not what I expected to do this week

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:30 pm
mrkinch: Treize and Zechs clasping white-gloved hands (treize)
[personal profile] mrkinch
So I just finished a surprise re-watch of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, my first all-in fandom about fifteen years ago. For all it's philosophically incomprehensible, I was still completely engaged, and the end is INTENSE. I mean, I remembered more or less what happens but gosh. Anyway, now I want all my old fav fics. Of course. Dacia's site is still up, though she says she's going to shut it down, and Gundam Wing Addiction, and Mel and Christy's, too! This could be great, or I may find my taste in fic has changed too much. We shall see!
just_ann_now: (Seasonal: Summer: Goldfinch)
[personal profile] just_ann_now
News flash! )

What I Just Finished Reading

I really hit the jackpot in terms of reading this week; the only near-miss was caused by my own lack of planning. *kicks self*

A Tyranny of Queens, by Foz Meadows, the sequel to An Accident of Stars. I did this book a terrible injustice by not rereading the first one before this sequel. I remembered Safi and Gwen, but lost track of most everyone else. So it was a good read, but not the great and engrossing one it could have been for me. So I'm planning a reread of both.

Behind the Throne and After the Crown, by K.B. Wagers. If you love Star Wars but wanted more intrigue, and less explosions, these books are for you! (There are still plenty of explosions, though. YAY EXPLOSIONS.) Non-stop action, fun characterization, unusual South Asian based worldbuilding! I devoted pretty much two whole days of my life to these books last week, and I don't regret it one bit. Third book in the series coming this fall!

Traitor's Blade, by Sebastien De Castell. This is a hilarious, snarky take on The Three Musketeers, and probably any number of other things. Four big fat thick books in this series!

What I Am Currently Reading

Knight's Shadow, the sequel to Traitor's Blade, because it was sitting right there at the library. How could I resist? Still a wild ride, but now with even more fierce female characters!

What I Am Reading Next

Next up is the Frances Hardinge Festival (which was postponed when Knight's Shadow showed up) featuring Fly by Night and its sequel, Fly Trap. So many hilarious quotes from these books on Goodreads - how could I resist?

I am out of exclamation points, so I will stop now *giggle snort* What are all of you up to today?

7/16/2017 Richmond Shoreline

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:43 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Two hours at the shoreline in mid-July? Still pretty damned boring. Shorebird migration is supposed to be happening by now, but you wouldn't know it where I was. Could have have been the hour (noon is late for land birds) or the tide (bracketing low tide is bad planning, but see below), but while I saw a hundred or so willets moving about there were only small numbers of the other large shorebirds, a few dowitchers, and no smaller peeps. When the most surprising bird is a black-crowned night heron it is not an exciting day. Still, the large waders were out in force; aside from the night-heron there were a number of snowy egrets, two or maybe three great blue herons, and a great egret. Other fun sightings were as many as three black oystercatchers inside Richmond Harbor and six brown pelicans surface feeding just off shore. Pretty damned boring: )

Also saw a spectacular anise swallowtail.

Despite the lack of thrilling birds I can't regret getting out, only that it took me til noon Sunday to manage it, and so I went out at a crappy time because it was then or never. I know that if I don't get out by sunrise I'm probably not going anywhere that day because I've missed the crowd-free window. But it's looking like if I don't get out Friday I'm doomed to inactivity all weekend. Absolutely have to get myself out Friday morning.

7/12/2017 Volmer Peak & Seaview Trail

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:27 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I went out with DW for a few hours this morning. A beautiful day, getting hot in the later morning but most of Seaview Trail is covered by a breeze from off-shore that makes it comfortable. July and August are quiet as far as unusual migrants and the only birds still singing are year-round residents such as wrens, towhees, and juncos. At least we made the twelve-bird minimum: )

Most of our sightings were families, nestlings heard and fledglings seen everywhere, especially juncos and nuthatches. Also a surprising number of juvenile spotted towhees, which always confuse me.
just_ann_now: (Seasonal: Summer: Daylilies)
[personal profile] just_ann_now
Summer is become very summery in my garden! We've had a few hummingbirds, but the bigger excitement in the garden has been the sighting of hummingbird moths!

