Sunday, April 30, 2006

Do you like cows?

Well another movie tonight. I watched Open Range after a couple episodes of DS9. First I watched Our Man Bashir, which I'd been wanting to see again for a while. It is one of my favourite DS9 episodes. Dr. Julian Bashir is in the holosuite with his favourite program.

The year is 1964. He is Bashir, Julian Bashir. (Yes, cue the James Bond theme here) He masquerades as a jet-setting playboy in his luxurious Hong Kong apartment, but he is actually a talented secret agent for Great Britain! :-)

After Garak interrupts the program the two continue on to enjoy the program and the exploits of a James Bondish spy. Unfortunately as the rest of the senior staff (sans Odo) are returning in a runabout it explodes just as they are beaming off. With only seconds before their patterns degrade in the damaged transporter buffers Eddington and Odo store the patterns wherever the computer can find room. Physical paramaters are transmitted to the holosuite where various characters take on the appearance of the crew. Bashir must keep the program running and the characters alive, or the crew will lose their bodies forever!

Okay, how was that for a long-winded promotional write-up? :-) I didn't quite mean to type all that, but it just came flowing out of my fingers. It is a great episode to watch, especially as the actors get to play different characters. Avery Brooks does a great job as the diabolical villian Hippocrates Noah.

I've seen Open Range a couple times before, the first in theaters. It was still enjoyable though. I actually enjoyed the entire movie, though it might seem slow at times. However, I really enjoyed the gun fight sequence. While it featured a couple inconsistencies such as gunshot victims flying backwards (see Mythbusters where they conclusively demonstrated the impossibility of this common Hollywood stunt) it was quite interesting. Perhaps I've seen too many John Wayne era (no offence to the Duke or his movies, ;-)) movies (or their like) with their currently apparant lack of realism that I especially enjoyed this. The gunfight starts in the street but quickly changes to employ cover up and down the street. Also it isn't over within seconds, but actually drags out over several minutes in a quite believable sequence.

Well I don't want to finish my books too quickly, but neither do I want to go through them too slowly. ;-) I started reading them one chapter at a time today--I think I'm caught up enough that I should finish them roughly at the same time. While Weber's novel is good I'm really enjoying Williams Shadowmarch. He always does an excellent job with his characters and settings.


Saturday, April 29, 2006


I just finished watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was quite enjoyable. Definately hilarious in many parts. Dual lives, hidden weapons, cover identities--all great fun to see exposed. There was one great scene when Angelina Jolie's character (Jane Smith) wanted her people to find Brad Pitt's character and they said, "how?" His name is John Smith--not easy to track down...;-)

Once you accept the premise that the characters are assassins you can accept the movie's bodycount--heck, you don't really see much blood, so it is almost like an episode of the A-Team. The dialogue was enjoyable after they discover who they are, some of which was seen in the trailer. There were though a couple scenes in the trailer not to appear in the film, but nothing major. The DVD I obtained from the library (my sister picked it up for me today as I was working until the library was closed--and the same tomorrow) along with several others.

I currently have Open Range checked out (seen it before, but not for a while), Mission Impossible (the original Tom Cruise movie), part of season four of Deep Space Nine, and upon the recommendation of Miah The Mothman Prophecies. I've not heard much about the last, but it looks interesting and it is the only one I have now that I've not seen before. I think I'll watch it tomorrow. I would like to watch another tonight, and perhaps if I had The Matrix already I would. But I really need to get to sleep soon as I go to work in the morning.

Yes, I know it is Sunday. When I was first interviewed I said I didn't want to work Sunday mornings on a regular basis. I don't think it is bad to miss church once in a while for work, if necessary (my brother-in-law does it flying)--I just don't want it to be frequent. Therefore every other time I've worked on Sunday it has been the late shift. I will miss church, but on the other hand (smaller) I'll enjoy not being at work until ten or eleven on Sunday.

I'm continuing on with my books and am almost to the point where I'll read one chapter of each in sequence instead of several of the Weber book as I try to get ahead. However, I try to remind myself not to hurry too much. These books are good and I don't really want to rush them too much. :-)


Friday, April 28, 2006

Blood River Down

That was the title of the book I finished last night. I still cannot figure it out. The main character Gideon Sunday is an ex-football player out of work and somewhat depressed. Then one evening he opens his pantry and discovers the back wall has been replaced by an idyllic meadow. Though he is curious and looks all around eventually he decides to close the door and go to bed. It is only after a woman and then a large creature come through that (after killing the creature with a baseball bat) he is persuaded to go through.

Starting with Sunday's reluctance to go through the opening there were certainly elements often missing from fantasy quest novels, so the book wasn't completely bad. But some things are still inexplicable such as the presence of electricity in the other world and the simplicity of the society found there. Characters are interesting, but at times I found myself wondering what their motivation was, especially one that kept hatching the most insane plans. At one point Gideon is in a weapons shop and sees modern rifles side by side with swords, maces, and other medieval weapons. He is told that rifles are only for hunting animals as you don't need to give them the sporting chance that men deserve.

I believe that part of my confusion has been relieved since I discovered last night that the book is the first of a trilogy. I'm in no rush to procure the novels, but I'll keep the idea on a back burner. Part of the reason I wanted to finish this book was to see how things end and to see if my questions would be answered!

The books I purchased last night were all by Tad Williams and David Weber (at Weber's site you'll see the book of his I bought described on the front page). David Weber I've been a fan of ever since I discovered his Honor Harrington series (I know I've blogged about them here, but I don't want to search for links right now). I've been watching Baen's site for a while now and just realized that the book I was waiting for was out. In Fury Born contains a prequel to an early book of his that I have (but haven't read) as well as an expanded version of that book. The book looked good, so I decided to wait until this version was released to read the story. I'm enjoying it so far. The only problem is that it has about twenty chapters more than the first Williams book I bought so I need to go a ways solo before I can start reading them in tandem.

