Tuesday, February 26, 2008

p. 123 game

Here are the rules, as my neighbors in blogspace are playing:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I'm going to change the rules just slightly, with the following justifications:
  • No one has officially tagged me.
  • This is still a baby blog; I may or may not have five readers. No idea who's dropping by or how often.
  • One book???

So instead of tagging five people, I will tag five books. The first is, in keeping with the original rules, the closest book to my computer. The others will be recently read or consulted books from around the house.

Its double coat is composed of a soft, dense undercoat and a straight, hard overcoat, somewhat longer on the tail, and usually colored red. Other acceptable colors are sesame, red sesame, black sesame, black and tan, white, and light red. The white markings on the muzzle are a characteristic of this breed.

—Toyoharu Kojima, Legacy of the Dog: The Ultimate Illustrated Guide. The dog referred to is the shiba inu or "little brushwood dog", a breed most popular as a pet (an estimated eighty percent of the dogs in Japan are shibas) but still occasionally used for its original purpose as a hunting (and hawking) dog. Originally from Nagano province, shibas are also known as yamadashi no inu or "dog for the mountains". [Yoji Hagiya and I collaborated on an article about Japanese hawking several years ago, so I was glad to see a familiar dog on p. 123!]

Moving from my office to the rec room, but sticking with dogs...

A note on leg humping and "showing lipstick": These two activities will definitely embarrass your owner, but they are strictly last-resort techniques because you'll undoubtedly embarrass yourself in the process. There is a time and place for both leg humping and badly timed erections, but if your goal is to look smarter than your owner, stick with the techniques listed above.

—From "How to Make Your Owner Look Like an Idiot", in The Dangerous Book for Dogs by Rex & Sparky. We already had The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls, so how could we pass this up? And, by the way, have I mentioned how glad I am to have two female dachshunds?

Upstairs now, from room to room...

Notable collections in the American Museum of Natural History and the Heye Foundation in New York have been transferred to the new National Museum of the American Indian. Senator Barry Goldwater was known for his collection.
Kachinas of all sizes and shapes dance their way through paintings and other art forms, including jewelry, ceramics, and crafts too numerous to describe.

—Kathleen Cain, describing one of the many Native uses of cottonwoods in The Cottonwood Tree: An American Champion.

The cover featured the now-famous illustration of Chief Joseph, for whom one of the company's most famous designs is named, arrayed in a Pendleton Indian robe. Even though Chief Joseph is the most famous Indian leader associated with the Pendleton Mills, photographs of Umapine also appear on the company's promotional material, sometimes in a full-color portrait, and others (notably the 1927 catalog) in silhouette. In fact, the image of Umapine became something of a visual trademark for the Pendleton company.

Language of the Robe: American Indian Trade Blankets, by Robert W. Kapoun with Charles J. Lohrmann.

I wondered what she had felt like, lying on her face in the corn stubble knowing that death was out there in the blackness and that her only chance was to remain absolutely still until dawn. Now, with Jake and I near, and the pheasant illuminated by the flashlight, she began to eat very much like normal. But I looked closely.

—From my favourite book, The Rites of Autumn by Dan O'Brien. His peregrine, Dolly, had killed a pheasant at dusk and then been spooked by a great horned owl. This episode happened out around Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge north of Oshkosh, Nebraska. The refuge and the ranchland surrounding it comprise some of the most beautiful shortgrass prairie you'd ever want to see, complete with long-billed curlews, ferruginous hawks, sharp-tailed grouse... Just go if you ever have the chance and see for yourself. But don't tell anybody else, okay?

I should really get back to work now, but I invite anyone reading this to play. You can use the original rules, my rules, or whatever modification works for you. Enjoy what you find!


Steve Bodio said...

Great choices, Mark. I did recognize Dan's (:-)

R Francis said...

When it comes to fitting joints precisely, no tolls are more useful than planes.Although I rarely cut a joint with just a plane, I use many planes in fitting joints, which allows me a flexibility impossible with machines alone. No longer must I design the perfect router jig or table saw set up to cut a complex joint; instead I can rough it outwith either machine and more quickly get to where I enjoy being- working quietly with hand tools.

Garrett Hack, The Handplane Book

mdmnm said...

I share your fondness for O'brien's book.

Have you thought about going to Sitemeter and signing up for the free basic service? All you have to do is cut and paste a little code and you'll be able to see the number of readers you get. Fun stuff.

Mark Churchill said...


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to think on that one. This might be one of those times when it's better to stay in the dark. Fewer readers than I expect, and I might be disappointed. More than I expect, and I might get a swelled head—or I might get stage fright!

mdmnm said...


Hey, nine hits a day are nine hits a day (and also about my average). On the other hand, I take your point. If it dropped to three and stayed their for a while it would be a blow to the ego.


R Francis said...

just keep posting - they are really good, and get Steve and the others to pass on the good news