January 15, 2012

Week 2 Ramblings

Filed under: Books,Geek-ery,Life through my lens,Noble Effort — base2wave @ 9:52 am

Well, I’m about 2 for 2 with resolutions at the moment. I’ve found it incredibly difficult to be able to find/make thew time to do some of these things, but I endeavor to press on.

Quiet time alone is decidedly at a premium, making my efforts to practice samadhi OR write weekly more difficult. Regarding samadhi, I’ve yet to get a chance to practice, so I’m gonna have to step up here soon and just do it. As for writing, I’ve been working at it (At the moment I have one post I started working on while at work the other day, but I’ve had to shelve for now, just until I can truly make the time to post it). Time constraints have been equally compounded by the death of my media PC earlier this week, as I’ve been focussing a good deal of effort towards data recovery from the old drive and subsequently doing my research for new components to rebuild this system (This time with better cooling).

As for reading and sobriety, I’m still chugging along. My tea consumption is quiet astronomical at present, but I’m sure my liver is thanking me. I’ve lost about 5 pounds so far and hope to lose more. As for the mental chemistry reasons for this, I don’t know if I can tell yet if there s a difference. I think that talks longer to suss itself out, so I’ll just keep pressing on.

I finished reading Adam Christopher’s debut novel, Empire State, which I thoroughly enjoyed (and by one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot). While it’s been billed as a “Steampunk Noir” novel, I certainly found more of Noir than anything else with a detective, eccentric ex-military, and psychopathic villains, and enough of a twist to have kept me wondering about more than a few characters. All in all a great novel, and relatively quick read at 448 pages.

And I’ve finally got some foothold in Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde“. Not being a stranger to Mr. Stephenson’s style of writing, I know that this 1056 page tome was going to have it’s fair share of info dumps where it can be easy to get distracted/turned off but power through a handful of these so far as brought be about 300 or so pages in and in the story itself pretty thick. I’m really like it so far and I have not a damn clue where it will wind up.

And there we have it. A week-ish in recap. Power forward and moving on.

Oh, and the New Years day brisket turned out SPECTACULAR. I’m definitely going to keep working at that, but I’m more than please with my first smoked brisket attempt.

January 1, 2012

A New Year, A New Try

Filed under: Life through my lens,Noble Effort,Personal,Writing — base2wave @ 9:56 am

“Fuck! I slept through the alarm!” And these are the words that I woke into 2012 with. I suppose that life gives you little more than you can handle, or at least that’s what I tell myself so I can muster the energy to wake in the morning…

So my best laid plans to wake in the wee hours of the morning so I could start smoking a 13 pound brisket for a small get-together later today have been rattled a bit, but se-la-Vie, I press on. Not only did I coming screaming into consciousness this morning with these words, but this was also a screaming launch into sobriety for me. In an effort to lose weigh, re-align my Seratonin levels, and generally get a better view of my life I’ve endeavored to spend the entire month of January (And possibly February) en abstentia from booze entirely. My gut feeling, is that this will be a trying month…

And so along with the obviously bigger life choice, I also have made several other resolutions for the year that endeavor to keep/make which is why I’m so publicly posting these (Not that ANYONE reads this anymore; which is my fault for letting it go to rust around here). So, in no real particular order my 2012 Resolutions:

  • In addition to my month (or so) of self imposed sobriety, I’m endeavoring to become more moderate in my vices (at least this one), and I’ve set the goal that once the abstinence period is over, I’m only allowing myself 2 “night’s-out” per month, to be taking non consecutively, preferably not on weekdays, and in better moderation of what I consume.
  • My goal is to read a bare minimal of 10k pages this year. One of my friends thinks this is too easy for me, but I wanted to set realistic and achievable goals, and 10k pages is 27.3 pages per day (It’s a leap year) and that gives me all the flex to handle life as it comes at me as well.
  • Included in this 10k pages, I want to read the entirety of Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon” as we all as his entire “Baroque Cycle” series. This task alone is 3344 pages, so it ought to take a big dent out of the afore mentioned goal.
  • In the past few years, I’ve slipped as a solitary practitioner of Theraveda buddhism, and so I need to get back to it, and I want to practice Samadhi a bare minimum of once a week (preferably more, but again, realistic limits)
  • And lastly, I’ve decided that this place has gathered far top much dust (and brambles and rust and ghosts and woodland creatures large and small, etc., etc.) and I’m going to update this blog once a week for the year, if not more. Maybe this will force me into some creativity which I’ve longed for for some time. It’s also a good place to be accountable for all of these things I’ve set myself to for the year, even if for no one other than myself. We shall see. I’d like to redo the look of the site too, but I’m not making it a goal, just something I rant to do this year.)

