April 9th, 2012

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

It was a vacation. I finished several books:

First, Osprey New Vanguard #168: British Aircraft Carriers 1939 - 45 which fascinated me. I've always had an interest in naval affairs, and I'd forgotten how many aircraft carriers the British lost during the war.

Then, Hide Me Among the Graves, the new novel by Tim Powers. This was something of a follow-up to The Stress of her Regard, something of a Victorian novel about vampires, in a much more spooky and non-standard way. Very good.

Next was Osprey Warrior #108: Mau-Mau Warrior which dealt with the insurrection against British rule in Kenya.

Then, Osprey Fortress #104: Fortress Monasteries of the Himalayas showing these fortresses in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Very interesting.

Next was Osprey Fortress #96: The Fortress of Rhodes 1309 - 1522 which I didn't find as engaging as the previous two. Aegean and all that.

Then, Osprey Fortress #98: The Fortifications of Ancient Egypt 3000 - 1780 BC, which was more interesting to me; I don't know why. It just was.

Next was an ebook, Osprey Men-at-Arms #444: Napoleon's Mounted Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard which was once again more for the data on the uniforms, and less about the units' histories.

Then, Osprey Campaign #217: The Mongol Invasions of Japan 1274 and 1281, another ebook, which does a fine job of describing the Japanese desperate defense of their home islands against the Mongols, and the effects of the typhoon that save them.

Next was another ebook, Osprey Elite #29: Vietnamese Airborne which does a fair job of discussing the various airborne formations of that era who participated in the war. Moderately interesting.

Lastly, another ebook, Osprey Vanguard #42: Armour of the Vietnam Wars, which talks about the armor used by the forces, even considering the terrain and its incompatiblity with armored operations.
Dead Dog Cat

i

Saturday.

Up early. Oy.

We step out without breakfast because, you see, we were going to the Portland Farmers' Market on/near the campus of Portland State University, and we were going to eat there. However, our breath was steaming in the air, and my ears were cold, due to the temperature being a mere 36 degrees F.

Finding it was a pain, because the mapping function on our iPhone took us to the opposite corner of a long park, so it was several blocks away and not visible at first. Then, there was the ongoing parking problem...

Still, we found it, and we did eat a bit here and a bit there, and it was all good. I was especially impressed with the found mushrooms. They even find their own truffles in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. We found the proprietors of the booths to be pleasant to speak with, and they seemed honestly delighted when we enjoyed their fare. Good stuff.

We went back to the outdoor store so I could purchase a jacket that I realized after the fact that I really did want. Then, we wandered into a much less pleasant used bookstore called Cameron's where we found nothing of interest. Then we made our way towards the Portland Saturday Market.

Parking sucked. Let's just assume that as a given, no matter where we go, OK?

We were waylaid by the opportunity to wander in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, right next to Chinatown, and it was lovely, relaxing, calming. It's a beautiful place, even at this time of the year; I can only imagine how it looks when everything is blooming!

From there, we went to the Saturday Market. The less said about this, the better. Junk. Lots of it. I can't say that I looked in every booth, but I saw more than half, and I was unimpressed. On the way back to the car, we stopped for sandwiches at the Peoples' Sandwich of Portland, where we had surprisingly good sandwiches and soup in this hole-in-the-wall place. Very nice. We then wandered through an antique shop, and a leather shop that were not to our tastes, though at the latter, forestcats found something worth procuring for the Yankee Swap!

My beloved insisted that we drive a ways out of town, just to get a feel for the land hereabout. We drove out, saw the snow-covered mountains in the distance, and drove up into the forested hills west of our hotel. The overgrowth covering a former trail and a bridge reminded me of why I had so much trouble enjoying Jeremiah, since 15 years of no maintenance would destroy the roads in these regions. The forests inspired awe; the mountains were starkly beautiful. However, time marched on.

We got back to the hotel, and we both crashed. I was the one who admitted fatigue, she was the one who slept longer and deeper!

In the evening we wandered into the Alphabet District, and had dinner at a very nice Greek place called Dorio. Following that we hiked the area, and had a second dessert at Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe...delightful! Delicious candies, hot chocolates or shakes were had.

We flew back this morning.

I have one observation: TSA won't let you bring a nail clipper in your carryon baggage. However, the shops in the airport can sell you one. What senseless idiocy is this?
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

So, we fly home. Southwest's flights are always packed. In fact, it's been decades since I flew on an airplane when there were any significant number of empty seats...

We got home, the dogs greeted us, the donkey brayed loudly on our arrival in the driveway. I unpacked, and did a tiny amount of laundry.

Unwinding, don't you know?

And back to work today...