Saturday, January 31, 2009

A city that never sleeps

The spruce mill and the pulp mill may be long gone, but Ketchikan is still a night-shift town: nurses, cab drivers, police officers, cannery workers, grocery clerks, bartenders and deckhands all toil away while we're snuggled down under our blankets. I've dabbled with the edges of night shifts - 5 am baker, midnight grocery clerk - but to be a true nighthawk is to live in another world. Nightshift NYC provides a glimpse into this world in the most 24-hour city in America. Russell and Cheryl Shaaman listen to the stories of transit workers deep in the subway, waitresses at all-night diners, cab drivers and ferry workers delivering intoxicated revelers home from Manhattan, and the guys down at the Fulton Fish Market. Oddly enough, most of the people they talked to choose to work the night shift. The traffic's lighter, the tips are better, and it frees up their day to spend with their kids. Sprinkled with striking black-and-white photos from Corey Hayes, this book is a really interesting look at a lifestyle many of us don't ordinarily think about until we happen to be out at 4 am. If you're looking to meander through late-night, big-city life without actually being on the NYC subway in the middle of the night, you can't go wrong with this book.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Women of a certain age

If you were a high school or college-age girl during the 1990's, the chances are pretty high you had a Tori Amos CD somewhere in your room. Her introspective, somewhat angst-ridden music - delivered with a high, breathless voice - was perfect for people who were trying to deal with the awkward transition into womanhood and a dawning interest in social and political ills. If you would like to replay those days of your youth, or if you would like to know what all the fuss was about, you can check out Tales of a Librarian: a Tori Amos collection.
Being a librarian, I got a chuckle out of the fact that the titles are all listed with their appropriate Dewey call numbers and LC subject headings. (If you didn't understand all that jargon, you probably wouldn't chuckle at the title list). I was never a huge Tori fan, but I will say that her lyrics can be extremely powerful - "Me and a gun" - her piano playing is fabulous - "Cornflake girl" - and her voice can be very stirring at times - "Crucify". She is unusually whimsical in "Mr. Zebra", a song which is reminiscent of a Lewis Carroll poem. In going through this album, my favorite track would have to be the dance remix of "Professional widow", since it's hard not to get up and dance around the room when it's on. So you don't have to be one of the legion of Tori fans to appreciate this CD, but since some of the lyrics can be a bit graphic and disturbing, it's definitely something I play when my young daughter is out of the room.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Required listening

Louis Bayard's latest historical mystery, The Black Tower, has been receiving fantastic reviews. He has garnered praise from Publishers Weekly, Bookmarks, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist for this great story set in France after the fall of Napoleon. The Bourbon monarchy has been restored, and the newly created Sûreté Nationale (the French equivalent of Scotland Yard) is being led by the colorful ex-criminal Vidocq.
Vidocq is currently investigating the possibility that the Dauphin - son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - did not die during the Revolution in the notorious Temple prison, but was instead smuggled to safety. Treachery, political intrigue, historical color and wonderful characterization come together in this novel. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of thriller and a little bit of history (Eugène François Vidocq was actually a real person), this story offers a little something for everyone.
We not only have this in book format, we also have the audio version. Read by Simon Vance, who did such a great job with the voice characterizations in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, the audiobook makes for compelling listening.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now I know who to blame

What do Muhammad Ali, Bob Dylan and Hulk Hogan have in common? They all drew inspiration from a Nebraska-born wrestler (what is it with those Nebraskans?) with platinum-blond hair named Gorgeous George. An absolute king of showmanship, George's career was customized for the exciting new media of television. With his flamboyant outfits, carefully curled hair and trademark sneer, he was this bizarre mixture of feminine and masculine whose shtick predated that of Liberace.
Gorgeous George: the outrageous bad-boy wrestler who created American pop culture, by John Capouya, details George's metamorphosis from a traditional, if somewhat boring, wrestler into a consummate showman who clowned around with Bob Hope and Burt Lancaster, sold out performances at Madison Square Garden, and had his own fan club (Bess Truman was rumored to be a member, but I have my doubts). This is a story of his rise to fame, his excessive behavior, and his tumble into obscurity. He eventually ended up living in a flophouse in Hollywood, dying of alcoholism. His legend lives on, though, and his career has influenced a wide range of performers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Got an hour or two to kill?

