austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Before be five be four

My first stop after getting the rental car was Rutgers, actually, since I'd borrowed some books from the library back in December and didn't have the chance to return them. Some might say it's risky taking library books so far out of state, since they do have to be returned if recalled and who could say when I'd be back in the state? And, yeah, it's risky, but fortunately I have eclectic tastes and while I've surely borrowed more than a thousand books from university libraries I've only had one or two recalls. Besides, I could priority-mail a recalled book to my sister-in-law.

Speaking of my sister-in-law, I did stop in to visit her, and her daughter, and discovered my brother was there too. I didn't realize the Presidents Day holiday meant he'd be home. My sister-in-law's been a little frantic since her daughter's been home a lot, between Sandy-cancelled classes, sickness, holidays, and snow days, so an extra school holiday in February meant she was eager for anything that would occupy an energetic five-year-old.

I didn't get to pull any really sound logic twists to confound my niece this time around, although she did discover that if she hopped on my back while I was sitting on the floor I just might stand up while holding her. She didn't mind this at all, since she is at the right age to be so thrilled by being tall, and I lumbered around the house without going up or down any steps because I know an unbalanced load when I hold one.

For dinner I broke the logjam in deciding what to get by suggesting Mexican, as there's a Moe's grill just nearby. And then I foiled it with a ``Dragon Duck'' moment (I'm starting to think I actually identified a social phenomenon with that sketch) I couldn't think what to order from a fast food Mexican restaurant, and so went with my brother to actually see their menu and order a vegetarian burrito. Well, if I hadn't gone I wouldn't have been able to get my brother's course for self-improvement that actually sounds pretty good, nor would I have been able to convince him to bring me enough of the hot sauce because he thinks it's much hotter than it actually is.

Trivia: Even before the Black Death about one out of every twenty families among England's wealthier gentry would go extinct each year from the lack of direct legitimate sons or daughters. Source: In The Wake Of The Plague: The Black Death And The World It Made, Norman F Cantor.

Currently Reading: Listening To Radio, 1920 - 1950, Ray Barfield. It's an oral history, largely, but it's one of people who share their experiences listening to radio in the Golden Age, rather than the people who worked in the field.

(Minor thought on Sobel's book, The Pursuit Of Wealth, which is really more a loose economic history about what leads up to the United States than what I expected, a sketch of the ways new forms of finance opened up: the book's from 1999, so it mentions in passing the home computer revolution was fueled by now-exhausted companies like Apple.)

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