November 21st, 2010

20111112, Marilee

Only Six Hours Again, Until Now

I only had six hours of sleep last night and headed to the library for bookgroup. We had 10 people at the group and seven of us finally got our librarian/leader/fan to go to a Thai place. They're really good at eliminating spices and peppers and she's very succeptible to those. They'll even make something for you from scratch. If you want heat, you give them a number. She liked what she got and said we could come back again. I had lamb curry in a three and brought most of it home. Three only buzzes my mouth while I'm eating. We had the son of one of the couples and he kept saying things about people older than 20 and then I had the same heat he did and was well over 20.

We talked for a while after we ate and then I came on back home. I picked up the mail and found the final Kaiser documents and we still have a Dental plan next year! They don't have to give them up until 2014 and I'm sure I can get the teeth cleared up by then.

I put things away when I got home and sat down at the computer and got sleepier and sleepier and finally went to sleep in the recliner with Spirit for three hours. Now I'll post the book and then read LJ & ML.
20111112, Marilee

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

I've never liked Heinlein's work, and this is one of the worst. I still read it all again when someone else only got partway through. Like many Heinlein books, he brings lectures and makes a framework to hang them on.

There's a Lunar Colony that is mostly convicts sent up from Earth. There's some scientists, too. The authority would be happy if they were dead as long as the grain kept being catapulted to Earth for their masses. Our protagonist, Manny, accidentally burned his left arm off and has replacements that he uses when necessary. He's primarily a computer tech and he's the one who finds out that the computer, Mike, is sentient. He meets a woman named Wyoming, called Wyoh, and a professor, and there they were -- the first cell of the revolution.

We see a rage of lots of people try for revolution and never get it, but the prof helps Manny and Wyoh form cells. Mike is pretty much everywhere on Luna and can not only report back, but calculate things. When the warden and the guards are killed, they have to move up the time for the revolution. Manny and the prof take to the US in a moderately-padded grain bin from the catapult. They tried to get all the nations to recognize Luna as a real separate country.

We find out that one of the reasons that the prof brings Manny is so he can be inept and annoy people. When there's enough annoyance, Stu, who had been in Luna for a short time, joined them on a trip to Luna using a ground-to-orbit ship. The Loonies have to do something to change and then Earth and the Authority starts sending up ships. The Loonies have already figured out how to use materials to bring them down, and they do. They lose some men, but almost all of the Earth soldiers are dead.

Luna tells the Earth that all their people are dead, but Earth says that's not true. Mike starts throwing metal-encased rocks to very specific places on Earth and two more ships come to Luna. One knocks out the catapult, but the Loonies built a secret one and continue bombing with rocks. Both ships were destroyed. After throwing rocks a few times around the Earth, the nations quickly started recognizing Luna as a separate nation and eventually all of Earth gives in.

Mike isn't talking to him, and Manny has to do some things first, but when he reaches Mike, he doesn't seem to be sentient any more. He talks and is still brilliant (although part of him was killed by the Earth ships), but isn't really Mike anymore. Manny is still thinking about it much later.

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is not a sequel, but Mike is worked on.
20111112, Marilee

More Sleepiness

I actually slept four hours with Spirit -- from 8pm to midnight -- then was online until 2am, then worked with the coupon flyers and made the grocery list for Tuesday, and then read the paper. I got to bed to read at 5am and I had hoped to stop sooner, but ended up at 7am. I set the alarm to 3pm and went right to sleep, but Junie started being my alarm about noon -- I had to pull the covers up to my chin to keep her claws from kneading me.

Now I have the sheets going in the laundry and the front pages read of the WashPost sections. The WashPost is using those QR codes now and today's was on the Food section (usually Wednesday, but Sundays before holiday weekends). When you use a QR reader on this code, you get 120 turkeyish recipes. That way you can check a recipe when at the grocery to make sure you have all you need and you can see the recipe while you make it. This is pretty cool.

The freshmen representatives are doing what the other freshmen have done for years to get the office they want -- they pick a disk in a lottery and their choice is by number -- looking to get the best office they can find. Turns out they haven't connected that with "less government".

Today the WashPost has another chapter of The Hidden Lives of Guns, this time on how many officers are killed with guns from each provenance. There were 511 police officers killed by firearms in the United States from the beginning of 2000 through this past Sept. 30. Legal purchase was the most: 170. It's a set of articles, graphics, and a PDF of how to deconstruct a gun trace. Very interesting and very thorough.

Now I need a nap again -- can't take too long, I have a podiatrist appointment tomorrow afternoon.