jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 30th, 2017 04:12 pm)

Dandelions and azaleas starting to bloom. Canada mayflower leaves up, but no blooms or even buds yet. Wild blueberry buds swelling.

No roadkill.

Temperature got up around 55 F and wind dropped to 10 mph or so, I declared bike ride. Did not die.

20.60 miles, 1:50:43

beth_bernobich: cat on wire (cat on wire)
([personal profile] beth_bernobich May. 1st, 2017 09:00 am)
My second round edits for Other Than Honorable arrived late this past Friday. And early this morning...I'm done and the new version is on its way to my editor. (There were no structural edits for this round, and the line edits were very light.) Copyedits won't show up for a few months, so...

It's time to start writing book #2. I already have notes for an end-to-end plot, some of them detailed, and some of them very vague. I have an opening scene in mind, and I have several images for the end moment. Once I have a few chapters written, and more of the plot ironed out, I'll get my editor's opinion.

Meanwhile, my house and garden need attention, not to mention my family.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 30th, 2017 07:16 am)

Air temperature 38 F, scattered clouds, wind north at 15 mph gusting to 25. If these conditions do not improve, my bike ride looks unlikely.

No mushroom clouds yet.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 29th, 2017 07:49 pm)
Crescent moon through clouds.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 29th, 2017 08:25 am)

Air temperature 49 F, wind south about 10 mph, overcast with fog clearing out. Rowan tree buds unfurling.

ann_leckie: (AJ)
([personal profile] ann_leckie Apr. 28th, 2017 01:17 pm)

So, I’ll start this out with a disclaimer: Adagio contacted me and offered to give me some tea for free if I would review it on Twitter. I am not one to turn down free tea, and I already buy tea from Adagio more or less regularly. And they’re the home of the Imperial Radch Tea Blends, so.

I had a gift certificate to work with, so I actually got three things–one that’s already a favorite, one that wasn’t the sort of thing I usually get but what the heck, and one that I threw in on impulse before I checked out.

I’m not much of a white tea fan. I mean, I don’t dislike it, but it’s usually been not my fave–usually it just tastes like faintly leafy hot water to me. But I got a sample of a white tea with my Manual Tea Maker No 1, and either that tea was particularly good and/or the gaiwan style brewing really brought some nice flavor out. So I’d been meaning to try another white tea in the Manual and see what I thought.

This is Adagio’s White Symphony. The flavor is very delicate–I found I got best results using a touch more than I would have for another kind of tea. I tried it just in an infuser for 3 minutes, and then I tried it in the Manual. It definitely stands up to multiple steeps, but it wasn’t noticeably more interesting in the Manual. This is also the first tea that I’ve found doesn’t do well with my tap water. I was unhappy with the first cup, which was the old “faintly leafy hot water” thing. Then I tried using filtered water and the results were much better. It tasted like a very delicate tea, instead of hot water pretending to be tea. Seems like my problem with white tea might be more about my tap water, and I’m looking forward to drinking more of this one.

This is the sort of thing you’d sip and think about how it tastes. It is not, IMO, a great choice for a hearty cuppa, or for waking up in the morning.

This is Adagio’s Fujian Baroque. It’s a reliable favorite of mine. It has a sort-of-maybe sweet, faintly almost-chocolatey flavor, with no astringency. If you find ordinary grocery store orange pekoe or black tea too bitter or astringent, you might want to give this a shot. This is one of a couple of black teas I try to keep around. (The other is PG tips, because sometimes you just want a strong milky hit of tea.) I personally wouldn’t put milk or sugar in this, but I do find that it’s a good first-thing-in-the-morning tea.

And the third tea!

This is Chestnut flavored tea. I was clicking around and saw some reviews for this. The idea struck me as somewhat improbable, and by and large I’m not that much into flavored teas, but the reviews were good, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong throwing a sample package into my order. It’s really nice! It has a sort of toasty, nutty flavor that complements the black tea really well. I will certainly add this into my regular rotation, because I like it a lot.

(Adagio has one or two improbably flavored teas–I ordered some Artichoke back when it was available and…it was odd. But I read the reviews–it had its fans. Also Cucumber White, which I used in one of my blends. That was interesting, and actually maybe I need to revisit it now that I’ve discovered that white tea is better with filtered water.)

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 28th, 2017 01:43 pm)
Pair of mallards at the outdoor skating "rink" again/still.
ann_leckie: (AJ)
([personal profile] ann_leckie Apr. 28th, 2017 11:06 am)

So, there are a lot of books that strike me as interesting and I want to make time to read them, and also I get sent quite a few books by folks hoping I’ll read them in time to blurb them. Spoiler: I rarely am able to read things in time for the blurb deadline! But I still like to say something about books I’ve enjoyed reading. Here’s the latest batch!

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This won the Clarke last year! So I figured it’d be good.

