Long Holidays and vacations give me trouble. If I travel I end up exhausted. If I stay home, I sluff off, and end up bummed out that I didn't get much done. This extra long weekend was not too bad. Ross came home from school Wednesday evening, Anne fixed a nice meal for Thursday, I stuffed myself and then took a two hour nap.
Anne and the boys and I went to see the new James Bond movie Thanksgiving evening, it was a great Bond movie. It had most of the standard Bond elements, great stunts, exotic locations, fast cars, beautiful women, murder, mayhem, villains and explosions. The only thing missing was Q explaining all the latest gadgets.
I finished a book by Alan Furst, "Dark Voyage" was the title, I think. I really enjoyed it. He is my favorite author at the moment: World War II intrigue and adventure. I picked up several other books later on, but none of them could keep my attention. Three of them were Science Fiction, by authors I used to enjoy:
- David Weber, of "Honor Harrington" fame,
- Larry Niven, whose accurate science made him required reading in my astronomy class back in school, and
- Eric Nylund, who wrote a Star Wars novel that I really enjoyed.
Finally, on Sunday, I picked up a small non-fiction volume about Napoleon, and so far, so good.
Napoleon is the main villain in Patrick O'Brians sea stories ("Master and Commander", a recent film, was based on his series of novels). Besides being a tyrant, Napoleon accomplished a number of things that are still with us. Very curious. Reminds me of the Carrdasians occupation of Bijor on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", or my own evaluation of recent presidents. David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series parallels Britain's war with France during the revolution, complete with a cast of despicable revolutionary leaders with names taken right from the French revolution. And don't forget the English in India. So it is interesting to see the other side of the coin. I may have to read more about the French revolution.
I tried cleaning my old Okidata laser printer (actually it is an LED printer, but never mind that). It had been working fine, but then one day it started leaving big black clouds all over the pages. I accused Johnny of banging into while rough housing with his friends, but he denies it. It is fairly old, but it hasn't seen much use. Opening it up reveals toner all over the inside. Vacuum cleaner does not do much good, neither does the air compressor. I pick up some laser printer cleaning sheets at Office Depot ($13). Before I try the cleaning sheets, I decide to do a little exploratory surgery. A dozen or so screws and some wiggling later, I have it pretty much all apart. Not that it helps. I put it together and run a cleaning sheet through but it does not really help. Matter of fact, it is behaving worse than before. So much for disassembly and reassembly, a technique that has often worked before. Next step would be to replace the toner cartridge, but I am afraid it will probably cost more than a new printer. The cartridge incorporates the imaging drum, so it will no doubt be expensive.
I helped Johnny take apart an old, broken down laptop. It was a bit of a challenge to do so without breaking anything. We got some tips from the Internet, and when we were still stymied, we knocked off one of the plastic feet using a screwdriver and a hammer. That gained us access to the last screw holding the top cover on. After that is was just a matter of about two dozen more screws.
I worked with Kathryn a bit on her math homework, and with Ross on his paper about sound systems for his physics class. Neither one likes math. They can do it if they apply themselves, but they have no interest in doing so.
Stopped at the video store the other night. Did not see much that interested me, which I thought was curious. I had seen a bunch of ads on TV over the summer for movies that looked interesting, but I do not recognize any at the video store. I do not remember the titles, I just remember seeing some ads, and I think I would recognize the covers of the those movies, but I do not. So I go to IMDB and try to find these films that I saw advertised. It takes some poking around, but I eventually land on their "power search" page and I get a list of about 300 titles. I look through it and find maybe a dozen movies that look like they might be worth watching. Am I picky or what? Anne and I rented a movie one night, but I cannot remember what it was. Some action/adventure film, most likely. I rented the most recent X-men movie and watched it by myself Sunday night. Johnny joined me for a bit, but he had already seen it, and mom sent him to bed before it ended.
6 months ago