We have a new book that is guaranteed to make time stand still for you. It's The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker and - like salted peanuts - ya can't stop at just one. Edited by Robert Mankoff and covering 80 years of work from some of the most brilliant cartoonists ever, this book will completely suck you in. You might tell yourself you're just going to look at one or two, just flip through a couple of pages, and the next thing you know a couple of hours have gone by.
The New Yorker cartoons are something special because they are almost always one panel, with a very short caption. Therefore, the cartoonist has to distill the idea (the joke) down into it's pure essence. The thing that I have found most striking in going through this retrospective is how timeless these cartoons are, and how universal the themes are: marriage, parenting, business, finances and sports. In fact, there's something mildly depressing in the fact that the troubles and crises that the cartoonists were poking fun at 40, 60, 80 years ago are still firmly in place today.
And just on the offchance that reading the cartoons themselves doesn't use up enough of your time, the book also comes with two CDs that contain all 68,647 cartoons that were published in the pages of The New Yorker. You can search for cartoons by your favorite artist, the year you were born, or a particular subject matter. For instance, the first disc (1925-1965) contains 25 library-related cartoons. You can print them off. You can email them to friends. You can hassle your coworkers to come "take a look at this one, it's really good".
2008 was a grim year. Start 2009 off with a chuckle.

Summer in the library

There may be snow and sleet outside, but by some freak happenstance, all of the flowering plants here at the public library are blooming at the same time. We have three beautiful Christmas cacti in a variety of shades: red, magenta and coral. Our African violet is studded with pretty purple blossoms, and next to it our shamrock plant (or it might be an oxalis...I always mix the two up) is shooting up a few delicate white flowers. Even our peace lily has 4 lovely stalks topped with a pretty white bloom.
It's not the Kew Botanical Gardens, but it's something to notice the next time you come in to the library for a visit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


There are movie stars, and then there are actors: giants on both stage and screen who manage to captivate audiences with some kind of internal fire. We have three new biographies that focus on some of the most famous and powerful actors of their generation: Marlon Brando, Richard Burton and Christopher Plummer.
They were all born within 5 years of each other, in three different countries, and they have left their own imprints on the craft of acting. Brando was born in Nebraska in 1924, Burton in a Welsh mining village in 1925, and Plummer was born in Toronto in 1929. Multiple wives, heavy drinking and explosive tempers added as much to the legendary auras of these three men as their acting skills. And, of course, for every Oscar-worthy performance and every classic stage play they have a corresponding clunker in their closet: Last Tango in Paris, Cleopatra and Star Trek VI. But hey, you need to make money for all those alimony payments.
The writing style of each book is somewhat different. Stefan Kanfer has produced a standard biography of Marlon Brando, with a bibliography & an index & a section of photos. Michael Munn's biography of Richard Burton is basically a collection of interviews and recollections from people who knew and worked with Burton. There are no photos whatsoever, although there is an index and list of Burton's plays and films. Plummer has written his own biography (or, to be precise, his autobiography), and he includes no index and the grainy photos are interspersed with the text.
"What does it matter if it has an index, or where the photos are?" I hear you ask. It doesn't matter, really. If you want to read about Richard Burton, the lack of photographs is a minor annoyance, not a hindrance. But if you're just browsing for a biography, little things like indexes and photos can hint at the quality of the work as a whole. Hint, hint...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Painting your living space

The last time I wanted to paint a room in my house, I went down to the hardware store with a color in mind and not much else. When I was confronted with a rainbow wall of paint chips neatly arranged on paper cards in varying tints and hues, I realized I hadn't given this enough thought. What shade of color? What mood am I trying to evoke? What about the accent colors? What about curtains, soft furnishings, pictures and knick-knacks?
What I needed was our new book Neutral Color Schemes: neutral palettes and dramatic accents for inspirational interiors by Alice Buckley. This handy little book is filled with 200 color schemes, each one featuring a main color (walls); 2 accent colors (woodwork, upholstery) and 2 highlight colors (pillows, vases, picture frames). It starts off with a discussion of moods, textures and lighting and then presents a color directory. You simply pick the main color that appeals to you, and then turn to those pages in the book to see some carefully crafted color palettes. If you're completely open to suggestion and you're looking mainly to create a particular mood, then skip the color directory and browse the themed chapters. Pick from such ideas as Parisian Elegance, Moroccan Dreams, Northern Lights, White Heat, or Stunning Seascapes.
Painting a room - moving the furniture, prepping the walls, taping the windows, laying down tarps - is not something you want to do every six months. You want to get it right the first time, and careful planning will help. Buckley's color guide will help immensely!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Audio dramas

