October 2nd, 2005


Well, this has been a pretty good weekend.

I went off to SOAS yesterday for my first Japanese lesson (as well as the admin stuff like getting issued with a library card). Collapse )

Yesterday afternoon I did some more motorbike maintenance - the alarm tends to drain the battery if I don't use it for a while, so I had to take it out and bring it back to the flat. Anyway, that's back to full strength now, so I'll make more of an effort to take the bike out at least once a week, even if I don't need to go anywhere in particular; it helps that the weather's cooling down, so I won't be boiling in my protective gear.

Speaking of travelling, I get quite a bit of reading done while I'm going to/from work (especially when I miss a connection and have to wait around for half an hour), so I'm now making a dent in my backlog of computer magazines (or at least I'm reading them faster than new ones are arriving). I've also started one of my periodic re-reads of the Vorkosigan series, now that I've filled the gaps with e-books (see previous post).

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Speaking of books (and Pratchett), I picked up "Thud" and "Where's My Cow?" yesterday. I'm still reading "Thud" at the moment, but I've finished "Where's My Cow?" (which isn't too surprising, since it's only 38 pages long, and mostly pictures rather than text). I was a bit dubious about it at first, since it is quite expensive for such a slight read (11 quid, reduced to 10 quid in Forbidden Planet), but I did like it. It's odd, but quite charming, so it's definitely worth reading if you're already a fan. For my part, I have a vague/confused feeling of "If I lend it out to lots of people then that averages out the price", so let me know if you want to read it (and if I'll be seeing you in the imminent future). On a related note, I now have two copies of "Going Postal" (the paperback came in a boxset with the Discworld DVDs), so I no longer need the hardback - give me a yell if you'd like it, otherwise I'll drop it off in the charity shop.

And speaking of media stuff in general, Firefly fans will probably like the latest Joy of Tech strip. (The webcomic tends to be fairly Mac-centric as a whole, but they have a few strips with wider appeal.)

Today I went off to Oxford, to visit susannahf. It's been about 9 years since I was last there, but it hasn't changed much (which is good). I like places with history, and Keble College looks as if it was built to be a castle - impressively thick walls, and only one entrance. Anyway, we went round a couple of museums, which were interesting. The university museum had plenty of dinosaurs, and a stuffed cheetah that visitors are actively encouraged to stroke. Mind you, I was surprised to see the Nessie-ish creatures referred to as "plesiosaurus" or "pliosaur" rather than "pleiosaur" - has the spelling changed recently, or have I always been getting it wrong? Then there was the Pitt Rivers museum, named after General Pitt Rivers (who I think has a great action hero name), and which is basically full of "stuff that he found on his travels". (There's a sign up saying that it was mostly acquired legitimately, not stolen.) It's a rather eclectic mix, so you have a display case full of shrunken heads next to a collection of basket weaving. Pretty nifty, anyway.