So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Friday, July 30, 2004

All's Quiet on the Western Shore

It's been a non-eventful week here on the shores of Triangle Lake, hence the lack of bloggage. To make your checking-in worthwhile, here are a few pix of Phil I took today.

Mikesell : 11:12 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, July 23, 2004

Zen in the Art of Writing Book Reviews

As I mentioned the other day, during jury duty I finished reading Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing, a slim tome exploring the creative process. After deep contemplation I have written a review over at Amazon.

Why you should read my review of Zen in the Art of Writing: Back at university I wrote an essay on Milton's Paradise Lost, wherein I noted that in deceiving Eve "Satan was more interested in an argument that sounded good than in a good, sound argument." I do a Charlie Tuna kind of thing in this review, too.

Mikesell : 5:40 PM : 0 snarky remarks

More Inhalage at Amazon (Plus a Book Review)

Amazon has been doing some strange things with its review section. Somehow, despite my number of helpful votes steadily increasing I've dropped 600 places - from 4542 to 5177 - in two days. Also, they've stopped recognizing "curved quotes" in their reviews, and, since I usually write my reviews in Word (which inserts them automatically), I now have question marks ("?") spread liberally throughout my reviews. I've also had several recent votes disappear (from 4 of 4 to 3 of 3), despite my overall number of reviews increasing (and the additional votes aren't showing up anywhere, either).

Nevertheless, I've written a review of 2nd Chance, the book I zipped through during my exciting day of jury duty.

Why you should read my review of 2nd Chance: I admit to talking to inanimate objects. Find out what I say. (Plus it seems I can really use the votes.)

Mikesell : 12:07 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Answer to Yesterday's Riddle

Q. Would You Want This Guy on Your Jury?

A. Apparently not.

I spent from 8:30a to 3:00p in the Lane County Circuit Court Juror Waiting Room. My group (the "Captain Crunch"es - we all had cereal names; fortunately I wasn't a "Fruit Loop") did get called up to Room 306 (Judge Foote's courtroom), but 12 of the 28 potential jurors (we went with the "Wheaties" and 4 of the aforementioned Loops) were lmpanelled before my number (#200) was drawn. Then it was lunch (from briefly after noon until 1:00p), after which we sat around in the room again until the only case that hadn't yet begun determined they would need jurors today.

Fortunately, I brought books and finished Zen in the Art of Writing (look for review soon) and got a couple hundred pages of 2nd Chance out of the way.

Lunch was a couple Coney Dogs from A&W.

Of the roughly 300 potential jurors drawn from all over Lane County, there was actually someone there I know: Gene Hall, from church. What're the odds? (If you actually calculate the odds you're a big dork.) Gene was a "Cheerio" and it looked like he wasn't impanelled either.

Mikesell : 7:45 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, July 19, 2004

Would You Want This Guy on Your Jury?

Tomorrow morning I have to report for jury duty at Lane County Circuit Court in Eugene. Hopefully I'll get assigned to a trial that will only last a day or two, otherwise I'll have to plead "primary care-giver" and get excused.

Anyhoo, Phil took this photo of me in the car this afternoon.


Mikesell : 11:02 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Hover Disc Phil Pix

Someone has shared a Hover Disc with the camp, so this morning with everyone away Phil and I went and played with it.

Here's how it looked:

It actually is quite a fun toy. The one here tends to leak slowly, but it can be reinflated without too much difficulty.

Mikesell : 10:43 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Philip the Adventurer

Last December I got the Atari Classics 10-in-1 Joystick Game.

One of the games is Adventure, wherein you're the hero (okay, a big, blocky square) that has to get the chalice back to your palace (not the vessel with the pestle). Along the way there are keys to open your and two other castles that need to be found, dragons to be slain (after you find the sword (okay, a directional arrow)), and a maze to be navigated (the beginner level has one maze, the intermediate and expert levels have three mazes).

Long story short (TOO LATE!), Phil completed the beginner level by himself (or "my own self" as he likes to say) this morning.

Perhaps there's a career in professional competitive gaming in his future.

*10 bonus points if you can identify the two classic comedies to which I allude in this post.

Mikesell : 12:01 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, July 17, 2004

More Phil Party Pix

It's amazing how many more pictures of Phil I took at his friend Jackson's party this morning than I did at his own party last month. I'm guessing playing host had something to do with it. Phil had a great time at Emerald Park (as the photos below demonstrate), as did everyone else from what I could tell. Thanks Jackson (and Mike & Jen)!

Mikesell : 5:04 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, July 16, 2004

50th Book Review (+ DVD Review #28)

For the second Friday night in a row we've got book and DVD reviews here on the blog. The book review this time around is for Martha Grimes' The Man with a Load of Mischief. The DVD review is for Sleepwalkers, a movie based on Stephen King's first original screenplay.

Why you should read my review of The Man with a Load of Mischief: First of all, it's my 50th book review. It takes a lot of commitment and time on one's hands to accomplish that sort of thing. Second of all, I resisted punning on the main character's name (Richard Jury). I considered titling my review along the lines of "The Jury Is In ...." but didn't - that kind of restraint deserves to be rewarded.