Last year my first tandem reading project was with Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn and Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Both are very enjoyable fantasy, though MST more traditional than Covenant. I knew that Williams had published a sci-fi series after MST, but I was waiting for the release of his new fantasy series. Normally I don't like to start a series before it is done, but I've made some exceptions--for Weber because so many are out, and now for Williams' Shadowmarch. I've only just started the book, but I'm already enjoying it. The only problem I can forsee is having to wait a year or more for the next book! ;-)

I also picked up Williams' Otherland series. I've read a bit about these, and I'm still not sure what they are. They are sci-fi, but nothing so ordinary as unadorned space combat. The character covered in the prologue of the first volume is a soldier in World War I's trenches. I think there might be something of VR involved in the series premise, but I don't want to refresh my memory on potential spoilers. At this point I simply want to read the books (once I'm done with Shadowmarch and In Fury Born). Today I work late so before I head into work I'm trying to get caught up in the Weber book so I can read in tandem on my breaks.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Borders de Abril

Well I just got back from Borders. I spent my April quarter money already. ;-) At the end of March I cashed (i.e. converted my quarters into bills) most of my money, what would convert to $10 increments. I did the same this month, even though the month is not yet over. I basically spent all of the money this evening. The rest of my quarters from this month I'll simply continue to save. The problem with me is that I see books and I want them, :-). It wouldn't really do me much good to space the money out as I bought one hard cover today (though I used a 30% off coupon) that had just been published and one trade paperback.

Right now I need to get back to the book I'm currently reading. I'm a bit under fifty pages from the end and I want to finish it quickly so that I can start on my new books. I'm somewhat disappointed with this book so I want it to end so that I can see if it can manage to surprise me or simply live up to my now dismal expectations. It isn't bad enough that I want to abandon the book, just finish it quickly. Part of the problem is that it is a fantasy quest-themed novel with a character traveling from our world. But there are some unusual twists, I have not noticed them being fully exploited however.

I must get to reading it though, unfortunately I cannot read it and type this at the same time.



Yes, this post is a tad late, acually coming on Thursday morning instead of Wednesday evening--but I have a good reason for that! First though I must say that indeed the sales position was filled at the museum, but I've agreed to send my application over to apply for an opening in the kiosk (those who sell tickets and check tickets at museum entrances--as well as work the parking booths).

I left bigg's at 16:30 today (er...yesterday!) to ensure that I would arrive at the museum on-time, which I did, a bit early in fact. The event went well, except that we had to direct a few more people than normal around. The problem came after. As the supervisor I have to stay until all the food, tables, and chairs are cleared away--only then can I finish shutting down the museum. Tonight the group renting out the museum stayed in the rotunda for dessert and a presentation--so the catering staff were all up there.

Though the event ended in the museum between 19:00 and 19:15 it wasn't until 21:30 that I was able to start the last shut-down procedures! In the mean time I simply read, and then I called my parents down in Florida. I talked to the wife of one of my cousins, the cousin about the be married, and my Favourite Floridian Aunt (she is the one who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the Orland area). After some other work I finally got home right around eleven. *sigh* I didn't eat dinner until thirty or forty minutes ago as I spent quite a while talking to my sister about various things. Therefore I wasn't able to make it in here to post--especially since I had to go back downstairs to turn the network back on before I could write this.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Well yesterday I recieved a message that we're having an event at the museum this Friday that I'd not heard about before! I think I'll be able to fully staff it though, which is especially important since I'm working 14:00 - 22:00 at bigg's so I can't come in. Things coming in last minute just make life interesting as long as I have time to deal with them.

Oh, and I had a message when I came home today to call someone from the museum. I've put the number into my phone so I can call tomorrow at lunch. The only reason I can think that somebody at the museum (and I don't recognize the name) would want me to call back is that it is related to the position I applied for in the gift shops. I'd thought that it was already filled, but I could be wrong. I don't want to get my hopes up, but this could be good. Hopefully I'll find out for sure when I call tomorrow and I might be able to talk to the person in charge of my schedule at bigg's. I've thought that if I could switch one of my days off and my work days to a four hour night shift each day I could gain three day-time days of opportunity for a part-time job. I'm just not sure if it is viable yet. I didn't want to mention it when I had no idea if I had a chance of getting the job. If I'm right when I'm guessing about this call then I'll have something concrete to ask about. I'm assuming that since they want me to call back it isn't to say, "don't come in to interview, we already hired somebody else." *shrugs* I'll see. Further speculation is useless at this point. For good or ill I should have this partially figured out by lunch tomorrow.

Ugh, today wasn't too fun. I did get $8.50 in quarters, but it also poured for a couple hours. My left boot is still fine, but two scratches in my right boot let in water. I need to find something to seal them before it rains again! I still enjoy rain, just not when I'm working outside!


Monday, April 24, 2006

Today, Today

Well, what did I do today? I was supposed to work, but then yesterday I remembered that I had switched my shift today with a coworker's shift tomorrow. I had to call him this morning to double-check, but he confirmed that he was working today. The shift is from 12:00-20:00, so I didn't have to call or get up especially early anyway.

Unfortunately my sister isn't feeling well--it has the appearance of the flu in the wake of a migraine, so she was pretty much out of commission today. I helped out as much as I could, even cooking dinner. Of course it was pretty difficult, ;-). Mac and cheese. The kids are strange however. I fixed two boxes, and sometimes there will be many leftovers from such a serving. Tonight though they ate every bit. *shrugs* It is quite strange how much their appetites can fluctuate.

I just recieved an e-mail from my parents. They've been crossing the southern part of the country enroute to the wedding of one of my cousins. They're currently in Florida. That and Georgia (which they just went through) are two of the Southern states I never managed to visit while I was traveling with them as a kid. I'm quite jealous! I'm not sure but they might have even been through Louisiana on their way--the only state west of the Mississippi (mostly) I've missed in the lower 48. Well someday I'll have to get down to Florida to visit my aunt there. She lives in St. Cloud, right near Orlando. Really I'd be going to visit her, with DisneyWorld just a side trip. Really! ;-)

This evening I watched Chicken Little. I have it on hold from the library (I need to cancel the hold) but this weekend my brother-in-law went out and rented it. I quite enjoyed it. Yes some parts were definately cliched, but overall I enjoyed the humour and referential humour--especially the opening sequence. The ending wasn't bad either, G-rated enough for a kids movie, but still interesting.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Does this make sense?

You are going to the grocery store to buy groceries. When you get to the produce department you see the following two signs in the citrus area. Which product do you pick if you must choose?

Large navel oranges, 5 for $2.00

Small navel oranges, 6 for $3.00

For the math challenged I'll provide the easy comparison. For $6.00 you get 15 large navel oranges. For $6.00 you get 12 small navel oranges.

I suppose there could be reasons for this price difference--but since this a store where everything is geared towards making money that doesn't seem to make sense to me. Since navel oranges are the best eating oranges (their peels remove easily) it wouldn't make sense to waste money buying them to juice. Besides, this is Kentucky where all of the oranges are shipped in from far out of state--you'd have to be nuts to buy oranges for juicing purposes anyway. Well more than just one for a recipe here or there that is. As a consumer I couldn't imagine buying the smaller oranges for more money. Why on earth would anyone do it?


