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February 4th, 2017

06:51 am
Happy birthday, pantheroar!

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February 3rd, 2017

07:35 am
Happy birthday, willowisp!

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07:34 am
Happy birthday, sugarbabiedoll!

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February 1st, 2017

07:46 am
Happy birthday, dream_wind!

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January 31st, 2017

07:35 am
Happy birthday, unwilly!

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January 30th, 2017

07:41 am
Happy birthday, dewline!

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07:41 am
Happy birthday, pogodragon!

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January 29th, 2017

07:50 am
Last Sunday afternoon into the evening was the take down crew for the Road to California Quilt Show. forestcats puts together a crew of volunteers to carefully take down and prepare for shipping the various beautiful quilts that were on display for the show, allowing said volunteers to get up close and personal with them. It goes pretty rapidly as we've got it down to a science. Afterwards we had some pizza with the Tacadenas and some of their friends who helped out. Nice times!

At some point this week, we finished watching season one of The Crown on Netflix streaming; oddly enough we are also watching Victoria on Masterpiece Theater on PBS so it's sort of a "compare and contrast" situation with two reigns more or less a century apart. So much has changed, but in the monarchy so much is the same...

Today is an episode of Dungeonmaster, so I hope we'll see you there!

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07:34 am - #14, 15
Work was busy this week, so not as much reading got done.

One book that I finished was Osprey Campaign #33: Aspern & Wagram 1809: Mighty Clash of Empires, a campaign that Napoleon didn't exactly win to his chagrin. Fairly well-written book.

The other was another in a series of novels set in Imperial Rome, various mysteries, this was the next most recent, Trade Secrets. These books by David Wishart have generally been enjoyable, and this one certainly is. I've already picked up the next (and most recent) book in the series to be read.

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January 28th, 2017

07:58 am
Happy birthday, deathbylust!

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07:57 am
Happy birthday, droxy!

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January 27th, 2017

07:21 am
Happy birthday, witchofnovember!

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January 26th, 2017

07:52 am
Happy birthday, novadrome!

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January 25th, 2017

07:52 am
Happy birthday, chromeavenger!

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January 23rd, 2017

10:22 am
Happy birthday, 80smike!

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January 22nd, 2017

08:11 am
I really need to update at least twice a week as I can't recall exactly what it was I did last Sunday. Irritating. Oh, well.

At one point early in the week we stopped into a local steak place, Tony's Spunky Steer, that we used to frequent when we first moved into the area, but it had gone downhill at one point several years ago. A patient of mine recently had talked it up and insisted that things had improved and she was right! The food was good enough for future visits.

Monday night was the final night of Ground Control, the alternative/industrial/goth/whatever karaoke bar that's been nearly every Monday night for over a decade. A number of our friends and acquaintances have been attendees through the years, and so we would attend every once in a while, especially after it moved from LA to Glendale. The last night was packed and we hung out with a bunch of our friends, chatting, singing along with those brave enough to get on stage, and generally having fun. We were surprised by several folks who came in from out of town just to be there at the ending of an era. A very special night.

This week is the Road to California Quilt Show at the Ontario Convention Center and my beloved and I went to their Wednesday evening display of the quilts. As is usual for this event, the artwork is often astonishing and engaging. I spent part of my time scouting for problem quilts because today forestcats is in charge of takedown and I wanted to be ready for anything that might be difficult. We'll be going to the show in a few hours for a last look and to meet up with our crew.

Friday night we were invited to a dinner at the Archers with several of our friends. I had a rough day at work and we ended up arriving a little late, last of the attendees. Still, the company was wonderful with good food and good conversation. Then for dessert, suddenly there's this cake with candles and everyone is singing "Happy Birthday" to forestcats. We were shocked and delighted. Wonderful friends!

Just before we crashed for the night, it turned out that my youngest niece asked if my wife could pick her up to take her to the Women's March in LA. My spouse already intended to go, and a number of our friends were doing so and she hoped to meet up, so she got up especially early and drove to Northridge, picked up Sally, and went to the North Hollywood Metro station to take the train in, which worked fine. They had their adventures while I stayed home in case anyone needed to be bailed out, and did some bits and pieces around the house. I'm very proud of them, and all my friends who chose to make their opinions known.

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07:52 am - #11, 12, 13
A few more books finished this week, with progress on more that I'm likely to finish in the upcoming days.

The first book that I finished reading was a graphic novel of a title that started online called Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling. The protagonist is a woman in the Napoleonic era who's quite the adventuress; in this one she's fighting to clear her name. Amusing.

The next one I read was The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Now this one is a book of which I first became aware when I first signed up for LiveJournal, lo these many years ago. Several of the folks who had similar interests to mine commented on this author and this book specifically, and so I picked up a copy. I just had never gotten around to reading it. Finally, I've done so, and it was a fun read! The book is written about a British woman who is an investigator in a form of literary police protecting the integrity of various English works. It's hard to describe, and the alternate world takes some getting used to. Worth it, though.

Finally, there was Osprey Raid #44: Carlson's Marine Raiders: Makin Island 1942, one which wasn't much of a success though interesting in the use of submarines to bring the troops to the island. Not as good a book as some that I've read in this series.

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January 21st, 2017

08:25 am
Happy birthday, stacymckenna!

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January 20th, 2017

07:56 am
Happy birthday, quiltingdragon!

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07:56 am
Happy birthday, alnewer!

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January 16th, 2017

08:00 am
Happy birthday, hendel!

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January 15th, 2017

09:17 am
As I had posted on Facebook recently, my paternal aunt passed away last weekend. I appreciated the many expressions of support, but in honesty we weren't close. I feel very sad for my cousin her son, who is now fully an orphan and I hope to be supportive for him at this time of loss.

