And it begins

The Christmas guest season is upon us. The first guests arrived last night, and almost all the others arrive shortly. My morning and evening job as chef, cook and dishwasher has begun. I actually enjoy cooking for 10-12 people – you can do some things at that scale that don’t make sense for two people. Like a giant rib roast, or smoked pork shoulder.

The weather here is quite good today, sunny and mostly clear, but the predictions for the rest of the week have just been updated and we’re in for a big storm on Christmas Eve morning. One of those “atmospheric river” types that the media is so fond of talking about. No White Christmas here, just downed tree limbs and a wet day. But we need the rain, even if the date is inconvenient.

This morning’s sound track is Jackson Browne, one of his live concert recordings. Very peaceful, unlike the hours to come. Calm before the storm, as it were.

I’m on the second half of Neal Stephenson’s new book, Termination Shock. It’s a big book, and as usual with Stephenson, esoteric, wide-ranging and crammed with ideas that will likely soon become reality. Nobody else prognosticates as well as NS – his seminal 1992 book Snow Crash predicted many, many things now normal in the digital world and in culture. He has a singular genius for telling stories of how technology reshapes the world. I didn’t like this latest book at first – it jumped around among 3-4 seemingly unrelated settings and character groups, but now they’re all coming together and I’m hooked.

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