geeks on a ship

We all eventually noticed that the bar / look-out at the front of the “ms Zuiderdam”:, called “The Crow’s Nest”:, could also be referred to as “Ten Forward”: …

Geeks. Who’s idea was that?

posted at 6:57 pm on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 in Personal | Comments Off on geeks on a ship


It really sucks to come home from a Caribbean vacation to find that the house is 16.5°C instead of a slightly more balmy 20. Seems I mis-set the thermostat slightly, although I’m sure I checked it twice before we left…

posted at 8:52 pm on Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Personal | Comments Off on thermostat

stream of conciousness

Going back over the front page of the blog:

* My back was better enough that I could function by the weekend, thankfully. It was still bugging me at curling two weeks later, but now I seem to be completely back to normal. (Yes, I know what you’re all thinking: “As normal as Harald ever gets…”).

* I’ve emptied the eavestroughs and other clutter from the roof. I think a pile of sticks was trapping water, allowing it to seep up under the shingles and then down. The flashing is all intact, so I can’t see any other way for it to get in. Tonight’s the first big rain since then, so we’ll see what happens.

* The wasps are well and truly gone. We still need to dig the nest out of the house, to prevent carpet beetles…

* Every day I hate driving in this city a little bit more.

* G, C, and I are now all addicted to Maple Story. I have a reasonably capable level 17 bowman and an optimized level 21 mage (I found a guide online :). Sadly, it’s a “grind” game; lots of monotonous killing of monsters to level up, and a few quests that mainly involve killing lots of monsters and picking up the stuff they drop.

That’s it for now…

posted at 10:49 pm on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 in Personal | Comments Off on stream of conciousness

sf book meme

via “Tanya”: Out of the 50, I’ve read 22, loved 10, hated 2, and never put down any of the ones I started. Not too bad, but could be better, considering my SF&F shelves have over 1000 books. (I’m amused by the set of (mainly older) SF that I’ve read but Tanya hasn’t…)

The Meme:

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.

Bold the ones you’ve read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

-*The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*-
*The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov*
*Dune, Frank Herbert*
*Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein*
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
*Neuromancer, William Gibson*
*Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke* *
*Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick*
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
*Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury*
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
-*The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov*-
Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
*Cities in Flight, James Blish* *
*The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett* *
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
*Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey* *
*Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card* *
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
*The Forever War, Joe Haldeman* *
*Gateway, Frederik Pohl* *
*Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling*
*The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams* *
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
On the Beach, Nevil Shute
*Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke*
*Ringworld, Larry Niven*
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
*Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson* *
*Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner* *
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
*Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein*
Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

posted at 10:38 pm on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 in Books, Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Helge Koch says:

    If you haven’t read Dahlgren, I will lend it to you. An incredible read. Samuel Delany is a black English Professor who lived and wrote in Manhatten at one time. The story line is about a collapsed civilization in a place that sounds a lot like New York, and the wanderings and adventures of as young man who is probably not quite right in the head. Delany wrote several other books and some short stories too, but none as good as this. Check him out on Wikipedia. Helge

  2. chk says:

    I have a copy of “Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand”, but I don’t have anything else by Delany. Yes, I’d love to borrow Dhalgren sometime.

    On the other hand, it was your copy of “Cities in Flight” that I read, and you recommended “Gateway” and its sequels to me, so I think we’re doing ok :).

Mr. McGroovy’s

I was talking on Thursday night about how the Internet is enabling “The Long Tail”: Disintermediation is allowing small, specialized producers to deal directly with their far-flung customers.

Today I tripped over a perfect example: Mr. McGroovy’s sells “box rivets”. These are small plastic fasteners designed to hold cardboard together in building projects. You know, fire trucks, castles, submarines, etc. for kids to play in :-).

Now this is a specialty market! But his website doesn’t just have the product; he has free plans, and details on how to easily get large cardboard boxes (and how to load them into your car!). Very well done, and an excellent example.

posted at 10:31 am on Sunday, November 05, 2006 in Links, Odd | Comments Off on Mr. McGroovy’s