tvordlj: (Default)
 Welcome to May. Facebook is littered with those stupid Star Wars Day  memes. Every year, the same damn thing. I'm not going to repeat it so if on the off chance you don't know what that is, go look there :) 

There was supposed to be a baby shower for my niece on Saturday but she's had a bit of a crisis and is in hospital. She started losing amniotic fluid yesterday and my sister took her over to the maternity hospital pronto. They're keeping her for 72 hours and giving her stuff that might prevent her from going into labour and giving her steroids to encourage strong lungs in the baby in case she does. She's 31 weeks along and they say the baby weighs about 3.5 pounds. Her sister-in-law had a preemie even younger than that last year and the little fella made it through. They're going to put her on strict bed rest and hope to keep the baby inside as long as they can. Seems likely she won't go full term to July though. Needless to say the shower has been postponed. The cookies I'd ordered were already made but the woman said she'll feed them to her grandkids and make more later when we do go ahead with it. I thought she could just pop them in the freezer but she prefers to remake fresh which is nice of her. 

Yes we did get the Hawaii package booked and now I'm looking at hotels for Vancouver. Booked the airport one already. My cousin invited us to stay with them so I think what we'll do is stay in a hotel for the first few days in the city and go to her on the last two and maybe she can take us to the airport when we go to Hawaii. Or at least to the skytrain where we can change to the airport line in the city centre. Another friend in Victoria wants us to stay there as well. I can coordinate that with my aunt and uncle's dates, a few with them and then a night or two with my friend. That way, we aren't imposing on any individual too long and we still have some hotel time for our own privacy as well. 

Our second anniversary is next week but as it's a weekday, maybe we will do something on the weekend though I hear we're in for torrential rains so it might be prudent to wait and see. It's gorgeous out today but the forecast shows rain for the next week. Ah, spring. 

The series for The Handmaid's Tale has started. I have seen the first episode but not the second. They broadcast two on the premiere night and it will be once a week after that. So far, so good. I recently reread it and it was all pretty new because it's been decades since I've read it and quite a long time since I saw the movie that was made from it, too. I like the series so far and even G. watched it with me and thought it was ok. Not usually his sort of thing but he was interested enough. But for our mealtime tv watching last night, he was far more interested in the latest Gotham which I do enjoy as well. I saw something yesterday, though, that there was approval for a second series of Handmaid's Tale. Wtf? How they would be doing another series from the one book, unless someone's going to write  a sequel, I don't know. Having said that, I did hear rumours that Margaret Atwood may be doing just that so we'd finally get to know what happened to Offred after the end of the book/movie. 
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I've been a big fan of the Steig Larsson books, the Millennium trilogy (Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo....that series). The author died but a couple of years ago, another Swedish writer took up the mantle. David Lagercrantz released The Girl in the Spider's Web. I read it. I thought it was not *quite* as good or gripping but... not bad either. A Worthy successor and it was popular enough to become a legitimate best seller. Why did they even bother, some might ask? Leave well enough alone. Maybe yes. But why not? There are a lot of books and series that take up the characters in Star Wars, Star Trek etc. Not quite the same thing since they weren't books to start with but authors are still creating new works about well known characters.

There was a sequel written many decades after Gone With the Wind, approved by the estate of Margaret Mitchell called Scarlett. It wasn't bad but it was more of a bodice ripper type historical romance than the original which was very, very good and while did centre on Scarlett O'Hara's loves, was also set in the Civil War and the lives of people in the South during and after. The sequel was more about Scarlett's campaign to get Rhett Butler back. The mini series they made from it was appalling. Even though the author of the sequel wrote the mini series, she still changed the ending which made no sense to me. Why have a different ending from the book you wrote if you figured you'd be selling the filming rights to it anyway? (without looking it up. perhaps she even got the contract to write the book with the knowledge that she'd be writing a filmed version, for all i know).

Never mind that. The Spider's Web book was quite good even if not quite the same treatment of the characters that Larsson created. There's a new sequel coming out this fall called The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. Oh dear. Not too keen on that title. They tend not to have the same English titles as the Swedish ones. Sure enough, the book is titled in Swedish as Mannen som jagade sin skugga and translates to ”The Man who Chased his Shadow”. Why couldn't they have gone with that? Probably because it's not as identifiable as "The Girl With...." titles. The plot according to this Swedish site (though it's in English) says that Lisbeth is in a harsh women's prison and gets new information about her past. It's about Lisbeth taking revenge. Nothing new about that. That's been a common thread in all of these books. I think the more I look at it, the more I intensely dislike the English title they've chosen for it.

Entertainment Weekly has a short interview with Lagercrantz. He says that the plot will revolve around the history behind the massive dragon tattoo on Lisbeth's back. The author is also contracted for another book after this one.

