Sunday, January 26, 2014

What's Happening in 2014?

It's been a bit quiet around here, sorry. I lost my blogging mojo for a while there. I'm not going to try to guarantee 2014 will be any different either - this is a very big year for us!

2014 brings me to 10 years in Australia, which means that Dave and I have now been together for 10 years. He's about to turn 40, which means we've been together a quarter of his life. And more than a quarter of mine, because I'm younger! Our 4th wedding anniversary also happens this year.

I'm also going back to university (again). I'm starting an Associate Degree in IT through Southern Cross University, studying online. This is a big move for me, but I have plenty of support from friends in the field, so I feel confident I'll be able to see this through. It's taken me a while to figure out what I want to do and what I'm good at, but I finally have a clear and realistic vision to work towards.

On the game front, there's three that are occupying my time right now. The biggest of those is World of Warcraft - I reopened my account after several years of being away. I'm actually really enjoying playing again, without the pressure of raiding. It's fun to play how I want to play instead of how I'm told by someone else. Apart from WoW, I've also been playing the Beta of Hearthstone, Blizzard's new online CCG. It's pretty fun and I think I'll continue with it once it's out of Beta. Finally, I've been spending some time on XCOM: Enemy Within, the expansion to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. XCOM is good stress relief when I just need to mindlessly slaughter some aliens.

As for my reading, well, I didn't *quite* reach my 2013 Goodreads challenge goal of 45 books - I topped out at 41. I didn't read half of my Off The Shelf books either. They're still occupying my "To Read" shelf in my room though, and I plan on working my way through them all eventually. I set a Goodreads goal for 2014 of 50 books, but as I started reading The Wheel of Time again I'm not sure how I'll go. This year I'm also going to try a Reading Bingo challenge. It's a bit easier than some of the others I've done before. Here is my progress so far:


You can see I've already crossed off some of the squares! The very first book I finished in 2014 met 4 of these criteria already. The Eye of the World, the first book of The Wheel of Time, is more than 500 pages long, has non-human characters, is more than 10 years old, and my copy has a blue cover. I'll try to complete all of these squares and keep my blog updated with my progress.

What are your plans for 2014?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jen Does PC Repair II

In the last edition of Jen Does PC Repair I talked about Dave's aura that interferes with electronics. I've since read The Dresden Files series and I'm convinced he's a wizard of some kind (one of the traits of wizards is just such an aura).

Last weekend we went to the inaugural PAXAUS (more on this in a later post) and while there we bought Dave a new graphics card (a Gainward GeForce GTX 760) to replace his old crossfired Radeon 4770s. They wouldn't run DirectX 11 and we could get a really nice deal at PAX (with lots of free swag) so we went for it. We got home yesterday and I installed it straight away and everything seemed fine...until his PC randomly switched off after a few hours. I figured we'd kicked a cable or something and didn't think much of it until it did it again today, and I realised it was ridiculously hot - his CPU got up to 87C. The power supply wasn't overloaded at all - it's rated for 620W and he's only running about 130W - but it seemed like the extra heat from the new card was too much for his case cooling to handle. So we carted it down to Umart to discuss it with them.

They said a first quick fix would be to just get some new thermal paste for the  CPU cooler, but since it's the middle of winter and we were already having cooling issues we decided to upgrade the CPU cooler to a water cooling system. The Umart guys suggested the entry-level Corsair Hydro Series H60. Unfortunately, they weren't available to do an install until early next week. Having just returned from 10 days of no PC (in the middle of the Steam Summer Sale) and with 4 more days before he has to go back to work, being PC-less wasn't a very favorable option. So I decided to take the plunge and install it myself.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

BA's Posting Challenge 14: Icebreaker

This week's topic: How do you get on to the topic of books when socialising, especially with new faces?

Socialising with new faces? I do not understand...

Seriously though, this is actually really easy right now thanks to the huge success of HBO's Game of Thrones. Most people have watched (or at least heard of) the show, and if they haven't it's generally easier to talk about TV than books. Once you get them started on the show, you just ask "Have you read the books the series is based on? The book series is called A Song of Ice and Fire and it's also really good!" And then, depending on their reaction, you can go from there. If they say "oh no, I don't read books", you can politely excuse yourself and move on to someone else at the party. Because who wants to socialise with someone who doesn't read books?


This post is part of the above Posting Challenge

Sunday, July 7, 2013

BA's Posting Challenge 12 & 13: Your Changes / Cha, Cha, Changes

Combined Week 12 & 13 Topics: How have you changed since your blog began? What has changed with your blog since it began?

I started this blog back in April 2010. I'd just gotten married, I was studying, and wanted a place to talk about my upcoming honeymoon and share stuff about my studies (like poetry). I also wanted to share outfit posts, because I'd recently started becoming involved in Fat Acceptance, and wanted to be more visible.

266 posts later, my blog and I have both evolved. I'm no longer studying (although I'm desperate to start again, maybe next year...) and I'm more confident in myself and my place in the Fat Acceptance community. I've gone back to the feminist roots I started putting down as a teenager, and educated myself about feminism and privilege. My blog has most recently evolved to be more books than anything else. I don't mind that, reading is a big focus of my life right now and I love talking about books.

This blog was never meant to have any kind of theme, and I still resist that strongly. It's a personal blog, more like a diary. I write about whatever I want to write about. It goes through phases. I write most about my outfits and body image and fashion, and about food; about Postcrossing, which I've recently got back in to; and about books and reading.

My blog posts get emailed to my husband, my best friend, and my Mum, so I must admit to a bit of self-censoring for that reason. I still keep my more "radical" thoughts to other platforms. My tumblr is probably where my most controversial stuff is, hidden in between the lolcats. It's mostly reblogs - there are so many fantastic people out there that say things far more coherently than I can about feminism and privilege.

I think that one of my most defining characteristics is my drive to learn. Anything, everything, I'm always trying to learn new things. And so I think that this means I am constantly changing and evolving as I learn and adapt. Which means my blog is constantly changing and evolving too.


This post is part of the above Posting Challenge

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Off The Shelf 2013: June

In June, I cheated a little bit. Well, quite a lot actually I suppose. I completed three books, but only one of them was on my Off The Shelf list, and one of the others was so tiny it hardly counts.

The first book I completed was the only one on my Off The Shelf list: The Wise Man's Fear. It was an excellent follow-up to The Name of the Wind and I'm looking forward to the final book in the trilogy, which is supposed to be out next year. There's an awful lot of story to cover yet, so I'm not sure how Rothfuss is going to cram it in to one book.

Goodreads also says I read All My Friends Are Dead in June. I did, but it's 96 cartoon pages so I'm not sure it counts! It was a birthday present from Miss RBit and really cute. But not on my Off The Shelf list!

Finally, I also read Vernon God Little in June, another book not in my Off The Shelf challenge. I didn't enjoy it as much as the friend who lent it to me, and only gave it 2 stars. The Deus ex machina feel of the ending really put me off, although the book and story overall were okay. Note that it deals with the aftermath of a shooting at a high school.

We're a week in to July and I'm halfway through American Gods with a plan to finish it this weekend. The same friend who lent me Vernon God Little has lent me another book: The Sense of an Ending. It's only 150 pages (but not on my Off The Shelf list!) so I may knock that off this weekend too. In a week I start a two-week holiday (vacation, for American readers, and no, it's not a Summer vacation, it's winter here!) and I expect I will get a lot of reading done, because I always do. So hopefully July shapes up to be a good month.

If you want to see my rating and/or review of each book, check out my Goodreads page.


This post is part of my Off The Shelf 2013 Reading Challenge