December 20th, 2007

_Fearless_, Jack Campbell/John Hemry

_Fearless_ is the second book in the (currently being published and therefore readily available) Lost Fleet series.

In the middle of this entry, Campbell/Hemry delivers a zinger he's been building up to for a book and a half. Those hypernet gates? The ones that both sides got at about the same time in the middle of the war? That totally changed tactics, marginalized a lot of systems and densified human settlement in space? Turns out they can be used as weapons if dismantled inappropriately. And most ways are inappropriate. The hypothetical non-human species on the far side of Syndic space is the likely candidate for both the technology and the motivation.

Nice.

The Fleet under Geary's command continues to train, acquire supplies and take out targets of opportunity while nimbly evading encounters with forces capable of wiping them out. Along the way, they encounter a POW camp (what? the Syndics are still _keeping_ POWs? Hmmmm.) and free the Alliance prisoners who've been there for a couple decades. One of them, "Fightin' Falco" thinks he will surely be in charge due to seniority, but is in for a bit of a shock. Unable to accept the presence of Geary, he connives with some other ship captains who decide to go with him on a more direct route back to Alliance Space. For a while, Victoria Rione is in a towering rage because she thinks Geary is intentionally avoiding returning to Alliance Space and seeking out Glorious Victories deeper in Syndic space. Not so; he's just trying to avoid the inevitable traps. Which he does. And which Falco and his followers do not. But he does manage to both tell the insubordinate cowers where to meet up with him later, which he does, after wiping out a system that has a shipbuilding operation. They are, needless to say, the worse for wear, but Geary's main fleet is a Crisp Fighting Tool and they do Some Serious Damage.

Campbell/Hemry definitely has _a_ way to develop a love interest (let's just say she jumps his unwitting self and leave it at that, because you just don't get much in the way of details out of Campbell/Hemry, which may be Ace's policy, or may be authorial inclination. *shrug*).

Clearly a series entry, but an enjoyable one. Falco makes a nice foil, to help further clarify why angsty Geary is effective, and why self-confident self-deluding Heroes are so dangerous to be sharing a galaxy with. And _not_ because they're so effective in battle. At least, not for their own team.

baking, low sodium musings, etc.

No Nutrimill experiments today. However, the loaf of bread from yesterday (the batter whole wheat bread from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook) with the air bubble through the middle got converted to croutons today. I very gently heated in olive oil 4 small cloves of garlic that I ran through the press (hence, very gently). With additional oil, I coated the cubes and then spread them on a cookie sheet and sprinkled them with some herbs (oregano, basil, thyme) and pepper.

R. complained vigorously that the croutons were inadequately salty. Well, yeah. Virtually no salt in the loaf and none added thereafter. Duh.

In the wake of this and another conversation, I commented on how hard it must be for people who have to go on a low sodium diet. R. then observed that I'd probably already hit the average compliance level. I then did a little research on what constitutes a low sodium diet and (figuratively speaking) about had a heart attack.

The _goal_ is 2000/day if you already have heart/liver/kidney disease? Jesus. That was an upper limit for me. R. thinks I'm running around half that and while I suspect he's wrong, I'm unable to get the math to support me. Hmmmm.

It's pretty much in the fake butter (organic smart balance is the current pick, which is 100/Tbs), the bread (which is why I'm going after figuring out how to bake a good loaf of whole grain at home, since that would enable me to wipe out the remaining sodium; even Ezekiel has 75 mg/slice and believe me, it mostly gets worse from there unless you want to have the low sodium Ezekiel which is a little blah even for me), including the morning English muffin at about 220, the peanut butter (45/2 Tbsp, so I've cut it but could go lower if I were willing to buy the smaller jars that cost more money, but I'd rather stick with the Costco organic because it's cheap and easy) and ketchup when I have home fries.

The bread is definitely the big bang for the buck right now, especially since I've got workable sodium free baking powder and baking soda for all the rest of the baked goodies.

I'm still trying to figure out why one brand of relish is so much lower in sodium than everything else at the Shaw's. Mt. Olive is mysteriously tasty AND low sodium. Go figure.