Who's your Secret Santa in the 12th Annual QT3 Secret Santa Gift Exchange?


I still have the set of The Two Towers movie bookmarks from high school.

The Eomer/ Eowyn one is my regular usage one.


It was tough, but the pros of going digital outweigh the cons. But I still miss things.


My opinion on physical books vs digital


Too late. My second wife (now not my wife) helped drive that train. But I bought the ticket, and happily boarded for my train ride.


I worked in a… um… bordello for a while. The girls would dance on stage and then go into the audience and… um… make dates. In the back rooms.

At first I was the audio and light guy. I’d start their music and use a small spotlight for them. They liked me because I would do silly stuff like flip gels and move the light around. They said it helped them make more money.

Then I was ‘promoted’ to cashier. There I collected the $7 to get in and took care of the girl’s cash. Yay me. That also made me the guy that talked to customers in the lounge area. And broke up fights.

Anyway, one of the girls was named Maria. She was a petite blond. She was not stupid. We talked a lot and I got her into The Illuminatus Trilogy. I know. I lent her the first book. After she finished it she returned it. With a half smoked joint as a bookmark. It really pissed me off. Books are important to me and she left an indelible black mark in it.


I thought it would be like this for me, but reading on a kindle is just so convenient. I always have a lot of books in bag without having to, well, have my bag full of books. I’m even at the stage where I am considering re-buying some of the physical books in my to read pile as ebooks. The one thing I do miss, though, is the ability to spread the really good books by lending or giving them to my friends.


Yeah, that is really bad news. Bad move. I would have been livid.


Well, I did that. That was part of the deal when I made my “conversion”.


So how many? I’m on my third. She’s a damn charm.


Just two. More info coming offline.


My avatar here and on twitter is basically a riff on this, my favorite strip of all time:



-This is so cool.
-This is so stupid.


I always thought your avatar was actually a part of the original comic, but I see now that it’s a riff. Where’d you find it?

(Also, for a long time I thought your avatar was some kind of hooded figure’s head and shoulders at an angle)


I’d forgotten. I’d actually googled your Avatar, and I knew that!

Well, you better hope I am not your Santa or I’ll “remember” that you love wooden shoes or something.


I’ve come to think of it as being from the original comic. But I have the original comic…from a Sunday newspaper I cut out so many years ago…tacked to my bulletin board. I love that so much.

I found the image online because I couldn’t size the scan properly when I tried to do it myself, and this one fit better.



My best friend once lent me a book. Well, he’s lent me many a book. I spilled coffee on one of them, like an idiot, messing up some of the pages. I resolved to buy him a new copy of the book, and told him, and he basically told me to shut up because he liked the discussion we had about the book, and this mark represented part of the book’s history.

I’ve always felt that way too. Dog-eared pages. Even odd notes. This is why I like buying used books. I like the sense that the book has traveled to get to me. That other eyes have read those words.

He might have just been being polite. Thing is, I treasure my books, but I’ll give one away in an instant if I think a friend will like it*. That also helps with letting my kid, and my girlfriend’s kid, read my books. I want them to be used and loved.

I respect what you’re saying. I just came to view it a different way. For most of my books.


*I won’t lend my Aubrey-Maturin books to anyone, however. As I inherited those from someone dear to me. So don’t ask!


Have you heard about Forgotten Bookmarks? Might be something you’ll find interesting: http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/


I really love that.

From my life, I got a message on The Facebook from a stranger. He’s a dude who works for an art museum in the middle of my country. He likes to buy up Dune books and found a paperback in pretty good condition. Inside one of the books he found was a letter addressed to me from a friend in middle school. I’d used it as a bookmark, and forgotten about it. I assume my folks, in Virginia, got rid of it at some point when they donated some of my old books.

At any rate, this guy searched me out and contacted me and offered to mail me the letter. It was quite a lovely gesture, and now we are FB friends and he’s a really good guy.


“The spice extends life.”


That’s a cool story.


I love paper books. I still have north of 100 on my shelves to read before I die. (I’m over 50, better get crackin’.) So Kindle books at least help keep me from having to double-layer the bookshelves. And you always have them with you on your phone… And they’re easier to read in bed.



Being an archaeologist, this is my favourite. Spot on, too…