July 26th, 2002

Brian and Anne

(no subject)

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I hung out on the roof early in the morning and washed the upstairs windows from the outside. That was interrupted briefly to let the city electrical inspector in to check the wiring associated with the new basement sump pump. The roofers finished this stage of what they were doing before lunch and shortly after that Jenny called wanting to use my computer for something. I invited her to lunch.

I made a chicken salad for lunch. It's really easy to cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in Bill's old iron skillet - it has a top, so you just put some water in, put it on medium with the chicken in and the top on, turning the chicken occassionally, and it takes only 20-30 minutes for them to cook. While that was on I chopped some Celery, green onion, and green pepper. I observed that green pepper is one of the few foods that can get partially moldy yet have other prts I'm willing to eat. The smell doesn't spread through it at all. Jenny arrived and I finished the salad with the chicken, cut into pieces, some raisins, some chopped walnuts, and a dressing made of mayonaise, miracle whip, oregano and curry. Served on a bed of lettuce, with alfalfa sprouts on top. It was really good, if I may say so myself. Jenny had seconds, and we finished off the bowl after we did the dishes.
Brian and Anne

(no subject)

okay, I monitored the Stadium Floors guy - an older man who lives out in the country and has been doing tile work all his life. He helpfully replaced our tile broken by the city drainage project as well as a random one by the closet. So that's done.

I mopped most of the kitchen floor and had lunch and finished the Hugo-nominated Novella "Stealing Alabama" by Allen Steele (</i>Asimov's</i> 1/01). It was pretty darn good. unfortunately that makes for only one of the novella nominees for hugo I've read.

I' have read all the novel nominees, as well as the novelette "Lobsters" by Charles Stross (Asimov's 6/01) which I liked so much I'm sure I'll vote for it, and two short story nominees: Stephen Baxter's "The Ghost Pit", which I didn't like at all, and Michael Swanwick's "The Dog Said Bow-Wow", which I liked even less.

On the novels, I just finished Robert C. Wilson's The Chonoliths and was really disappointed. It's a very flat, simplistic book. The text leads you to expect events to have a high impact on everyone in the world and though intellectually you can see that described, there's little-to-no character or place sympathy that leads you to feel it that way. It's better than Passage and everything's better than Cosmonaut Keep but I find I prefered the complexity of Perdido Street Station, even acknowledging its inconsistency and momentary confusions, or the elegance and surprise ending of American Gods. There are few surprises in The Curse of Chalion but I still personally enjoyed even it more than The Chronoliths, which is not what I was expecting.