Monthly Archives: July 2008


I’m changing jobs – still in IBM, but I get to do something new.  To me, that’s one of the biggest advantages of working for a big company, being able to move to a fresh assignment now and then. 

I’ll be working on IBM HTTP Server, our rebranded/enhanced version of the Apache web server, the most popular web server on the Internet.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Concerts over

Our summer concerts are done – one last night, the big one tonight.  It went really well – which was a very pleasant surprise given how things were going just earlier this week.  The songs were all about food, ranging from Food, Glorious Food from Oliver, and Suppertime from Charlie Brown, to a vocal rag “Oysters and Clams”, and two settings of “If Music be the food of love”.  Quite a variety of styles, really, but overall lots of fun.  And the audience loved it.

And now we get a break for a month or so before we start in the fall.  Which sounds about right – nice to have a break, but I’ll miss it.

Chorus etc.

We had another rehearsal tonight.  The concerts are next week, we have 2 more rehearsals, and we’re not ready. :-(   Still, we made great progress tonight, and I try never to underestimate Sue (our director).  She usually knows what she’s doing.

I really needed the break.  At work it seems like everything is broken, there’s a deadline Friday, and it seems increasingly unlikely I’ll make it – and not because of anything in my own component, but because all the other stuff it depends on seems to be broken.  Sigh.  I keep intending to work late, but I get so frustrated, I end up bailing out not long after I usually would because I’m fed up and also afraid I’ll bite somebody’s head off if I keep at it much longer.

Reading list

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. Well let’s see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE, add an strikeout the books you read but didn’t like.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who’ve read only 6 or less and make them read.

So here’s mine.  I know I’ve read some Jane Austen but don’t remember which ones, and anyway, I wasn’t all that impressed.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman .
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh .
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen .
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan .
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel .
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov Nabokov:
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry .
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks .
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas .
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Good to be home

Yay!  I’m home and have a cat crawling on me.  After 11 days of seeing the sights in italy, 7 performances (2 Carmina Burana, 2 spirituals and gospels, 1 joint concert with other choruses, 1 mass, and getting to sing 2 songs in the Sistine Chapel), several churches, 1 colosseum, 1 pantheon, about a zillion fountains, an abbey, numerous small picturesque towns, many wonderful italian meals (but not counting the breakfasts), far too many blind corners with big dropoffs on a very big bus, an Italian guide straight out of stereotypes-are-us (“Now let me explain-a to the group-a …..”), 2 lousy hotels and 1 nice one, not enough gelato, far too much heat, over 900 pictures taken, and never enough sleep. 

Now I’m going to bed.