Thursday, August 09, 2007

Excuses and Explanations

I haven't been blogging much this week; I was in the city (New York, of course) most of the day Monday and today, meeting people and doing the networking thing [1].

Yesterday was a big trip with the whole family to the Liberty Science Center, where I learned two things:
  1. Don't drive on Route 78 the day of a major rainstorm that flooded nearly every other through road in the area (it took us nearly three hours to get there).
  2. The LSC doesn't require more than three hours or so to see it, and the school groups clear out in the early trying to get there in the morning is severely contra-indicated.
It eventually was fun, but The Wife was getting seriously stressed on the drive over. We did the Skyscraper exhibit (right inside the front door) last, which I would also recommend: it's popular (and excellent), so try to leave it until after a lot of other people have left. Some of the exhibits upstairs are fun, but many of them are more "educational," and we saw them all in a mass of other people.

Oh, and one more tale of my hyper-competitive son Thing 2. In the Skyscraper exhibit, there's a place where museum patrons can put on a harness and walk along some I-beams a story or two above the floor. Thing 2 thought it was cool, and did it easily. (The Wife then lent Thing 2's sneakers to another boy who had inappropriate footwear.) Thing 1 then decided he wanted to do it -- he's much less of a daredevil -- and he very slowly shuffled his feet all the way around. By this time Thing 2 was ready for a second go-round. (My personal theory about his motivation: anything his older brother can do once, he can do twice and faster.) After he had the harness on, he asked the woman running it what the fastest time was. "22 seconds," she said. "Time me," he said, and was off like a shot. His support got stuck on the first corner, so it took him a whole 34 seconds, which made him deeply grumpy...until the woman pointed out that the record-holder was four or five times his age, and that 34 seconds is awfully good for a six-year-old. (I dread the day Thing 2 starts getting letter grades. He'd better turn out to be really smart, or dial down his competitiveness, or we're going to have some serious drama in years to come.)

So those are my excuses for skipping blogging this week. I'm two books behind on things read for here, and three behind on reviews for ComicMix -- I hope to get to at least some of that tomorrow (after I take the boys to see Underdog; sure, it looks deeply cheesy, and it's a new, for-kids live-action remake of an old cartoon, but it has Jason Lee's voice and Peter Dinklage as Simon Bar Sinister, so I have to check it out).

As I visited various editorial folk today and Monday, I glommed a bunch of books, which I'll probably list on Saturday, as is my wont. (And one came in the mail, which I might review on ComicMix if I get to it quickly enough.) But two of them sparked a new reading project, which I will now explain.

Today I finished up the last comic sitting around (for the second time in a month, actually). So I decided to raise the bar. I grabbed the two most recent "Amos Walker" detective novels by Loren D. Estleman today, and that inspired me to drag out the other five novels I have but haven't read in the series. (There are four more that I both don't have and haven't read; I hope to get at least three of them out of libraries in the next day or two.)

Sometime tomorrow, I'll finish the book I'm currently reading (The Heart of a Goof, golfing stories by P.G. Wodehouse), and then embark upon...

Hornswoggler's Estleman, Loren Project (aka HELP)

The plan: to read one Amos Walker novel a day until I get through my backlog. (So that would be between seven and eleven days of Detroit detecting, depending on how many of the missing ones I can score.) I liked this series before, but I'm nearly two decades slow in reading it, so it's time to catch up -- and catch up quickly. (Yes, that time period will include the big family trip to Hershey Park in the middle of next week -- but I think I can cram some reading in then, as well.)

So look for a series of HELP posts -- roughly once a day starting Sunday, I hope -- as I push the pedal to the metal through the works of the Motor City Mystery-Man. (My god, that's a hideous sentence.)

Why HELP? Well, it's a tortured acronym, which is always a good thing in my mind. I thought about other possibilities, such as the Loren Estleman Amos Project (LEAP) or Amos Walker Experience (AWE), or even Land of Amos Walker (LAW), but none of them were sufficiently tortured.

So: this is not a book review, and I'm not linking to any of my book reviews anywhere else. But I'm promising a series of reviews, over the next two weeks, of a series of detective novels I remember fondly. And, with any luck, I'll catch up on my other backlogged posts tomorrow.

[1] The networking thing is supposed to result in a job, but it was described to me as a process not unlike the thinking of the underwear gnomes:
  • Step 1: Network with everyone you know.
  • Step 2.
  • Step 3: Profit!
So we shall see what the actual result is. Still, I'm reconnecting with some great people, which is nice in and of itself.

1 comment:

clindsay said...

Hey there, next time you're in the city, gimme a buzz. I'd love to take you to lunch and actually meet you in person.

deadlanguages (at) gmail (dot) com


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