kareina: (stitched)
Edited to add: it turns out that if I had created an account with the publisher there would have been a button to push to send the book direct to my kindle app. So, if I hadn't been too lazy to fill in the form, it wouldn't have been that difficult. Read several chapters last night. Worth the frustrations trying to get it.

I just tried to buy [livejournal.com profile] hrj's newest book. Or, rather, it has been paid for, I just can't read it. I decided that there would be some value in buying directly from her publisher. The publisher's web page says that if one buys the e-book in mobi format, and has it sent to an email address which is on one's "Send to Kindle email address" list then it should work. I followed the instructions on that web page to make certain the email address I used in my order is on that list. However, the book isn't showing up in my list of Kindle content on the web page, nor on my phone. I can open the email to which they sent the download link, but when I downloaded it to my phone, even though the email says it will be a "mobi" format ebook, the file name has an .prc extension, and when I try opening the file with Kindle or a pdf reader both tools say it is an unsupported file type. I have tried forwarding that file to the same email address, on the off chance that for Kindle to notice it it needs to be an attachment, not a link in the body of the message, but that didn't help either. I have no idea what I need to do to get Kindle's attention that the book has been purchased. I guess the next step is to try emailing the publisher and see if they can help.
kareina: (stitched)
We have had enough snow that I am finally willing to call it "winter", and so very grateful I am, after a couple of years of no snow till late November or early December. However, I watch the forecast and see that it is supposed to go back up above freezing, and I worry if it will be another of those winters where the temps oscillate back and forth over freezing so that what snow we have melts and refreezes into a thin crust. This strikes me as a much better thing to worry about than politics, though not any easier to solve.

Work has been going well, I had my annual meeting to discuss how I am doing with the job, and thus what amount my annual wage will be, and the review went well. Not only do I love my job, but my colleagues are happy with me and the work I am doing. We have several grant proposals out or in the works that could result in my getting more hours, so that is all good.

Norrskensfesten is next weekend, and I am pretty much on top of what needs doing (though I should have emailed the event schedule by now, so had better do that this weekend). We are at 99 registered just now, and I am good with that. I think it will be a really fun event.

I am currently reading a book in English, despite my "no fiction in English" rule. I had been checking Katherine Kurtz's web page fairly regularly, to see if she had written the final Childe Morgan book, but each time I did there was still no word. Then I forgot to check for a while, and didn't look again till this week. The book is done, and was published in 2014. Oops. I guess "a while" is longer than I thought. However, life has been so busy I have been reading it in small doses, rather than all at once like I used to do. I love having so many hobbies, but my 20-something self wouldn't believe it. However, I hope I can get it done this week, because then I will break that rule again by reading [livejournal.com profile] hrj's new book, which is poised to come out, and, since she is good about promoting her book in places I see (like here), I know about it, and will get it straight away. I wonder why none of Katherine's fans bothered to mention it on the email list. Just because no one has posted there in ages is no reason not to mention the book there.

Tonight, after Phire practice we had a fun excursion. Those of us who are new to the group since the last time they had one of these were blindfolded and led from the practice site to the snowy banks of the lake (which isn't quite frozen solid enough to trust it to hold a large group of us, yet), and they welcomed us to the group with a small ceremony, including a dubbing with a fire sword. Then we got to play with the burning toys. Fun. Afterwards we retired to the nearby home of one of the members for pizza and socializing. We played a game wherein we each, in turn told a fact about ourselves which we thought made us unique in the group. Those whose facts were, in fact, unique, got to do another round. I think I could have done quite a few more rounds before I ran out of ways in which I am unique. I was the only one present with three passports, who has lived in 8 different countries (and 6 US states), who has never been drunk, who can remember the moon landing (ok, that was cheating, I was the only one present who was alive then). I was also the only one present with a PhD, but I didn't bother to use that one. However, unlike some of the others, I have never built an electric guitar from scratch (nor any other instrument), I have never crawled under the barb wire to get into a relocation camp, I have no odd growths of bone sticking out from my shoulders where one would expect smooth collarbones, never lived on an Indian Reservation, nor in India. It was an interesting and fun game. Made slightly more challenging as we spoke Swedish most of the evening.
kareina: (me)
I have done a variety of short posts here in the week since returning from my Lofoten adventure to visit [livejournal.com profile] northernotter, but I haven't made the time to record the highlights of that trip, so I will now see how much I can remember...

The adventure begun on Wednesday, 28 Aug, when I was really, really feeling the lack of mountains locally, and wanting to see some. So I asked [livejournal.com profile] northernotter in FB chat if she would be home that weekend, and she said she would and I was welcome to come on up. Since the next day was the local SCA social/arts night here (and the first one of the season now that summer is over), I decided I could stay home one more day, and I bought my train tickets for Friday morning.

My train departed at 05:53 and took me as far as Narvik, on the Norwegian coast. Well into the Swedish mountains we were boarded by a fairly large group of school children (I guess in the 12 to 15 year old age range) who were speaking something that sounded German to my ear. They stayed on the train till the next stop, and were every bit as noisy the whole time as one might expect. As the train was pulling into the station one of their accompanying adults looked at me and said "now you will get some peace and quiet". I smiled and asked "school trip?", and he replied "yes, 8 days hiking in the mountains", and he looked totally exhausted as he said it. I commented "That sounds delightful for them, but rather hard on the adults", and he nodded, and picked up the headset that one of the kids had left behind and he followed them off the train.

We arrived in Narvik a bit before 15:00, and the bus to Lofoten departed at 15:30. The bus was rather full, so I wound up sitting in the very back, in the middle seat, which meant I could easily look out both windows. The bus arrived in Svolvær around 20:00, and [livejournal.com profile] northernotter and I drove to her place, which is in a village not to far from there.

