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Stumbling Through Life and (Cyber)Space
The Meanderings of a Curious Mind
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4th-Feb-2017 09:59 pm - Red-Tailed Hawk
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For the past couple of years when I've walked in Central Park around the Metropolitan Museum of Art I've seen a bird that I thought was a hawk or falcon either on the museum or one of the trees. Today I saw a man who was filming the bird and I asked him if he knew what it was. He told me it was a male Red-tailed hawk which is very interesting. When I was young the only birds in the park were pigeons and sparrows and a few ducks and swans but nowadays there is a greater variety. I wonder what kind of bird will show up next.

The other interesting thing is that stillrose, one of the most fascinating Spander writers, has converted one of her unfinished Spander fanfics into a novel titled Desert Ice under the nom de plume of Rose Maefair. I haven't read it as I don't have a kindle but I will try to do so (I can borrow a friend's kindle) once I can stop being so outraged by what is going on in Washington DC.
10th-Jan-2017 08:59 pm - Birthday Bash Pt. 2
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My relatives and I had a lovely celebration Sunday night at Not Your Average Joe's where the appetizer bread they serve has a delicious dip that I love. It consists of parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and olive oil. My birthday cake was a tiramisu cake which was absolutely scrumptuous.

On my actual birthday my cousin and I went to the Petit Robert Bistro where we had an incredible lunch. First I had a spinach and leek soup then Annie's Croque Monsieur followed by a hot mocha drink with Dark Godiva chocolate and a Crème brûlée which I shared with my cousin. So I gain a few pounds or so - it's worth it.

Tomorrow I'm returning to NYC after a half wonderful/half sad visit (my elderly relative's dementia was much worse this year than last year). I can't help wondering what it will be like next year *sigh*
8th-Jan-2017 09:52 am - B'Day Bash
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I took the train up to Needham, MA on Thursday. We celebrated my cousin's (well actually we are third cousins but who cares) at a wonderful Chinese restaurant called Zoe's Chinese Restaurant where among the other dishes we shared I loved the Crab Rangoon, Stir Fried Spinach with Garlic and General Gau's Chicken. I'm staying with one of the other cousins who unfortunately has to take care of their severely demented mother and whose father is currently in rehab as he has a bad heart (and is also in an early stage of dementia *sigh*) so in addition to basicaly running PluggedIn she has to do a lot regarding her parents though she does have some caretakers coming to help.

Last night I went with her and her husband to see "La La Land". There had been a snowstorm yesterday so the theater we were planning to go to was closed so we ended up driving to the C
hestnut Hill SuperLux Movie Theater and boy was it super luxurious. We sat in reclining chairs and you could order dinner to be served while watching a movie which my cousin did (it was a bit late for me and I already had some dark chocolate raisins and malted milk balls to munch on). She and her husband did not like the movie. I found it rather bland especially as a musical as the only song that was memorable was "City of Stars". It was divided into seasons - fall, winter etc, - just like "Meet Me in St Louis" but was definitely not in that league. The reason I wanted to see the movie was a dance scene where the lead characters are dancing among the stars. I did think it was pretty spectacular but the 5 minutes did not make up for the other 123 minutes.

Tonight we will be celebrating my birthday even though it's really on Monday as my cousin will be too busy tomorrow. I'll be returning to NYC on Wednesday.
2nd-Jan-2017 05:27 pm - Carrie Fisher
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Last night I watched Carrie Fisher in "Wishful Drinking" on HBO. It was a marvelous talk about her life. I saw it once before in 2010 when it first came out. I truly am so sad that she died at only 60 (three years younger than me) as there would be so much more she could have done beyond the third Star Wars movie in this third trilogy. Looking forward to seeing the HBO documentary "Bright Lights, A Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Documentary" next Saturday. Requescat in pace Carrie.
1st-Jan-2017 11:07 pm - Books Read in 2016
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Well I thought I'd be reading far more this year then I have in the past several years but things happened. So many of my favorite SF and mystery authors have passed on and I'm not finding any new authors that I like *sigh* The other problem was that once Mr Deplorable won the election I found it hard to concentrate enough to actually read much. I sit here wondering will I read more books this year or even fewer then the 30 I read in 2016?

