The new October Daye book (The Winter Long, the eighth in the Toby series) came out today!

This post is not about that, although I did spend the evening devouring the book. Nor is it about how many things are coming out this month that I'm excited about. (Several!!!)

See, I learned quite a while ago now that if a book is sold ahead of its release date, that sale doesn't count towards its first-week sales numbers. Tonight I learned that while pre-orders do theoretically count, that theory breaks down if the pre-ordered book ships early.

As if it weren't ridiculous enough that early sales don't count? :/ Not that stores should be selling them early, but you'd think they could at least, you know, report those numbers to whoever/whatever tracks them. And so often the advice for supporting authors and other creators involves "Pre-order the book (etc.)! Show advance interest!!!" With, apparently, the caveat that your advance interest can act against the author's interests if Amazon or whoever ships the book early. ;_;

Amazon is my go-to example here, because it often does stock/ship books early; I used to cheerfully take advantage of that before realizing that it was a real problem. The Winter Long was showing as in stock on Amazon for days before today. Fortunately [personal profile] wildpear and I pre-ordered our copies through Chapters/Indigo, and the order shipped at a more appropriate time. (And has not yet arrived, so I read a digital copy tonight. I'm looking forward to the hard copy arriving and bringing my set up to date!)

It just seems like such a ludicrous system, especially since those initial(-but-not-early!) sales are so critical :/ I know it stresses [ profile] seanan_mcguire out badly (to the point that she makes a point of asking people to just please, please not tell her if they manage to buy a book early), and I can't imagine she's the only one. Is anyone actually benefiting from things being done this way?
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
([personal profile] batwrangler Sep. 2nd, 2014 10:32 pm)
I had a not-very-expensive exhaust repair thanks to knowing a custom exhaust shop that will cut out and replace a worn section of pipe while you wait (i.e. in considerably less than an hour and for considerably less than just the replacement part if I had had to swap out the hole pipe).
I reread Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire this weekend, and SO GLAD I read them back-to-back because I completely missed that Verity's Engel was Rose's Anna. Now I want to know what Maddie does when she finds out. (I have lots of Thoughts on this.)

Also, I had so much fun I'm exploring ways to get books back into my life. I miss them more than I realized.

My fantasy baseball team last season had a totally inadequate name, and this year I was naming my team immediately after reading [personal profile] ionthesparrow's hockey dystopia, and, lo, the carolina blue were born. I am so in love with the name that I think I'm going to continue to use it until all the luck is rubbed off. It has layers of meaning, and my baseball team is doing okay, and my football (Premier League) team is doing surprisingly not fail, considering I started the season in week 2 and picked my team thinking it was a one-week thing.

(Also, I love that series a ridiculous amount. Hockey and dystopia: two of my most favorite things!)

I had a fun moment of realization this weekend when I figured out that almost all of my favorite media involves resistance movements of some sort. I couldn't figure out quite how to make use of this in my life, but a few hours later it occurred to me that education, real education, can be a resistance movement.

The thought doesn't quite go anywhere yet, but to start a road it usually helps to know that the goal is a road and not a hole.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
([personal profile] hatman Sep. 2nd, 2014 10:36 pm)
September, as best I can figure it:

Wed 3: Wake up in the evening. Drive all night.
Thu 4: Check into the hotel in the morning. Go to bed. Wake up a few hours early (maybe 4pm). Attend the funeral. Give the widow whatever support and company I can after. Spend the night (my daytime) in the hotel room.
Fri 5: Go to bed in the morning. Sleep late. Check out in the evening. Drive all night.
Sat 6: Arrive home in the morning. Try to stay awake for the day.
Sun, Mon, Tue: Adjust sleep schedule. Sleep. Rest.
Tue 9: Anna arrives 9pm. (May need to send parents to pick her up.)
Wed 10 - Fri 19: Tour around with Anna.
Sat - Thu: Rest. Maybe take care of some doctors' appointments.
Thu - Fri: Jewish New Year
Sat 27: Fly to Vancouver for 2 weeks. Visit with friends. Be in charge of the VCON registration desk.
yasaman: a tv with a little heart on the left (tv)
([personal profile] yasaman Sep. 2nd, 2014 07:36 pm)
I aten't dead! I'm just boring and busy writing a thing which is taking up most of my mental energy. Anyway, here is a quick post to say that I'm watching Outlander, and while I'm not invested or anything, I am enjoying it. Thoughts in bullet point form below:

