George V. Reilly

Review: The Dead of Winter

Title: The Dead of Winter
Author: Lee Collins
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Angry Robot
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 377
Keywords: Dark Fantasy
Reading period: 28–30 January, 2016

Cora Oglesby and her husband Ben have been slaying monsters and slinging guns all over the Old West for years, ever since the Civil War ended. In a bitterly cold winter, on the outskirts of a silver-mining town in Colorado, they take down a wendigo and then a nest of vampires.

Cora is tough and hardened and takes no crap from anyone, man or monster. But she’s damaged too, more than we realize at first. I thought the first-time author did a decent job of writing a paranormal Western: the tale continue.

Toastmasters Contest Chair

I’ve played many roles at Freely Speaking Toast­mas­ters over the last twelve years, but I’ve never before chaired a contest.

Every spring, Toast­mas­ters runs the In­ter­na­tion­al Speech and Evaluation Contests. In the autumn, the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests are held. The contests are held in most clubs; each club’s winners advance to the area contests; thence to the division contest; and finally to the district contest.

I’ve par­tic­i­pat­ed in each of the contests in the past, making it to the area contests and oc­ca­sion­al­ly the division. I’m not competing this spring, so I’m going to run our club’s contest instead.

I sent this email to the members tonight:

I am the Contest Chair for our continue.

URLs from Unicode Strings

New post at the MetaBrite Dev Blog.

Review: The Bugles Blowing

Title: The Bugles Blowing
Author: Nicolas Freeling
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Vintage
Copyright: 1975
Pages: 261
Keywords: crime
Reading period: 20–28 January, 2016

The President of France must decide whether to commute a death sentence. A senior civil servant, finding both his wife and his daughter in flagrante delicto with an artist, shot them all dead. Inspector Henri Castang, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing officer, is summoned to the Élysée Palace. There is no doubt as to the accused’s guilt. He admits it and seems to welcome the death sentence.

Freeling’s novel examines the French judicial system. We’ve all heard that the Napoleonic Code says that a man is presumed guilty until proven innocent, but in fact, under the continue.

Review: The Big Short (film)

We saw The Big Short tonight, which does a creditable job of explaining the basics of the 2008 financial collapse. It’s written as a comedy-drama, which makes it far more watchable and en­ter­tain­ing than a more sober doc­u­men­tary. The infodumps are cleverly handled, often breaking the fourth wall with celebrity explainers. The characters let their anger and outrage at Wall Street fraud­u­lence bleed through oc­ca­sion­al­ly, as well they should. I’m appalled that not only did no one go to jail, but that the too-big-to-fail banks are bigger now than they ever were.

Rec­om­mend­ed.

Review: The Liberties of London

Title: The Liberties of London
Author: Gregory House
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 147
Keywords: historical mystery
Reading period: 6–27 January, 2016

Red Ned Bedwell is an apprentice lawyer in Tudor London. He’s trying to fatten his purse by running the Christmas Revels for his fellow clerks, but he’s entrusted with minding a young innocent and keeping him from harm and temptation. The innocent is not nearly as naïve as his over­bear­ing mother believes and Ned must follow his trail through the stews of London.

The book is good at recreating the daily life of Tudor London in 1529 as the Re­for­ma­tion is developing under Henry VIII. The continue.

First Hill Streetcar

The new streetcar line that runs from Pioneer Square to First Hill and Capitol Hill opened on Saturday. I rode it this evening to get from First & Jackson to Broadway & Pine, a three-mile ride that took a full half-hour in the early evening. The streetcar is clean and pleasant and tem­porar­i­ly free to ride, but it has no dedicated lane. Car drivers are still un­ac­cus­tomed to it and the streetcar driver had to blow his horn several times at cars that were blocking our progress.

The new light rail extension line will open in March, connecting Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium. It’s several months early and more than $100 million continue.

Spoon Theory

I came across Spoon Theory today:

The basic idea is that [the chron­i­cal­ly ill] have a limited number of spoons available for the day and each action will cost a given number of them – the more demanding the task, the more spoons would be required. The phrase "running low on spoons" can be a useful way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing the need for rest

Emily Band

I see this sometime with Emma: her various illnesses and sen­si­tiv­i­ties catch up with her and she has little capacity to get things done for a few days. At other times, such as today, she has quite a reasonable amount of energy or “spoons”.

I enjoy good health, as confirmed at my continue.

Review: The Fuller Memorandum

Title: The Fuller Memorandum
Author: Charles Stross
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Publisher: Ace
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 320
Keywords: Love­craft­ian spy thriller
Series: Laundry Files, vol. 3
Reading period: 16–18 January, 2016

Bob Howard is a com­pu­ta­tion­al de­mo­nolo­gist working for the secretive British agency known as the “Laundry”. Some very nasty people are trying to hasten the end of the world, there’s a mole in the Laundry, and Bob’s superior, the mys­te­ri­ous­ly ageless Angleton, is missing. Bob moves back and forth between vicious office politics and es­cha­to­log­i­cal terrors. The Fuller Memorandum is fast-paced and darkly humorous. Rec­om­mend­ed.

Sequel to The Jennifer Morgue. More at Charlie Stross’s Crib Sheet and the Laundry Files Wiki.

Nose Test Discovery

I figured out why I saw the following error every time I ran Nose:

======================================================================
ERROR: Failure: TypeError (type() takes 1 or 3 arguments)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File ".../lib/python2.7/site-packages/nose-1.3.7-py2.7.egg/nose/loader.py", line 523, in makeTest
    return self._makeTest(obj, parent)
  File ".../lib/python2.7/site-packages/nose-1.3.7-py2.7.egg/nose/loader.py", line 582, in _makeTest
    return MethodTestCase(obj)
  File ".../lib/python2.7/site-packages/nose-1.3.7-py2.7.egg/nose/case.py", line 345, in __init__
    self.inst = self.cls()
TypeError: type() takes 1 or 3 arguments

It turns out that one module was importing a class called TestApi which had a class­method called run_in­te­gra­tion_tests. The module itself had no tests; it just declared a class called TestO­b­fus­cat­ed­Mix­in, which used some continue.

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