The Gull Reef Club

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9/17/2019 · 2:03 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
sometimes waiting and watching is all you can do. The weather has been oscillating quite a bit this... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · Good Bye Blue Sky
It's summer. We don't adventure much in the summer. It's too hot & buggy. We hibernate and wait... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 2:25 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
So how goes the summer of adventure? Inquiring minds want to know.... | Read More

6/6/2018 · 12:46 am· Michael (Net2007) · My friend, my friend, (s)he’s got a knife
I've often felt this way, it's strange and divisive times in many ways. As far as this goes, I... | Read More

7/12/2017 · 4:22 pm· Trouble · Half of Us Are Wrong or in the Alternative, Half of Us Are Right
I've been following the saga and cataloging links of interest that contain more than mere rhetoric.... | Read More


2017! Live and Uncensored!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:16 pm

May You Live in Interesting Times – ancient Chinese curse.

This phrase always seems relevant, doesn’t it? The latest example of its relevancy came on Friday night. Hurricane Harvey was making landfall, and having experienced our own hurricane less than a year ago, I wanted to keep up with this one as events occurred. So, the TV was turned on and we jumped around various news/weather channels, and of course, we also dug down online to find anyone broadcasting directly from the Gulf Coast Texas area.

The most erroneous assumption we made both this time and during Hurricane Matthew was to tune into The Weather Channel first. The Weather Channel is the absolute worst place any one can go to get current, on-the-ground information. Their routine was exactly the same both during Matthew and Harvey. Two or three people on the ground at a location they never leave, and some studio folks. They bounce back and forth between them and repeat themselves, ad naseum. Once you’ve seen about 5 minutes of their coverage, you don’t need to see any more. It just cycles.

The web was the place to be to watch this come in, real-time. Advances in online technology have us in a place where folks can now broadcast live from their own homes. We scoured the usual places for any live feeds we could find. Of those we saw, the most compelling was the live stream run by storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski. His live videos were one of the most riveting things I’ve watched all year. I distinctly recall saying to Mike, after the roof of the carwash Mr. Piotrowski was sheltering in blew off, “Are we prepared to watch this guy die live on the internet?” It was so intense watching it, I actually found myself getting out of my chair and standing anxiously (like my brother does during hockey games lol). We watched the view count and it never reached more than 50-60k people watching. It was an oddly intimate experience for the internet (and the reason only a small handful of us understand why The Blue Shed twitter feed exists). Mr. Piotrowski still has the videos from his live feeds on his twitter account. Worth watching.

This is where we are in 2017. I don’t trust the mainstream news much anymore. I don’t trust second hand sources, really, much at all anymore. However, as it stands right now, I can trust live video. I can trust that it will be raw and uncensored. I can believe it when I see it, if it’s live. I realize that as tech advances, this won’t always be true. We will eventually have the ability to fake live video too. As it stands in 2017, live is trustworthy. Live is uncensored. Live is real.

Stay safe, Texas.


Uncle Sam Says So!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:09 pm

I like to read old newspapers. It’s my way of time-traveling and escaping from new news. Today I ran across this notice, linked here:
Subscription notice, The Hartford Herald, October 23, 1918

I’ve never heard of any system/law/regulation where the US Government was fining newspapers if their subscribers were in arrears (maybe it was a state or local law?). I spent a small amount of time poking around online to see if I could find more info on whether this was a law of some sort. So far, no luck, but as I said, I’ve not spent a lot of time looking.

I like history mysteries though so I would like to find out more. Do you know of the history surrounding this notice? Curiosity is getting to me.


Geek Gravy

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:05 pm

This is how Thanksgiving’s done, folks. This beautiful pot of stock will be gravy by Thursday.

