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January 2nd, 2018


08:38 pm - Books read in 2017 ...
Angel of Storms - Trudi Canavan
The Rhesus Chart - Charles Stross
Magic for Nothing - Seanan McGuire
The Annihilation Score - Charles Stross
An Accident of Stars By Foz Meadows
Challenges of the Deeps - Ryk E Spoor
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
The Nightmare Stacks - Charles Stross
A Tyranny of Queens - Foz Meadows
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho
Fix - Ferrett Steinmetz
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemison
The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemison
The Stone Sky - N.K. Jemison
Raven Strategem - Yoon Ha Lee
Kaleidoscope Century - John Barnes
The Many-Colored Land - Julian May
The Golden Torc - Julian May
The Nonborn King - Julian May
The Adversary - Julian May
Intervention - Julian May
Jack the Bodiless - Julian May


The last 7 books on the list are re-reads, which is something I hardly ever do. If I only have time to read 20-odd books in a year, I generally want them to be something new.
I chose those books for re-reads for different reasons - the Barnes, because I remembered that he wrote a few books dealing with "meme wars" (not the kind we get on the Internet these days :) ), and wanted to see if how his world compared to our one.

Unfortunately, I think I actually wanted to read "Orbital Resonance", the first book in the sequence, because the main thing I noticed about Kaleidoscope Century was how unlikeable the main character was, and how rapey (and sexist and racist) it was.

Hearing about Julian May's death in 2017 prompted me to see if those books were still worth reading - and broadly speaking, the answer was yes indeed. Intervention was a bit slow-moving after the Saga of the Exiles, and now that I'm in the final book of the Mileau Trilogy I'm not 100% sure if I've read them all before - in the Saga, I had at least a vague idea of the main plot lines, but I'm not getting the same feeling in the later books. But they're all enjoyable reads and I've had a few late nights reading them lately.



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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

(En garde !)

April 6th, 2017


11:30 pm - DW and LJ
In case anyone is looking for me on Dreamwidth, same username as on LJ (since, ummm ... 2009 !)



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(En garde !)

January 5th, 2016


10:22 pm - Movies in 2015 ...
Well, I'm cheating a bit, because I only saw one at the cinema, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I want to note down a few thoughts I had on it ...

First, the nitpicks (and these are pretty small things):
1. At some point I started noticing the sounds of peoples' footsteps, and they were just slightly jarring - first because they sounded just like some of the footstep sounds used in some Star Wars games (thinking of Jedi Knight mainly), and second because right at the end, when someone is climbing stone steps, the footstep sound used is far too loud for the situation (I could go up similar stone steps in my stompy boots almost silently, and the character involved wasn't wearing stompy boots ... ).[1]

Ok, this might be mildly spoilery ... Collapse )

Now for other thoughts:
As many people better with words than me have noted, this film had lots of different audiences to attempt to satisfy, and lots of functions to fulfill. Yes, it played safe and had many similarities to SW IV, but it provides a good launching point for the next film. (Of course, if the next one(s) repeat plots from V & VI too closely, then I'll be somewhat disappointed).

For me, the film achieved something else - it made me want to read, play or watch something Star Wars-related afterwards, which is not something I've felt great drive to do in recent years.
I'm also considering seeing it again, which (with two small children in the house) is definitely saying something good about it.

Anyway, overall opinion is "thumbs up", definitely worth watching.


[1] There might be a bit of circularity happening here, as I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Jedi Knight games had some work done by ILM (and/or people who'd worked on the original trilogy), so maybe the games got the footsteps sounds from the movies in the first place, and VII is just re-using the same "soundscape".



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Current Mood: geekygeeky

(3 touches | En garde !)

04:13 pm - Poking people with swords in 2015 ...
Fencing results from 2015 - no competitions outside Melbourne last year, for obvious reasons :)

State Open Epee 1: Quarter-finals (7th)
State Open Epee 2: Quarter-finals (8th)
State Open Epee 3: Quarter-finals (7th)
State Open Epee 4/Championships: Quarter-finals (8th)
State Veteran Epee 4/Championships: 2nd

National Open Epee #3: 33rd
National Veteran Epee #3: 1st

Consistent, I guess, but I was hoping to reach the medal zone in at least one of the Open comps (like the previous two years). On the other hand, I had been making it along to State Squad roughly once a month (with Mr3 in tow) in the past couple of years, and didn't manage that last year. Once Ms0 is old enough, I'll try to get back into the routine ...



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Current Mood: groggydazed

(En garde !)

