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Quote(s)

“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rainbow Commute

We had some pretty heavy squalls pass over our building this afternoon.  By the time I left work the weather was clearing up.  There were rainbows!  This one was stable during my entire drive home.


That's an intersection near work.  Note the red light; I don't take pictures while driving.  :-)  There were smaller rainbows running between clouds, but I didn't have a chance to photograph them.


Closer to home the "main" rainbow was shorter.  I stopped near the side of the road.  A second rainbow faded in and out the entire drive.  It's very faint in the picture, the base just a bit above and left of the truck.  Sunset colors were starting to show on the clouds. 

It was a lovely Friday commute!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Leibster Award

Many thanks to my friend and writing buddy Laurie for nominating me for a Leibster Award.  See the comments on my blog post here for the actual nomination.

At her blog, Teapot Musings, Laurie discusses a wide range of topics.  Check it out!

The Leibster is an award for up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  "Leibster" has several definitions in German:  favorite, valued, and kindest, among others.  There's no official ceremony.  The nomination itself is the award.  

The rules for nominees (these have morphed over the years):
1. Thank the blogger who nominated them.
2. List 11 random facts about themselves. 
3. Answer 11 questions posed by the blogger who nominated them.
4. Prepare 11 random questions for their own nominees.
5. Nominate 3 to 5 bloggers.

There is no obligation to accept.  It's something like the old chain letters, only instead of a mailbox full of dish towels or whatever, you the reader may discover new bloggers.

Okay, that's rule 1 taken care of.  Rule 2 is next.

1. I can never chose just one favorite of anything.
2. Erupting volcanoes give me nightmares. 
3. My favorite land animals are chickadee, wolf and horse.
4. My favorite marine critters are octopus, copepod and orca.
5. I'm a coffee person, although I do love a good cup of tea.
6. I'm much more of a tea snob than coffee snob.
7. I was once at sea in a hurricane; completely messed up my sense of "rough seas."
8. I slept through my first earthquake.
9. Mac over PC
10. I belong to three writing groups.
11. I love yellowtail sashimi.

Okay, on to rule 3.  Laurie posted her questions for her nominees HERE, just in case you can't tell by my answers.

1. (See number 1 of things about me.) Favorite colors include teal, lavender and sea green.
2. I sort of tumbled into blogging.  I'm a shy person and it hasn't been easy, but it is enjoyable.
3. I started blogging in January 2010 at Multiply.  Don't bother looking for it; the site doesn't exist any more.  I came to Blogger in May of 2011.  I cross-posted until Multiply stopped supporting blogs.
4. I am a dog person.  Also a horse person.
5. I think my favorite picture book as a child was Peter Rabbit, because when I read Laurie's question an illustration from that book popped in my head - the one of a cat sitting on the edge of a pond watching the fish.
6.  I have no one favorite book as an adult.  I have piles of favorites!  Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear.  Dreamsnake by Vonda N McIntyre.  Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.  The 100,000 Kingdoms by N K Jemisin.  About 33 Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.  And I'll stop answering this question now.
7. I'm not a Big Bang Theory fan.  I don't watch TV.
8. Time travel sounds scary.  I don't think I'm brave enough to do that.
9. I have an iPhone, a G5 Mac desktop, an Acer netbook, and sometimes I borrow my daughter's Dell laptop.
10. I don't think I have a favorite number.  Maybe pi.  Or 666, in honor of my daughter's horse who was known as The Devil Pony.
11. Favorite teas are hot black orange spice and cold hojicha.  Not together.  :-)

And that's a lot about me!

I'll make my nominations and have the list of questions for them in another post.

Thanks again, Laurie!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Signatures

Remember when library books had a pocket that held an index-sized card glued to the inside cover?  Glued opposite the pocket was a piece of paper lined off in boxes.  To check out the book you removed the card and signed your name.  The librarian stamped the date due next to your signature and also on the paper glued in the book.  They kept the card in a file so they knew who had the book.

I still remember how grown-up it felt when I was eight and was asked to sign my name on those cards.  Now we just hand over our library card to be scanned or swiped.  Do kids currently get to sign their names anywhere?  On schoolwork they're probably asked to print ...

