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drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 1

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Dec 20, 2016, 11:07am Top

I'm Jim, 54, husband of 32 years, father of a son in a PhD program in Comp Sci at Notre Dame, who reads pretty much anything. We're in central Maryland with roots in Louisiana. I like to read (obviously), cook, want to learn to fly fish, and trail bike riding/kayaking with mrsdrneutron. Of course, LT is a big time sink, but mrsdrneutron seems to have come to terms with my LT addiction...8^}

Dec 20, 2016, 12:14pm Top

Thanks for starting up the group. It all looks great!

Dec 20, 2016, 12:20pm Top

Thanks! I think I have all the starting threads up, but now I need to do a link check to make sure I built the wikis correctly.

Dec 20, 2016, 12:48pm Top

Too early to wish you a happy new year?!?!

Thanks for getting us all set up, Jim! I wasn't looking for the new group until next week, you sneaky guy, you :)

Dec 20, 2016, 12:54pm Top

:D Had a decent morning to put into it, plus we're taking a couple of days next week to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center and stay at the Watergate Hotel. So I wanted to get it done.

Dec 20, 2016, 2:03pm Top

Nice, my daughter and I saw Wicked at the Saenger in New Orleans.

Dec 20, 2016, 2:42pm Top

Hi Jim! Thanks for getting 2017 all set up!

Dec 20, 2016, 2:49pm Top

Thanks Jim!
On the mainpage of the group "Welcome new friends" links to the thread in the 2016 group, don't know if that is intended?

Dec 20, 2016, 3:05pm Top

Ack! forgot one!

Dec 20, 2016, 3:06pm Top

And fixed. Thanks!

Dec 20, 2016, 3:09pm Top

Thank You for setting it all up!

Dec 20, 2016, 3:20pm Top

>10 drneutron: You are welcome, Jim :-)

Now off to set up my own thread.

Dec 20, 2016, 4:38pm Top

Hi Jim, thanks for setting it all up again.

Dec 20, 2016, 5:25pm Top

Thanks ever so much for all you do for the 75 challenge group. May 2017 be healthy and happy with lots of time for books and those you love.

Dec 20, 2016, 6:53pm Top

Happy New Thread, Grand Creator! Looking forward to another year on the Mighty 75!

Like the past couple of years, I will wait awhile before starting my new thread, otherwise insanity ensues.

Dec 20, 2016, 7:13pm Top

Adding my thanks, Jim. Hope to be back in the swim next year.

Dec 20, 2016, 7:19pm Top

Happy new thread, Jim! Thanks so much for once again being our fearless leader!

Dec 20, 2016, 7:36pm Top

Thanks for all the good thoughts, everyone!

Dec 21, 2016, 8:13am Top

Thank you for a new year of the group, Jim!

Dec 21, 2016, 10:01am Top

Hi, Jim!! Lovely of you to do all of this for all of us. Cheers.
And have a blast with Wicked! Sounds like a good time.

Dec 21, 2016, 10:55am Top

Happy new thread, Jim! And thanks again for all you do for this great group.

Dec 21, 2016, 2:57pm Top

Hi Jim! I see you made the group! :)

Dec 21, 2016, 2:57pm Top


Dec 21, 2016, 6:02pm Top

Jim, can safely say that the group wouldn't be the same without you.......it wouldn't be without you.

I will be along regularly to see what you put into orbit in 2017.

Dec 21, 2016, 9:38pm Top

Hi Jim! Thanks for getting the group up and running!

Dec 21, 2016, 9:53pm Top

Thanks, Jim, as ever. I plan to start my thread on the New Year, but it never hurts to read everyone else's beforetime!

Dec 21, 2016, 10:36pm Top

>24 PaulCranswick: Aw, shucks, thanks! And you're welcome anytime!

>25 cbl_tn: My pleasure! I enjoy getting things up and running. It's fun to watch the excitement.

>26 ffortsa: I'll be there when you get your thread going!

Dec 22, 2016, 7:21am Top

Happy holidays to you and yours, Jim! I really enjoyed meeting you and Nora this year. Thanks for setting up the group. :)

Dec 22, 2016, 7:29am Top

Hi Jim!

Dec 22, 2016, 7:36am Top

Thanks for all your hard work Jim!

Dec 22, 2016, 8:50am Top

>28 rosylibrarian: It was fun! Since the son graduated from Clemson, I don't get to Charleston much, but maybe we'll have a chance to get together again someday.

