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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Food and Books

8 04 2010

Unfortunately, I’m already not meeting the goal of a daily post.

Update on lunch:  everything kept very well, even the avocados.  No pictures of today’s lunch.  I had some Progresso clam chowder and French bread.

I used my pressure cooker for the first time today.  I cooked a batch of pinto beans, and am attempting to mash them like I’ve been shown in the past, but am not having much luck with the mashing part.  The cooking part was a lot less scary than I expected.  Kes did his best to find the safest pressure cooker he could, and it seems pretty good so far.

For dinner, I made chicken curry.  I just used an S&B medium hot curry brick, carrots, peas, potatoes, chicken and water.  Not too complex, but I like the taste.

Reading-wise, I’m a few chapters into the first Dresden Files book.  I’ve read this far before, but never got to finish it.  I’ve always liked mystery books, and adding a dash of the supernatural is definitely appealing.  I think some of it is a little overly silly (did he really have to name it the “Nevernever?”), but on the whole, I’m enjoying it so far.

Since I didn’t get to finish re-listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on CD on the drive to and from my parents’ house, I’ve been listening to it off and on.  I had forgotten how depressing it is.  I also discovered that JK Rowling is fundamentally against publishing her works as ebooks when I went looking for a written copy for my Nook.

It sounds like Rowling’s dislike of ebooks is a mix between her love of the physically written word (apparently she wrote all the Harry Potter books in longhand), and her fear of pirates.  Regarding the latter, I would have to say I agree with a lot of people that if you deprive the market of a legal version of something it’s clamoring for, the demand isn’t going to disappear, and her decision has likely driven more people to piracy than if she had just allowed ebooks of her works to be released.  Regarding her reverence of the physically written word, I think that’s pretty cool.  I remember seeing pictures of her handwritten copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.  I do think it’s a little short-sighted not to publish ebook versions of her work nonetheless.  After all, there are audiobook versions of her work, and that’s certainly not handwritten (yes, I know reading aloud, different medium, etc.).  Anyway, I would like for there to be [legal] ebook versions of Rowling’s books.





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.





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!





Daily Progress 11 March 2010

11 03 2010

Reading
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
is coming slowly for me.  I’m on page 99 now, but still don’t have much to discuss.  In addition to wanting to avoid spoilers, I don’t feel like I’ve settled into the book yet.  I enjoy the writing style, but I don’t feel like I’m getting to know the characters well.  I’m not sure if it’s the narrator’s point of view, and/or if the author is revealing the characters slowly on purpose.  I am definitely intrigued enough to want to learn more about the characters.

Media
I watched seasons 1 and 2 of The Guild on Netflix streaming.  This is the first I’ve seen of the series.  On Netflix, each season is compiled into a single video, which was really nice for viewing.
As blasphemous as some people may find it, I prefer trade paperback compilations of comics to picking up each issue as they come out.  I get irritated enough with books that end each chapter on a cliffhanger, only to switch to another character’s point of view for the next chapter.  Overall, I prefer experiencing a whole story at once.  I think this preference extends to The Guild.  That is, I am not sure I could have gotten into the story if I had started watching it when it was coming out, so I’m glad I was able to watch seasons 1 and 2 straight through.

Knitting

blanket panels

current blanket panels

I have 3 panels of my knit blanket completed, and am working on a 4th. Honestly, it’s coming more slowly than I expected. When Ashlyn and I first started knitting in Governor’s School, I feel like we finished a whole scarf or hat every day. These panels don’t even add up to half a scarf. It’s true that I haven’t knitted for awhile, so I’m getting back in the groove, but it’s also possible that I’m remembering incorrectly.