Jim (drneutron) Reads: Volume 4

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Jim (drneutron) Reads: Volume 4

maj 24, 2:43pm

I'm Jim, 58, husband of 36 years, father of a son in a PhD program in Comp Sci at Notre Dame, who reads pretty much anything. We're in central Maryland with roots in Louisiana. I like to read (obviously), cook, want to learn to fly fish, and trail bike riding/kayaking with mrsdrneutron. Of course, LT is a big time sink, but mrsdrneutron seems to have come to terms with my LT addiction...

Thanks for joining me in kicking 2020 to the curb!

Redigerat: maj 24, 3:20pm

Total Books: 36

Author Gender
Male: 23 (64%)
Female: 13 (36%)

Author Status
Living: 35 (97%)
Dead: 1 (3%)

Publication Medium
Hardback: 4 (11%)
Trade: 10 (28%)
Mass Market: 0 (5%)
eBook: 22 (61%)

Fiction: 27 (75%)
Nonfiction: 9 (25%)

Library: 25 (69%)
Mine: 11 (31%)

ARC: 4
Re-Read: 0
Series: 12
Group Read: 2

maj 24, 2:44pm

Open for business!

maj 24, 2:48pm

Happy new thread, Jim!

maj 24, 2:53pm

Happy new one, Jim!

maj 24, 2:56pm

Happy new thread friend!

maj 24, 3:04pm

Happy new thread!

I'll be back to check out >3 drneutron: & >4 drneutron: later.

maj 24, 3:21pm

>5 drneutron:, >6 FAMeulstee:, >7 katiekrug: Thanks, Anita, Katie, and Tamara!

>8 leperdbunny: Thanks! All caught up now!

maj 24, 3:38pm

37. Himalaya: a Human History by Ed Douglas

I'm fascinated by the Himalayas - the geography, the cultures, the history. Ed Douglas' book is a nice place to go for all these things. Starting with how the mountains got there and how they got so big, he mostly concentrates on the people that lived in them and those that came to them. I did get boded down in names from languages I'm unfamiliar with, though... 😀

38. Firewatching by Russ Thomas

What I thought would be a run-of-the-mill British police procedural with messed up detective and personal entanglements turned out to be... a decent British police procedural with messed up detective and personal entanglements. Good enough that reserved the second in the series and will likely start it this weekend.

maj 24, 4:19pm

Watched a nerdy documentary last night that made me think of you - not space related, but heavy on science. It was about the crash of the Hindenberg, and it's causes. The scientist in it was really great. On PBS Nova.

maj 24, 5:55pm

>11 drneutron: #37 sounds like a great read indeed! My father, Korean War vet, used to talk to me about the politics of Tibet, the Himalayas, and China's *absolute*determination* to control the water that those giant mountains trap.

maj 24, 6:53pm

>11 drneutron: #37 is now on my "to read" list; thank you.

Also, happy new thread.

maj 24, 6:55pm

Happy new thread, Jim. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a Meet Up today and in the woods to boot. How great is that? God, I love LT folks!

maj 24, 7:08pm

>12 blackdogbooks: Oh, I’ll have to look that one up!

>13 richardderus: it was pretty clear China’s been trying to control that region for a very long time. I hope you get your hands on a copy.

>14 ArlieS: Cool!

>15 msf59: Saw the pics on Facebook! I’m glad you had a good meetup.

maj 24, 8:58pm

Happy new thread, Jim!

maj 25, 2:27am

Happy new thread, Jim!

maj 25, 2:32pm

Happy New Thread!

Kudos on getting your MIL all settled - that's a huge project. I predict (!) that you'll have no trouble selling her car; at least in this area, good quality used cars have gone UP by a third since last fall.

maj 25, 2:56pm

Hi Jim and happy new thread. Glad your MiL’s settled.

>4 drneutron: You are consistent about reading living authors almost exclusively.

maj 25, 3:13pm

>17 bell7:, >18 SirThomas: Thanks, Mary and Thomas!

>19 streamsong: Yep, but unfortunately, this one's been sitting for a while and has some issues. We're gonna see what CarMax and Carvana will offer us.

>20 karenmarie: Yeah, the trouble is, I keep looking at the new books section of the library and they're all so shiny... 😀

maj 25, 7:31pm

Happy new one, Jim.

maj 25, 8:58pm

Thanks, Paul!

maj 25, 10:02pm

Happy new one!! Hopefully I can keep up with this one. : )

maj 26, 7:45am

>24 Berly: Thanks, Kim! No pressure. 😀

maj 26, 9:46am

Beating on a tin pan and shouting "Happy New Thread!"

I will have to catch up with that "Nova" on The Hintenberg - a story that fascinates me. "Mythbusters" did a good one on that a few years back - maybe it WASN'T the gas in the gas bag that triggered the disaster after all?