>29 kgodey: Hi, Kriti!

>30 The_Hibernator: I always enjoy the end/start of year excitement. And I think I've got the group creation process down to a science. :)

Dec 22, 2016, 12:30pm Top

The 75ers are off and running for another year, thanks to you, Jim!!

Dec 23, 2016, 4:36pm Top

And my holiday wish for you and the world.....

Dec 23, 2016, 7:13pm Top

That was the theme of our Christmas cards this year! :)

Dec 24, 2016, 9:49am Top

Thanks for creating this site that has become such a big part of my life.

Dec 24, 2016, 11:01am Top

I wish you and all you love a peaceful and pleasant holiday, Jim.

Dec 24, 2016, 1:12pm Top

Thanks for wrangling the group. And thanks for the welcome back!

Dec 24, 2016, 3:28pm Top

My pleasure, everyone! It's always fun to see the flurry of activity this time of year. And fortunately I have a little time to spend on the group. :)

Dec 26, 2016, 1:41pm Top

Happy 2017 Thread, Jim!! I'm one of the flakes in the flurry who is thankful for the time you put in for our enjoyment!

Dec 26, 2016, 2:36pm Top

Thanks! From one flake to another... :)

Edited: Dec 26, 2016, 9:59pm Top

So happy to be back here in your group again this year, Jim. Thank you so much for putting it together once more. It's amazing how many years have passed since we began this adventure here at LT. I hope a meet-up can occur this year so I'll get the chance to see you and many of our other LT friends again in person. Happy holidays to you, your wife, and son. Cheers!

Edited: Dec 26, 2016, 10:01pm Top

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy!! Thanks for organizing us all. Dropping my star here of course...

Dec 27, 2016, 10:06am Top

Thanks so much for setting this challenge up again, Jim. Happy New Thread.

Found you and

Dec 27, 2016, 10:26am Top

Thanks for setting this up and thank you for the welcome in my thread! Starring and looking forward to your reads! :)

Dec 27, 2016, 11:32am Top

My pleasure, everyone! Happy holidays,

Dec 28, 2016, 9:36am Top

Stopping by to say hello and to star your thread!

Dec 28, 2016, 10:44am Top

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Dec 28, 2016, 7:46pm Top

Welcome to the thread!

Dec 29, 2016, 12:37am Top

Ha, I had a suspicion that everyone was hanging out here when I got caught up with the 2016 threads that I follow. Bring on 2017! Happy new thread, Jim. Thanks for setting this all up for us!

Dec 29, 2016, 4:46am Top

Happy new thread and 2017 Jim. Thanks for organising it all so well!

Dec 29, 2016, 5:16am Top

Thanks for all the hard work you do in setting up the threads Jim. Dropped off a star for 2017!

Dec 29, 2016, 6:26am Top

Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2016, 11:08am Top

Adding my thanks for managing our lovely group, Jim, and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Dec 30, 2016, 4:31pm Top

Hi Jim, Karen and I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and a prosperous and healthy 2017, sending love and hugs.

Dec 30, 2016, 4:34pm Top

Definitely thanks! This has got to be one of the best organized groups on LT! Happy reading!

Edited: Dec 30, 2016, 4:56pm Top

Hi, Jim! Happy New Group!

Thanks so much for your hard work.

Dec 30, 2016, 9:41pm Top

Stopping by to thank you for all the work you do in keeping the 75 Group up and running, and to wish you and your family the best for the New Year. That chicken and sausage gumbo sounds like a good idea--I've made your recipe before and it's great!

Dec 31, 2016, 8:34am Top

Dec 31, 2016, 9:05am Top

I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Dec 31, 2016, 9:28am Top

Wishing you all the best for the new year, reading and otherwise!

Dec 31, 2016, 9:36am Top

Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Dec 31, 2016, 11:35am Top

Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone! I hope you all have a happy New Year celebration, and a great 2017!

I've seriously neglected threads over the last couple of days - the son is home from Notee Dame and we've been doing stuff. He's even going to teach me to play disc golf with the new disc set we got him for Christmas!

Dec 31, 2016, 12:15pm Top

Dec 31, 2016, 3:17pm Top

Thanks for being our founding father, Jim. Looking forward to sharing books and quips in '17.

