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The Bibliophile
Too busy reading most likely ...
jlsjlsjls
And just finished reading it. Squee!!! 'cause Izabel is back! Alana is still nuts, Marko is still trying to act like he isn't, and Hazel has grown! Plus the return of several other familiar faces and the addition of a couple of intriguing new ones!

And Hazel still gets the best lines in her narration: "Dying is one of the few experiences we'll eventually all enjoy firsthand, and like most shit that's commonplace, it's boring to dwell on. My fellow inmates/classmates (and really, what's the difference?) showed me it was more interesting to concentrate on the living.
Because death is fucking predictable ...
... but life has science experiments and free time and surprise naps and who knows what comes next?"

saga6

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... am I ever to finish any of my knitting projects when genius designers keep coming up with shiny new things???!!! Knitters' DNA by Martina Behm.

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DSCN0984_20160717_879

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Er ... ahem ... Due to following instructions precisely as written the expected result is now occurring. Or, in more knitterly terms, the colours are pooling the way they are supposed to. :-D

DSCN0974_20160716_869

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See? Shiny new things always grow fast (until something else distracts me. It's actually quite a bit further along than in the photo now ... only about a dozen rows to go until I get to start the really magical bit. :-)
DSCN0966_20160713_861

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Like I said, Martina Behm is being a genius (again). No, I haven't finished any of the zillion other things in progress but this was just too cool not to use my last free cable to start. Haven't reached the really good bit yet but anticipation has me happy to work through this set-up part (which looks deceptively like the usual beginning of a shawl but isn't). Yarn is some Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters in "Crazy Woman" colourway that I've had for ages; tried making it into a waistcoat a long time ago but that turned out to not be the right use for this yarn. I think it's going to like being this! :-)

DSCN0964_20160710_859

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Martina Behm is being a genius again: Pool & Conquer. Now eyeing the hand-dyed variegated yarns in my stash ...

Maybe in Beige???

Edited to add: Even better! In Crazy Woman!!!!! (a heavier yarn)

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That weird occasional beep that seemed to be emanating from my computer (installed Windows 10 a few days ago and the machine has been making a few unfamiliar sounds for different processes) was actually the new cell phone, sitting in its box on top of the desk next to one of the monitor's speakers and complaining of imminent power failure. Cue JLS turning the damned phone 'round and 'round trying to find where the hell one plugs in the charger (c'mon, my previous phone was from 2003 and had a jack, not a USB port ... I'm dealing with a massive technology leap here). Did figure out the port's hiding place without having to resort to the manual once I moved into the brighter light in the kitchen and took off my glasses so I could actually focus on all the tiny black-on-black symbols 'round the phone's edges (I read, knit, hand sew, and investigate miniscule things better without artificial vision aids)

Now that I've replaced a few more of Windows' sound effects with far more meaningful phrases from my stash of Carry On sound clips this kind of auditory confusion shouldn't happen again. ;p
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jlsjlsjls
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!
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Well, I find it hilarious (and simultaneously scary whenever people in the library world appear unable to read and follow instructions)

The Summary of Decisions, May 2016 notes for the Library of Congress editorial meeting on creating and updating subject headings. The general message is "we are fed up with this" ... it's just a lengthy list of invalid and incorrectly submitted proposals that wasted their time. And it contains its moments of snark: "If more attention were paid to these details, processing of the cancellation requests could proceed much more expeditiously."

