Monday, October 28, 2002

I wrote this blog entry on the train last night, in an attempt to justify bringing my laptop on this trip. I guess it worked as planned.

I spent the whole weekend at my dad’s house, except for sleeping at my brother’s apartment. My grandmother was in town from England along with my cousin, and this was my only chance to visit with them. She’s 90, and while she’s in great health and spirits, there’s no telling how many more visits there will be. It was also a chance for me to see my parents and my brother, none of whom I see as often as I like. So I didn’t get out and see any new movies or enjoy the cultural highlights of the Washington, DC suburbs. My brother earned his private pilot’s license on Sunday, after a little more than two years of flying lessons. Mazel tov!

On the other hand, I did explore my brother’s small book collection and pick up some ideas of things to read in the future. In particular, I borrowed from him a book entitled The Price of Admiralty, by John Keegan. In college, my brother took a class on the history of modern warfare, and he kept all the books. He had two other Keegan books, one on land warfare and one on the leadership styles of Alexander the Great, Wellington, and Hitler, among others. While that one really tempted me, the one I took instead is all about sea warfare, starting with Trafalgar and progressing through Jutland, Midway, and the Battle of the Atlantic in WWII. I’ve always had an interest in naval battles (they’re one of my favorite parts of Empire Earth) and I’m hoping I can learn some strategies from the masters that will help me defeat the computer. And if I like this one, I can always borrow the others later on.

One tidbit about my fantasy life in the navy: my online handle for many years has been “Admiral” in a variety of forms, usually in computer games. Except for Star Wars games, where I’m Cathol Lyn-Ayt, Jedi padawan (the name came from a SW RPG that I played with some friends a few years ago), or in Battlefield 1942, where I’m Bobby Shaftoe (a character in Neal Stephenson’s novel Cryptonomicon. The other night, while playing, another player msg’ed me and said he was Goto Dengo, which gave me a laugh. (That’s another character from the same book. I love geek humor.)

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