Tag Archives: Review

I just finished reading “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”


A perfect Saturday, 12-Apr-14


I think I remember why I stopped reading, back before high school.

I should clarify that – I never stopped reading, but I stopped reading as voraciously as I had before.  In grade school and middle school, I read through literally every Star Wars book that they was.  I was waiting for new books to be published, so that I could escape back into that world.  In high school, I did keep reading… but at a much slower pace.  I did other things with life – I talked to people, played video games, and above all studied… sort of.  Mostly homework.  That’s incidental.

Finishing up “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” today reminded me of the deep melancholy and sadness that hits when you finish a story.  I finished reading in the park, paging past the acknowledgements and shutting off the kindle, and wished that I could return to those characters… to hear more stories about what happened.  I wish that it had ended differently (though I know that it had to end the way that it did), and that I could hear more stories about Lettie and the unnamed narrator, and how they traveled the world working magic and protecting us.

But, it just ended.  It ended in the way that it needed to – this is a Neil Gaiman book, after all.

I’m still sad though…

I think I’ll read it again.  Maybe re-read American Gods.


Link: http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/Books/The+Ocean+at+the+End+of+the+Lane/

Weekend of 20-Sep-13 through 22-Sep-13 – Adventures in Camping


Weekend of 20-Sep-13 through 22-Sep-13 – Adventures in Camping

Friday, 20-Sep-13

  • Got home from work Friday night and started packing up for the weekend!  Plans had fluctuated a lot over the week, but the current path was to drive out to a campground that I’d stayed at before, hang out Friday night and Saturday morning, and then link up with Daniel and Co. at Crow Hill for a day of climbing.
  • Instead of packing and leaving though… I fell asleep.  It was a good sleep… though rather concerningly strange dreams were had.
  • Once I got mobile again I checked in with the campground to give them a heads-up that I’d be late, packed the car up, and hit the road.
  • After a quick stop at the grocery to grab food for the weekend, I was on my way down Route 2, with the top down and the music cranked.  It was a glorious drive – not a cloud in the sky, and it was just cold enough that I turned the heat on.
  • Arrived at the campground, and shot the breeze with the owner for a while.  He’s an interesting guy, who collects small mechanical devices in a gallery in the back of the office.  It’s huge, and has tons of very interesting little machines.
  • Don’t even bother setting up my tent, and instead just have a quick dinner around the fire.  Again – glorious.
  • Sleep out on the ground in my sleeping pad, directly under the stars.

Saturday, 21-Sep-13

  • Get rolling, pack up my gear, and head out to meet everyone at the climbing spot.
  • They’re running late… so I’m in no rush.  Good.  Means that I can explore for a bit.  Which I do –
    • I find a cool little coffee shop and get a breakfast snack, along with a pumpkin-spice chai latte.  Yep.  Typical fall in New England.
    • Eat breakfast under a small little bridge that I find.  It’s calm and nice, though I guess it’s near a hiking trail, because I got “found” by a random dog running around in the woods.
    • From there I moved on, just driving around the back country roads.  It’s beautiful, and I was quite happy to drive slow and enjoy the relaxation.
    • I found out that one of the towns nearby was having its annual “yard-sale day”… every few houses there was a massive multi-family yard-sale… so I stopped in and picked up a few odds and ends that were missing from the house.
  • Everyone finally arrives, so we start with the climbing
    • Time passes!
  • After climbing and dinner, head back to the campsite and sit down with the owners again.  Chat for a while, hearing about when he used to run a trucking company and telling him about my trips in New Zealand.
  • Head back to the campsite – the firewood I didn’t use last night is still there, waiting for me!  Woo!  Start up that fire!
  • As the fire’s burning, I head to the car and set up the tent this time – it’s been looking like rain all day, so I’m thinking this is a good idea.
  • Relax by the fire, have a drink, and zone out for an hour or two
  • Head to bed under the stars again.
  • And… I’m glad I set up the tent.  At some point it starts drizzling… and by the time I’m in the tent it’s full-on downpouring.  Continues through the night in epic fashion, and I learn the hard way that my tent isn’t completely waterproof… unfortunately.  Fortunately it’s only a small leak, so I sleep through it with only a sort-of wet sleeping bag to show

Sunday, 22-Sep-13

  • Up and at ‘em, say my goodbyes to the owners, and get on the road!
  • Nothing really to be said here – packing away a wet tent and sleeping bag is never fun, but sometimes it’s what needs to happen :/
  • Grab a “skillet breakfast” at a diner outside of town.  It’s excellent – potatoes, eggs, bacon and sausage with cheese melted over it.  Definitely something I’ll make again at home.
  • From there, move on to the Kayaking place, and then home for a relaxing Sunday evening

Climbing at Rumney with a big crew


Climbing at Rumney with a big crew

18-May-13 through 19-May-13

Daniel and Erin had planned a whole weekend of climbing up at Rumney.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make the first night, since I’d set up an appointment a few months previous.  Instead, I drove up on Saturday, so that I could get most of Sunday to climb.

Saturday, 18-May-13

  • The day starts with pain – I drive down to Enfield CT to get my dreads cleaned up.  It’s nice to have them looking and feeling good, but 5 and a half hours is a bit long for me to sit still…
  • Head back to Boston to pack and hang out with Marla before I pick up Gabe from Alewife – a straggler who, like me, couldn’t get up to Rumney on Friday night.
  • The drive is clean, though it’s a bit rough finding the camp.  Daniel picked a new place… more of an outdoor hostel than a campground.  It’s cool though – almost a co-op style farm
  • We hang out, have dinner, and chat and drink late into the night.  Though not too late, because climbing is totally happening ASAP!

Sunday, 19-May-13

  • I’m torn from my tent early… far too early for a Sunday, and doubly too early to be sport climbing.  What is this, Trad?  Jeeze… One of the guys Daniel brought along is hollering and kicking tents, trying to get us moving.
  • You think I’m cranky… you should see Daniel and Erin when their morning nookie is interrupted… He’s not a happy camper.  I poke fun at them, of course, before starting to cook the eggs.
  • Wait, no.  We’re going to cook at the parking lot, so that we get parking spots.  Smart!  Instead we pay at the main house and drive out to the cliffs!
  • Cook eggs, brew espresso… people actually come up asking how much we’re charging for food.  “$20 for a plate!” we reply.  No one buys it 🙁
  • After running back to get my shoes that I forgot, we start climbing up at the Main Cliff… nothing crazy, just a few fairly clean routes.  Daniel starts by teaching some folks how to clean gear… I’m honestly impressed with him, because he doesn’t even kill the guy who woke us up.
  • Daniel, Erin and I take up a multi-pitch route:
    • “Big Easy” – 5.7 of clean sport
    • I take the lead on the 1st pitch, then bring Daniel and Erin up
    • Daniel takes some of the second, but lowers off after a bit thanks to a tweaked hand or something
    • I clean out the next two pitches… or maybe just the 2nd.  I can’t remember how many pitches there are.  It was fun though!
    • Good climbing – big holds and easy moves, but quite tiring.  I enjoy it immensely, and everyone rocks it out without much difficulty.
    • Someone tries following us directly up – we end up making them hang off the last bolt, since they want to clip into our anchor and belay off it while we’re using it.  No… no.  Not so much no.
    • After we get off Big Easy, almost to the minute, the rains fall and we start the wet walk back down to the cars.
    • Stop in at Tilton Diner for some food on the way back, but it’s mostly an uneventful drive down the highway and back into Boston.