bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I read two books over my vacation. Mostly on the plane ride out and back:

The first was Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds. This is the conclusion to the trilogy of books started in Revelation Space. The series has been really good so far and I was looking towards the end. And it is a pretty good book most of the way through. Lots of neat ideas and fun characters and so on...

...but the ending. I'm reading along and I look up and say "hey, there's only 50 pages left, he's gonna have to cram a lot in there to get it wrapped up or else it's not a trilogy". And...he waves his hands and says "off-screen deus ex machina done!" and that's it. I mean...huh?

So a bit of a disappointment there, although right up to the end it's pretty good.

The other book I read (on the flight home) was Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. This was, apparently, her first book. Annie's got so many of them that I wasn't sure where she started. Annie pushed this book (along with the other two in the trilogy) into my hands and said "read these!" and I'm only just getting around to.

So this is about Jenny Casey, ex-Canadian Army and full-time cyborg. She wants to live out her life in quiet obscurity but gets dragged back into a secret government project.

I don't know if I have enough information to really judge this book. It's a fast read (I blasted through it during the last half of my plane flight), but it's so clearly the opener of a trilogy that, again, the ending feels chopped. Stuff happens, but nothing really happens and it's only near the end that we seem ready for things to begin. *shrug* Maybe another case where the book was longer than the publisher was willing to take a chance on. But until I have the next book read it's kind of in limbo for me.

later
Tom

p.s. Powell's turned up a small hordge of old-timey science fiction and Cossack Pulp goodness so be prepared.
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I read two books over my vacation. Mostly on the plane ride out and back:

The first was Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds. This is the conclusion to the trilogy of books started in Revelation Space. The series has been really good so far and I was looking towards the end. And it is a pretty good book most of the way through. Lots of neat ideas and fun characters and so on...

...but the ending. I'm reading along and I look up and say "hey, there's only 50 pages left, he's gonna have to cram a lot in there to get it wrapped up or else it's not a trilogy". And...he waves his hands and says "off-screen deus ex machina done!" and that's it. I mean...huh?

So a bit of a disappointment there, although right up to the end it's pretty good.

The other book I read (on the flight home) was Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. This was, apparently, her first book. Annie's got so many of them that I wasn't sure where she started. Annie pushed this book (along with the other two in the trilogy) into my hands and said "read these!" and I'm only just getting around to.

So this is about Jenny Casey, ex-Canadian Army and full-time cyborg. She wants to live out her life in quiet obscurity but gets dragged back into a secret government project.

I don't know if I have enough information to really judge this book. It's a fast read (I blasted through it during the last half of my plane flight), but it's so clearly the opener of a trilogy that, again, the ending feels chopped. Stuff happens, but nothing really happens and it's only near the end that we seem ready for things to begin. *shrug* Maybe another case where the book was longer than the publisher was willing to take a chance on. But until I have the next book read it's kind of in limbo for me.

later
Tom

p.s. Powell's turned up a small hordge of old-timey science fiction and Cossack Pulp goodness so be prepared.
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

So I wrapped up my vacation with a fight home from Portland this morning. Only delayed by an hour.

How did I spend my last few days?

Thursday: We successfully ran some errands that we'd failed at earlier and did a little long-distance sight-seeing. In the early evening we went out to see Cirque de Soleil. The show playing in Portland was Corteo, the basic gist of which ws that a circus clown is on his deathbed and is hallucinating the sort of dreamy episodes you would expect from a Cirque show.

It was, as always, a good show. [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus enjoyed the lovely women spinning about in giant chandeliers, I rather enjoyed the strapping young men in the giant hula hoops who rolled about in them (carefully opening and closing hands in rapid succession to keep from crushing them against the floor). I also loved the trampoline sequences. So much fun and there's not a few tricks they did that I could readily duplicate (no idle boast, I had a trampoline as a kid and I'm pretty good at it).

Friday, I roped [livejournal.com profile] mathanopyrus to join me at Gamestorm 10, a gaming convention just over the river in Vancouver WA. I mostly went for the dealer room, but I did get the chance to show [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus a few new games like Carcassone. She joined a demo game of High School Drama with the game's creator and there was one other thing we tried...

"So what's this game about?"

"Oh, you move these giant robots around and you shoot at each other. If you get shot too many times, you blow up. But you don't win if you blow up, that's a common mistake newbies make. You make the other guy blow up, not you. But it's a complicated game."

"I don't care, let's give it a try!"

"Um...if you're sure. They're doing demos over there..."

