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Lord of LightLord of Light by Roger Zelazny

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Although he's best known for his Amber series, Lord of Light was unquestionably his greatest masterpiece - despite the fact that it's a remarkably slender book. Nonetheless, Zelazny managed to brilliantly combine science fiction, fantasy, and Hindu mythology in a truly...

Due to the acquisition of Goodreads by Amazon, the complete version of this review has been moved to two new homes:

http://www.librarything.com/work/2088...

http://pmaranci.booklikes.com/post/32...

If you, like me, object to what Amazon has done to the world of books, book lovers, and book shops, you can find many alternatives to GoodReads (for reviews) and to Amazon (for shopping) at the "Escaping Amazon" community [https://plus.google.com/communities/1...]. Our free public resource listing and describing alternatives is at [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/c...

Readers and their love of books are not commodities to be bought and sold - unless we allow it.




View all my reviews
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I haven't been pleased with Barnes & Noble's Nook Color. The book selection is relatively poor, and the prices are relatively high. Which is why I have been utterly delighted by Baen Books.

Not only do they offer a large selection of classic science fiction books for free, but they have a surprising number of books by classic and modern SF and fantasy authors for very reasonable prices. For example, they have quite a few of the Heinlein juveniles - which, I've been told, have often been out of print in recent years - for $5-$6 each. And they're well-formatted, have nice e-covers, and are available in many useful formats (including epub for the Nook and Kindle format too). What's more, they're not restricted by DRM, so you can download them to multiple devices.

I respect the hell out of a company that doesn't treat their customers as potential thieves. And so I've picked up a bunch of books from them for Sebastian, including most of the Heinlein juveniles as well as James H Schmitz's The Witches of Karres - a classic, and one of my favorites. Plus quite a few others! They can even be read online, on a computer, laptop, or tablet.

Most of their books are in the four to six-dollar range. I wish other ebook publishers had as much sense as Baen! But as it is, Baen has already gotten a lot more of my money than Barnes & Noble has. Or will, for that matter.
bobquasit: (Default)
Consumer Reports magazine wouldn't allow me to post this on their blog entry about Direct Buy. I won't be renewing my subscription.

Allow me to say what everyone with any sense already knows: the vast majority of pro-Direct Buy comments here and elsewhere online are made by paid employees of Direct Buy or their agents. They use the same sockpuppet language, the same stale old talking points. It's the old con: create a false controversy to keep suckers coming in. Swear that up is down and black is white, whatever it takes to separate the credulous from their cash.

The economy is in full-press Darwinian mode. The gullible have been selected for rendering. The truth is an impediment in this process, and must be countered with a plentiful helping of well-financed lies.

The sharks are telling us to come on in; the water is fine. Pay no attention to those shark-bite survivors screaming and frantically trying to warn you!
bobquasit: (Default)
Consumer Reports magazine wouldn't allow me to post this on their blog entry about Direct Buy. I won't be renewing my subscription.

Allow me to say what everyone with any sense already knows: the vast majority of pro-Direct Buy comments here and elsewhere online are made by paid employees of Direct Buy or their agents. They use the same sockpuppet language, the same stale old talking points. It's the old con: create a false controversy to keep suckers coming in. Swear that up is down and black is white, whatever it takes to separate the credulous from their cash.

The economy is in full-press Darwinian mode. The gullible have been selected for rendering. The truth is an impediment in this process, and must be countered with a plentiful helping of well-financed lies.

The sharks are telling us to come on in; the water is fine. Pay no attention to those shark-bite survivors screaming and frantically trying to warn you!
bobquasit: (Rorschach)
Inspired by yet another mailing from the Discover card people, I tried to opt out of "pre-screened" mailings from the credit-card industry today. They nearly bankrupted us seven years ago, so that was a no-brainer.

I went through a long, annoying phone call with an irritatingly pleasant robo-voice.

And then they demanded that I give them my full social security number.

"Hell no!" I said, and slammed the phone down.

Credit card industry = 1, Me = 0

Anyone have any suggestions?
bobquasit: (Rorschach)
Inspired by yet another mailing from the Discover card people, I tried to opt out of "pre-screened" mailings from the credit-card industry today. They nearly bankrupted us seven years ago, so that was a no-brainer.

I went through a long, annoying phone call with an irritatingly pleasant robo-voice.

And then they demanded that I give them my full social security number.

"Hell no!" I said, and slammed the phone down.

Credit card industry = 1, Me = 0

Anyone have any suggestions?