The next news on this same subject is the films. I saw the original three Swedish films with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth. They were excellent. Sony made an American version of the first book starring Rooney Mara and it did ok I think. I liked it well enough but the Swedish version had a bit more atmosphere, I think. Sony is going to make another American movie but they're skipping over books 2 and 3 and jumping into Spider's Web but not using the same cast as the first American version. It will be interesting to see who they end up casting. The IMDB placeholder is here but they only have credits for the director and writers so far. The trivia on the IMDB page speaks about the possibility of casting either Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson but I wouldn't like either of them in the role. Far too "Hollywood". The first Hollywood version used an actor who was less known and I think it worked better. Another name that's been mentioned is Alicia Vikander who is Swedish and was the robot in Ex Machina. Might have possibilities there. She appears to be filming a new version of Tomb Raider so she will likely have the chops to do action.

I'll be following this with interest and I am pretty sure I'll be buying the book when it comes out in the fall.

tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Reading something today and discovered there is going to be a remake of Scarface. Now, I was not a fan of it though I think I have seen it many years ago. Lots of people moan about all the remaking of older films and I am certainly guilty of that. But when you look back, remakes are nothing new. There have been a number of versions of some movies ever since there were movies at all. Little Women comes immediately to mind. Lots of classic books get made, remade and reimaged so to speak. The Romeo and Juliet story is the basis for quite a few movies, for instance. So why do we get all in a knot over a remake?

Because some movies are so iconic that I think they stand alone and it would be difficult to accept any other version for most people. You could argue that there are a lot of people that have never seen that iconic original and that's true but also, these older movies are on television regularly and younger people will get to know them. I really can't picture a successful remake of movies such as Gone With The Wind, The Sound of Music, Casablanca, The Ten Commandments or The Godfather just to name a few. There are lots. And there are many that have been remade, for television in particular. I was going to list The Wizard of Oz but I think there have been versions or possibly animated versions made. I looked it up and aside from animation on television, no, there hasn't really been any since the 1939 version though there were several silent film versions before.

Should Scarface be one of those iconic Do Not Repeat films? Maybe not. Regardless, it's being remade with Leonardo di Caprio in the Al Pacino part. *sigh* I don't like his acting. It really feels like he's very far up his own backside and when he tries to take on famous roles, for me it falls flat. Jay Gatsby? Really? No, not for me. The Great Gatsby benchmark is the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version from the 70s. I can't say it was iconic, and I wouldn't object to a remake if it hadn't had di Caprio in it. I would have rather seen him play the secondary male lead but then we'd likely have got the odious Christian whotsis, Bale, that's it. He's good, nothing against him but he's a bit thuggish for me. Another actor that seems to be cast in odd roles that seem unsuitable is that little dark Irish fella, (c'mon brain, think...) Colin Farrell (thanks Wiki). He's a quirky fella and always seems like he might believe he isn't really supposed to be in that role and isn't sure why he is but is game to make the best of it. He's ok, though. Not offputting like Bale or diCaprio.

I do think DiCaprio is an able actor and I think he's ok in things like Inception. I think maybe I get the feeling he's trying too hard, pushing those potential award winning roles, turning those roles into famous, iconic ones. He wants to be up there in the ranks of the memorable like Brando, Pacino, Hoffman, Redford, Newman. Perhaps he will be in the long run, who am I to say he won't? He's not a bad actor, not like some I could mention but he doesn't half take himself far too seriously. Ralph Fiennes and Billy Bob Thornton are two more like that, and Christian Bale, come to think of it.

Anyway. Yes. Scarface with DiCaprio. There's also a remake in the works for White Men Can't Jump. Why? I never thought much of the first one. Yeah, that's another thing. Why remake something with a fresh new cast when the original wasn't that great? Because a new cast will make the story better? Not likley. Russell Brand remade the wonderful Arthur that was Dudley Moore originally. It was appalling!  Look how many King Kong movies there have been? The original is still the best. Digital technology hasn't really improved the story though I did enjoy the most recent, Kong: Skull Island. It was what it was but it was entertaining enough.

Then there's the kind of remake that changes the premise, as in Nasty Women which is a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (original with Michael Caine and Steve Martin as con men). Yep, they're making the con couple two women instead of two men. I see movies like that where the gender of the main cast is reversed. Still doesn't usually work for me. It feels desperate. Referring to the aforementioned Arthur, they put Helen Mirren in the assistant role that John Geilgud played in the original. I do love Helen but that movie in general was just a mistake.

