Warning: Contains rambling

•April 18, 2012 • 1 Comment

Well, it’s been two years to the day since I last posted anything here (other than on the Media Explored pages), and I’ve found that in those two years my time spent communicating with certain of my friends has decreased enormously.

That being the case, I hope for this to be the first of what I hope to be at least weekly updates to the site.

On Sunday night, I actually went through and read most of the old posts, and I realized that I miss doing my mini-reviews/commentary on whatever I’d recently read, watched or listened to. Thus, my aim is to provide those random musings into what-have-you, while also sharing my thoughts on whatever. I may also post any pictures that I feel are good or interesting enough to share.

I’m certain this blog will continue to be varied enough in content that I won’t be able to develop any kind of major following, but that’s okay, I guess.

There will be a few bits of political commentary that I can’t write about for The Record after the jump, along with some other thrilling bits and pieces about site stats and what I’ve been up to media-wise.

Continue reading ‘Warning: Contains rambling’

Vodpod Test Post

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is a test of the Vodpod video embedding method. I like this song an inordinate amount, but if you’re visiting my site, you’ve probably already seen it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Galactic Empire State of Mind “, posted with vodpod

On The Gathering Storm

•February 28, 2010 • 3 Comments

Yesterday, I finished reading The Gathering Storm, the twelfth book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy series and the first published since his death.  Before reading it, I had heard many positive things about it from friends, some even suggesting that it might be the best book in the series thus far.

As far as I know, I am the only one in my circle of friends who went back and reread the entire series before reading this new book, and I think that had an effect on how I viewed this text.  While I agree that the book is quite good, I certainly can’t say that it’s the best, but I can understand why it would be received so positively.

Closure.

In Western Culture, we’re big fans of closure.  We love to have our stories nicely wrapped up at the end, and fans of the fantasy genre are no different.  The Gathering Storm is beginning to give us what we, as Western readers, want.  It’s tying together all those loose ends that have been dangling for years.

(Spoilers after the cut)

Continue reading ‘On The Gathering Storm’

Coincidence??

•February 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I spent the better part of an hour this evening chatting with a friend.  She commented that there are many televisions where she works and that they were all tuned to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I commented that the Olympics mean so little to me that I would have to make an effort to care less.

She said that she didn’t really care either, so I dared her to see what would happen if she tried to change the channel.  She said she’d try.

Not five minutes after our conversation ended, another friend messaged me saying, “Canada’s hockey team is playing for the gold” or something to that effect.

My response was “So?”

He didn’t reply to that.

Help Me Choose a Laptop

•February 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Our laptops are ailing.  Amanda and I bought a pair of lappies in summer 2006.  That being almost 4 years ago, and laptops being notoriously difficult to keep alive, we’re thinking about getting new laptops.We’re getting to the place where not all the keys are working and where the computers sometimes announce their hatred of the universe and stop working for no apparent reason (admittedly, this has happened more with Amanda’s than mine, but I have times when it just chugs for several minutes and I have no idea why).

I am somewhat of a gamer.  I like a variety of games in a variety of genres.  I prefer PC gaming to console gaming.  What I’m saying is that I’d like a system that has some juice.

Amanda, on the other hand, is an artist.  She has done some graphic work on her Lappy, but it’s a little chuggy for her to do anything serious. Continue reading ‘Help Me Choose a Laptop’

BSG Mistakes (Mine, not Theirs)

•January 29, 2010 • 2 Comments

Apparently, the ‘reimagined’ Battlestar Galactica began with a miniseries or a two-part pilot, depending on how you want to look at things.  I didn’t know that.

Honestly, if you were to acquire a TV series, you would think that Season 1 was the place to start, too, wouldn’t you?

So, there Amanda and I were, watching the first season, and we had no idea what was going on.  I thought to myself, Hey! It begins in media res, obviously they’re going to explain some stuff as the show goes on.  Then an episode went by, then a few more, and we found ourselves with only the two-part season finale left, scratching our heads. 

Amanda suggested that it was unnecessarily confusing with far too much left unexplained and that she didn’t really care about the characters because she was confused.  I was doing my best to keep a positive attitude, but it seemed like the revelations were coming too slowly.

Of course, I was chastened when Amanda said, “Look it up,”  and I learned about the miniseries. 

Last night, we watched the miniseries.  Now, we know what the deal is with Baltar.  We know why everyone keeps dissing Laura Roslin.  We know what the tension was/is between Commander Adama and Apollo.  We know why Helo is on Caprica and why he was so surprised to meet Boomer there. We know why everyone’s in a massive space convoy (I made an assumption beased on the old series while we were watching, but it was nice to have it confirmed).  We know how they know what some of the Cylon’s look like.  We know Number Six’s name. 

We actually care about the characters. 

It’s amazing what a difference a few hours of introductory material make. 

The real question, though, is whether we weren’t more careful in our viewing simply because we didn’t know what was going on.  We’ll never know.