PS Yes, I saw these signs in the produce department at my bigg's tonight.

I'd better post now

Or I'll never get it in today. I work this afternoon/evening until 23:00. Today I went to first service, not only because I work this afternoon but because everybody else went then and thus I had a free ride. I like not having to pay for gas when I don't have to! :-) We are part-way through a series on heaven. 'Tis good, though I have heard some before. At TMC we didn't just take heaven for granted as some places might.

I need to get some more pictures up. I also made some wooden furniture for the stick fort I mentioned in my last post. I'm having fun with my nephews out there. It is somewhat like being a kid again--but this time I have more experience and some things are much easier for it. I put together a table that the LEGO figures could stand at and I just produced a throne this afternoon.

Last night I watched Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It was a great flick. I'd had it on hold at the library for quite a while and it finally came in this week. Last night was the first night that I had time to watch it--so I did with two of my nephews.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day of Building

Today was my second day off this week. I slept in a bit, then spent a lazy morning catching up with things on-line and eventually taking my shower. I then sat out back in the sun for a bit working on the map for my fantasy universe. When the little kids when in for lunch I went in as well and fixed myself something. After I went back outside I ran into my nephew Chase and decided that it was time to have fun. So I spent the rest of the afternoon with Chase and one of my other younger nephews (off and on for them) building with twigs and bark. I'd done this before when camping as a kid. It is great fun to build buildings and settings with sticks, twigs, bark, and other natural materials. Today we took it one step further and made them LEGO sized. Here, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking:

Here you can see the entire complex that developed. The main area in the center consists of a corral and stable for the LEGO horses as well as a structure. The structure has the king's bed on the bottom floor and a wooden table on the top where the king can recieve guests and foreign dignitaries! :-) The entrance to this structure connects to the long stockaded pathway extending down to the LEGO tower at the bottom left of the picture. Then you can either head just a bit south to the first bark gate or turn east down another path to the second bark gate. No hinges yet, for now 'tis just bark holding back the hordes from invading. In the upper right of the picture you can see Chase's creation (besides the stable which he started and extensively designed). He has a kitchen with various bowls (acorn tops) of foods (torn remnants of different coloured flowers) and a table or two. As he has left an opening in the stockade we also have the option to extend the complex a bit to the north.

To the right is the other part of the forifications that I devised. Chase came up the idea--I just executed it. I took four Y shaped sticks and planted them in the earth in the midst of the ivy (or whatever those plants are). I should have taken a picture from further back, but I think you can get the idea from this. Using sticks placed in the Y's as a base I constructed a platform of sticks and then covered it with flat pieces of bark. Next I inserted a couple more sticks between the bark and platform sticks so that I could turn the back half of the area into somewhat of a room. The roof consists of sticks covered with thin flat pieces of bark. I think it looks quite impressive, like a tower rising out of the jungle of green. I couldn't resist putting my LEGO forrester characters up in the tower. I don't have an explanation for how they get up and down, yet! I'm working on it. Oh, I also used chunks of bark to make a low wall around the two-thirds of the platform covered by flat bark. The front third just consists of the bare sticks covered by a couple bits of bark--but it isn't useful enough as I can't directly place LEGO figures there--and even if I could I wouldn't because there is no way to fence it off or make it defensible.

Well one last picture. Last night I had to drop by Wal-Mart to pick up a few supplies. Going by the shoe section on my way to the food area I happened upon a sandal display. I've been looking for some new sandals ever since spring/summer weather arrived. I enjoy sandals but my old pair are at least as old as high school. Not only are they somewhat worse for the wear as far as creases and rips go, but the Velcro doesn't want to stick anymore and always slips at the worst moments. The new ones look quite similar, but they're new and highly functional.

I might post some pictures later. Right now I'm just quite tired and wanting to post this before midnight. I hear some wonderful thunder outside but I'm too tired to enjoy it, :(. At least I think it is thunder, it could be something dragging against the road--I really don't care enough to investigate.


Friday, April 21, 2006


I'm not sure how many of you use PhotoBucket, but unless I directly upload pictures to Blogger I always host my image files in my PhotoBucket account. I noticed that one site was having problems with their link so I logged into my account to see if mine had any problems. I was quite surprised to see the new layout.

I remember back when PhotoBucket was quite new. I didn't get in at the very start, but close to it. I've seen album sizes increase several times, the first time just as I was getting close to 100%. I've never even come close to using 100% of my bandwitdh however. It is a great service. You don't want to link to others photos directly as that steals bandwidth, and so does uploading things directly to your own website. That is where PhotoBuket is great because for free (unless you want an ad-free larger account) you get to host pictures and directly link to them (which many free webservices such as Angelfire will not allow).

Well it is almost as good as Gmail now, ;-). PhotoBucket now lets you upload video as well as images. Each free account gets one gig of storage and 10 gigs of monthly bandwidth! 'Tis great. Just as I don't worry about deleting e-mails (save spam) with Gmail, I no longer have to worry about too many pictures on-line! :-)


The Village

I just finished watching The Village. I saw it some months ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am definately a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. I can't wait for his next film to come out this summer! But, back to the past.

Intellectually some of the suspense was gone because I knew what was coming--I knew the several twists, turns, and surprises of the plot. However, the movie was still suspensful. The style of filming, the often haunting music, and the acting all combined to set me slightly on edge even as I knew something was coming.

As a kid I was scared of the dark--well not the dark exactly, but what could be in it. I didn't mind so much laying in my bed in a dark room--but going down a dark hallway to the bathroom wasn't too feasable of an option. Again, intellectually I knew that there was nothing lurking to snatch or startle me in the dark doorways I passed. This meant nothing though, fear doesn't have an exclusive attachment to the intellect, it is also very much tied to emotions. Besides the emotional commitment to suspense though I enjoyed this film because of the hope involved.

I've watched a couple horror films (in this category I'm not including The Birds or Psycho, both of which I've watched and which didn't scare me)--I might even have blogged about them, and I'm certain I have another Villiage blog back in my archives. These movies I didn't like. My imagination is quite overactive. As a kid it was quite busy dreaming up what could be lurking in the shadows. Now I enjoy developing fantasy and science-fiction worlds, but my mind also works overtime with plots. If I watch a horror movie I know that it isn't real, but my mind ignores this fact, runs with the plot, and personalizes it.

