Between Naps

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health, Reading | Posted on 12-09-2008

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I gave in to my body and stayed in bed all day yes­ter­day. It helped. If I’m not try­ing to do any­thing else, I can take my break­through pain meds and mus­cle relax­ants. They make me too flop­py to walk around safe­ly or use dan­ger­ous tools like but­ter knives.

I’m doing pret­ty much the same today, but want­ed to post an update. Not that there’s real­ly any­thing much to talk about, oth­er than nap­ping.

I have con­tin­ued to read when I’m awake, thanks to Sam’s will­ing­ness to go to the library to sup­port my habit. I fin­ished the first four books in Eileen Wilks’ World of the Lupi series. I think book 4, Night Sea­son, was bet­ter than the first three. The focus switched from one cou­ple to anoth­er in this book, and both of those peo­ple were def­i­nite­ly grow­ing and changing—always a plus in my mind.

I did fin­ish Caitlin Kit­tredge’s Pure Blood, but it was a close thing. The main char­ac­ter is a whiny, imma­ture brat who blames every­thing on the fact that she’s a were­wolf. The oth­er weres in her world don’t seem to have such poor con­trol over them­selves, so that just does­n’t wash. She’s also stu­pid, con­stant­ly run­ning off into dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions with­out let­ting anyone—like, say, her fel­low police officers—know so they can back her up.

I final­ly got my hands on Hands of Flame by C.E. Mur­phy, the last book of her Nego­tia­tor tril­o­gy. It was won­der­ful! All the impor­tant threads from the series were tied up, includ­ing some that I’d thought mere­ly back­ground. There are five Old Races liv­ing silent­ly among humans in Mur­phy’s uni­verse, and I love the way she avoids most of the clichés about them. I would like to have seen a few more shades of gray in the por­tray­al of one race, in par­tic­u­lar, but all in all she did a very nice job. It’s easy to imag­ine many, many more sto­ries in this uni­verse, focus­ing on new char­ac­ters.

I haven’t decid­ed what to read next. Sam was so enthu­si­as­tic about Halt­ing State by Charles Stross that I might switch over to sci­ence fic­tion for a bit. It real­ly depends on how well I’m able to com­pre­hend it—Stross’ writ­ing is real­ly good, but more chal­leng­ing to the read­er than any of the urban fantasy/paranormal what­sis books I’ve been dawdling over.

Nerd Joy!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery | Posted on 06-09-2008

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We’ve been scan­ner-deprived for many months now, because the mul­ti­func­tion print­er gave up the ghost. We acquired an old­er mod­el HP scan­ner via Freecy­cle a while back, but it would­n’t work. The mov­ing bit inside had been locked down for trans­port, and just would­n’t unlock. It is nev­er a good thing when you get a burn­ing smell out of a piece of com­put­er equip­ment.

But Sam attacked it with screw­drivers and pli­ers and brute force tonight, and made it work! Squee!

Blah — Spammers Are Scum

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Family | Posted on 04-09-2008

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Not that it’s news to any­one, I know. But Defen­sio was down this evening (because of an Ama­zon serv­er fail­ure), which meant that all of our sites have been slammed with com­ment spam. They all get hit con­stant­ly, but it’s usu­al­ly a non-issue because Defen­sio fil­ters almost 100% of the crap before we see it. These out­ages serve to remind us of how great the ser­vice is.

I notice that my old­er posts are the ones that get the most spam com­ments. I’ve looked for some sort of plu­g­in to auto­mat­i­cal­ly dis­able com­ments on posts after a week or so, but I haven’t found one so far. I final­ly gave in today and start­ed back with the very first post on this blog, dis­abling com­ments. It is a tedious process! I’m sure that some­one could write a script that would do the same thing in the MySQL data­base much faster, but I’m not that some­one.

Sam has to go back to work tomor­row. Pout. I’ve real­ly enjoyed hav­ing him home.

Scattered

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Fun, Reading | Posted on 31-08-2008

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Any­body else using Live­Mocha? Espe­cial­ly to learn French? I just joined (as Tech­noMom, of course) and would like to have “friends” there. I start­ed with the begin­ner lev­el, les­son one, and actu­al­ly learned a few new vocab­u­lary words. (My wee bit of for­eign lan­guage instruc­tion in high school sucked, to put it mild­ly.) You’re sup­posed to ask your “friends” for feed­back on your lessons, but I don’t have any and don’t real­ly want to ask total strangers about how bad­ly I did.

