sailing the NorSea


WEEK 44 2009

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Saturday 31 October 2009
Saturday - sick as a dog. No Halloween parties for me! Too sick to even go out and get groceries - but a kind friend left me a package of foodstuffs to keep me going - breakfast, ice treats, applesauce. What a lifesaver. In between fever bouts I watched a bunch of NCIS re-runs, and slowly read through a very short book.

Book #66 was Patrick O'Brians Man-0-War: Life in Nelson's Navy, a very short but nicely illustrated guide to the British naval vessels at about the time of the Napoleonic wars.

Another book, that I don't have but shows up on Amazon as related and that looks interesting is Man-O-War: Stephen Biesty's Cross Sections.

Friday 30 October 2009

Friday - a long day, and I definitely am coming down with something. Bah. Well, back on the road to Lancaster, much later than I had hoped. The cats were happy to see me and piled onto my lap, sharing me for a bit. Thirty pounds of feline affection is a lot.

I took a pic with the phone, I'll have to see if it came out.

While standing in the Arundell Barranca with a friend I noticed some Monarch Butterflys. Three, in fact, despite the high winds, cool temperatures and truck activity.

"Well," I said, "there they are. Three of them though - the eternal triangle?"

And my friend immediately replied: "A Monarch  Trois?"

Thursday 29 October 2009

Thursday - I had insomnia Wednesday night, and am beginning to feel a head cold coming on. Not good - I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, before heading back to work. Bah.

I mentioned The Time Traders the other day. This is the first in a series of books written by Andre Norton. I thought The Defiant Agents was the second in the series, but it is apparently #3, with Galactic Derelict being book #2. GD doesn't show up on Project Gutenbergs Norton holdings, though TDA does.

Well, the Port Hueneme library carries it, so I might pick it up there.

And, remotely related, I see that the Camarillo public library has The Little World of Don Camillo, which I've been looking for, for some time, albeit in a lackadaisical manner.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Wednesday - stupid Yankee's.

Book #65 was The Commodore*, by Patrick O'Brian. This is the 17th book in the series (there are 21- including the unfinished last book), and is excellent. It is perhaps a little spare in places, with less of the luscious deep prose one comes to expect from O'Brian - the sea battle near the end, for example, is given rather short shift. Still it's a small failing, and the book is recommended.

I think I prefer Richard Brown to Dave Case, as narrator. Case has more of an Irish accent, and in general 'performs' the characters voices to a much greater extent than Brown does - I find it rather distracting. And I have listened to Brown so much that his voice is often the 'voice in my head' when reading something technical. Odd, but there it is..

I generally use the books on tape as commute distraction, but I've been working locally, so it's taken a while to get through the current book. I admit to sitting in my car during lunch a few times, and just relaxing to the tapes....

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Tuesday - another busy day.

One thing I forgot to mention was seeing a rattlesnake yesterday. I thought it was a small gopher snake, curled up on the channel, but it hissed and struck at me as I got near - a few feet being 'near'. Since it was only about a foot long it's striking distance was about 2/3 of that, 8 inches, so the danger wasn't great. It's the first snake I've seen in a channel, after 750,000 Feet of Inspection.

A friend took pictures, I'll post one when I get it.

 Monday 26 October 2009

Monday - back to work. I spent a number of hours in the field, but it looks as though we might hire another inspector to replace me, for the next week or so, so I can get some office work done.

Book #64 was By Heresies Distressed, by David Weber. This is the third in a series, after Off Armageddon Reef (#63, 2007) and By Schism Rent Asunder (#41, 2008). This was another typical Weber, with villainous villains and noble nobles - rather cartoonish. Better drawn are some of the supporting characters, good and bad. The plot is simply a continuation of the first two books, with a cyborg attempting to (by force) push a roughly medieval era world into a technological path, to resist a possible alien invasion.

Sunday 25 October_2009

Sunday - a slow start to the day, but I eventually reached the office and put in a few hours of work.

I talked to my friend and he said it had been an excellent haunted house - I am sorry to have missed Saturday night.

The Angels, after a one day rain delay, choked and gave the Yankee's the win. What is it about Los Angeles teams freezing up in the playoffs?  So it'll be an east coast series, Phillies and Yankee's. Yawn.

Book #63 was The Last Theorem, by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick Pohl. Eh. Both authors being experienced writers there isn't too much wrong with the book (though they have done better), but then again there is not much new or exciting or particularly well done here. The characters are cardboard, and subplots appear and disappear without much point, the aliens and their motivations are cartoonish. An evenings read, but not really recommended.

Picture of the Week
Martinez Squirrel, May, 2009

Photo Notes: Martinez Squirrel, May, 2009

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