  • So I've tried to read the Outlander book like three or four times, and gave up every time, and I'm okay with that decision. I was always interested in the premise, but some of the rapey romance novel tropes...not into them. The show hasn't frustrated and bored me in the same way though, so I'm sticking with it for a bit.
  • Claire is lovely and clever and doing about as well as can be expected in her situation. I quite like her.
  • I was eh on Jamie at first, but he's growing on me. Despite a childhood spent watching Highlander reruns, the whole rugged Scottish Highlander thing isn't actually a thing I'm particularly into, but Jamie is cute.
  • I may be doing Outlander wrong though, because I'm not actually shipping Claire/Jamie much. I liked Claire/Frank. Yeah, I know, I'm doomed to disappointment on that front.
  • The show is moving quite slow so far, but I kind of like it that way. It makes the world feel lived in, and it gives us time to get to know the characters.

I've also been watching more Turner Classic Movies lately, because I was struck with the urge to watch romcoms and modern romcoms are not funny or particularly fun, so why not retreat back to the screwball comedies of the 40s, and thus far I do not regret this decision at all. There's something very soothing about watching old black and white movies. I don't know if it's just the collective nostalgia of America getting to me or what, because I don't actually have a real connection to these old movies, not having had much exposure to the so-called classics in my formative years. (You'll get more genuine nostalgia out of me when it comes to Bollywood movies from the 70s.) There's just something that's still tremendously appealing about old Hollywood glamor.

sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine Sep. 2nd, 2014 09:12 pm)
Well, life is nothing if not filled with a little excitement. The floor is scheduled, the floor is not scheduled. The floor is scheduled! I'm sorry; we couldn't tell if the floor was scheduled or cancelled so we cancelled the floor. The floor is scheduled! for tomorrow... (a work day, of course; this was yesterday that they very excitedly told me this). The floor is not scheduled... You will schedule the floor for Saturday! First thing! And so the manager told the shipping people. However, I don't look that good in blue so you will forgive me if I don't hold my breath... though the window for getting the hardwood in is narrowing as it really does want several days in the space getting accustomed to the place before installation (which starts the 15th -- though presumably with leveling the floor and such so there's a couple days in there maybe).

The cork, I am very happy to acknowledge looks beautiful in its box. Exactly what I wanted, in fact. I really hope the hardwood is the same; they seem to have changed it since I looked at it initially (which leads me to think they're not actually finishing a hardwood; they're just calling this wood they've found something exotic and hope people want it... even though they say it's a "prefinished hardwood"... which would explain why the grain now looks completely different??), and not just the grain... but the color is now more brown... at least that's what the bits I have of mouldings and such appear to be.

So I will simply keep my fingers crossed that it is much gorgeous when it comes in... and, in the meantime, I hunt for slightly different variants on white... the one I thought I wanted is drifting more pink than I might want, though with gray it will be pretty (uh, present color scheme, anyone? Which would be what I'd like to get AWAY from!)... but light purple and light grey is, also, so I'm hoping for a somewhat purple white that will work.

These renovations may just kill me yet.
I just had a very interesting conversation with the support team at

I was calling about a $1.00 Amazon MP3 credit that I had acquired on the 27th of July 2013. This credit was given to me on (as opposed to, where my account actually is) for a 'Free App of the Day' order I made in the Amazon Appstore for Android app. (Note that none of this is referring to gift certificates. It's possible they may have the same issues, but I was not calling about that.)

My issue was that I couldn't use the credit on, because it would keep asking me for my card details, and I obviously didn't want to give them.

