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December 28th, 2008

I don't mind driving, but driving with a small child and a baby in the car makes me nervous. I worry -- far more than is justified -- that they are about to start bawling and be inconsolable. I know this is more than is justified, because A. sleeps in the car quite steadily, waking only when hungry and then falling right back asleep once fed, and T. is quite happy with me crammed between the two carseats, the video playing Backyardigans and some french fries from McDonald's. Goldfish are a serviceable substitute until they start serving fries, and he'll happily drink water from my bottle.

The commute to Albany for festivities was uneventful, really, altho we should have stopped and changed T.'s diaper. He peed through the one he had on and we had to clean the cushions on his seat.

Once in Albany, I decided not to cheap it up on the suites hotel like last year (that place was a dive); we stayed at a Marriott Towneplace with two bedrooms and a sleeper sofa in the living area. This successfully isolated nursing noisemakers from snorer from thrashing toddler. We didn't spend much time in the room, but it was perfectly adequate -- and the sleeper sofa wasn't broken, like where we stayed on T-weekend.

But it sure is nice to be home, where it is quiet and there are no dogs to stress T. out.
NYT article about the small number of people (like me) who buy most of the books increasingly are buying online. They do _not_ mention online books (altho the Seattle Times [ETA: My bad -- the PI] had a recent article about that trend).

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/weekinreview/28streitfeld.html?em

A few years back, I started making a concerted effort to buy used if I could do so for about the same amount as new-on-Amazon (I have Prime shipping, so the used copy had to be a few dollars less to come out even). Last year, R. bought me a kindle, and that has further limited the number of new books entering the house. Further aggravating the situation for book publishers: most of the new books I buy, I pass along to the local library as soon as I've read them.

I don't regret doing this. I'm happy other people are doing the same. I'm mildly sorry about the impact on publishers and authors, but this really all highlights something the tech crowd has been saying for 15-20 years now: what the world really needs is an excellent micropayments system.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUKSP42362120081228

The agent for the author is still claiming her client was in a concentration camp for real; it was just the love story about the girl who threw him apples and bread over the fence part that was made up.

Did no one pay attention to the pictures of concentration camps when they were in school? No freaking way did anything get tossed over those fences. And, indeed, this detail was part of the hang-up.

Again, caught during the pre-publication publicity, so that's an improvement, but one does wonder at what point Oprah gets better service on the fact-checking.