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The Bibliophile
Too busy reading most likely ...
jlsjlsjls
Much faster than the previous socks; nonboring yarn is SO much more fun to knit!



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How I'm feeling: pleased pleased

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More Prothero-irreverence love ...

"Sloths and armadillos and their kin are the two most familiar families of the Xenartha. The third are the anteaters, which are place in the group Vermilingua, which means "worm tongue" in Latin. (There is no known connection to the villainous Grima Wormtongue in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.)"

And the section on the mammals with evergrowing incisors is, of course, titled "Rodents of Unusual Size" ;-)

Overall a nice little book; not deep or overly detailed but one of those informative, engaging (and fun) overviews that puts the general evolution of known large South American faunas, ranging from early protomammals of Gondwana to recent mammals, birds, and reptiles, in ecological and historical perspective and serves as a guide to things to find out more about (lots of critters that don't often get a mention in the more-usually-North America/Euro-centric-with-an-occasional-dash-of-Asia palaeontology books). South American dinosaurs are included, of course, but kept in perspective (and a single chapter) as they existed for only a small percentage of the timeline covered.

And now I have a strong urge to grab my copy of Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" to re-read it ...

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How knitters fix screw-ups when there's no way in hell they're gonna rip out multiple rows and reknit them: Damn damn damn

P.S. This is just a mild example ... I've seen cable surgery (to fix one crossed the wrong way discovered after the sweater was finished) that was as suspenseful as observing open heart surgery on a living being.

P.P.S. The most radical repair I've done myself was on my Pea Vines shawl. See that narrow spine of tiny leaves running up the centre? When I was close to finished I noticed one leaf that didn't look right and ended up dropping down thirty rows to fix it, then restoring stitches (in lacy leafy pattern) all thirty rows back up to my then-current position in the pattern.

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"When I was an undergraduate, from 1972 to 1976, geology instruction around the country was just beginning to make the transition from old ideas to plate tectonics."

--"Giants of the Lost World" by Donald R. Prothero

Reading the above pleased me greatly. Because in my small town, back of the beyond high school, I was taught plate tectonics as established fact in tenth grade geography (1976/77). More proof that Mr. B. was obviously keeping up with latest developments, which really shouldn't surprise me at all. As I recall we didn't make much use of the textbook in his class ... instead we saw slides of his own photographs of glaciers, rock formations, and caves that he'd climbed/hiked/explored himself during his vacations (including lugging his own hundreds of flashbulbs into the latter just to be able to take one photo in the pitch darkness, and then lugging 'em all back out again to be disposed of properly) plus the river he had set up at the front of the classroom.** I loved that class!

**The river set-up was très cool and one of the finest teaching tools I've ever seen. A table with a huge plastic tray, about 2 metres long by 1 metre wide and mebbe 15 centimetres deep. Coarse sand with some pebbles scatterd through it piled nearly up to the top at one end and sloping down gradually to create a slope for about 3/4 of the length with the final 1/4 showing the bare base of the tray. Water carefully poured in to create a "lake" at that sandless end. Small quiet water pump on the floor under the table. An outlet in the side of the lake end drains the water out through a tube to be pumped through a second tube up to second opening near the top of the high piled sand end where it then runs gently back down to the lake. Round and round the water goes and over the three-month school term we watch the water go from just flowing over the surface of the sand to cutting a shallow straight channel which eventually deepens, develops bends and curves and undercut banks as it encounters pebbles which alter the currents, deposits the eroded sand at its mouth to create a delta which eventually breaks up the single river into a network of delta channels and so on and so on ... millennia of river formation happening before our eyes in a small scale short time. If he'd kept it running through a second term there would have been oxbow lakes!

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Checking out Dreamwidth's new image loading/hosting by sharing the cover of a new book I got last Friday: Prothero, IMO, is the BEST! He makes academic reading fun! (I mean that ... I own a hefty, textbookish-looking tome of his on the evolution of artiodactyls, massive enough to stun a bison if you whacked it over the head with the thing. On the inside the guy quotes Douglas Adams. Twice. Lengthy quoting)



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Guess who actually remembered to bring her booknotes home from work!!!

Which means there's a new book list posted over at [personal profile] catdesk ... Enjoy!!!