I posted elsewhere about doing a major amount of reading last Sunday, which is true, but I was doing it while also dabbling in a number of household chores/duties. I actually did get an awful lot done in the house and backyard, not just books completed.

During the week I finally went to a dentist. It's been too long I'm afraid, but there was little wrong that I didn't already know about, so my maintenance activities were apparently adequate. I will need some further work in March, so I commit to getting it all taken care of once and for all.

I have had something of a sore throat and a bit of a cough; not enough to slow me down too much, but mildly troubling.

We kept trying to go out to see Hidden Figures but various things including my beloved not feeling well herself (and for which I prescribed and heated up chicken soup) kept us away. Friday night when I finally got home from work my iPhone told us that a local venue had the movie at 7:40 PM, but when we arrived at 7:22 we found out that it had started at 7. Feh. So, being there anyway, we went to see Lion about a child from India, lost and kept in an orphanage who ends up with Tasmanian parents and who later searches for his original home using Google Earth. Very good film.

Yesterday was a major holiday in our household, being that it was forestcats' birthday. We got out of the house fairly early (after having her find a birthday card on her pillow at midnight from the beagles, and then I awoke her in the morning with a cup of hot chocolate...), and drove to the Autry Museum next to the LA Zoo. The Autry has a number of exhibits including pieces from the life of the West, along with a lot of material about cowboy movies. There was a really good display about Nature and the native way of life in California. Really good museum which we support with membership. We had a few more hours to kill before the main event of the day, so we went over to the Zoo and hung out with the tigers and orangutan among others before heading out to Moorpark.

Why Moorpark? I must shift focus for a moment... Do you watch Top Chef? Each season there's more than a dozen chefs who compete in the show, and many of them already have restaurants but are putting themselves on the show to show what they are made of. In a recent season there was an Italian gentleman who had a restaurant in Moorpark who did well though he didn't win his season. At one point he opened a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley, but apparently it is undergoing a renovation/rebuilding. So for her birthday, my beloved asked to try his restaurant out just to see if it was as good as we might hope.

It's a pretty long drive even from the LA Zoo, but we arrived early and were seated right away. We liked the ambiance very much; we found the service first class and the food was superlative! We had appetizers (very good lobster bisque, best calamari ever), sides of gnocchi done two ways (best I've ever eaten) and an entree of rabbit in pasta that was outstanding. My wife had one of her favorite cocktails while I had a glass of excellent temporanillo wine. The desserts were amazing! Afterwards we had to walk off the buzz a bit, and found that the same strip mall had a Tractor Supply, and we laughed at what appeared to be 300 gallon water troughs. Then home, a tiring drive.

Nice way to finish last week!

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08:54 am - #3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
After having had a slow week for book completion, I followed that with a blazingly fast week. More specifically, I spent most of the day on Sunday reading, and I finished a number of books that day.

Anyway, here they were:

First book that I finished was a compilation of columns written by the Chicagoan Mike Royko, called Slats Grobnik and Some Other Friends. The pieces set the scene of Chicago in the early 70s, the Nixon years as it were. In this one, it's after the riots at the Democratic National Convention, and the elder Daley and his crew have years yet to be in power. I found the book pretty fascinating and funny. Royko was best known for writing the book Boss which is about Chicago under the first Mayor Daley. If you're from Chicago, this book is well worth reading. If you're not, the columns are still interesting for the style.

Next was Hobby Games: The 100 Best, a series of columns written by gamers and game designers about a list of famed games. I've played or collected maybe twenty-five of these, and I'm sure that the columns are supposed to persuade me to pursue the others, but in all honesty they didn't have that effect on me. Still, it was fun to see the write-ups of the games I know, and heck, some of the columns were written by people I know, so that was fun in a very different way. Mostly aimed at gamers.

Then we have Osprey Fortress #49: The Spanish Main 1492 – 1800. If you're interested in pirate lore, this is a good resource for describing the places that they would raid. I found it engaging, especially in light of certain campaign games that my friends envisioned running in the past using Wooden Ships and Iron Men rules. Not bad at all.

Next was Delilah Dirk and the Easy Mark. I've read another Delilah Dirk item online, and recently purchased the second book of the saga for reading, but this one is a short piece where Ms. Dirk's associate is manipulated by a cat. If you like the graphic novels of this series, this is an amusing interlude. If not, don't bother finding this online.

Then, The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson, as opposed to the book of the same name by a different author that I read several weeks back. In that one, a company of dwarves dungeon delve while in this one, a rogue recruits a young man into a legion of adventurers who practice their skills together. In all honesty I found both books engaging for different reasons. The book I just finished appears to for the moment stand alone, while the book I read previously already has a followup novel which I'm pursuing. Good for gamers or fantasy enthusiasts.

Next book that I finished was Osprey Men-At-Arms #49: The Coldstream Guards, a book about the second regiment of the British Guards Brigade. One of the oldest regiments still active in the British military, this book was a quick overview up until the 1970s. I bet there's been some more action for them since...

Then, Osprey New Vanguard #24: Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank 1979 – 1998, a book I found a bit technical for my taste.

Next was then Osprey Raid #43: Kill Rommel!: Operation Flipper 1941. Most of the Raid series deals with successes, though not all, and this one fits into that description. Too bad, no?

On to the next week's reading!

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08:09 am
Happy birthday, rockinhorseman!

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January 14th, 2017

07:51 am
Happy birthday, corveys!

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This ain't no party, this ain't no disco...

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