readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Today I had to go without my glasses for about an hour.

One hinge is loose. I'd crazy-glued it together before, but it had worked loose again and needed to be re-glued.

Looking for something to do while I waited for the glue to dry, I decided to separate and sort the gamepieces from our local grocery store's Monopoly game. USian friends will recognize the game: it's similar to the one MacDonalds restaurant offers each year. Customers collect tokens for making purchases. Assemble all the tokens for a prize and you win.

This was not easy to do without my glasses. There are twenty-six prizes available, and I had a LOT of tokens to sort. I'm sure I was a funny sight, bringing those tiny slips of paper up to my face to read the codes.

I'd started with a grid of five piles x five piles, plus one more pile for letter Z. But I kept having to count to remember which pile the G or M tokens belonged in, since I couldn't read the tokens already in those piles without bringing my face down almost flat against the table.

It occurred to me that it would be easier to remember which pile was which if I arranged them according to the alphabet song.
W-X-Y and Z

Worked like a charm. And by the time I was done sorting and token-checking (alas, we have not yet won a million dollars, nor even $25 worth of groceries) the glue on my glasses was dry.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Guppy 1: "Hey, Jane! We're having a cookout. Can you bring the potato chips?"

Me: "Sure."

Guppy 2: "Jane, you're bringing the lemonade, right?"

Me: "Well, I was asked to bring potato chips..."

G2: "Right, my department calls those lemonade. See you at the cookout!"

Guppy 3: "Glad you could make it to the cookout, Jane! Did you bring the ketchup?"

Me: "Um, I brought these..." *holds out potato chips*

G3: "Perfect. Wouldn't be a cookout without ketchup. Have a great time!"

Me: *sighhhh*
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] rahirah asked, What is your favorite thing to cook?

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Easy choice.

We were given the recipe, along with the pizza pan to make it in, by some college friends. Hub and I have tinkered with that recipe over time until it suits exactly what we like in a pizza. It's based on Giordano's pizza, but our crust is yeastier and less corn-mealy than Giordano's. We use a little less mozerella. I think our sauce tastes better.

In fact, that's one of the downsides of making The Best Pizza In the World: I'm pretty much spoiled for restaurant pizza. I can enjoy somebody else's thin-crust, but for deep-dish it's gotta be my own.

We usually make two pies: one spinach / black olive for the veggetarians in the crowd, and one with sausage and mushrooms. But there have been variations. Hub likes pineapple / Canadian bacon.

This pizza is a LOT of work. You have to start the dough rising a couple hours ahead of time. The sauce is best if it's also made ahead so the flavors mingle. There's much slicing involved, and then just when you've finally got it in the oven, the kitchen is a disaster zone and you have to clean while the pizza cooks just so you have some place to eat.

But it's worth it. Add a salad and some grapes, and it's one heck of a meal.

The process is also a social one. It's fun to get the family and guests involved: delegate the spinach-chopping, draft somebody into grating the cheese. When the whole kitchen is fragrant and the kids are getting antsy for their first taste, that's the closest we come to grandmother's house at Thanksgiving.

It tastes like homecoming.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Just to recap: I ran out of prompts for this meme, so I'm shamelessly raiding friends' prompts. If you'd like to ask me a question, feel free!

[personal profile] sperrywink asked [personal profile] rahirah, "What's got you fannishly excited at the moment?"

I'm really enjoying James Spader's new show, The Blacklist.

I haven't been a big Spader fan before. Frankly, I've always thought of him as "inferior Daniel", the guy who played Daniel Jackson in the Stargate movie before it was turned into a TV series with the awesome Michael Shanks as Daniel.

Spader is older now, and the extra years have added gravitas. On The Blacklist he plays Raymond Reddington, long on the FBI's wanted list, who sells secrets and provides services to the highest bidder. One day Reddington walks into FBI headquarters, announces his presence, and says he'll only speak with a rookie agent named Elizabeth Keen, currently late for her first day on the job.

I like Reddington's confidence. He's arrogant, but one gets the impression he's thoroughly in control of his arrogance. Red's perfectly willing to accept restrictions that might feel humiliating to some, when they serve his purposes. He answers the questions he wants to answer; makes only deals that are acceptable to him. He's very secure in his hubris.

Red's on-my-terms relationship with Liz Keen is the emotional core of the series. I'm eager to see where that goes. Cut for spoilery discussion )

I haven't got involved with Blacklist online fandom, and probably won't. I don't have the energy for another fandom. But I'll happily rec the show to anyone and everyone who will listen.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
I've run out of questions for the January Talking Meme, so I'm shamelessly raiding my friends' questions.

[personal profile] moriwen1 asked [personal profile] rahirah, "Movie adaptations you've liked better than the original books. Bonus, if you feel like it: fanfics you've liked better than the original work."

I tend to like the original book better than the movie most of the time, particularly if I've read the book before seeing the movie (and I usually have).

