February 14th, 2001

photographer

(no subject)

Well, I should probly still be working but I just can't get my head round the data I'm analysing so I'm giving up for now! Depending on which way I calculate the kcat/KM value (directly, or by calculating the two components individually then doing the division) I get two different answers - not just slightly out either, I'd just call that experimental error ... no these are several orders of magnitude out :(. And after staring at it for the last hour or so I'm beginning to go round in circles and not sure if I've got all the units correct and silly stuff like that. So I'm gonna quit now and hopefully it'll be obvious in the morning. Bloody data *mutter*

Apart from that this has been a pretty good day, only went into work for an hour or so (which kinda feels a little silly coz it's a 4 hour round trip - but if I don't go in once a week and fill in a time sheet I don't get paid. I'm on a casual workers contract atm, just as a way of being paid while I'm writing up so I claim for a 39 hour week regardless (well, not if I'm actually away like I was the last few days)). Talked to my boss briefly and have promised I'll compile some data for her ... kinda useful for me too coz it'll go in my thesis (this is my data, and for a paper I'm first author on) but kinda not useful coz I was gonna do summat else for the rest of this week. But it doesn't matter that much, I'd have to do this eventually anyway. Part of it's that stuff that I was winging about to start of with so I guess it's a good thing to sort it out sooner rather than later. Don't have to go in for the rest of the week which is cool ... tomorrow's gonna have a bit of a lazy start coz I'll have a nice soak in the bath :))

Went into town on my way home coz I needed to go to Sainsburys... picked up the first Ash album for J, apparently we didn't have it (I unno what all his CDs are, there're too many of em ;) ), and Ash are cool ... their new song was being played to death on MTV2 and Q interactive which we got to see lots this w/e as J's parents have Sky Digital. The music channels are the one thing I'd want digital/cable/whatever for ... I don't watch enough other stuff on the telly to make it worth it, but MTV2 plays alternative most of the time which is much more my style than the stuff radio 1 play in the day times ... but then again, after the next coupla months I won't be working at home, so spose it's not that important really. Something to sort out sometime ;)

Also went into an estate agents and got details of some houses ... was walking past just looking like I normally do when I noticed there were three semis in the window for affordable amounts which was pretty stunning. So I popped in and gave them my details (including mobile number :/ but I really didn't wanna give my work number coz I won't be there and anyway people'll get fed up if some estate agent tries to ring me there), came out with details of nine 2 or 3 bed semis in our price range!! Problem is most of them aren't this end of town, so unno if they'll be on decent bus routes to the station or Martlesham ... so that'd mean a car ... but even so, house buying suddenly looks a possibility. It is such a shame that we didn't have money for a deposit 4 years ago when we moved to Ipswich coz we'd've got a detached house for this sorta money, but still ... a semi will do.

Got nice stuff in Sainsburys ... stuff for stir fry pork with spring onions, for dinner tonight, and nice bottle of wine. We decided not to go out tonight, partly coz J has karate so won't get in till about 8pm. But we'll be going to a chinese restuarant on Saturday (which I have to book in a little while - I rang earlier and got a lady who didn't speak much english, just enough to tell me to ring back later when her son would be home) ... will be nice to go out for dinner, and it'll be a nice restuarant so I can dress up a bit :) Though it's maybe not the time of year for a little dress :/ will probly wear it anyway, with my boots :)) J gave me some knee-high boots for xmas, I've always wanted a pair ... but I didn't realise till I started looking for some that I've got fat calves according to the shoe industry ... *pah* I've just got muscles from actually walking places which I guess no-one else who shops in fashionable shoe shops does (/bitch off) ;)

Must check the laundry (oops, forgot it for quite a while)...

Was ok (well it would be really, was just sat in the washing machine) ... and is in the dryer now ... mental note to self: sort out the damn clean washing!!!! I really hate having to try and find a pair of socks from the mountain of clean stuff every morning, but I still haven't sorted it out ...

Maybe I oughta change the time on this ... I started writing it about 45 minutes ago, but I keep getting side-tracked and so I'm still chuntering along. Don't think I'll bother though, it started when it says it is after all.