And there we have it. I’m sure I’ll come to kick myself for some of these choices throughout the year, but it’s all for good reason and noble effort. And maybe that’s what I more so endeavor to this year, is better effort. So off we go…

September 15, 2011

Higher hopes and shitty follow through

Filed under: Geek-ery,Life through my lens — base2wave @ 11:12 am

I keep meaning to update things around here – re-skin the site, mess with some other coding, oh yeah, and fucking post more than 2 times a year. But, despite the desire to do it, I can never seem to work up the motivation to devote the time and energy to it. It’s just shameful.

I’m trying to work through it all and get my shit together, but I’ve yet to succeed and i feel like it just gets worse.

I think more hours in the day and less time spent boozing and doing nothing else would probably help, but I’m yet to get there. Whatever.

April 5, 2011

Oops

Filed under: Life through my lens — base2wave @ 10:52 am

Wow, I really turned this place into a graveyard. I should do something about it.

September 10, 2010

Frustration

Filed under: Life through my lens — base2wave @ 8:48 pm

Frustration at my inability to communicate. Frustration my propensity to just shake my head  and walk away. Frustration at my inability to express my true self. Frustration at the fact I hide myself from my best friends…

January 7, 2010

Damn you American Publishers! or I Love you Amazon UK!

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens,Work — base2wave @ 5:35 pm

Yes, I know that everything I seem to post lately is about books. But that’s my escape. Work is keeping me busy with working with a design team to redesign both the company’s logo but also our website. And it’s about to start snowballing, as we are looking at an April/May go-live. So I’ll need more escapes. Hence more books…

Yesterday, io9.com posted an entry regarding more non-english speak authors delving into the English language Science Fiction. They cited Israeli author Lavie Tidhar’s newest (and as best I can tell first English language I’m wrong, not his first English-Language book, sorry) steampunk novel “The Bookman” which comes out today overseas. The title intrigued me, and after reading the book description and an early review, I knew I wanted to read it. So since I already had a pre-order item with Amazon UK I decided I might as well have that added to my order too (Since the American edition will not come out until frakin’ June or July…). How could I not buy this with a description like this

A masked terrorist has brought London to its knees – there are bombs inside books, and nobody knows which ones. On the day of the launch of the first expedition to Mars, by giant cannon, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack. For young poet Orphan, trapped in the screaming audience, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, but how? Like a steam-powered take on V for Vendetta, rich with satire and slashed through with automatons, giant lizards, pirates, airships and wild adventure, The Bookman is the first of a series.

And a review like this:

The punkgenre has a new term, BookPunk. The Bookman pokes at the fat and waddled body of steampunk with its walking cane and leaves it on the roadside with its fresh take on Victorian London without loosing any steam on its way.

From loudmouthman.com

And it’s a series, and I LOVE books in a series (Get back to writing Dahlquist!)

And well, if I’m going to buy TWO books overseas, I might as well buy three…

So I added Paul McAuley’s book Cowboy Angels, which I can’t remember how, where or why I heard about this book, but I believe it was shortly after having my head bent around the storyline Iain M. Bank’s Transition which involves rogue reality-hopping, and multiple character storylines for people who may or may not be the same people later in the timeline… So when I came across a book about a government agency hoping across time lines and dimensions to shape the fate of other Americas, I was needless to say intrigued. And of course, it doesn’t seem an American publisher ever picked it up… I’ve had it in my saved cart for awhile and figured now is as good a time as any to buy it.

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January 2, 2010

More Books…

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens — base2wave @ 11:29 am

After pre-ordering Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt from Amazon UK yesterday, and a really sexy new cover for my Kindle, I discovered two other books being published later this year that I will definitely have to get my hands on:

  • Kraken by China Miéville: China’s not big on describing what his books are about before they are released, but from a few sources I was able to track down this little bit:

    Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it’s the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he’s been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it’s a god. A god that someone is hoping will end the world.

    Perdido Street Station was one of my favorite books this year and I thoroughly enjoyed The City & The City, so I’m really looking forward to anything and everything I can get my hands on by him.

  • Pinion by Jay Lake: My awesome brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law gave me the hardbound editions of Mainspring and Escapement for Christmas this year, and I plowed through Mainspring in about 2 days and really, really loved it. I’ll soon read Escapement (I have other books on my list and I don’t want to burn out on any one type of thing, plus I tend to pace my self with books in a series), so I really want to see where Lake takes his Clockpunk universe next.

