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Jul. 16th, 2017 09:20 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
I shall try my best to pummel my memory into submission and give up the bits and pieces of the last week or so. I expect imperfection.

Last Sunday was a graduation party for my nephew at my youngest sister's house; we were early which was my fault, but to be honest it was a pretty good thing because we got to spend a fair amount of time chatting with the nieces and nephew which we both enjoyed. It was supposed to be a BBQ, but we didn't stay for the dinner part. In fact, we left much earlier than we had planned.

You see, one of my mother's friends had been invited, and she informed us that Mom had apparently hurt herself and wasn't coming to the party. Because she lives now only a shrot distance away, we excused ourselves and went to see how she was. She was uncomfortable, but I was able to give her some suggestions on how to address her problem, and in the upcoming days, she had improved comfort and mobility.

We followed that with my pre-birthday celebration; Bridget and I went to Ink, a restaurant in Beverly Hills, I think, opened by a winner of the Top Chef TV show. We agreed that the entree and sides were incredible, but the appetizers and desserts were forgettable.

At work later in the week, two of the offices where I worked the staff decorated my office space for my birthday; helium balloons appear to be very popular. The Ontario office got me a birthday cake, while the Pomona office fed me pizza. I'm abashed at their willingness to celebrate.

Thursday night was food truck night at the Fairplex again, but there were fewer there this time, so the lines were longer. I ended up going to one of the trucks with the shortest lines due to being famished, but the food was forgettable again. It was my choice.

Yesterday was my D&D 5th Edition game; most folks weren't available, so those who attended didn't press to do anything too difficult with so many of the characters not involved. It was still fun, especially when the mages got involved in a bar room brawl with a halfling thief, and nearly every swing failed to connect. Some kind of comedy! Nice day.

We shall see what this day brings. Have a good week!

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:13 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
This week's reading I handled in a slightly odd way; whenever I finished a chapter in one particular book I'm still reading, I then read an Osprey book through. This lead to a lot of books finished though total pages aren't quite so impressive.

Anyway, the first one I got done was Osprey Weapon #23: The M1903 Springfield Rifle which taught me a bit about a weapon of which I knew nothing. There's going to be a lot of the Weapon series in a row here, BTW, because they've been piling up and I wanted to get through them.

Next was Osprey Weapon #29: US Combat Shotguns. Somewhere, somehow, I got the impression that shotguns were against the laws of war, but clearly they got a lot of use, starting with trench-clearing weapons in WWI to the Vietnam War and beyond, wherever it appears that US forces might be engaged in short range, closed in combat.

Then I finished Osprey Weapon #31: MP 38 and MP 40 Submachine Guns, the iconic weapon that is nearly always evident in WWII movies. Production of this was outpaced by the Sten, the Tommygun, and the following book which I read:

Osprey Weapon #33: Soviet Submachine Guns of World War II which discusses the weapons that they produced, used, and exported after the war. Interesting.

Next was Osprey Weapon #34: The Lewis Gun, the British light machine gun in use from WWI through II and beyond.

Then, Osprey Weapon #35: The MP5 Submachine Gun, leaping forward into the modern era and the chosen combat weapon of anti-terrorist units in the present.

Next was the book Osprey Weapon #37: The M14 Battle Rifle. I once had a friend who fought in Vietnam who swore by this weapon and could never get over being handed an M16 when he got overseas. The book spends some time on this controversy, which I found therefore interesting to read.

Following that was Osprey Weapon #38: The Hand Grenade, a modern weapon that goes way back, and one which has several variants, not all of which are anti-personnel. I found this book particularly interesting.

Then it was Vesuvius by Night by Lindsey Davis, a shorter piece which describes the life in Pompeii just prior to and during the eruption of the volcano. Chilling piece of work.

Then breaking free of the Osprey Weapon series for a bit, I read Osprey Campaign #47: Yorktown 1781: The World Turned Upside Down, getting a bit of background on the ground and naval maneuvers which led to the British defeat.

What a week!

(no subject)

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:18 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
This whole week has been strange what with a day off in the middle for Independence Day. Then the next day was fretful when my beloved wife was riding a horse who tripped and fell on her; next thing you know she's in a splint and very uncomfortable.

On the good side, we had a wonderful dinner with the Phillipses at a restaurant that we've long enjoyed in Claremont. Excellent food and conversation made for a nice evening.

I did work yesterday; since my new job I've worked a total of two Saturdays and no Sundays. Amazing...

Today we'll visit my sister and her family in honor of my nephew who has graduated from the University of California, or as most of the state says: Berkeley. He's soon to start a job in San Francisco and I wish him the very best (even if he never reads this).

One thing that has kept us amused is the antics that the two kittens get themselves up to. Both of them appear to like us very much which is pleasant, and something of a change. Even when we don't share the room with them, we can hear them thundering around chasing each other. I know, it's an exciting life.

And on to the new week...

(no subject)

Jul. 9th, 2017 07:11 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
This week's reading has a bit more variety to it.

The first book that I finished was Tanya Huff's The Truth of Valor in which the protagonist hunts down space pirates to recapture her kidnapped companion. I have to say that this isn't the best of this particular series though it's quite readable.

Next one was Osprey Warrior #77: French Soldier in Egypt 1798 – 1801, the army that Napoleon abandoned to its fate. Solid information about something of a sidelight in the Napoleonic Wars.

Then I finished up Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., a graphic novel by Warren Ellis which must have been intended as a parody of superhero comics. I'd call this one a lesser read; I like most of Ellis' works better than this one.

Next was Osprey Warrior #78: US Army Tank Crewman 1941 – 45: European Theater of Operations 1944 – 45 which for this series was a bit unusual in that instead of describing the warrior and his milieu in general, this author looked at one specific tank officer and his units and followed them through training to the end of the war. Not exactly what I'd expect from this series. Not bad, not great, slightly odd.

Then I finished reading a book on my iPhone, And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails which for the subject matter was an interesting read. I found that it gave me insight into aspects of rum that I hadn't previously been aware of. Worth a read, if you tipple that particular poison.

Next was Osprey Weapon #11: The Beretta M9 Pistol, the handgun adopted by the US military when they finally set aside the .45 Automatic. The book appears to do a good job of discussing the overall controversies of this weapon's adoption.

Finally, there was Osprey Weapon #20: The M60 Machine Gun which goes into some detail about the development of American machine guns before dealing with the specifics of this one. Pretty solid.

And there's the lot. More when I have time to post...

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