Monthly Archives: June 2008

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Books I bought

B&N was having a sale today, which is dangerous for me, but I went anyway. Here’s what I bought:

“Joy of Cooking All about Pasta and Noodles”

All About Pasta

“While keeping the conversational and instructional manner of the flagship book, All About Pasta & Noodles is organized into chapters that include fresh pasta, sauces, filled and baked pastas, American noodle dishes, Asian noodles, dumplings, and more. The chapters incorporate more than 90 of Joy’s best-loved recipes — Spaghetti alla Carbonara to Spicy Szechuan Noodles to BologneseSauce. You’ll also find rules for cooking pasta, step-by-step information for making homemade pasta, and suggestions for pasta shapes and sauces. Add to that more than 150 original photographs, specially commissioned for this volume, presented in the most easy-to-use design imaginable.” buy “All about Pasta and Noodles” at

“Empress” by Shan Sa

“In seventh-century China, during the great Tang dynasty, a young girl from the humble Wu clan entered the imperial gynaecium, which housed ten thousand concubines. Inside the Forbidden City, she witnessed seductions, plots, murders, and brazen acts of treason. Propelled by a shrewd intelligence, an extraordinary persistence, and a friendship with the imperial heir, she rose through the ranks to become the first Empress of China. On the one hand, she was a political mastermind who quelled insurrections, eased famine, and opened wide the routes of international trade. On the other, she was a passionate patron of the arts who brought Chinese civilization to unsurpassed heights of knowledge, beauty, and sophistication.” buy “Empress” at

“Fevre Dream” by George R.R. Martin

Fevre Dream

“When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something’s amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh’s concern—no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove.” buy “Fevre Dream” at

“Quicksilver” by Neil Stephenson


“Stephenson has resurrected one of the most extraordinary eras in human history: the late 17th and early 18th century, when modern science (then called “natural philosophy”) stirred to its feet, and made its first powerful strides; when secret codes, secret knowledge, and alchemy were the order of the day; when Protestants and Catholics warred over the true faith, and the forces of Islam laid siege to Vienna…

Here are: Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the simultaneous, disputing co-creators of calculus, and Benjamin Franklin as a boy, slick beyond his years. Here are Barbary pirates and vagabonds making their way in King Louis XIV’s court at Versailles. Here, too, are binary systems, hexadecimals, and memes.” buy “Quicksilver” at

5 leaf clovers are NOT lucky

5 Leaf Clover - not lucky.

I had decided that since today was such a beautiful sunny day it would be a great day to deep clean and detail the car. I worked for about an hour, and then because I was sitting in the car cleaning the dash and I was getting a bit hot decided to take a break in the shade.

While I was sititng there I found a 5 leaf clover. It’s not terribly unusual to find more-than-threes in my yard, I found a 7 leaf a few years ago, but I thought I’d scan this before it wilted or got eaten by bugs.

That’s when I found out that 5 leaf clovers are not lucky.

My scanner drivers had gone bad. I had to do a reinstall and that meant I had to reboot. I’d been avoiding rebooting because I’d been keeping Photoshop open since I was running the trial and was past the trial period but it was still working as long as I didn’t close it. Soooo now, thanks to this 5 leaf clover, I am without Photoshop until I get my license early next week.

WIP: Diana

Spent about an hour working on Diana tonight, made a tiny bit of progress, got started a bit with the color layering. Working on the desktop with the 22inch widescreen and the tablet was much nicer than the laptop, but I think I need to install my Photoshop brush libraries and Painter X to give me a few more options.

edit note: I’ve added the final image into this post as well. 12/29/08

Last Book I Read – Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman

I’m sort of on a Gaiman kick lately, having just come off of “Neverwhere”, and its graphic novel incarnation, and before that “Fragile Things” and “Stardust”, so when I was in B&N and spotted it on a clearance table for less than 7 bucks (hardcover) I picked it up.

I won’t write a synopsis, I’ll leave that to the publisher (HarperTorch):

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider is on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous

favorite quote

This footnote gave me the church giggles (when you know you should stop but you can’t and each time you finally can take a breath and calm down it comes back). I was in a restaurant eating dinner by myself and reading and I know everyone thought I was nuts.

The ship had been the Sunny Archipelago until an attack of gastric flu had made the international news. A cheap attempt to rebrand it without changing the ship’s initials done by the chairman of the board, who did not speak English as well as he believed he did, had left the cruise ship rejoicing in the name of the Squeak Attack.

I liked the book, though I wasn’t sure I did at first. Maybe it was the sibling aspect that threw me off. Having grown up as an only child, it’s hard for me to understand exactly what it means to have (or be) a sibling. But Fat Charlie grew on me, all the characters did, with their stories and their songs. It was amusing and surreal, typical Gaiman but somehow less dark.

Buy It!

Galleries Updated

I finally managed to start filling the Gallery.

I installed the lightbox 2 widget, which is better than the default gallery, but I still have some CSS work and possible alterations to do before I’m happy with it.

Still have more work to do on the theme itself, want to add digg links and such, just in case I ever get traffic, but now I better scoot to bed, it’s 1:29 a.m. already ;)

halfway there

I think I’ve gotten a good start so far, all the graphics are finished and I’m placing everything with CSS and making some alterations to the theme template.  I think I’m going to head out for a while, grab some food and sit in the sun. I’ll be back tonight to hopefully finish up.