Sam and Katie have been at Dragon*Con for the past few days. We had a house guest, David, but I did­n’t real­ly “meet” him because of the late con hours and hav­ing a real­ly bad pain flare. Sor­ry David! He went home this after­noon. I’m glad Sam has the day off tomor­row to recov­er. I’m glad Hope got to come to D*C, but pout­ing because I won’t get to see her while she’s in town. I know that she has bright­ened Sam’s week­end.

I fin­ished read­ing The Jen­nifer Morgue by Charles Stross last night, and start­ed Phae­dra Wel­don’s Wraith. I liked Morgue, but it was­n’t quite as strong as The Atroc­i­ty Archives. The short sto­ry at the end of the book, “Pimpf,” did­n’t do too much for me, but I’m not a video gamer so that prob­a­bly has a lot to do with it.

I’m real­ly lik­ing Wraith. A lot. The fact that it’s set in Atlanta is nice, because I can fol­low along the geog­ra­phy as the char­ac­ters move around. (Usu­al­ly, such things go right past me, even if there’s a map.) Thanks to Good Reads, I know that there’s a novel­la, “Out of the Dark,” on Wel­don’s site that takes place between this book and Spec­tre.

I’ve also been brows­ing through the archives at Two Lumps, thanks to a link from . I had a pair of Russ­ian Blues who were entire­ly too much like Ebenez­er and Snooch! If you’re a vet­er­an of cat cohab­i­ta­tion, be care­ful when read­ing. I rec­om­mend not hav­ing a drink in hand (or in mouth) and being care­ful to emp­ty your blad­der before you start read­ing.

Kyoshi is busy telling me that he still does­n’t want to cud­dle with any­body but Katie, but he wants her home NOW! RIGHT NOW! And that we real­ly have to stop let­ting the kit­ten out of the house with­out his per­son­al super­vi­sion.

Please Think About Sam

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family | Posted on 22-08-2008

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His father died last night. He did­n’t want any kind of funer­al. We’re going to see his mom.

McCain Blogger Flubs His Roll

Posted by Cyn | Posted in politics, RPGs | Posted on 19-08-2008

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If you’re a gamer, you’ve prob­a­bly heard the hoorah by now. Michael Gold­farb, a blog­ger on McCain’s offi­cial cam­paign site added a lame anti-gamer slur to his rinse-and-repeat “but he was a POW!” bull­shit. Sam (and many oth­ers) respond­ed to the twit (who keeps com­ments dis­abled on his blog–afraid of a lit­tle com­men­tary, Gold­farb?). This isn’t the first time McCain’s peo­ple have attacked their oppo­nents with com­ments about D&D, either, as some of the folks on Boing Boing have point­ed out.

Gold­farb was respond­ing to a post on the Dai­ly Kos that called McCain on his pla­gia­rism dur­ing a media event this week­end. The DK blog­ger has a nice response.

Gold­farb has sup­pos­ed­ly apol­o­gized, but odd­ly enough, his “apol­o­gy” isn’t post­ed on his blog, or any­where else on McCain’s site as far as I can tell. If he isn’t man enough to make the apol­o­gy in the same venue in which he post­ed the attack, that says a lot about him and the entire McCain cam­paign.1


1 None of it is sur­pris­ing to me, but it is still telling.

Good Reads Migration Finished!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Geekery, Health, Reading, RPGs | Posted on 17-08-2008

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That was not pain­less at all. The import fea­ture is tetchy, at best. I had to go through the entire list of 1300+ books and fix their “book­shelf” assign­ments, and add some that just did­n’t import at all. I had over 1400 books in Now Read­ing, and I haven’t quite fig­ured out why there are few­er books in Good Reads. Oh well. It’s pret­ty much done!

The dates I’d read books, my rat­ings, and my reviews did NOT trans­fer to Good Reads, which is high­ly annoy­ing.

I was able to go through and update a bunch of books that I’ve read since NR stopped work­ing, and use the to-read cat­e­go­ry to request books from the library. As a result, there are 33 books await­ing pick­up now, and anoth­er 61 pend­ing (most­ly books that are real­ly new or not yet avail­able). That does­n’t include the inter-library loan items I request­ed.1

Sam and I had bonus gam­ing time tonight. He’s stor­ing up brown­ie points before Dragon*Con. Katie, unfor­tu­nate­ly, could­n’t sleep last night, then slept all day until about 11:30. Now she’s re-hydrat­ing and get­ting some food now. I hope she can go back to sleep. She’s def­i­nite­ly hav­ing a fibro flare. 🙁


1 I’m so tick­led that the library added a way to put in ILL requests online!

Sweet Saturday

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Fun, Movies | Posted on 02-08-2008

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Sam took Katie up to Repub­li­can land to pick up her new glass­es lens­es today–she went to the eye doc­tor while she was with my par­ents, because they were out dri­ving and real­ized that she was squint­ing to read the road signs. Her eyes had­n’t changed much at her last few year­ly check-ups, but they did this time. She says every­thing is very nice and clear. I need to go get my own checked, but glass­es are so dan­ged expen­sive!