Will (probly) add some more book reviews ... finished 'Colonisation: Down to Earth' by Harry Turtledove today, sequel to the book I mentioned yesterday, so I'm not reviewing it for the same reasons as the other one. The other stuff I've been reading is from Baen Books Webscriptions thing - basically you pay $10 and get 4 or 5 books to download/read online. They are serialised over three months, month 1 you get the first half of each book, month 2 the third quarter and month 3 the remainder of the books. The books are then published about 2 weeks after you get the final chunk. It's cool :) (no I've got nothing to do with them - but the more people buy these then the more likely it is to continue, though I think having been going for over a year means it's probly gonna carry on now).

Anyway, this is probably enough of my random witterings ... well done if you read this far ;)

Music won't fit in the box below so here's what it is: Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot and Limp Biskit "Significant Other" ... on random :)
  • Current Music
    see above
photographer

"Changer of Worlds" by David Weber

This is a collection of 4 longish short stories set in the same world as Weber's Honor Harrington series. The stories are not all by Weber, one is by Eric Flint. The Honor Harrington books are military science fiction, in some ways like Tom Clancy's books set in the far future - though a bit less technical, and certainly not as long. The battles and spaceships (and other technology) are described in great detail, which I have to admit I sometimes skim over so that I can read more of the actual story (I do that with Clancy novels too!). The whole series follows the career of Honor Harrington, an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy. I've been told that it's based on a well known series of books about an officer in the navy during the last century (I think) but I can't remember exactly which ones it was supposed to be - probably the Horatio Hornblower series, but I don't remember who that's by.

The four stories are a set of unconnected episodes in this timeline - two of them don't deal with Honor Harrington at all, and one only really mentions her in passing. My favourite story was the one about the treecats (these are intelligent aliens, which are telepathic amongst themselves, and can form bonds to humans), which is partly because I like stories which are written from the alien's point of view. All four stories are well written and enjoyable. I think they (mostly) stand alone, and could be read with no knowledge of the other books in the series. However I'm not sure about that with 2 of them.
photographer

"Licence Invoked" by Robert Aspirin and Linda Evans

This book is humourous fantasy, and is therefore not a part of the SF genre that I usually enjoy - therefore when I say I thought it was an amusing bit of fluff that's actually quite a high compliment :) The basic premise is that magic works, but otherwise the world is much as the world really is. The lead character, Elizabeth, is a member of a UK government agency (called OOPSI) which deals with threats of a paranormal nature. She is sent to protect an irish folk singer who actually is an old school friend - but who doesn't want anyone to know that as she's re-invented her past and being chums with a fairly upperclass english lass won't fit. This folk singer and her band are playing a concert in New Orleans, but she is being targetted by some supernatural person/agency that wish her harm. Elizabeth and her opposite number in New Orleans have to try and find out what's going on before disaster occurs.

It's quite fun - most of the humour comes from the inevitable culture clash between strait-laced Elizabeth and her laid-back opposite number, Boo-Boo. I don't think it's a book I'll ever read again though, there wasn't much substance to it, so now I know what happens there's not a lot of incentive to read it again.
photographer

"Stars Over Stars" by K D Wentworth

This is a sequel to "Black on Black", and continues the same story as that book. Basically the scenario is that the human race is expanding out into the galaxy colonising as they go. They are currently at war with an alien species, the Flek, that is also expanding and aggressively altering planets to suit their biology. From the descriptions I visualise these aliens as being very insectoid, and they have different castes of individual much like social insects. The humans are allied to another alien species, the Hrinn, but this alliance is young and so the details of the relationship still need to evolve. I visualise these aliens as looking very bearlike. They have a violent society where relationships between males are decided by challenge and physical combat, the strongest male leads.

The main character in the story is a hrinnti that was brought up by a human after accidentally being brought to earth. This provides a bridge between the alien view point of the hrinn and the human point of view. The story follows the attempts to set up a squad composed of both hrinn and humans, and the inevitable difficulties caused by the different cultures.

I quite liked this, I tend to like books which show the point of view of aliens. But it wasn't a 'wow, I wanna read more of this' type book, I'll probably read more by this author if I come across it in the library, but I'll not search it out.