What will this be about? Just as the title says in it's own way; books, cars, raising coho salmon on McAleer Creek in Lake Forest Park, and music.
Yes, it is an odd set of topics, but there you go. That's what I'm interested in, so that's what I'm going to be writing about. Likely, there will be other topics that intrude. Oh, my God. I left out basketball! How could that have happened? (I actually went back and fixed the title, I think) I have been playing, watching, or coaching basketball since I was nine. And I haven't been nine for a really long time.
OK, so what am I reading currently? Scardown by Elizabeth Bear, the second novel in her Jenny Casey trilogy (at least I think it's a trilogy at this point). Set in the not too distant future (2060's) when global warming's effects are being felt with a vengeance, the first AIs are being 'born', the US is in the shitter, and the Canadians are the world's police force for hire. Geniveve Marie Casey is a fifty-year old former Canadian Master Warrant Sargeant who has gone back to her native country after living in the North End of Hartford, Connecticut for several years (that's why I was initially attracted to the book; I student taught English at Hartford Public High School in 1974, not quite the North End, but close enough to have a good sense of the geography she's writing about. And my momma was born in Hartford and lived on Sigourney Street for her first three years). She is a combat veteran/hero who was given a nanoprocessor-controlled nervous system and left arm after surviving a nasty incident. She is self medicating and generally falling apart when she is yanked back to Canada via her nasty assassin older sister, Barbara. She gets drafted into Canada's starship flight program and befriends/works with and AI that is the ghost of Richard Feynman. I will not give away the whole plot, you can certainly read the book for that. I do like it though. Hammered is the first book in the series; Worldwired is promised as the conclusion. I'll have to make my way to Third Place Books to pick it up fairly soon now.
So, what am I listening to and liking, these days: Orchestra Baobab's Made in Dakar; Randy Newman's Harps and Angels; Irma Thomas' Simply Grand; Ballzack's Yeah Indeed; and Charlie Haden Family & Friends' Ramblin' Boy. Yes, my tastes are somewhat diverse, but what you'll hear about from me mostly is jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, some rap and hip hop, rock & roll, a bit of country and some pop music. I've been buying music since I was 12 when I first got a job delivering newspapers in Meriden, Connecticut and have been buying ever since. Between my wife and I we have 800+ vinyl albums and 600+ CDs. They mostly fit into those genres above, but some do not (like the Gregorian chant, classical music, and comedy albums to name a few).
Not much car related stuff going on these days. The track driving season is over and it's time for winter maintenance. I've got a 2000 BMW M Roadster that is significantly modified from stock. My son, Francis, and I picked it up at the factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina on May 14, 2000 and drove it home 5,500 miles to Seattle in 11 days on all the two lane roads we could find. I was trying for a Blue Highways (if you've read that book by William Least Heat Moon) sort of trip. Since then I've accumulated 172,994 miles on the odometer. It is my first sports car (though I've wanted one since I read The Red Car when I was 11 or 12) and my daily driver. It has also been my ride in One Lap of America for the past six years. You'll be hearing much more about One Lap over the next several months. In fact, I will be using this blog as my main communications tool during that event which happens at the beginning of May this year.
For now, I've got to fix both windows as their transport mechanisms are all kerfluffle. Also, Francis and I are going to be adding better air ducting to the front brakes (we have had significant issues the past two years with the new big brake kit from Ireland Engineering (I can't believe they have the gall to use the word Engineering in their company name given the crap quality of the kits they produce). In addition, we are going to be giving the trailer some much needed maintenance. We're replacing the complete axle assembly, both tires and the spare tire as well. With 100,000 miles on the trailer and almost no maintenance, it is a wonder it lasted as long as it did before giving us trouble this year. I'll probably talk about that later.
Right now, there's nothing much going on on the salmon raising front, though that is coming up in another month or so. Over the past 10 years I have raised 630,000 fall-run coho salmon in an incubator and relased them into McAleer Creek which runs through my front yard. If I were at home during daylight hours, I might get to see some of the returning fish, but at this time of year it is dark when I go to work and dark when I get back, so the only chance would be on weekends and I haven't seen any lately.
That's enough for now. Little by little you'll get a picture of my crazy life.