Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I was laid off this morning

I've been expecting it since my job is going to made redundant in a few months.

It looks like I'll have some time on my hands while I job hunt.

I also have to figure out this unemployment thing since I've never been unemployed before.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by J. K. Rowling


I finished the book last night. I was actually a tiny bit disappointed by it. I'm not sure whether it was the fault of the book or just the mood I was in, but I thought the end was just a little, well, flat. There just didn't seem to be the emotional impact I would have expected for the ending involved. Flatness notwithstanding, I enjoyed the book. I've grown very fond of this bunch of characters and visiting with them is always a treat.

I'm not going to offer any spoilers or speculation - there are sites aplenty which do that - except to say that if the apparent villain at the end of the book actually turns out to be a villain, I shall be sorely disappointed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's here !

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceMy copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finally arrived from amazon.co.uk. Woohoo! There will be no crafting until the book is done.

My copy doesn't quite look like this since I ordered the UK adult edition which I am off now to start reading.

Well, I'll start reading after I talk to my folks to see how they made it through Hurricane Emily.

Deferred success

"LONDON (Reuters) - The word 'fail' should be banned from use in British classrooms and replaced with the phrase 'deferred success' to avoid demoralizing pupils, a group of teachers has proposed.
Members of the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) argue that telling pupils they have failed can put them off learning for life.

A spokesman for the group said it wanted to avoid labeling children. 'We recognize that children do not necessarily achieve success first time,' he said.

'But I recognize that we can't just strike a word from the dictionary,' he said.

The PAT said it would debate the proposal at a conference next week."

Well, you either demoralize children with failure or you make failures of them by suggesting success will happen later if they just wait for it.

CNN.com - James Doohan, 'Star Trek's' Scotty, dead - Jul 20, 2005

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Candace Robb question

Midoriko posted a comment to a Candace Robb post asking if there were more books in the Margaret of Perth series. I checked Candace Robb's website and according to it two other books have been published in the UK - The Fire in the Flint and A Cruel Courtship. I don't think they've been published in the US since I couldn't find them on amazon.com.

General computer hatred

I'm having another one of those "I hate computers" phases. I just can't seem to get interested in anything to do with them. I even managed to go most of the weekend without checking email.

I've been busy at work so I can't really work up much interest in anything other than being a couch potato when I get home. I'm still waiting for my Harry Potter to arrive since it's coming all the way from the UK. I refuse to buy the American versions since I refuse to participate in the dumbing down of children.

I knit a bit on the scarf last Monday. I also found that afghan I was working on years ago and crocheted a very tiny bit on it. I did spend the weekend stitching on the butterfly fairy so I'll have pictures up tonight - assuming I feel inclined to talk to my computer long enough to get that done. ;D

I'm taking my lunch break at work right now and it is almost over, so . . . TTFN.

B.C.

OK, this one was just way too funny. I needed a laugh and this one gave it me.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sunshine

by Robin McKinley

SunshineI started Sunshine on Saturday night and I finished it on Sunday night. I read this book instead of working on my various craft projects. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book because it isn't the run of the mill vampire pornography trying to pass itself off as erotica. Other than a rather simple and straightforward description of how a male vampire can achieve an erection and one very small scene where something erotic could have happened, the book was blissfully free of sex.

Basically, the entire book is a story of self discovery that just happens to involve an alternate reality, albeit a modern one, where magic and various demons have sway and the path to discovery includes an alignment with a vampire who chooses not be a ruthless beast.

If I had three thumbs, I'd give it three thumbs up but since I have only two . . .

B.C.

Hey, Best Friend! This is for your hubby.

I sneeze, therefore I must be

It's allergy season again. Yipee!

So far I'm not suffering but that could change. I just have a runny nose and itchy eyes and my ever sweet disposition is still intact. Whatever happened to bring this bout on happened overnight 'cause I didn't have it when I went to bed last night, but I sure had it when I got up this morning.

I blame it on the short and violent summer thunderstorms we've been having since Thursday. We've had one a day, usually in the late afternoon, that last about 15 - 20 minutes. The storms are violent enough that you can hear the wind in the tress in the house with the television on. The one on Sunday also tried to spawn a little twister but it never made to the ground. The Prodigal Son got to watch it twist down and back up again while he was driving home.

The storms also put on some really incredible lightning displays. The one Thursday had lightning striking the ground not far from where I work. The one Saturday caused a transformer to explode somewhere close to my house. I heard the explosion and there was a (long) momentary loss of power.

