Quip–a witty remark.  E-Quips (think e-book or email) is hopefully a witty blog  – dedicated to word play such as parodies, puns, and word parallels and stories about libraries that you may not have heard before. It has also expanded to include a few book reviews, nature essays, stories about military and veterans, and tips about writers and writing. It has evolved into a sort of online journal



Hope you enjoy the ride and the fun.

Please let me know if there is word that deserves a riff or a library that has a story to share.

Thanks for joining me in the blogosphere.







Reblog–11 Things I will Never, Ever Admit to a Librarian

Your librarian knows things that she will never share.  Some things she can figure out by what you check out– like who may be pregnant or starting menopause.  Who is planning a wedding or having company?  Who may be thinking about a vacation.  Other things she does not know, like who used a used condom as a bookmark.  (Yes, this disgusting thing has happened.)

Here is a reblog of what one mother will not tell her librarian.  What happens in the Children’s section  or to books from that section, remains a big secret.


An Evening with Rita Mae Brown

over the moon bookstore and galleryFrom the first page of Rita Mae Brown’s newest book,  Probable Claws:

“It’s a madhouse out there,” Harry leaned on the checkout counter at Over the Moon bookstore in Crozet.

“Can’t complain.  Business has been good,” Anne de Vault, the owner, glanced up as more customers entered the store as if to prove her point.

Anne de Vault arranged for an author talk and book signing with local author, Rita Mae Brown, last  night at the social hall  of the Tabor Presbyterian Church across the parking lot from the Over the Moon bookstore.   It seemed very appropriate.

Rita Mae Brown (r) and Anne de Vault (l)Rita Mae Brown and Over the Moon Book Store owner Anne de Vault at RMB Book Signing Tabor Presbyterian Church social hall 20180718.jpg

It was a wonderful evening. There were about 40-50 middle aged women (and 4 men) in the church hall. Rita Mae Brown was shorter than I expected (about 5’4″). We first saw her standing in the back of the church social hall talking to Anne de Vault, the owner of the Over the Moon Bookstore. About 7:02, she walked up to the front the social hall and stood in front the table. She talked for about 30-35 minutes without notes. She was hilarious.

She spoke about growing up in Virginia. (Her family had been there since the 1600s.) Many of her pithy one liners seem to have come from her mother.

“Virginians remember everything–even the things that never actually happened.”

“One in four Virginians is crazy. Look at your three best friends. If they aren’t crazy, it is probably you.” Momma may have been right, maybe it is me.

Rita Mae Brown talking to the audience at the Tabor Presbyterian Church social hall 20180718.jpg

She talked about growing up high church Lutheran. One Sunday they passed a Baptist church where the Baptists were enthusiastically practicing their religion. My mother explained that they were the “expressive” denomination.

Virginians do not like to say no to folks. It’s rude. They will try to slide away from folks without giving a specific answer. If pressed, they will say. ‘I’ll try. ‘ People from the midwest are much more direct.

Mark Twain was the first real American author because he used American vernacular.

“No matter what your political beliefs, the news industry is making a ton of money by pedaling fear.”

She finished by taking questions from the audience. There were not many questions. She kept saying “Don’t you want to get back out in this gorgeous evening?”  Her hounds and horses were all healthy so that automatically made it a good day, even without the 70 degree/low humidity day we were enjoying as a rare break in mid summer.

When it was my turn to get two books signed, I told her “You are creating a new cottage industry.  I had two friends that wanted the Rita Mae Brown tour so I created the Crozet tour for them, and I was sure that there will be other local tours that may emerge.”

She just laughed and said, “I’m sure you will add you own flair to the tours.”  She even wrote, “Keep up those tours, Girl!” when she signed her signature and stamped Sneaky Pie’s name and paw print on the cover page.



Probable Claws.jpgTo buy Probable Claws, please check you local indie book store. (I bought mine at Over the Moon Bookstore in Crozet.)  Only if you local book store does not have then, try Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


  • Series: Mrs. Murphy (Book 27)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 29, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425287157
  • ISBN-13: 978-042528715


I’m half-way through the book and it is really good.  RMB said last night that she thought it was one of the better books she had written.  It accomplished what she hoped it would.


Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along

Bob was just bobbing around the pool when his wife showed off her new bob haircut.

bob hair cutBob hated it and thought a bobby (named for Sir Robert Peel) should have arrested the hairdresser. (Bobbies were also known as Peelers.)


From Stephen Foster’s”Camptown Races”

Goin’ to run all night
Goin’ to run all day
I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag
Somebody bet on the gray.


From Louis Daniel Armstrong’s “Red Red Robin”

When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along, along
There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbin’ his old sweet song
From Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp
“Let’s run off behind a shady tree, dribble off those Bobbie Brooks let me do what I please.”
Northern-bob-white-quail-tn1Bobwhites say their name in their call.  “The northern bobwhite, Virginia quail or bobwhite quail is a ground-dwelling bird native to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is a member of the group of species known as New World quails.” from Wikipedia
Bobsled is a popular Olympic winter sport. Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four teammates make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh
bobcat“The bobcat is a North American cat that appeared during the Irvingtonian stage of around 1.8 million years ago. Containing 2 recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, including most of the contiguous United States,” according to Wikipedia.
Bobby sox are a style of women’s sox folded or gathered at the ankle.  Bobbysoxers were teenage girls in the 1940’s and 50s.
Bobby Sox Softball is an educational organization committed to giving all girls, regardless of race, color, creed, or softball ability, the freedom to explore the game of softball. Team activities instill in them the attributes that will make them better citizens of the United States of America. This exploration takes the form of programs, devoted to excellence, in the areas of Citizenship, Friendship, Leadership, Sportsmanship and Scholarship.



Famous Bobs include comedian Bob Hope, reggae singer Bob Marley, folk singer Bob Dylan, and game show host Bob Barker.

Happy Piña Colada Day

National-Pina-Colada-Day-July-10Piña Colada Day is celebrated on July 10.   In honor of the day, I tried to order one at lunch, but the restaurant did not have a blender so I was reduced to drinking  iced tea.

Rupert Hayes wrote the song, “Escape“, but it is more famously known as the Piña Colada song.

If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
If you´re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me, and escape”

Despite what the bartender at Smoked thought, apparently you can make a piña colada without a blender.  According to Wikipedia, “The piña colada is a sweet cocktail made with rum, coconut cream or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with either a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, or both.”

You can also buy some fairly credible pre-made  piña colada mixes.  You can even buy it already frozen, where all you add is the rum.  Mr. and Mrs. T of Bloody Mary mix fame also make a piña colada mix.  (I have not tried the piña colada  mix, but I will vouch for the Bloody Mary mix.)

You can make a virgin  piña colada , by forgoing the rum.

Method 1 Classic Piña Colada
  1. Put the cream of coconut, ice, and pineapple juice in a blender. This drink comes together quickly when you add all the ingredients at once. …
  2. Blend until the ice is crushed. …
  3. Pour it into two glasses. …
  4. Garnish with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry. …
  5. Finished.

Be careful if you drink a frozen piña colada.  It is very easy to get a painful brain freeze if you sip it too quickly. (Brain freeze is practically a rite of summer. It happens when you eat ice cream or gulp something ice cold-like a piña coladatoo quickly. The scientific term is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, )  According to Google, to get rid of brain freeze, “put down the ice cream cone or cold drink tout de suite, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, or sip a warmish drink to restore your mouth to a normal temperature.”



How to use Goodreads to Promote your Book

You wrote it. Now you want people to read it. This has some great tips on how to use Goodread to help you get your work into the hands of readers.

Lauren Reyes-Grange, Digital Marketer

As every author knows, finishing your book and having it published is only the beginning of another challenge in the book writing business. Now you have to get your book in the hands of readers. This part of the process can be tough (no matter how wonderful your book is), especially if you’re going the self-publishing route.

With 75 million members, 2.2 billion books added and over 77 million book reviews, Goodreads is the world’s largest social media platform for readers and book recommendations. Since Goodreads is a book lover’s hot spot, it only makes sense that authors and book publishers leverage this platform to promote their books.

