WEEK 52 2011
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
Saturday 31 December 2011
Saturday - New Years Eve. I spent it
with friends, eating home made pizza, watching some stuff on Netflix
and surfing the web on a borrowed tablet (Nook Color, actually). We
watched American Scary, then something about a day in the life of the world - well done (but I can't remember the title), then the first two episodes of White Collar. I'd forgotten how fun and quick that show was, at the beginning.
Midnight was something of an anti-climax - no horns, bells,
firecrackers or guns going off. WUWT? My friends have a generally nicer
neighborhood than me, and it shows at this time of year. When I went
neighborhood was still jumping, horns and Chinese firecrackers going
off. I slept on the couch downstairs (quietest room in the house) with
earplugs in and a cat draped over me.
Looking back: It was kind of a grim year. There were several funerals,
relatives and friends related. I had to put my own sweet Phoebe to
sleep, long before his time should have come. I worked like a dog on my
parents place, trying to honor a promise to my Dad to look out for
things, without much help or encouragement. Paying engineering work was
limited. I didn't sail much because of limited visits to Oxnard and
issues with the diesel engine. Several physical injuries meant a lot of
slack time and my weight went up.
Yet, it wasn't all bad. I'm enjoying some free time - for the first
time in many years I'm not on the road every single week and/or month.
My health is generally good. My siblings and friends are all healthy. I
have siblings and friends,
unlike many in this world. I have some work, and some money coming in,
unlike so many in the country right now. My cat Riley is still alive
and kicking biting, and looks to do so for a number of years to come. The Canon T3i camera is a marvel and I've no buyer's remorse.
Mild Resolutions for 2011:
more sailing. lose some weight. get out more, do some hiking/biking.
use my camera more. get a better job if work stays so slow in my
And, oh yes, Book #150: Healer: A Novel of the LaNague Federation,
by F. Paul Wilson. This was a kindle book, an anthology of stories
about the far future, detailing the adventures of an immortal
physician. Kind of a knock-off of Old Doc Methuselah in a way. Ehh.
The interesting thing is that this was the first "loaner" kindle book
I've read. You get one a month free with Kindle Prime, which I used to
avoid high shipping costs at Christmas this year.
Update: Actually this last book should have been Book #151, since I missed tabulating the forgettable Against All Odds early in the year. I am not going to go through the blog updating references to a hundred books or so, so Against All Odds gets to be #151...
So, here we go, the list of books read this year. There were a lot,
mostly due to being chronically "underemployed" and trying not to leave
the house and spend money. And of course the Kindle cuts both ways - no
need to travel to the library & thus saving me gas, yet making it so
easy to spend just $0.99, or $2.99, or $7.99, or even $11.99. I will
say that I am trying not to spend much, my top price is now $9.99, and
even that is a reluctant outlay.
Best books of the year:
Despite the amount of sci-fi, it wasn't a particulary good year for it. Courtship Rite
was published back in the 1990's I think. Ah well. Sailing was a good
category, the Webb Chiles books were excellent overall, and the Brendan
Voyage is right up there.