Again, I’m sure I’ll add more later…

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December 16, 2009

Ack

Filed under: Life through my lens — base2wave @ 12:41 am

I just realized how out-of-date the “about” page is (seeing as my child is now 8 and at the time it was written she was 4) and then I was looking over a never published draft I’d started a year ago and it was about life, procrastination (gee, me, procrastinate?!?) and books that have had multiple sequels since I drafted that post… oops. Better luck next time… I think I’ll start drafing some updates. Starting with a bio.

Books for the New Year

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens — base2wave @ 12:31 am

It seems my list of future book releases is rivaling my upcoming album list. 2010 seems like it’s going to be an interesting reading year:

  • Dreadnought & Clementine by Cherie Priest: Two new novels expanding on Cherie’s The Clockwork Century world that was introduced in her last novel Boneshaker. The books themselves are set to be independent works from each other, sharing a few characters and what-not, but set in the steampunk America circa the late 1800’s, where the civil war still continues 20+ years later, adventure ensues. Oh, and there’s the occasional zombie… If these to are as engaging as Boneshaker, I’m gonna be a happy man.
  • For the Win and With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow: I’ve read AND LOVED all of Cory’s novels (it certainly doesn’t hurt that he releases them digitally for free and I have a Kindle; thought I have bought 3 of them too). If he writes it, I’ll read it. Rather than trying to describe these books, I’ll just block quote from his site:

    His next two books are WITH A LITTLE HELP, an audacious experiment in print-on-demand publishing (Feb 2010), and FOR THE WIN, a young adult novel about macroeconomics, video games and the labor movement, out from Tor/HarperVoyager in May 2010.

  • Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L. Howard: I found his first bookJohannes Cabal the Necromancer sitting quietly in the new fiction section of the local Borders bookstore and frankly, the dust-jacket art grabbed my attention first (I’m a book fetishist, make no mistake). But the story really pulled me in; a man bargaining with the devil to regain his soul (He’d initially sold it to learn the art of necromancy). Given one year and twisted itinerant carnival, he has to collect 100 souls in exchange for his. And the ending, which I’ll not spoil, has me wanting to learn the rest of the story.
  • Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt: The fourth book in Hunt’s Jackals series pitched that has been pitched “Charles Dickens meets Bladerunner” (Do you really need more that that…). This is essentially a steampunk adventure taking place in a world that is passably similar to Victorian England, replete with conspiracy, communists, magic and spiritual steam powered beings called SteamMen. The hardbound UK editions of these are well worth picking up for the dust-jacket are alone, but you won’t be disappointed by the books; he spins a great yarn.
  • The Immorality Engine and The Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann: Ok, these are effectively Steampunk pulp fiction. But their predecessors (The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual) are great, action-packed novels. The Immorality Gate follows the continuing adventures of Newbury & Hobbes, a Sherlock/Watson style duo (complete with a Laudanum addiction) working as secret agents for an unnaturally old and artificially preserved Queen Victoria in an world of automata, mad scientists, and dark beings. Ghosts of Manhattan takes that world and fast forwards it to the Roaring ’20 in America and presents noir style mystery/detective novel (Something vaguely akin to “The Shadow”). Again, it’s worth it to pay the couple extra dollars to get the limited edition slipcase hardbacks; they are numbered, signed, and typically have some small extras.
  • Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld: The follow up to Westerfeld’s Young-Adult novel Leviathan release just a few months ago. Another steampunk novel (Are you seeing a trend in my reading…); this time in a Steampunk mired World War I. The Allied forces, called “Darwinists” have bio-engineered giant war beasts to assist in the war effort, where as the the central powers now called “Clankers” have perfected humongous steam power battle mechs. The story follows the son of Franz Ferdinand fleeing into hiding with an unlikely ally of a girl disguised as a British air officer. Adventure ensues.

I’m sure I’ve left something out or I’m not aware of it yet, but this is definitely a good handful of what I’m really looking forward to reading this next year. I’ll post additions as I discover them.

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December 10, 2009

Music for Staying Warm

Filed under: Life through my lens,Music — base2wave @ 12:34 pm

Not a full podcast, I still have to get my head out of my ass long enough to do that, but I thought I’d share a song that has absolutely taken residence in my head for the day. It’s called Boy Lilikoi, from Jónsi Birgisson, lead singer of Sigur Rós, from his forthcoming solo album, Go. Enjoy.

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