It is good! I enjoyed this a lot. The last remnants of humanity find a terraformed planet! It was supposed to be seeded with primates who would be infected with a virus that would uplift them. There was an accident, though, and the primates never arrived. But the spiders were already there, so…

I enjoyed the onworld stuff from the spider POVs more than I did the stuff with humans on the ship. A lot of that was, I think, due to the constraints of setting and worldbuilding. I think I’d have some difficulty balancing those two settings, while also definitely wanting the inherent contrast they presented (heck, I’d probably want to set it up that way so there was that inherent contrast, to be honest, but the spiders were so cool that the ship humans were going to have to work awfully hard to compete). I highly recommend this book, even if you’ve got a thing about spiders. (Yes, actually, I am not a fan of spiders. I mean, I’m glad in the abstract that they exist, they eat bugs yay, the webs are pretty, biodiversity is good &c &c but on the level of the concrete and the specific, they have too many legs and are buggy and I would like them to stay far away from me please, thank you.)

Amatka by Karen Tidbeck

This isn’t out yet! You can read it starting June 27, and I recommend that you lay your hands on a copy. I managed to just miss the blurbing deadline on this, sadly, sorry!

This is a weird little book. Brilars’ Vanja Essre Two is assigned to visit the colony of Amatka to research what kinds of hygiene products they might want to buy. Nothing too weird about that, right? Except Vanja’s name, but it’s quickly clear that this is a setting in which it’s vitally important that everyone agree on what everything is and call it what it’s supposed to be called. Because otherwise…well, that’s where things start getting weird. I’d say more, but this is one of those books where the gradual unfolding of what’s going on is part of the effect and I don’t want to mess with that. It’s compelling and disturbing and totally worth reading.

Pilot Down Presumed Dead by Marjorie Phleger

All right, this is kind of cheating. This book was published in 1963, and I got it as a gift when I was 9 or 10 and I loved it. Read it multiple times. I mostly read SFF at that age, and was largely uninterested in non-SFF books, but this one was just super gripping. Basically, small plane pilot Steve Ferris gets caught in a storm and is forced to put down on a little uncharted island. Wrecks his plane and spends the rest of the book surviving, trying to get the occasional passing ship to notice him, and ultimately attempting to get back to the mainland under his own power. In retrospect, I think it shares a number of features with the SFnal books I was already reading–much if not all of the plot is problem-solving and/or bits of exploration and exposition.

A friend of mine is a Montessori teacher and a while ago we were talking about how she’s always looking for cool things to read to her Lower Elementary kids and I remembered PDPD and suggested that it might be just the sort of thing she was looking for. SPOILER turns out the kids are loving it.

I picked up a used copy–my original copy is long gone–and gave it a read. Took me maybe two hours. Its written very simply, but the descriptions are vivid enough that some of the images have stayed with me for forty years. If you know a ten year old (or thereabouts) who’s looking for a good, engaging read, this book is a good bet.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 28th, 2017 07:56 am)

Air temperature 49 F, wind south about 10 mph, patchy fog under overcast. Leopard slugs prowl the sidewalks in search of prey.

karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
([staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance Apr. 27th, 2017 03:03 pm)
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 8pm PDT / 11pm EDT / 3am UTC on Sunday, Apr 30 (or May 1 for you transatlantic types.).

I don't have a list of changes for you yet, but most will fall into the following categories: things users have complained about to support volunteers, things support volunteers have complained about to developers, things [staff profile] denise has complained about not working the way she expects them to (and as we all know, The Boss is Always Right), and things that were printing warnings over and over in the production server logs, making it hard to spot when less frequent, more urgent errors were being printed. Oh, and also all the unused code I ripped out at the roots, which if you notice that, I did it wrong.

To sum up: we are rolling out a bunch of requested changes, so thank you all for your feedback!

If you're new to Dreamwidth and interested in tracking our development process, our commit logs are published to [site community profile] changelog and [community profile] changelog_digest, and every month or so, one of our volunteers will translate those often-cryptic entries into witty, informative code tours! The most recent one was published on April 1, so we're about due for a new one. Hint, hint.

We'll update here again to let you know when the code push is imminent!
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 27th, 2017 03:33 pm)
Japanese magnolias blooming.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 27th, 2017 01:56 pm)

More coltsfoot scattered, forsythia now blooming outside of town. Trees are taking shape from flower and leaf buds, and I see (or wish to see) a faint haze of green on the tamaracks. First actual skunk cabbage leaves. Maybe spring isn't a fraud.

Temperature rose, roads dried off to a minimum degree of dry, got out on the bike. Maybe chipmunk roadkill, but I didn't spot it fast enough for clear ID.

15.28 miles, 1:16:35

lagilman: Does Not Play Well With Stupid People (stupid people)
([personal profile] lagilman Apr. 27th, 2017 06:22 am)
Facebook Poster: “Well, nobody else thinks X is problematic, so…"

Me: *takes 1 minute to pulls up 5 citations over the past 6 years from 5 different sources to establish that X has been known to be problematic for at least that long*

Me: "Bitch, don’t even.”
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 27th, 2017 08:09 am)

Air temperature 55 F, thin overcast, wind east about 5 mph. I maintain hopes, probably vain, of a bike ride once the roads dry off.

Arise, ye prisoners of starvation! Arise, ye wretched of the earth!

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 26th, 2017 08:51 am)
Internet is making me sad again.
jhetley: (Default)


([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 26th, 2017 07:58 am)

Air temperature 49 F, raining, wind south about 5 mph. Unlikely to see the sun today, if such a thing yet exists. Vitamin D supplements indicated.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Apr. 25th, 2017 12:54 pm)

Time grows short . . .

Last week of the free books. And while you're at it, why not buy some?



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