She has a fabulous view! There is a beautiful mountain peak framed by her kitchen window, and more mountains on every side (though on one side one can't see the mountains for the small ridge behind the house). So wonderful to live in a world framed by "up" again, even if only for a few days.

I, of course, wasn't hungry when I got in, it being evening, but she cooked up a yummy smelling dinner for her family, which made more than enough for left overs to take with us for lunch the next day, when I discovered that it was every bit as tasty as it had smelled the night before.

I enjoyed the chance to meet the rest of her family. Her son had come along to the Medieval days here, so I had met him before, but he was noticeably more sociable and talkative at home than he had been at his first SCA event, and I rather liked him. Her daughter is a total delight, and she was also kind enough to give up her bed for me to sleep in (she took an air mattress the first night, the couch the second, and the third night, since her brother was gone, she took his room). I also enjoyed her husband's company, and even the dog is well behaved and pleasant to be around, so the social interaction part of the adventure was a win on all fronts.

But that was just a bonus, because, lets face it, the reason one goes to Lofoten is to see the mountains and fjords, and I couldn't have picked a better weekend to do that. The temperatures were comfortable--neither too warm nor too cold, the sun was out and the sky was blue.

Saturday morning [livejournal.com profile] northernotter, I, and her dog, went out for our first adventure. We drove down to the SW corner of her island, parked the car, and set off looking for a trail she had never tried before, but was mentioned in her guidebook. The first part was easy—along the rocks by the coast and past the summer cottage belonging to someone (what a stunning place for a summer cottage). Then there appeared to be something resembling a trail a bit further up the hill, and we opted to go that way, but soon we were just walking between the trees and the juniper bushes, working our way up the hill a bit, and a bit further to the northwest, parallel with the coast and the mountain ridge above us. Eventually the going started getting quite a bit steeper, and we got high enough that we could see a trail, way down below us, near the coastline. At this point we needed to use our hands a lot, and wondered if we were going a useful direction.

Therefore I went on a bit ahead, past some harder bits that were still within my skill level for free climbing (even though I haven't done any climbing since last November, when I visited [livejournal.com profile] linda_linsefors in Grenoble) to see if it looked like it was getting easier, or if it lead anyplace useful. I got to a nice, flatter area of easy going, but I couldn't tell if it was going to lead anywhere useful, and from there it wasn't possible to see [livejournal.com profile] northernotter anymore, so I opted to head back down to where she was.

Did I say that those "harder bits" were still within my skill level? Make that "just barely within my skill level for down climbing", though they hadn't seemed that hard going up. I paused often to consider my next move on the decent back down to her. As I got back into sight I discovered that her dog, which is on the smallish side (though not so small as to be one of those little yappy dogs), had gotten ahead of her by a good 6 to 10 meters, but was now stuck—the poor thing was looking back down hill, but so not willing to take the jump from the rock she was on to the ground below it, and I can't say as I blame her—the drop was only about three times her height, but the landing spot was small and sloped.

So [livejournal.com profile] northernotter told her to "wait" (a skill they worked on lots when she was a puppy), and I worked my way down to, and then just below her, then lifted her down to where I was standing, and worked my way a bit lower, and then lowered her again, repeating the process till we were back down to where [livejournal.com profile] northernotter was standing, and the going was, once again, easy enough for a smallish dog to proceed on her own four feet.

Since that path up the hill had been pronounced a dead end (thought I will never know if I could have found a way to continue if I had gone on) we worked our way back down the hill, found the trail we had seen from above, and tried to follow it. Only to lose it again. How does a trail that is so clear one minute become so invisible the next? It is like people (or animals?) walk on that short stretch of path, and then switch to only walking on rocks. We never did find a way to get to the valley between the ridge we had gone part way up, and the next ridge, and by then we were wondering if the trail we had seen on the floor of that valley is actually the one mentioned in the guide book.

By then a couple of hours had elapsed, so we decided to head back to the car, this time working our way along the rocky coastline, admiring the pretty deformation in the lovely metamorphic rocks. I was delighted to note a huge difference in my confidence level and balance for the return trip as compared to how it felt walking along the rocks along the coast on our way in. There is nothing like challenging oneself with the more serious climbing to make the easier stuff feel, well, easy! I could, once again, hop over small chasms without flinching, and given the choice between an easy way and a fun way, I was choosing the fun paths.

After that walk we drove completely around the small island just to the northwest of her island, and admired the incredible views before driving back to town to get groceries and then to the house.

That night they served salted cod for dinner. This is not to be confused with salt cod. The former is made from fresh (or frozen and thawed) fish which is covered with a little coarse salt over night before being cooked in a pot on the stove, while the latter is a method of preserving and drying fish to keep for ages without refrigeration (and is one of the reasons that Lofoten was responsible for the generation of a hugely high percentage of Norway's wealth in the middle ages). I was slightly hesitant to try the cod, since I have never liked fish, but, since I couldn't detect any unpleasant smells wafting across the table (as I usually do when others are eating fish), I decided to be brave, and took a bite. It wasn't unpleasant, so I even took a couple of more bites. I didn't eat enough to make any noticeable difference to the amount of fish available for the meal (which was served with carrots in a white sauce and potatoes with butter (churned from cream which had been let to sour a bit first), but it was enough to claim I have eaten fish.

