Doug: Well, that was nice while it lasted. With yesterday's celebration of Labor Day here in the States, Summer 2013 came to its unofficial end. You might recall that we ran a post back around Memorial Day where many of you offered up your summer plans. Some of you spoke of films, some of books to read, others of vacations or household chores. Go ahead and make that jump backward and check out what you said (those of you who commented -- you other lurkers (and we love you all) are welcome to take a look as well). Today let's report on what you did accomplish.
Doug: Most of what I had planned did indeed come to pass. My wife and I were able to celebrate our 25th anniversary twice, once on an overnight to Chicago where we dined at Geja's Cafe' -- a spot where we'd eaten during our brief honeymoon in 1988, and again in July for four days at the Osthoff Resort in Wisconsin. I did programming for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and Chicago. Summer school, way back in June was fun, and I did begrudgingly finish the training for teacher evaluations. I caught a White Sox game with my younger son (birthday presents to us from the oldest) and we took a quick two-day trip to Cincinnati to see the Reds play the Giants (the night before Homer Bailey's no-hitter -- our luck). That trip allowed us to check another ballpark off the family list. I think among the four of us we've seen 19 major league stadiums. I also managed to do a landscaping project on the west side of our house that had been needed for several years, and we redecorated our master bedroom/bathroom. And finally, as far as the itinerary goes, just before school started my oldest son and I went to Wizardworld Chicago.
Doug: As to the reading, which I always try to enjoy during the summer months, I still have not conquered Tim Snyder's Bloodlands. I don't know why -- it has been highly recommended by many of my colleagues at the USHMM. So it remains on the to-read list. I did purchase a short book for my youngest son to read while on his soccer team's two-week tour of Europe: The Last Survivor: In Search of Martin Zaidenstadt, an inquiry into what life in the German town of Dachau is like today for those who lived through the war years and the stigma of being associated with the concentration camp of the same name. As Munich was one of the stops on my son's team's trip it seemed fitting; I was able to read the book in just a few hours so that I could recommend it to him. One of the highlights of my summer was receiving a Kindle Fire HD from my wife for birthday #47, and I am very happy to report that I subsequently got back to some childhood favorites (Amazon offers at no cost tons of old books that are now in the public domain) by reading Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar and four REH Conan short stories: Red Nails, The Hyborian Age - Conan's World, The Phoenix on the Sword, and The Scarlet Citadel. I did get about halfway through Frankenstein, but somehow it got pushed aside. Of course I did the usual reading for this blog, including some stories from Back Issue magazine.
Doug: But enough about me -- how about you?