May. 14th, 2017

mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
This is about two weeks' worth because I didn't have Internet access for a couple of days last weekend. I was out of town, which led to me having more reading time.

First finished book or story or whatever was Faster Gun by Elizabeth Bear, something of a time travel story with aliens in the Wild West. Eh, I'm not that fond of time travel stuff so it didn't amuse me as much as I'd hoped for.

Next was Osprey Men-At-Arms #62: The Boer War, once again an older book of this series and thus with lesser quality plates. It does do a fair job of setting the political stage.

Then, Andorra the Hidden Republic, a rather old book (pre-World War I, I think) that I downloaded from the Internet Archive which deals partially with the history of this tiny country in the Pyrenees, and partially with the travels of this American that included visiting the place. Moderately interesting especially as I've been listening to a podcast about the Albigensian Crusade which took place not far from there.

Follow that with The Monarch of the Glen, something of a retelling by Neil Gaiman of the Beowulf saga using characters from American Gods. Short piece. Good work.

Then, Osprey New Vanguard #33: M3 & M5 Stuart Light Tank 1940 – 45, not the best-designed piece of work an American has ever done.

Next then was The Key to the Coward's Spell by Alex Bledsoe, a short story piece from his Eddie LaCrosse series (I'm not sure about the spelling). Hired to find a lost boy, it deals with trafficking in children in a magical realm/fantasy world. I've liked this series and I hope the author writes more novels in it.

Then I read Osprey Raid #34: Oldest Allies: Alcantara 1809 which discusses the British and Portuguese alliance in the Napoleonic Wars and the raids that knocked the French back from Portugal during the Peninsular Campaign. Pretty solid writing.

Next, Fool by Christopher Moore, something of a retelling of King Lear in a comedic way. Very good read.

I followed that with Osprey Vanguard #38: Mechanised Infantry which gives a general talk about how the infantry supporting tank units are brought to the front in a combined arms fashion.

Then there was Dr. Blink Superhero Shrink: Id. Ego. Superego!, not so much a graphic novel as a collection of pieces dealing with a world full of superheroes who need counseling help as much as the next guy.

Next was Vulture Peak by John Burdett, the fifth mystery novel by this author set in the Bangkok police service. It deals with organ selling on the black market.

Finally I can report finishing Osprey Warrior #60: Sharpshooters of the Civil War. As I've said before, Civil War history is hard for me to read because of my own failure to accept emotionally that the US could have broken apart. Even given my prejudices, I found this book to be a good read, addressing a number of issues leading to the formation of these units on both sides of the conflict.

Whew!
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
Following the Carnivore's Feast we slowly cleaned up as well as finishing doing a few of the things we'd hoped to get done in advance of the party. I've pulled down the torn umbrella and swapped it out for a spare, for example. The dishes are done, the house is livable.

Since then we've seen Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume Two in the theater (fun; don't overthink it), had a few meals out, and recovered.

I spent several days in Las Vegas for medical education; the first few days without my spouse, but the latter few with. Before she joined me, I went out to see Penn & Teller at the Rio; reasonably fun show that. I also found a Chicago chain restaurant near my hotel, and Cliff joined me so we could have a stuffed pizza for dinner; very nice...Giordano's. Now I've eaten at the chain in Florida and Nevada. I wonder if they've hit SoCal yet? I watched a fair amount of Amazon Prime shows, too. The course was solid, and I learned plenty.

When Bridget joined me, we went to a pho place that Tina, a friend, had highlighted on her FaceBook, called District One. Since they had pho with a whole lobster as well as pho with bone marrow, my wife and I had to try it, and Cliff joined us there again. Yummy! Follow that with dessert in the same strip mall at a place called Snow White and it's all Tina-themed!

On the Saturday night the two of us went to see a Cirque d'Soleil show (did I spell that right???) at the Bellagio called O, which was spectacular...it involves a pool onstage! I can honestly say that there hasn't been a Cirque show yet that I haven't enjoyed.

Sunday morning we had brunch at a cafe at the Paris casino/hotel, and then headed back home. It took forty minutes just to get out of the parking lot! There were traffic jams at several points, but we missed one by my wife's brilliant attention where we crossed a portion of desert to get from I-15 to I-40 to get into Barstow. It worked out quite well.

I had meant to take a couple of Netflix discs with me to the hotel that I thought my wife wouldn't have any interest in, so this weekend I tried to watch The Dungeon Masters, a documentary which was horrible and which I dumped maybe fifteen minutes into, and then I did watch another documentary called Reclaiming the Blade which talks about fighting styles of the sword and the resurgence of people's interest in the subject. Cool work.

And so into the week we go...

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