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The activities of the last week are something of a blur, mentally. I know much of what we did but the timeline in my head is a bit messed up.

Let's start with last weekend.

We were supposed to join the family for an early Seder just before Passover, but I was struck down by food poisoning and rather than let me be a hero and tough it out, driving over an hour to my sister's place, my beloved called her up and cancelled. Honestly, she was right; had I gone I doubt that I would have had the energy the next day to go to work. It turned out that I was better (let's not say "fine") the next day probably because I rested some and didn't try to be particularly stupid.

Monday night the Archers had a small Seder which we attended and it was lovely. However, something that I ate there must have be imbued with the essence of caffeine because I couldn't fall asleep until after 3AM which led to my zombification at work the next day...

I think it was Wednesday night when we helped move some lawn furniture that someone we knew was never going to use again to the new home of another friend. Following that we worked our way across the LA area looking for a place to park/eat, and found ourselves in the end at Osteria Mozza. They had good martinis, and my chosen dishes were pretty good, especially the duck, while Bridget wasn't quite as happy with some of her choices. Honestly, though, her lamb was fantastic!

Sometime during the week I finished watching via Netflix streaming season one of Samurai Gourmet which was mildly amusing in a cultural sense; last night we finished watching season three of Grace & Frankie on the same streaming service which deals pretty solidly with aging and a variety of other somewhat uncomfortable topics in a very engaging way. I think it's worth your time, if you haven't seen it.

Also in the last ten days or so I've spent a bit of time downloading videos from Amazon Prime onto my iPad and watching some of them, particularly Emeril's new show Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse. I think I have one episode left in the season; so far they've been pretty solidly good for cooking travelogues.

Preparations in our home for the upcoming event later this month continue. Yesterday a big job got finished in that the new couch replacing the decade-old one arrived. The new couch is now in place and it's very comfortable, beagle-approved. The old one has been moved into the backyard for more seating for our Feast, though it's going out to the curb (or will be donated to friends, if someone wants it) after the end of the month. I think that this weekend is going to be devoted to dealing with upstairs issues so that we have maneuvering room. I think we're also going on an expedition to one of our sources of exotic meats to get that out of the way in advance of the party. Busy, busy, busy.

How was your week?
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I hit the goal of the 50 Book Challenge for 2017 last week, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to read.

The first book that I finished for the previous week was Osprey New Vanguard #32: The Long Range Desert Group 1940 – 1945 which discusses the equipment of this raiding group that got its start in North Africa messing about with the supply lines and airfields in the rear of the Afrika Korps. I've read other books going all the way back to junior high school on this organization, so this detail about their gear was moderately interesting. What amused me even more was that I then read Osprey Raid #49: Stirling's Desert Triumph: The SAS Egyptian Airfield Raids 1942 which though it does give some background on the start of the SAS in North Africa, the book is mostly about the attacks on German air bases and little about the more boring of their duties. Not bad for topical consistency.

The following book was then You Suck by Christopher Moore. He continues the stories of vampires in San Francisco with several recurring characters from previous works and he makes it a pretty amusing read. I gather there's more to come in this vein (as it were). The next book of his that I'll get around to reading is The Fool though.

Then I read last night The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic for Ages 4 – 33 and 36 – 89. If you ever read Bloom County, you'll know Bill the Cat; honestly this isn't all that much of an origin story but it was good for a chuckle or two.

I was asked by an acquaintance to read a manuscript by him and critique it, and I think that's going to tie me up reading-wise for at least a week so I don't expect to discuss much next week. I hope to find it a good read...
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Work on various things about the house continues in preparation for later this month's event. Beyond that, what's to say? One of two woodpiles has been cleared out; the other is pretty large but it's in an out-of-the-way spot so it can be left for now. It rained again overnight, thank goodness...
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Bits and pieces this week and so I hit the first goal.

First book finished was Osprey Campaign #42: Bagration 1944: The Destruction of Army Group Center, the battles that completely changed the strategic initiative on the Eastern Front in WWII. Nicely done in a fairly short format.

Next was Osprey Elite #54: UN Forces 1948 – 94, a good review of United Nations peacekeeping efforts during that period.

Then, Lamb: A Global History, in other words lamb as food. There's some recipes at the end of the book.

I followed that with Osprey Fortress #60: The Forts of the Meuse in World War I, which brought back memories of playing an old board game called 1914 by Avalon Hill. Interesting material.

