Saturday, January 31, 2009

Welcome Recruits

Today, I am training some new recruits in the way of GURPS.

One if Jennifer. She worked up a character once for third edition, but now we're going to try again. She's all excited and is looking to go in an entirely new direction.

Paul and Gemma have experience in computer RPGs, so I'm interested in seeing how they do. Paul also has experience in D&D (D20 and 3Ed, I think), so he'll be more accelerated I'd think.

Then comes Holly and her friend. Holly is a computer gamer, and fellow geek, so I have hopes. I don't know her friend, but sometimes it's the new eons that can surprise.

And then there's Nick. I don't know if he's coming or not do to a possible visit from his brother, but if he comes, I think he'll do well. He has experience in "Axis and Allies," some other games, and computer games as well.

I've got the room prepared, and blank sheets and combat cards for everyone. It should be a fun day.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Too Early...

This morning I was up at 4:30 AM, so that I could be at work by 5:00 to be onsite by 6:00 because we had to have our well installation completed and be offsite by 9:30. All because we could not interfere with the traffic in the Wendy's parking lot.

We were beside a freeway off ramp in Castro Valley, and we had just finished our safety meeting, so it was about 6:30, and suddenly there was that smell. The smell you get at concerts. The smell you get from certain huddled group in Berkeley. The smell of marijuana.

I looked around expecting to see someone smoking while walking along the sidewalk, but the smell faded and there was no one around. It must have been coming from a car.

Now, looking back, I have to wonder how well someone drives under that influence.

But the real question is: Dude, do you have to get baked at 6:30 in the morning?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Divine Miss Em tags, and so I follow with seven things no one (or almost no one) knows about me.

1. I developed a taste for bourbon before my first birthday.

2. I collect tesseract-shadow shaped randomizers

3. I regularly pretend to be someone I'm not. (No, you don't. Shut up!)

4. I'd rather be reading

5. I can identify and name 100 minerals.

6. I have another blog.

7. I am tired of the drama.

And so I tag you who read this to do the same.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I have a new favorite online game: Robokill.

It's a really fun top down shooter in the style of the old Berzerk, Frenzy or Robotron.

You move with keyboard and aim and fire with the mouse. The first four or five levels are free, and I got addicted enough to pay the $10 to play the rest of the game and get the more advanced weapons.

It's addictive and lots of fun.

Aside for the gameplay itself, I think my favorite part are the casing shells that stack up if you keep shooting in the same place.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Voice Master

I saw this today, and it was almost too much.

I can see Sir David talking away during a documentary, and turning tot he camera and saying, "Arrowhead Frogs copyright 4004 BC, God."

An Irulan Moment

Yeah, so I forgot to mention to whole reason behind the trip to Monterey: Sunday marked the eleventh year since Jennifer and my first date.

Way back in 1998, I invited her to a picnic in Golden Gate park. Now thinking back this was insanely optimistic as we were experiencing an El Niño event. But as it turned out, that Saturday was the one day without rain for a month in either direction.

I had prepared marinated/grilled pork tenderloin, shrimp cocktails, crackers with goat cheese (her favorite), and Grand Marnier chocolate mousse. I keep the picture I took of her that day on my desk at work.

The day turned into a "Many Views of San Francisco". We stopped first at Treasure Island, then went to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Twin Peaks, and the had the lunch n the park. After eating, we went down to Fisherman's Wharf, walked around, and got clam chowder in a bread bowl. We think we got the last ones the guy sold, because 10 minutes later when we were walking back to the car, he was gone as if he had never been there. The day ended with a stop at Treasure Island again to see the city at night.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Visit to the Library

Sunday night I finished Living with the Dead. It was good, but not up to Kelley Armstrong's usual.

I tried to read Inside Inside by James Lipton, but as wonderful as it is to hear him speak, I could not handle his writing style. The sentences are too long, and I kept skipping around. It brought back what it was like to read Charles Dickens, and I hate Dickens. I will continue to watch Inside the Actors Studio and hear Lipton speak, and be happy with that.

Today I burned through David Gerrold's The Martian Child which is an account of his adoption of an 8-year-old boy. It's very good, and significantly different from the movie.

Then I read the last Berkeley Breathed book that I know of: Pete and Pickles. It's silly, but a fun little kids book that is beautifully illustrated in typical Breathed fashion.