On the book to movie front, I'm actually excited and somewhat hopeful at the screen version of The Snowman, based on Norwegian crime fiction writer Jo Nesbo's novel. I really enjoy his books about fuck up detective Harry Hole who will be played by Michael Fassbender. Could go either way but I'm going to hope for the best. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I've been saying it for months. Two weeks ago I finally followed through and went back to the gym. I've been paying for it all this time, well over a year since I've last been and there's been no other excuse. I've found that my cardio strength has been terrible and my back is bothering me more than it was but the cardio was the main thing that concerned me. So I did it. And it was hard. I went twice a week for the first two weeks and this week will start trying to go three times a week. I might not manage it some times but it was always thus. No trainer this time as i can't swing that. They're quite expensive and we have other things we need to reserve our funds for. I saw my old trainer yesterday, and we had a little catch up. He did offer to do a refresher session with me on Friday so I'll take that on. Gives me a bit more of a push and though I remember the kinds of exercises i was doing before, he might also come up with some good ideas.

I'm not throwing myself into it but then I never did. I would like to get myself back to where i was, though. I was able to go on the cross trainer for 20 minutes last going off. I don't run, I don't go fast and hard, but I was moving. I'm starting slowly because it will kill me if i try to push myself before my body is ready. 15 - 20 minutes on the treadmill or bike for now, plus weights and machines. After a little while, I'll start with the cross trainer, and even if i can just go 5 minutes at first, that's something that I can build on. I've set up my iPod playlists, very important. Can't do it without tunes.

Not a lot else to report. Weather's been quite good, even nicer than usual for this time of year. Municipal election last weekend. Turnout was appallingly low. I think there were 4 out of 16 council seats already acclaimed and one or two school board seats and I wonder if that's why people didn't bother to vote for other stuff, Mayor in particular. They reported that the pre-election evoting was down from last time, too but that's all probably the same issue. I'm sure there are lots of people that figure if they haven't got to vote for the councillor, they wouldn't bother voting for Mayor when the outcome was pretty much assured that the encumbent was going to win anyway. He did. I think there were about 90,000 that voted for the two candidates. There are approximately 280,000 eligible voters more or less.

This was the first time in nearly 20 year that I haven't been working on the election so i don't know the numbers exactly. They redid the election application and didn't write it in house as such. They used the Province's system and customized it for ourselves, with consultants doing the work. I wasn't involved other than information gathering at the start of the project. It also meant i didn't have to work on election night into the week hours. That was a blessed relief. I always ended up sitting here doing next to nothing untill all the results were in, then spent about 15 minutes running some scripts and reports. That's it. And by that time it was usually anywhere between 2 and 5 a.m. most times. One year they let me go home at midnight and come in on Sunday morning for 9 to do it. Every time there would be some glitch or issue and the people in charge would be in a state. There's a lot of pressure on them, from inside and from the media but as much as they wanted to blame the application or the database, it was never that which was the problem. I'm very happy it's not my part of my job anymore :) I've done my time.

I've read a book recently by an author called Ami McKay. She's born American but lives in Canada now, in Nova Scotia and her book took place near an area that I know, in the Annapolis Valley though it takes place about 100 years ago. The Birth House, it's called, and is about midwifery in the pre WWI days. I have another of her books, called The Virgin Cure and she's got a new one coming out next week. Turns out she's speaking at the Halifax Central Library next Wednesday night and I am going to go hear her. I think i'll even be able to get a copy of the book because it's released the day before according to the bookstore here. I'd like to get it signed if possible. G. said he'd go with me to keep me company. He's a good husband :) I knew it wasn't really his thing since it's not the kind of book he reads, but I wouldn't have seen him all day since it would have been very inconvenient to come home after work and turn right around and have to go out again. This way, we can get a bite to eat before the talk and head to the library. I am also hoping to meet someone that's in a Goodreads group that I follow for Canadian literature so that will be nice, as well. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Starting the year off on a low note, I attended the funeral for the father of one of my old friends, who also happened to be my brother-in-law for many years up to about 12 years ago and the man that died is the grandfather of my nephews and niece. I've known him since I was a teenager though I wasn't all that close to him. He was a very nice man....

There wasn't a lot of attendees, not many of my old crowd went but one man that was there was someone I hadn't seen in over 30 years, perhaps once in that time I think but only briefly. In fact, I think it was at a wake for the father of another of our friends. I think I did the classic double take when I saw him. Nice to catch up, though.

Two more books to round up 2015

101 - Blind Goddess - Anne Holt
A Norwegian crime writer, her police detective is a female and there's a male criminal prosecutor. This story involves a drug ring that may be engineered by some lawyers and possibly a higher up figure. Not bad. Will probably read more.

102 - Hundred-year-old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
Good fun! Like the title says, an old Swedish man that escapes the nursing home on his birthday and ends up chased around the countryside by drug dealers who want the suitcase of money he took from the local bus station. In between chapters of that, they jump back and go over the adventures he's had in his long life in a kind of Forrest Gump kind of way, where he's had an inadvertent hand in some of the major events in history.