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!!
If that's rung any memory bells for you, then you might enjoy some new audio dramas we've added to the collection. Like those thrilling radio shows of yesteryear, these titles feature of cast of talented actors whose vocal abilities bring to life a thrilling story.
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett is the classic American noir story first published in 1929. Eighty years later, Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh and Edward Herrmann come together to dramatize the story of tough-guy P.I. Sam Spade, the treacherous beauty Brigid O'Shaughnessy and the shadowy Casper Gutman.
The New Adventures of Mikey Spillane's Mike Hammer: "oil and water" and "dangerous days" features Stacy Keach as the hardboiled detective Mike Hammer, a role he played for years on television. Supported by a full cast, Keach brings the dark streets of New York City alive in two new stories written especially for this audio format.
Sweeney Todd and the string of pearls is a three-act audio melodrama based on the 1846 serialized novel that was the inspiration for various stage portrayals of the demon barber of Fleet Street. Writer and Director Yuri Rasovsky, working with the Hollywood Theater of the Ear, recreate the fascinating story with a few traditional songs thrown in for color.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What are we watching?

The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday, and the Golden Globe awards were held last Sunday night, so red carpet fever is in the air! It's always nice to scope out the most popular and critically acclaimed films of the year, and everyone loves the "Best Films of All Time" lists that critics and media outlets post occasionally. But what about Ketchikan? What are we watching? In the interests of full disclosure and the public good, I am posting the Top Ten Most Popular Films at the Ketchikan Public Library:
STOP!! Before you read any further, see if you can guess what one or two of the films on the list might be. I was completely amazed to see which films were the ones that have been checked out the most (and I will admit, that the longer a film has been in the collection, the more checkouts it has been able to rack up, so it's not the most unbiased method of determing the top ten. But hey...)

10. The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn. 424 Checkouts.
9. Broadcast News starring William Hurt. 429 Checkouts.
8. Pathfinder (Ofelas) a film from Lappland. 430 Checkouts.
7. Dr. Strangelove starring Peter Sellers. 434 Checkouts.
6. The Treasure of Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart. 438 Checkouts.
5. Strictly Ballroom a film from Australia. 442 Checkouts.
4. The Big Easy starring Ellen Barkin. 451 Checkouts.
3. A Boy and His Dog starring Don Johnson. 452 Checkouts.
2. Hearts of the West starring Jeff Bridges. 503 Checkouts.
and the winner is.....

1. Being There starring Peter Sellers. 522 Checkouts.

Wow, what eclectic movie-viewing taste we have here in Ketchikan!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

World Travel loses its best employee

I don't ordinarily post a tribute when a particular actor, musician or writer passes away, and I don't ordinarily post about items we haven't actually received yet, but today I'm making an exception to both rules. Patrick McGoohan, the brooding actor best known for his portrayal of No. 6 in the British television series The Prisoner, died today in Santa Monica. Personally, I preferred his work in that show's predecessor, simply because there was a greater range of emotional settings. He could do comedy, romance, or adventure in the wonderful Cold War spy series Secret Agent, because every episode was a new story. In The Prisoner, he was always angry and frustrated and looking for a way to escape (although it's a testament to McGoohan's acting skills that he did manage to infuse a fair amount of nuance and humanity into the role).
If you would like to see another facet of McGoohan, you can watch The Quare Fellow (when it arrives and we get it cataloged). Based on a work by the famed Irish playwright Brendan Beehan, this 1962 film is a look at death row from the point of view of a new - and naive - prison guard Crimmin (McGoohan). You never actually see the person whose execution is the focal point of the story ('quare fellow' is slang for a condemned man), but his crime and his imminent state-sanctioned death strongly affects his fellow convicts and the guards. Crimmin slowly changes from an energetic law-and-order newcomer to a man troubled with his own involvement in capital punishment. A very moving story with a powerful performance by Patrick McGoohan...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting to know you

