Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

From "View From the Porch"

The FBI is beginning to remind me of a guy I used to know who would mutter "I just saved your life!" every time he drove past a pedestrian in the street.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BBC Book Meme

 One of the blogs I  read (soggy weeds + bee spit = a nice cup of tea) posted an entry this morning about how the BBC believes that people will have only read 6 out of these 100 books.  Now, some things I can't really agree with, as they have SERIES mixed in with single books. Worse, number 98 is actually a part of 14.  But, the meme is to bold those that one has read in order to prove the BBC right or wrong.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"I Found Jesus!"

I have a story. A lovely tale of how my youngest son, the three-year-old, found Jesus.

First though, let me tell you a different story. This story is about a toy. This toy is owned by my eldest son and is a small Jesus figurine.  It's about an inch or so high, and he was given it as a reward at some church function about two years ago. Truthfully, it was one of those things that a kid is given, and the parents just automatically assume will be lost within two weeks.

Well, that's basically how it worked. My eldest had it, for a few weeks it sat on his headboard and then it just disappeared for the longest time.

Until last night.

Last night, it was found.

By my youngest son.

I don't know where he found it, or how he managed to get his hands on it.  All I know is that I sat on the couch, reading a book on my Hitchhiker's Guide kindle and my son came running into the living room.  A bright smile shone on his face and I could see that he held something.

When he was about five steps away he exclaimed, loudly mind you, "Daddy, look! I found Jesus!"

Of course, I'm sure you've put together exactly what he found, and what he was carrying, but that doesn't negate the sheer.... well cuteness of the whole scenario.

Friday, October 1, 2010

SOTD: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I've always thought that this (along with the verse in Hosea that I often use for signatures) is one of those verses that folks wished didn't exist.  After all, it touches upon a few fundamental cornerstones of faith, which a lot of folks, just don't want to think on. 

First and foremost, is the fact that ALL scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. This is important, when one considers how few people actually read such things as the Law of Moses.

We, as humans, have a tendency to supplant verses we don't like. We want them to go away, and thus, we forge excuses that we don't have to read and obey them. Statements like "Well, I could never get into Numbers," or "We should never base doctrine on a book about change."

That last one is an actual quote from an elder of a church I once attended when I reminded him that the only book of the Bible in which we get to watch actual conversions of people into Christians was Acts.  Said elder did not like large portions of Acts because the descriptions of events did not coincide with the conceits of the church he was an elder for.

This is something that we're all guilty of, in some way or another.

In regards to today's scripture, C.H. Spurgeon wrote:
The Bible is the writing of the living God." He explained that though "Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hands over the living strings of his golden harp. Solomon sang canticles of love and gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips and made the preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum, when his horses plow the waters; or Habakkuk, when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven; or the rugged chapters of Peter, who speaks of fire devouring God's enemies; if I turn aside to Jude, who launches forth anathemas on the foes of God—everywhere I find God speaking. It is God's voice, not man's. (Thoughts for the Quiet Hour).
Think about that. The Bible is God speaking. God giving us instructions. God teaching. God rebuking. God correcting. God training us in righteousness. All this, so that we all can do that which He wills.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scripture of the Day: Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Regarding the above scripture, Matthew Henry wrote:
Death is as due to a sinner when he hath sinned as wages are to a servant when he hath done his work. 

As an unabashed capitalist, this resonates with me.  I expect to be paid for any services I render, just as I expect to pay for any services/goods I wish to take for myself. It's a fundamental concept that I understand and approve of.  I can understand, intimately, that when I sin, the price that I must pay is death.

I also understand that this is true of all sins, no matter how "little" popular culture might construe said sin to be. Sin after all is sin, and all sins are rooted in either selfishness or a rebellion against God, and one must always remember that all sins are the same in God's eyes.

But the second part of the equation which the above verse represents provides us hope.  While we must pay the inevitable price which sin exacts, God has a gift waiting for us: eternal life.

The thing is that since we have all sinned, we have all earned the wage of death.  There is no way that we could ever earn the gift God is willing to give us. We could not earn it, nor do we deserve it. It is only by grace that God offers it to us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To Make Pokemon look good

Which, takes a heck of a lot mind you.

But this is dark, and gritty and looks like good fun.   I'd love to see it actually get made, as opposed to being just a fan-trailer.

What's the saddest part though, is the simple fact that this trailer looks better and more interesting than roughly two-thirds of the drivel produced by Hollywood that past year or two.  No, better make that three-fourths.