On Sunday we enjoyed a lazy morning around the house. I read Little House in the Highlands, a book on her daughter's shelf that I hadn't known existed before this trip, and loved every bit of. Must see if there is a Swedish translation, and must find all the other books written about Laura's ancestors and daughter—I grew up reading (and re-reading) the Laura Ingalls Little House books, and I have most of those in Swedish now (and have already read them all twice) but I had no idea all of these new ones existed.

In the afternoon we took a drive around the south side of the next big island to the south, the one with the Viking Museum in the middle of it, and then we took the main road up the central valley, past that museum. We didn't visit this time ([livejournal.com profile] lofd_kjar and I had been there two years ago when we visited Lofoten, before we met [livejournal.com profile] northernotter), but instead took a short hike up the ridge to the north west of it, where we had a lovely picnic. My phone battery can't be trusted, so I didn't take any photos, but [livejournal.com profile] northernotter got a decent photo me looking out the opposite direction from the museum (the sun was directly on the other side of the museum from us, so it wasn't a good time for photos that direction).

On Monday she had to work, so I went out for a walk just outside her door, and really enjoyed it. I wound up doing a 6 km loop, first across the main road an onto the trails (which are lighted ski trails in the winter), and then back onto the roads when I got to the school, heading back down to the coast (next to the Lofoten Museum, which I didn't visit, either), then along the coast and over the ridge back to her neighbourhood. There were, rarely, blueberries along my path, which I was "tvungen" to eat.

After my walk I finished reading another book that I hadn't really known existed. When I was a kid one of my favourite books was The Big Black Horse, but I had no idea that it was a (VERY) abridged version of a longer novel. Therefore you may understand my surprise and delight to discover a copy of The Black Stallion on her daughter's shelf—it took only a page to realize that it was the same story, even if there was So Much More in the way of detail (the boy has a full name! A back story!), and I happy settled into reading it. Much to my surprise, the book continues WAY past where it end in the version I had had (which stops with the rescue). I wonder how I missed the long version while growing up?

When [livejournal.com profile] northernotter got off of work her husband and I picked her up, and we three had time to sit and visit a bit longer at a café before they put me on the bus back to Narvik. While the bus to Lofoten is nicely coordinated with the train schedule, the reverse trip is not. I could have taken the morning bus, but it would have reached Narvik about an hour after the train departed. Therefore I took the afternoon bus and couch surfed in Narvik that night.

My host was a nice lady who worked on a knitting project whilst I did some nålbinding. She has a baby who had fun mimicking me during yoga, and, when I sat down on the floor for the floor poses crawled right into my lap for a hug. She laughed and said that is typical of her son—Stranger? Hug it! She needed to head to uni early on Tuesday morning, so I packed up my bags and walked down the hill to the train station, which was closed when I arrived at 08:00, never mind the sign on the door that said it is open from 07:00. So I still don't know if the rumours of luggage lockers existing at the station are true or not. Instead I took my bags with me and went to a hotel for breakfast.

I don't normally like to pay restaurant prices for food whilst traveling (especially since I am such a fussy eater), but I decided that it would be worth it in this case, and, indeed it was, since the let me put my bags into the locked room behind the front desk there, and then, after I had finished eating a large meal (since I knew I would be traveling all day), they said I was welcome to leave the bags there while I went out for walk. So I went into the city center and did some window shopping (most shops not yet being open for the day). Luckily for me, that was a "most", and not an "all", since I happened upon a yarn shop which was open.

I have a nålbinding project in progress that had been on hold due to having run out of yarn. I got the yard from a friend at an SCA event, and she got it from Gotland, where it was hand spun by the woman who owns the sheep it came from. When I was running low on that yarn I took the hat to the local yarn store in Luleå, and determined that none of the grays here was anywhere near matching it. So I cut a tiny length of the yarn and attached it to my keychain, in hopes I would find a better match elsewhere. Sure enough, the yarn shop in Narvik had something suitable. Not quite perfect—the commercial stuff is not as tightly spun, and there is a hint of difference in the colour, but I am not certain that the difference is going to show all that much, since I am working in Omani Stitch, which is really dense stitch. (So far I have had time to do only a few hours more of stitching on this with the new thread, which is not enough to do a full lap around the hat.)

After buying the yarn and some groceries for the trip I collected my luggage and went to the train station. By then it was 10:00, and there was a train sitting on the tracks. The sign on it said it was going to Luleå. So I asked the conductor if I could take this train instead of the one at 12:30 for which I had tickets. He said "yes, but this one can't leave till 13:00", and explained that there were issues with departure, and while this train had been scheduled to leave earlier than mine, it had been rescheduled.

Therefore I boarded the train and got out my sexy Viking cloak in progress, sat at a table and begun stitching. A couple of hours later the conductor came round to explain to us that the delay had been caused by a rock fall in a tunnel, and that they would be getting us a bus to Björkliden, the next train station beyond the rock fall, but they didn't yet know when that would arrive. A bit before 15:00 he came back and said that the bus should be here by 16:00—that they couldn't find any closer, so there was one coming from Kiruna for us.

A bit later I got a SMS from the train company saying that due to a rock fall the 12:30 train was being replaced by a 16:30 bus, which would depart from the train station and take us to Björkliden. I laughed because that was old news, and the departure time was rather later than the 16:00 the conductor had guessed.

Since I trusted the conductor better than I did the SMS I packed away my sewing a bit before 16:00, and was ready when the bus arrived. The trip to the next station took 1.5 hours, and then we settled onto a new train, and I got my sewing project back out. This train also had a school group, this time only 24 Swedish high school kids and their teachers (and a few parents). Two of the teachers sat across from me, and we chatted (largely in Swedish), for much of the ride home. One of the teachers is a handicrafts teacher at the school, and the other knows one of my SCA friends, so both were interested in my cloak in progress.

Thanks to all of the delays it was after midnight before we were home and so I did my yoga and went straight to sleep.

The week and weekend since have been fun and busy, but it is now 01:00, and I have things to do tomorrow, so that story will have to wait for another day.
kareina: (stitched)
I have been avoiding getting a copy of Medieval Garmets Reconstructed because I have a strong preference for pdf over paper books. One can do a key word search in a pdf, and it is possible to open it more than once (or use the Windows snipping tool) to get a figure on one monitor and the text describing it on the other, so that it is easier to see what the text describes.

Much to my delight, Neulakko mentioned on her blog that the book is now available as a freely downloadable pdf!

I am tempted to try making the hair "circlet" featured in figure 2 (p 11), since I have a fair bit of hair left over from the great beard project.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
This morning I completed the last major task for my report: burning the dvd with the data, reports, 3D model, and geochem graphs, and packaged it up in a box along with the samples and paper copies of the reports--all ready to turn in to my colleagues at the mine. Yes, it would also be nice to do a paper for publication, but that doesn't need to happen this week. Yes, I should finish converting the spreadsheet full of sample collection information into the format it needs to become one with their database. But those are minor details compared to wrapping up the project itself, and I am very pleased to be done, and before the month is over, too.

To celebrate I came home at lunch time, and after eating I went out to the field and rescued some strawberry plants that had been growing too tightly entwined with other plants to have been moved to the new strawberry patch by the house (A. the new patch is full, and B. we took only those berries that had been growing in the part of the old patch that was still only berries and the black plasticy cloth that is meant to keep other plants from growing in between the berries). While that cloth worked well in the center of the patch, other plants had done a good job of colonizing the edges of the patch, and, of course, many strawberry plants had managed to take root outside of the patch proper (they do that). However, since I don't want them to all get plowed under when [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar brings his dad's tractor and the (now repaired) rotating field-smoothing device, I have moved them all to a place at the bottom of the field, next to a nice large rock. That boulder will be just the thing to lay down on drape oneself over while eating strawberries, and I figure those berries that were thriving well despite being tangled up with other plants deserve to keep growing.

We can freeze most of the berries from the patch by the house, and the lower patch can just be for grazing while out enjoying the day. Many of the berries, both the ones I moved today, and in the new patch by the house, are now in flower, so it won't be too long before we have fresh strawberries again. Good thing too, since the last box of last year's frozen strawberries is now nearly empty.

I only spent about an hour rescuing berries before I was too hot and sweaty in the bright sun in the middle of the field, so I called it done for the day (after four wheelbarrows full of berries had been moved), and, after a short break for some quality time with a book and a snack, I went out to the alleyway leading to the earth cellar and begun the project of getting it smoothed out and sloping only the amount we wish it to slope and putting down the large paving stones we got from his uncle.

Another hour work there saw the first three paving stones set into place the way we want them to be--each one sloping just under 1 cm from the upper point to the lower point, and the next located ~10 cm away, with its upper point the right amount lower that the slope continues unchanged. (To accomplish this I have taped a small block of wood to one end of the level, so that if the bubble indicates that the level is level when it sits on the paving stone(s) then they are slopping the correct amount.) This task is much easier than it might have been, thanks to a bit of weaving I did:

dirt sifter

We made this sifter to separate the rocks out of dirt last week, using some scrap wood, some tines from a cheap rake that didn't hold together after the first use, and some scrap metal from an old computer. It isn't large, but it is as big as we could make it using those rake tines (the handle we attached to a pitch fork head that the previous owners had left here, so while the rake turned out to have been useless as a rake, the parts have all come in handy for other things, so we haven't lost the cash we spent on it), and it turns out to be plenty big enough for this project.

I had tried a week or two ago to set the paving stones in without using the level to check my work, and as a result had gotten too enthusiastic in how much sloping was happening, and I wound up with a low spot in the walk way that, now that I am measuring, turns out to have been several centimeters deeper than it needs to have been. Therefore I am sifting dirt onto the low spot to build it back up to the appropriate height, but without those rocks that make it hard to get the paving stone to sit perfectly.

I am enjoying this project, though after an hour working on it I was quite ready for another break, so I came in a curled up with my book, and finished it. This makes 15 books read so far this year—still a very small number compared to before moving to Sweden, but it is the most books read in a single year since switching to reading fiction in Swedish, and the year is only half done. Granted, part of what helped that was this book and the last are both re-reads—the Swedish versions of The Little House in the Big Woods (Det lilla huset i stora skogen) and The Little House on the Prairie (Det lilla huset på prärien).

I have always loved those books—they are heavy on explaining how things were done and what everyday life was like in that time, with just enough story to hold it together, and they are great for someone who is trying to learn the language, because it is full of so many useful words.

reading

May. 18th, 2014 10:24 am
kareina: (stitched)
Yesterday, while at [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's parent's house I read three kids books in Swedish. This brought the total number of books read so far this year to 13. While that number still looks pitifully small to me, since, back when I was young and had more free time, I used to read paperback novels in 1 to 4 days, it still makes me smile, and is clear evidence that my reading speed in Swedish has picked up, since I read only 13 books total last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. Yes, that is correct, since moving to Sweden, when I set the rule "no fiction in English" (other than when reading out loud to a friend), I have only been managing to read 13 books a year. This is in marked contrast with the 60 books a year I read during the first half of my PhD (and I have no records of how much I read before that, but I know it was more, because I had more free time and fewer hobbies in those days). Given that this year isn't yet half over, I am optimistic that I will double the number of books read (and don't intend to make very many of them books which are short enough I can read them in an afternoon and still be social with the people I am visiting).

