Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales
My current book review policy is behind the LJ cut. Click to read it.Collapse )

(Art by hamburger.)

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Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5/loved (1-5/hated-loved)

Guys, I don't know how to review books anymore. Book one of this series was so long that it took me a month to read. Book two was even longer and took me almost a full two months to read. (That's with a lot of reading per day, I didn't leave them sitting around for days on end!) So I've written one review in the last three months, and now I'm all rusty.

Words of Radiance was longer than anything GRRM has ever written. It's longer than anything Stephen King has written. Never once, for a single moment, did I think "Man, this book needed a good editor" -- there was no extra padding, no useless stuff, nothing I for even a moment wanted to skim over. Not a single word. I've many times thought that King's books had too much fluff, and GRRM's need of a good editor is nearly meme-level known.

The series is set on a fantasy world that has been built from the ground up by the author. It has a weather pattern that drives everything on the planet, and the path evolution took on the world is so wonderfully clear. Everything from plants to insects to animals exist as they currently are because of the weather. Interestingly (oh so so so so interestingly) there are a few things from our planet (like horses, though there's a native(???) species of them as well). And humans, of course. I'm dying to know how/why there are horses there. The human population treats them as alien creatures (they don't fit in with how the rest of the wildlife on the world evolved). They have to be a giant clue as to the reality of this world, but as of now there's just no way to know more.

Unlike the first book, this one was told mostly from the POV of two characters (with a few other chapter POV characters now and then). Unfortunately I didn't like one of the two much, but that did not lessen my enjoyment of the book one single bit.

Brandon Sanderson is such a good writer. He's written thousands of pages of notes about his world, setting, background, and characters, and all of that shows in the finished story. This is one of the most real fantasy worlds I've ever read about.

The first book of the series is about $5 on Amazon, this second one is $10. You could easily add a zero to both of those figures and still get your money's worth.

This series is planned as ten books long, but he seems to be a seriously fast writer, so hopefully it won't be too long until book #3.

Between these two books, my chances of hitting 50 books this year is pretty darned low, but it was worth it. If I had only been able to read two books this whole year, these would be the two I'd pick.

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Current Mood: hungry hungry

While I RP a lot, it's rare to be in a situation where my character and another person's character really "click" -- when the two characters (and perhaps the two writers) work so well together that the sum becomes greater than the parts. There's plenty of good RP without that click, but when it happens and the characters (writers?) really connect, it's like magic.

On Friday afternoon I encountered someone my character (I?) really clicked with, and we spent all waking hours until bedtime Sunday night writing together. It was amazing.

I have no idea what causes that click. It's an immediate thing, I know when it happens from the first or second post. I don't know how much of it is the character or how much is the writer/real person, but I've come to suspect it's both. (I had RPed with this person previously, but I didn't like the character they were playing, and so nothing clicked. When he brought in this new character and we RPed, just *snap!* there was this connection.)

In my experience, clicking is pretty rare. It happened once in WoW, but that didn't last (a third party was ICly and OOCly jealous of the time the other person was spending with me, so did everything he could to break us up ICly and OOCly. Sadly the person I had clicked with decided to stop RPing with me to keep the third person from being OOCly unhappy... I guess that means one person can feel the click without the other feeling the same.).

I'd love to know what causes that sort of click to happen in RP or RL, but I don't think we'll ever know. It's like when you meet someone's eye and just know the two of you are on the same wavelength.

Whatever the reason it happened, it was a damned good weekend. :D

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Current Mood: loved loved

Yesterday was two months since my surgery, so I guess it's time for an official update.

Weight lost since surgery: 40 pounds
Weight lost since highest pre-surgery: 63 pounds

More important than those numbers, my mood is much, much better. (Unsurprisingly, as soon as I started losing weight again, I stopped being depressed.) I've (sort of) dealt with hunger issue by drinking nonstop water. We're supposed to get 64 ounces a day, but I just keep on going. It's good for you and it helps with the hunger.

I had a funny experience last week: I still wear a watch, and it's a kind where the band doesn't stretch. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the band had stretched when it's impossible that the material could have. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize my wrist must have gotten thinner...

I stopped counting calories, both because it was diving me crazy and making me miserable (focusing on all the things I can't have). So long as I keep losing weight, I'll keep ignoring them.

Your tastes change after surgery, and sadly almost nothing tastes good to me anymore. The one exception is apples. I would marry an apple if I could. They're crunchy and sweet and I wish I could eat them all day. Sadly I'm only supposed to have a tablespoon of non-protein food per meal, which isn't a lot of apple at all. I've been cheating an awful lot and eating more apple than I should. Sometimes I have a whole apple in a day! (Isn't that funny? "Cheating" by eating an apple?)


Two more wacky books/covers, though they have no theme. Much WTFness, but no theme.

Goat Suckin: Hotter Than it SoundsCollapse )

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Current Mood: okay okay

Turns out that bad books are good business. What else would explain how many wacky series are out there? Not even just wacky books, whole series!

