Blueberry Colada

Well, my new food and drink blog has launched. I'll be posting a recipe on Mondays, a cocktail on Wednesdays, and a restaurant review on Fridays. In between, I'll have any posts on other (usually supporting) subjects. It is at .

new blog a commin'

Well, in the tradition of spreading my resources thinner, I'm a starting a new blog. (This would be the one I mentioned a while back) there were two yeas and one nay, and really, unless the nay sayers are unanimous, it is probably best to just ignore them. More on this when I've made my first post over there.

meta blog

Those of you who have friended me on facebook may know that I've been posting assorted drink recipes there. I've been playing with the idea of doing writer's reviews of various restaurants around bloomington as well.(As in, how good of a place are they to go and write.

I'm trying to decide if I should fold all of that into this blog or to start a focused blog for assorted food based subjects.

I bought The da Vinci Code Foucault's Pendulum and Kill Dr. Lucky today!

Been playing with mixing drinks again, here's the best of the current set.

1 part 4X Berry Blast Koolaid mix (1 packet of mix in 2 cups of water.
2 parts simple syrup
2 parts pulpy orange juice
2 parts coconut rum.

Put the Ice in a class.
Add rum
Pour Orange juice over the ice (or a spoon) so it floats on the rum.
Mix the koolaid and the simple syrup and pour that over the ice cubes or a spoon.
Swirl to taste.

Pantree Owl Concert 3

`Pantree Owl only started 2/3rds an hour late this time. An improvement... (I'm writing this after the concert. I transcribed from my notes my post about the one a couple of weeks ago during the concert.
Setup started 20 minutes late again, though they were quite early this time, at least compared to the revised starting time. Of course I rushed across town to get here for the original time, so I was even more quite early. (I'll probably post my second review later tonight, some time after I finish my third review. (so when I twit them about lateness, grain of salt, though I don't announce the times of my reviews, nor do I, as a reviewer, actually have an audience. This would be the Eric Burns difference between a hobby and something more. Keep in mind, regardless of this one major flaw, they kick ass.)

Okay, 2 members are gone at the moment, the two strings players, so it is just drums, keyboard, and Papania's voice. I still want to hire them to play my front room in my mansion some day. (Plus strings would be better,but not necessary.)

Started very late again. (A friend of mine defended them because of how young they are, but really, no. My little brother's band was made up of kids in highschool, and was always there on time at the very least.)

That said.
Almost as awesome as last time. Still worth my while to have rushed across town to wait extra long for them to play.

There is this piece where they record some sounds created with items they collect in the venue (a pair of beer bottles and some other stuff) that is beautiful. (i'll find a name for it eventually.)

pantree owl 2nd concert.

Pantree Owl Take 2
Last time I wrote about them, the band was unencumbered by such accutriements as a name. Some day I want to hear them in a (mostly) accoustic setting, but then, that is one of my particular oddities. Their sound was just right last time in Rhinos (where I was in the very back as far from the speakers as it was possible to be)

That said, their music was awesome. There were some electronic effects included that are why I don't want an entirely accoustic...

Oh my gods, Star Trek Trailer on o e of the TVs...
er sorry.
first one I've seen...

show from them.

So the music was incredible. I want a CD...
The professionalism...

Start time was 9:00

The Band? Didn't show until 9:20.

Setup and sound check? About 30 minutes, a little more.
First, and least concequential, they need to trim at least 20 minutes from their setup and their soundcheck or have a member engage the audience during that portion of the "show".
On a related matter, since you have to know how long the setup portion takes, you should always take that into account when planning a gig. If it takes 30 minutes to start playing, you need to show up a little more than thirty minutes early.

Now to the important part.
Show up.
On Time.

Even if only memeber of a band can do so, get someone there when the band is supposed to be there. It is much more likely to convince a venue's owner to risk a second show by you in the future. It also keeps your fans and almost fans from becoming disgruntled were fans and were almost fans.

Given what I said about setup time, you really want your band to be at least 5-10 minutes early (not early to your play time, early to how much setup time you need to make your start time.) Not everyone needs to be there 10 minutes before hand, but your manager and or your sound tech? Definately should be there early.

Band overall? C or so.

Just to be clear. They played a 45 minute set that started at least 50 minutes late. It is their second show, so hopefully they will take the lessons learned from this one to heart. They shoule be providing an event experience that does their incredible music justice. Technical proficiency and aesthetic excellence are important or even essential. But. For an artist to ever be any better than okay, they must be reliable. The flighty unreliable artist myth is jsut that, a way to ensure that you never have to be more than second string. (Both of my parents are to one degree or another, professional artists. I have little patience for artists who don't produce. It is hwy I make no claims to art.)


So, I bought a lawn mower. And mowed the lawn. I also got my compost heap transfered from the bucket of doom to an actual outdoor pile. It smells pretty bad (thanks bucket of doom...) but hopefully a couple of days in the outdoors not made half of organic matter and half of water will take care of that. I do need to get some sort of metal fencing to surround it and keep it constrained. Also did laundry. Matt was doing his, so I tagged along and ran everything that I own that needed any cleaning.

We have a hose. Need another. I'm trying to decide on how much I am willing to pay for a grill. Also need some lawn furniture and indoor shelving.

I'm going to read Mouse Guard soonish. I want to recommend it (or not) as a comic and or game for a friend who needs such things. As it stands currently it looks like the Redwall books but less morally objectionable and stupid. (The game is supposed to be an incredible introduction to role playing and such for littleish kids.)

I'm obsessing over a gazebo. I have the cash for it, but then I wouldn't be able to do anything else. It would be awesome to have some summer gazebo parties, but I can buy lawn furnature or a gazebo, not both. And probably I shouldn't buy either.

I read Dresden 11 the day it came out. Now I want Dresden 12... I have some mutters about this book, but none that aren't spoilers and none that matter. Mostly things I wanted to have happen not things that he did wrong. Morgan and Molly are incredible together. Harry might be getting over one of his cases of the stupids. Thomas!

As much as this is false, I want another Mab book. (I don't want a mab book, but I want a mab book.

Work still sucks. I want to work where I can wear decent clothing. I need something that pays enough that I don't have to anguish over the gazebo.

FMLA is going smashingly. But without any actual smashing.


Remember. If someone invites you to a teabagging party, there are two groups of people who will be there. Tea baggers and tea baggees. If you go to one of Glen Beck's parties, check your income statements. If you made more than 250,000 dollars, you are a tea bagger, if you made less than that, then you are a tea baggee. While neither position really appeals to me, keep that in mind before you put yoursellf in a situation where tea bagging is an expected activity.


Happy Zombie Jesus Day, wherein Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, and on the third day, he arose again in fulfillment of the scriptures, to overshadow local rites, pass out chocolate bunnies, and eat your tasty tasty brains. Gir Arrgh An acquaintance of mine was complaining about the zjd jokes, how those who perpetuate ZJD wouldn't ever do that sort of thing to other locally smaller faiths. I'm not horribly fond of being painted with the liberal touchy feely wuss brush. Right here, right now, I'll tell you, did I know enough to draw similar parallells about key figures and stories in faiths that aren't the overwhelming majority in my country, I'd do it in an instant. Actually, in the name of holy irreverence, let's do that (for if there is anything holy in this world, it is not taking things too seriously) Post a key event or person from the religion of your choice along with a more modern cliche/concept that they match up with.


Hi, my name's Michael and I'm a feminist.
Yes, that is a y chromosome there on my sleeve.
No, I don't mean ally. Ally is a term for someone who supports a group but can't be a member of the group.
Nope. Not that either.
Yes, I'm straight, genderwise I'm cis, and no, I'm not here to get laid.

