Monday, May 31, 2010

"If You Use Tact, You Can Say Anything and Make It Funny." -- Dane Cook

Memorial Day, eh! Might as well start off with a little D-Day action from Saving Private Ryan. Don't watch it if you don't like war, eh!

So this weekend's been pretty mellow. I've done some work, but I've done more reading and entertainment-watching, including: another viewing of Inglourious Basterds; a disc with a few episodes of a British sitcom called Black Books; and a half-dozen episodes of No Reservations, from the first season, which I really enjoy. You know, I admit that Anthony Bourdain is a bit of a prick and a souse, but honestly, I like him, and the show, in spite of its slight pretension. The show makes it very evident to me what I'm missing out on in life: travel, good food, companionship, adventure. I just sit on my slowly-expanding backside all day, in front of my computer, and live vicariously through the experiences of others. Or I play games, being a hero and saving the day/world from the safety of my own office. Pretty pathetic, really.

I suppose I could write the maudlin feelings off to the onset of my 40th birthday again, but that certainly wouldn't result in any sort of change in behavior. I know what keeps me penned in here in my office, and would love to elaborate upon it, but it would be inappropriate, especially if wifey ever decided, by some impossible fluke, to read this blog and stumble upon this post. She would not be amused by that particular rant. Well, risk big, win big; risk little, win little. Not that what I have (and consider to be treasure) is "little". But I'd rather cling to the treasure I have than risk losing it by gambling on something bigger. For better or for worse...

Whoops, better change the subject...

Look at this Scrabble board, and weep with me...

Have you ever seen a board more thoroughly, brutally locked down than that board? Only one possible hook, eh? If you had my letters, where would you play? I'll let you know in the comments what I did to try to introduce some breathing room there, and open the board back up a bit, but tell me what you'd have done?

So I have a bit of a head cold again. Or a sinus thing or something, I don't know. All I know is my head is a bit stuffed, and my nose is running. When a nose the size of mine starts running, everyone look out! Blowing it could damage nearby furniture and scare little children. "Mom! I'm scared of the thunder!" "That's not thunder, sweetheart. Dad just blew his nose. Go back to bed..."

One odd side effect of my congestion is that my voice gets deeper for some reason. It's the only time I can do a rich, deep baritone voice--which I usually combine with an annoying accent of some kind (this time, British), and proceed to drive everyone nuts around me. Hey, I have to take little bits of fun where I can, eh? The thing with accents is that once you find the "song" of the accent, you can simply apply it to whatever you're saying, and modify it to the "song" on the fly. I learned that instinctively long ago, well before reading it in a book on acting. Rather than trying to learn specific lines for a part and practicing the lines in an accent to "get it right," you just get into the "flow" of the accent, and then just talk that way all the time. That way it isn't dependent upon a specific line, you can improvise to your hearts' content... and as a side benefit, drive everyone around you nuts !

But, yeah, if I was so inclined, I'd record myself talking in the deep British accent and post it here, but hey, I'm not so inclined! Sorry! Perhaps if Logan posts another piece of his fiction soon, I'll record it and post it, so you all can be sufficiently horrified. MUAHAHAHA!!! What fun!

And now, a little Band of Brothers. I'm looking for a particular scene - when I find it, I'll probably replace this clip. But in the meanwhile, this clip is certainly gripping. Battle of Carentan. Not for the squeamish.

I recommend watching it, even if you are squeamish. These aren't supermen, these are soldiers not unlike people you know now. They turn extraordinary when put into extraordinary circumstances.

EDIT: OK, I found the Band of Brothers clip I was looking for. Instead of swapping it out, I'm going to embed it also.

That guy that crossed through the enemy hoard (twice!) had balls of steel. I'm amazed every time I see that scene.

On a completely unrelated note... this will be a bit hard to explain...

You know how when you're really exhausted, you get these, I don't know what to call them... these quick pulses of light-headedness, sort of mildly electric, that zap through your brain? Does that make sense? They sort of quickly wash through your head, from the center outward in all directions, usually in a quick series? I assume that's your body's way of letting you know that it would like you to lay down now, and get some sleep... anyway, I've been getting those a lot lately, regardless of how tired I am. Even just after I wake up. It isn't painful... feels strangely cool, actually. Might be tied into my stuffy-sinussy condition, who knows. But if it doesn't stop soon, I may start to get concerned....

Isn't that an incredibly amazing piece of art? I can just stare at that endlessly. That's from a recent post by Kekai, over at Cake Mix. That guy is a staggeringly good artist.

While I'm referencing other blogs, I thought I'd link over to Kris' blog, where an interesting discussion has emerged, in reference to the movie Citizen Kane, and whether it's really "all that". Some good input in the comments section has helped take the initial post to the next level, including a lengthy comment by our resident Movie Director/Future Oscar Winner Mattson Tomlin. Check it out, eh!

Well, I was going to post the clip from the Battle of Helm's Deep, from the Two Towers, but all the clips I'm finding have embedding disabled, so hey, it's your loss, ain't it! Ain't it!!!!??!?!

Meh, you'll live. Unlike Boromir...

OK, I guess I'm done for now. See ya when I see ya...


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Review: Legend, by David Gemmell

Legend, by David Gemmell: A Review
The name David Gemmell is synonymous with great fantasy, yet I'd never read anything by him before. With over 30 titles to choose from, I thought I'd start at the very beginning, with his debut 1984 novel, Legend, the first book in what eventually turned into an 11-book series called The Drenai Saga.

The book hooked me from the start and just kept on improving unto the end... where it ends with a finale that I am just not sure about. Through most of the book, I enjoyed every word -- the wit, the humor, the wealth of great characters quickly and expertly sketched, the effective action.

Legend is a fast read; the paperback is a slim 344 pages. It centers around a great heroic warrior named Druss the Legend, who has seen war and battlefield glory for most of his 60 years, survivor of "last stands" and hopeless causes too numerous to list. He wields "Shaga", his battleaxe, and though he has been wounded innumerable times, he has never fallen. Legends of his battlefield exploits are told to children throughout the lands. But he is old, and has retired to the mountains to live the remainder of his life alone. A letter from an old friend changes that. It's time for Druss to see if he has one last battle in him, as the Drenai lands are going to be swallowed up by an enemy a half-million strong, who will roll over the lands once they get past the mountain fortress of Dros Delnoch, the last thing in their way.

What? Hey, don't complain that I'm writing a generic, clichéd review! It's very appropriate to the title!

I'm having a hard time coming to a firm conclusion about this book. As you can see from the description, the story is fairly clichéd. The desperate, Spartan-like last stand, impossible odds, the aging hero, the gathering of disparate characters from different segments of society, converging on the fortress for their own reasons, to fight and die together. There are magic users, mind readers, future seers, magic weaponry and armor, skilled warrior-types that can fight/kill all day long and get up the next day for more of the same. There is bloodshed. There is the evil ruler who doesn't think he's evil. There are war horns. There are battles in the rain. Walls are scaled, boulders are flung, people are dispatched in every conceivable manner. There is a love story. There is communication with the dead. There are people coming back to life and/or surviving against all odds.

What holds me back from being more dismissive of the book are several things. First, this is 1984 when this came out. I don't know how many of these aspects were cliché back then. It could have all been fresh, for all I know. Maybe subsequent authors took their now-clichéd ideas from pioneering books like this. Second, this was a debut novel, so I need to cut the author some slack in any case. Third, and most importantly, the book really is very well written. It was an enjoyable, solid read, and I really do highly recommend it.

It would have been easy to stick with the strong central character (in this case, Druss, Captain of the Axe) and let everyone else play supporting roles. But Gemmell peoples his cast with strong characters in their own right, who are so strong, in fact, that they often threaten to overshadow the main character, and are just as fun and interesting to read about as Druss is. All unique, all reluctant warriors making the hopeless last stand against the enemy army because it is the right thing to do, not because they think there's a chance of survival.

But my main quibble is the ending. Without spoiling it, let me say that it builds as you'd expect, and then throws several very convenient coincidences at you in rapid succession that completely turns the tide, transforming the tale into something a bit too "feel good" for my tastes. It's not like everyone survives, they don't. It's not like they single-handedly defeat the enemy, they don't. But certain details struck me as a bit too convenient, that's all. Ultimately, I'm ok with it, though. It could very well be that other readers would find the ending to be perfect, so take this with a grain of salt.

Summary: 4.25/5 Very well-written and fun to read. Many strong characters. Genre clichés are present in droves, but it didn't matter much to me, since the tale is so well-told. In fact, I admit that there was a particular scene that I read that brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend this quick read, especially if you're new to Gemmell, like I am.


As an aside, I've been nosing around online about this book/author, and discovered the interesting back story of this novel. In 1976, Gemmell was diagnosed with cancer, and thought he was dying. He wrote The Siege of Dros Delnoch (which became this book) in order to take his mind off of his illness, which he believed would be terminal. He wrote this story in 2 weeks! He was using the story as a metaphor for his illness, with the fortress representing himself, and the invaders representing the cancer. He left the ending open, waiting to see how his own battle would end before determining how the book would end.

Turns out he was misdiagnosed, and didn't have cancer after all! He set the script aside until 1980, when a friend read it an encouraged him to finish it and try to get it published. Wild, eh?

In any case, apparently Gemmell acknowledged the flaws in the tale, but says it represented a certain point in his life, and that he didn't want to rewrite it, for fear of changing the heart of the story.

Anyway, it is still his most popular, best-selling book.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"I Wanna Live 'Til I Die, No More, No Less." -- Eddie Izzard

"Coffee table" or "toffee cable", you decide...

O_O *uh*... yeah, actually, I am eating dark chocolate right now. OK, that's eerie... how the heck did you know that?

Greetings everyone! And yes, by 'everyone" I do mean everyone. Including all the famous people that lurk around here, reading my every word, chuckling at my every fart joke, but remaining hidden for fear of me dropping your name to my wife to get her to love me again. "But Honey, Johnny Depp reads my blog all the time! And so does Avril Lavigne, Cher, Erik Estrada and Ron Perlman! You know, from 'Hell Boy'! And Steve Jobs popped in for 3 seconds once, by accident! You have to love me now!"

Ah, anything for love! You have to be creative when it comes to love. Especially when you have a choice of exactly one (unwilling) person you're allowed to get it from...

OK, so I didn't think I'd do any more LOST stuff, but lo and behold! I have some LOST stuff to post tonight! A byproduct (I suppose) of the fact that the whole internet is still talking about it...

First, how LOST should have ended...

That's hilarious. Well, I mean if I was able to embed the animated GIF file properly, it would be hilarious. Apparently, I have not the skill, since I now realize you're just looking at a still picture of Jack laying on the ground next to Vincent. Nothing funny about that. Well, don't click the picture, but click THIS LINK instead, and go watch the animated GIF... it's only a couple seconds long, and is really funny. But beware... browse the rest of the site at your own risk. Geekology is a funny site, but occasionally it is "unclean"!!!!

OK, next I have a link to the Cake Wrecks site, where they have a gallery of LOST-themed cakes of various quality. Definitely a fun browse.

As cool as some of those cakes are, I think I enjoyed Logan's Dharma pizza a bit more...

Yummay! Be sure to answer the poll question about it in the sidebar...

I had to pimp Logan's creative culinary creation a bit, because at this point, I'm going to annoy him by posting a video clip lovingly called "Unanswered LOST Questions" that I found very apt/amusing...

Sorry, Logan, but I think the makers of that video have a point or two... or a hundred. Yeah, I know, the argument is that the show was ultimately about the characters and their relationships and not about the unanswered mysteries, and I appreciate that argument. Not trying to take away from your love for the show. Still, food for thought...

OK, that's enough LOST references for one night...

Shifting gears...

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh this morning on the way into work, and he bummed me out! He referenced a politician who Rush said stole an argument from him about the oil spill, in which he said "Hey, if the scientists were able to scrape together a save for the Apollo 13 mission, they should be able to fix the oil leak!" Of course, I was bummed... my first thought was, "Crap! People must think I took that argument from Rush too! I'm ruined!" Now, I did make that connection in my previous rant-laced blog post, but I swear I made the connection myself! Granted, it doesn't take a genius to connect those two events together, so yeah, I didn't think I was the only one to make the connection... but still, I didn't want you to think I'm ripping off other people's rants. Cuz then you'd lose respect for me, and all hope would be lost. I'd be eating dirt in no time.

Well, at least no one but me has ever proposed such a ridiculous idea as annexing Mexico... so I'm safe there, probably...

Besides, Johnny Depp frequently reads this blog... savvy? So I must be right!

Check out this cool time-lapse video of NASA getting the space shuttle ready for launch... if it has an advertisement in front of it, I apologize...

Cool, eh? They're retiring the final shuttle this year, and are moving forward with the Orion + Ares V Heavy Lifter rocket. I know it must be leaps and bounds better than the shuttle program in every way, but still, I can't help but think the shuttle just looked much cooler... ah, well.

If you haven't seen the Orion system yet, HERE is a link to the wiki page, and here's a cool video giving a brief overview...

Of course, if you watch the brief overview, you must be wearing only briefs at the time. Sorry, it's the rules...

OK, I'm done. One more Funny Picture and I'm out...

That... is one tough kid...

OK, I'm out.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Marriage is a Wonderful Invention. Then Again, So is a Bicycle Repair Kit." -- Billy Connelly

"Chapped lips" or "lapped chips", which one?

OK so, you know how if it's written on the internet -- especially in a blog -- it has to be true, right? OK, let's test that theory...


Hey, I can bench press 250 pounds now!

Oh, and I finished the rough draft of my novel, woot!

And I made a video of myself streaking through the Escondido library! And it went viral!

And I ate an entire bag of in-the-shell peanuts between yesterday and today!


Do you believe me? Yeah, didn't think so. Well, one of those statements is true, in any case... I'll let you decide which one...

And now, some rants...

RANT #1: The Oil Spill

Are you kidding me? It's been over a month since that oil spill in the gulf, and they still haven't fixed it yet? Good grief, that must be the engineering nightmare to end all nightmares, if our best minds still haven't come up with a solution yet. For crying out loud, I saw the movie Apollo 13... I know what great minds can do to fix unexpected problems. What, may I ask, the heck? Millions of gallons of oil just pumping away into the ocean, like it had good sense. The impact on the fishing trade is going to prove thoroughly devastating. We get a third of our seafood, as a country, from the gulf. Why isn't this 24/7 front-page news? I have a theory. Because gas prices haven't risen, that's why. Under normal circumstances, something like this would cause the price to jump WAY up. That's what has me worried. If it had been a quick fix, they would have jacked gas prices and blamed it on the spill. But they are keeping the price as it is (actually, it's dropped a bit since), which makes me think they are petrified of us finding out that they don't know how to fix it. They're artificially keeping the price down, so we stay mostly asleep about it. Because if gas was $5/gallon right now, we would be raising so much hell it wouldn't be funny. "Well, it must not be too bad, or too big a deal... gas prices are the same. Let's see what's on TV tonight!"

That segue's into...

RANT #2: LOST Finale

I'm sorry, Logan, I know you thought this show was the cat's meow - you might want to skip this rant... Even though I gave up on LOST partway into Season 5, I've had the Wagner Women (and Logan's episode updates) to keep me informed of any attempts the show has made to answer some of the innumerable "mysteries" that had inundated viewers with in the first 4 seasons. I have to say, from all that I've seen mentioned since I stopped watching, there is nothing that convinces me that the creators of the show had ANY IDEA what they were doing. It reminds me of (the recently cancelled) show HEROES. Terrific first season, becomes a huge hit... the writers sit around a big table looking at each other, going "Umm... now what?" Seriously. With all of the time traveling, and alternate realty storylines, and people dying and coming back and dying and coming back... and then dying and coming back as a completely different person inside their body, and disappearing islands, and people that are really smoke monsters, and people leaving the island and coming back -- just to try and escape again. Sayid's a bad guy. Sayid's a good guy. He's a bad guy again. He's a good guy again. Locke getting shot, healing, getting stabbed, healing, getting beat up, healing, getting his legs crushed, healing... I tell ya, it's enough to make a man swear off TV altogether. One gigantic steaming pantload of doom!

RANT #3: Glee

OMG, don't even go there...

RANT #4: Immigration and the Arizona Law

OK, correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a proper, legal way to become American citizens, check? If you sneak in here, then by definition you're not here legally, check? Yes, I know everyone has a sob story. I know, some people have been here illegally for years and years - sometimes basically growing up here. To send someone like that "home" to Mexico when they never really were there to begin with (except as a child) is pretty lame. Not to mention if a kid is born here in the states, with illegal parents, and the kid is a citizen and the folks are told to go home... split up the family? Ungood. STILL, that having been said, something needs to be done to stem the tide of illegal immigration. I mean, to hear the whiners in the press talking, it seems Arizona is one step away from becoming Nazi Germany - for trying to enforce Federal rules that are already on the books, but are not being enforced!

OK, I want to take this rant in about 6 different directions. Lemme pause...

If what you're doing is illegal, you shouldn't be allowed to continue doing it, or get away with it indefinitely. I'm sure sometimes people rob stores/banks because they desperately need money. Again, everyone has a story, I get it. But not everyone robs out of desperate need! Some rob for the thrill of it, or so they can hurt people purposely, or because they feel somehow that they are entitled to the money. So do we absolve all robbers because a handful have a story of woe? If you're here illegally, and you want to protest something, don't protest the laws that are trying to send you back to get in line and do it right... protest the system that is in desperate need of streamlining, so people can become legal faster. Don't gather by the tens-of-thousands and scream about your violated rights... other than basic human rights, I'm not sure how long your list of rights as an illegal immigrant is to begin with.

I'm of the opinion that there needs to be a drastic solution, but neither of my ideas will ever happen. We need to either lock down the border, and station troops all along it, so that absolutely no one gets through, period, combined with massive nation-wide dragnet sweeps to round up those who shouldn't be here...  or we need to throw the border wide open, roll in, and annex Mexico. Dissolve their government, absorb Mexico, divide it up into a few more states, and make it a part of our country. Heck, if they want to be here so bad, now they can stay home and be here at the same time! We'll dump money into building their infrastructure up, and of course help ourselves to their natural resources. They'll all become citizens, and get a bump up in standards of living, and we'll add 750,000 square miles of real estate and 100 million new tax payers.

Yeah, like either of those will ever happen... the alternative is to have things keep as they are. Which is exactly what will happen.

So I got the quintessential mixed blessing in the email today. Piranha Marketing sent me a transcript to edit and format, like they do every month. It's a great gig - steady money, and something I'm good at. But this transcript is different. It came in eight separate MSWord files instead of one (as usual). I usually get one file each month - a transcript of a one hour interview. Anyway, I thought that was a bit odd, having the interview divided up into 8 parts like that. Until I realized that each part was an hour-long transcript! So instead of one, I have the equivalent of 8 hours worth to edit and format! 225 pages worth! And they want it by next Thursday! :O AAAA!!!!! 8 times the work (and 8 times the pay, I presume), in about the same time I'm usually given to do one...

Wish me luck...

So I started David Gemmell's book Legend. I am very impressed so far. Just wanted you to know it's starting off really well. It's a short book; expect a review soon. Then I think I'll move on to Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy, which Laythe read and said was outstanding. Good reads ahead!

OK, I'm done typing for now. When I come up with something worth saying, why, I'll hit New Post and blast you again!

Sorry about the rants tonight. Just had to (try and) get it all off my chest. You should consider yourselves lucky! I was going to rant about abortion again...

Until whenever,


Saturday, May 22, 2010

"People Who Throw Kisses Are Hopelessly Lazy." -- Bob Hope

Ah, the weekend is here! MUAHAHAHA!!!!  That means I'm going to do... exactly what I always do, regardless of the day of the week... man, I need some excitement around here!

As I write this, it is Saturday around mid-day. I pick the Wagner Women up from the airport at about 7:30 tonight. The house has stayed surprisingly clean the whole time they were gone! It's like magic! Usually, I can pick a room up, and then not long after, pass through it again and there's stuff everywhere again. One of the benefits of having a 4-year-old, I suppose. It's eerie to straighten a room up, and then pass through hours (days?) later and it's still clean! Go figure!

Dave-O moved back to Kentucky; left a couple days ago. Before he left, he dropped off a gift for me... the Complete Collection of Calvin & Hobbes! How awesome is that! Not sure where exactly he got it from to begin with, but he didn't want to take it back east with him, and he'd read on my blog last Christmas about how I wanted it, so he dropped it off here at the house. Thanks, Dave-O! I read the intro by Bill Watterson -- again, if you want to know about the author's history, read the intro he wrote to the collection. Don't buy/read the Nevin Martell biography... if you missed my review of that particular book, you can check it out here...

Watched Inglorious Basterds last night - got it from Netflix. I'd seen it before, so I planned on just skipping around to the scenes I liked most, but I ended up watching every wonderful minute of it again. Man, what a movie. Of course, there's things about it I would have done differently, but hey, I'm sure that holds true for everyone. It was a treat to watch Christoph Waltz acting so well in so many different languages again... but my favorite section of the film didn't have him in it at all (well, until the aftermath). The scene(s) in the basement bar with the spies and the SS officer. Awesome. I may soon have to bust out a new episode of These Are A Few of My Favorite Scenes and feature that stretch of IB.

Hey, I also finished The Folding Knife, by K.J. Parker. I might as well pound out a review...


The Folding Knife, by K.J. Parker: A Review
I picked up a slew of books a couple weeks ago, mostly from new authors that I hadn't tried yet. Among them were a pair of books by Fantasy author K.J. Parker, including this one, The Folding Knife. I heard of this book on one of the many Fantasy/Sci-fi blogs I lurk about on, I don't recall which. But the blogger said thus far, it was the best book he'd read all year, so there you go.

Apparently, no one online is sure of the author's gender, but slightly more people refer to Parker as a she than a he. It doesn't matter much to me at this point; the reason I'm pointing this out at the outset is that I intend to mostly talk about the writer/writing, rather than what was written about...

The main character is called Bassianus (Basso) Severus. The best way to think of him is a sort-of Caesar for a sort-of Rome, except his title is First Citizen, and his people are called the Vassani. He's a terrifically realized, robust character, who is whip-smart, clever, witty and crazy-ambitious. But at the same time, he is fraught with foibles and self doubts. He's a ruthless businessman, with a heart. Yeah, I know that sounds contradictory, but trust me, it works.

The story structure is your traditional "rags to riches to rags" story, with humor and tragedy co-mingled in equal parts along the way. Basso is elected First Citizen, and sets out to re-write the rules in order to best serve his own pocket, his own interests, and interestingly, the people as well, in equal parts, at the same time. So while he does incredibly out-of-the-box things that have his opposition tearing their hair out at every turn, it always seems to work out  for the best, for everyone involved. Until he pushes things too far, of course, and it all crashes down on his head.

At this point, it doesn't much matter what happens in the story - the thing I found so ridiculously unique and refreshing about this book is that it was truly all about the journey, not the destinations. It was so easy to read and enjoy, as you follow Basso from one situation to the next, it could have been a collection of loosely-linked short stories for all I cared. He's so smartly written, it's almost like reading a Tom Clancy novel, where you're educated as you're entertained... except Clancy is far more stuffy and technical, whereas Parker never loses that edge of enjoyment. I never had to "push through" any scene - it just rolled and flowed and was a joy to eat.

Basso brilliantly navigates problems that exist only at the highest levels of politics and business, in ways that are believable, clever and fun to read. Here, let me risk the wrath of the publisher by posting a brief scene to illustrate... When Basso was young, his father was First Citizen, and he was being trained to take over the family bank (yes, his family ran one of the big banks in the city). His mentor in learning the ropes was his father's chief advisor, a former slave named Antigonus. Basso is about 20 years old at this point...

Three days before the twins were born, Antigonus came in late. Instead of sitting down and reading through the morning reports in silence, he solemnly placed a small wicker basket in the centre of the exchequer table and took away the napkin that covered the contents.
"What's this?" Basso asked.
Antigonus looked at him gravely. "We're celebrating," he said.
Amazing behavior. "Celebrating what?" Basso asked. "The baby hasn't come yet, if that's what..."
The old man lifted a large round simnel cake out of the basket and looked round for something to put it down on. "We're celebrating," he said, "the end of the war. King Moemfasia surrendered last night." 
What war? He had to think about it. "The Metanni," he said. "The dispute about the Strait of Neanousa."
"Correct." Basso felt as though he'd just earned a bonus mark. "We now control the whole of the east coast as far as the Soter Peninsula." He paused. "Well?"
It was as though someone had knocked a hole through into a walled-up room in the back of his mind. "Which means," Basso said, "that we can shave two days each way off the grain run to the Euoptic..."
"Very good."
"Which means we can undercut Ousa on bulk grain to the southern market and put them out of the game altogether..."
"And," Basso chanted triumphantly, "that explains why you insisted that we buy seven thousand shares in the Asinarii shipping line, the day after they announced a massive loss and the price dropped sixty percent..."
"Because the Asinarii bought the east coast route when it was worthless, and nobody believed we could beat the Moemfasia at sea." He stopped and frowned. "But it was impossible. Well, you know what I mean. Highly unlikely. What made you think..."
Antigonus actually smiled. "Hint," he said. "Barrel staves."
"Oh." The hole in the wall became a huge breach. In fact, there wasn't any wall left. "That report from our agent in Soter City about the large consignment of barrel staves that went down in a storm."
"Excellent." The smile broadened. "And?"
"And without seasoned barrel staves you can't make barrels, and without barrels you can't carry water, and without water, you can't keep a fleet at sea for more than a day at a time, which meant that Moemfasia..."
Antigonus nodded slowly. "Exactly so," he said. "I deduced that the King would try and find an alternative source of supply, but he would fail, because..."
Basso laughed. "Because four months ago, you ordered our man in Artouche to buy up all the seasoned planked oak he could find, which you then sold to the government at a five percent mark-up." Basso nodded furiously. "And at the time I wondered why you were going to so much trouble over a deal that barely broke even after costs."
"Actually, we made money," Antigonus reproved him, "but you're quite right, it wasn't worth the candle as a deal for its own sake; though we did impress the War Office with our patriotism, which will stand us in good stead when the next round of supply contracts comes along."
Basso laughed. "But actually, you won the war."
"I suppose so." Antigonus shrugged. "I knew we would eventually, so that's beside the point. What mattered was the timing. That was what I had to control precisely."
"Oh, come on," Basso said. "You must admit, there was a bit of luck involved."
"Not really," Antigonus replied quietly. "At the same time as I was negotiating the sale of the stave lumber to the War Office, I was corresponding with the King through the Soter City office. As long as the King thought there was a chance of getting the staves, which he knew I had, he'd leave his fleet where it was, in the bay. Naturally, I had no intention of selling to him, but I was able to keep the war going until the Asinarii announced their results, at which point I broke off negotiations with the King, which left him with no alternative but to try to beat us once and for all in a major pitched battle. On my advice, your father persuaded the Senate to recall Admiral Carausius, which meant our Navy was temporarily leaderless and unable to engage the enemy. At that point, the King's time ran out and he had to surrender. No," he added, wiping a penknife on his handkerchief and cutting into the cake, "luck didn't really have much to do with it."

Granted, not everything in The Folding Knife is about these wild, high-level workings of business and politics--there are plenty of other characters and interesting social interactions and fascinating philosophical musings as well--but these types of scenarios and machinations as illustrated in the scene above were among the highlights for me. Seeing the way seemingly-unrelated business ventures strung together with political scheming served to alter the course of society and history was wildly interesting to me.

I could also post examples of the fun dialog exchanges between characters that illustrates Parker's mastery of effective humor, but I don't want to push my luck. I don't know much about copyright law, but it does say in the front of every book that you can't really reproduce parts of the book without permission, which I do not have.

Still, I trust you get my point. What happens on the macro level and how it furthers the story is (to me) nowhere near as fascinating as watching Basso interact with those around him, in the different spheres in which he travels, and how he embraces with such pleasure the types of massive conundrums that all leaders must face, likely with fear and angst. He is a great, memorable character.

Summary: 4.5/5 Highly enjoyable book, for the central character more than for the world in which he dwells or the storyline on which he travels.


Wow, that took much longer to write than I had anticipated...

I better post something funny for those that skipped the review...

Not sure who the statue is of, but it looks like he's had plenty of time to perfect that shot...

Oh, I also have a cool, mellow video to post - one that you might want to watch in as high a res as your computer can handle...

I thought it was cool to watch the sky open up like that, as though God had finally said, "Enough! That does it, I'm coming down!"

That same storm produced a bunch of amazing hail videos -- you don't really see the hail in that clip. Here, lemme track down a better one...


There are dozens more videos on You Tube if this sort of thing interests you.

OK, well, I think that's enough for now. I have other stuff to ramble about, but I think I've bombarded you enough for now...

Congratulations to Rebecca, who graduated and now has her degree. She'll be a book editor before we know it.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

"I Met the Surgeon General -- He Offered Me a Cigarette." -- Rodney Dangerfield

"Finger-painting" or "finger-pointing", you decide...

Greetings! Man, it's Thursday already... I was going to write a new post Wednesday night, but I suddenly just was really tired and thought I'd go to bed instead. Hope you aren't too heartbroken...

My week of solitude is slowly drawing to an end. Mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed it, but it will be nice to get my family home safely, so I can enjoy them again. My kids are awesome. 'Nuff said.

So yesterday, I began a project I've been putting off for some time... I'm consolidating pictures into master archives. This is a monumental undertaking, since I have photos backed up on dozens of different disks, with overlap and renamed/resized variations. Not just for the rug shop (which is my primary motivation for beginning the task), but for family/personal pictures as well. It will be easy enough to catalog the family pics - I'll just arrange them by year, and then in folders by month. Cake. But the rug pictures will be hard to catalog... do I arrange them by the country of origin? By "overall" shot vs "close-up"? By materials used (wool on wool, wool on cotton, silk, etc)? Do I arrange them by predominant color? By design scheme? By condition? Mom suggested I tag each picture with a bunch of keywords, so that the archive is searchable, and it's a sensible suggestion... that will add weeks of turn-around time to the completion date. I'm talking thousands of pictures, each one needing to be individually tagged.... It would likely be worth the effort, but the thought of it makes me want to curl up in the feeble position and weep...

Yes, I know it's "fetal", not "feeble"...

I may go see Robin Hood before the family returns. Or maybe Iron Man 2... I just checked Rotten Tomatoes, and it seems Robin Hood is sagging at 45% approval ratings (uh... not good...) whereas Iron Man 2 is cruising along at very respectable 74%. Hmm... How To Train Your Dragon is 98% still! Dang! Not sure I want to go to the theater by myself to watch an animated film, though... that's kind of sad...

That's another Left-Handed Toon by Right Handed People. Funny webcomic. Especially for an absurdist, like me...

I've been watching more self-defense DVD's. If you need someone's eye gouged out or their neck broken, let me know... hey, you never know when that kind of info could come in handy!

I don't have any funny videos to post for you today, sorry. I know you'll forgive me... especially since now you know I could snap your ankle like a twig! You'll show me respect now, I bet! Fear me! MUAHAHAHA!!!!

But I will post a Gutbuster of the Day, from This Is Why You're Fat...

The Sweaty Cowboy: Fried SPAM, peanut butter, bacon and cheddar cheese, inside a sliced twinkie. Oh, drool! C'mon, everyone, drool with me! Yeah, you're right... it's hard to drool with your gag reflex activating...

Well, I suppose that's it for now. I know, I know, nothing too fascinating or spectacular today, my apologies. Maybe if I sneak another comic strip in, you'll be ok... some sci-fi humor, perhaps...

If I need to explain it, it still won't be funny to you... sorry...

Wow, I am apologizing all over the place tonight! My sense of self-worth must be really low today! I guess the only solution is to leave a comment!


Monday, May 17, 2010

"I Owe It All To Little Chocolate Donuts." - John Belushi

Monday drips to a slow ending, leaving behind a rather uneventful day. 

I wish I could start today's post with "Hey, a funny thing happened today on the way to work; you're not going to believe it!" But, really, nothing funny happened today. But, boy, if it had, you'd sure be entertained right about now! Like that time last year when I pulled off the packed freeway to stop at a busy Starbucks that was on route, bought myself a frap and decided to relax in one of their comfy chairs for a while before heading back out into traffic... and as I sat down, my pants ripped completely along the crack. RRRRRIP! I thought at first that the chair cushion had ripped, so of course, I stood right up to check, and saw that it was fine. And suddenly it was very breezy as well. So, putting 2 and 2 together, I quickly sat back down, and laughed so hard I could barely breathe. 

Yeah, it's the little things like that that make me happeh. And it's a sad indicator of the type of uneventful day that I had today, that I had to spend time recalling something embarrassing from last year... ah, well. Good thing I wasn't going commando that day... like I did today...

Hippo Photobomb!

Watched a great movie tonight, called State of Play. I'm sorry, all due respect to the Jason Statham fans out there, but Russell Crowe is THE MAN. It's so funny that he can carry such incredible screen presence and yet be playing a pudgy, dumpy reporter with questionable hair. But he was so great, you can't help but watch him when he's on screen. The movie is sort of a political thriller type of thing, with a lefty message about military contracting and the death of the newspaper, but it had a really good supporting cast. Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Rachel McAdams... *sigh*... ok, fine, and Ben Affleck. All due respect to Ben Stiller Haters out there, but Ben Affleck is THE ANTI-MAN. What a tool-box. Take everything I said about Crowe's screen presence, and reverse it for Affleck. Every time Ben is on the screen, you want to smirk and shake your head a little bit.

In any case, I do recommend watching the film, in spite of Affleck and the relatively-whiny liberal message. Still have no clue why they titled the film the way they did. 

Here's a video I saw recently that stunned me -- and it has nothing to do with gas! Go figure! It's from a landslide in Italy somewhere...

If you can understand Italian, let me know what the guy is yelling. Probably something like "What the heck! The mountain is relocating! Let's drink some wine! Quick, bring the wine!"

In all seriousness, that is a remarkable video. What a MASSIVE amount of dirt on the move. And so slow. Killer.

Yay! Logan is back! Logan, I don't know about your experiment of post-dating new posts to go up at intervals while you were gone. It seems good on paper, but I found in theory that I felt little compulsion to leave a comment. I read the posts, don't get me wrong... but something about knowing you were gone had a strange psychological effect that had me shrugging my shoulders and browsing away before leaving a comment. Something like, "Well, he's out of town, so why comment?"

Now if I can figure out why more people aren't commenting here, I'll be in business! What, not enough fart videos for you all?

Fine, here's a fart video for you! Sheesh! Such low-brow humor... well, anything to get you to start commenting again...

Well, I'm ashamed to admit that on Sunday, I watched that clip while eating my lunch and almost choked on my food laughing so hard. Man, what a way to go that would have been! "Local man chokes to death while watching a fart video on YouTube!" Yeah, I can't imagine a worse obit....

Especially with the Wagner Women out of town for a week! Well, at least Wifey would cry over my passing...


Get it? "Passing"? See, it's a fart pun, see! See?! BUAHAHAHA!!!!!

Now that I mention it....

Yeah, that looks about right...

In case you're wondering how I'm holding up in an empty house, well, let me tell you... I am LOVING IT. I know, I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's actually nice. It's so quiet and peaceful, I don't have to keep running around shutting off lights, I can leave the toilet seat up, I get to stretch out in my own bed and sleep the sleep of the tired, I eat leftovers, so my daily spending has dropped to near-zero... and I can run giggling throughout the house completely bare-butt nekkid without worry! Well, except for the open blinds... and when I have to answer the door... or go check the mail... or run to the mall or something... then I worry a little...

OK, fine, I stay clothed, you caught me in a lie. I know you're fully aware that people aren't nekkid in real life. It's a movie myth.

Well, what do you know! I'm fresh out of stuff to talk about! Hey, do me a favor... click that little "comment" link and leave a comment, so I know you still love me. KTHXBYE


Saturday, May 15, 2010

LAN Party Recap

Post-LAN greetings! A quick post tonight, as a recap of the LAN, which was in many ways a success. It didn't last as long as I'd hoped, but most of us made it through the night. We were basically done by 9am Saturday - a far cry from the 24 hour mark I was ambitiously aiming for.

I only snapped a couple of pictures - but Jayson had his camera out constantly, and was taking tons o' pics, so when I can grab a few from him, I'll post them.

I transformed my downstairs into LAN central, setting up a couple tables, and rigging power so everyone could get up and running, as you can see here.

This photo was taken in the early hours of the morning (not sure the exact time), unfortunately the pic was taken after Zack had left, so he is not in the pic. Shannon was still there, though. That empty seat there between Shannon and Keno was where I was sitting. That's Dave-O there in his gaming kilt, between Dimitri and Yanni. That's Dave-O's girlfriend/fiancé Kat asleep in the bean bag.

Odds & Ends:

  • There were 12 people maximum that attended, including my brother John who stopped by for a while, and ended up playing some console games with Jayson.
  • Jayson and Dimitri brought their PS3's, which they set up right next to them, so they could switch from playing PC games to PS3 games as they felt the urge. Never pondered that before - I always assumed you have to hook up to the livingroom TV to play console games, but Jay had his connected to his monitor, and Dimitri had his hooked to that little TV between he and his friend Ryan.
  • Had plenty of food, it turned out, and plenty left over, to get me through this week on my own here.
  • I made it until about 8:30am, at which time I needed to sleep. When I woke up at 10:30am, everyone had left but Keno and Laythe. When Keno left, Laythe was the Official LAN Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

  • Battlefield 2 was a bust, I'm not sure why. Just about everyone got it installed, but it didn't really click with anyone. In fact, of the 6 copies of the game I bought for the LAN, I still have 5 of them here. No one wanted to take it with them, even as a gift. 
  • Dimitri and his friend Ryan consumed a staggering amount of soda/energy drinks, as evidenced by this picture.

I didn't realize they were consuming so much soda. Not sure how their systems could take it. I'm impressed and freaked out at the same time...

  • I was the only one with a desktop rig. There were 2 iMacs, and the rest were notebook computers. Says a lot (to me) about the ability of notebooks to provide an adequate gaming experience.
  • Highlight of the night (for me) was the 8-person round of Left 4 Dead we played, where it was 4v4 and we alternated between being Survivors and Infected.
  • Yanni, Dimitri, Shannon and Ryan tried to go down to the pool at midnight for a midnight swim, and got hassled (as I anticipated). I didn't think it would be a good idea, but they went for it anyway.

Summary: All in all, I think it was a great success. We had a few hiccups, but nothing too major. I believe everyone had a great time. It's too bad Vye couldn't be there - it would have been great to see he and Zack go head to head in Warcraft 3, since they are both so good at it.

I'm sure y'all are tired of reading about this event, so this will likely comprise the last of the info on it. I won't go on about it anymore, except if a few good pics show up via Jayson.

On a somewhat related topic, I almost had to cancel the party, as well as the Wagner Women's trip to Albuquerque Friday morning... we loaded up in the car so I could take them to the airport, and right here at the main intersection by the mall, as we proceeded through the intersection, some guy in a white sedan completely ran the red light going cross traffic, and made a bee-line for the passenger side of my car full of Wagner Women. I spotted it in my peripheral vision and jerked hard left on the steering wheel, and even to this moment, I have NO IDEA how he did not hit us. I mean, in a moment, I knew we were going to get plowed into. He never stopped or slowed down... he must have also swerved, I don't know. In any case, it was as close a near-miss as one could hope to survive unscathed. With pounding hearts, we proceeded to the airport, and the day proceeded. Nothing like a little Divine Intervention to get the day off to a good start.

Now if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go to sleep! I am thoroughly exhausted.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Behind Every Great Man is a Woman Rolling Her Eyes." - Jim Carrey

"A little miffed" or "a middle lift", which one?

OK, so if the mithril vest that Frodo got from Bilbo was strong enough to prevent the cave troll's trident from puncturing it (and him), then how was it able to keep Frodo from being crushed like a bug? Just because the vest can't be punctured doesn't mean that it stops blunt force as well. That's like saying those shark suits (that can prevent shark teeth from puncturing suit/flesh) can also prevent a diver's arm from being crushed by the shark's jaws! I mean, that trident blow from the cave troll would have crushed little Frodo's ribcage like an egg shell!

Also, if the mithril was strong enough to prevent the trident from puncturing it, why couldn't it prevent Shelob's stinger from getting through?

Well? Gimme answers now, or I'll scream like a woman!

So, I decided today that I'm going to change the LAN party. It's too much work, so I'm going to make it a FLAN party instead. So we won't be playing games, but rather sitting around, sampling different types of flan all night long. Oh, don't worry, I'll also have several different types of coffees and teas as well! That is, unless "coffee" and "tea" are both their own plurals, in which case I'll also have several different types of coffee and tea as well! Hmm... I wonder which way is grammatically correct? Gah, figuring it out is too stressful!

Forget it. The LAN party is back on.

I just better remember to wear my mithril long underwear... you know, in case Dave-O brings his trident...

So I bought that new iMac I've been threatening to buy. It was a no brainer, really. 12 months at zero percent interest? Bah, I'm there. I'll have that thing paid off in half that time, plus get the full tax write-off, plus have an extra machine for the LAN party available for those with weak gaming machines (Shannon! Yanni!). I got all the networking gear from Vye, got my iMac with Windows 7 installed and WC3 and UT3 installed. I got notice that my box full of Battlefield 2 will arrive Thursday. And so I have a Fry's run to make on Thursday, to grab a cable, a mouse and an extra copy of L4D, then a massive food/snack run to stock the fridge, and I'll be ready!

Plus, I should be getting a hefty paycheck in the mail tomorrow as well! Thursday should be a great day indeed!

Here's a skate video for you that might be worth watching for you, even if you're not much into skateboarding... this guy does some of the craziest, most original tricks I've seen. Not very practical, of course... he calls them "circus tricks", but wildly unique in any case. There's also some traditional tricks mixed in, along with some great mess-ups and slams.

It's only 4 minutes! Why not watch it, eh?

So I take the wife/kids to the airport Friday, late morning. Then I get the house to m'self for 8 whole days! What, o what will I do with all that time? Other than the LAN party, I mean... well, honestly? Probably nothing. I pondered having a Scrabble party also, but I'm pretty stressed over the LAN already... not sure adding a whole new event to my plate is such a good idea... especially now that I'm back on energy drinks again!

O_O *bzzzzzz!!!!*

Still enjoying The Folding Knife, by KJ Parker, who I believed was a British female author - at least that's what wikipedia says! But there's apparently uncertainty on the internet. Some refer to Parker as a him, others a her. It doesn't help that it's an acknowledged pseudonym, or that Parker's website is still under construction! But the book is great!

Let me modify that. The story is good, but really, I'm reading it more for how it's written than the story. It's just fun to read, and I find I don't really care about the story much. The characters and the dialog, and the prose itself, is just all fun. That's the way I want my writing to be - a fun, easy read. And if I can hide a rich story in there as well, then I'll accomplish my goal. But really, my main goal is to have people tear through the book, smiling and chuckling.

Squish me luck!

I've also been journaling every night. Venting my spleen, to no one but myself and God. I *really* hope no one else ever reads it! Cuz my secrets are in there, sheesh! Whatdja think! I write on my little web book, which is password protected, so it's all good. Plus, it helps that it's incessantly boring text that no one else would want to read to begin with. That's my own brand of file security. Have boring secrets. Ta-da! Fool proof.

So Logan is still somehow updating his blog while away on his cruise. He had a new link dump up there today, and I checked out a blog he suggested, and it had a really funny post up called The 7 Shadiest People at the Beach, which I think you'll find amusing. The comments are funny, too! I added a comment, of course... and now, you can do the same! Funny blogger, named Brian Allain.

OK, I am done. I will talk at you more some other time, if you're lucky. So be lucky already! Sheesh! I have more to say, but I can't say it until you get lucky!

Wait, that didn't come out right...

Dave the Lame

PS I have 45 followers now! I'm so freakin' famous! Oh, and I'm leaving the facial hair poll up for another day or so... it's such an important topic, I can't rush it....

