A bit wet

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:17 am
vilakins: Vila in cold-weather clothes looking unhappy (weather)
[personal profile] vilakins
One of the many reasons we moved to Oamaru was the weather. It's a lot drier here than wet, humid Auckland.

The latest storm hit the whole country, but especially the east coast of the South Island, this area particularly badly. Oamaru got over three months of rain in 26 hours. The infrastructure couldn't take it, rivers have flooded their banks, State Highway 1 is closed in many places including downhill from us where it crossed the river, and houses in the North End, a flat coastal area, are flooded, and steep Don Street, one we considered, is now a river with water running under houses.

At first I was pleased to live on a hill - and so far we're all right as the rain continues - but we woke up to see a slip on the hill opposite. There aren't houses on the slope (another reason for picking this place - nice view) but I suspect there are on the flat under it.

We have to go to Christchurch next week, so I hope the roads are open by then.

Runner beans

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:34 pm
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 I only used to eat runner beans when cooked, but many years ago now, I observed my mother-in-law's tortoise eating raw runner beans with great enthusiasm.   So I tried one and found that I liked it.

Oswin does too.  Really likes them.  Can eat several in a day.

Today, she was eating a slice of cake.  Grandad came in with fresh supply of runner beans from the allotment and gave her half of a runner bean.

She took it with great delight, ate it at once, and only then went back to the cake.

I love a three year old who appreciates allotment veg!

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
lexin: (Default)
[personal profile] lexin
I read an entry from [personal profile] brithistorian which came originally from [personal profile] spiralsheep.

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***

I don't mind arguments as long as they don't descend into name calling. I do ask that if you make a comment you stick around to defend your point of view, and don't drop a lighted match into the petrol of life, and then slope off.

one week to publication day

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:50 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
So the countdown begins to the release of my short story collection. :-) Stormy Nights is now available for pre-order direct from the publisher's website and from all the usual suspects including SmashWords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and the many and varied Amazons - UK, US, AU or search on your local 'Zon for the ASIN B073RRNKBD.

Official list price is US$3.99. Looks like local prices are currently £3.09-£3.49 and AU$5.25 for the UK and Oz.

StormyNights-f500

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:52 pm
maia: (M74 Spiral Galaxy)
[personal profile] maia
Torn between ecstatic joy and "Well, it's about bloody time!"

I can't believe it. The next Doctor is female. We finally have a female Doctor Who. The 13th Doctor is female. WE FINALLY HAVE A FEMALE DOCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter Capaldi is wonderful and I am very sad to see Twelve go. But this...this...


Tears of joy.


https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/16/doctor-who-jodie-whittaker-announced-13th-doctor

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 06:22 pm
jekesta: Cody and a baby . . . "and then my womb exploded" (womb)
[personal profile] jekesta
Here is my holiday with all the emotional and digestive incompetence edited out:

I really love my nieces, and it was good to spend a whole week with them. We built a lot of sandcastles and met a lot of donkeys.

I have 'do you want to build a snowman sandcastle' stuck in my head. I know two lines. I am dying.

(I watched Frozen. I physically cannot believe the sexy dress transformation that is supposedly Elsa's empowering moment of not caring what other people think. Disney can go fuck itself.)

I have a couple of days off work and a to do list of a million things. All I am actually going to do is read my book. I didn't take it on holiday because I knew I wouldn't be allowed to properly enjoy it. But now I'm home and I've missed it, and it's just so good, it's so much better than other books, I love it so much. Fitz is currently witbonding with a horse despite trying to explain that he definitely doesn't want that, and the horse is just like 'well it's no good not wanting me, we're brilliant together, I'm obviously your soulmate'. I have so many emotions. Fitz refused to let her know his name, so she's just read it from him, and is calling him Changer, which is what Nighteyes calls him, because it means Catalyst, which is what the Fool calls him, and which therefore is how he actually identifies. The Fool has bonded with a crow (<3) and keeps referring to Bee as 'our daughter' (<3333333333). Nighteyes lives in her head and calls her cub. I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH, they are the best fathers ever. (Or they would be, but one of them is dead, one of them is half dead, and one of them is Fitz.) The Fool asked him if Bee looked like him (the Fool) and Fitz immediately went 'no', and then started thinking about all the ways Bee looks exactly like the Fool and the Fool just laughed gently at him. I honestly don't understand the point of books that aren't sprawling fantasy novels about True Love. Fitz unravelled for a while and was just sending his emotions out to the whole castle, and now everybody has to politely pretend they don't know what a terrible mess he is. He let Kettricken feel how much Nighteyes had loved her and that was wonderful.

Day Eight: A song that makes you happy

I think my numbering has fallen awrong because I missed a question vaguely. But worse things.

All the songs I've been posting make me happy, I like songs that make me happy. I have a massive list of songs I could post for this one, but I ended up torn between Hey Baby and Hey Mickey, which are both so beautiful I could cry on them. I'm choosing Hey Baby only because I think I already covered the TRUE PURE HAPPINESS of the eighties in Green Door.



Ugh. It's such a stunning song, which is beautiful in its own right, and also beautiful in that it reminds me of patrick swayze. I know that nobody these days resists putting in the ooh, aah bits. Each to their own and all that, but it takes away everything that is full and lazy about the music, and if you prefer the other version you're basically soulless and you mean nothing to me.

I haven't been everywhere, man

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:21 am
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
[personal profile] vilakins
Copied from sallymn because I felt like it. Not that I've been anywhere lately since 2004 when I went to England and Wales. Painting the whole US turquoise is somewhat misleading as I've only been to Florida.


Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

Zuigerphobia

Jul. 11th, 2017 09:41 am
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 There's a word for everything these days.   Zuigerphobia is fear of vacuum cleaners.

Oswin has been staying with us while her mum is in hospital.  She's fine with that. She's used to staying with us and knows that Mummy and Mamma haven't abandoned her.

What sent her into mega distress was the vacuum cleaner. 

I think it's the high-pitched sound. She's always been scared of them.  Even in another room it distresses her.  She was actually afraid to go shopping (to get away from it) because it might start again as soon as she left.

Richard has instructions to phone me just before he gets back, so that the vacuum cleaner will definitely not be there when she returns.

It's a tough world when you're only three.


PS.   She's been 'helping' pick fruit and veg on the allotment - and proving in the process that young children absolutely love raw runner beans and mangetout and redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, etc. as long as they're introduced to them early enough.  She isn't too keen on radishes yet, but we're working on that by serving milder ones in small slices.

knitting gadgets - row counters

Jul. 9th, 2017 12:12 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
I cashed out a load of about to expire frequent flyer points onto an Amazon gift voucher, so I indulged in a batch of cheap tat from China for my knitting basket. (And then got seduced by the Chinese fountain pens, but those are for another post...)


Estone 4 pcs Plastic Knit Knitting Needles Pride Row Counter 2 Sizes New by HeroNeo


Cheap and cheerful. They're not great quality and the finish is fairly crude, but they do the job, on the pack I received there are no rough bits to snag your wool, and you get a pack of four for under a quid. The description says 2 small and 2 large; you actually get 2 small and 2 medium if you're comparing with the name brands, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you want ones for needles above 7 mm or so. I wouldn't use these as my primary row counters, but I bought them to have some spares to avoid swapping my good ones on and off needles all the time and for the knitting bag at work. These would be fine if you were looking for some cheap row counters to kit out a novice knitter. I bought them on UK Amazon at http://amzn.to/2t20iMC

That product code doesn't exist on Amazon US, but I found a two pack (http://amzn.to/2tAX4Rw ) and a ten pack ( http://amzn.to/2tv2VaC ) under various other names which seems to be the same thing. Weirdly, these are more expensive per counter than the UK pack.


HeroNeo® 1 pc Mini Multi Purpose Knit Knitting Stitch Row Counter Pendant Style New


This looked pretty cheap and nasty when it arrived, not least because the seam where the front and back clip together wasn't properly sealed. It turned out to work perfectly well, and I'm pleased I bought it. The counter clicks solidly, it's easy to adjust the numbers, and it has a lock so you don't accidentally click the counter when it's packed up for the night. I suspect it won't last more than a year or two of use, but good value for the £1.15 or so I paid for it on Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2uW8ZpF

Again, a gazillion different offerings under different brand names on Amazon US at wildly different prices, but this one admits to being the same model: http://amzn.to/2sBdQfd


Liroyal Useful Electronic Row Counter Finger Ring Golf Digit Stitch Marker LCD Tally Counter


This is intended to be worn as a ring. Alas, personally I found it got in the way when I was using it for knitting. It is, however, a nice little electronic tally counter that will be very useful as long as I have somewhere to put it down (or wear it on a cord around my neck). The one I received was well made. It's very light, the count and reset buttons have a good positive response, the reset button is much smaller and needs more force than the count button so you're unlikely to press it by accident, and it has an adjustable flexible plastic strap. The screen blanks to save power when it isn't used for a while, but it retains the last count. The battery is included (and indeed there is no simple way to change it). The main potential drawback that I can see with it is that the only reset option is to zero it, whereas the mechanical row counters can generally be adjusted to a different number.

Prices vary wildly on Amazon depending on seller and brand name, and as far as I can see they're all the same actual item. I paid 67p for mine, the same item has gone up to 82p a month later, and there are entries under other product codes at ten times that price. Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2t0Bu4q Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2u5BZiA There are also multi-pack offerings which would be useful if kitting out a class.

Wasting valauble donations

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:48 am
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
This is a copy of a letter I just sent to a local church.

 

It was a very enjoyable fete and thank you for asking Anonymous Morris to perform.
 
Only one very small fly in the ointment and you may think it an odd one for me to complain about, given that I did well out of it.
 
Yesterday, I paid £2 for  a book,  'The Redstart' by John Buxton, from the Collins New Naturalist Series.
 
It's worth £50 - I just look looked it up online.
 
I got a bargain, but what I find frustrating is that before I bought it, I alerted the people on the stand to the presence of several valuable bird books (and also a couple of valuable war time magazines).
 
They said they liked people to be able to get a bargain.
 
Well, they guy who bought the two New Naturalist books that I didn't (and who had already picked out the early edition Giles' annuals) certainly got a bargain.
 
I'd rather the church got the money for valuable items.   I hate seeing valuable donations wasted.  It's almost an insult to the donor.  (That's a reaction from many years of working in charity shops - if you get a good price for valuable donations and the donor knows it, they're more likely to give you their good stuff.)
 
If Anonymous Morris come again next year and you have someone willing to make the effort to sell books online (or even just price them higher, or take them to a specialist book seller), then I'm happy to give the stock a quick glance over early in the day and tell you which books are likely to be worth more than £5.
 
I've had a lot of experience selling secondhand books and I can pick out potentially valuable books very rapidly. 
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