04:03 pm - Two wheels in 2015 ...
So I managed to do a bit of cycling in 2015, but see if you can spot a number in the list below which stands out in some way from the others :

6279
6522
5002
6246
5029
3159

... yup, the last figure is the km cycled in 2015, way down from the previous five years. This was partly due to the baby arriving, but mostly due to having some kind of cold, cough, sniffle, or combination, for 11 weeks of the year (including the one that helpfully went around the whole family just before Christmas). The first of those left me coughing persistently for 5 weeks, and apparently that set the tone for the year.



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Current Mood: groggydazed

(1 touche | En garde !)

03:44 pm - Books read in 2015 ...
... wait, it's 2016 now ? How did that happen ?!

Anyway, apparently I managed to read a few books in 2015, despite our little arrival :

Ink-Black Magic, by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
The Lives of Tao, by Wesley Chu.
Spheres of Influence, by Ryk E Spoor.
The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
Flex, by Ferrett Steinmetz
Hammered, by Kevin Hearne
The Future Falls, by Tanya Huff
Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow
The Witches of Echo Park, by Amber Benson
Thief's Magic, by Trudi Canavan
My Real Children, by Jo Walton.
The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin.
Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor
Guardians of Paradise, by Jaine Fenn
Smoke and Mirrors, by Neil Gaiman
God's Demon, by Wayne Barlowe
A Red-Rose Chain, by Seanan McGuire
Blood of Tyrants, by Naomi Novik
The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende.
Mad Skills, by Walter Greatshell
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman.



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Current Mood: groggydazed

(4 touches | En garde !)

April 13th, 2015


08:47 pm - Baby !
Lisa and David are pleased to announce the arrival of a baby girl !
Time: 11:42am. Weight: 3.9kg. Length: 52.5cm.
Mum and Bub are well and resting.



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Current Mood: excitedexcited

(6 touches | En garde !)

April 6th, 2015


10:24 pm - In Limbo ...
At one point on Friday night, rwrylsin and I were totally convinced that Bub2's arrival was imminent (as in, bags-in-the-car, emergency-babysitter on red alert, prepare to announce 4/4 as Bub2's date of birth to the world, and to tell work that I wouldn't be in for a month).

... but it didn't happen. There have been contractions, back-aches, appetite and energy fading in and out, kicking and shifting of Bub2, but no arrival yet.

If nothing else happens before then, Bub2 will be induced next Monday anyway, although we're still thinking we're on for arrival sometime this week.
So it's back to waiting ...

... and coughing. I came down with some nasty virus early last week - so wiped out that I spent half of Tuesday in bed, didn't even stagger along to fencing training that evening. It's mostly involved coughing ... so much coughing. rwrylsin has had a similar cough for weeks now - our theory is that she can't fill her lungs up enough to really shift the "slime" that's built up (since there's Bub2 in the way), so it just persists and drives her to distraction.

I suspect it was a delayed reaction to the last 6 weeks or so, which have been flat-out busy, both at work and around the house. We've had bathroom renovation when half the tiles in a shower started falling off, room movements to get Bub1 out of the nursery and into his own room, which meant moving rwrylsin's office across a room, plus various painting, fixing, etc. On top of this, our club was involved in a couple of fencing demonstrations, there was a fencing tournament, a birthday party for Bub1, and so on - basically, I spent all of February and March thinking "no, I can't get sick now, I have to do X" every time I felt a tickle in my throat - and we finally reached the last commitment just over a week ago, and it all caught up with me.
I'm finally feeling mostly improved, but quickly running out of energy, and still coughing.

... and waiting. Whee. We should probably pick a name :-)



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(2 touches | En garde !)

March 17th, 2015


05:08 pm - iTunes migration ...
So, here's the situation.

Currently, my music gets synced from my old laptop, running Windows XP, and iTunes 7.1.

I have two other computers :
New desktop with Windows 8.1, no iTunes yet.
Old-ish Mac Mini, with OS X 10.6.8, iTunes 11.4.

I want to get the iTunes library off the XP machine, and onto one of the others.

Is it possible to migrate the library and retain the playlists, favourites, play count etc ?

If so, what's the best way ? Should I try to upgrade iTunes on the XP machine, or copy the files to one of the others and import somehow ?



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Current Mood: curiouscurious

(1 touche | En garde !)

February 12th, 2015


12:14 am - Books read in 2014 ... a bit late :)
13 books read in 2014 ... not much reading time around these days, apparently.

Ecko Rising, by Danie Ware
Ecko Burning, by Danie Ware
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Disappearance of Ember Crow, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
Half-Off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M Valente
Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Fractal Prince, by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Oath of the Vayaputras, by Amish Tripathi
Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
The Human Division, by John Scalzi
The Winter Long, by Seanan McGuire



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Current Mood: calmcalm

(En garde !)

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