Stock Pot


What is Old is New Again

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:16 pm

100 year old political cartoon, We Progressives:

Amazing how closely it fits with today’s Progressives. Just replace the Old Guard dude’s head with Hillary’s and it’s suddenly modern. In 1916, however, the Progressives being referred to were Republicans. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

Source: Library of Congress Newspapers Archive, South Bend New Times


Paging Inspector Clouseau

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:04 pm

Not unlike much of the rest of the civilized world, I was saddened, although not necessarily shocked, to learn of the terrorist attacks in Paris over the weekend. One of my ways of reacting to situations like these is to seek out live webcams in the local area. I prefer raw, unfiltered information when possible and webcams certainly offer that.

I didn’t find much in the way of action-on-the-scene in Paris. I did, however, find one of the most mysterious and odd cams I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen hundreds). Essentially, it appears to be located in an underground HVAC/utility system or something industrially similar, and focuses on a poster. The poster is what is the befuddling part. If any of your are familiar with this type of chart, please let me know. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’ve done the usual, tangential searches (by IP, location, contents of the poster, etc) and still haven’t gotten very far.

Here is the link to it if you want to check it out yourself: Mystery Cam, Orange, France. Of course, clicking that may all put us on some NSA watch list. You’ve been warned. If you do click on it, please let me know what you think it is.

Vive la France!

Update: A little further sleuthing shows me that part of the poster contains an ISO 12233 Test Chart. This doesn’t explain what the other contents of the poster are – what is that building? and is that an eye chart? Then there are still the biggest questions – why is this chart located in this undetermined utility area? and why is there an live webcam on it running 24/7?


Gotta Ease on Down, Ease on Down

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:21 pm

I owe all of you a St. Pat’s weekend round-up. Unfortunately, I’m squeezed for time right now.

However, I do have enough time to play out a little TBT fun. The other day I offhandedly mentioned The Wiz to Mike. He was clueless as to what I was referring. So are you? Tell me you have heard of The Wiz (and I don’t mean the electronics salesman from Seinfeld). I loved the Wiz. We even got to sing some of the songs in grade school.

I guess Mike and I won’t be playing this anytime soon…sigh…


Random TBT Fun

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:09 pm

This oldie has been stuck in my head all morning:

I’m not complaining. I love this song.

Going way back, to November 1954, this is my current reading: Galaxy Magazine. The subjects of the stories in this particular issue have a lot of connections to Mike or my hobbies/interests so I had to start reading it. I’m only into the first story – about a legal case disputing whether or not DIY robots are property or independent beings. It’s hilarious and rather thought-compelling so far. There is also a story in there about a musician who tries to become a museum exhibit and another about genealogy and time travel. It’s like this issue was made for me nearly decades before I existed. Nice!

Finally, I was digging through my Memories Box and found a film selfie from April 1994 of these two cuties (taken near the woods that no longer exist off of Wolf Rd in Frankfort, IL):

Clearly this was before we knew about making duckface so we don’t look like we have extra chins. I swear, neither one of us was fat. In fact, we were pretty damned fine looking 17 years olds if I may say so myself.


Hit Me With Those Laser Beams

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:21 pm

In an on-going effort to manage stress, I am always looking to add to my cache of relaxation techniques. My primary methods these days include playing/listening to music, biking, history-themed research projects, and what you’re seeing here – writing. Sometimes these don’t always work, though. Hence, I reach out to you my dear Beachcombers, and ask: what do you do to reduce stress?

If you’re keeping score, please note that I am already discounting running and drinking (alcohol, that is). I don’t do either, ever – on purpose anyway. I suppose would run if being chased, and would drink if it were spiked without my knowledge, but if I have a choice – no to both of those.

Thanks for your input, friends. You guys mean a lot to me (and certainly help reduce stress!)


Men’s Fashion Survey

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:15 pm

A survey question for you all. First, the usual disclaimers – this is all in fun and there is nothing scientific about my little research project here. (If you find yourself offended, check what you’re wearing before whining to me).

It has been brought to my attention that men (Westernized) who wear V-neck shirts as their outer-wear are douchebags. Upon my own subsequent observations, I can’t find an example that disputes this. Therefore, I ask you dear readers:

Are men who wear V-neck shirts as their outer-wear douchebags?

