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- This year was the most un-Christmas-like holiday I’ve ever had. We did nothing at all for Christmas, most of the family not arriving until later, and all of us too broke to buy gifts for anyone other than the kids. Then when the kids were here, all of my effort was directed toward feeding, entertaining, and cleaning up after them. And due mainly to the flooding, we didn’t go anywhere (except down to the river to look at it).
- The flooding also canceled two of my New Year traditions: the NYE party at Bethany’s, and rabbit hunting on opening day at Busch Wildlife. On my own, I would have risked crossing the river, but with guests at home, I felt obligated to not be stranded away from home.
- Missing the NYE party leaves me with extra disappointment, because Bethany is moving away soon. I will be seeing her tonight for sort of a going-away shindig, and I have one last hair appointment with her, and that’s probably the last I will see of her for some time. I imagine she will visit often, but I don’t expect to be at the top of her list of people to see.
- I watched the Sherlock special. Like the whole last season, it wasn’t the most brilliant detective story, and it was a bit on the nostalgic side. The writers of this one seem to have thought that confusion is the same thing as plot twist. Still, it was reasonably entertaining, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
- On Tuesday, I finished The Strangler Vine. I feel bad giving it only three stars. There was nothing wrong with it. It was a flawless execution of a novel, though perhaps easily categorized. However, once I had finished, there was nothing about it that made it particularly special to me. It was enjoyable.
- Yesterday, I finished The Hero of Ages, the third in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Like the previous two, it was quite excellent. I would recommend this trilogy to anyone who can stand to read any kind of fantasy fiction. Sanderson is a skilled writer, but what makes this series remarkable is the sheer number of plot twists. It is clear that the whole trilogy was outlined together before setting out on the first, and he keeps revealing completely new layers throughout each story. I can’t say that the ending was quite as emotionally satisfying as I had hoped, but it is a great story. There is a second trilogy in the same series (the last to be released in a few weeks), and I look forward to it.
- I am strongly considering the purchase of a drone. I’ve never been particularly interested in it before, but my plan to create video tours of public lands seems to cry out for such footage. I am looking at the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, which has a 4k gimbal-mounted camera, a video return channel, and nearly flies itself. However, before I spend the money, I need to research rules about drones, but those of the FAA and of the various public land agencies. There is no point in getting it if I won’t be allowed to use it for my purpose.