Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Mixed Bag in Space

 Just finished reading A Hole in Space, a 1974 short story collection by Larry Niven.  Don't know why I'd never read, or even heard of this one before, because back in the '80s I burned through just about everything he'd written up until then.  So, how was it?  Mixed, with everything between C+ to A.  There's a classic Louis Wu story in there (There is a Tide, which I'd read long ago), a very noir-ish story about a criminal gang using flash mobs to pull off their heists (the enabling technology is a little different than cell phones however), some bribery mixed with game theory, an alien contact story where a bartender saves the Earth, why pure theoretical physicists can't be trusted with alien hardware, etc.

It's a good way to spend a couple of evenings.  Really wishing he'd get an English edition of Protector out on Kindle though.  My copy's packed up, and it just feels like time to re-read it.  In the meantime though, it was nice to stumble across a previously unknown collection like A Hole in Space.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The CitiCar: Truly Awful

 Article at Wikipedia and some hilarious video at youtube.  

People look back at the 70s with nostalgia, but it is hard for anybody who was there to get past leisure suits and CitiCars and the like.  OK, there were a few things like punk rock and and the VAX-11/780 that were pretty good, but for the most part the 70s were about shutting down the Apollo program and building junk like the CitiCar.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Coffeeneuring Stop #3: Cowand Point

 At yet another coffee-shop-without-walls, here's a late morning stop along the Bay of St. Louis.  

1. where: Cowand Point, Bay St. Louis MS

2. date: 10/17/20

3. what: black-black coffee, brewed from espresso beans

4. ride details: CX bike on a mid-70s October day

5. distance: 7.4 miles round-trip

One of those perfect mid-October days just after a cool front blows through.  I had another place in mind, but while zipping by on the seawall I spied this one and quickly turned around.  About the time I settled in with my cup, I knew why this place felt so familiar: it's reminiscent of a favorite fishing spot in Florida where the alligators have taken over.  Hm.  The odds of having a reptile encounter were low, being in town and with the cool weather and all, but it was a definite possibility so I finished my cup and didn't stay for a second.  Beautiful spot though.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Satellites Miss Yesterday

 Article at Phew! 2 big hunks of space junk zoom safely past each other in near miss

Not that I'm disappointed or anything, but a Kessler cascade would have been right at home in 2020.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dinosaurs & Kids

 And no, this isn't some Jurassic Park tale.  Boy, 12, discovers rare dinosaur skeleton at the BBC.

That is cool.  Imagine his start-of-school-year essay: "What I Did on My Summer Vacation"!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Halloween is On the Way

 ...and here's a good take on Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You.

While we're at it, Halloween is the night for pirate radio.  More here.  How-to primer here.  Be ready.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Coffeeneuring Stop #2: North Beach Boat Launch

 Just another quiet morning in Bay St. Louis, and time to get out and do the seawall ride again.

1. where: Along the bayfront seawall, all the way at the north end by the boat launch.

2. date: 10/12/20

3. what: cafe au lait, made with Cafe du Monde coffee-with-chicory and a dash of half-and-half

4. ride details: CX bike on a warm, even hot, early October day

5. distance: 11.8 miles round-trip

This seawall route has been pretty much my stock lunchtime ride for this middle part of 2020.  The whole coffeeshop without walls concept is working out really well this year.  Here, have a pic of some pelicans perching just offshore in the Bay; as always, click to embiggen.

Then I came home and took the window boards down.  They'd been up since September 14th(!) when two hurricanes that made a run at the area in one week.  The combination of storms, rain, and yet more storms worked together to keep them up until a sunny day had everything dry and conducive to taking them down and putting back in storage.  Hopefully they won't have to go back up this year, but this is 2020 so who knows?