And Maybe if not for this horrible event airships would have continued to be a stable stable useful means of transportation into the rest of the century

maj 26, 10:56am

>26 magicians_nephew: I have a friend who spent some time on a project a few years back looking at using dirigibles as long-duration platforms for cell and data services. Basically, an airship up at 20,000 ft allows for a pretty wide area of coverage, so useful where cell towers aren't cost effective. Never got any funding to try it out though.

maj 26, 4:45pm

Hi Jim, happy new thread mate.

maj 26, 5:48pm

Thanks, John!

maj 31, 9:31am

And in other news, squatters under my shed have been reduced by one!

maj 31, 9:41am

Adorable! (And probably more adorable not under your shed.)

maj 31, 12:30pm

What's next Jim, now that you've trapped the critter?

maj 31, 1:42pm

>30 drneutron: ...and I herewith christen him "Stew"...

maj 31, 3:59pm

Happy New Thread, Jim! (I'm three threads behind on your posts, so I'm just going to start new here.)

maj 31, 4:01pm

>31 ursula: Yup, that’s the third one I’ve caught this year. Plus two rabbits.

>32 lauralkeet: I release them in the wildlife preservation area about 3 miles away.

>33 richardderus: a bit gamey, I imagine…

maj 31, 4:10pm

>35 drneutron: Nice! I mean, I knew you weren't having them for dinner or doing anything awful, but of course you'd want to put some distance between you and I wondered how that worked. Thanks for the explanation.

maj 31, 10:09pm

>30 drneutron: Squatter looks pissed. What is it?

Redigerat: maj 31, 10:29pm

Grundsow, Susan. Groundhog.

ETA: Oh. Hi Jim.

jun 1, 12:32am

>30 drneutron: That's definitely a "This is not over, hoo-man" look.

I mean, Happy New Thread and all but good luck.

Redigerat: jun 1, 8:29am

I think I found some actual footage of you battling the under-the-shed foe, Jim:

jun 1, 8:33am

>40 scaifea: and this is Jim taking the foe to the wildlife preservation area. Don't drive angry, Jim!

jun 1, 8:36am

>37 quondame:, >38 weird_O: Yup, groundhog. It wasn't too upset - didn't even run away when I opened the cage. Just kinda sauntered off into the trees.

>39 swynn: 😀 The battle is never won. There will always be more. The Son calls me Captain Ahab when the subject comes up.

>40 scaifea: 😂 "I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. But I have a beard, so I got that going for me, which is nice."

jun 1, 8:37am

>41 lauralkeet: 😂😂 Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day!

jun 1, 8:52am

Bill Murray has done well with groundhogs, hasn't he?

jun 1, 9:42am

>44 weird_O: I'm sure Bill Murray is not the first Hollywood actor to be bitten by a co-star

jun 1, 10:00am

>41 lauralkeet: *snork!* YES!

jun 1, 11:18am

>44 weird_O:, >45 magicians_nephew:, >46 scaifea: Well, that just caused a coffee spew... 😂😂

Redigerat: jun 2, 8:53pm

Update time!

39. Lady Mechanika Volume 4: The Clockwork Assassin by Joe Benitez

Another volume in the Lady Mechanika steampunk series. Not as good as the last, but still pretty good. This time we get some back story on her sidekick, Archibald Lewis. Artwork is still awesome.

40. Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind's Greatest Invention by Ben Wilson

Cities have been around for some 5000 years - not villages or small settlements, but living, growing, self-sustaining cities. Wilson’s history is a fascinating look at many aspects of cities, focused on understanding how cities have shaped people and people have shaped cities. There’s even a chapter on the importance of street food! One of my faves of the year so far.

41. An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Harris’ take on the Dreyfus Affair through the eyes of the one person in the French Army General Staff that actually stood up to the conspirators who framed Albert Dreyfus for spying for the Germans in the late 19th century. Harris really brings out the anti-semitism and bigotry of the elite of France at the time, and with his meticulous research, immerses the reader in this hard story. Yet another good one!

jun 2, 10:28pm

>48 drneutron: Re: Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind's Greatest Invention I sort of thought the definition of a city is that it is not self sustaining - that it is dependent on trade with other locations for existence and on the countryside for food and other resources, also traded for. It sounds like an interesting book.

jun 3, 8:11am

Ope, you got me with Metropolis - that one sounds excellent!

jun 3, 9:27am

>49 quondame: Wilson recognizes that cities depend on trade with others outside the city, especially for food. But one of his points is that cities incorporate that trade as part of themselves and form this resilient thing that's almost an organism itself. One of his more interesting chapters for me was on how cities in Europe recovered very rapidly from intense bombing in WWII, with essential services beginning to be back on line within days, even, almost as if the city was healing itself. This is obviously not true in all cases - from the archaeological record we know cities have lived and died, but that organic view of the city is an interesting one.