So that was 2015 reading, 102 books plus one i couldn't finish. 2016 is the year I'm attempting a reading challenge on a CBC Books group on by filling in a Bingo card with various categories. You find books that match the themes, prefereably by Canadian authors but not restricted to them either. I will give it a go and I think I'll make a plan to pick up a few more "classic" Canadian books/authors. Our classic books of course, are not as old as classic UK books and authors. Most of the best known authors and books only go back to about the mid 20th century. I don't know much about the publishing industry in Canada but I would expect it wasn't much before that, just maybe smaller independent publishers rather than anything national. There are still a lot of smaller publishing houses, as well but Canadian authors and books are becoming a lot more numerous. Canada isn't really known for producing great movies and I can vouch for that. I would estimate that only about 15 percent are *really* good and most of the best ones are character driven, not big adventure movies or complicated crime dramas. In many of the ones I've seen, the writing is kind of cliche and the acting is ... not bad, just not great, but that could be the writing contributing to that.

But the more Canadian books I read, the more I respect the authors. We have some very well known authors that are famous outside the borders such as Margaret Atwood but a lot of the ones i've read in the past few years are very, very good, too. Some authors at the top of my mind are Gil Adamson, Miriam Toews, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Patrick deWitt, Michael Crummey, Linden McIntyre, Wayne Johnston, Susanna Kearsley, Frances Itani and Heather O'Neill. Classic authors include Atwood, Margaret Lawrence, Robertson Davies, Mordechai Richler and Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables).

There's a couple of good lists, here for the 10 authors you should read if you're Canadian student, this list of 25 classic Canadian novels (including a couple 19th century ones). The 25 top Canadian novels on this list have a few of the same entries but quite a few different ones, too. Not all of them are going to be to the taste of everyone, and I probably wouldnt' like a lot of them but I do intend on mixing in a few in my 2016 reads if i can.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
December 1. And some stupid woman at the bus asked was I all ready for Christmas? That shouldn't be allowed before the 20th. As it happens, I could be smug and say i'd bought all my gifts already, just one or two other things to do (like put up the tree, make candy, wrap a few things) but it's still annoying.  She said she hadn't started so I guess she wanted someone to join her in a good moan about it.  There are far better small talk topics to discuss while waiting for the bus. Like weather, for fuck's sake.

Not that I don't like Christmas. I love it, especially spending time with friends and family and I love giving gifts. I don't stress over it at all. I still buy for my nephews and niece and they're getting easier to buy for as they get older. My niece loves anything and the lads  really just want money or gift cards. I prefer a real present but if i really don't find anything that I think will suit, i'll do that which is what i did this year.

I mailed off Graham's stuff last week. Had to recruit one of his friends who is retired to send the parcel to now that his dad isn't around. His neighbour is now working so can't be relied on to be home when the mail arrives and the post office depot is in an awkward spot for G. to get to. Today i have another round of Fun with Canada Post and have a few more things to mail, these going to Canadian destinations.

Am reading "All My Puny Sorrows" by Miriam Toews. It's a very moving book, very sad in parts and I dread to think how it's going to end. But it's so well written and feels so "real" even though the emotions are very raw. It's very good but the subject matter might not be for everyone, about a talented woman who keeps trying to kill herself and her sister trying to help her find a reason to go on. It's a hard book to read even for me. Even though I haven't had this experience, I do have a sister and those feelings and emotions written are spot on.

I keep buying ebooks even though i have a couple thousand of them that i've downloaded. These are mostly books released over the past 20 or 30 years but i see new releases and think oooooh so i then go to see if i can download them or, if i can get them cheapish, i'll buy them. I did buy a hardback the other day, my one concession to "Black Friday". The new Stephen King was selling for $15. I've recently got back to reading some of his books, with 11/22/63 being the first one, and that, my friends, is excellent!! Not his traditional horror though there are trace elements. It's about time travel and trying to change history and will history let itself be changed. Then I read Joyland which was good. Graham read Doctor Sleep and said it was really good, too but it's a sequel to The Shining which I haven't read so i've finished that now. Revival is the new one I bought and it looks quite good as well. I bought a couple other ebooks on Black Friday as well, new releases that were $4.99.

The ebooks were meant to be a lot cheaper than a new hard cover but you know, the prices of them are going up and up. It doesn't seem right. There's next to no overhead, no shipping, so why are some new released ebooks selling for nearly $20? If i can buy a new release ebook for less than the price of a new paperback, which is also getting up there in price, then yes, i might buy it. They have sales sometimes, and Kobo has trivia contests that give you 10 - 75% off ebooks but they are only a selected group, never new release ones. Sometimes I find something good in their selection, one or two maybe but that's about it. I do the trivia contests (one question a day for 10 days) because you can also win a prize pack of new ereader tablets. That is, when the website works. It's not today. When I pick the right answer i'm not getting a response, only when i pick the wrong one. I'll try again tonight or tomorrow.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
My favourite series of books is by author Diana Gabaldon, commonly known as the Outlander books after the title of the first of the series. It's a series about time travel, a handsome Highlander, romance and adventure. It's way better than the average bodice ripper, well researched into the 18th century (The Uprising just before and leading up to 1746 and then later the American Revolution).  After 20 years since the first book, the eighth in the series is released this week and there's a tv series being made of the first book and that starts in August! All the fans of the book are just chomping at the bit for that one. It looks like they've cast it really well and though the author has no say in the casting, she has been consulted and she's very happy with the actors and what they're doing with the series too. The books are huge so there's going to be detail left out but the series will be 16 episodes and that's pretty good to be telling the story. I've got a post office card so I think that's the book arriving.

