vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Another short whose EPUB file is quite full of assorted imagery, causing the total size to balloon to the point where looking at the file size (the only size indcator I have in my reader, before opening the book) indicates "novel sized". But, no.

Nonetheless, it's a previously-unread Tim Powers. Not entirely surprising, it's full of time travel. And is eminently readable and all that jazz. Don't know if it's worth chasing down, but if you can vaguely saunter in pursuit of it, do consider sauntering.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread, although I had already read the "bonus material".

This was originally written as 13 shorts, intended to fit together as a novel, when strung together in internal chronological order. And it does that, quite well. You probably want some grounding in the Old Man's War universe before you embark, but it might just work without that.

All in all, a pleasant read.

As years go by

Mar. 31st, 2015 08:41 am
flaviomatani: (Default)
[personal profile] flaviomatani
Yesterday I went to Camden Market for the first time in, oh, a long time. It gets more hectic and less alternative as time goes by with lots of clones of shops selling the same tat. There even was a unit in the main Stables market selling a well known sports shoe brand (that doesn't need me advertising them, says I). Full of zombie tourists, even on a Monday when half the shops used to not bother opening ten years ago. The street food market by the canal is now a seven-day-a-week affair. Stopped by a Colombian stall, had an empanada, the attendant turned out to be Italian, he turned to his colleague in the Peruvian stall next door for change -and this one, too, was Italian. Authenticity at all costs, some things never change after all.

I don't think I'll be going very often; too hectic, too little of interest. Shame, I used to love the place
silentq: (fountain)
[personal profile] silentq
On Friday night, I finished sewing the Folkwear Monte Carlo dress for the ball, attaching the skirt to the top. On Saturday, I decided that I needed a headband and used some of the leftover material to make a two piece elasticised one with a fabric rose (super easy rose instructions). I did my nails, and I just had time for an indulgent Lush bath and doing my makeup and then it was time to bundle up for the trek down to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. Read more... )

I was a bit disappointed, we'd been given a password (Damnation! for the distillery providing the drinks), but the goons weren't in place when I went in. The entry was a bit crowded and the staff a bit distracted, but I had my name checked off the list, got my drink ticket, and was directed toward the restroom. There were only two, so it was a bit of a wait, and I'm glad I didn't bike after all as a total change instead of just removing my warm layers would have taken a while. The coat check guy was happy to take my coat and my bag after I changed into my heels, and then I wandered around the museum for a while. I chatted to an employee in period dress for a bit, swooning over the old cars and taking lots of pictures. The museum hasn't restored the cars that the Anderson's owned, so you see the wear and tear on them. Mrs. Anderson was fascinating. They had a proto camper van with a privy built into it and a bed that was normally hidden. The basement also has a lot of old bikes, and it was fascinating to see a car that was build by a company that originally made bikes, as well as the gorgeous penny farthing examples. I may have geeked out a a few other guests. :-) I could hear an announcement from downstairs so made my way back up to the dance floor in time to see the dance lesson. I think it was the same pair that did a lesson at Jive once, the instructions looked familiar, but I wasn't trusting my knee to be stable enough so I just observed.

People were generally friendly, I chatted with a few other women who sewed after they complimented my dress, one specifically mentioning that she liked the flowing style I'd done versus the short and shimmery dresses a lot of the other women were wearing. One woman had an almost piano key like dress on that she said she discovered on a department store sale rack, but she also had a lovely shawl on. I'd dug out my cream lace jacket and was glad of it since it was a bit chilly inside the museum. Add in my fake knotted pearl necklace and seamed tights and I felt pretty good about how I looked, though admitting that I'd used a rayon fabric instead of silk chiffon was a tad embarrassing. ;-) There were casino games in the back room, aka a blackjack table and a roulette wheel, as well as a few vintage fashion vendors (gah, found 25 dollar morning pants, but the women's fashions were much steeper). The drink ticket was good at the Damnataion Alley Distillery table for cocktails, I stuck with the cranberry Manhattan and ended up getting a couple more with cash (only 6 dollars, it was dangerous).

They also had a few performances, in addition to the live band + singer. The Lindy Bomb Squad did a lively performance piece and the GBVS Barbershop Quartet did some songs as well. I liked that the woman in the quarter was wearing a moustache for a while then tore it off to sing higher. :-) I had been chatting with a pair of women for a while, mostly about sewing, and admired both the dress and the suit that they were wearing. :-) There weren't a lot of places to sit, the single 3-4 person bench by the dance floor was a good place to chat with people. :-) The event also staged a mock police raid, the host was chanelling Lucky Luciano, which was fun after my trip to NYC to see the Speakeasy Cabaret.

