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This is a blog post copied from John's Website - please feel free to join him there and post comments. He has set up openid, so you can post there with your livejournal account using your openid, which is the same as your journal url minus the http://. You can find this entry at http://www.jcfiala.net/blog/2012/06/13/get-real-review.

Get Real by Donald E. Westlake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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jcfiala: (Default)

This is a blog post copied from John's Website - please feel free to join him there and post comments. He has set up openid, so you can post there with your livejournal account using your openid, which is the same as your journal url minus the http://. You can find this entry at http://www.jcfiala.net/blog/2012/02/20/empress-mars-kage-baker.

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This here is a great book. I'd picked it up on a whim, used, without knowing much about it other than it says it's one of Kage Baker's "The Company" series.

Amusingly, it's not obviously part of that series, and if you're worried about picking this book up and not knowing what's going on, don't worry - there's no obvious metaplot here, and although it's apparently part of the future history of her series, there's no reference to any other part of it.

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jcfiala: (Default)
So recently my lovely wife indicated that she wanted some new plastic container to store her boardgames in. We've got quite a lot of boardgames, and she tends to take them places to play games (tonight is Rail games night), as well as to BenCon, where she's coordinating the board games again. Another boardgame fanatic (Hi, Pyro!) was using these totally cool plastic containers, and she wanted them as well.

So, off we went to The Container Store, which was the only place that she knew of that she could get them. She bought a couple of those, I bought a few boxes for packing up books that don't need to be on the shelves but do need to be out of the way, and then we came across their selection of trash cans. And there we went over every trash can, rating them by how easily we thought that the cats could get into them, and how long they might last before they broke down.

See, we've got three cats. Pebbles, the old lady of the trio, isn't too bad. But Max (older, male) and Jingoro (younger, male, fiesty) like to knock over our generic white plastic trashcan whenever it smells like something good is in there so as to eat whatever they find. (And in Max's case, then throw up on something.) We live with it, but it gets annoying. So, we started looking at the trashcans.

And we ended up with this one: the Simplehuman 10 gal. Rectangle Step-On Can. It's very nice looking, and in the past couple of weeks we've realized that it seems to be catproof. We're not sure why - is it the fact that the lid fits so tightly that the cats don't trace the smell to the can? Is it because it's nicely bottom-heavy so you can't just 'tip' it over? Is it the stainless steel construction, which (i dunno) makes it not as pleasing for them to rub it with their paws? I don't know. I couldn't say. But what I do know is that the other day Tammy and I got take out steak from Chilis in large styrofoam containers, and instead of immediately sticking it in the outside trash like we normally would, we stuffed them into the new trash can in the kitchen, and left it there for about 24 hours as the cats totally ignored it.

And it's even a nice trashcan aside from the cat-proofing. It's got an inner plastic trashcan that slides out when you're actually changing trash bags. It's got a plastic tab you set when you need it to stay open that is just as easy to unset when you want it to close again. The plastic pedal is large and easy to use with your foot when you need it to yawn open to dispose of something.

I was originally a bit uncertain about buying such an expensive trash can - but in this case it's become obvious that it's worth the money in ease of use and peace of mind. If you have cats who keep getting at your trash, I recommend it.

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