Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blog Stuff: Notes from a day off.

So, with a whole day to do it and a whole list of things to do, I managed to...

...get my laundry done.

See, the whole plan for the day was contingent on me rolling out the door at 10:00AM, hitting the bank, the oil change joint, dropping my clothes off at the wash-n-fold, strafing Borders, eating at the Chop House, picking up my clothes, swinging by McScrooge's to lay in the weekend supply of Ruination, and lastly, hitting Kroger for a 12-pack of Vault Zero and some odds and ends.

Things began to fall apart because Lois McMaster Bujold is entirely too entertaining a writer. I was reading Young Miles (specifically, The Warrior's Apprentice) and enjoying myself so thoroughly that... whoops! Is it noon thirty already? Well, we can wait on the oil change 'til Monday morning; just a few more pages here... Next thing I knew, it was one thirty, and the three hours of sleep I'd gotten the night before were starting to tell. I set the alarm clock and went face-down for an hour's nap.

So, out the door, through the bank drive-thru, drop off the clothes, and off on our second mission: Hitting Borders to acquire a copy of Kildar. See, PDB and ColtCCO's enthusiastic reviews convinced me to buy Ghost. I read it and loved its sheer over-the-top cartoonery and wanted more. I'd hit Borders at Turkey Creek on the way home Wednesday night, and they only had Ghost and the third and fourth volumes in the series; I needed the second. So now I rolled into Borders at West Town. Unfortunately they also only had the 3rd and 4th books. Ditto Barnes & Noble. Likewise, Books-A-Million. AAaaarrgghh! Someone has snuck through town and bought every copy of the secong book in the series, while taunting me by leaving the later books on the shelves. Thank gawd for Amazon.

All this swanning about, in and out of bookstores had left me stranded on Kingston Pike, deep in the heart of West Knoxville, at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. I ducked into the Chop House as much to escape the gridlock as to eat a steak. Which, as it turns out, will probably be my last steak from the Chop House, since the little table tent informed me that they are caving in to the whiners and busybodies and eliminating their smoking section on Monday. Let's see... I've eaten there twice a month at $40 a lick for the past three or four years... How much is that? Anyway, I hope they invest it wisely, 'cause I won't be spending my money there anymore.

After the dismal news at the Chop House, I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised that McScrooge's was slap out of both Ruination and White Hawk IPA. That was pretty much the cherry on the icing of the cake of my day. I picked up my clothes, decided to skip Kroger, grabbed sodas from the Unterweigel's, and slunk home with my tail between my legs before fate could kick me in the ribs again.

At least the sunset was gorgeous and Lois Bujold was as entertaining to read in the evening as she was in the morning. From what I can tell, the Vorkosigan series promises me hours and hours and hours of Hugo-winning reading for the forseeable future.

And now it's back to work.


Anonymous said...

Do I read that right? You're reading the Vorkosigan books for the first time? Oooh boy. You are in for a treat.

I waffle back and forth as to which my favorite might be. "A Civil Campaign" is usually the winner.

If you're reading the omnibus editions then the writing may seem a bit uneven as she didn't write them in the chronological order those editions arrange them. Cetaganda takes place well before Brothers In Arms, but was written much later. You'll notice the difference in her writing.

Kevin said...

Another envious reader: You get to enjoy Miles for the first time!

I'll read everything Ms. Bujold writes. I'm not much of a fantasy fan, but hers are uniformly excellent.

Forward momentum!

Anonymous said...

I too walk out the door and refuse to go back when a restaurant bans smoking.

In states where smoking is banned in ALL restaurants I tend to eat in a "bar" unless I'm with other people bent on cowtowing to the nanny state.

T.Stahl said...

Last time I've been to Norway my friend I (naturally) went to the pub for some Guinness (as always).
Before we went I spent much thought on the problem which clothes to wear as I'd drive back to Germany the next morning and would need a jacket that wouldn't stink of smoke.

When I sat down with my pint I realized that I had forgotten that smoking was no longer allowed in Norwegian pubs.

