Tag Archives: writing

Red Flowers

Little Red Flowers
Red Flowers by Manzabar | Flickr.com

I haven’t felt much like writing anything here of late, but I started to get into the habit of carrying my camera with me everywhere. Since the camera is handy, I’m taking more photos1. When I walked out of the house the other day, the light on this bush in our appealed to me

1 Just snapshots really.

Random Thoughts

I’ve been bad about posting anything here, so here’s a collection of random thoughts that have occurred to me since my last posting.

  • For several years I carried a PDA to keep track of appointments, jot down notes and to have important phone numbers/addresses handy. I started off with a Handspring Visor Platinum, later switched over to a Sonly Clie for a color screen and rechargeable battery. Eventually the Clie started giving me problems so I started leaving it at home more & more. Instead I carried around my “paper brain”, a 3×5 spiral bound notebook. It worked alright but pages kept getting ripped whenever people needed scrap paper. Over time it became a ragged shadow of its former self and needed replacement. A couple of weeks back I finally did replace it; this time I picked up a Moleskine or as I’ve taken to call it “my snobby paper brain”. The Moleskine was about 3 times as expensive as my old “paper brain” and I’ve read numerous articles online from devotees of these notebooks. Those articles had aroused my curiosity. I find the paper to be very smooth and pleasant to write upon, though I do need to find a pen/ink to use which doesn’t bleed through so much. I’ve been writing…
    • character ideas for games I’m playing
    • dreams I’ve had
    • things I need to get done
    • grocery lists

    … and little things like that. It’s stuff which if I ever developed the more interesting bits could end up here, but for the most part is too mundane to make me want to post it.

  • I used a print out of a Windows BSOD and a black robe I still have from several years ago to be the Blue Screen of Death for my office’s Halloween festivities. The costume netted me third place and a $10 Target gift card. Whee!
  • We were down about a third in the number of kids coming by the house last night for Halloween. Maybe the massive number of kids last year was them checking us out since it was our first year there. Or maybe something else happened, but I thought we gave out good candy and we were stocked up to give more this year. Heck, we had an entire bag left unopened after we stopped for the night. Ah well, it’ll make the office happy as I’ll bring all the candy to work to get rid of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s candy I like (saltwater taffy to be specific) but it’s a 5lb bag and I don’t need all those calories.

Update: I forgot to mention when I someday fill up my current Moleskine, I do plan to buy another one but next time will get the grid paper version vs the ruled paper version I have now. I think the grid will be more conducive to sketching than the lines, while still having something there to keep my written words running straight across the page.

Also I meant to talk about the new light fixture I finally got installed in our upstairs hallway. When we moved into the house, there was a floresent light in the hallway. But the bulb was never plugged into the fixture as there’s no switch for it1. So we bought a simple light fixture with a built-in switch. I got the old fixture taken down but in doing so found that the screws to hold the new fixture wouldn’t fit into the electrical box in the wall. I bought a new electrical box, but when I took out the old one I got another surprise. The old box was screwed into scraps of wood to kind of clamp the box to the drywall and as soon as I had the screws out of them… the bits of wood fell down inside the wall. *insert swearing here* Putting in the new light got put off for a while… basically until I had a chat with my father-in-law. He told me what kind of electrical box to buy and the next weekend I had the light installed.

1 Technically, there is a switch at the bottom of the stairs but turning it off kills all power to the upstairs.

Dear Friend,

A friend of mine recently wrote talking about how she was feeling stressed out due to her job. She did so in by writing it as a hypothetical letter to “Divine Power That Is”. While I’m not a Divine Power; I’d still wanted to try writing something up to help her feel a bit better. Hopefully this works and to the friend in question here; if this posting doesn’t help…. Well, you’d best tell my wife so she can extract your revenge for you (or at least help you plan it). 🙂

For the rest of my readers who don’t know what I’m babbling about, don’t worry about it. You can just skip the rest of this entry.
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Review: Threads of Malice

Product Image: Threads of Malice

Threads of Malice
My rating: 4 out of 5.

I read Threads of Malice last week1 and wowsers! If you’ve read Ghosts in the Snow then you need to be warned before reading Threads that Ghosts is a much lighter book than Threads. The villian in Threads is far more evil than the one in Ghosts and this gives the book a much darker tone. Still with that being said, Threads is a great read.

This time around Mrs. Jones takes us out of the castle and up into The Reach. Young boys have been disappearing throughout the region for the past couple of years. When Dubric arrives in the area; he’s greeted by dozens of ghosts all at once. It’s quite the unexpected & draining experience for him. Additionally, we get to see Dien’s family and Lars learns what real family life is like.

I don’t really know what else about the story I could tell you without giving away either the mystery or the good non-mystery bits. This is a problem that I’m not the only one has. I say this because at ICON this past weekend, I attended a panel where Mrs. Jones read some passages from Threads; as well as a few pages from her third Dubric book2. One of the passages she read from Threads was included one of my favorite scenes in the book, though it turns out we visualized it somewhat differently. The scene takes place as Lars along with 2 of Dien’s daugthers are walking into town to buy some supplies3.

