Kevin->Write(thoughts, browser, time)

void Kevin::Write(char *thoughts, char *browser, int time) allows an object of the Kevin class to create printed english text. The function opens a blogger account (automatically associated with the particular Kevin object) using the web browser resouce identified by browser, and while time > 0 and interrupts are disabled, uses blogger to translate thoughts into text.

Friday, April 29, 2005


The Gulag Archipelago(Parts I and II), Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Finished 4/28/05. This is an excellent book that I reccommend highly. It recounts, in exacting detail, from arrest to trial through prison, what it was like to be a political prisoner in the Soviet Union from the Revolution to the mid-Fifties. Solzhenitsyn writes clinically and piercingly, tying together hundreds of primary accounts to present an overall picture that is both complete and personal, in part due to his own extensive time in prison. One thing that I particularly liked were his puns, which made it through the translation with minimal obfuscation. He often uses a scalding, frothing sarcasm to nail home the lunacies of the trials, which as you'd might imagine I found pleasing as well. I imagine that I'll be checking the second and third volumes out of the Schafly branch(named after local brewery) in the next few months.

Books Ranked Thus Far:

1. The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn
2. Brideshead Revisted, Waugh
3. The Book on Bush, Alterman and Brooks

I will begin books and quit them, I have no trouble doing that. So this list will be filled with books I like, for the most part. Cheers.

Brideshead Revisted, Evelyn Waugh

Finished Sunday, 4/23/05. This book was heavily plot oriented and focused on the British upper class, like a sort of latter-day Jane Austen with more ennui and less letter writing. I enjoyed it, but not heavily so. I picked it up because it is number 76 on the Modern Library's Top 100 novels of the twentieth century, which was the lowest number that was both in stock at my local Nellyville branch and that I had not yet read. I began progressing through the list in reverse order during highschool (thanks, Mrs. Pfaff!) and recently picked it up again. It is likely that many of the books you read about here will be from the list or its nonfiction counterpart. Anyway, one thing that I did not like about Brideshead was that when I was nearly finished, I read a two sentence blurb from noted Christian douchebag Gary Bauer, about how the book showcased a triumph and victory for Christianity stepping in, saving souls and making lives meaningful. And I thought, "Well, the book hasn't really been about this at all, actually." But lo! The last thirty pages are, in fact, a showcase for the triumph and victory of Christianity as it steps in, saves souls and makes lives meaningful. This would not have bothered me had I not read the damn quote; in fact, it would have been a pleasant, satisfying turn of events, and made the book into an interesting allegory. I cannot escape from the Gary Bauer association, so the last section just drives me batty. But I would like to point out that most of the book is about hedonism, homo and heterosexual love, drinking and making merry, and therefore still has much to offer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Book Blog

Because I want to remember all the darn books I read and I also can't post on anything like a regular basis, I pronounce this blog to be a Book Blog for one year, from now until April 20th, 2006. Every full length book that I finish will be opined upon upon these pages. Fifteen minutes ago, I finished reading "The book on Bush: How George W. Bush (Mis)leads America," by Mark Brooks and Eric Alterman. I had read "What Liberal Media?" by Alterman earlier this winter, and this book was his only other offering on hand at my local library, so I shrugged and picked it up. "What Liberal Media?" is a superior offering, but the newer work is solid. Most of the facts and arguments presented I already knew and agreed with...I prefer to read books that challenge presumptions...which is one of the reasons that I enjoyed WLM so much, since I thought (and upon reflection, still think) that the media is as a whole, liberal-in the classic, non pejorative sense, as is the greater part of the country. Basically, The Book On Bush recounts Bush's failures and lies in every possible presidential field. I'd rather not rail on about W any further in this space, so I'll just say: If you're going to read one book by Eric Alterman, read "What Liberal Media?" Many thanks and a pleasant evening to readers, if in fact any of you remain.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Final Four Notes

Two solidly played basketball games today, both of which had a similar feel: two underdog teams fighting hard to stay in it for thirty minutes, but the better teams taking over and winning handily down the stretch. I've seen Louisville play several times this year, and enjoy watching them. Rick Pitino teaches defense better than any college coach around, and the junk zone that they tried worked successfully against Illinois. The trouble was on the other end for them, with Garcia having a poor shooting night and no other real offensive weapons against a smothering, physical Illinois defensive presence. I still think that Garcia will be a very good NBA player, a slashing, rebounding combo guard, perhaps Gilbert Arenas Lite*. In the second game, North Carolina simply ran Michigan State out of the gym, pushing tempo at every opportunity. What hurt State even more, I feel, was their lack of outside shooting: in a college game in which success is skewed toward three point accuracy more and more each year, they didn't have a single guy who looked comfortable taking those shots.

The final game matches the two top teams in the country, and I'm really looking forward to it. Sean May is a big advantage in the post for the Tar Heels, and they have a much deeper bench, but I think they run too quickly at times and make mistakes, and McCants is a head case who hurts almost as much as he helps. Illinois plays terrific team basketball at both ends of the court, and I imagine that Vegas will make them the favorite based on their success all season, but I'm honestly not sure who to pick. Both teams have enough solid scorers that an off night by one of their big guys can be offset by someone else getting hot. Illinois plays better defense, but relies heavily on threes, without a real option underneath. Even their big guys jack up lots of jump shots. I think the key will be foul trouble: North Carolina's depth is rooted in interchangable athletic 6'6" wing guys; they don't really have backups for Felton and May. If Illinois can get either in early foul trouble, that will help their cause immensely. Conversely, Illinois is not a deep team at any position; foul trouble could obviously hurt them greatly. If you're laying down some money, take the points, no matter who's getting them.

*Aside: I watched Duke play about five times this year, and JJ Redick ain't gonna make it in The League. His 25 foot range is nice, but when you spend the whole game running off double screens and you still can't get open looks against solid college defenders, you clearly don't have the quickness to succeed when the players get bigger and faster. Jason Kapono, anyone?

Ray the Cat

"Listen. When it comes to men, women use the term “friendship” the way that a boss who is firing you says “best of luck in your career.” The boss knows you will never work there again, and actually doesn’t care if you have luck. He just wants you gone, but if you’re dumb enough to stick around for no pay, maybe you can sit and listen while he babbles about his relationship problems."

I may have posted about Ray's Place before, but it rules so you can have it again, thank you. It's an advice column written by a fake cat who is one of the stars of a fairly lousy web comic, and it's mostly about women and liquor. Enjoy.


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