>50 scaifea: Cool! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

jun 3, 10:17am

Sweet Thursday, Jim. Congrats on the groundhog removal. You got me with Metropolis: A History of the City. I also loved An Officer and a Spy. I want to read more Harris.

jun 3, 11:14am

Excellent! I hope you like Metropolis.

jun 3, 10:17pm

>48 drneutron: #40 *grumble* hell and damnation not in the library oh woe *trudges off to Ammy*

jun 3, 10:36pm

😀 Sorrynotsorry!

jun 4, 4:27pm

Big Fan of Robert Harris here. I made my Book Club read the Dreyfus book and it was well received.

jun 4, 7:20pm

The book by Ben Wilson has an eye catching cover and a great review! I have seen such positivity for the Robert Harris book that I must get to it soon, Jim.

Redigerat: jun 4, 7:21pm

Oh and by the way.......one advantage of staying so far east of you is that differing time zones allow me to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you already as it is now Saturday here.

jun 4, 7:29pm

Is it your birthday, Jim? Happy Birthday!

And Happy New Thread!

Have you read, or heard anything,,about the new Andy Weir book?

jun 5, 12:21am

Happy Birthday, Jim. Will there be cake?

jun 5, 6:52am

Happy Birthday, Jim - I wish you a wonderful day!

jun 5, 7:20am

Happy birthday Jim! Thanks for all you do for this group.

jun 5, 7:41am

Have a great birthday weekend, Jim!

jun 5, 8:16am

Happy birthday, Jim!!

jun 5, 9:40am

Next year...*cue ominous music*

jun 5, 3:58pm

Happy birthday Jim, hope you are having a good one mate.

jun 5, 4:01pm

Happy birthday, Jim! Enjoy your special day!

jun 5, 4:30pm

Hope you are enjoying your birthday, Jim!

jun 5, 9:43pm

Thanks for all the good birthday wishes, everyone! I had a great day today. The Son surprised me by coming home for the weekend, and we did fire-it with the soon to be fiancé and him last night. Then today, a good friend of mine, The Son, and I did a 26 mile bike ride (Point of Rocks on the C&O Canal to Harpers Ferry and back) then to another friend's house for homemade fajitas. This evening, The Son and I started a new game together - Divinity Original Sin II.

jun 5, 10:02pm

Happy birthday, Jim! Glad to hear it was a good one.

jun 5, 11:13pm

>56 magicians_nephew: It was definitely a good one!

>57 PaulCranswick:, >58 PaulCranswick: it was a nice cover! You should read this one - was terrific. And thanks for the first-in birthday wishes!

>59 jnwelch: Still on the wait list - though I heard an interview with Weir about it and it sounds great!

>60 weird_O: No cake, but we did have brownies and cheesecake!

>65 richardderus: 😀

>70 bell7: Thanks!

jun 6, 5:32pm

>51 drneutron: Count me as another person adding Metropolis to my out-of-control list of things to read.

Trying to catch up with your journal is somewhat of a two-edged sword.

jun 6, 7:37pm

😀 Sorry about that!

jun 6, 11:49pm

Happy belated birthday Jim!

jun 7, 7:59am


jun 7, 12:06pm

Happy belated birthday! I'm glad it was a good one!

jun 7, 2:37pm


jun 7, 6:45pm

Happy to hear that you enjoyed your bike ride. I have often thought that hiking that C&O trail would be great fun. It is not one of the well known National trails, but it sure is pretty - and so close to a big metropolitan areas that it is surprising.

jun 7, 7:22pm

>78 benitastrnad: The friend I rode with has actually ridden the whole canal trail from DC to Cumberland. Then he switched over to the Gap trail and rode all the way to Pittsburgh. But then, he’s crazy… 😀

jun 10, 10:17am

Hi Jim, just dropping by to acknowledge my visit.
I missed most of your earlier thread. But then that is true of my LT presence this year. I think Covid-overload is the reason. I know I'm missing a lot of what folks are reading but truthfully my BB list is ridiculous in length.

jun 10, 10:34am

Glad you stopped by! Mine is also ridiculous, but I've surrendered to the madness.... 😀

jun 13, 7:26am

(Oops - missed the move.) Happy new thread Jim! And belated happy birthday!

>69 drneutron: 'soon to be fiancé' - do they know yet?
Good for you, cycling all that way. (pass the popcorn)

jun 13, 8:18am

>82 humouress: well, I think they’re in the planning stage, but the Son can be pretty tight-lipped about things. 😀

jun 13, 8:32am

So he's not proposed yet but you know that he intends to. Wishing him luck.

jun 13, 8:39am

Will do!

jun 13, 6:14pm

Happy belated birthday, Jim!! Glad it was a good one. As of this month, my daughter has an actual fiancé--exciting times! We looked at a wedding venue this week. : )

jun 14, 10:21am

>85 drneutron: Thanks! We're encouraging The Son to consider eloping... 😂

jun 15, 1:06pm

Hi, Jim! Sorry I missed your birthday. Happy very belated birthday! (Or very happy belated birthday . . .)

jun 15, 2:23pm

😀 Either one works!

jun 15, 9:36pm

Update Time!