I learned a few things from the call:
  1. It is not possible to use the promotional credit unless you turn on your 1-Click setting.
  2. If you have a promotional credit on your account, Amazon will use that before your selected payment method.
  3. It is not possible to see whether you have any promotional credit on your account before you purchase; you have to contact Amazon by phone and ask.
All of these combine to make the ultimate money-sucker: Thought you had Amazon MP3 promotional credit but actually don't? Normally you'd be able to see that sort of thing on an order confirmation screen, but sorry, you have 1-Click turned on. Boom, that's £0.99, sucka.

But that's okay, she said, I have a £1.00 credit on my account, so you'll be fine.

"Wait a second," I said. "Is that 1 pound or 1 dollar?"

She confirmed to me that she was seeing a 1 pound credit on my account on which I had received on 12th October 2013 and expired Tuesday 30th September.

So I go to check my email, wondering if I'd missed something... but no, I didn't get any email about this credit at all. In fact, I never even *made* any orders on in October 2013, a fact that I was able to confirm by looking at my order history on the site. On I hadn't made any orders in 2013 at all.

She couldn't tell me which order the promotional credit came from; I'm not sure if this was for security or simply because nothing was showing up.

So at this point I'm left with a mystery promotional credit for £1.00, and I have no idea where it came from. (And it wouldn't have gone to my Spam folder as I have filters specifically set up so that any emails to my Amazon account email addresses do not get flagged as spam; I've had this set up for ages.)

So, now we have a case of: In order to use promotional credit that you don't even know exists, you need to turn on 1-Click.

Does this seem fishy to anyone else?
sineala: Esca (from The Eagle) and Marcus riding horses (Eagle: Horseback)
([personal profile] sineala Sep. 2nd, 2014 03:41 pm)
Bad Bang is live.

No points for finding me! Come fight me about historical accuracy in the comments! But I think I ought to actually wait to link until the reveal. I am kind of afraid to look at the the rest of the fic/art now. But my fic got a truly glorious bad photomanip, so yay.
and I haven't missed it, either.

Geoff just sent me a link to a drawing KLM is doing for a luxe trip to Amsterdam; we always enter things like that when we see them, though we've never (yet) won. (It's at, but you have to be a Canadian resident.)

The entry form requires you to choose a courtesy title, and the options are:
• Mr.
• Mrs.
• Miss

I mean, seriously, what the fuck.

(I still entered, but I'm cranky about it.)

...Huh, it belatedly occurs to me that it's probably an artifact of translation from French, which is the primary language of the contest, and in which the difference between "mademoiselle" and "madame" these days has more to do with age/maturity than with marital status. Nonetheless, I deeply resent not being offered the option in English. En français je suis 'Madame,' but in English I am not 'Mrs.'
dorinda: Two hands, one dangling a silver Comedy mask and one dangling a gold Tragedy mask, under the words THE PLAYERS. (Sting_players)
([personal profile] dorinda Sep. 2nd, 2014 11:54 am)
This morning I watched a Tony Zhou "Every Frame a Painting" video I missed when it first went up (this May), about the lateral tracking shot in film. It's here:

It's short and interesting, like his other videos, and demonstrates with some great examples (the one from "Up", for instance, where he does a nice job comparing other possible transition choices).

But I still feel like something remains unexplored there. Well--I mean, of course, it's a complicated topic, and the video's like six and a half minutes long. But still. Something else is on the tip of my tongue.

Maybe something more specific about the way it's often used for strong & direct contrast/juxtaposition (I'm thinking of times it moves 'through a wall' to show us something happening in a different space and/or time), so it's as if the move from one rectangular shape over to another distinct rectangular shape is like...turning a page? Moving to the next comic panel/frame? As if it's doing the sort of juxtaposition work that a smash cut often does, but uses the sideways drifting to include the passing of time and/or greater space than a smash cut does. (He does mention the time/space thing, but I guess I wish he could've gone into it more.)