Dec 31, 2016, 3:30pm Top

Best wishes for the New Year! :)

Dec 31, 2016, 4:12pm Top

I wish you from my heart health, happiness, satisfaction and much exciting read in 2017. May all your wishes come true.

from my hometown Z├╝rich, Switzerland

Dec 31, 2016, 4:56pm Top

Happy New Year! (dropping a star)

Dec 31, 2016, 6:49pm Top

Happy New Year, Jim!

Dec 31, 2016, 7:01pm Top

Happy New Year Jim.

I just want to add my thanks to all the others, this really is a fabulous community. Hope your holidays are going wonderfully.

Dec 31, 2016, 9:19pm Top

Thanks, everyone! Happy New Year!!

Jan 1, 2017, 10:15am Top

psst...Happy New Year
Thanks for all you do!

Jan 1, 2017, 10:21am Top

Happy New Year, Jim. Thanks for setting this up.

Jan 1, 2017, 10:24am Top

Happy New Year Jim. Thanks for setting up the group again.

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 10:49am Top

Happy New Year, Jim! I hope your 2017 is out of this world. :-) Thanks for being such a great group dad to our motley crew.

Jan 1, 2017, 11:25am Top

I'm joining the 75er group just wanted to drop by and say Happy New Year!!!

Jan 1, 2017, 2:38pm Top

Happy New Year, Jim! And thank you so much for all that you do to keep our group going year after year.

Happy Reading!

Jan 1, 2017, 4:20pm Top

Happy New Year and many thanks for setting up the group once again.

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 6:49pm Top

Hey, thanks for all the visits and good wishes! Happy 2017!

Jan 1, 2017, 7:32pm Top

I added a thread for us to share wrapups for 2016. I've posted my stats there, but feel free to share whatever you'd like by way of summary or thoughts on reading for the year.


Jan 1, 2017, 7:44pm Top

Hi, Jim. Stopping by to drop a star! Thanks for organizing us again!

Jan 1, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Hi Jim, stopping by to thank you for all your work in putting together the 2017 group, and during a very busy holiday time!

Relying on my Irish heritage to leave you the following New Year wishes for you and your family:

Jan 1, 2017, 8:08pm Top

>80 rretzler: Thanks fro that! It's beautiful.

>81 lkernagh: Thanks! I've got some Irish mixed in with the Scottish too!

Jan 1, 2017, 8:12pm Top

Dropping by to set a star and wish you a happy new year! (Even though I've set up shop in Club Read this year.)

Jan 1, 2017, 8:19pm Top

>83 qebo: I saw you there. I've joined Club Read and am tracking folks, but probably won't have a thread there.

Jan 1, 2017, 9:52pm Top

I meant to ask earlier, and I apologize because this information is probably out there in the group somewhere, but who designed the 2017 group logo? It is lovely!

Jan 1, 2017, 10:32pm Top

rosylibrarian put together two - that's the one the people who commented agreed on. I really like it too!

Jan 1, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Well done, rosylibrarian!

Jan 1, 2017, 11:19pm Top

Thank you so much for being our 75ers Captain. I have to say I have noticed an improvement in my mood since I've started posting again here. And "here" wouldn't be "here" without you. You are the best.

Jan 2, 2017, 12:15am Top

Happy new year, and thank you for being the "75ers Captain"!

Jan 2, 2017, 1:26am Top

Happy New Year, and thanks!

Jan 2, 2017, 3:37am Top

Jan 2, 2017, 10:08am Top

Happy new year and thanks for starting up the group!

Jan 2, 2017, 10:32am Top

Good Morning.

Jan 2, 2017, 11:11am Top

Good morning, drneutron! I hope all is well with you. I'm looking forward to following your thread this year.

Jan 2, 2017, 11:42am Top

Happy New Year! Thanks for making it so easy to join in!

Jan 2, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Hi Jim and best wishes for a happy New Year! Many thanks, as always, for setting up the group - it's great to be a part of it!

Jan 2, 2017, 12:32pm Top

>88 Morphidae: Captain, oh my Captain! :) I'm glad we're able to help. And thanks for Ready Player One - I'm loving it!

Jan 2, 2017, 1:45pm Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 2017, 6:23pm Top

Jan 2, 2017, 9:53pm Top

Stopping by to wish you a very happy new year, and to once again thank you for being our captain!

Jan 2, 2017, 9:58pm Top

That would be Dr Cap'n, wouldn't it?

Jan 2, 2017, 10:17pm Top


Jan 3, 2017, 8:24am Top

>99 scvlad: Happy New Year to you too!

>100 Morphidae: Yep!