Ok, actually it is against my beliefs as a libertarian, but I enjoyed the fact that my eyes didn't burn and that my clothes didn't stink afterwards.

I'd prefer if they'd just offer non-smoking evenings.

Anonymous said...

People who demand the right to cloud up the air I'm breathing with Their Drug of Choice, always get upset when I suggest that I should be allowed to sprinkle their food with drugs they don't use. Maybe a little coke, some amphetamines, perhaps moonshine in your coffee, whatever.
The US govt rates Nicotine the most addictive substance known to man.
It's used as a pest control poison.
The amount contained in one and a half regular size cigarets is sufficient to kill an average size human if injected.

Frankly, I don't care how someone wants to harm or kill themselves.

Just don't force me to indulge in YOUR drug addiction.

Oh, by the way, check out books by Elizabeth Moon. Vatta's War series, The Serrano series,(especially the sub group starting with "Once a Hero"). She's a former Marine, great writer. Also, check out the Baen Free Library on the web.

Zendo Deb said...

Bujold is one of my favorite writers.

After Young Miles, you might want to go back in time and read Cordelia's Honor. The first 2 books dealt with the parents. They are good but you need read them both together.

They can be read in most any order, but the last 4 really need to be read in order. Memory, Komar, A Civil Campaign, Diplomatic Immunity. (Truth be told, I don't much like Diplomatic Immunity... but that's me.)

Winterfair Gifts is a Novella that falls between A Civil Campaign and Diplomatic Immunity. Don't remember the name of the compilation it is in.

Zendo Deb said...

And anonymous.... no one is forcing you to go to restaurants that permit smoking.

Tam said...

"People who demand the right to cloud up the air I'm breathing with Their Drug of Choice..."

I must've missed where I asserted my right to make you sit in the smoking section.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that a "smoking section" is a joke. If it was a separate room, with properly designed ventilation, it would work ok. But it never is like that. Restaurant owners want to maximize their income, so they rarely set up non-smoking areas unless forced to. And, the cheapest way to handle it is to forbid it alltogether. It's the one area that I am inclined to agree with the nannys on, in violation of my libertarian thinking.
I grew up before there was any such thing as a non'smoking area anywhere in public. My mom smoked, and most of my relatives.I smoked, at six years age! Unfiltered Camels were 25 cents/pack then. Only way I can stand it now, is when I'm drinking in a bar/club.

ted t said...

Just wanted to thank Tamara K. for enlightening me about my S & W 242 I aquired a year ago but was never able to verify the exact model I had. The seven shot cylinder never came up in any S&W list I looked at. I want to buy a set of lazer grips for it but I wanted to make sure I ordered for the right pistol. Mine is a 38+P and is a pleasure to shoot and accurate for such a short barrel. Thanks again, Ted T.

Matt G said...

Tam, that's bourbon or scotch night, if ever I heard one.

Desperate times. . .

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that your restaurant is going non-smoking. Still consider it a blessing that the anti-smokers have the balls down there to speak to property owners, rather than the cowards of the Northeast who prefer just sweeping bans. As I type you may smoke in NO public buildings in Maine and Massachusettes. No restaurants, no bars, no airports, nowhere. You may smoke outside, or at your home. No choice.

They have a right to ask you not to light-up. As you have the right to never give them one cent of your money.

Its always sad to loose a place because of a policy change, but at least you can still have a steak and a cigarette at any place besides your home.


Anonymous said...

Well, at least it was the restaurant's own business decision and not that of some nanny-state politician like Dallas mayor Laura Miller. Not much consolation, there, but take what you can get.

Personally, I can't stand cigarette smoke and avoid places that have much of it. Most "smoking sections" are about as effective as marking out "peeing sections" in public swimming pools. They're a bad joke. However, it's a business owner's decision whether or not to allow smoking in their place, not the government's.

staghounds said...

"By the time he was my age, my father had worked on a farm, fought in a war, started a business, married, and had two sons. But me, if I go to the bank and the dry cleaner in the same day, I need a nap."