Blog Posts

Just K1, P1 for 1115 days

I taught myself continental style last week, mostly on a whim. I can say things like this, because I have become fairly proficient at knitting. See, today marks exactly three years since I learned how to knit. Learning to knit changed my life. I never saw it coming. And since I started learning, I have never stopped. So, why the continental style?

Is this the future? I like it

Last time … on Ben’s blog! I got a Nexus 5. I spent most of that post rambling about why I got a new phone, why I chose the Nexus 5, and my initial reactions to unboxing the phone. Now I’ll go into more depth regarding my thoughts on the Nexus’ hardware and the software—Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop.

New phone: Nexus 5

I gave in and bought a new phone last week. It arrived on Tuesday. Specifically, I bought a 32 GB black Nexus 5 from the Google Play Store. My former (and first) smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy Captivate (that is, the original Galaxy S phone). I don’t think it ever received an update beyond Android 2.2—I don’t know, though, because I eventually grew brave enough to flash CyanogenMod to it, freeing me from the tyranny of TouchWiz, and there was much rejoicing.

It's Desert Bus time again

It’s November, and that means it is Desert Bus for Hope time. Those of you who are old enough to remember life before the web might remember the phenomenon known as the charity telethon. Not-for-profit TV stations, or various charity organizations, would host fundraising drives. You could watch people perform on TV and make a pitch for donations, then you could phone in, and an operator would take down your name and your money. Desert Bus for Hope is kind of like that.

That autumn feeling

Well, it’s happened. The leaves have changed colour. They are starting to fall. That chill is in the air again. Autumn is here. I’m lucky enough to live in a part of Canada that (usually) experiences all four seasons to a good extent. And I am especially anticipating winter this year, of course, because I “missed” it last year.

Will consult on your spam email for $$$

I don’t get a great deal of spam, and Gmail does protect me from the most obvious—from a machine’s point of view. Gmail has dropped the ball, however, on detecting spam that is clearly spam to a human but cleverly disguised as legitimate. Here’s a message I received on Wednesday: Dear owner of Tachyondecay.net, I’m sure you have been contacted in this matter many times before but our value proposition is much different.

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Damned (Damned #1) cover image

I have to return this book to the library soon, because despite putting it on hold, it has another hold on it already. Already. This Chuck Palahniuk guy sure is popular. Yet I feel as if I should do my civic duty and put a sticky note inside this book that reads, “Don’t bother.” That’s pretty much my review of Damned, in two words.

Madison Spencer is a thirteen-year-old girl, the daughter of rich-but-eccentric parents who love her but are not close to her. She overdoses on marijuana on her thirte…

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking cover image

I’ve been “online” for almost eleven years now. I started learning to write HTML, which was my first foray into anything resembling programming, almost immediately after I became interested in using the Internet. My introduction to free/open-source software (F/OSS) was gradual, so it’s hard to pinpoint a particular project or ethos that inculcated me into that hacker culture. For the longest time I rolled my own code religiously, either oblivious to or uninterested in the existence of blog software…

Autumn Bones (Agent of Hel, #2) cover image

Both perverse pleasures and particular perils accompany the act of reading, for the first time, two consecutive books in a series back to back. The pleasures are obvious: having devoured that first morsel, you eagerly consume all else within reach. Sometimes years pass between my readings of books in a series, and by then I’ve forgotten all the characters, and the nods to previous books are much less satisfying. The perils are not necessarily universal. For me, because of the way I write reviews…

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) cover image

Right, so you don’t have a soul, which means any supernatural creature you touch turns back into a mortal. Handy, but also it makes you a kind of threat to the supernatural community. Queen Victoria makes you muhjah, which is a fancy term for “I have a bureaucratic position as well as target painted on my back.” And you marry a werewolf member of the peerage. Who is Scottish. Then, suddenly, a phenomenon that replicates your preternatural mortality effect across supernaturals in a wide radius shows…

Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1) cover image

Dark Currents, the anticipated debut to Jacqueline Carey’s new urban fantasy series Agent of Hel, got my attention back when it first came out. I saw it on io9, added it to my to-read list.

And promptly forgot about it.

Because that’s what happens when you have a list so long that even if you stop adding books to it today, it will take you about four years to get through it.

Fortunately, my library has my back. I ran across the paperback of Autumn Bones last week—yes, book 2 of the series, already in…

Black Powder War (Temeraire #3) cover image

I’m enjoying my re-read of the Temeraire series, as I work to get caught up to the most recent volumes. It’s interesting to see how my opinions have changed since my first reading. As with the previous book, Throne of Jade , I have reduced my rating for Black Powder War. Maybe I’ve grown harsher in my old age. Maybe I was just caught up in enthusiasm for dragons the first time I read this book. Whatever the reason, this time around, I’m not ready to give Black Powder War four stars. It is…