Monday, May 10, 2010

"I Was So Naive as a Kid, I Used to Sneak Behind the Barn and Do Nothing." - Johnny Carson

Hmm... lemme think... what to write about today, eh?

Went to my Writer's Group meeting tonight, and got feedback on another slice of my fantasy story. Still plugging along. Although part of me is wishing I had decided on a smaller story instead of such an epic, complex, multifaceted tale. Perhaps the epic tale is something I should have worked my way up to, after mastering the ability to write a much shorter length story. How can someone that doesn't know his right hand from his left about novel writing tackle a gigantic, complex story from the get go? Probably unwise.

A little late now. I jumped in, so I better try to finish the swim.

The problem is, I'm always getting derailed by big personal issues that rear up and overtake everything else in my life on a regular basis. If I could figure out how to handle that, I would be better off, perhaps...

OK, never mind, I won't go there. I really have nothing to complain about; I'm blessed hand-over-fist in just about every facet of my life.

I am a bit unnerved about the way the world is careening out of control toward financial collapse. I can't help but get the strong feeling that the whole thing is being orchestrated. It's probably just the conspiracy-embracing side of me, but I find it hard to believe that all of this financial turmoil that is accelerating at such a dramatic clip could happen of its own accord. It seems to me that the whole world financial system is being methodically pushed over the edge, so that in the resulting chaos and turmoil, a more unified global system/currency can be introduced and embraced, rather than rejected. If things are desperate enough, and people have no food, etc., then nationalism/patriotism/independence will be jettisoned in favor of a "we need to band together for our survival!" type of reasoning. Then we will swallow just about any new system, if only it brings peace and order and food back again.

Anyway, that makes sense to me. No way to introduce a unified global system (with power consolidated in far fewer hands) than to bring the current system crashing down spectacularly on its own head, with resulting panic and death.

Hmm... we've drifted into dangerously bummerific territory here. Better lighten things up a bit...

Gah! That just made the mood worse! Quick, post something funny Dave! QUICK!!1!

Ahh! Much better!

So I saw a couple movies recently. Here are two mini-reviews:

Law Abiding Citizen: This one was really good, actually. Though it was particularly brutal and violent. It's the story of a man (Gerard Butler) who is victim of a home-invasion style robbery, where his wife and daughter are killed. He's wounded, but survives. They catch the two robber/killers, but the prosecuting attorney (Jamie Foxx) decides the case isn't strong enough to get a conviction for both defendants, so without consent of his client, he strikes a deal that has one defendant testify against the other one. The result is one guy goes to death row, while the other get's 5 years for third-degree murder -- even though he's the one that actually killed Gerard's wife/daughter!

So we get a revenge tale of epic proportions, since it (conveniently) turns out that Gerard is a CIA-trained assassin, specializing in remote assassination via hi-tech gadgetry. Rather than merely exacting revenge on the two robbers, he embarks on a meticulously thought-out mission of revenge that he hopes will bring the whole justice system crashing down, to force it to change. He feels slighted, you see. He feels that his lawyer should have gone full-bore to trial, in order to sentence both of the scumbag robbers to death, even though there was a chance they would have both walked free if the case failed to hold up in court.

I won't tell you how it ends, in case you want to see it -- which I do recommend. The acting is straight-forward, nothing Oscar-worthy. Same with the direction/writing/screenplay. It is pretty much a solid Hollywood action flick, with some nice action, and mildly-satisfying twists and turns and a solid (though implausible) ending. Nicely filmed.

Summary: 4/5 good action film, satisfying watch. One of those films that is worth watching once, and then maybe watching again with a friend or two that hasn't seen it yet, so you can watch them enjoy seeing it.


The other movie I watched is an old favorite of mine called In the Line of Fire, with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.

In the Line of Fire: This is another action film, from 1993, which revolves around Clint Eastwood's character; a secret service agent, and living legend. He's the only active secret service agent who lost a president. He was on protection detail for Kennedy's assassination back in 63, and has been plagued with doubts ever since, wondering if there was something he could have done differently that day to save the president.

In any case, in the "current day" storyline, he works undercover to help bust counterfeiting rings on the east coast. During the course of his duties, he stops by a place in DC to investigate a potential threat to the current President (one of hundreds they have to look into each year) and happens upon a real threat. There's a mystery man (John Malkovich) who, for reasons of his own, is planning to kill the President, and being obsessed with previous assassinations, is well familiar with Eastwood's character, and is pleasantly surprised to discover Eastwood is investigating him. So he invites Eastwood (if you will) into the "game", giving him hints to try to catch him and prevent the assassination, as though he's giving Eastwood a chance to either redeem himself for the Kennedy dropped ball, or have to stand over the grave of another President he failed to protect.

So the cat and mouse game is on, as Eastwood tries to keep his demons in check long enough to identify, track down and prevent Malkovich from killing the Pres.

I've seen this film several times before, and I always enjoy it. It's kind of dated and corny in places, but I don't mind much. Eastwood and Malkovich have really good chemistry together, and the tension builds to a really great climax. This is the only film I can think of where I enjoy John Malkovich. In fact, I think it was a comment made by "Anonymous" about my review of Identity that led to me watching In the Line of Fire again, and I'm glad I did.

Summary: 4/5 a solid, imminently watchable (though dated) action movie with solid acting, some great dialog, and many memorable scenes. If you have a Netflix account, I suggest watching it streamed, since it's on Watch Instantly at the moment.

Trying to make the world right again...

Well, the Big Day approaches! Yes, the LAN party is this Friday. I am alternately excited about it, and panic-stricken over it. Part of me wishes it could be today, the other part wants to cancel it altogether. Isn't that odd? I guess I'm just nervous about making sure everything gets set up right so everyone can play, and that there's enough food and gaming to make everyone happy, and ensure a good time for all. I have this over-arching need to make sure everyone has a good time. I'm going to be buzzing around the place, I'm sure, making sure everyone has anything they need/want, and generally making a counter-productive nuisance of myself, no doubt.

Ingesting caffeine is probably not helping. That reminds me, I broke my "no energy drink" resolution finally. I'm getting sick of coffee, and sodas/teas just aren't doing it for me, water is too boring, and I'm not ready to take up drinking alcohol yet... so it's back to Rockstars and Monsters.

On the positive side, I'm still writing nightly, and getting work done, and my faith is intact. So I guess things could be worse.

I guess that's that for now. Logan is on a cruise, Rebecca has a nice post up about Twilight, and Kris had a brush with fame you might find fun to read.

Until next we meet, adios.


PS New poll question! Vote, eh!