Many moons ago, I taught Anatomy & Physiology up at UAS-Ketchikan. Teaching anatomy is easy - this is the tibia, this is the fibula. Teaching physiology is much harder, because it's almost like an act of faith. So much of our body's processes go on at a microscopic level that you just have to believe muscles contract the way they do because science says so (obviously, there are hundreds of experiments and decades of research to back up this information, but who has time to spot-check everything?). But you can't really see any of this physiological activity going on.
That's why David Macaulay's new book is so great. The Way We Work: getting to know the amazing human body diagrams out the body's processes in a way that is easy to understand and vastly entertaining. His drawings present the pertinent details while clearing away a lot of the clutter (the body is way too cluttered), everything is nicely labeled, and he uses color to highlight important aspects of the anatomy or physiology for the reader. For example, in showing the pathway of information from the eyes to the brain (pg 180), Macaulay uses 4 different colors to show how visual crossover works and where the information from different areas of the retina actually ends up in the brain. There are a few whimsical touches in his drawings that makes this book even more enjoyable (a choir of angels holding up the transverse colon, for example). I will say, however, that his more imaginative perspectives on anatomy are so unique that it takes a minute or two to orient yourself in some of the drawings. Overall, this is a book that everyone should read since everyone possesses a body, and should have some inkling of how it works.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Southeast Alaska art, culture and history

We have just added three books to our collection which highlight the tribes of Southeast Alaska. Not only are these books visually beautiful and full of interesting information, but in a community as small as Southeast Alaska, they're almost like a neighborhood scrapbook.
Celebration: Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian dancing on the land was published by the Sealaska Heritage Institute to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Celebration - the dance and cultural festival held each year in Juneau. The photos in this book come from a couple of years at the beginning of this event's history and from a couple of the most recent gatherings. The images are full of color, energy and life as dancers and artists from all over Southeast display their regalia, drumming and dancing. My favorite section is the one that focuses on the next generation: the Baby Regalia Review. With the exception of one or two shy tots, they all look like they are enjoying all the activity. Rosita Worl's text is very informative, as well.
In Sisterhood: the history of Camp 2 of the Alaska Native Sisterhood is not just an introduction to some of the ANS' most prominent members. It's also an overview of the life of Tlingit women growing up in the 1930's and 40's, a history of the Alaska Natives' fight for civil rights, and a celebration of 82 years of working to make Juneau - and all of Southeast Alaska - a better place. This aspect of Alaskan history is often overlooked, and this is the most complete examination that the subject has received to date.
Manawa: Pacific heartbeat, a celebration of contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast art is the exhibition catalogue for the "Manawa - Pacific heartbeat" exhibit that opened in Vancouver's Spirit Wrestler Gallery in 2006. Bringing together 31 Maori and 15 Northwest Coast artists, the contemporary interpretations of indigenous culture in this gallery of photos is truly gorgeous. Look for the talented work of local artists such as Norman Jackson, Isabel Rorick, Robert Davidson and Evelyn Vanderhoop.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kitchens and bathrooms

Your kitchen and your bathroom could easily be called the most important rooms in your house, since they are essentially work spaces that need to be highly functional as well as decorative. Your eyes are closed most of the time you're in your bedroom, and if your living room is anything like mine, it's so strewn with books, toys and clutter that you don't really notice the tasteful interior decoration.
Unfortunately, the bathroom and kitchen are also the most expensive rooms to remodel, so you want to do it right the first time. With our two new books from the editors at Sunset Magazine, you can plan out your renovation and make sure the end product fits your needs and tastes. Bathrooms and Kitchens not only provide you with advice about optimizing your space, building green and design schemes, but these books also ask the questions you need to think about. "Are you willing to spend time maintaining your natural stone floor?" "What counter surface do you need for the type of kitchen prep you do most often?" and "What is the normal traffic pattern in the space?". Each book also comes with a handy CD-ROM that lets you design your space, see it in 3-D, control colors, surfaces and dimensions, and create detailed plumbing and electrical plans. The pictures are beautiful and the text details a wide variety of cabinets, fixtures, floor and counter surfaces and lighting suggestions.
Even if you're not preparing for your own remodel, I guarantee these books will hold your attention as you thumb through the pages and fantasize about your dream house.

Why not, indeed?