Earphones

May. 13th, 2010 05:39 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Note to self: bought a pair of cheap Sony earphones at Best Buy today. Plus a two-year warranty.

Earphones

May. 13th, 2010 05:39 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Note to self: bought a pair of cheap Sony earphones at Best Buy today. Plus a two-year warranty.
bobquasit: (Default)
We got a new bill from Cox on Friday. It's about $65 less than the last one. No one has called us or explained this to us. We're really confused. Is someone at Cox just making up our bill every month?

"This month, let's charge them $200. Then next month $135. After that, in order, $179, $209, and then $196.93 to really confuse them. They'll never question their bill again!"

By coincidence (I presume) we also got a mailing the same day from Verizon. They're offering FIOS service in our area - we think. But it's a bit confusing, because their TV is apparently via DirecTV. They didn't quite spell out if it was FIOS or not (that's the implication I get, though), and there are various tiers of service which don't include a price. I don't like it when an offer isn't clear, and I don't care for low introductory prices that are followed by unspecified increases after the introductory period ends.
bobquasit: (Default)
We got a new bill from Cox on Friday. It's about $65 less than the last one. No one has called us or explained this to us. We're really confused. Is someone at Cox just making up our bill every month?

"This month, let's charge them $200. Then next month $135. After that, in order, $179, $209, and then $196.93 to really confuse them. They'll never question their bill again!"

By coincidence (I presume) we also got a mailing the same day from Verizon. They're offering FIOS service in our area - we think. But it's a bit confusing, because their TV is apparently via DirecTV. They didn't quite spell out if it was FIOS or not (that's the implication I get, though), and there are various tiers of service which don't include a price. I don't like it when an offer isn't clear, and I don't care for low introductory prices that are followed by unspecified increases after the introductory period ends.

Status

Oct. 27th, 2009 12:06 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Lots to tell about.

My hand still hurts, so I'm taking a regular dose of ibuprofen twice a day. The bruising has faded somewhat.

I still can't put pressure on it in the direction I fell; it hurts too much. I called the urgentcare clinic where I had it x-rayed, and they confirmed that it's not broken. I may call my doctor if it doesn't feel a lot better soon.
Read more... )

Status

Oct. 27th, 2009 12:06 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Lots to tell about.

My hand still hurts, so I'm taking a regular dose of ibuprofen twice a day. The bruising has faded somewhat.

I still can't put pressure on it in the direction I fell; it hurts too much. I called the urgentcare clinic where I had it x-rayed, and they confirmed that it's not broken. I may call my doctor if it doesn't feel a lot better soon.
Read more... )
bobquasit: (Default)
I give up. The DuPont faucet filter had the same problems that all the other ones did; roughly one out of four filters worked properly, and the rest lasted a week or less.

Our water is NOT hard or particularly bad. So my best guess is that hot water is occasionally feeding into the cold water, and thereby ruining the filters.

So this weekend we bought a Brita dispenser, one of the big ones with a tap in the front, and put it in the refrigerator. We'll see how it works out. I'm going to fill it by filling up a pitcher and then pouring that water into the dispenser; that way if there's a surge of hot water, it will never reach the filter (the heat being moderated by being mixed with all the water in the pitcher first). Also, the filter itself will be cooler because it's in the refrigerator!

Unfortunately the Brita filter apparently doesn't filter anywhere near as much stuff as the DuPont did, but we can't afford to buy new filters every week.
bobquasit: (Default)
I give up. The DuPont faucet filter had the same problems that all the other ones did; roughly one out of four filters worked properly, and the rest lasted a week or less.

Our water is NOT hard or particularly bad. So my best guess is that hot water is occasionally feeding into the cold water, and thereby ruining the filters.

So this weekend we bought a Brita dispenser, one of the big ones with a tap in the front, and put it in the refrigerator. We'll see how it works out. I'm going to fill it by filling up a pitcher and then pouring that water into the dispenser; that way if there's a surge of hot water, it will never reach the filter (the heat being moderated by being mixed with all the water in the pitcher first). Also, the filter itself will be cooler because it's in the refrigerator!

Unfortunately the Brita filter apparently doesn't filter anywhere near as much stuff as the DuPont did, but we can't afford to buy new filters every week.
bobquasit: (Default)
"Have an HP printer set to greyscale to conserve the color cartridges. Color cartridges are still being depleted. Why?"

Because HP's printer software is designed to lie to you. This is pretty much an industry-wide problem; almost all printer companies sell their printers at or below cost, and make their profits by selling grossly overpriced ink cartridges. They deliberately design the printer software to tell you that you're out of ink long before you actually are. Some of them will actually stop the printer from printing, even if it has enough ink!