full list of books read so far this year, with comments )
kareina: (mask)
I have managed to read my way through the Swedish translations of Maggie Furey's book Aurian and started the next book in the series ("Aurians flykt" is the Swedish title) while listening to the audio book at the same time. The first book took only 19 days, which isn't bad considering how much longer it takes to listen to a recording than to simply read the text. This exercise is doing wonders for my ability to predict the pronunciation of a Swedish word based on the spelling, and to guess the spelling based on how it sounds. For the most part I am enjoying the books. However, there is a topic in which I am quite disappointed with in the books, so I will put the discussion behind a cut, in case there is anyone reading this who both hasn't read the book and doesn't care for spoilers. )
kareina: (stitched)
I have noticed something: even though I am now very comfortable with reading in Swedish, and rarely bother to pause to look up a word because I can understand even the words I haven't seen before from context, when I remember later what I read, the memory is in English. It is just about three and a half years since I moved here and started learning this language. I wonder how long it will be before I remember things in Swedish, instead of my understanding simply being translated to my native tongue for long term storage?

I am currently reading the book Aurien by Maggie Furey and listening to the audio book at the same time. This is the second book I have done this with, and I think that it is helping both my pronunciation and my ability to understand others when they speak. I had thought I had never read this book before, and I certainly have never owned a copy, but every so often something in the story just seems so familiar that I can't help but wonder if I have read someone else's copy at some point. Or is it just that many fantasy books revisit the same themes? Hmmm. Copyright 1994, the year I finished my bachelor's degree and moved back to Alaska to start my Master's at UAF. I don't remember having access to anyone else's books then--sure I had friends who were also avid readers and who would have lent me books if I had asked, but I don't recall it ever happening. I guess it is more likely to be because the themes are comfortable and familiar.
kareina: (stitched)
When I was a child I spent most of my time with a nose in a book. This form of childhood mostly continued until my current decade--while I developed many other hobbies and interests over the years I still always found lots of time to spend curled up with a book. There exists no record of how many books I read in those days, but there are hundreds of books on my shelves, most of them read many times, because I have always been an addicted re-reader. At a guess I would say that I re-read four books for every one new book I read.

However, starting in 2005 I started keeping track of what I was reading. Just in time to track a huge decrease in how much I have been reading. Last year I managed only 12 books! (eight of which were in Swedish). This year isn't looking much better. I just finished my second book of the year, and the first one barely counts, since I finished it on the 6th of January, after 207 days of reading it.

Today's book completed was Kalle och choklad fabriken (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), a book I read many times in English as a child. In fact, as a child I often read it at one sitting. The Swedish version, on the other hand, just took me 57 days to complete! That hardly counts as reading at all...
kareina: (Default)
I used to read all the time, back before I started my PhD. I kind of thought that when I finished it I would return to reading all the time. Then I moved to Sweden and created a rule for myself "No fiction in English, only in Swedish*". This is doing good things for my ability to read Swedish, but it is much slower going. [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton just posted reviews of the Books she read in February of this year. She read nearly as many in that month as I have read all this year. More if you count the fact that a couple of books I finished this year were actually started last year.

So, what have I managed to finish? So far it is mostly things I have read before in the English version:

Liftarens Guide till Gallaxen )

Anne på Ingelside )

Familjen Robinson )

Huset vid Plommonån )

Vid Silversjöns Strand )

Liten Stunden på Prarienen )

At this point I am able to read in Swedish for much longer at a session, and am sometimes resenting the fact that I have to put the book down to do other things. Indeed, I am only six days into the current book (Gyllande År, av Laura Ingals Wilder), and I am 2/3 of the way through it, so I am hopeful that while the year's reading got off to a slow start it will creep up towards a reasonable number before the end of the year. I will try to remember to report my progress now and then...


*OK, I confess, that I am reading aloud Patrick Rothfus's The Name of the Wind to [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar, even though we only have it in English, but reading aloud isn't the same as reading for oneself, and it is taking us months to go through it, and not just because it is a HUGE book...
kareina: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mamapduck is playing, and her answer to the first question prompted me to answer it as well. I don't promise to play for a full 30 days, but I'll at least manage this one.

01. Discuss how you got into Harry Potter and why you still love it.

I was still living in Anchorage, and the house in which I lived received a paper subscription of the newspaper, which I tended to read over breakfast. I saw an article about the books, which raved about how amazing it was that someone had published a book which had children actually *reading*, even kids who are not normally people who read for pleasure. This was the first time I'd heard of the books, and wondered what the fuss was about.

At the time I worked part-time in a used book store as a favour to one of the students in the Geology Lab I was teaching--she had complained that she couldn't find anyone competent to work at the book store she owned, and as a result she was having problems getting her homework done. So I agreed to take on a couple of shifts a week to give her time to attend to her studies. One afternoon a customer brought in some books on trade, and one of them was the first Harry Potter book. When there was a lull in customers I picked it up to glance at the fist page or to "just to see what the fuss was about". The next thing I was aware of, other than the story, was when another customer came into the store, and I looked up to realize that I was three chapters into the book. So I set it aside in the pile of things for me to purchase, and returned to work.

I think I finished that first book the same day I brought it home, and have purchased the others as soon as they came out, and then, again, when they came out in paperback, since I by far prefer to read paperback books. I still love them because I enjoy the world--I've always loved stories with magic, and this is a plausible version of that. Like many books aimed at a young audience they are written in an engaging manner which lends itself well to re-reading (which is something I love to do). In addition to loving the official books, I am also hooked on the fan-fic written by [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton who always does a wonderful job creating stories which are plausible given the "facts" of the published books, and whose writing skill is such that I'd read her shopping list and enjoy it.
kareina: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mamapduck is playing, and her answer to the first question prompted me to answer it as well. I don't promise to play for a full 30 days, but I'll at least manage this one.

01. Discuss how you got into Harry Potter and why you still love it.

I was still living in Anchorage, and the house in which I lived received a paper subscription of the newspaper, which I tended to read over breakfast. I saw an article about the books, which raved about how amazing it was that someone had published a book which had children actually *reading*, even kids who are not normally people who read for pleasure. This was the first time I'd heard of the books, and wondered what the fuss was about.

At the time I worked part-time in a used book store as a favour to one of the students in the Geology Lab I was teaching--she had complained that she couldn't find anyone competent to work at the book store she owned, and as a result she was having problems getting her homework done. So I agreed to take on a couple of shifts a week to give her time to attend to her studies. One afternoon a customer brought in some books on trade, and one of them was the first Harry Potter book. When there was a lull in customers I picked it up to glance at the fist page or to "just to see what the fuss was about". The next thing I was aware of, other than the story, was when another customer came into the store, and I looked up to realize that I was three chapters into the book. So I set it aside in the pile of things for me to purchase, and returned to work.

I think I finished that first book the same day I brought it home, and have purchased the others as soon as they came out, and then, again, when they came out in paperback, since I by far prefer to read paperback books. I still love them because I enjoy the world--I've always loved stories with magic, and this is a plausible version of that. Like many books aimed at a young audience they are written in an engaging manner which lends itself well to re-reading (which is something I love to do). In addition to loving the official books, I am also hooked on the fan-fic written by [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton who always does a wonderful job creating stories which are plausible given the "facts" of the published books, and whose writing skill is such that I'd read her shopping list and enjoy it.
kareina: (me)
Today I spent rearranging numbers in spreadsheets and looking at graphs. Seven hours worth of playing with graphs and spreadsheets (with frequent short breaks to try to keep my eyesight intact). Ever since my second session with the microprobe here I've been putting off actually processing the data it generates. Why? Because first of all I wasn't certain the settings I needed to use in the program which transforms the microprobe data into mineral cations. I've been fighting with the program and the muscovite results in particular for a while, exchanging frequent emails with my boss trying to work out what settings had been used for the data generated by the phd student years ago who last did experiments on this rock type here. Now that we've got it mostly working, I decided today that I'd go back to the beginning and do over the data processing I'd already done, to be certain that everything is consistent.

Today's effort was enough to:

*create a single spreadsheet containing all of the microprobe data to date
*edit the comment field for each analysis to have a consistent naming practice that includes information as to which microprobe session, which experiment, which bulk composition, what mineral we thought we were analyzing, and if it was the first, second, third, whatever analysis of that mineral for that particular sample.
*sorted the file by mineral
*processed the data for the garnets, added the results to the original file of garnet results from the above mentioned old data
*made lots of graphs to determine which of the garnet analyzes from my microprobe session were "bad" data (usually mixed analyses, identifiable as having either too much or not enough Si or Al due to the electron beam zapping both garnet and whatever is next to it as well)
*deleted the "bad" data from that file. Added in data for the pressure and temperature of the experiment for the new "good" data.
*recorded for each experiment (and each of the two bulk compositions run in each experiment) how many good garnet analyses (if any) I now have (and if zero, recorded how many garnets I attempted to analyze)
*all of the above for the muscovites.
*sent e-mail to my boss with a file set up to graph my results for the muscovite analyses colour-coded per experiment against the original data (which I left as small black circles, there being so many more of them) asking my boss if we have finally got the muscovite settings working (they just might be), or if they need additional tweaking.

Tomorrow I need to repeat all of this for the biotite, chloritoid, and carbonate analyses.

When I wasn't working I

*went for a long walk (which also means I went grocery shopping, choosing a very large supermarket which is a good 35 minute walk away, so that I'd get some exercise. It is a sad fact that living in a city tends to mean that walks=spend money, since it just isn't as pretty as living part way up the side of the mountain (where I go for walks just to admire the view), so I often put off going for a walk until I need something, and then I go get it.)
*emptied my personal and facebook in-boxes again (yay, keeping on top of my correspondence for several days running)
*made some yummy spinach-avacado dip (more or less like guacamole, but with lots of raw spinach added & mixed with an imersion blender to get the spinach chopped fine enough), which I ate with cucumber, yum!
*put the rest of the 500 g bag of spinach & 4 eggs into enough flour to make a pasta dough. This will be tomorrow's lunch (and several days running, no doubt, since [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t is unlikely to help me eat a pasta that green. I wish they'd sell 250 g bags of spinach--while spinach does get smaller if you do, well anything, with it, that is still an awful lot of food for one person to eat before it goes bad.
*read some more in a really good book I borrowed from the SCA family that hosts our meetings.
*found contact details for an old friend I knew when I lived in An Tir. Someone had posted to SCA-West that her son just passed away, and I wanted to send her a note saying I was sorry to hear it. In an odd coincidence, her ex-husband, whom I'd met at the SCA 20-year Celebration, had done a comment in facebook on one of my friend's pages earlier today, and recognizing his name, I'd sent him a note. It was only a few hours later that I saw the news of their son's passing. It is odd how sometimes when you encounter someone you haven't thought of in years suddenly they are brought to your attention through multiple venues.
kareina: (me)
Today I spent rearranging numbers in spreadsheets and looking at graphs. Seven hours worth of playing with graphs and spreadsheets (with frequent short breaks to try to keep my eyesight intact). Ever since my second session with the microprobe here I've been putting off actually processing the data it generates. Why? Because first of all I wasn't certain the settings I needed to use in the program which transforms the microprobe data into mineral cations. I've been fighting with the program and the muscovite results in particular for a while, exchanging frequent emails with my boss trying to work out what settings had been used for the data generated by the phd student years ago who last did experiments on this rock type here. Now that we've got it mostly working, I decided today that I'd go back to the beginning and do over the data processing I'd already done, to be certain that everything is consistent.