I'm not sure that I'm the newest member to write one of these things, but if I'm not then it is just by a matter of weeks. To be honest, I started coming here as something social to do on a regular basis right after take back the night, and in large part because the meeting time worked with my work schedule while WSA's meetings were completely unworkable for me. That's probably pretty good, since I doubt I would have attended a third WSA meeting. I'm much more comfortable with the informal collaborative atmosphere we tend to have hereabouts. I don't deal nearly as well with highly structured meeting styles where one person (or small group of persons) absolutely drives the agenda and the tone. Well, honestly with our recent meeting sizes, maybe I'm comfortable with the small group of persons thing when I'm part of the group. Who knows?
The FMLA, as I see it, and we have had some spirited disagreements on this matter, works best as a support structure for individual members' personal activism. We get together, we discuss what the FMLA is going to be doing, but at the same time we talk about the particular issues and events on the horizon that particularly interest us. A personal example. I came here a little before Christmas break and sort of went off on a tangent about needing to call our assorted congress critters in support of the Freedom of Choice Act because I had some friends who were already beginning to mobilize in opposition to it. I figured that everyone present would possibly call their congress folk and thus act as a force multiplier. So you know, one voice becomes five. A couple of weeks later we had a huge stack of post cards for assorted congress folks (and I'm sorry, I can't remember who organized that feat. I know it wasn't me.) So instead of getting a few new voices, the FMLA increased my voice by an order of magnitude, possibly two.
As I see it, our basic mission here is memetic or informational. We talk. We talk to and thus provide support for each other, which is pretty important if you want to be an activist who doesn't either lose track of how other people thing or burn out early. We also talk to other people. We help organize awareness marches, we help host the Vagina Monologues, we create a newsletter, we support other groups and people who are also talking. We make people aware of feminisim as a matter of justice and way of life instead of a caricature of shrill, sexless/slutty, and angry women and downtrodden men that the movement has allowed its opposition to create in the minds of society as a whole. Feminism is, as I see it, essentially an issue of cultural memes, and if we want a feminist society, then we need to talk. We need to speak with not one voice, but with five, with ten, with thousands.
Hum this isn't really a paragraph so much as it has paragraphs... I fail once again at brevity. So in brief, welcome to the FMLA. My name is Michael Phillips, I'm your webmonkey until you find someone better. Enjoy the pie.

As always
Michael Phillips


I am looking for a word. I am not sure what it means. I think it means a pause in conflict, but I could have it exactly backwards. It is spelled something like but not exactly "dente."
Unfortunately both google and my online dictionaries correct dente to al dente without suggesting the word I want.

D&D Podcast
So I listened to all of the PA/PvP/WW/D&D podcasts that are up yesterday.
A. It would be awesome to game with any combination of those people.
B. The first adventure was run sort of lacklusterly. I wasn't sure if it was Perkins and Wyatt being just okay dms, the adventure being just an ok adventure or what, but it lacked a lot of the cool that 4th edition is supposed to have. The active battle fields and such. But, and this is important, even with an average performance by the DM (and I've played for 20 years. Neither of them were bad in the first episode, I've played with DMs who would make them look like paragons of the art.) the game was incredibly awesome. Part of that was the guys around the table (In this case, Tycho, Gabe, Scott, and Chris or James) being the sort of people who, when you are in a room with them, you are having a great time, but part of it was the strongest part of a relatively rules light tactical rpg. It is a social game, not a world simulator, so you dn't need an awesome DM to make for a great game.
C. Episode 2, the third adventure brought back Tycho, Gabe, Scott, and Chris, and introduced us to Wil Wheaton. Wil had done his homework, had learned a fair amount about the system and was that treasure amongst players, the rules guy who isn't an ass about it and who likes to role play. He is also one of those fun to be near people. If that had been all, it would have been a good game. But. Chris Perkins brought his A game to the table and ran as well as i've seen a person run a game. Wil helped out by being an actor who has spent serious amount of time learning about presenting things via non-static media. 4.0 is a minis heavy game, very visual and tactile, and the presentation was helped immensely by his table descriptions.

gmail, facebook, d&d podcasts, ok cupid, live journal, wikipedia on ephiphytes

so I had a good day

Well I had a good day.
Actually the first 10 hours were pretty meh.
I woke up, too tired, went to work, too few employees too many customers. Did get to polish my "I am Homo sapiens sapiens, descendant of..." speech so that was ok.


(oh I forgot, almost all of my crocuses, crocusai? croci? are up and blooming! That was a cool part of my morning.)

After work I stopped at the good will to see if there were any vintage electronics (read "Atari 2600 or Intellivision or any of a few dozen games I'm looking for) or old board games in. There weren't. But I was checking out the tee shirts. I almost never do that. I found a don't panic shirt in my size (with the little green guy on it) Now, I am less of a HHGTtG fan than almost every other HHGTtG fan on the planet, being less than enthralled by a lot of the supposedly clever bits, but I do still like it and it is, overall, rather funny in that "please for the love of god stop quoting the same 10 dammed lines" sort of way that a lot of Monty Python is funny. Well for all of that, I am still a fan, and the little green guy was on the cover of one of the games that I played as I learned to read and type (Specifically the Infocom Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Fucking Brits and their analgesics instead of pain killers or asprin) so way cool.
Then as I was riding down town I forgot that I can't ride my bike without my hands on the handle bars and wham I was peddling along and I took my hands off the handle bars and I so didn't crash or anything. And I'm not talking about riding down a hill without your hands on the handlebars, I'm talking about pumping the peddles handsless. Okay okay I know, but brain damage as a wee one and crappy small motor skills and every victory is a victory. So yeah, good day. And no work tomorrow, so sleeping or the equivalent will be caught up with by YT.

er... elm...

march flowers....

My crocuses are blooming and my Ash is about to undergo bud burst.


I'm looking for a good Dinosaur book, something with pretty pictures that is a decent snapshot of the state of modern paleontology via dinosaurs. I had a few of those as a child, but they were getting dated before I shifted interests to other fields.

Blogging and me

So, I've got three new blogs up and around.

The first, The Bell Feminist Bi-Monthly is not actually my writing. It is, instead, the online branch of the IUB FMLA's newsletter. My only content on it so far is the pathfinding posts. I'm potentially interested in running a similar blog in the not too distant future that isn't tied into an outside organization.

The second .roiretni eht ot doar worran eht morf snoitcelfer is another mirror of Reflections From the Narrow Road to the Interior. Same content, slightly different interface.

The third is my blog which has not, at this time, been particularly active. I'm working on it.

A reminder to those of you who might think that listening to me is a good idea.

If you step on your sword online, please don't just delete the offending text.

If you have to edit something, use the strike tag or something similar to mark the disavowed text. If you add things to something, make sure that the additions are marked as such (preferably with the date and time of modification clearly denotated.)

This keeps you honest and means that you can not be accused of changing your text in order to undercut an opponent's argument. (I think that if you were to spend a lot of time going through this very journal, you'd find examples of exactly that process.)

*edit The same night* Of me crossing out things that I no longer agreed with and flagging edits as edits, not me undercutting arguments by editing and or deleting the things that they are in response to)

reading 2009
1. The Stepsister Scheme Jim C. Hines The first of Hines's fairy tale kingdom books. Action, espionage, and fairytale princesses. Here's hoping that the next two are as good.
2. Strength and Honor R.M. Meluch. Rome is on the offensive after the fall of the hive with the mad Emperor planning to take Earth once again. Farragut and the last emperor's patterner stand between him and victory. The ending gives me hope that there will be at least one more book in the series.
3. Storm From The Shadows David Weber A mostly non Honor book set in the Honorverse. The first shots in the Solarian War that has been seeming more and more inevitable have been fired. Hopefully the next Honor Book will allow for peace with Haven, especially since the confrontation between Elizabeth and Honor happened in this book and it didn't end with a break between them.
4. The Queen of Stone Keith Baker I've yet to dislike one of Baker's Eberron books. This one introduces us to the politics of Droaam via a Brelish Dark Lantern. Since the King's Citadel in general and the Dark Lanterns in particular are among my favorite parts of the setting, I'm predisposed toward this one.

