Jan. 15th, 2017

mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
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!
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
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 Bridget's 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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