For the non-library folks: When you look up topics/subjects in a library catalogue, whether online or the old 3x5 card catalogues some of us are old enough to remember, you're entering a world known as fixed vocabulary, called "authorities" in the library world. Cataloguers don't just use whatever words they feel like using as subject headings; we're following a specific list of terminology, loaded with cross references from variant words and wordings. Most English language libraries are using the Library of Congress Subject Headings list as it's big, well-maintained, and for the past three or so decades it's been available online at no charge. Using LCSH is why, if you look up "flying saucers" in your library you'll be redirected (often invisibly these days) to "unidentified flying objects" ... the latter has been decided on as the official subject heading term in this system for this topic. Because human knowledge is ever growing and changing, the LCSH does the same ... continuously adding new subject headings to describe new materials acquired at Library of Congress and also changing existing headings either to match current language usage or based on the shifting percentage of terminology use by the materials in their collection. So of course there needs to be a system for individual cataloguers to let LC know a new heading or a change to an existing one is needed. There is a manual for the consistent formatting of subject headings(the SHM frequently referred to in the notes is the Subject Heading Manual, also an online freebie) and within it a specific set of instructions for submissions. Yep, there are rules within rules within rules. All just so that the public can look up stuff in the library catalogue and think it's magic when they find what they're looking for.

So I didn't get a May list of new and updated headings to enter into my workplace's database. :-( Because the committee spent all their time on bad submissions.

P.S. We don't make up the call numbers at random either ... we have huge books and lists for those as well. And for authors and series and other such things that are the same but can vary in their wording from book to book ... well, for true terror here's William Shakespeare's LC Name Authority with ALL the different ways his name has been spelled/printed and you'll understand why we use a fixed vocabulary for those as well (and those are just the name variations used on materials within LC's collections, a mere fraction of what's actually in published use around the world)

P.P.S. Sometimes name authorities can be fun and educational ... Zane Grey's is an old favourite of mine for demonstrating this (read the last paragraph in the "found in" section)
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The Yarn Harlot's traditional Canada Day blog entry for 2016: Randomly, on Canada Day

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The bad: Last night the TV died. While the DVD player was on pause between two episodes of "Death in paradise" ... Murphy must have been napping because five minutes before the end of the episode, right when the detective was revealing who the murderer was, would have been more Murphy's style. Ah well, it was time to go to bed anyway. Quite accepting of the TV's demise as it's over twenty years old and I've been kinda waiting for it to happen so I could have a modern, doesn't weight a billion tons, flat screen.

The good: Right across the street from me is a London Drugs store (well, okay, the police station is right across the street and the London Drugs is behind it, if you want to nitpick). London Drugs is a wonderful potpourri of a store ... they specialize in cosmetics and toiletries, cookware and household appliances from coffee grinders and toasters to to small chest freezers and vacuum cleaners, an assortment of groceries from candy to cereals to canned goods to milk, butter, ice creams), cleaning supplies, stationery, plus they have a dead battery recycling service. Oh and there's a pharmacy in the back as well. And an excellent electronics department (small but, IMO superior to the specialist electronics stores) ... my computer and my DVD player both came from there. So checked their inventory online this morning, found a 28" RCA flatscreen on sale (the max size that will fit in the TV space in my electronics shelving) and was out and back again with an on-sale, larger-screened replacement TV in less than fifteen minutes ... walking there and back took longer than the actual chat with sales staff and purchase.

The bonus: Cashier was the same one who was on duty when I was in last night buying ice cream. When the person ahead of me in the process of being rung out and the person behind me in line both dashed to the freezer to impulse buy containers of Häagen-Dazs upon seeing me put mine on the counter; cashier knows me as a regular and we were joking about me deserving commission for that. So, since she didn't have anybody at the checkout at the moment, I absolutely could not resist pausing on my way out (I'd paid in the Electronics Dept.) to hold up the box and say "If I stand here for a couple of minutes holding this how many people do you think will rush to buy one?" just for the fun of making her crack up laughing (there are benefits to being a regular ... you don't fade into the billions of transactions memory blur)
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How Mounties REALLY dress for work. Those scarlet tunic outfits that most of the world is so familiar are full dress uniforms and the RCMP haven't worn them for everyday policing for decades upon decades. (So yeah, "Due South" fans, Constable Benton Fraser was actually in violation by wearing his dress scarlets all the time as he wasn't on ceremonial duty)
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HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!