Anyone read anything cool yet this year?

Post Valenti Post
I meant to be posting this earlier, like the night that it happened, but well that didn't happen. Instead, here I am 11 days later...

I caught the Jessica Valenti: Feminism Still Matters lecture last Monday.
I didn't get a chance (was left off the RSVP list even though my name was definitely on the list of interested parties from the FMLA) for one reason or another to go to the dinner before hand. I'm going to assume snafu instead of malice, though knowing the personalities involved, it could easily go either way. More of why I dislike strongly hierarchal activism.

I actually arrived to an event early. I know, I'm shocked. At the last minute I moved up to the front rows. There were lap desks in the first few rows, though no access to an outlet (or this would have been posted that evening.) Well, there was the power strip that the projector was plugged into, but um, no. Not going to be the one to Fu that particular bar.

It turns out that Jessica is not 2.5 meters tall in real life. Nor does she bend steel plating with her teeth. Alas for the shattering of illusions. She still has the moral stature to support them though.

Ugh. The desks are right handed. Frack.

The WSA provides her with bottled water. There is a rant here about the essential connection between environmental causes and feminist causes and the tendency for the proponents of the second to ignore the first, but it isn't actually here .

She is 30 years old. I hate that the heroes of the current memespace are my age now. Completely underlines my lack of doing-thingsness.

She brings up one of my major issues: Most women are feminists, even if they don't know it, or deny it. A Lot of women are still too freaked out by the word to embrace it. (Frex, if you are reading this via my friends list, you are most likely a feminist. No matter how much you dislike labels. LLAD,QLAD,PAD)

From the viewpoint of the anti-feminists, telling women that feminists are all shrill man hating sexless sluts who are all super activisty bitches is both smart and tactical. If you can control the conversation, you can convince otherwise core feminists that feminism isn't for them at all since they aren't activists or they aren't man haters, or they aren't sexless, or they aren't sluts. Control the terms of the conversation and you can get people who should be your opponents' strongest supporters to do your work for you.

A discussion of the cyclical media claims that "Feminism is dead." If that were so, there would be a lot fewer people with a vested interest of maintaining the current social structure as it is trying to kill feminism.

Jessica is hella funny. "Yeah, I guess if I don't like rape tee shirts, I'm a bitch."

One thing that feminists need to do is start shaping the conversation. The blackhats have managed to define the terms so far, but if we can manage to tell the truth about feminism often enough, we can get young women to embrace the identifier.

About the current political culture.
Now that we have a supportive administration, one that isn't actively trying to regress women's rights and self determination, it is time. to address the underlying belief systems and cultural baggage that reinforce anti-feminist sentiment.

We need to combat moral panic over women's sexuality. She mentioned a FDA memo that sounded like it came out of a Dark Dungeons style tract, warning of the potential for plan b based sex cults.

Jessica's next book is called The Purity Myth. It is about the cultural construct of virginity, the fact that "It is time to teach our daughters that their ability to be good people is dependent on being good people, not on their sexuality." She reminds us that when women are taught about morality, they aren't taught that the important issues are things like courage or compassion, but the state of their hymens, that their ability to be ethical actors is primarily an aspect of their bodies instead of their actions. "Our daughters deserve a model of morality based on ethics, not their bodies."

When we got to the Q&A, we had some of the best questions. She got the mudflap girl/bare midriff picture question. I knew that she recieved that question, but I didn't really expect to hear it in real life, even at the lecture.

There was an awesomely long academic activist loaded wording question about women wearing things that cover their tits (while avoiding actually saying anything about what is being covered.) It was all dominant masculine paradigms and shit, with full out prefered answers coded into the question. Buddy boy had to read it off of a sheet of paper.

Should we pick a new word for feminism? "No!"
(I will eventually write my "No!" post.)

Abstinence and etcetra are fine but not moreally superior positions. Well handled, though the answer deserved more time than the format allowed.

She made another majorly important point. Opposition to women's reproductive rights is not structured around protecting life, it is structured around punishing women for their self determination/sexuality.

All in all the lecture was awesome, and I left with a signed copy of Full Frontal Feminism, my absolutely favorite primer on feminism, even if it happens to be aimed at women instead of a general audience (meaning specifically men and women.) (The kid who asked about that steped on his cod hard in his question. When I was his age, I would have too.)


so don't forget to celebrate 3:14 tomorrow.

meta to racefail '09
If you want to say "You are doing it wrong" that is okay. Even useful. In fact, at least in my case, I appreciate the input. But, if after doing so, you get hostile when asked "How do I not do it wrong?" then I really don't think that you have any claim to being taken seriously in your implied desire for me not to be doing it wrong.

Essentially, you are not obliged to educate, but if you are unwilling to educate than I am not obliged to give a rat's ass about your criticisms. Reducing hostility in a given medium is a two way street.

less catchy maybe
War what is it good for?
The shaping of the political environment via the application of force!

defining the memespace

Feminisim: the belief that while personhood and the right to self determination are universal among sophonts, experience is not.

don't comment here please
i carred my phone, then, because i have a very crappy provider, i was unable to use my current sim chip in the replacement. so i have lost my contacts list. if i should have your number on said list, go ahead and leave it here (comments are screened lj only)

Solla Salwe or bust?
Hum... Troubles?
Some creative account juggling to pay this month's gas bill (nothing awful, and if it hadn't worked, I would have just had a 3-4 dollar late fee.)
Job is completely unmotivating.
Haven't figured out what I want to be doing in 5 years or 18 months or what have you.
Bike troubles. (Nothing major, I'll be able to fix them quickly I think. If I'm wrong, I can throw some money at them next month and solve them outright.)
Tried to slice off my fingertip with a shard of glass, and while I have more bandaids than I thought I did, the stuff I want for this wound, gauze and medical tape? Absent.
I dropped my phone and it got carred to death. It will take about a week to sort out the replacement.
I've really done a poor job at keeping up my reading list this year so far

words words words
So, recall that, a while ago, I wrote that boink was a great word for discussing sex because it adds some levity. Well got another one (from the most problematic story in the vagina monologues) This one is more limited than "boink" as it isn't a word for sex, but for vagina.

Coochi Snorcher

Seriously, try to say that one outloud either alone or in the presence of other people.

I'll wait.

Did you keep a straight face?
Me neither.
I had a great day at work today because every time I started to get disgruntled/unhappy, I just repeated to myself "coochi snorcher." Not once did it fail to at least make me grin.


note to self: buy real actual physical crusaidin' boots.

kinda liveblogging the vagina monologues This year's proceeds benefit the women of the democratic republic of Congo and the Middleway house (a 10/90 split.)

The war in the DRC has been has been going on since 1996.
"SFemacide is the Global Warming of women."

DRC/Bosnia/etc always makes me consider the merits of the Pax Americana.

The personal ones make me at turns sad and enraged. I understand the urge to panopticon.

Was it because they were men?
Was it because they never learned to become a man?

no vibrators but guns!

I'm glad that I decided not to read this ahead of time (and I already expected more of these than I am happy with.)

"Warm up the duck lips"

I think I'm going to skip spoiling things though.