The weather forecast has us listed as having isolated thunderstorms all this week except for Thursday.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | Statement claiming London attacks

The statement:

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.

Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.

We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.

God says: "You who believe: If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly."


My response:

May Mother Earth curse your seed to bear no fruit until all in your line are gone to dust and forgotten.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Doing battle with the 'coons

Well, the War of the Attic Invaders has finally begun in earnest. The Prodigal Son put the radio in the attic and he doubled the amount of ammonia tubs we had up there. He also replaced the burned out light bulbs so it would be light up there 24/7. He says the 'coons have made a nest in the insulation right over the back door which explains why their comings and goings keep waking me up all hours of the night. My bedroom is right next to the back door.

And I stopped by the hardware store on my way home to buy another grate, more screws, and some liquid nails to glue the grate to the overhang. It's a pity the grate is made of aluminium instead of steel. I think the steel would do more to deter the 'coons.

Ah, well, the battle begins . . . again!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Scientists finally study Kennewick Man

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Astrologist sues NASA over comet crash - Yahoo! News

No comment, just a ~ snerk ~ . . .

They haven't been evicted yet

The raccoons are still in the attic. Despite repeated reminders from me, the Prodigal Son couldn't be bothered to put the radio in the attic or refill the ammonia tubs over the weekend. He was much too busy running around with his friends.

I could have done it myself, but I refuse to do any dirty work while the Prodigal is still unemployed. He needs to earn his keep doing all the things I don't want to do, like evicting raccoons and changing the litter boxes and cleaning the bathroom.

Scientific American: Identical Twins Exhibit Differences in Gene Expression

BBC NEWS | Americas | US Church backs same-sex marriage

B.C.

Describing Satan . . .

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Od Magic

Od MagicAnother wonderful fantasy novel by Patricia A. McKillip. I have just now finished it, preferring to read it to doing those crafty things I should have been working on. This one is about setting limits, trying to control what really can't be controlled, failing to understand - or even see - the obvious.

This is another two thumbs up read as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Don't know if they're gone

The raccoons didn't wake me up at 6-ish this morning. I don't know if that means they've gone or I was so tired I just slept through their comings and goings. It would be really nice if one application of ammonia drove them out, but I'm not taking that on faith. There will be more ammonia and talk radio through the weekend to make sure they've gone.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Miscellaneous June statistics

Top five referrers:

1. www.google.com/search

2. boogaj.typepad.com/knitting_blogs/

3. cosm.xadulthosting.com/archives.html

4. www.knittersreview.com/forum/topic.asp

5. images.google.com/imgres

I don't understand number 3. I actually looked at that site to see what was going on and it appears to be some rather dull pornography - like that was a suprise given its domain name. What I don't quite get is how dull pornography leads to me especially the crafty part of my blog.

Top level domains:

1. net
2. com
3. edu
4. au - Australia
5. ca - Canada
6. uk - United Kingdom
7. us - United States of America
8. de - Germany
9. nl - Netherlands (Kingdom of the)
10. it - Italy
11. sg - Singapore (Republic of)
12. be - Belgium
13. mx - Mexico
14. nz - New Zealand
15. fi - Finland
16. fr - France
17. jp - Japan
18. mil - US military
19. se - Sweden
20. za - South Africa (Republic of)
21. at - Austria
22. br - Brazil (Federative Republic of)
23. ch - Switzerland (Confederation of)
24. gov - United States federal government agencies
25. hu - Hungary (Republic of)
26. il - Israel (State of)
27. no - Norway
28. org - miscellaneous, usually non-profit, organizations
29. pl - Poland (Republic of)
30. th - Thailand
31. yu - Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of)

What's my summer anthem?


Your Summer Anthem is Holiday by Green Day

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name


Dude, you're harshing everyone's summer mellow.

The Wurst museum in the world? - Yahoo! News

New Leonardo Da Vinci drawing discovered in London - Yahoo! News

APOD: 2005 July 1 - Ring Around Fomalhaut

Looks a bit like the Eye of Sauron.

Question: How do you tell if a raccoon is overweight?

Answer: When it sounds as if a herd of elephants is crashing through your attic but there is only one startled raccoon glaring at you when you peak through the attic door.

Oh, well, the ammonia has been strategically placed, the attic light is on, and the Prodigal Son is going to put the radio we bought last night into the attic so the 'coons can listen to what passes for talk radio at a decibel level that would drive me out of the neighborhood never mind the house. With any luck, they'll be gone by Tuesday and we can replace the grate again until the next time momma 'coon rips it out to have her babies in my attic.

The Raccoon Gallery