Plaque: Gunter Ernst Car

Today I rode on Car 205, better known as the Gunter Ernst Car. This was the first car of this type that was delivered.

The Gunter Ernst Car is one of the Type 2 Max train cars, which, according to MAX FAQs “have a raised upper deck by each of the cabs, and the sideways-facing seats in the middle of the train (called the C-section, though it has nothing to do with babies) are slightly higher, presumably to have room for the wheels, brakes, and sanding tubes underneath.”

The Type 2 is my favorite of the Max train cars. I like to sit in the raised upper deck.

Crane Coming Down

Would you like to make dozens of people look up? Even while walking? If so, install, and then disassemble, a crane. Not only was I looking up while walking past this, so was everyone else I encountered.

Also, look at this! The wheels aren’t even on the ground! They are being held up by these hydraulic lifts that extend from the crane dissembler thing.

Also. This isn’t a fast process. When I walked by at before eight a.m. they had started and when I left at 4:30 they were still going.

Note from the future. When the quarantine happened in March, the street had still not been reopened. It was close, but hadn’t happened yet.

End of the bus station

The Greyhound Station, a block-sized center of transport, has closed. No more will buses pick people up for parts unknown from inside a building. Instead, it will pick people up from a street.

There is a great undulating wall on this side of the station. I hope it will be preserved through the next development, but I’m guessing my hopes will be in vain.

SKS Postcards from Boise & Florida

Here is postcard 1 of 2! Sara said that she meant to send the Boise postcards from Boise, but alas, they came to me from California.

I quite like this Basque card!

Also arriving is this postcard from Tampa where Sara was attending a conference. She reports that this was her hotel and that the Florida weather has been lovely.

Apparently not for Floridians, who keep saying it was cold.

New Spot for Cats

Ikea advertised this cat cave insert for their standard bookcase and soon after I learned about it, I bought one.

This brings the hideyholes the cats have to three: this, plus a tent I bought from Ikea years ago, plus a plush sided tent that Matt’s mom gave me because her cat wasn’t interested.

Reporting from the future I can say that Sentinel uses the plush sided tent multiple times per day, they both go into the Ikea tent when they need to blow off steam, and they almost never use this hideaway.

SKS Postcard from Boise

This came as postcard 2 of 2 so we will have to wait to see what the first one says.

I love this, though, because it’s from the Basque Museum in Boise. If you grow up in Boise, you grow to love the Basques. Who wouldn’t, with their complex last names and delicious food?

The back of this postcard says: “‘You’re cutting the onions and the leeks…and you look across the table and there’s a second cousin,’ Ed Orbea says. ‘So then everything stops and hugs and kisses and back pats.’ Orbea stirs leeks and onions on a stove top in the basement of the Basque Center in Boise, Idaho. These ingredients are used to make mortzilla sausage for the Basque community’s annual Mortzilla Dinner & Bazaar.

Sara says that she and Shawn can’t get over how downtown Boise has transformed. There’s a whole new skyline.

Books read in November 2019

Picture Books

Wait, Rest, Pause
Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Read for Librarian Book Group

A picture book about dormancy in plants and animals. The book is illustrated with photos, some of them, like the cover photo, stunning. It also provides simple explanations for different animals slowing down before dormancy using words (wiggle, awake, feast, fly) to show action.

16 Words: William Carlos Williams and the Red Wheelbarrow
Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink
Read for Librarian Book Group

How did William Carlos Williams’ famous poem come to be? Lisa Rogers imagines and Chuck Groenink illustrates.

A Stone Sat Still
Barden Wenzel
Read for Librarian Book Group

Many different viewpoints of a stone through the ages.

Fly!
Mark Teague
Read for Librarian Book Group

Amusing wordless picture book about a baby bird who falls from the nest and is encouraged by its parent to do what the title says. There’s a bit of back talk from the baby bird. Parents will probably relate.

Going Down Home with Daddy
Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter
Read for Librarian Book Group

Beautiful prose and illustrations illuminate a trip home for a family reunion.

Young Adult

Frankly in Love
David Yoon

This book’s strength is also its weakness: it’s very much like real life. And real life, as we know, meanders a bit and is boring in places.

I kept putting this book down, and also picking it back up because there was enough to keep me going. I was rewarded with a full arc of Frank Li and his muddling through.

Also, I was totally on board with the plan to have a fake relationship and thus enjoyed the unraveling of said plan.

Somewhere Only We Know
Maurene Goo

In this era of consent culture, it is not okay for the male romantic lead to know that “Fern” was actually Lucky, a K-Pop star on the brink of next-level fame. The fact that he did know and didn’t reveal had me uncomfortable for the entire book.

It wrapped up okay in the end, but when 80% of the story is a relationship built on a lie, I can’t go for the Happily Ever After.

This also hinges a plot point on someone not having a lock on their phone. Who are these people with no locks on their smartphones? They seem only to exist in books.

p.s. Also, the title kept me with an endless loop of: so why don’t we go/somewhere only we know/somewhere only we know/somewhere only weeeeee knoooooow.

American Panda
Gloria Choo

Mae is premed at MIT following the path her parents have set for her: become a doctor, which is the best job. One problem. She has a germ thing.

I loved Mae and her terrible conundrum. How does one balance parents who love them and want the best for them and also pushes them in a direction that just isn’t going to work?

Let it Snow
Green, Johson, Myracle

Whilst watching the Netflix film adaptation I had the thought: “Most of this does not seem familiar to me.”

So, I read the book again and I give you this list.

Things from the book that made it to the movie:

  • Train
  • Snowstorm
  • Cheerleaders
  • Waffle House
  • Tobin and the Duke and friendship
  • The pig

Wayward Son
Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son continues the story past the Happily Ever After. What happens after the big battle? In Baz, Penny, and Simon’s case, it involves a road trip across the USA.

This provides an excellent opportunity for gentle ribbing of American culture, which is quite funny. There’s an added bonus of an examination of a relationship that isn’t going very well.

Truly Devious
Maureen Johnson

This was a re-read in preparation for the release of the third book in January 2020. It remains an excellent piece of double mystery and both the Truly Devious murder in the past and the current-day death of a student are interesting and curious. I also really enjoy Stevie Bell as a main character. She’s awkward, and prickly, and very true to life.

The Vanishing Stair
Maureen Johnson

Sometimes, when one is re-reading the first two books to prepare for the release of the third, one reads the first book and it is so good that one must immediately purchase the ebook, even though one has the book on hold at the library and it was read earlier in the year.

And then one waits impatiently for January.

I love the last line of this book.