>101 AMQS: My only concern about the captain thing is that the Titanic had a captain too... :D

>102 LovingLit: :D

>103 msf59: The warbler's back!

Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 8:29am Top

Good morning, Jim. I for one will try not to sink your ship.

Jan 3, 2017, 8:42am Top

>105 thearlybirdy: Good morning on this first day back to work for me. I'm having to peel my eyelids open... :)

Jan 3, 2017, 9:20am Top

>106 drneutron: Good luck.

Jan 3, 2017, 1:34pm Top

Happy New Year! And thanks for keeping the greatest group on LT running. I don't participate much, given my introverted easily socialed out ways, but I very much appreciate that it is a welcoming community with much enthusiasm and kindness.

ps, Any chance of fixing the typo in my 2017 thread title? Or am I doomed to see it the whole year (this copy editor wants to cry).

Jan 3, 2017, 1:37pm Top

Thanks! I love that this has become such a valuable community for folks.

Unfortunately, there's only a 10-minute time window for thread title editing. You may be able to get one of the staffers to help - try lorannen first.

Jan 3, 2017, 1:43pm Top

>109 drneutron: Thanks for the suggestion. That'll teach me to putter around with multiple opening posts for the first time...too late by the time I noticed the problem.

Jan 3, 2017, 4:49pm Top

Finally getting around to visiting and dropping stars.

Happy New Year and may 2017 bring you bunches of books.

Jan 3, 2017, 4:59pm Top

Happy New Year, Jim! Hope the year brings lots of good books and friends with whom to discuss them.

Jan 3, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>110 justchris: Next time, if you know how many intro posts you're going to use, just drop a placeholder word in each one when you first create the thread. Then you can proofread the title (fellow copyeditor here, so I feel your pain) before actually filling up all those lovely intro posts.

Jan 3, 2017, 8:21pm Top

>108 justchris: If you're not too many posts in, just start a new thread with the correct title and direct everyone there. Your original thread will drop into oblivion quickly this time of year. You wouldn't be the first one with this problem. :-)

Jan 3, 2017, 8:27pm Top

>110 justchris:, >114 qebo: Yes, many of us have named our threads erroneously. In 2014, I used "2004" in the title.

Jan 3, 2017, 10:40pm Top

Qebo's right - I can link to the new thread in the Threadbook and the old one will drop away.

Jan 4, 2017, 10:13am Top

>113 rosalita: >114 qebo: >115 Storeetllr: >116 drneutron:

Thank you for the additional suggestions and commiseration. I dropped a PM to lorannen yesterday. I'll give it another day before proceeding to plan B. Growing pains, right?

Jan 4, 2017, 5:12pm Top

Happy New Year, Jim!

Jan 4, 2017, 7:43pm Top


Jan 4, 2017, 10:17pm Top

Just dropping by to wish you all the best for 2017, Jim, and to thank you yet again for the work you do in keeping this cumbersome vessel afloat. Good health!

Jan 4, 2017, 10:21pm Top

I think someone spiked the waters around here, Jim. The 75ers have been buzzing like bees. I don't remember a year kicking off so strong.

And you know The Warbler loves it.

Jan 4, 2017, 10:28pm Top

>120 tiffin: Thanks for the good wishes!

>121 msf59: Yup, something powerful got to us. :) We already have two 2-threaders and a couple not far behind!

Jan 4, 2017, 10:29pm Top

Don't these people have a life. Jeesh...grins.

Jan 4, 2017, 10:58pm Top

>121 msf59: Of course it has. MORPHY IS BACK!

Jan 4, 2017, 11:05pm Top

>124 Morphidae: Amen, sister!

Jan 5, 2017, 7:35am Top

Morning, Jim.

Jan 5, 2017, 8:20am Top

Good morning!

Jan 5, 2017, 11:14am Top

Hi Jim, I can still wish you a happy new year, can I?

Jan 5, 2017, 12:14pm Top

Of course! Happy New Year to you too!

Jan 5, 2017, 9:55pm Top

How is the disc golf going?

Jan 6, 2017, 7:34am Top

Good morning, Jim. You play disc golf?

Jan 6, 2017, 8:22am Top

>130 cammykitty: It was great! I threw a 92 on an 18-hole course, so not to shabby. Was only 10 throws behind the leader and kept up pretty well with a bunch of 20-somethings. Not too shabby for a 54 year old! :)

>131 thearlybirdy: We got the son a disc set for Christmas - he's taken up the sport at Notre Dame where he's in grad school. He invited me out to try them when he did a round with his high school friends who still live in our area. I'm thinking I'll get a set of discs and mrsdrneutron and I will start playing. Several of the parks around us have courses.

