Friday, December 30, 2005

Good Reads - Kim Harrison

Sometimes when in a large bookstore with lots of SF and fantasy, I'll buy a random new author. There are a lot of names I don't recognise, and I don't pay enough attention to any news group to have some idea of who is deemed good of the newest authors to hit the shelves. So I buy a book, and depending on my reaction, may buy more or never again with that author.

The randomly chosen book this time was Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Modern day trappings but witches, vampires, pixies and fairies live alongside humans. An excellent read and the other two books by the same author: The Good, The Bad, And The Undead and Every Which Way But Dead are on my 'to buy' list.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Great short clip

This is a short but funny animated video clip. Timing is everything.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Toys after the holiday

I'm now the proud owner of a new Casio digital piano. The keyboard is a full scale, normal look touch and feel piano keyboard. The particular model is one of the simplest that Casio produces, only 5 voices and a few effects. My favorite effect is that you can combine two of the voices so one is the undertone the layer effect. Combine any of the piano/keyboard sounds with the strings as the second layer and you have an instant orchestra.

Now that I have the keyboard, I need to practice. I never really played piano, just played at piano. I can still read treble clef but the bass clef is going to need a lot of work. Interestingly enough, though it has been some years since I last touched a keyboard, there are a few songs that I can still play portions of.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

Distributed by Walt Disney Productions...I fear for the story that should be told. So often Disney turns a classic into trash. Frequently names are the only thing that remains the same after the Disney boot has been by.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

anime art

Blatant plug coming up. My niece is putting her Anime art online for purchase. Not very much there yet, but promising looking.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Good Reads - Garth Nix

I became aware of Garth Nix at AussieCon when he presented his new fantasy series at a panel about humour in SF/Fantasy. The presentation was hilarious, I've been waiting for him to get serious about writing full length humour but so far, no luck.

Since the convention, I've been regularly purchasing and reading his books. Sabriel was the first book of his I read. Since then, I've read most of the works listed on his site down to the chapter books for young readers. THE OLD KINGDOM TRILOGY and THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM I would recommend to anyone who wants to try this author's style.

I find that many fantasy books for younger readers are more entertaining than the bog standard epic fantasy so much in vogue for adults. There's more imagination used in many of these stories instead of mere variations on a theme.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Web accessibility

Attending OZeWAI last week. Web accessibility should be a major consideration of web design but it's frequently relegated to a last minute patch after the web design is already in place. Why should it be a major consideration? Well, an accessibility site helps people get to the information on the site. It also means that technologies such as search engines can better scan your site for indexing purposes. It means that your site is more likely to work on a cell phone browser, or a car-based web application.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bagging a mouse

Of late, there have been unauthorised four-legged housemates, namely mice. We had snap trapped two of them and thought that might be the end.

No such luck, last night I saw a tail vanishing into the pantry and just knew it was a mouse. Slowly removed items till the mouse was exposed. Had a think about what to do. Mouse realised it was exposed and scrambled behind something else. I went and got a big shopping bag. While hold the bag along the edge of the pantry, shifted things till mouse was exposed again. This time, it tried running up the back of the pantry, fell and decided to dash off the front edge. And fell right into the bag. So I took the bag and mouse downstairs, outside and released it on the street. Cute little thing it was too.