jmc_bks: (GK_Not Impressed)
2011-12-19 10:54 pm

That makes no sense

- After three years of successfully resisting being saddled with a crackberry, I lost the fight today.  A BlackBerry Torch was delivered to me at work.  My argument was that in the event of an emergency, the bb was useless -- I could respond to emails but every program needed to do substantive work requires a Citrix secure login.  Alas, I have been overruled.  It's shiny and pretty, and the touch screen is going to be scratched or marred very quickly because it didn't come with a case or any sort of protective covering.  Why?  Who knows.

+ Apparently I *am* hosting dinner on Friday.  I guess that means I should figure out a menu?  Maybe beef stew again, since it turned out well the first time and is pretty simple.  I can pick up the ingredients that afternoon or even on Thursday.

~  First batch of no bake peanut butter bars is done.  Now I need one loaf of banana nut bread, at least two batches of cracker candy, and then one more batch of PB bars.  Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow night and Wednesday evening...

-  Why isn't Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy playing at the Landmark near me?  Do people really still want to see the Bella/Edward trainwreck?  Ten screens and only one movie is playing that I'd be willing to pony up for (The Descendants).

:/  The hospital "informational statement" (not a bill to me yet, but what was sent to the insurance company) arrived for my surgery and hospital stay.  More than $20,500.  For the second iteration; the bill for the first hospital stay was already billed separately.  Holy crap!  Once again, I am thankful for my insurance.
jmc_bks: (GK_Not Impressed)
2011-11-01 09:25 pm
Entry tags:

More spam?

Why am I suddenly getting spam comments from LJ users?  A half dozen in the last 24  hours.  

It's like LJ wants me to no longer blog here.    
jmc_bks: (Suits)
2011-08-17 09:30 pm

going on elsewhere

+  I seldom post anything original on tumblr, usually just reblog some pics or gifs that I like, maybe upload an original photo I've snapped somewhere.  Today was a banner day for reblogging.  It's all because of Suits.

+  Posted a sort of review over at WordPress of a book mentioned during the IASPR conference in May.

-  I'm thinking of making the comments have a mandatory sign-in of some sort, assuming that's an LJ option.  The spam I've gotten in the last month is ridiculous, a couple hundred comments, higher volume than legitimate comments, most in French, Russian and Hebrew, although a few in English (about canker sores?) thrown in.  There are a few people with whom I've interacted regularly elsewhere that don't have LJ accounts, so I'd miss their observations, but I'm reachable by email, twitter and over at WordPress (where I'll probably start keeping all my book-related posts) so we can still communicate, I hope.

-  Once again I was asked today why a data dump didn't work.  The two databases I've got admin rights to had the data; I have no idea why the report based on the data download is missing data -- that's probably an IT issue related to the report script or data migration that was part of the last release/update/upgrade of the program so IT would be the best place to go for help.  And yet somehow, they asked me first.  The logic escapes me.  

-  My romance reading ennui knows no bounds.  None of the samples or unread books on my Kindle appeal.  None of the books atop Mt. TBR appeal.  Am sad.
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2011-07-28 08:44 pm
Entry tags:

Just in case

Since LJ's been having such problems, I've created a back up blog of sorts over at WordPress.  Not all the posts are backed up yet, and I think the comments won't migrate.  I'm not deleting this blog, just trying to make sure I don't lose everything or lack access the next time LJ is all wonky.

jmc_bks: (Default)
2011-02-28 10:58 pm

(no subject)

I've created a tumblr account.  Do I need more social media?  Probably not, but I got tired of not being about to comment on others' tumblrs appropriately.
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2010-04-24 07:55 pm
Entry tags:

Hiding from the tech gods

Last night I tried a new hair salon.  Went with a friend from work and got highlights and cut.  [Which I've been told looks really good.  I agree, but it would be vain of me to say so without corroboration, yes?  Although it's not like I had anything to do with it, other than paying for it.  It's all due to Jen, the awesome hair guru.  I just nodded and said, "Do whatever you want. I need something new."  Of course, hair always looks good leaving the salon; the question is, how will it look when I try to style it that way?  Normally I'm a wash and wear woman.]  Anyway, afterward, MK and I went to dinner at a little Indian place nearby, then I caught the very late train home.  (Boy, there were some morose Caps fans on that train.)  Instead of walking or waiting for the bus, I decided to take a cab.  There was a cab shortage for some reason.  Maybe an event in town?  Or just that it was midnight on Friday night, and all the cabbies were trolling Fells Point, Canton and Federal Hill for drunken fares?  I ended up sharing a cab with two other people, strangers, we all just happened to be going in the same general direction.   