Jan 6, 2017, 12:21pm Top

And to kick the year off:

1. The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

A retelling of "world" history through a lens centered on the Middle East and Central Asia - mostly concerned with the ebb and flow of goods, ideas, and people through what we call the Silk Road. World is in quotes because it's still Eurocentric and ignores a good bit of Asian history. And of course, anything outside that geographic region isn't to be found.

Now, that could be forgiven. It's an ambitious thing to write a true world history, and it may nigh well be impossible anyway. What's unforgivable is that it's boring. Truly boring. As in I had to force myself to pick it up towards the end. Don't bother.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

On the other hand, my second of the year was stellar - thanks to Morphy for the gift! I'm just the right age to remember all the games and shows and music and stuff sprinkled liberally through this pop culture romp disguised as cyberpunk. As good as all the raves have said it is!

Now if they can just keep from screwing up the movie...

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 12:28pm Top

>132 drneutron: Oh, that sounds like a fun way for you and the Mrs. to get some healthy exercise!

>133 drneutron: Yay! I'm so happy!

Unfortunately they are already screwing with the movie and have removed the female lead, Art3misAech.

Jan 6, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>134 Morphidae: Yeah, golf doesn't work for me since I just get frustrated with my inability to swing correctly. But throwing a frisbee is pretty simple and makes getting out very enjoyable. Of course, competing would be a whole 'nother story... :)

Jan 6, 2017, 12:26pm Top

>134 Morphidae: Yeah, I was checking IMDB as you were posting. Looks like it's a bit chaotic. If they do it right, though that last battle outside the castle will be truly epic!

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>136 drneutron: Sorry, it's his friend Aech they've removed.

It's wonderful what they can do with CGI lately!

Jan 6, 2017, 12:48pm Top

>133 drneutron: yay! Glad to see you loved Ready Player One!

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 1:01pm Top

>133 drneutron: I also have Ready Player One on my list for first quarter 2017. I'll be listening on audio. Will Wheaton narrates and I greatly enjoyed his narration of Redshirts by John Scalzi.

Jan 6, 2017, 1:05pm Top

>139 brodiew2: I'll bet Wheaton will be a great narrator - right up his alley, story-wise.

Jan 6, 2017, 1:21pm Top

>133 drneutron: Hi Jim, I've had The Silk Roads sitting on my Kindle for a while now and based on your review I think it will remain unread for a while more!

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 1:56pm Top

>141 harvey.g: Yeah, sorry about that. I was really disappointed. In fairness, there are some good reviews and good ratings for the book on LT. But I'd look to other thinks first... :)

Jan 6, 2017, 2:22pm Top

Great to hear you had a good time with Ready Player One, Jim. Even my non-sci-fi-reading wife enjoyed that one.

Jan 6, 2017, 4:57pm Top

I've got Ready Player One on the Read Soon! shelf - I'm glad you loved it!

Jan 6, 2017, 6:00pm Top

Stopping by to affix my star. Things are truly hopping around here!

Ready Player One was a surprise hit for me. Not a huge fan of dystopian sci fi, but several people continued to press it upon me. I'm glad they did. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had actually played any of the games mentioned, but I loved the characters, pacing and plotting.

Did I read it has been optioned for a movie?

Wishing you a wonderful 2017 full of reading and happiness.

Jan 6, 2017, 6:19pm Top

Loved Ready Player One even though I am a child of the 60s, not the 80s.

Does anyone else just get this silly smug smile on their face as they contemplate the fact that OUR group organizer IS a rocket scientist? Just saying.

Jan 6, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>146 ronincats: And a cackle of glee.

Jan 6, 2017, 6:57pm Top

>144 scaifea: oh, you've got to read it!

>145 michigantrumpet: Unfortunately, I got waaay too many of the references. :) Yep, a movie currently slated for 2018.

>146 ronincats: I graduated from high school in 1980, right smack in the middle of the nostalgia!

I'll see if I can find a pic of the spacecraft these days.

>147 Morphidae: :D

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Ok, so Solar Probe is in three major pieces right now - spacecraft body, heat shield and support structure for the hear shield (called the Truss Structure Assembly). Here's a pic of the heat shield on it's dolly we use to move it around:

And here's the truss structure on the mass properties machine getting weighed and moments of inertia measured.