If you have the budget for paid promotion, Goodreads offers a suite of advertising products to target your desired audience and take part in giveaways , with pricing beginning at around $120 US. But for the authors and publishers who are looking for less…

View original post 1,201 more words

North Korean Serial Collection

From the Library of Congress News:

Library of Congress Offers Unprecedented Access to North Korean Serial Collection

North Korean map 

Home to one of the most prominent North Korean collections in the Western Hemisphere, the Asian Division at the Library of Congress has rolled out the North Korean Serials Database, an online indexing tool that offers researchers enhanced access to periodicals and articles published as far back as the 1940s.

The database contains 34,000 indexed records for articles in 18 journals from North Korea that are now searchable to the public online at memory.loc.gov/diglib/asian/html/nksip/nksip-home.html, for the first time.

The database covers publications from as early as 1948, the year North Korea was established, up to the present day. It provides an in-depth and authoritative guide on what resources are available on-site at the Library of Congress.

In the past, there were no indexing resources at the article level for North Korean serials anywhere in the world. Without specific bibliographic information on hand, researchers would have to browse numerous titles and issues in order to find specific articles they are looking for.

“Noticeable in the collection are serials published from the 1940s to the 1960s. Many of these titles are no longer available in other institutions, libraries or even North Korea, which makes this collection extremely rare and significant,” said Sonya Lee, reference specialist of the Korean collection at the Library of Congress.

“As the study of North Korea is gaining more popularity among scholars and graduate students, the unique and abundant resources at the Library of Congress will play a significant role in supporting scholarship in this field.”

North Korean statues

Access to the indexes of these historical and cultural materials offers insight into the policy, economic, political, social, historic, military, legal, financial and governmental issues that affect contemporary foreign policy and strategies related to North Korea.

The materials from the Cold-War era can also provide a historical context to contemporary North Korean studies.

Researchers can search everything in the database or limit their query to article titles, subject, article keywords, publication date or publisher. Users can also browse the indexes by author (11,078 names in Korean and Romanized Korean form) and subject (135 subjects). Selected articles can be accessed on-site at the Library.  

The serials and articles in this database only represent a small percentage of the items from North Korea that the Library of Congress holds, estimated at more than 10,000 items and 278 serial titles. Due to its size and rarity, the collection opens up the possibility to pursue the study of North Korea in unusual depth.

The Library started to collect Korean materials in the 1950s during the Korean War. Today, the Library has over 303,000 volumes of monographs and some 7,600 periodical titles in the Korean Collection. The current serial titles cover major magazines, government reports and academic journals from both North and South Korea. The collection is now one of the most comprehensive collections outside of East Asia.

North Korean and U.S. flags

The Asian Division, founded in 1928, currently has custody of more than 4 million items in over 100 different Asian languages found in seven collections: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Tibetan. The Asian Reading Room, located in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, room 150, is the public gateway to access the Asian collections.

Jeffersn Building Main Reading Room

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs, and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

# # #

Squirrelly in the Summer: Hoover’s Rebuttal

Squirrel feeding from second feederHi there,  It’s about time you heard the other side of the story.  There have been a few slanderous blog postings over the past year about how I have trashed three plastic bird feeders, scattered seeds all of the patio, and hogged the bird feeder so the poor birds seldom get a chance to use it.  Squirrel poop!  They call us Tree Rats–if that is not a clear defamation of character, then I don’t know what is.

They put the first bird feeder on the front window.  It was  next to the dogwood tree and adjacent to the side screen.  I noticed this new take out one morning when I was making my usual rounds–to make sure other squirrels don’t invade MY yard.  I just stopped by to make sure it was up to my standards when the female harpy started pounding on the window.  It startled the squirrel pee right out of me.  I tried to ignore her, but she would not stop.  What’s a squirrel to do?   I was trying to eat  my lunch, when the suction cups let go.  Thanks for my squirrel-like reflexes, I was able to safely jump aside when the cheap thing committed suicide by crashing to the sidewalk.