No, I've not forgotten this thing exists

But, not forgetting is a far, far cry from actually having the time to do things with it.  Sure, I'm still reading, still watching random bits of SF goodness and even still playing my video games, but I also have other massive time sinks such as Cub Scouts.

Where I'm Den Leader.

Talk about joy of joys.

Actually, it is grand fun and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Luckily, the kids are having fun as well, so let's hope that trend continues.

Anyways, the main reason I'm posting today is to display the info-graphic below. It's not necessarily something GEEK, but at the same time it is.  After all, what geek hasn't been given a gift card at some point in their life?

Budget Planner Software -

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Monday Morning Rambling

I'm still trying to get back in the habit of writing more often. I despise that I got so busy and my writing just took a nose dive, and it seems once you get out of the habit then, well, it's pretty much gone.

Oh well. It's a habit and one that I frequently relegate to the background in order to do things such as... watch anime or shot zombies... lots and lots of zombies.

Anyways, my boy has finally received his Tiger Cub patch. It was on Saturday, at the end of the year picnic, and basically the entire den was able to receive the patch, but only 5 or so of the cubs from the den were there to get the patch. What was even nicer was the fact that I got to award it to my son (since I'm going to be den leader next year, and the current den leader was unable to attend due to his daughter's surgery).

The picnic was fun overall, somewhat busy, and the only real down-side was that after the picnic was over, my eldest boy (there in the picture beside me) was racing one of his den-mates, and took a dive into the mud.

He was quite... unhappy about the prospect of his uniform being coated in mud.

Then, Sunday was another important milestone for the boy, in that he was enrolled as a Junior Soldier in the Salvation Army. There was a number of pictures (as well as a cell-phone video) that was taken during the ceremony, so maybe we'll get those soon.

Then Sunday night, was a pizza-movie-"forced-family-fun" type night. The thing is, that whenever we order in a pizza, we allow the kids to "picnic" in front of the TV and eat the pizza while watching a movie (which is a very far cry from the standard, eat at the table with the TV off situation that happens on a nightly basis). Well, I had received Ponyo from NetFlix and thus we watched that. It was as good as most of the other Studio Ghibli works, and I enjoyed it, as did my boys, especially the youngest.

Well, I fear that I must head off to work now, so until next week...

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Just Your Average Monday Morning...

And all is well here in Geek-Land. The sky hasn't fallen (too much) and the birds are even singing (which drives the cats mad, as they want to eat said birds--and at 6am, I'm more than happy to help said cats in their endeavors).

Sadly, my own endeavors have fallen short and behind schedule. While reviewing the possibilities of constructing stairs to my monsters' kids' new tree house, I've come to the conclusion that it might be easier to use pre-cut stair risers (and consequently a platform halfway up to the tree house) than to attempt to cut the stairs myself.

Additional sadness in the fact that I've not yet gone to see the two movies that I've been wanting to. After all, my children are eagerly awaiting to see How to Train Your Dragon.

But of even more fun news is the fact that I've introduced my children to the glory that is The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. I was excited that this show has appeared on HULU and set my kids up to watching the first two episodes while my wife cooked dinner/watched the end of the Sprint Cup Race and I assisted her in those tasks.

Additionally, my son has completed all the requirements for his Tiger badge, and will be getting that particular award in May at the end-of-the-year picnic which the pack is having. Of further significance is that I am now the Den Leader for my son's den (insert required "Power" based laughter/gloating here). So, we'll see how that works for things.

Well, that's all I have time for this morning, so I'm off to shower, shave and go forth into the world...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Missing Reviews, Geekery, and Cub Scouts Galore

Bah, it's already Friday, and I'm so far behind that even next week's Monday morning rambling post is late.

I've only watched two of the new anime series for this season so far (Angel Beats and Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou), and while they were both good, neither was exactly something to write home about. Of course, it's still too early in the season to tell if they're going to be good, but neither of them started out the season with.... shall we say, objectionable content.

And of course, I've once again picked up on V. That said, it has started coming across as... well "meh." After all, there's only so much one can do with a series of this nature. Either the good guys are going to win at the end of season 1, or we're going to be stuck in interminable limbo where just as the good guys start to win, some new, more powerful bad guy shows up to kick more butt. Now, if the writers would sit down and say: "this is going to go for three seasons, and this is what we're doing." then I would probably be much, much happier with how things are going.

