Mid series checkin – Sopranos

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A while back, I posted about (finally) watching The Sopranos, and how I became hooked. I am now about halfway through season 4, and completely addicted. From the catchy opening credit music, to the music that indicates the outro, I just can’t put these down.

It is good that so many of the actors/actresses from Goodfellas found work. Including Spider (Michael Imperioli) whom Joe Pesci shot in the card game scene.

But, like Mad Men before it, the characters that you get into, that draw you into the episodes are so utterly horrible, so unsympathetic, that you can’t stop. Like the womanizing Don Draper, Tony Soprano is unfaithful, a louse, a fairly poor manager of his “crew”, with members of said crew testing their boundaries that contribute to chaos.

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The Temptation of the Reader

kindle

I was an early adopter of the e-reader technology. As a heavy business traveler, and an even heavier reader to fill the gaps of time on said business trips, I would often hit the used bookstore to pick up inexpensive tomes of SciFi to read and leave when I was on the road.

The first touchscreen reader, the Sony PRS 700
The first touchscreen reader, the Sony PRS 700

The E-Reader ended that wasteful practice. My first reader was a Sony PRS-700, the first reader with a touchscreen, and I never looked back. About the same time that I bought that, Amazon introduced their Kindle.

Fast forward past a stolen Sony, a replaced Sony, and finally caving in and buying a 2013 edition of the Kindle Paperwhite reader. I have switched my allegiance to Amazon (grudgingly, I will admit that they have created a far better experience and ecosystem than Sony or others could), and read it every day.

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Mexican Vacation – Drive down the Coast

Sea of Cortez

Recap: We finally arrived in San Felipe late on Tuesday. After a long and exhausting day, Wednesday was a “chill” day, with a simple drive around the El Dorado Ranch development, and a quick, light lunch by the Cabana. Then we swung by the championship golf course, and met one of the Crawford’s friends, El Vira.

A lazy afternoon (some windows were being delivered and installed for the enclosed patio), and a delightful dinner of gulf shrimp and brisket for impromptu surf ‘n turf.

Thursday, we were far more adventurous. The goal was to see the sights, to take in lunch at a little fishing enclave, Papa Fernandez.

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Mexican Vacation – The Trip Down

Salton Sea sign

We have had a long open invitation to visit one of my wife’s friends who retired to San Felipe, Baja California, but the timing never worked out, so we begged off. But with recent life changes, we had no excuse remaining, so last week we visited the Crawford’s in San Felipe.

The trip down was uneventful. We split the drive into two days, stopping in Palm Desert as a good stopping point. The second day, we needed to knock around until our hosts picked us up in El Centro, so we went down by the Salton Sea. I had never been there (or if I had, I was too young to remember) but had flown over it about a million times.

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The Joy of Travel

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For the last week, I have been pretty much offline, enjoying the sun, surf, and unlimited outdoor enjoyment offered by San Felipe, Mexico. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and we are back over the border, and headed for home.

Instead of our usual slog through the LA Basin, we grabbed 215 to 15 to 395 to 58 and came in to Bakersfield via Victor Valley and the Tehachapi Pass. A much more pleasant drive, albeit longer.

Our plan was to crash for the night at the truck area at the junction of I5 and 58. A known distance from home, it makes for an easy 3 hour drive back home.

There are several hotels there (well, now I think there are only 2) and we really didn’t care for extravagant, just cheap and clean.

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