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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 10:42pm on 09/03/2009
Here we are in DST--the six months of the year when, no matter what I do, I just can't quite wake up.

Why do we do this to ourselves again?
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 02:51pm on 07/03/2009
For the first time since I moved to Wisconsin a decade ago, I'm finally remembering that WisCon exists before the weekend of the event. Its proximity makes it very tempting, though the timing may be problematic since it's right after finals when I'll be inundated with grading.

Since Cons are always more fun if one isn't attending alone, here's the general question: Is anyone else on my flist planning on going to WisCon?
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 12:51am on 05/03/2009
There has been a fair amount of television being aired recently that I like. Usually I feel lucky to find one show a season that doesn't feel like a waste of time. Now that we've become a DVR household, however, I seem to have also joined the ranks of those people who let their DVRs do all their TV watching for them. Back when I taped everything, I considered the act of taping to be only a part--albeit an essential one--of the viewing. The digital equivalent seems to have gone the other direction, with the viewing being only a small, almost irrelevant add-on.

Now that I can rest assured that Life on Mars (US), Leverage, Psych, and Aaron Stone are being recorded, it's become hard to get around to viewing them, even though I thoroughly enjoy the episodes when I do. Leverage is easily my new US favorite, and is one of the first shows in a long time that's compelled me to seek out fanfic.

The real winner, though, is the BBC3 drama Being Human. After a series of flukes brought it to my attention, I torrented the original movie--and fell completely head-over-heels in love with the show before the title shot. The first series just finished airing last Sunday, but the flush of new love still remains. The characters! The story lines! The camera angles! The metaphor! It's everything I want in a TV series, except decent long form fanfic. And I can't stop watching it. It's strange, since I also can't remember the last time a show so thoroughly consumed my every waking moment. I think it was Buffy.

The best part is: My DVR knows nothing about it!
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 06:06pm on 03/03/2009
My grandfather used to describe small towns as being "six saloons and a grocery store."

After I moved to the town I currently live in (pop. ~2000), I wrote him and confirmed the statement, as our Main Street at the time was comprised almost entirely of bars. The town up the road from us (pop. ~9000) had slightly more variety, as it had about twelve bars to accompany the grocery store. Both towns have about the same ratio of hair stylists and barber shops as well, which is something of a point of annoyance with me: If you're opening a new business in a small town that has almost no options for shopping, why on earth would you open another version of what already exists?

While driving down Main Street in that town today I noticed that one of the empty store fronts had just gained an occupant. No, not a bar. It's a hair styling place. Another one. Three others have opened in the last five years (that I know of) between the two towns. All three of them are now defunct.

Now I see that my grandfather's definition needs updating.

Small towns should now be described as six salons and a grocery store.
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 11:34am on 01/03/2009
Books finished:

The Little Book by Seldon Edwards (2) - A time travel story in which the main character wakes up from an accident in 1896 Vienna. Loved it, though it took a while to warm up to the story. The end was a let down.

Still Me by Christopher Reeve (2) - Fascinating insights into the life of a person who suffered from a tremendous personal loss, but who managed to turn it into a social gain.

The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine (2) - Book two in the Morganville Vampires series. A new favorite because it manages to bring something new to the vampire genre.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers (2) - A dating fantasy for 14 year old girls. Not much value for anyone else.

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman (3) - An expose on how the business world is changing, and has to change, because of the development and proliferation of information technology. It's an interesting argument, but is very clearly aimed at the type of old school CEO who still thinks that the Internet is a computer program.

Total points for the month: 11
Total points for the year: 25

Currently reading: Self Made Man by Norah Vincent, Amazonia by James Rollins, One Hundred Pages for the Future by Peccei, The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, and others.
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 03:37pm on 01/02/2009
Books finished:

The Little Book by Seldon Edwards (2)

Small Favor by Jim Butcher (2)

Gifts by Ursula K. LeGuin (2)

Inventing English by Seth Lerer (2)

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (2)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2)

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (2)

Total points for the month: 14
Total points for the year: 14
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 12:21am on 31/01/2009 says I'm a Nerd God.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 09:13pm on 28/01/2009
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 11:38am on 18/01/2009
The My Secret Identity download finally finished. I had a moment of exasperated horror when I tried to play an episode and got nothing. A week on the d/l and the files didn't even work? Then I turned up the volume and realized that the audio was working fine. Real Player wouldn't play the video; Windows Media said the files were corrupted. The solution was to download a new AVI player, which it turned out could play the files just fine.

After over a decade, I finally got to rewatch the two and a half episodes that I accidentally taped over. They were just as I remembered them.

It was strange, though. MSI is easily my second favorite show of all time, behind only The Tomorrow People. It had a huge impact on my life. It was the first show to which I wrote fanfic, although at the time I thought I was writing a spec script. And in rewatching the episodes, I came to the realization that I really don't like the show that much. Have never, in fact, liked the show that much. This isn't a matter of outgrowing the show. I don't, and have never, liked physical humor nor humor at the expense of another person. I'm also not fond of plots based on the characters making stupid decisions. A lot of the first season of MSI has both these elements. The show grows up a little in the second season, and that's also the one I've always considered my favorite. But, looking at the third season list, I was hard-pressed to find an episode I actually wanted to see besides the two erased ones. There are scenes and bits of episodes that I adore, but the episodes as a whole just don't bear rewatching.

In pondering this, I noticed a lot of similarities to my other favorite shows, especially including The Tomorrow People. It's not the show itself I like--it's the concepts and ideas presented in the show. I love the idea of MSI; I love what the show was in my head. I'd still like to write and read fanfic for it (if any existed); but I have no desire to watch what was produced. Likewise, I've not seen any TP in years, and really don't want to. What I love are the almosts and the possibilities, and most especially the way I remember it.

It's wonderful to own the episodes again, especially so I can fact check the canon should the need arise. But, after I figure out how to burn them on to DVD, I doubt I'll ever watch a whole episode again.
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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 05:15pm on 15/01/2009
Santa was good to me this year. Amongst a host of books and DVDs, I also received a video recorder that plays VHS tapes and burns them to DVD. Although quite a bit of my TV collection has been released on DVD over the last few years, a substantial portion likely never will be, and my VHS collection is really starting to age. So, one of my projects over the last couple weeks has been to try to transfer the collection to DVD before the tapes finish distintegrating.

In the process, I've realized just how bad the quality of many of the recordings really is. I got two seasons into burning My Secret Identity, then discovered that some of my recordings (made 20 years ago from an actual analog broadcast and recorded into SLP mode because video tapes still cost $15 each, then re-recorded a couple times as my archiving methods matured) were so bad that the audio and video weren't synching on the burn, sometimes by as much as five minutes.

The latter got so bad that I went seeking Torrents, and discovered that MSI is available online. I'm a week into the download, so whether the effort is worth it remains to be seen. On the plus side, no matter what happens, I'll get the three episodes I'm missing, one of which was a favorite.

Burns are already completed for VR.5 and Do Over. I also found the four unaired episodes of Do Over online. They are not in a form that I can download and burn, but at least I got to finaly see them. As of today, I'm also two seasons into Big Wolf on Campus. Next stop is probably going to be Haunted.


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