Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ridley Creek State Park

I decided to go for a short hike on the March equinox, and opted for Ridley Creek State Park, near Newtown Square in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

Ridley Creek State Park
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Description: An easy hike through Ridley Creek State Park.
Distance: 5.9 km
Net Elevation Change: 55 m
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Technical Difficulty: Easy
Physical Difficulty: Easy
Rating (out of 5): 2.5

I think I've been to Ridley Creek before, but after walking through it today, it did not seem familiar.  I did not take any pictures, since the bare trees were not very picturesque, but I can imagine the park being very nice later in the spring, during the summer, and during the leaf change in the fall.  The eponymous creek is lower than the surrounding terrain, including the nearby roads, so you do not hear the sounds of traffic, even though you are never far from cars.  There is some nice (though not drastic) elevation change, and the creek itself is very pleasant.

After my hike/walk, I went to Newtown Square's A Cut Above Deli, which according to many reviews on Yelp has one of the best hoagies in the western 'burbs.  After sampling their Italian hoagie (on a seeded roll), I would have to agree, though I think John's is still better.

Check out a Google Maps track of my walk.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

T minus 130 Days

That is how long until A Dance with Dragons hits the bookstores. 

For those unfamiliar, A Dance with Dragons is the fifth novel in George R.R. Martin's commercially- and critically-acclaimed fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.  It has been over 5 years since the last novel, A Feast for Crows, was published.  A Song of Ice and Fire's popularity is largely a result of the wide cast of characters and its gritty, low fantasy realism -- major protagonists (along with antagonists) are killed off or maimed with brutal regularity.  I remember when the first main character died -- I was shocked.  Then more kept dying.  Now it is pretty much expected.

So the series is popular, it is edgy, and its fans have been waiting a long time for the next installment -- hence the noteworthiness of this announcement.  For me personally, it is also worth mentioning, because A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the few series where I violate my fantasy novel rules:
  1. I do not read series more than five books in length.
  2. I do not read as-of-yet-unfinished series.
Why these rules?  Four words: The Wheel of Time.

A Song of Ice and Fire is also notable because HBO will soon be premiering Game of Thrones.  The casting looks pretty darn good and given HBO's track record, I think it has a chance to be a real success.  Not to mention that HBO can give proper treatment to the violence, cursing, and sex that is so common, and frankly integral, to the novels.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


For those that do not know, I am a massive nerd.  Thus far, the blog has not really shown this (you probably just think I am a professor who eats a lot, which would be true), but today that changes!  Cthulhu Chick recently posted a list of awesome words from H.P. Lovecraft's complete works. She also posted a Wordle:

Wordle: Lovecraft's Complete Works (horizontal)

I learned the word 'antediluvian' because of H.P. Lovecraft.  Good times.  If you have not read any H.P. Lovecraft, or want to read more, Cthulhu Chick has also posted a free eBook of his complete works.  If you are a sci-fi or horror fan, this is seminal stuff. Cthulhu fhtagn!