If you haven't yet seen them, there is always next year (and watch it instead of reading it. As text on paper, it loses impact, it loses much of its inherent value without the people involved, both the cast and the audience. Part of the impact is the community and the flesh and blood reality of the show.)

Oh and Taylor, if you catch this, it went damned well. Told you these things come together at the last minute.

In retrospect, these posts work better when I have a narrative to hang them on. Oh well.

If you are in Bloomington Indiana, you should seriously consider going to the Vagina Monologues on the 12th, the 13th, or the 14th. It is an incredible play and the proceeds are going tob be split between the campaign to end the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo and the support of the middleway house here in bloomington (a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence... yeah I know, men are victims of DV too and are massively underrepresented by services like this, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't help this side of the cause. I didn't do my research. Middleway does offer their services for male victims of Domestic Violence. Thanks Gabrielle for setting me straight on that one.)

Vagina Monologues Info Site

If you are in Bloomington Indiana, you should seriously consider going to the Vagina Monologues on the 12th, the 13th, or the 14th. It is an incredible play and the proceeds are going tob be split between the campaign to end the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo and the support of the middleway house here in bloomington (a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence... yeah I know, men are victims of DV too and are massively underrepresented by services like this, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't help this side of the cause. I didn't do my research. Middleway does offer their services for male victims of Domestic Violence. Thanks Gabrielle for setting me straight on that one.)

Vagina Monologues Info Site

why a day devoted to recognition of violence?

vagmon concert
I'm writing this during the Ladyquakes' set. That way I can stay for it and still have time to write my event post.
The first band is a group of students from the Jacobs School of Music. They are incredible and I want to be able to hire them to play my living room on alternating thursdays. Initially there was too much distortion on one of the lines, but the sound guy got that fixed up and they were great.

The crowd has a preponderance of short and zaftig women. I am definitely not complaining. (I'm not specifically into short, but pretty much anything and zaftig works for me.) That and rollergirls. The Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls are taking part in most of the V-Week events. Athletic and active builds and not stupid skinny. *grins* Now the fact that these women are probably a decade younger than yt gives me pause, I'm not writing a heinlein novel after all, but they are still hawsome. And activisty. Activisty is even better than zaftieg. And hum, way off point now. Oh well. I bet we'll revisit this ground later. As digressions go, this one is fecund.

First band is The PaPanias.
This group is further evidence that every band needs a violin or three in its makeup. And maybe a couple of music majors. Very very cool.
The rollergirls are going about with the donation baskets. They really should have seeded them with a handful of bills each.

Also, who goes somewhere to dance in heels? Girls are weird. And masochistic. The marginal improvement in calf definition you get from heels isn't worth it ladies.

The Next Band is The Brownouts. A guitar, a bass, 2 sax, a trombone, a keyboard, a drummer, and a vocalist. Funktastic in the musicness. They are good and, suprisingly, not too loud, that said, I'm definately too old. Not counting the old guy and the owner of the place, I've probably got four years on anyone on the dance floor, and the average is much much younger. That said, these guys give me a renewed faith in the musical taste of the damned kids these days. On the other hand, I would like to have a heart to heart with them about their continued proximity to my yard...

The Emcee, whose name I failed to catch is hot and moves like a geek. Oops, apparently taken and possibly gay too. Oh well. Still the hotness even if not even potentially for me. Oh hey, she plays for the LadyQuakes, Internet powers activate... survey says Anna Saraceno.

Turnout isn't spectacular. I wish that I had a broader social network around these parts (or a job that would let me simulate one by buying a large number of tickets.)

Oh sweet, the rollergirls are doing that snake thing. The potential for the awesome demonstration of the conservation of rotational momentum is way high. (Think the whip game with roller skates. If you never played the whip game, get a half dozen of your friends, line up and hold hands. Then one end starts running in small circles. If you do it right, you can chuck the last person in line a goodly distance when they finally can't hold on anymore. Rollerskates make that much much better.

The Lady quakes are as awesome as always. "I wanna lick a vulva lollypop is their warmup song." I'm now caught up to real time in the show and they are awesome. They did start after 11pm so the already smaller than optimal (it is a tuesday night, so I hope expectations were low to begin with) crowd is sparse.

I want to be able to hire them to play my LR on the Thursday nights not claimed by the Papanias.

Oh, the vulva lollipops? They were chocolate instead of hard candy. I really wanted a candy cherry lollypop when it was announced that there were lollypops. So instead. A VDay patch. All in all, it went relatively well for the middle of a recession, a show that ends lateish on a tuesday with rain forecast for the weather. V-week has been disapointing for the people putting it on this year, but they are doing everything right. Sometimes stochastic events happen. :/


There is a V week benefit show at Rhino's in bloomington tonight at 8:30 pm! doors open at 8:15 and it only costs $5. All proceeds benefit Middle Way house and the campaign to end violence against women and girls.

I've only heard one of the bands but the Ladyquakes are quite good

Dance your phd

Go to youtube. Search for "Dance your PhD" I had forgotten. I've fallen away from my tribe, but they are still out there.

Overheard at the boxcar books party last night:
"Just because your dad is this dorky contrarian prick doesn't mean you have to follow in his footsteps."

From the extended context, the kid she was talking about was being a dorky contrarian prick, even though I mostly agree with his underlying assumptions. I don't usually go to Bible studies so that I don't end up being that guy. (Though I know my stuff better than most of the atheist at the bible study types I've ever listened to


My 10 newest toys
* = for fuzzy heroes, & = board game, % = non-fuzzy heroes war game, $ = rpg, # = computer/console game
1 Okko
2 dosbox/gapper #
3 4 inch Strawberry Shortcake Doll *
4 AT-ST Walker *
5 Strange potato shaped doll *
6 Dinosaur shaped basket *
7 Warcraft 3 expansion #
8 Shadowlord &
9 Sukioden Tactics #
10 Firefighter dog with water cannon *

newest books
1 The Ancestor's Tale Richard Dawkins
2 The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler
3 Free Culture Lawrence Lessig
4 Knitting in Plain English Maggie Righetti
5 I, Asimov Issac Asimov
6 Friday Robert Heinlein
7 Dead Witch Walking Kim Harrison
8 The Good, the Bad, and the Undead Kim Harrison
9 Dune Frank Herbert
10 Rhapsody

in the name of the king
In the name of the king.
Setting Breland
The pcs meet on their way to the Capital, Wroat, each intending to join the King's Citadel, the elite guards who act as King Boranel's hand in Breland. The campaign is split between political machinations and swashbuckling with some pulp exploration scattered through it (Brealand has Sharn in it, the gateway to Xendrick.)


So yesterday had some good and some bad.
I went and bought a new used bike. The young woman at the bike project was very nice and welcoming even though it was women's night, and she totally did some work on the bike that the person who put it out on the floor as on sale failed to do. She invited me to stay around, but I work with more than a few groups who take creating protected spaces very seriously, so I headed out after she finished fixing my new bike. I'll go back down later when I'm not working contrawise to the concept.

I went to baked and had some cookies. Cookies are good. I stayed mostly out of a conversation that ranged into a few areas that I know relatively well. No harm was going to come of misperceptions in these areas, and I think the guy was trying to flirt with the woman, so quiet me did online things and analyzed a couple days worth of conversations with one of my best friends. Not for content or anything. For length. (Turns out that I use about 136 words for every 100 she does in the limited sample I used. This ratio is about as unskewed as it gets for my conversations.)