The printers also have sponges inside which are solely designed to soak up ink and waste it. Every time you clean the printer head(s) (as the software often recommends), it simply squirts a large amount of ink into those sponges.

I have an Epson printer. I hardly ever use it. Because when I do, it tells me that I'm critically low on ink, and tries to force me to buy new ink - from Epson. There's a box to turn off the low ink warning, but it's purely an exercise in frustration; it turns itself back on EVERY TIME! I hate Epson (which is ironic, since I used to be a fan).

Kodak recently started trying honesty with their customers (http://printandprosper.com). Their printers are now more expensive, but the ink is reasonably priced - about $10 per cartridge, I believe. That makes a lot more sense to me. I hate not letting my son print out his pictures because I'm afraid of running out of ink. The whole point of having a printer is to USE it! So when the ink finally runs out of my Epson, I'll be buying a Kodak.

By the way, someone may suggest that you take out the ink cartridges and reinstall them. Unfortunately they have magnetic codes built in which your printer will recognize; it will not reset the cartridge life, and will probably refuse to print altogether!
bobquasit: (Default)
"Have an HP printer set to greyscale to conserve the color cartridges. Color cartridges are still being depleted. Why?"

Because HP's printer software is designed to lie to you. This is pretty much an industry-wide problem; almost all printer companies sell their printers at or below cost, and make their profits by selling grossly overpriced ink cartridges. They deliberately design the printer software to tell you that you're out of ink long before you actually are. Some of them will actually stop the printer from printing, even if it has enough ink!

The printers also have sponges inside which are solely designed to soak up ink and waste it. Every time you clean the printer head(s) (as the software often recommends), it simply squirts a large amount of ink into those sponges.

I have an Epson printer. I hardly ever use it. Because when I do, it tells me that I'm critically low on ink, and tries to force me to buy new ink - from Epson. There's a box to turn off the low ink warning, but it's purely an exercise in frustration; it turns itself back on EVERY TIME! I hate Epson (which is ironic, since I used to be a fan).

Kodak recently started trying honesty with their customers (http://printandprosper.com). Their printers are now more expensive, but the ink is reasonably priced - about $10 per cartridge, I believe. That makes a lot more sense to me. I hate not letting my son print out his pictures because I'm afraid of running out of ink. The whole point of having a printer is to USE it! So when the ink finally runs out of my Epson, I'll be buying a Kodak.

By the way, someone may suggest that you take out the ink cartridges and reinstall them. Unfortunately they have magnetic codes built in which your printer will recognize; it will not reset the cartridge life, and will probably refuse to print altogether!
bobquasit: (Default)
Petro left a voicemail for us yesterday. They want us to call them to discuss our account. I hope they're not going to try to hit us for a cancellation fee, because our contract expired.

Incidentally, when we cancelled Teri told me to ask them to send us a hard copy confirmation that our account had been cancelled. The operator got annoyed and said "Your account is cancelled. I just cancelled it."

I wonder what they're going to say? I'm not going to be calling them, of course. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with them. If they want to talk to me, they can call when I'm in. But they're not going to get any more money out of me.

Petro screwed us once, and stole a thousand dollars from us. That's it, as far as I'm concerned.
bobquasit: (Default)
Petro left a voicemail for us yesterday. They want us to call them to discuss our account. I hope they're not going to try to hit us for a cancellation fee, because our contract expired.

Incidentally, when we cancelled Teri told me to ask them to send us a hard copy confirmation that our account had been cancelled. The operator got annoyed and said "Your account is cancelled. I just cancelled it."

I wonder what they're going to say? I'm not going to be calling them, of course. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with them. If they want to talk to me, they can call when I'm in. But they're not going to get any more money out of me.

Petro screwed us once, and stole a thousand dollars from us. That's it, as far as I'm concerned.
bobquasit: (Default)
It turned out they didn't have either of the pastries that I wanted. So I got a muffin. That and my coffee was on the house, and they said the pastry would be free next time, too. I also got about fifty apologies, none of which were necessary.

That much cheerfullness is hard to cope with, particularly early in the morning when I'm as tired as this...
bobquasit: (Default)
It turned out they didn't have either of the pastries that I wanted. So I got a muffin. That and my coffee was on the house, and they said the pastry would be free next time, too. I also got about fifty apologies, none of which were necessary.

That much cheerfullness is hard to cope with, particularly early in the morning when I'm as tired as this...

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