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Though, only for a short (1 week) visit.

FRA -> YYZ -> YOW.
Apparently the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Toronto sells well, because I've been upgraded to business class for my flight home. I'm not complaining. :) (I also upgraded my YYZ -> YOW segment with Air Canada.)

Arrived!

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:29 pm
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I landed in Frankfurt having not slept on the plane -- it landed at 7:30am Germany time, which is before bed-time Ottawa time. I have no driven to Hildesheim, napped, and had dinner. I'm still feeling sleepy, though.
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I feel like I've done this trip before. More than once.

Yep, I'm off for another week in Germany -- flying to Frankfurt then driving to Hildesheim, because even with the 330km drive, it was easier than trying to faly Hanover, then drive from there.
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Hey people, board-games chez-moi this coming Sunday. 1pm and on through afternoon and hopefully evening. RSVPs appreciated, but not required.
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Had some fun with, well, if not quite extreme, at least, agressive, snowshoeing with Phil and Rachel. We went up the Luskville Falls trail, with detours, then down Luskville Falls. I did at least three full somersaults during the expedition, one of them fully intentional. :)
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[personal profile] ironphoenix and I co-hosted gaming today, afternoon at his place then evening here. We started with Skull and Roses -- a short bluffing game -- then split into two groups. Brass at one table, and something else upstairs. You can guess which one I played in. :)

We hit the Chu-Shing for dinner, then my place, where once again it was an 18xx in one room, and Food Chain Magnate in the other -- this time I was in the Food Chain Magnate game. We didn't quite finish, but I had a clear lead it look almost guaranteed I'd pull out the win.

A good turn out for both afternoon and evening, and it was good to see [personal profile] metawidget out for a game in the evening.
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I think that's [personal profile] commodorified, though it might have been many of my other friends, too, and probably has been.

Today was not a wasted day.

I went quad roller-skating. I haven't been on that sort of skate in... decades. Quite probably more than three of them, maybe three and half of them. It was a LOT of fun. Thanks Marisol!

I may have a new thing.
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As with previous episodes, ironphoenix will be hosting the afternoon episode, and after-dinner we'll be reconvening chez-moi for more gaming.

Saturday at 1pm for ironphoenix' place.
Saturday after dinner (likely 7-8pm depending on how the afternoon progresses) for my place.

If you're thinking of only joining for the evening, it would likely be good to check-in with me on timing as the day progresses on Saturday.

FCM!

Jan. 27th, 2019 11:19 am
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Food Chain Magnate arrived. I didn't expect Sunday delivery.
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I read 76 books in 2018, and I've finally gotten around to posting the list!

Back in the day, I would have lj-cut this, but I don't figure anyone's reading page is going to be overwhelmed by content anymore.

Blood and Iron - Elizabeth Bear (another celtic/faerie/Tamlin retelling, but still pretty good)
The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden (good, different)
Whiskey and Water - Elizabeth Bear (sequel to Blood and Iron, not bad)
The Wizard Hunters (Fall of Ile-Rien book 1) - Martha Wells (good, buy more)
The Ships of Air (... book 2) - Martha Wells

The Scorpion Rules - Erin Bow (YAish, good, buy more in series)
Spells of Blood and Kin - Claire Humphrey (a tad dark for me, but quite good)
Provenance - Anne Leckie (good space opera)
Thick as Thieves - Megan Whelan Turner (YAish, good)
The Healer's War - Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (not what I expected, almost more magic realism, mostly about the Vietnam War)
10

Sinless - Sarah Tarkoff (good, YA?, buy more in this series, if available)
Everything but the Squeal - John Scalzi (meh, part of a shared world (METAtropolis), might be better in context?)
Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb (good, buy rest of series)
The Sword-Edged Blonde- Alex Bledsoe (readable, wouldn't avoid others, but wouldn't chase either)
Green Light Delivery - Anne E. Johnson (meh)

Echo - Alicia Wright Brewster (ok)
Shadow Magic - Patricia C. Wrede (good enough to read more, as I have them already)
Daughter of Witches - Patricia C. Wrede
The Harp of Imach Thyssel - ibid
Caught in Crystal - ibid
20