42. Don’t Applaud. Either Laugh or Don’t. (At the Comedy Cellar.) by Andrew Hankinson

Interesting, but oddly told, history of the Comedy Cellar, one of the better known comedy clubs in New York. I was taken with the discussion of comedy and how it can offend, with owner Noam Dworman’s attempt to be fair and open in the comedy he books, and with how deals with those who think the comedians should be censored. Unfortunately, the reverse chronological storytelling got tedious after a while and spoiled it for me.

43. Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

Sequel to Firewatching that I read earlier this month - or was it last month? Anyway, this one was also good. A series to keep an eye out.

Richard’s been warbling this one, but I knew I had to read it even without the warbling. After all, I *loved* Haunting of Tram Car 015. Tired of all those Old White Guy European fantasies? This one will knock your socks off!

jun 15, 11:00pm

>87 drneutron: Eloping is not happening here. She wants the full blown celebration! : )

jun 16, 1:12pm

😀 They figured out pretty quickly that any money spent on a wedding could be redirected to a honeymoon, and that's more their style anyway. Plus, both are very anti-drama...

jun 16, 8:21pm

>90 drneutron: I also just finished A Master of Djinn. What a great story!

jun 16, 8:27pm

Yup, yup!

jun 17, 7:40pm

>90 drneutron:
I want to read Master of Djinn. I read Haunting of Tram Car 015 and thought it was great fun.

jun 17, 8:48pm

If you liked Tram Car, you’ll like this one!

jun 18, 11:06am

Adding Tram Car to my list

jun 18, 12:31pm

>90 drneutron: I'm glad you liked the read as much as I did! It was a real pleasure.

Happy weekend's reads!

jun 18, 12:45pm

>97 magicians_nephew: Cool! I hope you like it.

>98 richardderus: Thanks! I've got a couple of good ones going, hope to finish them this weekend.

jun 18, 12:51pm

I think I've mentioned on a previous thread that the mother-in-law moved in with us back in the beginning of May. Last week she developed an infection, then a reaction to the antibiotic she was taking. So last Saturday, we took her to the emergency room and she was admitted to the hospital. She stopped eating and drinking, and rallied a bit after some IVs. But she's mostly not responsive and still doesn't want to eat or drink much, so it being transported to a nursing home close to our house to start hospice care. As you can imagine, it's been a stressful week, but we're hanging in there.

jun 18, 1:34pm

>100 drneutron: I am so sorry to hear this, Jim. Good luck moving forward with your MIL. Trying times...

I have been steering away from fantasy these past couple of years, (with a couple of exceptions) but you got my attention with The Master of Djinn. Sounds like a fun summer read.

jun 18, 3:49pm

>100 drneutron: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Jim. I hope she's able to be comfortable for what time she has in hospice care.

jun 18, 4:10pm

>100 drneutron: Oh Jim, that's just awful. I'm so sorry for you and Danita.

My very best wishes to MiL in this stressful time.

jun 18, 4:15pm

>101 msf59: Trying times indeed... I hope you like it! There are a couple of novellas that happen before the events of A Master of Djinn, but the book stands alone pretty well.

>102 bell7: Thanks, Mary. Our primary goal is to keep her comfortable, and if she rallies, try to build her strength up. Fortunately, mrsdrneutron is able to devote time to being with her in the nursing home, and it's right up the street from us, so that's not so bad.

>103 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. We're focused on one day at a time - what do we need to do today? Tomorrow will take care of itself.

jun 18, 4:19pm

>109 So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Best wishes to MrsDrneuton

jun 18, 5:18pm

>100 drneutron: I’m sorry to hear that Jim. Wishing you the best.

jun 18, 5:22pm

*hugs* to all of you, Jim. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts, friend.

jun 18, 5:30pm

Keeping you and Danita in my thoughts, Jim. I've been through similar situations with both of my parents and you are so right, you just have to take one day at a time. Hospice care is so helpful too. They know how often to check in on a patient, and when to step up the frequency. And they'll contact you if you aren't there and need to be. I found their presence made the situation much easier to manage (not that it was easy ...)

jun 18, 6:13pm

>100 drneutron: I'm sorry to hear about your MIL.

jun 18, 9:10pm

Thanks, everyone. We’ve got her settled in the nursing home and we’ll just see what happens. She actually had a pretty good day today, even sat up for a bit. Day by day.

jun 18, 10:30pm

Sorry to hear about your MIL. Glad that there was an appropriate facility nearby and that she is settling in, but I know it has to be a hard situation to deal with.

jun 18, 11:28pm

>3 drneutron: We watched the TV series on HBOMax for King's "The Outsider". Excellent show.

jun 18, 11:45pm

>100 drneutron: I am so sorry to hear that.

jun 19, 8:04am

>100 drneutron: Sorry about your MiL, Jim.