First stop was fine.  Second stop, the guy had no cash and told the driver that; the driver ignored his credit card for several minutes as he held it out, maybe thinking if he pretended it didn't exist the guy would magically find cash?  I don't know.  Anyway, I pulled out more cash (I'd already gotten out the amount I expected my fare to be) paid his fare.  It was not entirely altruistic of me:  a little bit was a sort of pay it forward thing because of generous shared cab rides in the past, and part of it was selfish because I was tired and wanted to get home.

Sadly, when I pulled the extra cash out of my pocket, my iPhone (iPhigenia) fell out as well.  Even more sadly, I did not realize this until I was getting organized and ready for bed last night and couldn't find her.  Have texted; have called; called the cab company with the cab number.  No one has turned her in.  I've frozen my wireless account, so no one can use her.  And had the usual security lock with PIN that kicked in after 2 minutes inactive.  Wish I had iFind and could either find her or wipe her remotely.

This morning, I turned on my Kindle (being Kindle app-less) and discovered that I have somehow damaged CK (for the Cherry-flavored Kindle Koolade), probably by something heavy while she was being toted around in my backpack.  The ink on the screen is all wonky, like it has bled, and there is a distinct line down the middle.

Given my budget, which is now totally blown for the rest of this month and May, I'll be replacing iPhigenia, but CK will have to remain on the DL/IR for now.  

On the bright(ish) side:  I backed up on Monday, so at least my music, contacts, notes, etc., won't be lost.  Although I did have a couple of voice mail messages I hadn't listened to yet.  Ouch.

I'm going to upgrade to the 3GS so I'll be able to multitask when that release drops.  The question is:  what should I name the new phone?  Need an "I" name or word.  Icarus?  Nope, family dog with that name.  Iggie, no makes me think of Iggie Pop, not a pleasant image.  Must ponder this.
jmc_bks: (flaming june)
2010-04-19 07:57 pm

Bacon cornbread?

Random pieces of information:

+  Went to Let's Dish with M this weekend.  Before starting on the new dishes, I needed to cook the last remaining dish from our last visit, shrimp & corn chowder with cornbread.  The cornbread is a little...weird, in terms of texture and taste.  There's bacon in there.  It was probably supposed to go in with the vegetables and shrimp, but there may have been a little confusion (and too many cooks involved in the measuring and mixing).  

+  Someone keyed three cars on my block on Friday night.  Including mine, dammit.  Back door and back quarterpanel on the driver's side.  I'm hoping it can be buffed out but am afraid it may be too deep for that.  And I'm not sure I want to put a huge amount of money into the cosmetics of a 10 year old car.

+  Finished Megan Whalen Turner's A Conspiracy of Kings, which was good but not as good as The Thief.  Of course, my expectations were probably unreasonably high.  The lack of Gen's POV was one big draw back for me, and I found Sophos hard to trust as a hero in the middle of the book after how the book began.

+  I just remembered that Carla Kelly's new Harlequin Historical, the third of the naval trilogy, will be out in June.  Which means that the ebook will be available from eHarlequin on May 1st.  Since I have immediate gratification issues, I'll probably download an e-copy, then buy a paper copy in June.  I suppose it's a little early to be asking what Ms. Kelly will be working on next, isn't it?

+  My local Target has remodeled and now has a huge grocery section.  One stop shopping, presumably so it can compete with the nearby Walmart?  The selection isn't quite as good as my regular grocery store, but was good enough for today's errands.  Will still be getting veg from the farmers' market, though.

+  From the dentist:  stop drinking soda, and if I must drink it, drink it with meals only.  Even tea would be better than soda.  Here's the thing:  my diet Coke consumption (12 oz per day, without caffeine) is loads better than it was six years ago (48 oz per day, with caffeine).  I can only drink so much water, juice, and tea before I long for the fizzy stuff.  It's an addiction and I'm not sure how or if I can whittle my consumption down more, short of moving someplace where pop is much more expensive.  (When traveling, I tend to drink no cola, since it's usually more expensive than other beverages.  It's much the reverse at home, though.)

+  Mom emailed me about the upcoming family trip to Ireland.  She's worried about being stranded in New York after reading about the European flights grounded due to the ash spewed by the Icelandic volcano whose name I cannot spell or pronounce (begins with an "e").  I don't really understand this concern.  If the flight (which is more than a month away) is grounded or canceled, we have trip insurance.  And if it's canceled entirely, there are multiple ways of getting home from NYC.  If I were inclined to worry about this (which I'm not, surprisingly, since I used to be a worry wart), I'd be a more concerned about being stranded in Ireland, since it's slightly harder to get home from there.  *shrug*  

+  Dropbox seems to have deleted all the quotation marks from an html document I uploaded.  The punctuation is there in the original when I look at it on my laptop, but gone when I view it in dropbox on my iPhone.  Which is weird, and also hard to read, especially since there are not many dialog tags to mark the conversations otherwise.
jmc_bks: (Default)
2009-06-21 11:09 pm
Entry tags:

New toy

Today I bought an iphone at long last. First apps? Kindle and eReader.