Oh well.

Apparently, I've joined the "Cub Scout Council" for my pack and fielded the first meeting of it last night. Which went basically like all meetings I've ever been in went--except this one stayed more on topic regarding the agenda than any I've seen before.

Finally, I know I've been missing reviews, and I feel bad about it. Unfortunately, time has a way of running from me screaming. Of course, the zombie slaughters I'm carrying out (or "survivor slaughters, when I'm playing as the Infected) in Left 4 Dead 2 doesn't exactly help with my time. But it's such fun! I for one, can't wait for "The Passing" to finally get released so we can have a new map and game options.

Well, I must get the eldest to school, and get myself to work for another day of coding joy...

Monday, March 29, 2010


Well, it's another Monday, and I have an interesting stash of geekery and what not to consider.

First, is my youngest son's apparent love of How to Train your Dragon. What happened, is that last week, I downloaded and installed the kid-friendly browser KidZui, and launched it for him. Well, they were featuring that particular movie on their home page with trailers and backgrounds and what not. So, of course he watched the trailer, and then managed to snag a happy meal toy, and is now thus inspired in his desire to see said movie.

Additionally, I'll note that I failed to perform any work on the boys' tree house this weekend, mainly because I was in the woods with the Cub Scouts. Which went incredibly well, despite my wife's intense dislike of me allowing our eldest to explore said woods with only other scouts to guide/help him.

Sunday morning, we braved the horrid weather to walk to the lake and attempt to fish. Which was something of a fail. The wind was too strong, and it was making it nearly impossible for the eldest to cast his line out, and even I was having trouble keeping it in a straight line.

Sadly, the only bite of the day was a small (~7-8 inches) spotted bass (the picture is not the one I landed). Since prior to today, I thought that a spotted bass had to be more than 12 inches long in order to be kept, we released it back into the lake.

Anyways, after fighting the wind for a bit longer, we then hiked back to the campsite, got into the truck and came on home.

Also, last Thursday was my Beloved Wife's birthday, which I did manage to make mention of on this site, but we celebrated by visiting a hibachi joint rather close by. Which served a decent BBQ eel roll, but sadly, the sushi was not quite as good as Osaka's or Nagoya's sushi offerings.

And really, that's all the exciting that happened over the week for me. Especially when one considers that last week was something of a bust, since I was down with a stomach bug smacked dab in the middle of it. Well, here's to hoping that "The Passing" DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 gets released soon. I'm excited about a new campaign in which to slaughter thousands of zombies within.

Even sadder, is that the Spring anime season doesn't seem like it's going to have anything good to watch. So far, these are the only ones that really caught my attention:

  • Angel Beats - after life fighting between groups of "angels"
  • Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou - future "Devil King" has to fight to live
  • Arakawa under the Bridge - man meets homeless girl, moves under a bridge with her
  • Mayoi Neko Overun! - it's primary setting is a candy store called "Stray Cats" I have to see at least one episode
Well, I guess 4 series isn't that bad, but when one considers that there are 34 new series starting up this spring, then one understands why I think it's not a lot.

Oh well, here's to this upcoming week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It's my baby's birthday today. I won't tell you how old she is (I said I wouldn't).

So, in honor of such things, let us sing a rousing song of "Happy Birthday!" I would lead, but no one ever wants to hear me sing....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Rambling Week In Review

Well, I for one am glad that that week is over.

After all, it displayed a number of heart-wrenching terrors. The first of course is the thought that "Squishies" the potential cartoon for kids based on the Star Wars Galactic Heroes line of figures is an actual concept. This has all the horrors of the Super Hero Squad shoved into a franchise even nearer and dearer to my heart than Marvel Super Heroes.

The second heart-rending bit of news is yet another nail in the coffin of what used to be known as the Sci-Fi Channel. We all knew that with their rebranding to the utterly horrible name of SyFy that they would be in the process of jumping and leaping and moving as quickly as possible away from science and speculative fiction. Which makes their upcoming reality shows (one is about a chef and the other is about an interior decorator) all the more despairing.

The third horror is news that Monster Squad is getting rebooted. You know, there's only so many things that actually need a reboot, and I don't think Monster Squad is one of them. Of course, I could be wrong, this could be rebooted and made a wonderful movie that young and old alike adore and spend time with one another at. That said, with the level of...dreck which Hollywood has been consistently attempting to push down our collective throats as "good entertainment" I'm betting on it being horrible. Horrible in the vein of the Land of the Lost movie.

