The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Books - Lois McMaster Bujold - The Curse of Chalion

A spoiler-free review of Lois McMaster Bujold's first good Fantasy novel!

So, as everyone who reads my blog knows already, it's so totally awesome. Thank you very much R. for making me read it.

  • A world where prayer is actually answered, and every lay man is entitled to at least one miracle, is either really cool or just as the same as ours, depending on one's POV, I guess.
  • I liked how theologians are the wizards of this world, though for the men who are not god-touched, it could be plain medieval Europe. A very light use of fantastic elements, all considered.
  • I loved the language, and how it served its purpose instead of being the purpose.
  • Umegat trying to debauch a dedicat by making her read Boccaccio aloud was funny.
  • The hero appears to be designed to be fallen in love with by the reader, but I can't bring myself to dislike him none-the-less. Bujold is good like that.
  • The book does start slow, but it picks up its pace and gets to the point where you can't put it down midway through. The ending was a surprise for me.

If you were a dedicat of one of the Chalion gods, which god would you choose? There's no shame in choosing by color, mind, but a theological reason is preferred.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Life - A day and a year older

Another house point (pray tell, which house?) to the first person to correctly identify which book I'm reading for my birthday:

[snip] did smile at him—that was true, he did not delude himself. And she was kind. But she smiled at and was kind to her horse, too. Her honest friendly courtesy was hardly ground enough to build a dream mansion upon, let alone bring bed and linens and try to move in. Still… she did smile at him.

Is it a bad sign, that I find a love-struck protagonist… charming?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Life - Cameraphone

Procrastination is when it takes one two months since getting a new mobile phone to buy it a data transfer cable.
My excuse: the Motorola C650 has a USB "Mini-B" receptacle, which should match a USB "Mini-B" plug at the end of a USB cable (on the other end of which is a USB "A" plug that goes to the host system, usually a computer). I say, what's the use of the USB standard when a bleeping Engineering Change Notice invents a new bleeping connector and forces me to go and buy a new bleeping cable? I dare you to shop for a "Mini-A to A" USB cable! No retailer carries those. Motorola's own accessories shop is currently out-of-stock!* They're supposed to come with the device, because they're as rare as a proprietary connector! Just as costly too. I guess with the service providers giving away the phones for next to nothing, the aftermarket business is where the money's at.

So, after checking online and in two photo-accessories and one cellphone-accessories shops, I've finally found it, all nicely packaged in a little black bag, in a computer-enthusiasts shop in downtown. Between case-modding and watercooling equipment and a GeForce 7800 SLI kit. 27 New Israeli Shekels (under $6 US).

You may wish to check my fotki page for new stuff, or I might just move over to flickr.

* - Never you mind that actually using the cable requires one to buy proprietary third party software which Motorola doesn't support. Moto4Lin is free, simple, takes 58k, is available in portage, and works. Thank you, Dima from Ukraine.

Found on The Web - Visions of Science Photographic Awards

via /.; a bunch of beautiful (and educational!) shots can be found on this site.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Movie - Serenity

Tickets to the only screening in Israel were sold out three days in advance. Lucky I had the sense to get the tickets in time, though unfortunately I didn't manage to arrange for more than one friend to come along. Screening it at 23:45 wasn't very smart of the ICon management.

Great movie, and the Firefly marathon afterwards was fun. Getting back home at 05:45 wasn't, but that's what holidays are for.

The audience was full of Firefly fans. Lots of cheers and clapping, lots of laughter at all the right places, even the jokes from the beginning that were spoiled by the trailers. The whole film was very funny, not just Kaylee's "batteries" and "I'm gonna live" lines (which were great). I think in the dialogue between Mal and Book ( - Mal: "You'll have to tell me about that someday." [meaning Book's history] - Book: "No, I don't.") Mal represents the fans.

It being a Whedon production, lot's of chicks: Zoë, Inara, Kaylee and River are all hot (and dangerous). If Kaylee discovers she's a lesbian in a later episode/movie, I won't be surprised at all. And those "this one time at band camp…" lines? Please, once in five years is enough.

I've met only two people I know at ICon, besides <lj user="grayswander"/> who went with me. Where were all the geeks I know, huh?

People, if you haven't seen Serenity, you owe it to yourselves to go see it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Life - "School" Trip

My entire outfit went on a trip to improve intra-departmental integration and boost morale. More than six months after the merger (a hostile takeover, more like) the logistics and personnel people are still not really integrated, since they still mostly don't actually work with each other (yet).

It was two days in the north including:

  1. Playing treasure hunt in Ramat Hanadiv Memorial Gardens
  2. Kayaking in Kfar Blum
  3. Partying in some club in Qiryat Shemona
  4. Wading through the balls-freezing waters of Nahal Snir (Hatzbani) trying not to break our necks on the dangerous rocks.
    Highly recommended, provided you have sturdy shoes that won't come off in water and medics at the ready.
  5. More partying on the Gai Beach in Tiberias

Fun was had by all, considering the twenty-ish average age and high number of females (for an IT outfit, anyway), even the unlucky female developer who (while inebriated) had landed badly on the dance floor and fractured something in her foot.

I've met a youngish Buffy-fan chick who sang songs from "Once More, with Feeling" and can't wait for The Rocky Horror Picture Show (both at ICon*).

Is it just me, or did anyone else notice a similarity between Willow Rosenberg and Luna Lovegood?

*—House points to the first person to find me in the pictures and post a comment.

Humor - Secretaries

Today's Dilbert shows Carol the Secretary telling Dilbert she'd date him for four trillion dollars, despite being happily married. My department's secretary is single, but somehow I think it would be about the same, if only she knew about numbers that big. I'd rather go for one of the female developers, them being as a rule smarter and hotter, but currently the point is moot. I think it's time to update my geek code.

Friday, October 07, 2005

TV - Lost, Season 2, Episode 3

Just watched the episode.

I understand the main metaphor about believeing whether pressing the button means saving the world as the same rift as described by Pirsig between the classic and romantic understanding. And it all sounds like psychobable, unless someone like RJA would like to explain what they mean.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Blog Archive

About Me

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