Finally, Osprey Men-At-Arms #60: Scandinavian Armies in the Napoleonic Wars. Aside from what the British did to the Danes, I was unaware of most of this historic material so I found it pretty fascinating. The plates are meh, but the supporting text was worth reading.
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This was a very busy week. It included our 29th wedding anniversary and going out to a restaurant we've frequented many times over the years, me scurrying around to all of our clinics doing quarterly reviews, tearing apart our bedroom for some deep cleaning and furnishing changes, watching the ISS fly overhead one evening, having a couple of evening firepits to unwind. The deep cleaning is finished except for the steady return of items to their places after we've pared them down which I expect will take a few more days. The dogs and the male cats like the changes, our senior lady cat does not...
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I didn't think I'd read so very much this week, but there it is...

The first book I finished was a Sociological thing called Jennifer Government by Max Barry, which deals with a world where corporations have extreme power, but governments' powers have become very limited. It's a weird way of looking at things and was handled pretty well.

Next was Osprey Elite #215: British Light Infantry & Rifle Tactics of the Napoleonic Wars. I expected to learn a bit from this book, especially in light of my love of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series of novels, and I did. One of the better Ospreys.

Then, Osprey New Vanguard #230: Imperial Roman Warships 27 BC – 193 AD, not quite as engaging as the previous book. Read it, not retaining much...

Finally I also read Osprey Fortress #86: English Castles 1200 - 1300. There's a lot of terrific photography of those castles that still stand, and there's a number of maps that lay out the structure of a number of others. Pretty fascinating.

On to the next week!
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I'm closing in on my reading goal for the year.

First book this week was Pottermore Presents Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide, a fairly silly bit of a book about the school in the Harry Potter series of books. Fun for someone who's read the series, useless for anyone else.

Next was Osprey Vanguard #29: The M47 & M48 Patton Tanks a very similar book to one that I've read in the past from their New Vanguard series, it discusses a 1960s state-of-the-art tank. I remember making a plastic model of this one, for what it's worth.

Lastly I read Osprey Vanguard #30: Polish Armour 1939 – 45. It discusses not only the tanks the Poles had on hand when they were invaded by Germany in 1939, but also the tanks that they later got from the Allies later. Portions of the book details how they managed to get out of Eastern Europe and join the fight on the Western Theater of Operations by getting through Iran. Wild! I found this one particularly interesting for that reason.

More later!
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The weekend last weekend was especially busy.

Saturday afternoon we stopped by a party given to honor and give good wishes to Kira who is taking a job on the East Coast. It sounds like a real step up and a good job, so my wife and I wanted to show our support. Actually, we went to that party twice; first early to show our faces and then later after a show that we'd purchased tickets months in advance for.

See, Alton Brown, the food television personality and author has been doing live shows. We'd seen the first one of his last tour in Palm Desert several years ago and loved it. He has a new show that was at the Hollywood Pantages for two nights, and we had tickets for the second night, which was last Saturday. This interrupted our party-going... Anyway, the show was well-worth the ticket cost and well-worth hunting up if he's going to be in your area.

Back at the party a few hours later we had some great conversation and very much enjoyed the time with folks. I hope we'll be able to catch Kira if and when she makes a West Coast visit in the future.

Sometime during the week I took the opportunity to finish that Polish TV show, watching the DVD for With Fire and Sword 2. Meh.

We keep getting bits and pieces of work done on the yard and house for preparation for Carnivore's Feast. In addition, we've had a few evenings of hanging out restfully in the backyard using one at a time of the two newly constructed firepits, which has been very pleasant. One of them clearly is engineered to be the sort where folks hang around it and chat while the other is engineered to burn large and bright. Each has its place.

We had some folks over yesterday to run in my D&D world. As far as I can tell, everyone had a good time. Because of the impending party we'll be skipping a month and heading into May for the next one.
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This week led to a lot of dabbling in movies and the like.

We open the week by popping out to the theater to see Logan a very mature superhero movie. I liked it very much; much more than most of the other films in this particular series.

The next night my beloved was feeling pretty ill and went to bed early so I stayed up and put on a disc called With Fire and Sword 1 a Polish TV series that deals with a mid-17th Century war between the Poles and the Cossacks in a very melodramatic fashion, reflecting what was happening on the international stage by what was happening in the love life of a Polish knight, Polish heiress, and Cossack lord. Not great, and I have my doubts about the translations on the screen. What's very weird is that they rattle on in Polish, then apparently has overdubbing in Russian, and then English subtitles. I may watch the last disc, but I'm in no rush.

