Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

Last night I finished reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I don't feel like doing a lengthy review, so I will summarize by saying that this is a beautiful story that I think everyone should read. I absolutely loved the characters!
Dickens has a style of character development that I have never encountered before, but I really enjoyed it. It seems as though he would start with a chapter where he introduces many characters all at once, and then the next several chapters would focus on one of those characters, further developing each one in turn. He then will introduce a new setting where some of your initial assumptions about the characters are challenged, followed by more chapters of development. This style produced a a small cast of very dynamic and well developed characters; and a reading experience that, while slow moving, is never dull.
I don't think there was ever a point in the book that was boring or difficult to get through. The thing that slowed me down in my reading was all the french words and history that is so prevalent. I highly recommend picking up the Penguin Classics version for its useful footnotes. Also, a good dictionary will be very handy.
The story was always good, but the final 100 pages are particularly excellent! I will say that my expectations were set pretty high by friends and family who recommended the book, so I admit that I wasn't as impressed with the ending as I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful, but I just didn't find it as emotional, or as inspirational as I had expected.
Overall I would give it 4 stars out of 5. The missing star is only because it never produced any strong emotions in me. Everything about it is amazing! Charles Dickens truly is a master of literature.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Those Darn Asians!

If you are in the habit of making comments on my blog (all four of you), you may notice in the future that I have turned on the "Comment Moderation" option. I did this for one reason, and one reason only.
Every once in a while some anonymous person will post a comment that shows up in asian characters and contains a link of some sort. I always delete those comments because, as a general rule, I don't trust asians.
Today I decided to investigate the most recent comment and link. Seeing as how I am currently using a school computer, I thought it would be best NOT to follow the link directly. Instead I did the right-click, save link as, option. I don't know what the link was for, but it did contain the word "sex" in the link address. I promptly cancelled my save-link task, and deleted the comment once again.
I will now be moderating all comments, so don't even try to post any of your dirty, asian, porno links on my dang blog!

P.S. All of my comments regarding asians are purely tongue-in-cheek. The comment about distrusting asians was a blatant falacy. I have many asian friends, some of whom read this blog. You guys/gals are awesome!

P.P.S. My comments about activating the comment moderation and disliking people posting porno links on my blog are true statements.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Window to the Soul is...the Nightstand?

Tonight, while I was preparing to wind down for the evening, I realized that I had time to do some reading before bed. I glanced over at my nightstand, and looked over the pile of books I am currently reading. It occurred to me that this pile says a lot about what kind of guy I am. Here is a nice list for you to study:

1. I am the sort of person who reads multiple books at once. I guess I choose books based on what kind of mood I am in. Sometimes I will get bored with one and pick up another. Due to my concurrent reading habits, it often takes me a long time to finish a book.

2. Notice the headlamp. This handy little tool makes reading in bed much easier. By using the headlamp I can turn out my lights in advance, get all tucked in, and read the night away until I get sufficiently sleepy. I guess you could say that I avoid getting out of bed, whenever possible.

3. You may be wondering why I have two alarm clocks. The larger one has red illuminated numbers that can be easily read in the middle of the night. The smaller one, in addition to telling time, also tells me the temperature. I have a hard time sleeping if my room is warmer than 70 degrees. I use the small clock to determine if I need to open my window, or turn on the AC.

4. The clocks again. Despite having two alarm clocks right next to my bed, I don't use either of them for my wake-up alarm. I use my cell phone, which is always placed on the other side of the room, thus forcing me to actually get out of bed to shut it off. Remember the avoiding getting out of bed thing? Yeah, well that especially applies to the morning hours. Being able to shut off my alarm clock with one movement of a semi-conscious flailing limb, is a recipe for over-sleeping, tardiness, and failure at life. The only time I actually use these alarm clocks for their alarm function, is in the event that I absolutely must be awake by a certain time, and there is a chance that I will get back in bed after deactivating my cell phone. Depending on the severity of the occasion, I will set up to four alarms. (The fourth alarm is my old digital watch.) If ever you hear about a four-alarm morning, you know it must be serious!

5. If you look closely at the foremost pile of books, you will notice that the book on the very bottom of the stack is my journal. It's placement in the pile is a reflection of how often it is used. In this case, rarely.

Now it is time to look at the individual books in more detail. Please take a moment to examine exhibit B:
Lets start on the bottom row shall we?

6. I'm kind of a nerd. I like sciency things. Visions, is a book about how technology will evolve over the next century due to advances in computers, DNA research, and quantum theory. Michio Kaku is a renowned theoretical physicist, and one of the authors of the current string-theory, the most promising attempt at a unified field theory. Sounds cool huh?!

7. I like reading a lot. I like reading classics. I'm currently about 2/3 of the way through A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. My brother tells me that I'm now to the part where the book starts to get really good. I'm pretty excited about that.

