My parents took the girls to the New York State Festival of Balloons down in Dansville for most of the weekend, so we had lots of time to ourselves. I made the most of it, even replacing the ceiling fan light socket in preparation for the coming dark times. I also read a lot.
Sunday my parents invited us down for dinner, it was my first time at a balloonfest. We did get to see 40+ balloons take off, lots of light aircraft (including a biplane) and gliders and even a short ride in a tethered balloon with eleven year old. That cost $10 for each of us, and eleven year old was too scared to really look down, but I think she enjoyed it.
We hit Target on the way down to buy a flatpack bookcase, which fits well in Mrs. Ha's master plan for the girls' bedroom. I was disappointed in the engineering, it was hard to screw the studs in enough to engage the camlocks. With the back on (stressed skin) and lots of wood glue, it should be sturdy enough.
I must be the last geek in the world to see Rushmore. I liked it, I liked it better than the Royal Tenenbaums. Slowly I'm working my way through Anderson's ouvre.
I picked up Ambrose's D-Day at the library last week, and decided to read it when I needed some light military history. His writing style relies on lots of anecdotes and short paragraphs, just the thing for reading in short bursts. If you've read Band of Brothers or Citizen Soldiers, many of the anecdotes are repeated.
The Gold Coast is one of Kim Stanley Robinson's books in his California Triptych, three science fiction novels set in Orange County, one a post-apocalyptic scenario, one a green utopia, and the Gold Coast a technological nightmare. When I first read The Gold Coast in the late 80's. it seemed frightening and prescient, the Cold War was still raging, the military industrial complex was dominant and southern California seemed a mess.
When I last reread it in the early 2000's, it seemed to be less relevant, time had passed it on, Nowadays, I'm not so sure.
Writing science fiction is always tough, but one of the glaring misses is the lack of cell phones. Several key plot points are due to characters missing messages, or leaving messages on voice mail. When it was written in the late 80's, cell phones weren't common, but they were around.
The lead character Jim is a mess, but I really empathized with Sandy, the manic drug designer/dealer (ecstacy analogues it seems) who seems to the major source on motion for the characters. Too often it feels like I'm responsible for keeping our family moving and focused.
In other news, Mrs. Ha's meds are off, and her depression is building up. Joy.
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