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Chris Branch
02 January 2008 @ 10:49 pm
My list of books read for 2007 (45), ranked by how much I liked them on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best!). Re-reads are in parentheses, so you can see that my favorites this year were ones that I already knew I liked.
But the 7's and 8's were well worth my reading time too!

10 (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Adams)
9 (Watership Down, Adams)
9 (Anansi Boys, Gaiman)
9 (Three Days To Never, Powers)
8 (Bride of the Rat God, Hambly)
8 The Algebraist, Banks
8 The Book of Air and Shadows, Gruber
8 The Lies of Locke Lamora, Lynch
8 The Android’s Dream, Scalzi
8 Gatherer of Clouds, Russell
8 Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Dennett
8 (The Golden Compass, Pullman)
8 Red Seas Under Red Skies, Lynch
8 World Without End, Russell
7 The Iron Bridge, Morse
7 The Initiate Brother, Russell
7 The Alienist, Carr
7 The Machine’s Child, Baker
7 (Infernal Devices, Jeter)
7 Hoot, Hiaasen
7 Altered Carbon, Morgan
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rowling
6 The Life of the World To Come, Baker
6 His Majesty’s Dragon, Novik
6 Snake Agent, Williams
6 Tuning the Rig, Oxenhorn
6 The Boss, Pottinger
6 The Raw Shark Texts, Hall
6 (Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Archer)
6 Nine Layers of Sky, Williams
6 Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Priest
6 Map of Bones, Rollins
5 King David’s Spaceship, Pournelle
5 The Wizard Hunters, Wells
5 Darwin’s Blade, Simmons
5 The Prize, Yergin
5 Neuromancer, Gibson
5 Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer, Smith
5 The Somnambulist, Barnes
5 The Girl with the Long Green Heart, Block
5 Inkheart, Funke
4 Air, Ryman
4 The Children of Hurin, Tolkien
4 Orient Express, Greene
3 Project Pope, Simak
Chris Branch
14 November 2007 @ 09:14 am
Okay, just a note to report that NaNoWriMo was going just fine for me this year - sure, I have been extremely busy both at work and home, so I've been staying up until 1:00 or 2:00 every night (morning!), but I managed to keep to my word count goal every day, on track for a 100K word month.

Unfortunately, yesterday I had to call it a night at 800 words short. So, for the record, here's where I am:

Hmm, actually I don't think that's a snapshot; it will probably update as I proceed, so I should mention that it says 42564. And as anyone on a 100K pace knows, I should have been at 43333. Will I make up the difference tonight? Stay tuned!

Chris Branch
19 June 2007 @ 10:50 pm
Neil Peart can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend.

But Alex and Geddy are willing to give it a shot.

Believe it or not, this was taken last Friday - and if I do say so myself, I look pretty much like the kid I was in '83 when I got that Signals jersey I'm wearing.
Current Mood: happyhappy
Chris Branch
02 January 2007 @ 11:00 pm
Normally I post this as a comment to lonesomenumber1's list, but I guess it more properly belongs here, and anyway my own journal has few enough entries as it is.

The number of books (about 50) is a record for me, which I somehow managed to do in addition to writing a record number of words for NaNoWriMo in November (100K) and thus doing virtually no reading during that month!

Rather than order them alphabetically by author or title or even chronologically, they're in order by my personal rating on a scale from 1 to 10 on the left side, thus also addressing the obvious question "Well, did you like them?" Books in parentheses are re-reads. Yes, I re-read Julian May's entire Pliocene Exile/Galactic Milieu series; it's one of my faves. And yes, I am aware that one book on my list is a children's book and that another is only 20+ pages long, and as long as I'm disclosing fully, the last three I did not exactly read cover to cover, nor did I rate them, as they were not read for pleasure.

9 Anansi Boys, Gaiman
9 Before the Dawn, Wade
9 (Diamond Mask, May)
9 Night of the Jaguar, Gruber
9 (The Golden Torc, May)
9 (The Many-Colored Land, May)
9 The System of the World, Stephenson
8 Improbable, Fawer
8 (Jack the Bodiless, May)
8 (Magnificat, May)
8 Mockingbird, Stewart
8 (The Adversary, May)
8 The Confusion, Stephenson)
8 (The Nonborn King, May)
8 The Story of the Stone, Hughart
8 Three Days to Never, Powers
7 Collapse, Diamond
7 Coyote Blue, Moore
7 (King Rat, Mieville)
7 Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Einstein
7 Resurrection Man, Stewart
7 Roadshow, Peart
7 Sammy’s Hill, Gore
7 The Coffee Trader, Liss
7 The Graveyard Game, Baker
7 The Language of God, Collins
7 The Log From the Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck
7 (The Metaconcert, May)
7 (The Surveillance, May)
6 Beyond the Outer Shores, Tamm
6 Eight Skilled Gentlemen, Hughart
6 Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Clarke
6 Religion and Science, Russell
6 Spin State, Moriarty
6 The Calcutta Chromosome, Ghosh
6 The Codex, Preston
6 Toad Heaven, Gleitzman
5 Mendoza in Hollywood, Baker
5 The Bible Repairman, Powers
5 The Geographer’s Library, Fasman
5 The Planets, Sobel
4 Baudolino, Eco
4 Iron Council, Mieville
4 King Solomon’s Mines, Haggard
4 Saving Fish From Drowning, Tan
4 Sixpence House, Collins
4 Write Away, George
3 Cannery Row, Steinbeck
3 Towing Jehovah, Morrow
- Java Programming, Farrell
- Migrating to IPv6, Blanchet
- The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure, Kowalski
Chris Branch
12 June 2006 @ 10:23 pm
More cat stuff. Since teddystutz has presented the pic of their new one, here is ours. Muffin (left) joins Peppermint so we are back to being a two cat household. As you can see, they are getting along just fine. As far as the cutesy food names, blame my eight-year-old. The last one I got to name was Juliet.

Current Mood: contentcontent
Chris Branch
22 May 2006 @ 10:33 pm
I mentioned on the Powers list a while back the passing of Juliet, our 13-year-old Maine Coon. I thought I'd just post one of the last pictures of her. As you can see, she was already contemplating a voyage. She will be missed!

Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Chris Branch
04 March 2004 @ 09:23 pm
I was wondering... seems like this is something I should have wondered about before now - I guess I'm slow, but anyway, I was wondering:

Why are states given the freedom to choose a primary date when the primary leads up to a federal election? Isn't it obvious that this gives more influence to the primaries held earlier and makes all but irrelevant the later primaries?

I realize that states have many reasons for choosing the dates they do; that's not my question, I'm asking why there isn't a federal law that sets the date so that states must rearrange their business to conform to it. The inconvenience to the state governments would seem to be a lesser concern than having a system in which voters in all states are treated equally.

I have a theory, but I don't like it, so I'm curious what others think.
Chris Branch
08 April 2003 @ 11:27 pm
Kind of silly to have a journal with no entries, I guess, so I offer this placeholder until I come up with something more significant to say.

Here's what I ought to believe, and sometimes even claim to:

"The bosses get talking so tough
And if that wasn't evil enough
We get the drunken and passionate pride
Of the citizens along for the ride

They shoot without shame
In the name of a piece of dirt
For a change of accent
Or the colour of your shirt

Better the pride that resides
In a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides
When a colourful rag is unfurled"

- Rush, Territories (Power Windows, 1985)

But here's what I'm finding myself actually believing:

"If man does find the solution for world peace it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known."
- George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

It's not cynicism, though - I'm the most optimistic person I know! It's a kind of scientific realism I guess. Anyway, for what that's worth!