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How I'm feeling: accomplished accomplished
Sound of the moment: BBC 4 Extra: "The Men from the Ministry"

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Finally, FINALLY!!! the Incredibly Boring Socks are finished. I love the colours, I love the finished fabric, I love the fit. But knitting them was brainmelting just because the colour sequence was SO predictable: 3 stitches of red, 3.5 stitches of blue, 3 stitches of green, over and over and over and over and ... well, you get the idea. My brain has just been totally spoiled by the stimulating variety of handpaints, the random colour sequences/combos of Crazy Zauberballs, and other fun yarns.
DSCN1512_20170211_1346
DSCN1517_20170211_1351

And, before the needles even had time to cool off, I cast on a new pair of socks, this time in totally non-boring Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line. While there IS a colour repeat eventually it takes 9 cm (nearly 4 inches) of sock for that to happen. And Kaffe’s stripes have an assortment of wavy/bumpy/blurred edges instead of boring ol’ straight lines so I get to look forward to discovering which colours will do what (I’ve knitted socks with this yarn before, in a different colourway, so I know it’s going to be fun). Also trying a new pattern with an interesting heel construction that makes the socks reversible: Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher (I already know I’ll prefer to wear ‘em stockinette stitch side outwards but that doesn’t make the concept any less cool). So onwards, hopefully much faster!
DSCN1525_20170211_1359

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This is a GOOD month!

A shiny new ninth series of Fry's English Delight began today!!! First episode is, like all the ones before, utterly marvelous!!!

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How I'm feeling: cheerful cheerful

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I started to hand sew when I was five and to use a sewing machine when I was nine (a matter of having finally grown tall enough to operate the foot pedal). Somewhere in childhood (can't pin any of them down to an exact age) I learned embroidery and crewel (which is basically larger-scale embroidery with yarn instead of floss), tapestry stitching (including bargello), rug hooking, hand quilting, macramé, cross-stitch and other similar arts. When I was seventeen I taught myself to knit from a how-to pamphlet. Tried tatting in my twenties and liked it but never could find a decent shuttle to really give it a go (the cheapie metal and plastic ones available today are crap). Took a hardanger class in my thirties ... piece o' cake. My preferences are strongly towards knitting and sewing but overall if it involves fibre then I've generally found it easy to learn/master. And remember ... I know from experience that I can not do the thing for years and then dive back in as if I'd only been doing it yesterday.

Except.

Crochet.

For some reason I have never ever been able to retain crochet. I have relearned it from scratch, as if I'd never held a hook before in my life, several times since childhood but it simply won't stick. I can follow instructions, master stitches and truck along just fine (to the point where I've even cranked out a three-dimensional rose) provided I don't stop. If I set it aside to, y'know, get a night's sleep, then when I pick it up again (even if only eight hours later) it's gone. Back to the beginning and relearn as if it's completely new to me. ***sigh***

But the brain changes and benefits from change and hope never dies. So I'm planning on giving it another shot sometime this year. It's a time of an abundance of really good materials and, equally important, really good tools. I've only ever used Aero crochet hooks which are plastic-coated and blunt ... sorta the crochet hook equivalent of kiddie safety scissors (they were the only thing available at the time). So I've placed an order for some DyakCraft hooks (the same folks who produce those high-end knitting needles that I love) because I know from experience that better equipment really does help. I've loads of good quality natural fibre yarns on hand. Now I'm cruising through Ravelry looking for Irish lace patterns because that's the variant of crochet that I've always liked best (hence that three-dimensional rose ... Irish crochet tends towards patterns of often-realistic flowers and leaves, sometimes 3D).

And discovering that for some strange reason some of the nicest Irish lace designs currently available are from Japan: designers, publishers, and language.

This is going to be interesting ...

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BBC Radio 4 is rerunning "My First Planet", with episode one currently (at the time of this post) having 27 days left to listen. New eps will be available late Wednesdays/early Thursays.

This one contains quite a few hilariously original ways colonizing another planet could go wrong. Not to mention the hazards of having both a mad scientist AND a mad doctor as part of the group (and often in competition with each other)

And if you think the chap standing front and centre in the promo photo looks familiar, you're right ... his much younger self starred in "Only Fools and Horses" and "Butterflies" (and in tons of other shows/films between then and now)

Highly HIGHLY recommended!!!

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New Josh Ryks: Epicenter

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Tonight I started re-reading season one of "The witch who came in from the cold" (finished the first two episodes) to get all plot points fresh in my memory because ***cue happy dancing here*** season two starts next Thursday!!!!!

