March 7th, 2014

Daily Activities Include: school, French lesson, lunch at Cambridge Brewing Company

T. wants to blog about what we did today. T. got up, got dressed, ate, rode the van to school, learned things, came home, and played with his sister. They watched episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Paw Patrol.

R. and I went to my Dutch lesson, only it was a French lesson today, which was fun. Then we had lunch at the Cambridge Brewing Company. Many thanks to I., who sent us a gift card. We both got fish and chips and had beer and cleaned our plates. R. bought two large bottles to bring home for later consumption.

A. had pajama day at school. She heard that R. was going for a bike ride and wanted to ride her bike to school. So we got out her little Townie with the training wheels, figuring she'd give up in the cold, but no, she did not. I kept her from falling out into traffic and she mostly stayed upright until we got to the middle school, where she decided to walk instead. We abandoned the bike, walked her to preschool (really late) and then I walked back. I retrieved the abandoned bike and got it home, somewhat laboriously. My walking partner kindly waited for me. We went for a walk and had a snack and then R. and I went into town for the lesson and lunch.

_Cryoburn_, Lois McMaster Bujold (kindle) SPOILERS RUN RUN RUN

It was kind of meh. I liked the idea of working through some potential legal/societal ramifications of being able to freeze/revive people (say they have a disease with no cure now; freeze and bring 'em back when we have a cure). Bujold correctly saved the generic life extension to the end of the book and had people talk about it but didn't attempt to depict it. A really nice bit was the community oriented towards people born in a particular few-decade time span, over a century ago. At least they will recognize each other's pop culture references from the past, basically.

The book starts out with Miles whacked out of his head as a result of an allergic reaction to some sedative local terrorist/activists/protestors dosed him and some other cryo-conference attendees with. He got away from his would-be captors, but is now horribly lost; when he gets back above ground (he was in the cryocombs), he is rescued by a runaway boy, over the objections of his elderly homeless companion. The old guy will prove to demonstrate terrible judgement later in the book as well, while the lad demonstrates excellent judgment. They are two gods in the machine, walking down the street when the author, er, Miles, could really use some help.

With the plot ticking along nicely, Miles digs up several conspiracies and general bad behavior, then is surprised when his (hey I DID SAY SPOILERS) brother shows up. Throughout the book Miles has been thinking about various biological clocks ticking, family ties, dead loved ones, etc., and now Mark and him get to talk about Dear Old Dad and whether they can pressure him into accepting Mark's new Get 2 More Decades treatment. When up comes someone with horrible news, delivered in the after-matter, cleverly structured as five "drabbles" (100 word stories) from 5 people.

Okay. So, the book is meh. It's not real compelling. It turns out I have sort of a simmering rage about Miles junketing about while Ekaterin is raising 4 kids under the age of 6. It's not terribly funny. I don't really believe what's going through Jin's (the lad) head. Everything feels kind of mechanical -- altho it's a good development of what you could maybe do with cryo tech.

Here's what's bugging me. I spend a lot of time reading tech blogs, and I'm kind of obsessed with payments systems. What I really want is to have a wrist device that will tell me the time, show me messages when they come through and provide caller id on an incoming call -- and, most importantly, work as a payment system (pop a QR code, be RFID compatible, wtf). I'm probably not going to get any of this, because right now, the SmartWatch people seem to be utterly focused on health measurements (so smartwatch as a fitness device, type of thing). Which, fine, but honestly, I have a really hard time believing that rich, powerful people in the Nexus of the Vorkosiganverse aren't instrumented at least to notice heart failure. At Least. And yet Aral lays there dead with everyone thinking he's napping for 2 hours.

I Do Not Believe It.

Young'uns think historic visions of the future (a friend brought up Bladerunner recently on FB) are pretty funny. I'm feeling like _current_ visions of the future are pretty laughable, too.