My-Lynx Books - your source for Reading Material
We sell on a number of different web sites. See the partial list on the right.
This is the web log for our on-line book stores. There are observations here, upcoming sales, and auctions at the websites indicated on the right. We sell on a number of sites, each has its own selection, thought there is some overlap, including our own My-Lynx Associates store which has the largest selection. We want to tell you more about what is for sale as we grow and flourish.
Click on the new menu above for new web pages including a book list of everything for sale at My-Lynx Associates!
We love looking out the window at clouds here in Texas.
We were looking up a little before sunset and we saw all of these heavenly objects arrayed before us. It made us get up from our desk and look upwards on a chilly day with the door open. And then we said "This would look good on the blog! Lots of little cirrus wisps (or maybe broken up cumulus?) for your viewing pleasure. They are side-lit by the sun, shortly before sunset, but they are still white and bright, though you can see the shadows of other clouds.
We are usually cool, calm and well-centered. But we thought we would take a walk on the wild side today and buy a Texas Megamillions Lottery ticket. We promised the lady in the store we purchased it in a sizable "tip" of a round trip ticket to Paris. We thought that this ambitious request was a little much from a chance acquaintance, since the other place we bought the ticket for an out-of-state relative last week, the checkout clerk only asked for a mere $100.00.
But that is why it is a "fever". The kind and affable tradesman behind us who specialized in heating and air conditioner repairs who stood behind us on the line, and the lady sales clerk selling us the ticket (and a tankful of gas) both understood that the chances of winning are remote. So sharing the airfare as requested was more of a fond wish, than an impertinent demand. So we did the mental math and realized, that sometimes fate requires us to share. We will throw in dinner at the Eiffel Tower in our increasingly fevered imagination.
I said to both of them "it is about as likely as being hit by an asteroid" and they both knew what I meant. The clerk last week did not understand the concept at all, and besides that, she was busy and did not have time for an extended conversation. In this case with the jackpot being so big on March 30th, it might be more remote than in terms of probability, more like the chance of being invaded by an extraterrestrial civilization that looked like the fictional character "Lrr" the planetary ruler of Perseid Omicron 8 in the Futurama Cartoon Network series. If you are unfamiliar with this secondary, somewhat minor character, or the spelling and pronunciation of his hame, here is him in a typical angry pose.
The beloved, if somewhat testy leader of Perseid Omicron 8
But we will be checking in on the Internet. And if our plans go through, we will be at a party tonight, celebrating a past SXSW Interactive 2012 milestone achievement here in Austin. And as the party breaks up, we will be checking in at:
As you can see on the ticket at the very bottom of this entry (it is a little light colored on our new scanner), we selected the immediate payout. We like the idea of taking the money right away. We love the feeling of instant gratification.
And you, our loyal customers, and friends of the blog website should consider this well:
Consider making a purchase today of one of our fine used, out-of-print, or one-of-a-kind books. If we win the lottery tonight, we will be thinking of those who stuck by us through thick and thin. When we have to hire a large van to take away the moneybags full of cash, wouldn't you like to be friends, or at least associates of our online book store?
If you are a first-time visitor to our blog, we sell on My-Lynx Associates.com, and such popular websites such as Amazon and eBay. We have put some clickable buttons on the side of the web page.
To our business associates and suppliers - this might be your lucky day too! If lucky means to you a gift coupon at Starbucks. After all, we will be checking our list, to see who has been naught in terms of loyalty and sales volume and who has been nice in terms of buying our merchandise. And if history demonstrates tomorrow that you were indifferent to our blog, by not buying our book then who can tell what fate may bring? Perhaps a smaller gift coupon at some place of lesser repute.
We are not making any promises, either implied or direct with this blog entry to anyone, that is our disclaimer and we will stick to it with an army of marching and obedient lawyers if anyone comes by a demands a "cut" of the proceeds. We are not trying to influence you with visions of vast worldly wealth. We have our own personal spending priorities should success suddenly swamp us with a tsunami of greenbacks, so we don't need independent advice.
But if you read this after the drawing tonight, there is a somewhat small chance that this might be our last blog entry for awhile. There is theoretically at the writing of this blog entry in the middle of a Friday afternoon in late March of 2012, that we can relax and take a deep breath, and have our material concerns allayed for the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, we will be checking in for book orders, and tomorrow being Saturday, we will still be carefully wrapping your book, CD, or DVD purchases for shipment around the globe. We realize that fame and fortune is fleeting.
We remember a story we once read that in ancient Rome, there was a specially designated official for all returning conquering heroes. While they basked in the triumphant accolades of the greatest known city of the world at the time. Asian and New World cities being the exception to "known" world, for after all there were mighty cities there as well just not known to most of classical European civilization. The official, while holding over his head the laurel wreath of leaves designated for only the greatest heroes, his other and more sobering purpose of the official was to whisper in the ears of the "laureate" the murmured words "This too will pass, This too will pass. This too will pass."
Of course it was actually in Latin: "Hoc quoque transibit"
So if the crown of heroes is held above our head in the coming days, rest assured that we will imitate that special official, and hire a special worker to revive the observance of that ancient and noble practice of reminding us of the transitory of fame, fortune, and of the many human frailties that the flesh inherits as part of the human condition.
So dear readers, if you have gotten this far, we will indeed respect our commitment to our customers, though with the crowds, the press representative, the TV cameras, the webcams, the digital throngs on Twitter and Facebook, the growing entourage, and the cordoned ring of security around our newly-enriched world headquarters, your shipment might be delayed beyond our usual 1-2 day turnaround time. We may have to designate a personal assistant to handle your order, instead of wrapping it ourselves.
But it will take more than a winning lottery ticket for 400 million (plus) dollars to lose our sense of proportion and dignity.
And for our new friends we have been chatting with in Tamu Nadil in India, that would be 9:30 AM Chennai time on Saturday, or 11:00 PM on Friday evening here in our offices in Austin, Texas, USA. Here is a scan of part of the ticket, we have altered its appearance slightly to obscure the registered trademarks and the copyrighted portions as far as is practical.
And we saw many (strange) things. We have not been posting much lately, but rather than moan about that, we should say that we are wandering the aisles and venues of SXSW in Austin, Texas. That would be the locally well known acronym for South By Southwest. You will have to contemplate and powerfully visualize that the "X" actually represents the mathematical value for multiplication. The insiders all say "South By", we try and spell out the letters, but we are somewhat troubled by the whole exercise of that. Leave a comment if you cannot figure it out.
They are mostly known for up-and-coming music acts, played in a number of small and large forums. We took a walk down 6th Street in downtown Austin, known for the many small cafes, bars and music venues and the noise was deafening in the early afternoon. Musicians were set up on street corners hoping to be discovered. We might take some pictures tomorrow. But then again, there are already thousands of pictures that will be posted. We concentrate on the prose, not on the visual accompaniment.
We were looking for books, but we found mostly software applications, apps (applications for the iPhone) and we found one we could maybe use with books, if we wanted to change our software.
There is a bookstore at the main event center, we will break away from marveling at the software and web-driven services to take a look.
What we learned is that there is also, simultaneously a lot of events going on in the area, with thousands of people roaming the streets. It is a little like a Mardi Gras for film, business, and there is an atmosphere of general carousing. Being booksellers, we donned our regimental striped tie, but that made us the only one, though we heard that there were a few other tie-wearers. We hate to bow to social pressure, but the 80 + degree temperatures mean it is something like early Spring in the southern tier of the United States
It is quite a festival. We even saw a man in unusual garb, with a sombrero, sandals, looking like he walked out of a movie. He was looking at the bus schedule behind where we were standing, and his appearance was astonishing. He was looking for how late the buses ran, but his English seemed to be non-existent, We made a casual remark in Spanish that he responded to, and soon we were chatting away about the "horario" or schedule and how late the buses ran.
Incidentally, we sell books in Spanish, so we are always on the lookout for texts, and it helps keep us fluent, and we recently sold a book that had some classic pictures of the residents of his area, so we knew instantly what he was talking about. He told us that he was a musician from Jalisco, who was performing downtown. We plan to visit him tomorrow and hear his performance. We spent most of the day seeking out different things that we could sell on our web sites, so we hope to have more to report later.
In short, lots of people from out of town with the hope of striking it rich, and many young and attractive people from all over the world who have descended upon the city to participate in what really is a 10 day festival of software, music, and film. We have been hearing about it for years, so we finally went down to participate, and now our feet our worn out.
We started shipping from a different post office today. But we are still accepting book orders for our merchandise. Check the different websites by using the links on the right.