If my use of the terms season and episode in regards to reading seems a little confusing, that's what the publisher calls 'em ... each weekly "episode" (chapter) of the "season" (novel) is planned to take about the same time to read as you would take to watch an hour-long tv show (with all the commercials removed so really closer to about forty minutes). anotheranon introduced me to this site last year and it's very good stuff. :-) Now that I've a little more reading time I've downloaded the first episodes of "Tremontaine" and "Bookburners" to try out as well (the first ep of each tale is free, just to get you nicely hooked). This year some of the completed seasons are now being released as hard copy books (ebook options are individual episodes or a single ebook compilation once the season has finished)

Serial instalments are how a lot of classic novels were originally published; I like to think that Serial Box is creating some of the classics of the future. :-)

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"But in this world all beliefs were true. In this world the gods came first, then men recreated them in images they preferred."

"The gods of the Androyans reflected the northern folk themselves. Which meant that they were rowdy, drunken, not too bright, drunken, violent, drunken, and short-sighted. While often drunk."

--"The Tyranny of the Night" by Glen Cook

Not a good world in which to be a chosen-for-a-mission of the gods ... ;p

I started reading this book, in "Oh boy, Glen Cook!" mode, a long while back. Not a good idea while operating with a very tired, over-overtimed brain ... got halfway through and was totally lost (huge, continent-spanning cast, history, politics, and alliances that takes a lot of keeping track of). Started over again yesterday and, being in a much better brainstate, am loving it!!! (as I knew I should because Glen Cook!)

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How I'm feeling: relaxed relaxed

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My Library Thing account’s most recently-added items display as of today ...

mylibrarything

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Sound of the moment: Disturbed: "Believe"

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Guest stars revealed as filming starts on Upstart Crow Series 2 ... Emma Thompson as Elizabeth I!

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"My God, Duncan, that's it, I've found her! She's the one! The woman of my dreams!"
"What, her? She doesn't have a beak. Or your mother's voice."
"No, no, the GOOD dreams! The ones I have to confess!"

--relistening to "The Castle", series one, episode five

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How I'm feeling: sleepy sleepy

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Home Alone: Scottish Archivist Version (actually he's originally from New Zealand but "Born in New Zealand, Grew Up In England, Now Lives In Scotland Archivist" kinda lacks conciseness)

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How I'm feeling: amused amused

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That sixth Andrzej Sapkowski "Witcher" book I was eagerly awaiting showed up at work today: The Last Wish. Happy weekend reading to me!!!!!!!!!!!!

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"I love dust. After fluff it's my all-time favourite dirt!"

--Kryten, "Red Dwarf XI"

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First day back at work today. What a nasty shock to the system to be woken by an alarm clock after three weeks of indulging my mind and body in running on their own schedules. But a very pleasant surprise to not find any horrors in my inbox and to have been able to get through it and then on to the joys of cataloguing in just a little over an hour (there have been times when taking a mere extended weekend led to an inbox that took half a day to take care of). Was hoping the one Andrzej Sapkowski book that hadn't arrived before Christmas would be waiting on my desk but it's still on order. Did, however, get the consolation prize of my shiny new copy of Mike Mignola/Chris Golden's "Empty Graves (volume 7 of their "Baltimore" graphics series)

On home front, last Thursday I received a notice of apartment entry to replace the toilet today. Not a repair or a request on my part ... judging from the number of older models sitting outside the door when I got home tonight they were doing this for all the longer term tenants (= apartments that haven't been available for remodeling while vacant). So now my bathroom is home to a fancy shmancy new low-water-use, flush-with-a-button-on-top-of-the-tank "throne. Along with that they also fitted new water control gizmos to my kitchen and bathroom sink faucets and, for some reason known only to the property management gods, replaced the water-conserving shower head they only just installed last June. (not complaining because I can see the new one has choice of spray settings while the previous new one didn't)

Wonder what excitement tomorrow will bring? (apart from the weekly department heads meeting) ;p

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How I'm feeling: relaxed relaxed

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Andromeda Mittens. I've seen other make-a-picture mittens but they've all been symmetrical mirror images; this is the first assymmetrical pattern I've seen and it's far more interesting than the others just because of that (well, and for the subject matter as well *grin*)

Edited to add: Oooooooh! Another gem by the same designer: Solar System Blanket. I lack the crazy to knit a blanket (all that time and labour for something that's next to impossible to clean and could be ruined in the process? nuh uh) but that doesn't stop me from admiring the idea and execution.

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How I'm feeling: cheerful cheerful

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I've just posted a new book list over at catdesk ... enjoy your browsing!

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"The Forest of Certain Death ..."
"Yes."
"Why is it called that?"
"That's its name."
"And is it a particularly dangerous place at all?"
"Why do you ask that?"
"It's called The Forest of Certain Death."
"It had never occurred to me before."
"So is it?"
"I have absolutely no idea. Nobody has ever returned to tell the tale."

--Elvenquest

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How I'm feeling: amused amused
Sound of the moment: Elvenquest

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The very boring socks now have very boring heels! Well, actually things got a tiny bit more interesting towards the end of the gusset, just before turning the heel, because a bit of colour pooling happened due to shifting caused by the increasing number of stitches. But now that the heels are completed and the leg portion is back to the narrower circumference it's back to predictable colour sequences without any chance of that happening again ... it's just onwards 'round and 'round until I run out of yarn (haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do the usual ribbing at the tops or try something different)
DSCN1504_20170110_1338

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Convergence cover art!!!

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How I'm feeling: excited excited

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This morning, long before I came across the Sophie Solomon new album news, I had to be out and about and figured that, since I was all bundled up and in the winter cold already, I might as well detour to the nearest HMV instead of going directly home and pick up Disturbed's "Believe" CD (which hadn't been in stock in the downtown store when I was in there last month)

A few more things sorta followed me home (I purely-by-chance did okay out of their 2 for $20.00 stickers) ...

Believe by Disturbed (because I did, amazingly, actually pick up what I went in for first (that doesn't always happen)
Fire and Gasoline, by Lee Aaron.
Folon, by Salif Keita.
The Rough Guide to Ethiopian Jazz (which I'm listening to as I type this and OH!!! it is wonderful!!! ... I've never met a Rough Guide album I didn't love)
The Rough Guide to Acoustic Africa (2 CD special edition with bonus CD by Noumoucounda Cissoko)

And ... the Red Dwarf XI DVD!!!!! Guess how I spent my afternoon? ;-) Short version: Hilarious. The Cat explaining to Lister his confused and combined version of two well-known pieces of science history-legend (which, according to him, led to the invention of gravy) had me barely managing not to spray hot chocolate all over the living room.

I need to go watch all six episodes again now ...

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SOPHIE SOLOMON IS GOING TO RELEASE A SECOND ALBUM!!!!! (her first was back in 2005 so you understand why I'm a wee tad excited, right?)

And for those drawing a blank, this is Sophie Solomon:



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I actually finished my Pool & Conquer cowl in November and have worn it several times ... it is most warm and cozy and while that "hood" at one end doesn't look like much when lying flat, it works and stays in place perfectly on a three-dimensional head. Plus the colours do much to brighten up drab and dreary frigid winter days:
DSCN1489_20170108_1323

Have reluctantly set aside The Null Hypothesis for the moment (though I feel quite chuffed at advancing it from 40% to 46% done) in favour of picking up another long-neglected project that has a chance of being finished before I go back to work next week. So yesterday I got these very boring socks to the point where I could (and did) begin the gusset increases. With luck (okay, self-discipline), I should have the gussets finished and the heels at least started if not entirely turned today. Note that I do love the colours and the knitted fabric; the "very boring" part comes from this being a mass-produced variegated colourway which means which colour comes next and how many stitches it'll be is monotonously predictable (hand-dyed and hand-painted yarns are far more brain-engaging)
DSCN1500_20170108_1334

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The Snowflake: winter's frozen artistry by Kenneth Libbrecht and Rachel Wing.

Fascinating and packs a lot of info into its mere 144 (heavily illustrated) pages, thus proving that concise and plain language is a far better and efficient use of one's text space than showing off with unnecessary syllables and flowery phrases. An excellent beginner's introduction to exactly how snow crystals form and then become snowflakes or one of a myriad of other forms of particles that make up snow. Also includes instructions for capturing and "fossilizing" snowflakes to prevent them melting (hint: involves glass slides and superglue) and photography tips, plus how to make synthetic snowflakes in a chest freezer.

And the photographs! Incredible, beautiful photographs! Even if you don't read a word of this book, it's worth having just for the photographs.

Authors have created Snow Crystals.com which also contains a lot of info and gorgeous photos (some from the book). You'll never be able to look at snow the same way again.

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How I'm feeling: lazy lazy

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Needed to nip out for a few grocery-type supplies and wanted to take care of it this afternoon rather than deal with weekend shoppers (because it's really nice to be able to leisurely wander the store and explore the shelves to learn what might-be-useful-someday oddities they stock without having to continually get out of the way of grumpy impatient people). And bundled up according to the Environment Canada website, which claimed -15C with -23C windchill. Which seems a little off to me as the contours of the snow outside seemed softer than this morning (usually a sign of warming) but I could have been imagining that. Note that all the weather data for Calgary is collected at the airport, which is about 4 km north of the city.