>110 drneutron: Glad you found her a place in the nursing home. Sending comforting thoughts to all.

jun 19, 8:57am

>111 tymfos: on the plus side of all this, today was the first time in over a year Mrsdrneutron and I sat on the front porch together and talked over coffee!

>112 ocgreg34: King’s books are hit or miss with me. That one was a surprising hit. Unfortunately, HBOMax isn’t one of the streamers we have, but I’m hoping at some point it gets released on DVD and I can get it from our library.

>113 ArlieS:, >114 FAMeulstee: Honestly, at 92, she’s had a full life, and has been declining over the last year or so. So we’re sad, but also aware that it may be her time.

She was born in 1929, and spent her childhood on her parents’ farm in southern Arkansas. 11 brothers and sisters. She was, I think, the second in her family to finish high school, then against her parents’ wishes, went to Little Rock to business school. After that, she worked for about 5 years for Arkansas Power and Light as a bookkeeper, living on her own in a time when that wasn’t done. Her sister introduced her to the brother of her boyfriend on a Friday, they were married on Monday, then two weeks later she moved to West Germany to be with her new husband in the US Army stationed over there.

The first time I met her, I came to visit Mrsdrneutron, and somehow she got me to plant flowers with her instead. She’s a tough lady, but always loved her family and would do anything for them, including taking care of a disabled grandson for years while in her 80s.

Given how tough she is, we’re half expecting her to bounce back from this. 😀

Redigerat: jun 19, 9:00am

Hi Jim!

>30 drneutron: Ah. Groun-duh Hogs, as our cousin called them, with total disgust in his voice. We have them here and need to do something sooner than later. We don’t have a wildlife preserve nearby, so I’m not quite sure what we’ll do.

Belated Happy Birthday!

>87 drneutron: Ha. Bill and I should have eloped. We even mentioned it on our honeymoon. All the time, effort, stress, and money we could have saved and still been happy 30 years later.

>100 drneutron: I’m sorry about your MiL, Jim. >110 drneutron: I'm glad she had a good day.

edited to add: >115 drneutron: Fascinating info about your MiL. Thanks for sharing.

jun 19, 11:30am

I'm so sorry about your MIL, Jim. Sending good thoughts to her and to you and to Danita.

Redigerat: jun 19, 12:55pm

>115 drneutron: What an interesting woman. She's certainly had a life well lived. I'm also glad you and mrsdrneutron had some together time today. Hang in there ...

jun 19, 1:02pm

>115 drneutron: She sounds like an amazing woman, Jim. How are your planting skills these days? Strength to Mrsdrneutron.

jun 19, 1:28pm

Found you, and want to wish you a belated happy birthday. Sounds like you had a good day.
I'm sorry your MIL is feeling badly. She's what people used to call a "tough old bird", she makes it through so much. Good wishes to her and her family.
>90 drneutron: I received that from LT. Sounds like there's no rush but I'll get to it over the summer.

jun 19, 6:39pm

>115 drneutron: What a privilege it is to have had her in your life. Thank you for sharing her with us, we will really know how rough a loss this impending one is.

jun 19, 7:39pm

Sorry to read about your MIL, Jim.

Happy Father's Day, buddy

Redigerat: jun 19, 9:56pm

>100 drneutron: >115 drneutron: What sad news about your mother-in-law Jim. She sounds like a gem.

jun 19, 10:12pm

>115 drneutron: "Porching" with coffee talk with one's spouse is a great thing.

Your MIL sounds like an amazing woman, one who was ahead of her time. My best wishes to her.

jun 20, 8:20am

Happy Father's Day, Jim. I hope you can make the best of it, my friend.

jun 20, 2:19pm

Thanks for all the good wishes, folks. Yesterday was a mix of getting some rest and getting the MIL settled. Now it’s just waiting to see how it goes.

jun 20, 2:24pm

>116 karenmarie: If you do get a trap, they seem to love strawberries - that’s what’s gotten them all so far this summer.

>117 katiekrug: Thanks for the good thoughts. D and I had coffee together yesterday morning on the porch - first time in over a year. It was great!

>118 lauralkeet:, >119 humouress: She definitely had an interesting life! We have a bunch of her old letters and journals. Promised her we wouldn’t read them until she passed, so it’ll be interesting to go through them.

