Speaking of Big Things: Giant Book

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I came across this link on Amazon.com today… a giant 5×7 foot book about the country of Bhutan, published by Friendly Planet, a not-for-profit organization. The giant photographic book is according to Guinness World Records the largest published book in the world. This edition is limited to 500 published copies, and each copy is built expressly for the recipient, is numbered, and can include a personal dedication message. The $15,000 “price” is a donation to Friendly Planet (a publicly supported charitable organization exempt from federal income tax pursuant to IRC 501(c)(3).
Books and big things — two of my favorite things ever in one.

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Feels a bit chilly in here; there might be a draft

Brethren Agree to Revive ‘Alternative Service’ Draft Programs — Leaders of the Church of the Brethren say they will follow through on a request from the Selective Service to have “alternative service” programs in place for conscientious objectors if a draft is reinstated. As one of the historic “peace churches” that shun military service, Brethren officials were “cautious” after an unannounced visit by a draft official to a church center in Maryland last October. In follow-up meetings, draft officials urged the church to dust off long-standing “alternative service” programs that allow conscientious objectors to serve in two-year domestic service projects in lieu of military service.”

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The Nuvo Article

We went to Shalimar at lunch and grabbed copies of Nuvo to read while we ate…. The article turned out very cool. Dan Rafter is a great writer and did a great job making sense of my answers to his questions.
I have a feeling my girlfriend might have something to say about the headline “A love affair with Mr. Bendo.” Hmmm. I like him, dear, but not that way. I promise.

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Annual “Best of” Lists for 2004

Kottke.org’s Best Links of 2004

Roger Ebert’s Best Films of 2004

MSNBC’s Year in Pictures 2004

The Washington Post’s best photos of 2004

The NY Times Year in Pictures 2004

Discover chooses the top 100 stories in science for 2004

Amazon’s Best Books of 2004

Amazon’s Best DVDs of 2004

Salon Magazine’s The top 10 books of the year

Salon Magazine’s Top 10 movies of the year

NPPA’s Best of Still Photojournalism 2004

American Library Association’s 2004 Best Books for Young Adults

Popular Science’s Best of What’s New 2004

Merriam-Webster’s 2004 Top Ten Favorite Words

Inc. Magazine’s 2004’s Top 25 Companies

The Economist’s list of the best books of 2004

New York Times Book Review’s list of the 100 notable books of 2004

National Board of Review’s Films Awards for 2004

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Book Review: Indiana Curiosities

Indiana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, and Other Offbeat Stuff, by local media celebrity Dick Wolfsie. You’ll enjoy this book even if you don’t live in Indiana — and you’ll definitely enjoy it if you do. Packed with the odd and unusual, this book was filled with surprises even for me, and I’ve lived in Indiana for almost 20 years. Strange things you’ll see along the road, folks who collect or build weird stuff, bizarre legends and history… Dick Wolfsie explains them all with both wit and respect, and turns in a first-rate book that you should have with you on any daytrip you take around the Hoosier state.

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Holiday recap

Between the weekend before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, my girlfriend Stephanie and I:

1) decorated my house and put up my tree, then did the same at Stephanie’s house.

2) Attended Six family Christmases involving 3 road trips (my Grandma’s in Iowa, my mom, my dad, Stephanie’s mom, Stephanie’s Dad and Stephanie’s friend Michelle’s family Christmas)

3) introduced Stephanie to all of my family, and Stephanie introduced me to all of her family (which involved drawing up family trees to keep track of everyone)

4) Attended twelve parties between the two of us (Dan & Doug’s tree decorating party, Mittie’s birthday, Jane Rae’s birthday, Elizabeth’s birthday, Rachel’s baby shower, Jen’s Christmas party, Stephanie’s work Christmas party, John’s skating party, my thanksgiving at work, Stephanie’s thanksgiving at work, my Christmas gift exchange at work, Dan and Doug’s New Year’s Eve Party)

5) Threw a Christmas party, where we watched Christmas specials and drank egg nog and ate cookies

6) Had Christmas dinner with Stephanie’s friend Erin

7) Had my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and Dad and step mom visit to see my house

8) Missed two Christmas parties (Jennifer’s Christmas party and Michelle’s Christmas party)

9) shopped and wrapped gifts for everyone, baked holiday cookies, and sent out around 90 holiday cards

10) Attended Elizabeth’s mom’s funeral visitation

11) had two photo shoots for the Nuvo article

12) Had my furnace break down and repaired, and Stephanie’s roof repaired and front door repaired

13) Had Stephanie’s car broken into and the window repaired, had my gas tank tampered with, had one flat tire on Stephanie’s car, had the CV joint replaced on her car.

14) Loaned Stephanie’s car to her friend Jan

15) Went to Stephanie’s State Skating Competition

16) Were snowed in with a foot of snow, then had sub-zero temperatures

It’s been a hectic holiday season, to say the least. Although it was fun for the most part, I’m very glad it’s over.

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