According to the office building digital info sign that I walk past on my way to the store it's only -4C in my neighbourhood. With no wind. Managed to get there and back again without actually melting but it was a near thing.

So note to self: Move finding a replacement outdoor thermometer up to the top of the to-do list so that you'll know actual local temperature. I inherited one when I moved into this place and judging from the model type that sucker had been out on that balcony for a very long time. But last summer the managing company cut down several of the trees in the courtyard (they'd suffered several years of storm damage and were ailing) and changed the wind patterns within said courtyard ... no more deflection away from my windows and balcony. So of course one blustery day last fall I found the thermometer lying on the balcony "floor" with the plastic casing smashed (including the little that fasten it to the metal wall bracket). So need to find a tougher model somewhere.

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She posted two more new Burgess Shale sock patterns this morning!

Selkirkia

Sidneyia

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How I'm feeling: geeky geeky

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... if I cross-post with an embedded video (and modified x-post note) ...



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How I'm feeling: curious curious

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For every other website I've ever saved to my links bar, the favicon remains the official one for the site. But the BookLikes favicon in my links bar has transformed into the userpic I use there instead of the official site favicon. Neat! (wonder if it'll revert to the site icon if I'm logged out? must try that sometime)

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Edit to add: And this one proves that you can post to Dreamwidth, realize that you forgot to tick the crosspost box (for those who have chosen not to activate the cross-post everything feature), and the edited post will then belatedly appear in LJ. Useful to know. :-)

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The songwriter/pianist neighbour in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" is the future Dave Seville from the original Alvin and the Chipmunks. ;-)

(using this vital info to test DW crossposting options)

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How I'm feeling: silly silly

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All 2016 videos restored to imported posts in Dreamwidth (along with a few from the second half of 2015)

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Have just set up a second account at Dreamwidth as "jlsjlsjls" (so if you want to friend me there the way you have here, that's now possible) and have begun the process of importing my LJ stuff over there as a backup. kejn, I'll check on and report the status of my Scrapbook images in posts when the import is completed.

Edited to add: Import completed. All recent Scrapbook images appear to be present and spot checked older entries also contain images that I know are from Scrapbook. Any missing images in older posts will most likely be the result of the great LJ Photo Album to LJ Scrapbook transfer debacle, when quite a few LJ users reported random images missing from their collections.

Posts with YouTube videos all showing a "bad lj code" message instead of the video. That one was easy to figure out because I noticed long ago that LJ always changes the YouTube embed code to something shorter when a post is saved. Easy manual fix on the most recent ... just clicked on them on LJ, went to YouTube view and retrieved full embed code, go to edit mode in same post in DW and replace LJ shortened embed code with complete embed code and save. Video now works in DW. Not going to do this for every imported post but will do for 2016 posts over the next little while (an easy job thanks to my habit of tagging every one of them as "viewing")

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Two newly-published Burgess Shale-inspired socks!

Acrothyra

Aysheaia

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jlsjlsjls
According to an update from the folks running the BookLikes site, the slowness I'd observed is a known recent issue that they're working to fix. Judging from the replies to this left by others they have pretty good track record of keeping users informed ... always a good sign. The site is running faster today though there's still a slight lag (nowhere near as bad as previously). I've been doing some more exploring and trying out features, mastering the navigation, etc. Must say that the public page where others can view your books is blessedly clean and simple, a refreshing change from Goodreads' clutter. Each member is assigned a blog within the site for their written reviews, which are then also linked to the individual books and can be accessed by clicking on the cover image; the standard five star (with half stars) rating system is also available. The blog approach is quite nifty as people are writing more than just reviews; there's a sort-of-Twitter-like timeline page that lets you view your own and all other members' recent activities in a chronological list so I'm seeing those entries interspersed with my own additions to my library on this site. Still have to figure out how (or if) one can browse through fellow members; one interesting aspect of the site is that I was automatically following a group of twenty-five other members as soon as I registered ... presumably a random group and I have the option to unfollow any/all of them but it's a nice touch to have a new member automatically included in the community this way.

Screencaps of my account's clutter-free front page layout (just realized I cropped it a little too close; there's a dashboard link at the very far upper right which is the path into the editing innards) and a closeup of the menu. Should add that another very nice feature is that members get to choose whether to have their blog, shelves, or timeline as their front page and get to choose whether either or any of the other two is included in the menu:
booklikesfrontpage booklikesfrontpagemenu

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Since today is the first day the rest of the city should be back at work/school, I figured I'd venture out and run a few errands in relative peace and quiet. However it's -20C plus windchill so nope, staying in to finish reading The Snowflake (and studying the window frost from the warm side of the glass), mebbe watching newly-acquired Death in Paradise series 4 DVDs and doing more knitting (winter wardrobe growth is always most appealing on cold days) instead.