At least the upcoming Spring anime season is gearing up, sadly there doesn't seem to be an excessive number of shows that I'm going to be interested in actually seeing (at least from the previews).

Of course, while I'm waiting for the Spring season to get here (and dodging the SNOW!) I've started my kids' tree house (take THAT! those who thought I would never get around to building it!).

The first bit to be done was the brace. It's primarily two 2x6's nailed together to make one heavy-duty 4x6. I then cut a 2x4 to generate the knee braces.

The cross beam is getting attached to the tree via a 5/8 x 6" lag screw, while the knee braces are attached to the tree with 1/2 x6" lag screws (one screw going into the tree, the other into the cross beam).

While waiting for my screw gun to finish charging (so I could drill the pilot holes for the knee brace's lag screws) I built the base for the tree house. The base is made up of 2x6's.

The part where it looks like there's a section cut out is where the steps are going to go, and the short side will be the side resting on the cross beam.

Then, once the screw gun was charged, I drilled my pilot holes, and got the lag screws, a hammer, and a ratchet. Which I then used to mount the cross beam to the tree.

What's not shown in that picture is me hanging from that cross beam to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. I'm considering climbing up on to it and jumping up and down repeatedly as well.

Well maybe not, that four inch beam isn't a whole lot to land on.

Finally, I also shimmed the knee braces with additional 2x4's just to make that join with the cross beam that much stronger. Which wasn't a step in the plans I have, but I don't see anyone complaining about those beams being extra strong.

As a side note, what this means (beyond the fact that I'm building a structure attached to a tree) is that I got new power tools! On the person who works in the tool department's suggestion, I got a Hitachi circular saw. He claimed that it worked as well as the DeWalt brand (which is what my dad uses so it was my initial gut purchase) but it's not quite as rugged (DeWalt is designed to withstand at least a 1-story drop and still function). Since I'm the only one going to be using this thing, I was fine with it not being quite as rugged as a DeWalt, and since it was something like $50 cheaper, I was even happier.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday Morning Rambling on a Tuesday

Well, that was a fun week. Due to some family things, my Beloved Wife had to go visit Baltimore leaving me with the two munchkins all by my lonesome for a week. I am proud to report that I managed to a) not blow up the house and b) not permanently scar the kids.

Thus with that week, I did manage to... well, I watched some of the original Super Defense Fortress Macross after the munchkins went to bed, but prior to that I saw Star Wars a few times, watched a couple of episodes of Avatar, and in general dealt with the kids.

That said, I did manage to pick up the latest Star Wars novel so that's... well it's a mixed blessing. I love Star Wars but it's just not been the same since they removed the franchise from the Hero's Journey and stopped providing us a clear-cut HERO to root for.

Last night though, I managed to watch the anime movie Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror. Which was actually a rather cute movie, and I'm considering letting my eldest son watch it. Which should be interesting as it is a subbed movie. I wonder if his reading skills are up to the task of keeping up with the English subtitles.

Oh well, it is now time to head for work so... until next week...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning Rambling for 3/1/2010

It's the first day of March, and things are interesting for a good geek in the know.

Well, at least I'm interested in things.

First, I managed to snag a big haul from the local Hollywood Video which is in the process of selling everything off. I managed to get out of there with:

  • Coraline
  • Goonies
  • Time Bandits
  • Monster House
  • Watchmen
  • Legend

A good haul of geek movies if I do say so myself. Though I was slightly saddened that I was unable to find anything such as Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away.

It's always sad to see a company fold in this way (especially as the only other rental place in town is a Blockbuster which I will not go to), but at the same time, cheap movies is always good.

Oh well, that's all I have for this week, as it's been a busy weekend (my eldest had a cub scout hike and worked on his pinewood derby car and my youngest was just being himself), and I must now get myself to work…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Post-Valentine's Day Monday

I've got to love my Beloved. She is probably one of the few women in this world who would see a trip to Five Guys and Barnes & Nobles as a good date. I guess it does take someone special to love and marry geeks.

Alas, one does what one can.

Anyways, the biggest thing for geeks that travelled across my awareness this past week were the movie trailers. First up was the new The Last Airbender trailer which is totally and utterly awesome. Then there is a new red-band Kick-Ass International trailer that is hard to find working links for. Those two are kind of my two "must-see" movies for this year.

