Trying something new!

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:44 am
silkyraven: (Default)
[personal profile] silkyraven

Yesterday I drove out to Oxford to my friends’ yard to fulfil a lifelong ambition to have a go at side saddle!!! My mount for the afternoon was the super experienced Ted who was an absolute dude.





It was really interesting! You have no seat aids at all as the saddle is just too padded for the horse to be able to feel. It’s quite hard to sit straight, Michelle recommended riding bareback more to develop my own balance. It’s also a very different set of co-ordination challenges, with the whip in the right hand acting as your leg on that side. I’d certainly like to do more of it! I think my sensible next step is to get up to Contessa, who give lessons, and see if they are any good. You can hire a side saddle for a bit to see if your horse takes to it so longer term maybe we’ll do that….


Dino has been really good this week. I think the Equicore is helping him a lot actually. His trot is a bit more rhythmic and we have some canter going on. So hopefully this will continue!

guitar playing things

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:07 am
flaviomatani: (Default)
[personal profile] flaviomatani
Oh, boo. A gig I was expecting confirmation of (and the money from which I actually could have done with) has been cancelled. Or rather, this was a corporate thing and the corporate bods decided that they didn't need live music and least of all a classical guitarist (they didn't actually say the latter).

I wonder how best to promote, again, the idea of the house recital. It has worked in the past but it goes while it goes -I can do the playing but I'm clearly hopeless at promoting my own stuff. The idea was to sit twenty (more or less) people in chairs in a living room (yes, it is possible without them getting to know each other too well, I've done it lots of times), give them a guitar recital and a glass of wine in the interval, charge them twenty quid and give half to a local charity. Helps me pay the rent and helps a local charity. But I never know how to 'sell' the 'product'.

One of those things. Some people are really good at selling, my dad was one -but I didn't inherit an ounce of that. Maybe they swapped me in the natal clinic.

I'm crossposting this to Livejournal. If you can see it there but not in DW it's because you forgot to add me back there (remember it's a two step thing) :P
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Second book of Saunder's A Book of the Commonweal series (that's what's on the books, calling it a trilogy feels a bit weird, since I have vague recollections of a fourth book on the way). it takes plce not long after the events in the first book. I don't think it's ever explicit, but I'm thinking "weeks to a few months".

We're primarily following Edgar (occasionally just "Ed") who starts the book just waking up from a coma, feeling very weird indeed. And there's a really good reason for that. It turns out that Edgar has spent most of his life having his magical power completely consumed by a metaphysical (and probably also physical) parasite. And now it's been taken out because that's what you do with parasites. And now there's a problem, because Edgar is too old for traditional wizard training to work. But too powerful to not be trained, otherwise things like "death" (and occasionally "mayhem") happens.

And so an alternative is found. We follow Edgar and his fellow students through approximately the first year of training, learning more (much more) about how magic works, as well as how the Commonweal works.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is Saunders' debut (as far as I'm aware) book. My recollection of this, when it came to re-read it, was "stuffs happened" and that was pretty much it. The book is... dense. Informationally speaking, that is. I can't, to be honest, tell you that I'm sure if the narrative voice is first person or just extremely tight third, but it's one, the other, or switching between those.

Anyway, this is a book set in the Commonweal. And, I hear you ask, what is one of those. Well, it would've been cool if there was an explanatory chapter, but there is't. So, as far as I have inferred, the Commonweal is the creation of the Wizard Laurel, about 500 years ago, as a general "I am so fed up" reaction to the last, what, several many thousands (hundreds of thousands, possibly) years of sorcerous rule (basic pattern: "magic user gets powerful, kills the previous ruler; mass sacrifices and brain squishing ensues", then repeat with the magic user from the previous sentence switched to the ruler position). So, the obvious solution is something that pretty much looks like representative democracy, with a heavy dose of enforced resource equality.

Now, some of that Commonweal information is gleaned from the next two books. Where was I? Oh, yes, as we start the book, it seems as if one of the neighbouring "we keep cycling through previous ruler and mass sacrifices" areas has decided that it is Really Time to enter the Commonweal, in force, and we get a first row seat to the experience of a small band of brave people trying to force the invaders back (or, as the case MAY be, keep them outside the border).

All in all, pretty good reading.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is the third book in Sanderson's "first Mistborn trilogy" (there now seems to be ore than one, which is fine, I should try to remember looking into perhaps get hold of the first one). All in all, this is a series that plays on your expectations, but not in what I would consider a malicious way.

I did find it quite interesting to notice the things I did and did not remember from the first time I read the trilogy, there were vast chunks that had just left my mind, but other things were relatively as I expected. Memory says I last read this some 5-6 years ago.

