Career of Evil by JK Rowling

Book #3 in her excellent Cormoran Strike series. Rowling writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Unlike most books I read, in this one are only two important characters: Robin Ellacott and her boss Cormoran Strike.

Both are damaged individuals. Both are flawed. Both are complex.

The relationship between the two drives the plotline.

In this one a killer (who loves Blue Öyster Cult) stalks Robin, whom he sees as part of his plan to exact revenge against private investigator Cormoran Strike.

Amazon

In the BBC TV series Tom Burke plays Strike. And seems to have one leg missing, as does Strike in the book.

 

 

 

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my Dad’s electric Trike

Dad boughtPedego Trike for running around Parksville B.C.

Joyriding and doing the shopping.

You only pedal in case of emergencies. Dead battery, for example.

It tops out at about 20km / hour … unless you are riding downhill. Downhill I’ve got it up to 30km / hour.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Fringe – Season 1

… The team uses unorthodox “fringe” science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe.

FBI agent Olivia Dunham is portrayed by actress Anna Torv, while actors Joshua Jackson and John Noble play father-son duo Peter and Walter Bishop.

Those 3 actors are good. I enjoy John Noble, in particular.

It’s lightweight TV compared with shows that inspired like The Twilight Zone and The X-Files.

If you want to watch a show like this, I’d recommend Black Mirror as a much stronger alternative.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Dune: books 1-3

If you claim Dune is the greatest Science Fiction novel of all time, I’d not argue.

Recently I reread the first 3 books in the series.

Written 1965, it’s superb. Not at all dated.

Dune was rejected by more than 20 publishers—before being published by Chilton Books, a little-known printing house best known for its auto repair manuals.

Frank Herbert wrote 6 books before his death. As I recall from past readings each sequel was less compelling.

Book 2 is Dune Messiah 1969. I again found it slow, dark and overly philosophical.

Book 3 is Children of Dune 1976. Better than Messiah, but still too slow paced. In fact hardly anything happens in books 2 and 3. It’s mostly interpersonal intrigue.

When his son took over for the 7th book they got even worse.

I actually found things to like about both the 1984 film and the 2000 TV miniseries. Sting was excellent, for example.

Still … it’s time for another version of Dune. Happily we can look forward to that December, 2020. Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho.

Liet Kynes will be played by a woman.

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

In June 2019 it was announced that Legendary Television will be producing a spin-off television series, Dune: The Sisterhood, for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. The series will focus on the Bene Gesserit and serve as a prequel to the 2020 film.

SUMMING UP – my Pacific NW cycling tour

My major project of summer 2019, I finished a month long trip on August 3rd.

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One excellent adventure.

The Pacific Northwest  is gorgeous. I had fantastic weather. Very few biting insects.

The theme was rails to trails. I tried to ride as many railway lines converted to non-motorized transport as I could.

Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island
  • at least 2700 km (1675 miles)
  • BC, Washington State, north Idaho, back to BC
  • 24 days on the bike
  • 2 days off in Port Townsend hosted by the Tumbl Trak crew
  • 8 days off in Coeur d’Alene hosted by the Adlards
  • one night motel

HIGHLIGHTS

Dave and Jeni
  • 5 bears
  • Cowichan Valley Trail on Vancouver Island
  • Iron Horse rail trail in Washington State
  • Kettle Valley rail trail in central B.C.
  • the Relive app for mapping my rides on Google Earth
  • after many repairs en route, my Ghost hybrid bike is running better than new
  • trestles, tunnels, bridges, fantastic wilderness
old Kettle River rail bridge
Othello Tunnels, Hope BC
Myra Canyon Trestles near Kelowna

Click PLAY or watch a 6 minute highlights video on YouTube.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • non-motorized rail trails make for excellent cycling
  • some surfaces are MUCH better than others
Issaquah-Preston trail, Seattle
  • highways are dangerous
  • The Great American Rail-Trail is more of a concept than a thing. There is no signage at all, for example. Current maps on the TrailLink appsuck.
  • Canada’s Great Trail app is better, but still sucks
  • I love the free maps.me app … but it’s lacking in North America as not many people use it here. It steered me wrong a number of times.
  • Google maps offline is not much help as it only shows automobile routes.
  • a British cyclist recommended the free ridewithgps app. I’ll try it next.
  • Canada’s Great Trail (formerly called the Trans Canada Trail) was better than I expected. B.C. includes many of the best sections.
  • I hiked less than anticipated
Sweet Creek Falls, Idaho
  • I had too much weight on the back. Next time I’ll use saddlebags mounted in front and (possibly) mid-frame
  • bikes need a lot of maintenance. And I’m the worst at bicycle maintenance. En route I fixed one flat. Had 4 broken spokes. Visited 4 bike shops. Had both tires upgraded.
  • Dave had his guys replace the chain and some other hardware. That helped immensely.

