Friday, March 30, 2012

Dragons, Troy, and Theft

I woke up late this morning -- for me -- logged onto my computer and checked emails, one of which gave me a bit of a surprise. I don't remember signing up for I'm not in the market for dating or mating and called the company. Someone, pretending to be me, used my card to sign up for services. When will these idiots learn that it doesn't pay to phish my information because I am onto them in a trice?

This trice ended with my card being banned from their site and me having to contact my bank and get a new card issued, which will put bill paying in a bit of a muddle until the card arrives. Now I have to learn a new card number, which I've done in the past and will continue to do, but damn! I wasn't supposed to have to do this for 4 more years. Oh, well, chaos can be good when it means exercising the brain.

I've been unable to work since that computer has keyboard issues and I'm waiting on a new keyboard that arrives today. It will be difficult but I've decided to back everything up on the account I seldom use and clone the drive so I can use it on this computer if problems occur. I don't like having backups, and if the company has a problem with me backing up the drive and their information, they can deal with it. Better to have me working than not working.

I finished Black Ships by Jo Graham and I highly recommend it. Using the Aeneid as a guide, Graham has crafted a wonderfully engaging story told from the perspective of Pythia, the handmaiden of Death, who is one of the first wave of captives from the Trojan war brought back to Greece as a slave, or rather her mother was. She was born of rape and the violence surrounding the destruction of Troy. Graham uses the new information on the supposed site of Troy, and specifically Troy VI and Troy VIIa built on the ruins of Troy VI, which is likely from the famed Trojan War that features in Homer's Iliad. Troy VIIa is the shanty town built on the ruins of the more splendid city. Once the Greeks returned to plunder Troy again, after Agamemnon's death, the survivors, sailing black ships, break through the blockade and return to Greece to rescue their people after 18 years of slavery.

This rag-tag fleet then sails away after a short battle with the remaining Greek soldiers protecting the city and sail away to Thera, the Island of the Dead, and then to a couple more cities to winter before striking out for Egypt in the dead of the night. They suffer losses and escape Egypt to rescue the people in a small town in Italy from which they established the mighty city of Rome.

I had chills and moments where the story became all too real for me and that is due to Graham's use of language and the reality of the character, time, and place. The settings were wonderful and the main characters jumped off the page. Black Ships is an elegant portrayal of difficult times that never breaks character or jumps out of the time and settings of the ancient world of 3500 years ago.

Now I'm back into George R. R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons. I'll let you know how it goes, especially since there are such mixed reviews. I liked A Feast For Crows but was well aware of its flaws, like needing a good editor. There was a great deal of extraneous material that could have been cut without harming the story in the least and a leaner book would have allowed the part Martin cut away to create A Dance With Dragons. I'll take it any way I can get it, and that means being excited that the 2nd season of A Game of Thrones premiers on Sunday night and I will be there.

I've watched my own collection from the 1st season and am up to date and read to go with season 2. I do so love fantasy and even a bit of sword and sorcery -- and dragons.

And now I'm off to clean my scales and check my fire breathing. I've a phisher to burn.

That is all. Disperse.

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