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 7:54pm Top

>133 drneutron: A friend of mine recently strongly recommended Ready Player One to me. It was in response to me talking about a book I had finished lately. With your enthusiastic review, I'll bump it up on the list.

I graduated high school in 1988, so I am pretty sure all of the pop culture references would be instantly recognizable to me. I still remember the first video arcade game that I ever saw at the neighborhood pizza place (amusingly called the Institute for Pizza Technology, or Pizza Tech, though sadly short-lived) and the emergence of mall arcades when I was in middle school. I don't remember the name of that first game, but it was an early monochrome space game. Galaga, Joust, Frogger, Wizard of Wor, and Kangaroo were my favorites in the arcades, though I played some of the better known stuff too: Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Mission Control, Centipede, etc. I phased out just around the time stuff like Street Fighter was starting to become popular.

>149 drneutron: Great picture, even sideways. Ha! See it's been fixed.

Jan 6, 2017, 8:02pm Top

Hooray for RPO, Jim! Glad you enjoyed it. It is quite the geekfest! I will have to revisit it, at some point.

Jan 6, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>150 justchris: yep, you'll get the book just fine! Galaga was my all-time favorite arcade game. The son got me a Classic NES with 30 games built in for Christmas. One of them is Galaga!

>151 msf59: Yup!

Jan 6, 2017, 8:54pm Top

I enjoyed Ready Player One a lot too! I didn't move to the US until 2007, but my husband is a big fan of 80's media and so I got the references. Most of them, anyway.

I had high hopes for Armada based on Ready Player One, but that one was a disappointment.

Jan 6, 2017, 8:57pm Top

>153 kgodey: yeah, that's what I hear. Fortunately, my expectations have been lowered!

Jan 7, 2017, 9:14am Top

>149 drneutron: Ohmygosh, so cool!!

Jan 7, 2017, 10:00am Top

>155 scaifea: What she said! ^

Jan 7, 2017, 10:10am Top

Uber cool!

Jan 7, 2017, 11:30am Top

Jan 7, 2017, 12:02pm Top

Hi, Jim.

I'm amazed to be part of a group that has someone like you posting photos of a solar probe he's working on. Thank you for >149 drneutron:! What is the estimated time of completion? What's left to be done?

Jan 7, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>159 jnwelch: Launch in 18 months! We should have everything integrated by early summer. I'll definitely post some pics then!

Jan 7, 2017, 9:03pm Top

Good evening, Jim.
>149 drneutron: This is sooo cool, I can't believe i know anyone (even virtually) that works for NASA. Can't wait to see more pics >160 drneutron:.

Jan 8, 2017, 10:35am Top

This has to be your best start posts wise for many a year, Jim. Running close to the top ten for a while there. When I consider how much time you spend administrating over posting - that is some feat.

Have a great Sunday.

Jan 8, 2017, 10:37am Top

Morning, Jim!

>162 PaulCranswick: I have to say, I love seeing more posts here on your thread - I love visiting here!

Jan 8, 2017, 10:58am Top

Happy Sunday, Jim! Thanks for posting the cool NASA photos--I feel like I am getting the behind the scenes personal tour and it is so cool to watch it come together. Glad you like Ready Player One, too! Armada was okay, but not as good. I think I'll skip the history. ; )

Jan 8, 2017, 11:04am Top

Add my thanks for posting the cool pictures, Jim. Things do have to be built somewhere, don't they? And they have to be on pallets, with guys in hard hats standing around. Reminds me, peripherally, about the company my dad worked for and the Mercury and Apollo parts they made.

Jan 8, 2017, 11:24am Top

A slightly late Happy New Year! I'll add my thanks for all you do for the group!

I'm looking forward to following your reading, your scientific history-in-the-making and I'd love to see more of your outdoor adventures.

Mrs DN sounds like a very wise lady.

Jan 8, 2017, 2:13pm Top

>162 PaulCranswick:, >163 scaifea: Yeah, it's been a good thread so far! I tend to start strong and then sag as the year goes - hopefully I can continue strong!

>161 thearlybirdy:, >164 Berly: It's funny how spacecraft develop a personality. This one's becoming a bit of a diva, but in the end I think it'll be magnificent! We built a supposedly identical pair of spacecraft not long ago, called them Jake and Elwood. Of course Jake was the one that always gave us trouble!