I pre-ordered it and used the rest of a gift card. It probably ended up costing me the same as it would have had i waited for it to come out in the shop this week because i had to pay for shipping. I have the whole series in hardback so I kept that up. I may get the ebook as well eventually because I have all those, too. The gift card reduced the price from 19.99 to 12 something but add tax and shipping and we're back up to about 22 or 23. If i'd waited for the book in the store, which is selling for $25 and used the gift card, i'd only be paying tax so probably would have got it a little cheaper. I didn't know what the selling proce would be in the store, though they're usually cheaper when it first hits the shelves. Oh well, never mind, I need to get to the post office this weekend so I can start reading it.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Work's going ok. Cracked a problem yesterday with some help. It wasn't anything I was doing wrong, it was a problem with a connection from one server to another and it had to be done using a direct IP address instead of a server name. Have got quite a lot of requests on the board which is good plus a fwe other ongling projects. Training on Mondays to learn html5, css3 and PHP programming, also going well.

Mom's birthday was the 17th and we had a family party for her. We went together and bought her  Keurig coffee maker, similar to the popular Tassimo that uses a little pod or cup and makes one cup of beverage at a time. Everyone seems to be getting them and she wanted one. They're best for coffee though they do make tea and other things but for tea, I still find boiling the kettle is the best. I don't expect I'll get one until G. and i are living in the same apartment since he's a coffee drinker. My nephew's birthday was yesterday and we had another family get together on Sunday for that. Gave him the reusable filter for his Keurig that he got at Christmas. My birthday is this weekend and yet another family get together for that. My aunt's is the day after and we will have a joint party which is nice. My cousin, the one that lost his wife recently is coming over to my place on Friday to help me put my birthday bookcase together. I have to stop off and get some groceries because i promised to cook!

Also this weekend, my friend and i are going to a movie, possibly Quartet which looks wonderful. It's about a senior citizen's home for retired musicians. The ex-wife of one of them arrives and there's all sorts of friction while they are trying to put on a recital. Great ensemble cast including Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs (That's the guy that played Manuel in Fawlty Towers!)

This is the first year i watched none of the Oscars. Usually I watch the first hour or so but i just didn't bother for some reason. I did record it and i might FF through some of it over the weekend just to see some of the musical performances and the dresses, of course! I didn't see any of the nominated best movies this year. I'm not sure what it says when I can only say I've seen four of the five nominated animated movies! Pretty much everything else that was nominated for anything I also didn't see. Last year was not a year that i managed to get to see that much in the theatres though i did download a number of films.

I've been struggling to keep up with various tv series that i've been following, mostly British things including Utopia, Being Human, Mr. Selfridge, Ripper Street, US Shameless, Big Bang Theory, and soon Grimm will be back, also Game of Thrones. On top of that is my daily Corrie and Young and Restless as well as UK Corrie. Something has to give!

Now to catch up on 2013 books below the cut
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Have had a very quiet couple of days. Watched some movies and television, finished a couple books. It's just nice not having to go to work. It's the only "vacation" i take where i'm not actually going anywhere or doing anything specific. My nephew gave me an iPod dock/speaker/clock and I got that all hooked up and working and it sounds great. I'm going to leave it in the living room so i can use it as a mini-stereo rather than as an alarm clock in the bedroom. Graham and I will see in the new year online on webcam tonight as we usually do.

Last book post of the year to finish off the 2012 books below the cut
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Three weeks from today, Christmas will be over! Eek!
I am looking forward to it, though.

I've not posted book stuff in awhile. I didn't read that much in November due to the traveling. Even though I bring my book or ereader when i go away, i don't really get much chance to read other than maybe on the plane or in the airport waiting. In this most recent group of books, I've not had a lot of luck. There have been a couple of them that i did like but mostly they were meh and one i couldn't even get into so i didn't even try to finish it. That is not included in the group below because i didn't get very far into it. It just wasn't for me. Another i did get through but i didn't like it at all. Coincidentally (?) a few of the books i've read recently are paper books. Two of them were given to me, one i bought and one i received for early review. I have another paper book to read too, a Diana Gabaldon book of 4 novellas that are Outlander character stories. It was only available in the UK and it was released just before I got there. I have all her other books in hard back so it was no contest.

