I Bought Some Books Today

Dawn and I went to Boston Pizza today alone; that is, NO KIDS! We haven’t done that in a long time. It was nice. We then went to Costco where I bought too many books:

I Want A Cello

Animated celloA few years ago I had a vivid dream about learning to play the cello. It’s been on my mind ever since, so today I finally looked into getting one. Costco.ca has a Marquis one for sale for $469 Canadian, which is cheap, but I suspect too cheap; Before You Buy A Cello has some advice, but what does Proper placement of the bridge, not too high or too soft mean? Not knowing how to buy one, I looked into renting one. Kevin Cairns (no relation, to my surprise; I never met a Cairns that wasn’t a relative) at Musicstop said I could rent one for $50 per month for a minimum of three months. If I decide to keep it, the rental cost goes towards the purchase price, which is about $1,000. They have to tune and clean one in Halifax, which will be shipped in a couple weeks.

As to learning how to play it, I think I’ll buy a beginner’s book and go from there. I taught myself how to play the guitar fairly easily, so I figure this shouldn’t be too different. I’ll post a picture of it when it arrives.

A Review Of “The Memory Of Running” by Ron McLarty

The Memory Of Running by Ron McLartyThe Memory Of Running by Ron McLarty
Rating: Rating: 8 out of 10 stars (8/10)

This excellent novel reminded me of The Lovely Bones, although it’s completely different. Both start with death, with the protagonist working through their family and themselves dealing with it, then closure at the end of the story; however, The Lovely Bones’ protagonist is a dead 14 year old. The Memory Of Running‘s protagonist is a chain-smoking, forty-three year old alcoholic with no life:

…people tended to form quick opinions of me when I stood there fat and drunk and cigarette-stained in front of them. Even reasonable people go for an immediate response. Drunk. Fat. A smoky-burned aroma.

He rides across America on a bicycle, trying to come to terms with his life: his insane sister, dead parents, regrets, and how he got where he is. It’s a painful ride at first (physically and emotionally), but his telling of his past and the people he meets on his journey helps him survive the journey. I’m making it sound sappy, but it isn’t. The guy is a little nuts, but he has a great story to tell.

The author writes well, making you feel not only for the main character, but everyone he writes about. He hits home sometimes:

You have to learn to look at someone you truly adore through eyes that really aren’t your own. It’s as if a person has to become another person altogether to be able to take a hard look. Good people protect people they love, even if that means pretending that everything is okay.

Or:

…I was a loner who wished not to be alone. It’s something I have thought about and thought about, and I now feel that at any given time there are a lot of lonely loners out there. We just don’t understand the process of making some friends. The complicated format of friendship. It’s not easy.

Yeah, people who know me can see why those struck home, but don’t let my admiration dissuade you: this is a funny, touching novel. It isn’t a work of literature with a capital “L”; it’s a good novel. It’ll make you laugh, might make you cry, make you empathetic for the characters, and reminiscent about your past and life, giving you something to think about, although not in a deep way. You’ll smile when you put the book down after reading a chapter or two. He tells a good story.

Makkin Yer Voice Heard In The Scottish Pairlament

Scottish parliament logoThe Scottish Parliament offers translation of their website in a variety of languages:

English is the normal working language of the Scottish Parliament, but the SPCB’s view is that there are strong historical and cultural reasons for the Parliament to carry out work in Gaelic, as well as encouraging the use of Scots, and that there are strong access reasons for carrying out work in other languages, including sign language. The Gaelic pages of the site are comprehensive and mirror the English language pages as far as possible. Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Punjabi and Urdu are the languages in which translations have been most frequently asked for by Scottish citizens.

I emphasized the Scot one because it’s the best. An example:

We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as can is able tae find oot aboot whit the Scottish Pairlament dis and whit wey it warks. We hae producit information anent the Pairlament in a reenge o different leids tae help ye tae find oot mair.
This section o wir wabsite introduces ye til the information that is tae haun on wir wabsite in Scots.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Government should offer a translation of their website in Newfoundlander dialect. They should!