viktor_haag: (Default)
I'm pretty sure that Nino Ricci articulates my position far better than I can, or have time to. Please read his open letter to our current PM.

I've never been a fan of Harper, his policies, his tactics, or his party. I can't honestly say I've ever had much respect for anyone leading his party, since the days of Preston Manning (while I never really can remember thinking I'd agreed with Manning, I'm not sure I had the same low opinion of his integrity or behaviour that I've had for anyone running his party's show since his retirement).

"At least he's not Stockwell 'Doris' Day" is not sufficient or compelling reason to want to support Harper.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I'm pretty sure that Nino Ricci articulates my position far better than I can, or have time to. Please read his open letter to our current PM.

I've never been a fan of Harper, his policies, his tactics, or his party. I can't honestly say I've ever had much respect for anyone leading his party, since the days of Preston Manning (while I never really can remember thinking I'd agreed with Manning, I'm not sure I had the same low opinion of his integrity or behaviour that I've had for anyone running his party's show since his retirement).

"At least he's not Stockwell 'Doris' Day" is not sufficient or compelling reason to want to support Harper.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Apparently, HB Fenn has gone bankrupt. I'm not sure how bad this news is for the general book scene in Canada, but I'm sure it's not exactly good (well, reasonably sure, anyway).
viktor_haag: (Default)
Apparently, HB Fenn has gone bankrupt. I'm not sure how bad this news is for the general book scene in Canada, but I'm sure it's not exactly good (well, reasonably sure, anyway).
viktor_haag: (Default)
"Anything that impinges on Ireland's competitiveness is going to be a big thing for Google, including corporation tax." John Herlihy (head Google Ireland)

Perhaps the Don't Be Evil Dublin local office is just trying to figure out how it's going to pay for that 10% pay-rise they handed their 2,000 employees. Oh, and DBE (Dublin) is apparently not the only ones trying to run the local government. Intel (4,000 employees) is also getting antsy.

The Germans are, apparently, fully behind Ireland's "courageous [proposed] reform policies". Wow. Good for you, Deutschland. But, it might be a great idea if you made your press release sound a teeny bit less like "I've called you all here to tell you that I'm giving a vote of full confidence in our head coaching staff" or "We're waiting for the Dail to approve a rate increase so that more companies decide that working in the rest of Europe, including beautiful Germany, is an awesome idea".

PS -- Ms Merkel's press relations: anyone who's watched "Yes, Minister" or "Yes, Prime Minister" knows damn well what the adjective "courageous" really means in neuvo-politico...
viktor_haag: (Default)
"Anything that impinges on Ireland's competitiveness is going to be a big thing for Google, including corporation tax." John Herlihy (head Google Ireland)

Perhaps the Don't Be Evil Dublin local office is just trying to figure out how it's going to pay for that 10% pay-rise they handed their 2,000 employees. Oh, and DBE (Dublin) is apparently not the only ones trying to run the local government. Intel (4,000 employees) is also getting antsy.

The Germans are, apparently, fully behind Ireland's "courageous [proposed] reform policies". Wow. Good for you, Deutschland. But, it might be a great idea if you made your press release sound a teeny bit less like "I've called you all here to tell you that I'm giving a vote of full confidence in our head coaching staff" or "We're waiting for the Dail to approve a rate increase so that more companies decide that working in the rest of Europe, including beautiful Germany, is an awesome idea".

PS -- Ms Merkel's press relations: anyone who's watched "Yes, Minister" or "Yes, Prime Minister" knows damn well what the adjective "courageous" really means in neuvo-politico...
viktor_haag: (Default)
I don't rightly remember how it exactly happened I discovered the writing of Cathrynne M Valente, otherwise known here as [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna. But I do know these things:

• She was immediately identified as a good egg, and a good writer (in ways that I, as a reader, appreciate and enjoy), by several friends and acquaintances I trust (some of whom are writers themselves, or reviewers, or fans, or just plain old folk, like me, not particularly connected to the genre writing or fandom community).

• I picked up one of her "The Orphans Tales" volumes from the local library, read 50 pages in, and immediately ordered it, its companion volume, and her novel Palimpsest. I find her writing lyrical, rich, approachable but deep and mythical: it's writing that (so far) seems to resonate with what I like from the SF&F-end of the genre stuff I read.

• Her educational background is as a classicist, and I find accord with what this has done for the way that she writes. She names things well. She doesn't just sprinkle around world-building and cultural elements as if they were doritos or knick-knacks -- they have weight and seem real and substantial, even when her tone is light and flippant.

• She has a new book that's just come out, the first volume of what (as far as I know) promises to be a major new project for her. To call it the culmination of a hell of a lot of work would, I gather, not be quite accurate. Rather, it might be the first public return on declarations of a hell of a lot of work, with more to come. This new book is called "The Habitation of the Blessed", and it bills itself as a "dirge for Prester John". (Who is Prester John, you ask? Well, she is only too happy to explain.)

• I will be buying her book. I hope to be buying this book directly from her, at her book reading at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. I may even buy other books of hers that I don't already own, if they have 'em. As you may know, such a trip will be a bit far afield for me, and thus An Adventure™.