Anyway, I found it really interesting, and you might too. I highly recommend the rest of his videos as well--the one on visual comedy in film as exemplified by Edgar Wright, I think about that one a lot, especially his examples of how so much modern American comedy film has become SO VISUALLY LAZY. (Besides, any excuse for me to watch clips of Edgar Wright's work is extremely welcome!)
falena: Outlander: man and woman riding on the same horse (jamie and claire from outlander tv series) (jamie&claire)
([personal profile] falena Sep. 2nd, 2014 02:34 pm)
Outlander 1x04 'The Gathering'

I managed to watch this Sunday evening with [ profile] juicy_sweet84 and [ profile] florealpolla and I had a blast. Watching with other fans is just the best. Needless to say, I enjoyed the hell out of the ep. It didn't feel slow or disjointed at all (the two chief accusations I've seen brought forward in online reviews and friends reactions on FB). Yes, it is true that things seemed to move somewhat slowly in Claire's careful preparations to escape, but I think it was done on purpose to make us feel how anxious and impatient and yet utterly careful and patient in choosing the right moment Calire had to be...and it's also true there were three clearly different sections in the ep - the escape preparation, the gathering and the boar hunt - but they were organic and they all had tremendous amounts of character development (#1 and 3 for Claire, #2 for Jamie).

More spoilery thoughts underneath )

A couple Outlander links that I found interesting:

+ "Outlander" Is The Feminist Answer To "Game Of Thrones" — And Men Should Be Watching It

+ Terry Dresbach, the costume designer for the show (who also happens to be producer Ron D. Moore's wife and, if I remember correctly, the reason why Moore got involved in the project)has fascinating blog, which she updates very frequently (!). If you like her awesome costumes you should check it out. This post on what getting dressed in the 19th century was like is particularly interesting, IMO.

+ This is a review/recap of the previous episode, 1x03 but I think it works more as general meta on the show, as it underlines a couple very interesting things the shows is doing in terms of female character development.

++ Starz is providing episode commentaries in podcast format (Scroll down to find the podcasts). It's Ron D. Moore talking and Dresbach takes part in a couple too. I've enjoyed these a lot. However, if you haven't read the books, steer clear as Moore and Dresbach spoil at least a couple major plot points.

Doctor Who 8x02 'Into The Dalek'

I watched this in bits and pieces while nursing as it's fast become my standard telly-watching mode, but this time I also managed to take a few notes, so, while it's still not a very coherent review, it's meatier than what I typed up for the premiere.

In short: I liked this episode loads more than the previous one. Mostly because it was an ode to teachers! ;) Capaldi is already growing on me and I'm liking Clara more and more.

Liveblogging, sort of )
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Sep. 2nd, 2014 05:24 am)

"The stories we tell and have told about God are stories that have come from God, yes, but they have also from us. All our stories are just a bit flawed and just a bit perfect." -- @the_parishioner, 2014-07-14, "Taking Monotheism Seriously"

vass: Warning sign of man in water with an octopus (Accidentally)
([personal profile] vass Sep. 2nd, 2014 06:07 pm)
I just checked my text messages. There's one from my electricity company, a "courtesy message" telling me how much average electricity savings they estimate their customers will receive as a result of the carbon tax's untimely death.

(My plan with them is 100% renewable, and I'm a pensioner, so actually I'll be paying the same and my income will be reduced, but I'm less upset about that than I am about their shilling for the government under the cover of "courtesy".)
The post here now has 142 comments (and 4 over on DW).

If you were waiting until it had a bunch of people on it before adding anyone, now's your chance.
umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia & Steve on Farnsworth)
([personal profile] umadoshi Sep. 2nd, 2014 01:59 am)
Several people are embarking on a "post every day for thirty days!" challenge. I'm not going to officially declare that I'm doing that, between my follow-through record and the fact that Casual Job starts back up before the month is over. But for the record, since I haven't slept yet, I'm counting this as a September 1 post despite the time stamp.

Here, some random good things!

