Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Jingle Bells Jingle Bells
Saturday, November 27, 2004
What do blogs mean?
I was reading the New Scientist which had an article in it about China and the web. Blogging is something I really take for granted but for a lot of people in China it is the only way they can express their views. In the article the Chinese government was compared to Orwells 1984 and said that most use the internet as their way of getting at real news. The government has tried to suppress this by closing down internet cafes, putting up a large firewall and putting in surveillance devices on remaining internet cafes. Many blogging companies have started up in China to allow people to express their opinions but if the company grows to big it is closed down and there have been some arrests.
The point is it is hard to imagine that something I take for granted or could easily live without could mean so much to many people. I have to admit that I know very little about China. When I studied history it was concentrated in the west (this is something that should be looked at in the British education system). I knew that China was a communist state but other than that I know very little.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Lost in a Good Book
I am now going to read "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. I have heard nothing but good things about this book. It is also up for a Whitbread nomination for best new novel. It is a fair size but I'm looking forward to getting into it.
I have a question for anyone who may be reading this. If there was one book that you could spend some time in what would it be? You wouldn't really be part of the storyline but you could certainly interact with the characters. That's a hard one for me. I'm not really sure what I would chose. At the moment I am tempted to say the Dark Tower series (which is kind of a cheat since it is seven books) but it would probably scare the hell out of me. I'm also tempted to go for a classic there are a lot of characters I would like to have a one on one with. If I wanted something fun though I think I would go for one of the Pern stories.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Bought some Ribbon
I also bought some fancy wool. I finished my scarf last night. I was going to make myself some mittens with the leftover wool but my mum has still to look out a pattern for me. So today I saw some lovely fluffy wool in purple. I bought this for my sister's scarf. A little difficult to work with, especially since I am a beginner to it, but I'm pleased I got it.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Last Round Robin
The journal is another part I am looking forward to getting back. I am interested to see what everyone has wrote in it. A lot of it is going to be left blank so I am going to hang onto it and use it if I take part in any other round robin. I have to admit that although I would like to take part in one I don't think that I will be able to do the organising. I will have too much on next year so the only way I will be able to take part is if someone else organises it. I hope they do but it has been kind of quiet on the cross stitch group. A lot of the older members don't seem to be around anymore. The manager of the group seems to be absent quite a bit too. Admittedly I haven't been around much either. Every so often I try to make an effort but it just isn't like it was a few months back.
I can't remember if I mentioned that I am taking part in another cross stitch round robin which was organised by someone else. This one is a little different because it is a birthday exchange. This time we stitch birthday cards for each other. There are only a few of us otherwise we would be split into groups. The next birthday is tomorrow and I sent out the card I made today. I don't know this person that well so I wasn't sure what to stitch. I then saw a chart of a Marilyn Munroe bear and so decided to stitch that on some nice sparkly blue fabric. Unfortunately (me being the idiot that I am) I forgot to take a photo of the end result before I sent it away. I was pleased with the result anyway and I just hope that the receiver likes it.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Actually in a way I am kind of glad that I know. The three things that happen are kind of a big deal and I would hate to think of the impact if it caught me unawares. I suppose that would be the effect that King was going for. However, I don't want to be reading in work when it happens.
Still enjoying the book. Although King is at his best again with disgusting descriptions. I came across another one last night and it did actually make me gag. I had also been eating soup which I then couldn't finish (which my sister happily did). I had to get by that part before I put the book down so that I wouldn't have it in my head that I have it to go back to when I next pick up the book.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Since this announcement all I have heard is complaints from smokers saying that it isn't fair. Maybe it isn't but it also isn't fair that us non smokers should have to breathe in your smoke. Should we not go on nights out just because you feel the need to light up? I know so many people out there who only smoke when they are drinking and most of them wish that they didn't. So for them this might actually be a good thing. And what about the people who work there, why should they have to breath in smoke? Sure you could say they don't have to work there. But again why should they give up on the chance of a job.
I know that there are many who are angry over this decision but I celebrate it. I look forward to be able to go out with friends and enjoy having clean air to breath.
The best dream ever
I started reading "The Dark Tower" by Stephen King. Wow is it good and I'm only about a sixth of the way through it. It caught my attention straight away as it went straight into the action that the last one ended at. I'm worried that the ending might be a disappointment since I have been looking forward to reading this in so long. However, I'm trying to forget about that and just enjoy it. Again there are a few references to his other books (other than the ones in the series) such as The Dead Zone and The Stand. If there have been others I haven't noticed them but I am sure there will be more. The illustrations are just as good as the ones in the other books. I don't want to say to much about the story as I might be tempted to give away a few things that should probably remain a surprise. I guess it is obvious that there is a reunion between all the main characters. It was a nice one with a lot of talk but then straight onto business. I am trying to read it slowly so that the book lasts a little longer but it feels as though I am flying through it. I think that by the end of next week it will be finished. I could prolong it by only reading it at home and taking a different book into work with me but I really want to pay full attention to it.