>120 mstrust: Yep, I’ve called her that over the years - usually brought a smile. 😀

jun 20, 2:29pm

>121 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. It was definitely a privilege - and she left quite a legacy in her daughter.

>122 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It’s been a different sort of weekend - the first D and I have spent together in a while. Plus, it’s always good to hear from the son.

>123 RBeffa: That she was! 😀

>124 tymfos: Thanks! Good wishes and thoughts greatly appreciated!

>125 msf59: Thanks, and to you too!

jun 21, 3:00pm

>127 drneutron: Maybe there are some embarrassing incidents in her letters but most of the fun would be in talking to her about them :0)

jun 21, 3:25pm

I love the image of sitting on the porch beside your wife, sipping coffee (perhaps brewed from home-roasted beans), and talking. Best of times.

jun 22, 10:10am

>129 humouress: Yeah, she had some stories... 😀

>130 weird_O: That it is.

jun 22, 10:13am

Just catching everyone up - Mom passed away yesterday mid-morning. D had just arrived for a visit with her and had an opportunity to tell her she loved her. Then while D was talking to the nurse, she slipped away in her sleep. It was a very peaceful ending, and we're thankful that she was never in any pain or distress during this time.

We're headed to Louisiana to take care of funeral arrangements and visit with family for the next couple of weeks. Long car rides, so I'll probably get some decent reading done. 😀

jun 22, 10:16am

Oh so sorry to read of your MiL's passing. My condolences to you, your wife, and your whole family.

jun 22, 10:20am

I'm so sorry for your loss, Jim. May you and your family find comfort in your memories of her.

jun 22, 10:36am

I'm so sorry for your loss, Jim.

jun 22, 10:38am

I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.
Our thoughts are with you.

jun 22, 10:59am

I am sorry to hear about this. I am also dealing with my aging remaining parent. I just got back from 3 weeks in Kansas seeing about things and trying to get my mother into a routine. She had COVID in December and is now having to deal with Long Haul COVID problems. But she is getting better - slowly. However, at 84 it is touchy. I will be back in Kansas for two weeks while we do another round of post-hospitalization checkups and followups.

I hope that you will take some time to putter about in Louisiana and do some exploring. I am hoping to spend the July 4th weekend in New Orleans.

jun 22, 12:12pm

Very sorry to hear, Jim, Goddess rest her soul.

jun 22, 12:47pm

Thanks for the good thoughts everyone.

>137 benitastrnad: Im glad your mom is getting better, but yeah, at 84, health gets dicey. I hope she continues to improve.

jun 22, 1:44pm

I am very sorry about your loss, Jim. Give your wife my best too. Safe travels, my friend.

jun 22, 2:18pm

So sorry for your loss Jim.

jun 22, 2:57pm

I'm so sorry, Jim. *hugs* for both of you, and I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. Safe travels, and I hope all the arrangements go smoothly and you have some comforting time with family.

jun 22, 4:32pm

Very sorry to hear the sad news about your MIL mate, thoughts and prayers with you all at this very sad time, condolences to you all from both of us Jim. Sending love and hugs to you and Danica from both of us dear friend.

jun 22, 5:28pm

Sorry to read you lost your MiL, Jim, my condolences to Danita and you.

jun 22, 6:01pm

I'm so sorry to hear of your MIL's passing, Jim. I'm so glad Danita was able to be with her, and that she went peacefully. I hope Danita's holding up okay. Safe travels.

jun 22, 7:26pm

My deepest condolences.

jun 22, 7:41pm

>140 msf59: Thanks, Mark. We’ve been spending the afternoon getting ready to hit the road in the morning. We’ll be feeling things more tonight, I’m sure.

>141 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. I really appreciate all the support we’re getting from you all.

>142 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. Family will be… interesting. Some may remember the nephew that lived with us 2024-2016. He’s a mess after losing his grandmother and there will be drama. We’ll survive it.

>143 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I’ll pass along all the good thoughts and wishes to her.

>144 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. We’re doing ok, having realized some time ago that something like this would happen. Still, we’re missing her.

>145 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Hopefully, we can connect up later this summer for some biking or wining or something. 😀

>146 AndrewPNW: Thanks, Andrew. Hopefully we’ll get to share more book talk in happier times.

jun 22, 9:14pm

>147 drneutron: that would be fun, Jim! Again, good luck with the travel and the family drama.

jun 22, 9:27pm

Sorry for your loss, Jim, though I'm glad to hear your MIL's passing was peaceful. I'll be praying for you and your family and hope you have safe travels.

jun 22, 10:33pm

>132 drneutron: I'm sorry for your and your wife's loss. May the journey to and from Louisiana be incident and weather free.

jun 23, 1:13pm

>132 drneutron: A perfect ending and one she richly deserved. I am very sad with y'all, missing her will be fierce, but her life will always be remembered for her many, many strengths and achievements.

