Culinary

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:44 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread: on Monday, Greenstein's 100% Wholewheat Loaf, made up of ordinary strong wholemeal/wholemeal spelt/einkorn flours. Tasty but a bit crumbly for some reason.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 strong white/buckwheat flour, dried blueberries, maple sugar.

Today's lunch: quails, which I cooked yesterday as they were well pushing their use-by date, according to a recipe from Clarissa Dickson Wright. The Game Cookbook, only that used fruit chutney, which I did not have, so used damson jelly instead, roasted in foil at Mark 3 for 30 minutes: not bad. Served with sticky rice in coconut milk with lime leaves, buttered spinach, and asparagus healthy-grilled in olive oil and splashed with aged organic balsamic vinegar.

Have started the overnight rising version of the bread recipe in Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, which I haven't made for ages.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:28 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gmh and [personal profile] ravurian!
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.

And when Tonstant Weader had finished fwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?

Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.

And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.

And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.

Reading: The Vor Game

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:12 am
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
In The Vor Game, Miles Vorkosigan has graduated from the the Imperial Military Academy and is taking - or trying to take - the first steps in his military career, steps which are seriously hampered by Miles's tendency to be the best strategic mind in the room and to know it. Instead of managing to fit in to life as a junior officer, Miles solves a mystery, joins a mutiny and ends up stopping an interstellar invasion fleet.

Having taken several tries to actually get into Bujold, I'm now very much enjoying working my way through the Vorkosigan saga; so far, they've all been enjoyable and entertaining and comforting without being fluffy. They may have many of the trappings of standard military SF, but they're really character-driven novels whose military setting is almost incidental. Bujold's characters are delightful and well-rounded, likeable but realistically flawed and sometimes exasperating; in this novel, Miles is continuing to grow and learn from his experience and his fairly frequent mistakes and misjudgements (despite an amazing talent for turning every situation to his advantage he is clearly very young, very inexperienced, and far from perfect), and I particularly loved Gregor, the young Emperor of Barrayar, resenting the weight of the crown he has worn since early childhood and trying to work out who he is and how to be his own person within the limitations of his role. The exploration of what makes a leader, and what it means to be Vor - a member of Barrayar's hereditary military/aristocratic class - is a big part of what makes these books not-fluff for me; they may be fun, but they're also interesting and thought-provoking.

I note that The Vor Game won the Best Novel Hugo*, which surprised me a little, as although I enjoyed it a lot the plotting isn't terribly tight and it doesn't have the "doing something new and interesting" feel I tend to expect from Hugo winners (even if "new and interesting" in 1990 was rather different from "new and interesting" now, it isn't doing anything very different from The Warrior's Apprentice). It's still great fun, though, and probably more enjoyable than many "new and interesting" but more serious books.

*"at the time when good writing and plot were more important than political leaning", says one Goodreaders reviewer, who has clearly failed to spot that the novel has a disabled protagonist, at least two prominent LGBT characters (to be fair, Aral's bisexuality is pretty much blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but Bel Thorne isn't) and more than one woman in typically male command roles.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is the nth book in McGuire's Toby Daye series. Can't say I recall the exact ordinal, but it's definitely early. Stats with a party, but quickly switches to a quest of sorts, as Sylvester, Duke Torquill, tasks Toby with checking up on the county of Tamed Lightning, headed by his niece, January. Mostly because it's a small place, nested between two domains not quite at war. And nothing had been heard from there for quite a while.

At first, things seem fine, although a smidgen is. But as usual, in Faerie first impressions are not what they seem.

Eminently readable, but I would hesitantly say that this series grows better later. All that said, it is perhaps not a bad place to start, if you're curious. There will be things that have been explained earlier, but the general "the series has hidden mass accumulated" is not nearly as prominent as when you're 6-7 books in.
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.

On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.

And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.

Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -

Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.

There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.

There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.

There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.

There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.

But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.

However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:37 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] negothick and [personal profile] quiara!

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

Rewatch Week Sixteen

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:36 pm
talkingtothesky: (samannie)
[personal profile] talkingtothesky posting in [community profile] lifein1973


This week we're watching Series Two, Episode 8!

Well, we did it, folks! The 2017 rewatch has come to an end. I am, as ever, thoroughly entertained by this show. I hope you will continue to post reactions in the comments and icons in separate posts. There is no closing date.

1. No live watchalong, so no timezones to worry about
2. (Re)watch the episode when you have the chance, then come squee!
3. No chatroom component, let's keep the discussion on Dreamwidth
4. PLEASE share in the comments: fic ideas, drabbles, icons, artwork, meta, random things you notice, songs you love, trivia, gifs you've posted on tumblr, etc, anything inspired by the episode.
5. There's no time limit on participation. You can join in any day of the week, not just Tuesday. One post doesn't 'close' when the next one goes up. Even if you're a week (or three) behind, you're welcome.
6. Possible SPOILERS in the comments for the entirety of LoM and also Ashes to Ashes.



Resources: screencaps | transcripts
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

London garden bridge project collapses in acrimony after £37m spent.

And I can't help wanting to say to Boris J that in Ye Bygone Days when people built follies they did so on their own estates and with their own money (though on reflection this was probably ill-gottens from the Triangle Trade and dodgy dealings in India) and didn't ask the nation to pay for them.

(And aren't there already memorials to Princess Di? How many do we need?)

