kaitou: (Default)
Well I've found that my new laptop has a fundamental flaw. There seems to be a conflict between the sound card and the wireless card, which also has something to do with this being 64 bit Vista. I spent a really pleasant hour with tech support Friday, reinstalling drivers here, there and everywhere with no luck. So they're sending me a box so I can send the laptop back to them for repair. I wonder whether or not it will be fixed. It's not a huge problem. It's just that every few mintues my sound will skip or stutter if I'm listening to music or watching a video. It doesn't matter whether I'm listening to streaming audio, or audio saved to the harddrive. The defining factor seems to be whether I have the wireless on or off.

In more cheerful news I'm on to another Sayers book 'Have his Carcase' which doesn't fail in the 'whodunnit' or the 'makes me lol' categories.

"Didn't it ever occur to you that a horse is made to R, U, N, run, and cover a given distance in a given time. Did you never have a bob on the Derby? Wretched girl - wait till we are married. You shall fall off a horse every day till you learn to sit on it."

Harriet was silent. She suddenly saw Wimsey in a new light. she knew him to be intelligent, clean, courteous, wealthy, well-read, amusing and enamored, but he had not so far produced in her that crushing sense of utter inferiority which leads to prostration and hero-worship. But how she realised that there was something god-like about itm. He could control a horse.
kaitou: (monkeys)
Well I finished another Sayer's mystery last night, 'The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club.' I didn't like it quite as much as I've liked some of her others, which I think had mostly to do with the characters. I think Sayer's characters are one of the best things about her writing, and even here they're really, really well rounded. But instead of being sympathetic, they're like those friends that everyone has that you have to make apologies for. You know, like, 'I know Sue is being a bitch but she's just been through a bad divorce and her mother has cancer. She's really very nice, really." But I really did like the character of Ann Dorland, especially her take on wine. It's always a relief to have characters that share your name that you can approve of.

I considered launching into the next Sayers book I have out from the library, but instead decided to read a Mrs. Pollifax book by Dorothy Gilman I got when I was visiting parents, 'A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax.' I wish I'd written these books, they're so hilarious and awesome. If you see one in a used bookstore or library, be sure to pick one up. (I say used because they're short little books and it hurts to pay $6.50 for only 200 pages)

Mrs. Pollifax, for the uninitiated, is a little old lady who was feeling a bit low...her husband was gone, her children were grown and the world felt gray and meaningless. Her doctor told her to try and fulfill a dream she'd always had, and Mrs. Pollifax went right out and joined the CIA. Which means you get great exchanges like:

"All right," she agreed, "but what equally concerns me if I'm leaving so soon is what I tell people when I announce I shall be away, People like my son in Chicago, my daughter in Arizona. The Garden Club. My neighbor Miss Hartshorne, the art association..."

"Go on," said Carstairs looking fascinated.

"...the Hospital Auxiliary, the Save-Our-Environment Committee, and" she paused to frown at the expression on his face, " my karate instructor."

"I waited for the last with baited breath," Carstairs said, "It still carries impact."

"My karate strikes do, too," she told him modestly.
kaitou: (Default)
I had an absolutely lovely weekend. [livejournal.com profile] groveperson, her DH and DS came over. (That would be Darling Husband and Darling Son, not 'Deathly Hallows' and 'Nintendo DS') I made potato salad and Omuraisu for lunch. The potato salad was SO much easier to make after I went and got a potato masher, Alton Brown and his unitasker-hate be damned. I like cooking for other people much more than cooking for myself, so this was a treat for me.

Then we went to the local Summerfest which took us about 15 minutes to go through, including snacks. DS was a little young for the rides, and though the live music was actually pretty good, we didn't really want to stick around for it. All in all I didn't need reminding I live in Hicksville, but the sign for 'Cinnimon Rolls' gave it a nice emphasis. (Out of 4 signs on that truck for cinnamon rolls, only 2 were spelled right)

Then we headed out to the lake, which was beautiful, only we hadn't remembered to grab things like towels, so we went and played on the swings instead. All adults should play on the swings from time to time, just to keep their hand in it.

It was lovely to see some friends, and nice to be able to play the host for once. I hope we get to get together more often.

Also this weekend I finished 'Strong Poison,' but I'll put that half of the babble under a cut. )
kaitou: (Default)
I'm continuing to read Dorothy L. Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and am on to 'Strong Poison' where she intended to end the series by marrying him off. I can kind of see why Harriet Vane, the love interest gets a reputation as a Mary Sue, even though she's barely been IN the book at this point. It's a bit much when you're a woman writing a mystery about a woman mystery writer accused of poisoning her ex-lover with arsenic who has just written a book about a woman mystery writer who is accused of poisoned her current lover with arsenic. Though for the sake of irony it's almost a shame that Dorothy Sayers wasn't ever accused of poisoning anyone.

But what I really love is how utterly dorktastic Lord Peter is when he's smitten. And I can't resist sharing a bit. (Normally I'd just read out the bit to anyone in the room, but there's no one currently in the room, so you'll have to suffer instead)
But I will put it under a cut at least )
kaitou: (Work)
Last night I finished Dorothy L. Sayer's 'Whose Body' and I really, really loved it. It certainly doesn't hurt that Lord Peter is a WWI vet that's just a touch traumatized. And I liked that that fact was actually relevant to the plot of the book, and not just to give the character an interesting background/flaw. I was a little annoyed by the French at the end, even if I wasn't surprised by it. But otherwise it was a completely satisfying and well written novel.

One of the conversations in the book about the nature of investigation popped into my head when I was talking to a coworker about some paperwork, and made me think there ought to be a detective who's an Auditor or Consultant...using the 5 Why method or an Ishikawa chart to solve crimes. I called my dad to talk about the idea, but he wasn't nearly as enthusiastic about it as my joke back a few months ago about Romance Novels set in a manufacturing plant. Go Figure.
kaitou: (Default)
When I lived in Japan the lack of books in English was really a blessing in disguise for me, I think. When your pool is limited you're a lot more willing to try new things. So while I went over a hardcore fantasy reader, I came back reading mysteries and romances, ya and whatever else I could get my hands on.

Like I said in my last post, I'm totally head over heels for Wodehouse's 'Jeeves' books at the moment. I read one in Japan, and now I'm trying to catch up. But bookstores are thin on the ground in St. Marys (the entire greater area phonebook lists five, and two of those are Hallmarks, so that gives you an idea). The nearest decent one's about an hour and a half away. So today I hied me off to the St. Marys Library and got myself a card. The library is very nice, and seems to be pretty well stocked. We'll see if it can help me curb the need to make all books I see MINE. (Magic 8 Ball says : Fat Chance)

There wasn't much Wodehouse to pick from, but I did find 'Aunts Aren't Gentlemen.' I also picked up another Dorothy L. Sayers mystery, another writer I tried out in Japan. To tell the truth, I enjoyed the book I read, but I wasn't totally grabbed by it. I think the large swaths of French that I had no way to muddle through were a part of it. And I couldn't tell you the name of the book off the top of my head, just that it's the one where Lord Peter Wimsey marries Harriet Vane.

I decided to have another go at it and found a collection of the first three books, so that should give me a better starting point. I'm kind of glad I did because how can you not love a line where a man finds the dead body of a stranger in his bathroom and tells the intrepid detective:
All I said was: 'It might have been burglars,' I said, 'remember that, next time you leave a window open all night; this time it was a dead man,' I said, 'and that's unpleasant enough, but next time it might be burglars,' I said, 'and all of us murdered in our beds.'

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March 2012

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