I rode home on my new bike, guiding the old one by the handle bars. That was both difficult and dangerous. A couple of times I just picked the old bike up to keep it from ending up under my wheels. I think I surrealed up a couple of people's evenings too, so victory. I got home and put the bikes up in the front room. It was about 11:30 when I realized that the recycling needed to go out. Yesterday was about 45 degrees. Much of the snow in my yard melted during the day. It flowed out into the yard. As it cooled off, it froze in the street. I brought the recycling out and found this sheet ice the hard way. I went down onto my knee. The fall was an exercise in rotational momentum and semi-rigid structures. The trash can flew all the way across the street. My back bone tried desperately to avoid the movements that my collapse was forcing on it, doing fun things to my back muscles in the process (it turned one way the other attachment points turned other ways, my back muscles are all tight an unhappy to this hour.) and my knee explored a new closer acquaintance with the road. I may have exclaimed an expletive of the sexual subset, either while falling or after impact.

I hobbled back in and went to bed.
Woke up this morning still sore and having missed an im from a new friend.

So I've been spending time on OKCupid recently. I occasionally get the urge to offer to take better pictures of people, then I remember:
"Hi you needz better pictures. I can haz camera. I can take pictures of you." = creepy

2009 book list

1. Ex Mechana 3 Er, it’s been 3 months since I read this. I recall it was fairly enjoyable, though maybe not as good as book one and two.
2. Rogue Angel Destiny Alex Archer Interesting adventure story. Main character seems to have a bit much of the super human thing going on even before she gets the sword. Second, possibly third time in a short while that La Bete has featured in a book I’ve read.
3. Terrier Tamora Pierce Well, this is another book by Tamora Pierce. I’m hoping for another story with this character. *edit March 17* Whoo there is another one on the way!
4. Peeps Scott Westerfeld Wonderful. I ran into Westerfeld’s work in his adult stuff. Nice solid SF. His YA is brilliant. Parasite driven vampirism. Beautiful essays on parasites every other chapter. Happyness.
5. The Eternals Neil Gaiman Writing is strong, don’t care about the characters. I’m not really a Marvel or DC person. I’ve got characters I like to read, but they weren’t here.
6. Undertow Elizabeth Bear Not my favorite Elizabeth Bear, but Elizabeth Bear, so better than my favorite books by any number of other artists.
7. Eve Proto Mecha Lusen, Lichtner, and Garza Decent graphic novel/comic book. I hope to hunt down the rest of the story eventually. The title character is massively malformed has a pretty standard comic book female’s proportions. She’s a robot, so the fact that this doesn’t mean that she is inherently non-functional like biological versions of the body type would be is cancelled out by the fact that there is no good reason for the old guy who built her to make her that way. Like the story, other than my gripe about EVE herself, I like the artwork. Oh gods, I just went to check on the other female characters (reasonable physiques) and noticed that in several pictures, EVE’s breasts appear to have been stuck on as an afterthought. Not Youngbloods or Gen 13 bad, but bad.
8. Eternal War A series of space marine themed warhammer 40k comics. *Shrugs* They get the feel of the setting at least.
9. The Last Days Scott Westerfeld I return to my burgeoning love of Mr. Westerfeld’s YA work. It doesn’t use the parasitology lecture framing device I liked so much in Peeps, but it is a fine addition to his body of work in the Peeps world, even if it does
10. The Book of Night With Moon Diane Duane This is an auxiliary book in the Young Wizards series. It has brief appearances by the main series protagonists, but it focuses on the cats who maintain the world gates. An interesting look at some of the non-human wizards and the shape of the Choice of some of the other creatures. (Not my favorite of the Choices, but still neat.)
11. Jennifer Government Max Barry I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while, and almost decided that it wasn’t worth the hype when Mr. Barry brought my main gripe to the front and center. Part way through the book, he has one of the characters reading The Space Merchants and commenting on it. If he hadn’t done that, I think I would have had a hard time breaking away from the parallels between the two books. All in all it is a competent to good near future story in the low chrome cyberpunk tradition.
12. Sing the Four Quarters Tanya Huff. First of the Quarters novels, with a realistic teen to young adult protagonist. (Meaning I wanted to strangle her more than occasionally.) Next book in the set is set elsewhere with different people, which isn’t best in life, but what are you going to do? Not every day can be pillaging and such.
13. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Comics Pale Reflections, Crash Test Demons, and Bad Blood Sort of in the middle of a story here, but it is set before the parts of Buffy I’ve watched at this point.
14. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Comics Willow and Tara Amber Benson et al. I liked this set better than the more standard Buffy comics, but then I’m pretty sure that Willow and Tara are my favorite characters in the setting.
15 Megatokyo Volume 5 Fred Gallagher I’ve been reading Megatokyo since the middle of college. No surprises here. I think I’ve said this before, but MT works much better as a manga than as a web comic. (Which makes sense, as Fred wanted to make a manga.)
16. Forge of the Mindslayers Tim Waggoner Second book of the Blade of the Flame series, quite possibly my favorite Eberron material. This one delved further into Diran and Ghagi’s pasts and demonstrated the sort of special project that got spun and abandoned during the Last War.
17. The Sea of Death Tim Waggoner 3rd book of the blade of the Flame series. Vol’s running a Xanatos Gambit edging into Xanatos Roulette here. I’m really hoping for more Dirian and Ghagi books.
18. The Sagittarius Command R.M. Meluch This is the third Merrimack book. I’m pretty sure I assumed that Meluch was a guy in my first writeup of her work. Why? Not because she writes space combat, but because I internalized Asimov’s rant about women hiding their names as initials and assumed that everyone else did too, and because the ending used a plot device that annoys me a lot, one that I associate with male writers because it was developed and made badly stale by male writers at least 40 years before I was born. Oh yeah, I like this book a lot (I liked the first book except for the last 20 pages or less.)
19. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight 1-12 Assorted authors. I’m enjoying this series. So far it has been hit or miss for the tone of the best of Buffy. Book 12 has the most perfect reveal scene in the series so far, though the early scene with Buffy monologuing at Dawn is close, and Willow’s first appearance is awesome. (I so want to quote it, but that would spoil one of the better scenes in the early series.) Even if I’m not sure that she or Buffy deserves all of her lines later on. There is some big time healing that needs to happen to make their relationship make sense. Same as the end of Season 7.)
20. Midnighters: The Secret Hour Scott Westerfeld I’m not as enthralled with this one as with the Peeps universe. Still, good solid YA writing. I’ll give the whole series a chance.
21. Reader and Raelynx Sharon Shinn Another 12 houses book with the requsite fated romance story. This one focuses on the last core member of the party, and the Princess he just spent a year escorting across the country. The war that the series has been building toward happens, the bad guys die, and Sennith once again hijacks the end of the book. *sigh* I like her character. I just wish that when it isn’t her book, the last chapter wouldn’t be all about her.
22. Queen of the Slayers Nancy Holder Ugh. A few major slips in characterization. Major annoying style issues. Whenever she refers to Buffy outside of dialogue it is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Seriously? Ugh. If she had called her Buffy? We would have known just who it was. Including a main character’s title in every reference doesn’t work. It is a distancing tool you use for secondary characters and even then you drop it if they are emotionally close to the protagonist, unless it is a major issue for the protags. (See the Honor Harrington books. Honor uses titles with her closest friends until she starts growing up Very few exceptions. The narrator? Only when they are on their own, and even then only if they are briefly in view. The titles game is played fairly well to show how Honor (and often we) are supposed to feel about a character. Watch the narrator’s naming of White Haven and Hemphill through the series. (Also? Wikipedia totally screws Hemphill. She’s an important antagonist for the first 3/4ths of the series, and an important ally in the rest.) Also? Nothing happened before Xander’s eyes. He doesn’t have eyes. He has eye. Find a different non-incongruous turn of phrase.)
23. Seven Seasons of Buffy Glenn Yeffeth (ed) A series of essays by SF and F writers on Buffy the Vampire slayer. Fairly enjoyable literary analysis, even if occasionally an author would ignore all of the points that contradicted their thesis.
24. To Visit the Queen Diane Duane As much as I like the young wizards books, there is something particularly neat about reading Rhiow’s viewpoint. Even though she isn’t human, she has a more adult worldview, and seeing how she deals with the Lone Power’s more subtle attacks throughout this book is nice. I’d like to have had a little more resolution of what went on with her human, though I suspect that the next book (which I’m not sure got published. I know back before I was reading her material, there was a push to get it funded without going through her publisher, but it was sort of peripheral to my awareness at the time, with not recognizing the name (even though I’d read her work before.) The two youngest cats could have had another five thousand words to work through their issues as well. That probably would have strengthened that plot for me. All in all, a good book though.
25 Comic Party Book 2 Sekihiko Inui I bought the first book in this series on deep discount several years ago. I’d not bad, but if the library hadn’t had book two I’d probably not have bothered with it.
26. Chobits Book 1 Clamp Hurm... Pretty goy gets female android servant manga so far. Reasonably nice artwork, nothing particularly special. Both this and Comic party use a visual vocabulary that doesn’t quite click with me.
27. Class Dis-Mythed Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye These new Myth books are, in my opinion, not as strong as the best of the earlier books. That said, I am enjoying the Skeeve books in the new set. Skeeve as teacher is neat, and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming book that brings the characters back together. I do wish that these books did the traditional checking back in that the earlier books did whenever we were following only one portion of the cast. Also? The Bunny/Skeeve thing needs to be resolved between them (it has been resolved between all of the other characters, she needs to sit the boy down and give him a good talking to.)
28. Myth-Gotten Gains Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye An Aahz book. I think that Aahz has grown more as a character since the lead up to the dissolution of Myth-inc. I’m not as fond of his stories, even though they do a lot more character building than the Skeeve stories do. This book felt very much like it was there solely to demonstrate Aahz’s new personality.
29. Night Life Catlin Kettredge Supernatural Urban Fantasy. (Not necessarily in the genre romance category by the same name. Not sure yet.) Werewolf Cop in a world where Werewolves are known, if somewhat of an underclass. I like the main character, the setting, and the story. I wasn’t particularly convinced by the love interest, or at least he’s not the sort of guy I understand girls being into. Not a Harry Dresden book, but a very solid first novel. Ketteredge is definitely an author to be watching out for. (I’m pretty sure I heard about this one on Scalzi’s Big Idea posts.)
30. Small Favors Jim Butcher Newest Harry Dresden. Harry’s definitely come into his own as of this book. I hate how long it is going to be before the next one.
31. Shalom Japan Shifra Horn This book was a great experience. Essentially every book on Japanese culture and society that I’ve ever read was written by an American or a Brit. This book was written by an Israeli woman. The cultural divide between the US and Britain is something I’m familiar with. It was neat getting the occasional sense of “oh that’s something odd to notice” response from the book. I enjoyed the hell out of the book.
32. Rogue Angel: Solomon’s Jar Alex Archer First book in the series. Pretty good. Basic action adventure, holy sword. Written by a group, no real character development allowed. This is no problem in book one. The fact that no events carry over to the other books got me to stop reading the series several books later.
33. Good as Lily Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm Well, this is from DC’s Minx imprint, part of the attempt to bring more girls to comics by writing things that aren’t primarily male warrior fantasies and deformed women in very small amounts of spandex. A revitalization of the non-superhero comic world. I happened to like Grace’s attempts to deal with her younger and older selves, but the copy I read had a serious misprint. Pages 97-128 were missing, replaced with 65-96. Unfortunately, this covered a lot of the character growth that lead to the story’s resolutions.
34. Rogue Angel: The Chosen Alex Archer
35. Rogue Angel: The Spider Stone Alex Archer
36. Rogue Angel: Forbidden City Alex Archer
37. Going Postal Terry Pratchett One of the Industrial revolution books in the Diskworld series. Pretty much by definition, awesome.
38. Hogfather Terry Pratchett
39. Night Watch Terry Pratchett
40. Little Brother Cory Doctrow Hum. It is one AM and I am up reading the review copy of Little Brother that came with the UPS truck today. This isn't particularly non-standard behavior for me, what with the 1:30 AM average bed time. I'm going to post sometime soon about my thoughts about accepting a book that I want in exchange for agreeing to read the book (oh no, not the briar patch!) and talking about it either online or in the physical world. Unfortunately, I'm still figuring out my thoughts on the subject. I think they'll mostly be shaped like "I'm fine with it, but I do wonder if how much my perceptions are being shifted by the fact that I was given a shiny object that I wanted very much right before I started reading the book. And by the standard "wanting to do things that please the people doing the study/promotion/what have you" response that almost every human gets when they are asked questions or given things.