If I get enough results (like one or two). I will provide a report. Thank you for your participation in this men’s fashion survey.


Class of 1994

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:13 pm

In my inbox yesterday, I received an invitation to the Class of 1994, 20-Year High School Reunion. F*&^ me. Really? 20 years? The TimeGods are messing with me.

Of course, somethings haven’t changed since 1994. I’m still a sarcastic, jaded representative of Gen X, and therefore, obviously, I will not be attending any reunions. Most of the people from high school that I wanted to stay in touch with I have, thanks to connecters like FB. A reunion of the whole school isn’t all that necessary, although one of just my friends would be a blast, but I don’t see any of us organizing such an event.

In looking at the guest list for my school, I don’t recognize most of the people on there, even with pictures. The idea of going back to my home town sort of wigs me out, anyway. I have a healthy disconnect from Illinois that I’d prefer to maintain.

Regardless, I get a bit nostalgic for the good memories of those years. They were times of so many firsts, so many lasts, so many absolutes. Paths were laid on my brain that will forever effect me. I am especially and forever grateful to the bestest BFF anyone could have had (Kisov!). I could have never survived those years without you, my dear ginned-up Cheese. The Fun…Starts Here.


Coming Back To Life

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:16 pm

Time for another round of Gull Reef Club miscellany for you dear beachcombers.

*This Memorial Day, I resumed research on my Sinks family line, specifically regarding my fourth great-grandfather Noah Sinks. Grandpa Sinks and family were part of the wagon train of escapees from the Upper Agency, Yellow Medicine, all thanks to the valiant efforts of John Other Day. I am in the process of reading the Major Thomas Galbraith’s version of events at the start of the Sioux Uprising (Galbraith makes mention of Grandpa Sinks as his clerk in the report). In my research this weekend, I came across a newspaper article penned a few days after the attack on the Agency. The author was a soldier at Fort Ridgeley (west of the Agency). In it, he was reporting on the attack, and made mention that Maj. Galbraith’s wife, as well as the Sinks family, were all slaughtered by the Dakota-Sioux. He was obviously unaware that the people at the Upper Agency escaped in time and went east toward St. Paul (it was only those at the Lower Agency that were killed). I wonder if Grandpa Sinks ever saw this newspaper article reporting his demise? I would wager that he did. Copies available upon request.

*I actually completed another audio book not too long back. This one probably ranks as the worst I’ve listened to yet. It was Feed by M.T. Anderson. Conceptually, the story was great. It had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the actual narration killed it for me. Anderson made attempts to craft new slang and lingo that was being used by American teens of the future. The slang became so distracting that it drown out the rest of the story. Of course, if Anderson was using this as a technique for the reader to hate the main character then it worked. I did hate the main character. In fact, I hated all the characters in this book, and hoped they would have all died of their festering lesions. I promise that’s not a spoiler (not that you were worried).

*As for some good reading? Try this: Everything is Broken, Quinn Norton. So well said, and so needed of saying. There were a lot of gems in there, but this one is worth sharing, “Security and privacy experts harangue the public about metadata and networked sharing, but keeping track of these things is about as natural as doing blood panels on yourself every morning, and about as easy. The risks on a societal level from giving up our privacy are terrible. Yet the consequences of not doing so on an individual basis are immediately crippling. The whole thing is a shitty battle of attrition between what we all want for ourselves and our families and the ways we need community to survive as humans — a Mexican stand off monetized by corporations and monitored by governments.” Her complaint could really be retold in a variety of ways covering a number of industries. It’s not just tech in which we’re screwing ourselves with laziness and acceptance of low-rent quality, which is then monetized and sold back to us. Everything is broken. What industry do you work? Bet it applies to yours too.

This article was posted via I swear I wrote about my love for medium here before, but apparently I succumbed to laziness or low-rent quality blogging or something like that and failed. There is always something of interest to read there. Plus, medium has the bonus that they provide an estimate of how long it should take to read the article.