Today's effort was enough to:

*create a single spreadsheet containing all of the microprobe data to date
*edit the comment field for each analysis to have a consistent naming practice that includes information as to which microprobe session, which experiment, which bulk composition, what mineral we thought we were analyzing, and if it was the first, second, third, whatever analysis of that mineral for that particular sample.
*sorted the file by mineral
*processed the data for the garnets, added the results to the original file of garnet results from the above mentioned old data
*made lots of graphs to determine which of the garnet analyzes from my microprobe session were "bad" data (usually mixed analyses, identifiable as having either too much or not enough Si or Al due to the electron beam zapping both garnet and whatever is next to it as well)
*deleted the "bad" data from that file. Added in data for the pressure and temperature of the experiment for the new "good" data.
*recorded for each experiment (and each of the two bulk compositions run in each experiment) how many good garnet analyses (if any) I now have (and if zero, recorded how many garnets I attempted to analyze)
*all of the above for the muscovites.
*sent e-mail to my boss with a file set up to graph my results for the muscovite analyses colour-coded per experiment against the original data (which I left as small black circles, there being so many more of them) asking my boss if we have finally got the muscovite settings working (they just might be), or if they need additional tweaking.

Tomorrow I need to repeat all of this for the biotite, chloritoid, and carbonate analyses.

When I wasn't working I

*went for a long walk (which also means I went grocery shopping, choosing a very large supermarket which is a good 35 minute walk away, so that I'd get some exercise. It is a sad fact that living in a city tends to mean that walks=spend money, since it just isn't as pretty as living part way up the side of the mountain (where I go for walks just to admire the view), so I often put off going for a walk until I need something, and then I go get it.)
*emptied my personal and facebook in-boxes again (yay, keeping on top of my correspondence for several days running)
*made some yummy spinach-avacado dip (more or less like guacamole, but with lots of raw spinach added & mixed with an imersion blender to get the spinach chopped fine enough), which I ate with cucumber, yum!
*put the rest of the 500 g bag of spinach & 4 eggs into enough flour to make a pasta dough. This will be tomorrow's lunch (and several days running, no doubt, since [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t is unlikely to help me eat a pasta that green. I wish they'd sell 250 g bags of spinach--while spinach does get smaller if you do, well anything, with it, that is still an awful lot of food for one person to eat before it goes bad.
*read some more in a really good book I borrowed from the SCA family that hosts our meetings.
*found contact details for an old friend I knew when I lived in An Tir. Someone had posted to SCA-West that her son just passed away, and I wanted to send her a note saying I was sorry to hear it. In an odd coincidence, her ex-husband, whom I'd met at the SCA 20-year Celebration, had done a comment in facebook on one of my friend's pages earlier today, and recognizing his name, I'd sent him a note. It was only a few hours later that I saw the news of their son's passing. It is odd how sometimes when you encounter someone you haven't thought of in years suddenly they are brought to your attention through multiple venues.
kareina: (Default)
Today I learned a few tricks that can be done with Isoplot when doing graphs (I downloaded the manual--when in doubt, read the manual!). This is a good thing. I now have lovely graphs which show the various temperatures and pressures obtained via each of the different techniques I've used for all of my samples in the Collingwood River area. It is terribly interesting to compare the scatter of the data within each one type of calculation, and across the different types. I've also started the writing of the summary of the various results for this area. After deleting a number of paragraphs written for the first draft of this chapter, before I obtained a bunch more results for a number of samples my net gain for the day was +53 words and four new figures. Plenty more to do tomorrow...

In other news, I also finished reading _Melting Stones_, and very much enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books written with a young audience in mind that contain plenty of magic, and a generous dose of real science (yay, geology!).
kareina: (Default)
Today I learned a few tricks that can be done with Isoplot when doing graphs (I downloaded the manual--when in doubt, read the manual!). This is a good thing. I now have lovely graphs which show the various temperatures and pressures obtained via each of the different techniques I've used for all of my samples in the Collingwood River area. It is terribly interesting to compare the scatter of the data within each one type of calculation, and across the different types. I've also started the writing of the summary of the various results for this area. After deleting a number of paragraphs written for the first draft of this chapter, before I obtained a bunch more results for a number of samples my net gain for the day was +53 words and four new figures. Plenty more to do tomorrow...

