Book Log – This Alien Shore

This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman

I had actually read this several months ago, as part of the Great galbinus_caeli Book Loan of ’06, but for some reason forgot to log it.

This was a very cool story, with Space Dragons, altered humans, political intrigue, a schizophrenic heroine and all sorts of other good stuff. I probably would have had more to say about it had I struck while the spaceiron was hot, but alas I did not.

I remember that I read this in between (and a little bit simultaneously with) two Vernor Vinge books and got the two universes confused in my head at times.

Book Log – Darwin’s Radio

Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

Thanks to galbinus_caeli for the loaner.

An interesting hard-science-fiction piece concerning DNA and evolution (an extremely punctuated equilibrium brand of evolution, though not necessarily one you want to read if you’re expecting. Much of the plot revolves around diseased pregnancies, and some of it takes place in Atlanta, with stops at local hospitals (Northside, for one, though thankfully Piedmont was not mentioned) and the CDC.

I think I’d like to check out the sequel, Darwin’s Children, because the ending of this book left room for exploration of the consequences.

Prehistoric Buffett

I’m very excited.

Someone at the Fool just posted a link to Warren Buffett’s Letters to Partners from Buffett Partnership, the company that predated Berkshire.

It’s like finding episodes of The West Wing‘s first 14 months in office, or an extra 3 or 4 Shakespeare works, or prequels to the Star Wars trilogy that don’t suck.

The internet… a beautiful thing.


I had in the back of my head the horrifying concept that raising a kid to age 18 costs something on the order of $100,000. I realize now that I got that number from a Calvin and Hobbes comic, and the actual number is much, much scarier.

Roughly $269,000 to $330,000 per kid. To age 18. That doesn’t include helping them with college tuition or diesel repair school.

There’s a guy here at work who has 8 kids. I’m sure he gets a volume discount, though.

Sports Mexican, Scooters, Basements and the Napless

The weekends go way too quickly.

One of Rocketboy’s usual babysitters told that she was going to babysit for us on Saturday night, so we should find someplace to go. So, we elected for dinner and Little Miss Sunshine, which everyone’s been gushing about.

We haven’t really gotten a babysitter in a while and I was pondering about why that might be. I think in the end that a 3.5 year old is simply not as taxing as a 2.5 year old. “Watching” Roan is sometimes sitting on the couch reading a book, since he often does his own thing for periods at a time. The other thing might be that there simply hasn’t been anything at the movies I’m interested in. When I took my week vacation between jobs, I went to see The Devil Wears Prada not because I was particularly interested in the film, but because it was the lesser of the evils and I just wanted to go to the movies.

But, soon we will be heading into a taxing time again, so best to take the time when we get it.

We went to the Tin Roof Cantina that had opened up on Briarcliff. Neither of us knew anything about it; I had assumed it was a mexican restaurant akin to On the Border or El Azteca. Really, it was a sports bar that serves burritos. It was acceptable, I don’t think we’d ever bother with it again.

Little Miss Sunshine was very fun. A great cast of really likable characters. and I both laughed with tears in our eyes at the ending.

Sunday, went shopping while Rocketboy and I went to Toys R Us looking for a big wheel. Surprisingly, they really only had one, a Hot Wheels brand, in a box. They didn’t have any to try out. While I was pondering this, Rocketboy was scooting up and down the aisles on a three wheeled standup scooter thing. There were two setup for kids to try, and he kept trying to get a little Mexican boy (who I don’t think spoke English… his father didn’t) to scoot with him.

Ro: Are you going to the park? We’re going to the park with a scooter. You can take this scooter and we can both go to the park. Here! Take this scooter! Here!
Boy and Father- blank stares, then they walked away.
Ro: (looking at me) I guess they’re going to the park later.

So, we got the scooter and a new helmet (featuring Lightning McQueen). We went home, put it together and tried it out a little bit, then went to the park. But the sun was so hot and Ro was so tired that he just sort of stood on the scooter and stared listlessly. We went home to not take a nap.

We went back later in the day, but he spent more time on the slides than scooting. Lack of nap deadens his adventuring impulse.

I can’t get my mind around his tiredness oscillations. One minute he’ll be glassy-eyed and stumbling, the next he’s the Tasmanian Devil.

While Ro didn’t nap, I spent some time cleaning the basement after the Great RePiping of 2006. So far, there’s only one small leak where I’m missing a clamp, so that’s good. I’m making progress down there towards making it a livable space/play area. But I am at times overwhelmed by the amount of paint stripping, crack filling, wall sealing, electrical wiring, drywalling and piles of junk (50% of which was left by the previous owners) that need to be hauled to the curb. Baby steps is my mantra. But if the baby steps are too small, the babies will be in college before the basement is ready for them to play in.

We watched another couple episodes of The West Wing Season 5 on Sunday night, and everything I’ve read about the change in the character of the show after Aaron Sorkin left at the end of Season 4 is true. It’s still a pretty good show, but it’s not the fantastic show I’ve come to know and obsess over. They’ve turned down the wit and turned up the drama.

For some reason today, in the back of my mind, I’ve been trying to figure out what the fastest way to become rich would be if you could read minds, other than outright theft or something else illegal.

Checking out Alexa

Keith and the Girl were celebrating having broken though the 50,000 mark recently on Alexa. Last night, I decided to do a little site-surfing on Alexa.

LiveJournal 68
The Motley Fool 974
Cisco 1,140
Keith and the Girl 38,526
Creative Loafing 42,880
Scientific Atlanta 76,996
Georgia Shakespeare 746,484
Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts 971,451
Dad’s Garage Theater 1,065,810
Alliance Theater 1,189,508
TheaterReview 1,221,688
Shakespeare Tavern 3,130,112 No Data