arkessian: (eschers cat)
I am all in favour of packing books well when they go in the post, especially if they are travelling over an ocean (I have experience -- too much experience -- of things getting lost without trace on their way from the US to me).

I am not in favour of receing books in packaging tht I am personally physically unable to open. I do not own an industrial quality staple-remover, not the sort of scissors that can cut through really thick cardboard.

I'd be tempted to send the damned thing back except I really want the book inside....

arkessian: (cotinus)
I finally got the last veg plants off the kitchen windowsill and into a planter outside -- albeit later than I intended because of the chest infection and then vertigo.

So this year I have planted: 4 cordon tomatoes (1 plum, 1 black russian, 1 striped and 1 I can't remember); 2 bush cherry tomatoes; 2 aubergine; 2 peppers; 2 chillis; 2 courgettes; a planter full of pak choi; 2 rows of cut-and-come-again salad leaves; coriander; parsley; sage; tarragon; basil; and several bay plants All this in addition to the rosemary, chives, thyme, purple sage and mint that are year long residents.

The oregano didn't survive the cold winter, nor did the previous bay plants. I have however acquired a couple of volunteer fennel plants in the flower border, survivors from when I grew fennel there some seven years ago...

The over-wintered onions and shallots weren't worth the effort and I shan't be repeating them; ditto for potatoes this year. I still need to find somewhere to sow some spinach and some stir-fry leaves (perhaps on the kitchen window sill).
arkessian: (Default)
From James Nicoll again, authors who got their start in the 1980s:

Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of. Come up with improvements to flavour your versions.
Women authors who got their start in the 80s )
arkessian: (Busy bee)
I think I may be a little over-committed. I don't know why I imagined this would not be a problem when I retired, given:
  • my track history when employed
  • my inability to allow myself to do anything less well than the best anyone can (there is no adequate)
  • my inability to suffer things done badly by others
  • my demonstrated ability over hmmph years to attempt All The Things
Hence this attempt at a list of All The Things... Perhaps it will convince me I need to strike some things off the list (surely not); perhaps it will enable me to cross things off as I do them (hollow laugh). At least it will fulfil my self-imposed quota for a blog-post this week.

All the Things )

* And if we don't, at least we'll know which far-flung corners have been left to their own devices.
arkessian: (Default)
From James Nicoll

Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of.

Lynn Abbey
Eleanor Arnason
Octavia Butler
Moyra Caldecott
Jaygee Carr,
Joy Chant
Suzy McKee Charnas
C. J. Cherryh
Jo Clayton
Candas Jane Dorsey
Diane Duane
Phyllis Eisenstein
Cynthia Felice
Sheila Finch
Sally Gearhart
Mary Gentle,
Dian Girard
Eileen Gunn
Monica Hughes
Diana Wynne Jones
Gwyneth Jones
Leigh Kennedy
Lee Killough
Nancy Kress

Katherine Kurtz
Tanith Lee
Megan Lindholm (AKA Robin Hobb)
Elizabeth A. Lynn

Phillipa Maddern
Ardath Mayhar
Vonda McIntyre
Patricia A. McKillip
Janet Morris
Pat Murphy
Sam Nicholson (AKA Shirley Nikolaisen)
Rachel Pollack
Marta Randall
Anne Rice
Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Pamela Sargent
Sydney J. Van Scyoc
Susan Shwartz
Nancy Springer
Lisa Tuttle
Joan Vinge
Élisabeth Vonarburg
Cherry Wilder
Connie Willis

Not doing badly on this one!

arkessian: (red wine)
High spots so far? Wiscon, and a week shortly after in Southwold (Seaside!)

Latest low spot? Combined ear infection, sinusitis and chest infection.  [This is penned from my bed of pain...]

2011? Any time now, you can start behaving yourself.
arkessian: (red wine)
2011 can only get better -- she says fervently. The tally so far is:
  • the lodger's heart attack
  • the death of my beloved brother-in-law
  • the probable emergence at my brother-in-law's funeral next week of the black sheep of the family, who will (as palpably demonstrated at other family funerals) make it All About Them and need smacking down sharply. I expect to be designated smacker, to spare the less resilient members of the family, especially my oldest sister who has all she can deal with right now.
I will be at Wiscon come hell or high water!
arkessian: (Default)
[personal profile] oursin gave me an H
Here are the rules: Comment with a request, and I'll give you a letter. You go and post five favorite songs/music videos that start with that letter.
Only five?

In no particular order:

Hard Love, sung by June Tabor
Hi Rim Bo, sung by Capercaillie
Hold On, sung by Sarah McLachlan
Here Comes the Sun, sung by Nina Simone
How Can I be Sure, sung by Dusty Springfield

No, can't stop at five...

Human, by the Killers
-- who can resist such a naff video?
Here I Go Again, by Whitesnake
Harvest Moon, by Neil Young
Here Comes My Baby -- not sung by the Tremoloes on this curiously endearing video, which I found by accident.
Handle with Care, by the Traveling Wilburys

Census meme

Mar. 8th, 2011 09:23 pm
arkessian: (Default)
2011: Living in my own house on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire borders. One cat and the same intermittent lodger.