In other news, I also finished reading _Melting Stones_, and very much enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books written with a young audience in mind that contain plenty of magic, and a generous dose of real science (yay, geology!).
kareina: (Default)
The totally wonderful [livejournal.com profile] laurelyn22 recently sent me a surprise gift of a new book by [livejournal.com profile] tammypierce, Melting Stones. I've been trying to limit how much time I spend reading it, on the grounds that I do need to be working on my thesis, but the geology has been spot-on, and it is a joy to read a book that includes so much technical details on a topic near and dear to my heart. I've been intending to post to my other blog about this book. However, someone's already beaten me to it, with her take on the book. I suppose I can't really complain though, as a volcanologist, she's got a better claim on telling the world about this particular story than do I as a metamorphic petrologist.
kareina: (Default)
The totally wonderful [livejournal.com profile] laurelyn22 recently sent me a surprise gift of a new book by [livejournal.com profile] tammypierce, Melting Stones. I've been trying to limit how much time I spend reading it, on the grounds that I do need to be working on my thesis, but the geology has been spot-on, and it is a joy to read a book that includes so much technical details on a topic near and dear to my heart. I've been intending to post to my other blog about this book. However, someone's already beaten me to it, with her take on the book. I suppose I can't really complain though, as a volcanologist, she's got a better claim on telling the world about this particular story than do I as a metamorphic petrologist.
kareina: (Default)
Today was one of those days during which it would have been nice to "have nothing to do and all day in which to do it", for I was very much lacking in motivation for much of it. I managed to work a little, take a break, work a little more, take another break, and so on. Alas, [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t was actully making progress on his uni work, and [livejournal.com profile] baronsnorri was at work, so I had to content myself with reading for my frequent breaks. It being a slow e-mail/LJ day (since many of my friends are in North America, where it was the last day of a holiday weekend, and so many weren't yet home, or if they were, were too tired to share stories yet), I was reduced to actually picking up fiction again.

It strikes me as odd how little fiction I've been reading lately--I've read only 19 fiction books so far this year! I've only got records since I started my PhD project, 3.21 years ago, but the first six months (I started at mid-year) I read 37 books, in 2006 I read 55 books, and in 2007 I read 60 books. I'm reasonably certain that even those numbers represents a huge decrease in time spent reading than I used to do. Part of the reason is the amount of time spent doing uni work, of course, and part of it is the fact that I'm satisfying my craving to read by reading LJ, I think. It is easier to put LJ down--once I've read all of the new posts by my friends (and commented on those that move me to say something) it is generally fairly easy to pick back up my uni work--rarely does it take more than an hour at a time to read all of my e-mail and LJ (ok, so I check fairly often!) so it is less of an intrusion to the schedule than falling into a book and not emerging for five or eight hours.

Fortunately for my uni work, the impulse to goof off didn't last all day. After [livejournal.com profile] baronsnorri got home from work he and I went out for a nice walk--the sun is staying up later now that it is Spring, so we were able to do a loop which involves a decent down a rather steep and muddy bit of hillside (I can't really call that stretch a "track", even though there is a clearly worn path that many others have used over the years, because it is not as developed as most of the mountain trails) as one of the last parts of the walk, and there was still enough light to see by (it was about 17:50 by then)!

After that walk I was, finally, inspired to work, and managed to make much, much better progress on gathering all of the figures mentioned thus far in the thesis into PowerPoint files so that when I give my advisor the thesis draft later this week, he will have the figures too (many parts of the thesis make no sense without being able to see the figure described!). This process involved actually creating some of the figures, and in some areas going back and adding stuff to the thesis itself, as I found figures in the list which hadn't yet been mentioned. As a result, I now have an additional 314 words and three new figures referenced in my thesis. There are still another 25 figures to put into the files tomorrow, but it is looking like it is a doable task by my deadline. And then, once that is done, I can start doing the calculations that still need doing to get results for those samples which say things like "still need to do ____" in the thesis...
kareina: (Default)
Today was one of those days during which it would have been nice to "have nothing to do and all day in which to do it", for I was very much lacking in motivation for much of it. I managed to work a little, take a break, work a little more, take another break, and so on. Alas, [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t was actully making progress on his uni work, and [livejournal.com profile] baronsnorri was at work, so I had to content myself with reading for my frequent breaks. It being a slow e-mail/LJ day (since many of my friends are in North America, where it was the last day of a holiday weekend, and so many weren't yet home, or if they were, were too tired to share stories yet), I was reduced to actually picking up fiction again.

It strikes me as odd how little fiction I've been reading lately--I've read only 19 fiction books so far this year! I've only got records since I started my PhD project, 3.21 years ago, but the first six months (I started at mid-year) I read 37 books, in 2006 I read 55 books, and in 2007 I read 60 books. I'm reasonably certain that even those numbers represents a huge decrease in time spent reading than I used to do. Part of the reason is the amount of time spent doing uni work, of course, and part of it is the fact that I'm satisfying my craving to read by reading LJ, I think. It is easier to put LJ down--once I've read all of the new posts by my friends (and commented on those that move me to say something) it is generally fairly easy to pick back up my uni work--rarely does it take more than an hour at a time to read all of my e-mail and LJ (ok, so I check fairly often!) so it is less of an intrusion to the schedule than falling into a book and not emerging for five or eight hours.

Fortunately for my uni work, the impulse to goof off didn't last all day. After [livejournal.com profile] baronsnorri got home from work he and I went out for a nice walk--the sun is staying up later now that it is Spring, so we were able to do a loop which involves a decent down a rather steep and muddy bit of hillside (I can't really call that stretch a "track", even though there is a clearly worn path that many others have used over the years, because it is not as developed as most of the mountain trails) as one of the last parts of the walk, and there was still enough light to see by (it was about 17:50 by then)!

After that walk I was, finally, inspired to work, and managed to make much, much better progress on gathering all of the figures mentioned thus far in the thesis into PowerPoint files so that when I give my advisor the thesis draft later this week, he will have the figures too (many parts of the thesis make no sense without being able to see the figure described!). This process involved actually creating some of the figures, and in some areas going back and adding stuff to the thesis itself, as I found figures in the list which hadn't yet been mentioned. As a result, I now have an additional 314 words and three new figures referenced in my thesis. There are still another 25 figures to put into the files tomorrow, but it is looking like it is a doable task by my deadline. And then, once that is done, I can start doing the calculations that still need doing to get results for those samples which say things like "still need to do ____" in the thesis...

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