Of other news is the fact that Barnes & Nobles has placed Nook units for display purposes in every brick-and-mortar store. The UI is interesting, and I would still like a uni-tasker in this case. Having my phone hold books works for a lot of things but reading does eat up a decent amount of battery life, and then having a dedicated device for books would just be nice.

The sad thing is that most of the devices out at the moment cripple the books in their associated stores with device-locking DRM.

Well, it's not really the devices as those selling the files to place on the devices. For example, the Nook and the Cool-ER readers both support the ePUB format (which does not require DRM) but the stores associated with both devices sell files that are crippled with the stuff. Which means if I purchase a book from them, then I would not be able to read it on my phone.

Currently, the only option that I know of to purchase eBooks (fiction ones that is, the o'Reily series of technical books for computers are DRM free) that I can use effectively anywhere are from Baen's WebScription.Net. Every other eBook provider makes it easier to pirate a book than to get one to read upon my phone and whatever future device I may desire.

And since Speculative Fiction is about looking forward, the future I see from this kind of scares me…

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rambling Monday Edition for 02/08/2010

Well, it just hit me that we've hit the second major milestone on the Arthur C. Clarke universe. Luckily, Hal still doesn't exist... unless you count the small device my beloved keeps in her purse.

All that aside, I had a busy weekend. So busy in fact that I did not get to watch any anime, nor read any manga. The only geek activity I did find a bit of time to engage in was further playing of Left 4 Dead 2. The reasons for this were an influx of party-like activities which my family was involved in. Friday night saw a party which my elder son was invited, Saturday saw a party which my younger son was invited, and Sunday was a party which my beloved was invited to.

But lo, and behold, there is ever geek news that comes across my desk and RSS Feeds.

The least of which is the latest FotJ information published today no less, about the cover to the sixth book in that series, Troy Denning's Vortex. Sadly, it involves Han, who is supposed to be an accomplished marksman, holding a gun at that insane gangsta angle.

Basically, showing that the artist has never fired a gun, and that most of the gun activity said artist has witnessed has come from Hollywood.

Poor Han. First Lucas messes with your character arc by making you shoot second, and now you're just a two-bit thug on the covers...

But, I do think I need to backtrack, as I've realized that I have been doing something geek related, but that it's such a fundamental aspect of my being that I hadn't even realized that I was doing it.

Of course, I'm talking about reading. I've finished (re)reading There Shall Be Dragons, and 2 B R 0 2 B and have begun (re)reading A Matter of Oaths and Fallen Angels.

I must say, I'm enjoying carrying around a micro-library in my pocket. Now, if only more places carried the consumer-friendly, DRM free ePub formats, I'd be happy to spend my a significant portion of my book money on eBooks.

Additionally, tangentially related to that last thought, everyone needs to read this.

Well, that's all for this week...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Morning Playground!

I've gotta say that I love my new phone. It has games, and the internet, and it yells "Droid" at me at more or less random times. This is all good, but especially on Friday when I was home sick. I spent most of the day in bed, and during those times when I was actually awake, I COULD have held a laptop on my lap to check emails and surf and what-not, just holding my phone was so much easier.

Of course, this weekend was not all sunshine and roses: it was also my eldest boy's birthday. My newly minted seven year old had a birthday party on Saturday, and got quite the haul of Star Wars goodies among other things.

And then in a fit of true brotherly love, he proceeded to torture the 3 year old by not actually opening every package. Sure, everything was unwrapped, but he left a couple toys still in their boxes. I was amused at the sheer perversity in the thought, and less than amused by the constant begging for access to the new toys from the younger offspring.

Yet, my son was not the only child with a birthday this weekend. An additional two friends had parties (and one had a birthday, but is having a party later this week), and one of them is of Japanese descent. Which is awesome, because now we have some Japanese candies at the house from the goody bags. The second friend with a party this weekend was the son of one of the Mandos, and both boys got to spend a good hour and an half at Chuck-E-Cheese.

Which, I must also point out that it was my youngest son who had to be literally stripped off of the Chuck E Cheese costumer's leg, so said costumer could do his job.

Now, I must get off to work, and maybe play with foursquare and see how well that works.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning Rambling: The Droid Version

Well this past weekend was my 10 year anniversary, and me and the Beloved Wife had a grand time. The festivities (at least the eating portion of them) started with lunch on Friday (sushi! sushi! sushi!) continued throughout dinner Friday night (taampas @ P.F. Chang's) and finalized with standard lunch fare on Saturday afternoon.

