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Other life bits

Finally visited Salem. It was kind of disappointing. Small town, but not small enough, seems to sprawl outside the downtown area. Lots of witch kitsch. LOTS, there's at least four witch-themed museums, plus various stories selling witchy paraphernalia. Lots of psychic readings shops, too. I got there too late to do any witch stuff even if I wanted to, apart from a haunted house-like shop in the mall, only $17.

I did do part of a walk along various historic houses.

IMHO a 'cafe' should not have $20+ entrees.

Arguably the nicest thing about the trip was on the train ride up, passing through some neat-looking wetlands at some point, I think before Lynn.


Other things... I've never been good at memory palace or other mnemonic type stuff. I memorized 111 digits of pi in high school but entirely through rhythm and brute force and some parallels within the numbers. I've memorized a fair number of poems, including 90 lines of heptameter, but those have their own structure. But, I've been playing memory games -- card matching type -- on my computer and phone. At first I'd put names to the cards and tried to just remember a sequence, but recently I started trying to string them together: "the spaceship releases Gort as Joe looks on and rightie runs away", and I've greatly improved my performance and score on the phone game, which gives doubling score if you can match pairs in a row, thus rewarding learning all the cards first and then trying to match them all. I regularly get what used to be my high scores. So, 'huh, it works'.

I finally got A/C. Was going to buy, then turned out fanw had a spare unit she didn't need, and I borrowed it. Was soooo good during the heat wave. Now, I feel guilty because it's cool enough again that fan cooling can work, but swapping the A/C and fan would be problematic. (The A/C fan seems to just re-circulate, not bring in air from outside.)

Friday was filk circle in Waltham, and I ate first at a Salvadoran/Ecuadoran restauran, Guanachapi. I note the countries are not adjacent; a friend suggests marriage. Had what turned out to be too much food: steak, rice and beans, salad, bacon, bready disks (not very good), chips and an odd salsa. The 'bacon' was more like thick lumps of pork belly; one of them seemed pure fat, and too disgusting for me, the others were more meaty. A decent meal, with leftovers; not ecstasy food. Oh, slices of avocado, too.


Books read recently:
_Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess_, Phil and Kaja Foglio
_I Claudius_, Robert Graves
_Old Man's War_, John Scalzi
_End This Depression Now!_, Paul Krugman
_The God Engines_, John Scalzi
_The Android's Dream_, John Scalzi
_Redshirts_, John Scalzi
_Burma Chronicles_, Guy Delisle
_Aya of Yop City_, Marguerite Abouet
_Captain Vorpatril's Alliance_, Lois Bujold
_Dreamweaver's Dilemma_, Lois Bujold (re)
_Look to Windward_, Iain Banks (re)
_India Becoming_, Akash Kapur
_Handbook to Life in the Inca World_, Suarez and George
_Shards of the Exalted Dream_

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Damien Sullivan
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