Archive for October, 2010

NFL Week 8 – Rich Wins!

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Another week of tough picks. Rich wins this week! It doesn’t matter whether Indy wins or loses (we all hope they win), Rich will take the pool this week. Congrats to Rich!

Halloween 2010

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Random Veronica Video

Friday, October 29th, 2010

NFL Week 7

Monday, October 25th, 2010

It’s Ed and Mom this week. If Dallas wins, we tie. If the Giants win, Ed wins. Go Giants!

10 Years with Gabi

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

It’s been ten years this month since Gabi and I moved in together. The photo is from the house we were renovating at the time in Los Angeles. Dang, ten years? No way … not that long.

NFL Week 6

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Cally is the clear winner this week! Again, a tough week to pick: St. Louis over San Diego, New England over Baltimore, Minnesota over Dallas. We’re still in the middle of the Indianapolis vs. Washington game, so there are still two undecided races here. There is a slight chance that Ashley will tie Cally, but Cally wins in all possible outcomes.

Go Cally!

UPDATE: Monday morning, Indy wins! If Tennessee wins, Cally and Ashley will tie. Otherwise, it’s a straight Cally win.

UPDATE: Tennessee wins! Cally and Ashley tie for the week.

Wither the Bookcase

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

I was thinking the other day, there will be no new bookcases in my life. One of the major furniture considerations when adding to or moving to a house, and I will never need any more than I already have.

While I haven’t yet gone out and purchased an eBook capable device (hey, when are those cheap Android tablets coming out!), it’s undoubtedly just around the corner. And I prefer ebooks — I can’t lose them (I spent half an hour yesterday searching for a misplaced paperback), I can share them with my always-on-me cellphone and I can always adjust the text so that my age-altered eyes have no problem reading.

Is there a reason to keep physical books? They’re dang heavy when they need to be shifted or moved. Do I really want them to impress people walking through my home and browsing my shelves? Or would they just think I’ve wasted my life reading too much science fiction and history? I don’t really care about impressing people with my possessions (look at my cars, for instance) and books fall into the same category.

Quick observation: I spent two years shopping for a house in Los Angeles in the late 90’s, and a much shorter time just before moving to Temecula. One thing I realized — in every single house I walked into, if there were a substantial number of good books on the bookshelves then the occupant was a renter. No value judgment here – just an observation.

No more bookshelves. Gone the way of the buggy whip. Odd. Less unsettling than I would have thought, too.

Island in the Sea of Time by SM Stirling

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

I forget how I stumbled on the Nantucket series, but I did so when I was re-discovering sailing with Gabi a couple of years back. I’m not a big fan of alternative history fiction; it always strikes me as medium-lazy thinking. Change one thing in history (Hitler defeats England and invades the US) and follow it to its logical conclusions. Not very interesting.

This was different. The Island of Nantucket, along with a Navy training sailing ship, are transported to 1250BC. Stirling really worked in a wealth of information and data. Is a lathe really able to create another lathe from scratch? Sailing information is all accurate, so far as I know. Geography, economics, social interactions and, naturally, history are all interwoven here at an apparently high level.

When I first read this, I thought of it as a guilty pleasure (“I’m not supposed to like these books, but this one is cool.”). Recently, I bumped into a Charles Stross blog where he praised Stirling and specifically the Nantucket series.

Now armed with the warm recommendation of my favorite current era hard science fiction writer, I pull out the book again. Wow, this is more fun than I remember! And I’m going to read it with Wikipedia open the whole way through so I can really appreciate the data dump that Stirling weaves together here.

Highly recommended.


UPDATE: Funny reading this book, as it was written in about 1996. For all time shifting problems that are in the book, there are several that you have to put yourself through to enjoy this pre-Internet series. Cameras still had film, computers were not ubiquitous (or really necessary, for the most part). Cellular phones were highly unusual and are mentioned in passing once (someone uses one in the first couple of days after the Event). The only mention of the Internet is that a number of Internet addicts were badly hit. Odd the substantial things that change in 14 years.

NFL Week 5 – Ann and Tom win!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Another series of upsets! Tampa Bay is 3-1, Kansas City s 3-1, Dallas is 1-3, Detroit wins with 44 points scored, Oakland beats San Diego, … the list goes on. Glad to be able to see the Colts yesterday morning from CBS Los Angeles — Colts’ early games on Sunday are rarely played on-air in California and I’m not paying DirecTV $400 for the privileged of watching all the Colts games from here.

Congrats to Ann and Tom on their first win! Feels good, no? Tom Williams made a valiant effort and I thought he’d win for awhile. Gabi was busy counting her points all day Sunday, but she would have been a longshot.

Aaron’s 3rd Birthday

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Where does time go?