If you want to celebrate along with we Canucks properly, The Arrogant Worms have put a Completely Canadian Compilation ... all their songs about Canada ... up on Bandcamp. Listen to these and I guarantee you'll learn all kinds of things about Canada that you wouldn't find out in a classroom!** ;-)

**Some of them are even true!

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Really kind of a "loot" day but there was some accomplishment thrown in. :-)

At work, my copy of The snowflake : winter's frozen artistry arrived. Perfect hot summer reading, no?

Finally made it to the Telus shop to see what was doable about upgrading my 2003 cellphone to something compatible with the imminent network upgrade. My preference: a plain phone with no other capabilities (this isn't my primary phone and will rarely be used so I don't need internet, texting, camera or any of that other extraneous gadgetry) and quite prepared to just discontinue the service if I couldn't get simple and reasonably cheap. Walked out a whole fifteen dollars (which is going to end up being credited back to me via my account) lighter with one of these. And the happy surprise (and the agent setting me up was VERY surprised) that my ancient el-cheapo plan (which is about half the price per month of anything currently being offered) was transferable to the new phone. So yeah, the thing has a camera that I'll never use (my just-a-camera being so very nice and just as small as the phone) and while it has the capability to do all the other stuff it simply isn't activated for any of it. Just a phone. :-)

And then, since I was in the mall anyway, I wandered over to HMV and scored season three of "Death in Paradise", season two of "Grantchester", The rough guide to African rare groove, volume 1, and The rough guide to African guitar legends. Hadn't noticed in the store but this last one includes a bonus CD! "Immortal Franco" by Syran Mbenza & Ensemble Rumba Kongo (in my defense on the HMV splurging I will plead that this was the first time I'd set foot in a mall or an HMV this year)

Was listening to lovely tunes all last evening and again now. :-)

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... Charles Stross' latest instalment in his Laundry Files series, "The Nightmare Stacks". My oh MY!!! The man has outdone himself yet again (may there never be a ceiling on his ability to do that!). Not much I can say without spoilering but lessee ...

  • This isn't a Bob and/or Mo book ... they are absent but mentioned.
  • Some old and not-seen-lately characters are back though. Pinky and Brains! Yay! Harry the Horse! Johnny McTavish makes a brief appearance (without Bashful Incendiary)
  • While most of the past tales have been primarily Bob Howard's POV, they've also included takes on situations by other characters; mainly human (mostly the "good" guys but also some of the baddies), always from our Earth/dimension. This time 'round? Welcome to the POV of an incursion!
  • Many bits and pieces of what seemed trivia info from past books turn out to be explanations for/clarifications of things in this one. Hope you were paying attention! ;-)
  • Angleton would have enjoyed this in his own scary way. (Angleton is a favourite of mine and I miss him and will forever hope that he's somehow retrieved one day)
  • The ability to run macros inside your own brain is a useful form of self-defense.
  • The Laundry is going to have a helluva time trying to cover this one up. Shall have to wait for the next volume to find out how (or if, considering how far along the overall situation is, whether they'll even bother to try)
  • If you don't know what a Kettenkrad is go Google a few images. They'll help.
  • I have to wait HOW LONG for the next book???!!!


Edited to add: Meant to link this ... the publisher has posted the first seven pages of the book online, just to help get you a teensy bit hooked ...

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When I decided, on the evidence of sufficient white showing in my roots, to stop colouring my hair and see what it really looked like, I was hoping hard for whiter streaks at my temples; members of my father's family tend to start greying in their late twenties (I had my first known white hair ... just one ... appear when I was seventeen) and Dad's was gorgeous ... he started with dark steel with paler grey at the temples, then silvery grey with pure silver at the temples and finally frost white (it actually glittered) still with the silver at the temples. So, since my hair is texturally and curl/wave-wise exactly the same as his with my original natural colour being primarily a mix of his and Mom's, along with a scattering of every other colour known to humanity (one hairdresser described it as "technicolour"), I figured I had a pretty good chance. And I won the gene draw and got my temple streaks! What I never expected, though, was the tricolour effect I now have ... the majority of the white and grey is above my ears, but hidden underneath and only revealed when I put my hair up is a much higher percentage of red than I used to have. :-)