We have been out looking for new books to sell, and our shelves are groaning under the weight, but we have not got around to actually putting them up for sale. We are enjoying a break from the winter weather, we had some much-needed rain in drought-parched Texas, the grass in the back is starting to green up as well. The temperatures have gotten as high as the high 70s (that would be around 25 degrees Celsius for our international visitors), which is almost summer-like for February.
The conditions can change at any time, and we are learning to appreciate the mild Texas weather when it becomes available, because we could have icicles on the trees at any time, if the weather takes a turn for the cold.
It was kind of cool for Central Texas, we have had intermittent rainy weather, which while a little mood-lowering, we have another, more logical side that rejoices in the water falling from the sky as we think back to almost a year of dry and dusty weather, where everything was crispy brown and even the poor birds and squirrels were panting in the heat, their water supplies nearly gone for the most part. A ghost town (or actually ghost foundations) emerged from one of the local reservoirs, having been covered by an artificial lake since the 1930s and rarely seen since. A tour company took boats out into the huge lake, or what is left of it, so that tourists could visit the site. It may be covered up again.
We have been left with one of the family's pet dogs for a couple of days. We took her out briefly to walk through a small copse of trees, many which were conveniently labeled for identification. However, we were dismayed that someone has defaced the names of the trees on some of the labels since our last visit, making them illegible. Since they were printed on a metal backing, we were astonished at the callous purpose of trying to render the little plaques useless. Our dismay was overcome when four or five deer were feeding in an isolated area amongst the trees, and while they regarded us very intently, they did not much more than flick there white tails as the pair of us outsiders regarded a couple of the tawny natives.
Here is a view out the window, a little damp itself. We will be watching the year-end shows on television, and leafing through some tomes. We have prepared some hot soup to offset the chilly weather in the 40s, and we are updating an old laptop with a new anti-virus edition and the dozens upon dozens of Widows updates that it has missed by sitting in the closet unused for months
We flagged the Charlie Brown Christmas Special for watching this year. A little pop-up came up on the television screen a few nights ago telling us it was time, we fiddled with our cable service, and it took a couple of minutes to get the right channel, we wanted the high-definition version.
We started with the scene where Charlie Brown confesses to being "depressed". And that is the crux of the whole show. That in the middle of the happiest time of the year, a supposed small child would confess to one of his peers (that would be LInus) that he was feeling down. And each year since the early sixties, that show has been on.
We only started watching it the last couple of years. And this year we could not finish watching it. It is a fairly short cartoon, but it set our teeth on edge. Maybe it is just us, because we checked on Amazon, and there are over 230 reviews of the special. That is a lot of people who grew up with the show. We did not grow up with it. We ignored it for decades. But now, out of nostalgia, we do look back on the halcyon days of yore, when conspicuous consumption was the rule, in the show they actually refer to an aluminum tree.
This year maybe things are not so conspicuous. But we feel from watching the television, that we should buy, buy, buy. And that is not a bad thing, not really evil, because the workers in the stores need their jobs too. We sell stuff here, mostly books, but maybe we should be reading more, or listening to our own compact discs, since the television is hypnotizing us with the endless parade of things that we don't really want. Here is our little version of a Charlie
Brown sweater. We took the zig-zag line and made it like a stock market
We think back over the many Christmases, and we know that they were not always filled with glee. It is the darker time of year. Even for people who do not celebrate Christmas. Maybe it is different in the Southern Hemisphere, there it is the beginning of summer.
Maybe we need one of those light boxes that we saw on the Doctor Oz show. They generate a high lumen light that dispels the seasonal blues from the shorter days. Actually here in Central Texas, we should just walk outdoors, We are just about far enough south in terms of latitude, that we could probably get some extra Vitamin D in our systems if we went out at mid-day. But we need to get out and get some Vitamin D.
We cannot complain since on the plus side, it has been raining here in Central Texas. The local streams are no longer bone-dry, though we look hopefully at the skies, since the reservoirs are still mostly emptying, even with the mild rains.
The last few days have been gray and cold. After all the record-breaking heat over the summer, it is a refreshing change, somehow we think we should be re-radiating the heat that we stored up during the last 6 months for so, but that is not working. It is probably all a matter of mental attitude. We saw a guy featured on a program about Barrow, Alaska, and when it was 30 below, he walked around in a tee-shirt. We don't know how he did it, because that is frost-bite weather, but he has somehow acclimated himself to it. He was interviewed by Jim Cantore on the weather Channel, just type in Barrow on their video search to see this remarkable man's adaptation.
Here is the special on DVD, available on Amazon for a reasonable price:
We have a cactus growing in our office. Actually it is more of succulent plant, native to the coasts of Brazil. We don't pay much attention to it, we water the plant when we remember. It does not have any spikes or needles, it is just a kind of thin, if somewhat jagged looking member from south of the Equator.
And then in the Fall (that would be Autumn to our British fans), we put it outside in the dimming light of the latter part of the year. That diminution of light and the shorter days causes our "Christmas Cactus" to begin forming buds, and within the last few days, they have blossomed into a resplendent collection of waxy white flowers, with just a hint of pink. We were lucky this year, because an overnight frost can actually kill the whole plant, but this year it only got down to the high thirties, and then we decided to bring the plant indoors for safekeeping.
The only problems is that the lights will throw off the flowering mechanism, so we may take it back outdoors as the weather oscillates between hot and cold, as it is wont to do in Central Texas in winter. We can have a balmy day in the 80s as befits a Southern climate, but a blast of cold air from the Arctic can mean ice in the birdbath a couple of days later.
This is probably the best year we have ever seen for our "Holiday Cactus" (for those of you who do not believe in or do not participate in Christmas). It is also called the "Thanksgiving Cactus", and in our case the buds had actually formed earlier than Thanksgiving.
Whatever you call it, the proper scientific name is a member of the genus Schlumbergera,
though we have not identified the particular species. It is an epiphyte
in its natural habitat, meaning that it is an "air plant" that lives in
crooks of a tree. We have it planted in some old soil that has been
around for years, and do not pay too much attention to it. Last year we
left a flourishing pot of the plant that had grown from a little stubby
segment into a pot-full, but we neglected to protect it from frost and
the plant dissolved quickly into an unsightly ooze.
Here are some books about science if you are interested in such things. The pictures link to eBay:
Some people love the Christmas / Hanukkah / End-Of-Year / Winter Solstice celebrations so much that they hardly put away the decorations, before they start planning the next year's celebration.
When we are not reading books, we settle in for an hour or so after work hours to see what is on television, and we see the Red-Suited Wonder running all over the place already (that would be Santa for our international readers who may be unfamiliar with our customs).
He is equivalent to "Father Christmas", only he does not carry the switch that the some sterner European versions of Santa Claus carries. That is switch as in whip, not in on-off. Because, as we informed years ago, Father Christmas is also disciplinarian, and if their are naughty children, presumably he has the birch wooden switch at the ready.
At least that is what we are told by someone who had been born and raised in a couple of unnamed European countries. A quick search that we just did reveals that apparently there is a move to reform the custom, as it is too "frightening" in today's time for children, though we are reassured in any case, that even the sterner Father Christmas is never known to have actually used the whip / switch.
But we were certainly surprised to hear about it, it is a frightening enough prospect to contemplate given our contrasting benign and "jolly" American version of Santa who is usually pictured smacking his lips over a refreshing beverage.
And don't forget the holiday celebration begins officially with a Thanksgiving Parade in New York on this coming Thursday. We won't have a giant balloon, carried by a small army of volunteers, because we thought a giant inflatable book might be a little dull on network television.
We are not big celebrators of any of the holidays, because we are usually busy with the day-to-day details of running a book business. But between the ideas of a Black Friday and the newer Cyber-Monday, we feel we should make at least a symbolic holiday offering. Not exactly a "doorbuster", but in a virtual store, there are no doors, only "portals". And since people get rowdy on Black Friday in some stores, we skip the whole thing.
Not that we want to encourage excessive consumption, most of our merchandise is already attractively priced, especially since we have a lot of out-of-print items in our inventory, some of which are one of a kind.
And then before you know it in six weeks, it is New Years, and the Rose Bowl parade marches through Pasadena. Our claim to fame is that we actually went to Pasadena a couple of times for the parade. It was fun. The pretty girls look you right in the eye and smile as they wave. You can also smell the perfume of the flowers on the floats as they roll by, and you can see the actual marshal of the parade in all of their resplendent glory.
We saw Jimmy Stewart one time riding in an antique car, while he was still alive, and, Ricardo Montalban was riding atop a big yellow pyramid float, having something to do with Mexico, since the pyramid looked vaguely like the one at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan.