I haven't just been reading. I have started a birthday card for a friend. This is a stitched one this time and her birthday is next week. I have left it a little late so I am going to spend most of today stitching it. I chose a simple design so hopefully it won't take me too long. I have also taken up knitting again for the first time in years. I used to knit when I was a kid because my mum would knit. I then took it up again when I was about 16 to knit dolls for friends. This time I am knitting a scarf. It has been so long since I have done this that I thought I would start with something simple. I now have requests for scarfs from others.
I haven't done any writing I'm afraid. I plan to get that out tomorrow and get to work on having a chapter of my Dr Who story updated finally. It's only been about two months. I still have ideas for other stories but I might leave them aside to get this one finished. Another friend suggested that I write children's stories so this might be something I will look into.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I also finished The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Yes I didn't enjoy it the first time round but this time I did. I'm not sure if it was because I loved the other books so much that maybe I was paying more attention to it. I knew that it was leading to a really great story and so I appreciated it more. I did find that this time round I felt more for the characters because I knew them from the other books. I felt sorry for Jake and Roland. At the same time I didn't particularly like Roland in this one. I'm glad I read it again.
I have now moved onto The Dark Tower by Stephen King which is the last book in the series. Wow, I have read two chapters and got a surprise in the first one already. I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into detail. Lets just say that part of what happened in the first chapter was a little unexpected. Maybe for others it was obvious but not for me.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
I am now reading another Dragon story and this one is a children's book called "Dragon Rider" by Cornelia Funke. The sad truth is that I originally bought it for the pop out map in the middle. I like it but it is a very simple storyline. I think now when I read a lot of children's story books (particularly the fantasy ones) I compare them to the Sabriel and Lirael books by Garth Nix. They all seem so simple compared to those ones and certainly not as good. I think if the Pullman books belonged to this age group too I would probably also compare them to them and it would be difficult to surpass them.
Still also reading the Gunslinger by Stephen King which is slow work since I am only reading it at home. I didn't like this book the first time I read it. This time though I am enjoying it. It is no where near as good as the later ones but it's definitely not as bad as I remembered it to be. It is difficult to know if this is because of revisions made to this edition or just because of age. Maybe it is a little bit of both. Or maybe it is also because I now know what comes next. After this we are going to move onto the last book "The Dark Tower". I really can't believe I have held off this long to read it. I won't be reading other books alongside this one as I want to really enjoy it since it is the last in the series.
I've been doing a lot of knitting. I took that up this week for the first time in years. A few people I know have been taking it up and it gave me the itch to go back to it myself. I'm not doing anything complicated. I got a new winter jacket and I thought I would knit a scarf to go with it. It's just a plain scarf as I don't think my tired mind could handle anything else. I should have plenty of wool left so I am going to make matching gloves.
Other than playing the Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas I really haven't been up to much else.
Still not used to it
The biggest news of this week is that Bush won a second term as president. I work with a few Americans and they were not pleased at all. I can't say I blame them. There was a poll here a few weeks ago saying that 47% of the British would vote for Bush. Now that's scary considering we are all supposed to hate him right now. Still as much as I wanted Kerry to win too I'm not sure just how much better he would have been. I think it just got to the stage where many people were saying who cares as long as Bush is out of power.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Sorry it's been a while
I did have the time to do some reading and have since read a couple of books. I read Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin which was an amazing book. It reminded me so much of my time in San Francisco. Not so much the life since I really wasn't there long enough for that but the place names. It was just such a nice story. Each person in the book has their own story and unknown to everyone else each story is in some way connected. I would definitely recommend it. I then read Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton which is the first book in her vampire series. I have to admit that at first I wasn't at all impressed. It almost felt bored by it as though it wasn't new. As the story moved on I did begin to enjoy it. I still wouldn't say it was original but it was certainly an entertaining easy read.
I'm now reading another easy read. The latest Pern book by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey. I can't remember for the life of me what it is called. I loved these books when I first started reading them over a year ago now. I am now bored with the storyline. Maybe because it hasn't told anything new. Or maybe I have grown past them. I would hate to think that as I certainly would love to go back and read the first ones. I'm also still slowly working my way through the gunslinger but haven't looked at it over the weekend. To be honest I am in the mood to read a good science fiction book. Although I read the Alistair Reynolds book not that long ago it feels like it was several months ago.
I spent most of the weekend playing the new Grand Theft Auto game. I love these games. I let the violence in me out in those games. Actually I'm not violent and in most ways I would consider myself to be a pacifist. I don't believe in the need for violence as a resolution to anything. You wouldn't believe it though to watch me play this game. I guess everyone has a little bit of the devil inside them.