Yesterday my “Big Four-Oh” passed without incident or existentialist angst, and with much food, drink, presents and hugs from the kids — an excessive amount of the latter, I feel. The two presents that have captured my attention most completely are a pair of books from the “Thursday Next” series, continuing the adventures of Special Agent Thursday Next of SpecOps-27 (Literary Detectives). I just finished “The Eyre Affair”, in which an evil genius kidnaps and murders fictional characters and Ms Next has to act as bodyguard to Jane Eyre and defeat the bad guy, without Bronte’s narrative being disrupted.
This series of books by Jasper Fforde is extraordinarily engrossing in the same manner as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” is, and shares (dare I say exceeds? Yes, I do) the imaginative scope of H2G2. A special mention goes to the “bookworms”, into whose DNA have been encoded the finest dictionaries, thesauri, lexicons, and studies of the English language, and which were crossbred with others that had been encoded with encyclopedias and historical and biographical references. They analyze and explore any written words they are given, excreting hyphens and apostrophes and ampersands, and providing a key component of the Prose Portal which … ah, but I mustn’t say too much.
I’ve just started on “Lost in a Good Book”, and it’s all thoroughly recommended stuff.
Moving along … the family’s future movements seem to have been resolved in the direction of Arlington, VA instead of Monterey, CA.. SWMBO is poised for a very interesting few years at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, as the manager of their international programs — regular travel to London and Tokyo appears to be a distinct possibility. You can probably guess what I think of that, her having just come back from a three month deployment to Sicily! Some people have a good life, I’m telling you.
Anyway it looks like we’ll be moving up there at the end of February so the house has to be prepared for selling, new schools and daycares arranged, accomodations found, and a 1,675 mile road trip with three kids planned. Just after we arrive I may be leaving to attend the Hotsos Symposium (“symposium” from the Greek, meaning “to drink together”), but I haven’t decided on that yet.
I’m also polishing up my resume for any interesting data warehouse architecture opportunities in the Arlington, Alexandria or more widespread areas, so if anyone out there has the inside track on anything I’d be very glad to hear it.