And that was how I found myself sitting down to play a demo of game of BattleTech with a girl!

"So, there's your base to-hit number, then you add modifiers for your movement speed, your range, cover, and how far the target moved."

"Ack!"

(this, incidentally, is why I don't play BattleTech, although the new Introductory Set is so damn tempting)

In the end, my Hunchback managed to close the gap and 2 AC-20 shots later, her Quickdraw was a glowing slagheap. She did put up a real strong fight, though. I was only two dots away from blowing up myself.

"This was the geekiest thing I've ever done in my life and I have a biochemistry dregree!"

But she was a good sport and seemed to like some of the other stuff a bit better so that's good. Besides, after that, we went out to supper and she ate most of my Butterscotch pudding desert (with real Scotch), so I figure she got something out of it.

Saturday: Mostly shopping. I got a couple of gifts for [livejournal.com profile] asciikitty. Then we went out West of Portland, past Beaverton (hee!) and out to a bar/hotel/restaurant that used to be an old Masonic lodge. The food was good, but sadly, there were no ancient artifacts to be discovered.

We came back home and I prepped for my flight home today.

It's been a long trip, but it was a lot of fun. Portland is a great city to visit and I had a great time seeing [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus too. Tomorrow, I get to discover how bad the commute to my new office is. Whee!

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

So I wrapped up my vacation with a fight home from Portland this morning. Only delayed by an hour.

How did I spend my last few days?

Thursday: We successfully ran some errands that we'd failed at earlier and did a little long-distance sight-seeing. In the early evening we went out to see Cirque de Soleil. The show playing in Portland was Corteo, the basic gist of which ws that a circus clown is on his deathbed and is hallucinating the sort of dreamy episodes you would expect from a Cirque show.

It was, as always, a good show. [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus enjoyed the lovely women spinning about in giant chandeliers, I rather enjoyed the strapping young men in the giant hula hoops who rolled about in them (carefully opening and closing hands in rapid succession to keep from crushing them against the floor). I also loved the trampoline sequences. So much fun and there's not a few tricks they did that I could readily duplicate (no idle boast, I had a trampoline as a kid and I'm pretty good at it).

Friday, I roped [livejournal.com profile] mathanopyrus to join me at Gamestorm 10, a gaming convention just over the river in Vancouver WA. I mostly went for the dealer room, but I did get the chance to show [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus a few new games like Carcassone. She joined a demo game of High School Drama with the game's creator and there was one other thing we tried...

"So what's this game about?"

"Oh, you move these giant robots around and you shoot at each other. If you get shot too many times, you blow up. But you don't win if you blow up, that's a common mistake newbies make. You make the other guy blow up, not you. But it's a complicated game."

"I don't care, let's give it a try!"

"Um...if you're sure. They're doing demos over there..."

And that was how I found myself sitting down to play a demo of game of BattleTech with a girl!

"So, there's your base to-hit number, then you add modifiers for your movement speed, your range, cover, and how far the target moved."

"Ack!"

(this, incidentally, is why I don't play BattleTech, although the new Introductory Set is so damn tempting)

In the end, my Hunchback managed to close the gap and 2 AC-20 shots later, her Quickdraw was a glowing slagheap. She did put up a real strong fight, though. I was only two dots away from blowing up myself.

"This was the geekiest thing I've ever done in my life and I have a biochemistry dregree!"

But she was a good sport and seemed to like some of the other stuff a bit better so that's good. Besides, after that, we went out to supper and she ate most of my Butterscotch pudding desert (with real Scotch), so I figure she got something out of it.

Saturday: Mostly shopping. I got a couple of gifts for [livejournal.com profile] asciikitty. Then we went out West of Portland, past Beaverton (hee!) and out to a bar/hotel/restaurant that used to be an old Masonic lodge. The food was good, but sadly, there were no ancient artifacts to be discovered.

We came back home and I prepped for my flight home today.

It's been a long trip, but it was a lot of fun. Portland is a great city to visit and I had a great time seeing [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus too. Tomorrow, I get to discover how bad the commute to my new office is. Whee!

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So there are a lot of strip clubs in Portland. I mean, a *lot*. Of all the places I've driven past, however, two of them really stand out as quality places for a gentleman to entertain himself:

Jiggles

and

The Peep Hole.

Thus, I put it to you, LJ-readers. If you were the owner of a strip club, what would you call the place?

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So there are a lot of strip clubs in Portland. I mean, a *lot*. Of all the places I've driven past, however, two of them really stand out as quality places for a gentleman to entertain himself:

Jiggles

and

The Peep Hole.