2001: Still living in my own house in Cricklade, with two cats and the intermittent lodger.

1991: Living in my own house in Cricklade, Wiltshire with one cat, and a lodger intermittently present.

1981: Living alone in one of five bedsits in in a large terraced house in Clapham South, London. No pets (except two cats living with my mother in Redditch).

1971: Living with my mother and four sisters, in the same house in south Birmingham. Considerably more than one cat; two dogs; and (no doubt) a variety of pet rodents and fish.

1961: Living in south Birmingham in the house in which I was born with my parents, four sisters, one cat, one dog and rather a lot of rabbits (bred for sale for the pot).

1951: Not born yet.
arkessian: (Default)
The lodger has been successfully retrieved from hospital. Only problem now is stopping him doing too much too soon!
arkessian: (Default)
Just back from Bristol Heart Institute where the ambulance deposited the lodger after I called them because he was having a heart attack. All is now apparently well -- he has had a (second) stent fitted and is sitting up, eating and worrying about football results, as well as apologising for not scheduling this event tomorrow, when he could have been taken to Swindon Great Western which is a shorter and easier journey (I *hate* driving in Bristol) and has plenty of parking. But Swindon only does the right stuff 0900-1700 Mon-Fri, so Bristol it was, and I shall be getting plenty of practice negotiating the city centre, visiting him tomorrow and Tuesday and collecting him (I hope) on Wednesday.

A little concerning that it took the paramedic 10 minutes to arrive, and the ambulance was 20 mins behind him -- and that only because the paramedic had sharp words and bumped the lodger to the front of the 8-person long queue for the next ambulance... I suppose that's one of the consequences of living in the country.

On the bright side, I can recognise a heart attack, and know enough to ignore him when he tries to forbid me to call the ambulance. Not an accomplishment I particularly wanted on my CV.
arkessian: (Default)
This is the closest I'm likely to come to a year-end review.

New entries in bold.... Mostly rereading since the last post. )
arkessian: can of treacle (treacle)
I distinctly remember when I was a bright young thing, coding was walking on water. But now it's trudging through treacle. I promised myself I'd get this app coded by October 2010. And it still ain't done...
arkessian: (Busy bee)
The lodger has just rung in a great state of excitement: he has bought me a large gammon joint, which I won't see until he returns sometime next week. It was, apparently, a bargain.

Gammon recipes, anyone... 3 kg of gammon will take a lot of eating for two people.
arkessian: (neuron)

*Warning: The management takes no responsibility for any time wasted by clicking though on the above link.

arkessian: (Default)
I have a couple of DW invite codes if anyone wants them, or knows anyone who does... If they're not wanted within a week, I'll put them up on the DW invite community.
arkessian: (Detached Barn)
So there I was, wearily chugging through some online chores -- paying bills, banking, that sort of thing -- when the internet dies.

I reboot the router. No joy.
I plug a laptop direct onto the cable. No joy, but at least it proves it isn't my router.
I ring my ISP. "Everyone else is working fine. It must be your router." "No it isn't because..." "Ah..."
On their suggestion, I reboot the wireless unit on the roof (this can be done remotely, you will be glad to hear). No joy. Again on their suggestion, I change the power supply to the wireless unit on the roof. (I do wonder what they would have suggested if they were talking to somebody who didn't have a configurable power-supply directly to hand...). No joy. I visually inspect the wireless unit with binoculars. No apparent damage. I trace the cable from the wireless unit into the house  as far as I can either visually or physically (not fun in the snow). No apparent damage.
"Ah. Not sure what to suggest. It must be a problem at your location. We can't come out until after Christmas."

And then 30 minutes later, it miraculously springs to life. Which suggests it was their end all along but they haven't rung to confess... Grrr. I want my morning back.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions about ebook location! I shall not be short of reading matter... unless the Internet dies again.
arkessian: (Default)
Prompted by various postings elsewhere, my two most popular cake recipes (obligatory warning: these are not healthy) .

1. Mum's Moist Cake ) 

2. Mum's Coconut Cakes )

A question

Dec. 22nd, 2010 03:38 pm
arkessian: (eschers cat)
Having committed e-reader acquistion, I now intend to buy new books only in e-form as far as I am able. Which means I need (1) a convenient way of tracking books I've decided I want to buy but can't get hold of in e-form yet; and (2) a reliable and easy way of determining what is/will evailable in the appropriate format and where/when.


ETA: I hope it's obvious that I'm talking legal, paid-for e-book acquisition (although a good way of learning about legal free downloads wouldn't go amiss either).

P.S.The dizziness thing.... seems to be fixed. Although I've still got some weeks of the tablets to go, and we'll see what happens when they stop, at least I can walk around now and think, which is always a good thing.
arkessian: (Default)
I have just had a minor prune of my reading/friends list on DW/LJ -- primarily to ensure that, where people are present in both places and post the same content to both, I'm only reading once, in what (I hope) is the most heavily-commented place. If that makes sense...

In other news:
  • still dizzy.
  • there's a mixture of rain, hail and sleet falling outside.
  • Chino wishes it to be known that Ocado (online grocery store here in the UK) can send him more of that free kitty crack those free cat treats any time now.