Near the end of the night (they closed up the bar at around 11), I decided to beat the rush (hah, most everyone drove) and call a cab. I was talking with a guy who did security for the event via a temp agency while waiting for my cab to find me (and fielding multiple calls from the cab company), and invited him to share my cab since he was going to walk to the T station and was also heading to Somerville. We got to chatting and I was totally turned around and the cabbie seemed lost and I kept having to say just take us to an Orange line stop. The cabbie eventually turned off the meter and finally got us to where we needed to go, which was a relief. We still had a 10 minute wait for a train, but kept chatting through the wait and the ride back north. He got off to switch to the Green line, but I kept going on the Orange, since my plan was to walk home from Sullivan. I switched back to my walking shoes on a bench there and made the 1 mile trek home okay, despite still being a wee bit tipsy from the hooch they were slinging at the event. :-)

2015 - #34, "Zoe's Tale", John Scalzi

Mar. 30th, 2015 05:30 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

This is the fourth book in Scalzi's Old Man's War series, written from the POV of Zoe, a teenager. I don't know how accurately the POV is writen, but I get a feeling that the voice is pretty good, based on the list of consultants that Scalzi had working on vetting it.

This substantially re-tells the story f The Lost Colony from Zoe's view, with some bits missing (she wasn't there) and other bits added (the POV character from TLC wasn't there) and a few bits that are common.

All in all, maybe not the best book in the series, but still eminently readable.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

Yes, I'm trying to catch up on my bookmeme postings. Only three more after this to reach "now".

This is the first of McGuire's InCryptid series, which I guess is "Urban Fantasy" as much as anything can be. We follow Verity Price, ballroom dancer (with the nom de salte of "Valerie Pryor"), cocktail waitress and cryptozoologist doing fieldwork in New York.

Due to a variety of things, stuffs get very complicated. And it's a brilliant read. And if you like urban fantasy, this may well be something to pick up and read. Although there's one teensy detail I am not 100% sure that I agree with. The secret to hand-to-hand fighting isn't to follow the rhythm, it's to break it. It's just that to do that, you must be able to follow it first.

(no subject)

Mar. 30th, 2015 04:18 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 2002 aged 101 Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (my toy,wikipedia). The mother of our current Queen. In "intersects with my life" I was dragged to London to attend the lying in state; which was a lot of queuing for little gain (can you tell I'm not a Monarchist?). Unusually for wives of Princes Elizabeth was not a foreign princess but the daughter of an English peer (not uniquely though).

Born on this day in 1963 to John Darlrymple and Davina Bowes-Lyon, David Darlrymple (my toy,wikipedia) . The Queen Mother's brother's grandson.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

I'd place this in the "fable" category, I guess. There were some interesting elements, but now a few days after having read it, it doesn't seem to have left much of a lasting memory. I do recall being pleased with it at the time of reading, though. Take from that what you will (including, but not limited to, "forgetting to update for a whole bunch of days leads to less erudite updates").
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Aaaaaah, ebook short stories with plenty of images, driving me to believe it's a novel. No, it's a short. But it's eminently readable, although somewhat "did I just... Did she just... Really? OK, then. It works, I guess?"-inducing.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

This is the third book in the Old Man's War series and all in service of my series re-read before reading The Human Division (it's basically been Too Long since I read the series and a refresh seemed sensible).

Competent "Sf on a new colony", with some MilSF and some politics overtone. I wouldn't say that it's hugely exciting, but it's a pleasant read.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

A collection of shorts. On the balance, worth reading, although there was one or two that I found to be mostly "meh". Probably worth tracking down, if you're interested in quirky "assorted" (there's some SF, some fantasy and some that I would more label as "horror").

And so it begins....

Mar. 30th, 2015 03:33 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick

(Even GB's started shedding, a little! He must be trying to avoid getting a dodgy late clip again this year.)

Are we clothes swapping at Eastercon this year? I have a load of stuff that was left over last time but Too Nice To Charity Shop.
[syndicated profile] infotropism_feed

Posted by Skud

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be in North America starting next week, for about two weeks:

  • San Francisco April 6th-10th (meetings, coworking, jetlag recovery, tacos, etc)
  • Montreal April 10th-15th (AdaCamp Montreal — I’m fully booked up from the afternoon of the 12th onward, I’m afraid, but have some time before that)
  • Ottawa April 15th-19th (friends, maybe meetings, coworking, etc)
  • San Francisco, again April 19th-21st

If you’re in any of those places and you’d like to catch up, ping me! I’ve got a fair bit of flexibility so I’m up for coffee/meals/coworking/whatever.