M. Night's movies are different though. A horror movie, from what I can understand, has at its core the premise of Murphy's Law, written in blood. What can go wrong, will go wrong with drastic consequences, and there is no chance of anything good happening. In short there is no hope in a horror movie. You know going in that the movie will end badly for the characters. In a Shyamalan movie though there is a sense of hope. Things may be bad, they may get worse, but somewhere there is light at the end of a tunnel, and somebody will see it.


PS I found my old post. It isn't much, but you can see it here. I thought it was longer, but I must be remembering my later posts about Signs and The Sixth Sense.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spring is coming

It might even be already here, ;-). I think we've seen the last of snow and freezing temperatures for a while. However, I won't complain if temperatures stay in the fifties and sixties for quite a while instead of venturing further up the mercury. Today it was overcast all day with a few sprinkles in the morning and a bit of actual rain in the late afternoon. With the rain everything looks so fresh and clean, especially the new decidious leaves.

I just took the picture at the right while standing on the back porch. Unfortunately pictures taken with my digital camera require a bit of tweaking to get the colours just right--it is slightly out of whack in the green part of the spectrum if I recall correctly. The scene actually looks much more vibrantly green and beautiful.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What can I say?

Well work is going along. Today was a much better day than I've had recently. I was the only housekeeping/carts employe in today from 09:00 until 14:00. However, we weren't very busy so I was able to split my time effectively betwen inside and out. Even with my breaks things never got bad at all out in the lot. I wasn't tired or worn out at all when I went home at five. I was ready to go home, but just because it was the end of the work day, not because I was eager to leave work completely behind.

As the title suggests there really isn't too much else to say. I don't feel like finding pictures to upload tonight, so I'll just leave it as this. Oh, and I'm not planning to institute a regular update in the AM and PM--it just so happened that way today. I count posts based on calendar days, not my sleep cycle. Therefore the last post, though during my last awake period was technically made today since it was after midnight and for purposes of posting every day counts for Wednesday. I simply post tonight because I'm pathetic and must post now! ;-)

Oh, oh, I have more! I know everybody must be so eager. Either that or they're thinking that I should shut up already, boring everybody with so much text to either digest or ignore! :-) Well I was disappointed with television tonight. Lost was not on, so I was forced to substitutes. I joined Bones about four minutes after the hour, so I got the gist of the episode but completely missed what happened before the first commercial. It was an interesting episode, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, but it had quite a bit of vodoo in it. Temperance, the main character, is a scientist who rejects the "magic" of vodoo, but of course she believes she is truly objective instead of worshipping science instead of a "traditional religion." *sigh* I can live with that, what more do you expect from humanistic culture?

Criminal Minds was fascinating. The BAU team followed a serial killer who was expert at changing his appearance across the South. It actually seemed as though they tried to compress too much into the forty minutes of the show. The plot would have been interesting, with tweaking of course, as a movie methinks. *shrugs*


PS I was wrong earlier about Lincoln currently being the only one on the front and back of a coin. Washington has already made an appearance on the reverse of a state quarter. The back of the New Jersey quarter shows the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware--so with the South Dakota there will be three coins to fit the criteria.

World Empire...V

I just found an old friend on-line. Many years ago I borrowed a CD from my sister, it was a share-ware CD that had come with her new computer. One of the games I found on it was called World Empire (I think either the original or II). It was somewhat of a Risk type game, except that the map had every country of the world on it. As in Risk there are connections between every continent--e.g. Brazil to Liberia--even when there is no actual connection in nature. Also there is only one connection between each set of continents. Europe and Asia only connect between the Ukraine and Russia.

Each turn you get a certain number of armies based both on the number of territories that you control and how many continents you have completely dominated. There is one catch though, you have an ideology, as does every country on the map. Countries are initiall independent and occupied by a certain number of armies (between one and four I believe). If you conquer a country with the same ideology as you there will be no need to leave anything but the one army required by the game (just as in Risk you have to have a minimum of one army on each territory). If, however, you conquer a territory with an opposing ideology you must leave a certain number of armies (the computer will tell you 2 or 3) to prevent a revolt. If you do not leave enough armies and the territory revolts control will be granted to the enemy (the other player with the same ideology as the country) as well as five armies on that territory.

I enjoy the game because you get to see every country in the world. V, the newest version, does an excellent job of showing nearly every nation. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't include East Timor, but I did see Monaco and San Marino! I downloaded the 30 day trial of V, so I probably won't be buying it. 'Tis a fun game, but not forever. Plus I found a few things in my storage unit this evening!

I found three items of especial note: two DVD sets and a game. I found both my complete set of the series Firefly, but also my Band of Brothers DVD set. Now I can watch either whenver I want--and I could even go from Firefly to Serenity! Though I would read the three comics in between--which I of course bought back before the movie was released. Additionally I found my Diablo set, so I can reinstall Diablo II, restore my saved game from well over a year ago, and go back to playing whenever I have enough time. :-)

Okay, I didn't realize that I'd stayed up so late--but I just had to finish my first game on World Empire V! :-) I work the next three days 9-5 so I need to be getting to bed earlier.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Well I definately intended to post this last night so that I would keep up my rhythm of posting every day, but alas I fell asleep before I could type and post this entry. Sleep has been interesting lately. My schedule fluctuates so much that my sleeping schedule is somewhat crazy. I might work 14:00-22:00 a couple days then 09:00-17:00 for a couple more with a day off in between.

I'm glad to have this job as it is bringing in money--but it isn't enough. I'd rather work with people a bit more, even if I'm in a cubicle next door to co-workers. On this job too often I'm just on my own wandering through the store or the lot as I work. It does provide some good time to think up ideas for my stories, but really too much time. I don't think that I'll be able to get the part-time position I applied for at the museum--I haven't heard anything back yet and the position is no longer listed. Therefore I need to edit my resume and get serious about finding other work. The problem is I barely make enough money at bigg's for my current situation, and it isn't at all enough to let me live on my own, :(.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Grand Crusade

Wow...To some extent I am speechless, but I won't let that prevent me from typing this entry! :-) I just completed The Grand Crusade, the final book in the DragonCrown War Cycle. It was well, nay very well, worth the read and the time spent on it. My earlier fears related to the evil overlord list were assuaged. Timing is everything.

