Sunday, March 19, 2006

Life Update - Birthday Trip

Note - This was originally published on my other site "The Geology P.A.G.E." but due to the content I have moved it here and backdated the post.

It the single best day of the year. That's right, it's my birthday! I know you are all jealous. And I got the spend it with the most wonderful wife in the world.

We started out going to the neighboring county where the annual Maple Weekend was being held. I ate at a pancake breakfast (Veronica didn't eat due to a diet that was soon thrown by the wayside).

Then we traveled off to see some of the farms. The first place was pretty cool, after we drove by a place we couldn't find. It was a nice little three room shop that sold some candies and had stainless steel equipment. Overall very clean. Then we went back to the shop we drove by and it was a shanty to say the least. Very small but the people were very nice. We went into the room they were boiling the sap and it was so foggy in there we could barely see. We would have purchased some syrup from them but the guy we were talking to said the sap just started running and that it was the bad stuff. It's the kind of stuff they send to Aunt Jemima. Apparently, the big companies only need 1% maple syrup to be considered 100% pure maple syrup.

The next place we went to was an Audubon Museum, it was not a real maple syrup ranch but they had a bunch of activities. But since it was not a real farm we left to go somewhere we could get some syrup. We randomly drove down this one road towards a town we knew had a farm. We ended up seeing massive amounts of smoke/steam so we stopped there. That ended up being the best one, they had a good tour, lots of free samples and a snowball gun. Also they had hot dogs cooked in maple sap, which were also very good.

Then we came home to a decorated house. Veronica apparently had her mom and sister decorate the house for me. I then went popping all the balloons looking for prizes and notes in all them. This also came with a giant cookie cake, my first. Like a wonderful wife that she is, we ended up watching a geology movie, Volcano. Ending the evening off we went to Olive Garden for some wonderful food.

All in all, a good birthday. :-D

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The 306 Greatest Books #43 - The Aeneid

I am going back and posting all of my previous book reviews so that they are listed on my site in chronological order. The reviews are dated for the time when I read the book, hence the reason many of them will be listed for times before this website existed. 

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is The Aeneid by Virgil. This book can be found on the Sybervision, and the Norwegian Book Lists. 

We head back to the ancient classics with this Roman telling of the travels of Aeneas, a Trojan who ultimately became the ancestor of the Romans. The Aeneid feels like it was written to fulfill the Roman need to copy all of the Greek mythology, and unfortunately that is how this book reads. The first half follows The Odyssey almost to the point of going to the exact same places as Odysseus. The second half is much better and kind of reads as its own story, although it is still reminiscent of The Iliad. The one thing that The Aeneid did do that Homer skipped over was to establish the use of the Trojan Horse as a means for the Greeks to enter the city of Troy during the Trojan War. Overall, I feel that despite this being considered one of the major works of fiction from the ancient times, it feels too much like a rehash of Homer's much better duology. I would personally say you can skip this remake and stick to the original.