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    BPL Speed Reads


    2012 - 08.04

    Burnaby does things well. I was a Coquitlam girl until I moved out here about five years ago with Dave, and I love it out here (not that there’s anything wrong with Coquitlam!). One of the things that I find awesome is that the Burnaby Public Library now has a category of books they call “Speed Reads”. They’re on a shelf at the front of the library with bright neon stickers on them. They can’t be requested, put on hold or renewed, so it’s kind of like a nifty treasure hunt to see what’s there. Last time, there were two copies of Mockingjay and a new Charlene Harris book. Another time, the newest Laurell K. Hamilton book was there, and I’ve seen very popular books waiting. It’s a great way to avoid wait times!  Just make sure you’ve got the time to read them…they’re only a seven day loan, and the overdue fines are $1/day. Ouch. Flashbacks of SFU library… :/

    A Dance with Dragons


    2012 - 02.26

    Picked up A Dance with Dragons today from the library, don’t know if I’ll actually read it or not.  We did watch the TV series on HBO (A Game of Thrones), but it’s been years since I’ve read any of the books.  Karin’s currently reading them in eBook form (although we own them, she has been unable to locate the physical copies of the first two books).  So I guess I’ll try reading book 5 and see if enough of it makes sense to warrant reading the whole thing, or if I’m going to have to re-read the series (in which case I’ll probably put it off for another time).  The dangers of epic fantasy I guess.

    Running out of Books


    2012 - 02.13

    I have this habit of finding author’s I like and reading everything that they’ve ever written.  At the moment I’m close to running out of books to read, the book that I just picked up from the library was another one that I heard about through the Writing Excuses podcast… so we’ll see whether it leads to another few authors to read (it’s also the first in a series, which I didn’t know in advance).  Failing that I may have to revisit the 100 Book Challenge and pick another couple of books from that list… unless of course someone else has recommendations…

    Shared Bookshelves?


    2012 - 02.06

    We’ve already gone through the process of sharing our bookshelves, but I thought this article was amusing and worth sharing (How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship):

    It wasn’t when we moved in together, or when we got engaged, or even when we merged bank accounts (because we’re crazy like that) and bought a house that I knew my husband was in it for the long haul. All of those choices were significant, sure, but the real clincher–the moment I knew we had committed to the whole “what’s mine is yours” thing for real–was when we decided to merge our bookshelves. The actual process of merging said bookshelves? That was the first test of our soon-to-be marriage.

    excerpt from: How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship

    Perhaps this post will inspire Karin to write about the experience of merging our books… (although I thought that perhaps she had already, but I didn’t find a historical post which talked about it; could have been just a Facebook update or Tweet or something).

    Review: El Mirador by Alex J. Kane


    2011 - 12.12

    I’ve finally managed to get around to reading Mirror Shards, that would be the Anthology in which Karin is published.  Because of that I wanted to do a careful reading of all the works in the anthology, and write reviews of them.  Because of the desire to write reviews it’s been on my “to read” list much longer than I’d like.  Partly because other books were out of the library which puts you on an actual deadline, and partly because I mostly read before bed.  When I read before bed it’s pleasure reading, which isn’t appropriate for something that I want to review.  Not having anything out from the library at the moment (or at least not that I haven’t already finished reading), it made it possible for me to get started.

    So the first story in Mirror Shards: Extending the Edges of Augmented Reality, Edited by Thomas K. Carpenter is El Mirador by Alex J. Kane.

    I was very much caught off guard by the story.  I really didn’t have any idea what to expect based on the title, but I definitely had not expected a second person story, but that’s what I got.  Interesting choice that.  The ideas are good, the pacing is good, the story overall is good, although it left me wanting more.  More depth, more detail, more Tzitzi.  I guess realistically being left wanting more is definitely a better thing than wanting less.  I also expect that it’s something that’s totally common among people who are primarily book readers, and even more so in my case as I primarily read series.  So going from stories which typically are told in hundreds of thousands to millions of words, and instead down to something that’s more appropriately counted in hundreds of words.  Odds are that it’s going to leave you wanting more.  Even stories that very clearly have a completed arc are likely to leave you with questions like: but what happens next?

    Bottom line, I enjoyed the story and would consider reading more work by Alex J. Kane, but at this point I’m not going to go to any particular effort to seek it out.

    The World Illuminated Through a Windshield


    2011 - 11.17

    Regrettably today consisted largely of replacing bulbs, which was way more difficult that in needed to be in my opinion.  Replacing the taillight it was really simple to get it out, more difficult to put back in than it should have been.  Simple four petal design that you turn counterclockwise to remove and turn clockwise to lock back in place.  What they neglect to mention in the manual is that there is one specific petal which needs to match up with one particular gap.  Seems needlessly complex, but is easy enough to deal with once you’re aware that you need to line things up.

    Replacing the two headlights was a much more difficult ordeal, they really leave less than the minimum required amount of space to replace the bulb.  Probably took half an hour to replace both bulbs.  Hopefully it would be faster in the future, but much of it is fiddly rather than “difficult”.  The first main problem was that the manual didn’t actually explain how to release the metal bulb holding clip.  For the record: when you’re facing the car, push on the left hand side of the clip, push towards the front of the vehicle and then down to release the clip.  I don’t know if that’s unique to my car (2003 Pontiac Vibe AWD) or to the bulb type (9003).  With the amount of space available and the lack of visibility into what you’re actually doing, it was way more difficult to do than it felt like it should be, but in the end I was able to do it, despite bouts of doubt and frustration.