We were able to pull the pictures ot that from storage, and maybe we will put them online for your holiday admiration later. There is nothing like a big parade. And there there is something about an aging Hollywood star, riding on an imitation of an ancient Mayan monument on wheels, with the faint aroma of diesel smoke from the floats' engines wafting through the air to create a memorable moment that we can recall decades later. We see he was wearing a trademark white suit, made famous in all those Fantasy Island television episodes.
In Montalban's defense he looked much better in the "Wrath of Khan" the Star Trek movie which was released around the same time. And his biceps in that movie looked marvelous, unlike our own pipestem, book-holding appendages. So, honestly, he looked better than we did, even though at the time, we were decades younger than him.
We won't be sponsoring a float this year, revenues are a little down, and once again, our float idea for a giant shelf of books on wheels was voted down by the higher-ups as just a little too staid. That is because about 95 percent of our merchandise is old fashioned, hold-in-your-hand books. We do sell other items like compact disks, even a few DVDs. We have a list of over a thousand items - look at the link at the very top of the page where it says "Books For Sale" and click there to see a giant alphabetized list.
We have had a mint condition CD of Tony Bennett Christmas songs sitting on the shelf for a couple of years now, and we cannot believe that someone has not snapped it up.
If you are a Tony Bennett fan, or know one, it is the only "new" (actually it is years-old, but it is still in the shrink wrap) copy on the Internet, at least the last time we checked. You can click on the picture link to be whisked to the My-Lynx Associates website, where you can sign up in a minute. It is also available on other websites such as eBay and Amazon, but on Amazon it is lumped in with a bunch of other sellers, so it is a little harder to find. The eBay link is below the My-Lynx Associates picture link, we have a little store there on eBay that goes by the name of hitechandantique.com.
We were out in the yard trying to capture the glory of the November moon back on the 11th. As the Winter season approaches, the moon conveniently rises higher in the sky, to seemingly compensate for the lower arc of the sun, as it migrates farther into the Southern half of the sky,
The darker and longer shadows of the day as the angle of light lowers in the sky is a sobering reminder of the approach of the Winter season. The days shorten, but then the moon moves higher, and around the full moon, it shines more brightly and longer. This month's moon is also referred to as the "Hunter's Moon", presumably because the folks who used to hunt would use the long nights to fill their larders for the approach of the cold weather. We have been watching the squirrels, and when we put out some seed for the birds, they are right there to gobble it up. And when we are taking our books to the Post Office in the early pre-dawn hours, we have to drive slowly and keep a watchful eye for deer, since they also are more active in the cooler weather of Fall (that would be Autumn for or British visitors).
This month's photo was taken in the later part of the evening, and we shot the moon through some leaves in a tree, which we thought would look artistic. It appears to us, that it is more like a pinkish tunnel through a tunnel of leaves. The camera seems to have picked up the distance to the tree leaves and photographed them in focus, with the sphere of the moon behind it more of a fuzzy glow than a circle. It is something we like to do however, since it marks the passing of a lunar month, and after a few full moons, we are in a different season.
We have been posting new material, mostly books on our websites, but at a slower rate, since we are reorganizing a lot of our merchandise. We have been finding new material that has been stacked up without being made available on-line, so we are trying to straighten up the premises, but this results in duller blog entries, but stacking up books and culling old inventory is not exactly riveting reading. Unless you are looking for a serene and faultless blog entry. In which case, we are moving at a meditative pace, reviewing bills and receipts from days gone by, going through unsold books and preparing them for sale, and of course providing quick shipping for any sales that come our way. Today we reduced our prices on a variety of merchandise, though we hesitate to call it a "sale", since in the online book business, we are just realigning our prices to keep things competitive. We spent some time revising our "Grey Owl" book description, after an observant online customer drew our attention that "Grey Owl" was actually from Great Britain.
We had a 1938 book which was an extract of his earlier works on the North American wilderness. After reviewing the Wikipedia entry about him, we discovered that after his death, there were people who began to dispute his "Native American" heritage, but he was so popular and influential they made some documentaries about is undoubtedly interesting life. So we had to go back and change our description to reflect modern scholarship. Here is the book description via a clickable picture link by Grey Owl on our website:
And if you want to read more about this interesting, what we will politely call "colorful character" you can click the Wikipedia link below. We see in the Wikipedia entry that he claimed to be born in Hermosillo, Mexico, and his parents were a couple of performers in Bill Hickock's legendary "Wild West Show" that supposedly had toured in Hermosillo back in the 1880s..
That reminds us of what we used to tell our little flock of brothers and sisters when they were toddlers, that they had been dropped off on our doorstep by a traveling circus that had passed through town, but that is a tall story for another day. When you live in Texas, a tall story may be just a slight exaggeration for dramatic effect.
(That would be Autumn Day for our British Followers)
It is fall, the temperatures have finally dropped in the last week or so from the 80s and 90s down to the 60s and 70s. We are located in Central Texas, and we had record breaking temperatures since May. But now we can go outdoors without a water bottle in our hands to replenish the water from our reactions to the heat. Right now we are filtering through our book stacks, trying to bring some order to our unsold inventory. Not very exciting a topic to blog about, but we are busy nevertheless with the quotidian details of running an online bookselling business. If we want excitement, we just look inside our books.
Here are some items for sale on eBay, they are on sale on our other sites as well, if you need to find out more, do not hesitate to use the "contact us" link above, and we will send you links to the exact item on other websites.
The moon is never quite the same from night to night, and for that matter from month to month. In the summer, the moon is lower down in the sky and comes up later in the evening. Then as winter approaches, it moves back to a higher arc in the sky, and around the full moon it complements the advancing darkness of winter by moving higher in the sky to more fully illuminate the longer night when the sun is below the horizon.
It helps and seems to complement the darker days of Fall and Winter with the dim, but still useful light. The moon is in "waning gibbous" mode as of now, so it is still up in the sky, a little more than half full right now, casting a dim glow over the late night landscape. Sometimes we come into the office in the middle of the night, and we can see the reflection of the moonlight across the outer walls, which are white.
Wikipedia even has a short article on the Hunter's Moon, last week's named lunar event, which according to them is the next successive full moon after the Harvest Moon, though we heard a meteorologist say that they were both the same thing.
This picture came out a little oddly with the leaves of a nearby oak tree seeming to cradle the moon in its branches.
Yesterday we started our reflections on why reading physical books is different than reading material on an electronic device that is either connected to the Internet, or how television affects concentration.
By way of explaining this odd situation:
some people say that television programs are just a way of getting you to watch the
commercials. We don't make any bones about it here - we sell books, a
way of elevating your mind, entertaining your inner self, and doing it
without the tears of boredom, or even worse, the prolonged anxiety of
wondering what is on another channel. Or worse, changing your mental patterns into a semi-trance state. One study says that it can encourage slow-wave alpha state forms of awareness, which have certain characteristics that are different than ordinary waking consciousness.
We had a young associate come by, and when she watched we had to raise our voices to communicate, not because of the volume, but because her attention was so focused on the objects depicted on the screen.
We don't think that television decreases intelligence, but it can perhaps increase distraction. That is why we always turn off the television in early evening and retire to the library for some old-fashioned reading. Here are some books that will develop your abilities in deep thinking:
The rest of the country is talking about the
Fall Foliage, at least on the Weather Channel, when the North American
trees change color, and people get into their cars to observe the reds,
yellows and browns of the early Fall (that would be Autumn to you
Europeans, "Fall" is an American neologism.
We have said this before, that we can't help you here to build large
abdominal muscles. We cannot help you remove wrinkles and fine lines
from around your eyes.
Nor can we keep your food fresher or
repair your fine china.
That is what television infomercials are for. You can stare at a screen,
as we do some late nights when sleep is elusive, hopefully keeping the
yourself awake long enough to get sleepy again in the middle of the
night or on Sunday, when the stream of tears from repeated yawning is
beginning to dampen your reclining sofa.
We are selling on our
websites the antidote to those who have become weary of the flickering
screen, since we sell old-fashioned, hold-in-your hands reading
material, mostly out-of-print books.
That is the alternate universe of television, which has slowly taken
over the world with its immediacy and its need to sell things. We watch
it too, though we cannot believe what we see, or more precisely, we
don't fully comprehend the purpose of why certain "shows" are on the
Here are some books about Science to make you think deeper thoughts. They are for sale on eBay and some of the other sites that we advertise on the right.
