Just a Lifetime

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About Just a Lifetime

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    Still the band plays on (relieved!)
  • Birthday 12/15/1983

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    http://www.davidschaich.net

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    Liverpool

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  1. That it is---though, by coincidence, I listened to People of the Sun last night, and that's what popped up in my mind upon reading the song title. Similar name, slightly different vibe...
  2. Also False Value by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London book 8) coming out in November, which I just pre-ordered. Abercrombie had a tour event today at the Waterstones ~3 blocks from me, but unfortunately I didn't get back from a work trip until a couple hours after it ended.
  3. Regarding Facebook profiles circa 2005, a classmate told me: “You should set your sexual orientation to ‘Robot’.” By which I figure he meant that I don’t come across as much of a horndog, and not that he thinks I got the hots for teh bots. But I considered it weird anyway.
  4. Cancelled flight. Assuming the travel center’s take-a-number system is using base 10, then there are more than 850 people still in line ahead of me. Fortunately I just have a carry-on bag.
  5. Personally I felt the dramatic improvement started with book four, Summer Knight. If I recall correctly, Butcher was only picked up by an editor after the first three books had already been written, and I think having an editor made a massive difference. I considered giving up on the series after the third book, but I'm very glad I gave it another chance. For my part, I am now most of the way through The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin. Over the weekend I finally found my way to a local independent bookstore (several months after moving to Liverpool), where I picked up this short history book about the period in the '80s when the Trotskyist group Militant controlled the local government, which I expect will be my next read.
  6. Those look like good lists from Invocation and Dunkum. Some of the items remind me of a couple of books I read recently: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning and How to Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use. For example, Make It Stick emphasizes the importance of spreading out studying in small chunks, but also reviews evidence that some popular study techniques (especially just re-reading textbooks or notes) are ineffective compared to techniques that force you to retrieve information from memory. I found a nice ~8-minute summary on YouTube that might be all you need---the book itself reviews lots of cognitive psychology research studies to convince skeptics, which may be overkill for you. The 40 strategies in How To Be Miserable include things like "Don't waste your life in bed" and "Give 100% to your work"---which translate to pieces of advice that Invocation and Dunkum gave, assuming you don't want to be miserable. There is also a nice ~6-minute video adapted from this book, which is possibly my single favorite video on YouTube. I can also add that your "planner" could be either digital or paper (or you could use both). I rocked the paper planner when I was a student, but that was long enough ago that the Internet was not yet ubiquitous. Now that I'm a (math) professor I mostly use Trello, which is free but might also be overkill for you. I definitely agree that classes will tend to go better the more interested and engaged you are, and that office hours and other resources are there for you to use. Short story: When I had to complete a history distribution requirement in my senior year, I took advantage of my college's add/drop period to check out three different possibilities during the first week of classes. The Middle East history class I was initially planning to take turned out to be a real drag (the professor droned for 80 minutes straight over PowerPoint slides), and I was delighted to switch to a Japanese history class in which the professor asked questions and encouraged discussion.
  7. Yeah, The Wheel of Time is definitely worth checking out if the size isn't off-putting, especially since it influenced Brandon so much. Another influence that may be worth considering is Discworld, though the genre is a bit different. Speaking of different genre, I know a Sanderfan who liked Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London urban fantasy series after I suggested it to her. This person also happens to be a librarian who has given me some good suggestions on her blog. A sci-fi recommendation of hers that I enjoyed last year was the Keiko trilogy by Mike Brooks. PS. I just checked Brooks's Web site to see if he has any plans for more Keiko books, and saw that instead he is writing an epic fantasy trilogy, with the first book's release planned for next summer.
  8. Well, there are already a fair few recommendation threads floating around this site, but this would be a good place to mention that I definitely recommend the book I read most recently: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (finally). I read her Inheritance Trilogy over the past few years and came to The Fifth Season with high expectations that were easily surpassed. I was a little surprised that The Fifth Season was less self-contained than the individual books in The Inheritance Trilogy. This made me sorely tempted to keep going straight into The Obelisk Gate, but I managed to change gears and am now reading Ben Aaronovitch's latest novella, The October Man. (Aaronovitch writes fun urban fantasy that I enjoy but doesn't sound like the exact genre you're looking for.)
  9. Jacqueline Carey's Banewreaker/Godslayer duology is in essence an 'alternative' Lord of the Rings where Sauron & his crew are the (anti-)heroes while Gandalf is the villain (along with the rest of the Valar and Maiar) and the hobbits are his clueless pawns. I read this on a recommendation from GRRM and ended up with mixed feelings about it: I liked the ending, but the setting and characters seemed infodumped and underdeveloped, perhaps as a consequence of leaning so heavily on The Lord of the Rings. While Abercrombie's First Law trilogy doesn't really have "designated good guy(s)", Bayaz is set up like that at least to some extent in the earlier parts of the series.
  10. These are more than words that the false prophet sings
    They're promises of what tomorrow brings

     

  11. Yeah, that's one of the selling points for 750words.com. Although I pay for that site, I think it's over-priced---free alternatives include writehoney.com and 3pages.fr.
  12. I am enjoying Derry Girls. I think this is the article that brought it to my attention, describing it as "hysterically funny and occasionally profoundly moving".
  13. Wiggling buttocks enliven existential hell of Brexit debate: Semi-naked protest in [House of] Commons was no weirder than anything else that goes on there these days
  14. Welcome! Are you already listening to Writing Excuses?
  15. I have a vague recollection of people talking about "Disco Rand" in Sweet's provisional cover art for The Gathering Storm. (His final cover art was significantly improved.) Warning: The provisional cover art features a minor spoiler (another reason it was changed). I like the ebook "covers" they put out after Brandon started working on the series. These even helped me overcome my initial reluctance to use an ereader back in the day. (No spoilers here, just reducing the size of the post.)