Saturday, August 27, 2005

2005 Honda Element Owner's Manual, Honda Motors

Title: 2005 Honda Element Owner's Manual
Author: Honda Motors
Rating: Poor

This was a gripping read. A real page turner. I found the instructions for controlling the ceiling light particularly intense reading.


As you might suspect, this wasn't something I'd intended to include in my list, but I've decided it does count. It's well over 200 pages long, and dry as dust, but I suspect it makes more sense than Ulysses. (Heck, if My Little Golden Book About Zogg and Doug's The Art of Shaving count, then the back of my Raisin Bran box might count too, but I digress.) Some good did come of reading it, as I did encounter a couple of nits that I have to ask the dealer about next week.

Moving off topic a bit:

We are selling our 95 Acura Integra to our excellent mechanic to make room for the new Honda Element. Why am I doing that, you might ask? Good question. The Acura is in very good condition, and would probably get me another 100,000 miles without much expense (and it's got 204,000 on it now), and it's mileage is excellent as well. However, it's a 2 door, and it doesn't comfortably sit more than 2. Rear seat passengers encounter significant chin/knee interference.

Recently my parents visited us here. They rented a Ford POS and my wife and I were ferried around by my father, who was nervous about both the car (which drove like an ancient living room couch) and the narrow mountain roads where we live. We couldn't drive the rental, and we had nothing that would haul the four of us comfortably. In a couple of months my in-laws will arrive for a stay, and I am not going to go through being held to the whims - and vehicle - of my visitors again. Not if there is any way we can avoid it.

So we bought a new Honda Element. It has lots of room, plenty of pep, and seats four comfortably. The mileage is lower, alas, but hopefully not by too much. I like the vehicle a lot, though. It is stylistically "interesting."

I hope to get back to my other reading challenges in short order, but there are other distractions at the moment.

Cheers to you all.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Certain Chemistry, Mil Millington

Title: A Certain Chemistry
Author: Mil Millington
Rating: OK

Just completed this one. It wasn't what I'd expected to read next -- I still have 2 others going on as well and thought I'd finish one or both of them before moving on to this book. Ah well.

Without spoilers, it's the comedic story of an author going through an affair. It is funny, and reasonably well written, though at times it borders on pornographic, and it certainly doesn't skimp on the profanity. For me it was a real challenge to read because I am too empathetic with the main character. Not that I'm going to have an affair or anything like one, but I still found the situations that the character was put in very uncomfortable. My reading behavior was strange here. Often I'd read a few pages, and then put the book down, unable to go on for a while, thanks to the continuing torment the main character suffers. I empathize with many main characters in novels, but this was worse for some reason. Perhaps because it felt closer to something that could actually happen than most of the other novels I've read lately

In any event, the book is amusing, particularly the interludes between some of the chapters. Millington has a way with words and certainly does his best to keep things true to life. If you want to know more about him and his writing style, you can check out his web site:

What you'll find there is very funny, though less well edited. He's famous for the page "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About." He has a novel of the same name, but (apparently) different content, which I will try reading in the not too distant future.

If anyone else reads this book, I'd really like to know what you think of it.