Television has seldom lived up to its potential, one of the reasons we sell mostly books. Long time viewers may remember when television first spread around the country (in this case the United States for our international visitors), there was a fervent hope that culture, music, visual arts, would be expanded and the television networks would serve as a fountain of inspiration for many from the largest city to the smallest village.
And on Sunday mornings, there may be a few community based programs that might reach out to this lofty goal, but for the most on the cable channels, there are probably more extended pitches for health and beauty products than there are programs about the fine arts.
But we did learn something new this week. The narrator of this BBC clip almost wryly states "Self-confidence is everything", but as you may see, this is more than self-confidence.
Our business definition of self-confidence is knowing something so well, and having the strength of character that one may contradict a boss in a meeting without fear of repercussions.
But walking forward into a pride of lion's and interrupting their meal is something altogether beyond self-confidence. The editing and filming of this clip is superb, the long shadows of the late afternoon add some drama, and obviously the camera crew could not just stand idly by to get these shots of lions feeding on a wildebeest. One can admire the audacity and daring of the participants, and the fact that they can proceed so coolly and project such obvious ability that causes the lions to react so abruptly.
Just a note for the fastidious: vegetarians may not wish to watch the clip all the way through, since a dinner for lions is not a tidy affair.
Here are some items available on eBay, click the picture to see the sale item on eBay:
The "Big Bang Theory" television comedy series went into syndication last week, and suddenly there are different cable channels that are carrying the series. And so we hear the theme song over and over. Here are the first four lines:
Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
We stumbled onto the lyrics by turning the closed captioning on. We remember the word "autotroph" from high school biology. But we admit, for a definition, we had to go to Wikipedia to find out what it was, it is the opposite of "heterotroph". Heterotrophs actually consume autotrophs. It would be more accurate to say that the heterotrophs would be exuding pre-digestive liquids uncontrollably around their intake orifices. So "drool" by autotrophs might be inaccurate. If you have an Amazon account, you may wish to visit them, we do not have any copies available ourselves.
A word of explanation for our international viewers: the Big Bang Theory is a television series that is currently very popular in the United States. It is about 4 Pasadena-based post graduate students and their abstract adventures in their world of comic books, theoretical physics, engineering and gaming.
We had a couple of promising days this week when the clouds rolled in, we took a break from listing books here on line. We went outside and looked up at the clouds. On Tuesday there was a lot of upper air turbulence, and we saw what the meteorologists call "mammatus" clouds. There was distant thunder, we could see the lightning, but after a few tantalizing drops, the storm passed us by. But they certainly were unusual. We have had a prolonged drought in Central Texas, so clouds and rains leave us longing for a few drops.
And after the excitement of the clouds was over we went back to provide you with some more recently listed material. If you want to read the Wikipedia entry about mammatus clouds, they have a detailed description about their origin.
Wednesday 09/28/11 Update: The auction is over, The price for four books was relatively low (you can view the widget below for details). We have already shipped the package after carefully wrapping the books in a custom-cut cardboard box. Our accountant has been coming to the office with a tear-stained face, we think that he has been crying in his pillow, he hates to give things away, and the cost of this auction barely covered the actual cost of postage, let alone the loving care we bestowed upon the books by making a special box out of fresh cardboard and shipping tape.
That is the excitement of an auction, another bidder could come in and raise the bid a little and walk away with 4 books. We get excited about the auction, but for different reasons. We still have to pay the shipping costs, and we had to collect these books and make them available. The widget below, if displayed on your browser will show you the number of current bids, and if you mouse over it will reveal other tidbits of information. The bidding is over, but we will leave this entry up for a week or so in case you are curious about eBay auctions. We started the bidding at a mere penny with free shipping.
We tried to center the moon photo of last night's full moon, but shooting in the dark without any illumination except the glowing orb above is a little difficult. And there is always the fear that there might be a biting ant to sting us as we kneel trying to adjust the focus and tripod.
We have a species here in Texas, a former visitor from South America who has taken up residence throughout the South, and parts of the Southwest, known by the species name Solenopsis invicta, (Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae). The Fire Ant as they are commonly known as a firelike sting and are quite adaptable, and while our headquarters has not been bothered in several years, kneeling in the grass while adjusting a small camera tripod is always a little bit of a risk, especially in the almost complete darkness of a dark lawn at night.
But we persevered and got a photo for your admiration of the Central Texas moon during the traditional harvest time.
Here are some of our latest books (and some math software for 8th graders) that we have recently posted on eBay - the books are available at My-Lynx Associates and click the links to the right to see the other websites that we sell on:
We were visiting the Texas State Cemetery in Austin yesterday when we saw the September 8th date (that would be today) date carved in a memorial stone, part of a larger memorial circle of stones that commemorate major events in Texas history. Provided below are a couple of photos of the stone, inscribed with the first paragraph of a "special report" that was issued later in the month, after the September 8th disaster back 111 years ago today in 1900.
The inscription in the photos is somewhat difficult to read in the photo taken in the midday sun, with the shadows from a nearby tree, so we provided actual words of the report following the photos.
It serves as a sobering reminder on a day when the capital city of Texas here in Austin and surrounding areas currently lies under the pall of one of the worst wildfires in Texas history. The Galveston Hurricane of September 8th, 1900 has its own entry on Wikipedia, and the quote below also also has a web page with extracts from the report on the NOAA website, which we provided a link to at the end.
The rest of the report is one of the most harrowing narratives we have ever read, written shortly after by a Galveston weatherman who barely escaped with his life (he was knocked unconscious and floated around in the storm and somehow still clung to a piece of debris), losing both his family and his possessions in what is considered to be the worst weather disaster in American history.
Here is the above inscription:
The hurricane which visited Galveston Island on
Saturday, September 8, 1900, was no doubt one of the most important
meteorological events in the world's history. The ruin which it
wrought beggars description, and conservative estimates place
the loss of life at the appalling figure, 6,000.
Here is the link to a longer extract with more details and beginning with the above quote from the NOAA website:
Long time readers of this website know that we sell books in Central Texas. And for our domestic U. S. customers, they also know that there have been some big wild fires the last few days. We even heard from a European reader that the wildfires have made the news there, since the recent fires are being estimated as the worst in Texas State history.
We cannot say we are totally unaffected, since the sky is somewhat gray to the Southeast, and of course the television is filled with the information and updates about what is happening. The tropical storm that passed through New Orleans on Sunday sent high winds through Texas, as the system arced around and the dry air from the north was sent through Texas at a rapid clip. That wind, combined with very low humidities and a temperature of 102 degrees (around 33 degrees Celsius for our international readers, with velocities of over 75 km / hr). We hesitated to go to bed on Sunday night, since the winds were due to accelerate as a weather front was due to come in during the early hours of Monday, which was slightly cooler, but dropped the humidity to levels usually seen in the Sahara. We left the weather radio on standby and tried to settle in to a listless sleep.
We watched the news and weather closely, as the Governor of our state, Rick Perry flew back from a cancellation of a previously scheduled political appearance on Sunday to oversee the disaster planning.
On our planning, we tried to water the grounds around the My-Lynx Associates headquarters, but because the air was so dry, the water evaporated in a fairly short period of time, leaving just a few birds flying in to drink up the moisture in the pans and bird bath that we provide in this prolonged drought. The foliage and ground quickly lost any moisture in the dry, furnace-like winds. We know that in France, they have the Sirocco, which is a hot wind across the Mediterranean from the Sahara, and the people from Southern California have their semi-annual "Santa Ana" winds that blow through the mountain passes and accelerates and heats the air in the process. They will be familiar with the recent weather conditions here in Texas, though the actual cause differs, the result was the same.
The surprising part of this was that the high technology Doppler radar that the local authorities use to track weather actually picked up the smoke from the larger fires in the area. If you look closely at the map of the area east of Austin, in Bastrop county from this morning, the smoke is still visible as a small white shape by the screen label "Bastrop". That irregular polygon was much larger on Monday, and was not from any moisture, but rather an anomalous reading of the reflectivity of the smoke in reaction to the scans of the radar.
The wind died down today, on Tuesday, and
the daytime temperature dropped down around 10 to 15 degrees cooler than
it has been in months. We checked a little while ago, and the radar
echo seems to have subsided, but there is still quite a few dangerous
"hot spots" that could reignite if the wind regenerates. The emergency
shelters are packed with people, and the local radio and television
stations are giving frequent updates on evacuation status, even the
weather band from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency) canceled there regular weather coverage to give only
evacuation instructions on Sunday and Monday.
