January 30th, 2006


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Wednesday I did quite a lot of stuff - made 2 birthday cards, amongst other things, but I forget quite what the other things were. If I'd actually written an entry on Thursday then I'd've remembered what I'd done ... I had an opticians appointment Thursday morning though. I'd been hoping to switch over to daily disposable lenses (I currently use monthly disposables), but they don't do any that will correct my astigmatism properly. We did try some that were closest, but they really didn't work well enough even for just wearing for social occassions. So I get to stick to the monthly ones.

As I was rather grumpy on Thursday I went to the library and got several less-than-worthwhile books out, and since I last updated I've finished 5 books, 4 of which were those library books. I did do some other stuff as well as read, in particular Friday night was Furry. Which was rather fun - I do like it being in the new venue. Hopefully it'll start to fill up earlier over time though - it was pretty much empty for the first hour and a half, but then almost full half an hour after that. sagima joined us at round about 11 ... I think that's the first time I've watched someone drink non-stop for 3 hours and get soberer ;)

I also played some Quake4, but not that much Civ *gasp* Oh and we went into town briefly on Saturday to get a box to put J's vinyl in, and had coffee while we were there...

So, the books I read were:

(Note, probably some spoilers, particularly of the LKH book)

"Narcissus in Chains" by Laurell K. Hamilton Yes, I said less-than-worthwhile, I meant it ;) This is the one before the last Anita Blake book I read - so I've found out where she picked up the were-leopard from & why she has the ardeur. And she's definitely becoming more & more of a Mary Sue - "gaining powers like a Master Vampire" without actually having to be a vampire, being a were-leopard without actually having to, like, turn into a leopard at any point, she just gets the power bits of it. Even the ardeur is described as only an issue because she's clinging onto her sense of morals (except she's more hung up about the words used to describe the activities than the activities themselves - if she can convince herself it's not called "sex" then it's OK). So, trash. But weirdly compelling trash.

"Habeas Corpses" by Wm. Mark Simmons More vampires! And evil Nazis! But this time our hero gets some of the downsides of being part vampire, like needing to eat blood and being unable to go out in the sun. And he's not that strong or fast, though he's not as weak & slow as a full human. Oh, and these vampires don't shag everything that wanders past, either. Fun, less trashy than LKH, but I wouldn't call it a 'good book'.

"World-Walker" by Melisa Michaels Leaving the vampire theme behind - this is a many-worlds book. World-walkers use technology to be able to walk between the many different universes and are sworn to uphold the integrity of them - which reminded me a bit of "End of Eternity" by Asimov. Suli is a world-walker and has been sent to track down the Other who is running amok through the worlds. If you meet another version of yourself then one of you gets bounced out of that universe - normally the one that doesn't belong there, but if you learn the trick of it, as the Other has done, then you can be the one to stay and the one who belongs there goes somewhere else. Jesse Farell is one of the Other's doppelgangers, and ends up in a different universe where the Jesse Farell is just about to die from over-use of drugs (so that Jesse dies in transit & the chain of bounced doubles is short). The Other is more important than it first seems, and not in the way it seems. I liked this book right up till the end, where it felt rushed and like there was a sudden imposition of a moral message.

"The Apocalypse Door" by James D. Macdonald And this is a cross between a thriller and a fantasy novel. Our hero is a member of the Knights Templar, said organisation did survive into modern times just underground. A modern-day Knight is quite like a CIA agent, and the tone of the story is very like a Clancy novel (though rather more to the point) but with God as a literal part of the story. We open with the hero & a trainee going to look for some missing UN operatives, and finding mushrooms that shrink from the sign of the cross ... and events go downhill from there. There's also another story intertwined with the main one - the significance of it becomes clear at least twice during the book, which I thought was quite a neat trick. By far the best of these four library books.

"The Tribes of Britain" by David Miles And I finished one of my Christmas presents - this one from my parents. The subtitle of the book is "Who are We? and Where Do We Come From?" and it's a book about the history of the people who live in Britain. Towards the end I felt he was getting off track a little - I'd expected from the back-cover blurb and from the first few chapters more discussion of which peoples arrived when, from where. But later it began to seem like more of a general history of Britain, which is not a bad thing, just not quite what I was expecting.
Eek! So scary!

The pros & cons of defrosting a domestic fridge/freezer ...

  • No-one hands out freebie ice-scrapers to housewives, so I don't appear to have one (Edit It appears other people get freebie ice-scrapers, it's just that I don't ;) )
  • "It really needs defrosting" happens a lot sooner than it does in the lab (I'm still not sure what the problem was, the ice was only an inch thick at worst, and the door had no difficulty shutting ;) )
  • In the lab there's no helpful little pussycat who thinks it's a new game, and that he'll win the game if he shreds the kitchen towel you've put down to mop up drips, and succeeds in fishing out the chip that was frozen into the ice and playing hockey with it
  • There's no spare fridge/freezer to put things in, so they'll inevitably warm up a bit in the cool box before the freezer gets back to temperature

On the plus side, however:
  • I'm quite happy handling the ice with my bare hands, and it seems to come off the freezer more easily when there's less of it
  • The worst thing I'm going to find in the ice was the aforementioned chip. And it was still frozen when the cat got it out for me.
  • No-one came up to me half-way through and loudly announced that if their samples had defrosted and ruined their experiments then it was ALL MY FAULT! And this despite me having watched this same person chip just enough ice off that the door would shut, every day for 2 weeks before I gave in and defrosted the fucking freezer
  • No-one came up to me half-way through to say "Er, while you're there ... um ... would you ... er ... mind ... er ... defrosting-another-freezer-mine's-all-iced-up-and-I-can-hardly-shut-the-door ... um ... just while you're there, you understand?"
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