Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Need to Find the Leader. Mangalores Won't Fight Without the Leader.

What day of the week is it? Man, where's my head at? Wednesday, right. I feel so confused right now, it's weird. I know what caused it, though... it was seeing a photoshopped picture of Nicolas Cage's face on Andre the Giant's body...

That image is enough to shake the composure of just about anyone. OMG, I haven't laughed that hard since that time I passed wind while leading Sunday evening prayer at church... I tried to turn it into a teaching by quoting Psalms ("Make a joyful noise") and Joel 2 ("blow a trumpet in Zion") but it didn't work. I was slapped by the elders in front of everyone, and excommunicated. Now I live on the streets, with only Spudgebert, my imaginary three-legged bulldog, to keep me company...

What was I saying? Man, still too addled... hang on, let me flare tin for a moment.... There we go!

Yes, I am a mistborn... it's very handy when I want to get a can of soda without getting up. I just pull it to me from across the room...

I went into the RUG SHOP today... yes, all caps. You only use all caps when you're serious, or when you're yelling, or when you're seriously yelling. In my case, it's all four (the fourth reason is secret). I made some changes to our website, adding a couple titles to the book shelf page, and adding other odds, ends and odd ends. Then on the way home, I went to my favorite new food-related hang-out Yogurtland! In Mira Mesa! Check it OUT...

OK, you can't see most of what's in there, so I'll have to run down the list... next time, I'll try to do a sequence, since I know how seriously you all take yogurt. In fact, lemme use all caps. YOGURT! There... anyway, I started with non-fat Pomegranate tart yogurt (YUM!), added fresh kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries, a healthy heaping of shredded coconut, and a big scoop of dark chocolate chips. I didn't know whether to eat it, kiss it, or ask the DJ to play Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by The Platters so I could slow dance with it. The best part is Yogurtland has officially helped me break my Starbucks habit... I spend about the same as a Starbucks visit - $3 to $4, depending on how gluttonous I'm feeling, and I only get a mild shot of caffeine from the dark chocolate... plus, with all that fresh fruit on there, I almost can trick myself into thinking I'm eating healthy! Ah, the sweet smell of self-delusion!

I better change the subject before I crave more yogurt... and seeing as how it's 11:30 pm at the moment, and they're closed, I would be forced to drive down there and wait all night long, with my face pressed up against the glass door like an algae eater...

And now, a cool watch that uses scrolling numbered tape to tell time...

Check out the website to see all the cool colors it comes it! If you're a dude, pretend it's made from Craftsman tape measure... if you're a chick, pretend it's from one of the cool cloth tape measures that you use when you do all your sewing, you know, between cooking and cleaning and raising the kids and, like clipping coupons and stuff... you know, chick stuff...

I had a funny video clip posted here, but they embedded an ad in front of it, and the "post clip suggestions" for other video clips were not family friendly, and besides, I didn't like the clip as much as I thought I did, so I deleted it! See! I'm looking out for you! If you really want to see it, go here. Though, if I were really looking out for you, I wouldn't have posted that pic of Nicolas the Giant... *shudder*

Anyway, I believe my work here is done. Congratulations to Havah for winning the September Movie Quote Contest. She wins a $20 Amazon gift card, which shall be emailed to her shortly. The October Contest will begin, oddly enough, on October 1st! Another Amazon gift card is up for grabs! Think of the books you can buy! Or maybe a movie, or a game or a CD or something! Heck, they sell everything on Amazon! You could even get a new liver! OK, well, maybe they don't sell internal organs there, but just about everything else!

Until tomorrow, remember, weddings are one floor down, my son. Congratulations.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Like Pain? Try Wearing a Corset...

Help! September's almost over! Run! Run for your lives!

OK, wait, let's not panic... hang on, let me check the Survival Guide to see what it recommends... okay, let's see... "Rogue Longbowmen"... "Rutabaga Attack" ... "Savage Octopi"... here it is, "September is Ending"... *ahem*

"September is Ending: What to do: Blog, eat chocolate, read a good book into the wee hours and go to sleep. Once September is over, October will begin. All will be well, so chill out, bro. And stop blowing holes in my ship."

Oh. Well, I guess there's no need for panic after all. Nevermind...

So I found the blog stats today, and I noticed something interesting. I had the software chart out the terms you guys all search for on my blog, and it laid it out as one of those word graphics, where the bigger the word is, the more often the term is searched. So let's analyze the results, shall we?

OK, so let's see what this data says about you all... it's an odd mish-mash of disparate terms, but I do detect a scatological pattern. Looks like HG Wells is getting searched, for some reason. Not sure why some of you are searching "St. Vitas' Dance", but there must be a reason. I don't expect you to confess to which terms you guys are searching, but maybe the one that keeps searching "Gollywompers" so frequently can drop me an email and tell me what, exactly, you are hoping to find. And whoever is responsible for "Floater Fetish" should just flat-out be ashamed of yourself... seek some help, seriously...

OK, well, I won't leap to any conclusions about my audience at this point... if I wanted to, I could track the inquiries by IP and see who's up to what, but I think I'll let that go... the data represents a week's worth of searches only... I suppose I could chart it every week and see if a more concrete pattern emerges. Then I could notify the authorities accordingly...

Got that from A Beautiful Revolution, a blog with some very cool, minimalist art... but also frequently not "family friendly", if you catch my drift. Like PostSecrets, there is some cool stuff there, but also stuff better left unimbibed. I won't link to it; if you want to find it, you'll have to google it your own self! Just doing my civic duty, sir...

And now, the fastest, tallest zipline in the world:

This is either madness or brilliance! Yep, it's in South Africa. Have you ridden it before, Havah? :D

I've been trolling for new blogs lately, and have been grabbing one here and one there as the mood hits me. When I find a good one, I'll post it here, but I want to give them some time and make sure they're consistently good and post relatively frequently... I've flagged a few good book-related sites... here is a good one that has passed the "worth mentioning" test...

The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review: The site subtitle pretty much says it all... "Book reviews of new, forthcoming and sometimes old fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy plus any other book that catches my interest." I enjoy book review websites as much as the next guy, but really, for as many as I've seen, a lot of them start to merge into the same site after a while. They all preview/review the same upcoming and recently-released books, which certainly has it's place... but there are soooo many books that are old(er) that I've yet to read or even hear about, I like hearing about those older gems infinitely more... The Mad Hatter is a good mix, from what I've seen...

