wombat_socho: Washington (Washington)
Except not really; I didn't sleep well last night or for very long, and as a result I just flat ran out of energy and crashed late in the morning after the caffeine from the morning dose of Atomic Joe and Morning Thunder wore off. Wound up sleeping until 1630, so just barely got the rent check in on time. Needless to say, there was no trip to NoVa for the first Inetrmediate Accounting II test. *shrug* It'll give me something to look forward to come Monday.

Haha, wrong again. Thought Agatha H. and the Airship City was a compilation of the webcomics by Phil & Kaja Foglio, but instead it's something I've never seen before: a NOVELIZATION of the first three volumes of the Girl Genius webcomic. Now, maybe it's just because it's been about ten years since I started following the webcomic and my memeory ain't what it used to be, but I'd swear there's stuff in the novelization that wasn't in the comics. Or maybe I just didn't notice it. Or maybe I was stunned at the lack of pictures. Guesses for grabs, man. Anyway, it was very good, and it is Highly Recommended.

Tomorrow I'll be driving out to RS & Kimbie's new place and helping them paint. The exercise will do me good, and will kill off a few obs besides.
wombat_socho: Washington (Washington)
Went out today to return some books to the library and apply for work at a Dunkin' Donuts that will be opening soon in Foxchase.
Well of course I came home with more books. )
wombat_socho: HALO (SF)
I'm having a hard time remembering to post about things I've read lately, perhaps because so much of what I've read lately has been news articles about politics and/or celebrities, and I'm almost to the point of gouging my eyes out with a spoon from immersing myself in that crap five days a week.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
I'm giving up on The Gormenghast Trilogy and taking it back to the library tomorrow. There's a whole lot of nothing happening, and although it's exquisitely described, it's about as interesting as my Basic Tax Preparation text, which at least rewards me with useful knowledge. Not recommended unless you don't think Lovecraft was prolix and turgid enough for you.

A Storm of Swords fills the gap between A Clash of Kings and A Feast for Crows. Jesus X. Christ, what a crapsack world. By the time you get to the end of the fourth novel, pretty much everyone likable or honorable is either dead, fleeing for their lives, and/or has broken one or another of their vows. Which isn't to say the bad guys don't get hosed, but there's a strong implication that the merely corrupt and stupid Lannisters are going to be replaced by something much worse.

Moving right along to the real world, P recommended The Dead Hand to me, and I have to say that having lived through the Cold War, it brings back a lot of unpleasant memories, because we didn't KNOW what a primitive bunch of screwheads the Soviets really were. The book is about half diplomatic history of the arms control efforts between the US and the Soviet Union and half --formerly-- secret history of the USSR's strategic weapons programs, many of which were notable mainly for paranoid secrecy and a comically sinister ineptitude grounded in the inefficient nature of the Soviet economy. There's plenty of nightmare fuel in the chapters pertaining to the bioweapons program, but since I'm only two-thirds of the way through the book and the Soviet Union has just collapsed, I'm sure there's worse stuff waiting. Anyway, it's definitely worth reading if you were around at the time and even more so if you weren't. Either way, you're going to learn something.

I stopped reading Harold Coyle's books quite a while ago, probably for the same reason I quit reading Dale Brown; after the USSR stopped being the USSR, there just wasn't another credible high-tech global menace around for the US to whang on. I probably should have stayed away from Dead Hand as well, because it's not at all up to the standard of his debut, Team Yankee, or even the last novel of his that I recall reading, The Ten Thousand. I am especially annoyed at the huge chunk of expository asteroid science stuff that ate five minutes of my life this afternoon without advancing the plot to any measurable degree (and was done much better in Lucifer's Hammer anyway) and given the various reviews on amazon.com, I doubt it's going to get much better.

Well, that was depressing and annoying. I think I'm going to find something cheerful to read as a bedtime book. Some David Drake or something.
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
This was sparked by [livejournal.com profile] morenasangre' s post here, which probably says all the stuff I'm going to say a lot better...
cut for emo blathering )
wombat_socho: Wombat (EVE)
So I'm looking at all the stuff that's going on next week, what with P coming back to town, the projected hegira to Newport News and thence to Otakon with [livejournal.com profile] onsenmark, and whatever the heck is going to happen over the 4th of July*. P will be arriving in town on Monday; not sure when she's shipping out to Minneapolis for Convergence, but I would assume Thursday since that's when the new five-day version kicks off.