I've started one now that I'm going to like and I'm still picking at a biography of Cleopatra. I'm going to pick up the next in the Gabaldon Outlander books, two more to read to finish the series again. I think i've only ever read the last two once each. Her next in the series should be out sometime early 2013.

2012 books )
tvordlj: (Default)
Picked up my new glasses yesterday. Took nearly a month which it never has before. Apparently they use a place out on the west coast now. I wonder if all the optical places do. I must check for next time, would prefer if it was a local or closer to home company. The new sunglasses are cute! Tangerine frames :) Feels like wearing a bit of sunshine on my face! The glasses lenses are a bit bigger than my old ones but i think the frames feel lighter. Wasn't sure i liked them but my hair was in bad shape yesterday and i felt overall blah. Today i've got it washed and it looks nicer and the glasses are more suited.

I noticed, too, when i was trying them on in the optical place, that my chin is distinctly turning into my grandfather's. Eeek! I've always had a dimple in my chin, which is from Dad's side of the family but it seems to be puffing up a bit and maybe sagging a bit with age and it's getting a bit more squared off around the dimple as a result and it looks just like my Gramp's chin! Well, as long as  my nose doesn't suddenly grow and change shape altogether and look like my Gram's, i'm ok. She was a lovely woman but I'm very, very glad I inherited the nose from my maternal grandmother. :)

I've got the UK flights and the Rome flights booked. Need to book a hotel and also a rental car for Manchester. We are thinking of maybe a day trip to see the Chatsworth estate, and are planning an overnight over to Sunderland by way of Durham and on the way back, there's an Open Air museum in north Yorkshire that we may stop into. We have friends in Sunderland and will stay overnight with them.

Must take my new camera out for a test drive this weekend. I've only been playing with it in the apartment.

Saw an ad for a new version of the Kobo ereader yesterday, called the Kobo Glo. It' has some sort of ambient light, not a backlit screen but a front lit one, you can turn the light on and off, though, so it's not on all the time. I don't read in the dark but on the bus in the dark winter mornings, sometimes a bus may not be well lit or standing people are blocking what light there is. It would be kind of cool. If i ever have to replace this one i have now, i will probably get that one. I could buy a little booklight i suppose though it feels a bit silly on the bus. Maybe if it's quite small. :)
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Went to an early showing of Men in Black III tonight with a friend. Sort of an early birthday dinner as she'll be in TO next week on business. We had a quick bite at Tim's first. Loved the movie, good fun! Will Smith's character goes back to 1969 to prevent Tommy Lee Jones's character from being killed. Josh Brolin played a young Agent K and wow did he have him down cold! He had the looks, the gestures, the vocals just right. Lots of aliens, lots of them being splattered, the main villain was quite creepy really, well. Apparently a New Zealand actor. He reminded me a bit of Tim Curry but i knew it wasn't him. Not in looks because with all the make up you couldn't tell what he really looks like anyway. It was just his voice a bit but anyway, it wasn't Tim Curry. Still did a great job, though.

More 2012 books )
tvordlj: (Default)
Oh crap. I had an entry written, several paragraphs and hit the "home" button on the browser instead of New Tab and pooched the whole thing. Not even a link to restore from draft! What's the point of it saving as a draft somewhere temporary if you can't get it back? I've seen it ask me sometimes, when i've opened up the browser and come to here so maybe that's what i should have done. Too late now.

Hmmm what was I saying....

Work problem yesterday was mystifying though one mystery was solved and i have to start fixing that today. I can't do it until i get a new login for a server because my password expired ages ago and i've not kept it up because i've not had to access it for over 2 years, which is how long at least it's been that this one particular problem has been occurring and nobody noticed. Oops.

I did a factory reset on the phone and my texts are now readable without a microscope. I spent a half hour fixing up the settings again. I thought i had photos on the phone or on the micro card but i think the reset must have deleted them from the phone though it wasn't supposed to. It left an Mp3 ring tone that i'd loaded on. Never mind. I reloaded the card with photos i had at work. I like to change the wallpaper from time to time and it's nice to have the photos of family and some favourite travel pics. I also have them on my iPod but might not always have that with me.

Started reading a new author, Jo Nesbo. he writes thrillers about serial killers and a detective, Harry Hole who's a total fuckup and addict at this point. This isn't the first of the Harry books, it's the second at least and possibly third. They keep referring to the previous book about a serial killer called The Snowman. I like a lot of different kinds of books. Graham is surprised that i like books about serial killers and tracking them down because i'm not generally into horror books. Let's face it, the grim details of a serial killer's crimes can be pretty horrific. I dunno, it's just different. This guy is Norwegian so the front of this book claims he's the next Stieg Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books). That's not very fair really. He has his own style and take on things. He just happens to be from the same general part of the world as Larsson. He's good, though.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I couldn't get to sleep last night. I laid there and my mind was on the spin cycle. Nothing fretting me or anything like that, i just couldn't get my brain settled until nearly midnight. I know that probably doesn't sound all that late for that kind of thing but it is for me. It was a long day, too. I got home from work, slapped a peanutbutter and jam sandwich together, went out, cleaned off the car (borrowed mom's) and drove to get my nephew who then came with me to a doctor's appointment. He did that because he wanted to use the car today. There was the usual 40 minute wait, got done what i needed doing and got home by about 8. Watched Corrie, did a few things and went to bed to read a bit. That usually settles my head down but for some reason it didn't. Ah well. Burny eyes and lots of caffeine today.