The Raven Ring - ibid (entire series was quite enjoyable)
Magician's Ward - ibid (Mairelon the Magician was a bit better)
Issola - Brust
Dzur - Brust
Jhegaala - Brust

Sethra Lavode - Brust
Changing Planes - Ursula K. Le Guin (more a series of sketches of places, than a novel or collection of short stories. Interesting, well written (of course), but not totally to my taste.)
Iorich - Brust
Tiassa - Brust (not a novel, despite the cover. Not my favourite.)
Hawk - Brust
30

Vallista - Brust (I generally like the Vlad Taltos books)
Extremes - Kristine Kathryn Rusch (good)
The Gate of the Gods (fall of Ile-rien book 3, conclusion) - Martha Wells (continues to be good, though the happy-happy right at the end might have been too nice-nice)
Royal Assassin (Farseer 2) - Robin Hobb (good)
Assassin's Quest (Farseer 3) - Robin Hobb (fitting conclusion)

To Shape the Dark - Athena Andreadis (ed) (good collection of short stories about woman scientists, also mostly by women. Good cross-culture variance, too.)
Consequences - Kristine Kathryn Rusch (good. Like that none of the "bad guys" are "evil". buy more retrieval artist, if there are any.)
Kitty and the Midnight Hour - Carrie Vaughn (fun, read more. Definitely LK Hamilton influences -- Cormac/Edward, to start.)
Trouble in Double - Laura Anne Gilman (fun, but short. Self-labels as a "novel", but feels far closer to novella length.)
Black Borne (Warrior Slave #1) - LL Farmer (ok, not worth chasing down more)
40

Howl's Moving Castle - Dianne Wynne Jones (meh, not bad, might have appreciated it more when it was published in the 80s, but now meh)
The Swan Riders - Erin Bow (good. Still YAish, but good.)
Batman: The Killing Joke - Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (meh - supposed to be one of the classic Batman stories, maybe I need more context?)
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Leguin (excellent. re-read for Jex' book club, but well worth it, as last time was 30+ years ago)
Late Eclipses - Seanan McGuire (good, Toby levels up noticeably in this one. I guess it had to happen?)

One Salt Sea - Seanan Mcguire (very good -- better than Late Eclipses)
The Stone Sky - N. K. Jemisin (good. "Only" good. I like it least of the trilogy, and perhaps least of her works that I've read. )
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers (fun, a bit rambling)
Skeen's Leap - Jo Clayton (good, buy rest of set)
Dreadnought - April Daniels (YA, good, trans, buy more)
50

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen - Lois McMaster Bujold (good, not readable without having read at least most of the other Vorkosigan books)
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 - Catharine Asaro, ed (good, variable)
Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng (probably good, finished it, but not to my taste)
The Core - Peter Brett (fitting conclusion to the series -- started a bit slow, but came together well)
Ephemera - Jude McLaughlin (ok; very, almost heavy-handedly intersectional; I maybe over-done with celtic sidhe/faerie stuff right now)

The Mirror Prince - Violette Malan (more faerie -- but good. Despite starting a series, complete as a novel which is nice.)
Revenant Gun - Yoon Ha Lee (good, fitting conclusion to the trilogy/series)
The Traders' War - Charles Stross (still good, nominally two books re-issued as one)
Just One Damned Thing After Another (fun) - Jodi Taylor
The Birthday Problem - Caren Gossoff (interesting, fragmented story about a fragmented future; mostly pulls together at end.)
60

Shadowlands - Violette Malan (a sequel, not quite as good as the original, but worth reading)
The Revolution Trade - Charles Stross (another double-header. I realized about 1/2 way through, there are no good guys in this story -- just more/less awful. Also, kind of depressing ending. )
The Dalemark Quartet: Cart and Cwidder - Diana Wynne Jones. Ok YA. If the remaining three fall into my hands, I might read the -- but won't chase them down.
A Symphony of Echoes - Jodi Taylor. (Chronicles of St Mary's book 2). Continues to be light (despite all the death) but fun.
Servant of the Underworld - Aliette de Bodard (Blood & Obsidian #1). Very good, interesting setting in Aztec culture, murder-mystery but not light reading. Buy more.