Need a name for it. Suggestions?

Posted via

jmc_bks: (seagull)
2009-04-24 08:54 am
Entry tags:

What does it say?

What does it say about me that want one of these skins desperately?
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2009-04-13 02:48 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Amazon

Amazon Rant:  Behold the power of Twitter, the interwebs, and angry readers and writers. 

I used to patronize Borders exclusively until my local (within walking distance) closed.  There are still a couple within driving distance, but their selections have dwindled.  The B&N near me is huge, but the customer service is horrendous and their romance section is pathetic.  The indie near me stocks very little genre fiction, and NONE of it is romance.  The plaque at the register indicates that they will happily order books, but the occasions when I have inquired about ordering romance novels were ugly -- the clerks rolled their eyes and made it clear that I was wasting their time.   As a result, I've been buying more and more from Amazon; it used to be that I bought only OOP stuff from Amazon sellers, but now I probably get two Amazon boxes of new books every month.  I won't tell you how much I spend there, because it is an embarrassingly large number in comparison to other line items in my budget.

And Kindle.  Oh, how I <3 my Kindle.  (Currently unnamed, but I've been contemplating call it Elphaba, since it would do the equivalent of melting if it got wet.)  I love the immediacy of the one-click purchasing and the instant download.

So now what?  I can choose between crappy stocking and customer service from brick & mortar stores, or I can put up with patronizing, judgmental, homophobic behavior from an online retailer.

Third choice:  buy ebooks directly from publishers, and stop buying paper books at all.  Yes, I love my Kindle, but I can read ebooks on it without buying them from Amazon.  And the public library is still free, so I can borrow new releases from their collection, which is pretty good, if not as convenient as having the books delivered to my doorstep by my friendly neighborhood mail lady.

Number 3 is the winner, I think.

The economy hasn't driven me to this decision -- indeed, I would cut MANY other things out of my discretionary spending before I stopped buying books, if it were a question of finances.  No, instead it is stupidity and resentment for vendors who either aren't listening or don't care or who care about the wrong things that have made this an easy decision for me.

Thank you, Amazon.  See you around.  Maybe.  Or not.  Probably not.

I'm not going to post about the ugliness that I think underlies Amazon's behavior, because I can't even type about it without descending into stuttering incoherence and outrage.

jmc_bks: (Seagull)
2009-03-05 09:25 am
Entry tags:

I have drunk the Kindle-Ade

And I like it.  It is cherry flavored and sweet.

The proprietary nature of the files still bothers me.  But my desire for immediate gratification is satisfied by the Whispernet wifi that permits me to buy and download and read immediately, from wherever I happen to be.  On the train?  Okay.  Waiting in line at the post office?  Fine.  Sitting on the couch?  Sure.

Also book related, Rob Thurman's Deathwish, Kelley Armstrong's Made to Be Broken, and Tom Holland's Rubicon arrived yesterday in hard copy.  Pretty as they all are, I just want to ogle and stroke my Kindle (gently used, v1.0) rather than read paper books.  I'll get over that soon enough I'm sure.  But still...
jmc_bks: (TDS)
2009-02-13 08:12 am
Entry tags:

Kindle and other e-readers as the savior of newspapers?

The Economist has been amazingly silent, IMO, about the publishing industry, ebooks and ereaders, given the amount of page space that the music industry, iTunes, and music's DRM have gotten.  But check out this article, in which The Economist speculates that ebooks and the Kindle won't have the same impact on book publishing that iTunes did on the music industry, but may instead change the way readers think of newspapers and save that ailing industry.
jmc_bks: (Seagull)
2009-02-11 07:16 pm
Entry tags:


Sadly, I've discovered that buying e-books does not solve my TBR dilemma; in fact, it makes it worse.  The paper TBR mountain is visible; I walk by the jam-packed shelves a dozen times a day.  The e-TBR pile not so much.  If I don't read an ebook within the first 48 hours of purchase, it will languish in the ether, on my hard drive or backed up somewhere, until someone or something reminds me about it.  I can think of six ebooks purchased within the last month alone that I meant to read immediately but then forgot about.  I remember right now, but will forget again soon enough. 

How do other readers manage their TBR ebooks?

Also, once Kindle 2.0 ships, I'm inheriting a gently-used Kindle 1.0.  Which is probably not going to help with the e-TRB problem.  But is still squee-worthy.
jmc_bks: (h's iris)
2008-10-22 08:38 am

Happy things for today

+ The Biochemist sent me info about their trip to town for Thanksgiving week. Yay! We don't usually do really exciting stuff, mostly watch football, go to the movies, eat out, hang out. Which leads to two more happy things...

