Reinland golf tournament reminder

Don't forget, the Reinland golf tournament is today. If you're coming out, you will want to bring your golf clubs, but if you forget you can probably rent some, but you will need some balls, but you can probably buy those if you forget. What you will most definetly need is your passport. If you foget that you will have a tough time since the tournament is being held at the golf course in Walhalla ND. Make sure you give yourself a bit of time to cross the border before tee off.

Eden Tractor Trek kickoff breakfast

Well it's a little late, but here's a bit of info about the breakfast last week that kicked off the Eden Tractor Trek. Preparations started before 7:00am and the kitchen was a flurry of activity by the time the trekkers started rolling in. The usual fair was prepared, eggs cracked, peppers chopped, cheese grated, ham sliced, and of course coffee and biscuits which every Reinland breakfast must have.

I was up extra early and did my part to help out including frying a few omelets and then as demand grew making a few pancakes as well.

cooking pancakes As you can see, we make a lot of pancakes. This was the main pancake cooking station.

To help deal with the heat in the kitchen, the Ham and sausage cooking was moved outside to a grill which I'm sure helped draw the crowd in more quickly. The smell of the sizzling ham was enticing even after I had eaten.

After the tractors started their trek and most of the crowd had left, we had a bit more excitement. Well to be fair it may only be exciting to a city kid like me. North of the village there was a field that was bing sprayed and the crop duster flew right over the top of the community centre. Now I'm used to planes flying overhead, but not when they're close enough to see who's in them. So for the people who read this who don't get to see crop dusters I took a few pictures.

Enjoy.

crop duster and community centre   another go round   it's a big noisy bird

What I'm Reading Now: 11 July 25

Buried prey-- John Sandford
Shattered dreams-- Irene Spencer (memoir)
Harmless as doves--PL Gaus
Shut your eyes tight-- John Verdon
Dominance--Will Lavendar
Never knowing--Chevy Stevens

I enjoy Sandford, but at the moment, I can't recall what Buried prey is about... oh, yes. A case from Davenport's past comes back to haunt him. You, as reader, get to see Davenport when he first started in the police force, as well as how much he has (and hasn't) changed. It starts with two little mummies in plastic disinterred under a cement slab, re-opening a case where the tried-and-convicted (and now dead) killer is now shown to have been incapable of committing the abduction and murders pinned on him. Davenport carries the guilt of having buckled under pressure to stand by while a convenient suspect was railroaded, and now that the case is re-opened, he is ever more driven to find the real killer. Definitely a good read.

I know, I know, I said I was leaving the extremist-polygamous-cult-memoir genre alone for a while, but then Shattered dreams showed up on my desk. Irene Spencer wrote Cult insanity, which I read last week, which was the story of the LeBaron branch of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. Shattered dreams is much more personal-- one woman's struggle to live the principle of polygamy. It's a difficult story to read, and I felt deeply for her. Shattered dreams is, all in all, a better book than Cult insanity, and well worth reading.

Harmless as doves is the seventh in Gaus's Amish series, and it was very good indeed. A young Amish man comes to his bishop and confesses to murder, but the story he's telling doesn't quite make sense. He is insistent on his guilt, though, and his bishop asks Mennonite pastor Cal Troyer to help see that the truth comes out. There were some amusing scenes of the Amish in Florida (on the beach, no less), and a thoughtful exploration of remorse. Gaus keeps getting better.

I've been waiting for Shut your eyes tight since I read Verdon's first Dave Gurney mystery, Think of a number. Gurney is trying his best to salvage his fragile marriage by sticking to his retirement and staying away from the killers he hunted so well as a cop, but they seem to come to him. In this case, the mother of the victim, decapitated on her wedding day, is looking for some answers, as the official investigation seems to be stalled. Everyone has a dark side, it seems; everyone is hiding something, and Dave can't stay away. Twisty and original, this was an excellent sophmore thriller. I will be waiting for more.

Reading Dominance was a discomfitting experience. It cuts back and forth between present day, when Harvard professor Alex is called on to speak to a former professor about what he might know about a murder, to the university class where she first met him. In that class, in 1994, Alex and eight other hand-picked students took a video-conference seminar from a convicted murderer who sets them going on a game. The game is supposedly discovering the identity of mysterious author Paul Fallows, but Alex finds the game subverted into discovering the truth behind the death of the two students that Professor Aldiss was convicted of. The storyline shifts rapidly, and there are so many twists and reversals that I was constantly off-balance, mistrusting everyone and everything, including my own perceptions. This is the sort of thing Lavender did very well in his first book, as well. (That would be Obedience.) He uses the structure of the university experience and the framework of a course to take a group of students through experiences as hallucenogenic as a bad acid trip. It was a great book, but I needed some time to settle down afterwards.

I didn't get far with Never knowing. It's not because of the writing, which is good. It was because of the plot-- a woman on the verge of her wedding decided that now is a good time to track down her biological mother, only to discover that her father was a serial killer. While I find it completely plausible that she feels compelled to continue her search, I can't handle reading something where you can just feel that Bad Things Are About To Happen, and that she's choosing to go down that path anyway. However, because Chevy Stevens came highly recommended to me (and also because she's Canadian) I'm going to try her other book and see if I like that better.

Just a heads-up-- I already know I'm going to be otherwise occupied next week Monday, so I may post later in the week next week, or I may just skip it until the next scheduled post.

 

What I'm Reading Now: 11 July 18

The castle of the red gorillas--Wolfgang Ecke (juvenile mysteries)
The Willoughbys--Lois Lowry (juvenile fiction)
Cult insanity--Irene Spencer (memoir)
The filter bubble: what the internet is hiding from you--Eli Pariser (non-fiction)
Illegitimate--Brian Mackert (memoir)
Blue genes--Val McDermid

This will be relatively brief-- it's too hot to write today.

The castle of the red gorillas is another five-minute-mysteries type, this one hailing from Europe and catering to the kids who have outgrown Encyclopedia Brown. I remember enjoying these when I read them in my teens, but they haven't aged well. In my not-so-humble opinion, while the writing and plotting is decent, the solutions are not always logical.

The Willoughbys is a parody of the old-fashioned children's stories. The four Willoughby children decide that, in order to truly be the old-fashioned protagonists they know they could be, they must become orphans. Their parents, on the other hand, are determined to become childless. The story takes the old conventions (and lists some sources for said conventions) and gives them a deft twist... and everyone still ends up living happily ever after, or almost. I think kids would enjoy this, but all I can say for certain is that I did.

Cult Insanity and Illegitimate are continuations of last week's extremist-polygamous-cult reading. I found both were interesting, although perhaps not as much as Carolyn Jessop's Escape (see last week's blog entry). I enjoyed the references Spencer made that connected with Jessop's story. I think I'm going to take a bit of a break from EPC reading for a week or two now.

The filter bubble discusses the ongoing internet trend to track your information and use that to target ads and stories to you, without your being aware of this or having any power to change it. Result: your experience of the online world becomes cramped and one-dimensional. A good, if slightly disturbing read.

Blue genes comes from McDermid's Kate Brannigan series. I quite enjoyed it. It has a slightly lighter tone than her Jordan/Hill series, in part because Kate deals with something other than serial killers and psychopaths. In this case, Kate is trying to stop a fake memorials scam when a friend's doctor (who handled her in-vitro fertilization) is found murdered, and Alex asks Kate to make sure none of her confidential information gets out. Of course, it's never that simple, and when Kate's business partner starts talking about selling his part of the business and moving to Australia, it seems every part of her life is in upheaval.