(Photo not by me, because there's now way I'd be able to get that.) WOW.

What I Just Finished Reading

Wool, by Hugh Howey, a self-published novella which is apparently the start of the Silo series, but I wasn't really engaged by it (and not in the mood for yet another distopian series) so didn't pursue any further.

Conspiracy of Ravens, by Lila Bowen, which was the sequel to Wake of Vultures. I didn't enjoy this one has much as I did the other; it seemed lacking in that sense of rambunctious joy despite the vampires/werewolves/chupacabras/whatever that infused the first book. This one felt like it was trying just a little bit too hard.

The Prey of the Gods, by Nicky Draden, which I did enjoy to pieces, ohmigosh, an unusual plot and setting, GREAT characters, fun, witty writing, four stars all around!

What I Am Currently Reading

Ally, Book 4 in the Wess'har War series. The further I delve into this series, the more impressed I am with the deft plotting, characterization, sly wit, and incisive observation. There's no black nor white here, but a varied palette of greys, providing much food for thought.

Behind the Throne, by K.B. Wagers. The back cover blurb compares this kickass heroine to Han Solo, Leia, and Rey; I'd definitely add Jyn Erso to that list too. I've only read a little bit but I'm impressed so far.

What I Am Reading Next

After the Crown, the sequel to Before the Throne, because it was right there in front of me.

Of Sorrow and Such, by Angela Slatter, as recommended by [personal profile] ribby.

A Tyranny of Queens, by Foz Meadows, which I feel like I've been waiting for forever!

Question of the Day: Peek out your nearest window. What do you see? I see a cardinal out at my bird feeder, chirping away. He's not bothered by the heat at all.

I'd totally forgotten

Jul. 9th, 2017 05:36 pm
mrkinch: albatross soaring (Default)
[personal profile] mrkinch
The other day when I went to actually delete the lj I haven't use in a decade, it came to my attention that I own a community, [ profile] tolkien100, and the last post is only two years ago! Amazing! Anyway, going back through my friends's page (which stops at 30? wtf?), there are no posts by personal journals save [ profile] fileg. (I unfollowed anyone there that I follow here.) Wow. There were a lot more than that the last time I checked. I posted the announcement/query both to the comm and to my journal, but will anyone see it? Are folks monitoring lj even though they aren't posting? I'm offering the comm to anyone that wants it (after I import it and delete my posts from the original), but who even is there?

I'm giving it a month, then I'll do the thing, including moving that Sean icon over here. Yes!

7/9/2017 Inspiration Trail

Jul. 9th, 2017 10:43 am
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Got to the parking lot 6:30 ish and it was back to blowing fog, for which I imagine Contra Costa County is extremely grateful. It wasn't too bad east of the ridge, and I walked past the first gate and down almost to the fork in the trail. Unfortunately there were cattle loitering about the junction and I didn't have the energy to deal with them twice, since the trail is not a loop. Quiet on the way north except for quail, with babies and sounding like robins, but by the time I was south of the power lines again the wind and fog had died away and the birds were out. Nearly all the species on today's very short list were active amongst the pines and poison oak along the sunny, sheltered east slope of the ridge. That very short list: )

So a good trail despite not being a loop: no bikes, no dogs, essentially no people, and it had been graded since June 30, so probably didn't need bug stuff. I met three people today, all women, all birders, two of whom I knew (they'd seen an owl and some MacGillivray's warblers, dang it). When I emerged a little after 9 am, the parking lot and beyond was filled with cars and there were people everywhere. I'm so glad to have an alternative trail for weekends. The cattle are bound to move around so I can go further another time.

The view to the north )


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