Monday, June 29, 2015

Discworld - Watching the War

As I mentioned previously, I received Jingo as a thank you gift for VCR-sitting.  Now, there'd been things going on around Iran and Iraq for a while, and Pratchett had had things as a background to Desert Storm in Only You Can Save Mankind, he had also alluded to the situation in Klatch when Death joined the Klatchian Foreign Legion in Soul Music.  The subtle part was when Albert notes the actual dotted line that marked the territorial boundary that existed in reality passing through the desert.  But in Jingo, Pratchett gets down to what has really been going on.  It's also his twist on Lawrence of Arabia".

I think this book is a prime example of Pratchett's skill in writing.  As usual, he doesn't use paragraphs, breaking scenes using only white space, but the book just flows along smoothly from each stage of the story.

I'll admit that the first time I read it, I was a bit confused on what had actually happened in a few spots.  The second time I read it, everything fell into place with a big, "Ohhhh, now I get it."  I think I wasn't expecting the depth that he put into it.

I find myself wanting to say that each book is my favorite, but that's the thing with this series.  Almost every book is your favorite once you read it.  And the next one is only that much better.

------

Recurring characters and themes in this book:

“Personal is not the same as important.”
Al-jibla (Klatchian Dibbler)
Angua, Corporal
Ankh-Morpork
Berghodlt Stuttley “Bloody Stupid” Johnson
Blind Hugh
Bows and Ammo
Buggy Swires, Constable
Burleigh & Stronginthearm
Cabbage
Carrot Ironfounderson, Captain
Cecil W. St. J “Nobby” Nobbs, Corporal
Chalky the Troll
Cheri LIttlebottom, Corporal
Cumbling Michael
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Death
Detritus, Sergeant
Djelibeybi
Done-It Duncan
Dorfl, Constable
Downspout, Constable
D'regs
Drumknott, Secretary
Duck Man
Elm Street
Foul Ole Ron
Fred Colon, Sergeant
Genua
Havelock Vetinari, Patrician
Ironcrust's Dwarf Bread
Klatch
Leonard of Quirm
Leshp
Lord and Lady Selachii
Lord Downey, Assassin’s Guild
Lord Ronald “Ronnie” Rust
Lord Venturi
Mad Lord Snapcase, Patrician
Mr Hong, and the Three Jolly Luck Take-Away fish bar on Dagon street, site of old fish-God temple, opening on the night of the full moon
Mr. Boggis, Thieves’ Guild
Mr. Slant, Lawyers’ Guild
Mrs. Cake
Muntab
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor UU
Old Stoneface Vimes
Pediment, Constable
Reg Shoe, Constable
Samuel Vimes, Commander/Duke/Knight
St. Ungulant ('s Fire)
Sybil Ramkin Vimes, Lady/Duchess
Tacticus, General
The Agony Aunts
The Alchemists’ Guild
The Assassin’s Guild
The Beggars’ Guild
The Bunch of Grapes
The Bursar
The Butchers’ Guild
The Dean
The Dis-Organizer
The Guild of Engravers
The Librarian
The Mended Drum
The Opera House
The Seamstresses' Guild
The Shades
The Thieves’ Guild
The Trousers of Time
Unseen University
Verity Pushpram
Visit-the-Non-Believer-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets “Washpot”, Constable
Wilkins, Butler

Winkle's Old Peculiar

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I'm a Smith-oholic

If you know me, you probably know that I'm a big fan of Kevin Smith.

I can't exactlr remember how I first heard about "Clerks" and "Mallrats", but it was likely through the beginnings of the Internet while I was in grad school.  I do remember that I rented those movies, and then went to see "Chasing Amy" in the theater.  I've seen all of the rest of the Jersey Chronicles in the theater since then.

When "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" came out on video, I had a marathon viewing for my birthday.  It was a small turnout, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  When "Clerks II" came out on my birthday weekend, a group of us went to see it.

And this week, while Jennifer has been traveling, I've watched one movie everyday.  Except for today, when I watched the last two.

Kevin Smith gets maligned a lot for his stuff.  But each movie he's done has been a specific type of movie: black-and-white indie, teen comedy, romance, action, road trip cartoony, and true sequel.  Then he's gone on to make others outside of that world, and in a year or so he'll be returning to it.

I'm not saying he's a cinematic genius, but he world is tight, deftly interwoven, entertaining.  Every one of the movies has at least one moment that still makes me laugh out loud.

