Blog Posts

A knitting update

Mailing things overseas can be frustrating. Once you package everything up and send it away … you wait. And wait. And wait. And hope that your decision to go cheaper rather than faster doesn’t mean your package is now bobbing around the Atlantic Ocean, or stranded on a shipping pallet in Heathrow airport, soon to be rerouted to New Delhi instead of Norfolk. That’s how I felt when I sent two packages a month apart, and the second one arrived within a few weeks, while the first took months.

My weekend failing to upgrade to Windows 10

Initially I wasn’t going to bother upgrading to Windows 10. I currently dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu and use the latter almost exclusively. Mostly I use Windows 7 for SMART Notebook, and to play the occasional Steam game that will run on my 8-year-old laptop. Of course, I use Windows nearly every day on other computers.

That time I made a music video

The school year ended today at Thetford Academy, where I worked for two years, teaching math and English to English schoolchildren. It was an interesting, challenging time. While I’m happy to be back home, I also miss it very much.

I wish it were #NotMyCanada, but it is, so let's talk

So it’s Canada Day. Whoo! PARTY TIME! Crack open those drinks, lay out the snacks, enjoy the sun—sigh. I can’t do it, guys. Look, if all you want to do with your day off is party, this blog post is not for you. I can’t just join in this year, for two reasons. Firstly, this year is important, because later this year we are having a federal election.

Report cards are not the problem here

Yesterday Martin Regg Cohn wrote in the Toronto Star about how the work-to-rule action by ETFO is harmful to students because of the inconvenience and delay it causes in notifying parents about those students’ final marks. He says: Marks don’t matter. Achievement goes unnoted.

Trends I'm sensitive to in current science fiction

This post began as part of my review of The Man Who Sold the Moon. I began contrasting Heinlein’s subject matter with what’s hot in SF these days. Gradually I realized I was eliding too much in my attempts to be as succinct as possible, so I was faced with the choice of expanding an already long review … or excising most of the discussion. Fortunately, I have a soapbox all my own where I can put this kind of stuff. First, a disclaimer: science fiction is a diverse field.

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish cover image

Britain had some whack ideas. Remember that time they colonized an entire continent with convicts? That was whack.

Gould’s Book of Fish is the epistolary adventure of William Gould, a convict imprisoned on Sarah Island. Somewhere along the way he picked up enough painting skills to become an artist, and he starts painting fish for the island’s science-and-status–obsessed Surgeon instead of working on the chain gang.

I enjoy books ( The Luminaries comes to mind) set in this frontier period of the…

Bite Me (A Love Story, #3) cover image

Previously, on Ben’s reviews…

… the characterization of the two protagonists is much improved. The other characters? Not so much….


Fridging women is not OK. Joking about fridging dead whores is also not OK.


Yes, this entire book is a sitcom about moving to the apartment down the block.


And now, the conclusion…

Well, I did it. I read Bite Me, because I am a sucker (gaaaaaah, vampire puns again) for punishment. And also I like my trilogies like I like my modifiers: undangling.

So, we pick up with Thomas…

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) cover image

When I heard that Felicia Day had a book coming out, my knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) reaction was, “Isn’t she a little young to be writing memoirs?” The word connotes a sharing of memories as one surveys one’s entire life. A memoir, to mee, is something that people write at the end of their careers; Day doesn’t seem anywhere near the end of her career.

But I think that’s the whole point of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It’s about how Day has achieved all that she has by short-circu…

Fall

Colin McAdam

Fall cover image

In Grade 11 English we read A Separate Peace , by John Knowles, as our Novel, and I hated it. Now, I know that hating the assigned reading is a time-honoured tradition in English class, but you have to understand that this was my first experience with such an emotion. I was the book-addicted, scholarly, high-achieving nerdy student who, in Grade 10, had gotten together with friends and their English teacher at lunch to read Shakespeare (and then after our school closed at the end of Grade 10…

The Warning (Animorphs, #16) cover image

Yo dawg, I heard you like Internet sites.

The plot basically goes like this: Jake is online, back in the days when most of the people online were nine-year-olds and 40-year-olds on the prowl for nine-year-olds. He discovers a Yeerk website and lurks in the chatroom, wondering if these people are for real or if it’s a trap. The Animorphs decide to investigate by raiding the offices of the AOL analogue that holds all the subscriber information for the people using this chat service. But this leads…

Wit's End

Karen Joy Fowler

Wit's End cover image

I like meta-books, books about books and writers and readers and how stories influence our lives. As someone who spends what, I admit, is probably an inordinate amount of time reading, reading about books is important and informative. Wit’s End is metafiction about mystery. Rima’s godmother, Addison Early, is a successful Agatha Christie—like mystery writer. Rima comes to stay with Addison at Wit’s End, Addison’s little refuge from the world in Santa Cruz. Cut off from the rest of the world by the…