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Dec. 31st, 2037 @ 11:59 pm Welcome to my journal!
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Current Mood: calmcalm
Tags: , ,

Hi there! You've found my journal! There's a fair amount here that's for public consumption, and also a fair amount that's not. In order to read the stuff that's not "public" you'll need to be what DW/LJ call a "friend" -- it's something that I designated.

I'm not too strict about it, though, so if you'd like to read more than the public postings, then leave a comment here. I believe you'll need a DW or LJ account for me to allow you access, but they're easy to get. If I don't know you and you aren't sure if I'll recognize who you are, then you should let me know who you are. You're also welcome to email me at filkerdave @ [ dreamwidth.org / livejournal.com ] with more info.

Hope to see you! comment count unavailable DW comments

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Dec. 12th, 2014 @ 09:33 am I was a bad SF fan this past year
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Current Location: Uniondale, NY
Current Mood: calmcalm
Tags: , , ,

First time in a long time that I didn't vote on the Hugos. I had no time to speak of so I didn't do ANY of the reading (although, for a change, I'd seen 4 out of the 5 BDP Long Form nominees). That's a record.

But what this means is that I'm finally reading Anne Leckie's "Ancillary Justice" and so far, I'm really enjoying it. I can see why it won the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2014.

One of the things that I'm enjoying about it is how the worldbuilding takes place. A lot of it is told in flashback and memory, so it's never seen as an infodump; Leckie just describes things as they happen and you can build up a view of the universe from that. I'm looking forward to finishing this one and then starting on the next one. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Dec. 11th, 2014 @ 09:34 am Snow!
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Current Location: Midtown Manhattan
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Cate le Bon, "Sisters"
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Only a little dusting, but there was actual snow on the ground this morning.

Winter is coming, and I can't wait. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Dec. 4th, 2014 @ 01:17 pm Music at work
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Current Location: Uniondale, NY
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: OK Go, "I Won't Let You Down"
Tags: ,

I've finally gotten around to replacing formerly good but broken* Ultimate Ears earbuds with a set from Bose. They're probably the most comfortable earbuds I've ever owned. Soundwise, they're great. Good bass that doesn't overwhelm the treble, clear vocals. I'm mostly very pleased with them, especially because I listen to music a LOT when I'm working and travelling (and increasingly using my phone as my player, so the ability to talk is also a plus).

What they DON'T have, however, is sound isolation. I had foam eartips on my old earbuds, and they blocked a lot of the external noise. This is important to me because while I listen to music a lot, I keep it at a fairly low volume. I'm never going to be one of those people where you can hear my music on the NY subway system when I'm halfway down the carriage. I've grown very attached to my ears and I'd like to keep them working for as long as possible, thankyouverymuch. True story: with my old earbuds, the volume my iPod never really went low enough for me.

I'm going to have to see if I can find any foam tips that are made for these.




* Actually, the earbuds themselves are fine, but since Logitech discontinued them I can't get an OEM replacement cable comment count unavailable DW comments

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Nov. 27th, 2014 @ 10:15 am Turkey Trot!
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Current Mood: pleasedpleased
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Never mind that I haven't properly trained or that I've been in London where it's flat. Today, I did 5 hilly miles in 50:30 gun time, 49:10 chip time. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Nov. 21st, 2014 @ 02:44 pm Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you!
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Current Location: Uniondale, NY
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Hawkwind, "Who's Gonna Win the War"
Tags: , ,

I've been super-busy since I moved back to New York from London. I haven't finished unpacking yet, and in addition to doing support for the London project, I've jumped right into another project. Also, the day after I got back I drove down to Maryland for the baby-naming of my brand-new niece. (Nothing like a 5 hour drive on jetlag. Thankfully).

But I'm back and ready to party, promise. More real content soon, including my farewells to London, stuff about Worldcon and Worldcon bids, musical things.

Watch this space. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Nov. 11th, 2014 @ 06:17 pm Starting to say goodbye to Europe
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Annie Lennox, "Into the West"

I'm deep in go-live, scoping, and working on my next project and having to pack up my apartment. Having to pack up my apartment is the big thing, really. That's what tells me that I'm moving back to New York, that I'm leaving London.

I've been living London since the first of February and living in Elektron Tower since the 1st of March. I'm going to miss it. It's not the worst place to live; the flat is bright and sunny with a view of the Thames. It's close to work and easy to get into more central parts of London.

Still, it's time to start saying goodbye to London and Europe, which is really the part that I want to address here. Not London itself though. I'll write more about that anon. No, these are a few memories of my times in Europe. I like Europe, I do, and one of the great things about being in London is that it's easy to get there, even for a weekend. And through fandom and filk I know a lot of people all over. I'm very fortunate in that so many of them were willing to show me around their cities and often host me in their homes while I was visiting from here in London. I hope that when I'm back in New York I get to return the favor and show all of the people mentioned below the beaches of Long Island, the hills and trails of the Hudson Highlands, and the streets of New York City. I hope that that they'll want to come. So, here are some treasured memories of Europe, in chronological order.

