Monday, September 26, 2011

Third Quarter books

Dance of Dragons -GRR Martin

I had high hopes for this book; and though it mostly dwelt on characters I like, pacing was glacial. I could go on, but that was the thought that stood out. I wonder if he might pass away before bringing the series to a close, and they'll have to tap someone like Sanderson to finish it off.

Blade Itself- J Ambercrombie
Before They are hanged
Last argument of kings

Needed to get some Epic Fantasy where the plot moved, the characters felt real, and everything came to a crashing conclusion. Second time this year.

Dune- F Herbert
Ghost Story -J Butcher
Shadows Linger -G Cook

I read Dune a couple of times in the past; age 10, age 20 something, and now age 30 something. It's a lot easier to follow now than it was a quarter century ago. strange that.

Ghost story was enjoyable; though the characters didn't develop as much as I would have liked to see, I thought it moved the plot along. Besides, the previous book in the series (Changes) had enough going on in it for a couple of books. I'm curious to see where Butcher will go from here.

War Breaker- B Sanderson
Way of Kings

All stuff I've read before, but I was killing time while waiting for my next audiobook credits to come in, or was reading them while concurrently listening to something else. Also was interesting to see Sanderson's growth as an author.

Diplomatic Immunity - LM Bujold

Finished off the VorKosigan novels again. Still love/hate (but mostly love) the end of Cryoburn. After a fairly vanilla book (enjoyable, but not her best work) Bujold writes a series of reactions which were some of the most effective scenes I've read/heard.

Macbeth - AJ Hartley/D Hewson

I'd never read/seen the play or watched a movie of it before, so I got the audiobook. It was interesting; the story as tough to deal with as season two of the "Slings and Arrows"

Golden Compass - P Pullman
Boneshaker - C Priest

Didn't realize that I got so much steampunk all in a row. Priest is kind of Steampunk horror, which I didn't expect. Golden Compass was a bit easier for me to stomach (I'm not a big horror fan) but things worked out a little too easily. Will probably continue to get their (Pullman and Priest's) books.

Fuzzy Nation - J Scalzi
Live Free or Die - J Ringo

Fuzzy nation is just fun, and I needed a change of pace after the steampunk. Honestly it felt like stepping up into clean, fresh, warm air after being stuck in dank, uncomfortable, cold basement for hours.

J Ringo is sort of fun- if he'd keep off the political theory and go for story, I'd enjoy his books more. Since I don't agree with him politically, when he climbs on his soap box it kind of sets my teeth on edge. I think he wants to be the SF's version of Ayn Rand.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Mudstock 2011

I love understatement.

So saying Woodstock 2011 was a bit muddy is like saying I occasionally like to run, or that political ads can be kind of annoying.

It started off with a wrong turn. Or a correct turn that wasn't followed by dozens of people- whatever. all I know is that I was following the pink flags. Doesn't really matter that I was going the wrong way- it gave me a chance to cheer on all the 100K, 50 & 100 milers who were going in the proper direction.

And if you hadn't guessed, I'm also a fan of rationalization.

I paced JB, who was doing her first 50K and seems to have a gift for it. At least, she held up better than I. For me, the day started off painful- my right lower back was tight when I woke up, continued to feel uncomfortable on the way to the race, and was got pretty bad as the race progressed. Which is why drugs were invented. Advil was very much my friend- otherwise, I don't believe I could have finished.

As more and more people tromped through the trails and water and dirt mixed nicely, it really did become a mudfest. In retrospect, the word I like is "slurry" because it avoids the obvious comparisons. Occasionally it looked like chocolate frosting. I also thought chocolate pudding- and the designs of all the shoes that had slipped in it reminded me of abstract art. All us runners were adding in our own marks, making it a collaboration.

I really liked to think of it artistically, because all the comparisons to chocolate made me pretty hungry.

We finished to first lap and got food; we also decided to make the half mile trek out to the car to drop off gear, get more advil, and randomly help stuck cars out of the parking lot. Two of the half marathoners (or maybe 5 milers; I'm not sure) needed a push out of the mud, and I thought "why not?"

Obviously, the drugs were helping.

The second loop was even more fun- there were hills far to slippery to climb without using trees; water that went up past my knees, and bees at most every aid station.

The volunteers were awesome; pretty much everyone had a "good job" encouragement as we passed one another, and the hours and time flew.

My longest (time wise) run ever!
Distance 31 miles (plus a mile or so to get to the parking lot)
Time 7:59:59.9
Pace 15:27

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