Thursday, August 26, 2010

I could feel her breasts

After his first swimming lesson, Leaf asked Mars what he thought of his instructors.  He said:  "I could feel her breasts".  Maybe.  He's still at that stage where he'll slur words enough that sometimes you aren't sure.  If he was 10 years older, I would definitely buy "breasts", but that isn't actually a word we tend to use. "Boobies", or in Odin's case, "Booboos", are the vernacular for mammaries in our house.  It might even be more likely he was trying to say "I could smell her breath".  Of course he wouldn't repeat or clarify his answer...

Living on the river is great, but also a constant worry with little kids.  You watch them constantly, train them to never go near without a lifejacket an a grownup, but the media has been doing a good job of fearmongering this summer.  We signed him up for swimming lessons.

My mum used to torture me.  She forcibly enrolled me in swimming lessons.  To this day, I hate swimming, I hate pools, I mostly hate water, and I hate getting wet.  I learned to swim, don't get me wrong.  In an emergency, I would have no problems.  Its just that a series of unpleasant swimming lesson related events emotionally scarred me for life.

We didn't have a huge amount of success in Mars' session of swimming lessons.  The first day he wouldn't go in past his waist.  At the end of the first week, he was proudly swimming.  If, by "swimming" you mean lying in 6 inches of water while wearing a life jacket and maintaining a death grip on a flutterboard in one hand and a pool noodle in the other, while yelling "look at me I'm swimming".

Friday, August 6, 2010

Books of August 2010

Future on Fire
Orson Scott Card, Ed.
ISBN 0-812-51183-2
376 pages
August 27th

Collection of short stories.  Some very interesting ideas on the future.

Tapestry of Spies
Stephen Hunter
ISBN 0-440-22185-4
442 pages
August 15th

Picked up because I like Stephen Hunter's Swagger books.  I was maybe 100 pages in before I was sure I had read it before.  Published in 1985, so probably read as a young teen.  Not a bad book.  Made me think of a N-F book I read once about the Cambridge Five.

The Gray Nineties
James Wesley, Rawles
247 pages
August 8th

Discovered this while looking for some more end of the world novels.  Written by a real life 'survivalist', it actually is a very interesting and for the most part believable prediction of the break down of society after an economic crisis.  Society really is a fragile thing, and when the poop hits the fan, this guy will be ready.  Of course it was supposed to happen in the 80's.  Then mid-nineties.  Then Y2K...

For me, this book was ruined by one completely stupid thing.   I believed the story of the fall.  I believed the lawlessness.  I believed the preparation necessary as the characters bunker down in the boonies with a crapload of guns while the world as we know it falls apart, ready to deal with whatever comes their way.  What evilness arrives on their doorstep?  Two homosexuals.  With guns.  Who just so happen to be card carrying communists.  And looters with a cart full of jewelry and gold.  And they eat children.  Yep, the world ends and the badguys are " murdering, cannibal, commie, fruiter looters."  At that point we moved from interesting speculative fiction to paranoid nut-job lunacy.

A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller, Jr.
ISBN 553-06883-125
278 pages
August 3rd

My favourite genre is end of the world, or post-apocalyptic fiction.  A re-read of this classic (#49 on the top 100 sci-fi books of all time. After reading The Man in the High Castle last month, I think I'm up to 70 from the list.)  Discovered that there is a sequel, I'll have to try and track it down.

Invisible Prey
John Sanford
ISBN 978-0-425-22115-0
441 pages
August 1st

Another crime author I've read all of.  The other being Michael Connolly.  Good, but not great.  A perfect book for a Sunday afternoon.