And, you know, it's a pretty idea and in theory I am there with Thomas Heatherwick that 'London needs new bridges and unexpected new public places': except that that is not a part of London that required Yet Another Bridge, there are so many that taking the boat journey along that stretch of river is more like going into a tunnel.

Also, it was not properly a public space:

a link that would be privately run, would be able set its own rules for access, and would close at night and be available to hire for private events.
Not dissimilar from those gardens in London squares to which access is by residents' key. I do not think that is a definition of 'public' that would have been assented to by those urban planners and reformers creating parks and spaces for the benefit of the inhabitants of the metropolis.

I am also boggled by the suggestion that the river is not already pretty much 'centre-stage' in our great city.

I think Mad William would have had things to say along the lines of

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
and whether if crowds flowed over the bridge, so many, common and routine usage would have meant that
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

I might go along on the line suggested by this to comment that what good is a garden bridge if the land lies waste?

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Third and most probably final volume of Kress' Probability series. Starts about, oh, 2-3 years after Probability Sun. Again, features and ensemble cast. Again, I can't say jack without spoiling the previous volumes.

And, possibly boringly, again eminently readable.

On the up-side, I am now caught up to "now", having carefully rationed up the last week-and-a-half's write-ups over two days. Go me!
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

The sequel of Probability Moon in what I have chosen to call (don't recall if there's a proper name) Kress' Probability series.

We continue the multi-viewpoint narrative, as a group of intrepid scientists (and military) return to World, where they expect to be solidly classed as "unreal". Things happen, science is done, setting the scene for the third book of the series.

I wish there was anything cogent I could say about this that would not simply be stomping all over the reading of #1 in the series, but that's pretty much it.

Still, a rather pleasant read, all things considered.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:25 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jcalanthe and [personal profile] muckefuck!
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

It's been a few years since I read this, I think. All in all, eminently readable.

We're flipping between viewpoint characters, sometimes we're following Enli pek Brimmidin (I am now unsure if it's "pek" or "Pek"), a woman from World who's been declared temporarily unreal, for having done unreal things, thus violating Reality.

Sometimes, we're following one of a few Earth scientists, on World, trying to figure out things like "how does shared Reality work" and "that mountain over there is mighty strange, I wonder why". And we also have a bunch of Earth military going "that is not a moon, it's an artefact!"[*].

All in all, eminently readable, happy I decided it was the next to push into the queue.

[*] That may look like, but isn't, a spoiler. You're told this in the first 15-20 pages, IIRC.

Reading: Murder on the Ballarat Train

Aug. 14th, 2017 07:53 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
In the third of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries, Phryne and her companion, Dot, are taking the night train to Ballarat when Phryne is woken from a doze by the smell of chloroform, and discovers that their first-class carriage has been filled with cholorform and that one of the passengers, an elderly lady, is missing. When the missing passenger's body is discovered, her daughter hires Phryne to find her mother's murderer, and Phryne also takes on the task of trying to find the identity of a young girl with amnesia who was found on the same train.

The identity of the murderer was glaringly obvious, but the question of evidence and alibis takes up more time, while the subplot about the amnesiac girl takes a bit more unravelling. The feminist slant of the previous novels remains strongly in evidence here, with Phryne continuing to take down exploiters and abusers of women in the course of her cases, and there are a few knowing nods to other novels; the allusion to Murder on the Orient Express is obvious, but I also spotted a reference to the Megatherium Trust which sets the series firmly in the same world as Peter Wimsey. The series continues to be entertaining feminist fluff and definitely high on my list of comfort reads.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

So, farewell then, printer which has been with me some dozen or so years, also previous computer.

Take it away Bessie Smith:

The usual sturm und drang over setting up the new All In One Computer and the printer which purports to be wireless, but refuses to connect thusly: however it will connect by cable.

Though alas, all the USB ports are on one side of the computer, the one away from where the printer has to go (unless I do some major rearranging), but I think I have contrived.

And of course, various other things still to get sorted.

But, getting there, sorta.

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is an entry out of sequence, but there's too much to clean up to make it worth sorting numbers out, sorry.

Where was I? Ah, yes, this is set in the same fictional universe as Seeing Red, but takes a completely different tack. We follow a young woman, who after a very mysterious aviation accident find herself not at ALL in her familiar Australia, but in a hilly, rain-foresty elsewhere. Adventure and perhaps a little romance happens, and so forth.

I suspect it's one of those that grow with repetitions, but even so I found it quite readable with a sense of "OK, now what?" when over and a "just a few more pages..." when reading.

Claims to be a first in the (sub?) series it's in, Return of the Aghyrians.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Second book in Mckenna's Tales of Einarinn series. We continue the narrative style from installment #1, where we have a primary POV character using the first person and occasionally having other viewpoint characters, where the third person is used.

I am in a little bit of "catch-up" mode at the moment, but essentially this was pretty good reading. Perhaps not surprising, as I'm re-reading it. I would hesitantly recommend starting with the first book, but I think this would work just fine as an entry-point.

Culinary

Aug. 13th, 2017 08:58 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread during the week: a Standen loaf, v tasty.

Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple with molasses and ginger: using up two bags of flour probably a) rather more wholemeal than strong white b) probably quantities a bit more than usual; also using up ginger so these were quite gingery.

Today's lunch: small whole sea-bream baked in foil with ginger and lime; served with purple crinkle-cut sweet potato fries, garlic roasted sweet-stem cauliflower and bellaverde broccoli, steamed samphire tossed in butter, and padron peppters.

May 2011

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