Sunday, October 30, 2011

Good Books: The Diviner's Tale

The Diviner's TaleThe Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow

Lovely prose, but I'm not totally happy with the protagonist's angst level. She's a bit cringe-y for my taste, constantly worrying about what society thinks of her and trying to shield her obviously quite capable kids from any information that might help them solve the mystery together. We'll see how it pans out...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Good Books: Saturn's Race

Saturn's RaceSaturn's Race by Larry Niven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting, slightly cyber-punk tale of the not-so-distant future where human-machine interfacing is possible...for the very rich. Nice elitist scientist Utopian intrigue. The audio version read by Scott Brick is quite nice; he's one of my favorite book readers and has just the right voice for this story.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Good Books: The Big Burn

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved AmericaThe Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Captivating account of the Big Burn of 1911 in (mostly)Idaho. More than that, it's a good look into the M.O. of Teddy Roosevelt and the first Forest Service Director, Gifford Pinchot, and how they set up the National Forest system in the face of clear-cutting by industrialists. Explains a lot of what we take for granted today re. conservation.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

This year SteamCon will be in Bellevue, just east of Seattle, on October 14-16. My other half, Gordon Frye, will be giving a few talks and hosting a few more. Here's his schedule:

Friday, 6-7 PM "19th Century Submarines, Fact and Fiction" (moderating)
Saturday, 10-noon, "19th Century Firearms"
Naval gatling gun at Pt. Gamble, June 2011
Saturday, 1-2, "Steamy Sailors" (moderating)
Sunday, 11-noon "Ironclads of the Civil War and the Race for Naval Domination"
Sunday, 2-3, "Confederate Privateers"

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 05, 2011

'bye, mom!

My mom passed away a week ago tonight. I'm still sort of in shock. It wasn't a surprise. Her cancer of many years ago sprang back, this time in her liver. From diagnosis to death was less than a month, but she had been declining before that.

I'm not really sad, because I'll see her again in a much better place. We're both Christians, and that really does make these times much easier. Still, it's a jolt, and especially hard for my dad. They were married 55 years. He'll never go through a tougher patch than he is right now.

Cowboys & Aliens

I haven't seen a movie this good in awhile. Going to have to think about it a bit. Going to need to see it again soon. Good work all around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

QOL: Tea

I love tea, especially green tea, which is good for you and doesn't need sweeteners or cream. In Western culture, we tend to focus on food when we gather together in large or small groups. We can't seem to socialize without a large caloric intake. Why not try serving a really good, satisfying tea instead, when company comes to visit? At our house we always have coffee going in the winter, but year round when somebody comes by after noon, the first thing I (usually) do is put the kettle on.

My green tea brewing habits have been pretty slapdash in the past, often not even waiting for the boiled water to cool for five minutes before infusing (I know, I'm barbarian), but after discovering the Chan Tea site via a tweet by Tula Teas, I think I may have to change my ways. I can already smell the perfume of properly brewed green tea!