Books and music are similar in that regard. People are sooo different, who's to say what's good and what isn't? Take my Top 5 Albums yesterday... as much as I enjoy music, I know I've been exposed to such a pathetically small fraction of what's out there, old and new, how on earth could I in good conscience claim to say "these are the best 5 albums out there!" Logan would beg to differ, I'm sure, and he seems to have a much broader variety of music to draw from. He loves Radiohead... I listened to two of their albums today, and honestly... it strikes me as more "noise" than "music"... it does nothing for me. So who's right? Me or Logan or both or neither?

Books are the same... as many books as I've read, I realize I've only been exposed so such a miniscule amount... recommending books, albums, movies... book review sites. How many times have you read a "highly praised" book only to find that you thought it sucked? Arbitrary, subjective, mood-dependant, crapshoot... but I can't help it, I love books, movies, music... not all treasure is silver and gold, mate...

Ah, nevermind...

Here, lemme post a pretty picture to distract you while I think of what to write next... I feel a change in the wind, says I...

Oooh! A cool doorway! And symbolic of a transition in blog topic! Clever! You know what would be ironic? If I realized I had more book things to discuss! Then it would be, like, you thought we'd shift gears and talk about gerbils or rollercoasters or projectile vomiting, but NOOO! We talk about books again! MUAHAHAH!!!!! If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it...

I won a book! I joined a contest at a site called Fiction Addict... they were giving away a copy of a book called Lost Mission by an author named Athol Dickson, and I signed up. Never heard of him before. Looks like I'll have a new book/author to be reviewing soon! Then I can pretend I'm someone important! Schweet! I've never been important before! But I have seen a ship with black sails...

That reminds me... it dawned on me today that I won't be able to review The Well of Ascension when I finish it in the next day or so... how could I review it without including spoilers from Book One? Even something basic and innocuous, like mentioning characters, will let you know who survived the first book and who didn't! So I'll likely remain strangely silent when the time comes... except for the sound of me softly weeping... ah, the heartbreaking sounds of an unrequited book review...

I have nothing else to add. I am done. I am wrung out for the day. Spent. Finished. Daft like Jack.

Now, bring me that horizon! Until tomorrow, remember, I'll be havin' that dress back before ye go...

PS Havah has won the September Movie Quote Contest! Which is pretty much why I did such obvious movie quotes in tonight's post, from one of my fave films. I'll definitely be more challenging starting October 1... I hope everyone participates! Otherwise I'll cry like a schoolgirl...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lists and Reviews... I Beg Your Indulgence...

Greetings, one and all!

Well, almost all... it happens every once in a while... someone out there gets him/herself into a position where he/she is unworthy of my greetings... to him/her I would only say this: please see to it that sometime in the next few days, you make a small, tax-deductible purchase of one of the following gifts on the "Make Things Right with Dave Again List" below and send it to me, preferably overnight shipping... or hand-deliver it, along with a poem (iambic pentameter is acceptable) expressing your deepest of heartfelt regrets over the unfortunate occasion of your wronging me...

Make Things Right with Dave Again List: Fall 2009 Edition
* One (or more) of the remastered Beatles albums
* Band of Brothers DVD set
* New "spinner" rims for my soon-to-be hip Hyundai Elantra
* A week-long golfing vacation at a resort in Palm Springs
* A new iPod or iTouch (the more expensive the gadget, the greater the forgiveness, for a limited time only, restrictions apply, see store for details)
* A foot massage. In fact, make it two...
* A six-pack of "swift kicks to the groin"
* Free gasoline for a year
* A small chest full of gold bullion
* Laugh at my next 20 jokes, regardless how lame and/or unfunny they are.
* A pastrami sandwich from Katz's NY Deli

Hey, wait a minute... how did the item about "kicks to the groin" get on the list? My list has been hacked! Of all the nerve! Oh, you just wait until I find out who did this to me. You will pay, alright! You will pay dearly! [Dave seethes and pouts, convinced that it accentuates his smoldering good looks... but really, he's just lame.]

OK, moving right along...

It's been over a month since I last dabbled in "classic sci-fi cinema" with my underwhelming viewing experience surrounding 2001: A Space Odyssey. At that time, I decided to keep my sci-fi viewing to this side of Aliens. But today, I decided to shrug my shoulders and dive back in, this time viewing Ridley Scott's 1982 classic, Blade Runner, a movie I'd never seen before.

Unlike 2001, I could get my brain around Bladerunner. If you haven't seen it, here's a quick summary: A corporation has developed synthetic humans, each generation getting more and more human-like. Cue the "glitch" that causes the latest generation to rebel, and cue the government effort to track down and destroy all the synthetics. Harrison Ford plays a "blade runner," who is tasked with tracking down a half-dozen of these synthetics who have returned to earth in an effort to find a way to extend their lives beyond the built-in "fail safe" lifespan of four years that they were given when they were created.

Again, I'm not much of a sci-fi fan... I know that fantasy and sci-fi are lumped together, which I suppose makes sense... but I love fantasy and have little patience for sci-fi, and I can't really put my finger on it. In any case, I got a kick out of the "distant future" that was portrayed - especially since the date given for the future was 2019, a mere ten years away... the film had all the stereotypical future-noir cliches of the early eighties... the constant rain, the flickering neon, the hovercars, the steam inexplicably rising from every gutter and sidewalk crack, the beams of light randomly shining through the blinds... and the best part, the cheesy synth-heavy soundtrack. Also present in heavy doses were examples of the bizarre mix of advanced technology and 1980's technology. In one scene, Ford slides a photograph into a VCR-type machine, and the "computer" then allows him to zoom in, through a door in the background of the picture, and then look around inside the room in the back of the photograph, seeing who was there in the house when the pic was taken. Keep in mind, this person is not visible in the actual photo, but the computer is somehow able to look around the corners in the photo and see who's there...

In any case, my impressions were "meh". Yeah, I know, it's a classic. Maybe it's just my general antipathy and borderline-mockery for the genre in general, or maybe it's just that it seemed universally poor in both production and presentation when compared to today's sci-fi ("For it's time, it was great!" that sort of thing), I don't know. The acting was corny, the narration lame... there was some good action in it, however, and Daryl Hannah played a creepy-cool kind of character. Bottom line, I'll file it under "glad I watched it, but I likely won't watch it again." I guess when it comes to sci-fi, I'll stick with noobie-fare like The Fifth Element and Riddick.

Shellie is having a give-away over at her blog... she's giving away a CD by a band called Radiohead, and to enter you have to email her with your list of your 5 favorite music albums, with a brief explanation of why they are your top 5. I've been meaning to do this anyway, so I decided to enter. Found something out... it's hard to decide on just 5!

Here are my top 5, with explanations, as brief as I can make them.

Dave's Top 5 Albums, as of This Moment (Subject To Change at a Moment's Notice)
1. Facedown by Matt Redman

I've always been a fan of Redman - It pleases me to know there's someone out there that worships God as full-on as Matt Redman does. I'm happy for God in that respect. Matt's a terrific musician, who has produced some of the most memorable praise/worship music of the past decade and a half. If you are a Christian, no doubt you know - and have sung - many of his songs, perhaps without even realizing it. In any case, Facedown blows me away. Every track does something for me - it brings me to a place I neither can nor want to describe - it's just too personal. I'm kind of a stats-hound - I take "rating songs" very seriously for some reason... very rarely do I grant a song a "5 star" rating - too many variables have to be perfect (lyrics, composition, craft, vocals, musicianship, feel, etc.), and this album has 5 such perfect songs (IMHO): Seeing You, Gifted Response, Pure Light, Facedown and Mission's Flame. The rest of the album is solid as well, with only 2 tracks that I feel are merely "above average"... for this combination of factors, Facedown tops my list.

2. Joshua Tree by U2

Like Depeche Mode, U2 has put out many terrific albums, with many terrific songs, but there have always been, in my eyes, as many mediocre tracks on the albums as there are standout songs (for both bands). The only exception to this rule, as far as U2 is concerned, is Joshua Tree, which contains many epic, dare I say "seminal" songs. The only song on the album I have little love for is Trip Through Your Wires, which I find annoying, and honestly, with Bullet the Blue Sky, I need to be in the right mood to appreciate that one, otherwise I advance past it when the opening drumbeat starts. My favorite track changes, depending on the mood I'm in when I contemplate it, which is always a good sign, I think. At this moment, I'd tag Running to Standstill, but ask me tomorrow and who knows? Terrific album, great music, often-fascinating lyrics.

3. The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot

This album achieves the near-impossible: it contains not only two of my favorite songs of all time, but if I were to compile a list of greatest songs ever written, these two would be way up there as well, any artist, any genre, period. Sounds ridiculous, considering the kind of light-weight "christian" teen-skate-band vibe of most of their early work, eh? Well, be that as it may, Dare You To Move and This Is Your Life never, ever fail to inspire and encourage me. Everyone has a select couple songs that manage to cut through and touch them no matter what they are going through in life - these two songs do that for me. The rest of the album is solid, with a mix of above-average and average songs, but this album will always place high on my chart, if for no other reason than those two amazing songs.

4. One Day Remains by Alter Bridge

I've defended Creed in this blog before, and I stand by that assessment. I like their music, I don't care who mocks me for it. They moved from obscurity to fame to scandal to break-up long before I'd even heard of them. In fact, Alter Bridge formed out of the wreckage and released this, their first album, before I'd heard of them as well. Maybe that's why I like both Creed and Alter Bridge - I never got caught up in their rise and fall, etc. and could simply enjoy their music. This album is a rarity on my iPod, in that it is there, in it's entirety. Most albums, I give them a listen or two, take mental note of the good/great songs and delete the ones I don't care for, since for some reason, it grates on me to have sub-par songs taking up space on my iPod. As a result, I have very few complete albums on my iPod. I will listen to - and sing along with - every single track on this album, Broken Wings, Burn It Down and Metalingus edging out the rest to rise to the top.

5. Jars of Clay by Jars of Clay

Jars of Clay has released a number of albums, most of which I have very little interest in. Their 1995 debut album, on the other hand, is every track awesome. Debut albums have the advantage, in most cases. Often, a decade or more of a struggling band's best material can be gathered, rehearsed, fine-tuned and assembled into a debut album, that is not under any completion pressure. It's almost a "greatest hits" type of album for most bands, chronicling the best of their early days, before people have heard of them. Certainly not in every case, but most certainly in Jars of Clay's case. This is another album I have in its entirety on my iPod, and that I can listen to in any order. Distinct sounds, wonderful musically, multi-layered lyrically, with a solid, encouraging, positive feel and undercurrent. As with many bands with terrific debut albums, they were under the stardom-fueled pressure to quickly produce subsequent albums. The results have, unfortunately, been nowhere near as good.

So that's my Top 5 list, as of now. Honorable mentions go to: Coming Up To Breathe by Mercy Me, Offerings by Third Day, Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo, The Best of Muse by Muse, Revival in Belfast by Robin Mark and The Nu Nation Project by Kirk Franklin.

Sheesh, that took longer to crank out than I had anticipated... I've probably trespassed upon your patience enough for one day, so I should pull the plug and save the rest of my hot air for tomorrow. Until then, remember, a lack of movie quotes is not necessarily a bad thing...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take Your Magic Elsewhere, Holy Man!

"Pure and simple" or "sure and pimple," which one?

Dude, I just saw Monday in running shorts, stretching over there by the starting line. He looks determined. Looks like it's going to be one of those weeks... So, in preparation, I give you a staggeringly unsatisfying Post of Random Odds and Ends!!!

Double-duty Church Day today, as is my custom... though I must confess to having skipped out on the previous two Sunday evening services. But I did go tonight, so that counts, right? I'm not doomed now, right? That's ok... being doomed is "in" nowadays, I think... There's more to life than death, Jim...

I read a cool post over at Watch Us Eat... Bayani went to Pittsburgh to participate in an event called the "Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour" and he posted the details of his visit. I know "bacon love" has blossomed into a near-religion the past few years, with all manner of new (and exciting?) bacon-related products and events... I like bacon as much as the next guy, but I can't shake the feeling that it just isn't good for you in large quantities. Yeah, this from a guy that quaffs beef jerky like water...

Anyway, you should check out the article if you want to marvel at the current state of bacon worship going on out there. Apparently, there's nothing you can't add bacon to... the grill where they hold the bacon tour event even serves a drink called a "bacontini"... not sure I'd want to try a drink that is garnished with bacon... I'd probably try some of the other items, though... like the deep-fried bacon, the bacon sushi, bacon cupcakes and the maple-bacon brittle.


On second thought... maybe I'll pass... Alright, here's your nickel back...


And now, the triumphant return of everybody's favorite feature: Famous People Celebrating Birthdays Today, With Vye's Hair Quickly, Messily Photoshopped Onto Them!

Born on September 28: Confucius (551BC), Ed Sullivan (1901), Max Schmeling (1905), Naomi Watts (1968), and MMA Heavyweight Champ Fedor Emelianenko (1976)!

Not to be outdone, there are some celebrities that died on September 28 that asked if they could be included...

Louis Pasteur (1895), Herman Melville (1891), Harpo Marx (1964) and blues legend Miles Davis (1991). Of course, Chico and Groucho wanted Vye's hair also... unlike the Beatles, up there with Ed Sullivan. The Beatles were arrogant like that. You see, the English are civilized... remember, if we are stopped by a British patrol, we are off for a weekend in the country...

Problem #208: Sometime on Monday, you will be bored.
Solution: Go to Joe Purdy's website and listen to all his albums, for free.

Glad I could help! That's what I'm here for. Solutions to life's toughest problems... that's what has garnered my blog such an ungodly huge following of near-suicidally-rabid fans... hey, I've seen some of the Dave bumperstickers and Dave t-shirts you guys have... on one level, it's cool... on another level, it's a bit creepy...

Actually, that Joe Purdy suggestion came by way of Logan, so thank him. Good music though... and this next recommendation comes from Mark Overton... A Comedian called Tim Hawkins has some cool video clips/music videos that run the gamut from "amusing" to "pretty flippin funny"... I like the one about Chik-fil-a. Go here when bored, waste precious minutes... you will thank Mark.

I couldn't find a way to embed one of Tim Hawkins' vids in here, so I'll have to settle for this instead...

I will round out this grab-bag of random nonsense with a White Ninja comic strip...

See, a blog post like this is the literary equivalent of eating cotton candy when you're really hungry for a steak. But, you know, sometimes it has to be done. It's just one of those life lessons you have to endure patiently, as it strengthens your character and freshens your breath.

Until tomorrow, remember, to say "I love you" would break my teeth...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shut Your Eyes, Marion. Don't Look at it, No Matter What Happens!

Muffled sounds were the first bits of sensory input to disturb the stillness in the chamber. Voices, followed shortly thereafter by slow, steady banging. A pair of minutes crawled by until the sound of a small cascade of stones and a ray of light announced the breakthrough. They had breached.

Another 30 seconds of widening the initial breach, and it was wide enough for a flashlight to enter, with just enough space on the side to allow a pair of eyes to peek through, tracking the circle of light as it swept through the darkness.

"It's a chamber, alright. A big one, too. I can't see the far side of the space, at least not with this flashlight." The flashlight withdrew, and more chipping began.

"What did you see?" a second voice inquired.

"On the near wall, there was writing. Hieroglyphs of some sort. We'll need to get the light stands, the video camera, and our notebooks. Fire up the generator and string more cabling while I work on the opening."

The sound of receding footsteps were heard briefly between the steady chipping. Within 15 minutes, the opening was large enough for a grown man to crawl through. While supplies were being passed down the tunnel, the professor made his way into the chamber, trembling with the simmering adrenaline rush of discovery. He carefully stood up, turned on his flashlight, and pivoted, taking in the room. His eyes were drawn to the writing on the wall; the symbols were instantly familiar to him. Row upon row of neat, hand-carved hieroglyphs; a message from antiquity, and of all the members of the crew, he alone would be able to translate it.

"Where are those light stands?" he called out over his shoulder, without taking his eyes off the writing. He moved closer, went to the first line, and began to slowly, uncertainly read it aloud...

"Greetings, everyone! It has been a beautiful, mellow Saturday. The highlight so far has been a nap, and a pretty good movie..."


Greetings, everyone! It has been a beautiful, mellow Saturday. The highlight so far has been a nap, and a pretty good movie... the movie was the Ron Howard film Frost/Nixon, which was at once fascinating and boring. That's quite an accomplishment, if you ask me. The only other example of such an accomplishment that I can recall is, in a grand stroke of irony, the 1980 TV series done by Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) called Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days. Ironic, obviously, because of yesterday's post. Literally, when I paused writing this sentence, and went to search out the name of that Michael Palin show, I had no clue that the title was such. I just remembered the concept and that I had written a review of it last year - that's what I went to dig up. I doubt you'll believe it was a coincidence, but it was...

In any case, Frost/Nixon. Good acting, but not great, I thought. Frank Nangella got a couple Best Actor nominations from the various industry glad-handing awards shows, but I'm not sure I'd say it was nomination-level. Don't get me wrong, it was good, it just didn't blow me away. But it was an interesting watch, I think I lean toward recommending it. And it has Oliver Platt in it, and you can't go wrong with Oliver Platt. Loved him in Diggstown.

If you're afraid of heights, or have ever unpleasantly dreamed that you are plummeting to the earth from waaaaay up in the air, you might not want to watch this clip... please, sit down before you fall down.

It actually is interesting to read about the project. These guys put the HD camcorder in this specially designed Styrofoam box, attached it to a balloon, hit "record" and sent it on up. It filmed itself going up to over 100,000 feet, where the balloon popped and it began it's descent back into the atmosphere. Eventually, the air pressure was such that a parachute could deploy, and it slowed its descent speed. They were able to track it with some onboard electronics. Anyway, here's their site if you want to read more about it and look at some pics.

Other Boring Tidbits: Had lunch with mom today at Panera. Always love eating there, and my mom is my favorite. Got some book covers done for a couple of Pastor's books. Worked on the camp slideshow but didn't finish it. Was going to get my hair trimmed tonight, but that didn't happen because I was too into the Frost/Nixon flick. Decided to try and ween myself off of caffeine again. Will it stick? Doubtful, but hey, I'm going to give it a shot. Here's to persistence! I know... "Dave, your persistence surpises even me. You're going to give mercenaries a bad name..."

And now, for your general betterment and philosophical enrichment, I present: Steampunk R2D2:

I am nothing if not random.

I was thinking about my statement in yesterday's post about planning a trip out to New York City, just so I can get a pastrami sandwich at Katz's New York Delicatessen. Insane, I know. But then I thought, "you know, you're turning 40 next August. Why not celebrate by planning a trip out to NYC?" And it struck me as both plausible and sensible! So, who knows, maybe I'll just do it! I've got almost a whole year to plan, I should be able to secure travel and lodging for a decent price this far out... we have top men working on it now.

I'm still hesitant to unload my theological angst that has been rumbling in me since Wednesday. I pondered launching into it tonight, but I think I'll get a Sunday behind me first. Putting in some quality time at the altar tomorrow at church might yield better fruit than unloading here and possibly saying things that will need to be edited out. I thought I'd be over it by now, but I'm not. If I speak out of turn on this, it will not please Tutor Kitty.

You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do...

I think I'm going to run for now. Gotta prep for Sunday school class in the morning, and read more of The Well of Ascension. After that initial rough start, the book has blossomed nicely, much to my relief, and has officially hooked me. Zane = cool.

Perhaps we'll meet again under better circumstances. Until tomorrow, remember, you Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions.


Upon finishing the initial reading of the wall writings, he looked up with a start, noticing for the first time that his assistant was next to him.

"Professor, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course, of course," he replied, dabbing his brow with a handkerchief.

"How did they embed video into the wall like that?"

He paused for a moment, tucking his kerchief into his back pocket. "Well, it appears the civilization we're dealing with here was far more advanced than we realized..."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yesterday I Saw You Walking Back to Me.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in tonight's blog post, the part of Dave will be played by Mel Gibson wearing a unitard and channeling Larry the Cable Guy.

[Dim lights, raise curtain, enter Mel]


Thank you all. Thank you... I will begin tonight's blog by performing a selection of monologues from Shakespear's Othello, set to music from the Broadway musical Cats, all while chewing tobacco. I will be needing a volunteer from the audience, preferably a female over the age of 70 who is familiar with operating a backhoe with under-inflated tires. Anyone?

Oh, and if someone backstage can bring me my stilts? Yes, the gold plated ones, of course.... this is Othello... the stainless steel stilts would be an affront to the Bard's memory... so please 'gitter dun.'

A volunteer from the audience...? Hello? Anyone?

Fine, forget it... I can't work under these conditions. Uncultured swines.

[Exit Mel]


Well, I guess I got my blog back... so much for taking the night off! That's ok, I guess I'm good to go. Have some stuff to share with you all tonight...

First, I have to mention perhaps the coolest blog-related idea I've heard in a looong time, from the blog A Few Minutes With Michael, via Peter's blog KyusiReader. I was reading Peter's blog post yesterday, and behold! A review of the classic Jules Verne book Around the World in 80 Days. Cool enough on its own, until Peter segued into the reason that he's reading it. Apparently Michael thought it would be cool to send his copy of Around the World in 80 Days literally around the world in 80 days... sending it to a fellow blogger, who would read the book, review it and then send it on to another blogger in another country, who would then do the same, sending it on again... Michael will be tracking the progress of the book as it circumnavigates the globe, and collecting the thoughts of those who are reading it along the way.

Is that not the coolest idea you've heard all year? When I read that, I said, "Man, I wish I had thought of that!" Anyway, I'll keep track of the progress and pass on interesting tidbits here, in a vain effort to glom onto the project a little bit... I wonder if I could get in on the project and add a San Diego stop to the itinerary...

Anyway, awesome idea.

Funny Picture Time:

That is one cool treehouse. OK, it isn't technically a "funny picture", I know... I guess my funny picture stash is getting pretty low. Gonna have to gird my loins and go huntin' for more. The problem with trolling for funny pictures is that you usually have to sift through a lot of crap to find the funny ones here and there... but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for you, my loyal rabid fanbase! That's how much I love you! Though one could argue that, if I really loved you, I'd make you get rabies shots to handle that rabidity... wake up, pretty girl, the joke is on you!

Rotten Tomatoes has posted their annually-updated series on The 100 Worst Rated Movies of the Past Decade. I won't spoil the results for you, in case you want to check it out yourself. But let's just say their top 10 might spark a little debate. I know Joseph admitted to liking their #1 slot film before... but he was young and foolish and in love back then, so perhaps his opinion has evolved... they've also got a list of the Top 10 Bruce Willis Movies, which is also an interesting read...

In other odd movie news (is there any other kind?), it's still three months until they release the "new and improved" Sherlock Holmes film (starring Robert Downey Jr.), and the sequel is already in the works. I suppose that means the first one is good, eh? Of course, three months out means they're not even done editing it yet, but hey, they must like what they see... anyway, there's already rumors that Brad Pitt will play Moriarty in the sequel... man, that's like putting Christmas decorations up at the mall in, say, Summer 09 in preparation for Xmas 2010... anyway, I am thoroughly unimpressed with the trailer, and I doubt I'll be watching the film, in theater or on disc...

Desperate times, desperate measures...

I want to go to New York City, just so I can go to Katz's New York Deli, and get one of their pastrami sandwiches.

Start at 1:30 and get ready to drool... I seriously would plan a trip out to NYC just to get one of those sandwiches.

Here's a link to a blog called Packaging of the World, that collects and exhibits really cool and/or innovative product packaging from across the globe... here's a pic they posted yesterday of the newly redesigned Guinness beer can, in honor of the 250th anniversary of the opening of the Guinness Brewery...

Now that's a beautiful can. I don't drink, but I can appreciate a nice design when I see one... anyway, if you want to browse a cool blog, you can't go wrong with that one...

Meh, I had other stuff to cover, but it's taking me too long to write this, and now I'm spent... hope you don't mind. Hey, it could be worse... I was *this* close to unloading a butt-load of my theological wrestlings upon unsuspecting you... that would have been cruel, very cruel... I've been wrestling with a lot of stuff since Wednesday night, and it has had time to simmer... not sure I'll do it or not... you have called me a liar and a thief and a war profiteer!

On a quick side note, if my ersatz review of the first Mistborn book the other night didn't convince you to read it yourself, perhaps Shellie's review of it that she posted today will convince you...

I need some peace and quiet... or whatever it is people go away for. Until tomorrow, remember, if you ooze masculinity, like some of us do, you have no reason to fear pink.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Go Back Out There Without Me. I Can Still Do My Job.

"When it rains it pours," or "when it pains it roars," which one?

The sound you hear - the one that's similar to a big-rig downshifting as it pulls off the interstate - yeah, that's Thursday winding down to a close.

It was a Work at Home day today - worked on formatting a couple 4-page worksheets for a marketing client of mine that recently resurfaced. Nice to have work from him again. He was very happy with the results - so much so that he'll be adding more of them for me to do, which is nice.

Also, the new version of Rug Care Central is up and running now, in case anyone wants to check it out. Here's the link. It's about rugs... you know, in case you couldn't tell that from the name of the site... not wall-to-wall, mind you... Persian rugs, etc., that sorta thing...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I now give you one of the coolest video clips I've ever seen...

I don't know why they loop it twice, but I don't mind, since it's so flippin' cool, I can't just watch it once in any case. I can't imagine how much time and paint it took to make that clip. Crazy imagination and dedication... style always wins out in the end.

Old, abandoned buildings fascinate me, really. I've had a link to a site called Opacity in my link sidebar since I first made a list back in January, but I don't think I ever talked about it here before. And no one has ever mentioned it, so I figure no one has ever checked it out before.

Anyway, this guy travels the globe, sneaking into abandoned, condemned building complexes, like hospitals and asylums, and takes a bunch of fascinating pictures of the crumbling edifices. I hesitate to go to the site too often, since I can blow hours there, browsing the galleries. "Creepy cool" is how I'd describe it.

Here's a few pics from a series he took at an abandoned WW2 air raid shelter in West Germany.

Stories don't always end where their authors intend...

The life you thought you had... it never happened.

I'm going there to end this war. Wait for me until I return...

Surprise ending. Wouldn't want to ruin it for you...

If this is a dream, the whole world is inside it...

Dangit, now I'm going to have to browse around for a while tonight. He's added a bunch of new galleries since last I checked. And apparently, he's just left on a road trip to Berlin and Rome... can't wait to see what he posts from those two locales...

Reminds me of a History Channel TV series I love called Cities of the Underworld. If you haven't seen it before, there's a couple guys who take turns hosting, and they travel around to cities and examine the often-ancient underground tunnels and complexes that stretch out beneath the streets, usually that the residents don't even know about. Each episode is a whirlwind history/geography lesson. It's wildly entertaining... fast-paced TV for those with ADD. Highly recommended.

Today's Gutbuster of the Day, from This Is Why You're Fat...

The Double-Stuffed Pizza Fatty: Sausage stuffed with pepperoni, cheese and veggies, stuffed inside more sausage with a second layer of toppings, all smoked and then topped with more pepperoni. What sort of mad mind came up with that monstrosity, I wonder? It's intimacy without intricacy...

The other night, I linked to a trailer for a film called The Dresser. A cool thing happened tonight as I followed it to watch the trailer again. I nosed around on the site a bit more and discovered that, not only do they have a nice industry-related blog, but they offer whole movies to watch on the site, for free, like hulu! It's always nice to find sites like that, since often, a movie I'd love to watch streamed is not offered on NetFlix Watch Instantly, but shows up to watch elsewhere. The site is called Crackle, and they have original programming, standard television programming and movies. Not a huge selection of each, but enough to make them interesting. They have some awesome movies available... Adaptation, A Few Good Men, House of Flying Daggers, The Fifth Element... and a cool movie that Netflix doesn't offer that some of you might have seen before...

I saw Big Fish a few years back, and loved it. I remember at the time marveling at how much I thought the young blond actress that plays Ewan MacGregor's love interest looked like Rebekeh M. ... her brother Joseph thought I was crazy. I would tell him, "That's so cool that your sister was in a movie!" and he'd roll his life at me. Watch Big Fish here.

Anyway, if you're bored and don't belong to Netflix, grab some popcorn and check out the movie galleries at both Crackle and Hulu. You'll have to deal with occasional commercials, but it's well worth it, I think.

That reminds me... that friend I mentioned a week ago, Nathan, the one that was competing in Next Broadway Sensation... he did well in round 2, but didn't make it as one of the two performers that went to the finals. BUT... they opened a third slot for the finals, and then let people vote on all the people that had been eliminated, to select the third competitor, and Nathan was voted in! So he's one of three performers in the final round. Here's his round 2 performance, in case you wanted to see it.

I hope that's enough random, interesting fodder for you today. I never really know what my mood is going to be day to day, as I sit to write this. I am a consummate winger. In any case, I'll have more tomorrow, God willing. Until tomorrow, remember, earth is still my favorite planet.

PS Paula and Dave-O both updated their blogs! w00t! Gotta respect the classics...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Your Levity is Good. It Relieves Tension and the Fear of Death.

"Fireplace" or "plier face," you decide...

I was never much of a handyman, so I'd have to go with "fireplace"...

Interesting day today, to say the least... went into the rug shop, got some more website-related things done. On the rug blog, I posted a link to an article my mom found about these guys who made a flatweave using silk from golden orb spiders of Madagascar. In fact, I might as well share it here, too... check this out...

These two guys (Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley) decided to weave a rug using the silk from these guys...

Don't worry, they can bite, but they're not poisonous. From what the article says, the silk from the Golden Orb Spider is 5 times stronger (tensile strength) than steel...

The article doesn't say exactly how long it took the two men and their assistants to harvest, spin and weave the silk into the 11-foot rug, but they did say it took about a million spiders and a half-million dollars total investment to produce it.

While it isn't the first time spider silk has been used in weaving, it is the first rug to be made of it. The article is a fascinating read, if you want to check it out... but it's the New York Times site, so I'm not sure how long the article will be accessible.

Anyway, during the day, I chatted with someone I hadn't talked to in years. I used to work for a sculptor down in La Jolla named Malcolm Jones - worked for him for years, and we were close. After I stopped working for him, we would chat off and on via phone, to catch up. Well, you know how things go; the off stretched out farther than the on, and years have gone by since last we spoke. Anyway, in a fit of optimism, I tried (successfully) to track him down, and it was great to talk to him again. I'm going to build him a website, now that I have the (limited) skill. Nothing flashy or too fancy, but something clean and cool, to showcase his art and his accomplishments. It's the least I can do for all he'd done for me and my family over the years.

So that was cool.

Had an uneventful trip home, and an oddly eventful prayer meeting at Stan's tonight... unexpectedly had a rather lengthy heated discussion (to put it mildly), and I certainly left with plenty to think about. It's never easy to have your whole MO for life called into question. If I'm wrong, I want to know, and changes will be made; I don't cling to anything. A little intense introspection never hurt, I guess. That's what I'll be doing tonight, no doubt... I now know why you cry... but it's something I can never do.

I wanted to express some mild concerns for the second Mistborn book, which I'm about 100 pages into. There's a surprising amount of filler so far, and a handful of obvious typos so far - ones that a competent editor and/or proofreader should have easily caught and corrected. There's a disappointing amount of re-explaining of stuff going on, both of the magic system and of events from Book 1... I suppose that's to be expected, in case (I suppose) someone decided to start reading the series at the second book instead of the first, or (more likely, I suppose), a potential reader took a loooong time to pick the second book up to continue the story. But for someone moving seamlessly from Book 1 to 2, it's a bit of a downer. I shall, of course, continue to read it, assuming everyone else is correct in saying the series, as a whole, is consistently awesome, but it is a noticeable downshift to me so far... white light... pain... it's like being born, maybe...

Man, I am blabbing a lot tonight. Better track down a cool video or something... brb...

OK, in this round of Animal vs Machine...

Todayve in History: September 24
- September 24, 1789: The office of US Attorney General is established. (I'm not authorized to answer your questions...)

- September 24, 1890: The Mormon Church officially renounces polygamy. (Kyle, the women in your time, what are they like?)

- September 24, 1906: Pres. Teddy Roosevelt proclaims Devil's Tower in Wyoming the nation's first National Monument. (And all hell rejoiced...)

- September 24, 1948: Honda Motor Co. is born! (What, do you guys come off an assembly line or something?)

- September 24, 1968: 60 Minutes debuts on CBS. (Because calling it "Hour" was not catchy enough...)

Among those celebrating birthdays on Sept 24: Sir Arthur Guinness (1725 - Patron saint of Irish Beer), F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - the quintessential Trivial Pursuit literature answer), Jim Henson (1936 - can you tell me how to get... how to get to Sesame Street?), and Mean Joe Green (1946 - had a coke... smiled...).

Dr. Suess died on September 24, 1991. Here's a link to a clip of Jesse Jackson reading from Green Eggs & Ham.

Well, I guess I'm going to skedaddle for the night. Mellow post again tonight, sorry... I'm still pretty upended from the prayer meeting. I'll try to be goofy tomorrow... look at it this way: in a hundred years, who's gonna care? Anyway, congrats to Crystal for snagging every quote from yesterday's post, and kudos to everyone else for not snatching most of them away from her... you could have... but they're officially hers now! Someone could at least get the 10 points for the obvious theme...

Until tomorrow, remember, desire is irrelevant. I am a machine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He Says the Sun Came Out Last Night. He Says it Sang to Him.

"Stand up straight" or "strand upstate," which one?

I am snacking incessantly today; I don't know why. I'm not nervous about anything that I know of. And I'm not hungry. Yet I keep drifting into the kitchen, and grabbing this and that to nibble on. Weird. The later it gets, the more I will regret eating... acid reflux, prepare for your big entrance! Meh, pain can be controlled - you just disconnect it...

Spent the bulk of the day today sifting through hundreds of rug-related pictures in my extensive archive, gathering visual elements for the new version of Rug Care Central. I also watched a couple movies on Netfix as well... hey, I can do both concurrently - I have two computers, remember? I should coin a third term that straddles "work" and "play"... if you know of one that exists already, let me know, eh?

Anyway, I watched Primal Fear, with Richard Gear and Edward Norton. Forgot how good that one is. A good courtroom drama, great performance by Norton - his first movie role, I believe. Snagged an Oscar nomination for that role. Pretty impressive, I'd say...

I also watched Miller's Crossing, which was the Coen Brother's 4th film. It's a 1930's gangster film starring Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney, and it was much better than I even remember it being. The thing that struck me this time was the fact that, for an R rated film, it had no profanity in it, whatsoever. Oh, it was violent, and there was great acting and it had a nice, rough-textured feel to it, but I was rather surprised about the total lack of profanity. The dialog was excellent, actually, and the characters were all quirky and rich, as with most Coen Brother's efforts. Not that I've seen all of them (only 9 out of the 17 they've made thus far, actually), but I've liked almost all of the ones I've seen so far, especially Raising Arizona and The Hudsucker Proxy. The others had they're pluses, including their two Best Picture Winners. I wouldn't call myself a true fan of theirs, but I do appreciate their craftsmanship.

Speaking of Albert Finney, he gave what was perhaps the best performance I've ever seen on film in a 1983 movie called The Dresser, which he starred in along with a British actor named Tom Courtenay. Both of them were nominated for Best Actor Oscars for that film, and it was a staggeringly well-acted film. It's set during WW2, and Finney plays an aging legendary theater actor that is losing his mind, and Courtenay plays his assistant (or, his "dresser") who has to try and do what he can to get Finney in costume and make-up so he can get onstage and perform the lead in King Lear that night. I tell you, I'm not often left speechless during and at the end of a film, but Finney was mesmerizing.

I'm having trouble tracking down the trailer in an embeddable form, so I'm going to post the link. It will give you a glimpse of what I'm talking about, if you're interested. Here is the trailer on the IMDB site... well worth 2.5 minutes of your time.

In fact, they've put The Dresser back on Watch Instantly on Netflix! Yay! Imma watch it again. I've never seen Tender Mercies, but I can't imagine Robert Duvall's performance in that film was strong enough to snag the Best Actor Oscar away from Finney. I see they have Tender Mercies on Watch Instantly now as well... I'll have to watch it and get back to you...

(Some of) My Favorite Acting Performances (in no order):
Albert Finney, The Dresser
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean 1
Eric Bana, Chopper
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront
Katherine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter
Denzel Washington, Training Day
F. Murray Abraham, Amadeus
Mel Gibson, Hamlet
Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams
George C. Scott, Patton
Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood

By no means a comprehensive list, even among films I've seen... and as you can see, I pretty much stuck with the male performances over female... not to say there aren't terrific actresses as well... Kate Winslett, Naomi Watts, Meryl Streep obviously pop to mind... I just didn't want to list too many...

Thought I'd throw in a Funny Picture... a few of you are falling asleep... gotta keep you awake! Father, the sleeper has awakened!

Watched a cool little slideshow online today called World's Most Useless Facts. Here's a few for ya...

- Tarantula's can live up to 30 years.
- Pain travels through the body at a speed of 350 feet per second.
- If you stand with your knees locked for long enough, you'll pass out.
- An average person will grow 590 miles of hair during his/her lifetime.
- An average office desk has 400 times more bacteria on it than an average toilet.

and the one that depresses me most...

- Between the ages of 30 and 70, your nose will lengthen and widen up to another half inch.

There, don't say I never taught you anything...

Check this shoe out...

For the woman that thinks, when it comes to shoes, she's seen everything! Yes, that is a shoe. It's called the Mojito (since it's creator thinks it looks like a "twist of lime peel" from the drink of the same name), and the story of its development is pretty interesting, if you'd like to read about it.

Todayve In History: September 23
- September 23, 1642: 1st commencement of Harvard College in Cambridge. (Mathematics is the only true universal language.)

- September 23, 1846: The planet Neptune is discovered. (It can only be attributable to human error.)

- September 23, 1889: Nintendo is founded, to produce hand-made hanafuda cards. (I'll give him this: he's consistent!)

That is not a typo - Nintendo really was founded in 1889. Get the lowdown here, if you want the history.

Check out this crazy list of famous people that were born on September 23: Greek playwrite Euripides (480BC), Augustus Caesar (63 BC), Kublai Khan (1215), Mickey Rooney (1920), John Coltrane (1926), Ray Charles (1930), Julio Iglesias (1943), and Bruce Springsteen (1949).