And now I am on to Karen Miller's Empress. We shall see how it goes. I am hopeful.

Mega-Marketing Masters

I saw this post this morning.

A 23,000 % increase in sales

The number boggles the mind.

Here's the YouTube Channel, and the video they release about putting everything up on YouTube.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monterey - Day Three

And today we returned home. Pom was very happy to see us, and is now enjoying her evening outside until bedtime.

We didn't do much in Monterey today. We slept in a bit, got the free breakfast, and loaded the car. Jennifer said she wanted to drive up the coast, so we took Highway 1 all the way to San Rafael, and then took 580 to 80 to 4, and home.

It was a beautiful drive with clouds, and blue sky, and short showers, and music.

And Friends trivia.

We didn't eat much on the way except for when Jennifer said she wanted a chocolate chip cookie. Two minutes later we came across a bakery, and got two cookies with drinks.

We got to see the progress on the Devil's Slide bypass tunnel, and we raced a container ship to San Francisco Bay. We won, but I think by the time we were crossing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge it was coming through the Gate.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Monterey - Day Two

Today was a fun relaxing day. We didn't make it to the free breakfast after staying in bed much too late. But we did find a nice French bakery where Jennifer had a orange, anise-seed brioche, and we both had very large hot chocolates which were served in essentially soup bowls.

We felt the line from Friends was appropriate.

"Which, I'm sorry, might as well have nipples on them."

Then we went next door to a game store, and then we walked down to the wharf. It was a dreary day, but nice for the lack of rain. At the wharf we had a crab cocktail and tasters of the various clam chowders from the restaurants trying to get us to come in. After three tastes, I didn't need lunch.

After about an hour on the wharf, we walked back, and went to the Crown and Anchor, which has become our traditional place to eat.

No hot tub tonight, but we have been enjoying the fake fire.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Monterey - Day One

Today was a long day.

We didn't get moving until late, due to the advantages of not having to get to work at all today.

Then we did some errands around the area for Jennifer, and then finally got on the road at 4:00.

Traffic wasn't that bad, and we made our traditional stop at the Cochrane Road Chevron in Morgan Hill for a pit stop.

Then we got our room which is cheesy, but cool with a hot tub in the room. Then we ran to Macy's for robes, and then went to r. g. burgers for dinner and Trader Joe's for dessert.

All this before watching The Bourne Ultimatum from the hot tub.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mystery Weekend, but not

This weekend was supposed to be a surprise outing for Jennifer and Me. She told me to ask for the day off, and that we were going away for the weekend. She said it was a surprise, and that I would find out the day we left.

About a week ago she let slip that were going to Monterey. It was completely an accident, because she is looking forward to this as much as I am. But I give you one bit of advice:

Geminis are terrible at keeping secrets.

Mom wasn't very good at it either.

There are certain things that I have learned that Gemini's do (common traits between mom and Jennifer), and there are things I have learned that redheads do (common traits between dad and Jennifer). The scary bits are when Jennifer does something in the way that combines being a redhead and a Gemini that can put me on the floor gasping for breath while I'm holding my stomach laughing.

Anyway, we'll see what else is on the agenda for the weekend soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Italian Job

Using Netflix, I requested The Italian Job because of the references Eddie Izzard makes to in his show "Definite Article".

And now his little bit makes sense. Essentially, Eddie's just geeking out over the movie and running quotes. Just like my friends and I do. I've even got Jennifer doing it.

The movie is fun, but left me wanting more. It ends on literally a cliffhanger.

Three stars.

New Tech

I told John today that the next new technology that I'm looking forward to will be animated t-shirt designs and/or hologram t-shirt designs.

I really have no idea why that came into my head, except maybe it came from a banner ad.

Which then explains John's biggest fears that then we'd get full length commercials on people's shirts. And I can see that since we already have logo ads on clothes.

But still the positive outweighs the negatives. Just like the mental filter most of us have developed for banner ads on webpages.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Disappointment

And today with everyone attempting to stream the inauguration, I got choppy coverage.

I'm glad I recorded it at home for later.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tomorrow, Not Today

At 8:55 today i panicked and thought I was about the miss the inauguration.

I told John and called Jennifer that the inauguration was in five minutes.

Jennifer said she thought it was tomorrow...