Have been making progress on The Null Hypothesis when I needed a break from binge reading the Witcher books; portion indicated by green line has been added since I dug it out last week. Might not look like much but doubleknitting a non-repeating pattern is slow work (a repeating pattern can be memorized while this one requires checking every stitch on the chart to see what colour it has to be). Even so this green line-marked segment = 6% of the total length of the scarf so I'm calling it significant progress.
DSCN1469_20170103_1303
So now the whole thing looks like thisCollapse )

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3 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Have registered with BookLikes, just to check it out; a whole three books added have told me:

*The site runs slow. Most likely because it's relatively new and hasn't acquired big server power yet.
*Both navigation and adding specific editions of books to one's own shelves is much simpler/cleaner than Goodreads ... usually a single click/single screen instead of the layers that Goodreads makes one go through. Much closer to LibraryThing simplicity in this respect.
*Possible to add your own, correct cover image to an existing book record that lacks one without having to be registered as a librarian.
*Editing book info for a title already in one's shelf is also simple/layer-navigation-free.
*Possible to import from and synchronize with one's Goodreads account (which I'm not going to do because Goodreads has inflicted a cringeworthy number of incorrect cover images on my library and I'd like to see if the correct ones link in BookLikes); also an option for Kindle owners to synch with that account/device.
*Choice of cover or table display for shelves, with several customization options for what info displays and order of books. Table layout is clean and easy to read. Also some batch editing options in table view.
booklike

Short version: Thumbs up! BookLikes has a lot of potential if the makers lick that speed thing; structurally I like it far better than Goodreads and nearly as much as LibraryThing (which lets me enter/edit ALL data in my library to match my specific edition)

P.S. I'm registered as jlsjlsjls (surprise, surprise) if you plan to register or are already registered in BookLikes and want to connect.
P.P.S. I keep wanting to call it BookLike instead of BookLikes ... must find a screwdriver and make an adjustment to brain. ;p

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
A big con that means I will use DW as a backup but won't actually leave LJ to migrate there ... no image library (yet). It's possible to post images but only via email (which is not my preferred means of posting anything anywhere. But an image can only live within the post it was emailed into ... there's no access to storage to repost, rearrange, share directly outside of posting, etc. I load more images into LJ than I actually post here because I can link to them from outside locations when I wish. DW image hosting is under development (according to their FAQ) but it needs to become reality in a useful-to-me format before I would consider actually moving house. The only exception to this decision would be LJ actually going down in flames (in which case, yeah, I'd have no choice but for the backup to become home). Since one of the main things that seems to be concerning people is the security (or lack thereof) of their financial info on Russian servers and my LJ is, as I've mentioned somewhere, a lifetime account paid for in full long ago when LJ's creator was still in charge, I don't have that worry (if that credit card info is still on file it's more than a decade, two bank-instituted financial carrier changes, and at least one card number change out of date)

Further fiddling about: Goodreads widgets can be added to sidebar but they tend to become distorted due to space allocation. LibraryThing widgets can be added but only the LibraryThing link displays. A shame because, to me, LibraryThing widgets are preferable ... they have a changing display that rotates through one's entire library while the Goodreads widgets have a fixed display that will always only contain whatever books fit the parameters when you set it up (it'll only change if you manually redo and re-add it after your Goodreads account has been updated). LibraryThing's "animation" coding is presumably the reason for their nondisplay ... most likely more than Dreamwidth can handle at this time.

Sideline: Speaking of LibraryThing and Goodreads, I'm planning to take a look at the BookLikes site sometime soon. Site runs slow (for me anyway and it might be a holidays thing), but it does have the attraction of not having any Amazon tentacles in it (Amazon owns Goodreads and now a piece of LibraryThing as well); currently completely independent and free unlimited book space. And who knows, it might have Dreamwidth/LJ-compatible widgets. ;p

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Happy New Year Fireworks
2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Witcher and other male character who's become a regular get into disagreement that turns into rolling on the ground fight. Only to suddenly let go of each other going ow!ow!ow!ow!ow! Because fairly diminutive younger female character has had it up to here, whipped off her belt and is letting this pair of soldier/warrior types both have it until they break it up and is quite prepared to start in on the pair of 'em again if either makes one move towards the other that isn't an apology because she is not putting up with this shit from either of them.