Not sure how they can know for sure the exact birthday of a person like Kublai Khan or Euripides, but I suppose September 23 is as good as any day... And if Marky was still around, he'd appreciate this, being a huge Springsteen fan...

I guess that's it for me today. It's been confusion from the word go! Until tomorrow, remember, I got the better end of the deal... I only lent you my body - you lent me your dream.

Director's Cut of tonight's post.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is Your Life... Are You Who You Want to Be?

"...And in this corner... in the brown trunks with a rip in the seat... weighing in at a deceptively tubby 186lbs... from San Diego, California... the two-time Biggest Literary Blaggard Heavyweight Champion... voted Most Enturdtaining Writer of the Year by the International Simpleton's Collective three years straight... the "Sultan of Squat"... the "Methanatrix" himself... Two-Ton David "Windy" Wagner!"

[OK... cue explosive applause... blast the theme music... confetti and streamers now... ready camera #2... and... take it.]

Thank you! Thank you all!

I trust your Monday came and went with nary a hitch... I know mine did. Pretty mellow day today - though that doesn't mean it was unproductive. I finished The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson, and I have some thoughts on it...

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson: A Review

For a thousand years, the world has been ruled by an evil Lord Ruler, who defeated a greater evil called The Deepness, and now rules with an iron fist, immortal and unassailable. The world is dark, under constant ashfall, with frightening mists that envelop the land nightly. The vast majority of the population are called the skaa, and are basically slaves, forced to work the ashy fields for little more than food to keep them going, all to support the noble houses that form the structure of the Final Empire under the Lord Ruler.

Some noblemen are born with special giftings, which are exercised by ingesting trace amounts of certain metals, and then "burning" them within themselves to activate the gifts, in a process referred to as Allomancy. These gifted ones are called Mistings, and specialize in one Allomantic facet only. They are useful in keeping order, and keeping the skaa subjugated. Occasionally, a Misting will appear that has all of the Allomantic gifts... these are called Mistborn, and they are supremely powerful.

The Allomantic gifts are hereditary; therefore no skaa can obtain the gifts, since physical interraction between the nobles and the skaa is prohibited, unless the nobleman has the skaa woman immediately put to death afterwards, to prevent any inadvertent pregnancies, with the resulting mixing of the classes. Thus, the Immortal Lord Ruler keeps things as he wants. As you may guess, eventually, some half-breed Mistings survive...

That should set things up well enough for you. I cannot say enough positive things about both the book and the author. There is something very special about this book; something that proved difficult to put my finger on at first. I believe I've distilled it down to this: the writing is so solid and effective, and the story so rich and compelling, I simply forgot I was reading a book. The writing is not self-aware or in love with itself (like Bakker), it isn't highly polished and tasty (like Rothfuss), it isn't constantly looking for ways to stick you in the ribs and/or shock you (like Abercrombie), and it isn't blatantly manipulative (like King)... it merely tells a terrific tale in a way so straightforward and effective that you simply fall in and go. I don't know how else to put it... the writing absolutely does nothing in any way to hinder the story... it steps aside and lets the reader fly...

There aren't any noteworthy monologues, or bits of dialog that are worth pulling out, as examples of great wordsmithing, as I've done with other writers. But that's ok. There are solid, extremely rich and well-crafted characters, a deliciously fascinating magic system, rich lore, and a lightness in the midst of the ashy darkness and curling mists... and wonderfully satisfying David-vs.-Goliath moments throughout. There is no profanity or adult scenes - they are not needed. Sanderson establishes a trust almost from the get-go that is intangible and likely impossible to force... as a reader, it was without question that he would spin a solid, terrific tale... I just felt it as I read, like a warm undercurrent. Clean, simple, extremely effective... that style is likely why Sanderson is able to spit books out so quickly. No agonizing over the drafts, searching for the perfect flowery synonym or subtle adverb.

Man, listen to me gush. Have you vomited yet? Yeah, this isn't a traditional review, I'm merely rolling with it here. I simply thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I look forward not only to starting Book 2 tonight, but also to adding all of his titles to my library. What a wonderful author.

Summary: Highly recommended. 5/5


I decided to go ahead and number the Israelites (so to speak) today, and assemble a list of the books I've read this year so far. I've noticed many others do that on their blogs, and I am a complete lemming, so here it is...

Books I've Read So Far in 2009 (In order of enjoyment)
  • The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  • The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie
  • Before They Are Hanged, by Joe Abercrombie
  • Last Argument of Kings, by Joe Abercrombie
  • The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield
  • The Black Company, by Glen Cook
  • Shadows Linger, by Glen Cook
  • Point of Impact, by Stephen Hunter
  • Across the Face of the World, by Russell Kirkpatrick
  • The White Rose, by Glen Cook
  • Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
  • Speaker of the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
  • Runaway Jury, by John Grisham
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies, by Scott Lynch
  • The Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb
  • The Darkness That Comes Before, by R. Scott Bakker
  • The Talisman, by Stephen King/Peter Straub

I started a few others, but didn't make it very far in them. It's uncertain whether I will return to them or not. The Briar King by Greg Keyes; Hawkwood's Voyage by Paul Kearney; The Sword of Shanarra by Terry Brooks; and A Cavern of Black Ice by JV Jones.

Next up for me will obviously be the next 2 Mistborn books, The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages. Beyond that, who knows? I'm literally saturated with options... my shelves runneth over.

Vye posted this wallpaper on his blog the other day. I love it. Click it to see it big - it's worth it. I have this as my current WP, bumping the skateboard wallpapers I slaved over recently.

Speaking of those skateboard wallpapers, I recently created a new Deviant Art account and uploaded them, just to get them out there to share. I also googled "skateboard wallpapers" and found a cool site to submit them to. I emailed the webmaster, he gave me the link to upload them, promising to take a look and see if they were acceptable... he wrote back saying they were perhaps the best skateboard-related wallpapers he'd ever seen, and thanked me profusely, saying he knew tons of people that were going to love them. Ahh, feels good to be appreciated! Even if it's just by a sliver of a micro-niche....


"And in the red corner, Dave's opponent for the evening... weighing in at a trim 150 lbs... rookie sensation The Coolest Guy in the World!"

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Winner by TKO in the first round, The Coolest Guy in the World!

[Spotlight on CGW... theme music. Quick cut to Dave, sprawled out, with the doctors checking his vitals... add canned laughter... and... fade to black!]