*2014 marks the 20 year anniversary of the release of The Division Bell. Wow. We all have certain songs/albums that we tie to memories, which inevitably become the soundtracks of our lives. The Division Bell is the soundtrack to much of my 1994, especially that summer. Just. Keep. Talking.

*I believe I witnessed some people attending a funeral virtually today. Three rather solemn young men, likely military, were sitting at a table in Ellis Square. Each had a device (phone or tablet) in their hands, and were all intensely watching the same video. One of the three had their volume up and I heard ‘Taps’. Sad, yet, technologically fascinating all at once.

*Not wanting to end on a sad note, or a virtually sad one, we have this much awaited announcement from Dog River, Saskatchewan – Corner Gas: The Movie is in the making! No word on when it will be available in the States, but I will be sure to get my hands on a copy. I’m so excited I want to ‘whoowhoo’ Hank (as-the-rodeo-clown) style.



Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:42 pm

*Just finished another audio book, Flight, by Sherman Alexie. It was very short, and very, very f*d up. I think I enjoyed it. Not sure if ‘enjoy’ is the appropriate word though. I didn’t know much about Alexie before this book, so I don’t think I knew the boundaries would be pushed so far. That should happen more often, especially in young adult lit, which I think this was. Coincidentally, this news article about another of Alexie’s books came out as I was mid-listen to Flight. Hilarious. I had no idea anyone tried to ban books in the US anymore. I guess I shouldn’t be so naive. Go kids go.

*Continuing down the incredibly long road of restoring our home (1920), we picked up one of these today: manual doorbell. Our house had one originally, but by the time we bought the place only a part of it remained and even that was in bad shape. Mike has offered to make a new plate for the outside with a custom etch that says ‘ring’ or ‘turn’ or something. I kind want it to say ‘engage’ but that might be pushing the geekiness, even for me.

*If I ever get to become a time traveling super hero, I want this as my ride: VOXmobile. Also, since I’m randomly wishing, I want that outfit the chick in the cover photo is wearing, too. I would totally wear that, while driving my VOXmobile of course. Outta this world.


Monday Miscellany – The Ten Year Anniversary Edition

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:51 pm

It appears I’ve been at this blog thing for a decade now. Obviously. I mean, who else even blogs nowadays but 30+yearolds who refuse to dumb themselves down for Twitter and the like?

What started as a way to keep up with a few online friends (through livejournal – remember that relic?), has turned into my virtual home for personal history, narcissism, and sarcastic commentary. In retrospect I realize I should never have bored you Beachcombers with narrations of my dreams. My sincerest apologies. Could I have been more boring?

Actually, I have no idea what interests you readers, or if you’re even reading. If you are, thanks. I really do appreciate the audience. I find comfort in socializing through the written word. I suck at talking to people, so I do try to use The Gull Reef Club as my means of sharing a little of myself with you.

In the spirit of sharing, here’s some randomness from in and around The Gull Reef Club:
* I finally finished the audio book, whose ending had been in suspension for me for nearly two weeks. It was Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The ending was a bit predictable, but I liked the book a lot. This was my first Heinlein book, and certainly not my last. Recommendations always welcome.

* Keeping with the revolutionary reading theme, I also recently ran across these little Savannah gems – Albion’s Voice, Issues 1-6. Albion’s Voice was an alternative newspaperletter published in Savannah in, at least, 1970. They are an absolute riot to read, complete with peacenik politics and hippy slang. One of them describes a sparsely attended peace rally in Bacon Park, which was a great slice of Savannah history. There is also a hilarious, grossly sarcastic article about black men and their perceived sexuality in the first article. Read that if you read nothing else.

* What are you doing August 21-September 1? Come join us on our new couches for The. Best. TV. Marathon. Ever. And yes, you read that right. Jaime and Mike are all growed up and have matching living room furniture. Finally. Starting working on my ass groove already.

* Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks for beating St. Louis, and moving on in the playoffs. More playlists to come.

