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I'm enjoying Snow Crash on the Shuffle as Mali and I continue our perambulations around the Avenues. The down side is that my podcasts are queueing up in the background, but this hardly constitutes the end of the world - at the moment, I'm just on the single book per month plan with audible, and re-acquainting myself with just how much iTunes sucks under Windows (srsly, everything grinds to a complete stop when I fire it up), but Ione isn't the most powerful of beasts, so perhaps some of the blame needs to be shared there.

Was insanely jealous to receive a text from [personal profile] carolanne5 informing me that she was in the pub sitting one table down from Peter F Hamilton - actually, having just been over to his site to check the URL, I note that The Evolutionary Void is now semi-complete, with a projected publication date of September this year. That definitely counts as good news :-)

Pimpin'

Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:49 am
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The fantabulous [personal profile] carolanne5 is planning to mark her fortieth year by attending forty festivals in 2010. You can keep track of her progress (and offer much encouragement) at [personal profile] fortyfestivals. So go on, Subscribe!
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2009 has been a bit of an up and down year, all told, but I think I'm ending it better than I started, and I'm hoping that's what's important.

I read a lot of books - my target was 36, and I got past that. Next year's target will again be 36, but I'm going to try and read more non-fiction (new Sook notwithstanding). And I'm definitely going to try to read less Stephanie Meyer in the new year. Heck, if I could unread Breaking Dawn, I most definitely would.

We moved buildings at work in October (if memory serves): overall, I prefer the new place to the old, if only because we're squirrelled away somewhat, which means fewer walk-in distractions. Colleague H and I have been assigned a full-on project for the new year, which could well take some getting into, so I'm expecting January and onwards to be pretty busy.

DVD-wise, I've obviously discovered The Wire, which is seriously, seriously good. I've yet to finish either Battlestar Galactica or Prison Break, and I have the first five seasons of Lost waiting to go through too. As for Flash Forward, though, I think I'm going to give up on that one.

I don't really remember too many notable films. Coraline was OK, but nothing compared to the book. The Star Trek reboot was certainly watchable, but not ground-breaking. Avatar, ultimately, disappointed. Was there a stand-out film this year?

I've just received a 'Happy New Year!' text from a number I don't recognise... have at least returned the good wishes, but I hate it when that happens!

Anyway, have a good New Year, all you people! Hope 2010 brings you all things good! :D
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Work formally closes at lunchtime today, so it's just a morning stint at the desk, and then the day is mine!

It rained a little last night, so the snow turned to slush turned to ice as night gave way to morning - walking Mali this morning was a little hairy in a couple of places, but I remained upright, so all good on that front.

I set a new PB on Pacifism mode in Geometry Wars2 last night; 12,500,000, which beat my previous high by a factor of 6 (which sounds impressive, but because of the nature of the game's score multiplier collection thing, the points rack up increasingly quickly the longer you survive). To put that into perspective, the current global top score for Pacifism is apparently around the 7 billion mark, so I have a looooooong ways to go. I'd like to break in to the nine digit score range, though...

I switched to Geometry Wars2 after playing a little more Assassin's Creed 2 - a beautiful, beautiful looking game, but I'm finding it hard, er, finding each respective quest's target. Still, it's absorbing, but I'm thinking that Ezio (the Assassin you play) definitely makes different life-choices to me on a day-to-day basis.

Forgot to mention, have received Christmas cards from [personal profile] aome, [personal profile] carolanne5, [personal profile] cynthia_black and [personal profile] uninvitedcat, so thank you muchly, y'all, for those! <3
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After lunch with [personal profile] cynthia_black yesterday, I got back into work only for parts of my vision to start dropping out... the critical, dead-centre parts, naturally, and with such migraines, experience has taught me that all I can do is go for a forced reboot, and crawl into bed.

So I came home, walked Mali, and was in bed by 4pm. Although I got up a few times, and let Mali out into the yard for good measure, I didn't get up properly until 6.30 this morning, feeling mostly better, but still a bit woozy.

As a result, I've avoided the PC until this evening, hence the slightly odd update time for this post.

The migraine threw a few things out, actually - aside from missing an afternoon's work, I also had to postpone a vets' appointment for Mali (kennel cough vaccination - been and done this afternoon instead), and had to put off picking P up from the Farm, too :-/

I also had a plumber returning to look at a leak under the sink - the stopcock got replaced last week, and now, by the power of PFTE tape, I think I've finally reclaimed use of the undersink cupboard. Which is nice.

Anyway, because the plumber had fixed the time as 'Saturday morning', and I had a vets' appointment for Mali at 2.30pm (the only available slot I could shift to from Friday at such short notice), that meant I couldn't reliably pick P up any earlier than 5.