I am capable of doing a much tidier job of the whole putting-up-one's-hair thing but this was just for a quick trip to the grocery store, so that the breeze wouldn't be blowing my hair across my eyes when both my hands occupied with bag-carrying on the way home. Though I'm sure most of you are too busy trying to make out the titles in the bookcases to notice a little coiffure untidiness ***GRIN***)
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This week is happy SQUEEEE!!! reading treasures week at Casa JLS (and it's only Tuesday)

Yesterday saw the arrival of Worlds of Sam Kieth, by (naturally) Sam Kieth. Big ol' art book that I'm going to set aside for a nice weekend morning when I can sip copy and leisurely appreciate the eye candy. 'cause Sam Kieth art requires one's full attention. Along with the Kieth came a copy of Richard Moore's Far West, something I've dying to read for a very long time. I confess that I dropped everything else and read it from cover to cover last night and loved it! Quite refreshing to see an elf character who isn't stereotypically Barbie-pretty and her being a bounty hunter as well is just icing on the cake. And oh how I wish Moore hadn't decided to drop writing/drawing comics because his Far West universe has so crazy-much potential and he barely scratched the surface. The "Bad Mojo" and "Badder Mojo" shown on the linked page are the only other "Far West" pieces not included in the compilation I have; they exist in comic book form only so I'll have to see what I can do about getting hold of 'em.

And today I got my copy of the new Charles Stross Laundry Files novel, The nightmare stacks!!! Which I don't dare even open because I know once I start reading it I won't put it down until I reach the end. Not hard to guess what I'll have my nose in THIS weekend!

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This one's a British comedy classic: "The Naked Truth". Went into YouTube to see if I could find a clip and lo! The entire movie! If you haven't seen this film before you're in for a treat! Impeccable casting and performances but how could it be otherwise when the stars include Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Peggy Mount, Shirley Eaton, Dennis Price, Joan Sims and a tangled web of blackmail?

zappo, this is a must-view for your British comedy list!

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Love this bit ... synchronized bedspring squeaking! (can't help but wonder how much rehearsal it took to get their every move perfectly matched)



(for any non-French speakers who aren't familiar with the movie: the handyman is there to fix a squeaky bedspring and is trying to identify which one is the culprit. He identifies it as "the second spring from the right" at the end of the scene)

And the hilarious earlier scene involving that squeaky spring ...

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I'm not a wearer of fingerless mitts and gloves; usually it's only the very tips of my fingers that get cold while my hands proper, especially my palms, overheat very easily and I hate the feel of sweaty handcoverings (I'm aware of the principle that keeping the pulse point of your wrist warm is the key to warm hands and for that reason most of my long-sleeved shirts are actually long-sleeved enough to keep my wrists insulated ... hence the rarity of my hands feeling cold)

But Tacit has oh-so-cool patterning! So very tempting! (and there's no law that says that that patterning couldn't be a vertical panel on a sweater or something ...)

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BBC Radio 4 Extra is rerunning their Roger May reading of "Day of the Triffids"!!! Looks like it started yesterday and they're doing the episode-per-day thing.

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(Dear Idiot Self

Why the *&#%$@$%#$^%* didn't you tag the Barlowe's Guide read-so-far list you posted ages ago so that you'd be able to find and copy/paste it for updating reuse? (it will have been tagged "reading" but that's needle in a haystack territory as far as my LJ is concerned because of the frequent use of that tag ... this time it's getting something unique as well.)


Ahem ...

Sometime I-forget-how-long-ago I posted here the notion that I should try to read ALL the books whose extraterrestrial beings had an entry in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. At the time a quick flip-through established that I'd already read about a third of them (that I could recall, anyway). And then I promptly got derailed by the longlasting extreme overtime situation at work. But I haven't forgotten and have managed to get my hands on and read several titles (mainly thanks to a combo of Kobo acquiring ebook rights to a lot of out-of-print science fiction classics and Baen's growing ebook publishing of their own backlist). So as of now my score is 24 species encounters (the italicized items) out of 50. So halfway is now within sight ...