The volumes to contain many descrptions of battles, and here they often were not glamorized as much as they could be.
The scattered Aurolani infantry fell swiftly. It occured to her that bards might suggest they were ripe wheat before scythes, but that analogy was simply too pristine. Wheat stalks did not scream when an arm hung by a ligament. They did not bleed or whimper and they certainly couldn't leap at a warrior, drag him down, and bite his throat out. That would ever be the way of it, though--that bards would sanely describe the utter insantiy of war.
There were many battle scenes, but also intersperced were comments such as I reproduced above. It was a grand quest at times, but not without trial and heartache. This was no mere painless campaign against evil, it was more human than that and showed a truer understanding of suffering and sacrifice. However, I would offer one caution besides the violence. There were a few PG-13 scenes that could definately have been left out--but regretably they were not.

Ah, I cannot rave enough about these books. I have enjoyed other fantasies before, but so rarely have I enjoyed a series so much. I think the last such might be Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince and Dragon Star trilogies. It is rare to find authors that so truly understand politics and human nature that they can craft a truly believable story. Leaders do not merely band their armies together because they are "good" and they're fighting the forces of evil. In truth they may have to be bribed, "guilt-tripped," or forced to do what is right. Stackpole definately recognizes this and creates real characters that live, breath, fight, and die on the page but live on in fond memories.

Now I no longer have to look at my time at work as so interminable, keeping me from these books. However, I am taking Talion: Revenant to work with me today--it was Stackpole's first novel, though not published until after some of his first works were out. I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles a single volume work.


PS Reading the reviews at Amazon is very interesting. I happen to believe that most of the top reviews under the book are dead wrong. They consistantly assign one, two, or perhaps three stars to the book. However, many of the things they complain about are what I love. Beware there are significant spoilers therein that I've avoided here in case any reading this want to read the books. But part of the reason I enjoyed these books so much was not only that Stackpole is a great writer but because he defies so many conventions. Because his books are different I think that many were disappointed and couldn't see the books for the excellence that they are. Well, at least that is my two cents, and I'm not changing 'em. :-)

Saturday, April 15, 2006


It was almost eighty today (at the least, it might have been higher), though with the humidity and coming after winter it felt much hotter. The last three days I've worked 09:00-17:00, outside working with carts the whole time (except for breaks and visiting the drinking fountain frequently). I just noticed after Thursday that my arms were slightly sunburned! I could finally see a watch mark on my arm again, as well as one on my right wrist where I wear the Livestrong bracelet my dad gave me. I hadn't had such marks all winter since I'd been inside much of the time and we didn't have many bright hot days.

A few parts of my head are a bit red, but not too much. I wear a cap, have Transitions lense glasses, and my hair is long. I've been telling my mom for a while that my hair is longer than it has ever been before and how much I enjoy it. But she keeps reminding me that I haven't shown her a picture so she can't really picture it or know exactly what I'm talking about. I am planning to get a haircut, I've just not gotten around to it for quite a while...;-) As I mentioned above I wore my cap all day so this picture which Chris took after dinner this evening, evidences "hat hair" to an extreme. I'm quite certain that Mark would never go for a hair style like mine, in fact he might even be shuddering now as I know how much he likes baldness.

I finished When Dragons Rage yesterday right after work and started The Grand Crusade. I kept going for a few hours and did my best to finish, but alas sleep finally took me. I'm going through it now and since there is nothing new on TV to distract me I'm really hoping that I can finish it tonight. In one way I definately do not want to be done as I will really miss these books, but on the other hand I want to see what is going to happen even more! :-)


Friday, April 14, 2006


About four this morning I woke to the sound of rolling thunder. As it was warm last night I'd left the windows to my room open, though the blinds closed. When I woke though lightning filled the sky several times along with the sound of thunder and I could hear rain pouring down. Therefore I decided that I had to close the windows. While I do really enjoy a good thunderstorm in the middle of the night I enjoy sleep even more. Thankfully I was able to go back to sleep fairly soon.

Unfortunately I only get to work inside for the first two hours today--after that, for the remaining six hours of my shift, I'm on carts. *sigh* Hopefully the rain won't come back and I'll just have to deal with puddles on the ground and such, but I'm not really too hopeful. The forecast tied into my Google toolbar says "Light Thunderstorm Rain." But at least it has 63 as the temperature, that won't be too bad!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

State Quarters

Okay, we'll start off with some trivia--then move on to the real meat of this topic. Who is the only person featured on both sides of a coin? Give up? Well I didn't intend for this to be a serious quiz--not with the pictures to the right. Obviously any American readers will know that President Abraham Lincoln is on the front of the current penny (and if you don't know something so basic as that you should be shot, or at least have something really bad happen to you...:-P) You can see it easily on this picture, perhaps a bit easier than on an actual coin (especially if you don't have great eyesight) but Lincoln is also featured on the back. The Lincoln memorial in D.C. is on the back of the penny and the memorial includes a large statue of Lincoln in the center--you can just see this statue on the penny design.

Thus Lincoln is the only person on both sides of a coin--to this point. Later this year it will all change with the South Dakota quarter. And I have a preview of the design right here for your viewing pleasure. Of course George Washington is on the front of the quarter (again if you don't know that and you're American submit yourself for punishment somewhere suitable) and as his visage is featured in Mount Rushmore, South Dakota's most famous landmark--you'll see him on both sides of the quarter later this year.

I rather like this design. I'm always in favour of landmarks on the quarters--hence my like of New York, and Mount Rushmore is no exception. If nothing else Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson were three of our greatest presidents--and Teddy wasn't that bad...much better than his cousin!! *shudder*

This is a nice transition into my main topic, as of course I intended that it should be. :-) As I mentioned above I like the New York design which features both the state outline (a plus when you have an interesting shape--unlike Colorado--look, I love Colorado, but the outline is boring) and the Statue of Liberty. Texas is also quite interesting with the outline of the state and a single star--harkening to its former status as the Lone Star Republic. Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maryland are also great designs. Kentucky doesn't feature my favourite design--but it isn't half bad--horses are a major part of Kentucky's image. It is California's design that I truly despise.

Okay, first of all I don't hate people--just sometimes I really dislike some of the things they stand for. I'm all for being good stewards of the Earth, as God calls us to be in the Bible, but the current environmental movement is far, far beyond the pale. I honestly think that many believe animals should have more rights than humans. It isn't even just the ecoterrorists (yes many are real terroists just as much as Jihadists) or envrionuts--even the mainstream movement is far out of line in my mind. Eh, I'd better not go off into that tangent too much more or I'll become even more vitriolic.

