How’s this for a super-weird coincidence? I was IMing with Kristen on Skype — something we actually hardly ever do — when she asked if I’d received the baby care package she sent. I said Nope. Our intercom buzzed a minute later, and it was the postman who had a parcel I needed to sign for. And what was that parcel? A baby care package from Kristen!
It tells the story of Teena and her daughter Bethel Maguire, who are accosted one night, going home from a Fourth of July party via a shortcut. The ones doing the accosting are a bunch of young men. You can imagine what happens next.
It’s crude and takes no prisoners, but isn’t graphic. The voice, which jumped among a few characters, did (to me) reflect the emotional state of whoever was telling the story. It was profoundly affecting, yet cold.
I suggested this book to a book group, and it wasn’t received very well. It’s not exactly a cheerful nor uplifting read, I guess. But it is amazing.
Amazon UK uses Yodel, and we have had four parcels delivered (three of which came from my wish list). And when I say ‘delivered’, I mean dumped outside our apartment block’s security door — i.e. in public, where anyone could pinch them if they felt so inclined. No delivery note, nothing. It’s been raining a lot the past two weeks (it’s quite the drought we’re having), so most of these parcels have been a little soggy, to say the least.
This morning I got in touch with Amazon UK to complain (I’d be surprised if much happens), and it seems that a whole lot of customers are unhappy with Yodel. So until Amazon stop using Yodel for deliveries, I’m going to stop buying ‘direct’ from Amazon UK. Doesn’t stop me using their universal wish list, though!
According to some of the commenters, marriage is a religious rite. So I guess Neil and I aren’t married, since I’m not religious (and neither is he). We are having a child out of God-ordained wedlock! Double sinning! Oh noes!!!!!1!
Y’know, all the commenters on this post about having electronics turned off during takeoff / landing have missed the most obvious reason why airlines have such silly rules about mobile phones. It’s nothing to do with interference, or distractions, or preventing ‘missiles’ — it’s because if everyone left their phones on the cabin would be an even worse place to be stuck in. There will always be at least one mofo who will persist in having a long, shouted phone call, or play bad techno on speaker.
They sure burn some weird shit as offerings. All I know is, if there is an afterlife, I’d prefer to have all my own teeth, even if I lost them while still breathing. Do they provide denture cleaners and adhesives in cardboard, too? Without them, I find this offering sadly wanting.
Oh, yummy: Dell working on Ubuntu Ultrabook for developers. Not that I’m a developer, but an Ubuntu-based ultrabook would be lightning-fast and should last a really, really long time. My Dell laptop — purchased in 2006 — runs Ubuntu 12.04 pretty well at the moment, so I will be watching these developments with interest (assuming it develops further).
It hasn’t exactly been dead quiet round these parts, but I’ve been busy in the background, trying out HTML 5 (a new theme is coming soon, which looks suspiciously similar to the old theme), and my Recesky DIY TLR arrived today!
I added a Lomo filter to this digital photo just to be corny
When they say it’s a DIY camera, they mean it. It comes in a box of bits that you assemble youself, following a set of not-bad-but-not-great instructions (I used a photo tutorial from lofico as a reference to make sure I was doing it right). Mine came in a styrofoam box and I had to be very, very careful not to knock it over and lose screws and springs (they are very small). It took me a few hours to put it together, with a break for lunch and a wee Skype session with family.
Originally, I thought I’d need Neil’s help in putting it together, but as he’s rather busy this week and I’m not exactly known for my patience, I thought I’d give it a go.
Tangent: It’s a good thing Neil is Mr. Handy. I got to use his small screwdriver set. I kept my oily fingers off the lenses by using my teeshirt to hold them.
The good news is I think I’ve managed it — without breaking anything. If I can put this camera together, anyone whose fingers are less clumsy can do it, too.
Okay, I now own five cameras (Neil has three), none of which are particularly flash (see what I did there). That’s a bit mad. However, I’ve never used a TLR before, so if I can get one cheaply (this kit cost buttons) and experiment, it’s all good. That’s my excuse.
Now I just need some prolonged periods of sunshine. And a camera strap. And a camera bag.
Only having read two of Cory Doctorow’s novels, I can’t really say if he’s going to be one of my favourite authors, but the prognosis is good.
What I’ve liked so much about what I’ve read so far is his science fiction-y view of our near future is so plausible (and so deliciously geeky). In Eastern Standard Tribe, our protagonist is a user experience expert who is also a saboteur, working in GMT but is really a double agent for EST. But then he meets a girl.
The story flips back and forth in time, over a period of a few months (I think). We know that he’s been locked up somewhere (that’s how the novel starts), and then we go back in time and meet the girl. The entire story is basically about how these two events collide.
It was fun, and if you dabble a little in cyberpunk now and again, you’ll probably like it.