Saturday, November 22, 2003

The Eyre Affair

Christina read The Eyre Affair for her book club and recommended it to me when she finished it. This is a fun book with a very unusual premise. This takes place in an alternate universe where the Crimean War is still going on in 1985. Thursday Next's father is a special operative in the Chrono Guard, which may have something to do with the changing timeline. But this, as Douglas Adams might say, is not his story.

Instead, this is the story of Thursday Next, literary detective. She investigates things like literary forgery, but things get weirder when her uncle invents a device that allows people to step into books, and it is stolen by a master criminal. I won't give away more of the plot, as part of the fun of the book is learning the twists and turns of the author's universe. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I knew more about Jane Eyre, though.

Anyway, it is a neat universe, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Traveler's Century Club

I ran across a reference to the Traveler's Century Club on FlyerTalk. It's an organization for those who have visited 100 or more "countries". They have a fairly loose definition of the term country -- Hawaii counts, for example. I fancy myself a bit of a world traveler -- so, how'm I doing?

15. Or 16. I'm trying to decide whether airport stopovers count. I was thinking of my times through the Frankfurt airport before recalling -- oh, yeah, I was born in Germany. To be fair, I have no memory of that, so I'm just going by what it says on my birth certificate. Anyway, the one in question is the Netherlands, since I changed planes in Amsterdam once.

The rest are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Canada
  6. Cyprus, Republic
  7. England
  8. Finland
  9. Germany
  10. Korea, South
  11. Mexico
  12. Poland
  13. Scotland
  14. United States (continental)
  15. Wales


Wednesday, November 19, 2003


I took a number of pictures in Chicago, but all but one were of the Marriott, the skyline, or some combination of the two. The other one was of the Billy Goat Tavern, but for some reason Moto Photo failed to give me a print of that one. Weird.

Anyway, I had a nice time for two and a half days in Chicago. I went to the Art Institute of Chicago -- two hours was far too little time -- and the aforementioned Billy Goat Tavern (cheezeborger, cheezeborger, cheezeborger).

The Marriott (officially the "Chicago Marriott Downtown at Medical District/UIC") was fairly nice, although the high-speed Internet access never worked while I was there. I spent most of my time at the conference.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ranch Store Center

After the Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, my parents took us to the nearby town of Oracle. We went to the Ranch Store Center, which had a bunch of funky artsy stuff for sale. Well, it wasn't for sale when we got there, since they had closed up shop early. We wandered around and looked at the stuff; the robot was a particular favorite.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice dinner at Nonna Maria's Pizza.


Monday, November 17, 2003

Grantham Get-Together

Well, on the digital pictures -- note to self: the flash can wash out features if taken too close.

Friday and Saturday my parents had a booth at the Saddlebrooke Arts and Crafts Fair. Friday my Aunt Pam stopped by, and we got to visit with her. Saturday, my cousin Stephanie visited with her son Andrew and her nephew Brayden. It was my first opportunity to meet either of my first cousins once removed, and it was a lot of fun. Andrew is almost 4, and a very sweet, bright child. Brayden is six or so months old, and very cute. We are pictured below.

Hmm. Somehow he's the mature-looking one.

I was noticing recently that I have pictures of myself in that hat all over the world.

That picture in the background is the same one that's on my father's web page.