We were originally scheduled to have Juneau magician Jeff Brown (one of our favorite performers and a huge crowd-pleaser) do two Alaska-themed magic shows today. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, he was unable to fly from Wrangell to Ketchikan.

Upon being told this, one perceptive 5-year-old boy asked "Why doesn't he just do a magic trick and get himself out of Wrangell?" Good question.

Jeff's show will be rescheduled for later this spring...


Friday, January 9, 2009

Books as art

500 Handmade Books: inspiring interpretations of a timeless form takes the craft of bookbinding and elevates it to a visual art. The definition of 'book' here is pretty loose, encompassing anything from a sheaf of papers stitched along one side (the type of object most of us think of when using the word 'book') to an accordion-folded paper decorated with intricate paper cutting to tiny scraps of text rolled into bundles and held in a yarn bowl. Used teabags, goat parchment, sheets of plastic, nylon screens and computer circuit boards have all been crafted into unusual examples of the ancient codex form. From a librarian's point of view, the most interesting thing about this gallery of handmade books is that the actual text of the book is often immaterial or just plain missing. If you look at books as a physical storehouse and delivery device for information (be it through words or pictures), then the examples in 500 Handmade Books are like empty shells.
That being said, this is a lovely book to thumb through and admire. It is not a bookbinding manual, or a guide for crafters. Instead, this is an art gallery in paper format. And what better tribute to the beauty of books than this concrete example of how books bring information and experiences into the hands of their readers?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The halibut season is closed right now, but who doesn't have a few pieces of locally-caught halibut sitting in their freezer, just waiting to be devoured? The nice thing about this fish is that it is like a blank slate - so light and mellow that you can do anything with it. Smother it in a cream sauce for a filling, winter dish or grill it with a lemon-pepper baste for a perfect warm-weather treat. Our newest cookbook, Halibut edited by Karen Barnaby, provides over 100 different ways you can turn that chunk of frozen fish into something truly delectable. Since Chef Barnaby and the book's publisher both hail from Canada, ingredient amounts for these recipes are provided in both standard and metric amounts. Most of the recipes are low-key and simple to follow, while even the more complex entries (such as Baked Halibut with Tapenade Crust and Caponata) are easy for intermediate cooks. With the exception of a few unusual ingredients - lavender and blood oranges, for example - most of the necessary supplies are easily obtainable in Ketchikan, and the variety of cooking techniques in this book - grilling, poaching, baking, frying - make it attractive for a wide range of cooks. My only quibble is with the photos. The few that are provided (not every recipe gets a photo) look very nice, and the food is artistically presented, but they are clumped in a couple of sections rather than accompanying the actual recipe. I'm a visual cook, and I need to see the finished product before I get fired up enough to want to make it. This is an essential cookbook for Southeast Alaska, regardless of the photo issue.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One, two, three

For those of you who are familiar with Jimmy Cagney's creepy portrayals of gangsters in films such as White Heat and The Public Enemy, we have a treat for you. One, Two, Three is one of Cagney's later films (1961) and it is a wonderful farce that shows his explosive energy and great comic timing. Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot), this film is set in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Doesn't sound like a promising background for wacky comedy, but trust me...
Cagney is soft drink executive stationed in West Berlin who is saddled with babysitting the boss' beautiful teenage daughter. Not too bad a problem, until she comes home with her new husband Otto in tow - a Communist agitator. Otto is played by Horst Buchholz, who was the pretty boy in The Magnificent Seven. He's not the greatest actor in the world, but he does an appropriate job of portraying a surly young man.
However, it's Cagney's rapid-fire delivery and over the top fits of temper that are the true source of pleasure in this movie. His attempts to teach the young man to become an acceptable capitalist and son-in-law before the boss arrives are pretty comic, and when the East German police throw a spanner in his works, the pace gets cranked up a notch. There's a scene of Otto being broken by the Communist agents by having to listen to "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" that seems not quite so funny in these days of debate over what is appropriate interrogation and what's torture, but the rest of the movie is light and amusing. A true gem for anyone who admires the talents of James Cagney or Billy Wilder.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Truth in advertising

