Jul. 30th, 2009

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The carnival is back this week, the one nearest our home; we could walk there if we wanted to. Last night was opening day, and we took Sebastian. It was cloudy (and hot and humid as well; I'd even call it oppressive), and rained a bit, but the weather cleared up enough that all the rides were open.

It was discount night; the first night always is. Every ride costs $1.50, one ticket. Sebastian rode on the little dragon roller coaster twice, the bumper cars, the long slide twice, the motorcycle ride, the race car ride, and he and I went on the Ferris Wheel together. Teri and her mother urged him to try the new horror ride, but he refused. I backed him up on that, although I'll admit I was intrigued; it looked a lot like an old Pleasure Island ride I've dreamed about all my life.

Teri and I ate there. She had clam cakes (six huge ones, it was the smallest order they had) and red clam chowder (they didn't have white or clear). I had a dynamite - it was very good - fries, and a Del's frozen lemonade. Later we both had fried dough, which was delicious.

We all played some games too. Sebastian got the prizes no matter who won, of course. He got a stuffed orca doll, a plastic trumpet, and some other cheap stuff.

A fun night! There's a good chance I'll take him back there tonight. It's fireworks night, the only one they're having. They don't start until 9:30 (assuming they don't get rained out, in which case they'll be pushed back to Friday night), and I'm not at all sure he'll be able to stay awake that late!
bobquasit: (Default)
The carnival is back this week, the one nearest our home; we could walk there if we wanted to. Last night was opening day, and we took Sebastian. It was cloudy (and hot and humid as well; I'd even call it oppressive), and rained a bit, but the weather cleared up enough that all the rides were open.

It was discount night; the first night always is. Every ride costs $1.50, one ticket. Sebastian rode on the little dragon roller coaster twice, the bumper cars, the long slide twice, the motorcycle ride, the race car ride, and he and I went on the Ferris Wheel together. Teri and her mother urged him to try the new horror ride, but he refused. I backed him up on that, although I'll admit I was intrigued; it looked a lot like an old Pleasure Island ride I've dreamed about all my life.

Teri and I ate there. She had clam cakes (six huge ones, it was the smallest order they had) and red clam chowder (they didn't have white or clear). I had a dynamite - it was very good - fries, and a Del's frozen lemonade. Later we both had fried dough, which was delicious.

We all played some games too. Sebastian got the prizes no matter who won, of course. He got a stuffed orca doll, a plastic trumpet, and some other cheap stuff.

A fun night! There's a good chance I'll take him back there tonight. It's fireworks night, the only one they're having. They don't start until 9:30 (assuming they don't get rained out, in which case they'll be pushed back to Friday night), and I'm not at all sure he'll be able to stay awake that late!

Trial WoW.

Jul. 30th, 2009 11:27 am
bobquasit: (Default)
I picked up the trial WoW DVD last night. Haven't installed it yet. Yes, it did cross my mind that your first hit of crack is free. :D

Trial WoW.

Jul. 30th, 2009 11:27 am
bobquasit: (Default)
I picked up the trial WoW DVD last night. Haven't installed it yet. Yes, it did cross my mind that your first hit of crack is free. :D
bobquasit: (Default)
Heaven's Reach (Uplift Trilogy, Book 3) Heaven's Reach by David Brin



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I consider David Brin one of the three best genre writers among those who started writing after 1970 (the other two are Lawrence Watt-Evans and Steven Brust; Barry Longyear might be on that list except I think he started writing before 1970, and I haven't seen anything new from him in quite a while. Barry Hughart would be on that list if he hadn't had to give up writing due to his idiotic publishers).

I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work. His original Uplift trilogy is a favorite of mine. But I was disappointed by the first two books in his second Uplift trilogy. Heaven's Reach represents a significant improvement on those books.

It might get a bit too cosmic (in the same way that his Kiln People did, towards the end), but it's a solid, intelligent, imaginative, and well-written book. Perhaps I like it more because the action takes place out on the space lanes, rather than being cooped up on the sooner planet of Jijo.

Many mysteries are explained, and the resolution, while by no means tying up all the threads of the Uplift series, is quite satisfying. I plan to go back to the first two books in the trilogy to see if I like them better in the light of this book.

And I'll be re-reading the entire first trilogy before too long, of course.

View all my reviews >>
bobquasit: (Default)
Heaven's Reach (Uplift Trilogy, Book 3) Heaven's Reach by David Brin



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I consider David Brin one of the three best genre writers among those who started writing after 1970 (the other two are Lawrence Watt-Evans and Steven Brust; Barry Longyear might be on that list except I think he started writing before 1970, and I haven't seen anything new from him in quite a while. Barry Hughart would be on that list if he hadn't had to give up writing due to his idiotic publishers).