Now I'm going to play with metaphor.

So far (138 pages in) this book is reading like very good Neil Stephenson. (Cory Doctrow writes like the better parts of Stephenson's work in general. So I could have said "this reads like Cory Doctorow" but since this is a Cory Doctrow book, that would be less than useful.) Take Cryptonomicon. Make it more accessable. Double the amount of Civil Liberties stuff in the book. Make the character a particularly un-annoying 17 year old. He's brash and arrogant, he's a smart 17 year old after all, but he's a lot less annoying than most of the smart 17 year olds I've met recently. Update the pop culture references to today. Update the tech to today. Make it a shorter book, one short enough not to suffer wrist damage while reading it. (Cryptonomicon is one of the strongest arguments for e-paper. Gah that is a monster.) Up the fun by a bit. You have Little Brother.

I keep seeing reviews from people who use words on paper as a professional medium that say this is one of the most important books they've read. Usually folks who aren't neophobes. I think they might be right. The message is definitely incredibly important. There are some other books in the genre, including some that were published before the inception of the DHS, that say the same things this book is saying (as of 1/3rd of the way through.) This book is saying them though, in a manner that may well get them read. Concrete example. I think that Crypnomicon had the message and the information, but it lacked the accessibility to bring this to the people who need it. I was pretty much exactly the right audience for Stephenson's Book. Anyone who had a little more trouble following the plots, was a little less interested in any one of the stories, found the explanations a little harder to follow, thought the book needed to be a little shorter, or had less tolerence for a multiple page discussion of how to eat a perfect bowl of Captain Crunch probably didn't finish the book. That limits the audience, especially the young audience, to a particular set of subsets of nerdy geeks. Crypto geeks, WW2 Espionage Geeks, Geek Culture Geeks, and Hardware Geeks are all likely to finish Cryptonimicon with smiles on their faces. Broadway Musical Geeks with short fingers? They'll probably hurl the book against the wall out of sheer boredom and hand cramps after 50 pages. On the other hand, I have it on good authority that they readily and rapidly devour Little Brother. Additional Jokes Temporarily Suspended

Ooh! I'm a big fan of how the world and how the tech works exposition if done well. Stephenson, Lynch, and Heinlein come up as my first thoughts of examples of people who can do it right. Doctorow does it almost flawlessly throughout the book. All other lesser writers? I want to point out something that these people almost never do that you do and need to stop doing. Some asshole writing teacher sometime in the past told people never to put exposition in the text. Make it part of dialog. That can work. Except when you are explaining basic pieces of the setting by having two people talk. The "As you know" monster will come and beat you in the night with a rock if you do that. If you have to choose between An as you know style passage and just having the narrator have a half page or page segue, well the segue is much better. I am now typing with my eyes shut. I am done. Good Night.
I finished reading the book yesterday, and I've been rereading particular passages since then.
I compared it to Cryptonomicon the other day, and it turns out that Cryptonomicon is in the acknowledgments. I think that little brother was more tightly written, possibly a better book, but since the comparison came up while reading it, I ended up missing the more nonsensical asides from Stephenson's work. (There were big old exposition dumps in Little Brother, but they all had to do with explaining important parts of the world. Cryptonomicon had a multiple page digression about the perfect bowl of captain crunch cereal.