I started in Nanaimo wanting to get to Lake Cowichan as quickly as possible.

Lake Cowichan is the western terminus of the Great Trail.

  1. Lake Cowichan to Victoria on the Cowichan Valley Trail

2. Islands to Port Townsend WA

After visiting friends in Victoria, I took the most direct route to visit friends in Port Townsend via the American San Juan Islands.

3. Port Townsend WA to Rattlesnake Lake WA

To avoid some highway miles, Doug & Diana delivered me to the Bainbridge ferry. I cycled the Burke-Gilman rail to trail and others connected to get to the fantastic Iron Horse Trail out of Rattlesnake Lake.

4. Rattlesnake Lake WA to Tekoa WA on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail

5. Eastern Washington

Just past Ellensburg I was forced off the semi-official GART on to secondary highways and alternative trails that took me through Spokane.

I found this section of GART to be too soft and sandy for my tires. Also it was too disconnected.

I finally stopped at Plummer, Idaho. Dave Adlard picked me up. We dropped the bike at a shop for repair as I’d broken 3 spokes the previous evening. And then took an indulgent 8 days off in Couer d’Alene.

6. North to Castlegar

Dave and Jeni rode with me away from the Adlard log cabin in Athol. We headed towards Sandpoint on back roads and I later rejoined the route shown in the map below. Dave had suggested I cross the border close to pretty Metaline Falls.

6. Castlegar to Hope 

For decades I’d wanted to ride the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail and the Columbia & Western Rail Trail. It’s totally wonderful. And obviously one of the great cycling routes of the world.

Hope to Vancouver and on to Parksville on the Island was problematic. There is no excellent route yet available. Cyclists I met took a number of different roads.

Psychologically finished at Hope, I managed a series of rides, buses, trains and ferries to cover the 240km in about 36 hours without sleeping.

related – compare my 23 days bikepacking Patagonia, Chile earlier this year

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Hope to Parksville B.C.

Aug 2, 2019 – day 24

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LAST DAY.

In the middle of the night — HOPE B.C. — I was awoken by rain.

Jumped out of the tent to put the fly which I’ve rarely used over the past month. The weather has been terrific.

It rained hard. The first hard rain of the month.

I packed up quickly in the morning when it let up briefly. But was soaked by the time I got to Tim Hortons and, later, McDonalds.

By about 9:30am the skies looked threatening … but I set out anyway with the vague dream of reaching Vancouver Island same day.

It looked unlikely as — shockingly — all these left coast Vancouver suburb cities have yet to organize a connected non-motorized trail through the big sleazy.

Least bad option was starting west on Laugheed Highway 7.

This was a big letdown after the Kettle Valley rail trail. 😕

Some of the bridges are quite dangerous for cyclists, as well.

Happily, the Golden Ears bridge (opened 2009) is a dream. It has bike-pedestrian protected lanes on each side.

On arrival in Langley I asked a bus driver the best public transit with bike to downtown Vancouver. That led to an intercity bus with bike rack. Cycling 6.5 km. The Sky Train. Ferry to Londsdale Quay. And two more local buses to Horseshoe Bay.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

And I made it to Horseshoe Bay in time for the 10:40pm last ferry. The last of the day.

Should I cross. Or wildcamp on the mainland?

I decided to take the ferry. It was 12:20am on arrival in Nanaimo.

Deciding not to wild camp, I decided to stay up all night in Tim Hortons and ride the final 30km or so at dawn.

Click PLAY or watch my 240km travel day on YouTube.

I went straight to bed on arrival at my parent’s place around 7am.

Great trip. But I’m very, very tired.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12-13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | info | video