Note that this isn't something that is a regular occurrence in these books but the the result of tensions that have building up over a couple of novels finally coming to a head ... all reactions quite realistic for the characters even though it's nothing any of them have done (or shown any signs of doing) before. Proof of good character development that it all makes sense and is simultaneously funny as hell (in the middle of tense scene) and dead serious.

Waiting until March for the next instalment is suddenly going to hurt twice as much as it was a few hours ago.

P.S. I've just decided I really need a Witcher userpic ...

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2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
I've copied the contents of my LJ catdesk account over to Dreamwidth, just to see how the whole importing thing works. New booklists will continue to appear here at LJ; the Dreamwidth thing is something I've actually been contemplating doing as a backup (because backups are GOOD things and have saved me many a time in the past) but just hadn't got 'round to until now (time on my hands plus more than one LJ friend posting about using the site as a just-in-case = sensible precaution finally taken)

Won't be friending (or connecting or whatever the heck they call it over there) any of my individual buddies with The Dreamwidth Catdesk account for the plain'n'simple reason that I never did so in LJ; Catdesk was originally created due to people wanting to share the title lists I was posting in my personal LJ account with bookloving friends and family but hesitant to do so because they didn't necessarily want said friends and family backtracking to their LJ accounts (this was back in the days when most people did prefer to leave their accounts public so they could "meet" and interact with fellow spirits but there might be just enough content to identify them to a not-so-fellow person from real life who had a path to follow ... and the various privacy and who-can-see-this-post settings weren't as good back then as they are now).

Once I've fiddled about with DW a bit more I'll copy my personal account over as well and will let you know when I do. Hopefully able to use the same username of my tripled initials as it's so convenient (you can find me anywhere online if you're in the know that that's what I use). Already bemoaning the fact that there's no lifetime accounts there; I've got quite spoiled here not having to remember to budget for renewal. Yeah, I know, first world problems ... ;p

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Doing kejn's first sentence from each month of the year meme because of the amusement potential if you read it as a story.

January: Just occurred to me, as I'm currently in the process of folding clean laundry, that I STILL fold pillowcases in the manner I was taught as a child.
February: ... because I've just successfully edited two webpages to have fixed navigation bars on the right.
March: I've just posted a new book list over at catdesk ... reading treats galore!
April: This was inside (okay, once again, it was actually in a boring old shipping envelope that nobody wants to see)
May: 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").
June: "I don't really like torturing Puritans ... you can never be sure they're not secretly enjoying it."--Satan, "Old Harry's Game"
July: HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!
August: "Do stop trying to show the occasional glimmer of intelligence. It's like finding caviar in a cheeseburger."--Absolute Power, series 4, episode 1
September: Hadn't realized how long I'd gone without posting.
October: It has been a crazy, hardworking summer, taking up many evenings and weekends, with the payoff of assistant and I having developed a faster, better method of handling starter collections by zigzagging between two softwares (we had eleven new school libraries to stock ... seven are now finished, one in progress, and three to go! (assistant and I are now anticipating the luxury of watching those last three pretty much build themselves now that we've done all the extensive set-up work ... Yay!)
November:
December: I haven't forgotten the pink sock of insanity, it's just that my hands needed a break from the stresses of dense twisted stitches on a small scale.

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
I belong to a group within Ravelry called "Selfish Knitters & Crocheters". It's part venting space, part support group, part a meeting of common minds. Mainly it's based on the fact that so many non-crafters see any crafter that they are related to, friends with, or just happen to see on the street as somebody who should be cranking out free (or horrifically underpriced) handmade goods for others on demand. Heavens forbid that somebody should dare to have a hobby that happens to result in useful things and actually get to enjoy it.

Wish I were joking but I'm not. New, just-learning crafters are especially vulnerable ... they proudly show that they've finally mastered the thing enough to have produced a few error-free rows and are bombarded with orders to make things. For the most part with unrealistic expectations of time and skill and no offers (or completely ludicrously cheap ones) of recompense for materials, tools or time. And far too often these newbies still lack the most important skill of all ... the ability to say no. They end up overwhelmed by demands and deadlines imposed by others and their new relaxing hobby turns into a hated nightmare.

The lucky ones discover or are directed to the SKC group, where the motto is "We make what we want, when we want, for whomever we want." The idea isn't that you only make stuff for yourself though that is the case for some members. The idea is that it's your skills, your time, your materials, and, most importantly, your choice. The group isn't really about selfishness but about promoting the importance of self-interest for one's own health and sanity ... something frequently called "selfish" by those demanding goods and services for nothing in return (hence the group name ... it's meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek). This is the place where people get advice on and support for setting boundaries, ways to say no (or yes or maybe), standing one's ground on those boundaries and declarations, and analyzing the personality types/relationships involved to choose the best method to use for all these things.