One thing that I wish the book had had was a 10 years later section. I wanted to see what happened to the characters. Of course, that would have changed the book from a story about a 17 year old protagonist to a story about the protagonist when he was 17, and while that would have been great for me, it probably isn't quite what the target audience wants.

Ooh, also? Shortly after publication, this book should be available on for download under one of the CC licenses. (The rest of Cory's work is there already.)

All in all? A good book. I'm going to have to buy a hard copy of it eventually.

41. Clubbing Andi Watson, Josh Howard Sadly, I read this one quite a while ago and have mostly forgotten what it is about. Something about a wealthy city goth kid being exiled to a countryside golf course. And maybe demons.

42. Dragonmarked Keith Baker Michelle Lyons, C.A. Suleiman Well, I do have a bit of a thing for most things Eberron, but this book was quite useful for looking at what one of the major shaping powers in the setting (the 13 houses) were like. Also, the house Orien prestiege class? Very awesome.
43. The Artemis Fowl Files Eoin Colfer An Artemis Fowl Short story of some virtue is included here.
44. Fun Home Alison Bechdel I’ve not read Dykes to Watch Out For, but I did like this autoiographical comic. (I don’t actually like autobiography, but I’m a sucker for it when I do actually read it.)
45. Victory Conditions Elizabeth Moon I’m certain I liked it. It’s part of the Trading in Danger series. I just don’t recall much about it. I think this was the “and now the payoff for our setup” book in the series.
46. Captain’s Fury Jim Butcher Pokemon Meets the Roman Legion, concieved on a dare if I recall. I would have preferred another Dresden book, but lacking that, I’ll read thiese. Not bad, but no Harry Dresden.
47. Dust Elizabeth Bear Well, I’m an unabashed EB fan, even if I’ve not read all of her stuff. That said, I’d be hard pressed to choose between a sequel to this and a sequel to the Modern Era Promethian books for “book I most want to read by Bear.” Not to trivialize, it is Universe/Amber cross fiction by an awesome author. (It really isn’t, but it takes some of the setting and themes from the first and some of the characters and themses from the second. And there is “not Benedict” and full of awesome. And there is another one coming out eventually.
48. Song in the Silence Elizabeth Kerner A series of adventure/dragon romance novels without once straying into “Venom Cock” territory. You know, that is faint praise. They were really actually quite good books.
49. The Lesser Kindred Elizabeth Kerner
50. Redeeming the Lost Elizabeth Kerner
51. Maus Art Speigleman I get what all of the noise was about. This was a great book, and I love the Meta in the later comics.
52. Undertown 1 Jim Pascoe and Jake Myler No real clue. Maybe a manga with a teddy bear.
53. .hack Rei Izumi and Tatsuya Hamazaki It was okay, but didn’t really grab my attention.
54. Inverloch Sarah Ellerton A most excellent comic that I’m happy to have found. I would have liked the ending to have been a little less compressed though.
55. Rolling Thunder John Varley The third book in the Red Lightning/Red Thunder/Rolling Thunder series of tributes to the Heinlein Juvies. There was a lot of stuff for the encyclopedic Heinlein fan to key onto. It stands alone well (which I know because I read it first.) Pretty excellent. I do wonder about some of the physics issues from the major plot token in the series.
56. First Truth Dawn Cook Sadly, I can’t go into detail on this series. Wizardry and dragons and some modern science hidden in odd wordings and some social engineering not the hacking term.
57. Hidden Truth Dawn Cook
58. Forgotten Truth Dawn Cook
59. Lost Truth Dawn Cook
60. Human Resources I picked this up expecting a dectective novel set on the moon. Instead it was about a somewhat amoral corporate guy who has a mystery to solve.
61. Kris Longknife Mutineer Mike Shepherd Military SF. I enjoyed them. I should have written them up earlier. They shift to diplomacy/espionage stories as the series goes on.
62. Gear School Gallardo et al.Comic, future military of some sort. Possibly mecha
63. Kris Longknife Deserter Mike Shepherd
64. Kris Longknife Defiant Mike Shepherd
65. Kris Longknife Resokute Mike Shepherd
66. Kris Longknife Audacious Mike Shepherd
67. Jhereg Steven Brust I like the Vlad Taltos books.
68. Yendi Steven Brust
69. Teckla Steven Brust
70. Onegai Teacher Shizuru Hayashiya
71 Saturn’s Children Charlie Stross
72 Top 10 1,2, 49ers
73 Runaways Pride and Joy through book 7
74. Taltos Steven Brust
75. Phoenix Steven Brust
76. Death: At Death’s Door Jill Thompson
77. Athyra Steven Brust
78. Orca Steven Brust
79. Dragon Steven Brust
80 Hellsing 1 Kohta Hirano
81. A Victory of Eagles Naomi Novic
82. The Duke of Uranium John Barnes
83. A Princess of the Aerie John Barnes.
84. Common Grounds Troy Hickman
85. The Lost Fleet: Valiant Jack Campbell
86. The Pheonix Guard Stephen Brust
87. Galactic Empires Vol 1 Brian Aldiss ed.
88. Boneyard 1-3 Richard Moore
89. Red Lightning John Varley
90, Red Thunder John Varley
91. Webmage Kelly McCullough
92. Cybermancy Kelly McCullough
93. Codespell Kelly McCullough
94. All the Windwracked Stars Elizabeth Bear. Falls short of Dust in my personal index of awesomeness, but only barely. eBear is one of the masters of the craft in her generation of SF. (eBear, Stross, Novick, Doctrow, maybe a few others.)
95. Working for the Devil Lilith Saintcrow
96. Dead Man Rising Lilith Saintcrow
97. The Devil’s Right Hand Lilith Saintcrow
98. Saint City Sinners Lilith Saintcrow
99. To Hell and Back Lilith Saintcrow
100. Starship: Mercenary Mike Resnick Every time I read one of Resnick’s books I come to like his work a little bit more. This series of books is playing with the same sort of myth making as the Return of Santiago.
101. Deus Ex: Ex Cathedra Brian Vaughn
102. Moon Called Patricia Briggs
103 Welcome to the Jungle Jim Butcher
104 Princep's Fury Jim Butcher

foodish experiment one
I tired one of Alton Brown's recipies last night. My results were mixed. As were my followings of the recipie, so, you know, fair enough.
I made peanut brittle according to his recipie, though I used both less of and a different type of pepper (see I don't always pepper things as much as humanly possible) and less cinnamon than he called for. I also apparently heated it about 4-5 degrees higher than he called for. I should have stuck to the color test instead of using our thermometer.
The result was a nicely complex flavore in my peanut brittle with more long chain pseudo sugars than the recipie calls for. Unfortunately, the added complexity clashes with the complexity added by the additon of the cinnamon and the pepper. Either Brittle with additives or brittle cooked hot, not both. It is still quite eddible though.

oh tannenbaum...

So, I surrealed up the lives of some of the locals today. I went and bought a christmas tree. I considered walking home with it, but then I decided that not only would that take a long time, it would also be difficult. So I biked with it. Initially I slung it over my shoulder, but after a couple of blocks I decided that I would just strap it to the back of my bike and be happy.