So I was off by 24 hours.

But I'll be ready tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I finished The Involuntary Human by David Gerrold today while watching football.

Some of the stories were pretty good, but I do not consistently find satisfaction with the tales. I have requested his book The Martian Child at the library, so that should be good. Jennifer and I enjoyed the movie, so I'll be interested to see what bits were embellished for Hollywood.

One thing I did enjoy about the book were several interludes of quotes. Things that I just find funny or poignant:

Notice they are not called "God-worshiping people", they are called
"God-fearing people". So why are churches called "houses of worship" and
not "houses of fear"?

The Roman Empire died from an overdose of taxes, lawyers, and
Christians. But we're much to smart to make that mistake again.

Yes, Mother Nature is a bitch. But she's not your

I've always felt that you shouldn't criticize a man though, until you've
walked a mile in his shoes. That way when you do criticize him, you're a
mile away. And you've got his shoes.

You have the right to free speech. You do not have the right to an

The only winner of the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky.

If Helen Keller falls down in a forest, does she make a sound?

A gentleman is one who doesn't require a lady to prove that she is.

I'm waiting for Jennifer to finish Kelley Armstrong's latest. I guess I'll have to read comics until then.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Layout Change

So I added a new widget: the Yahoo Messenger Pingbox. We'll see how it works, and if it gets used.

And because the Pingbox is a little wider, and making it thinner didn't work, I chose a new template and played with the colors.

Now we'll just have to see if I like it this way better, or not.


This evening I was driving home on Highway 4 through Franklin Canyon after helping a friend move in Emeryville, and "Stereotomy" by Alan Parsons Project came on the iPod.

I was instantly taken back to my junior and senior years of high school and driving home in the dark listening to APP.

I remembered all the feelings I had of being free, just driving alone on a relatively empty road, heading back home. I felt the cares and worries lift from me like when I was a teenager.

And then I thought, Why does that feeling have to end? What am I seriously worrying about anyway?

So, tonight I'm going to listen to music and paint miniatures, and just not care.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reading is... Freaking Awesome

Wednesday night, I finished Counting Up, Counting Down by Harry Turtledove. It's a fun read, but there were stories I didn't care for from some of his series I don't read.

I had a working lunch yesterday, so I didn't start my next book until last night.

And then I finished it last night. Okay, technically this morning, but 12:30 AM hardly seems like morning.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is awesome. I didn't want to pout it down, and was a little short with Jennifer when she came home because it had interrupted my reading. The story is compelling, and reads fast as it's another "juvenile" book. Gaiman admits in the notes it's a little inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" (which I caught on to about halfway through), but I also saw some Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett in there as well.

It's another one of Gaiman's I'm going to have to buy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ahhhhh, Math (and Pepsi)

Today, we had a training meeting and lunch was provided. It was pizza and one two-liter bottle each of Pepsi and Diet Coke. The Pepsi was quickly drained, and the Diet Coke was half drunk.

Lesson #1: Don't buy diet drinks of pizza day.

A few of us were still thirsty, so we walked over to the local 7-Eleven. I forgot my mug, and in the process got a lesson in soft drink mathematics.

I thought I'd be good and just buy a 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi. That was listed at $1.59. Below it was a sign for two 2-liters of any Pepsi product for $3. Now that math is easy. I could get 40 ounces of Pepsi for $3.18, or get 135.25 ounces (4 liters) for $3.

So I bought two bottles promising my coworkers that I would not drink it all today.

Then when I got back to the office, I had to wonder if I made out better than when I use the Extreme Gulp.


The two 2-liters of Pepsi actually ended up costing $3.46 with California Redemption Value (CRV). That's 2.55¢ per ounce.

The 52-ounce mug is $1.09 to refill; no tax and no CRV. That's 2.10¢ per ounce.

Of course if I have my Ultimate Gulp which is 68 ounces that drops to 1.60¢.

But thankfully, I balance this with at least 3 liters of water a day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Distinguishing Marks

Today, I started thinking on scars. Don't ask me why, but I started thinking of having to list them, like in a police description. And then I thought about the differences between me and a perfect clone.

Again, it's been one of those days.

So I thought of the scar on the back of my right hand that I got from when my dad's bike fell on me when I was little, and part of the seat frame cut my hand.