Piled onto this will be a flurry of bill-paying and shopping in mid-week, since (hopefully) I'll have my unemployment payments resuming on the 29th followed by the big check from the Alexandria City Public Schools the next day. Most of that will go for rent, of course, phone payments and other utilities, but there will be a little extra cash to do fun stuff (like a.f.u. no Breakfast) which is all I really need to keep my head away from the Slough of Despond.

One of my friends hasn't been so fortunate. It's been a tough stretch for her lately, what with ongoing physical and emotional problems even before her pet died, and I'm going to make the effort to reach out and at least say hi; since she lives on the other end of DC, I don't know that I'll actually be able to stop by in person, but on the other hand, it looks like I'm going to be driving up to Baltimore a couple times next week, so stopping off in between isn't completely out of the question.

I've started A Feast For Crows and am already wishing I'd waited to read A Storm Of Swords first; there's been quite a few references to things that have happened in the South, which is the half of Martin's original third book covered in the latter. As for Gormenghast...wow. It's certainly living up to its dual forewords by Anthony Burgess and Quentin Crisp who bang on for about a dozen pages in toto about how unique Peake's work is. I don't think I've read anything quite like this before. Not even Lovecraft comes close to the sheer weight of descriptive prose used on the COMPLETELY FUCKING BATSHIT inhabitants of this here castle. I'm going to keep plugging on; it makes good reading while I'm playing Farmville In Space and trying not to get ganked by random assholes wandering through Goonswarm space.
Cut to spare people who don't care about internet spaceships )

*Hint: Not Otakon.
**This is usually me, every other month or so. A Badger A Day In DKUK, Hey!
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Would you like to know more? )

Upgraded to Firefox 5.0, which does seem somewhat faster than 4.0, but has a distressing tendency to lock up while viewing Plonsky on FB. In addition, Foxytunes no longer works in version 5.0, but that's a minor annoyance.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I was surprised and pleased to find this (and its sequel, A Clash of Kings) on a book rack in the recreation center part of Patrick Henry Elementary, where I've been working as a special ed para these last couple of weeks.
Would you like to know more? )
Meanwhile, back in real life, the second half of June is going to be interesting since the unemployment insurance has stopped while I'm on this para assignment and the pay from the Alexandria Public Schools is delayed by two weeks. This means I'm not getting any income until the end of the month, at which time I'll get paid for the first nine days of the assignment. Whether I'll actually have my unemployment restarted by then is a good question. We'll see what happens.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Doc says I don't have cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration and my vision is just as good as it was two years ago. Also, while waiting for the atropine to dilate my pupils, I wandered down to the PX in the basement of the VA medical center and found one of these Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker on sale for $29.99. Of course I bought it*. :) Unfortunately, the rain that's been dripping on Washington disappeared while I was having my eye exam and the sun emerged to fry my rods & cones on the drive home, since I hadn't brought my sunglasses; fortunately, for once the traffic on 395 South didn't suck and I was home quickly.

Other than that it's been a pretty dull week so far. I've been doing linkagery and smacking trolls at The Other McCain, successfully getting my diet and schedule back under control, and waiting for a job offer to come along.

While waiting, I have of course been playing EVE, and also rediscovering the dubious joys of Graduation, which I am every bit as bad at as I am at EVE. Actually, worse, since I haven't played Graduation in, what, ten years? Anyway, it's not a dating sim and not at all hentai, but it's pretty damn hard to figure out. It was on sale for $1.99, and I've already had at least that much fun out of it.

I've also been getting some reading done; nothing new except for Do the Work, which is available for free for your Kindle. This is a useful guide on how to kick your own ass and get it in gear, and if you're having problems getting a project done, maybe you should take the time to read this. It seems to me that the book is primarily aimed at writers, but I think the lessons it has to offer apply equally well to starting businesses and other, more small-scale things. Recommended.

Also recently acquired: Ladytron's Best Of 00-10, which is an excellent collection of music by one of the odder electronic/dance bands out there, and Wings Greatest, which I admit to buying just for "Jet", "Junior's Farm". and the original "Live And Let Die", which latter song I frankly like better than the Guns N' Roses remake.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, that's that. Finished up tax season yesterday with another 11-hour day, went back today to wrap up some paperwork with my mentor, and talked some about what I need to do in order to make more money next season as a tax preparer. (Short version: take classes, pass promotion exams.) I still need to retrieve my cheese & mayo from the fridge, if they haven't thrown it out already.