*Two weeks ago, Mike and I planted our second citrus tree, a lime. The orange we planted last year did so well, including through our harsh winter, we couldn’t resist getting the citrus we have always wanted. In light of the stories coming out of Mexico about limes, this may be good timing on our part. Well sort of. It’ll be a few years before it is really productive. So cartels, you can stay away for awhile. Now I just have to figure out if we can get a coconut tree to grow here and I’m set for life. Note: I’ve never seen coconut trees in Savannah. Tell me if you have.

Thanks again for joining me here at the Gull Reef Club. Happy Decade to us. Cheers!


Hang in there, Brother!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:16 pm

This post is specifically dedicated to my beloved, baby brother and all his fellow northerners who are beyond sick of winter.

One of the few ways we humans make ourselves feel better about our respective conditions is to ponder the misery of someone worse off and then remark, “well, at least my life isn’t that hard”. So here is your comparison for the day; I hope it makes you feel a little better:

Bad-ass, hyperborean, 3rd great-grandpa Abell primarily resided, for a good portion of his life, at Lower Fort Garry, in the southern region of Manitoba. On one occasion, duty required him to travel to Fort Chipewyan in the far northern parts of Alberta. Because he was assisting in getting the first steamboat to sail on Lake Athabasca, he had to travel in winter (which is boat building season, when the lakes/rivers are frozen). This all went down Winter 1882/1883. At one point, he wrote about what he had to wear as he traveled (by dogsled):

It might interest you to know that the garments necessary for winter travel were as follows: Heavy flannel underwear, flannel shirt with collars, a heavy tweed suit, and over the coat a jersey. In addition, one had to have a “top-coat” -as it was called- of buffalo robe, lined with rat skin, and with an otter collar; a cap with an otter band and a seal crown, and ear flaps which could be pulled down; a knitted muffler to wrap around the neck and head; and for the feet, high silk socks, and over them duffel socks, made of heavy wool in something resembling the texture of a blanket. These last were made expressly for wear on long journeys in extreme winter weather. One also wore moccasins of smoked moose skin, in place of boots, and buffalo leggins, which partly covered the moccasins and extended up over the knees. A pair of fur gauntlets drawn on over woolen gloves constituted the finishing touch in this outfit.

So my cold northern-dwelling friends and family, when you dress for work next, keep this in mind and think, well, at least my life isn’t that hard.


No Mas!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:18 pm

As I return to normalcy after the surgery, I find I am pleasantly overwhelmed with possibilities to occupy my attention. Front and center being the Sochi Winter Olympics. Of course and especially hockey, including the ladies. Those girls kick ass and were fun to watch. I won’t ruin anything for you, I promise. I hate that. This Olympics is seriously testing our tv watching/recording stamina. It’s all sports all the time, except when I’m completely avoiding current events because I don’t want the results spoiled. We’re currently watching a replay of the Canada v Norway mens hockey game. Don’t ruin it for me.

In addition to all the strenuous tv viewing, I’ve made a few genealogy advancements. My interlibrary loan came in. It’s a biography written about that bad ass 3rd great grandfather I’ve previously mentioned, written by his daughter (my gg aunt) who was pretty bad ass herself. On top of that, one of Mike’s cousins got in touch with me and it appears I may be making some advancements on his tree soon as well. (Mike’s that is, not his cousin’s. Although I suppose the help would work both ways…/tangent end.)

Somehow I am also managing to squeeze in listening to my first audio book. (Yes, I really love my library.) Unfortunately, my commute is too short to listen on the ride to work – not to mention the fact that there is little possibility of getting Mike to want to listen as well (one car house, he drives me, in the event this statement was confusing to you). It’s a good thing I shower everyday. I just hope I can get it finished before it expires. Review later.

The making of my new pick guard is imminent.

Pushing the limits of awesomeness, I have had chocolate cake almost everyday this week, and on Tuesday twice.