The scars at my clavicle and between my eyebrows from when I had chicken pox.

The series of holes running up my left leg from my foot to the back of my knee from being run over by a lawn aerator.

The other scars in my hands from accidentally cutting my self with glass and knives. Especially the time I almost cut the tip of my thumb off while slicing lemons.

Some scars that I noticed were gone: the one on my knee from tripping while running as a kid and the one on my leg from when I walked into the car muffler as a kid.

Then I had to laugh because I remembered the biggest distinguishing features for me: four big Superman "S" tattoos on my back.


This morning's drive to work was really beautiful. The sky was a clear blue, and there ahead of me (or slightly left or right of ahead of me) was the waning gibbous moon.

It was really pretty and I was enjoying the contrast of the light falling across the craters and mare when I was overcome with the thought that this is a big piece of rock just waiting to fall on our heads.

I got myself under control and recited all the reasons why it won't. Not least being the earth's gravity keeping it as close as it is, while the moon's own motion pulling it away, the whole keeping it all in orbit.

Then I turned left on the last leg of my overland journey, and there's is this giant nuclear furnace burning away in the sky.

Yeah, it's one of those science days.

In the same way that my music friends (and I was almost not going to correct that from fiends) would and will note chord progressions in a song, there are days when I see the science of the world all around me.

I picture photons striking a surface and transferring some of their energy to the object and then bouncing of in reflection. I "see" wind currents as they blow across the road. Sometimes I'll even visualize cars and objects like vector drawings from physics class.

Yeah, it's weird, but I'll bet there's something everyone who has a specialty does in the same manner; even if it's something as small as converting parts of life into RPG analogue statistics.

In Brief

Yeah it's becoming one of those blogs this week.

As shown by this video, apparently cats are agents of chaos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well, that's over with...

The Holidays are over.

My time game-mastering is over for a while.

I'll likely have no field work until February.

This is a real lull.

I do have a lot of books set to read, because of course books come from the library in swarms.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Living with the Dead - Kelley Armstrong

Empress - Karen Miller

The first is an easy choice, Neil is always good. The second is a continuation of Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series. The third was a referral I got from some webpage or another. It's an alternate world where the land masses are the same, but the names and events are different. We'll see.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Further Internet Awsomeness

I've pointed to Things of Interest before. The short stories have been amazing, and I'm enjoying the latest unfolding of the Fine Structure over-arc of the newer stories.

His most recent story however, is a stand alone short. And is just incredible. It's called "Causal Noose".


This cat video is bloody amazing.

More later.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Painty Sunday

Today Jennifer and I helped a friend of hers paint his loft. This is the guy whose bed we're storing until he can move in. It's nice that he's getting to work on the place before moving in.

I went over and helped in the afternoon after making my run to Livermore for comics. Now we're both very tired after climbing up and down ladders and step stools all day.

Of course we listened to football while we painted, and were amazed at ow poorly the Chargers did against the Steelers. Next week should be good with Eagles vs. Cardinals and Steelers vs. Ravens.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Just a quick post and then I'm off to bed.

I had a good time tonight running the game. And I'm very happy with some of the imagery I was able to create:

A wall of spirit faces watching the ceremony.

The flock of flying body parts zooming towards the characters.

The demon skinned men.

All very pleasing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Plot Coalesces

The skeleton has flesh.

Hannibal is in love.

Pardon me while I laugh...

Ha ha.

Ha ha ha ha ha!


Mine is an evil laugh.

Music and Such

I figured I hadn't done this for a while, so (Weezer - The Good Life) I thought I'd mention the music while blogging.

Wonderful lunch at Ming's again. Love the crunchy broccoli. (Linkin Park - Don't Stay)

Tomorrow I'm in charge of the second half of my RPG adventure. I've got the general arc, but I'm still fine tuning some of the plot. We'll have a pretty good turnout, but it appears we'll be without Scott until October.

I've also got a few people from work and other circles of friends who have expressed some interest in trying the game out. (Garbage - The World is Not Enough) I just need to schedule a time on a non-game weekend. It could be as many as five people. I haven't taught new players since Sac, so hopefully I pull and Obi-Wan and do a better job choosing and training this time.

Bryan at work has got me going on Facebook (Foo Fighters - The One). Apparently he's in a competition with his wife for how many friends they can accrue. She's leading by a factor of 3 right now.

