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Showing posts from April, 2010

My Brain's Already on Vacation

Yep, I'm off on vacation again tomorrow. At least, my body is. My brain has apparently already started.

I was working on my Dell laptop for some club stuff and realized I needed a spreadsheet off my Mac. I usually keep everything in the clouds but I'd downloaded this one because I needed to work on it and wasn't sure I'd have internet where I was going to be. I never put it back in the clouds. Ugh.

So, I took the Mac out of its bag, started up Firefox, logged in to email then got distracted by my Inbox. I read and responded to some stuff then shut it down and put it back in its case.

Without ever sending myself the spreadsheet. Or, even better, just putting it back in the clouds.

It wasn't until I was back sitting down in front of the Dell that I realized it so I had to get up, get the Mac, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I remembered to get the spreadsheet that time so I got that going for me.

Every Frakking Time

There are two things that are 100% for sures.

Number 1:

We're trying to be ecologically kind at work and have installed timers for our office lights and motion detector lights in the restrooms. EVERY TIME I walk into the bathroom and the lights come on, I stop in my tracks because I'm completely startled. Some day, someone's going to be coming in behind me and run me over.

Number 2:

I don't really like to wear hats because my hat head is terrible. EVERY TIME I spend the day in the sun, I burn the part in my hair. I'm sure if I shaved my head at the end of summer, I'd have several tanned part lines going on. THIS TIME, I burned it on Saturday at the Salsa Challenge. That means it will be completely peeling by the time I get to PHINS later this week. Lovely. To all of my friends, it's not that I have disgusting dandruff, I swear!

Book Review - The Hound of the Baskervilles

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm sure I must have read some Sherlock Holmes tales at some point but I can't honestly recall. I read this one because it was picked for our book club this month. I liked it a lot - quick read(done on one plane flight), some nice puzzles to figure out and Holmes was, well, Holmes in that he was superior in manner and conversation. I may actually check a few more out.

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Damn Terrorists - Ruining it for Everyone

I'm on my way to Calgary for a business trip. Phoenix weather is hitting close to 90. Calgary weather, not so much. It's going to be 70 today and tomorrow and then down to the 50s on Thursday and Friday. The low will be in the 30s each night.

What to pack? OK, layers. How many layers? A lot? I just don't know.

I emailed the two guys I'm going with to see if they were planning on carrying on a bag or checking. One said check and the other said carry on. That wasn't helpful.

I actually managed to pack in a bag small enough to carry on. My thought was that it would be really nice for when I get home on Friday because I'm going straight from the airport to a poker game and skipping baggage claim would be nice.

That was a good thought but a doomed plan.

I didn't think about the TSA container rule for my cosmetics and toiletries. I don't have enough clear containers to put my shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. into.

Gods know what damage I could do with…

Book Review - Kitty and the Silver Bullet

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Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kitty's forced to go home (where she's been exiled from by the local wolf pack) when her Mom gets sick. While there, she gets dragged in to a battle for Vampire Master and is forced to take action against her former Alpha who's ruining the pack. Lots of violence and intrigue and I've become resigned to the romantic plot. Kitty's a good character. Sometimes afraid but eventually overcoming that fear to take action.

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Book Review - Kitty Takes a Holiday

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Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kitty basically runs and hides after her Washington experience. Trouble finds her, however, when one of her friends is infected with lycanthropy, someone's trying to curse her and something is savaging killing livestock. The local sheriff thinks it's Kitty doing the latter.

I liked the book but not necessarily the romantic resolution.

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Book Review - Kitty Goes to Washingtong

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Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kitty gets summoned to appear before a Senate hearing investigating paranormal creatures. As a fairly well known werewolf, she attracts the interest of the local Vampire Mistress, a group of were animals in town and a bible thumping Senator. It's never easy being Kitty but she manages to get through with the help of her friends. This is a fun series.

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Cooking Tip

Want to drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to bake something?

Put the food IN the oven and not ON the stove top for 30 minutes.

I live to be a bad example to others.

Sigh.

Book Review - Tell No One

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Tell No One by Harlan Coben


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great Coben read. This one revolves around David Beck whose wife was murdered years ago. He's never recovered from her death and, when clues surface that she may be alive, he's drawn in to a violent mystery. What I really like about Coben is that his characters aren't stupid. Some mysteries have you yelling at the book, "Don't go in there, it's a trap, you idiot!"

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Book Review - The Spellmans Strike Again

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The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy these books. It feels like Izzy, the main character, is growing up and so is the style of the writing. Less of the cutesy footnotes and appendix references but enough to still amuse me.

Izzy's juggling a lot in this book: an ongoing feud with another PI, investigating a suspect butler, trying to not help her sister free a wrongly convicted man while trying to free her own choice of wrongly convicted men, her bartender boyfriend and, of course, several mysteries involving her family. They're an interesting lot.

Nice closure on the various stories and a sweet ending. Hoping there's another one coming out soon.

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Nerd Much?

I was very much in nerd mode last night.

First up was catching up on Doctor Who. Despite my DVR being set to record it off BBC, I missed the two part episode (The End of Time) that were David Tennant's last episodes. Since the new Doctor starts this weekend, I needed to get those watched.

Oh man, those episodes were frakking awesome! (I know, frak is a BSG thing but I like it.) John Simms as The Master was brilliant, it was nice to see Timothy Dalton (he's on my "he may be 20 years older than I am but I wouldn't say no" list) and Tennant gave a command performance. His angst at knowing that he's going to die was heartfelt. The end clips where he visits the people of importance over the past few years of his adventures had me bawling like the proverbial baby. It was a wonderful end to his time as The Doctor.