I think tomorrow I'll re-watch "Red State".

Friday, June 26, 2015

Discworld - Death of a Holiday

Hogfather and Jingo came to me directly from Englad for VCR sitting for a friend.  This was back before DVRs, and she was recording "Lois and Clark" and "The X-Files", and so I went over a couple times while she was traveling, and switch out the tapes to keep them grouped properly.

Hogfather is a lot of fun to read as it weaves holiday stories in with the origins of the Discworld's version of Father Christmas, the Hogfather.  The continuing fight against the Auditors of reality is fun as you learn more of the "rules" around the conflict.

Hogfather was made into a live action special on the BBC that was done exceptionally well.  After watching animated adaptations of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters, it was fascinating to see even closer how Pratchett had envisioned his city and world.

------

Recurring concepts and characters in this book:

Adrian Turnipseed
Albert
Ankh-Morpork
Archchancellor (Galder) Weatherwax
Arnold Sideways
Bergholdt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson
Bibulous, god of wine
Biers
Binky
Blind Io
Bows and Ammo
Burleigh & Stronginthearm
Cabbage
Carrot Ironfounderson, Captain
Chrysoprase
Coffin Henry
Death
Didactylos
Duck Man
Events in Reaper Man
Fate
Foul Ole Ron
Gaspode the Thinking-Brain Dog
General Tacticus
Hex
Hygiene
Lord Downey, Assassins' Guild
Lord Selachii
Mericet
Miss (Eulalie) Butts
Modo the Dwarf Gardener, UU
Mrs. Gammage
Mrs. Whitlow
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor UU
Nobby Nobbs, Corporal
Offler, the Crocodile-Headed God
Old Man Trouble
Ponder Stibbons
Quoth the Raven
Scrote
Scumble
St. Ungulant
Susan Sto Helit
The Assassins' Guild
The Auditors
The Bursar (Mr. Dinwiddie)
The Campaign for Equal Heights
The Chair
The Dean
The Death of Rats
The High Energy Magic Building
The Lecturer in Recent Runes
The Librarian
The Power of Belief
The Prophet Ossory
The Senior Wrangler (Horace)
The Thieves' Guild
The Unreal Estate
The YMPA
Twurp's Peerage
Unseen University
Violet, a Tooth Fairy
Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets "Washpot", Constable
Windle Poons

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Discworld - Watching for Poison

It is here in the middle of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, that my continuity became mixed up.  There were books being published in the UK at least 6 months before they were published in the US.  I already told how I had discovered Lord and Ladies and Men at Arms at Tower Books with their UK covers (and price tag).  Later I discovered the precursor to Amazon UK in W.H. Smith's online.  When I could afford it, they were my source of Discworld books when they came out until the US got proximal release dates.

Feet of Clay was one I found by surprise, not expecting a new Discworld book to be out yet.  And of course, I didn't savor it, but burned through it.  Being a Watch book, it again has a mystery component to it, but is also a procedural.  Fortunately, I got lucky enough to get the next two books at once as I was VCR sitting for a friend who was off on a trip to England...

------

Recurring character and themes in book:

"Millennium hand and shrimp"
Arnold Sideways
Baron Guye von Uberwald "Silvertail"
Bearhugger’s whiskey
B'hrian Bloodaxe
Biers (formerly The Crown and Axe)
Burleigh & Stronginthearm
C. W. "Nobby" St. John de Nobbs, Corporal
Cabbage
Cable Street Particulars, Watch Division
Carrot Ironfounderson, Captain
Cheery "Cheri" Littlebottom, Corporal
Chrysoprase
Circle of rats with their tails intertwined
Clocks of Ankh-Morpork
Coffin Henry
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Delphine Angua von Uberwald, Corporal
Detritus, Sergeant
Dorfl, Constable
Drumknott, Secretary
Duck Man
Dwarf Bread Museum
Elm Street
Flint, Constable
Foul Ole Ron
Fred Colon, Sergeant
Gaspode, the thinking brain dog
General Tacticus
Genua
Gerhardt Sock, Butcher's Guild
Gimlet
Gimlet's Hole Food Delicatessen
Havelock Vetinari, Patrician
Hughnon Ridcully, Chief Priest of Blind Io
Igneous the Troll
Igor
James "Doughnut Jimmy" Folsom
King Lorenzo the Kind
Lady Selachii
Lord Downey, Assassins' Guild
Lord Ronald Rust
Lord Winder, former Patrician
Mad Lord Snapcase, former Patrician
Moraine, Constable
Mr. Boggis, Thieves' Guild
Mr. Slant, Guild of Lawyers
Mrs. Cake
Mrs. Gammage
Mrs. Rosemary Palm, Seamstresses' Guild
Offler, the Crocodile-Headed God
Old Man Trouble
Quantum Weather Butterfly
Queen Molly, Beggars' Guild
Samuel Vimes, Commander Sir
Serafine Sox-Bloonberg "Yellowfang"
Silicon Anti-Defamation League
Slab
Stoneface "Suffer-not-Injustice" Vimes
Sybil Ramkin-Vimes
The Alchemists' Guild
The Assassins' Guild
The Battle of Koom Valley
The Brass Bridge
The Bucket on Gleam Street
The Campaign of Equal Heights for Dwarfs
The College of Heralds
The Death of Rats
The Dis-organizer
The Guild of Gamblers
The High Energy Magic Building
The Mended Drum
The Opera House
The Ramtops
The Seamstresses' Guild
The Skunk Club
Thieves' Guild
Twurp's Peerage
Uberwald
Unseen University
Venturi family
Violet, a tooth fairy
Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets "Washpot", Constable
Wallace Sonky
Wee Mad Arthur
Wilikins, the butler
Winkles beer

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Discworld - When the Fat Lady Sings

It's amazing how quickly you can read things when you've turned off the television.  I read Maskerade in two days.

Of course the overarching theme of this book is "The Phantom of the Opera", and yes, I continually have the song "Masquerade" going through my head, but there is still so much more to this book.  There's the concept of three witches.  There's a little mystery.  And there's all the other little bits from operas and musicals that get mentioned.

Death appears several times in the book, but his best scene is his last.

------

Recurring Characters and Concepts in this book:

"A Witch should never stand between two mirrors."
Agnes “Perdita X. Dream” Nitt
Ankh-Morpork
Black Aliss
Cable Street Particulars
Corporal Detritus, AM City Watch
Corporal Nobby Nobbs, AM City Watch
Death
Elm Street
Five exclamation points
Granny Esemerelda Weatherwax
Greebo
Lancre
Magrat Garlick, Queen
Millie Hopwood
Mother Dismass
Mr. Crisplock, Engraver
Nanny Gytha Ogg
Scumble
Seamstresses' Guild
Shawn Ogg
Thatcher the Carter
The Dreadful Bend in the Road / Deadman’s Curve
The Hedgehog Song
The Opera House
The Ramtops
The Shades
The Venturi family
Thomas Goatberger
Tinker the Tinker
Two Shirts
Verence II, King
Violet Frottidge

Discworld - There is No East, but Go That Way

I remember when Interesting Times came out, how excited I was the not only was it a Rincewind book, but also that Twoflower was in it too.  And Cohen's presence was just an added bonus.

This is another fun book that reads quickly.  Just the smattering of Japanese and Chinese cultural history that I know makes this book hilarious.  And again, the bits that Pratchett drops in from our reality are incredible.  What do you do with the terracotta army of China in Discworld?  Well, certainly they must become a real army of golem-like terracotta soldiers.  There's a tribute the Seven Samurai.  And there's even a take on a certain little red book.

------

Recurring themes and characters in this book:

Adrian Turnipseed
Ankh-Morpork
Bergholt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson
Betrobi, language of the people of the Brown Islands
Binky
Blind Io
Boy Willie
Caleb the Ripper
Cohen the Barbarian / Genghiz Cohen
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Death
Disembowel-Myself-Honorably Dibhala
Dried Frog Pills
Drumknott, Secretary
Events from Sourcery
Events of Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic
Events from Eric
Fate
Five exclamation points (or [urinating dog]s)
Havelock Vetinari, Patrician
HEX
Hrun the Barbarian
Hygiene
Mad Hamish
Mad Lord Snapcase, former Patrician
Modo the Dwarf, Gardener UU
Mr. Boggis, Thieves' Guild
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor
Nine Turning Mirrors, former Grand Vizier
Offler, the Crocodile-Headed God
Old Vincent
Ponder Stibbons
Quantum Weather Butterfly
Rincewind
Silicon Anti-Defamation League
Skund
The Alchemists' Guild
The Assassins' Guild
The Battle of Koom Valley
The Bursar
The Chair
The Counterweight Continent
The Dean of Indefinite Studies
The Four Horsemen
The Lady
The Lecturer in Recent Runes
The Luggage
The McSweeneys
The Million-to-One Chance
The Pointless Albatross
The Ramtops
The Senior Wrangler
The Thieves' Guild
Truckle the Uncivil
Twoflower
Unseen University
XXXX, the Last Continent



Thirsty

So, today for Father's Day, I went to my parents' house and cooked breakfast for my dad (and mom too).  I also helped dad go through his storage shed, and drove mom to pick up a prescription so that dad could get a little nap.

Now, of course, I got there via biking and BART.  And it's not like I didn't drink anything while I was there.  I think I had two glasses of orange juice, two glasses of milk, two glasses of water, and a beer.  And while I was on BART, or at least on the platform waiting for the train, I had water from my carrier bottle.

And then when i got home, I had some lemonade, and more water, and thought I'd brew some tea.  For dinner I had a Caesar salad with mushroom and sliced leftover steak.  But apparently I was still very thirsty, because when I sat down to eat, and brought my wine over, the table was already a little crowded with drinks.


Yeah, no idea either.  But at least I'm hydrated.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Inside "Inside Out"

So, on Monday, I got a text from Jennifer.  She asked me if I wanted to go see Pixar's new movie "Inside Out" on Tuesday (yesterday).

Now, we had worked out the first half of the week already with meals and such, and so I was surprised she wanted to go see a movie.  She called me and said that she had been looking at possible movies for the weekend, and there had been a Google banner ad about an insider look at "Inside Out".  She clicked on it and followed the path until she got to buy the tickets.

So last night we walked to AMC in Emeryville, less than a mile from where the movie had been made.  We got out tickets and when the ticket taker let us in, he gave us mini-posters and matching lanyard with tags.


Now, Jennifer has been very accommodating with my... movie going fixations over the years; however,  they tend to pay off.  If I'm not at the theater early, I get, I don't know, antsy, I guess.  I have a little part of me that wants to get the best seat, so I like to be there in time to be as close to first as possible.  Last night we were not the first in, but we got great seats: dead center on the row, and the back row of the front section of seats.

There were bits of trivia for the movie running, and some made sense and some didn't until after seeing it.  And the movie itself was great.

The story is engrossing and touched a big nerve as it's about a little girl who has to leave her friends and everything she knows behind to move to San Francisco.  And then things that happen outside and inside shape and reflect the other.  The two scenes that resonated most with me were the scene where she has to stand up in front of the class and introduce herself, and the resolution at the end.

One of the things that makes the movie visually compelling is that the two worlds are rendered in different fashions.  The "real world" is done in a pretty realistic fashion, but still keeps away from the uncanny valley.  The inside world is cartoon-ish and more symbolic.

The five voices used for the emotions are well chosen, and my favorite is Lewis Black.  When Robin Williams was chosen for "Aladdin", we all wondered how many outtakes of curse words there must have been.  We can now wonder the same thing with Lewis Black, but Pixar took that into account on many occasions.

You don't have to be a parent, or a girl to enjoy this movie, because it's not just about those things.  It's all about the journey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Discworld - Music to Die For

So back in college, I read Christopher Stasheff's Warlock series.  There was one book called the Warlock Rock and it was full of music puns.  They weren't subtle, and some of it seemed quite forced.

Terry Pratchett's Soul Music, while it has some music puns, is much more entertaining and quite a bit more subtle.  Some of my favorite parts are the Discworld inversions of Earth bands.

Dwarves with Altitude
We're Certainly Dwarves
The Whom
&U

But parallel to the story of the rise of Music with Rocks In, is the introduction of Susan Sto Helit, daughter of Mort and Ysabell, and granddaughter of Death.  It's about how a seveteen-year-old girl deals with learning she has the powers of Death, while at the same time handling her crush on a boy in a band.

There's also the introduction of what actually goes on inside the High Energy Magic building at Unseen University.  In picturing the scattering of experiments and take-away food boxes, I can just picture the beginnings of HEX, the Discworld's version of a computer.  But that's okay, because he/it will be there and in use for the next book Interesting Times.

------

Mentioned in this book:

"A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob On the End"
‘The World is Your Mollusk”
Albert / Alberto Malich
Ankh-Morpork
Arnold Sideways
Big Mad Drongo / Adrian Turnipseed
Binky
Blind Io
Bloody Stupid Johnson / UU Organ
Cabbages
Candle Dribbler
Casanunda
Catalog for Magic Shops
Chalky the Troll
Chrysoprase the Troll
Coffin Henry
Corporal C. W. St. J Nobbs
Cumbling Michael
Curry Gardens
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Deadman's Curve
Death
Dorfl
D'regs
Duckman
Dwarf Gold Song
Dwarf Hi Ho Song
Eldritch means oblong
Events from Moving Pictures
Events from Reaperman
Foul Ole Ron
Gaspode (Limping Mongrel
Genua
Gimlet's Delicatessen / Hole Food
Glod
Havelock Vetinari, Patrician
Hex
Hygiene
Lancre
Llamedos
Miss Eulalie Butts
Modo the Dwarf Gardener at UU
Molly, maid
Mort
Moving Pictures
Mr. Hong and his All Night Take-Away Shop on Dagon Street
Mrs. Cosmopolite
Mrs. Whitlow
Music with Rocks In
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor
Offler, The Crocodile-Headed God
Old Man Trouble
Ossory's Ass - Holy St. Bobby
Ponder Stibbons
Quantum
Queen Keli of Sto Lat
Quoth the Raven
Ramtops
Riktor the Counter
Scrote
Sergeant Fred Colon
Skazz
Susan Sto Helit
Tez the terrible
The Alchemists' Guild
The Assassins' Guild
The Bunch of Grapes
The Bursar
The Chair of Indefinite Studies
The Counterweight Continent
The Dean
The Death of Rats
The Fools' Guild
The High Energy Magic Building
The Hogfather
The Lecturer in Recent Runes
The Librarian
The Listening Monks
The Mended Drum
The Opera House
The Power of Belief
The Quirm College for Young Ladies
The Rite of Ashk-Ente
The Seamstresses' Guild
The Senior Wrangler
The Thieves' Guild
The Tooth Fairy
Things from the Dungeon Dimensions
Unseen University
Ysabell

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Discworld - Watching Equality Among Races

While I was still reading Reaper Man, I came across this article on the web.  Once again Pratchett knew things before any of us.  The man mined information more than any author I've come across.

Men at Arms is a favorite (yes, I know, but they're almost all favorites) because it introduces Angua, brings back Detritus, and plays on old themes.  When Cuddy is trying to teach the Dwarven Gold Song (which is made up of only the word "gold") to Detritus (who he then keeps berating for getting the song wrong) you can't help but laugh.  And yes, this fantasy world has gunpowder (Black Powder #1), but the book is all about why and why not.

The Guards books are Pratchett's writings of mysteries and police procedural, but at the same time he addresses other issues.  Dwarves and Trolls hate each other, but humans have their own feelings towards them.  Trolls appear stupid so they are marginalized.  Dwarves are subtly discriminated again because "everyone knows what Dwarves are like."  Everyone but Dwarves of course.

------

Appearing in this book:

“Do deformed rabbit, it’s my favorite”
“Millennium hand and shrimp"
"Personal is not the same as important."
“The world is your mollusk”
Ankh-Morpork
Bearhugger's Very Fine Whiskey
Beggars guild
Bells of Ankh-Morpork
Bloody Stupid Johnson/UU Organ
Captain "Mayonaise" Quirk
Captain Vimes
Chalky the Troll
Chrysoprase, the Troll
Coalface the Troll
Corporal C. W. St. J Nobbs
Corporal Carrot Ironfounderson
Cumbling Michael
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Death
Done-It Duncan
Doughnut Jimmy
Dr. Cruces, Assassins’ Guild
Dragon attack
Dried Frog Pills
Drumknott, Secretary
Dwarf bread
Dwarf Bread Museum - Rime Street
Dwarf delicatessen (Gimlet’s)
Dwarven Gold song
Elm Street
Fingers Mazda
Flint the Troll
Foul Ole Ron
Gaspode
Gerhardt Sock, Butchers’ Guild
Grabpot Thundergust the Dwarf
Hi ho song
Koom Valley
Lady Selachii
Lady Sybil Ramkin
Lance-Constable Angua
Lance-Constable Cuddy
Lance-Constable Detritus
Leonard da Quirm
Lord Downey, Assassins’ Guild
Lord Havelock Vetinari, The Patrician
Lord Rust
Lord Venturii
Ludmilla Cake
Mad Lord Snapcase, former Patrician
Moraine the Troll
Mr. (Arthur) Winkins
Mr. Hong and the Three Jolly Luck Take-Away Fish Bar on Dagon Street opening on the Winter Solstice under a Full Moon
Mr. Ixiolite, the Banshee
Mr. Morecombe, Vampire Lawyer
Mr. Whiteface, Fool’s Guild
Mrs. Cake
Mrs. Drull, the Ghoul
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor
Old Stoneface (Vimes)
Quantum Weather Butterfly
Queen Molly of the Beggars’ Guild
Reg Shoe
Ruby
Sargent Colon
Sendivoge, Alchemists’ Guild
Sham Harga/Harga's House of Ribs
Silas Cumberbatch, Town-Crier
Silicon Anti-Defamation League
Silverfish, Alchemist’s Guild
Slice (Mountain)
Stronginthearm the Dwarf
The Assassins' Guild
The Brass bridge
The Bucket on Gleam Street
The Bursar
The Dean
The Fools' Guild
The High-Energy Magic Building
The Librarian
The Librarian
The Mona Ogg
The Opera House
The Pork Futures Warehouse
The Ramtops/Copperhead
The Royal Mail/The Post Office
The Thieves' Guild
The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions
The Unreal Estate
Twurp's Peerage
Unseen University
Wilikins, Butler
Wolf pack leader like Carrot

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Discworld - A Little Murder

"Theater of Cruelty" is another short story set on the Discworld, specifically in Ankh-Morpork.

I don't know why this took me two readings to really understand what was going on.  I think I just wasn't up on the "real" story of Punch and Judy when I first read it.  But now, it's a favorite.

------

Appearing in this book:

Ankh-Morpork
Captain Vimes
Corporal Carrot Ironfounderson
Corporal Nobbs
Death
Gnomes
Sargeant Colon

Discworld - All Just a Dream

So take "A Midsummer Night's Dream", then interleave a reverse of "The Taming of the Shrew", then add in the characters of the Discworld, and look at things through the lens of Pratchett's mind.  That is Lord and Ladies.

I can remember buying this book and the next one (Men at Arms) at Tower books.  And they were expensive, because they were the version from England.  In a mass-market paperback size, they were $10 or $11 each.  And this was in 1993.

But they were so worth the price.  I got so much pleasure reading them and getting the next installment of both the Witches and the Watch.

This is a pretty big "crossover" kind of book with known characters from Unseen University meeting the people of Lancre.  And lots of little bits get mentioned in conversations.  Again it's refreshing that characters have memories and history.  Up until reading this, the only shared universe in fiction that I read was in comics.  Sure I read Larry Niven, but his main characters came from such different time periods that they hardly ever met.

------

Appearing in this book:

"A Wizards Staff Has a Knob on the End"
"Millennium Hand and Shrimp"
"Pull the other one..."
"The Hedgehog Song"
Agnes "Perdita" Nitt
Ankh-Morpork
Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully
Archchancellor (Galder) Weatherwax
Archchancellor (Greyhald) "Tudgy" Spold
Baker the Weaver
Bestiality Carter
Black Aliss
Bows and Ammo
Cabbages
Carpenter the Poacher
Carter the Baker
Casanunda
Dried Frog Pills
Elves
Eyes like Gimlet
Genghiz Cohen
Granny Esmerelda Weatherwax
Granny's Rag Rug from the Smith in Bad Ass
Greebo
Herne the Hunted
High Energy Magic Building
Hodgesaargh
Hwel, Tomjon, and Vittoler's men - The Dysk
Ironfounderson the Dwarf
Jason Ogg
King Verence II
Lancre
Lucy "Diamanda" Tockley
Magrat Garlick
Millie Chillum
Millie Hopwood
Mr. Brooks the Beekeeper
Mr. Ixiolite the Banshee
Mr. Spriggins the Butler
Mrs. Scorbic the Cook
Nanny Gytha Ogg
Nanny Gripes
Nanny's Still
Obidiah Carpenter the Tailor
Octarine Grass Country
Old Poorchick and his cow
Oggham
"Personal isn't the same as important."
Pewsey Ogg
Ponder Stibbons - The Reader in Invisible Writings
Quantum
Queen Ynci
Scumble
Sean Ogg
Slice and the Place Where the Sun Doesn't Shine
Scumble
Sto Helit
Sto Lat
Strict Offlians (Offler, the Crocodile-Headed God)
Tailor the Other Weaver
Thatcher the Carter
The Archchancellor's Hat
The Bursar
The Dean
The Green-Purple Wobbly Bit
The Hi Ho Song
The Lancre Morris Dancers
The Lecturer in Recent Runes
The Librarian
The Queen of the Elves (Fairies)
The Single Standing Stone
The Stick and Bucket Dance
The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions
The Tooth Fairy
The Trousers of Time
The Vampire Queen of Lancre
Tinker the Tinker
Twurp's Peerage
Unseen University
Violet Frottidge
Weaver the Thatcher