The night before last my beloved had another meeting and so I put on via Netflix streaming the documentary about a documentary called Night Will Fall which discusses the making of a film at the end of WWII about the discovery of the concentration camps. At first just a British project, later they added materials from the US film teams and finally Soviet. In the end it took so long to piece together that the political situation had completely changed and the documentary was never released. The film uses portions of the original documentary that are appalling, so don't watch this if you're squeamish. If released now, it would be a slap in the face of Holocaust deniers.

Last night after we took the dogs on a long-delayed walk which they clearly appreciated on such a pleasant evening, I put on Harry and Snowman a lovely documentary about a Dutch resistance fighter who came to America after the war and became a horseman here who saved a horse from the knacker's wagon for a pittance who became a famed jumper in the 1950s. Very touching piece of work.

There's a lot to be done this weekend; we'll be driving all over the place today, and tomorrow we expect to be doing a bunch of yardwork both front and back.

Have a good week!
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A few more days, a few more books...

The first one that I finished this last week was Osprey Raid #47: Behind Soviet Lines: Hitler's Brandenburgers Capture the Maikop Oilfields 1942, a military adventure that smacks of Hollywood. Not that they held it long...

Next was then Osprey Raid #48: Storming Monte La Difensa: The First Special Service Force at the Winter Line, Italy 1943 in which a combined US and Canadian force is used to bull their way through German defenses rather than being used behind German lines to disrupt their communications. Brave men whose work and training led to the many special service forces that world powers use now.

Finally, Osprey Vanguard #26: The Sherman Tank in US and Allied Service, not the best tank of WWII, nor the most numerous, but it was the mainstay of US armor of the war. This was a fairly well-written book on the subject.
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I'm way past due documenting my comic book reading for the last several months, so let's get to it. See if any of these titles sound interesting, many of them get republished as graphic novels.

Letter 44 #25, 26, 27, 28, 29: SF, Alien invasion, end of the world, politics. Lots to ponder in this one.

Dream Police #10, 11, 12: The end of this series by JMS where the protagonist discovers some details about his real status. Good read.

East of West #26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31: A strange SF post-apocalyptic saga dealing with the nations that the US breaks up into and an end of times situation. Cool tale.

Johnny Red #7, 8: A British fighter pilot ends up in the Soviet Union during WWII; these are the last books of the series in which he finds out bad things about Stalin and others (avoiding spoilers here). A trifle confusing but generally good.

Dreaming Eagles #5, 6: The end of the tale of the first African American fighter squadron and its efforts during WWII. Important history.

Joyride #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9: Humanity has chosen to hide from the Universe in the future, but several kids bug out into space for the fun of it; these are their adventures. Moderately amusing.

Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas #1, 2, 3, 4: A comic book reworking of the book, which later became a movie. Not a bad handling of the subject.

Providence #9, 10, 11: Continuing the Cthulhu/Lovecraftian flavor. I'm not sure if it's over or not; it seemed a good place to stop actually. If you like Lovecraft, this comic is perfect.

Control #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: A police officer is caught in a situation in which a crime committed leads to powerful people who try to strike back. Full series. Had it not ended, I might have.

Satellite Falling #1, 2, 3: An SF piece about a bounty hunter human living on an alien space station. #4 is way past due.

Injection #10: An AI issue; this is a Warren Ellis book and has since been on hiatus, about to continue.

Invisible Republic #10, 11, 12, 13, 14: A complex political tale about an SF situation of a moon that tries to revolt; it hops back and forth through time, so it is occasionally hard to follow. Might be easier to read in graphic novel format.

The Sheriff of Babylon #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: A comic about the difficulties of police work by the occupying power in Baghdad. Unclear if this is finished or not.

Brutal Nature #2, 3, 4: The rest of the tale of a South American aborigine/shaman who takes on the aspects of various animals of his lands in an attempt to stop the Spanish invasion.

Lucifer #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15: A vindictive diety has taken the Throne of the Lord Almighty and Lucifer finds himself as the opposition with, of course, complications.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Wild Card #3, 4, 5, 6: The rest of the story in which Harry Dresden ends up in conflict with Puck.

Ian Fleming's James Bond 007: Eidolon #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: More of Warren Ellis, the James Bond books have been carried out further by other authors but I'm not following. Typical Bond, IMHO these books are well-produced and seem to be right in line with Ian Fleming's vision.

