I have rather suddenly developed an interest in local history. Most specifically, I’ve decided I want to know all there is to know about Flamm City, a place that was probably never actually any kind of a city, but which has intrigued me for many years. I’ve discovered a ton of historical resources at the libraries, mainly catering now to the increasingly popular study of genealogy. When I started, I figured I would be the only one looking into such subjects, but in fact the rural suburban city I live in actually has a historical society. I am finding the research to be fascinating, even if it is taking up a lot of my time.
I made it to a second meeting of the science-fiction book club. The book this month was The Three-Body Problem, which included a rather unusual selection of science. (I liked the book alright, but now that I know it’s the first of a trilogy, I don’t think I’m interested in reading the rest.) There were some familiar faces, and I’m starting to form opinions about them. The largest reason for participating in the book club is for the social experience, so the quality of the people I meet there will have a lot to do with whether I continue.
My foray into local history has suggested to me a possible interest in photographing cemeteries, the photos to be used by genealogists. Photographing each individual headstone and cataloging the photographs online would make the information available to those who are not local to the area but are searching for it. This is well within my skill-set. Though perhaps I should make sure someone else hasn’t already done it.
I read The Thousand Names, which I picked up recently at the used book store for no other reason than that I liked the name. Even though many of the characters were a tiny bit two-dimensional and the story’s obstacles were too easily and too consistently overcome, I did enjoy it overall, and I plan to read more of the series.
I bought a sewing machine. My grandmother’s machine has been in my possession basically since her death. However, it has become non-functional, and I cannot easily repair it. Sewing is a skill I possess, but without a machine, projects have been passed over or stacked up for quite a while. I bought a Singer Heavy Duty mechanical sewing machine with just the features I need. It works well enough, though it’s not as nice as my grandmother’s 1960’s Kenmore. I look forward to doing more with it.
I have started building my hardcover library – a library of books I intend to re-read. I’ve started with C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series, unearthing what hardcover editions I already had and buying a gently used hardcover edition of the first book. I have several to go just in that series, and there are several other things I would like in the collection.
The Missouri General Assembly voted to override the Governor’s veto of SB 656. This makes Missouri the 11th “constitutional carry” state. When the law goes into effect, concealed carry of firearms will be legal without a permit, with the same restrictions that apply to permit holders (but not quite the same protections). The law also upgrades Missouri from a “Castle Doctrine” state to a “Stand Your Ground” state.
When I was thinking about media’s complete mischaracterization of Stand Your Ground during the Zimmerman trial, I realized that those protesting against the incident were making paradoxical demands. They wanted Zimmerman to be found guilty of breaking the law, and they also wanted to demonize the law that made the shooting legal (which they erroneously referred to as “Stand Your Ground”). If there’s a bad law that makes it legal, then how can he be found guilty?
Gearing up for cold weather camping, I have come to realize that my understanding of sleeping bag temperature ratings has been flawed. I buy a 0° sleeping bag, and taking nothing else into consideration I assume I will be comfortable in 0° weather. When that proves to be untrue, I chalk it up to exaggerated claims. However, the sleeping bag can only do its part when combined with a good insulating mattress underneath. A simple air mattress won’t cut it, and that’s what I have always slept on when camping. I have been daunted by cold weather camping for many years, and it’s because of my early failures camping in cool weather. Now that I am researching and understanding the whole system together, I am hopeful that I can succeed.
I have finished watching the original television series Twin Peaks. The only thing I expected was that it would be weird, and it certainly was – right down to and especially including the finale. It was also really corny and campy, mostly in a good way. The most difficult part of watching it was the extremely slow pace. David Lynch clearly wanted to portray moods more than a story. I’m surprised audiences of the time had the patience for it, especially when he got side-tracked. Ultimately, I guess they didn’t, since it ended after a season-and-a-half. It started out great, but then devolved into uninspired stories, and the unique style of presentation wasn’t enough to make up for it. Initially, I had assumed I wasn’t interested in watching the prequel, Fire Walk with Me nor the recent continuation of this series, but now I’m reconsidering.