1. This past week’s been notable for my PC melting down. Turned out to be ‘Death of the Monitor’ (no data-loss, yay) but that exposed the issue of ‘Clinging onto an Outmoded OS’ (Windows XP – about to be discontinued) and 'Clinging onto old versions of Microsoft everything’. So the expert advice was to upgrade the PC, get a new monitor and install more recent Microsoft versions. I’m going for Windows 7 as I gather Win-8 is generally loathed, much as Vista was.
Had to locate a new computer repair place closer to home for all this. It’s the basement in a suburban home two suburbs over, converted into a geek-lair. My guy, Michael, is sweet and Aspergery, and wears strange unfashionable clothes – dusty black semi-formal pants and a white button-down shirt even though he’s in his early twenties and should really be wearing jeans, cool-logo tees and piercings. The room’s large and filled with bits of dismantled computers or parts ready to be mantled into new ones. They build and fix motherboards. There are narrow paths between the piles of stuff you have to take to get to the testing bench and be shown things like the weirdness of Win-8. It’s all very space-toastery and I’m taking that as a good sign, but I guess time will tell.
This crisis exposed yet again how frighteningly reliant on my PC I am. I’m surviving with my work laptop, and as getting the PC sorted will take another 5 days, I got Michael to copy My Docs onto my external hard drive. So I’m less hamstrung as of yesterday, but still no access to my old RL/work emails. Fan-emails are fine, thanks to Apple’s cloud, slow and irritating though it is.
2. Recipe of the week is pizza-toast. Deeply simple and delicious, and nothing to do with actual pizza – named by an old boyfriend and it stuck. The quantities will depend on how many slices you want to make. Suggest using wholegrain toast of some sort.
a. Toast the toast so it’s browned, firm, but not hard or dried out.
b. Turn on the grill to warm up (if you have electric like me).
c. In a bowl, mix the topping. 1 cup grated tasty cheddar (or any non-stringy cheese that melts well and is semi-aged, i.e. not a mild, tasteless cheese). Then add half a medium-sized tomato finely chopped, and ditto amount of finely chopped onion. S&P to taste – recommend ground black pepper. 1T mayo, and 2T tomato sauce (Kiwi name for ketchup). Sprinkle of chopped or dried oregano to taste (optional). Can also add a smallish garlic clove minced, if wished. If you really like things spicy you could probably add some tabasco or cayenne, but I don’t tend to.
d. Dollop cheese mixture onto the toast and spread out evenly (the above would make 4 toast slices, probably, depending how big the slices were). It can be quite thick, like ½ an inch, but thinner works fine and cooks more completely.
e. Grill until the topping is starting to go black in places. Edges of toast may be slightly burned, but don’t let them get totally charred. Or, you know, cut them off if they are :)
f. If you’ve got the willpower, let the slices cool slightly before eating, or you’ll burn your mouth. Careful nibbling works.
3. Fan-things. The due South_C6D Big Bang has gone live, with lots of great stories and art – I’m still working my way through it all. I had a ball doing art for luzula ’s wonderful story Partners in Exile, a dS/Temeraire fusion, with Dief as a dragon and the Temeraire aspects brought into the modern world. The art post is here.
Then there was Apocalypse Kree where I ran out of time before the PC died, so did a smaller work on the laptop – it’s in my series about a sci-fi version of “the Rapture”, so a sequel to “After the Harvest”. It’s called There Beside Me. And yes, the series is gradually drifting towards a John/Ronon/Rodney threesome. Roadtrip next!
Also posted a couple of old artworks that had never made it to AO3 for various reasons: Mistress Fraser (Ms. Fraser in dominatrix mode - NSFW) and Colonel Sheppard Deflects a Question (a post-declassification work with the team plus Woolsey doggedly handling a media question-panel - SFW).
4. Recs – multifandom and original fic.
dira (Dira_Sudis) has posted a longfic in the Every Marine a Wolfbrother series (a fusion of Generation Kill with the Iskryne Series by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette). It's called You Drive Through the Dust. I love everything Dira does, and the fics in this verse so far are amazing – just started this one and I’m loving it so far, but you’re probably better starting at the beginning of the series if you haven't read them yet, to get oriented.
I’ve been doing a slow watch/rewatch of due South as my initial viewing was patchy, and recently discovered Truepenny’s excellent meta commentaries on (almost) all the dS episodes – she’s begun doing the last few. So now I watch an ep and then read her meta about it – which adds considerably to the enjoyment.
In a small synchronicity, Truepenny is Sarah Monette, and there’s some short original fic on her LJ as well. Haven’t read much so far but I really liked Mongoose – excellent (alien)animal-buddy trope sci-fi, also co-written with Elizabeth Bear. There’s a podcast link for it there as well.
I also keep an eye out for new fic by Rhymer23, who’s now on a LOTR kick and has posted two stories which don’t require recent knowledge of that fandom to enjoy. The longer one A Captain and a Cause is outsider-POV of Aragorn, so we come to understand what’s happening through the engaging OMC. The other’s a short fic about Bilbo in Rivendell, called Through Other Eyes . I highly recommend both – lovely writing and both are thoughtful about the human (or, y’know, hobbity) condition. Unlike everyone else I haven’t seen The Hobbit yet – but the DVD’s arriving soon, as is Pacific Rim \o/.
Finally, I’m reading/rereading dragojustine and loved Slipping Into Place - an SGA Radek/Rodney/John threesome.
And that’s it for this week.
OMG borked links galore thanks to the sodding laptop's insistence on smartquotes. Fixed now I think.