X by Sue Grafton
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Clawback by J. A. Jance
Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry
Visitor by C. J. Cherryh
Obsession by Nora Roberts
Night Shift by Charlaine Harris
The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen Baxter and Alistair Reynolds
Someone Always Knows by Marcia Muller
Haunting Investigation by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro lousy
Downfall by J. A. Jance
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris
Smile and Be a Villain by Jeanne M. Dams
Denny's Law by Elizabeth Gunn
To the Last Drop by Sandra Balzo

Hollyweird Science by Kevin R. Grazier and Stephen Cass
Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Underworld by Graham Hancock
Leonard by William Shatner with David Fisher
What's It Like in Space? by Ariel Waldman
The Cool Factor by Andrea Linett
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Boarding the Enterprise ed. by David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer
Star Trek The Official Guide to Our Universe by Andrew Fazekas
The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil
The Aliens are Coming by Ben Miller
Millennium by Ian Mortimer (well I'm halfway through so I'm adding it to the list)
1st-Jan-2017 10:52 pm - 2017
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Well 2017 has begun and it was actually a lovely day here in NYC. Last night I was at the annual New Year's Eve party at a fellow atheist's apartment. His musician friends played some wonderful songs like "Diana", "Bye Bye Love", "White Rabbit", "Stand By Me", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "Space Oddity" among others. I also had my glass of Bailey's Chocolate Cherry liquor - yummy!!. On Thursday I'm off to Needham, MA for my annual birthday bash. I'm also working on figuring out how to transfer my later LJ posts to DW because of the problems that now affect LJ since Russia has struck again *sigh*

May 2017 be a good year...somehow.

25th-Dec-2016 06:49 pm - Happy Holidays
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Merry Christmas (or as we atheists say Merry Chrismyth)

Well I'm staying at my friend's apartment taking care of her dog while she's in SF with her sons. Today I went to some other friends' apartment and had a wonderful brunch. It is not a white Christmas but at least it is sunny not rainy.

Since she has Verizon and Apple TV I've been watching "The Crown". It's about the early years of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is played by Matt Smith who once played Doctor Who which I will be watching later tonight. For some reason they liked showing his naked rear end a couple of times and he does has a very nice one. The scenes were filmed in gorgeous and ornate settings that made the ones in "Downton Abbey" look shabby (no wonder the 10-episode first season is said to have cost $130 million making it the most expensive TV show ever made). In one of the later eps they showed two horses mating which is the first time I actually have seen that though I don't know if the horses were indeed mating or had been trained to look like they were doing so.

Last Monday I joined the NYC Atheists for their annual
NYC Atheists Solstice & Buffet Frolic dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Congee Bowery. The food was ok but we did have a great time. The first few such dinners that I attended were held at a wonderful restaurant called Les Sans Culottes which unfortunately went out of business so our fearless leader has been trying to find one as good as that one but so far has not succeeded IMO.

Hope everyone has been having a wonderful weekend whether they are celebrating Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa or just another weekend.

ETA: The curse of 2016 struck again as Maisie Mousebreath, a corn snake who belonged to my friend in Fargo, passed on. She was over 14 years of age which is about twice as long as a wild snake lives but not as long as a pet corn snake can live. 2016 truly sucks *sigh*
25th-Nov-2016 09:50 pm - More Repitition of History
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I'm currently watching a batch of Dr Kildare movies filmed in the 1930s in the middle of the Depression and so much of what is going on with doctors and poor people I fear may occur again now that the Gross Old Party has complete control of the government. What's also scary is that while this was going on here in the US over in Germany the Nazis were gaining control of Germany
24th-Nov-2016 05:35 pm - Arrival
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The friend I usually share a Thanksgiving dinner with is in San Francisco as one of her sons is now living there. I am currently staying in her apartment taking care of her dog. This morning I went to see "Arrival" which is truly a terrific SF movie. Last century I loved SF movies like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Forbidden Planet". This century we finally have a couple of good movies like "The Martian" and this one. It's a believable movie with characters that are very true to life. The heroine, Louise played by Amy Adams, appears like a realistic woman and not a movie star in terms of makeup and clothing and I love the house she lives in. The creators did a wonderful job of making the aliens very alien in terms of appearance, culture and communication. Of course if you truly analyze the aliens you wonder why they have not already found ways of communicating with us as we have been broadcasting into space for some 70 or so years but ignoring that, it really points out communicating with aliens will not be easy . I know we have made translating apps but those deal with the languages of our home planet and making universal translators like on Star Trek may truly be impossible. I plan on seeing "Arrival" again though probably it will be on TV. I'm also left wondering what is going to happen in 3000 years. Here's an interesting article on how the movie makers created the alien language and writing: https://www.inverse.com/article/23159-arrival-invented-new-complicated-alien-language.

ETA: Here's an interesting article on how great a SF movie "Arrival" is from a scientific aspect: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/76811

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