Clara (and Jay, but mostly Clara) showed be around Edinburgh and also Stirling Castle and I also go a bonus Jette (this was also where my passport went walkabout, but it was still a great time). I've been to Scotland for Interthingy in 2005, but this was my first time in the lovely city of Edinburgh. And yes, I want to go back!

I got to go back to Switzerland for the first time since I lived in Zürich in 2008. I got to visit & stay with Claudia, Hanspeter und ihre Kinder und Katzen. We went to Gruyères and ate amazing fondue and walked around Schwarzsee, both lovely places that I'd never been. I wish I'd had more time to hike around there. I did some amazing hiking when I lived in Switzerland. Why, yes, I want to go back there, too.

Selene (who I reconnected with at Loncon 3) invited me to come and stay with her and visit her adopted city of Lyon. I've never been before and we had a great time. It was a warm weekend when I was there, and sunny. There was beer and wine and tasty, tasty food and Roman ruins as well! She even put up with my idea of what to do in a city, which is walk for hours and hours and hours to see it all on foot. And there's still more of the city to see!

Adj came in to London for her birthday and to see Kate Bush, and we went off to Paris for the weekend (well, I was there the weekend. She stayed longer because she used to live there and had friends to visit). It was great to be back in the City of Light. I haven't been there since I lived in Zürich. We didn't see many of the big touristy sites, instead getting to places that I, at least, had never been, like Montmarte and Pigalle. Sharing a meal with a friend outdoors in a Paris café is one of the great joys in life.

Sofia, a Swedish fan I met for the first time at Worldcon, lives in Malmö and she also offered to put me up on her sofa for a weekend. (As with the visit to Switzerland, it involved cats jumping on me in the middle of the night, but that's not a bad thing) Too short a visit, as always, but I really enjoyed the time we had walking around Malmö and Copenhagen. I'm kind of amazed at home much I could read of Swedish and Danish filtered through my German. Understanding it, though? Not so much. (Although I might want to learn some Swedish by June...) It was my first time in both Sweden and Denmark and oh, yes, I want to go back to both places.

Finally, there was a weekend trip with the rest of the tech team to Dublin. This trip involved rather more alcohol than the other weekends (3 consultants go to Dublin, where one of the big tourist attractions is the Guinness Storehouse). And music. And laughter. And seeing the Book of Kells.

I'm going to miss Europe. Yes, it's far from my family (especially my boys), but I generally like the pace of life here (even in London, which is probably crazier than New York). Yeah, I'm a New Yorker, always will be, and no city will ever replace the Big Apple in my heart (not even London, which is a city I've loved deeply for years). I've really been very fortunate to get to come here for long periods not once but twice.

I'll be back in Europe, I'm sure, although I doubt I'll ever get another chance like this to be here for months on end. I'm helping the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid and I will TOTALLY be there if it wins, and I'm seriously considering going to Archipelacon (at least I've got a membership). Going would really be crazy, but...

So...it's a farewell to Europe. For now. And hopefully only for a little while. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Nov. 11th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm Pictures from Dublin
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Current Mood: busybusy

The Three Musketeers?

A couple of weeks back, the team from $CLIENT went to Dublin for the weekend and, of course, I took pictures. The full set is on Flickr. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Nov. 11th, 2014 @ 10:59 am 11/11
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
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On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent.

Thank you to all who served. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 28th, 2014 @ 01:18 pm Civic duty
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmpatriotic
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I mailed in my absentee ballot.

It unsurprisingly contains no votes for the Republican candidates. There's a surprising amount of Green on it, though. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 22nd, 2014 @ 04:54 pm You may have noticed I'm posting more
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Nightly Riots, "Back to Your Love"
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I'm actually trying to get back to using LJ (via DW, where I wrote my posts) as an actual regular blog. So it means that I'll be posting more things (or so I hope; the best laid plans of mice and men and all that sort of stuff) here.

My public postings will mostly be about fandom and music. The personal ones will still remain friendslocked (meaning you need a DW or LJ account that I've friended to read them. I my go back and change the security on some old posts to open them up, but I've got over a decade of posts on the LJ side. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 21st, 2014 @ 11:19 am Music nibbling around the edges of my brain and missing Six Pack
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm

A song that I started ages back has started to nibbling back on the edges of my brain, except now I only have little bits and pieces and the original emotional inspiration for it is long, long gone.

Normally, what I'd do is sit down with my guitar and just noodle and play with words. That's how I write most songs, I think.

Now, Anna's guitar is perfectly fine and I'm extremely grateful that she's let me borrow it these months, but it's not Six Pack (which is my main guitar) and the "feel" is different. I miss a few chords, the tone isn't quite the same. They're all little things, but it makes it harder to work on songs.

(For comparison, I played Anna's guitar at Worldcon, but Six Pack is almost an extension of me (or would be, if I played better)). comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 20th, 2014 @ 02:04 pm So, in a random burst of insanity...
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: crazycrazy
Current Music: Liam Finn, "Reckless"

It's a long way from actually planning a trip to go, but I appear to have acquired a membership to Archipelacon, June 25–28, 2015. It'll be a month after the Sasquan meeting in Spokane, WA and a week after Concertino in Boxborough, MA.

Did I mention that it's in Åland?

That I'm even considering this is crazy. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 20th, 2014 @ 09:48 am QC
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
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Marten is a good friend. comment count unavailable DW comments

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Oct. 15th, 2014 @ 09:52 am Songwriting
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
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One of the things I realized is that I find it easier to write songs where there's emotional turbulence going on in my life.

Which means I should be grateful that I've written so few in the past couple of years!

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Oct. 14th, 2014 @ 04:20 pm QC
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Built Like Alaska, "Ran Into a Corner"
Tags: ,


Poor Faye.

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Oct. 12th, 2014 @ 09:27 pm Mummers, morris and medievalists, oh my!
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Current Location: E14 9GB
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: The Other Rock Show on ResonanceFM
Shub-Niggurath?


I'd posted something on the Book of Faces about how there wasn't any place to really get out hiking without a drive and FJM promptly invited me on a walk along the River Lee, starting with a walk through a park and a pub lunch in Waltham Abbey. AS popped in to say that it was also King Harold Day and that the Chingford Morriss Men would be dancing and doing a mummer's play as part of the festivities.

It was a fun day, all around, and the walk along the river was really nice. Not a proper hike, but I at least got some mud on my boots for the first time since coming to England.

The full set of pictures is on Flickr.

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Oct. 9th, 2014 @ 11:22 am More pics! Malmö!
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Jimi Hendrix, "All Along the Watchtower"
Tags: , , , , , ,
Skål!


Before Copenhagen, Sofia took me around Malmö, the town she lives in. It's on the Swedish side of the Øresundsbron (which has it's own site), the Danish side being Copenhagen.

The full set is, of course, on Flickr.

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Oct. 8th, 2014 @ 11:45 am Picture catchup! Copenhagen!
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm

Having a weekend free right after Rosh Hashanah, I took a quick trip up to Scandinavia, visiting both Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden. The is one of the more famous landmarks in Copenhagen. The full set of pictures is on Flickr, of course.

The Little Mermaid


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Oct. 2nd, 2014 @ 09:46 am Ah, Paris !
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
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While Adj. was in town for the Kate Bush show, we took a side trip to Paris. Good thing she went, since my French has really degenerated while I'm living here in France's 6th largest city...

Montmartre

The full set of pictures of on Flickr.

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Sep. 24th, 2014 @ 09:28 am 5775
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
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Tonight at sundown is Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish year 5775. May each of you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead!

!לשנה טובה

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Sep. 12th, 2014 @ 01:55 pm Hammersmith Horror
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful


OK, not horror. Not even close to horrible, but I couldn't resist the title. Kate Bush's "Before the Dawn" was possibly the the best concert/production I've ever seen.

Adj. and I got to the Hammersmith Apollo a little after 17:30 (for a 19:45 show where they don't open the doors until 18:00). We were meeting someone she knows loosely and his boyfriend in the queue. Security was pretty tight; they really DID check my ID (twice) to make sure that the tickets had my name on them and that I was the person who bought them. The crowd skewed older (no surprise, really), but there was a good mix of people.

We stopped off at the merch stand for programme books and tee shirts (plus a lapel pin for me) and hung out talking until they opened the seats for the hall.

Now, I knew we had good seats, because I'd looked on a map -- Row E, seats 20 and 21. What I didn't know was that they'd build the stage out. So we walked forward. And we walked forward. And we got to Row E.

It was the first row. As in, the very first row. As in, there was nothing between us and the stage. And seats 20 and 21 are just about the center of the row.

Wow.

I shall, at some point when I come down from floating in a sky of honey, squee about the concert itself.

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Sep. 8th, 2014 @ 12:09 pm Dance like no-one's watching
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
Heads up to London-area friends who are older than 28. The Coffin Dodger's Disco, which was loads of fun (and, yes, they DO check ID to make sure you're old enough).

There was a good mix of people and a good crowd, lots of really good music, a very crowded dance floor. Pretty much everything needed in a good club, and NOBODY was the same age as my kids!

W00t!

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Sep. 1st, 2014 @ 02:42 pm So far behind on pictures
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: busybusy
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I haven't even started posting my pics from Worldcon yet, and I too another few hundred this weekend in Lyon!

One amusing incident that took place after Sunday lunch in a very nice fish restaurant. La serveuse asked if I needed my parking sticker validated (in English, once it became obvious that I didn't quite get the French). And I managed, in my worse-than-I-hoped French, that no, my car was in New York.

She asked me, " Vous habitez à New York ?" (Do you live in New York for those whose French is even worse than mine)

"Ah, non, j'habite à Londres." (which is true, at least temporarily!)

To which the reply was "Votre voiture à New York. Vous habitez à Londres. Vous mangez en Lyon. Je vous déteste." (I'm pretty sure she was kidding about the last part, although I *am* an American, so who knows ;) )

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Aug. 26th, 2014 @ 11:38 am Until I find my golden home
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Current Location: Canary Wharf, London, England
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Quilt, "Tie Up the Tides"
Tags: , ,

I've been really obsessing over this song lately. No particular reason other than I like it a lot.



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