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John's Blog

Some Words on Some Good TV

I've been recommending some TV/Netflix watching to the Wilsons lately and they've indicated that I have a perfect record so far. I don't watch a lot of 'first run' TV. Typically, I'll just find whole seasons of something interesting on Netflix and watch a couple episodes. If it's good I'll watch the whole season, then wait for the next season to be available. Other times, I wear my pirate hat...

Here are a few of my recommendations.

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Some Words on Some Good Books

Wise Man's FearBack when the Forum was active, members used to report on what we had read, make recommendations, etc. For lack of that outlet, thought I'd catch up here on some recent favorites... just for posterity's sake. These are not the only good books I've read. Their just ones from the last couple years that stick out and that I would generally recommend, regardless of your taste in genre. I tend to prefer a lot of Fantasy, Cyber-Fiction & History, which makes for an odd mix.

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Books I Haven't Read Yet... Because of the Kindle

Lately, I've been boxing up some books for a few reasons: to keep Fianna from destroying the nice hardbacks, to make room for other "stuff", and the expectation that we'll move soon and have to do so anyway.

In an indicator of how pampered modern life has become (not just me), I'm running across several books that I planned to read but never did... because I bought a Kindle roughly two years ago. With an ereader on hand, the prospect of prying open poorly binded books to read all the text comfortably, squinting at small type, or propping up a one-pound hardback for extended periods... sort of... lost its appeal.

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2011 August: Tuscany, Italy (Week Two)

Tuscany 2011: Week 2After leaving the Val d’Orcia, we made a short 1.5 hour drive to Siena. Siena is an impressive city. At one time, Siena was in a class along with Florence, Venice, and Genoa, competing for political superiority. Siena’s grand hopes were wiped out, along with a third of the population, during the bubonic plague of the mid-1300’s. Florence’s military conquered them in the 1550’s.

After an eventful day in Sienna, we were off for another day in Volterra, and finally, five days in Florence (our second visit)

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2011 August: Tuscany, Italy (Week One)

Tuscany 2011: Week 1In August, the Bresslers went on our first two week vacation since Fianna was born (Feb. 2009). We used to take 3-4 weeks of vacation a year, so it was nice to get ‘back in the saddle’. Our destination... Tuscany, Italy. We’d been to Italy in 2002 and were looking forward to a return. Italy is a terrific place to vacation. Italians are nice folk with a good deal of respect for family, neighborhood & tradition. There is no shortage of historical sites either, which is a big plus in my book.

The big challenge for this trip was bringing Fianna, who recently entered her ‘terrible twos’ in full force. She has flown often, but we weren’t looking forward to locking her down for a couple of 11 hour plane flights. As expected, the flight to Italy was an exhausting experience, but isn’t every international flight? Unfortunately, at least on the way there, she had no interest in watching movies on the tablet and no interest in taking a nap. An additional test was carting her (40 lbs.), a stroller, an awkward car seat, and the additional luggage around. We managed.

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