The transit strike continues. What a nuisance. Their latest trick was to hold up the road crews and snow plows and salt trucks yesterday for 10 or 15 minutes as they were leaving the depot. Yeah, that's going to help their cause. All the public outcry in the media seems to have died down. I think people have realized it's not doing any good. Nobody in charge on either side seems to care, being more involved in their own agenda than conceding that transit is an essential service. People are losing jobs, losing time at school, not able to get to appointments and both sides are holding the public hostage. Both sides have dug their heels in and not budging. Council meets again today behind closed doors to get an update and discuss the situation further and a couple of them have now come out in favour of binding arbitration but the mayor says no way. Why should he bend? The City is saving a bucket load of money even taking the losses due to the fares into account. Many of the university tuitions here include an extra charge for a school year bus pass. I wonder if any of the students will get a partial refund? Not likely.

My ereader has been giving me grief for a little while, the computer doesn't seem to want to recognize it past the first minute or so. This happens on my work computer too so it's the ereader, not the puter. I bit the bullet the other day and went through the factory reset process. That resets your settings and erases all the books from the ereader. Then you have to plug in and the desktop application reinstalles the ereader's latest operating system and all your books from the Kobo site are reinstalled. I then went through the rest of my stash, copied on the other ones i wanted include what i was reading and had to open all the ones i had on the go and return to the page i had last been on (i'd made a note). Most of the bookmarks existing were a little out of date because i hadn't synced it to the desktop program for a couple of weeks.

It seems to have done the trick though i did get an error copying a group of books to it, but i think the problem was one particular ebook that was very large and perhaps the ereader didn't like it. It seems to me it was the same title as has crapped out in the past and i wonder if that had corrupted something before. I haven't tried it again since so I hope the reset took in spite of that. I can always do it again if need be.

I usually load about 30 books on in addition to all the ones Kobo insists i should have on it even if i've finished them. I delete them, Kobo keeps putting them back on so I'm just leaving them now. I think if i delete them off the Kobo library it might work though i've done that in the past and it seems to keep finding them and replacing them.

2012 books, my full review behind the links.

22 Lady John - Madeleine E Robins
A red headed heroine and a Regency romance. I don't read these often but i did enjoy this one. Apparently this is an older book but it must be newly released electronically. I got it through a member giveaway on It doesn't seem to be for sale electronically on amazon at the moment.
Review here.

23 War of Nutrition - John Beresford
This is a book by a good friend of mine. It's a thriller centered around a corporation that's released a food supplement that was being tested but before it was fully tested and the results are disastrous. There's a race on to expose them while people are dying all over the world in the meantime.
Book is available on Amazon for Kindle and other ereader formats from Smashwords.
Review here

24 From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris
Another in the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse and the vampires. More of the same but I do like the books. Light, easy reading.
tvordlj: (Default)
Four days to work this week then i'm off until the new year. I always enjoy this week even if i don't do much. while i love my vacations with Graham, we're always busy doing and going. This week i can veg out and take lots of quiet time. It would be nice, of course, if he was with me and we could do nothing together or decide on the spur of the moment to go see a movie or whatever. I expect i'll try to get to see a movie, try to get to the gym, get my groceries, visit a bit. I'm going to borrow the car for a few days to aid all that and I usually take Mom around visiting as well. Friday i'm having a movie and dinner with a friend and Friday night G. and I have our web cam Christmas present opening. That is, if his parcels to me arrive by then. This time of year it's dicey at best when expecting something from overseas. My stuff to him can get sent in pretty good time but for some reason, parcels coming this way take forever, and i blame Canada Post and Canada Customs.

I'll be at Mom's for Christmas eve, Day and Boxing Day, maybe come back home that evening. Sis is having the dinner at her place though the "kids" will stay overnight at Mom's for Christmas morning. I know they aren't kids anymore but i guess that's part of getting older. You still think of them as kids, or at least it's easier to just say that.

Kobo has had a contest running daily where you put a little puzzle of an ereader together and you can win coupons for up to 35% off or a Kobo touch ereader. I've been doing the entry every day and have got coupons for 25, 20 and 35% so i've used them. I've bought 4 or 5 books in the last week! I suppose that's their purpose isn't it? Get you to buy more books but they end up quite cheap with the coupons. I have looked and can't find out but I think the coupons might only be good for the day they're issued. I really should stop though lol! These ebooks are so much cheaper than buying even a new paperback these days. Well... sometimes at least. I see ebooks that they want 15 and almost 20 dollars for and i wonder why. It's electronic, there's no shipping, no overhead really.

