Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Paper Mountain

sortingbooks01Warning:  The following post is link heavy so be prepared to use those tabs.  :D

I realized the other day, staring into my mountain of books, that I've been on a pretty long sci-fi trek the past year. The more I thought about it though the more it really just makes sense. Science fiction is my first love when it comes to books.

My love for reading started with The Invisible Man when I was around eleven I guess.  I ordered it out of our weekly reader.  I remember being lost in to the misery of the invisible man and shocked by the ending. That book put me on course to fall in love with science fiction. I devoured The War of the Worlds when my dad gave me his worn copy. I soon discovered Ray Bradbury through Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles. It was probably somewhere around The Illustrated Man I discovered Robert Heinlein and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.  It wasn't long that I soon discovered Isaac Asimov and his Foundation series.

So it's now a whole new year and I've decided to try something a little new. On our road trip I got to catch up on my reading. I'd been reading the Hunger Games Trilogy with Marcel after it was recommended to us by Helen. I really enjoyed the first book. It was very reminiscent of Heroes Die to me but with a younger audience in mind. So with all the science fiction I've been consuming lately I've also been reading a great blog by Frederik Pohl. Then the idea hit me. This year I would make a point to go back to my roots.  I'm gonna go back to those classic science fiction books I fell in love with and even read the ones that I missed.

I hit google and found a great list of The Classics of Science Fiction.  I'm gonna try to write a little about the experience as I go so stay tuned.  Every month I'll try to post a little something about my progress and whatever else I'm reading.  I'm aiming for at least one book on the list a month.  That should still leave me room for the occasional horror novel, friend recommended book, etc.  So here's a short list (duplicated from The Classics of Science Fiction) with just the top twenty five.  I've also compiled the list on Amazon listed as Classic Sci-Fi Mission 2011.

#

Citations

Year

Title

Author

1
25
1953
Demolished Man, The Bester, Alfred
2
25
1953
More Than Human Sturgeon, Theodore
3
25
1965
Dune Herbert, Frank
4
24
1951
Foundation Trilogy, The Asimov, Isaac
5
24
1960
Canticle for Leibowitz, A Miller, Walter M.
6
24
1968
Stand on Zanzibar Brunner, John
7
24
1969
Left Hand of Darkness, The Le Guin, Ursula K.
8
23
1895
Time Machine, The Wells, H. G.
9
23
1898
War of the Worlds, The Wells, H. G.
10
23
1953
Childhood's End Clarke, Arthur C.
11
22
1950
Martian Chronicles, The Bradbury, Ray
12
21
1953
Space Merchants, The Pohl & Kornbluth
13
21
1957
Stars My Destination, The Bester, Alfred
14
21
1970
Ringworld Niven, Larry
15
21
1974
Dispossesed, The Le Guin, Ursula K.
16
20
1949
1984 Orwell, George
17
20
1952
City Simak, Clifford
18
20
1954
Mission of Gravity Clement, Hal
19
20
1962
Man in the High Castle, The Dick, Philip K.
20
19
1932
Brave New World Huxley, Aldous
21
19
1956
City and the Stars, The Clarke, Arthur C.
22
19
1961
Stranger in a Strange Land Heinlein, Robert A.
23
19
1971
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Farmer, Philip Jose
24
19
1973
Rendezvous with Rama Clarke, Arthur C.
25
19
1975
Forever War, The Haldeman, Joe

Anyone wanna read along? I just ordered the first two books on Amazon and they should be in by next week! :D

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Colorado Christmas

christmas2010__122510_0119bchristmas2010_02The holiday season is gone and it's a whole new year. We had a pretty good Christmas. We decided to surprise the kids with a road trip to Colorado. I'd been talking for years how I always wanted the kiddos to experience a real white Christmas. Yeah, it snowed in Houston that one year, but it didn't really give us that full experience I grew up with. Snow-covered houses, sledding on the hill in my backyard, building snow forts for snowball fights, etc. Playing Laser Tag in the snow pretty much sucked though. The damn laser would bounce off the snow nevermind try getting the straps on and off with gloved hands and a snowsuit.

20101220_gardenofthegods_0156gardenofthegods_083aAs it turns out, we decided to go during a record-breaking warm December and drove in during hurricane winds. The next morning we were greeted by news stories how the winds blew roofs off homes and semi trucks off the road. For the most part, we all slept through it except Lana who just gave us that look. She was the lucky one who got to drive through it while the rest of us napped. Needless to say, there was no snow on the ground. So we enjoyed the local surroundings without the snow. We took in the local cuisine, we climbed rocks, and we eventually found our snow. There was even a small adventure involving a trip to a small place called Hartsel where we had some awesome tamales.

gardenofthegods_102aberthoundstop18We had to drive a few hours out, resupply at a local goodwill for proper snowsuits and gloves, and take the scariest drive up winding mountain roads, but we found it.

Our original destination was Frasier Tubing Hill. We set out on our mountain trek through the scariest and most breathtaking mountain drive in the afternoon but didn't get close to our destination until late. Then I managed to take a wrong turn somewhere around the rest stop where we played in the snow. I ended up on some lonely road winding up the mountain just beyond the locked down mine. The truck started sliding down the road when we all decided this was not a good idea. Thankfully Helen was paying attention and realized I missed my turn so we decided to try one more time to find the place.

The lil girl dragged me up the lift every time. She would loo... on TwitpicWhen we got close to the place, we saw the most amazing thing. It was a massive hillside covered in snow, divided into half a dozen sledding lanes. The best part? A conveyor belt took you to the top. We immediately turned in and decided this was the place. Turns out we were at Colorado Adventure Park. We hit the hills until the park closed. The little girl and I went down the hill together and she almost made it to closing time. She would point to the hill she wanted to hit next, I'd drag her in the tube to the conveyor and she'd drag me to the top as she ran her way up again.

Overall, I have to say it was a pretty amazing trip. We played most of the trip by ear as far as schedule went once we got there, but that's how we roll. We have more fun that way and get to enjoy stuff we would have completely missed out. I'm pretty sure the kids walked away with some really great memories. I know I did and I'm really looking forward to going back.

Still reading? How bout some more pictures of our Colorado trip and a crazy video of Livie and me going down the hill?


Well, that's all for now. I'm off to play in the garage. It's time for attempt No.2 on the wooden ocarinas. :D