We are still shipping our books, but we look frequently out the window, and keep our ears to the radio to keep informed. In Williamson County, which is not too far from us, we see that they are being very strict about any burning materials, and we though we saw something on a television text field about not even smoking cigarettes outdoors, let alone a BBQ. But when we checked the wording of yesterday's county government decree it seemed to indicate that not using a proper receptacle:
A person violates this order if he/she improperly disposes of any smoking materials outside of a proper receptacle designed to contain the flames and/or sparks of the smoking materials.
This is an emergency measure for just a couple of more days, but it says that a knowing violation is a Class C misdemeanor, which is cause for attention. And no barbeque is something of a Texas novelty, but with firefighters running from one blaze to another, there is definitely a major crisis in the neighborhood.
We heard in a press conference this afternoon on the television, that a spark from a lawn mower had started a fire earlier today, so it seems that an excess of caution is in order until conditions improve. On the other hand, our operations continue and we do have books for sale, though our posting has been a little lackluster.
Here are some recent posts to eBay in the grid below, which are also available on the other websites we serve, including Amazon, our own website: My-Lynx Associates and other websites like Abebooks, Alibris, Valore, Biblio, and Half.com. Feel free to fill in the "Contact Us" link above, we have a web page that will provide us with a wake-up to our employees if you need to find a book. Most of our books are available on our own web site, but there is some selectivity on the other websites, not every item is available on every web site. The first three items are our auctions, which we will write more about soon, they have free shipping and an extra low price. They are only available on eBay however, and the auctions end later this week, so the "call me by my true names", "The Saga of Tristram and Isond" and "From Ship to Shuttle" books are limited time offers, they all already have bids, and we will send them out regardless of what the prices are bid. As of this posting at around 8 PM Central Daylight Savings time, you could purchase all three together for less than a couple of dollars, but that is subject to competing bids from eBay buyers. Click on the picture links to find out the latest prices for the auctions.
We have been quite listless here in Central Texas. Mainly because of the heat, we just passed a record for the number of 100+ degree days (That would be over 37 degrees Celsius for you metric fans, we still adhere to Farenheit.).
We are presumably in the Dog Days, That appellation has been around in one form or another since the days of the ancient Egyptians, when they would calculate their calendar year by the helical rising of the star Sirius above the horizon. The stability of the date of the rising of the usually bright star allowed great accuracy across the centuries to their calendar calculations, which we found in a popular encyclopedia website as the "Sothic Cycle"
Later, as we understand it, the Romans gave the Dog Days the name because, according to one story, the poor canines in the house of the ancient Romans would lay prostrate on the floor and try and keep cool by hugging the stone floors of the ancient city domiciles and panting away to keep cool, just as dogs in Central Texas do when they come in from the brilliant and often almost blinding heat.
The theory back in Roman times that the extra heat was from the extra intense brightness of the star brilliant star Sirius would supposedly also add a certain percentage of extra radiance to the dawn sky. In their way of ancient thinking they concluded that the extra light would make the earth heat up by a certain amount, giving July and August the kind of listless heat that in pre-air conditioning days would cause entire cities to grind to a halt. And this would cause the inhabitants to flee the foetid streets for the coolness of the surrounding mountains.
We know that Sirius sort of goes down below the horizon for a period of time (around 70 days), and then becomes visible around this time of year, but our astronomical observations are limited, since most of the horizon is obscured by the lush oak trees that hug the nearby hills and valleys of where we are on the border of the "Hill Country" of Central Texas. So, we cannot make the actual observation of the star itself, since we cannot see the true horizon. But perhaps as time goes on, and we sell more merchandise, we will be able to construct our observatory. But we estimate, based on our latitude and calculations made in past years that the dog days are here already, and with the nearly record number of 100 + Fahrenheit days we have experienced that there is no end in sight to the heat until at least September.
The helical part of the "rising" apparently has nothing to do with a helix according to our researches, rather it is the proximity to the sun's rising (helios) rather than the corkscrew motion of a helix. We could not see that this interprtation of using the Greek word "helios" for sun is an accurate one. But all the definitions we could find all talk about the temporal closeness of the star's rising to that of the sun's rising.
This is something that is not apparent in studying the topic, it seems to be an implicit assumption of academic astronomers - that the near simultaneous rising of Sirius just before the Sun is "helical" or nearly simultaneous rising, meaning that the star shows up just before dawn.
It is one of the vagaries of our book-selling business. We can have an item for a long period of time, suddenly someone wakes up and says to themselves "I have to have that book today".
And some of our merchandise is beyond the category of "unique".
You would never see a book like the one we sold this wee on the "Antiques Roadshow", because it is a specialty item of little interest to the average television viewer, even the presumably slightly higher IQ demographic of the PBS viewer of Roadshow whose children are all "just a little above average" as one sometimes PBS guest host and regular NPR performer with his own long time radio show would put it.
Of course in this case the book is an early work on statistical sampling procedures, the same kind of sampling you would do in a fruit bin at the grocery store or the super market. You hold up a plum or a banana and you examine it for quality and lack of blemishes. It could be that maybe you even sniff it to see if it has a pleasant aroma.
That is sampling, albeit informal and unscientific, but it is an interesting exercise in the mathematical discipline of statistics and especially if are picky and systematically look for the best one, and perhaps you maybe even squeeze the avocado to check its ripeness. In a more organized and scientific way, that is what sampling in statistics is.
Say for example you have a generic widget and you want to ensure that the manufacturer has provided you with a quality product that meets a written set of specifications.
So instead of a piece of fruit, instead you might be inspecting lots containing millions of MREs for the troops (Meals-Ready-To-Eat), or submarine components, or parts of a tanks.
Back in 1950s and early 60s the American military standardized this sampling procedure for anything that they acquired, and they made the sampling procedure a hallmark of statistical quality modeling that is probably used in more sophisticated ways even today.
We had found a slightly worn copy that we aquired from a statistician and decided to sell it a couple of years ago. As they are wont to say in the movies for dramatic effect: "Lo and Behold", it finally sold today, presumably to a statistician, or at least a fan of statistical analysis.
If you are the kind of person that cries in their pillow about losing the opportunity to buy such a work of historical importance (at least in the statistical field), there are on-line copies. If you want to know more about what you missed, then you can click below and hang your head in dismay at how much richer your life might have been if you had only known how rare this book was. Here is the clickable picture link a couple of paragraphs down to the recently ended eBay sale which has a pitifully obvious banner across the top of the page in highlighted in yellow my online friends.
This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.
It was, in fact, the only copy amongst millions of books on eBay for sale. Avoid a repetition of this tragic possibility by reviewing our online merchandise and making a decision to buy the item that appeals to you. "Without delay" is our motto that you may borrow.
In closing, believe it or not, the general military standard has its own entry on Wikipedia, and it is illustrated by one of the tables from this very book (MIL-STD-105d), so you can still see a little of what you were missing when you passed on buying this classic work.
Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States. It falls on a Monday this year, since it is celebrated on July 4th, which falls on different days of the week. But we have been getting a steady flow of orders so we are puttering around in the office straightening up, and then when we get an order we get it ready for shipping on Tuesday.
The weather has been torrid, but there was the first named tropical storm, "Arlene" which has caused some havoc in Hidalgo, Mexico and other areas of Northern Mexico. All we can see are some puffy clouds in the balmy heat, which is a little better for outdoor activities, because they are pleasant to view. We like the clouds outside, they are Texas clouds, they often remind us of the opening scene of "The Simpsons" when the clouds part. We got inspired and decided to bring you the latest, freshest Texan clouds for you to admire. These are middle-of-the-afternoon-on-a-Sunday-clouds, they move and change moment by moment, you can see the intensity of the sun as it reflects off the clouds. They are always a little abstract, you can sometimes imagine that they have shapes. This one has what looks like a pointing finger on the upper left, with the finger sticking out of a folded hand.
Here are some items for sale on eBay and other websites that we have, you can click the buttons at the right side of the web page:
Our world headquarters for My-Lynx Associates is located in Central Texas, in the United States. And we had a lot of 100 + degree days in June, so while it means low humidity with such high temperatures (that would be 38 degrees celsius for our international readers), it means that our frequent book buying trips in the area are subject to a little dizziness from the heat. We try and post new material every day, usually books, we have some CDs and a few DVDs. We have a comprehensive list of all items for sale on this very website. See our Books For Sale link above
We checked on a popular website that tracks web-site traffic and they claim we are nearing the 1,000,000 mark in terms of popularity. And remarkably, that we have cracked the 100,000 barrier in India. Since we have yet to have any sales in India, we are curious about that. It also says we are especially popular in New Delhi of all places. So if you are an Indian reader, be sure and leave a comment so we know that you are there. And if you decide to buy our books, maybe we will be able to finance a trip there.
