Thursday, August 16th, 2007
10:22 pm - Reading and Riding (but no 'Rithmetic) on the Misty Moors...  
So, at what point does mist become drizzle? My guess is that it's when the droplets get too big to remain suspended in the atmosphere and start falling. This isn't an academic exercise. The sun was still out when I started my ride this evening, but the mist rolled in soon after, and the longer I rode, the mistier it got. Eventually I realized that it was sort of raining. I think it was the all the water on my sunglasses that gave it away. It was a very gradual change of state, so I couldn't tell when the change of state happened. I can tell you where it happened, though. It was at the furthest point on the ride from my car.

Rides - 8/16/07I hate riding in the rain, but this wasn't that bad. It was cool, which was nice because the humidity to that point had been sapping my energy big time. It was only drizzle, and even that went back to mist as I got closer to the parking lot. By the time I got to my car the bike has dried out.

I broke 600 miles early on tonight. The only things to note besides the rain are that some death squirrels have joined the death bunnies on the path (I saw both tonight), and that my lower back has bothered me some the last couple of times out. I don't think it's bike related, but if it gets bad it may put a crimp in things. I hope not. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow, and then maybe Sunday I'll go try a different path again. Go for the gusto! That's the ticket.

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Some years ago I picked up Lord Peter, a collection of every Lord Peter Wimsey short story Sayers ever wrote, twenty-one of them. Never got around to reading it until now. Maybe it was because the cover shows Wimsey with jet black hair. Nothing like a little attention to detail.

The stories are more Sherlockian than they are like one of the Wimsey novels. In some cases, Wimsey comes off as even more single-mindedly obsessive than Holmes. In one, he pretends to be dead for two frelling years to infiltrate a burglary ring. Only Bunter, Mary, and the Dowager Duchess knew he was alive. And the ring was run by a mastermind who knew for two years that the disgraced footman he'd allowed into the inner circle had a bank vault installed in his lower class flat, but never questioned him about it. In another story, Wimsey spends a couple of months in the Pyrenees pretending to be a wizard to help a damsel in distress. And then there's the time he proves his identity by his ability to know not only what kinds of wine he is tasting, but the exact chateaus and vintages as well. He's just amazing! Harriet shows up in the last two stories, but in the first she's just a snarky cameo, having just given birth to their eldest, and in the second, "Talboys," she might as well be Harriet Nelson.

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"Imagine that you have to break someone's arm.

"Right or Left, doesn't matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don't...well that doesn't matter either. Let's just say that bad things will happen if you don't.

"Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly — snap, whoops, sorry, let me help you with that improvised splint — or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable?"


Imagine a spy thriller written by P.G. Wodehouse, and starring Bertie Wooster as Thomas Lang, the ex-soldier now mercenary who gets caught up in a military industrial complex plot to use terrorism to sell helicopters. That's pretty much what you get with Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller. After all, if anyone knows how someone like Bertie would handle such a situation, it's probably Laurie. Jeeves is along as well, but instead of being Lang's valet, he's his MI-6 handler. The plot is vaguely reminiscent of Deal of the Century, a fun old Chevy Chase/Gregory Hines movie that I haven't seen in years.

It's a fun book, written in much the same style as the Jeeves books, with the hero's droll narration of events. Even a terrorist attack can be funny with the right quip. The ending is a bit rushed and thus a little muddled, but it doesn't detract much.
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