    Despite all of that, it wasn’t all bad.  I bought my dual pack of GE 9003 Nighthawk Platinum bulbs at Lordco where they were on sale for $38.99 (seems that regular there is $67.97 according to the invoice; regular price at Canadian Tire is $59.99).  In addition to being on sale, there’s also a $10 mail in rebate on them (at Lordco only) until the end of January, which means I’ll have got them for less than half their regular Canadian Tire price… so pretty pleased with that.  Canadian Tire however was about $4.25 cheaper for the taillight, so that’s where I got those, and installed all the bulbs in their parkade.

    We went out to the mall later to return some clothes and have dinner.  While we were there there was some kind of incident which involved someone being handcuffed.  It happened in the main atrium area while we were eating, Karin took a look.  When we went past later I saw that it was an older guy (rather than a young punk like I assumed it would be).

    Leaving the mall we went to the library to pick up the next half dozen books Karin needs to read in the 100 Book Challenge, some of which are even short.  I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s first book: Elantris.

    Leaving the library we decided to go for a bit of a drive up SFU to test out the new headlights… it’s kind of hard to tell how good the headlights are when you’re driving on streets with headlights.  It was snowing a little bit, but not enough to concern us at all.  Got up to the main intersection and there were some cars essentially blocking the straight through route that takes you to UniverCity that I’d planned to take, so we turned left and headed towards the main campus.  After the first turn we saw a traffic jam which involved a bunch of cars and a couple of buses, none of which were moving forward.  It wasn’t clear what the actual problem (aside from snow) was, so we turned around and headed back the way we came.  Snow 1; Headlight Testing 0.  On the bright side, the all wheel drive and all seasons are still really effective in the snow.

    Shelves in the sidebar


    2011 - 09.22

    Finally after far too much html hackery we have Shelfari shelves displaying nicely in the sidebar.  So you can check out what Karin and I are reading pretty easily, if that’s something that interests you.  This would be where some of you would point out that it’s still there even if it doesn’t interest you, but we don’t have smart ass readers, right?

    They’re near the bottom of the right column, if you’re looking for them.  You’ll need to scroll down.

    Heat Rises


    2011 - 09.14

    Just on a related note, Heat Rises comes out on Sept. 20th, 2011 (which is the day after Castle premiere’s for the season).  The Burnaby Public Library has 5 copies on order, and I am the fifth hold, so I guess I’ll be getting to read it as soon as it comes in.  Or probably more accurately, I’ll be getting to pick it up as soon as it comes in, and then I will get book-jacked by Karin as soon as she sees it, and then 2.5 seconds later* I’ll get to read it.

    * note: 2.5 seconds later represents the actual time it will take her to read the book.

    Books, books, BOOKS!!!


    2011 - 08.07

    I bet that the title of this post gets Karin all excited ;-)

    Just checking out my holds at the Burnaby Public Library (BPL), and looks like I’m in a good place for most of them, and will be getting them soon:

    Karin will like that it’s possible that I’ll have some of these books by the time she’s back from her vacation.  She might not like that I may have already started reading them (and despite the fact she reads way faster, we have a standing rule: if someone has already started reading the book you have to wait until they are finished.  No Poaching! or “Book-jacking” as we sometimes call it).  However, I’ll have missed her so much I might let her read them first (assuming I even have them yet).  Then again right now I’m on page 97/994 of The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two) so I might not even be finished that by the time she’s back.

    This appeals to one of our readers (e.g. me), so here’s a couple of videos:

    Patrick Rothfuss Interviews Jim Butcher at San Diego Comic Con 2011: No Ghost Story spoilers, but there is a Changes spoiler around 10:50, you have been warned.  [I haven't actually listened to it yet]

    Jim Butcher Interviews Patrick Rothfuss at San Diego Comic Con 2011: Don’t know if there are spoilers as I haven’t listened to it yet.

    Patrick Rothfuss also appears in Writing Excuses, in particular Episode 1.32.

    The Internet…is DOWN!


    2011 - 07.02

    We had a weird experience yesterday. Our internet was down, due to a contractor cutting through a cable at some place around out neighbourhood. Normally my days are filled with hours of Facebook games and general “falling down the rabbit hole” as I wander through the tubes of the internet, discovering new webcomics and blogs, searching out recipes and art techniques I won’t use because I’m too busy with Facebook games.

    Instead, yesterday and part of Wednesday night was filled with reading, working on my cross stitch zombie project, writing from a writing prompt on Writing Excuses, two visual journal pages, washed some pots, went for a walk and visited with people for Canada Day.  While I still feel that the internet is a valuable tool, I’m starting to realize that I need to walk away from it sometimes. (The irony that I’ve just spent two hours drafting blog posts is not lost on me.)  Today, I’m going to the library to get some books on canning and preserving, going to the farmer’s market to see what’s in season and I’m going to make some preserves!