Why you should read my review of Sleepwalkers: If you weren't persuaded by my pun-avoidance in the previous paragraph (how alliterative!), perhaps it will impress you that I didn't use a pun-based title referring to "cattiness" or "corn" on this movie (you'll understand if you've seen the movie). That said, I did rip on the movie somewhat (certainly no more than it deserves). If you've missed my general snarkiness in the reviews of late, you've got it here. Be forewarned, I verb a noun at the end of the review, but please don't tell my AP English teacher from high school - it'd break her heart.

Mikesell : 10:33 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Book Review Tuesday

In case you haven't noticed, the non-fiction "What I'm Reading" book (#2 at the right) has changed from the biography of Dorothy L. Sayers to a book on writing by Ray Bradbury. With my review of Dorothy L. Sayers: A Biography, I'm all caught up on books I've read recently that need reviewing. After you read it, you'll be all caught up, too.

Why you should read my review of Dorothy L. Sayers: A Biography: In the review I admit to having a certain deficiency. Is it the one you're thinking of? Read the review and find out.

Mikesell : 2:21 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, July 12, 2004

Waterfront Phil Pix

These days Phil's spending his afternoons down by the lake. This afternoon he dogpaddled across the swimming area (wearing his lifejacket).

Here're some photos of his waterfront fun:

This one doesn't have the boy in it, but I think it's a nice picture nonetheless:

Mikesell : 9:47 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Two New Reviews: One Book, One DVD

After a slow week or two, things are picking up. Check out my review of The Stainless Steel Rat and my review of Speed Racer: Episodes 1-11. I had written the Speed Racer review a few weeks ago and forgotten about it. My oversight is a bonus for you.

Why you should read my review of The Stainless Steel Rat: I've reviewed several other books by Harry Harrison (three in the Bill the Galactic Hero series); find out if I enjoy this series any more than the other.

Why you should read my review of Speed Racer: Episodes 1-11: Since I wrote it a while ago, forgot it and then rediscovered it, you could say it's a "rediscovered masterpiece" (piece of something, at any rate). I also use the phrase "Whoa Nellie!" - how can you resist the phrase "Whoa Nellie!"? (Nellie was my grandmother's name; so if not for me, read the review for her.)

Mikesell : 1:28 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, July 08, 2004

What Are They Inhaling Over There at Amazon?

We now take a moment for a snarky bit of political and commercial commentary.

Over at Amazon they have started a new feature called a "plog" (personalized blog), where they suggest current products based on things in which you've shown an interest in the past. I just came across this feature and here's what they suggested for June 22:

So, because I enjoy contorting seven magnetic shapes into the chosen pattern of the day Amazon thinks I'd enjoy reading the story of a man with a magnetic personality who enjoys contorting the word "is" into his chosen definition of the day.

Hmmm ... that's a strange bit of logic you've got going there for ya, Amazon.

Mikesell : 11:47 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Phil's Religious Education

Pretty much every night since he was born, I've sung Philip the song Jesus Loves Me at bedtime. We call this "singing Jesus" (as in "Daddy, sing me Jesus"). So after having sung it roughly 1,461 times (365.25 x 4), tonight I asked Phil to sing it to Mama who had gone to bed early.

Here's how it went:

I'd say he's gotten the high points of the song.

(He did sing roughly in tune and repeated the "Yes, Jesus" line a couple times and then returned to the "Little ones" one - He knew there was more to it than what he was singing, but couldn't precisely remember it. I sang a duet with him afterwards and he picked up the missing phrases with no problem.)

Yay Phil!

Mikesell : 1:48 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

More Pix of Phil and His Cousins

Well, the cousins came out to camp this morning and we all had a great time (corn dogs were served for lunch, so how can you go wrong?). In the afternoon Phil took his cousins down to the waterfront where they had even more fun. That's where the photos below were shot:

Mikesell : 6:49 PM : 0 snarky remarks

More Pix and MacHappenings

My brother Bill and his family drove through town today on their way to his brother-in-law's place up in Portland. They'll be back down again tomorrow, but we got together for dinner tonight since a) it's the brotherly thing to do and b) it's kids-eat-free night at IHOP (which we didn't know until we got there, so we'll thank Providence (the spiritual characteristic of God, not the Melina Kanakaredes TV show) for setting that up ahead of time).

While we were there, these photos got taken:

In other news, I've made my first short film (two actually) and burned them to DVD using the Macintosh iMovie and iDVD programs. The first movie is a collection of clips from last week's family camp that our friend "Mr. Stitch" shot with his digital video camera. The second is the collection of two songs that our church's youth pastor took of the kids' Christmas pageant last December. There are a few things I'd like to tweak should I burn another copy, but all in all I'm pleased with my freshman effort.

Mikesell : 12:37 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, July 05, 2004

Phourth of July Phil Photos

Actually, only one of these pix was snapped on the 4th (Phil and my sister, Julia); the others were taken at various times this past week.Enjoy!

Mikesell : 1:18 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Book Review Time Again

Well, it's been a busy week, but I finally got around to posting my review of Clouds of Witness. Not Dorothy L. Sayers' best book, but it's better than a poke in the eye.*

Why you should read my review of Clouds of Witness:: Once again, I include a very subtle pun. In case it's too subtle for you, it's in paragraph two. I also use the phrase "foggy bog" - how can you resist reading something that includes the phrase "foggy bog" ? I don't believe you can.

*I made a comment like that to 4-year-old Phil the other day and he's spent pretty much every day since asking people if they want a poke in the eye. I'm glad we cancelled Cinemax quite some time ago.

Mikesell : 1:07 AM : 0 snarky remarks