Angelic Paranoia

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The end of NaBloPoMo
Sunday 1st June 2014 6:47 pm

NaBloPoMo finished yesterday! And I had enough to post that I ended up saving the summing up post for today.

At the beginning of it I really thought that I was going to run out of things to post about. And then I didn't. Partly because I had some ideas of things to post about in January that I'd been remembering since then, partly because I did things to talk about and partly due to just_ann_now{/ljuser]'s suggestion of Reading Wednesday. The latter I will keep up, although perhaps not every week if I don't have anything interesting to talk about.

I will try and keep up posting more, when I have something to say (not just for the sake of posting) and commenting more on other people's posts. And maybe trying to remember that Twitter is something you can post to/reply to people on, not just read (but I've been thinking that for the past two months, so don't hold your breath).

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The ivy
Saturday 31st May 2014 9:48 pm

I spent lots of time last summer cutting the ivy in my back garden so there was less of it. And then at Christmas the part of the fence with no ivy on it fell down. In January it all got replaced. So I thought it was about time I posted some before and after pictures - it looks so different without all that ivy. Read more...

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Murder Manor
Friday 30th May 2014 9:09 pm

Back in January, [info]lost_spook did the I surrender meme and she gave me:

Welcome to Murder Manor, the Academy for Young Detectives!

It's taken me this long to do it, but here is Murder Manor.

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The tale of the dead bird
Thursday 29th May 2014 8:14 pm

The tale begins on Saturday when I was leaving to get a taxi to the station to catch my train. On my way out I noticed a dead bird on my front garden. There wasn't time to do anything about it and it was raining (hence the taxi). There are quite a few cats around here, so I'm assuming that one of them left it. I sort of hoped one of them would come along and eat it, but it was still there when I got back on Sunday. It wasn't raining, but I didn't have the energy to do anything about it.

Monday it rained. Tuesday was back to work, but when I wasn't there it was raining. Wednesday was also raining, but when I got back from ballet there was a cat down the path from my garage to my house. It was very surprised to see me (in a "don't like strangers" way) and ran off. When I got to my front door I found the bird was now face up - previously it was face down. I'm guessing that cat had been near it.

Today when I got home it wasn't raining and since it's starting to warm up again I thought that I should try and do something about it. Being necrophobic I didn't want to go near it, really. So I was delighted to find just a few feathers when I looked at the spot it had been. Until I looked ahead and found half a bird next to my front door mat. There was a Red Kite flying around, reminding me that it could have been one of them, just as much as a cat.

Since I didn't hold out much hope of something coming to finish it off before it attracted flies, I got it on a trowel and flung it into the undergrowth. I had meant to bury it, but I didn't fancy digging in the mud (it had rained not long before I got home) and I couldn't deal with having to look at half a dead bird for that long.

From this I have concluded that I don't think I can deal with having a cat, because I can't deal with burying presents they'd bring back. I will stick to the idea of having rabbits in my future - at least they only eat vegetation.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 28th May 2014 9:46 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
There's nothing like a long train journey for getting a lot read. I finally finished Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson. It was really interesting, talking about how before the First World War getting married and having children was considered to be what every woman aspired to, and spinsters were to be pitied and/or ridiculed. But then after the war there ended up being nearly 2 million more women than men, and not being married meant they could go and do whatever they liked (ish). It was sad in places because there were women who wanted to experience love or have children or have sex (although there was a bit of that going on). Or they'd lost someone during the war that they'd loved and they missed.

A lot of them were working for not much pay, living in not that nice hostels and not being able to afford to eat properly. But the book ends on a more optimistic note, talking about the women who were the 'first' to do something, and how not being married freed them up to have careers or travel - the sort of life that wasn't really open to them before. Without them we wouldn't be where we were today - we'd probably have been getting there, but without both wars we'd be a lot further off.

And then I read Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, which I liked a lot more than I expected it. It probably helped that I read the whole thing in a weekend, but I found Alec and Richard to be nicer people than I expected - maybe because my expectations were quite low. But I really like how their relationship was underplayed - it was just there and didn't need any comment about it. I'm not especially excited and fannish about it, but I intend to read the rest of the books.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone. It's really short, so I've nearly finished it. It's pretty much a bit of short fluff, but I really like the tone of it - it is a bit silly. It's nice after all that seriousness of Swordspoint and the non-fiction of Singled Out.

What I'm Reading Next
Clients From Hell 2, as I got it for free for joining the mailing list.

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Blue post box
Tuesday 27th May 2014 8:38 pm

Blue post box

Outside the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is this postbox. It's interesting for two reasons:

  1. it's blue (they're usually red)
  2. it's from George V's reign (they're usually from Elizabeth II)

A search around tells me that it's blue either because blue was for air mail (although they also had a thing on the top to say air mail) or it was painted blue to commemorate the Post Office's association with the British aviation.

What is amusing are the number of pictures of this post box in the rain!