[ bookmonth ] 2017-08

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:18 am
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

A linear extrapolation says 124.5 books by year's end. August was pretty much a miss in the "reads lots" department, with travel that was full of sufficiently interesting distractions that, well, this ain't just been a month for reading (also, perhaps, signalled by being about two week's late wit hte monthly summary).

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:22 am
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
[personal profile] tvordlj
Vacation! (or nearly there, just the day to get through).
Lovely pedicure yesterday. I really have to do that more often! I do plan to get it done again before we go out west/Hawaii in November. I don't plan on doing any swimming but I might want to wear sandals with a skirt if we go out somewhere nice for dinner.
Didn't sleep well last night, in addition to having a sore hip periodically, I was too warm even with the ceiling fan on. You just can't win. It's going to be a long day today.

And just to catch up on books since I don't know what kind of time I'll have for reading over the next two weeks. This lot of books were all top marks for the most part or almost. I really enjoyed all of them for various reasons as they were mostly quite different from each other.
2017 books )
I'm currently reading several books, each by classic Canadian authors and a Jane Austen. I think I'll try to read all of her books. Not by the end of the year but over the coming months at least.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 11:13 am
tvordlj: (Default)
[personal profile] tvordlj
Having a pedicure this afternoon, first one in well over a year. My poor toes and feet need moisture badly.
Took a selfie today mainly to show how the grey in my hair is coming in (My sister posted one where mostly it's coming through as in grey roots with hers and mine is sort of overall fading into the grey even though I had my hair coloured as well. Think perhaps the shampoo was stripping the colour so it worked out better i guess). Point is, my face is looking longer, I think sagging down a bit and the jawline is definitely softening into jowls. No surprise at my age, nearly 59, of course. Neck is definitely not as tight, either. But the eyes, oh god the bags and wrinkles under the eyes and sagging bits over the eyelids. I put some of it down to not sleeping well but it's a kick to the vanity nonetheless. Doesn't look quite so bad when I smile because it kind of compresses the skin around my eyes, something like that so it's a good excuse to keep smiling, eh? 

No, i don't sleep that well these days. I can get to sleep ok, but after the first 2 or 2.5 hours, i'm awake every hour. The problem is that I sleep on one side mainly and my hip hurts a lot after about an hour. I have to sit up and wiggle it around to loosen it. I can lay on my back but then I can't fall back to sleep and I don't know why because I can fall asleep on my back when I first go to bed. The rest of the night, I'm on one side. with someone else in the bed, I can't easily flip over to the other side without disturbing him. In my single days, I'd just flip over and sleep on the other side of the mattress but there's someone there now. I wouldn't give that up but it means I modify how I sleep. I should try though. Often when I sit up to ease my hip, i then have to get up to pee even if it's only a little one. I can ignore it and lie down again but often I'll get up anyway because it eases my hip, too. I do go back to sleep quickly when I lie back down on my side, I just can't sleep for more than an hour. If i take advil before bed, I get a bit more time, but still don't sleep all night through.

And no, i haven't been to the gym in awhile and I suppose that would help my hip. I will get back but i might as well wait until after vacation which starts tomorrow at 4:00. Two weeks off, then back to work for a month before another three weeks off for our big trip to the west and Hawaii. I would have a month at the gym between the two vacations and that should be a good start.

FINALLY!!

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:18 am
silkyraven: (Default)
[personal profile] silkyraven

So yesterday we finally got out on our first hack since April!!!



Just up and over the golf course, but it was a pretty chilled ride. We had a couple of tense moments with cyclists (that Jake doesn’t like) and inconsiderate drivers (that Dino doesn’t like) but it was a good hack overall.


This week we’ve been mostly focussing on short bits of work with the Equicore on to start to get him work more ‘correctly’. He’s not stressed or upset by it, which is good, but we’ve just been doing short bits of both ridden and in hand.


Plan for this week:

Monday – Schooling (Equicore)

Tuesday – In hand (Equicore)

Wednesday – Polework

Thursday – Day off

Friday – Day off

Saturday – In hand (Equicore)

Sunday – Field schooling

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:29 pm
tvordlj: (Movies)
[personal profile] tvordlj
The remake of IT was quite good. I haven't read the book since the 80s so I couldn't say whether it followed it well or not but it only focussed on the part to do with the kids, not the adults years later like the original mini series did. I would think they are planning a sequel for when they come back and fight it again as adults. All of the child actors they had were very good, unusual really, there's always at least one that irritates me or more. Not all of the kids themselves are likeable but then that's just me probably but it don't put it down to the actors that irritate me, just the character and I would think the actor must be doing a good job if he's making the character annoying! The one playing the girl in the group was good, too. Really pretty. She's gorgeous now, she's going to be a stunner in 5 or 10 years. She's 15 now and kind of reminds me of Deborah Messing from Will and Grace. Her name is Sophia Lillis. Watch that space.