jun 23, 6:51pm

Just adding my condolences, pal - hard time of life.

jun 24, 1:37am

Adding my somewhat belated condolences. I'm glad she had a peaceful end.

jun 24, 10:34am

Thanks for all the condolences and good thoughts! Our trip is going fine so far, will be in Louisiana this afternoon.

jun 25, 2:25pm

Hi, Jim, and condolences to you and your wife. I haven't been following along much, and just caught the news.

jun 25, 3:02pm

Deepest condolences, Jim, to you and Mrs. drneutron.

jun 25, 4:58pm

>155 ffortsa:, >156 humouress: Thanks to both. We made it to Louisiana just fine and have the funeral arrangements made. Now just visiting with family.

jun 25, 9:36pm

I'm very sorry to read about your mother-in-law's passing, Jim. May God bless you, Danita and your families in this difficult time.

jun 26, 8:43am

Thanks, Darryl. It’s been nice being with family and remembering the last couple of days.

jun 26, 11:02am

>160 swynn: Very sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, Jim.

jun 26, 6:59pm

Thanks, Steve. We’re doing ok with it - at 92 and starting to decline in health, really, it was a blessing she didn’t linger.

jun 27, 5:30pm

>132 drneutron: So sorry to hear about your MIL passing. I am glad she passed peacefully and that your wife had a chance to say goodbye. Sending best wishes.

jun 28, 10:17am

Thanks, Kim.

jun 29, 9:23pm

Mom’s funeral was today. Good service, been inundated with family. 😀

On a positive note, I’m up to three books finished and awaiting reviews. Update when I get back to Maryland.

jun 30, 8:55am

Funeral days are always rough. My sympathies to you and Mrs Neutron and your family.

jul 1, 10:00am

Thanks, Jennifer. Now that it’s done, we can have a little down time.

jul 2, 8:54pm

Heading back to Maryland today. For fans of HGTV’s Home Town, we stopped in Laurel, Mississippi for the afternoon and visited Ben’s workshop (along with the rest of downtown). Didn’t see either Ben or Erin, but had a great afternoon!

jul 5, 7:19pm

We made it back to Maryland in time to watch the DC fireworks - on TV, but still…

Anyway, funeral was a good celebration, family was reasonably well behaved, Mrsdrneutron’s birthday was celebrated with stops on the road back. To the tune of several hundred dollars worth of wineries and distilleries. 😀

jul 5, 7:24pm

>168 drneutron: Which will no doubt contribute to future festivities.

jul 5, 7:31pm

And there was reading!

45. The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel

A history of textiles and how they’re made, and how they’ve impacted human civilization. It was a whim read on Overdrive, and honestly, turned out to be one of the better books I’ve read so far this year.

46. Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Phillips takes us through the year following the disappearance of two girls on the Kamchatka Peninsula by following connections between the people involved - family members, coworkers, a witness, the police officers investigating. It’s a fascinating look at a very unfamiliar place and people through a tragic lens.

47. The Gray Man by Mark Greaney

Can you say Jason Bourne? The Matt Damon version, not the books. Nonstop, over the top, total fun.

jul 5, 7:31pm

>168 drneutron: Absolutely!

jul 5, 10:28pm

>170 drneutron: #46 looks in my wheelhouse

jul 5, 10:30pm

>172 blackdogbooks: Yeah, I think so. It’s a different approach to this kind of story in a pretty unique setting.

Redigerat: jul 5, 11:38pm

jul 6, 1:08am

>168 drneutron: It must be nice to be home. (Your wallet, especially, may have heaved a sigh of relief.)

Those look like some good books.

jul 6, 8:16am

>174 quondame: I hope you like it!

>175 humouress: Yup, it is, though now the dealing with furniture and medical supplies and the estate starts. But yeah, the wallet's a bit lighter these days... 😀

jul 6, 8:53am

>170 drneutron: The Postrel looks great - adding it to my list!

And welcome home!

jul 6, 8:55am

>177 scaifea: Yeah, was gonna bring it to your attention.

jul 6, 9:01am

>178 drneutron: It does look like it's right up my street. Did I ever tell the story of my honors advisee who did her senior project on ancient Roman clothing? She is an amazing seamstress, did all the research, hand sewed all the garments from authentic wools and fabrics, and gave a fantastic talk and fashion show at the end? We wrote up a grant to get her the money needed for all the supplies, which were not cheap, especially the Tyrian purple dye, because she not only made all the garments herself, but also hand dyed all the fabrics! And by hand sew, I mean *hand* sew. No sewing machine. She did it all as authentically as she could. Amazing.

jul 6, 10:03am

Wow, that's an amazing amount of work. One of her themes is just how much work all this was, from getting the fibers, spinning and weaving, and making the materials to dye fabric.