Adults don't sign things as much as we used to, either.  Few write checks when shopping and even for charges we don't have to sign unless the purchase is over some amount, $25 or $50 depending on the store.  Bills get paid on line; no checks to sign. 

Handwriting is becoming an old-fashioned skill.  It's not taught in many schools.  The increasing use of PINS, electronic signatures, thumb prints, retinal scans and whatever new techy biometric is on the horizon mean hand-written signatures as proof of identity are maybe already obsolete.  The tech solutions, especially biometrics, are certainly harder to forge, which means better security.  But we've lost the visible individuality of our John Hancocks.

(image from HERE)

The use of that famous man's name as a synonym for signature will become one of those sayings that no one under a certain age will understand.

That makes me sad.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cultural Appropriation and The Lone Ranger

One of the panels I attended at WisCon was on cultural appropriation.  It has made me more aware of the issue, as these things should. 

There's a Lone Ranger movie.  Out?  Soon to be out?  I don't know; don't keep up with these things and not interested enough to Google it.  Johnny Depp plays Tonto. Now,  I feel Johnny Depp is a very talented actor who plays a wide variety of characters well.  I totally loved him in Chocolat.  

But. 

Please. 

An Irishman as a Native American?  Why aren't we past that? 

On Twitter, N K Jemisin shared a link to this marvelous post by Walkerwrackspurt, a Lakota woman.  Her image is not for sale.  She explains why. 

I learned a lot from Walkerwrackspurt this evening.  Maybe you will, too.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Eight Great Books

I decided to do another book post.  My other one for 2013 is here, where I confessed to reading all of four books during the first four months of this year.  I also committed to doing better.

I have! Here's what I've read since May first.

(5) Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds, Queen Victoria's Book of Spells, an anthology of gaslamp fantasy.  There are some wonderful short stories in here, beginning with the title story by Delia Sherman.  Others I liked include "The Fairy Enterprise" by Jeffrey Ford, "The Governess" by Elizabeth Bear, "Phosphorus" by Veronica Schanoes, "A Few Twigs Left Behind" by Gregory Maguire, and "Their Monstrous Minds" by Tanith Lee.  To be sure, there were no bad stories in the book.  These were just some I especially enjoyed.

(6) Seanan McGuire, Midnight Blue-light Special.  Book two in the InCryptid series (Discount Armageddon is book one).  The continuing adventures of Verity Price and the Aeslin mice as they work to save New York's cryptid population from attack.  HAIL THE MICE OF CAKE AND ALL CELEBRATIONS.  (I love the mice.)

(7) Steven Brust and Skyler White, The Incrementalists.  Enjoyed muchly.  This is one of the ARCs I picked up at WisCon; it comes out for everyone else in September.  Buy it when you can.  It' a very interesting read.

(8) Mary Robinette Kowal, Shades of Milk and Honey.  Set in a Regency England where skills manipulating glamour are required of ladies (Jane Austen with magic); first of three books.  I love the magic system Ms Kowal developed here. 

(9) Madeleine E Robins, Sold for Endless Rue.  Historical fantasy, with the emphasis on historical.  The action takes place in thirteenth century Italy.  A multi-generational presentation of women's challenges in society.

(10) Kate Elliott, Cold Magic.  Book one in The Spiritwalker Trilogy.  It's been in the TBR pile for over a year.  Damn, why did I wait so long?  This is a wonderful book.

(11) Kate Elliott, Cold Fire.  Book two in The Spiritwalker Trilogy.  I finished book one on a Sunday evening, prowled bookstores on Monday until I found this and stayed up until 4 AM reading even though I had to go to work on Tuesday.

(12)  Kate Elliott, Cold Steel.  The last book in The Spiritwalker Trilogy.  Wonderful series.  I'm sad it's over.  I really enjoyed the world Ms Elliott built and the characters who live there.  My favorite character is Rory; those who know me will completely understand why.

I'm pleased with all the reading I've done - eight books in just over two months.  The downside is I haven't been writing.  It all comes out of the same block of time and I admit I've been reading furiously ...  I just started another trilogy today ...