Cardinal feeding during the snow storm

Humans just don’t learn.  They tried again with another type of cheap plastic bird ,or should I say squirrel, feeder that they once again loosely attached to the front window by suction cups.  Even a bird’s brain could figure out that the second one would not last any longer than the first one did.

The third time they got a bit smarter and bought one that hung from the tree.  At least this one did not fall down.  It was also harder for them to see it.  (They are old and must not have much of a life, if watching me  eat is part of their so-called entertainment.)  Unfortunately, my teeth chewed through the plastic while I was digging for seeds. Maybe I should sue them for possible internal injuries caused by plastic fragments.

Finally they got smart enough to buy a metal feeder.  They attached it to the porch so they can still me eat from the window, but it doesn’t fall off just because I condescend to eat from this latest take-out joint.  The male (who is larger and fatter than the female) likes to sit out on the back porch with his wine and watch me eat.  Being the athletic type, I jump three times my height to hang from the feeder by my hind legs.  To eat, I do crunches to the bottom of the feeder where I grab a few seeds then eat them while I’m hanging upside down.  The male can’t do that.  He only gets up to sweep away the excess seeds left the sloppy birds, pour himself another glass of wine, or fetch some nuts which he leaves on the table for me to eat when/if he goes back into the house .  If I don’t show enough interest in the food, he will throw the nuts at me.  I am not some domesticated dog, I don’t play fetch!

Hoover Hanging upside downSometime the female harpy joins him on the back porch.  She mostly reads and drinks water.  Sometimes she will drink wine too.  I don’t know what those two eat, but it is a lot.  Neither of them looks like they get much exercise.  Even if my girlfriend, Lucy, can’t jump up to reach the feeder, she can at least jump up on the porch, eat what is on the ground before going back out into the yard to frolic with me or climb back up the beech tree where we have our home.



America the Beautiful

American flag backlitHappy Independence Day, Americans.  Happy 4th of July everyone else (since every country that has a July has a 4th, 5th, etc.)

America’s national anthem is the Star Spangled Banner, which is notoriously hard to sing.  (If you don’t believe me, hear a non-prerecorded version at most amateur sporting events.)  Many people have proposed that perhaps our national anthem should be America the Beautiful.  It’s easier to sing and the melody is not based upon a British drinking song.

Did you know that the lyrics to America the Beautiful was written when professor and poet Kathy Lee Bates visited Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1893?

“When she got to the top of Pike’s Peak, the view was so beautiful that it inspired her to write, ‘All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse’.”

“The poem that Bates wrote first appeared in print in The Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Within a few months, it was set to music by Silas G. Pratt. Bates revised the song in 1904, after receiving many requests to use the song in publications and special services. An additional change was made to the wording of the third verse in 1913 to give us the version we know today. The song is considered by some to be the country’s unofficial national anthem.”

Here are the Lyrics:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!





Happy Hump Day

Hump Day t-shirtYou may be thinking, “Moron, today is Monday.  Hump Day is not until Wednesday.”  However, it is Hump Day for 2018.  Half a year ago we celebrated New Year’s Day, 2018.  In another half a year, it will be New Year’s Day 2019.

Has the year been what you expected?  Did any of your New Year’s Resolutions make it out of the month of January.  What can you do to make the rest of the year better?  (Each of us defines better in different ways.  Is it being kinder, healthier, richer, more generous?)

Here are 3 recommendations on how to make the rest of 2018 the best it can possibly be:

  1.  Practice random acts of kindness.  It will cost you nothing and will make you and/or somebody else feel better.  Some days, it can be as simple as a smile or taking the time to listen to someone ask or tell you something.
  2.   Be receptive to beauty, kindness, generosity.  Did someone let you merge into a steady stream of traffic?  Did you hear your favorite song on the radio today?  Was the sun, rain, snow, or whatever type of weather you are experiencing touch your heart, soul, or mind?  When someone pays you an unexpected compliment, smile and say thanks.  Don’t wonder what they are up to or why they are wrong.
  3. Remember that all of us are doing the best we can with what we think we know (even the ones we ‘know’ to be misguided.  They are likely thinking the same thing about us.)

Hump Day saying