Fortunately, the weather has been a cold bucket of suck and I can’t go outside or I’d have even more to do. Ok, back to one of my many other distractions…I think I’ll start with chocolate cake.


Final Stretch

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:06 pm

Before I get wrapped up in the holidays, and the year fully slips away from me, I wanted to mention a few books I’ve read and other free-time status updates.

I followed up Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in logical fashion and read The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Unlike Guide, this was my first time through. It was as I expected – meh. Sequels rarely are better than the first. However, that won’t prevent me from checking out Life, The Universe and Everything at some point soon. I’m just in no hurry.

The other book I’ve recently read (circa Halloween) was Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I wanted to hate this book merely for the title. Four simple words, yet representing just about everything I hate about modern fiction. Kudos to Grahame-Smith for winning me over with a mix of good story telling and reasonable historical accuracy. The ‘photos’ were a nice touch.

I probably won’t be reading many novels between now and the end of the year. I won’t have enough time. I have drifted back toward researching my Great-Great Aunt Annie, but have only been pecking around, nothing serious. I’ve spent a lot more time with a new project that is history-related, but not genealogy (well not mine anyway). As it turns out, Savannah has a history of non-violent civil disobedience when it comes to enforcement of certain laws. I plan on exploring this more in the little bit of downtime I find between now and the end of the year.

And before I go – can you believe they’re playing Christmas music already…in my living room?! Oh wait, that was Mike and me, and it was awesome.

May all of you have a bountiful Thanksgiving.


Amended: Hibernian, 7.8125%

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:51 pm

After a double check of my last post, it appears I neglected Clan Horne. Robert and Margaret Horne were my 4th great-grandparents who left Ireland and came to the US via Ontario sometime in the 1850s. This puts me at or near 7.8125% Irish heritage. No fun latin motto for these guys though. Semper ubi sub ubi!


Hibernian, 6.25%

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:57 pm

St. Patrick’s Day draws near, and as in years past, Savannah is gearing up for it’s usual parade and party. While most approach this holiday as a reason to drink outdoors, I’m of the minority that celebrates the history.

Last year, I mentioned my Irish ancestry. As promised, I have done additional research since then; although, I’ve made no progress on Mike‘s side. However, I can add County Antrim to the previous list of locations to where I have narrowed my roots. Actually, I can further narrow that to Ballymena, where my 4th great grandparents were married. Altogether now, I have sources verifying that I have 6.25% Irish heritage (my siblings and all my dad-side cousins can say the same). I suspect I’ll increase that percent a little bit with further research. Someday, I may even stumble upon actual Irish-Catholic ancestors instead of all the Protestants I’ve uncovered so far. I can now identify with Clans Eaton, Ferguson, McCreight, and McDougal.

In light of all this, it’s only fitting my favorite pipe & drum song is the Scottish National Anthem.

See you at the parade!


March 4th!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:04 am

March 4. The only day of the year that is also a command. March forth. (Thank you, Mr. Lubbe).

My recovery is going great, not much pain anymore – just some dull headaches. I’m almost back to eating completely normally. I do have a lot of sensitivity, and so have my first prescription toothpaste, really more of a fluoride treatment. I still can’t get over the science behind what is happening to my head. I have new bone growing in my skull. Hello 2013! Thank you to everyone who has asked about my well being.

I have spent most of the last two weeks doing exactly as I planned – reading lots of retro sci-fi, studying genealogy, and watching lots and lots of hockey. I wish hockey was more popular in the south, but I also recognize the logistical issues preventing that from ever being a reality. Center Ice is worth the price, although the NHL should have comped all satellite/cable subscribers with a free year as thanks for our patience in waiting out their strike.

March 1st was St. David’s Day, as I was reminded by my Welsh friend, Julian. He asked at America’s Debate if any of us were familiar with the day and/or Welsh heritage generally. It’s odd I wasn’t aware of the day until Julian first mentioned it, although I was aware of some Welsh ancestry I have. He inspired me to work on that line again. In the process, I ended up going down a slightly different route. The end result was that I have uncovered yet another Canadian based line. This time they appear to be French Canadian, although I’ve not narrowed them to any place beyond their immigration to Cheboygan, Michigan. I’m not sure how far I’ll be able to take this line since I can’t read French or Latin.