Well John Muir was an early enviornmentalist. I simply think that California's history has much, much more to offer to a quarter design than John Muir and Yosemite. Many other things would be more appropriate to California history than this one man.

Elements from the state seal relating to the Gold Rush, or the Grizzley (as on the state flag--the Bear Flag Republic), agriculture, or any number of other things. Heck, every fourth grader in California learns about the California missions set up by Father Junipero Serra--what about putting San Juan Capistrano and its swallows on the coin? I'd go for that--if I couldn't have some sort of design similar to the flag. ;-) Nearly any of the items above would be preferable to the current design--which unfortunately cannot be changed. :(

I guess I'm just bitter since I don't especially love either the design from my home state of California or my current adopted state of Kentucky. *sigh* But I guess you can't win them all...


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Reading, what else?

I'm continuing to read through Michael Stackpole's DragonCrown War Cycle and still very much enjoying it. I just finished the second book--the first of the trilogy, but second since it comes after the prelude novel. I continually enjoy the way the author twists and even discards many fantasy cliches. Anyone who has read much fantasy is familiar with the typical quest motif. A young hero (or more infrequently heroine) is taken away from their normal life and they venture forth in a quest for some great and noble purpose--often to retrieve (or destroy) some magical object. Often the story is additionally a coming of age tale. DragonCrown does have a quest--the destruction of the evil tyrant from the north--but nothing is ever easy or simple. The heroes take a bit to come together, and they do not just charge after their goal. Instead the plot weaves around quite a bit.

The changes don't seem to be driven completely by the plot however--they seem more natural. A battle doesn't simply end the war, rather it serves several purposes. Yes the heroes may win for a time, and will probably eventually win--but so far this hasn't made the villian seem cartoonish or pathetic, rather contstrained by what is available to her. I think another great thing about the trilogy is the first novel, The Dark Glory War. I've already talked about it here--but it is taking on new meaning as I continue deeper into the series. DGW is narrated in first person while the other books are in third person. As I saw in I, Jedi Stackpole does a great job with first person--and this is no exception. The tale is set a generation (about 25 years) before the trilogy and serves to set up much of what happens later. I think that the trilogy could definately stand alone without DGW, but it is much richer for the addition. Furthermore reading DGW can only whet your appetite for the other novels as it ends, but obviously the story is ready to continue.

There is one cliche that I'm afraid the books will fall headlong into. It is a variation upon Rule 19 from the Evil Overlord List:
I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.
I guess I'll have to see where the plot goes. At this point I'm hoping that Stackpole will throw in some twists to surprise me--or that what I can see coming will happen early and not be at the climax of the series.

*shrugs* I'm just enjoying these books so much. I only started typing this so that I would keep up with blogging. I'm right now very eager to get back to my book! :-)


PS Here is a perfect example how Stackpole tears into cliches. The first speaker is a princess begging the help of Will Norrington, a character believed to be the focus of a prophecy, but for various reasons he is doubting this concept.
"You must be, though. Don't you know?"

"It's magick! How am I supposed to know?" Will swept a thick hank of hair back. "It's not like I have a scar on my forehead or some weird birthmark or anything. Just because my father is a henchman for an evil empress doesn't mean I'm a hero. I mean, I know the songs. I know the legends. It's just easier in the legends."
It is great how he pokes fun at both Harry Potter and Star Wars (especially as he has written Star Wars novels).

Monday, April 10, 2006


I thought about the title "Death and Taxes," but I have no deaths to report...;-) I just finished my taxes. Normally I'd not procrastinate this much, but this was my first year figuring them out on my own. Previously an uncle of my mom's who also does my parent's returns graciously did mine as well. This year I had to wait until I could catch my brother-in-law at home at a time conducive to coherent thought (i.e. not at 01:00 or right before leaving for work). Of course once he opened up Turbo Tax I realized that I could do it all on my own (besides asking him a couple questions for clarification). The amount I'll be getting back is substantial and will do well to supplement my current income.

I'm looking seriously into getting another job at the museum center (part time in the gift shops) to supplement my bigg's income--even though it would likely involve giving up days off. As it stands I can just afford to pay my bills, tithe, and for necessities like gas--nothing left over for savings or spending money (why I'm enjoying the quarter money--though tithing from that too and I've thought that if I'm going to give extra, which I can't afford from my normal income now, it would come from there--say to a missionary at church). I'll be able to sock this refund away in my savings account at ING Direcdt where it will earn a healthy 4% interest until I need it. Hopefully I'll find a better job soon, or at least I won't lose this one (I really don't think I'll lose it, so I'm not sure why I typed that--perhaps I'm just to strangely lazy to hit the Backspace key and I'd rather just type this longwinded parenthetical explanation!) so that I can leave the savings money alone for a while.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Utterly disgusting

I've never been too tempted to smoke. I think it has something to do with all of the education as a kid about the evils of smoking, my parents, and how nasty cigarette smoke smells (those aren't necessarily listed in order of importance). Well what I had to do today didn't give me any reason to change my mind.

As you walk up to the outer doors of bigg's (for you California readers places in cold weather country have two sets of doors so you don't open up the warm inside to freezing blasts of cold air everytime somebody enters or exits) you will see signs on the doors notifying you that no smoking is permitted inside. Of course many people walk up to the doors with lit cigarettes, desparate to get in those last few puffs before they must enter the smoke free store. Instead of just expecting people to drop their cigarettes on the ground (though sadly many do--Have I ever mentioned that working with the general public day in and day out does more to support my belief in human depravity than anything else besides the Bible?) bigg's has provided containers where cigarettes may be safely disposed of.

They look like large board game pieces (like pawns from the game Sorry!). Near the top of the central pole is a hole through which the smokers drop their cigarettes. The cigarettes fall down the shaft into the bottom of the container which flares out into an open space perhaps sixteen inches in diameter. This area consists of a plastic bottom (similar to the top piece) containing a metal tub. The metal bucket is filled with water so that lit cigarettes are extinguished when they fall in. Well one of the more onerous duties which is incumbent upon housekeeping/carts staff to perform is the emptying of these containers.

In preparation one of the other staff and I each donned two latex gloves on each hand. Then after removing the top piece we used a wad of paper towel as further insulation before grabbing the handle of the metal tub and tipping the contents into a trash container. The smell from these metal tubs was as far as I can recall the most vile odor that my olfactory nerves have ever had the misfortune to encounter. I would rather spend all day in 100 degree weather in a well used cow pasture than spend five more minutes with that smell. As the other employee pushed the trash container in front of the store so we could go to the other door I very deliberately walked in front of him, upwind! *shudder* I only hope that I don't have to be involved in this process again while I'm employeed at bigg's. If I never smell that noxious odor again it will be far too soon!!