>165 karenmarie: Yup, we tend to have lots of watchers standing around in hard hats. These days I'm one of them. My firm rule is that managers don't touch hardware! :)

>166 streamsong: That she is. Her one moment of weakness was letting me in the door. :)

Jan 8, 2017, 2:17pm Top

On the subject of posting: a quick look at the Groups page looks like many groups are seeing a bump in posting this year. There are two other groups with more than 1000 posts in the last week and the Green Dragon is perking up after being relatively quiet over the last few years.

Jan 8, 2017, 2:32pm Top

Good afternoon, Jim. I'm glad your getting more posts. I hope you continue to go strong.

Jan 8, 2017, 5:59pm Top

So glad you enjoyed Ready Player One It was the best book I a couple of years ago! I enjoyed Armada but not to the extent that I loved Ready Player One.

Jan 8, 2017, 6:38pm Top

I've been talking it up to mrsdrneutron, but she wasn't a gamer. So it's gonna be a tough sell... :)

Jan 8, 2017, 8:16pm Top

If you want my copy of Armada, it is even signed, I will gladly pass it on to you, Jim.

We liked Rogue One. A nice way to pass a couple of hours, but I don't think it will stick with me for very long. I liked the dark, gritty look, but the routine script and blandish characters didn't make a deep impression. I know others loved it.

Jan 8, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>171 drneutron: Sure! Do you need my address, or do you still have it?

I thought Rogue One was a nice transition between the two trilogies. The technology presented and cinematography were really consistent with the original three episodes - one of my big issues with Eps 1-3. But, yeah, it's definitely not up to the level of 4-6.

Jan 8, 2017, 9:38pm Top

Great pics. I will be counting on you to go Ummagumma at the appropriate time and set the controls for the heart of the sun.

Jan 8, 2017, 9:39pm Top


Jan 8, 2017, 10:17pm Top

I forgot where I put Armada but I tracked it down. Whew! I am sure I have your address somewhere. I'll get it out this week.

Jan 9, 2017, 7:53am Top

Good morning, Jim. Glad you thought Rogue One was consistent, but how did you like the movie as a whole?

Jan 9, 2017, 8:59am Top

I thought it was a good story that supported the main Star Wars story well. The acting was very good and the visuals were very good - 3-D IMAX is great! I came away thinking it was a good experience, but I didn't have the excitement I had for The Force Awakens. That's ok, though. It's well worth including in the body of work and watching along with Episodes 4-6 when I do a marathon. :)

Jan 9, 2017, 10:46am Top

>178 drneutron: I think I ended up about where you did - really enjoyed Rogue One and thought it was a great addition to the body of work, but didn't feel excited and inspired the way I did for Force Awakens. Maybe it's because we know what happens after Rogue One, where with The Force Awakens, there is so much unexplored awesomeness to come? I also wonder whether it's due to the nature of the hope presented - Rogue One is all about the tiny flicker of hope that leads to a full-scale rebellion, while The Force Awakens felt more like the big, brash, epic-scale hope of an entire magical *THING* coming back?

Or I could just be incoherent because I need more coffee :-)

Jan 9, 2017, 10:55am Top

Well, more coffee is good, but you're not incoherent! :) I think that's a good summary of my feelings about the movies. Rogue One will always be part of the story and makes a great passage from Ep 3 to Ep 4. But Force Awakens left us with so much more storytelling to come!

Jan 9, 2017, 12:58pm Top

When I found out what happened at the end of Rogue One, I sort of lost my desire to watch it, as much as it made sense.

Jan 9, 2017, 1:15pm Top

>181 Morphidae: I'm glad I watched it on opening weekend, before spoilers abounded, because I don't know whether that would have happened to me or not. I suspect not, because if I knew the ending, I'd still want to see how they got there, but it probably would have been one of those movies I saw on the last weekend possible because I kept forgetting to go.

It's always worth seeing Star Wars on a big screen, IMO.

Jan 9, 2017, 1:27pm Top

>181 Morphidae:, 182 I tried really hard to avoid spoilers and was pretty successful, so I didn't know in advance. Though I could see it coming. I think I would have still wanted to see it.

Jan 9, 2017, 2:00pm Top

I enjoyed Rogue One a lot more than The Force Awakens, I thought it was much truer to the spirit of Star Wars. I think it's the best Star Wars movie since 4-6.

Jan 9, 2017, 3:24pm Top

My son would agree with you. He came out of the movie loving it more than I did. :)

Jan 9, 2017, 3:25pm Top

Darryl encouraged me to post some recipes, so here's the first - Emeril's Black-eyed pea salad. It's great for potlucks and picnics!