We are not sure about our surging popularity on the Sub-Continent, we have some books on yoga practice, we have a book on Sanskrit grammar:
It is about living the sacred life in India, a portrait of some remarkable people living the most unusual lives in different parts of India. We have a philosophy book from India on classical Indian philosophical schools by Sharma:
We have an audio CD, also imported from India, with a repetitive chant of the syllable "Om" which is very soothing titled the Omkara Dhyana:
It says on the cover "Meditation for Pregnant Women", but really it is about 18 minutes of some soothing background music with a woman chanting "Om". It would be good relaxation for anyone, "expecting" or not. There is a short introduction on a separate track, but advanced yoga practitioners can safely live without the safety net and listen to the chant.
We have another fairly rare book on "Kashmir Saivism: The Central Philosophy of Tantrism" by Mishra about the philosophical / religious school. The book was printed in India, and is hard to find in North America:
We have been busy for the week listing new books. When we say new books, we mean new to the books store. for many of our books are used or out of print, so they are not defined as "new". We sell them on a variety of websites, which can be accessed by clicking the buttons on the right. Here are some of our recent eBay books, which are available on our other websites as well. For the most part.
This is "A Shorter Finnegans Wake", an edited version of the original by James Joyce. While it is debatable if it our most difficult book in terms of mental rigor, since we also have engineering, mathematical and technical texts that probably are as weighty in terms of intellectual content. But this is a well-known literary work of fiction. We even had to correct ourselves when we listed the book, we unconsciously corrected the title to read Finnegan's Wake, with an erroneious apostrophe, and a short while later we had to correct our correction back to the original title without the apostrophe. As you can see from the title on the picture link below that there is no apostrophe.
We have looked at this "shorter" version at 256 pages, and it is still a literary row to hoe with the plow of insight and reason. It is written in a dream-like fashion, probably one of the earliest "stream of consciousness" variety of narrations, with only a couple of respites of ordinary prose inserted as extended notes. We have the distinct impression of riding a roller-coaster as we have peruse this for bedside reading.
Anthony Burgess of "A Clockwork Orange" fame did the editing and shortening of this text, with an idea of making the original work more accessible to the general public. His innovative techniques in that novel, and the surreal world of the near future that he exposited in that work, are equally applicable to this more difficult work.
We found this version, which is an old library copy that we are offering for sale, this is a 2nd printing from 1969, with the look-alike dust jacket of the original Finnegans Wake by Viking Press. We hesitate to present any selections, for fear of upsetting the proof-reading applecart, since many of the words are neologisms or adaptations from other European languages besides English. We find it possible to read a couple of pages at a time, though it requires some attention. If you want it, we have one of these less-than-plentiful copies of this rare shorter edition, though it will still be a literary challenge to today's computer and DVD distracted audience.
We have been baking in the Central Texas sun. Spring has come and gone, the heat of the sun is setting in. We pulled a little blue bird off of one of the children's books that we are preparing for sale - we hope it represents happiness to some of our readers, even if it is a little too sentimental for our tastes. If we could get a blue bird flying by our world headquarters, we will share it. They are becoming rare, but there is a local initiative to build blue bird houses specifically designed to encourage them to settle in the urban landscape.
The ground is dry, but we keep the local bird bath filled on a daily basis. Birds are connoisseurs of water, and they are attracted to the reflections of light as it plays across the water. We keep the bath scrubbed in our off-time to make it attractive to visiting avians. We can hear the doves cooing in the trees in the cool mornings, and we heard the first cicada of the season last night. While cicadas are of the insect persuasion, and we don't see them, on a hot day, nothing says summer like the ratcheting sound of this huge insect that makes his presence known by his unmistakeable sound. We see that some people have posted videos of the sounds of these noisy creatures, maybe we will try and provide our own video when they get a little more plentiful.
We here a lot of the creatures are being stressed by a prolonged drought, and we are out in the evenings watering the delicate plants by hand after the sun goes down and things cool off. We are setting in for the summer, we keep the shades drawn and the fan circles endlessly overhead as we add more books to our on-line inventory. Here are some recent additions:
Here is another photo of a recent visitor to our bookstore during the holidays. He is peering inwards through the window to see what we are up to. We have been working feverishly to add new merchandise to our online stores. We will put some links below to allow you to visit our eBay store, but they are most likely available on Amazon, and our own popular store - My-Lynx Associates.
The temperatures here in Central Texas are already summer-like, we may break 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days. That would be 38 degrees Celsius for those of you who enjoy the metric world of measurement. We stay indoors with the blinds drawn to keep out the heat, but we do scurry out quickly to see if we can bring some more books back to our "book lair" where we write about the books that we find and sell them across the seven seas.
We sell mostly books. But with all the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms on the map this Spring (there had to be a hundred or more last night), we thought we better let you know what you need to stay alive. So we put a little link-widget below to Amazon to a radio gadget that we like to use and find handy when the weather gets rough.
We use the Midland WR-100. It is fairly easy to "program" - there are a couple of buttons that take you through the different menus that you need to set the time. It has an alarm, which we don't use, but the important part are the special county codes.
It is very helpful that Midland recently set up some videos on their website to help you with short videos that explain how to in a step-by-step fashion learn the features of the radio.
The county codes are unique 6 digit codes that you can get from the NOAA weather site. We have it programmed for a few counties, but the manufacturer says to just use one county code. When the county code is entered, the radio will sound an alarm when bad weather (or anything else) is causing trouble in your neighborhood. It is called an "All-Hazards" type radio. We were checking the codes which are known as S.A.M.E codes.
These allow you to customize the radio to your particular locale from a nation-wide network of radio transmitters, so that you can receive messages and audible warnings of different conditions specific to your area.
We have seen it featured a few times by reporters and meteorologists on both the local and national news the last week or so. They did not refer to it by name, but we saw the distinctive white low slung profile, and we knew it was the same radio. It is important to have one because if it is the middle of the night, the radio, if you set it right, will blast you with a loud tone to wake you from your slumbers.
Our sales appear a little off since Friday. Maybe people were a little frightened by the predictions of the end of the world on Saturday. We heard it repeated on television and radio, and on some popular websites, a regular drumbeat of doom and gloom. And we think that people when they get too excited maybe don't think about reading material, because our sales were down over the weekend. We have been humming merrily along until Friday evening and suddenly, quiet.
We watched something titled "The Nostradamus Effect" on the History Channel on Friday night. We don't have a copy for sale, but we will provide a link anyway. What a way to spend the day before Doomsday - watching a show on television about the end of the world. Well, nothing happened, except for some weather warnings on our weather radio, but we did not have to flee for our lives, the bad weather was a county or so over. We saw some lightning, a little thunder a few drops, but the poor folks further north had to deal with a couple of tornadoes, which made us a little restless on Saturday night
We have had more daily visitors lately, our web visitors are coming by more frequently, or our prose seems to be attracting more and more people from around the world.
We don't want our heads to swell, as the American expression goes (meaning our egos have become unduly inflated). We have been laboring in the trenches, trying to reduce our prices (we sell books), this web site is the associated information that we post online about our comings and goings. If you folks like what we write, be sure to leave a comment or two to let us know if you want more. We do read our comment sections on a daily basis.
We set up a little gallery of items that have been recently put up for sale on eBay, some of them are for sale on the other sites that can be seen on the right. We put it down below. But we thought we would write a little about what we did since we last posted.
When we are uploading information about our books, some times we have to pause while a computing task completes. We then flick on the nearby television to keep up with the news. Daytime television in America has a lot of variety, but not much depth. There are syndicated comedies that we flip on, which for whatever reason are on multiple times a day on multiple channels. We observed that two in particular are quite prevalent: that would be a show about a psychiatrist with a radio show "Frasier", then the show about a Long Island couple and their extended family, "Everybody Loves Raymond", and in the evening sometimes playing at the same time on a couple of channels: "The Nanny". Actually that is three shows. But we try and guess what we could learn. Today there was a flash on a show called "Monsters Inside Me" about a guy from Long Island (we think), who went barefoot to the mail box every day and probably picked up a parasite that nearly killed him.
That was dramatic. The disease is transmitted by ticks (usually to rodents) and is called "Babesisios". Since its symptoms are almost the same as malaria, it is often misdiagnosed, but its range in Eastern Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket make it a little insidious, since it has only recently been acknowledged and because the microscopic parasite is hard to see since it tends to be hard to find within the body. It is spread by the same tick that gives people Lyme disease. We did a little on line research and found that here in Texas, that there is a similar form found in cattle.and was traditionally called "Texas Fever".