I'll be doing an interview with the Tyson's Corner office of Accountemps tomorrow, since the Alexandria office didn't return my call for some reason, and hopefully will be beavering away soon at something resembling a full-time job with decent pay for the next few weeks. Decent being defined as more than $10/hour, since that's not much better than unemployment, although I'll grant you it's better for my head to be out and working in somebody else's office instead of squatting in my apartment sending out applications that never get replies. Most of the jobs Accountemps has listed right now pay more than that, and there's some really nice ones paying around $20 right here in Alexandria; we'll see what happens.

In between work and study and sleep and stuff, I have managed to get some recreational reading done. Among other things, I've been reading the Baen e-book version of Retief!, which is a repackaging of the original Retief anthology Envoy To New Worlds. I have caught one tweak/edit that annoys me - the subplot involving the telepathic abilities of the folks on Jorgenson's World is gone, and "Courier" is somewhat the worse for it - but otherwise, it's a decent collection of the Retief stories, which are what Keith Laumer will be best remembered for along with the Bolo Combat Units.

Also, Solomon Kane, which I gather is being made into a movie at long last. Kane is one of Robert E. Howard's works that for a long time languished in obscurity without the attention devoted to the Conan stories; unlike the iron-thewed barbarian, the deadly Puritan driven to punish the wicked of the world spawned no subgenre of his own. Still, one can find without too much trouble in the tales of Solomon Kane the same power, the same tribute paid to skill and indomitable will as is everywhere in the Conan stories. Nothing too complicated in terms of plot or characterization in these short stories, but they're decent enough brain candy. The copy I have is an old paperback that only has a third of the tales, but Del Rey has published The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, which has them all. In fact, Del Rey seems to have reissued all of Howard's work with new covers and in some cases, the Kindle edition. Good on you, guys.

Also also reread The Barsoom Project and The California Voodoo Game by Steven Barnes and Larry Niven (predictably, in the wrong order); still good brain candy, and so far reality hasn't caught up with Dream Park yet. Soon, perhaps.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
For which we should all be duly thankful. I was fortunate enough to inherit some of my father's books, and spent quite a bit of time with the High School Boys, Mark Tidd, and even some of the original Tom Swift and Horatio Alger books when I was growing up. So I thought Garrett P. Serviss' Edison's Conquest of Mars wouldn't be any worse than those pre-Great War juveniles.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
This past weekend, because I didn't think I was going to be staying at the VAMC for a couple of days, I didn't bring my laptop with me, and so I spent most of my waking hours reading what was loaded into my Kindle. Fortunately, I have a lot of stuff in my Kindle.

Bitter Scot is bitter. )
A wild ride through the early life of Robert A. Heinlein )
Ice, Iron And Gold )
Hot Fudge Sundae Falls On A Tuesday )
wombat_socho: Wombat (FGSFDS)
SO MAYBE IT’S GLOBAL FREEZING AFTER ALL? It keeps looking more and more like Fallen Angels. Or maybe a John Ringo novel. I don’t want to live in either. . . .

Me neither, Professor Death. Both of those futures sucked really hard. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to decide which would be worse to live in, as I suspect I'd be dead fairly quick in both of them unless I could persuade somebody to let me back into the Guard right now.
wombat_socho: Wombat (ASA)
Jean Larteguy's The Centurions: It's coming back into print. - By Sophia Raday - Slate Magazine:
A copy of Jean Larteguy's The Centurions, an out-of-print French novel about paratroopers in Indochina and Algeria, can go for more than $1,700 on Amazon. That's reason enough for its republication this January by Amereon LTD for a list price of $59.95. But when I called the publisher, Jed Clauss, it turned out money wasn't his primary motivation: "Look, I'm an old guy," he said, "I'm at the end of my publishing career. I now only do fun projects. But David Petraeus wanted this republished. So I'm doing it."

I was tremendously surprised by the author's refusal to go down the rather obvious road of bashing Petraeus and McChrystal for emulating the disaffected French paras in Algeria, or more accurately their reaction to being sold out by deGaulle. Maybe she hasn't read The Praetorians, or maybe she doesn't know the history of the war in Algeria. I continue to hope that both books will eventually be reissued in Kindle editions.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Haven't really been thinking much about baseball, what with everything else going on...today in the tax mines was moderately busy, to the point where I almost had trouble finding a quiet half-hour to take my mandatory break. The new office manager told me this morning that I couldn't just work straight through my shift; I was going to have to take a half-hour break sometime in there. That's okay, I guess; I'll just work an extra half-hour to make up for it at the end of the shift. So there. ;P
Also on the work front, I finally got my H&R Block business cards in, so now I feel like a real tax pro and not just a little wooden one. Probably still going to be driving the front desk tomorrow since there's no CSP on duty, but I do have two appointments booked which I'm going to go solo on, since my mentor only works during the week. I think I'll do okay, and so do the old heads in the office.