Abyormenite: "Cycle of fire" by Hal Clement
Athshean: "The word for world is forest" by Ursula K. Le Guin
Black Cloud: "The Black Cloud" by Fred Hoyle
Chulpex: "Masters of the maze" by Avram Davidson
Cinruss: "Hospital Station" and "Star Surgeon" by James White
Cryer: "Conscience interplanetary" by Joseph Green
Cygnan: "The Jupiter theft" by Donald Moffitt
Cygnostik: "A little knowledge" by Michael Bishop
Czill: "Midnight at the Well of Souls" by Jack L. Chalker
Demon: "A plague of Demons" by Keith Laumer
Demu: "Cage a man" by F.M. Busby
Dextran: "The right hand of Dextra" by David J. Lake
Dilbian: "Spatial delivery" and "Spacepaw" by Gordon R. Dickson
Dirdir: "The Dirdir" by Jack Vance
Garnishee: "Star smashers of the Galaxy Rangers" by Harry Harrison
Gowachin: "The Dosadi experiment" by Frank Herbert
Guild Steersman: "Dune Messiah" by Frank Herbert
Ishtarian: "Fire Time" by Poul Anderson
Ixchel: "A wrinkle in time" by Madeleine L'Engle
Ixtl: "The voyage of the Space Beagle" by A.E. van Vogt
Lithian: "A case of conscience" by James Blish
Master: "The White Mountains", "The city of gold and lead", and "The pool of fire" by John Christopher
Medusan: "The legion of space" by Jack Williamson
Merseian: "Ensign Flandry" by Poul Anderson
Mesklinite: "Misson of gravity" by Hal Clement
Mother: "Strange relations" by Philip José Farmer (currently reading this book but it doesn't count until I've finished it)
Old Galactic: "Legacy" by James H. Schmitz
Old One: "At the Mountains of Madness" by H.P. Lovecraft
Overlord: "Childhood's end" by Arthur C. Clarke
Pnume: "The Pnume" by Jack Vance
Polarian: "Cluster" by Piers Anthony
Puppeteer: "Neutron star" and "Ringworld" by Larry Niven
Radiate: "Memoirs of a spacewoman" by Naomi Mitchison
Regul: "The faded sun: Kesrith" by C.J. Cherryh
Riim: "The voyage of the Space Beagle" by A.E. van Vogt
Ruml: "The alien way" by Gordon R. Dickson
Salaman: "Wildeblood's empire" by Brian M. Stableford
Sirian: "The age of the pussyfoot" by Frederik Pohl
Slash: "Kirlian quest" by Piers Anthony
Soft One: "The gods themselves" by Isaac Asimov
Solaris: "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem
Sulidor: "Downward to the earth" by Robert Silverberg
The Thing: "Who goes there?" by John W. Campbell
Thrint: "World of Ptavvs" by Larry Niven
Tran: "Icerigger" by Alan Dean Foster
Triped: "Rule golden" by Damon Knight
Tyreean: "Up the walls of the world" by James Tiptree Jr.
Uchjinian: "Exiles at the Well of Souls" by Jack L. Chalker
Vegan: "Have spacesuit will travel" by Robert A. Heinlein
Velantian: "Children of the Lens" by E.E. "Doc" Smith

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"I don't really like torturing Puritans ... you can never be sure they're not secretly enjoying it."--Satan, "Old Harry's Game"

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Coffee Cantata

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60 rows done :-)

DSCN0947_20160529_842

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40 rows done, 89 to go, no two rows the same. Definitely no danger of boredom!

DSCN0921_20160524_817

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I've just posted a new booklist over at catdesk! Short but sweet!

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It's Victoria Day in Canada today, it's cold and rainy and perfect for curling up on the couch with hot chocolate and a movie. And so I've just finished watching Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet for the very first time and loved every nanosecond of it. Absolutely wonderful! And I mean that in its original meaning of full of wonder. Another Jeunet piece of filmed perfection. :-)

And so glad that, even though it's an English-language movie, Dominique Pinon was in it ... it's not a proper Jeunet film if Pinon isn't in it somewhere.

P.S. Knew much of the movie was filmed in southern Alberta; just took a peek at the locations list and yes! that WAS the High Level Bridge, longest and highest trestle bridge in the world, near the beginning of the film (I lived quite close to this bridge when I was in Lethbridge and the sound and vibration sensations of being under it when a train is crossing are something that one never forgets.

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DSCN0914_20160522_810

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Just got startled into full alertness by a loud thump and glass rattling. My first thought was a bookcase or something had fallen over in the apartment above mine, but I checked my balcony and discovered ...
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A female spruce grouse isn't something one normally expects to find on one's third floor balcony ... they're not notable for being high fliers. Most likely she took off from somewhere on the far side of the courtyard ... the slope is steep enough that the top of it isn't very far below me (my building marks the downslope boundary of the courtyard). She was standing and took a couple of steps when I first checked so I don't think she's injured, just a little disoriented and possibly confused by the bars of the balcony railing. Their spacing is more than wide enough for her to get through but it just may take her a while to figure that out. Will keep an eye on her and do something about taking her down to ground level later if she doesn't manage it herself.

Edited to add: went back to the balcony to check after posting this and she's scooched under the railing and perched on the very edge of the concrete, so she's clued in and able to take off whenever she wants.

Second edit: I just got to see her take flight so all is good. :-) She explored her way right to the very corner of the balcony and got under the railing again there so that she could get her wings spread for flight before launching. That was my only concern about her being able to get off the balcony herself ... grouse aren't drop and then flap birds, they need to be able to spread their wings and do a downflap first and that wasn't going to be possible in the mid-balcony spot where she had originally got under the railing unless she leaned out far enough to overbalance and fall.

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Just discovered that Adam Warren is now republishing "Empowered" online, one page per day starting with volume one (the print series is currently nine main-series volumes, plus a volume of outside-the-main-plot short stories, with volume ten currently in production). Since some pages fall into NSFW territory I'm gonna link you to the cover image for volume one rather than the shorter homepage URL which takes you to the to the most recently posted page (and anyway, you're going to want to start at the beginning, right?)

I love "Empowered". This series is the poster child for not judging a book by its cover ... Adam Warren has been writing/drawing something amazing over the past decade. It's simultaneously a spoof and a serious criticism of the conventions of mainstream superhero comics, an often snarky commentary on how female characters are perceived and portrayed in those same comics, and a powerhouse superhero comic in itself which is like nothing you've ever read before. with some of the most amazing and multi-dimensional characters I've ever read. It got a hefty load of serious under what looks like a fluffy surface. The first few stories might have you wondering about my taste and alleged sanity in saying all this but trust me. Read every page. Don't skip. Because you gotta start with the set-up and I'll warn you now that Warren plays the long plot game and today's trivial throwaway detail can be the seed of a major plot several volumes later (kinda like "Babylon 5" where clues to what was to come were often planted in plain sight in early episodes). Stick with it and hopefully you will, like me and all the other fans, find you're suddenly hooked on these characters and their lives and relationships and are dying to know what happens next.

Bonus reading with this page-a-day freebie is Warren's own commentary on each page as he looks back on these early days; the background info he's providing is interesting.

Hope you're willing to try "Empowered". And that you like it. :-)

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I think my mouth just found religion. :d
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Nipped across the street to Cracovia after work today to pick up some long weekend essentials ... bread, ham, coffee. And then had my caught by some new packaging which turned out to be something called "coffee wafers". And the cashier, who rarely talks beyond the minimum requirement (most of the staff don't speak a lot of English) raved on and on to me about how these were something new and how wonderful and amazing they were and how everybody loved them (one of many reasons to love this store ... just about everything in stock has been taste-tested by the employees) and made sure I put them in my bag last because "they're fragile."