Saturday, April 08, 2006


Well I'm giving up on the two books at at time for a bit I think. Not at all because it hasn't gone well. Each time I've tried it I've enjoyed the experience--though I picked the wrong two books the middle time--I've not yet finished Star Wars while I finished the first book in the omnibus Steven R. Green those are on hold for a bit. I'm just plunging ahead into the rest of the DragonCrown War Cycle.

But I just finished Owls Well that Ends Well. Mark, I really can't thank you enough for directing me to Donna Andrews. I really, really enjoyed the Meg Langslow series!!! I mistakenly read We'll Always Have Parrots first, finishing it on the 26th of March. Once I had everything straightened out I purchased the rest and finished Murder with Peacocks on the 31st (purchased 3/29) with Owls following this evening after the rest in between. :-) So I'm somewhat saddened that I don't get to visit with Meg, Michael, and her crazy family for a while...but the fantasy I just finished was even more bittersweet.

Michael Stackpole is an amazing author! The first book of his that I read was I, Jedi and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it might have been part of what has steered me away from the reset button Star Trek novels into more serious books (though I'm sadly behind on my Star Wars canon--I'm not even close to being able to read the New Jedi Order). The Dark Glory War was one of the best fantasies that I've read in years. It came across as real. The main character comes of age at the start--he is eighteen and just becoming a man. But throughout he realizes that despite what he does and accomplishes he is yet a very young man, never feeling the equal of the men around him. Yes as he is one of the heroes of the tale obviously he accomplishes much--but it feels more natural than most stories where the young boy goes off on a quest that turns him into a man. Stackpole is going to give me good direction when it comes time for me to get more serious about my fantasy writing.

I've long wanted to avoid sterotypes--to the point that I forever banished the idea of Elves from my personal fantasy universe (while keeping dwarves though). Even in the cooperative fantasy universe I developed with some friends I took charge of the Elves and have made them very different--they have different racial stocks, cultures, and religions--oh, and humans have more magic than they do. :-) *shrugs* But enough about me, back to Stackpole.

I say bittersweet because of the ending of DGW. I won't say more, but as I was as involved in the book as I usually am in good books it hurt to read the end. Of course I'm about ready to plunge into the trilogy that this volume was intended to be a prequel to, but still... If you read fantasy and are ready to get away from some of the cliches for a bit you could do much worse than picking up The Dark Glory War. If you've heard me talk about fantasy you know that I no longer even glance at any book by (blast what is his name...), oh yeah, David Eddings.

I read his four main series and was disgusted at the end when I realized he basically recycled the same plot, even down to many features of geography and politics. He claims that formulas are what sells and perhaps he is right. I still enjoy the novels of Terry Brooks--they are somewhat formulaic in the heroic quest mode--but they're more lighthearted and still enjoyable. Despite what publishers or David Eddings might claim I'm always ready for something good that bucks tradition--and Stackpole definately has that talent. I've already marked one of his other fantasies at the library and bought another with my quarter money (I ordered it on-line at Amazon)--both are stand alone. I can hardly wait to continue exploring his worlds! :-)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Recent Entertainment

First a report on Serenity. Yes it was just as good the second time. It has been long enough that I didn't remember every little detail before it happened, which made the experience more enjoyable. The extras were also quite nice. The easter egg on the main screen contains a short documentary about the Fruty Oaty Bars commercial (the one with the subliminal message that sets River off) and a full screen version of the commercial it self--all great stuff.

I was also reminded again how much I enjoyed both Firefly and Serenity for their dialogue. Joss was a genius writing the stories. The dialogue captures a sci-fi angle that yet feels archaic and western with splashes of Chinese not seeming out of place. This along with the constant humour is great. I can understand his pain in cutting some of the deleted scenes as they contain more excellent ripostes of wit.

Well my last reading of two books simultaneously went quite well. Phobos was a great sci-fi mystery and reading it along with We'll Always Have Parrots only heightened my enjoyment of both books. I'm at it again now. First I'd started Owls Well that Ends Well, but I don't want to finish it too quickly as it is the last of the Meg Langslow series from Donna Andrews that I have to read.

It works out great because when I went to Borders yesterday I not only purchased Serenity but I picked up four books by Michael Stackpole. If you're into Star Wars you may recognize him as the author of the X-Wing series. I've not read them yet, but if they're anything like his other books (including I, Jedi which I have read) they're probably quite good.

Unfortunately I ran across some of these books at a Cincinnai Public Library book sale a few months back and for one reason or another I didn't buy them. It breaks my heart (and wallet? ;-)) to think that I could have had two or three of these books for fifty cents if I'd only bought them then! I did get one 15% off for answering a phone survey from Borders and one using the weekly 25% off coupon, but still more than $0.50 a book! *sigh* Well I've just caught up to Owls in my reading of The Dark Glory War so I'm now switching back to Donna Andrews for Chapter Ninteen.

I leave for work at 13:30 so I think I'm going to go pack my lunch and then get in as much reading as I can. Or perhaps I'll just reverse that order... :-)


PS This post reminds me that I haven't updated my library in a bit. I think that as I'm not likely to buy any books for a while I'm going to have to export my library to html and upload the new version. Hmmm...I might even post about the statistics later--they're quite interesting. I can't wait until I have all my books unpacked and I can know that every book I own is listed in my computerized listing!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Well Mark went out and bought The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I plan on buying that eventually--but it was another movie I had to get today. It has been out for a while, but regretably I forgot about it for a while, and didn't have money to get it--that was all rectified today. Today I purchased Serenity. I'm going downstairs to watch it now. I saw it in theaters--but only once, and I'm more than ready to enjoy it again! :-)


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rain, i.e. liquid wet stuff from the sky

Yeah, that stuff. I used to love it, well I still do enjoy a really good rainstorm, just so long as I'm not working on that same day. Working outside as I do now I'm really not attracted to pulling carts through pouring rain or having to deal with drenched carts. Last night involved some rain, but thankfully much of the time I had to be outside it was barely coming down, if at all.