In this age of spin, marketing and double-speak, it's refreshing to see a book that delivers precisely what it promises. Simply Elegant Flowers is exactly that: a guide to creating beautiful, elegant arrangements with simple flowers that are easy to obtain (even in Ketchikan). Written by Bob Shuman, and filled with advice from Michael George - who is the flower stylist for the New York City elite - this book is a must for anyone who doesn't know what to do with their flowers. George lists the 5 "hot blooms" to arrange these days, three of which (alstroemeria, roses and carnations) are always available at the local grocery store. He also recommends irises, Gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums for economical but lovely displays. Most importantly, he shows you how to work with the darn things. He includes advice for prolonging your blooms, since even the cheapest flowers aren't that cheap, and the steps to take to restore "air-blocked" roses: roses whose stems are drooping. His instructions on how to arrange flowers are easy to follow, and will produce lovely bouquets of tulips, roses, peonies, dahlias and daisies.
In the second part of the book, he goes through the year of flowers. For each season, he lists some of the popular blooms to use, the difficulty level in arranging them, and other little snippets of information. He also gives you 'recipes' for flower arrangements, listing exactly which flowers to use, how many stems you need, the arrangement technique and the tools you'll need (usually rubber bands, sharp scissors, flower food and sometimes floral foam). You can create gorgeous pieces using something as simple as a handful of lily-of-the-valley or as complex as a Parisian bouquet filled with 40 stems of flowers, herbs, berries and foliage. A special choice for Ketchikan: a lovely tabletop arrangement of cedar twigs and chamomile (often available at the store).
Simple. Elegant. Flowers.

My bad

On Saturday's post, I wrote that raw food is not supposed to get above 188° F. That was a typo - raw food is actually not supposed to get above 118° F. I apologize for this error, and hope that it didn't cause any confusion.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Faux food

We have two new cookbooks on the shelf that have only one thing in common: they are all about culinary impostures. Cheater BBQ disguises crock-pot cooking as authentic slow-roasted barbecue, while Everyday Raw teaches you how to make macaroni and cheese without using macaroni, cheese or heat.
According to chef Matthew Kinney, the goal of a raw food diet is to not let anything pass your lips that has risen above 118° F, and to not eat any animal-derived products at all. It's a lot harder than you think, and the next time you sit down to a meal, see if you can find anything on your plate that meets those criteria. So if you are interested in pursuing a raw food lifestyle, Kinney's book is an incredibly helpful primer on how to conjure up substitutes for the food you used to love: mashed potatoes (pureed raw jicama), steak (dehydrated portabello mushrooms), scrambled eggs (mashed-up tofu) and bread (dehydrated flax meal paste). He even shows you how to make a ricotta substitute using macadamia nuts. My one quibble: a lot of the sweet recipes call for maple sugar, which is maple tree sap that has been boiled for hours. Not raw!
Now that we've left off the paragraph about raw vegan food, let me quote a line from Cheater BBQ: barbecue anytime, anywhere in any weather by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn. "Liquid smoke is exactly that - smoke from smoldering hardwoods or fruitwoods, condensed in water with impurities and carcinogens removed." Ahh, the anti-raw food diet. Living where we do, it's hard to maintain a really good barbecue pit for those slow-cooked pork ribs. How much better it would be if you could just pop them in the crock pot with a dry rub and a little liquid smoke, and when you get home from work dinner is ready. Sauces, dry rubs and cooking techniques are all combined here to make a variety of pretend-grilled meats. Even salmon!

Friday, January 2, 2009

April 15th is coming up!

Believe it or not, we have already had people asking us when we will have the IRS forms out on display. How conscientious is that? Ordinarily, we put the forms out at the beginning of the year when the Christmas tree in the lobby gets taken down. Due to the wacky weather, tho, it will be a little longer before the Ketchikan Garden Club is able to come in and take off all the beautiful hand-made ornaments that they used to decorate the tree (if you haven't been in to look at it, you really should pop by before it's gone).
In the interim, however, we have two things to offer you:
1. All the IRS forms are available on their website - - and we would be happy to print them off for you (our charge for printing is .10¢ a page)
2. We have the new J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2009. The advantage of looking at this book now (as opposed to April 14th) is that you have plenty of time to look at the new rules, your various options for tax deductions and hints for filing. Also, if you get a jump on your taxes now you don't have to worry about this book being checked out when you need it.
So until the tree comes down and the forms go out, we will do our best to assist you with your tax needs and commiserate about your tax bill.