So. Happy Moka Coffee Wafers. Stand by for a report from my tastebuds later this evening (I need to eat some food of substance first before I start into the sugar, no matter how divine).

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White Code fabric

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A few years ago, when I was making posts about favourite books and series, one of them was about Barbara Paul's Marian Larch series. I'd read all seven books but only owned copies of the last three, all them were long out of print and I knew one of these days I was really going to have to go on an Alibris/Abebooks hunt to try to find Canadian sources if possible and, ever the optimist, maybe even one that had all four of the titles I lacked (it's miraculously happened before)

And then, last week, I was indulging my usual habit of typing out-of-print authors into the Kobo website (because they have a habit of acquiring ebook-selling rights to many otherwise unavailable gems o' the past). And lo! Barbara Paul is suddenly listed! (and I know she wasn't a couple of months ago). Not just the Marian Larch books, this looks like it might be ALL her mystery output! Priorities though, I grabbed my long-wished-for four Larches first and am now halfway through the second and loving 'em just as much as the first time around. And remembering all kinds of details about why I wanted to be able to read them again ... one of the main being Marian Larch herself. Not young or glamorous or even mildly pretty (she's actually considered "potato faced" by one character in the first book), not a clothes horse or tiresome label/brand name dropper, just an ordinary person who works at being a good cop despite bureaucracy and having to deal with laziness, obnoxiousness and sexism on the job (though she has good co-workers as well). She's realistic and interesting, with a variety of intriguing friends and relationships that evolve in a believable way. The cases/mysteries are good too. But they're made excellent by the characters.

And while I won't claim Barbara Paul is Arturo Pérez-Reverte, she does have a way with words. Marian's thoughts in "The Renewable Virgin" (volume one):
Catching a murderer isn't the cause for celebration you might think. There's no good feeling to it. It's a depressing scene, and the main feeling is one of shame. Shame that we should be like this; you look at a killer and you see a piece of humanity that's failed in its essential nature, that of being humane. The last thing in the world you want to do is go out and hoist a few and congratulate yourself for being so clever. Catching killers is just something that has to be done, like carrying out the garbage. They're both disease preventatives.

Edited to add: Because that original post only included links to the descriptions of the three books actually in my possession at the time I'm going to relist the series with descriptive links to all the titles here:

1 The renewable virgin
2 He huffed and he puffed
3 Good King Sauerkraut
4 You have the right to remain silent
5 The apostrophe thief
6 Fare play
7 Full frontal murder

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"Born to be wild" does NOT work as a glacially slow, twangy, hillbilly-style country tune. Not even (I can't even decide if this is "not even" or "especially not" ... my brain is twitching too hard) when you keep changing the pace by singing the chorus really really fast (and far too many repetitions) before going back to glacially slow for the next verse.

(it started playing on the radio as I was checking my email while waiting for the kettle to boil and just finished now and I do not ever EVER EVER want to hear it again. ***shudders***)

P.S. The DJ, who normally has excellent taste, has now resumed playing tunes that are unlikely to cause permanent nervous system injury.
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Natural sciences shelves close-upCollapse )

And the knitting books that are actually in the bookcase at the momentCollapse )

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Belebtes Moor. Sharp eyes will spot a fourth dragonfly near the upper edge of the middle green section. :-)

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This Irish comedian was addictive and essential TV viewing when I was in my teens. Enjoy!





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Coconut yogurt ... my tastebuds are in love! (this is real shredded coconut ... lots of it ... not a mere flavouring)

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I was in a Queen listening mood for a chunk of today before moving on to the Wilsons and Heart. And now my brain just tried to burn itself out in a musical explosion trying to imagine Freddie Mercury and Ann Wilson belting out a duet (I know it never happened and never can. But it woulda been WOW!)
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Love watching the members of Led Zeppelin in the second video almost as much as listening to the Wilsons perform the song; Robert Plant quite obviously has tears in his eyes near the end.



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Discovered this one-off half hour show yesterday, thanks to it beginning after the end of one of my regular shows: A Sense of History, written and performed by Jim Broadbent (who was, once upon a long time ago, the Spanish Infanta's translator in the first series of "Blackadder"). Deliciously dark-humoured mockumentary with a twist at the end. :-)

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Two skeins of Colinette Jitterbug (100% merino) in "Autumn Leaves". This colourway goes way beyond autumn (on this planet, anyway) ... though the initial visual impression is of the vivid yellows I think every colour that exists is somewhere in these skeins. :-) (Okay, I don't see any green. On the outside. But with Jitterbug, being handpainted with the colours overlaying and merging into each other, anything is possible once one gets inside the skeins) (Next day edit: found a couple of dark green spots on one of the skeins, where blue appears to have been accidentally dripped ... something that happens with handpainted and adds to their uniqueness ... in both instances right where yellow is transitioning to orange on the strand so that's why they're dark green instead of bright green

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Yep, BBC Radio online again. This time they're repeating Kenneth Williams reads: Cold Comfort Farm and oh! what reading it is! He was obviously having a ball with the voices and accents and over-the-top descriptions of everyone and everything. The book has been on my to-read list and I suspect that when I finally get 'round to reading it myself my brain is going to be using Williams' voice instead of my own.

A new segment is being made available each day this week (three are up as I type this) with the usual one month listening window for each.

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Was made aware of this BBC Radio series through cataloguing the companion book: "Incarnations: India in 50 lives". Available as downloadable individual podcast episodes or compiled into omnibus episodes (not downloadable ... yet), each containing several of the podcasts. Have been playing the omnibus eps (the easiest way to hear the series in order) and been quite enthralled ... highly recommended if you enjoy learning the history that wasn't in your textbooks. :-)

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The Spring 2016 issue of Twist Collective has been released! My favourites are:

Zellige
Wrought
Flux
Parcel
Epiphany

Also contains an interesting article on the history of bathing suits.

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... from my John Wyndham re-readathon (though I did finish all my print copies and one ebook, with a couple more ebooks still in reserve) to pick back up on my old plan to try to read every book which had a representative illustrated in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. So I'm now just over 100 pages into Heavy Planet which is all Hal Clement's Mesklin tales, two novels and two short stories, together in one volume (The novel "Mission of Gravity" is the official Barlowe connection).

I read SO much science fiction SO voraciously (basically everything in sight, good, bad or mediocre) in my high school and college years that I wasn't sure if I'd ever read Clement before. I suspect not ... that sense of humour would have stuck in my brain. The Mesklin (original Barlowe image here, not recommended for those who dislike creepy-crawlies) are a marvelous creation and have made me realize (not for the first time) that the majority of science fiction movies and television really shortchange us on varying sizes of other species ... most of their intelligent nonhuman lifeforms are withing human size variation because slapping a forehead and some makeup on a live actor is the cheapest way to go (kudos to "Farscape on this one for using muppetry to give us large-scale Pilot and small-scale Rygel). A movie adaptation featuring Clement's 15-inch long Mesklin is something I'd really love to see (insert here usual proviso of provided it was done well, bore some resemblance to the original stories, etc., etc.)

Wonder if Peter Jackson is looking for a new project ...

Here's a sentence that made me laugh out loud; the Mesklin sailing ship captain Barlennan, who is the main POV in "Mission of Gravity" and the first of his species to make contact with humans, comes to a new conclusion about the type of people who opt for his professsion of wandering seafaring trader: "The captain, thinking over this event afterward, realized that by his own lifelong standards he had a crew composed entirely of lunatics, with himself well to the front in degree of aberration; but he was fairly sure that this particular form of insanity was going to be useful."

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The problem is this: buying knitting patterns is SO much faster and easier then making them. Yeah, I've been shopping. And justifying it using the rather dubious reasoning that they are cheaper than yarn ... (though using the supporting and encouraging the famous designers of tomorrow excuse might work better)

Tiebreaker
Labyrinthus
Road Trip

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