Irwin Allen's Lost in Space: The Lost Adventures #3, 4, 5, 6: I think this is the lot, doing as a comic book a couple of scripts that they never filmed. Not great, I'm afraid.

Horizon #1, 2, 3, 4, 5: I have to admit that I tried to like this book but it was just too disjoint. Supposedly it's about an alien race that sends a hit team to Earth in advance of humanity invading their planet.

Trees #14: Another Warren Ellis which is again on hiatus but expected to restart soon, a group of alien life forms have appeared on Earth at various places often damaging and changing life in those areas.

War Stories #19: Vampire Squadron #1, 2, 3, 4: The whole thing, it's about a WWII British night fighter squadron.

Jim Henson's Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special: Most of you will probably know why I purchased this.

Briggs Land #1: I picked up this first book of the series about a post-apocalyptic world, but I didn't much care for it and stopped.

Lake of Fire #1, 2, 3, 4, 5: During the Albigensian Crusade, an alien vessel crashes in the region and crusaders are sent to investigate. I believe that the series is over.

Saga #37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42: A war has been being fought for a very long time between a technological society and a magical one; our protagonists come from both sides but love each other and are being chased across the galaxy.

World of Tanks: Roll Out #1, 2, 3, 4, 5: British forces against German (specifically tanks) in WWII after D-Day.

The Forevers #1, 2, 3: A rock group uses magic for nefarious purposes but as the power wanes one of them starts killing the others for a magic boost.

Hadrian's Wall #1, 2, 3, 4: Murder on a spacecraft/station that is involved in research; a straightforward investigation this isn't. Lots of complications.

Karnak #5: The last of this series written by Warren Ellis in which a known character in the Marvel Universe finds who he sought. I won't follow this one in the future.

Britannia #1, 2, 3, 4: I'm pretty sure this one is over; vaguely Lovecraftian in Roman Britain during the Empire.

Seven to Eternity #1, 2, 3: Fairly standard fantasy; a fellow with special powers gathers others around him to destroy the darkness that has fallen over his land. And I've abandoned it because it just doesn't interest me enough. I don't think that they've done a good enough job with characterization.

Angel City #1, 2, 3, 4, 5: A murder mystery set in Los Angeles in the early years of the Hollywood studios. Pretty good.

Green Valley #1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Famous knights get badly beaten and then find themselves in their greatest fight of all.

Eclipse #1, 2, 3, 4: Something strange happened to the Sun, burning humans down as they stand forcing the survivors to live underground.

Shipwreck #1, 2, 3: Warren Ellis series in which a scientist is lost in a strange place.

Night's Dominion #1, 2, 4, 5: A fairly standard D&D-style adventuring group fights a horde of what appears to be undead. Unfortunately, I just didn't like the story or the artwork. Feh.

Spell on Wheels #1, 2: I gave this one a try but dropped it. A coven of witches get robbed and go hunting for their stuff.

Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1, 2, 3: Three more expected books, the other experiments like River show up.

Namesake #1, 2, 3: Every x number of years there's a crossover between two universes. I just found myself not caring about the characters and gave it up.

Enchanted Tiki Room #1, 2: A comic vaguely based on the Disney attraction. Stupid. I gave it up.
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Time marches on.

Wednesday I did the dentist thing; late morning I had an extraction followed by a filling and then went to work with a heavy work load all afternoon. No pain meds, either.

During the week, we viewed some Netflix streaming, specifically the whole season of Santa Clarita Diet, a very strange and funny zombie thing. Worth seeing.

Saturday, we went to a Holi festival which they called The Festival of Colors at the Whittier Narrows Park, a Hindu celebration of Good over Evil; the whole event was vegetarian, and we got covered in colored chalk dust. There was dancing and Indian foods, lots of friendly people, and live music, especially a group called The Householders whose music I really enjoyed.

Following that, my wife was aware that at Cal Poly Pomona they were having a sale of tomato seedlings that they were calling Tomatozania, so we showed up covered in the chalk which amused the onlookers. A few seedlings purchased, we also stopped at the Farm Store at Cal Poly and picked up a few things. Again, folks were nonplussed at our colorful appearance.

Later, at home, showered and a bit rested, our mechanic and his girlfriend dropped by, and after chatting for an hour, we went to Nancy's Pizza for a Chicago stuffed pizza. Lovely way to end the day.

Today, we had a young man in who dug plenty of holes in the front yard to plant several peach, apple, cherry, mulberry, and Asian pear trees, as well as a hibiscus. While he was about that, I did some maintenance work on the backyard as well as doing most of the construction of another firepit to replace our old one. We've already laid in a fire in the pit, which was very relaxing. Very much seemed to have been accomplished today and now I'm basking in the cool night air.