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Sunday 25th May 2014 6:41 pm

I've just been up to Manchester for two-thirds of the weekend. I got up early on Saturday to beat the bank holiday/start of half term rush, spent the morning on trains, went round Manchester in the rain in the afternoon, then spent this afternoon on trains, to return to lovely sunshine. And this morning I woke up after not much more than six hours sleep and couldn't get back to sleep, so now I am tired.

I went there to see a friend from uni and his 'new' house - he moved in about two and a half years ago and I hadn't seen it. So now I have. And discovered that I really need new walking shoes because they are letting in the rain and the waterproofing spray doesn't help. I suspect that the parts that are coming away are worse than they first look. They're also not as comfortable as they used to be. So I need new walking shoes. It was when I went to Manchester the first time that I realised I needed some, because all the walking around set off my housemaid's knee...

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Talk to me
Saturday 24th May 2014 7:54 am

Because I'm not around much of this (long) weekend, I thought I'd steal an idea from [info]lost_spook (although she did it for a different reason).

Talk to me in the comments. Waffle on about anything at all. Doesn't matter if I don't know what you're talking about or don't care what you're talking about. Anything you'd like to say is good.

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Post-series books
Friday 23rd May 2014 7:27 pm

Earlier this week I promised I'd talk about books set after the TV series had ended. I haven't read many of these - aside from recently reading the Stargate Atlantis ones I've read the odd Star Trek one and the odd Doctor Who: New Adventures ones. They do have some things in common: it is possible to just pick one up and enjoy it without needing to know everything that went before it, and they are quite different from the TV series.

Both TV series are fairly tame in the sense that they're on quite early in the evenings, so there's a limit to things they can show, and they're both shorter than a book. Both series books set during the series have plots that wouldn't be too out of place on the series - which means that if they aren't very good they drag. I think because you're used to something shorter, or it's just that I read a lot of Star Trek books and they got too much after a while.

The good thing with setting books after the series ended is that you can do whatever you like - you don't need to put the characters and situations back where they started. Which is why dipping into them gives you a sense of 'whoa, that happened'. Probably the same if you were to dabble in any TV series where things followed on. The bad side is that if they go off and do something you don't like, you're stuck. Same with a TV series, but the difference is that books you have to search out and pay for, TV is free (for certain values of free).

In general I like spin-off books and ones set post-series are things I'd like to read more of. It just requires effort and money and I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much of both into something that might go in a direction I don't like.

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Election time
Thursday 22nd May 2014 1:02 pm

Today is European election day. I like voting. I don't vote because we're fortunate to live in a democratic country and people died so we could vote or even so I can criticise who gets in, although they're all good reasons. I vote because I missed out on an election due to being four days too long and I am determined not to miss out again.

This evening one of our suppliers at work is taking us out to dinner. So that I didn't have to worry about rushing home afterwards in time to vote, I went this morning. It was empty in there - partly because of the time (it's been busiest when I've voted on my way home from work) and partly because not so many people vote in European elections. I walked there because I have to go past a primary school to get there and then it turned out to be an pretty empty road anyway. But it was a nice walk and was the polling station was only five minutes away.

European elections are a bit different, because we're electing ten MEPs in my area. Normally in a general election you are electing one MP. The ballot paper lists their names in alphabetical order and also which party they're representing. You put an X by the one you want. In a local election the same thing happens, but you could be electing more than one person, in which case you put more Xs. For European elections it lists the parties in alphabetical order, and the MEPs below them. There are up to ten listed and the number of them that are elected depends on the number of votes their party gets.

It's also different because this is when all the tiny parties come out, many of whom are only interested in getting us out of Europe. My ballot paper had fifteen parties listed, not all of whom listed ten candidates. Some of them I'd never heard of, some of them are definitely racists and some of them are odd. I voted for the one I have heard of that I currently hate least.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 21st May 2014 8:10 am

What I Just Finished Reading
Mock the Week's Only Book You'll Ever Need. It's just a collection of all sorts of 'scenes we'd like to see'. It was quite amusing. I bought it because it was 99p and I would say it was worth it. It was very useful because right after I bought it I went next door to the hairdressers, who had a queue and I hadn't brought anything to read with me.

What I'm Currently Reading
Still reading Singled Out. I have been distracted by reading Remix fics.

What I'm Reading Next
Swordspoint. It arrived on Monday, as one of my birthday presents, so it's next on the list.

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The Stargate Atlantis Legacy series
Tuesday 20th May 2014 6:24 pm

A couple of weeks ago I promised I'd write more about this series, which I recently read. It's set after the last episode and the first book came out around the time I was finishing off my fic, which was set around the same time. It meant I was curious about the book, so I bought it and read it once I'd finished my story.

And it bored me.

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Remix reveals
Monday 19th May 2014 9:12 pm

Remix stories were finally revealed! So now I can post about mine: I wrote Dark and Stormy (The Last Tent Remix), which features the original team just before Jack takes up command of the SGC.

At this point I could talk about how I remixed etc, but because the deadline for posting is two weeks before the authors get revealed and I was finished earlier, I finished this a month ago, and therefore I don't remember. I probably should have written something a month ago and then left it in draft to pull out now, but I didn't think about that at the time.

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Sunday 18th May 2014 5:04 pm

Talk to me about Tumblr. Should I get one or not bother? If I had one, should I crosspost my entries and/or fanfic there? Should I just carry on following Tumblrs by RSS, therefore not needing an actual account? What difference will having an account make? Will it matter that I've accidentally done something to my AdBlock settings that mean some Tumblr images randomly don't show up?

The Tumblrs I do follow, incidentally, are Clients From Hell and Get Out of There, Cat. I almost started following one that posted bunny pictures, until I discovered that it was actually just a feed from The Daily Bunny website, so I went to the source for my RSS feed instead.

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Obscure & British commentfest
Saturday 17th May 2014 4:05 pm

Since obscure and British sums up a lot of the fandoms I'm interested in, I am excited for this commentfest.

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Busy week
Friday 16th May 2014 9:01 pm

This week hasn't been that busy overall, it's just clumped. Today was not helped when I went to put my sunglasses on this morning (I drive to work looking into the sun and it's actually been sunny for a few days) and the nose clip fell off. I managed to balance it on to drive to work, and then spent my lunch hour in town getting it fixed and getting a new battery in my watch, which I have been meaning to do for a while. Then this evening I had to go out and buy food so I have something to eat tomorrow, so I feel like I haven't stopped today.

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Spring has sprung
Thursday 15th May 2014 9:10 pm

And my garden is full of weeds, despite me weeding only two weeks ago. Well, maybe not full, but there are some on the path and pebbles that either didn't die when I last sprayed them, or are new and massive (relatively speaking). Even the few borders I have to dig up the weeds from have a few in.

It's the part of gardening I hate. Doing the weeding makes your back ache, then the next day the muscles at the top of your legs, in your bum, really hurt, and a few weeks later you have to do it all again.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 14th May 2014 6:27 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day. It could be that I'm remembering the previous Science of Discworld books wrong, but the science in this one feels less integrated into the narrative. The Discworld fictional bits are short and the science chapters are long and only vaguely related to the previous chapter. The science stuff were generally bits I already know, although have forgotten the details of. Mostly I liked the historical bits about what old religions thought the Earth was shaped like and how it came to be. Also I learnt that the Maths Institute at Warwick has (or had) an aquarium.

I also finished off Summer Falls by Amelia Williams (or really James Goss, according to the copyright). I started it a couple of months ago, got 20 pages in (a third of the way through) and couldn't take any more. So then I went and finished it off yesterday. The second two-thirds was better than the first third, because something actually happened, but on the whole it bored me.

What I'm Currently Reading
It's another non-fiction book and it's called Singled Out. It's subtitled: How two million women survived without men after the first world war. I've only just started it, but it seems interesting so far. Which is why I bought it, after reading a few pages.

What I'm Reading Next
Depending on when I finish this book and when things turn up, one of my birthday present books.

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Not going out tonight
Tuesday 13th May 2014 8:43 pm

Since tonight's not a Rotary night I wanted to go out and play board games at the board game cafe in the city. However, I just had a long weekend off, so today I spent catching up on all my work. I spent the morning looking at data in Excel, I worked through half of lunch, left late, and there were roadworks on the way that didn't exist on any of the local news traffic websites, which made me late and meant I had to go a different way home, which also had queues because I wasn't the only one with that idea. And usually by 6pm the rush hour is over and the roads are quiet.

So instead of going out tonight I am lying on the sofa feeling tired, which I hate. I could see the difference between me and people with normal amounts of energy when I got back from Manor Farm, where I went with my parents. They got on and did things, I sat on the sofa with no brain or energy to do anything that didn't involve sitting on the sofa not using my brain.

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I am not my job
Monday 12th May 2014 12:32 pm

I've seen a couple of people post about this recently (ish). So clearly what I should do is say all the same things.

A lot of the time when you meet someone new, they ask what you do. By that they mean what job you do. I have two problems with this:

1. I am not identified by my job, a workaholic or concerned about a career. I go to work because I have to. I am looking forward to retiring so I can have more time to do the things I want to do, even though this won't be for another forty years, what with the government constantly raising the age you get your state pension.

2. I don't know how to describe my job. I could give my job title - Senior Project Manager - except that it's vague and misleading. I do work on projects, but the extent of my managing is that I do what I'm told in the time that I'm given (sometimes regardless of whether either of these things are reasonable).

I could say that I work for a market research agency, but then people think that I stand on the streets with a clipboard - most people don't know any other aspects of market research (I don't blame them for that).

I sometimes say that I program online surveys, but that tends to lead to discussions of those annoying surveys that pop up on websites asking you about the website. Not only am I not responsible for any of those, they're not really that similar to what I do.

Often I just say computer programmer, because I do some programming and people know what that means. Or think they do.

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