October 18th, 2005



I'm back.

Judging on her reaction, I think Luckie wants to have kittens with me :) She is very happy to see me!

The piggies squeaked at me 'til I found them a bit of fresh food to eat.

And the birds chirped and chirped, though that probably has nothing to do with me.
sideview, obamame_sideview


TIME has just published a list of the greatest novels since 1923. Like any "greatest" list published by a prominent mag, it inspires thought. (The feature also provides original reviews of the works, which is neat.)

Of that list, here's what I've read:

Animal Farm - George Orwell
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
1984 - George Orwell
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster

It's only five of them but they're all good and had a big impact on me. I consider Forster one of the most gifted, subtle writers ever. And like it's a big surprise I like Orwell.

Speaking of great books, I just finished an incredibly thought-provoking Ursula Le Guin book, The Lathe of Heaven. That is one of the "deepest," philosophically complex sci fi books I've ever read. It's only 177 pages in paperback and reads quickly but packs a wallop! I think I'll do a review of it for Inception, but meanwhile it goes straight to my all-time favs list.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Picture Post -- Ballard Vale

I took quite a few pictures over the past few days, though not quite as many as on my trip to Vermont.

To break things up, I'm going to go by geographic area, starting with Ballard Vale, a part of Andover that's walking distance from my parents' house, where I grew up. It was originally its own independent village and was essentially a mill village with the Shawsheen River feeding into a mill pond that went/goes through a dam and ran a few mills. The historic houses in the area are homes of the mill workers, mill managers, mill owner, etc. and thus vary in size and style. Most of it was done in the 1870s-1880s but there are some older homes from the 1700s as well. Anyway, without further delay, I present the Vale!

The mill pond, the most recognizable feature of the Vale

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Next I will post a series of pictures I did showing St. Joseph's, the simple but beautiful parish church up on High Vale Lane.