Here’s the list of stories I’ve read while recovering, and of course, my quick synopsis/review:
Modus Vivendi, Walter Bupp
synopsis: attorney addresses civil rights issues for disliked minority population of psychics, telekinetics, telephaths, etc
review: rather cool story. believable future/legal problem. rather rare in that it is legal and sci-fi, bonus points for that.

Impact, Irving E Cox Jr
synopsis: future interplanetary Federation fooled by seemingly native culture
review: pulpy, somewhat silly, more narrative than action

Attention St. Patrick, Murry Leinster (aka William Fitzgerald Jenkins)
synopsis: terrible, Eire planet, dinies
review: worst story I read the whole recovery. don’t read this. unless you’re a masochist; then, read away.

The Coffin Cure, Alan E Nourse
synopsis: common cold cured, sense of smell becomes really good, too good, the world stinks
review: based on an idea that dogs don’t get colds, something from their noses is extracted and whala – no more colds, sense of scent is overloaded. meh. not a fan.

Meeting of the Board, Alan E Nourse
synopsis: ironic – middle management goes on strike against lazy corrupt union
review: cute. easily sympathetic to the idea even if a mediocre story. would probably work well if modernized.

The Nothing Equation, Tom Godwin
synopsis: really good. remote bubble outpost in space – goes crazy as ‘nothing’ trying to get in
review: one of the best I read all recovery. total psychological thriller. very short, so read this one for sure.

Assassin, J.F. Bone
synopsis: human kills alien invaders acting benevolent
review: this has the makings of a badly done action flick aimed at white conservative males, 17+. coming to a theater near you.

Pandemic, J.F. Bone
synopsis: widow volunteers in 1 man, sealed lab to fight plague/find a cure
review: this reeked of that silly positivity we see in so many post WWII stories. oops, I guess that ruins the ending for you, so you can skip this one too.

Hope your March 4th was a productive one.


Spring is Springing or Traveling by Doglsled

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:59 pm

We have had record rainfalls this week in Savannah. It already nearly being mid-February, these rains mean spring must be here. We’re already seeing the early bloomers bloom – daffodils, redbuds, carolina jessamine. Even the azaleas have made an early appearance.

All of this spring time makes me appreciate even more an old family story I came across very recently. It was a dispatch sent by my 3rd great-grandfather to the St. Cloud Journal, dated January 18, 1872. At the time, he was living at or near Lower Fort Garry, Manitoba. He was a steamboat engineer for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Based on other writings I’ve found from him, I can presume he mostly had winters off due to the Red River freezing over entirely (thus, no steamboating). Having winters off might explain why he chose to embark on a months long journey to remote places like the Saskatchewan River and Lake of the Woods, apparently by dog sled. It’s almost hard to believe he and my delicate southern-by-choice self are related.

From The St. Cloud Journal, January 18, 1872, 2nd column, lower third:
From RED RIVER—A private letter from
Mr. E. R. Abell, at Fort Garry, Manitoba,
gives an account of the mode of traveling
most in use in that hyperborean region.
He says:
“I have had some experience this winter
in traveling by dog sleds, having spent
some two months on an exploring expedition
to the Saskatchewan river north, and
to the Lake of Woods east of this settlement.
The covering was the blue canopy
of heaven and the bedding the downy snow,
improved a little by pine boughs when they
could be had. With the exception of one
night I had a rousing fire, which made even
the wild forest look cheerful. At one time on
the Little Saskatchewan river I was for
four days with little or nothing to eat,
when I luckily came upon an Indian village
on the banks of Martin’s Lake. The Indians
gave me two large white fish and sixteen
potatoes, the whole of which I ate at
one meal.”

The Gull Reef Club