Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This just in!

Blogger's spellcheck software continues to think that "blog" is not a word. While I no longer laugh out loud, I am still amused by this. Carry on with your lives now, citizens.

Tuesdays

Okay, I know I've said something like this before (and I'm not going to find the link just to let you read something embarrassing to me now), but perhaps Tuesdays will be my regular blog update day. Tuesday mornings is when Blizzard does their server maintenance and takes WOW offline. Or I could just stick to my current method of updating at random intervals. We'll just have to wait and see!

On the transience of the interweb.

I still read Window in the Garden Wall every day. (Well, every weekday when there's something new up. Hasn't been anything since January 20, at the time of this post.) But I don't think the proprietress, Arevanye, reads my blog anymore. I'm not upset by that. Heck, outside of a few family and friends, I don't think anyone really reads my blog, and that's okay. This isn't a pity-party intended to get people to leave comments telling me to hang in there and that they read my blog but don't comment often. If I really cared about how many people read my blog, then I would use a stat tracker to keep track of visitors. (I used to, but it was too much of a hassle and didn't give me information I thought was accurate so I dumped it.)

Anyway, I'm more bemused than anything, really. It's been a slow process, but while I've been getting the hint that she didn't really want anything more to do with me, I don't really know why. I used to do a little guest blogging at the aforementioned CS Lewis blog. I really enjoyed that. Then, one day, I found that I had been removed as a member of that blog. No big deal; it's her blog she can do as she pleases. But she didn't e-mail and say why. (Of course, it is possible that she did and my spam filter caught it, but I'm usually pretty good about scanning it for real e-mails caught inadvertently.) Then the comments stopped coming on my blog. Then she stopped (almost entirely) replying to any comments I made on her personal blog (at Live Journal). And most recently she took me off her "Friends List" for her LJ, and since her LJ is entirely "Friends Locked", I can't read it anymore at all. I'm betting the next step will be to delink my blog from her WGW blog. And, really, that's okay. I'm not bitter or upset or anything. (At least as far as I can tell through self-analyzation; though perhaps talking about it on my own blog belies this *shrug*. But then what are personal blogs for if not navel-gazing?) But I do wish I knew what it was that set this whole process in motion.

Addendum: After I finished writing this, but before I posted it, it occurred to me that this is related to a long post I wrote a while back about the nebulous nature of relationships formed on the internet (and the role of blogs particularly) and wondering if the inclination towards smaller, more organic groupings around shared interests would have a detrimental effect on society. Which you can read here, if you're interested.

Seahawks + Steelers = Super Bowl!

At first blush, one would think I would be thrilled beyond measure at the prospect of this upcoming football contest. I am a Steeler fan of about two decades duration while also being a native and resident of the greater Seattle metropolitan area. But, instead of provoking joy, this Super Sunday is going to present problems for me. Before the big game, I will endure the taunts and scorn of my co-workers, friends, fellow churchgoers (though to a lesser degree from them) about how my Steelers are going to be sent down to an ignominious defeat by the Seahawks. And if the Seahawks win, then I will be subjected to taunts and scorn with an admixture of gloating thrown in for good measure. And if my Steelers win (which would be best despite the drawback) I will be reviled and denounced for failing to support my native town's team. It's going to be a long two weeks.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Book

I added Ring for Jeeves to the list of books read, but I haven't posted any sort of review yet. I've been holding off partly because of WOW (see previous post) but also because I just can't think of much good to say about it. It's really the first bad PG Wodehouse book I've read, and it took me a while to come to a conclusion about why that is. At first glance, it seems all the elements are there. The book has an old English country house, foolish peers, beautiful girls, romantic entanglements, and the uber-butler Jeeves to sort out everyone's problems. But as one reads along, things don't seem right. Everything is just... off. And it finally dawned on me that it was because the book was set in the 1950's instead of the 1920's or 30's. You wouldn't think that would make such a difference, but it does. I don't know what it is about the decade that has such an impact, but it is important.

In sum, as I said, this is the only book of Wodehouse's that I would say is actually bad, as opposed to simply fair or not up to his usual high standard. The hardcore fan will want to read it anyway simply because it is Wodehouse and because it has the novelty of being the only book with Jeeves but without Wooster.