One movie I both saw first and liked better was Blade Runner. I watched it for Harrison Ford, but was taken by the movie's gritty, rainy atmosphere and by Rutger Hauer's portrayal of an android who, no matter whether he obeyed or defied his creator, could not extend his brief lifespan.

I looked up Philip K. Dick's story hoping for an expansion of the movie I'd enjoyed. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. What a weird novella! The script writers were wise to trim out the theological dreaming subplot.

On the fanfic side, I'll give a shout out to [personal profile] lightgetsin's A Temporary Inability To Go Either Up Or Down". Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series is wonderful, but it does start a bit slow. I discovered the canon series through the fanfic, and I think I do like the fic better than the first novel. The later novels more than make up for the slow canon start, though.

Can I just say, I'm enjoying this LiveJournal/Dreamwidth renaissance tremendously. So nice to read long posts. Whoever kicked off this meme has my thanks.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] ejcaldera also asked, "What put you on the path to working with computers for a living?"

Short answer: because I am a Jedi like my father before me. :-D

Long answer )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] ejcaldera asked: What got you started with knitting as a hobby?

Read more... )

Lots more days open! Getcher questions answered here. If I don't receive more questions to fill the month, I'll start raiding friends' question lists. This is fun. *G*
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] lightgetsin asked: What are your core recipes? The things you make when there's no plan but you know you'll have the ingredients in the pantry because they're always ready. Or the things you make when everyone is having a bad day.

Tuna Mac. Chili and cornbread. Chicken Divan. Spaghetti.

It occurs to me that all these recipes are difficult to make in small batches. They're meant for groups around the table - plenty of servings plus leftovers for tomorrow.

They're also pretty flexible in terms of timing. Useful when I don't know exactly when everyone will arrive home.

I've been looking for ways to adapt these recipes and make them a little healthier. The thing about always-available ingredients is, they're not fresh. They tend to have a lot of sodium (canned tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup) and be heavy on the carbs.

I buy whole-grain pasta these days, so there's that. And I can make chili from scratch: soak the beans the night before, buy fresh tomatoes. But then it's not a spur-of-the-minute meal. It's a planned menu.

We're having a Winterpocalypse this week, so I forsee a lot of core recipes in my near future. Ugh, I wish the sun would come out.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[ profile] green_maia asked: What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

Read more... )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
So the fact that I'm one day late with my Jan 1 question means I can breathe easy, because I've already messed up a New Year's resolution so there's no more worry about a perfect record, right? That's what I'm going with.

[personal profile] innocent_lex asked, "If you ran the world, what's the first thing you'd put on your agenda?"

Read more... )

Lots more days open! Getcher questions answered here.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Several friends are doing the January Questions meme, and it looks like fun. Also a good way to get me to post every day for a month (or however many questions I happen to get -- I won't be surprised if there are fewer than 31).

Ask me a question, if you like. I'll answer one each day, in an unfiltered DW / LJ post. If a question is personal, I may answer privately.

I'm not inviting folks to pick a specific date because I'm going to crosspost this invitation to several platforms, and it might be difficult for questioners to see which dates are already spoken for. I'll update my list of dates, and the questions I plan to answer, below the cut on this post.

Read more... )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
...and I've learned that it's good to have something to occupy you in the ER. So here goes.

readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Is anyone out there familiar with literacy software?

My cousin's stepchildren have some learning disabilities. Neither the 14-year-old girl nor the 10-year-old boy read at anywhere near grade level. And the school district they live in doesn't have the resources for special ed programs.

But both of the kids enjoy computer games, and I'm wondering if there might be something out there which would help them learn to read better? Something not aimed at pre-schoolers?

I'll do some googling, of course, but I also wanted to ask because you all are awesome and knowledgeable. *G*

Fear Not

Jun. 30th, 2012 03:08 pm
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
I watched the first episode of Aaron Sorkin's new show, The Newsroom, this week.

rambly comments, many of them spoilers )


May. 30th, 2012 07:04 am
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
From a two-college-dude outfit in the early days of the internet to the Wikipedia of screen.

Just discovered this new feature: IMDB has started to link to all sites which are legally streaming episodes of a show, paid or free.

They've been linking to Amazon for awhile now, but here you can see where recent eps of The L.A. Complex are available to buy from Amazon OR watch on Hulu OR watch streaming on CW's website.

How cool is that?

Take note, DRM greybeards. This is how you fight piracy.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Do some showrunners do their best work when they're running out of resources?

Spoilers for the end of Bones season 3 )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Excuse me while I bounce.

TOR/Forge publishers, according to this entry from John Scalzi's blog, is going DRM-free with their eBooks by early July.

Even better, they're announcing it in terms of RESPECT FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS.

"Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time," said president and publisher Tom Doherty. "They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another."

What say we all buy a TOR eBook or three on Independence Day, to encourage this behavior? I'm certainly gonna. I welcome title recommendations -- if I can't find anything particular I want to read, I may just pick some TOR title at random.
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