Bookish Trends for the Summer of 2011…

16 Sep

Summer went by quickly again. It seems the older I get the quicker time flies! As in most of my post retirement summers I end up reading a lot. This summer was the season of Paris and the Santa Fe Trail. After flying through some fast beach reads obtained from the local library I found some more substantial books to garner my attention. These included a new McCullough book titled “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris”.

An excellent read this and followed closely by “The Measure of all Things”, a story of two French Astronomers and how in the late 1790’s they took on the challenge of measuring the distance of the meridian from pole to equator so that they could determine the length of a “Meter”. A Meter being 1/10,000,000 of the aforementioned distance. Needless to say some errors crept into the measures and how things resolved themselves just added to the intrigue and having taken place during the French Revolution just added to the color. All very good stuff.

Later I spent some time going through books on my shelf that I had begun earlier but never seemed to finish. One such book was ” The Wildest of the Wild West”, a book describing the early days of Las Vegas, New Mexico. This then lead me to “The Old Santa Fe Trail”, another unread book on the shelf. Fortunately, both of these books had extensive bibliographies and have lead me further into the western history books which I found a goodly number very reasonably on ABE Books on the web. Now I have at least four early reprints of eye-witness histories of the Santa Fe Trail coming in via postal service.

Unlike the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail was a two way commercial route used by both early traders taking goods to New Mexico, and Old Mexico as well as Spanish Traders harvesting pelts, precious metals and gems and hauling them to the frontier towns of early America. It was so well traveled that wagon ruts are still visible from satellite. Here is a google earth shot of McNees Crossing in New Mexico.

McNees Crossing-Santa Fe Trail

We may take a ride through some of this country to view it first hand. It has a fascinating history and well worth investigating via books and travel.

Not much new to report on Radio this time. Practice still keeps on and I am not sure I am making a lot of progress in my quest to become a CW Man, but it is enjoyable and fun. My days have been filled with testing (optimizing) the physical construction of two snap it common mode chokes utilizing three physical constructs to see how best to make use of expensive ferrites. I’m not done with that project yet. Ive had to install a new network printer as my long suffering Dell Laser went dark during our summer brownout. It may not be worth repairing. Yesterday I installed a 1 TB backup network disk to allow me to sort and back up files and family photographs- a project I have put off for over 7 years now- all the while accumulating more and more photographs. It never seems to end does it?

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG

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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Family, Radio, Stuff


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