Strawberry Picking

Scarlett had a good time picking apples, so Danielle thought it’d be neat to take Scarlett strawberry picking. I was pretty surprised at how many people were there.


Everyone Strawberry Picking
Everyone Strawberry Picking

When we arrived, they gave us a box to fill with strawberries. Scarlett was quite excited about carrying the box over to the fields.

Scarlett carries the box
Scarlett carries the box
Scarlett carries box 2
Scarlett carries box 2

Unsurprisingly, it was mostly Danielle and I – with Scarlett putting in one or two strawberries at a time.


A gallery of some picking photos:

We ended up with WAAAY too many strawberries – we were drinking smoothies for weeks.

All the strawberries
All the strawberries

Aladdin on Broadway

When we went to my graduate degree graduation, it was also Alex’s birthday so we went to see Aladdin on Broadway. It was really good. Danielle and I enjoy Broadway shows, but have not really enjoyed the Disney Broadway shows. Mary Poppins in particular was quite a disappointment. Aladdin, on the other hand, hews a lot closer to the story that movie audiences remember. The only changes they make have to do with the fact that it’s harder on broadway to have animal characters. So instead of Abu, Aladdin gains a few friends (and a fun song about them in which they are busking. Iago becomes a man who seems to be doing a mix between Sam Kinison and Gilbert Godfrey. While we’re talking about impressions, one of Aladdin’s buddies appears to be doing an impression of Horshach from Welcome Back Kotter. Of course, the star of the show is Genie who plays on our stereotypes of overweight people to impress as he does the most impressive feats of broadway of the entire cast.

Review: The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social

The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situationsThe Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations by Cory Doctorow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once, a long time ago, I starting reading The Illuminatus Trilogy. I’m not sure why, but I think someone who was also into scifi had recommended it to me. Between its strange pacing and storytelling and sexual content I wasn’t quite ready for, I didn’t get it and quit early.

I often felt echoes of that while reading this book. It’s such a head trip that I often had no idea what in the world was going on. If I were a different personality or if I didn’t already know that I like Cory Doctorow, I might have quit the book early. It was very, very weird.

But in the end it gets three stars because it had some pretty interesting ideas about gender identity, the singularity, technology, and chaos. This wouldn’t be the first Doctorow book I’d give to someone who’d never heard of him, but it’s good once you’re done and meditate on what you just read.

View all my reviews

Review: The Sagan Diary

The Sagan Diary  (Old Man's War, #2.5)The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is best read right after the original trilogy so you can get all the references. As these are Jane Sagan’s BrainPal diary entrees, Scalzi doesn’t over describe the references.

It’s much more poetically written than other Scalzi stuff I’ve read, so it was neat to see him showcase some of his other writing talents.

Finally it was a bit nice to see into Jane’s head a bit more.

View all my reviews

Review: Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele,  #1)Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I set out to see if I could enjoy a romance book. I got this Marjorie Liu book for free from Barnes and Noble in a Friday giveaway. The cover promised a cheesy romance, but I knew going in it was Liu who I loved on X-Men and I knew it was a paranormal romance, to which my wife said “like the movie Ghost?”

It turned out to essentially be like the Robert Ludllum books I read in college while flying home on break, only with better sex scenes (because the two characters in a Ludlum book usually ended up knocking boots). This is a thriller that takes place on two continents with some elements of urban fantasy.

I really liked the story and could see myself reading more of the series. I was invested in the characters and Liu created a compelling universe. Sure, lots of standard romance tropes (the oft-recited ones ) were there: this guy can give her emotionally and sexually what no other man could. She’s an every-woman in looks and he’s a stunner. He’s perfectly chivalrous about sexual acts. But they don’t detract from a good story and, anyway, genre fiction is all about the tropes.

I recently came across an article saying that ereaders are causing a renaissance in erotica and romance because no one can see what you’re reading. That’s definitely the case here (with me) as this cover gives off more of a bodice ripper vibe.

View all my reviews

The Tyranny of the Little Brothers

It wasn’t until this year that I realized I was no longer in control of my personal narrative. I believed that I could be in charge of how private or public my life was. But it’s become increasingly obvious this year that it’s not in Facebook’s financial interest for me to be able to control my narrative. Too many of us are disengaging with the social network to a large degree. So now others can post about me and tag me and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s quite frustrating that all too many conversations nowadays begin with, “please don’t post this to Facebook.” It just makes me want to turn in on myself and spend less time socializing. Because, at least for now, anything that happens in my home when I’m by myself will only end up on the Internet if Danielle and I both want it online.

As I’ve said before, it’s not Big Brother you need to worry about – The Government doesn’t give a darn what you do on the weekend. It’s the Little Brothers catching you on a million cell phone cameras and any of them can decide to post and tag you.

Be More Like Me: Don’t Be Afraid to Do Stuff Alone

Hey, when you like bands like The Protomen, Anamanaguchi, and Weird Al, it’s hard to find someone to go to a concert with you. I’d be missing out on lots of fun if I had to go with someone else.

From the article:

Everyone has different internal guidelines for solo outings, and these guidelines are often marked by a fair degree of irrationality. I’ve never been able to work up the nerve to see a movie alone, for example, and yet I’ve eaten plenty of meals in restaurants without a dining partner — despite the fact that it’s a much more visible activity than sitting in a dark theater.