bunrab: (alien reading)
A Mankind Witch - Dave Freer - alt history and fantasy, part of a shared universe but doesn't have to be read in order. Going to look for earlier volumes.

Snoop - Sam Gosling. How to be a sociological researcher by looking at other people's bedrooms and offices. Turns out traits of openness and extraversion can be accurately judged by people's rooms, but room contents are not really any help at all in judging agreeableness or neuroticism.

Swine Not? - Jimmy Buffet. A lightweight, amusing anthropomorphized animal story. If you like those, you'll like this; if not, not. Pet potbellied pig in Central Park.

This Land is Their Land - Barbara Ehrenreich, one of my favorite ranting liberals, the
anti-Coulter.

Recently reviewed on Amazon.com, a couple of crafts books:
Beyond-the-Square Crochet Motifs
Knit on Down
bunrab: (liberal values)
With all the news about John McCain not knowing how to send email and never having been on the internet, I wonder, does anybody know, has John McCain ever been in a public library?
bunrab: (alien reading)
Okay. Let's see. The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison - latest in her Rachel Morgan series. Urban fantasy set in Cincinnati, our heroine is a witch, and demons are - well, not necessarily the enemy, and elves are, well, not necessarily nice people. This volume ties up a few loose ends, and introduces a cool plot twist. I really still don't like the character of Rachel's mother, though, no matter what good reasons she has for being nuts. Oh, and revelations about Rachel's father - surprising but I'm not sure I like that direction.

Have I already mentioned Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens? Yes, it's a Regency romance - but it's part of a series that features crime solving (murder mysteries and other crimes) as a major feature; in this one, not only our proto-PI, Barnaby Adair, but also our proto-police-detective, get a romance going.

Right is Wrong by Arianna Huffington. Even though I'm on the same general side of the fence, this book is a waste of time, because if one reads any political blogs at all, one has already read all of this. As blog entries, fine. As a book, it's incoherent. And repetitive and redundant. Preaching to the choir. People who disagree aren't going to buy the book, any more than I'd ever buy Coulter; people who agree, well, nothing new here, just a jolly bit of self-congratulatory feeling if you want to read somebody famous agreeing with you; and as for undecideds, well, I have the feeling that most people who are still undecided at this point are unlikely to buy or read hardcover books to help make their decisions. Will be remaindered the minute after the election, and have trouble selling even at $3.99. And I say this who agree with the general gist of the book.

Also a couple knitting books - possibly I'll go into detail on those some slow moment.

Pictures: jumping around a bit, here's toward the end of our trip; we're in Vienna eating pastry at a sidewalk cafe.


And here's one from Slovenia, speaking of pastry: Bled is famous for its cream cakes. We had some, and it was indeed delicious.

However, mostly what we saw in Bled was this: rain. And more rain. Frog-strangling rain.

That's looking down the street from the covered outdoor section of the very good pizza place attached to the back of our hotel.

I really do have to get these pictures up on a page so I can show you all of them without breaking anyone's fpage.
bunrab: (alien reading)
Alan Alda - Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself - mostly, bragging about what wonderful college graduation speeches he gives and repeats the gist of them. It's OK, but it's not anything that will inspire you to mindblowing new ideas.

Daniel H Wilson - Where's My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future That Never Arrived - a lot of fun. Jetpacks actually were invented, although so impractical that thus far even the extreme sports fans haven't really taken them up. However, as the author says, "Wherever a dangerous new technology exists, there is a guy with cool goggles and streaky blond hair waiting to shatter his fibula."

Blaize Clement - Even Cat-Sitters Get the Blues - third in the series about Dixie Hemingway, pet-sitter. This time, she's more of an iguana-sitter than a cat-sitter. And there's a mad scientist, in a more or less realistic fashion rather than cartoon fashion. She sort of overstates the similarities between iguanas and chickens, though; their last common ancester wasn't THAT recent.

Reading

Jan. 17th, 2008 01:13 am
bunrab: (alien reading)
A couple of knitting books. (One reviewed at Amazon.com here.)

A Larry-Niven-and-somebody collaboration that was supposed to fill in some of the gaps in Known Space - "200 years before Ringworld!" - it was so full of clumsy retconning and had so many distortions of Nessus' personality, along with some improbable captive-bred humans, that I didn't finish it.

