July 27th, 2007

20111112, Marilee

New Cleaning Person

I took packages to the post office, deposited my check, dropped a bag of things by the thrift shop, and had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's (white bean chicken chili and a baked potato). I'd arranged for a Latina neighbor who cleans for another gimp here to come see the place at 3pm and see if she wanted to clean and she did. The laminate surprised her -- the instructions say to use a dustmop if there aren't watermarks and such to wipe up and she'd never seen a dustmop before. She brought her own gimp -- her son has spina bifida and is pretty bright -- and liked the way the wheelchair moved on the laminate. She said $50 for every other week and I was paying $100 for every four weeks for the company that just closed, so this is definitely better. Her English is better than my Spanish, but I was able to catch words when she and her son spoke in Spanish.

I have given up and ordered very basic DSL from Verizon. $15 a month for this year and prices will go up after that and they don't say to what. If it goes up too much, I go back to dial-up. What prompted this was that I had Verizon out to swap the line from the additional outlet I had put in for the second line (only line now) for the computer to the many outlets for what had been the voice line (moving the computer to the dining room would have meant slinging the wire over an archway if I didn't change to the other line). She degraded performance in all outlets from 56.6 to 24.0-32.0 and I think they may have done that on purpose -- they don't guarantee data performance on voice lines. Once it becomes a DSL line (with voice), they don't guarantee the top speed, but I'm pretty sure if it's at 24.0kps, I should be able to get out without paying the cancellation fee.
20111112, Marilee

Asimov's August 2007

I didn't read the primary story because even though I like Bruce Sterling's work, I don't read Rudy Rucker and they co-wrote.

There were a number of okay stories in this issue, but the only one I really liked was Kathleen Ann Goonan's The Bridge. An odd woman comes to a private detective in Arlington who is still using non-nano technology. She wants him to do something and eventually he has to enter DC, which is a foggy zone of nanos. He's affected by the nanos and it changes him and how he solves her question. Very well-written.

There is a second novelette that I didn't enjoy as such, being mostly about Victorian seagoing, but the other thread was interesting. This is The Mists of Time by Tom Purdom. The descendant of the Victorian sea captain gives a grant to a time-travel company to make a recording of his ancestor's famous battle and capture of a slaver. He doesn't like the videoist they hired since she talks from the beginning of how the sailors are paid bounty for slaves, and pays more to go with her in the time bubble and make his personal recording.

The reason this was interesting to me was that when the bookgroup read Brave New World, I pointed out that it was very sexist and one of the guys said "That's just the time." Well, sure, but so was classism and he was satirizing that and not sexism, so he thought it was okay. The guy said again that it was just the time. Well, The Mists of Time has the second thread where the descendant saw it all from the time bubble as his ancestor's glory and the videoist saw it as mercenary and predatory, since the British sailors kept copping feels from the female slaves (the time bubble has to leave before we see the journey to port and any more depradations). It reminded me of the bookgroup discussion.
20111112, Marilee

Planet Earth Disk 4

As with the others, the Netflix lining was wrong. This one has Seasonal Forests and Deep Oceans. I loved the Deep Oceans one, with all the organisms and underwater volcanos and such. Beautiful pictures, and the Makings of were great, as usual.