I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work. His original Uplift trilogy is a favorite of mine. But I was disappointed by the first two books in his second Uplift trilogy. Heaven's Reach represents a significant improvement on those books.

It might get a bit too cosmic (in the same way that his Kiln People did, towards the end), but it's a solid, intelligent, imaginative, and well-written book. Perhaps I like it more because the action takes place out on the space lanes, rather than being cooped up on the sooner planet of Jijo.

Many mysteries are explained, and the resolution, while by no means tying up all the threads of the Uplift series, is quite satisfying. I plan to go back to the first two books in the trilogy to see if I like them better in the light of this book.

And I'll be re-reading the entire first trilogy before too long, of course.

View all my reviews >>
bobquasit: (Default)
Little Big Man (Panther) Little Big Man by Thomas Berger



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I approached Little Big Man from a novel direction (forgive the pun): I'd seen the movie before reading the book. In fact, I owned the DVD before reading the book. The movie is one of my favorites, you see.

I imagine that had to influence how I read the book. But not too much, I think; in fact, I found myself thinking of Mark Twain far more often than the movie. Berger's style in Little Big Man is very reminiscent of Twain's (somewhat modernized of course). That's appropriate, since the book purports to be the personal reminiscences of a man who lived at approximately the same time as Twain.

It's rather a gory book, particularly at the beginning. It's also extremely funny. I was surprised, a number of times, to find myself laughing out loud. The adventures of Jack Crabb, a boy adopted by a Cheyenne family who never manages to be all white or all Indian, makes for very funny reading.

I find myself wondering if I should compare the book to the movie. In the past I've criticised movies for being unfaithful to the original novel, but obviously I can't criticize the novel for being unfaithful to the movie. The novel came first, after all!

That said, I'll simply say that while much of the flavor of the novel was preserved in the movie, the two diverge in some critical ways. The movie is far more negative about Custer, for example, and makes Jack Crabb a far more active character (in some ways) than he is in the novel. Some events were invented for the movie, and others were rearranged chronologically. And Chief Dan George's portrayal of Old Lodge Skins was simply outstanding.

But to sum up the novel: It's long, funny, well-written, but somehow a little unfocused. I'll certainly read it again, and will be on the lookout for more by Berger. Perhaps, in time, the novel of Little Big Man will be as much a favorite of mine as the movie is.

View all my reviews >>
bobquasit: (Default)
Little Big Man (Panther) Little Big Man by Thomas Berger



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I approached Little Big Man from a novel direction (forgive the pun): I'd seen the movie before reading the book. In fact, I owned the DVD before reading the book. The movie is one of my favorites, you see.

I imagine that had to influence how I read the book. But not too much, I think; in fact, I found myself thinking of Mark Twain far more often than the movie. Berger's style in Little Big Man is very reminiscent of Twain's (somewhat modernized of course). That's appropriate, since the book purports to be the personal reminiscences of a man who lived at approximately the same time as Twain.

It's rather a gory book, particularly at the beginning. It's also extremely funny. I was surprised, a number of times, to find myself laughing out loud. The adventures of Jack Crabb, a boy adopted by a Cheyenne family who never manages to be all white or all Indian, makes for very funny reading.

I find myself wondering if I should compare the book to the movie. In the past I've criticised movies for being unfaithful to the original novel, but obviously I can't criticize the novel for being unfaithful to the movie. The novel came first, after all!

That said, I'll simply say that while much of the flavor of the novel was preserved in the movie, the two diverge in some critical ways. The movie is far more negative about Custer, for example, and makes Jack Crabb a far more active character (in some ways) than he is in the novel. Some events were invented for the movie, and others were rearranged chronologically. And Chief Dan George's portrayal of Old Lodge Skins was simply outstanding.

But to sum up the novel: It's long, funny, well-written, but somehow a little unfocused. I'll certainly read it again, and will be on the lookout for more by Berger. Perhaps, in time, the novel of Little Big Man will be as much a favorite of mine as the movie is.

View all my reviews >>
bobquasit: (Default)
I've neglected both my RuneQuest site and my commuter rail site for months. I'm planning on doing something for the RQ site (maybe that article on charms; if anyone wants to help me on it, please let me know), but in the last few days the good old MBTA/MBCR gave me the inspiration for a couple of posts on the Charlie on the Commuter Rail blog.

Remember those stairs at Ruggles? The ones that were crumbling last December? They're worse. MUCH worse. Photos over on the Charlie blog.
bobquasit: (Default)
I've neglected both my RuneQuest site and my commuter rail site for months. I'm planning on doing something for the RQ site (maybe that article on charms; if anyone wants to help me on it, please let me know), but in the last few days the good old MBTA/MBCR gave me the inspiration for a couple of posts on the Charlie on the Commuter Rail blog.

Remember those stairs at Ruggles? The ones that were crumbling last December? They're worse. MUCH worse. Photos over on the Charlie blog.

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