The group has its own vocabulary developed over the years: "gimmiepig", "demandypants", "voluntold/voluntelling" and quite a few others. Members share successes and joys along with frustrations and problems ... it's a community of people who "get it" no matter what because of the overall shared mindset.

The issues aren't unique to knitters/crocheters of course. We have members who are or know musicians, artists (painters, sculptors, etc.), artisans and crafters of other types (woodworkers, metalworkers, jewelers, weavers, sewers), computer folk, skilled trades (plumbers, carpenters, mechanics) and the problem is everywhere ... often with the added aggravation of the attitude that if you do it for a living then you should do it for your family and friends for free (or for a next to nothing so low it's insulting). After all, you're being asked to do it in your free/down time not your working hours and you like doing it/are good at it so why should you expect recompense? (or rest?) You name the skill/abilities and somebody somewhere figures they're entitled to it for nothing. :-(

All of this just to lead up to ...

THANK YOU MY FRIENDS. FOR COMMENTING WITHOUT DEMANDING. FOR NEVER EVER EVER LINKING ME TO (or even mentioning) THE FAD ITEM OF THE MOMENT (mermaid tail blankets, messy bun hats, dragon scale mitts, unicorn hats, and the multitude of other things that most of us would rather cut off our hands than make ... and if you don't know what any of those are then you score extra bonus points for having good taste). FOR BEING CIVILIZED BEINGS WHO KNOW BETTER!!!

LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!!! ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Okay, as far as I'm concerned Andrzej Sapkowski is now officially a storytelling god! Actually, to be honest, I was already in full worship mode long ago but then he goes and comes up with the vampire equivalent of alcoholism and keeping on the wagon (and no, this is nothing like Pratchett's black ribboners) and ... and ... it's pure bloody genius! As the entire Witcher series has been so far. Just started novel #4 and oh! it's going to hurt when I get to the end of that and then have to wait until mid-March 2017 for the next volume's English translation to be released.

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
I bought this "Dark Rainbow" yarn set at the Calgary Fibre Festival in mid-November and it (along with numerous other skeins of yarn) has been sitting on my desk ever since. I like having this heap o' yarn in plain view ... lets me see colours alongside each other to see how well they combine or clash (the heap gets rearranged regularly, mainly because I tend to knock it over reaching for things, so I'm continually getting exposed to new combos.

Anyhow, enough of my excuses for not putting my shopping away. ;p The yarn set in its originally packaging has been kinda bugging me ... love the colours but there was a wrongness about them. Finally figured out it's the yellow and the green. All the other colours are tonally close to their neighbours and flow into each other but this pair have a fairly high light/dark contrast and it's visually jarring (to my eyes, anyway). So I pulled the yarns out of the package and separated the combatants and oh, arranging the colours with the outer ends of the spectrum in the middle works so much better. A definite sense of flowing smoothly from dark to light as well as from colour to colour. (older photo of packaged yarn is colour-true; today's comparison photos are victims of wonky winter daylight is wonky winter daylight). So when I finally get 'round to knitting something from these the result will be a rainbow from another dimension where light breaks up differently. ;-)

DSCN1362_20161112_1202 - Copy
darkrainbowcomparison

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Though not significant enough to take photos of, IMO. Still every bit counts, no? Have just finished chart 3 of the Null Hypothesis. :-) Chart 4 is a an entanglement of pipes (think opening sequence of Monty Python) with whisps of vapour rising from the already-knitted beaker and flask visible between them.

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The gift of your thoughts
jlsjlsjls
Why some projects go faster than others (decided an IKEA pencil is probably the most reliable universal measure of scale on the planet). And posting this the fun and creative way since several components of LJ editor (and Scrapbook) are out of commission today (not just me, support is full of shiny new complaints, but my compulsion to comprehend the structure/mechanics of anything I use is once again paying off ***GRIN***)

From left to right, worsted weight, two strands of fingering weight, lace weight (fingering is the most commonly-used yarn size for knitting socks)


And those same yarns in knitted form comparing stitch sizes. Clockwise from left: multicoloured worsted, orange and dark green fingering, purple/blue lace


And a quick look at the current state of the Null Hypothesis, just out of its bag (hoping to at least finish the laboratory equipment section this week)

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2 thoughts or The gift of your thoughts