After Doctor Who, it was time to watch Evil Wil Wheaton on Big Bang Theory. What an emotional swing. I went from crying to laughing hys…

Book Review - The Reapers

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The Reapers by John Connolly


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boy, I feel dumb. I saw this on the shelf at the library and picked it up because I really liked Connolly's The Book of Lost Things. As I was reading this one, I felt early on like I was missing at least one book before this.

Duh!

This is from the Charlie Parker series which I've never read but certainly have heard about.

The Reapers worked as a stand alone, however. Parker is a side character only referred to as The Detective. The main characters are Angel and Louis and Willie. Angel and Louis are partners in life and in shenanigans. Louis is a former killer for hire, a Reaper. Willie is the owner of a garage that Louis loaned him money enough to keep the garage going.

Angel and Louis go on a kill mission but only because it's a kill or be killed situation. When they drop off the radar, Willie, The Detective and others go after them. There was plenty of violence and the final dead count is pretty high but I liked the…

The Dark Side Approaches...

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Steve Jobs is Palpatine and I am Anakin. (Gods, I hope I'm not as whiny as Anakin.) He keeps luring me in with his enticing toys.

My iPod is about 4 years old and the battery's not what it used to be. I'm lucky to get 6 hours out of it which doesn't even carry me through one work day. I was toying with the idea of replacing it but hadn't gotten around to it.

On Thursday, Sugar Daddy said he needed to go to Best Buy to get a Mac mouse at lunch so I thought I'd take a gander at the iPods. My iPod was 30G and I thought I had 18G on it which is pretty much all of my music. The new classics have 160G which I doubt I'd ever fill since I don't watch movies on it.

The nanos are so cute that I could hardly stop myself. However, the biggest one only has 16G and I have too much for that. SD suggested that I didn't need to have all of my music on there at one time. That doesn't sound like me - I want instant access at all times.

SD steered me to the iT…

Telecommuting vs Being at the Office

I telecommuted today since we're going out of town this afternoon. Avoiding travel time lets me get more work hours in this way. I usually don't like it because it's lonely without people but I had a lot of data entry to do and it was nice to not have interruptions.

I noticed a few things are different when working from home though...

At Work:
People stop in to get candy from the jar on your desk.

At Home:
Someone jumps on the table and drinks directly out of your water glass.


At Work:
Someone will eventually drop in to shoot the bull which gives a nice break.

At Home:
Someone drags a feather on a stick toy out and drops it at your feet with an expectant look on her face.


At Work:
Inevitably, you end up having at least one full conversation in the bathroom while you're in the stall.

At Home:
Someone stares at you while you're going to the bathroom and might talk to you, too.


At Work:
Your computer works perfectly.

At Home:
Your computer refuses to connect to the network to start …

Play Ball!

It's Opening Day already. Where did Spring Training go? Usually, I get to 1 or 2 games but not this year. Just too dang busy.

Steven and I did go to the last DiamondBacks game on Saturday. It was against the Cubs and at Chase Field.

It was a beautiful day that we started by meeting our friend Chris at Coach and Willie's for lunch. Steven had a burger that was so good that he was still talking about it yesterday. I enjoyed a very tasty Italian Chopped Salad. It's a great place to hang before a game and the weather on the patio was nearly perfect. I would have preferred to sit in the sun for a little more warmth but Steven nixed that.

Chris was dressing in Cubs stuff and Steven in DBacks gear and I, well, I was wearing a plain yellow T-Shirt. Chris said he had wandered what I would wear and recognized the neutrality of my choice. I grew up a Cubs fan but my family and I were at the first Opening Day for DiamondBacks and we've been fans ever since.

We left Chris out…

Four Weeks Without Breaking

Yesterday marked four weeks of not drinking pop for me. I didn't think I would do it. I've even surprised The Rocket Scientist that I haven't caved. He had to admit that I did possess some willpower.

I think it almost killed him to say it.

Overall, it's been easier than I thought it would be. There have been a couple of afternoons where I got the head nods and would have loved some Diet Pepsi supplied caffeine but I stayed away from the pop machine.

Eating out at a regular restaurant isn't bad. I just drink water or hot tea if we're at a Chinese place. The tougher spot is the fast food or serve yourself places because a drink is often included in the meal price. I made the mistake of trying some Jasmine flavored tea and it was disgusting so I learned my lesson and stick to plain iced tea.

Some people say they've lost weight even cutting out diet soda but I, unfortunately, haven't seen any drop in the scale because of it. I do feel better, though, pr…

Book Review - Nighe Pleasures

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Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kenyon is one fantasy author I haven't read yet. This is a re-release and the cover said it was book one in the Dark Hunter novels but I think I'm missing some books before this one as there was a lot of background stuff that felt rushed in explanation. Like we were supposed to already know it.

No matter. I really liked the book. How could I not when the hero is an immortal vampire type without a soul (no, not like Angel) who fights the bad guys? Fun characters, some icky violence and some great sex. I have no doubt that I'll run through all of the series very quickly.

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Book Review - The Burning Land

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The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was finally able to get this at the library. It was worth the wait though it wasn't as strong as the first four books in the series.

Uhtred is still tied to an ailing King Alfred and still battling the Churchmen with their hypocrisy and greed. An accidental death sends Uhtred back to the Danes along with a sorceress who's apparently as evil as she is beautiful.

The usual battle stuff, political backstabbing and sailing along with some sex. It's all good but I found Cornwell's foreshadowing transitions a bit tiring after a while.

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144 Books in 2010 Update

At a pace of 1 book every 2.5 days, I should be at 36.4 books by tonight. That's not going to happen.

I've read 35 books so far this year which is pretty good. I was on track but then I haven't read anything since Sunday because of other life stuff getting in the way.

The calendar looks good for some catching up this weekend, though.