Thus, I put it to you, LJ-readers. If you were the owner of a strip club, what would you call the place?

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Looks like this Dire Wolf ran into a wizard stocked up on Fireballs...



Strangely, they're not nearly as big as the monster guides would indicate...

ouch
Tom

p.s. Fossilized Dire Wolf remains on display at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
bluegargantua: (Default)
Looks like this Dire Wolf ran into a wizard stocked up on Fireballs...



Strangely, they're not nearly as big as the monster guides would indicate...

ouch
Tom

p.s. Fossilized Dire Wolf remains on display at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
bluegargantua: (Default)
Again, I preferred the Japanese garden but I feel like I got a couple of nice shots out of it.

cut because I care... )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Again, I preferred the Japanese garden but I feel like I got a couple of nice shots out of it.

cut because I care... )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

So on Monday I went down to the acupuncture school where [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus works and got a short treatment. It went ok. It was hard to relax because I was a little big for the table and I had needles in my arm and couldn't rest them easily.

That afternoon, we went into town to check out the Chinese gardens. They were nice. A full city block walled off with wandering gardens and buildings inside. But I still think the Japanese gardens are better. We took a long walk around and ended up at Powell's.

So, Powell's. It's got a strong right-hook, I'll give you that. And I do have a few things waiting for pick-up tomorrow or Friday. But there seemed to be some odd gaps. Things I went looking for that weren't too obscure or even out of print and I couldn't find it. Just weird.

Tuesday we tried to run some errands and then went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (or OMSI). Their big exhibit is dinosaur fossils from China. There were some crazy dinosaurs in China. Really freaky neck bones. Unfortunately, it's Spring Break for all the grade schoolers too, so the place was packed with kids. We did the tour and then bailed.

Today we got a little shopping done and we finished up the errands we'd tried to run yesterday. Tonight we had some pretty awesome sushi.

Oh, and I discovered that there's a gaming convention in Vancouver, WA, this weekend. Am I lucky or what?

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

So on Monday I went down to the acupuncture school where [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus works and got a short treatment. It went ok. It was hard to relax because I was a little big for the table and I had needles in my arm and couldn't rest them easily.

That afternoon, we went into town to check out the Chinese gardens. They were nice. A full city block walled off with wandering gardens and buildings inside. But I still think the Japanese gardens are better. We took a long walk around and ended up at Powell's.

So, Powell's. It's got a strong right-hook, I'll give you that. And I do have a few things waiting for pick-up tomorrow or Friday. But there seemed to be some odd gaps. Things I went looking for that weren't too obscure or even out of print and I couldn't find it. Just weird.

Tuesday we tried to run some errands and then went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (or OMSI). Their big exhibit is dinosaur fossils from China. There were some crazy dinosaurs in China. Really freaky neck bones. Unfortunately, it's Spring Break for all the grade schoolers too, so the place was packed with kids. We did the tour and then bailed.

Today we got a little shopping done and we finished up the errands we'd tried to run yesterday. Tonight we had some pretty awesome sushi.

Oh, and I discovered that there's a gaming convention in Vancouver, WA, this weekend. Am I lucky or what?

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

Here's some photos I took on my outdoorsy tour of Portland the other day.

The Japanese Gardens )
The Falls )

It was a fairly quiet day today, what with it being Easter and all. We started off with a trip to Voodoo Donuts (because easter and voodoo go together) and we took a wander through the Saturday Market (which, despite the name runs on Sundays as well). But mostly we were just lazy. Tomorrow I'm getting needles poked into me. Wish me luck. :)

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hey,

Here's some photos I took on my outdoorsy tour of Portland the other day.

The Japanese Gardens )
The Falls )

It was a fairly quiet day today, what with it being Easter and all. We started off with a trip to Voodoo Donuts (because easter and voodoo go together) and we took a wander through the Saturday Market (which, despite the name runs on Sundays as well). But mostly we were just lazy. Tomorrow I'm getting needles poked into me. Wish me luck. :)

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I’m in Portland. Oregon. I’m on vacation visiting [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus for the week. I’m mostly not jet-lagged anymore, but I’m still a bit loopy.

the past two days in brief )

later
Tom
bluegargantua: (Default)
Hi,

So I’m in Portland. Oregon. I’m on vacation visiting [livejournal.com profile] methanopyrus for the week. I’m mostly not jet-lagged anymore, but I’m still a bit loopy.

the past two days in brief )

later
Tom

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