The man that played Pennywise the clown is Bill Skarsgard from the Swedish family of actors. You've seen his father in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and his brother Alexander was in True Blood. We've only just seen him lately in a creepy series called Hemlock Grove. Excellent stuff with vampires, a werewolf and lots of other creatures. Tim Curry played the original Pennywise but Bill did just as good a job, I think.

Since this movie was all about the kids and their experience, it went into more detail about the lives of most of them and about their fears which is what the entity feeds on. Their parents are not major characters and only appear if it contributes to either the child's state of mind or to their personal fears. If they do make a second movie about the adults, it should be interesting.

Afterwards, we found a place for a bite to eat along a little street in halifax that's lined with pubs and cafes. There are 2 or 3 places along there that are long standing, with the rest seeming to come and go. It's been difficult for the businesses this summer because they have been doing construction on the street all summer, between a major trade centre going up at one end and redoing the other end for pedestrians and making it look "pretty". Most of those businesses usually had outdoor patios built for the summer but most of them haven't been able to and the foot traffic is down a lot because of all the uproar. It's too bad because it's worth the inconvenient to find a decent place. Our meal was quite good. I had fishcakes made with garlic mashed potatoes and the salad was gorgeous, with apple and goat cheese and walnuts with a raspberry vinegarette. The slice of cheesecake, on the other hand was nasty. I don't know what htey used to thicken it but it was almost gluey and sticky. Horrible. I don't mind if it  isn't homemade on the premeses. I've had some decent cheesecake that was premade and even probably frozen but which came out creamy and soft. This could have been sitting on a shelf for a month.

All in all a Grand Day Out. Our houseguest comes next Saturday so we'll get a rental car on Friday and stock up on groceries.

[ Books ] Lockstep - Karl Schroeder

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:02 pm
flaviomatani: (Book of G-Quan)
[personal profile] flaviomatani
LockstepLockstep by Karl Schroeder




Here is another interesting take on the old 'How can we have a space faring civilisation without Faster than Light travel?'. The author's solution is to make all the people populating those orphan planets he assumes there to be in the space between the sun and Proxima Centauri have a synchronised hibernation. They all go to sleep at the same time and sleep for 360 months for each one they're awake, while in the meantime their robots exploit and grow their resources and their ships take them while asleep on those journeys that take years in real time but only weeks to them. It's a good plot idea and although there are possible flaws it mostly works. The story, however, is a little weak and seems to be very much aimed at a teenage audience, complete with cute sentient pets and daring rescues. The characters also follow this trend and are a bit difficult to believe, in particular Toby's 'younger' (now much older) siblings. It is still a good read, however and I enjoyed it.

This was the set book for the Bibliogoth meeting for September 2017.



View all my reviews

(no subject)

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:23 am
tvordlj: (Default)
[personal profile] tvordlj
Been using my work laptop this week and it seems pretty good so far. Forgot to play with those wireless mouse and Keyboard widgets. No big deal. There's one aspect that's not working but it's not working for anyone that has a newer image on their computers and it's being investigated. We know that the reason is that the applications that aren't working are using an older version of Java and running on an old version of Apache. In order to upgrade it all, it's going to have to be tested well. But it means at the moment I can't access those applications on my new laptop. Luckily,they aren't something I normally use but I am responsible for maintenance on them so I'm going to have to keep my old laptop handy in case I need it for those.

I had two vacation days left so I managed to get them approved for my upcoming time off. I was to work on the Monday and Tuesday (not this week coming, the one after) and then be on vacation for the rest of September. Now I have the full two weeks off. G.'s best friend is arriving next weekend for the two weeks so it will be nice not to have to go to work at all. We're getting a rental car on Friday for the duration, planning a trip to Cape Breton and will fit in some day trips from home. Should be a nice time!

The challenge will be food. He's vegetarian so I've been casting my net for recipes and have gathered a handful of things that look nice. You don't want to always depend on veggie chili or lasagna. Lunches are easy, there's always cheese, tomatoes, eggs, and assorted trimmings and there is soup (mushroom, vegetable, tomato). Breakfast is easy too. He's not vegan which takes the stress off. I'm investigating veggie burger recipes which should prove interesting. I'd rather make them myself than buy store-bought ones but I'm also going to have a look at the veggie sections at the grocery store to see what I can find that might prove interesting because there might be meals where we want meat, like pork chops or chicken and I'd like to find a meatless alternative for him.

I seem to have an infection in my eye. It's a bit swollen and sore today, started bothering me about late afternoon yesterday. I thought I had scratched it myself but probably my hand had come into contact with something icky and when I rubbed my eye, I must have self-inflicted. On with the polysporin cream.

We're going to see a movie this afternoon, the new version of IT. Probably find somewhere for a bite to eat after. Tomorrow will be housekeeping day.
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