8. A dictionary. I hate not knowing what words mean, so when I am reading a book with a lot of unfamiliar words, I will generally pause to look up those words. Another reason why it sometimes takes me a while to read a book.

9. I like movies. I've written quite a few blog posts about movies. I enjoy talking about both movies I love, and movies I hate. I must say that I am really enjoying Your Movie Sucks, by Roger Ebert. It is a collection of some of his most scathing reviews, and it is pretty darn funny. The best thing about the book is that each review is only about a page and a half long, which makes it a great book to read when you have a few minutes to kill.

10. Ok, I know this is the one you are probably all wondering about. I wouldn't say that I am actually "reading" this book, it's more like keeping it accessible for easy reference.
I should probably 'esplain' how I came to purchase this book.
Last summer, a local book store was having one of those "all the books you can fit in a bag" sales. When I got there it seemed as though the store had already been pretty well picked over; so I was tossing everything even remotely interesting into my bag. I have yet to read any of the other books I got that day, but so far The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating has been totally worth my six bucks! (Oh, the fact you are supposed to learn from this one is that I am a complete idiot when it comes to dating.)

There you have it! Ten fun facts about me, just from examining my night stand! Also, because I decided to write this blog, I didn't actually get to do that reading I had time for. Curse you infernal blog! (Not really though, I kind of like my dang blog.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

More Nostalgia...Just Barely!

I just got home from school; as in, just barely. Really, I just walked in a few minutes ago. I had a nostalgic moment so profound it caused me to immediately hop on the computer so that I might share said moment with the universe! Ok, maybe not the whole universe, but at least the WWW.

Ok, so I got home, and immediately went to my room to deposit my personal effects. I figured that since I don't plan on going anywhere for the next several hours, that I may as well settle in.
I removed the zip-up hoody I had been wearing, hung it up, took out a different zip-up hoody, and proceeded to put on the second hoody.
Mid-zip I paused, looked down at the zipper pull, looked back up, and realized...I was having a Mr. Rogers moment!
When I was a kid, and used to watch Mr. Rogers (coolest kids show ever!), it always puzzled me why he would always take off his jacket, put on a sweater, remove his shoes, and then put on tennis shoes. As a kid you don't realize that adults have nicer "going out" clothes, and more comfortable "inside only" clothes. Now you are probably thinking, "So, wait, you have "going-out" hoodies, and "inside only" hoodies?" Not exactly...but I do have a cat, and cats shed...a lot. I hate going out with cat hair all over me, so if I think I might want to wear a hoody again before I wash it, I hang it up and put on one that I don't care if I get cat hair on. Makes sense right? Right! Anyway, I feel I have attained a certain level of maturity now that I have begun to exhibit several of Mr. Rogers' more awesome qualities. That is all.

p.s. You may have noticed that I also spelled the word "hoody" as "hoodie". In my attempt to ascertain which spelling was correct (both appear to be accepted neologisms), I discovered that "hoodies" are also called bunnyhugs in Saskatchewan. Those crazy Canadians!

p.p.s. My blog-hating brother has finally started a blog of his own. Check it out!

p.p.p.s. It just occurred to me that "A Blog of His Own" is a good name for a movie...or a blog.

p.p.p.p.s. I just learned the word neologism today, and I really like it, so this was a blatant excuse for me to use it a few more times today.

p.p.p.p.p.s I'm kind of digging all this post, post, post, post, post, script stuff. I know it's annoying, but I don't care!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Realization.

It's an interesting experience to unexpectedly meet someone whom you thought you had already figured out, only to realize that there may in fact be more to this person than you originally surmised.

It's nice to be able to look beyond your original impression and see that maybe you were wrong, maybe you never gave them a fair shot, perhaps that very person is someone whom you would really like to know.

You find yourself eager to cast off your previous assumptions, hoping that your paths will cross again.

You hope it's not too late.

Here's to second chances.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sausagefest '93, AKA: UWL Roadtrip...2010

Whenever our team hits the road for an event, it is assumed that craziness will ensue.
I would go so far as to say that many of our previous road trips have been LEGENDARY!
(If you doubt me, just ask anyone on the team to describe the infamous "pool party" of '09.
Yes, I have, I won't post them.)

The following is a brief overview of our most recent trip:

Ah...the usual overnight stay in Vegas.
Sadly, we did not actually get to see any Crazy/Bad Girls...

This one is not so crazy, but it was cool! We went to visit one of our sponsors, Paintball Gateway, and they gave us all awesome shirts! We are huge fans of these guys!

Here we are inside the actual store.

Sausagefest '93 has commenced...

And of course it wouldn't be a Desert Edge road trip without some casual groping...

I'm not sure who added the captions to this cell-phone picture, but I like it!
(Notice my sweet tattoo.)

Anyway, here is the actual reason for the trip...


We got to play against some of the best players in the world and came away with second place in the Open division, second place in Skills division, and a first place win in the Tactical division!
Not too bad at all.