• Because I don't have the book yet, I cannot yet have read it. I thus have no idea what it is like, and it would be irresponsible of me to say anything more about my response to it. But I will promise to write a comment about it, after I have secured and read my copy. Whether this will motivate you to seek it out yourself... well... I don't know whether your taste is in accord with my own. Plus I do not have millionz of intarwebz followers, so my reach is rather small.

• She offers kewl prizes for the spreading of word about her work. It is partly in this endeavour that I make this post (see previous point about book unseen, unsecured, unread). I would like kewl stuff. I promise to share any kewl stuff, should it come my way by happenstance, with friends and family.

• The SF&F genre seems to me to be in an interesting place. There are really good writers in it. There are also scads and scads of formulaic and relatively mould-standard books as well. From what I've read so far, I think Valente falls into the former category: her writing reminds me of other folks I really like to read, like John Crowley, Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin -- mostly because she seems really good at naming things, and because her worlds seem simple, human, but still, deeply deeply real. But, it also seems to me that the really good writers (or at least the writers I like) often don't get supported and continually published (in the same way that, often, really good TV shows that I like get cancelled).

So, if you're of a mind, try out one of her books. You might then want to buy some. I did.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I don't rightly remember how it exactly happened I discovered the writing of Cathrynne M Valente, otherwise known here as [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna. But I do know these things:

• She was immediately identified as a good egg, and a good writer (in ways that I, as a reader, appreciate and enjoy), by several friends and acquaintances I trust (some of whom are writers themselves, or reviewers, or fans, or just plain old folk, like me, not particularly connected to the genre writing or fandom community).

• I picked up one of her "The Orphans Tales" volumes from the local library, read 50 pages in, and immediately ordered it, its companion volume, and her novel Palimpsest. I find her writing lyrical, rich, approachable but deep and mythical: it's writing that (so far) seems to resonate with what I like from the SF&F-end of the genre stuff I read.

• Her educational background is as a classicist, and I find accord with what this has done for the way that she writes. She names things well. She doesn't just sprinkle around world-building and cultural elements as if they were doritos or knick-knacks -- they have weight and seem real and substantial, even when her tone is light and flippant.

• She has a new book that's just come out, the first volume of what (as far as I know) promises to be a major new project for her. To call it the culmination of a hell of a lot of work would, I gather, not be quite accurate. Rather, it might be the first public return on declarations of a hell of a lot of work, with more to come. This new book is called "The Habitation of the Blessed", and it bills itself as a "dirge for Prester John". (Who is Prester John, you ask? Well, she is only too happy to explain.)

• I will be buying her book. I hope to be buying this book directly from her, at her book reading at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. I may even buy other books of hers that I don't already own, if they have 'em. As you may know, such a trip will be a bit far afield for me, and thus An Adventure™.

• Because I don't have the book yet, I cannot yet have read it. I thus have no idea what it is like, and it would be irresponsible of me to say anything more about my response to it. But I will promise to write a comment about it, after I have secured and read my copy. Whether this will motivate you to seek it out yourself... well... I don't know whether your taste is in accord with my own. Plus I do not have millionz of intarwebz followers, so my reach is rather small.

• She offers kewl prizes for the spreading of word about her work. It is partly in this endeavour that I make this post (see previous point about book unseen, unsecured, unread). I would like kewl stuff. I promise to share any kewl stuff, should it come my way by happenstance, with friends and family.

• The SF&F genre seems to me to be in an interesting place. There are really good writers in it. There are also scads and scads of formulaic and relatively mould-standard books as well. From what I've read so far, I think Valente falls into the former category: her writing reminds me of other folks I really like to read, like John Crowley, Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin -- mostly because she seems really good at naming things, and because her worlds seem simple, human, but still, deeply deeply real. But, it also seems to me that the really good writers (or at least the writers I like) often don't get supported and continually published (in the same way that, often, really good TV shows that I like get cancelled).

So, if you're of a mind, try out one of her books. You might then want to buy some. I did.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I honestly wasn't prepared. When I found out that Sparky Anderson had died I was struck by sadness: fond memories of my youth have moved on. It's odd to consider, but Sparky was to a certain extent key to my engagement with The Church Of Baseball over the years in a way that Cito and the Jays of 92 and 93 never were. I've never been a Tigers fan, but growing up, if the team wasn't the Jays, it was the Tigers. Have a good rest, Sparky.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I honestly wasn't prepared. When I found out that Sparky Anderson had died I was struck by sadness: fond memories of my youth have moved on. It's odd to consider, but Sparky was to a certain extent key to my engagement with The Church Of Baseball over the years in a way that Cito and the Jays of 92 and 93 never were. I've never been a Tigers fan, but growing up, if the team wasn't the Jays, it was the Tigers. Have a good rest, Sparky.
viktor_haag: (Default)
While I may be willing to believe that the incidence of cancer in humans could dramatically increase with changes to diet and environment that result from increases in population density, industrialization, pollution, and other factors that are, essentially, caused by human habitation, to me this is a far cry from trumpeting that "cancer is man-made".