Charles Stross - Halting States. Um, cyberpunk murder mystery gamer fantasy spy thriller. A little heavy on the gamer stuff, but not unintelligibly so. [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat, you may want to give this one a peek. Our heroes are a Python programmer with a checkered past, a forensic accountant (female) with a serious sword habit, and a lesbian Detective Sargeant with a strong enough Scottish accent that I had some trouble interpreting at first.

Um, a bunch of back issues of Ellery Queen mystery magazine.

Oh, Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class by Robert Frank. Liberal economist, those who like Juliet Schor should like Frank also; makes a case for a progressive consumption tax which he rounds up some conservative support for also. A book that gives one something to think about, without being so heavy or academic that you give up with a sneer about economists.
bunrab: (Default)
gacked from [livejournal.com profile] avanta7:
How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

bunrab: (alien reading)
Murder Among the Owls - Bill Crider. Latest in his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. OK, not spectacular. I could guess the killer pretty easily, but it was still interesting watching the process.
Conservatize Me! - John Moe. An NPR talk show host decides to see if there's anything to the neo-con point of view by immersing himself in its icons and idols. Some very funny bits, some very thoughtful ones. He discovers that he could actually think well of Richard Nixon, certainly compared to what came later, but that no one, not even the most thoughtful pundits, can convince him the Iraq war is necessary; he discovers that taken as individuals, most conservatives are nice people, although there are conservative radio hosts who are still *ssh*les. And there's no way whatsoever that he can convince himself that the Family Research Council aren't dangerous wingnuts.

I already mentioned that I re-read the Liaden series; I re-read I Dare, the last book in the series, yet again, 'cause damn, I love a good space opera/romance/military adventure/fantasy/hero accountant/cat story!!

I have been "talking" the ears off my motorcycle list about music theory, specifically even-tempering and the mathematics of different keys of music. (Someone was silly enough to *ask* me to explain a remark about Bach.) Be glad you are not being subjected to that.
bunrab: (teacup2)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/obit_ivins
One of my favorite political writers. We met her a couple times when she spoke at meetings of groups we belong to. Her being 5-foot-twelve won't be the only reason her shoes will be hard to fill.
bunrab: (liberal values)
We drove over to Delaware Monday to visit; Tuesday morning they put a stent in one of the blocked arteries. We'll drive over again to visit on Wednesday. Thursday they should be sending him home, although he'll have to visit the hospital daily for another month for assorted cardio rehab. He has been in good spirits right along - my dad sets a terrific example for being cheerful no matter what, and it makes people happy to be around him, and nurses happy to help him, and all sorts of stuff like that. About the only thing he's not entirely cheerful about is hospital food, and hey, I'd *really* worry if he liked the stuff!

Missed Monday rehearsal because I was in Dover (and the rain coming back made things interesting). Tuesday rehearsal - Baltimore - was, um, interesting. We'll probably miss rehearsal Wednesday, since we'll be in DE again and the likelihood of driving not only back here but another hour west, in time for a 7:30 rehearsal, is small. Things should get back to normal after that, though.

And hey, GO DEMS!!!
bunrab: (liberal values)
Still working on getting the speed of the animation correct. I may redo this one slower, if I can figure out how to edit it - every time I try to use the edit feature, I get only one frame, as if it weren't an animated GIF, and no way to adjust the time on that one frame. Still a work in progress. More to come.

ETA: slowed the icon down a bit (using another icon shareware package...)
bunrab: (liberal)
When I was doing that interests-images meme a couple of posts ago, one of the things that bugged the hell out of me was that for the interest "liberal," every single one of the images that the meme generator offered was not, in fact, for a liberal, but was an image of a cover of a book dissing liberals, or a t-shirt or poster ditto, or in some cases, not just dissing, but outright hate speech against liberals. Now, that bugs me. If I really thought about it, I'd probably go back and boycott the whole meme, until they fix that, to replace those pictures with something that genuinely reflects a person with an interest in liberal thought and politics. Since I'm too lazy to undo having done the meme, let me use this post to tell you all to add your complaints to mine, to the creators of the meme, please. And I've decided to make myself a few liberal icons, of which the first one is displayed with this post. This is a trial version of some downloaded icon-maker software, so it's not fancy, until I learn more about what it does. Shortly, expect a whole bunch o' liberal icons!

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