He hurried after them, their names hovering in his throat, but he halted after a few steps. Aly climbed onto the head of a massive stone rabbit, then slid down its back, laughing all the while. Jess leaned against it, her hand on its nose, regarding him with mirthful eyes.
“Lars, Hargrove, I’d like to introduce you to your geandfather’s rabbit.” She bowed with a flourish and grinned at him.

That’s just a fragment of the scene, but it’s the important part to me. When I first read this scene, my mind drew up a picture of a rabbit sitting up on its hindlegs wearing a waistcoat (like something you’d expect from Alice in Wonderland). The rabbit was made of a “mostly” white marble, with bits of grey scattered about here & there. The weather had caused a small crack to form near the top of the rabbit’s head, just above the left eye. Some moss had begun to grow in that crack, looking something like a scar and giving the rabbit a certain roguish appeal. From speaking to Mrs. Jones at ICON, I found out she had imagined the stone rabbit looking like a rabbit you’d see in nature. Ok, so maybe it’s not all that important but I found the scene very endearing.

I’m feeling a bit out of it; so I’m going to wrap this review up. The book was excellent but didn’t quite grip me like Ghosts had. On the other hand, the intense evil and darkness in this book was somewhat balanced out with Lars getting his first real taste of what family life is like. It’s a highly enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any adult readers4. Mrs Jones, good job and I look forward to the next book!

1 Since then I’ve read through Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. I just didn’t feel like writing up reviews for those books.
2 Currently, the third book is titled “Valley of the Soul”.
3 Taken from pages 144-145 of Threads of Malice.
4 Given the forms that the evil takes in this book; I would not recommend this for younger readers.

Feeling Better & Mumbling Randomly

*blech* I hate being sick. Sure, it’s paid time off from work (121.5 hours of sick time remaining) but I’d rather be feeling good and taking vacation time. I am mostly over the bug I’d caught, but still feeling a bit congested. That being the case, I’m skipping coffee today in favor of hot tea1. This being Wednesday, my preference for tea caused a bit of confusion.

Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry’ Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour. And every Wednesday, myself and a few co-workers head over to the Terrapin to get a cup of real coffee2. Almost without fail, I order a “Grand Canyon” which is 2 shots of espresso, steamed milk, a shot of dark chocolate syrup and a shot of mango syrup. *yum* When I got there today, I picked up their tea menu and Rob (one of the owners) ordered me to put it down. I explained about the congestion and he accepted it, but I wouldn’t say he was happy about it. Then I ordered their Chinese Breakfast tea, as the description sounded similar to the yunnan jig tea I’ve mentioned before. Hot caffeinated beverages acquired, we headed back to the office and I headed back to the mountain of email that had arrived while I’d been out. After clearing out that mess (most of it went straight to the trash), I started/continued testing a problem I’d been working on Friday. I’m still processing the data for that test now, but I’m also starting to wonder if I should have stayed home again.

Today, like Sunday, I woke up feeling better than the day before. The problem is like Sunday, I didn’t stay home. Sunday, Ariesna & I were invited to go to Niabi Zoo over in Illinois with some of her family. It was a fun day and I took quite a few pictures3 but by the end of the day, I was totally wiped out and realized I should have stayed home. Now I’m not wiped out (so far) but I do feel more tired than I should from just sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen. Ah well, not much I can do about that now.

BTW, last night I upgraded Cath‘s site to the current version of WordPress. I was kind of annoyed at how long it took but then most of that time was taken up my crappy ftp client having problems deleting the files for the old version from the webserver. Mind you I was booted into Windows at the time4 which undoubtably was part of the problem. But I did eventually get it done and wouldn’t you know it looks nearly identical to what it did before. I’d call that a good sign for a seamless upgrade, but I’m waiting to hear back from her before I call it a success. So why the upgrade? In part to patch some old security holes and in part because all the new/interesting stuff for WP is happening on the newer versions. This way if she feels like going out and picking a different theme5; it should be trivial to install it.

Anyway, one of the reasons I was annoyed with the amount of time it took was last night also happened to be the season premier for NCIS. I’ve been a fan of this show for a while now, but season 2’s finale was murder. Quite literally, as they killed off one of the NCIS agents. I was very much looking forward to seeing where they’d take the show next, but with upgrading the site and some other things I didn’t get to watch the show as thoroughly as I would have liked. From what I did see, I’m not sure how enjoyable season 3 will be. I don’t care for the new characters they introduced into the NCIS office (Director Jenny Shepard and Agent Ziva David). The romatic background between Gibbs & Shepard could be an interesting subplot but they seem to be pushing it too hard in an episode which should be dealing more directly with the remaining NCIS agents working to find Kate’s killer. And then to make the episode a 2-parter leaving us on another cliff-hanger is distinctly annoying. *sigh* I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they can pull this up with next week’s episode.

1 Next to chicken noodle soup, hot tea works best for clearing up congestion and helping me feel better.
2 The first part of this paragraph is a quote from The Princess Bride. And when I say coffee, I mean flavored espresso.
3 I’ll see about posting some of them later. Incidentally, there was a classic car show being held on the zoo’s premises so don’t be surprised if you see more car than animals photos.
4 I had some work to do that required M$ Word, as OpenOffice Writer couldn’t properly edit the fancy formating in the document (originally created in M$ Word).
5 By perhaps looking through the themes in Alex King’s Theme Browser….

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