2008 was a good year for my book reading.But this next year is going to be awesome. I'm friggin ecstatic about the upcomming year.

Elizabeth Bear is putting the finishing touches to the sequel to Dust, which was itself packed with about as much awesome as anything I've read in the last year (It has a strong aspect of homage to both Amber and Universe, though with more skill than Universe and a tone and thematic underlayer that blows Amber out of the water. Don't get me wrong. I love me some Amber, but EB's best works are among the best things being written these days) (Dust is why All the Windwracked Stars wasn't my favorite book of the year.)

The next book in the Ravarin series by Kelly McCullough is due out next year. (It also has a strong aspect of Amber Homage to it. This has been my year for reading books by people who grew up reading the authors I grew up reading.)

Butcher's Dresden 11 is due out in 09. So I like Bear's writing better, but Harry Dresden is my Hero. (Sorry Matthew) As much as I enjoy the Caldorn series, I will be glad when it is concluded so that (hopefully) the Dresden books come out faster.

Tammy Pierce's Beka Cooper series gets a new entry, Bloodhound. I've got friends who complain that she is uneven in her writing. I have to admit to having not read everything she's written yet, but I agree that there have been some highs and lows in what I've read. That said, Terrier was some of the best writing that I've read by her. Which is saying a lot.

Scott Lynch's 3rd Locke Lamorra book is due out. Wherein, hopefully, both our Hero and our Protagonist find a way out of the dire predicament that he left them at the end of Red Seas over Read Skies. (I liked The Lies of Locke Lamorra better, but "not quite as good as TLoLL" is something that most authors should strive to achieve.

Diane Duane's A wizard of Mars should be out in 2009. She has shown a very uncommon talent for maintaining tension in a setting where characters gain in skill and talent as the books progress without having to ratchet up the scale of the consequences of failure. (While characters have had to save the entirety of reality in at least one of the books, the book after it wasn't a letdown even though the scope of the conflict was much much smaller.) (There are a bunch of genre cliches that she managed to avoid in the early books that made me incredibly happy.)

In theory, Martin's A Dance With Dragons is due out next year. I wouldn't hold my breath. Alas, this one will probably have even more PoV time dedicated to fucking Daenerys Targaryen, my least favorite character still living.

I know I'm missing books, things that I didn't even think to look to see if they were due out.

mutter mutter, internet is full of idiots
Okay, so some of you may have figured out that I am a left-centrist. I generally like the people on the left more than the people on the right, they are generally more compasionate, more decent, and more grounded in the real world. That is not to say that they are all like that, just that the majority are more so than the majority of the folks on the right. (And while the left has its own black hats, they've never been given the sort of power and influence, the sheer ability to direct the Left's agenda as say a Delay, a Rove, or a Regan have for the right.) This is why, by the way, I like Obama. He's a left centrist too. He's openly a left centrist. If you read The Audacity of Hope, there is no surprise for you that he's not some wonder-leftist, that he likes some aspects of the right and has some bones to pick with his own camp. He's got one of the more amicable scuyzzball preachers doing his inauguration, a guy who, while decent as his set gets is still anti-gay and anti-woman. He's also popular with the less extremist members of the religious right branch of the Blackhat party. Obama intends to be the President of America, not the president of the American Left. This is called meeting that part of the population half way. Sure, they are badly and deeply wrong, and we have to fight their agendas if we wish to consider ourselves decent human beings and furthermore, we must win that fight if we wish to consider our country a decent country, but excluding them from the dialog, alienating them and further fracturing our society? Not the way to do it. The left's big thing for the next 60 or so years needs to be undermining the division in America that the Right has created in the last 30 years. (Always harder to build than destroy *sigh*)
I read feministing. I love the articles mostly. Occasionally, I have a stupid moment and read the comments.
"Ok, this does it for me. I'm officially anti-Obama and would support his impeachment on day one if it were an option. Nothing short of a totally, 100% feminist president is acceptable anymore. Fuck his bigot pastor, fuck his inauguration, fuck the "christian" political agenda of hate, fuck his rhetoric and lies, and most of all FUCK OBAMA."

(About the above scuzzball pastor)
The thread following that is sort of special too. So glad that the left has to build coalitions instead of being strongly centralized like the right. Keeps this person's spiritual brethren and sisteren out of dangerously powerful positions.

(My take on Obama's political position is that he is a solid conservative in the rest of the world. In America, he's to the left of our current political process and a little bit to the right of our actual population. Americans are generally conservative, though less so than their politicians would indicate. There is a disconnect (engineered by the RR and the NeoCons) between our political beliefs and our political landscape. A few wedge issues, some effort to bring about voluntary disenfrachisement and disenchantment with the process, and wham, you've shifted politics way over to the evil side without having to shift the populace. Of course the Blackhats have occasionally forgotten that they didn't shift our memetics, just our voting patterns and over reach themselves.

My body my sel... er what the hell?

So my hair is turning white/grey. Been happening for more than a few years now. I'm not particularly bothered by or opposed to this. On the other hand, my eyebrow is turning blonde. That's just not right.

Harry Dresden is my Wizard

I really like Harry Dresden, especially in the later books after he's had the chance to gain some control over his life:

"I struggled to find the right words. “There are a lot of things I can’t control. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few days. I don’t know what I’m going to face, what kind of choices I’m going to have to make. I can’t predict it. I can’t control it. It’s too big.” I nodded at my shovel. “But that, I can predict. I know that if I pick up that shovel and clear the snow from the walkways, it’s going to make my neighbors safer and happier.” I glanced at him and shrugged. “It’s worthwhile to me. Give me a minute to shower.”

cut cut
I bought myself a cheap santoku. Even the cheap ones are fun to use.

So, some days I just do it to myself.
I mean seriously, have you ever made a series of choices, each in a row, each the one you knew was wrong, until you finally just had a horrible mess on your hands?
Guess who did that?
Yeah. Me.

I left work today a little late, I'd stopped to read for a bit, since I had a place to be at 7, and work ended at about 5:10 and while I had a few errands to run but plenty of time.
I had grabbed a final refill on my soda at work before I walked out the door. Since my front breaks are fubared (yeah I need to fix that) I didn't even hesitate to carry it in my left hand since that break wasn't going to do me any good. I took off, and it was chilly, but my first stop was only a block or three away, I didn't bother grabbing my gloves out of my backpack. I took off singing along with my new MP3 player, and headed down the road. I avoided catastrophe via the use of my flintstones breaks and got to the first block of my goal. Now, I was headed to the good will and their setup is annoying. They have a bike rack in front of their door, but there are only two points of access to their curb, the driveway at the far end of the building from the bike racks, and one from inside their parking lot. I usually take the sidewalk from the driveway to the racks. Today was no different. So I coasted down the sidewalk, one cold had steering the bike and distacted by singing. Went right off the sidewalk into the grass beside it. wheel jerked hard in a thin little crevice and wham, up and over the front went I.
Caught myself on my hands and my knees. On the concrete sidewalk. Bent my front fender thing a bit (regular occurence really) cracked my knee something good (same damned knee I always hurt. I think it is ok, but we'll see tomorrow, and now I get to be careful with it all winter.)

So recap,
I was riding a bike on a sidewalk, distracted, with one cold and numb hand on the handle bars and then crashed. Welcome to the "well duh moron" club. (seriously, on the road I wouldn't have hit the crevice. Not distracted I would have stayed on the sidewalk, two hands or one not numb hand and I could have corrected for the sudden jerk of the handlebars.

Made the rest of the evening a pain, and the thing I wanted to do at 7, apparently was canceled (or since I was 20 minutes late, maybe it just ended early, though the person I ran into getting there had been 15 minutes late and nothing.)