May 1st, 2017
April 30th, 2017
I tried, I really tried, but I couldn't get into the book I was asked to read. I'll have to send a report to the author, and I'm embarrassed about it.
Anyway, here's two weeks of reading other books that I actually finished. Let's start with Osprey Vanguard #33: German Light Panzers 1932 - 42, an older book on the subject which was reasonably good reading. Follow that with Osprey Vanguard #37: Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, modern for the date of publication, somehow it didn't quite gel for me.
Later I read Osprey Campaign #44: Pavia 1525: The Climax of the Italian Wars, not as interesting as I'd hoped for; then The Complete Tales from the Con, not really a graphic novel but a collection of funny drawings about typical events, heavily exaggerated, at comic conventions. If you're a fan, it's a fun read.
Then there was Osprey Elite #57: The Royal Marines 1939 – 93 which I found to be a solid read about the regiment's relatively recent activities. Follow that with The Hogwarts Collection Volumes 1 – 3, a bunch of quick writings which go into more details about the backgrounds of a number of characters as well as other bits of history from the Harry Potter series. Eh.
Finally I finished reading another Osprey, this one being Osprey Fortress #62: Soviet Field Fortifications 1941 – 45. The detail in this one was pretty fascinating.
The last few weeks are a complete blur in my mind. We were doing a vast number of things in preparation for yesterday's event at our home, and not completing everything that we were trying to do. The fruit trees are in, the yard is prepped, the new couch is in the den, and the old one is out in the yard for comfy seating, cooking has been and gone. Cleanup? Well, there's still a couple of hours worth of work to do with that, to be honest. Duck bones are being made into stock for the upcoming year...
Somewhere in the mess we watched a couple of Netflix discs: Trumbo which was a good film; also Passengers which was pretty stupid.
Friday night two friends of ours, sekl from San Jose and Tom from a Chicago suburb flew in to join us for the next day's festivities. They were both instrumental in getting the final polish on our yard/house for the event.
Yesterday we were a bit worried because we were having a wind storm the evening before and in the morning and we were having trouble setting up for Carnivore's Feast. The winds died down pretty much just as we started having folks arrive and so though the temperatures were higher than they've been the last few years, all-in-all our festival turned out fun. Turn-out was the lowest its been for some years but I'm not disappointed in that it meant that each individual got more of my attention and I wasn't forced to cook the whole time. Lovely party, and I'm glad that we had so many friends new and old who could attend.
Today then will be devoted to cleaning and recovery. Heavy on the recovery.
Sorry I missed your birthday, sarahliz, but I didn't get online for something like 48 hours. I hope you had a wonderful celebration!
April 26th, 2017
April 25th, 2017
April 23rd, 2017
April 18th, 2017
April 16th, 2017
April 15th, 2017
And I somehow managed to miss commenting on another read from last week...embarrassing. Anyway, it was Osprey Vanguard #31: US Half-Tracks of World War II, a book that I found fascinating. I've always been intrigued by half-tracks since before I knew anything at all about history; I think I had a toy half-track before I had a toy truck as a kid. This was a good work on the US version with all its good and bad points.
The activities of the last week are something of a blur, mentally. I know much of what we did but the timeline in my head is a bit messed up.
Let's start with last weekend.
We were supposed to join the family for an early Seder just before Passover, but I was struck down by food poisoning and rather than let me be a hero and tough it out, driving over an hour to my sister's place, my beloved called her up and cancelled. Honestly, she was right; had I gone I doubt that I would have had the energy the next day to go to work. It turned out that I was better (let's not say "fine") the next day probably because I rested some and didn't try to be particularly stupid.
Monday night the Archers had a small Seder which we attended and it was lovely. However, something that I ate there must have be imbued with the essence of caffeine because I couldn't fall asleep until after 3AM which led to my zombification at work the next day...
I think it was Wednesday night when we helped move some lawn furniture that someone we knew was never going to use again to the new home of another friend. Following that we worked our way across the LA area looking for a place to park/eat, and found ourselves in the end at Osteria Mozza. They had good martinis, and my chosen dishes were pretty good, especially the duck, while forestcats wasn't quite as happy with some of her choices. Honestly, though, her lamb was fantastic!
Sometime during the week I finished watching via Netflix streaming season one of Samurai Gourmet which was mildly amusing in a cultural sense; last night we finished watching season three of Grace & Frankie on the same streaming service which deals pretty solidly with aging and a variety of other somewhat uncomfortable topics in a very engaging way. I think it's worth your time, if you haven't seen it.
Also in the last ten days or so I've spent a bit of time downloading videos from Amazon Prime onto my iPad and watching some of them, particularly Emeril's new show Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse. I think I have one episode left in the season; so far they've been pretty solidly good for cooking travelogues.
Preparations in our home for the upcoming event later this month continue. Yesterday a big job got finished in that the new couch replacing the decade-old one arrived. The new couch is now in place and it's very comfortable, beagle-approved. The old one has been moved into the backyard for more seating for our Feast, though it's going out to the curb (or will be donated to friends, if someone wants it) after the end of the month. I think that this weekend is going to be devoted to dealing with upstairs issues so that we have maneuvering room. I think we're also going on an expedition to one of our sources of exotic meats to get that out of the way in advance of the party. Busy, busy, busy.
How was your week?
I hit the goal of the 50 Book Challenge for 2017 last week, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to read.
The first book that I finished for the previous week was Osprey New Vanguard #32: The Long Range Desert Group 1940 – 1945 which discusses the equipment of this raiding group that got its start in North Africa messing about with the supply lines and airfields in the rear of the Afrika Korps. I've read other books going all the way back to junior high school on this organization, so this detail about their gear was moderately interesting. What amused me even more was that I then read Osprey Raid #49: Stirling's Desert Triumph: The SAS Egyptian Airfield Raids 1942 which though it does give some background on the start of the SAS in North Africa, the book is mostly about the attacks on German air bases and little about the more boring of their duties. Not bad for topical consistency.
The following book was then You Suck by Christopher Moore. He continues the stories of vampires in San Francisco with several recurring characters from previous works and he makes it a pretty amusing read. I gather there's more to come in this vein (as it were). The next book of his that I'll get around to reading is The Fool though.
Then I read last night The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic for Ages 4 – 33 and 36 – 89. If you ever read Bloom County, you'll know Bill the Cat; honestly this isn't all that much of an origin story but it was good for a chuckle or two.
I was asked by an acquaintance to read a manuscript by him and critique it, and I think that's going to tie me up reading-wise for at least a week so I don't expect to discuss much next week. I hope to find it a good read...
April 11th, 2017