We had a nice date and a deli­cious steak din­ner. Sam’s been promis­ing that he’ll make chick­en fet­tucine alfre­do since last week­end, but the girl was gone, then he had a pret­ty tir­ing week. That’s quite a meal to cook after a day at work. So I’m hop­ing he’ll feel up to it tomor­row. The steak was real­ly good, though!

Katie got a long let­ter from her friend Josh, who left for Air Force basic train­ing recent­ly. Then she even got a phone call from him! Appar­ent­ly his group1 is doing real­ly well, so they got access to a sort of recre­ation area with vend­ing machines and pay phones after just two weeks of train­ing. Anoth­er friend of theirs who just got out of train­ing said they did­n’t get that until after five weeks, which is appar­ent­ly pret­ty stan­dard.

I wor­ry about Josh–this just isn’t a good time to be going into any branch of the mil­i­tary, as far as I’m con­cerned. But I’m sure he’ll be a good air­man, and it’s what he want­ed to do.

Thanks to Eliz­a­beth Bear (), I now know that, Ohs noes! Franz Kaf­ka read pron! I can’t quite fig­ure out why it’s such a big deal to any­one, but I’m cer­tain­ly not a Kaf­ka schol­ar. Is there any healthy adult in the world who, giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty, has not read/viewed porn at some point in his or her life?

The girl saw Mam­ma Mia with my moth­er, and said she thinks we’ll enjoy watch­ing it togeth­er. I don’t pay much atten­tion to what’s in the the­aters, so oth­er than think­ing it might have some con­nec­tion to Abba I was clue­less. Bear also post­ed a link to an inter­est­ing review that final­ly gave me a clue as to why Katie liked it so much.


1 It isn’t a platoon–what do they call them in the AF?

TotD: Eating and Drinking

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Thought of the Day | Posted on 25-06-2008

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This pas­sage remind­ed me of Sam:

Peo­ple ask me: Why do you write about food, and eat­ing and drink­ing? Why don’t you write about the strug­gle for pow­er and secu­ri­ty, and about love, the way oth­ers do?

They ask it accus­ing­ly, as if I were some­how gross, unfaith­ful to the hon­or of my craft.

The eas­i­est answer is to say that, like most oth­er humans, I am hun­gry.

But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and secu­ri­ty and love, are so mixed and min­gled and entwined that we can­not straight­ly think of one with­out the oth­ers. So it hap­pens that when I write of hunger, I am real­ly writ­ing about love and the hunger for it … and then the warmth and rich­ness and fine real­i­ty of hunger sat­is­fied … and it is all one.

The Art of Eating
From The Art of Eat­ing by M.F.K. Fish­er

Monday and R.I.P. George Carlin

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Critters, Education, Family | Posted on 23-06-2008

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I guess every­body has heard, by now, that we lost George Car­lin last night. I’ve seen many arti­cles about him today, but I think Susie Bright did the best job of catch­ing his spir­it.

Today was a very Mon­day-ish Mon­day. I’m grumpy and noth­ing feels right. The girl is off spend­ing time with my fam­i­ly, and I miss her. Kyoshi is utter­ly inconsolable–he’s actu­al­ly mak­ing lit­tle “meep­ing” nois­es fre­quent­ly. For a cat who is absolute­ly silent most of the time, that’s seri­ous. He’s real­ly a one-human cat. That may be part of the rea­son that I’m hav­ing ter­ri­ble kit­ten crav­ings. Of course, I want kit­tens most of the time, but it’s even more so late­ly. And I miss Kar­li, too.

School is over for a few weeks. Accord­ing to the school’s records, I only have two more semes­ters to go. I may need to take a break any­way, as I bare­ly fin­ished this semes­ter’s class­es.

On a hap­pi­er note, Sam made ham­burg­ers after he got home. It’s been a while since he cooked those, and they’re much bet­ter than fast food burg­ers. He’s work­ing on Heart of the Hunter and should have a new chap­ter post­ed some­time this week.