--I just finished a draft of a Newsflesh fic that I choose to blame [personal profile] jinian for (^_-), and got it sent off to [personal profile] wildpear for a beta pass. It's smut, and it amuses me tremendously, so I hope it'll amuse other people too. (The working "title" is "in which Shaun gets himself kicked out of bed". *g*)

--Between now and Casual Job resuming, on top of my usual freelance work (presumably--I don't currently have a work schedule from one of my manga editors), I'm going to be proofreading a short novel for Sparkler Monthly. Prose proofreading! I'm looking forward to it. ^_^

--[personal profile] scruloose and I had a short but fun visit with [personal profile] seangaffney, who'd never been to Nova Scotia before. During his few days here we fed him garlic fingers and took him to have SUPER TASTY FISH, and also introduced him to [personal profile] wildpear & family, [personal profile] seolh, and a couple other local friends. ^_^ I wouldn't say he wound up seeing a ton of the city, but [personal profile] seolh and I took him on a wander around downtown (including a stop for cupcakes and a meander through the Public Gardens*) and [personal profile] scruloose took him to the Saturday morning market while I stayed home and did some work.

I also showed him a semi-random episode of Warehouse 13--semi-random because I showed him a couple of clips (including the very beginning of part 1 of the Monsters and Men webisodes series) to show how good W13 was at product placement, and then he promptly went online and spoiled himself thoroughly for the entire series (in case there was any doubt at all that we have very different approaches to consuming media). So I showed him 3x02 ("Trials") so he could see the kittens' namesakes in action together for the first time. Hail The Claudia Donovan & Steve Jinks Show!

Coincidentally, Toronto friends [ profile] jondoda and [ profile] notnish were in town over almost exactly the same dates, so they came over to meet the kittens. Between them and [personal profile] seangaffney, that afternoon was almost like a mini con. A mini con with kittens, a bit of catching up, and peach crisp. Yes.

*Look, here's a picture of him with a helpful sign at the Gardens! (The sign says "Donation Boxes Not in Service. Waiting for New Locks." ^^;)

...and I think there were a couple of other things I was going to list, but it's 2 AM, so keeling over in bed seems in order.
kate: Aang from behind, looking at a starry night. (AtLA: Aang meditating)
([personal profile] kate Sep. 1st, 2014 11:41 pm)
Blathering about work. )

I am so nervous about my work that I was apparently whimpering and shaking in my sleep last night - my wife woke me up because she thought I was having a nightmare. I was dreaming about email. SIGH.

In other, also bittersweet news: [ profile] sga_santa is having its last hurrah this year. I didn't participate last year, but I'm thinking I might like to try my hand one last time. I'd love to see it go out with a bang. Won't you join me?
Well, AndTenor and I splashed a bunch of paint on my walls today. The Whites have it. In fact, the colors that had me oo-ing and ah-ing on the paint chips sucked mightily on the walls. As in "OMG, get that vapid thing out of here!!!" And, like my response to fragrance, it was near instantaneous. We painted one wall, out of curiousity, exactly as we were initially thinking the hallway should look. Oh not just no but HELL NO!

I do have to admit some amusement that two different blues (as in entirely different companies etc.) were nearly identical, albeit just wrong, in my bedroom. At this point, I'm pondering a very intense blue accent wall behind my bed's headboard and white (for some value of white) everywhere else. The periwinkle I've been dreaming of just doesn't seem to exist, more's the pity.

As to the whites: one is gray-based (Fleur de Sel, SW 7666 for those of you playing along at home) and one is pink/purple-based (Whimsical White, SW 6826). It may be too pink in places; pondering looking at its near neighbors as well (Minuet White, SW68 19; and White Iris, SW 6812) to see about getting more blue-ish purple. So hard to tell on a fan deck. Of course now I wonder what to do with the remainder of my paint samples (the colors I'm rejecting, of course). Perhaps there is a school that would like them or something.

But it turns out that yeah, I want neutral backgrounds and let all the "stuff" provide the color. Good lesson to learn. Onwards...

(Won't get started on the drama that has been my flooring delivery, or -- technically -- non-delivery, right now... too tired to think about it)