I think we all agree 2020 has been, as the curse puts it, an “interesting” year. Going into it, I had intentions about making changes. Most fell by the wayside due to COVID-19; I still haven’t taken the bus to watch the St. Paul Saints play. Or the bus-light rail combo to Target Field.
As a life long hard-core introvert, “social isolation” mostly meant I shopped for groceries less often but stocked up more when I did. The pain was fewer occasions of meeting a friend for tasty food, drink, and chat. I’m really looking forward to dining out again.
All-in-all, the last four years, this year… It’s been exhausting.
20 Comments | tags: 2020, BOOL, library, mystery books, quantum computing, quantum mechanics, science fiction books, Twins 2020 | posted in Life
Versions of this post lived in my Drafts folder a long time. Writing about one’s childhood crushes is multiply fraught. The topic of sexual attraction is challenging, especially these days as we try to evolve our attitudes about it. Getting personal skates the line between recording my scrawl and TMI. The risk of objectification is also a problem.
But those childhood crushes were formative and abiding in my youth. They began at an early age, a long bridge to when I started dating (real beats imaginary every time). Honesty to my past seems to demand I include some mention of them in any account of my life.
So this is to toast those early loves (real and imagined).
14 Comments | tags: Angie Harmon, Bewitched, Doctor Crusher, Judy Robinson, Kate Jackson, Lost in Space, love, Margaret Houlihan, Samantha Stephens, Supergirl, The Man Who Loved Women, women | posted in Life
A while back I wrote about a Canadian fly-in fishing trip my buddy and I took back in 1996. The lake we went to was an old friend by then — it was a trip we took nearly every year for over twenty years (starting in 1985 or so). We’d bring people with if they were interested, but many years it was just the two of us.
This is the tale of a very different trip from the 1990s, although I don’t recall the exact year. I was in that work group in The Company (TC) from 1992 to 1997, so it could be any of the later years in that range. We supported the CAD/CAM system used by company engineers for facilities and manufacturing design.
The trip was to an annual CAD/CAM user convention in Boston.
5 Comments | tags: Boston, city of Boston, travel | posted in Life
In light of yesterday’s post, I was initially a bit confused. Is this, because it’s a wrap-up, the last Mystery Monday post of 2020 or, per yesterday, the first one of 2021? I say we wait until after the popping of the champagne corks, so this is the last one of the past year.
No question that this is a wrap-up of an active reading year when it comes to (murder) mysteries. I’ve enjoyed the genre from a very early age (the enjoyment was handed down by my dad). In this atrocious year, they’ve provided a welcome escape and respite.
The year also marks my return to library lending, albeit electronically.
14 Comments | tags: Agatha Christie, Archie Goodwin, Dorothy L. Sayers, Hercule Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, murder mysteries, Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout, Rizzoli & Isles, Robert Parker, Tess Gerritsen | posted in Books, Mystery Monday
Although the New Year is a few days off (you still have time to stock up on champagne), most calendars start on Sunday, so today is the first day of the first week of 2021. More to the point, all 52 weeks of 2020 are now officially behind us. We can begin the process of shaking the dust of an awful year off our shoes.
How many times have I said I look around and forward, but rarely backward. (Lots of times!) Of course I’m more than willing to see the tail end of a wretched year and an even more wretched Presidency. (Easily, at this point, the worst in our history.)
Anyway: On the third day of Chillaxmas, my blog post is about…
18 Comments | tags: charity, Chillaxmas, die scammers, die spammers, Habitat for Humanity, Union Gospel Mission | posted in Rant, Society
A Very Merry Christmas (or Seasonal Equivalent) to One and All! My wish for everyone is a peaceful and joyful day of good food, good friends, good relaxation, or whatever you wish this season. Ideally you aren’t traveling today, but if you are I hope your journey is swift, easy, and safe.
My wish to see the “Christmas Star” came true, and I also got a white Christmas (in the nick of time). There was also a wish about an election that came true.
So the year is ending nicely I think; worthy of some celebration.
13 Comments | tags: A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, Chillaxmas, Christmas, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, craft beer | posted in Life, Movies
It has been doubly depressingly cloudy for a while now. “Doubly” because I like sunshine and because I’ve been wanting to see the Great Conjunction.
Tuesday evening it was finally clear enough that I could. (I missed the date of closest approach, Monday (12/21), by only one day, so I was very happy.)
10 Comments | tags: astronomy, conjunction, Great Conjunction, Jupiter, Redshift app, Saturn | posted in Life
I’ve said (many times) that when it comes to movies it’s the unexpected small gems I love most. The Art of Self-Defense (2019), starring Jesse Eisenberg, is definitely a small (dark) gem, and doubly unexpected.
Firstly, unexpected in the ordinary sense of having no idea what the film would be or that it would be any good. But secondly, because I’d recently seen Eisenberg in American Ultra (2015), which I saw as another unexpected small gem. This movie’s artwork (as you see) suggested to me it might be similar.
It couldn’t be more different, except that both are really good small gems starring Jesse Eisenberg. I’m thinking he has good taste in picking scripts.
4 Comments | tags: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jesse Eisenberg, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, karate, Maggie Gyllenhaal | posted in Movies
I just finished reading Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics Is Different (2018) by science writer Philip Ball. I like Ball a lot. He seems well grounded in physical reality, and I find his writing style generally transparent, clear, and precise.
As is often the case with physics books like these, the last chapter or three can get a bit speculative, even a bit vague, as the author looks forward to imagined future discoveries or, groundwork completed, now presents their own view. Which is fine with me so long as it’s well bracketed as speculation. I give Ball high marks all around.
The theme of the book is what Ball means by “beyond weird.”
12 Comments | tags: Philip Ball, quantum mechanics, wave-function | posted in Books, Physics
As I write this, it’s been almost eight hours since the Winter Solstice passed. (It was at 10:03 UTC.) Here we are, the first official day of winter, and it’s not looking good for a White Christmas:
Not only no snow, but it friggin’ rained this morning!
Not good at all. Unless you hate winter and shoveling!
14 Comments | tags: hail stone, Winter Solstice | posted in Life