We're seriously getting into yard preparation for Carnivore's Feast even though it's more than six weeks away.
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A few more books this week:

First was Osprey Fortress #54: Forts of the American Frontier 1820 – 91: The Southern Plains and Southwest, what amounts to the fort of the old Westerns. Interesting.

Next was Osprey Men-At-Arms #59: The Sudan Campaigns 1881 – 1898, an older book with lesser quality plates, it goes into the history of what happened at the end of the 19th Century in the Sudan.

Then the last book of the week was Osprey New Vanguard #28: Panzerkampfwagen IV Medium Tank 1936 - 45, a book that details what a friend describes as the best German tank of the war.

On to the next week.
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This was a fairly big week as far as Netflix use was concerned, both with the streaming and the discs. Specifically, we seemed to have a thing about named movies.

First one we watched was Jason Bourne which I found pretty disappointing and nearly boring, the final car chase notwithstanding. They left things open for more, but I've had enough.

Then because friends had been talking up the sequel as well as the original, I pushed John Wick to the top of the Netflix queue and we watched it on arrival. I was very impressed; it was a much better movie than I had expected of it. It had my wife on her feet shouting at the TV screen at one point.

Last Sunday we had Dungeonmaster, a fun episode. As usual, that pretty much takes up the day, of course.

Yesterday, I was invited by Derek to join him at a lecture at the Planes of Fame air museum at the Chino Airport, where the discussion dealt with the use of various fighter aircraft by the fledgling Israeli military in the War of Independence. As a guest, they had one of the pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel, a man who had flown carrier aircraft off the USS Wasp during WWII. Specifically, much of the discussion dealt with the USAAF P-51s, and after the lecture a P-51 went up with the winner of a raffle as passenger and buzzed the airport repeatedly. Very cool! Following that, Derek and I met our wives for a late lunch. Great day...
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Forgot to mention that last week we finished watching the Netflix discs of the last season of Boardwalk Empire. Solidly good piece of work overall.

I hate to spoiler any of it, but if someone wants to discuss the show, let's get into it in the comments, and if someone else wants to see the show fresh, just ignore the commentary.
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I had the time for a bit more reading this week, and it shows.

The first book I finished deals with a part of the history of the American colonies that I can't recall my schools ever covered. This was Osprey Raid #46: Montcalm's Crushing Blow: French and Indian Raids Along New York's Oswego River 1756. Seems to me that whole era gets short shrift, with vague statements that some of the Continental Army had experience in this war. Therefore, I found myself reading this Osprey a bit more deeply than I often do. Pretty good...

Next was In Your Dreams by Tom Holt. This is a moderately contemporary fantasy/humor book about a clerk who works for a magical firm. A trifle confusing but rather amusing.

Then, Drive, a short piece by James S A Corey (actually two authors working together, but what can you do). The story describes what happened when a Martian (human living on Mars) engineer finds a way to markedly improve drive efficiency in spacecraft. I had just read the tale, when the TV show on Scyfy included a bit of it in that evenings presentation. I really like the various Expanse books and short stories I've read, this one included. Worth reading from the start, though this short story is actually a prequel to the main storyline.

Next book was Osprey Campaign #35: Plassey 1757: Clive of India's Finest Hour. Some folks that I've heard lecture on the topic feel that the wars that involve this campaign as well as the earlier raid book from today's post are part of the very first "world war". Here we have some of the fighting in India, or at least Bangladesh.

Finally, Osprey Elite #53: International Brigades in Spain 1936 – 39; this particular war was a prequel to WWII and it allowed the Germans and Italians to practice warcraft with their new toys (tanks, dive bombers, etc.). This particular book deals with the volunteers who came from a variety of nations trying to support the more socialist elected government against the fascistic Spanish elements. Solid read.

On to the next week.
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Forgot to mention that last week we finished watching the Netflix discs of the last season of Boardwalk Empire. Solidly good piece of work overall.

I hate to spoiler any of it, but if someone wants to discuss the show, let's get into it in the comments, and if someone else wants to see the show fresh, just ignore the commentary.
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
This was not a big week for reading. I worked fairly late a couple of times this week; one of the books that I finished I only did so by staying up past 1 AM one night because I really wanted to find out how it ended.

