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exhalations
Thursday, March 30, 2006
 The Summer He Didn't Die 
Just finished Jim Harrison's latest work of fiction, The Summer He Didn't Die. Harrison can be an uneven writer. Dalva was one of the better books I've read over the years, but The Summer... seemed like it was quickly written and in need of some editing. Harrison is the kind of writer who writes simply and directly and at first his characters seem too contrived and unbelievable, but he has a way of sucking me in. I think it's his knowledge of the lives of working people who live in the rest of America, that big part of the country between the east and west coasts that is rarely portrayed well in literature.

The book consists of three novellas, the last being an offhanded memoir, a description of his life to date told in the third person. I enjoyed reading about his life and what motivated him during various phases of his career. He was a successful poet early, having his first book of poetry published without much effort. He dedicated himself to literature and to doing what was required to earn a living outside of academia, the only other refuge for successful poets. His foray into screenwriting earned him enough to be comfortable for a while until he realized that it was consuming the time he needed to write fiction, so he stopped.


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Friday, March 24, 2006
 Easy way to sell used books 
Barnes & Noble recently started a service in which you can type in an ISBN number and they will tell you how much they will offer to pay you for the book. Apparently I own no books of value, since I was never quoted a price, including the latest by Jim Harrison, The Summer He Didn't Die which was published last year: “We're sorry. At this time we are not purchasing the book you submitted. Please try another ISBN.”


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 Pickin' Wilco 
Saw another excellent Jonathan Edwards concert last night at The Barns at Wolf Trap. There aren't many places that are more intimate than the Barns. Kenny White played with Jonathan and is an entertaining singer/songwriter who packs an amazing number of words into his songs. He's also an excellent pianest and he was part of Jonathan's "band".

I mention the concert because I was searching for the Jonathan Edwards website (which I did find later; very lame. Jonathan, time to update the site) when I happened across Google Music. When I did the regular Google search for Jonathan, the first link was a photo and info about his music. I followed the link and discovered that Google has a special site for musicians with links to how to purchase their music.

One of the more interesting finds was produced when I typed in Wilco and discovered Pickin' on Wilco, a strange bluegrass rendition of Wilco tunes.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
  
25 Best License-Free Fonts


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Sunday, March 12, 2006
 Patriots drive the speed limit 
I like the new bumper sticker Patriots drive the speed limit. They save gas and they drive safely. It counters the many flag signs on vehicles that I often see speeding through the neighborhood.


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 FABB Web site 
The Web site of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling is starting to take shape. It's availabe but hasn't been announced. The group has been meeting for about a year, and we're making slow progress. The true test will come this spring when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decides whether or not to hire a bike coordinator. The funding is being considered, but now it's up to cyclists to make sure it happens by speaking out.


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 Landis wins Paris-Nice 
Floyd Landis held onto his 9 second lead to win Paris-Nice. With his win at the Tour of California earlier this spring, he's off to a great start and is looking like a strong contender in the Tour de France. I caught the action on OLN TV, which is devoting 2 hours to the Spring races on Sundays.


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Thursday, March 09, 2006
 Dada Exhibit 
Rode downtown yesterday to attend a Bike to Work Day meeting, and afterwards checked the Dada exhibit at the National Gallery. There were some interesting works, but nothing that I particularly liked. The works have not aged well, since many consisted of collages based on materials such as newspapers and magazine pages that don't deteriorate quickly. I did like the bicycle wheel and front fork mounted a stool. It appeared to be a 3-cross pattern and still had the rim strip intact. It was all that I could do to keep myself from giving it a spin.


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 Ultra-Mobile PC 
After just breaking down and purchasing a small, portable laptop, it figures that Microsoft today announced their Ultra-Mobile PC. It's the device for which I've been searching for years. It would be nice if there were a keyboard, but otherwise it seems to be an ideal truly portable PC. I think it will be a big seller when released in the next few weeks.


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Sunday, March 05, 2006
 Paris-Nice 
Bobby Julich won the prologue of Paris-Nice. At 34 years old, he appears to be in the best shape of his career. "I just keep getting better and better the older I get." He won the race last year and returned to the race again this year because of that win. His major goals are later in the year, and it looks like he'll have a great season.


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Thursday, March 02, 2006
 Cycling Pres. 
There aren't many things I like about W. In fact there is only one that comes to mind, the fact that he rides a bike. It would be nice if his interest in bikes would translate into support for bike facilities or bike safety. Especially the safety part given his problems staying upright. Anyway, The National Bike Summit is now underway on Capital Hill and a group from Bikes Belong met with W on Tuesday.
This is the first time ever that bicycle interests and bicycle advocacy have had an opportunity of this kind,


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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
 Landis, Zabriskie, and Julich 
Floyd Landis won the Tour of California, with David Zabriskie in second and Bobby Julich third. Hincapie finished fourth, a great start to what should be an exciting season for him as he takes over the leadership role from Lance on the Discovery Channel team. It's too bad that almost no one in the U.S. read or heard anything about the race. Luckily we now have Velonews and other racing news sites where we can follow the action, but it's invisible to most people, who think there is one pro race during the year, the Tour de France.


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