Today's series is "A ___ forced me gay!", by Hunter Fox. A selection of titles from this series:
Forced Gay by Aliens
Tentacles Made Me Gay
Forced Gay by the School Mascot
Yetti Forced Me Gay
Sphinx Turned Me Gay
Turned Gay by an Orc
T-Rex Forced Me Gay
Brachiosaurus Made Me Gay
Cyclops Forced Me Gay
Sea Monsters Made Me Gay
Legendary Beasts Made Me Gay
RoboHound Forced Me Gay
Turned Gay by a Spinosaurus

My favorite is: Alien Hound Forced Me Gay (Is he... I... um...)

He also wrote a series of "Forced by..." books (T-Rex Forced Me, ) and other random titles (Big Foot's Side Piece, Gay Cyclops GangBang, Ravaged By The Saber Tooth Tiger).

I put some of the best/worst covers behind the cut.

NWS imagesCollapse )

The A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay Amazon page has some darned funny reviews.

While I just cannot pay $3 for ~15 pages of "story" (which gets down to ten or less when you take into account preface pages, advertisements at the end for other books in the series, etc), I'm really, really curious about how bad these are. They sound so amusingly bad!

Previous wacky books series:
Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes

Credit for this find goes to socksofjello!

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Current Mood: curious curious

The other day, I thought I got a strange spam email. Strange for a number of reasons: Gmail put it into my inbox instead of spam folder. It was well-written. It contained no links to anywhere or anything. It looked like an email I'd get at work (it was written by a senior surgeon or doctor to other doctors).

I googled sentences from it, but got no results (usually if it's spam, something would come up). It was a mailing list from a doctor, telling me (and other people BCCed) that we were now on the mailing list for surgeons and ER doctors at [hospital] (I know exactly which one and where it is, but I'm not going to post it in an unlocked post).

Figuring it was just odd, failed spam, I ignored it. An hour later I got an email talking about insurance issues for incoming ER patients. Then I got one with talk about who would have to work Christmas or New Years (but no one has to work both holidays, so that's nice for them). I got an email about a new hire who would work 12 days per month to cover vacation times. I got a happy email explaining they hired someone who would work only nights, making everyone's hours better.

Just now I got a spreadsheet listing hospital rooms, patient's first and last name, which doctor they're assigned to, and one other column that makes no sense (some kind of hospital or insurance code, I guess).

This is coming to my thistlechaser AT gmail address. I've never been to the state the hospital is in. For my own hospital visit and any other real life issues, I use a gmail address containing my RL name. I never use thistlechaser for anything RL. How in the world did my email address get into their mailing list?

Talk about privacy issues! I know I should contact them and point out that they have me on their mailing list in error, but this is really interesting.

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Current Mood: curious curious

Unlike the previous installments, this episode of Wide World of Wacky Books has only one book cover. It's very, very special though.

Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes is a real book! Click the cut text to see the cover.

Special and NWS...Collapse )

Previous wacky books:

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Current Mood: okay okay

There are many things from the Star Trek world that would be life-changing to have now. Transporters (visit your family around the world without wasting a day on an airplane!), food replicators (OMG I've dreamed about them so much. Whatever food you want! And I bet they could make it as low calorie as you want! Any food in the world!), and the whole computer system always there and ready to respond to you.

With Amazon Echo, we're a step closer to the computer system. Once you turn it on, all you need to do is speak a question or command out loud, and it responds. (Sort of like a version of Siri, but for your home.)

I was about to drive to Amazon's HQ and demand one, but it turns out the 'wake word' (the word you have to preface all of your questions/commands with) is pre-set and you can't use your own.

The wake word is Alexa, not Computer. :(

I'd love to be able to just speak up in my apartment. "Computer, set a timer for 15 minutes." "Computer, how far is it to Smithsville, CA?" "Computer, remind me to send an email to my sister tomorrow."

Using 'Alexa' isn't cool at all.

I might get one anyway (I submitted a request for an invitation to buy one). Since I have Prime membership, the price would be $99 instead of $199. Some reviews have mentioned that Amazon might include the option for different wake words later... I'd think 'Computer' would be a popular one.

Edit: By way of al_zorra: The National Wildlife Federation talks about the risk of zombies.

Assuming animals can't become zombies (generally a safe assumption), then I'd buy his logic.

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Current Mood: okay okay

Cutting as usual. Feel free to skip or read as you like.

Two weeks since I last posted about it: Good news, news news, and blah news.Collapse )

Current Mood: down

1) Catchy, wacky Japanese song:

2) While poking through Netflix, I decided to check out Reign. I knew nothing about it, other than it was set in the past and people like it for the costumes. I've only seen one episode so far, but wow! I really enjoyed it! It doesn't seem to be something I'd usually like (romance, period stuff), but I liked the characters and... well, everyone was just so pretty. (Hi CW show.) The settings were beautiful, the costumes were beautiful, and the people were beautiful. The plot seems interesting, and I really did like the (beautiful) characters, too. Can't wait to watch more!

3) Just in time for Halloween. Chia Zombies! I'm kind of surprised they're still making Chias, I don't know anyone who has ever bought or owned one.

4) Someone turned If You Give A Mouse A Cookie into a horror movie. Short movie on Youtube. I was worried it was headed somewhere gory, but it turned out not. Warning for VERY loud song in the last 20 seconds or so.

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Current Mood: tired tired

Name: Thistle
Lyrics to live by
No life can escape being blown about / By the winds of change and chance / And though you never know all the steps / You must learn to join the dance / You must learn to join the dance
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