ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Question for my horse-loving friends: are the horses in the Olympic show-jumping ring actually wearing little hats that cover their ears? And if so, does it serve any purpose or is it purely decorative?
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
IMG_0428

Seriously, the rose was only about two inches across!
ellarien: Image of the Sun at multiple wavelengths, with prominence (astronomy2)
Transit

It's pitch black and pouring with rain outside, but I'm watching Venus march across the face of the Sun.
ellarien: Cape Point scene (Travel)
(Flickr set slideshow; 23 photos.)
Read more... )

March books

Apr. 1st, 2012 07:55 pm
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Mild spoilers and slight snark may exist behind the cuts.


Steven Brust, Iorich. Read more... )

C J Cherryh, Intruder Read more... )
C J Cherryh, Conspirator (r)
C J Cherryh Deceiver (r)
C J Cherryh Betrayer (r)

Iain M Banks, Surface Detail Read more... )

M K Hobson, Native Star (e)Read more... )

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, The Tomorrow Log (e) Read more... )

Jane Lindskold, Five Odd Honors Read more... )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I stumbled across something useful this morning: a fix for ljarchive that works properly for downloading comments again.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Jasper Fforde, Shades of Grey. Surreal future dystopia run along the lines of a 1950s English boarding school, where social status is determined by colour vision. I kept muttering to myself about colour theory not working that way. Also, limescale in the Welsh reservoirs that serve Birmingham? The whole point about the Welsh water in Brum is that it's dead soft.

Gene Wolfe, The Sorcerer's House. A man released from prison squats in a mysterious house outside a small American town, which turns out to have been left to him, and also not to be entirely in this world. I kept hoping it was just the unreliable and not very admirable narrator, but there seemed to be some rather nasty attitudes in this; also there seem to be some major dropped threads, but that might just be me missing things.

Seanan McGuire, An Local Habitation (e) More shenanigans among the faerie and part-faerie denizens of San Francisco; mostly inoffensive and engaging, and the protagonist does experience some personal growth.

Also the first half of Surface Detail by Iain M Banks, but I'll deal with that when I finish it.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
From the latest post in [livejournal.com profile] news:

2012: A Look Ahead
Expect to see big changes in the coming months. Over the last year we've decreased advertising across the site. We're excited to announce that by mid-2012, advertising will be phased out completely for virtually all of the LiveJournal service pages, journals, and communities that we know and love. Advertising will only be shown in select communities that opt in to displaying it (which you'll hear more about on February 15).
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Tad Williams, Shadowrise

Kage Baker, Mendoza in Hollywood (e)
Kage Baker, The Graveyard Game (e)
Kage Baker, The Life of the World to Come
Kage Baker, The Children of the Company
Kage Baker, The Machine's Child
Kage Baker, The Sons of Heaven

Barbara Hambly, Homeland

I now feel the need of something very light and fluffy to read next. The Williams was incredibly tedious for about the first third, as the characters kept stopping dead in their meanderings about the landscape to tell each other myth-stories, which seems an odd choice for the third volume of a quadrology. After that it picked up a bit. The Company novels, on the other hand, were compulsively readable but extremely grim in parts. Then I read the Hambly for a bit of something-completely-different; it's an extremely well done epistolary novel about two young women corresponding across the lines of the American Civil War, weaving together the harsh realities of their lives with the comforts of reading Dickens and Austen, but not exactly cheerful.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
36 new books, 11 rereads. Apparently not having a job (and hence not having a commute or a lunch break away from the computer) means that I read less rather than more. I'm mostly only reading at night, and if the book isn't very compelling, or I'm tired, that might only be a few pages. Kraken took me a whole month to get through, and I'm currently slogging through the third instalment of Tad Williams' latest series; on the other hand I got through All Clear in not much more than a (travel) day. This tends to mean that I reach for smaller books; the last two volumes of the Malazan series, and a few other large tomes on the to-read pile, just look too intimidating. I need to figure out a way to fit more reading into my day next year, and more non-fiction, too.

Another observation is that once I got my physical books back, the e-reader didn't get much use. Again, I might have used it more if I'd been travelling/commuting more.

Read more... )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
IMG_0450

They had a Steam Gathering at the Industrial Hamlet this weekend, as a grand finale before closing down for the winter, and I spent a couple of happy hours there yesterday morning, taking photos of shiny traction engines and steamrollers, watching a blacksmith forge a chain, and poking into the corners and workshops again.

Butterfly

Sep. 30th, 2011 07:44 pm
ellarien: painted lady butterfly (butterfly)
IMG_0418

The warm weather is bringing out butterflies -- and wasps -- that probably should be dormant by now.

Randomly

Sep. 29th, 2011 06:53 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Asteroid conspiracy theorists may be even worse than solar activity conspiracy theorists.

Five+ hours in the slow cooker was probably too long for a mix of red lentils and dried vegetables previously boiled for ten minutes, plus a coarsely chopped^H^H^H cut up onion. Tasty enough (if rather the reverse of appetizing in appearance) but pretty close to mush in texture.

The indicator light on my coffee maker seems to have died. Fortunately the coffee-making function hasn't.

The derelict car dealership just up the road is going to be a car dealership again. I don't know whether the extensive gutter-cleaning exercise holding up traffic along their frontage for the last couple of days is at all connected. And that can't be the only reason why buses that are supposed to be running at ten-minute intervals between here and the far side of the city have been turning up in pairs more often than not for the last fortnight.

I was just starting to work on re-convincing my system that 65 F is a perfectly comfortable indoor temperature, and we get a heatwave.
ellarien: yin-yang fish drawing (quirky)
So the final word on that falling satellite seems to be that it came down overnight. Somewhere, most likely at sea. If it had fallen on anything important we'd presumably have heard about it by now.

Meanwhile, the Sun has been flaring away at a brisk pace -- one X-class flare today, and so many M-class that they're kind of merging together and the X-ray flux has barely been below the "M" level since noon today.

Facebook is utterly messed up and full of cranky people. Near as I can figure, they've rolled out way too many changes at once (but not consistently to everyone), and given people too many useless new buttons to twiddle while quietly taking away some useful privacy controls. By anecdotal evidence they may have managed to badly break privacy in the process, at least for some people some of the time by accident and probably by design for a lot more who don't realize the implications of tagging someone, for example. It all makes me even more wary of saying anything over there that isn't utterly innocuous, let along posting photos with actual people in them. (Not that I take a lot of those anyway.)

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.

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Ellarien

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