Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Voyage Ends - Completed the Master & Commander Series

About six years ago I discovered Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. It was when the movie based on the books came out. From the previews, the movie looked like one I'd enjoy...action, adventure, thrilling naval battles; and I was curious to read the book before seeing the movie.

That book was like no other I'd read before. It engaged and challenged me as a reader, immersing me into the time period and action of the story. Many historical fiction authors write their characers' dialogues in modern language, but not O'Brian. His characters speak like they would have at the dawn of the 19th century. Add on the unfamiliar vernacular of a ship's crew and the occasional Latin or French phrases and there's a learning curve.

It wasn't easy at first but the more I read, the more I enjoyed O'Brian's writing style and mastery of story telling. I yearned to discover what would happen next. I was hooked and became an avid reader of the series. I even started catching myself wanting to use language from the books in regular conversations some times.

So why did it take me 6 years to finish? Life happens. I typically read 2-3 in a row then took a break. These aren't books to be read in 10 minute bites, so I'd wait to start the next one until I knew I could devote time to reading. And along the way I read other books, including O'Brian's biography.

Sadly, O'Brian passed away while writing book #21. His unfinished manuscript of nearly 3 chapters was published posthumously. I don't know if O'Brian intended it to be the final book of the series, but those three chapters make it seem so. Events are going well for Aubrey and Maturin (professionally and personally) and it's easy for a fan of the series to picture them living out their lives happy in their pursuits. O'Brian would've kept them busy, of course, and thrown a few twists in their paths. It was a premature but fitting end to the series.

I got a little melancholy while reading the last couple books, knowing that the end was approaching. Now that I'm done, I miss the characters and their thrilling adventures. At some point I'll go back and re-read select books, maybe the whole series. I've already listened to the audio book version of Master and Commander. That was fun because I got to hear how many words I'd been pronouncing wrong in my head. For now, I'm going to read one of O'Brian's pre-Aubrey/Maturin naval adventures, The Golden Ocean.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Survivor Samoa - The Best Survivor Ever

And it's all because of Russell H. Without him, this season would've been mediocre at best. But with him...we've watched smart, brazen game play and suspenseful blind sides nearly every week.

He's played the game harder and better than anyone before him. He eliminated threats quickly, formed good relationships, found 3 immunity idols (2 without clues!! no one's done that before), masterminded multiple tribal council blindsides and led Foa Foa to the near total obliteration of the former Galu tribe. It helps that most of his competition was overly confident and played like they never saw the show before applying.

Galu had an 8-4 advantage at the merge and now they're down 1-4. They're so inept and bad at this game that they couldn't get rid of a single Foa Foa! Watching the tide turn so dramatically was fun. If Russell S. hadn't left due to health issues, Galu might've had a fighting chance.

I don't know what'll happen in Sunday's finale, but it should be good. No one can win against Russell in the final two, he's earned every vote. If Jaison and Mick want any chance at winning, they better work with Brett to vote Russ off at the first tribal council.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or go cast your vote for your favorite Survivor season.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wendy's Drive Thru Update

Wendy's lost my business last year when they were misleading about the size choices at the drive thru. Today I gave Wendy's a second chance and am glad to say they passed!

This time the cashier asked if I wanted "small, medium or large" and he asked another customer the same when I pulled up to pay. The spicy chicken sandwich is pretty good, too.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Snow of the Season!

Buy at Art.comWoke up today and last night's drizzle had turned to snow! Big wet flakes, the kind that really cling to the trees, and lots of 'em...close to 6 inches by dark.

Fortunately I didn't have to go anywhere and could enjoy it. Watching it snow out the back window while rowing before breakfast made the workout go quicker. Later on came sledding and lots of shoveling.

An early snow fall's the perfect way to start getting in the Christmas spirit. Makes it feel like winter and we should be out singing Christmas carols and what not.

Now if only the local TV station would take down their annoying "winter weather advisory" logo...seriously, anyone can look outside and see the wintry weather. It's not breaking news.