I’m particularly interested in talking with people/groups/orgs about:

  • Open food data, open source for food growers, etc — especially interoperability and linked open data!
  • Sustainable (open source) tech for sustainable (green) communities — why do so many sustainability groups use Facebook and how can we choose tech that better reflects our values?
  • Community management beyond/outside the tech bubble (we didn’t invent this thing; how do we learn and level up from here?)
  • Diversity beyond 101 level — how can we keep pushing forward? What’s next?

I should probably also note that I’ve got some capacity for short-medium term contract work from May onward. For the last 6 months or so I’ve been doing a lot of diversity consulting: I organise/lead AdaCamps (feminist unconferences for women in open tech/culture) around the world, and more recently I’ve been working with the Wikimedia Foundation on their Inspire campaign to address the gender gap. I’m interested in doing more along the same lines, so if you need someone with heaps of expertise at the intersection of open stuff and diversity/inclusiveness, let’s talk!

Easter Sichuan food, please join us

Mar. 30th, 2015 11:30 am
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[personal profile] doseybat
Please join [personal profile] nou, [personal profile] pplfichi, and myself for an exploratory mission to a Sichuan restaurant:

Fri 3 April

Ma Po
176-178 Lower Road, Surrey Quays, London SE16 2UN

RSVP for booking purposes by Thursday lunchtime please


Mar. 30th, 2015 11:01 am
wildeabandon: me sitting by the thames (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
I shall be in Cambridge from Maundy Thursday until Easter Monday, and in the Hopbine from around 15.00 this Saturday if anyone would like to join me there and catch up. The rest of the weekend is fairly full with church stuff and Easter Feasting, but I still have a few spare moments here and there if anyone wants to catch up one-on-one.

Party, Birthday

Mar. 30th, 2015 04:14 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I went to [ profile] daniel_barker's birthday party, where it finally cceased being his birthday.
It began on twitter and then it kept happening:

[Content note: Animal harm, human harm, clowns, dystopia, planet-wide destruction, fear, mayhem]

It was covered on Buzzfeed:

(And also tweeted by famous comedian [ profile] daraobriain which caused more people to give it more attention and wish Daniel Barker Happy Birthday.)

And then, because some people have oddly practical-minded friends (a project-manager! A calculatron! No, wait, I mean an accountant ) they actually organised a birthday party to finally make it stop.

And I went and it was.
I missed the actual theatrics of the declared end of birthday, but by the time I got there there were still clowns and rebels, I got a party-bag with a kazoo and a party-noisemaker and a glow-bracelet, and there were several leopards, in various states of exsanguination. And people were lovely and said hello and shook my hand and even talked to me.

And it was a twitter party, I got to meet and say hello to people I had only talked to on twitter before.

But also this:cut for photo )
I saw a woman in the famous dress, complimented her on the beautiful white-and-gold dress, and took a photo. And tweeted it, with appropriate caption:
It was re-twote by the guy who did the buzzfeed piece linked above.

And I wondered about and there were lots of individual jelly cups and a little bit of cake left, and little cocktail sausages.

Favourite part was after I decided to leave, I stood outside with some smoking leopards (both literally and metaphorically)
cut for photo )
It was fun to talk, and [ profile] howlieT observed that Daniel Barker has resting evil dictator face.
Also it was then I spotted the mediclown, and heard it was the actual birthday that day of one of the people who attended the party (which I knew was likely, but I was glad to have it confirmed)

So much colour and so many clowns and helium balloons and a general feeling of hey, wow, this is weird.

Also I talked to a Richard Westenra and I asked: like Lucy Westenra, in Dracula? And it turns out his sister is actually named Lucy. And Bram Stoker knew people of this Westenra family.

I only recently read Dracula, via audiobook: I had been meaning to read it for ages, and then there was an audiobook, read by several people, including Alan Cumming. It is good. And it is why I clearly remembered the name Westenra.

Daniel Barker's name also fits really well into the Happy Birthday song.
Did I mention greeting people with "Happy Birthday"? People said "Happy Birthday", and, more formally, "Happy Birthday, Daniel Barker" instead of hello. :D


Then I went back to my side of London and on to the second party of the night.

Imagination Ocean

Mar. 29th, 2015 10:52 pm
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[personal profile] tetsab
So I got up before astronomical dawn the Friday before last and walked to the lake. I saw 2 other people on foot the whole way there: both of them walking dogs. I'd decided months ago that I was going to walk to the lake for sunrise on spring and so I did. It was A Mildly Strange Experience.