And as for today's diversion, I'm re-reading Skippy's List. The best way to understand the list is just to read it; I guarantee you will regret it. Jennfer saw the link in my favorites list last night when I was showing her something else, so then I had her read it. We got about a third of the way through it before we quit for the night. (Eric Cartman - Kyle's Mom's a Bitch [Movie Version])

And that song brings up what is probably my favorite comedy cliche: He/She's behind me isn't he/she? It's a big thing in sitcoms, but the best one I remember is from City Slickers when Curly is standing behind Billy Crystal's character. (Alan Parsons - More Lost Without You)

Now, I just need to finish my adventure.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


It's a good thing I don't do drugs. The latest food addiction I have is all thanks to my Uncle Keith.

For Christmas, my side of the family had to make lists (Yes, had to. Have you met my mother?) One part of the list was chocolate preferences. I mentioned that anything that was not M&Ms and less that 70% cacao content was not worth my time.

Enter my uncle and the two tins of chocolate covered crack substitute. Also known as sweetriot.

Specifically what he gave me were two tins of flavor 70.

I discovered the magic of cacao nibs after a visit to Scharffen Berger Chocolate in Berkeley. Then at Trader Joe's, I found Slate of Bliss chocolate which had high content cacao and nibs sprinkled on the bars.

Now I have sweetriot. As the description says, flavor 70 has cacao nibs covered in 70% cacao chocolate. With a hint of espresso.

I don't even like coffee. I think Irish coffee is a waste of whiskey (not liking whipped cream either).

But ohhhhhhh...

I've been trying to limit myself to three at a time. And I just finished my first tin.

Must. Find. More.


Tentacle Grape - The Tangent

I'm not sure where I first saw the picture for the bottle of Tentacle Grape. Probably iO9, but it could be somewhere else. It's the new meme.

John and I riffed on it a bit yesterday mostly for slogans. But I did come up with some other ideas.

First off, the name for the company should be Loli-Pop.

And then there could be additional flavors: Loli Cherry, Gropical Punch, and Lemon Slime.

Yeah, we're bad. And not in a good way.

* * *

Last night Jennifer and I watched the first disc of SOLD OUT: A Threevening with Kevin Smith. It's the third time he's done this, and it's as hilarious as always.

Between this and Smodcast, I can last in between Smith/Mosier movies. Of which I'm really looking forward to Red State once it's done.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Library Day and News

Yesterday I went to the library and got a big stack of books that I had requested. Several were by Berkeley Breathed, and were ones I had never picked up for myself. They were fun, and interesting to see what he did between "Bloom County" and "Outland", and then in between "Outland" and "Opus".

Then today I saw news from something I find amazing. SD is going to be releasing a 1 TB card. Now granted it's going to be expensive, and may take a bit to come out, but still it's amazing. In a space smaller than one square inch, there will be storage for 1 terabyte. Bloody incredible.

And then there's the competitive ranking of jobs. Geologists are on page 2, but we're ranked #30. I can get behind that, but I am still below average in salary. A lot closer than I used to be when I was at Kleinfelder though.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Dark

Last night as I was refilling my water bottle for the night, I looked out at the sitting room window, and was practically overcome with fear that something was going to come through the window. It didn't take me long to get over it, not anywhere near as long as when I wake up after a nightmare, or two nights after seeing Blair Witch and hearing noises outside.

Say what you want about Alien vs. Predator - Requiem, but it had several scenes that stick with me. The worst one in my mind is when the little girl calls for her dad to say that there's a monster outside her window. The dad goes and looks and out of the complete darkness a xenomorph almost fades in, seen only by the shine on its carapace and teeth.

That is my kind of fear.

Especially outside the dining room which is shaded from the light on the walk. At night it's really dark, and I can almost see someone hiding on the other side of my reflection. That's why that curtain remains pulled at night.

At least this is a describable fear. Even some in dreams or nightmares make sense: the shark in the giant indoor swimming pool; the bear in the woods behind the house. Then others are less tangible: the free moving silhouette with glowing eyes, the large-skulled dog that makes everything go black and white, and whose laughter I hear in my head. The worst are the ones that make no sense whatsoever, and yet are terrifying in the moment, like three baboons on mini-bikes in a Chinatown market.