Our new stuff is pretty educational, we have a book on the "Beats" with many excerpts. We have a book called "Chinese Boxing" which is about an American's visit to Taiwan in the 50s and 60s to learn the secrets of Tai Chi and other lesser known martial arts. We have a book on creativity in the arts with the great name "The War of Art", which is a play on Sun Tzu's military work. We have a couple of nice, clean shop manuals which will tell you how to assemble and disassemble vital systems in both Audis and Suzukis. "On To Berlin" is about the role of paratroopers during World War II. And if you wake up in the morning feeling tired and groggy, there is a reference source "Sleep Apnea" to help you find out more about a breathing disorder that afflicts many and makes there life miserable.
Most of the time we are selling books. But sometimes we get visits that make us stop and take a look.
We were celebrating the Easter holiday with a family gathering at the My-Lynx Associates world headquarters a while back. (It is after all an online store, not a bricks and mortar book store). We were diverted from our mashed potato preparation duties by a green visitor who decided to look in on us. (And we were regarded with a cool, somewhat detached view, we have the pictures to prove it.) There used to be a TV show called "The Pet Psychic" where the host of the show would preform "readings" on the animals (usually mammals).
We found the show intriguing, because the owners of the pets seemed to react so favorably to the insights.
So, when little animals come around for a visit, we are always intrigued because they seem to have their own moods and expressions.
Below is a recent photo through the window of one of our visitors during the cool Easter holiday, when the sun was hidden. This lizard that came by seemed to be curious about us, and kept looking in the window. Later when someone opened the door, it actually came inside by the hinge at the top of the door and started running along the wall, before we ushered him out with a wave of our hands. You can see the camouflage of the creature, sort of white on the bottom that carefully matches the painted surface he is crawling on, and the green trees in the background, perhaps a relaxing combination for this creature, since he scurried back and forth for quite some time.
And you will note the fact that he is looking back at us, with some degree of what we take to be curiosity, giving us one eye of attention, and was twisting his head back and forth at us to get a better look. Reptiles have a kind of coolness to them, as well they might having ruled the earth in the days of the dinosaurs. They probably are still trying to get used to these new usurpers, the imperious mammals. They think they are hot! (Or at least warm-blooded)
We checked on a website about local lizards and we identified this as the Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis). an aboreal (tree-dwelling) lizard species.
It is harder to type a blog in a reclining position, though it is theoretically possible. Maybe in a few years we will have brain-scan devices that can intuit the words we want to type. They have been promising that as a possibility, using brain-waves to click on the keys. We wonder if the backspace key will become obsolete?
But for now we are click-click-clicking our way across the keyboard on a weekend afternoon trying to drum up business for our online bookstore. We had a little mishap with our listings, Some of our eBay items were not listed automatically, so we had to go back and list them manually. They were already on sale on our other websites, but they did not show up on eBay.
So if you are dying to buy something on eBay here are an assemblage of items that have just become available as of May 7th (Saturday). As with all worldly things these are subject to prior sale or being removed from sale for various and sundry reasons (usually a sale on another website). Here are our latest intriguing items, some out of print, or hard to find.
We have a book on mysticism: Aum 1936, which is a 1980s reprint of a work by Helena Ivanovna Roerich. She accompanied her famous husband, Nicholas, across Asia in the wild and woolly days prior to World War II and can be certified as a hard-traveling adventuress in the days before Holiday Inns and fast food. These are numbered metaphysical reflections of hers from the 1930s.
We have Fire in the Sky which is a report of an abduction of a logger by extraterrestrials, which if we have time we will review in more detail.
We glanced at Chronicles of the Barbarians, and they are stories of rough-and-ready, pillage and plunder groups through the ages. What motivates them? What are their thoughts when they are not pillaging? You can find out here.
We labor for many hours to find some new material to sell to the world. That would potentially be you dear visitor. This is a blog about what we sell and incidentally to that what we do to find and place these items. There are pictures below that are links to the items on our own website.. You can see the precious pictures of the things that are within our grasp. And if you have grasping tendencies, you can have these books and compact disks for your very own. We are willing to relinquish our grasp. Some of our newest items are featured in the pretty grid that we laboriously hand crafted below in web page code.
Very simply put, they can be yours for the electronic exchange of a few paltry credits (as they say in the Science Fiction world). They are all available on our My-Lynx Associates website, but we also sell them on eBay, Biblio, Amazon, AbeBooks, Valore and so on (look to the right to see the buttons to whisk you there) - if you have an account with those websites, you will find the items listed there, for the most part. Ask us and we will direct you to the appropriate web page, since not every item is listed on every website, and some of our items are lumped together by item, so it may be confusing to find. But not on our own website (did you know it is called My-Lynx Associates?) We rule supreme there, and you can find items listed by title, author, even category.
The CD "Senegal Au Laser" is a long out of print compact disk, imported from France, perhaps the only one for sale across the internet - a veritable collector's items for those who cherish West African music. If you are a prince, sitting in your citadel, or you wish to curry favor with an Emir, Sultan, Potentate, Khan, Caesar, Duke, or other royal figure, you might want to consider this.
Perhaps you need a last minute gift for the new royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we heard the position was just fulled. We don't know what happened to the old Duke and Duchess, maybe there are a lot of job vacancies for royals in the British Empire, now that the colonies have broken away from the motherland.
We just checked and it appears to have been vacant since the death of Prince George in 1904, he left no heirs. If we had known, we might have put in an application.
In any case, we will send it out promptly with a new plastic case with the original artwork, to ensure that you will be invited to the royal christening, and won't be left off the invitation list again.
We don't have time to read everything. But sometimes we grab a book and glance at the pages with the hope of distilling some tidbit or insight. We recently acquired a rather weighty tome, "The Labyrinth of Solitude", originally published in 1950 (we have a later paperback reprint), which is a collection of essays by the author Octavio Paz
"Popular language reflects this dualism by identifying solitude with suffering. The pangs of love are pangs of solitude. Communion and solitude are opposite and complementary. The redemptive power of solitude clarifies our obscure but vivid sense of guilt: the solitary man is "forsaken by the hand of God." Solitude is both a sentence and an expiation. It is a punishment but it is also a promise that our exile will end. All human life is pervaded by this dialectic."
The quote above reminds of the old "Twilight Zone" episode that has always haunted us. That would be the one titled "Time Enough At Last" starring Burgess Meredith as the bank clerk "Henry Bemis". He survives a nuclear holocaust by having lunch down in the bank vault while reading a book. When he emerges he find that humanity is erased from the face of the earth. And while he first views his new-found solitude with despair, when he spies the public library, and the idea that he could spend the rest of his life reading the stacks of books, while opening the myriad cans of food left intact, he could find his redemption in having "time enough" to read to his heart's content. From the opening monologue:
Witness Mr. Henry Bemis a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A
bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but who is
conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of
tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of the clock.
In the bleak humor and unpredictable fate of the Twilight Zone however, he damages his glasses, and being terribly near-sighted, loses his ability to read the many texts that he has piled up on the steps outside the library.
This cruel fate kept us up late many nights (even before we had our book business), trying to rethink all of his actions, and all the possible alternatives to his "existential" dilemma of having time to read, but not having the ability to discern the characters on the page.
As we remember, one solution was a spherical gold fish bowl (minus the gold fish), that would allow the books words to be enlarged to the point where the text would be readable. Or alternatively a visit to the local optometrist's store might reveal some lenses that might serve as a remedy.
Since we are booksellers, we should remind our online visitors to always have a few physical "real-world" books handy, for those idle moments. Some people just sigh and stare into space when confronted with a long delay while waiting in a car-repair place, or a movie line or a government office.
We can go to the trunk of the car, or our own personal bookshelves and gaze forward into the time-tested paper pages of books. Who is to know if some day, our computers will grind to a halt, or a nearby static discharge or lightning or sun-spot will erase all our electronic knowledge? Or a sudden tornado or earthquake could plunge us into darkness because the power lines are down?
Then in a sense, we will be like Henry Bemis in his 1959 world of post-apocalyptic fantasy isolation. We may still have our fellow humans to regard, but those electronic readers may not function anymore, so we may be isolated from the vast realms of human knowledge that formerly resided in our books. And if you want to know more about solitude, we have just the book to help resolve your dilemmas and conflicts, you may click on the picture link below:
Here is a link to Amazon's web page featuring Season 1 of the Twilight Zone:
We went to a popular website that shows rankings ( a kind of popularity contest for websites). We have been told by those well-versed in the intricacies of the Internet that they do not provide accurate details for lower volume websites (we are after all relatively recent to the internet).
