decide whether or not to recommend this collection.
    I think I probably don’t recommend it – it’s getting a bit long now, after all, and probably everyone else has got bored and stopped reading… oh, go on, just one more:

  22. FutureCat needs the Bachelor of Science degree in psychology she holds just to keep tabs on the 40 plus employees here.
    I haven’t actually got my psych degree yet, but I am working on it. I don’t think I should comment on its applicability to my colleagues, though…
  23. Ok, ok, I’ll stop now.

Domino-ating Dunedin

[Note: this diary entry is a copy of an article I have submitted to the newsletter.]

What do you do with 75 Reader’s Digest Condensed Books? If you’re a Bookcrosser, then the answer is easy: “Release them!” But if you’re lytteltonwitch, you come up with something a lot more creative…

Exactly why she was in possession of 75 Reader’s Digest Condensed Books is a question we’ll have to leave to lytteltonwitch to answer, but the important thing for our story is that one day, while contemplating the books, she was struck not by their literary quality, but by the fact that they’re all the same size and shape – perfect for a game of Bookcrossing Dominoes! And so a plan was hatched for a trip to Dunedin to set up what may not be a record breaking domino toppling event, but must surely be a unique one (and at the same time to help promote the upcoming New Zealand Bookcrossing Convention, to be hosted by Dunedin in February 2006).

The trip down to Dunedin is a story in itself (I won’t go into it here, but you can find parts of it told by Ballycumber, our infamous Cheat Book, and 25 copies of Tom Sawyer), but finally on the morning of Sunday 13 November 2005 a small team of Bookcrossers assembled in Dunedin to set up the world’s first Bookcrossing Dominoes. And there they hit their first snag: the weather. Heavy rain meant that our first choice of venue, the Octagon (Dunedin’s central plaza), was out, so with the help of the Dunedin Bookcrossers we frantically searched for a suitable site that was indoors and public, and where we wouldn’t immediately be thrown out by angry security people, and finally ended up in Dunedin’s railway station, which is not only a beautiful example of neo-gothic architecture, but also has the advantage of a large tiled foyer with an overlooking balcony for taking photos from. And now that the station is only used for tourist trains, the ticket office has been moved into a side-room, which means that the main foyer is free of congestion, so there was plenty of room for us to lay out our dominoes, but plenty of people still walk through (mostly tourists either admiring the building or visiting the information centre), so we were guaranteed an audience.

Click on the photos to enlarge:

Ballycumber guards the boxes of books while we checked with the information centre staff that we wouldn’t get arrested for littering their foyer (luckily, the first person we asked had heard of Bookcrossing and thought our dominoes sounded like a fun idea, so we took that as official permission to go ahead).

Lytteltonwitch begins laying out the first of the books. Each book had a flyer tucked inside explaining Bookcrossing and giving information about the NZBC Convention.

The layout of the dominoes wasn’t just random – lytteltonwitch had a plan, and had carefully worked out all the crucial measurements.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Ballycumber “helping” rarsberry and lytteltonwitch to lay out the C.

Work on the C continues.

All 75 books are placed, and are attracting quite a lot of attention from passing tourists. One English woman stopped to talk to me where I was taking photos from the balcony, and when I started to explain Bookcrossing to her she interrupted with “Oh, I know all about that. Someone left a book hanging from our fence.”

The toppling of the dominoes. By now we had quite a crowd watching, both downstairs in the foyer and up in the balcony. There were a couple of false starts before the dominoes fell cleanly (some of those angles on the B were a bit tricky), but when they finally did, we got a loud round of applause from the spectators.

Ballycumber surveys a job well done.

The books, of course, were left in the wild where they fell. Now we just sit back and wait for the journal entries…

Sponge bathing the cat

Ming is a very strange cat. Among his many strangenesses is that he actually enjoys getting wet… well, when it’s a hot day, anyway. He doesn’t cope well with the heat (probably something to do with his black coat), and always looks totally miserable when the temperature goes into the 30s. I discovered the solution by accident one hot day, when I accidentally dripped some water on him, and he didn’t shake it off like he normally would. So I dripped a bit more, and he still sat there, then I tried cupping some water in my hand and dribbling it over him, and he started purring! He doesn’t like getting *too* wet, but with a bit of trial and error we came up with the concept of a cat sponge bath, which he absolutely loves: I soak an old face cloth in cold water, and rub his fur with it, while he just sits there enjoying the cool (and the fussing!) and purring like mad. He ends up looking totally damp and bedraggled, but a lot more comfortable.

Here he is tonight just after his first sponge bath of the summer (it got up to 30 today, which is way too hot for this early in the summer, especially for a cat who hasn’t finished moulting yet):
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In other news, work is progressing on the sunflowers, but there’s still a long way to go:
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Off on an adventure tomorrow, with a witch, a ballycumber, several Reader’s Digests, and 32 copies of Tom Sawyer. More when I get back…

Definitely not an eskimo

Unless, of course, it’s an eskimo disguised as sunflowers…

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There’s a lot more of the picture to go, though, so maybe there’ll be an eskimo sitting beside the sunflowers… 😉

Meetup (or TGFKAM) last night, which was supposed to be at Cafe Bleu, a cafe/restaurant where we often have meetups. We hardly ever have to book, because Tuesday nights aren’t busy, so normally lytteltonwitch (who knows the owner) just pops in sometime in the morning and asks him to keep our usual table for us. Except that yesterday was Cup Day, the day that half of Christchurch get dressed up in their finery to spend the day at the races and then go out for dinner in the evening… and every restaurant in Christchurch gets totally booked out. The coincidence of Cup Day and meetup day didn’t occur to any of us, until lytteltonwitch went into the cafe yesterday morning to reserve our table and discovered they were fully booked for the entire night. Oops.