5 cups cooked and drained black-eyed peas (canned peas works if you drain and rinse them)
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled, fat reserved separately
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapenos
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine the black-eyed peas, crumbled bacon, 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat, and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, stirring occasionally.
Allow salad to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Toss well just before serving.

You can substitute cayenne, basil, oregano for Essence. Also works very well with cilantro instead of parsley.

Jan 9, 2017, 6:21pm Top

>186 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I'll give that recipe a try later this month.

Jan 9, 2017, 9:51pm Top

Loving your thread, Admin. Solar probes and black-eyed peas---where else can you find that combination?

Jan 9, 2017, 10:01pm Top

Ready, Player One was a huge hit with my family, and no gamers here, or even 80's buffs, so I think it's a book with wide appeal.

And YUM to the black-eyed peas.

Jan 9, 2017, 10:20pm Top

>187 kidzdoc: Sounds good.

>188 laytonwoman3rd: :)

>189 banjo123: I'm still working on mrsdrneutron. I'll win her over eventually. :)

Jan 10, 2017, 4:37am Top

Stopping by to wish you a very belated happy new year Jim and to add my thanks for all you do for the group.

Jan 10, 2017, 7:37am Top

Morning, Jim. Happy Tuesday!!!

Jan 10, 2017, 8:10am Top

Happy New Year!!

Have a wonderful one ... I don't remember how to add a picture, here is so much snow and ice that the world looks beautiful, clean and calm.

Hope will be able to keep up with chats too this year :D

Jan 10, 2017, 9:27am Top

>191 souloftherose: Thanks for stopping by! It's been fun this year seeing the group pick up again after a couple of quieter years. Embrace the madness! :)

>192 thearlybirdy: Good morning, Birdy! Tuesday's my favorite weekday - I don't have any morning meetings, so I stop by a local coffee bar for a good cuppa, breakfast and some quiet reading time. Read three chapters of a book on Roschach and his famous inkblot test!

>193 tigerlyly: Thanks! There's a wiki page for the group that keeps all our important links. One of them is to a page called "How To Do Fun Stuff on your Thread" or something like it. There's directions for posting images there! Look on the group page for a link.

Jan 10, 2017, 5:12pm Top

Hi Jim! We really liked Rogue One as a lead in to Episode IV. But it is rather sad that most of the characters you come to care for die.

Jan 10, 2017, 7:39pm Top

Stopping to say hi, Jim! I'm a lost cause when it comes to Star Wars. I once took one / both of my sons to a Star Wars movie when they were younger and I was bored to death and I think the boys were too. Isn't that dreadful? By contrast, my brother and his wife took their 4 young children to Rogue One on Christmas Day and they loved it. They live in a city away from family so they had some good old Ukrainian cooking for dinner - noodles and sausage and then off to the the movie. I thought good for them - enjoy Christmas your way. No slaving over the turkey.

Jan 10, 2017, 7:48pm Top

I am so hopelessly behind I'm just going to start from here: thanks for starting the group and looking forward to sharing books and reading and more with you.

Happy 2017!

Jan 10, 2017, 9:47pm Top

>195 karenmarie: Yup, that it is. :(

>196 vancouverdeb: We're away from most of our family too, so Christmas dinner for us sausage and chicken gumbo. Reminds us of home!

>197 witchyrichy: Thanks for stopping by!

Jan 11, 2017, 4:37am Top

I'm also a fan of Ready, Player One. We've been talking about going to see Rogue One but keep forgetting to go. Must try harder.

Jan 11, 2017, 11:50am Top

Definitely! It's well worth seeing.

Jan 11, 2017, 12:12pm Top

>167 drneutron: Ha! Jake and Elwood! Love it! Thanks for the smile. Just wondering, what makes something a diva?

Jan 11, 2017, 12:25pm Top

The spacecraft is pretty picky about getting set up right, sometimes decides it doesn't want to cooperate, needs some personal attention sometimes. All stuff that will get sorted out as we get the software and procedures mature.

Jan 11, 2017, 1:12pm Top

Come join me on my second thread!

Jan 13, 2017, 2:51am Top

>190 drneutron: More ammo for Mrs Dr N--I was not a gamer, but I really loved Ready Player One!

Jan 13, 2017, 8:31am Top

>204 Berly: I'm still working on her!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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