But we were nevertheless astonished (or as the British say "gob-smacked") that we have a following in India. We are a hot site there, meaning that by their national standards (or at least somebody's national standards) it appears that we have an elevated number of visitors.
We were surprised, because we have not been getting a lot of book business from India. We have mailed some books to other parts of Asia: Japan, Indonesia, even China. Maybe we will travel to India some day in search of books. We also have a few that come directly from India, we will write up a blog about them (we have a book about Sanskrit grammar too!). But that is a story for another day.
In fact, we can't remember getting any sales from there despite the billion plus souls who reside there. But we appreciate the visits anyway.
But we do have a relatively high ranking there. So to acknowledge that fact, we have a book that features the glorious "hill stations" which in colonial times were used by many as a summer refuge from the fierce heat that characterizes the equatorial regions. We often dream of spending time in a cool and breezy hill station, gazing down at the plains below and perhaps sipping some regional tea of the area made from "clonal tips" as they are wont to say.
And we would greet our visitors with a friendly "How are you?" in the local national language, Hindi:
आप कैसे / कैसी हैं?
Presumably (since we are not literate in Devanagari), that one is addressed to the male, the other is a modification when addressing a female. The question mark is apparently used in both English and Hindi. We learned it as "Aph Khasi Hey?" If you see little squiggles or boxes, (instead of the majestic letters of Hindi, you can usually tell Hindi visually because the letters are linked horizontally with the extended bar linking the letters along the top, and little marks sticking up from the bar which are vowel signs, as we remember from our limited studies), it means that the character set is not supported.
Here is a link to our book about the Hill Stations - it has stories about colonial India and Pakistan (prior to the Partition in the late 40s). We learned that there were hill stations in Burma (now Myanmar), some in what used to be the "Dutch East Indies", now Indonesia, even in "Indo-China", now Vietnam and Cambodia (don't forget Laos). The Americans even had one in the mountains of the Philippines, back when it was still a part of the United States, much as Puerto Rico is today. In any case, the hill stations are still there, and we dream of them during the hot Texas summer.
While we don't long for the colonial past, the Europeans and other colonials had the idea that if you got high enough up that the air was healthier and cleaner.
Now we understand the relationship between malaria (a parasitical blood disease borne by mosquitoes when they bite) and altitude (they can't function very well above 4,000 feet or so, around 1,000 meters).
But right through the end of the 19th Century, they just could not make the mental connection between mosquitoes and malaria, so they went a different route and just went higher elevations. (Or kept the windows closed at night if the climate permitted to keep out the "Mal Aria" - that would be Italian for "Bad Air".). They knew that their was an association between dampness / humidity and malaria (via swampy or marshy areas that served as a breeding ground for the creatures) and the disease that caused so much suffering.
And the spots they picked were bucolic and refreshing (they did not have formal air-conditioning, just fans and maybe some cooling cloths soaked in water, the predecessor to today's "swamp-coolers". We dream of sipping tea in a hill station some day, and receiving visitors from the dusty plains as we put on an extra sweater to ward off the "chill" of the evening air. Life could not be much better than that. So if you like hill stations as much as we do, please leave a comment about them.
Here is a pop-up link to our book
"The Great Hill Stations of Asia", by Barbara Crossette who intrepidly enough, went to visit a number of them. We sell it on our My-Lynx Associates website, also other popular websites like Biblio, Amazon and eBay. If you are an international buyer, you can purchase this easily on the AbeBooks website. Our international shipping costs are a little high there, but we would be glad to refund any excess postage, or just contact us at the menu link above to arrange it and we will be glad to accommodate you if possible on most of our websites if you already have an account there:
We have been tethered to our computer looking at what we have for sale. The items depicted here do not sell themselves. We have to find them in our mystery sources, then we have to drive them home. Then we have to describe what they are, how many pages they have, when they were printed, who published them, when they were printed, who wrote them, what the book's title is, and how much it costs.
Then people can come from far and wide, across the globe, from tiny islands in the Pacific, to deep distant mountains in the Carpathians. They click on their internet links, pay the price, and we wrap the books carefully and whisk them to our national post office for shipping to the 50 United States, Territories, Possessions and foreign countries.
We have shipped to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska. We got a note back from someone on the front lines in Afghanistan, in the high mountains of Asia. We provide prompt and friendly service from Austin Texas, the capital city of the former Republic (The state flag has one star). Non-Texans (you know who you are) do not have to salute, but you may shed a tear if you wish, for not having the opportunity to experience Spring in our fair state. We ourselves have been gazing upon the bluebonnets, the state flower and dreaming of springtimes past.
We do have one Texas-related book this week that we found. It is about "Bigfoot" Wallace, the famous Texas Ranger who has taken his eternal repose right here in Austin. This is what we have made available for sale on eBay in the last week or so, but we also sell on many other sites, as indicated by the buttons on the right.
This is the time of year for our bulbs to come up. This is a picture from last year that we took, but because of the icy cold weather in February, our bulbs have not yet appeared. Or least that is the theory that we are working under. The weather has been perfect, maybe too perfect, we have been looking for some rain in Central Texas, and we just got a little sprinkle earlier in the week.
And along with the sprinkle, the weather radio started blasting us out of our serene sleep because there were some warning about possible tornadoes and later on a severe thunderstorm warning. The thunderstorms got us up and we rushed to the office to unplug the computer equipment, to keep the circuit boards from getting fried by a random lightning bolt. But nothing major happened, just some loud booms from the thunder and the cold front passed us by, though for many, this has been a week of extreme weather further north of us.
We are trying to catch up on our bookkeeping tasks for our annual visit to the man who does our returns. So the blog is a little stale, we have not been posting regularly for a week or so. But we see people are still faithfully visiting our little blog. You know who you are. And as we are wont to say to the many visitors from Russia:
Which is just the word for thanks, but the visitors appear to be some of our most loyal visitors. We think that a few of our visitors are trying to publicize their own sites, but then again, you never know. A visit is a visit. We were watching an commercial where a guy is asking a seatmate on a plane about the time, and the English-speaking guy thinks he is asking about the investing tool he is using on his laptop. The comedic element is that he just wants to know the time, and when someone down the aisle yells out 3:47, the Russian guy says Spetzivo! Which we is sort of the transliteration of the above Russian phrase, it is not the transliteration, but that is how we would say it.
We have a few books in Russian, you can click under Foreign Languages to see our selection, we have a book of "set expressions and idioms" in English that translates thousands of little phrases which is fairly rare and long out of print. You can click on the picture link below to find out more, it is a "Great" book, it says so as part of the title:
You're an up-and-coming prince in your very own principality.
You have read Machiavelli cover to cover, and you realize that you are falling behind on your machinations. Your horses are stomping in their stables eating large quantities of hay. Your sabers have been sharpened after the long winter, and now your troops, and even your loyal minions are causing trouble downstairs in their nearby barracks - too many hi-jinks and not enough discipline.
It is Springtime and you need to plan for the future. You are eying the other local regional principalities, and you are envious, your trusty spies and telescopes see plenty of fat peasants, plentiful grain, lots of beer in kegs, well-fed women striding about in their fine cotton clothing. You need to be an action prince. You look down and see a little paunch, you have let yourself go. The other princes have been snickering behind your back at the Emperor's Winter Ball. They were cutting in on your minuet, taking away your dates.
What do you do?
You need a theme song!
Just the music alone with some cavalry lined up on the border might make some lesser princes surrender. We recommend a large boom box with plenty of batteries for maximum intimidation.
You can listen to our recommended song for would-be princely invaders of neighboring principalities. The tune is by noted composer Franz von Suppé. It is the overture for his opera "Leichte Kavallerie" or "Light Cavalry".
Veteran watchers of the old Popeye cartoons may remember this as one of the many musical themes in "Cartoons Ain't Human" that Popeye played in his cartoon within a cartoon. We have the Mantovani Orchestra version, so after your return from your glorious victory, you can kick back with a princess or two and play the same victory song as a romantic prelude. There are plenty of soothing strings in the Montovani version, just turn down the bass and amp up the treble on the royal CD player's equalization settings. There are 10 selections on this disc for your listening pleasure. See the description by clicking on the picture link below.
Here is the link to the merchandise to build upon your soon-to-be empire, you rascally usurper!. And if all goes according to plan, remember us here at My-Lynx Associates, we are available (at a reasonable hourly rate, per diem calculated separately) as court advisers to help plan your next triumph.
Here is a video with the same music played by different performers, but it will give you the general idea of what you can expect as you sally forth to patrol the borders: