September 2012

Great game of Manhattan Project last night. Pat (playing the blue pieces) won, and while there really aren’t runner-up postions if there were I would have been last as I had loaded zero bombs. Pat built 2 at the same time to win the game. The color in the photo is a bit off; that’s not a pink board, it is purple. :)

I just noticed that some expansions are available, or are upcoming! This game has been a hit (with most) at game night, so I’ll have to pick up the expansions as they become available.

I read an entry on Benjamin Banneker from the book, “The Freedmen’s Book” (1865). This entry is about a man born in Ellicott City (then Ellicott Mills), MD in 1732. He built the first clock in America, after only having seen a watch. Then taught himself astronomy and developed an Almanac (again, first in the country):

“When he was fifty-nine years old, he made an Almanac. It is a very difficult job to calculate all about the changes of the moon, and the rising and ebbing of the tides, and at what time the sun will rise and set every day, all the year round; and it was a much more difficult task then than it is now; because now there is a great improvement in astronomical books and instruments.”

I so would have liked to meet him!

Many other passages in the above book are great; I just started reading it…

I found the above after reading a letter sent by a former slave, on the Letters of Note blog. These interWebs are just great for finding information you didn’t even know you were interested in!

I have to admit that from an engineering standpoint I have been interested in finding out how toilets worked in ancient Rome. However, not so interested that I actually did any research past a quick search on google.

Then I received an email from the American Journal of Archaeology, and took a look at the online book reviews. This one stood out:

Roman Toilets: Their Archaeology and Cultural History
Gemma C.M. Jansen, Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, and Eric M. Moormann, eds.
Reviewed by Eric Poehler

…What emerges from a full reading of Roman Toilets is the clearest and most detailed picture to date of the Roman experience of urinating and defecating in both public and private contexts. First, as objects of archaeological and architectural interest, the individual toilet (latrina) and multiseat latrine (forica) are described in exhaustive (and sometimes exquisite) detail…

The book (Roman Toilets: Their Archaeology and Cultural History) is a steal at $98.00 and is available on Amazon.com. I put it on my wishlist. :)

We recently went to a local charity event (horse show) and Preston rode a pony (many times; “Again!”). So, we took him to the local stable (they had been at the event) to check things out. This weekend he had his first real lesson, on a nice, big horse! He loved it; steered the horse himself, trotted, used proper hand position on the reins, etc. Initially the horse was on a lead (held by instructor), but later during the lesson the instructor let the horse free, so Preston navigated cones, etc. himself. The instructor was always right nearby, pointing out the direction Preston should go. It was wonderful to see him so happy, and to take to riding so quickly (I think I was 11 when I had my first lesson; Preston is just shy of 6). He kept asking the instructor when they could gallop. Great instructor, horse, venue. Wonderful afternoon. :)

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band played at Ram’s Head On Stage in Annapolis tonight. Fantastic blues show. Hugh Laurie is quite the showman, and an accomplished pianist and singer! I enjoyed the intros he gave to most of the songs, and the great rapport he had with the audience. Had a great time. Started the night off at Lemongrass restaurant (up the street) with a delicious chicken Red Curry. Genius Stout and Copperhead ale at Ram’s Head rounded it off. Delicious food and then wonderful music; great evening.