Anyway, we ended up going to KFC (and even that was full of fancily-dressed people – obviously the ones who’d lost a few too many bets!), and left a message with the barman at Cafe Bleu for any bookcrossers who turned up there, and despite the confusion still managed to have an ok meetup – as well as me and lytteltonwitch there was awhina, meerkitten, and Marcie130. For a change, all of the books I brought along were picked up (Dead Famous by Ben Elton, A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle, The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell, Waiting for Godalming by Robert Rankin, and The Patternmaker by Lucy Sussex), and only picked up two (One Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawks and A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott). Which means the sum total of books in my house has decreased (in theory, anyway…)

Currently reading: Lambs of God by Marele Day

Lemon-Coloured Eskimos

Yes, it is a lemon-coloured eskimo!

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Or maybe not 😉

I’ve got the day off work today – I was owed some time from ages ago when I had to work during the weekend, so I thought having a long weekend after my exam would be an ideal way to use it. And very useful as it turns out, because next weekend I’m going on a Bookcrossing expedition down south with lytteltonwitch, so I need to get organised for that. So I’ll probably spend most of today registering and labelling books. But hopefully I’ll sneak in some time to work on the eskimo…

Currently reading: Lambs of God by Marele Day

Willpower must be a wonderful thing to have

Well I did start out with great intentions of getting back to work on one of my many half-finished cross-stitch projects, but as always, digging through the trunk was fatal, and the temptation of starting something new became all too much. So I’ve now got yet another project on the go.

It is quite a small one though (compared to some of the monsters I’ve got lurking around), so I might actually manage to finish it before I get distracted by something else new and shiny…

And it gives me another chance to play the “guess what it is” game:

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Clue: it’s not a kitten this time.

Another clue: here’s the full colour scheme:

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A very calm and tranquil title with absolutely no drama

Just for Kimi and SWAAM 😉

Um, ok, now I’ve got to think of something to write about to justify the title, which given that I wrote my last entry late last night, and pretty much all I’ve done since then is sleep, could be a bit tricky. I didn’t even dream anything interesting.

Oh well, nothing for it but to steal SWAAM’s ABC survey/quiz thing. I don’t normally do these things, but I can’t think of anything more interesting to fill this entry with.

ABC’s of me

A is for Age – Ok, now I get why SWAAM made her entry private… 5 less than her.

B is for Booze – A nice white wine, thanks.

C is for Career – I used to have one, but it wasn’t worth it. I’ve got a job now, which is much better.

D is for Dad’s name – Dad 😉

E is for Essential items to bring to a party – Depends on the party, really. A corkscrew always comes in handy.

F is for Favorite songs at the moment – I’ve just realised I haven’t listened to any music of my own choice for ages. MrPloppy does tend to monopolise the stereo (but in a nice way). Um… probably “International Velvet” by Catatonia.

G is for Goof off thing to do – Reading (though that should more go under the category of “basic necessities of life”) and Bookcrossing and cross-stitch and playing the Sims and spending way too much time on the internet.

H is for Hometown – Depends what you mean by “hometown”, really. If it’s where I was born, Dunedin. If it’s where I grew up, could be any of 5 or 6 places – we moved around a lot. If it’s where I’ve made my home, Christchurch.

I is for Instrument you play – Does a CD player count? I’m woefully non-musical.

J is for Jam or Jelly you like – Strawberry jam. Jelly is evil.

K is for Kids – I agree completely with SWAAM’s answer: “To be avoided”

L is for Living arrangement – With MrPloppy and three cats

M is for Mom’s name – I don’t have a “Mom” (silly Americans with their weird spelling!), but my Mum is TopKat.

N is for Names of best friends – I don’t rank my friends :-p

O is for overnight hospital stays – Never

P is for Phobias – Spiders (I’m not so much scared of them, they just utterly repulse me)

Q is for Quote you like – “Jam jam jam jam” (yes, we’ve been watching Black Books again – I blame Kimi)

R is for Relationship that lasted longest – MrPloppy

S is for Siblings – One

T is for Texas , Ever been? – No. The closest I’ve been is LA international airport. Which is quite a long way away, really.

U is for Unique trait – I think being a cat in a tutu is reasonably unique 🙂
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V if for Vegetable you love – Are avocados vegetables? Otherwise, broccoli. Or corn. Or cauliflower. Or carrots. Or kumara. Or peas. I quite like vegetables, really.

W is for Worst traits – Is this like a job interview, where the correct answer to that question is always “Well, sometimes I work a bit *too* hard.”?

X is for X-rays you’ve had – Just teeth.

Y is for Yummy food you make – French chocolate cake, and Basil Brush pizza (not necessarily eaten together!)

Z is for Zodiac sign – I don’t do astrology. Ok then, Cancer.