The first book I read was Osprey New Vanguard #27: Panzerkampfwagen III: Medium Tank 1936 – 44. It did a fairly good job of giving the history of the development and use of this weapon system by the Wehrmacht in WWII. Not bad, especially in comparison to the immediately previous read about the Light Panzers.

Then the other book of the week, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. A man finds himself becoming Death, or at least a death dealer in a world about to be invaded by ancient death dieties. I found this to be a really fun read; in fact as I've been reading Moore's books over the last few years I've been enjoying his works more and more (Moore & Moore?). In this era bereft of PTerry, I'm delighted to have found a person who though he might not be Pratchett, gives me a Pratchetty feel to the works and I have several more of his books to read before I catch up. Fun!

On to the week...
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As has happened before, I had to wrack my brain a bit to remember what all we've been doing in the last week. Is it age, do you think, or just being busy beings?

Anyway, Sunday last we spent the day with Jonni and Tina, going to a showing of Allegiance in Long Beach. It was a filming of the play which among others starred George Takei. It deals with the internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII and the difficult choices that these people were forced to make. As I'm not typically fond of musicals, I hadn't made an effort previously to seek out the show; as a history nut I was intrigued. In the end it was enjoyable, and I was glad that the four of us were able to go see it.

After the show there was a Peruvian restaurant just about next door to the movie theater, and we had a really tasty meal there.

The rest of the week blurred by. I'm still very happy with my not-quite-so-new-as-before job, but one thing this week really told me that I'm making a difference. I had a new patient in the middle of the week (not that that is such an odd thing) who was seeing me on a cash basis (again, not odd). The strange thing is that he has Kaiser insurance. Apparently, he's had severe difficulties controlling a particular disease, a problem that he shares with one of his good friends. That latter person has been coming to me for some months and together we've been able to get his trouble under control. He shared that news with his friend, and the fellow has come to me to get treatment, even if he has to pay out of pocket! I hope I can help him, but it's quite a compliment...

Yesterday for the first time in many months I ran a D&D game (5th Edition); most of my regulars had other things that they had to do, but we still had a bunch of folks here, several new to my games, and one new to D&D at all! I know that *I* had a lot of fun, and I hope everyone else did, too. We're going to try to shoot for monthly hereafter, especially as the crew is not quite done with their mission.

Today is going to be a Dungeonmaster episode. See you there?
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What have we been up to in the last week or so?

Sunday last we spent much of the day visiting my mother in her new digs. It's clear that she's settled in comfortably and she's getting used to the cycle of life in the building. She admits that she still drives back into her old neighborhood because she knows where everything is back there which I guess should be fine. She was glad we stopped by and I was glad to see she was safe and snug.

During the week we did walk the dogs a couple of times. brushette finds it a bit difficult to keep up with the other dogs when it's chilly out, so one day I pressed for us to take them out relatively early and she seemed better.

Valentine's Day my beloved put together a spectacularly tasty meal, the highlights of which included broccoli from the backyard garden and steak with her special rub. Thinking of it brings a smile to my face.

Yesterday we were out early to meet up with the Weinsteins, and we went to the LA Convention Center to see what Los Angeles Cookie Con was it all about. It turns out that they were pretty disorganized. They didn't open the doors for nearly an hour after they were supposed to, and then when we entered, we found that the booths rarely displayed cookies, cookie production materials or similar things. For example, why in the world would anyone be interested in a booth devoted to New York Life Insurance? Or the LA Weekly? Or various equipment for back pain? Also, my beloved was looking for experts giving demonstrations of how to perform various cookie baking or cookie decorating issues, but we didn't see any such. Heck, the guest of honor was Burt Ward, of the 60s Batman TV series (and the Batmobile was over an hour late for Ward's speech). What did he have to do with cookies? There were some pretty good food samplings; specifically Cocotutti from San Francisco had amazing samples to try and packages to buy, and I did. But all-in-all it was something of a disappointment.

Following that and once we waved goodbye to our friends, we drove down to Long Beach and had dinner at a Greek place followed up by meeting the folks from Off Kilter Kilts at the Great Society Cider and Mead Bar a few blocks from the restaurant. I had some pretty delicious ciders but we called it a night somewhat early.

Walking back to our car, we ran into Xander and Bonnie, The Library Bards, decked out in their show finery! Both sides were shocked and delighted. It was really great to see them both, and I hope that their show was a real kick! I know that their first album is out soon, so keep your eyes peeled for it!

Home, to bed early, and we've got plans for today, too..


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July 2017



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