Funny Money

After a salad and grilled shrimp for dinner, I went to the commissary to buy groceries. After finding they didn't have my cereal or any pop-tarts, I grabbed a magazine and some ice-cream (note: I did get 5km of rowing in today).

"Sorry, sir. This is fake." The shopkeeper turns the riyal note around and hands it back to me. I look at it confused as he points out the missing seal, cunningly replace with a grey blotch. "Where did you get this riyal?" I explain it was from my company. I'll have to take it back to them. He agrees. "You know how I know this fake riyal?" I look back up at him. "Three times. I have riyal like this." If they were all SR500 notes like mine, which they likely were, he's had to pay out about a month's base pay each time this happened. I tuck the note away and will have to deal with it tomorrow. At least it provides fodder for a daily photo. Three hundred sixty two of those remaining.

TV today - Dr. Who Season 4 "Blink" - quite possibly one of the best in the series. Time games throughout the story. Great stuff. But, this was overshadowed. Even more exciting, the lead in of the Master story line starts in the next episode. I'll save it for tomorrow.

I also watched the last episode of Season 2 of DS-9. Downloading Season 3 tonight. After that, I have to find something else. I have AMC's "The Prisoner" yet to watch. That will get full treatment - the big tv, lights out, and a bowl of popcorn. The trailer has me really hyped about it.

I finished Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger by David Mack last night. I really enjoyed it, for what it was. Not quite the level of Alan Dean Foster, but believable and still Trek. I started the next book in the series Star Trek Vanguard: Summon the Thunder. This one, in the first 50 pages, is full of why I stopped ready sci-fi in general and always stayed away from Star Trek novels in particular. This book boasts two authors, neither of whom are David Mack, and neither of them understands the definition of a "privateer" and how that would be different from a smuggler. Of course, smuggler sounds like someone guilty of trafficking drugs, not some quasi-heroic piratey like guy.

Further insult are turns of phrase like, "Her eyes smoldered like phaser banks." What? Phaser banks smolder? What? Bad writing aside, let's get real geek on this one, why would phaser banks smolder? It's like saying a turned off light bulb smolders. Really? You think?

Finally was the description of the heroically hunky captain of the Starship Endeavour. To get how hunky he is, the authors talk about what it feels like to improve your run time by five seconds with all the skill and panache of people that have never jogged in their life. I won't detail the further inane dialogue where the oh so PC starfleet officers snicker about hard to pronounce names of their own crew members. These stories are rife with officers talking inappropriately or in ways that would likely get them cashiered. I suppose that's part of the genre. I'll continue the series, as I already have the third book, but can longer really recommend them.

But yeah, fantasy authors that have never jogged in their life, or traveled outside their home state irk me. A blight on the genre.

Musical interlude today: Sade "The Sweetest Taboo" from her live album. From tour I actually saw!


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