Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm at the beach

and it is as wonderfully relaxing as always.  Once here, our group stopped, as always, at my favorite local little restaurant for lunch.  The first beach lunch of 2013 was (drum roll, please)

Click on the image to see a larger version.

the Crazy Club Sub, add roast beef.  Sides were chips and a small bowl of dill shrimp pasta salad. 

Kyle brought an xBox 360 that we used to buy the UFC PPV tonight, so we were watching live as the great Anderson Silva finally lost his title, partly to challenger Chris Weidman and partly to his own hubris.  It was not the outcome I expected.

It's good to be here.

Friday, July 5, 2013

How I'm reading now

I love reading, but I also love books, their feel, look, heft, smell, pretty much everything about them.  Consequently, when I decided to do my six-week sabbatical trip with just a small carry-on suitcase and a backpack, I was worried.  I knew I'd read a fair number of books during the trip, but I also simply could not carry many books with me.  I opted finally to take a tablet and read only ebooks.  I did not take a single paper book with me.

I enjoyed the experience, which taught me that I could indeed go a long time without reading a physical book.

I still, though, prefer reading paper books.  In fact, I prefer hardbacks over paperbacks.  My next two trips were short enough that I could afford to carry two hardbacks and still fit everything I needed into the small carry-on suitcase and the backpack, so I did.

Today, I packed for two weeks at the beach, a time during which I typically read a fair number of books.  Space is free--multiple vehicles are heading there together--but carrying a lot of books up and down stairs is a hassle, and I now know I could get along just fine with ebooks.

So what am I doing?

Packing a big bag full of heavy, paper, glorious, lovely books. 

I'm sure I will have trips in which I take only a tablet--the upcoming journey to the U.K. for World Fantasy Con 2013 springs to mind--but for now, I'm traveling with paper books whenever I reasonably can.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Painting the sky

For the Fourth of July each year, a large group of us gather at Dave's, socialize, eat burgers and hot dogs and dishes that people bring, and then we launch fireworks.  Only about a dozen of us actually work on the fireworks show; the rest of the crowd watch and often cheer.  I've written many times before about what it's like to stand under the fireworks and stare upward as they paint the sky, so I won't repeat most of those ramblings here.  What struck me so powerfully again tonight was how much I love this show and how quickly it ends.  I know from observers that the show ran between 20 and 25 minutes, but to those of us doing the lighting, it felt more like five.  Being under the fireworks, standing among the explosions, is so intense, so completely consuming, that time just races away.

I love it.

I'm glad the audience likes the show, but I'd want to do it even if the only people there were the members of the launch team.

Nothing else is quite like it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


never starts for me until I go to bed.  So, though it's after five a.m. now (despite what the timestamp on this post says) on Thursday, the Fourth of July, for me it's still Wednesday.  I will shortly go to bed, sleep a bit, and awaken on Thursday.

This approach helps make my long and late hours manageable for me, but it has the odd side effect of having me refer to email messages from "yesterday" that arrived in the "today" of the recipients.

I can live with that.

This approach to time has one definite weakness:  If I pull an all-nighter and simply don't sleep, as happens occasionally, my system breaks down.  I have to acknowledge the new day or lose it entirely. 

In those cases, I bow to the calendar and change days sometime in the new day, usually after my morning shower. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ready for the beach

I am way past crispy and more than ready for the beach.

Fortunately, I leave for it on Saturday morning.

Oh, yeah.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The top 5 reasons I'll see The Lone Ranger

5. I don't care that Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at 21%; I'm always down for a bad movie before the beach.

4. Helena Bonham Carter is not only reprising her usual skanky role, she shoots a gun hidden in the heel of her boot!

3. Armie Hammer rides a horse through a train while having a gunfight.  Who could resist that?

2. Ruth Wilson was fantastic in Luther, so I'm very curious to see her, even in a small role, on the big screen.

and the number one reason I'm going to see this film...

1. Johnny Depp walks around with a dead bird on his head. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Late-show beach movies

Saturday, we head out for our annual family beach vacation.  As long-time readers know, we watch a lot of movies at the beach.  Some of them, those in the first show each evening, are generally good or at least interesting films. 

The late show, though, is a different story entirely.  For it, we pick action flicks, kung-fu sagas, weird Asian films, and so on. 

A few folks have asked me how we choose which movies to take for the late show.  Though there's no simple formula, I can tell you that one way to build your own high-class, beach, second-show collection is to concentrate on the oeuvre of three fine actors:

Nicolas "Melty Face" Cage

Dolph "Droopy Face" Lundgren

Steven "Maximum Fatness" Seagal

Yes, we have movies from all of them in this year's early selection. 


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