The Fey: The Rival - Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Book 3) Ok -- not as good as earlier books in series, but have rest so keep going. Hopefully mid-series slump.
The Fey: The Resistance - Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Book 4). Continues ok, maybe a touch better. Will finish series (one more).
Report to the Men's Club - Carol Emshwiller -- Not generally to my taste; literary, didactically? feminist.
Future Shock - Elizabeth Briggs - YAish. Readable, good story, not sure about the time-travel "science" , but it is always tricky.
An Oath of Dogs - Wendy N Wagner. Good. Starts out "clearly" SF, then wanders into... I'd say myth. Also, not too sure about the economics of shipping lumber interstellar distances.
70

The Fey: Victory - Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Book 5). Still too many view-point characters, making it a bit fragmented, but pulls together well. Good. Maybe buy next series.
Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories - Chatherine Lundoff. What the label says -- mostly enjoyable, all queer.
A Second Chance - Jodi Taylor. Still enjoyable, but the "realism" is slipping more and more. Also Max isn't a nice person, luckily she's the protaganist.
Jade City - Fonda Lee. Good, get more in the city. Good eastern-magical-gangster fun.
Digger - Ursula Vernon. Re-read. I recommended it to someone, then accidentally reread the whole archive. Oops.

Hunger Makes the Wolf - Alex Wells ("they"). Quite good. I'd read more by them.
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Detroit and back for the weekend for Confusion.

Travel here went smoothly.

Convention was good -- saw a bunch of people, and especially enjoyed seeing tanac, netmouse, and ckd.

Flights home -- well, DTW -> YYZ has just been delayed twice, now scheduled for about 2 hours late -- luckily I have a long stop-over in Toronto for this trip (it was 5 hours -- now down to 3), so it seems likely I won't miss my connection. So far.

FCM

Jan. 13th, 2019 08:44 pm
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Unlike Daniel who ordered it while we played, I waited until the next day to order my copy of Food Chain Magnate. :)
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I often say, both to myself and to others, that "I don't cook, I can cook, but I just don't find it worth cooking for just myself". And in moments of self-reflection I wonder if this is a valid statement -- or is it some patriarchical bull-shit that I think to feel better about myself.

But, looking at this last vacation in Mexico, I think it is a reasonable statement. I cooked breakfast for our group (2 the first week, 3 the second week) every morning. What I made varied from day-to-day, and was made from a combination of primary (e.g. eggs, potatoes, onions) and secondary (e.g. salsa, chorizo, tortillas) ingredients. I also cooked a lunch on the day Kate arrived. And, I think the food generally turned out well.

And, this is consistent with previous vacations to Mexico, as well. When it is convenient to cook for more than just myself, I am competent at it, and I do do so.
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It is -15C out, we're expecting 10-15cm of snow tonight, possibly changing to freezing rain for the morning commute. What a great welcome home from Mexico!

The trip was good -- I climbed 12 days out of the 14 down there, despite having a minor cold for about 6 days of the trip. No big achievements climbing-wise, but lots of good climbs.
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Our internet wasn't working for a few days, but it is back now... so an update!

The weather this week has been perfect for climbing -- mostly sunny, daily highs in the low- to mid-twenties. Comfortable in the shade, a bit warm in the direct afternoon sun. But EPC has lots of shade if you want to find it.

I've been climbing solidly at the 5.10a level -- on-sighting several routes at that grade, falling on lead on a couple. Also, TRing with struggle a 10b and 10c.
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And now I wait in the airport for 3 hours for Helen to arrive. She was supposed to get here before me -- but her first flight out of Ottawa was cancelled, so instead she is arriving much later.
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I'm currently in YYZ on my way to El Potrero Chico for another holiday-season visit to some great climbing. I'll be down there for two weeks this time. :)
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That was, I think, a most excellent party. I had a great time, and I hope and think that everyone who attended also enjoyed themselves.

The party ran a bit later than it's intended end time -- but I have made it to the airport in lots of time for my flight, so all is good.
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I've done the shop for tonight's party. I tried to find a balance between enough food and too much left-overs as I leave first-thing (relatively speaking) Saturday morning for Mexico.

And, I've completed the packing, except for toiletries.
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