It was still pretty completely dark by the time I arrived and I found myself sliding about on ice as I first stepped onto the beach to get to the bench where I'd spend the next hour and a half, or so. Walking onto an abandoned beach in the dark was fairly eerie. There was still this pretty massive wall of snow right up against the lake and the wind was strong enough that the waves were crashing loudly. Probably so much more the loudly for there not being any other sound than I bird whose call I'm frustrated to have forgotten. I felt like I just might as well be up at Hudson Bay (or the moon in an alternate reality) for all I could actually see at that moment being grey and snow. I also wound up briefly disoriented by the city in the west being in a pink glow like the sun was coming up over there...

I wound up noticing that even in the darkness I could see my shadow cast from the streetlights up and behind me and that made me feel at bit better that it also meant no one could sneak up in this loud, dark and mildly unnerving place which was a nice psychological comfort. Within about 20 minutes someone wouldn't be sneaking up... they'd be showing up with a flashlight.

I'd assumed it was just another dog walker until they got past my bench and walked about 20 feet forward. They were wearing a high visibility vest and carrying a pylon in their free hand. Eventually they stopped, fished about for a can, and started spray-painting a circle on the beach (it was still so dark that I couldn't see if this spraying was having any colouring effect), ignoring me the whole time. Once done with the circle they placed the pylon on it and then proceeded to spray another circle around its base followed by some arms in each of the cardinal directions. They then walked another 40 or so feet directly to the left and did some more spraying on the border wall of the R.C. Harris filtration plant. Then they came over to the bench and we had a dialog that began:

"Here for some zen?"

"First day of spring, really."

"It's spring?"

It ended with him noting that I should enjoy the silence but probably shouldn't stay too long 'cause some noisy contractors were on the way. Guess he couldn't give up the idea that I was there for some zen, then. :)

Just as it was starting to get light an Almost Certainly A Bird appeared in the water in front of me. This sparked an exciting new game of Is It A Bird Or Is It Some Garbage (it was a little white splot with a little black circle on top) and later Is It A Snow Heap Or Some Plastic Tarp once I'd decided to get up and walk about the grounds of the treatment plant to fend off the cold a bit better. I tried to take a crappy cellphone picture of the Is It A Bird and just wound up with a whole lot of Not A Bird instead:

While I was playing Is It A Snow Heap Or Some Plastic Tarp Which you can play along with at home if you'd like ) I got to watch some actual tiny birds bobbing about. I decided to call them skunk birds since that was pretty much their colouring. They were, naturally, quite cute. Most of the time I'd been there there'd been 2 photographers (very easy to spot as they both had tripods). One of them came up to me while I was playing Is It A Snow Heap and asked if I was also there for the eclipse to which I could only reply "Eclipse?" (I'd learn after that he was way more off-base in trying to be there for that than I was in not knowing about it...).

Around 7 I started to head off for work and took a picture of the strange pylon/bench configuration:

Turns out that the spray paint was neon green and wasn't on the beach so much as on a manhole cover. It was an accident that the 'noisy contractors' pulled up just as I headed off. :)

(I wrapped up my Plato and Orwell this weekend so it should be back to Naomi next).

(no subject)

Mar. 29th, 2015 09:11 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1703 aged 24 Margrave George II of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia). Half-brother of Caroline, wife of George II. George is a good name it seems :)

Born on this day in 1187 to Geoffrey II and Constance, Duke Arthur I of Brittany (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Henry II. Arthur's father was younger than Richard but older than John, and died before Arthur was born. Thus Arthur was heir apparent to Richard (who had no children). However Richard died when Arthur was still young, and declared his brother John his heir on his deathbed. After some fighting Arthur was imprisoned by John and nothing more is heard of him (presumably he was killed, or died, at some point). There was then confusion about the succession of the Duchy of Brittany which Arthur held through his mother, he was eventually succeeded by his half sister Alix. Arthur is NOT A GOOD NAME for people hoping to be King of England.
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
Today someone made a reference I didn't get to something called a chockoboo (I think). I looked confused, and they said, "Have you heard of Final Fantasy?" "Yes," I said, "but I'm not sure what it is. A film, maybe, or a computer game?" There followed a great deal of explanation which I have now forgotten because I have no context to attach it to, except that FF is a large series of complicated computer games and that chockoboos are important in some of them. I think they must have explained what a chockoboo actually *is*, but if they did I forgot it.

The main takeaway, however, was an alarming realisation that I do this too, to almost everyone I meet.