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Continued Learning

Last Saturday, San Pablo Avenue was closed from Ashby Avenue to Stanford Avenue for about 8 hours for a "Love Your Neighborhood" event.  the point is to help people realize that San Pablo Avenue is not just a substitute for Interstate 80, but a road that goes by lots of residences and small businesses.

It had lots of booths for local community businesses and such/

One of the booths was for Biketopia which is up Alcatraz Avenue by Adeline Street.  It was just one guy (Hiro) who was doing bike inspections and minor repairs.  He looked over my chain, and suggested it was pretty worn and should be replaced.

So, yesterday, after stopping off to cool down at home, I rode back up and got my chain replaced.

By me.

Biketopia is one of many shops around that is volunteer run, and teaches a bike owner how to do their own repairs.  I learned in my first year from another shop how to change inner tubes for flat tires.  This time, I learned (from Reaux) how to disassemble and clean the derailleur, and change the chain.  Now my gears are clean, the derailleur is gunk free, and my chain is shiny and silver.  It was one that was pre-waxed, so it shouldn't need to be oiled for about a week.  I also got a briefing on bicycle disc brakes.  I'm going to need to replace the pads on mine soon, but with the instruction Hiro gave me, I learned how easy it is to change them out.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Discworld - The True Power of Belief

Small Gods is probably Pratchett's most thought provoking book.

It's not just his continuing theme that Belief creates Gods.  This is another book that is full of great lines and phrases, but one of the best is that people die for lies, but they should live for a truth.

I've known people like Vorbis who are so closed in their minds that what they think are the word of God are really just heir thoughts being reflected back to them.

This is another book that I think should be taught and studied in schools for its concepts.

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Appearing in this book:

"The World is Your Mollusk..."
Abbys, The Prophet
Ankh-Morpork
Belief Creates Gods
Bibulous, god of wine
Binky
Blind Io
Bonsai Mountains
Cena,The Prophet
Chaos Butterfly
Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Dhblah
Death
Didactylos
Djelibeybi
Do Deformed Rabbit
Ephebe
Ibid
Lu-Tze
Patina, goddess of wisdom
Offler, the Crocodile-Headed God
Ossory, The Prophet
Simony, Sergeant
St. Ungulant
The Brown Islands
The Desert after Death
The Great God Om
The History Monks
The Librarian
The Million to One Chance
The Ramtops
Tsort
Unseen University
Xeno

Conspiracy of Frustration

I know I've ranted before over my frustration over the changes that happened about 4 years ago at DC Comics.  And that I can't seem to let it go (No Singing!).  Apparently I'm not the only one.

Friday I came across this article at Bleeding Cool.  I think it sums it up very well.

Now, my friend John and I rarely saw eye to eye on comics.  But something he said about the original Crisis on Infinite Earths seems more fitting even now than when he first mentioned it.  He said that after the Crisis DC should have started over at that point with all of the books.  Now that may be what they tried to do with the New 52, but that is where I think they inadvertently hurt most of the long time readers.

In throwing away the old numbering it seemed they threw away the history of the company.  When they did Zero Hour a few years later they did a #0 issue, and I think it was the best intentioned of the plans.  It gave the "new" backstory of each character.DC did something similar tot he New 52, but waited about a year into the new run to do it.  If they had used that method again, I think it would have helped more.  Instead of throwing everyone into this mysterious universe where Superman and Shazam are very different, Batman and Green Lantern have hardly changed, and there's all these new heroes and villains, some created for the new universe and some brought over from Wildstorm, why not do a beginning introductory issue?

So anyway, this probably won't be my last rant, but it's good to know I'm not alone in my reasons.

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