Exercise and Reading

14 04 2010

I walked around the park with my friend and his dog for about an hour today.  It was in the upper 70s, but not too bad.  I do have leash burn on the back of my leg, though.  The dog got way too excited and ran around me, so ouch.

I’ve finished several books lately:  the first Dresden Files book, the first Mysterious Benedict Society book, the second and third Percy Jackson books, and Sunken Treasure.  Out of the group, I enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict Society the most.  I’ll definitely pick up the second one at some point, and hopefully I’ll continue to enjoy the series through the 3rd that I have from iTunes.  The Percy Jackson books are definitely better to read in print than to listen to on audio.  Definitely much quicker to read.  I now understand why The Lightning Thief was such a short audiobook.  It looks like all the Percy Jackson books are under 200 pages so far.

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29 March 2010

29 03 2010

Normally I would be spending today with Kes.  It is often his day off.  One of his coworkers got married, and got stuck in the airport, though, so Kes is at work and I’m watching Torchwood.  It definitely has a different vibe from Dr. Who, but I find it to be enjoyable.  I tried watching some of the earlier Dr. Who iterations (from before it was brought back with Chris Eccleston), but I wasn’t as drawn into it.  I enjoyed The Three Doctors, for example, but the experience of the show is so different.

I might actually go to sleep before the sun sets today.  I’ve been staying up until it’s dark, but that’s making me really tired.  Hopefully I can get my schedule straightened out so I will function normally.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is still coming slowly, even though relatively interesting things are happening.  I doubt it’s possible for me to finish reading that and/or Gateway by the end of the month like I planned, so I may move on to a different book for awhile.  Probably something I have on my Nook.

Happy almost Passover (the sun is still up).





Staying indoors

20 03 2010

It turns out it is snowing…  It rained all night and morning, and recently began sleeting and snowing.  With all the wet, my ceiling is leaking again, even after the roof was replaced.  Now it’s in my living room instead of just my kitchen, though.

Yuck, what a gross weekend outside.  Fortunately, I have Hikaru no Go and Dr. Who to watch.  (I’m watching the first season of Dr. Who that has David Tennant as the Doctor.)

I read a bit more Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  I’m at the beginning of Book 2 now.  It finally feels like the book itself is beginning.  I’m not sure why it feels like such a slow read.





Delicious Food, and A Challenge

16 03 2010

Delicious Food
Kes decided he would make bao today, and has been working very hard on it since I got home from work.  I stopped by Harps to pick up some garlic and cabbage for the filling, and thought I’d pick up some spring rolls to go with our meal.  There were instructions for baking the spring rolls in addition to frying, so I tried the baking route this time.

IMG_0270 IMG_0262

A Challenge
Disappointed that my previous post did not refer to Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, my friend Tanner challenged me to listen to the audiobook and write a review of this work.  I’ve read excerpts for philosophy classes, but have not consumed the work as a whole before.  This will be very different for me to judge as an audiobook since LibriVox‘s audiobooks are all read by volunteers, not professionals.





Leviathan Audiobook

15 03 2010

I finished listening to the audiobook of Leviathan today.  After I bought it from iTunes, I was a little leery because it was only 8 hours (as opposed to the >10 hours of The Lightning Thief, and the ~20 hours of most of the Harry Potter books).  I was surprised it was such a short audiobook since seeing the paperback in Hastings and Barnes and Noble made me think it was reasonably long.

On the whole, I enjoyed the book very much.  I haven’t read much alternative history, but I definitely liked the flavor it gave the book (it is set in an alternative World War I timeline).  In addition, the conflict between genetically engineered animal vehicles and mechanized vehicles was interesting and enjoyable for me.

I really enjoyed the two main characters.  To be fair, I am a sucker for strong female characters who disguise themselves as males.  Both children had enough sadness in their lives, enough joy, enough pettiness, and enough confusion to feel real to me.

The reader did a good job, and didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the book the way the reader of The Lightning Thief did.

My main complaint about the book is that it ends on a cliffhanger.  In my mind a book should be a complete thought.  Cliffhangers are fine at the end of chapters, or sections in the book, but the story should be reasonably resolved by the conclusion.

While short, I’d recommend this audiobook to people who enjoy fantasy, young adult fiction, alternative history, and audiobooks in general.  Based on the reader/narrator, I have no reason to recommend either the audiobook or print book more highly.  It was a great listen.





Weekend 13 March 2010

13 03 2010

Reading
I’ve gotten a little further in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell The book almost feels like it has started.  I’m pretty sure I’m about to meet the second titular character.

Knitting
Slow, but steady progress in knitting, I suppose.  Four panels instead of just three.

Movies
I watched all of The Blues Brothers for the first time today.  I loved it!  I commented to Kes that their concert reminded me of The Sound of Music. They let them finish their show before taking them into custody, but it’s not Nazis this time.  Then I realized there were Nazis after them in The Blues Brothers.  Amusing, but not a big correlation between the two movies.

Gaming
For the past month or so I haven’t been playing many video games.  I’m getting back in the groove, though.  Yesterday, I played some Civ IV.  It seems like it could be an enjoyable game, but I’m pretty bad at it, and don’t really understand the intricacies of gameplay.  Today I replayed the end of  Mass Effect so I finally had a save file to import into Mass Effect 2.  Playing through the first part of Mass Effect 2 with the “cannon” story was awful for me because my character was not a terrible person, whereas apparently cannon Commander Shepard is.  I hated going around places and people hating on me for letting certain people die, or people who were supposed to be dead coming up to me and complaining at me.  Ugh.  Now I feel like I can experience the game properly.

Internet
My internet was out for a large chunk of today, yikes!  Honestly, it didn’t affect me too much.  It was mostly out while I showered, had lunch, watched The Blues Brothers, and knitted.  I was a little worried it wouldn’t be up in time for me to make a blog entry, but here it is!





04 March 2010

4 03 2010

The weather is nice out today (about 55F), so I walked to Harps to pick up 2lb of strawberries for food day at work tomorrow.  I’m trying to be more active, so it was nice to get outside and have a brisk walk.  Enjoying the sun was also nice.  I probably fill my “nerd” stereotype a bit too much regarding never seeing the sun.

I’m about halfway through chapter 2 of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. While I haven’t gotten far in the book, I am enjoying it immensely.  One thing I find particularly amusing are the footnotes.  In general I find footnotes to be both amusing and enjoyable in fiction.  At the moment the main one other than Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell that comes to mind is Good Omens, but I’m pretty sure I’ve enjoyed footnotes in other books as well.

My plans for this evening include picking up some dinner for myself and a friend, then chilling at his house while watching Top Gear.  As little as I know about cars, I find both Top Gear and Car Talk incredibly enjoyable.  Maybe I secretly have a passion for cars, but I just won’t tell myself.

Today my dad pointed me toward an Engadget article about an $85 netbook. It’s certainly limited (tiny screen, non-Atom processor, etc.), but at $85, I don’t see any reason not to at least check it out.  It seems like it would be great for a student, or anyone who needs to take notes on a regular basis.  Regarding application capabilities and such, it seems more like a mobile phone than a laptop.  To be fair, though, mobile phones can do quite a bit these days.

Ĝis!
(until next time)