Yeah, I think you'll like this one.

jul 6, 10:08am

Glad you got to celebrate Mrs Neutron's birthday. Several hundred dollars worth of liquor should do the trick.
My mom has been talking about the Mark Greaney books for months. She loves them but I'd never heard of him.

jul 6, 10:36am

Hi Jim.

>132 drneutron: Late to the news, and am so sorry about your MiL. It sounds like her end was peaceful, and it’s a blessing that D got to tell her she loved her at the end.

>170 drneutron: And of course there was reading. Fascinating books.

>176 drneutron: Yup. The furniture and medical supplies, and the estate. It’s never fun.

jul 6, 10:56am

>181 mstrust: Yeah, I was surprised that there are 10 of the Gray Man books and I'm only recently finding out about them. Got some more reading to do...

Redigerat: jul 7, 9:21am

>170 drneutron: this is a discussion I have had with Judy's Sister Rob on occasion Rob is a fabric artist of some experience.

People now say that the "iron Age" could have just as well been called "The Flax Age" for the many innovations in weaving and sewing that came out of that period.

Will be looking for this book just to keep up with Rob next time i see her

>179 scaifea: hats off to your student

jul 7, 9:41am

>184 magicians_nephew: Yup, that was a big part of her early chapters.

jul 7, 11:34am

>184 magicians_nephew: I have The Fabric of Civilization on my Kindle and like the idea of Flax Age, though wool was well distributed by the beginning of what we call the Iron Age. Women's Work is my favorite non-fiction book, and though some of the theories haven't held up, the facts and discoveries are worth it and the depiction of women as a major economic resource in the ancient world was something new in a period when a book considering human evolution based on women's adaptions was a shocker not because it was wildly speculative but because everyone knew it was men who evolved.

Redigerat: jul 7, 12:38pm

>186 quondame: Women's Work is now on my list!

jul 7, 4:03pm

The Iron Age most certainly *should* be renamed the Flax Age because cloth plays a more central role in human life than metal does...you can keep aereoplanes and raileyroads, I want a shirt and some undies before I want to go to LA. Ships and plows and crates can be made out of wood, after all....

jul 8, 12:43pm

jul 8, 10:04pm

>170 drneutron: One more for my list (The Fabric of Civilization)

jul 9, 8:42am

Great! I hope you like it.

jul 9, 5:21pm

Sorry for your loss drneutron.

jul 9, 5:34pm

Happy Friday, Jim. I also enjoyed Disappearing Earth.

jul 9, 7:34pm

>193 hredwards: Thanks, Harold.

>194 msf59: Happy Friday to you!

jul 13, 2:54pm

Update time!

49. Math without Numbers by Milo Beckman

Nifty little book on math that digs into what many mathematicians actually study - pure math subjects like topology and analysis, and applied math subjects like modeling of the real world - without equations or numbers. Instead, there are lots of clever drawings to demonstrate the concepts and well-written text with the details. Pretty light for me given my background, but would be excellent for a nontechnical person who wants to understand the ideas behind math research.

50. Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz

Çatalhöyük, Pompeii, Angkor, and Cahokia were all once thriving cities that don't exist anymore. Newitz digs into these places, how they started and why they disappeared by taking us along on their travels to the modern day archaeological digs and talking with those studying them. Some really interesting things about ancient cities - and even modern ones - come out of all this. Highly recommended.

jul 14, 1:08am

>196 drneutron: One more (four lost cities) added to my "to read" list.

Redigerat: jul 14, 5:43am

>196 drneutron: Math without Numbers sounds like something that would have been useful for Morgan to give to his dad when he was asking Morgan every other week "explain your PhD research to me".

Also, the lost cities one sounds interesting to read if we get out to Çatalhöyük. (Probably interesting anyway, and I've been to Pompeii, but would be a fun one for a current visit.)

jul 14, 7:51am

>197 ArlieS: Cool! Hope you like it.

>198 ursula: Yes! I'd love to hear about it if you go. We've been to Pompeii for a day, so it was fun to read about the city and remember what we saw there.

jul 14, 1:52pm

>196 drneutron: I thought I had a DRC of Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age but am desolated to learn that 1) I do not and b) my county's library hath it not either, and iii) I am over my allowed "please buy this for me please" limit with them!


jul 14, 3:20pm

Aw, rats! I'd send you my copy, except it was a library book...

jul 14, 3:51pm

>201 drneutron: *depressed sigh* of course I *could* just spend the $9.32 and get the Kindlebook but then I couldn't review it. (Why would a publisher give me books if I review the ones I buy anyway?)

Such a spoiled brat am I! The ultimate first-world problem, this one.

jul 15, 12:39am

>202 richardderus: I'm OK with that kind of spolied brat ;)

jul 15, 5:55pm

>203 ArlieS: *chuckle* Validation!

jul 15, 6:16pm

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