Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm alive

Hey folks,
     Sorry my blog posting has been light lately.  I blame summer vacation and new toy syndrome.
     Back when the boys were in school, they had a bedtime that allowed my wife and I to have a few hours to ourselves between them going to bed and us going to bed.  That was the main time I was writing blog posts.
     Now that the boys are out of school for the summer, we've been letting them stay up later.  We've been enjoying the time together.  We used to only do family movie night on Friday or Saturday nights (not school nights).  Now that they don't have to get up for school in the morning, we've been having a lot of family movie nights.  Actually we've sorta run out of movies per se, but we've become big fans of Netflix on the X-Box.
Netflix has a lot of movies and TV shows you can watch instantly through the internet, and we've been working our way through a bunch of old TV shows that my wife and I used to watch when we were kids.  During the day the boys have been watching an episode of Knight Rider with my wife.  In the evenings, they've been watching an episode of Quantum Leap with me.  Tonight we watched my favorite episode of Amazing Stories from Steven Speilberg, "The Mission."  It's about a B-17 bomber crew flying a mission over Germany.  I actually had this episode recorded on a VHS tape when I was a kid and watched it several times, but it had been a long time since I had last seen it. I was quite surprised to notice the cast included Kevin Costner and Kiefer Sutherland
     Anyway, sorry, end of tangent.  The POINT was that now I only have about an hour between putting the boys to bed and my own bedtime because I still have to get up for work in the morning.

     Another factor has been new toy syndrome.  My wonderful wife picked me up a Kindle off of Woot.
     I wasn't so sure about it, but my wife got a great deal on it, and I figured I'd at least give it a try.

     Oh my gosh, I LOVE IT! 

I've always been one to work on several books at once.  Every once in a while, I get really engrossed in a book and can't put it down until I finish it.  See for example, "Ender's Game."  Most of the time though, I have several books that I rotate through depending on my mood.  For example, right now I happen to be working my way through three books:

"The Book Thief"  THIS is an AMAZING story.  It's the story of a girl growing up in Nazi Germany, and it's narrated by...  well...  that might be a spoiler.  It's just an extremely thought-provoking and well-written book.

    "Last Child in the Wilderness"  This is a really good book about how our society is changing because we don't spend anywhere near as much time outside as our ancestors did.  It's got some interesting insights on the societal changes that brought it about and on the unintended consequences of it on our children and our society as a whole.  The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) blog had a similar post about this topic and also cited this book.

      "Managing Maintenance Error."  This book was recommended to me by a fellow submarine officer, and someone I look up to as a mentor.  It's an EXCELLENT book, and I wish I had read it before becoming a department head.  The title may sound a bit boring, but I have found the subject matter fascinating.

             It becomes problematic for me when we want to go anywhere on a vacation, and I always want to bring several books with me.  They quickly add a lot of weight to one's baggage.  I always have trouble picking out just one to put in my carry-on bag for reading on an airplane.

             Enter the Kindle.

        I can now carry untold dozens of books with me in something the size and weight of a single paperback.  It's AWESOME.  I've always liked to carry a book with me wherever I go.  Long line at the DMV?  Bring it on!  I just open my book and read.  The Kindle has just reinvigorated that habit for me.  I carry it almost everywhere now.
             In other news, we are in receipt of orders once again.  This time the Navy is sending us to the Pacific Northwest, and we're pretty excited to live someplace where the houses are affordable, AND the commute isn't bad, AND the schools are good.  That'll be a first for us.
             As a result, we're in that stage of the PCS-cycle of military life (moving every 2 to 3 years) where the weekends we have left in our current duty station are numbered, and the calendar quickly fills up with all sorts of things you want to do before you leave.
             We're supposed to break heat records this weekend in the DC area.  Yuck.  I'm sorry to say the extreme heat tomorrow will prevent any attempt to get out hiking, biking, or kayaking.  However, I'm very excited to see some dear Navy friends of ours coming up to visit from Norfolk.  We went to church together in San Diego when R and I were both department heads there.  As much as it hurts to say goodbye to our friends each time the Navy moves us to a new duty station, it's always a joy to be reunited with those old friends when you cross paths at new duty stations.

             I hope you all are enjoying your summer, and I hope it's not nearly as HOT and HUMID as it has been here in the DC area.

             Oh, two administrative notes on my blog:
             1. I've finally surrendered to turning on comment moderation.  Those annoying comment spammers just keep leaving CRAP in my comments.  I think I've deleted like two dozen spam Chinese comments from my last blog post about our Shenandoah kayaking trip.  I apologize to those of you who leave legitimate and thoughtful comments, but there shouldn't be too much of a delay.
             2. You'll notice the book links above.  I have written before that nobody is paying me to write about anything in my blog.  My recommendations for books or any other product are my honest opinions.
            That being said, Blogger has added this nice link-to-Amazon feature, where if you mention a book, it will include an image of the book cover and a link to the Amazon website.  IF you should click on the link and purchase a copy, then I will get some small compensation from Amazon.  I don't think that compromises my assertion that my recommendation of the book is my honest opinion that it's a good book, right?  It's just offering you a quick and easy way to click on a link IF you desire to buy the same book from Amazon, that's all.

        Alright, I've talked your ear off enough for one night.  It had been long enough that at least my one most faithful and devoted reader started to complain that I hadn't posted anything in weeks.  Hopefully we'll be going on leave up to New Hampshire again for a couple of weeks in August, and I'll have more outdoor adventures to write about then.

        In the meantime, I'll be enjoying our air conditioning.  :-)


        Tabor said...

        We are headed to Baltimore...for a few days...of all places in this heat. Blogging is nice in that wherever you go you can still share with blogmates.

        Kat said...

        David and I love our Kindle!!! Amazon has lots of free books to put on Kindle also. I had to turn on my comments moderation also. Enjoy the Pacific Northwest. Someday we hope to get back there and/or retire there.

        Kel said...

        Good to see you back. My hubby got me a kindle for Mother's day, and it is the best thing EVER!! I love it.

        We are in the same boat so to speak with moving...only a few short weeks left here and then we are off. Good luck with everything and I hope it goes smoothly!!

        SamanthaSimons said...

        I emailed the last book title to Andy, he might be interested even though he's over the halfway point in his DH tour. Might prove helpful if he screens for XO.

        Enjoy your last bit of time in DC/NOVA and best of luck on your upcoming move and assignment.

        Kel said...

        THANK YOU for all the wonderful moving tips!!! I am printing them out so I don't forget any of them!! :)

        Hilary said...

        I remember Amazing Stories and if I recall correctly, the one to which you refer is about a young guy drawing his way out of trouble.. and it truly was a wonderful story. If that's the one you mean.

        Despite early resistance, I'm liking the idea of kindle more and more.

        The Pacific Northwest sounds like a lovely change. I hope your whole family enjoys it. :)

        Brian Miller said...

        have yet to go the kindle route...there is just something about a on xbox though sounds really cool. you picked some great ones to watch with them...lot of nostalgia there...

        beth said...

        i can't bring myself to get the kindle...why is that i love the feel of paper in my hand ?

        and we moved 13 times in 21 years and had nothing to do with army or anything....just my hubby's i know where you are when it comes to all that !

        oh, and if the hubby gets a ipad for traveling, i might succumb to an electronic book or two, but for now, i love a paperback.....