The picture at left is from 2004, during my last couple months at TMC. The view is towards the cafeteria and computer sciences building along the front of the library. I was standing in between Vider and Rutherford (but almost to Rutherford) when I took the picture. 'Twas a wonderful rainy day--or it had been.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I'm off on a bit of a movie kick. I have seven DVDs out from the library, and I've been enjoying them. :-) Last night I watched Shanghai Noon and this morning it was Shanghai Knights. Both were quite fun, and as I approached them first as comedy and then as historical fiction I enjoyed them much more than Zorro. Perhaps I just expected too much of Zorro, whereas these were entertainment from the start that happened to be interesting. You have to love the name of Jackie Chan's character Chon Wang (say it out loud) and all of the characters they run into are great.

For some reason I've never seen the movie Jaws, so that was also one of the movies that I checked out from the library. Of course I've heard about the movie for years--but I've never before taken the opportunity to lay hands upon a copy.

Now of course I'm still reading--currently I'm in the middle of Crouching Buzzard (well nearer to the end actually). But since after that I only have Owls I don't want to rush things too much.

I have some leads from Mark about other good mysteries though, and plenty of other books that can keep me occupied, so I'm not really that bad off...;-)

Still all this talk of rain (well and retyping my title) reminds me of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. You've heard of this dangerous substance, right? I think I might have blogged about this before--but if so it was probably back in '04 so here we go (perhaps again), but going nonetheless. Go to! Trust me, you can't afford not to protect yourself against this dangerous chemical! You'll definately thank me later for warning you about this grave danger.

Thank you and please resume your regularly scheduled lives and wait for my next update with baited breath.


Monday, April 03, 2006


Yes, I meant to type that capital letter "i." Sometimes when I'm typing fast I'll acidentally hold down the shift key a split second too long producing glitches like MIsc or I"m. I've been doing MIsc so long that I've now made it my standard abbreviation for miscellaneous (Cool, I spelled the word correctly on the first try, ;-)). But you didn't come here to read about my typing habits or pecuilar abbreviations (at least not for more than this paragraph, unless I type another blog post later ).

Okay, first of all I'll go to Harry Potter. I've read all of the Harry Potter books published thus far, i.e. all b
ut the last book which Ms. Rowling hasn't written/published as of yet. I have enjoyed each one of them, and I've also enjoyed the movies that have been made. Yes, of course they have changes, but they've been good nonetheless. However, I wasn't as happy with The Goblet of Fire.

Perhaps the problem is merely my imperfect recollection of the book, but it seemed to me as though a great many things were left out of the film and as
a result it (while also trying to include a great many other things) seemed to skip around at times, landing only too briefly on any one point. *shrugs* I did enjoy it, but I just felt that it was lacking. For example at the start I expected to see some of the World Quidditch Cup and was disappointed to see nothing beyond the introduction of the Bulgarian and Irish players, :(. But the movies are only a pleasant addition to the books anyway, as is nearly always the case with me (I can't think of a contradictory example at the moment actually) I'm in it for the books first and foremost! :-) And speaking of books, I'm quite upset with Mark!

I've already told Mark about this, so he shouldn't be too surprised. Yes, I'm quite upset that he didn't bug me to read the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews more often. As I noted in my last post I picked up two of the books--but I got the wrong two. I thought I had the first two when I actually had the fourth (Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon) and fifth (We'll Always Have Parrots). I read the fifth before Mark set me straight (thanks again! :-)) and so I purchased the first (Murder with Peacocks), second (Murder with Puffins), and third (Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos). On Saturday I picked up the sixth (Owls Well that Ends Well) using my Borders Rewards 25% off coupon.

Currently I'm reading Crouching Buzzard and I'm thoroughly enjoying all of the books. Certain things that puzzled me about Parrots are finally making sense now that I'm reading the others. I only regret that because I read it first I mentally perceive that I have one less book to read (which if you just consider in order I do). No Nest for the Wicket isn't coming out for a while yet (August 8th). All of my current books are in paperback (all but Owls were specially priced at $3.99 instead of the typical $6.99) so I'll probably check that one out at the library. But anyway, back to the books. Mark told me about them, but if I'm only starting them now so longer afer I first met him he obviously was laying down on the job. :-)

Oh yes, the money for these books. Well I totaled up my quarter money and it came to nearly $100 for the month of March. I've already spent some of it and plan to ration the rest out. I'll still keep track of the total I've collected, but I'll probably save it for a month and then turn it into spending money by exchanging it for bills at my bank.

My job is going well--I think that my feet are definately toughening up after so long on the hard store floors, and I'm albe to pull more carts than before. It isn't exactly a normal work-out routine--but being on your feet seven hours a day (minimum) and regularly pulling between twelve and seventeen carts across a parking lot is bound to convert even a couch potato eventually. ;-) And just to set the record straight, I'm not a complete couch potato. I'd be more of an any-flat-surface-where-I-can-read potato if anything. ;-)

Tonight it rained, quite heavily for a bit. This precipitation was accompanied by thunder and lightning for much of its duration, thereby limiting the other carts/housekeeping employee and myself confined to the store for the last quarter of our shift this evening. Thankfully the rain finally stopped and we were able to clear the lot before the thunder started back up. Normally it wouldn't be a
big deal, but we left at 22:00 and I'm the next carts employee scheduled, starting tomorrow at 15:00. *sigh* The 15:00-23:00 shift is not my favourite. But of course I'm sure that I'll manage somehow.

As you might imagine from the image on the right I recently watched the movie U.S. Marshals. I believe it was the summer of 2004 that I first watched the movie The Fugitive. I didn't realize until tonight that U.S. Marshals is somewhat of a sequel to that movie as it stars the same Deputy U.S. Marshal, Sam Gerard (played by Tommy Lee Jones). I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Some of the twists were quite obvious, as for example the guilt of the fugitive, but others were more entertaining.

One recent movie that I didn't enjoy at all was the Legend of Zorro. It definately did not live up to the first movie in the series. Its "history" was even more convulted and inaccurate than any other movie I've seen lately. Stop your eyes now if you've not seen the movie and care about spoilers (my advice would be to skip it and spoil yourself if you must know what happens).

The movie was set in 1850 and yet the "bad guys" were ready to conspire with the fully-formed Confederate army that was prepared to attack the North. Never mind that the Confederacy wasn't acutally formed until Lincoln was elected--he was the catalyst. *sigh* I don't even have the energy to tear apart the movie. I'm tired from my long day and the blasted "Springing Forward" nonsense. I changed my clock last night, but I still operated on the old time as far as my reading went. ;-)

Good night all, I hope to return here soon.