Keep that one form tweaking with your brain.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Merry Perihelion

After an early morning with a monthly safety meeting, it will be good to not stay up too late tonight. I hope.

Last night, a friend of Jennifer's dropped off a bed he had bought, and asked us to store in between moves for him. It'll only be until the 15th or 16th, so that not too bad. The drawback is that it's an eastern king (An eastern king is 76" x 80", as compared to a California King at 72" x 84"). We're storing it because he got it from someone off of Craig's List, and got a deal by taking it to soon. And there are so many pieces: headboard, footboard, two box springs (separate because box springs don't bend), the frame, and of course the mattress. If our garage were neater, we could put store it there, but right now it's in our library.

As an amelioration, he brought lobster to eat last night. Five of them, precooked. We had a big lobster feed, and still have one and a half remaining.

After eating, Jennifer and watched the second half of Speed Racer. It really was a fun movie, and is another I wish I had seen in the theatre.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2,000 + 16 Words

So, at the top, a happy Pom; at the bottom about one year's worth of comics.

Sorting and Bagging

I didn't realize how long it had been since I had organized my comic books until today.

When the storage area on top of the boxes in the closet gets full, I pull all the comics out, and sort them. First by group (Batman Family, Superman Family, Teams...). Then I divvy those out by title, and put those titles in order. Finally, I bag the books with two books per bag.

Right now, I have the dining room table covered in stacks of books while I sort and bag.

Pom is very happy because the closet is open and the boxes are multilevel, so she's climbed up to the top box, and is taking a nap.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Trivial Travail

Well, last night we tried playing 80s Trivial Pursuit. There were six of us, and we should have played it in teams with two men versus the four women. But instead we did six separate players. It took too long and our hostess got frustrated, so we stopped.

The rest of the night was fun. We went through one large and three normal sized bottles of champagne. And Jennifer and I spent the night.

This morning we got up, raced home, and discovered that the football playoff games didn't start until 1:30, so Jennifer drove me to Livermore, and we got my books. Then we got some other errands run, and she dropped me off to pick up my car.

My new tires look good.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Good Movie and Bad Wheels

Last night Jennifer and I watched Spider-Man 3, which was nowhere near as bad as the hype had led us to believe. Now of course it was also nowhere near as good as the two recent Batman movies were, but still not really bad. I think that people were just upset that they were being told that inside Peter Parker is really a douche bag stuck in a geeks body.

It's the same reaction I have when anyone (most recently villains in the comics) say that Bruce Wayne is just a whiny spoiled kid who never grew up.

I also discovered Jennifer has never seen The Fugitive, so we've got to add that to her queue or catch it on Starz again.

And then today has turned into a car maintenance day. Jennifer is getting an oil change. I am getting an oil change, alignment, and new tires. Then we're off to an adult sleepover party.

No not that kind of adult sleepover, just a sleepover with adults. With drinking and board games. Trivia board games.

I'm gonna kick ass.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Last night was a very sedate evening. Jennifer and I watched three episodes of the original Twilight Zone, and two episodes of the original Star Trek. On TZ we saw Art Carney become Santa Claus, Agnes Moorhead repel tiny invaders, and Robert Redford as Death. On ST we saw one of my favorite episodes, "A Piece of the Action". Seeing Kirk and eventually Spock talk like '20s gangsters becomes hilarious, as is Kirk driving a manual transmission.

Then we played "Life" and "Perplexcity". Jennifer beat me good at "Life", and I ran the board in one turn on "Perplexcity" which is like "Trivial Pursuit". All the while listening to classic rock on satellite.

And then I tried to read Paul of Dune. I've stopped after four of the little chapters that Herbert and Anderson write. All I can think as I'm reading this is "Where's the tension?" I've read all of the Dune books so far, including the originals, and so I know what's going to happen. I just can't bring myself to care what happened one year after the fall of Emperor Shaddam IV, when I know in a few years Paul and Chani's son Leto will be born. And then Children of Dune and the rest will take off.

I enjoyed the two prequel trilogies, and the wrap up of the series, but I think it's time for Brian Herbert to let his father's legacy lie now. Move on and write your own stuff.

And so on this first day of 2009, I pledge to finish Serenity Found and Jumper, and then I'm going to re-read my Roger Zelazny.

I shall also endeavor to post every day.

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