I won't buy an ebook unless it's under 10 dollars. Most new paperbacks are that and up to 12 dollars unless it's the "trade" paperback, which is the size of a hardcover but paper covers and those can be up to 25 dollars! So all the ebooks i've bought with the coupons are under 10 dollars less the discount. The one i purchased today came to a total of something like $6.88 with taxes in. When i was buying paper books, i'd go to a bookstore and buy 3 or 4 at a time, spending 60 dollars. I can get 8 or 9 for that with ebooks and coupons! or at least about 6 without. Big difference.

I'm still working my way through a few books that i'm not really enjoying overly but i'll finish them. I usually do. It's rare i give up on a book but i may end up skimming through the end of the ones i'm struggling with.

In the news today, Bishop Raymond Lahey, who was a bishop in Nova Scotia, is going to be sentenced in Ottawa today on child pornography charges. He flew into Ottawa with a laptop and when they wanted to check it as a random search. They found a lot of images on there and he was immediately taken in. He confessed, rather than go through a trial and will be sentenced today. A few years ago he was instrumental in organizing a payout settlement to a group of people that had sued the church on abuse charges dating back decades. I have a feeling he won't end up behind bars as such. House arrest or something similar would be my guess due to his age (in his 70s) though he should spend some time incarcerated if it was up to me.

Halifax has had 16 homicides this year. I think that's a record. The latest one seems to be the result of a bar fight. There's only been charges laid in 6 of the cases and one was deemed accidental as a patient in a dementia unit in a senior's home pushed another resident who died from the fall. They said it was technically homicide but the resident was not really responsible. The murder total in this area is usually under 10 most years and they aren't usually random.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
One day down, one to go. The MS Excel online course was pretty good. i did two courses, the beginner and intermediate though it's odd, it didn't really go into formulas much, just doing quick sums of columns. You'd think it would give you a bit of practice with slightly more involved formulas though not necessarily complex ones, or at least how to format them. I don't think i'l try the advance course as it's probably over my head as far as things i need to know. I might some other time though. Tomorrow i am going to delve into Adobe Photoshop. I have a trial version downloaded to use with it.

My balcony door hasn't been installed yet. I'm guessing tomorrow. I need to be up and dressed before the workers come crashing through my window to put up the new one ;) so to speak that is.

2011 books again )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I love my Kobo eReader, i really do. But it doesn't suit all ebook formats. I bought a guide to Rome from the Kobo site the other day but it's full of links to jump through the book and none of them are active in the Kobo. Pooh. It's really a better fit for an ipad or even reading via an app on a computer or laptop. I decided to get the Kindle app for the iPod/iPhone as it was free. I had an gift card stored and you can use that against Kindle purchases so i found a wi-fi hotspot, registered the ipod through the Kindle app and bought three Rome guides using the gift card. (Two of them were $.99 and the other was $3.99, using up my gift card credit. Result!) One of them even has a phrase book included which is handy. In the Kindle app, you can tap on the links to jump around through the book and expand the little maps as well. I also appear to have an Oxford American Dictionary which must come free with the app. That may prove useful.

I can see that the Kindle app would be quite good for things like travel guides that don't need a wi-fi connection to show you where you are like many of the iTunes travel guides need. I did use one on Copenhagen that was great, it could be used offline as well as connected and we actually found a pretty good restaurant near the hotel using it.

I must see if i can figure out if i can add Kindle books to the ipod via iTunes and have the Kindle app recognize it rather than have to buy and download via Amazon.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Many years ago, a very good friend of mine, [ profile] naturalbornkaos, used to send me short stories he'd written for a creative writing class. I always enjoyed reading them and would offer criticism. To be honest, though, I never found a lot to criticize. The stories were always good! I may not have the appropriate critical eye for that sort of thing but I know he appreciated the feedback anyway. Over the years, he'd post some of his stories on his LJ. He's also had a horror novel published, Filth Kiss, which, admittedly I did not read because it was a bit too graphic for me. [ profile] gramie_dee did, however, and pronounced it excellent.

Fast forward.

He's published a book of his short stories, they're weird, wonderful, and sometimes scary and I shall be getting my hands on a copy soon. In the meantime, you could always have a gander and buy one!
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
And just a note for myself for ...2011 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Nearly done Season 1 of True Blood, a couple of episodes to go. I'm getting right into it now. It's smart, sassy, bloody and a lot more sharp than the Twilight movies. Not that i manage to get through more than a half hour of one of them. But know. If it's holding my interest, it must be better!
2011 ebooks )

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