It snowed a little, the last couple of days - this is always bad news around the Dukeries, because the snow compacts, converts to slush, then freezes, and the roads become ice-rinks. The drive up to the Farm gets better once we're onto the main arterial routes through Hull, but once onto the winding roads past Beverley, conditions got just a little slippery once again, and I could feel the car squirming around as we pootled rather gingerly along.

Not pootling fast enough for the BMW (what else?) driver, who roared past on the return flit, though.

By the time we got back to Castle Fox, the Snow Proper started to fall - we don't get much of the stuff, so when it does fall (and, more importantly, settle), it's a Big Thing. More amusingly, Mali turns into a sort of inverse dalmatian when we're out walking in it - the flakes creating white spots on the predominantly black coat.
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[livejournal.com profile] brundle has upped sticks to move across to our new accommodation. I'm hoping to move before the end of the week, panic-jobs outstanding willing. A Brave New World beckons, notably one that's at the other end of the grounds to my current position.

Had lunch cake with [personal profile] cynthia_black yesterday at a new(ish, to us) coffee place on Newland, which is a sort of second-hand bookshop/coffee bar. With free wi-fi, too. Definitely the sort of place one could hang out in for a while, but I do wonder whether the economies of this kind of enterprise really work out - can you honestly generate enough income from selling coffee for the relatively small number of tables/chairs to cover rent/staff/materials/wi-fi/overheads for the week? This, alas, is why I'll never be an entrepreneur - too timid to take such risks (and also, too devoid of imagination to come up with such concepts).

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, ordered on Friday, arrived yesterday - that was speedy service for free delivery! For more YA Steampunk, I've also been pointed at The Hunchback Assignments. But it's Leviathan first.
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Work's busy and I'm not here tomorrow because I'm going to old school friend's funeral :-( So I haven't caught up with my flist/reading page, but hope to manage to do so somewhen.

We had our first rain for what feels like a while today, although it's cleared up somewhat now, and remains surprisingly warm. Our office move has been pushed back to 'the end of the month', or possibly November. Was over at The New Accommodation for a meeting just now, and saw that the desks were being built and cables were being routed, so it's looking like the logistics are being sorted.

However, we've still got to weed out the current office, which isn't a task that particularly fills any of us with glee. At least the drift towards online documentation means that some of the manuals can be junked without a second thought (the one I picked up this morning was dated 1991 - that's eighteen years ago).

Blindsided

Oct. 2nd, 2009 09:10 pm
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Came home from work to a letter from my oldest school friend's wife, informing me that he died and that the funeral's next week. It's a sad letter.

I'd not been in touch with him for a while, and feel disappointed in myself that I'm putting in the effort now, rather than when he was alive.
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Hull City 1, Bolton Wanderers 0.

w00t!!!

In the second half, Jozy Altidore made his Hull debut, despite only having landed in the country a couple of days previously. With his first touch, he sends another new acquisition, Kamel Ghilas clear in the penalty area, and we're one up.

Anyway, the subject line refers to the semi-ironic chant that the crowd got going after this fantastic introduction in Altidore's honour: ordinarily, football chants are a lot more involved, and it is a near constant source of mirth on this side of the pond that the colonies haven't yet come up with a more inventive repertoire than 'USA! USA! USA!'

There is, indeed, a great Billy Connolly sketch* about football crowd chants, where he's describing how, as one, the crowd will all say something, complete with arm gestures and the like, and you never see anyone on the fringe sort of trying to keep up.

Wisdom of crowds, 'n all that.

Anyway, 'twas a good game, quoth I, from the safe perspective of 3 points, but in truth we were outplayed in the first half, and although we might have scored another two goals, the same could be said of Bolton. Three games in, three points on the board: it's generally reckoned that 40 points is assured safety, which, given that there are 38 games in the season, means that we need to average a little over a point a game. And that, in turn, means that we still need to pick up some momentum.

Typing this from work - am on call here from 9am to 3pm today. Then it's a mad dash home, whisk Mali 'round the Avenues before heading out again for a second viewing of HBP, this time with a work colleague who I'd promised to watch the film with (we've done the last few), but where events on either their part or mine have continually conspired to thwart whatever plans this mouse fox might lay.

* there are *lots* of great Billy Connolly sketches {"insist on Afghan melons", "about that carpet...", "Beware! Stingers!" and so on}

Life sucks

Aug. 6th, 2009 08:16 am
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Alerted by [personal profile] aome, I learned this morning that [personal profile] simons_flower died earlier this week. I didn't have her friended here, simply because I hadn't realised that she was on DW, but she'd been a long-time friendee as [livejournal.com profile] simons_flower over at The Other Place.

37 years old.

Such sad, sad news.

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