Framing the Dialogue

Archive for August, 2013

Age Test

So a friend sent me this in an email and it brought back a flood of memories of my youth.  I have to admit that I am old as I recognize all of them and know the connections.  See how old you must be (answers follow)…

A.  Do you know what this is?

jiffy pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Do you know how to use this?

ice cube tray

 

 

 

 

 

C.  What is the connection between these two objects?

cassette

Free Market For Me

king kongAlmost two years ago I wrote a post about a battle between two behemoths in Pennsylvania.  Highmark is the largest health insurance provider in Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is one of the largest health care providers in the state and certainly the largest in the western part of the state.  A summary of the battle is that UPMC started offering their own health insurance years ago so they got into the insurance business.  A few years ago Highmark started to purchase some failing hospital in the Pittsburgh area.  These hospitals were competition for UPMC.  UMPC decided that it would, after an existing agreement expired, no longer accept Highmark health insurance at its facilities.  I think that I mentioned that Highmark is the largest insurance provider and that UMPC is pretty much the only game in town in the western part of the state.

Improbable

improbableImagine what a gambling addict would do with the ability to not only see the future, but affect it.  Improbable in a thriller by Adam Fawer in which the United States government, Korean intelligence, KGB, Russian mobsters and others mix in a petri dish of intrigue and death.  The story revolves around two brothers, one a schizophrenic and the other an epileptic as they wander their psyche’s in this world and the “everywhen.”  Their tale is intertwined with a rogue CIA agent who acts as both a protector and a pawn in the world of Improbable.

Jade Palace Vendetta

Jade palaceThe Jade Palace Vendetta follows the exploits of a Ronin or wandering Samurai warrior.  Matsuyama Kaze is a Samurai who was on the losing side in a great struggle in Japan for supremacy.  Now hunted by his enemies he wanders the countryside in a quest to fulfill a promise made.  His quest to find a young girl places him on a road where he is compelled to help a hapless merchant as other Ronin are trying to steal his gold.  There is much more to the merchant and Kaze must use hit wits as well as his skill with a sword to continue his quest and stay alive.

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder

red velvet“they were approaching Eden Lake and she lowered her window.  She loved the damp green smell of the lake with the teeming life beneath its surface.  Life on the shore was equally rich and plentiful.  Small animals scurried beneath the trees, insects flitted and buzzed in an effort to claim the air, and birds called from the tall trees that lined both sides of the road, their branches almost meeting overhead.”

The Neon Rain

neon rainSet in Louisiana, and mostly in New Orleans, the title The Neon Rain strikes a strong visual image for me.  I participated (okay I went to) Mardi Gras in 1985 while this novel was originally published in 1987.  I still remember many of the names of places set as scenery for this first in the “Dave Robicheaux” mystery novels written by Jams Lee Burke.  Mr. Robicheaux is a New Orleans homicide detective on a hunt for a murderer.  Makes sense except the murder wasn’t in his jurisdiction and neither the police from his jurisdiction nor the suspects really like him poking his nose around.