Friday, December 28, 2007

Tank thirty-two

Total miles: 12514. Trip miles: 393.6. Gallons: 8.030. Price per gallon: $3.179.

Screen mileage: 50.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 49.0 mpg. Usual pump. A few longer trips.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tank thirty-one

Total miles: 12120. Trip miles: 317.9. Gallons: 7.428. Price per gallon: $3.029.

Screen mileage: 47.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 42.8 mpg. Used a different, full-service gas station this time. The guy topped it off, so more gas went in than usual, which probably caused the tank mileage to drop a bit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A review of "Microserfs"

by Douglas Coupland

I found about the first hundred pages of Microserfs amusing, and then it was more of the same, and more of the same, and yet more of the same. I do not know what the entire middle of the book was for. Perhaps for character development; but the characters never struck me as anything more than cardboard (perhaps they were just too realistically boring). The twist at the end was good, but after being bored for a couple hundred pages, I was just glad to be done with this.

I probably would have actually enjoyed this book, with some heavy editing.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Yay, finished another Holiday Challenge! I think this is the earliest I’ve ever finished it.

Tank thirty

Total miles: 11803. Trip miles: 284.3. Gallons: 6.458. Price per gallon: $3.199.

Screen mileage: 46.7 mpg. Tank mileage: 44.0 mpg. Filled the tank at the usual pump today. Temperatures have been pretty low, and most of my trips have been short, under 30 minutes.

I also took the car in for a wash. High time for that.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A review of "The Killer Angels"

by Michael Shaara

I picked up The Killer Angels while visiting Gettysburg, this fall. It is a fictionalization of the Battle of Gettysburg, and a good novel to read in conjunction with that visit. It is written well, and does a lot to make the battle more than a set of dry facts and numbers.

The novel focuses pretty narrowly on what happened during the battle, specifically, and only devotes a few pages to discussions about the cause of the war. I would have liked more attention to be given to that broader context. Other than that, no complaints.

I will add that I am somewhat leery of reading fictionalizations of historical events; without expertise, you don't know which part is fiction and which is fact. There are some negative reviews at Amazon claiming that Shaara played fast and loose with historical facts; but I don't see any such criticisms at wiki. On the plus side, wiki claims that the novel "has also been cited by Joss Whedon as the original inspiration for his science fiction/Western hybrid series Firefly."

A review of "Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season"

Watching Gilmore Girls makes me want a do over of my childhood. Even the arguments are charming. The premise is highly unrealistic – it’s very convenient that this single mom has a set of wealthy parents that she can approach (albeit reluctantly) for favors. And I’m not really very keen on the cast of quirky supporting characters. But overall, it is enjoyable escapist fare for those of us who had a less-than-marvelous childhood and a bumpy educational experience. The scripting and delivery are both excellent! This is one of my favorite TV series.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Two episodes of Gilmore Girls and 13K later, I’ve hit 100K – the halfway mark!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tank twenty-nine

Total miles: 11518. Trip miles: 322.3. Gallons: 6.703. Price per gallon: $3.259.

Screen mileage: 49.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 48.1 mpg. Filled the tank at the usual pump today. I also put more air in the tires; they were low by 5 PSI in the front and 3 PSI in the back. No surprise. I haven't checked them in months, and the temperature was about 30 °F when I measured the pressure.