WOW all over again.

So I had some Christmas money to use, and I broke down and bought World of Warcraft. As I have said, it is the best game I have ever played. I anticipate it getting even better once I get back to and past the point where I reached during the free trial. Hopefully, since I've also budgeted more time than just the free month that comes with the game, I'll be able to be a bit more moderate in my playing than I was during the 10 day trial and still have time for things like books, movies, my family and so forth.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Watched Man on Fire for the first time this weekend. It was...mediocre. Denzel Washington is a fine actor and Dakota Fanning is a charming little girl, but the movie itself was weak. I was not convinced that Denzel was a man with a tortured past because of what I saw on screen so much as it was simply what he and Christopher Walken told me. I was reminded of that cross-talk moment in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, where they try to determine what has upset Hamlet and all they can really do is repeat to each other that he is upset. I wouldn't have known that Denzel was a tortured soul seeking redemption if he hadn't told me so in so many words.

Some other aspects of the movie were also troubling. It was quite violent; indeed, no punches were pulled. The ending was rather abrupt and unsatisfying to me. Marc Anthony's character behaved rather inexplicably at times. Oh, and for Denzel's character, Creasy? Two words: Kevlar. Vest. Would have saved you a lot of time and trouble, neighbor.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Aslan v. Hobbes

Linked over at Think Christian is an article from Christianity Today about the marketing of Aslan prompted by the movie and musing on what that means for Christians and what it means to market Jesus by proxy in this way. Worth reading, I think (and it's not very long).

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bookly things

Finished A Gentleman of Leisure a couple days ago, the first book I've finished in the New Year. It was okay, for a Wodehouse novel. Which is to say, better than many books, but not quite up to his best. It does have the standard Wodehouse plot, wherein a young man falls in love, the girl ends up engaged to someone else, several people are hard up for cash and various hijinks involving stealing an item of great value (in this case a diamond necklace) ensue before it all works out in the end to everyone's satisfaction.

This book strays a little from the formula by not ending with the hero and his beloved actually in each other's presence in the closing scene, but other than that stays close to the form-book. Another unusual feature is the including of a very crooked cop; crooks of various sorts abound in Wodehouse novels though the men in blue are usually firmly on the side of law and order.

A last note, and a purely trivial one, is that the book is dedicated to Douglas Fairbanks who starred in the theatrical version of the book.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Stupid Widget!

I'm not sure what the problem is, but the Library Thing widget that's supposed to refresh every 20 minutes won't ever update unless I change something in the code itself. And I can't get it to work on my Library Thing profile page at all. Grr.

Book List

I've added a book list of all the books I read cover to cover in 2006 to the bottom of the sidebar. I'm going to try to include re-reads as well as new reads to see how often I actually re-read a book all the way through instead of just reading bits and pieces of it. Last year I think I read through a little over 100 books I hadn't read before, though I'm not sure of the exact number because I'm too lazy to go back and count right now. I'm hoping I can match that this year.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Seattle Symphony

I'm not a very musical guy. I like music and I listen to a fairly wide variety of it, I think. But no one would ever confuse me with a musician or a music critic. But it seems to me that Benaroya Hall is a pretty nice place to hear classical music.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony sounded excellent to my untrained ears and the box seats were even more comfortable than the ones I had the first time I went to Benaroya. They were actual chairs, so I, my wife, and the couple who went with us could adjust them to take into account the fact that a couple of us have pretty broad shoulders. And no sharing armrests, which is one of the biggest problems with most theatre style seating.

The other practical note I wish to share for anyone thinking about attending a performance at Benaroya is that if you are going to park in their garage, arrive early! 30-45 minutes would not be amiss. The garage fills up fast and they don't seem to have enough parking to accommodate the size of the audiences. You can use the time to stop by Starbucks (in the lobby), browse the gift shop and get to your seat in plenty of time to settle in comfortably before they close the doors.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A few quick notes.

Happy New Year!

Went to the symphony on Friday with my wife and a couple of our friends and heard Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed. It was, as usual, magnificent. Easily my favourite piece of music of all time.

I am sick as a dog and will probably not be posting much whilst I still feel under the weather.

Had an enjoyable time with my family when they visited.