Homer's Travels: June 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book: Sylvain Neuvel's "Only Human"

My last read was the third book of the Themis Files series. In the first two book we learn about a giant alien robot hidden on Earth thousands of years ago. The third book, Sylvain Neuvel's "Only Human", introduces and fleshes out the alien race that built the robots.

I really liked the first two books of the series but this third book is a bit disappointing. The alien race is dull, uninteresting, and rather Meh. There was so much potential that was squandered.

Along with this disappointment, the pacing of the book was slow and somewhat uneven. The first two books had action and suspense. This third book had little of this.

I really wanted to like this book but I had to give it three stars out of five on Goodreads. Too bad.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

First Day Of Summer

Happy Summer Solstice!  Our spring has felt very Summer-like and now the first day of Summer feels like Spring.

A ladybug and some new leaves on the first day of Summer.
The weather lately has been ... odd.  It has been hot and rainy.  Thunderstorms have rolled through nearly every night this week (My cable modem died one lightning filled night this week - a possible victim).  The College World Series is going on in Omaha and they have had more weather delays than the past seven years combined (Omaha World-Herald).  The humidity seems higher than normal too.

The picture above is the first ladybug I've seen this season.  She/He is joining another sure sign of Summer - lightning bugs that twinkle in our backyard during the early Summer nights.

Again,  Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

I Think It's Time For A Vacation

I've always had a love-hate relationship with vacations.  For a few months before the traveling starts I dread it.  Once the traveling starts I'm fine.  I'd hoped this pattern had been broken before we went to South America in 2016.  Before that vacation I was pumped and ready to go.  Now that it's time for our next vacation the dread has returned.

Where are we going?  I'd mentioned our plan to take the Trans-Siberian railroad across Russia but that turned out to be too hard.  We decided to stick with the train theme and we changed the location from Russia to Canada.

  • We start with a flight to Vancouver where we will spend a few days seeing the sights.
  • We get on the train and go to Jasper where we will be staying at the same cabins the Wife and I honeymooned at twenty-one years ago.  We spend a few days here enjoying nature.
  • Back on the train we head to Winnipeg.  A couple days here.
  • We fly from Winnipeg to Churchill where, over five days, we will be doing tundra and polar bear tours with a side trip to snorkel with the beluga whales.
  • Back to Winnipeg to do laundry and then back on the train to Toronto.  We spend a couple days here.
  • Next stop on our train trip East is Montreal for a couple days.
  • The end of the line for us will be in Halifax where we spend a couple days before flying back home.
In the end the whole vacation will be thirty-one days long.  I'm not exactly sure what we're doing at each stop.  My job is booking the stops and the Wife finds interesting things to do at each stop.  She always finds cool things to do.  The in-between time, when we will be on the train, will be relaxing.  Unfortunately most of the time it will be nighttime so we will have limited views between stops.

Am I ready?  No.  Will I be ready in the eight days I have left before we go?  Well, I guess I have to be.  Whatever happens I know the Wife and I will have a great time.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Goodbye Tony, You Will Be Missed

The Wife and I have been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for many years.  We heard him speak when he came to Omaha back in 2010.  Sadly, today, Tony took his own life.

Yellow flowers for our television friend.  He will be missed.
Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.  I hope he has found the peace he was seeking.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Do they get dizzy?

Went out on the deck last night and noticed a trio of tiny little spiders hanging out on webs attached to the blades of a whirligig.

Two of the three whirligig spiders.
I kind of felt sorry for them.  The webs (one web seen here when I used a flash) probably wouldn't survive a strong breeze. Unfortunately there really isn't anything I could do to help them.

So ... do spiders get dizzy?

Sunday, June 03, 2018

A Wicked Good Time

Last night the Wife and I went to the Orpheum theater to see a performance of "Wicked".  If I am correct this is my first 'real' play I've ever been to.  I have been to many a school play.  I may have seen some professional performances in Guatemala when I was in High School but I don't remember if they were professional or college or what.

Waiting for the curtain to rise on "Wicked"
Neither the Wife nor I are fans of musicals but we both needed to see at least one so we could judge.  I have to say, after watching "Wicked", that my opinion is a little mixed.  I had a good time.  I enjoyed the story and had a few laughs along the way.  I'm still not a fan of musicals though.  I'm not sure if I would go to another musical play but I wasn't turned all the way off by "Wicked".

My opinion of musical theater ... still up in the air.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

National Trails Day

Happy National Trails Day!!!

The trail to Happy Camp canyon (taken ten years ago).
Everyone needs to get out, enjoy nature, and blaze a new trail.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Book: David Sedaris' "Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)"

When I checked out my latest read from the library, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not.  I like David Sedaris' writing.  We went to see Sedaris live a few years ago (eight years ago?!?) and had an enjoyable evening.  "Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)" is exactly what it sounds like - excerpts of Sedaris' diary entries spanning twenty-six years.  Diary entries can be awesome or they can be boring.  Fortunately for me Sedaris' life, as documented in his diaries, is hilariously odd.

The book is organized one year per chapter.  Each chapter is broken up into dated entries that sometimes are connected and sometimes comes out of left field.  As you read the book you learn about this life and how his writing has progressed as his life moves along.  I was never bored with this book and often found myself shaking my head at what was happening to him.  The number of strange encounters with odd characters is amazing.

The only shortcoming for me was the entries covering the aftermath of September 2001.  I expected more during that chapter.  I suppose in times of great turmoil, writing in your diary, understandably, is not a priority. 

I enjoyed the book.  I gave it four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I took my time reading this book but enjoyed it every time I picked it up.