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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 11:54:11 PM EST) Reading, Watching, Museums, MLP, Consumerism (all tags)
Reading: "Proven Guilty", "White Night". Watching: "The Lives of Others". Museums. ODGF. Farmers' Marker Report. Web.


What I'm Reading
Finished Dresden Files book 8 Proven Guilty. Another good one: fear-eating spirits attack a horror movie festival. Ending is slightly unsatisfying though, with the main villain not being caught..

What I'm Reading 2
Dresden Files book 9: White Night. Another excellent one, with a long-standing plot element reaching a kind of resolution. This one has a serial killer stalking the minor magic-users of Chicago.

Unfortunately, that's the last one he's written. The next one, "Small Favor" isn't expected till April 2008. Dammit, now I have to read serious stuff. Well, got the latest Steph Swainston too but ought to read serious stuff.

Mainly due to the Teaching Company audiolectures, I seem to be reading and listening to a lot more this year. From the graph, this is my most-read year since 2003.

Watching
Saw "The Lives of Others" at the cinema. German film about a playwright being monitored by a Stasi official who develops some sympathy for him. Got a lot of attention a while back.

Disappointed by the movie though. Was very long and very slow-moving with a distinct shortage of events, and a distinct surplus of panning shots of Stasi-guy wearing headphones: all the tension drains away into tedium and you start hoping for someone to get shot. Also pretty heavy-handed. The loneliness of Stasi-guy Wiesler is a bit convenient, and the death of the girlfriend was pretty silly. Nicely gritty comic prostitute scene though.

Review, review.

Museums
Briefly popped in to the BP portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery. Seemed to be a generally high quality but nothing much particular stuck out. Some nice reflection in this huge sunglasses portrait.

ODGF
Mixed results in the experiment so far. Managed seven days with virtually no alcohol (splash of whisky in a hot chocolate one day), which theoretically should mean I'm a pound down. The actual weigh-in had me two pounds up. I think that was a freak reading though since I didn't have any big meals that week.

On the other hand, found it easier than I expected: slept OK without a nightcap and had no real cravings.

Acton Farmers' Market Report

  • New potatoes: surprise win. Didn't think there'd be any difference there: surely a potato is just a potato, especially when it's new, but these seemed to have distinctly tastier skins.
  • Tomatoes: nice, but no nicer than the premium "vine-ripened" supermarket models
  • (Unshelled) broad beans: nice, but no nicer than the regular supermarket variety
  • Bread: unsure. Got this sourdough rye stuff for a change, and not sure how it's supposed to taste. Tasty but as heavy as cast iron: rather like Dwarf Bread. More research needed.
  • Lamb chops: delicious, tasty, tender, meat falls off the bone. Rather fatty though, which suits me but might disgust others.
  • Pork chop: like the lamb chop, big, tasty, bit fatty.
  • Steak and kidney pie: disappointing. Don't think the kidneys had been soaked for long enough: bit too pungent and the chunks were a bit too big and rubbery. Superb pastry though.
  • Cooked Cornish pasty. Also a bit disappointing. Again, great pastry but an uninspired filling, and you don't get the hot-and-fresh-from-the-oven effect. At £2.50 each I think I'm better off getting a mediocre-but-fresh one from Greggs.
Environment
Tescos now deliver without carrier bags. Seems to work pretty well: the website suggested there'd be a lot of fuss, but he just handed me the pallets, I emptied them and it seemed quicker than the carrier bag method if anything.

However, I'm now running low on carrier bags to line small bins with and keep umbrellas in and so on. Will need to get some more next time.

Web
The Metrosexual Tarot.

Aspergers survival guide. Nerds take note:

Part of body language includes courtesy things like 'excuse me', 'please', 'thanks', 'cheers', 'see ya' and being the first to say 'hi'. It is often an effort to say these things but then perhaps courtesy is supposed to be an effort...

It can often be an effort to have a shower or a bath three times a week and to wear deodorant but it is much easier to talk to people if you feel you are clean and if you cannot be smelt. Remember, if you smell you might not be aware of it.

The Lancashire Hotpots. "Emotions? Tha's from Lancashire, tha's not got none of those."

Pretty pointless Israel article but one bit struck me:

Have you ever wondered why everyone goes on and on about Israel? It is a tiny, tiny country, not much bigger than the Canary Islands. From the West Bank to the sea, the width of Israel is nine miles. You could fit the entire country into the state of Florida seven times. In his magnificent work The Case for Democracy the former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky provides the neocon explanation of why a local dispute involving a nation the size of a pocket handkerchief is regarded as one of the most important conflicts in the world.
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Operation Market Garden | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Well I can't see any sunglasses by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 03:54:40 AM EST
... but it does give an insight into your critical viewpoint.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Oops, slight link error by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 04:27:59 AM EST
Don't worry, fixed now.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Potatoes by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 06:30:50 AM EST
If you think a "potato is a potato", then you *need* to try some heirloom potatoes!

My particular favorite are the purple ones you can get near my house. Yukon gold potatoes are also really yummy.

Re: the Aspergers thing...I'm convinced that the "geeks have Aspergers" thing is a crock. I think it's more that certain self-selected subcultures grew up thinking that certain things were unimportant.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

IAWTP re nerd aspergers by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 06:43:34 AM EST
I see it more as a case of some nerds who are too lazy to be polite deciding to blame the consequences on a disease instead.

Plus the media.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Geeks and Aspergers by Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 03:02:13 AM EST
I'm sure that some geeks do have Aspergers, just as I'm sure that the majority don't and those that self-diagnose are simply (subconsciously) latching on to a convenient excuse to explain their perceived shortcomings. "Look!" they think, "I have a condition! There's nothing I can do about it!!"

That, and the certain chic factor connected to having a (non-life threatening) condition combined with a handy excuse for being a bit of an arse at times...


--
This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

[ Parent ]
Fresh Food by cam (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 06:56:44 AM EST
I ate a strawberry directly off one of our plants in the backyard the other day. Reaction was ZMFGJFCTIG. Best strawberry I have had in years. We subscribe to a farm where you buy a share at the beginning of the year and they deliver each week a box of food of whatever they have harvested at that time. It is nice. So far this year the onions have been the pick.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

The Lives of Others by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 01:38:11 AM EST
Stasiland is a great book if you're looking for sopmething a bit more informative.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Thanks for the Aspberger Survival Guide link by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 08:50:24 AM EST
I've forwarded it to my son's therapist. I'll get her evaluation of it, although I think it looks pretty good.

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.
Operation Market Garden | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback