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By aaron.axvig, 11 January, 2020

I was fortunate to be part of a guided tour of the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum in Rockland, ME that was guided by Captain Jim. Now about 6 months later I finished his book in one day.

Needless to say it is a great read if you love stories about boating.

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By aaron.axvig, 10 January, 2020

I probably read this book back in middle school as I used to read a ton of Star Wars and Star Trek books back then.  Anyways, now I have read it again.

I believe I read a while back that the new Star Wars movies have removed all of the Expanded Universe books from canon.  So it was a little weird to be reading this book and be thinking all along that it isn't really "true."  Of course it is fiction, but now it is like discarded fiction.  Still a quick enjoyable read though.

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By aaron.axvig, 8 January, 2020

This was a nice read about memories and memorization techniques.  The story of the author is woven in pretty well and my interest was held throughout.  He described the techniques used in a good amount of detail--enough to understand but not so specific as to get boring.

Overall I now know a little more about the topic and it was also an interesting story.

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By aaron.axvig, 4 January, 2020

I played the version available on F-Droid. On my third attempt I achieved a 2048 block. The statistics say that I have played for 0.92 hours.

I see that 5x5 grids and larger are available too so I may try that out sometime.

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By aaron.axvig, 22 November, 2019

This is a puzzle game with a UI that is well-suited for a touchscreen.  I did pay for the DLC that removes ads (I almost always do this).

The puzzles are all very well designed.  There are several groups of levels that have some nice variations.  For example some types have new bubbles constantly being added so there is that element of randomness being added.  And others are very carefully designed to play a specific way, even requiring careful timing as the bubbles collapse on a few of them.  On a few of the levels I got impatient and used the hints.  In general, as I played the game I would become tired of it after 6-8 puzzles (30 minutes?).  I think that is fine, as this allowed me to kill time on many different occasions and I always enjoyed playing those 6-8 rounds until I tired of it.  Maybe it means that the game was mentally stimulating and tired me out.

There is one mechanism throughout the game where two bubbles of different colors combine to make a third color of bubbles.  In the normal color mode I believe it is pretty intuitive how they combine, for example yellow+blue=green.  Unfortunately I am color-blind and I had some challenges with the normal color mode.  Fortunately is a colorblind mode and those colors are easy for me to distinguish.  Unfortunately then the colors don't combine very intuitively, for example white+yellow=darker yellow.  After a while I just memorized the combinations, so it isn't a game-ruining issue.

I could maybe see myself replaying some levels in the future.  There is an Infinity mode where you get some moves every few hours.  I did a couple cycles of this but wasn't that interested.  This is probably a mechanic to drive you to purchasing micro-transactions.  I almost universally avoid those.

There are achievements; I don't have any desire to finish them out.

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By aaron.axvig, 15 November, 2019

This was an interesting read that significantly expanded my knowledge on wine.  Yet it wasn't a clinical, textbook sort of read.  For instance, there are a few chapters on specific wine making regions.  These were interesting but it probably would have been a dry (pun) read if the whole book was a chapter on each region.  But it mercifully moves on to the drama of wine critics and the finer points of hosting wine-tasting parties.  A couple of the characters are very interesting and entertaining (one vintner that spouts one-liners non-stop) and the others are competently described.

Overall well written, enjoyable, and educational.  I don't recall exactly what it was but something about the first chapter didn't enthuse me...I recommend that you keep reading.

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By aaron.axvig, 10 November, 2019

This jumped around a lot.

Think like a long-form magazine article that starts out with the exciting subject matter and brings that discussion towards a climax, then abruptly cuts to tell the story of when the person of interest was growing up.  For example, "and so, John took the last few precarious steps towards the top of the mountain.  <cut>  When John was 5, he was interested in many thing." And then maybe 50% of the article's length is spent on this not very interesting backstory, until it cuts back to John reaching the top of the mountain and everyone's reactions afterwards to finish out the article.

Now imagine that for 8-10 characters--that is this book, and I found it annoying.  There are even some points where the author explicitly says thing like, "remember x, who had done this and that?  Now they are..."  Like, maybe if he had told me their story in a continuous segment I wouldn't have to be pulled back and forth.

The wording is a bit pretentious in many places, trying too hard to convey the author's awe of things like the conditions or the racers' determination.

The content overall is good.  The descriptions of the challenges that the racers faced are great and did give me an appreciation of them.  And it was a good way to learn about the subject matter.

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