Smoking, getting no exercise, and eating lots of saturated fats increases risk factors for coronary heart disease: does this mean that it also is man-made?

What the heck is not man made in this case? Presumably death caused by animal predation? (But then why are you walking around in the predator's catchment area?) Lightning strike? (Why are you walking around in a thunder storm?)

Hrm.
viktor_haag: (Default)
While I may be willing to believe that the incidence of cancer in humans could dramatically increase with changes to diet and environment that result from increases in population density, industrialization, pollution, and other factors that are, essentially, caused by human habitation, to me this is a far cry from trumpeting that "cancer is man-made".

Smoking, getting no exercise, and eating lots of saturated fats increases risk factors for coronary heart disease: does this mean that it also is man-made?

What the heck is not man made in this case? Presumably death caused by animal predation? (But then why are you walking around in the predator's catchment area?) Lightning strike? (Why are you walking around in a thunder storm?)

Hrm.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Seen at work in lunch-room:
• Handsome Young Intern fellow fetches plastic fork out of drawer full of plastic cutlery next to sink, for lunch.
• HYI takes two steps back to lunch table with fork, bumps fork against his leg, and drops it on floor.
• HYI picks up fork, takes two steps right past sink, gets another fork out of drawer, and then pitches first fork into garbage.

I am boggled with the idiocy of this event on so many levels.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Seen at work in lunch-room:
• Handsome Young Intern fellow fetches plastic fork out of drawer full of plastic cutlery next to sink, for lunch.
• HYI takes two steps back to lunch table with fork, bumps fork against his leg, and drops it on floor.
• HYI picks up fork, takes two steps right past sink, gets another fork out of drawer, and then pitches first fork into garbage.

I am boggled with the idiocy of this event on so many levels.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Fox News (sic) reports that the glorious Ines Sainz has written this gem in a newspaper in Mexico City:
"A group of news people and communicators, eager to make an even bigger scandal out of this situation, have moved women's rights backwards at least 50 years ... I am surprised by how easily some colleagues skip the basic rules of journalism: one should investigate, inquire, and look at the facts before giving an opinion."

Please remember that Ms Sainz is the TV Azteca glam-journalist who has, in the past, performed such critical investigative service as measuring the biceps of football players during the annual presser-orgy-media-week leading up to the superbowl.

Just about everyone seems to have behaved completely shabbily over this entire circumstance. And I'm sure that Sainz' behaviour and comments have absolutely nothing to do with a desire to place herself firmly in the middle of the story. Was she asking to be harassed? Absolutely not. Was she angling to have attention paid her way? That seems hard to deny given her "historical pattern of behaviour" as league head-office is wont to say.

In the words of the immortal Coz, "::phweeeet:: Everybody out of the pool!"
viktor_haag: (Default)
Fox News (sic) reports that the glorious Ines Sainz has written this gem in a newspaper in Mexico City:
"A group of news people and communicators, eager to make an even bigger scandal out of this situation, have moved women's rights backwards at least 50 years ... I am surprised by how easily some colleagues skip the basic rules of journalism: one should investigate, inquire, and look at the facts before giving an opinion."

Please remember that Ms Sainz is the TV Azteca glam-journalist who has, in the past, performed such critical investigative service as measuring the biceps of football players during the annual presser-orgy-media-week leading up to the superbowl.

Just about everyone seems to have behaved completely shabbily over this entire circumstance. And I'm sure that Sainz' behaviour and comments have absolutely nothing to do with a desire to place herself firmly in the middle of the story. Was she asking to be harassed? Absolutely not. Was she angling to have attention paid her way? That seems hard to deny given her "historical pattern of behaviour" as league head-office is wont to say.

In the words of the immortal Coz, "::phweeeet:: Everybody out of the pool!"
viktor_haag: (Default)
I heard on the radio this morning, Don Cherry being interviewed by a local, hockey-heavy sports talk station. When asked if he watched any of the olympics, he said "no, not really, other than the hockey: I'm busy with my grandkids". Fair enough.

On the other hand, then he pops up and says, "But wait: you know, I did get to watching some of that curling. I never really watched curling before, and you know what? It's pretty good! I like the way that, right after someone throws a rock there's no fooling around; the next person gets right to it. And those curlers can sure drink, too, you know."

There you go, Canada. Don Cherry likes curling. Feel the relief.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I heard on the radio this morning, Don Cherry being interviewed by a local, hockey-heavy sports talk station. When asked if he watched any of the olympics, he said "no, not really, other than the hockey: I'm busy with my grandkids". Fair enough.

On the other hand, then he pops up and says, "But wait: you know, I did get to watching some of that curling. I never really watched curling before, and you know what? It's pretty good! I like the way that, right after someone throws a rock there's no fooling around; the next person gets right to it. And those curlers can sure drink, too, you know."

There you go, Canada. Don Cherry likes curling. Feel the relief.
viktor_haag: (Default)
This has been, and continues to be, an odd year for our clan. Some traditions have changed; some are on the cusp of change. But we adapt. Happy season to all of you.
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This has been, and continues to be, an odd year for our clan. Some traditions have changed; some are on the cusp of change. But we adapt. Happy season to all of you.

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