November 8th, 2005

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Tried to ring the boiler people several times yesterday ... this is, of course, why we got someone else to service the boiler this summer, it's hard to get in touch with this company. But they did do a good job before, so I'll keep trying for a little. Then we have to start trying to get recommendations for other boiler people :/

Only played a little Civ yesterday - I was feeling a bit like I'd been looking at the screen too long by the evening, so I stopped and read instead. Finished "The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 18" edited by Gardner Dozois ... quite a few good stories there, but I'm only mentioning things that I wasn't keen on. I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't like post-human/post-singularity stories unless they're well disguised, though ... or maybe it's just that the ones that weren't good are the ones that are obviously on that theme. Dunno, needs more thought. And it's amazing how misuse of jargon drops you right out of a story - in "Mayflower II" by Stephen Baxter a character's peripheral nervous system is atrophying, withering away from lack of use ... only the author refers to it as the character's CNS no longer sending signals to his brain (I refer to it as the peripheral nervous system in this sentence as that's very clearly what he describes). The CNS (central nervous system) is the brain (and spinal chord). It wasn't just once, either, it was repeated. And it'd be pretty hard to typo P to C, so I don't think that's the excuse. (I wasn't keen on the end of the story either, but the rest was pretty good except for the jargon).

I also read "Riot Act" by Zoë Sharp ... book 2 of her Charlie Fox books. I'm pretty sure there were some great gaping plot holes you could drive a truck through, but it was brisk enough in pace and entertaining enough to ignore the flaws. A good read if you want entertainment with a high body count, and some pretty neat twists (though having read the fourth book first I did know some of the stuff in advance, but it didn't spoil it as the fun was in the getting there too).

Forgot to type up that Tikka Masala recipe for Ruhe yesterday ... first you need to make Tandoori-style chicken:

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Then you use that in the Tikka Masala recipe:

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