In The Bleak Midwinter

That was pretty ugly. Some have been saying that, yeah, but it wasn’t as bad as last year. To them I say, what’s the difference if you’re on a plane that crashes and you’re burned alive and your skin melts into the seatcover, whether there were 100 or 300 people on the plane?

Anyway, there were a few moments of fun before all 4 engines failed:

At least, the crew was kind enough to keep serving drinks as the fuselage headed toward dead vertical.

The rain held off, so I had a nice walk home, going up over Queen Anne hill and down through Fremont. When I arrived home, I told Mrs. Perils, “we won’t speak of this again.”

The video above is hosted at a place called A kayaker that takes lots of video told me about it at the New Year’s Eve party we attended. Advantage: the quality of the video seems to be a lot better. Youtube seems to be pretty random about the quality of its replays, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the quality of your upload is. Lemme know what you think.

In more redeeming news, I seem to have started reading again. Books. Bound books, dead-tree-books. I posted earlier that I finished Middlemarch a couple of weeks ago, and I just finished Ian McEwan’s Atonement over the weekend. And, believe it or not, I carried The Brothers Karamazov with me on the bus to the sports bar last night, and even read a few pages. It’s for a book group discussion due in a couple of weeks. Man, that thing is huge, and dense, like a lead ingot of erudition. It’s my first Dostoevsky. No way I’ll be able to finish it in time to say anything intelligent about it.

I enjoyed Atonement quite a bit. McEwan has a rich prose style, but it’s still clean and translucent. He lingers lovingly on his set-pieces, to the point where I found myself staring around me, trying to see how I could get 3 pages out of mundane street scenes in front of me. And the best part about finishing Atonement is that now I get to see the upcoming film with Keira Knightley. Arrrrgghhhh!! Avast!

Here’s a nice bit about the writing process:

It seemed so obvious…a story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page,she was able to sent thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader’s. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it…You saw the word castle, and it was there, seen from some distance, with woods in high summer spread before it, the air bluish and soft with smoke rising from the blacksmith’s forge, and a cobbled road twisting away into the green shade.

You’ll go away from here, and after a while you’ll forget that I quoted McEwan - you’ll just remember what good writing there is at Perils of Caffeine.


  1. So, yeah, that whole bridesmaid thing totally sucks.

  2. The writing doesn’t come much clearer or cleaner than from Ian McEwan (aka Phil Perils).

  3. That’s what I come here for! The writing. Next time just quote the McEwan without telling us, so I don’t have to forget anything.

  4. About Atonement. My daughter and I went to the movie. She had read the book and said it was very true to the book and the movie was exactly like she had pictured everything. I enjoyed the movie. It was beautiful.