Of course, eating at Cheddar's wasn't the only thing that took up my Saturday afternoon. There was also a trip to the Verizon store, in which I came one step closer to becoming a part of the Singularity. Basically, I now carry around the sum total of human knowledge (or ignorance, depending on your POV) in my pocket. In! My! Pocket!

I'm still trying to decide what to call it, currently my choices include, Whistler, SELMA, Ziggy, and Mother Box.

Sadly, not all of the proposed festivities for this weekend went off without a hitch, since neither of us were feeling just 100% yet, we decided to forgo the movie experience and instead focus on getting caught up on our viewing of Sanctuary. Which meant that we watched a good 4 hours of Sanctuary this weekend, but did not get to go see Sherlock Holmes the way my Beloved wished to.

Oh well, it was a great weekend, and as I said, I now get to carry the Internets in my pocket!

Amusingly, that's not the only thing that's happened this past week. I finally received my second Christmas gift (apparently there was some sort of screw-up when my Beloved ordered it or it was on back order or something).

Anyways, I am now the proud owner of a set of of the Stargate coasters. This things are awesome, they have all the chevrons and the glyphs and even the blue puddle.

And for even more geek greatness is the fact that my 3 year old has used it for its intended purpose--that is the power of the Stargate Coaster. Of course he removed my drink from said coaster in order to utilize it for its intended function, but that's okay.

Well, that's all the time I have for this week, join me next week where I wish for more time yet again....

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Holidays Are Over

And I'm regaining time. Well, at least that is the theory.

Of course, with the new anime season starting up, a new video game, and as always more and more books (much to my Beloved Wife's dismay), that theory does not always hold up well under the light of day.

On the book front, I have recently finished American Gods and was thoroughly happy with it, and I've managed to purchase Tobias Buckell's Ragamuffins. Sadly for me, this is the second book in a series, which of course means I must now go and see about acquiring his Crystal Rain novel. Amusingly enough, much like Doctorow's and Scalzi's works, I discovered his writing via a blog.

On the video game thing, I finally broke down and purchased Sins of a Solar Empire. I've been watching this game for a while now, and have never bought it mainly because I did not think that the enjoyment I would find in the game was worth the $50 (then $40 and then $30) price tag. Luckily, they brought said price tag down to $20 and the little economist in my head decided that yeah, $20 for that game is a worthwhile purchase and one should get $20 worth of enjoyment out of it. And I have, and I'm nowhere near finished playing with it.

Finally, over in the anime department, I've been bad. I know I said I was going to try to do episodic blogging last season, and I did watch 11Eyes, but I didn't ever really blog on it. Likewise, I'm wanting to build a nice review of t he series, but there is that whole "lack of time" thing going on.

Anyways, it's now firmly within the winter season, and I have tentatively made up my mind on which shows I'm going to watch this season:

  • Durarara!! (for what appears to be an awesome anime)
  • Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (for the amusement)
  • Okami Kakushi (for the sick horror of watching car wrecks)
Alas, let us see if I manage to make it through the entire season watching all of them this time.

In manga/comic news, I feel the need to talk about something here that I usually reserve for my programming blog. As indicated by the fact that I have a programming blog, I am, by training and trade, a software engineer. As such, I practice on things. I build software for the sake of building it, much the same way that I write things for the sake of writing them.

One of those things that I have built, is called eComic. It's purpose is to display CBR/CBZ files. For those of you who are unaware, CBR is a file format which is basically a RAR or a ZIP file of a folder of a bunch of images. eComic (and other tools like it) basically display the images within said file in a sequential format.

Basically, it's a digital comic book. It is software that is both free and open-source, therefore have fun with it. My primary reason for building it is to learn new techniques therefore, I release both the compiled version for people to use, as well as the source so others can see what I'm doing within it.

Now, despite all those things I have been doing, I have seen a few movies recently, among them 9 and Astroboy. And as one might expect from previous proclivities that I have espoused upon this blog, I did find both enjoyable (actually Astroboy more so than 9 in a somewhat surprising upset of my expectations).

Oh well, they were both fun movies, now I just have to get the time to go watch Avatar, Holmes and The Book of Eli. Maybe this weekend which happens to be my 10th wedding anniversary.

Yes, intrepid reader, you read that correctly! A mere 10 years ago, this Friday, I was suckering a beautiful blond into being my wife getting married, and have been happily within that particular state for all those years now.

I am a lucky, lucky man.

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