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Marilee J. Layman

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October 22nd, 2011

12:09 am: Less Than a Week This Time!

Less than a week and I've been somewhat active starting Wednesday. I still hurt a lot, but not as bad as before, and I'm definitely still sleeping a lot. Yesterday, I was awake for 9 hours and slept for 15 hours, and not all at once. I was reading a Civil Rights book that had a lot of good reviews, Carry Me Home, but she wrote stiffly and moved back and forth in the lives of dozens of people. I would have had to make a PERT chart to follow. So one of my errands today was to drop it off at the library. Last night I started reading a fantasy and love it. I rarely like fantasies, but I like the other one I have by this author, and am looking forward to finishing the story. Speaking of reading, things go a lot faster when you have four new glasses. One progressive, one computer, and two reading glasses with the one in the bedroom using a titanium frame. That keeps me from having to take it back to my HMO's optical, etc., clinic and get it realigned because I read on my side. All together were $142, when here, just the progressives would be about $450.

My credit union is merging with a larger credit union that has services in several places in the country, but is the primary ATM in the county above us. I've done about half what I need to for the change, but some things I have to take care of closer or after. We can't do anything 10/28 to 11/1. Part of what I did was paying bills about 10 days early, without my check yet, so I ended up paying some with a credit card.

Tomorrow I'm taking the trash and recycling out and try to get more things done.

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12:25 am: DISH
This was put in last week and besides not being online much, I wanted to wait until I had a chance to use it for a while before I reported:

1. The guys who installed it were very good, asking me things and following through, telling me the way to do something primary on the remote and then I'd undo it without being told. A lot of it is very easy. It was a good choice to pick a DVR that has two tuners for one TV, for me, because it let me copy those two and on my personal two all at the same time, if I want.

2. For the next year my payment will be just a few cents less than half of what I was paying Comcast, and the year after, it'll be about a quarter less. For that much less, I can do a lot more than I could on Comcast.

3. There's a lot of personal choices to make once you're familiar with how it works and what you want. I like that.

There's two difficult things for me:

1. The DVR gets the day's info from the sat at 5am. I'm frequently up at 5am. It only takes a couple minutes, unless there's a big storm between the dish and the sat, so it's not that bad. I'm just pulled from what I was watching sometimes. Then again, I can get right back there when the DVR comes back on.

2. The remote has three primary sections on it, with some buttons around the sides, too. The lowest is the numbers, the middle is movement, and the top is managing the programs and guide. It's big for me to carry, and for a couple things I need to move from one of those sections to another, which means I have to hold the remote by one hand while I push buttons with the other.

So far, even those small difficult things still make DISH better than Comcast.

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12:48 am: Asimov's December 2011

Williams talks about the University of Kansas in Lawrence, how James Gunn runs an SF study, and some of the authors who took the classes. Silverberg posted about the Patagonian Giants. Peter Heck reviews Bloodshot by Cherie Priest, King of the North by Elizabeth Moon, Weight of Stone by Laura Anne Bilman, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, and DEEP FUTURE: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth by Curt Stager.

Connie Willis is finally back with a novella on Christmas, the secular part, not the religious part. Her story is called All About Emily and what we learn about Emily is indeed very interesting.

I also enjoyed:

Surf by Suzanne Palmer (with whom I used to post back and forth on Usenet) -- an individual helps keep space aliens from being killed by us.

Strawberry Birdies by Pamela Sargent -- is a bit like Mary Poppins, but more modern and stfnal.

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10:00 pm: The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein

I actually started reading this Thursday night --- I didn't get to sleep last night so I finished it. This is a really great book. Our protagonist, Will, meets a family that is part of a hidden Grimm tale. The family is worried about letting him and a friend know, but Will starts working on helping. Over a period of years, we not only meet fairies, bird-headed people, and six-inch people, but people related to an event almost a hundred years before. Will, with the family, has to make a lot of difficult decisions.

This has some light simularity to Jo Walton's Among Others as well as Katherine Blake's (Dorothy Heydt's) The Interior Life, but it is more modern, even though it starts in the hippie era.

The cover is wonderful.

I really really like this, the way I like the other book I have of hers, Dark Cities Underground. I'll have to read that again soon.

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