Archive for January, 2007

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January 29, 2007

Gosh wow. We received four Unshelved albums in the mail today — a gift from our friend Jay the Librarian. And all four albums were signed — with a dedication to me!

The envelope was gorgeous, too, covered in stamps, one each in the Wonders of America series.

Gosh and, if I may say so, wow. Thank you so much, Jay.

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January 27, 2007

Stina gave birth to a son two days ago 🙂 🙂

Added: Here is a picture. He will have to practice a bit before going to his first hard rock concert. (Vital statistics: 49 cm, 2900 g, and everybody involved is doing just fine.)

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January 27, 2007

The Open Directory Project, where I am a meta editor, was down and out (for the editors if not for the public) from the end of October to the end of December last year. We couldn’t log in and edit at all, which led to a terrible abstinence; in fact, I went so far as to start editing intermittently in Wikipedia. I even discovered that I kind of liked it (although I was very happy when the ODP returned) and so I’ve continued to edit a bit there as well. This morning I wrote a short article about the fiddler Gås-Anders. It was nominated for the “Did you know…” section of Wikipedia’s front page, where interesting facts from articles written over the last five days or so are displayed — I am sure it won’t actually be listed in that section but all the same I feel quite pleased.

Writing that article and looking up facts for it also caused me to pick up my violin and play folk music for a good 45 minutes or so. I don’t know how many years it has been since I last touched the fiddle; the bow was in a poor state (and I don’t have a rosin), my fingers were unused to it and my fingernails are too long, and it did squeak rather a lot. But it was fun, and it sounded much much better than I had thought it would. Johan got home from his shopping trip while I was playing; when I went out into the kitchen and saw him he commented that I probably hadn’t heard him return because I had music on — that is, he’d thought it was a record playing! 🙂 Of course I haven’t played the violin since we married and possibly not even for as long as we’ve lived together, so hearing music playing he would naturally assume that it was a recording. But still, and anyway.

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January 24, 2007

Why do I like the Kingdom of Loathing so much? It’s silly in just the right way to be sure, and the kind of adventure game where you get to improve your abilities and add new skills is always fun (or so I think). But it is also constantly evolving, and I think that’s what makes me keep playing it — I would have discovered quite a lot of what there is to discover by now, not everything but a lot – and just plodding on doing the same things over and over to gain new skills does get repetitive after a while. But they develop it, inserting new puzzles every so often. That’s what makes me keep playing it. (That, and the creative silliness.)

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January 23, 2007

I read in DN that the hottest single record of 2006 in Sweden, the one most sold in shops and most downloaded from the net, is Who’s da Man with 7-year-old Frans. OK, so I know I am not exactly with it when it comes to music, but usually I’ve at least heard the names of groups or artists. Not so in this case.

I am old.

(Looking it up I discover that it was apparently the official team song for the Swedish football team in last year’s World Cup, so there was good reason for me not to have heard it – but still, not even having heard the artist’s name… I am old.)

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January 23, 2007

Recent reads:

* The entire Aubrey-Maturin series (apart from the unfinished one), 20 novels. It wasn’t the first time I read the series, and I predict that it won’t be the last time either; though next time I probably won’t read all 20 in a row without other reading in between. The books are exciting, they are well-researched, and they are laugh-out-loud funny. They contain some of the most memorable characters in any fiction I’ve ever read — as well as very vivid portraits of life aboard a ship during the Napoleonic Wars. I can’t believe I ran out of Aubrey-Maturin books. Waah!

* Santiago by Mike Resnick. It’s a tall tale, a yarn in the tradition of Paul Bunyan or Joe Magarac, with larger-than-life characters livin’ on the frontier — except the frontier is the edge of the civilized parts of the galaxy. It’s a fun story, the kind of story where the plot holes don’t matter, and it was an enjoyable read if not at all in the league of the previous novels I read.

At the moment I’m reading Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, a young adult SF novel which is quite excellent. I can’t believe I hadn’t even heard of it before.

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January 17, 2007

It suddenly struck me that the other day was the 15th, which was the date when the IPrA were going to decide which submitted papers they would accept, for the 10th International Pragmatics Conference. So I logged in, and found that my Pending status was changed to Accepted. So there I’ll be, lecturing on the use of address phrases in email to the big-name pragmaticists of the world. Eek but also yay.