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February 22nd, 2008

_Victory Conditions_, Elizabeth Moon

This fifth (really? I think so) entry in the Vatta's war series wraps it up. There's a big climactic battle at Nexus in which Mackensee, Slotter Key and the newly formed Space Force (IIRC) collectively do what needs to be done. But long before that, Rafe and his sister Penny have to wade thru further corruption and incompetence on Nexus to get the government to actually start behaving reasonably. Ky has to track the pirates to their lair and then onto Nexus, after a battle to keep them from taking delivery of a bunch of newly minted warships.

I think the weakest bit in the book is where Vanguard gets a special module installed to make it Ky's flagship: ansible, repeater screens --- CCC stuff. You just know, as that sucker is described, that Vanguard and whoever is on it and not in the CCC is toast as soon as that puppy is installed. Poor Gannetts. Poor Hugh. Poor Martin -- he deserved better.

Don't try to read this without having read some or all of the previous entries in the series -- I cannot imagine this puppy making much sense on its own. But it does wrap everything up nicely.

toddler fun: should you be counting?

T. has taken a strong interest in numbers lately. He's got a couple of puzzles (one in big form from Melissa and Doug, the other a combination of a book and board) which involve numbers: 1-20 for one and 1-20 for the other. He's been completely enamored of 2 and 3 for a while, carrying them around, taking them to bed with him, etc. (Yeah, I know. Who needs a stuffed animal when your mama is right there with a warm boob in bed with you? Or at least available upon hollering? Clearly I'm doing this wrong.)

Lately, however, he's added the 1 and the 4 to the mix, and started lining them up vertically (flat -- not stacked) on the couch. He's been lining stuff up, usually horizontally on the floor or the fridge (letter magnets) for a while now, but this number thing is interesting because he's reliably getting 1-4 in the right order.

He also clearly knows the entire alphabet at this point, and seems to know it in order. He won't rattle it all off on his own, but will fill in gaps, and recognizes everything reliably, as long as it's printed (not cursive) and it's not a really odd font (with the usual confusion between i and l in lowercase in some fonts). And he can read the numbers 1-20 reliably as well.

This makes reading alphabet and counting board books a lot more fun. He reads the letter or number, we read the rest of it, everyone gets to participate. With stuff like _It Looked Like Spilt Milk_, he knows almost all of the nouns, altho he still keeps saying butterfly for the angel picture. And he's well on his way to memorizing most of _Opposites_ by Sandra Boynton.

His speech is finally getting clearer, too. He says moon with the m, the o's and the n, now. Initially it was just the o's, then moo. So we're getting at least some terminal consonants, which is big progress.

Fun stuff. A little odd, but fun.