Jul. 1st, 2017

mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
What with one thing or another last weekend I didn't have time to post, so here's two weeks' worth:

First one was Osprey Warrior #31: Union Infantryman 1861 – 65. Now I have mentioned before my antipathy to deeply studying the US Civil War, though I do still dabble with books on it occasionally, and this one does a solid job of helping a person visualize what it was like fighting for the Union in that war.

Next was Osprey Campaign #45: Majuba 1881: The Hill of Destiny, the major campaign of the Boer War. Not as engaging a read as I might have hoped for, but pretty good.

I followed that with Osprey Elite #13: US Army Rangers and LRRP Units 1942 - 87; this one I found especially interesting because when I was in osteopathic school, one of my family practice instructors had served in a LRRP unit during the Vietnam War. I learned a fair amount reading this book.

Then, Osprey Fortress #68: American Civil War Fortifications (3): The Mississippi and River Forts. Here we go again with the Civil War. Control of the flow of trade on the Mississippi River was critical for both sides, but in the end it was the Union who held it. Spoiler.

Next book then was Osprey Men-At-Arms #66: Montgomery's Desert Army. I've been a student of the history of WWII for much of my life, and so because over the years I've read so much about the North African campaigns that the data in this book didn't teach me all that much, still it was a pretty good overview of the many nations involved on the Allied side.

Following that was Osprey New Vanguard #35: M26/M46 Pershing Tank 1943 – 53. This is the tank that you see in many of the movies of the post-war period. Truly too late to be a major player in WWII, but had its place in Korea and thereafter. Pretty much gone by Vietnam.

Osprey Vanguard #27: Armour of the Korean War 1950 - 53 came next, showcasing the same Pershing tank with a few others. The whole Vanguard series is out-of-print having been superseded by the New Vanguard series, and in a way this book isn't as good as the one just above, but it does look at the topic more specifically (i.e. just the one war) and then again more generally (i.e. everybody's tanks that were involved). A different way of looking at it.

Next one was Osprey Warrior #52: US Naval Aviator 1941 – 45, the details about these key and critical warriors of the Pacific War in specific. A good one.

Then, and finally in this post, was Osprey Warrior #73: Tito's Partisans 1941 – 45. In my readings in the past, Tito's effect on the war was usually acknowledged; this book details what it was like for the men who followed him. Very good.

Yes, it's a lot of Ospreys. I know. I'm slogging through several novels and other non-fiction works at the same time, but the Ospreys are relatively short, and easy to get through. I suspect next post will cover some other genres entirely.
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
Looking back on the last two weeks my mind is a blur. We had a lot of fun with a number of activities but what happened when is no longer clear to me.

Oh well.

I'm pretty sure I should start with the season's finale at Dungeonmaster. Folks had fun with it; there were a lot of funny bits. I'll let you all know when we've set next season's opening date probably in September.

The next thing that sticks in my mind was driving into Studio City to spend some time with our friend David Woolley who lives in Chicagoland. We haven't seen him in years, though we keep some contact through FaceBook. He teaches at Columbia College, and a number of his former students turned up to enjoy his company. We finally met his wife, and it turned out that the creator of Dungeonmaster also was there, Bruce A. Young. We had a terrific time chatting, meeting people, and telling each other stories about Chicago.

A couple of nights later was Mike's birthday and we celebrated again in Studio City at the Residual's Bar on Ventura Boulevard. Clearly, the birthday boy was enjoying himself, and we had a good time chatting with folks and knocking back a drink or two.

That weekend we spent some quality time on cleaning up the kitchen cabinets, dumping food that was past its prime and looking at kitchen utensils that we've never used and either placing them aside for sharing with interested folks, or throwing them out. In addition, we culled some bottles from our liquor; several were dumped completely, a few need to be gifted out to someone who wants them, and the rest were repositioned where they are more easily accessible. In the end, our cupboards are much cleaner and we can now see what we have on hand.

End of the weekend, we went to the Claremont Flappers, a comedy club we've never tried, to see a selection of comedians. The entry fee wasn't bad, but the service and the food was, and much too overpriced. Only two of the comedians were funny, thankfully the best was saved for last so we didn't leave feeling completely gypped.

Last week one of the front yard fruit trees that we planted this last spring gave us the first of its peaches. Small, but utterly delicious! The tree is heavy with fruit, so there'll be more to eat and soon!

Wednesday night last we invited over the Greens for dinner with good food and conversation. We moved from the dinner table to the backyard and the old couch back to the dinner table where the cat managed to spill a glass of ice water into my lap, capping off the night. We discovered later that the beagle had stolen the last of the bread which led to a very pudgy dog.

At this time of year, every Thursday night at Gate 1 of the Fairplex, where the NHRA has their museum, they have a food truck event, and we generally go. A couple of weeks ago, the theme for us was lobster, while this last Thursday we took the daughter of a friend with us, and had quite a variety of flavors. Wonderful!

My beloved spouse wanted to see the movie Beatriz at Dinner with Salma Hayek, a fairly difficult film to describe. Hmm. How about "immigrant woman ends up at dinner with members of the 1%"? It was kind of hard to watch as they clashed; we were rooting for Ms Hayek.

I'm sure there's more to the week that I've forgotten; clearly a lot of my attention was on work as there's been some administrative duties that I've had on my plate. But it's been a good spell overall.

Have a good week!

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