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Elephant
jwg

Books Read Meme

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffeneger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Might be a couple of errors here - since some of these were a long time ago

armyboy
jwg

Trip to Vigur

After breakfast on the first morning on the boat we took a tour to Vigur, an island off the coast of Iceland. We went from our boat on the pair of tenders it carried - we had to have life jacket lessons as part of the excursion.

Vigur has one family permanently residing on it and our guide was a member of that family. But there are other people and buildings there. There is an ancient windmill.




  

There are lots of birds on this island: puffins, black guillemot, Arctic terns, eider ducks among others. We were attacked by terns as we walked around - no one got injured - it is amusing and annoying; some people waved sticks to ward off their attacks.

    

RomeFountainMan
jwg

Miscellaneous stuff in old building in Reykjavik

I like browsing through collections of old stuff seen in museums and historical collections in old houses. Here is some from one of the first of many we saw.

(Sometimes I think I could turn parts of our house into such a collection.)






    


EvilGrin
jwg

Iceland Phallological Museum

One of the museums in Reykjavik we visited was the Phallological Museum. It is a collection of phallic specimens from many mammals (209 specimens from 46 species of mammals)- plus some humor. And yes, it is also called the Penis Museum.





  

  

RomeFountainMan
jwg

Wallking around Reykjavik

Here is a model of Iceland in its early days seen in the Settler's Exhibition:


Reykjavik is now a big city and port. It is the northernmost capital in the world. It has some interesting museums and is worth walking around in.




Some musicians:

MachuPicchu
jwg

The Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavik

After resting a bit in our hotel room to help recover from jetlag we started walking around Ryekjavik. We had flown over a day before the cruise was supposed to start - conveniently we were able to get into our hotel room at 7:30 am.

One of the first places we visited was The Settlement Exhibition, a museum with lots of exhibits about the early Viking settlers in Iceland. It is titled Reykjavik 871± 2 because 871 or so was the year when there was a volcanic eruption which deposited some materials which were used as part of the construction of a hall that was occupied from 930-1000.

There was a model of the settlement that was hard to photograph because there was no way to get the camera high enough (I should have had my monopod - left in the hotel room - which would have helped.)


There were models of the building which was a pretty elaborate structure (but I apparently didn't take a picture of it) and lots of information that they had figured out about the settlement.
  

And some items from later times - at many places there were collections of stuff like this which I always like looking at:

Kabah guy
jwg

Papua New Gunea Sculpture Garden

Another event for Motss.Con XXXII was a visit to the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden located on the Stanford University campus. It was entrancing to wander around in it. I definitely recommend a visit there if you go to Palo Alto.

In 1994 a grad student in the Stanford Antropology Department arranged for some groups of men to come to Palo Alto from Papua New Guinea to carve a bunch of scultpures. They sit in a wooded area that was arranged to look like their home territory. Many of them were just carved out of large trees - several were painted with bright colors. Some were carved out of pumice. Included was a version of the Thinker - to complement the nearby Rodin Thinker.

     

     




Elephant
jwg

The Dali Expo in Monterey

As part of the motss con some of us went to the Dali Expo in Monterey. Dali actually lived in Monterey for a few years and many of the works in this exhibit were illustrations for books (not biology text books!).

We have been to quite a few Dali museums - one of the most interesting was in Cadequés in a bulding that was his home. Of course I'd like to see a Dali exhibit in a building designed by Escher.

     

     

I am glad that I am not Dali's psychiatrist.

us-88
jwg

Motss Con XXXII

We just returned from Motss Con XXXII in Palo Alto. soc.motss, a Usenet news group that was created in the '80s as a means for LGBTQ people to communicate - and called motss for "members of the same sex" since using gay and lesbian in the name would likely have caused it to not be carried at many sites. Starting in 1988 there has been an annual gathering of motssers somewhere. We have been to every one starting in 1991.

Part of the tradition is to have a Foodie dinner on Thursday night, an official welcoming dinner on Friday night, a Dim Sum on Sunday morning, and a Stragglers' Breakfast on Monday morning. For some of these cons a while ago there were over 100 attendees, for this one I think there were 28 people who were at part or all of it. It's really lots of fun to hang around wth a bunch of people who communicate electronically (now on FaceBook) and get to meet in person once in a while. Looking forward to next year's wherever it is.

Most of us stayed at the Stanford Terrace Inn, The foodie dinner was at Evvia, an upscale Greek restaurant with delicious food. The friday night dinner was a picnic in Rinconada Park, the DImSum at Tai Pan, and the Stragglers' breakfast at the Palo Alto Creamery.

Some of the highlight events were a trip to Monterrey to the Dali Expo, a visit to the Rodin Sculpture garden and Cantor museum, and a visit to the Papua New Guinea Sculpture garden, Also the Gamble gardens,

And of course lots of sitting around by the hotel pool with people and going to nearby restuarants for meals. Definbitely a great way to spend a long weekend.

The Rodin Thinker and the Papua New Guinea Thinker


Dali: The Swallow or Defeat of Civilization




EatingInGreece
jwg

Our recent trip Iceland

We took an incredibly wonderful trip to Circumnavigate Iceland, stopping at various incredible spots including some small islands along the way. It was a Harvard Alumni tour - along with groups from other universities and organizations.

We were on Le Champlain, a really nice ship in the fleet of Ponant, a French company. It was launched in 2018 and the company has 5 others like it. About 160 passengers and 115 crew members. The food was excellent (a French ship of course) and we ate too much. The crew was mostly formally dressed and lots of them greeted you at various times. Dining was in a large room with tables of 2, 4, or 6 people. We usually sat down with people we didn't know and had a nice time chatting about this and that.



Each day we made one or two stops and then went on walking tours, or short bus rides to various sights. There were local guides who were knowledgable and entertaining as well. This country is full of beautiful and interesting sights. We had been there for a couple of days in 2001 on the way to Stockholm and saw a bit of it then. This was a great way to see a lot of things. It is nice way to travel - essentially you stay in a hotel that takes you to places so you don't have to move luggage, pack and unpack, etc. On some afternoons thay had people lecturing on various topics and we went to a few of them which were quite interesting. An example was explaining the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic.



I'll be posting a lot more about this trip with a gazillion pictures - but not for a few days. I like to wait a couple of weeks after a trip to go through the pictures.