Time to bag up the chicken thighs and chorizo I baked for dinner tonight; it turned out okay, maybe not as good as the crockpot version, but you can't have everything. Johnsonville did a good job on the chorizos, that's for sure. After that, I'm going to read some more of James Schmitz' stories from The Hub: Dangerous Territory, which I snagged for the Kindle from the Baen Free Library, and nod out early. 0900 comes early in the morning, and I want a large breakfast of eggs & meat before tomorrow's shift.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Having finished David Drake's Northworld Trilogy (about which more anon) I am nowbrowsing through Robert Heinlein's Take Back Your Government. This cries out for a new e-book addition crunk with HTML linkagery and updated footnotes; Jerry Pournelle's efforts in this regard were crippled by the publisher's insistence that the book be ready in time for Ross Perot's 1992 Presidential campaign, and there are no few references to the third-party spoiler therein. Any roads, Baen sells the book in a bundle with Sharon Cooper & Chuck Asay's Taxpayer's Tea Party, but flipping back and forth in an e-book is tedious, and the tough work of providing historical context to Heinlein's guide is unfortunately incomplete. Having done some time in the political trenches myself, I can attest to the validity of the tactical recommendations (at least so far as I've gotten in the book); it's only the times that have changed, and the technology/prices with them.

Aaron Static has a new Power Hour up. Go forth, download, and listen.

I need to cut this short and get to work. Ta.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I set off a bit of a kerfluffle the other night at the PRSFS meeting by opining that most "classics" aren't worth the time wasted on reading them, and trotted out Trollope, Hemingway and Stendhal as examples. Apparently I'm not the only guy that feels that way. Correia also has an amusing post in which he fisks an e-mail from an annoyed leftist. Hooray for HATE MAIL! indeed.

Yesterday was a pretty slow day in the tax mines. I followed it with some opportunistic bargain-hunting at Harris Teeter, where I picked up a couple of 12-packs of Coke product for $1.88 apiece, then headed out to Mark Taylor's place for steak & conversation, both of which were good. I found myself playing courier for Mark, conveying a couple bottles of homebrew mead to P, who I met for a snack of wings after parting company with Mark. P and I made desultory conversation while paying minimal attention to the ass-whipping the Packers were issuing to the Falcons; we exchanged mead for Butterkaese, and then she went off to work while I headed up the road to the Sterling Walmart, where I filled in some holes in the previous week's grocery shopping. Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up a replacement bulb for the bedroom lamp and tea, so I had to go out for those today, but I did address the heavy cream and pork rind shortages. :)

Back to work on Marketing and Business Administration.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Spent what seemed like most of the day driving back and forth to classes at the Columbia Pike office, ending with the Bank Agency training, which I got confused with my CSP training and was therefore late to. :( At least I know where the Leesburg Pike office in Falls Church is now; right across the parking lot from Trader Joe's. Might have to stop in there and see if they have some of the stuff Harris-Teeter doesn't; for example, FAGE's full-fat yogurt, which is so incredibly awesome that it cannot be explained - it can only be experienced.

Winamp was acting weirdly, pretending that music in its library wasn't actually there, so I flushed the library, ripped a few CDs from the long-lost collection, and reloaded it. So far so good, except now I'm having second thoughts about all the Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind. Welp.

Started reading David Drake's Northworld Trilogy, which is sho' nuff some strange and weird stuff.

Tomorrow, another Skills To Win class in the afternoon and CSP training at night, plus a meeting with my new office leader to start the day. Thought I was going to be able to sleep in but realized that's not going to work. So I better get to bed.
wombat_socho: Wombat (WTF)
Exhibit details harrowing story of how Curious George escaped the Nazis | cleveland.com:
Long before he pedaled himself into all sorts of mischief in "Curious George Rides a Bike," the famous monkey took a much more harrowing ride when his creators escaped the Nazi invasion of France.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
After downloading Charles' Stross Wireless by mistake, the second and third books I picked up for the Kindle were John Ringo & Tom Kratman's The Tuloriad and S.M. Stirling's The High King of Montival

Cut to spare the f-list )


wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)

February 2017



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 08:58 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios