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Emzilyn uses her livejournal account again.

May. 7th, 2013 | 07:03 pm

Well, I have decided I want to try and write something for my university's short story competition, because I haven't written a short story in a long time and I don't know if I can write 'on demand' any more. Have I lost my imagination? Am I too sensible to try this while writing my thesis? Am I just too lazy? Only time will tell.

The word count is between 1000 and 3000 words, the due date is later this month, and the compulsory theme is 'decisions'.

My first thought was that I could do a story about these people in a spaceship trying to orientate their ship towards a far away goal, but then I thought I couldn't make that actually interesting. I know of authors who could, but I might not be able to.

So all I know at the moment is that it will be science fiction or fantasy, because I always write science fiction and fantasy. I don't like confining my writing to my present reality, or, you know, the laws of physics. Well, sometimes the laws of physics. Depends on my mood. Anyway, this frees me up immensely when writing for a competition, because I know I'm not going to win. I do like submitting things, though. I don't know why; I guess I find filling forms fun?

Anyway, maybe I'll update my progress here.
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Macaroons

Mar. 24th, 2012 | 10:51 am

So, growing up with the Mary Plain adventures, I have always liked the idea of macaroons, but have never seen them. With all the macarons cropping up everywhere, and Kate making them, and macaroons supposedly being easier to make, I thought I might as well give them a try.

I used a green and gold recipe, although there was a recipe in my "Cookery the Australian Way" book. The CtAW recipe had loads more coconut in it, but I thought I'd give the Green and Gold one a go, because it was from a time closer to the Mary Plain books.

For some reason I decided to put grated chocolate in the first ones, which came out... weird. They developed these macaron feet and these very smooth, flatish tops. After half an hour in the oven, they were quite hard. They tasted a bit like toffee mixed with cocopops, which is always good, but didn't look like I thought they'd look like.

I tried some more the next day, with lemon instead of chocolate. They were more like flat biscuits, and I think half an hour was a little too long for them--either that, or they went brown because of the lemon. They tasted alright, though.

At the moment, I'm in the process of making some more chocolate ones. About half of them have macaron feet, and the ones who don't are all cracked on top. I thought it was the smaller ones that were non-maracon-like, but now I'm comparing them, this is not the case.

I was reasonably sure they weren't going macaroony because they needed more coconut, but now I've talked to my father, and he has suggested the opposite--which makes sense, because I'm getting rid of bubbles. I shall do an experiment next week.

The chocolate things, even if they're not particularly macaroony, are reasonably nice to eat, so I'll put a recipe here.

Chocolate macarooooooooons.

2 egg whites
1 'breakfast cup' caster sugar (I'm using a tea mug, so around 1 cup)
3-4 heaped tablespoons coconut
3-4 non-heaped tablespoons grated chocolate (I'm using dark cooking chocolate)

Step one: beat the egg whites until you can make little peaks.
Step two: add the sugar; beat until stiff.
Step three: add the other ingredients.
Step four: spoon out onto papered baking trays, put in a 180 degree C oven for 30 minutes.
Step five: wait until cooled, then eat.

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The Adventuring Adventures of Paul and Richard

Jan. 19th, 2012 | 06:14 am

See what waking up at 1 AM does to you...

The Adventure of Treasure ValleyCollapse )

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Initial Thoughts on my new computer

Aug. 14th, 2011 | 10:32 am

Yesterday I got a Sony Vaio, because I get sucked in by computers with shiny backlit keyboards when the salespeople are trying to get rid of it as unwanted stock. It is pretty, and has the keyboard I want (with a numeric key pad), which is nice. Apparently you can get fluorescent orange ones, but mine is white, which I suppose is better if you're going to be using it all the time.

wow, didn't know how long this was...Collapse )

All in all, I'm happy with my new computer, as it has enough ports and a CD/DVD drive and I can type easily on its keyboard. The keyboard is a little bigger than the Eees, but I'm getting used to it quickly, and all the keys are spaced out and raised, so it is easy to hit the right ones. For me, it's function will be a cross between laptop and desktop, because it's got the power and functions of both. It'll be good for uni work, I reckon, which includes a lot of downloading papers, typing things up, and looking at spreadsheets. If I have to carry a computer a thousand miles on my back in order to type something out at the end of it, though, I'll probably use the Eee.

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Blogging

Jun. 5th, 2011 | 10:26 am

Haven't blogged on here for a while.

I quit work last Tuesday, which is a bit relaxing, because I was getting a bit 'bleah' with the shift work. Now I'll be able to wake up and go to sleep at around the same times on successive weeks! How luxurious.

I left to do a research Masters, which should take around a year. Hopefully after that I'll be able to do a PhD.

My research will be on thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence. This isn't much to do with what I was doing in honours, which is a bit sad, but it is also good, because I'll be learning about luminescence dating. Almost all of luminescence work/research is equally divided into dosimetry and dating work, so it'd be good if I actually know something about dating. (A tiny fraction of luminescence research is about using it to figure out information about defects in materials, but probably at least 98% is dosimetry or dating.)

Thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence is luminescence which is induced by exposing a material to light that only occurs when you heat the material up first. The more I research it, the more complicated it seems and the less it appears people know about it. Which is good, I suppose, because it means I have lots to research.

I'm a lot happier at uni. For one thing, when I get home, I'm not too tired to do anything. For another, original research FTW.
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Millipedes

Mar. 23rd, 2011 | 11:21 am

My workplace at the moment looks like the set to a film called "The March of the Millipedes".

Whenever you're doing something where you can't look where your feet are, like taking things out of the oven, there's this horrible 'squelch' and you get half-squashed millipedes writhing on the floor in agony.

I try to sweep them out of our room, but ten minutes later there's just as many.

It's worse than last week's crickets!

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Stories

Mar. 20th, 2011 | 10:05 am

This is why I dislike writing in first person.

Should my main character end up being of military, noble, or royal descent?

Should their plotline end up being romantic or tragic?

Should they be male or female?

After two action-filled pages, I should probably start to figure this out.

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Getting a job

Jan. 14th, 2011 | 07:12 pm

Providing I pass the medical on Monday, I have a casual laboratory technician job! Hooray!

It is with the people I'm sending some samples to. I finished preparing the samples today, so I can just bring them in when I go to work. How convenient!

I'm very excited to have a job with more than three hours a week. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Blogging

Dec. 6th, 2010 | 04:44 pm

I have not posted for ages, so I decided to write down what I did today.

I've finished honours now (got 2nd class). After two weeks away, I went back into uni, nominally to talk to my supervisor about getting my stuff published. He wasn't there, so that didn't happen. Instead, I did a lot of chatting. I said hello to the fish, chatted with Kavitha about fish and stuff. Then I went up to chat with Dr Williams, about PhDs and electric scooters. Then I went down to chat with Ben about error analysis. I get all my error analysis information from him. He's my error analysis equivalent of the Melissa Diary.

Today I cleaned the fish tank, threw out some mouldering old cheese and ham I'd left  in the fridge, brought back my spare key (I've still got one, mua ha), went to the library, and bought some pretty star buttons.

I discovered train rides are good for finding time for crocheting purple pineapples. I found out my supervisor's timetable for this week. I discovered how to find the error of a straight-line fit using Matlab.

I resolved to get my motorbike licence and save up for a high powered electric scooter, because they sound awesome.

Now to sit down, check my emails, read some Akira, and crochet more purple pineapples.
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Voices

Oct. 11th, 2010 | 08:26 am

The other day, I had this great idea: record myself telling me exactly why I had  to wake up and set that as my alarm on my phone, and that way I wouldn't go, 'oh, this is a non-essential alarm' and miss lectures and stuff. And it works. Most of the time.

The problem occurs when my phone is charging, which occurs halfway across my room. The alarm is both in my voice, and is quite quiet from over there. Under these conditions, as I found out this morning, I just think, 'oh, it's one of the voices at the back of my head muttering to itself' and go back to sleep.

...Now that I write it, that sounds a little mad...

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