So much potential.

The question is, do we use our powers for good or evil?

Ask D&D Geeks: Pronunciation

No, really, very geeky.

The word ‘drow’ (as in the dark elves (hey, I said this was geeky)): how do you pronounce it? Rhymes with ‘now’ or rhymes with ‘know’?

(I’m listening to the ‘Homeland’ audiobook, and I’m discovering that the way I’ve pronounced many words in my head over the years does not match the apparent official line.)

PSA: Time is running out to be a World Book Night giver!

World Book Night is a strange and wonderful thing. Every year, a bunch of people sign up to give out 20 copies of a book to a bunch of people they’ve never met. I did this last year, and it was a blast. I lucked out. The list of potential books we could choose from included “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “Good Omens.” I gave out 20 copies of the latter. (How can you go wrong giving out Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett?)


I really have no words for this.

If you’ve paid any attention at all to my posts, you know I’m something of a knitting nut. Really and truly. I freely acknowledge this. However, even I do not have the words for this: (more…)

LazyWeb: Give me a new show.

Dear LazyWeb,

I keep the television on as background fodder while I’m … well, pretty much while I’m doing anything. I don’t tend to use music while working, because that makes it too obvious when 4 minutes have passed. Using TV shows works out well, because it gives me built-in “time to take a break” notifications, which I find handy. (Not that I always heed them, but it’s a good thought.)

Between Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, I have a goodly number of (free / already paid for) sources available to me. I like SF/F (I just caught up with Falling Skies, have gone through Warehouse 13, Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, Charmed), crime shows (Crossing Jordan, The Glades, Law & Order, Sherlock), medical shows / soaps (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). Unfortunately, they need to be shows that I can primarily listen to to know what’s going on (as opposed to Alias, where it’s common for several minutes of action to pass in relative silence). Also, (and my

Thoughts? I’m in need of a new show.

Love, meri

It’s not OCD, it’s CDO, damnit.

As many of you know, I lived in Kuwait for a year. This was pre-Desert-Storm-1 Kuwait, so it wasn’t very a very Westernized place, and the only place I was allowed outside by myself was to wait at the bus stop for my daily ride to school. Since the arrival time of the bus was highly variable, I was sometimes out there for a half hour or so, waiting. It was during this period of my life that I started a habit that would last me a lifetime: reading while waiting for <insert type of transit here>.

The school I went to (the American School of Kuwait) was a firm believer in burying a child in homework. As I was in the 4th grade at the time, a lot of this homework seemed to revolve around learning words and how to spell them. Therefore, I always had a dictionary with me. And, since I had a lot of free time while waiting for the aforementioned bus, I started reading it. I ended up finishing the whole thing sometime short of the end of the school year. (My father (being an eternal smart ass) told me to write a book report. I told him he’d get one when I finished the previous one he assigned me: the 1984 World Almanac.)

This random memory just popped into mind because I was looking at my music collection. (I was working on following Huey’s advice to either listen to really happy music or really depressing music to get out of my funk. Then I got sidetracked.) It’s roughly 56,000 files, or 170 days of music. And looking at the collection, I clicked on the “Name” column, resulting in my entire music collection, in alphabetic order. And I now have an intense urge to listen to the entire collection, in that order. Assuming I listen to music for 8 hours a day (which I don’t, but let’s assume), that’s 510 days’ of listening. At the more realistic 2 hours a day, that’s 2,040 days, or a bit over 5 and a half years of music. And that’s assuming I don’t accumulate any more music (also unlikely).

I’d better get started.

PSA: Get TiVo Desktop before it goes *poof*.

The good folks at Tivo are discontinuing the PC version of TiVo desktop, and you have until June 5th to download it. Unlike the Mac version, the PC version will actually let you transfer shows from your TiVo to your PC. (The equivalent can be achieved on the Mac using a couple of small apps, or via Toast Titanium, but not via anything made available for free by TiVo.)

Anyway, I thought some of you might want to know about this while the software is still readily available.

PSA: University of Chicago Press Free eBook of the Month

Every month, the University of Chicago press makes an eBook freely available to the intewebs for five days. This month, it is “You Were Never in Chicago” by Neil Steinberg. It is available for free until May 5th.

If you sign up on their web site, you will receive email notification on the first of each month, when they post a new book. I have never received any spam related to this service. I am in no way affiliated, blah blah blah. Haven’t even read this month’s book yet. 🙂

Voices in my head.

As careful readers will know, I’m something of an audiobook fiend. This all started when I had a 40-mile one-way commute. Said commute involved the Capital Beltway, and a bridge. If you live in the area, you know what this means. If you don’t live in the area, just take my word for the following: traffic sucked, and was the sort of make one seriously consider driving off the side of the bridge, just to get away from it. So, audiobooks helped me keep my sanity (such as it is).

Now, I clearly no longer have long commutes. Most days, I get up and head down 3 half-flights of stairs to my craft room / office in the basement. My car sits idle more days than it gets to tool around on the road. But, my love of audiobooks continues. I listen to them while I knit, or while I work on layout that doesn’t require paying attention to words. (When I work on layout that requires paying attention to words, I tend to zone out on the audiobook itself.)

I get the vast majority of my audiobooks from Audible, as I have for years. The addition of their Whispersync for Voice feature (thanks to being purchased by Amazon) makes me an even more devoted Audible fan. (This feature automatically syncs up your position between your audiobook and your Kindle ebook, letting you switch back and forth between the mediums more or less painlessly. It’s awesome.)

I just finished my latest listen (Under the Dome, by Stephen King (more on that in another post)), and so I went in search of my next listen. Audible kindly lets me search for books that are Whispersync for Voice enabled, and so I was browsing through that section, and I realized that there are some pretty nifty audiobook narrators listed here. Samuel L. Jackson. Elijah Wood. Anne Hathaway. David Hyde Pierce.

This inevitably lead me to ponder who I would love to listen to narrating audiobooks. James Earl Jones (already there, mostly children’s books and books of a biblical nature). Morgan Freeman (again, already there, but mostly interviews and a couple of short stories). Ian McKellan (a bunch of Shakespeare, and The Odyssey). Patrick Stewart (The Last Battle). Kevin Spacey (interviews).

It looks like my listening list is getting padded out.

Who would you love to listen to read to you? What works would you want them to read? Who would you hate to have to listen to? Would it matter at all what they were reading? (For instance, Gilbert Godfried’s voice drives me absolutely insane, but he does have two redeeming roles: The parrot from Aladdin, and the AFLAC duck (before he screwed up that gig for himself).

Help me distribute free copies of Good Omens in 10 seconds or less.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been chosen as a giver for World Book Night 2013. When presented with the list of available books and asked to pick 3, I chose Fahrenheit 451, Good Omens, and The Phantom Tollbooth. The good folks at WBN have decided that I’ll be distributing copies of Good Omens.

Now, I’m not going to have a lot of time to hand out books. Just a few hours to hand out 20 books. That sounds easy, but think of all the people in public places handing things out that you simply ignore, or wave off. Now, keeping that in mind:

  • Help me come up with a way to get – and keep – the attention of people long enough to give them the spiel about the book.
  • Help me come up with a 10 second spiel to get someone to want to read the book.

Doesn’t sound too hard. Unless you’ve read the book. I mean, “A rollicking tale about an angel, a devil, a witch, the Anti-Christ, and the Apocalypse!” might scare some folks off, ya know?

So, lend a girl a hand, and help me come up with what I need to help introduce more people to the awesomeness of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.