Adventures in Time Machine backups

A few days ago my belovedest Dara got us a shiny new NAS to use as a backup server. I was prepared to get excited about this, as up until now our Time Machine solution has been to use an older Macbook in the house (and by older, I mean, it’s still running Snow Leopard) as a Time Machine server. That box has three hard drives plugged into it, and Dara and I both have been using this for years mostly without problems.

However, as we’ve acquired more machines and that backup server gets older and older, it’s meant that our backups have been… shall we say… less reliable than we’d like.

This is a post about that, in in-depth detail, so I can point at this when I put out calls to ask for help. Technogeekery behind the cut!

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Oops I appear to have had an ebook acquisition burst

What can I say? All these books sounded tasty.

Pre-ordered from Kobo:

  • Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells. SF. Specifically, her next Murderbot book, and OF COURSE I want more Murderbot!

Acquired from Kobo:

  • Alice Isn’t Dead, by Joseph Fink. This is the novelization of the story from the podcast of the same name, from one of the two masterminds of Welcome to Night Vale. I liked the podcast version of this story quite a bit and look forward to reading the novel adaptation of same.
  • The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson. SF. Nabbed this because it sounds like an interesting parallel-worlds type thriller, and because it was on sale for $1.99 as of the time of my purchase.
  • Winter’s Orbit, by Everina Maxwell. SF/Space Opera. Nabbed this one because it’s been getting good buzz, and because it’s a queer romance/space opera type scenario, and because I really rather like the tagline on the cover.
  • A History of What Comes Next, by Sylvain Neuvel. SF. Nabbed this one because I’ve enjoyed other work by this author, and because the period-set SF vibe appeals to me after having had great fun reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s recent work in that realm.
  • Fireheart Tiger, by Aliette de Bodard. Fantasy. Nabbing this because F/F romance and also because my word that cover is gorgeous.
  • Nights of the Living Dead, by various authors. Zombies! As one might guess from the title, this is influenced by Night of the Living Dead, and it is in fact an anthology telling assorted stories set in the 48-hour period of time covered by that very movie. There is an intro by George Romero in it. And, as should surprise exactly no one, there is a story by Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire in it too. This will hopefully be fun!
  • The Book of EarthThe Book of WaterThe Book of Fire, and The Book of Air, by Marjorie B. Kellogg. Fantasy. These are the four books of Kellogg’s Dragon Quartet series. I bought Book 1 of this and read it ages ago, and eventually picked up book 2 and an omnibus of books 3 and 4 in print, but I have yet to read any of them. I nabbed all four titles in ebook on the theory that I might actually read them if I have them on the Kindle. Let’s find out!
  • Remnant Population, by Elizabeth Moon. SF. Nabbed this one because it showed up in a roundup by James Nicoll on Tor.com of books featuring isolation as a theme–and because the protagonist is an old woman, a rarity even today in the genre.

Total for the year: 31.

Post-big-reveal further rampant WandaVision speculation!

Along with a huge portion of the Internet, my household collectively made noises of surprise and pleasure and general delight at the new episode of WandaVision, “Breaking the Fourth Wall”.

Because holy shit that was great.

As with the previous WandaVision post I put up, be advised and warned, there will be ENORMOUS SPOILERS in this post, and very likely also in the comments. Read with caution. And if you’re coming over to read this from my Facebook or Twitter, do please keep spoiler-laden comments on this post rather than answering the link on Facebook or Twitter, just to try to contain the spoilers!

SPOILERS ARE MAROONED IN THE HEX:

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Brief ebook roundup

Pre-orders that finally arrived:

  • Soulstar, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. Book 3 of her Kingston Cycle, which i am very much looking forward to reading.

Pre-orders that I placed:

  • Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest. This is Priest’s mystery debut, but given that the heroine is a psychic, it’s clearly going to be a mystery with paranormal elements. Sign me the fuck up.

And, acquired from Kobo because I was in a mood to expand this author’s presence in my library:

  • A Madness in Spring, The Dress of the Season, The Game and the Governess, The Lie and the Lady, The Dare and the Doctor, and Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night, all by Kate Noble. All historical romance. A couple of these are standalones, a couple of them are novellas, and all of them are ones I look forward to reading. Noble’s on the short list of authors who historical romances I have actively enjoyed, and I’ll look forward to checking out more of her work.

(Note also for anyone besides me who likes reading historical romance: A Madness in Spring and The Dress of the Season were both available for free on Kobo, where I got them. You may wish to consult your ebook vendor of choice to see if you can get them for free as well, if you want to check out this author.)

Total for the year: 19.

My version of pandemic anxiety dreams maybe?

So this morning I woke up out of a very disjointed sort of dream, but a vivid enough one that it stood out for me. Here are the bits of it that I remember:

  1. I was starting a new job at an office somewhere in Seattle.
  2. Simon Beaudry of Le Vent du Nord was there, only working there as a day job. Note that at no point during this dream did I ever actually interact with Simon, in English or in French. He was just there as a coworker. Which is pretty friggin’ amusing given that a) he’s a musician, b) he’s Quebecois so even if he had a computer-based day job I’m pretty damn sure he’d be doing it in Montreal, and c) usually if my favorite musicians show up in my dreams it’s to play music, and Simon didn’t even have his bouzouki, so what the hell, me?
  3. The office had an open floor plan like most modern offices do. So I had a desk as part of a little rectangular-ish area of desks, all of whom were getting set up with new incoming workers. However, they kept rearranging who was going to sit where, and I mean, quoi? Pick a place where you want me to sit and let me just sit there, mmkay?
  4. Despite the office in question having a modern floor plan, once they finally settled on what was going to be my actual final desk, they loaded it up with something like six different machines. (Note: the most machines I’ve ever had on or under my desk in an office environment was four, at Big Fish.)
  5. Also, the machines were all ancient. I mean, ancient enough to have floppy drives. What the hell I was supposed to be testing on those, I have not the slightest idea.
  6. Also, absolutely nobody would actually tell me what I was supposed to be doing to provision those machines and get them into a testable state.
  7. Somebody finally came over to do machine setup, at which point I realized I could not actually see what he was doing, on the teeny-tiny Commodore-sized green screen monitor, because my glasses were gone. Not on my face where they belonged, not on my head, nowhere in immediate sight. I distinctly remember thinking I’d better ask everybody in the immediate area to stop what they were doing lest they step on my glasses…
  8. … but right about then I also remember thinking it was nearly 5:30pm and what the hell was I still doing there in the office when I had to get home?
  9. So I left, only to discover that the office was in a completely different part of Seattle than I was used to, and I had no immediate idea how to get to the busses I knew to get home.
  10. The only thing that really keeps me from calling this a pandemic anxiety dream was that at no point did it occur to me to worry about nobody in the immediate vicinity, not even Simon, wearing masks. Or me, for that matter.

One of those dreams that, in general, falls into the bucket of “aaaaaah everything is going wrong and I can’t fix any of it WHAT IS GOING ON”. I don’t have to stretch very far to guess this is maybe my version of a pandemic anxiety dream, though if it is I still have some questions about what my subconscious is apparently trying to vent.

  1. Because I mean honestly, me, you hate open floor plans, and right now you’re working from home in your very own home office setup that even has a window view, so what’s this all about then? (Best guess, maybe I just miss interacting directly with people in an office? Slack and Webex calls aren’t the same at all.)
  2. Also, I sure as hell don’t miss the commute.
  3. Okay I can kinda see the floppy drives thing being an example of “stupid decisions enforced on me by people further up the food chain at work” anxiety. Though i can safely say that at no point has any employer I’ve had in the last 15+ years made me have to deal with actual floppy disks to get anything done on my systems.
  4. Apparently I miss Le Vent du Nord concerts hard enough that my subconscious is resorting to sticking occasional members of the band into the background of whatever the hell I’m dreaming about, regardless of whether it has anything at all to do with concerts or music? Or maybe it’s more like “oh shit, Anna’s anxious, here, have a pretty bouzouki player, you like those, don’t you?” In which case, okay, subconscious, that was rather nice of you.
  5. I have had “I have no idea what bus route I’m supposed to be taking” dreams before, so having this show up as a side plot in the overall dream wasn’t terribly surprising!

I woke up after the part where it got to the busses. Hopefully whatever I dream about tonight will be less fraught.

(Although, more pretty bouzouki players would be appreciated. Subconscious, get on that, kthxbye.)

Signalboosting Search for NC and SouCon Players

This is for all my peeps out there who used to play MUSHes with me back in the day, and in particular if you used to play on either NC (PernMUSH) or SouCon.

I’ve been approached on Dreamwidth by a user with the handle chanter1944. They’re anxious to re-establish contact with friends from NC and SouCon—prompted pretty much by this stupid ongoing pandemic, and just wanting to check in and find out if these folks are okay.

Chanter1944 says they’re the player of the following characters:

  • Alina, green Kirienth’s rider on SouCon
  • Lor, blue Larileth’s rider on SouCon
  • Lorany, blue Larileth’s rider at Ista on NC (later transferred to SouCon)
  • Mellayne, blue Duresketh’s rider at Fort on NC

Here are the folks they’d really like to get in touch with if possible:

  • Tasayli at Telgar, a.k.a Shasta and Khysta at SC
  • Birgitte, gold Sililith’s at High Reaches on NC
  • Brees, greenrider at Ista, a.k.a K’rien at SC
  • Jascela at Ista on NC (was possibly Lorany’s mentor?)
  • Dellany, Ellery, Lyss, Danica, Eilidh, Kylia, and Reye, all at Ista on NC
  • Jantyr at Ista on NC
  • Rosmyn at Igen and then SC, who was also Laynard, Jasmyn (sp?) and multiple SC characters
  • I’sai, bronze Taralyth’s at Telgar on NC
  • Alaner at Ista, who was also at SC
  • Juliri at Telgar, a.k.a K’sem at SC
  • Ajatha at High Reaches, a.k.a. Rajazad at SC
  • Jantha at Fort, a.k.a. Juniper at SC

If any of my readers of this blog (annathepiper.org or my Dreamwidth) have a history on either NC or SouCon, and you know how to get in touch with any of these players, please let me know and I’ll relay over to chanter1944.

Alternately if you know how to get in touch with any of these folks, please relay the word that chanter1944 on Dreamwidth is looking for them, and identify the above mentioned alts. (Or, if you’re reading this on Dreamwidth, talk to .)

Thanks all! Hoping I can help this person out. :)

Mid-story rampant WandaVision speculation

So we just watched the latest episode of WandaVision here at the Murkworks, and I have GOT to sound off about this. Since I can’t do this safely on social media for fear of dropping spoilers, I’m going to do it here!

(Seriously, this post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS so if you haven’t seen WandaVision yet, for the love of all that’s holy, come back to this post later. If you clicked over to this post from one of my social media accounts, please leave comments on this post, and not on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re reading this post on either annathepiper.org or Dreamwidth, please be mindful that there will, repeat, will be spoilers in the comments.)

SPOILERS BEHIND THE HEX WALL!

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Whoops I missed a 2020 purchase ebook roundup post

Acquired from Amazon during 2020

  • The Lord of Stariel, by A.J. Lancaster. Fantasy with strong romantic subplot. Got this on the strength of this review over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Amended total for 2020: 162

Acquired from Kobo:

  • The Mask of Mirrors, by M.A. Carrick. Fantasy. Got this in no small part because M.A. Carrick is a pen name for a pair of authors doing a collaboration, and one of those authors is Marie Brennan, whose Lady Trent series I adore. Plus, they have an individual going by the name of ‘Rook’ in their plot, and as anyone who’s read my Rebels books or who ever played with me on AetherMUSH knows, I am rather partial to that particular sobriquet.

Total for the year: 12.

Rest of 2020 and into 2021 ebook roundup post

Geez, this post was sitting in my drafts section of my WordPress for ages. Oops. Let’s see if I can get this finally posted, okay?

Acquired from Kobo during the end of 2020:

  • Hench, by Natalie Zina Walschots. SF/Superheroes. Grabbed this once I saw buzz going around about it from the Bitchery, because it sounds awesome: a story about a young woman in a superhero world driven to serious injury as collateral damage in a fight between heroes and supervillains–and nobody cares because she was temping for the villain at the time. So she starts using her own strong talent for data gathering to show how ordinary people are being harmed by the superheroes, until she winds up being a top supervillain’s second in command. I’m here for this!
  • Secrets and LiesRecklessNever TellHidden Sins, and Deception, by Selena Montgomery. All romance/romantic suspense, by Stacey Abrams under her pen name of Selena Montgomery. Bought on general “because damn, Stacey Abrams has been awesome the last several years” grounds.
  • All Together Now, by Alan Doyle. This is Alan’s most recent book talking about his history with Great Big Sea and his life in general. Bought for general “duh, because ALAN” reasons that any Great Big Sea fan will certainly understand.
  • Goldilocks, by Laura Lam. SF. Grabbed this because I liked the last SF novel I read by this author, because this is a plot featuring women, and because the plot in general sounded intriguing.
  • The Last Emperox, by John Scalzi. SF. Nabbed because it was on sale at the time, and because it’s book 3 of his Interdependency series. I liked Book 1 and will look forward to reading this one.

Pre-ordered from Kobo during 2020:

  • While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams. Forthcoming thriller, this time written under her actual name. Bought on same general grounds of “because Abrams is awesome”.

Acquired from Amazon during 2020:

  • The Psychology of Time Travel, by Kate Mascarenhas.

Acquired from Kobo during 2021:

  • The Key to All Things and The Chocolatier’s Ghost, by Cindy Lynn Speer. Gotten because Cindy is a fellow former Drollerie author, and because I quite loved The Chocolatier’s Wife.
  • The Year of the Witching, by Alexis Henderson. I’ve seen a lot of buzz about this one over the last several months, both on Smart Bitches and Tor.com.
  • The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow.
  • Spoiler Alert, by Olivia Dade. Romance by an author I’ve heard about via Smart Bitches, Olivia Dade, and one of whose books I’ve already read as a library checkout. She seems to have a nice trend going in her books of larger heroines, and plus this particular book is heavily fannish as well.
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn, by Melissa Bashardoust.

Acquired from Amazon during 2021:

  • Subversive, Radical, and Revolutionary, by Colleen Cowley. Fantasy trilogy. Nabbed this entire trilogy because of this review over on Smart Bitches!

Acquired as birthday gifts this very weekend as I write this post:

  • Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend, by Donato Giancola. Wanted this because I’ve seen this man’s art come up again and again in discussions of the Tolkien legendarium, particularly on Tor.com. They have a lovely profile and interview of him over here. And the artist’s own page is here.
  • 1000 airs du Québec et de l’Amérique francophone, by Olivier Demers. if you’ve hung around my site long enough to know how big a Le Vent du Nord fan I am, and also that I’m a fiddle padawan, you’ll know why I had to nab this songbook of tunes from the Quebecois repertoire by one of my top favorite fiddle players from the province. I will very, very much look forward to delving into this in depth. :D

161 total for 2020. 11 so far for 2021.