+ Petit Louis has returned cassoulet to the menu. Mmmm. Does anyone really *need* sausage, duck, butter, and beans all in one dish? No, but it isn't about need, it's about want and the occasional indulgence.

+ Montgomery Alehouse & Cinema has opened. Planning a test run before TB & TC visit.

+ At my local Target, the Sony Reader and Esus minicomputer were set up on adjacent endcaps. The reader was pretty, but with such similar price points, I would go for the multifunctional device.

+ There's an article on transgender children over at The Atlantic that is worth checking out, if you're interested.

+ The book that KristieJ adores, Broken Wing? Bought a copy after reading her review, finished it last night. Very good book, an epic historical that seems a bit like a throw back to older historical romances. My admiration was not quite as unreserved as Kristie's, though, because there was a lot of telling rather than showing. Also, I thought Sarah was a bit of a Mary Sue, which normally would bother me, but I was fascinated by Gabriel and didn't mind how unbalanced the story was in that respect.
jmc_bks: (Truth by John Hodgman)
2008-04-25 11:09 am
Entry tags:

Is this really the right time/place for that?

Q: You know what's scarier than regular drivers who are busy chatting away, holding their cell phone in one hand with the other on the wheel, paying more attention to the conversation than the road?

A: Bus drivers doing the same thing.
jmc_bks: (Truth by John Hodgman)
2007-12-14 01:48 pm
Entry tags:

Sony reader

At the Gallery Place metro station today, I saw Sony's new series of ads for the Sony Reader. They are plastered everywhere. The taglines of one of the ads reads: 160 romance books. Discreetly. 

Because reading romance is something to be ashamed of. Not a single other add was specific to genre. [Although one of the other ads was a bit insulting. As Dear Author mentioned earlier, Sony managed to irritate a lot of librarians with another part of this same campaign when they claimed the Reader was sexier than librarians. The current version of this ad here in DC includes a parenthetical in the text (your librarian may vary) so I'm guessing that the marketing gurus decided to modify the campaign.]

And the books stacked below the text? Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Robert Ludlum and several others. Only La Nora was a genre romance writer.

The density of ads was mentioned at MobileRead last week.
jmc_bks: (TDS)
2007-07-14 01:39 pm
Entry tags:

Bad news for me

Gah, I just got a reminder that I'm supposed to be manning YAMd's booth at ArtScape next weekend. I volunteered back before the release date for Deathly Hallows was known. Dammit. I'd planned on doing nothing but consuming the book all weekend, now I'm not sure if I'll even be home to sign for the delivery. Dammit again.

The laptop, she is dead. So maybe instead of an iPhone, I'll be buying a MacBook.
jmc_bks: (blue)
2007-06-30 11:51 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Pulling in to the shopping center last night to pick up dinner, I noticed that it was very full for that hour on a Saturday night...concentrated at the other end of the structure, where the AT&T store is. I forgot! iPhones were being released last night! There was a long line of people standing outside the store, waiting for their phones. Lots of advance opinions available from techgurus, but I'm on tenderhooks waiting for the first reader-blogger to review it.
jmc_bks: (TDS)
2007-06-12 09:00 pm

Go go gadget!

I am far from being the most technologically savvy person. I use a dedicated ebook reader because I can't be arsed to figure out and install a dozen different reading programs; I have a cellphone for emergency purposes that I leave turned off 95% of the time; I don't play video games of any sort, not even WoW or the like. But the gorgeous commercials I've seen for the iPhone? Have me totally convinced that it's a gadget that I'd use and love. After the initial flurry has died down (and Jane has posted about hers over at Dear Author) I'll probably get one of my own.

PS Apple's on the cover of this week's Economist as a leading innovator. Cool.

PPS Just caught a commercial for Holly Hunter's new cable series Saving Grace. I think HH is an amazing actress, so I'll be checking the show out. But even if I wasn't interested because of the casting, I'd check the show out: DCX music plays in the background of the commercial, which is a little subversive given how hated they are by former fans.
jmc_bks: (TCR Word WTH)
2007-05-17 08:00 am

3 people can keep a secret, but only if 2 of them are dead

After reading yet another brouhaha over at SBTB -- which arose out of a publishing/conference happening -- I can only roll my eyes. More people name calling and people behaving badly. )

I've been getting a good bit of spam in my comments lately. Easy enough to delete, but I'm wondering how/why. I didn't think my LJ account was searchable. ::shrugs:: Not a big deal.

The filters at work have been upgraded. I'm still trying to figure it out. DailyKos and Savage Love are both banned. I can see one, but why the other?

On the book front, I read two very very old Emma Darcy Harlequins. One of them, Mistress of Pillatoro, had a very gothic feel. The other, Something Shadows, was Darcy's debut, I think. More coming on them.