The Year in Books, 2011
of the Sea
Longknife #1: Mutineer
Longknife #2: Deserter
Longknife #3: Defiant
Longknife #4: Resolute
Longknife #5: Audacious
Longknife #7: Undaunted
Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden
Wreck of the River of Stars
Troy Rising II
Free or Die
the Irish Saved Civilization
Name of the Wind
Wise Man's Fear
#25 A Galaxy
Clones of Mawcett
Sun, the Genome, and the Internet
My Father's Wake
Hell, and Salt Water
Lion on Tharthee
Passage: Alone Around Cape Horn
Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas
Spirit: The True Story of a
Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop and Unassisted Around the World
Lost Fleet #1: Dauntless
#64 The Lost Fleet #2: Fearless
#65 The Lost Fleet #3:Courageous
Lost Fleet #4:Valiant
Lost Fleet #5:Relentless
Lost Fleet #6:Victorious
Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught
#67 70 The
the Alamo: Davy Crockett's Last Stand
|#73 76 The
Wakes (The Expanse)
#79 The Hot Gate
#80 A Princess of Mars
#82 Gods of Mars
#83 Warlord of Mars
#84 Thuvia, Maid of Mars
#85 The Ocean Waits
|#86 Fifth Circle, The Passage Log
#87 Fuzzy Nation
#88 Full Share
#89 The Ice Diaries:
The Untold Story of the Cold War's Most Daring Mission
#90 Temporary Duty
|#91 Confessions of a D-List Supervillian
#92 In the Shadow of Ares
#93 Brain Cuttings
#98 The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Light in the Dark
#100 Mission of Honor
|#101 Diplomatic Immunity
#104 The Brendan Voyage
#105 The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown
|#106 The Lost Gate
#112, P2 Kon-Tiki
#113 A Planet of Viruses
#114 The Book of Dragons
#115 7th Sigma
|#116 The Magician's
#117 The Magician King
#118 The Quantum Thief
#119 The Sagan Diary
#120 The Knights of the Cornerstone
|#121 Neptune Crossing
#122 Rashomon Gate
#123, P3, Portland to Portland
#124 Black Arrow
#125 Island of Exiles
|#126, P1, Simply Sailing,
#127 The Hell Screen
#129 The Masuda Affair
#130 The Fires of the Gods
|#131 The Complete McAuslan
Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat
Unix Operating System
#135 The Informant
|#136 The Man Who Was Thursday
#137 Sandman Slim
#138 Kill the Dead
#139 Wearing the Cape
#140 Villains, Inc., Parts I, II, and III
|#141 The A.I. War: The Big Boost
Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman
Eye: The Skinwalker Chronicles
|#146 Midnight Riot
#147 Moon Over Soho
#148 Small Boat to Freedom
#149 Courtship Rite
#150 Healer: A Novel of the LaNague Federation
|#151 Against All Odds (forgot to insert earlier!)
- Not much going on here. Riley and I are just hanging out.
Book #149 was Courtship Rite, by Donald Kingsbury. This was a gift from my sister K to me this Christmas, a novel about love between cannibals.
Really. Heh. It's actually rather well done, the story of a
civilization on a distant planet, colonists stranded on a world where
the only edible meat was each other. Like one of Frank Herbert's Dune
series it is chock-a-block full of epigrammatic quotes, the perils of
predicting the future, a desert planet, and a secret sect of
courtesan/assassin's. Well worth reading.
And, for the romantic, about that courtship rite of the book's title - it's a series of seven trials to the death.
And, hey, it being the last Friday of the Year 2011, one last cat photo:
Chester watches the Christmas unwrapping (from a safe location, he never did grow to trust me).
Thursday 29 December
- I know what you're thinking: "Ed's been on the road or watching anime for the last couple of weeks, he isn't going to make 150 books read in 2009!". Hah.
I give you Book #148, Small Boat to Freedom,
by John Vigor. In 1987, to immigrate from South Africa to the United
States (and secretly & illegally taking his life's savings in Kruggerand's with him) he sailed
from Durban to Boston in a small sailing boat, together with his wife
and 17 year old son. He'd done a fair amount of sailing offshore, but
his wife and son were inexperienced; indeed, he admitted afterwards
that he didn't go on any "trial" voyages with them for fear of their
becoming frightened by the open sea or overcome by the amount of sheer
physical labor entailed. And, after the voyage, his wife admitted that he was probably correct in that assumption.
It all worked out OK, and he became a fairly
successful author in the field of sailing in America.
Wednesday - relaxing a bit. Riley was very happy to see me last night.
I went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,
at the matinée. Very enjoyable. Fairly long for a modern movie, 2 hours
plus, and reasonably well done. Wonderful settings and special effects.
There's even a semblance of a plot. Apparently Madonna's ex-boyfriend
was the director. And he can actually direct, who would have thought?
There was a trailer, the second, for Battleship, the movie.
The first trailer was longer but concentrated on the love interest and
such, this was just a shoot-em-up-coming-soon trailer...and I loved it.
Yes, I know it's a stupid idea, that it'll be lame and poorly
done...but all the 8 year olds in the theater and myself just sucked in
our breath and thought "OH FRACK YEAH...Battleships versus Spaceships".
May 2012 can't come too soon.
27 December 2011
-On the road, back to Lancaster. The 680 to the 101 to the 46 to the 5 to the 138. Heavy but not crazy traffic for about 350 miles.
- On the road, back to Fremont.
- Merry Christmas from Reno!
Chester awaits the Christmas turkey.
Cold but no snow here, alas.