Thanks, All

•January 14, 2010 • 3 Comments

I just thought I’d put up a quick post to say thanks to the gang for all the fun over Christmas.  We really enjoyed our time with family and friends.

And to think, Santa Claus is safe because of a bugbear, a centaur, a minotaur, a treant, a kender, and a mind flayer. You guys rock. 

I’m going to attempt to update this thing more often this year, so we’ll see what happens.

In Case You Hadn’t Heard…

•April 2, 2009 • 12 Comments

… And Assuming That You Care.

Apparently, “A Memory of Light,” which was to be the last Wheel of Time novel, has been split into three. 

This would bother me except a) it means that I have a little longer to reread the series before concluding it (and technically I can read it 3 more times before concluding (if I want to)), b) the man hired to finish the series after RJ’s death gave very good reasons for the split, and c) it gives me a chance to find out if I like Sanderson’s writing.  

So that’s okay. 

On the other hand, I liked Jordan’s claims of making TOR find new printing methods for the monstrous volume he was going to write.

Modes of Thought are Boy Bands

•March 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

Way back in December of 2007, my good friend Mr. W.S. recommended a book to me called “The Eyre Affair” by author Jasper Fforde.  At the time, I replied with something lame about what I was reading, but nothing more was said on the matter.  I did file the name in memory, though, as I’ve always respected my friend’s opinion about books (as he seems to respect mine).

Now, I know that haven’t talked about much lately, but I really have to talk about Jasper Fforde’s books. 

Maybe my miniscule audience already knows about him (in which case WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME???), but I don’t think you do. 

Last month, I was here at work and finished what I was reading.  Since I was in a library at the time, I thought I’d look around and see if anything caught my eye.  While browsing, I happened to spot “The Eyre Affair,” and my fuzzy mental processes reminded me that W had recommended the book. 

And I’m glad he did.

Set in an alternate steam-punk, sci-fi noir alternate Earth where literature is of such great significance that there is a huge criminal underground based around the illegal buying, selling, and forging of classic literature, the book tells the story of one Thursday Next, the Literatec daughter of a rogue ChronoGuard agent, who must stop the evil Acheron Hades from destroying great texts by kidnapping and killing characters. 

You would get most of that information off the back cover of this first Thursday Next book.

Fforde has an easy style that hides the erudition of some of his ideas.  He seems to have a great fondness for literature, and his interaction with it is as respectful as it is irreverent.  He also has a way with non sequiturs.  He is most reminiscent, to my mind, of the great Terry Pratchett (whose cover blurb facetiously suggests that he considers Fforde a threat). 

Fforde’s meta-fictional tendencies are, arguably, my favorite part of his work, as he seems to delve into areas explored (less-amusingly) by Grant Morrison.  In the Thursday Next books, we find characters in a novel who literally enter into novels and poems  to both commit and solve crimes.  In the second Thursday Next book, the protagonist believes she is hearing voices as she is communicated with via footnotes, which other characters cannot hear.  In the Nursery Crimes series, we, the audience, are at one point told to accept a piece of information about the book’s mystery, while earlier in the book, the protagonist gets through a particular challenge when he realizes that his opponent is filling the archetypal role of threshold guardian. 

It is in these moments of metafiction that the nature of reality, and our place in it, is called in to question. 

To date, I have read only 3 of Fforde’s 7 novels, and I am working on a fourth.   

As I think you can tell, I highly recommend Fforde to my fiction exploring allies.

Reminiscing about Rowdy

•February 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

The first member of my wife’s family to accept me was Rowdy.  The cute chow was already 11 at the time.

I went over to what was to become my in-law’s house and met Amanda’s mother, sister, grandmother, and dog.  I was invited in and on my best behaviour.  I sat down in the living room and held out my hand to the family dog.   Rowdy, the family’s chow, came over and sniffed my hand.  She moved a little closer to smell me, and I was soon scratching her between the ears. 

The family was dumbfounded.  They watched in amazement as she let me pet her. 

Apparently, Rowdy didn’t like boys.  As I understand it, Rowdy was extremely skittish around all men, and it was virtually unheard of for her to let a total stranger pet her.  Apparently, she absolutely hated my wife’s ex. 

But Rowdy liked me, and, I think, the family liked me, too. 

Since then, I have married the elder daughter from the household.  I have lived in the house for months at a time as we were between apartments, jobs, or semesters.  I have completed a BA, lived in Japan, and come back to the city of my youth. 

I have taken Rowdy for walks and fed her treats.  I’ve cleaned up after her and been woken up at 5 am to take her outside.  She’s gone searching the house hearing our voices from a computer.  She’s licked hands and faces and feet. 

I never had a dog, so Rowdy is the closest I’ve had to a large pet. 

And now she is gone. 

I only knew her for a short part of her 16 years, but I will not forget the first in-law to like me.