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.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Oracle Night, Paul Auster

Began 6/6/05 5:30 pm. Finished 6/7/05 12:00 am. I liked this book enough to read the thing in about four hours. I'm well behind on reviews, as you can see from the post-date, and I've finished several books since this one, so I'm reaching a little bit for the details right now, so bear with me a moment...

Ok. The book is about a man who writes a book, and in certain places the book within the book bleeds into the story of the book, which is fairly neat. Oh...who am I kidding...I've already forgotten the pertinent details, and rereading a portion here and a portion there just isn't doing the thing justice. It's SO important for me to get these thoughts up on the interweb before they leave my lonely little head, because they never ever come back. There is this one moment of terrible dialogue, which I won't squander electrons telling you about, but otherwise things are pretty ok. I also hate the typeface: much too big in length and width, stretching out the pages unnecessarily. These are niggling details; the book is enjoyable.

Books Ranked Thus Far*
1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Clarke
2. The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn
3. Brideshead Revisted, Waugh
4. Oracle Night, Auster
5. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Malkiel
6. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark
7. The Book on Bush, Alterman and Brooks
8. Design For The Real World, Papanek (technically unfinished)
9. Sports Guy, Pierce

*Rankings to Appear Every Third Book

Observations + Housekeeping

On Friday night, Shaun told me that I seemed older than 23 - more like 26 or 27. I was happy about this, and I'm also happy that I'm still young enough to be happy about it. I doubt when I'm 35 I'm going to be real thrilled about someone saying I seemed more like 38 or 39.

I have four books completed and awaiting review in this space, and nearly a fifth. The lesson here is that I read pretty quick, and have much easier access to books than internet.

I'd write more about the NBA, but as I mentioned before, the Sports Guy says everything I agree with, only better and funnier.

Several of the books that I've just finished and nearly finished have a lot of sex in them. Just a heads up, so you can tune in/out. Parental discretion is advised.

Panda Pang. It's been around a little while, but in the last several weeks I've gotten horribly, horribly addicted to it, to the point where I can beat it on one life, so I nearly beat it and then die on purpose and keep picking up extra lives to rack up totally pointless high scores. Check it out. Or, don't check it out and do something valuable with your time. It's too late though. You'll check it out. Mwuhahahahaha.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


NBA Finals Game 7 predictions

Evans: Pistons by 4
AJS: Pistons by 2
S. Lee: Pistons by 7

Eric: Spurs by pulling something out of their ass at the buzzer
Kevinwrites: Spurs by 3

Monday, June 20, 2005


Design for the Real World, Victor Papanek

Ok, so I cheated on this one. I stalled out with about twenty five pages to go. It was my lunchtime book at work, which means that I read ten pages here and there for a month and it was never good enough to make it home. It's a book about how industrial design should serve society rather than profitability. How products can be made cheaply and to last rather than expensively diversified and throwaway. There's a really neat chart about three-fourths of the way through that I copied and taped to my wall at work. It's a flowchart of causes and effects of wants and needs in society, and attempts to ameliorate and alleviate the unnecessary wants and make the necessary cheaper and better. The book is well aimed, hopelessly dated, and written tiredly. 1971 is now officially a long time ago, and many of the case studies within the text are solved or no longer relevant, which would be ok if there were a few but the book is chock full of them. There are so many better books in the world; go read them. Also, today my prose is lacking, and I apologize, but I'm behind on reviews and I'm going to crunch them out.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

Finished 6/4/05. This book is on the Defective Yeti list, but I started reading it before I discovered the list. This book is truly excellent. One reason why I don't read much fantasy is, to generalize grandly, it's all about swords. Now I like a good sword-related yarn as much as the next fella, but there are only so many sword-related story arcs. And Tad Williams already did the best one. This book is swordless fantasy. Strange and Norrell are the only surviving practical magicians (i.e. men who do magic rather than just study it. Engineers rather than physicists.) in early 19th century England. One neat thing about the book is that it reads like a history textbook in certain ways-on many pages there are footnotes referencing (fictional(obviously)) magical texts, or explaining in more detail magical spells or tall tales that characters mention in passing. Another neat thing about it is that there is no real hero...all the characters are severely flawed. Another neat thing is the dialogue. Good dialogue is tasty and I starve for it most of the time. Not over the eight hundred pages or so of Strange and Norrell. Another neat thing is the way in which one absurd, fantasy element-that there are folks who perform magic, in the goofy, D&D sense-is woven into a perfectly familiar, logical, Napoleanic England. Strange and Norrell are not overly powerful, and they are not all good...they are men struggling to regain control over a lost art. They love and hate and are jealous. When Strange assists Wellington at Waterloo, he can't just wave his hands and knock those French mofos down. The magic takes careful concentration and preparation, and the effects are precise and localized; Strange cannot turn the tide of the battle himself, only nudge it in the right direction and hope for the best. In conclusion, everyone who has ever enjoyed a fantasy novel of any type should read this book. It's a little different and a lot more fun.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Sports Guy, Charles P. Pierce

Finished 5/25/05, forgotten about until today. I picked this up because the cover art is neat (early 20th century mechanical toy golfer, with the requisite type in a font that I enjoy, and white background to show the superiority of the Aryan race), and I know my dad likes to listen to him on NPR. And also probably because I love the Sports Guy so much. Anyway, it's a bunch of essays about sports, and they're mostly not so good. The best one is the famous Tiger Woods piece where he tells the dirty jokes, and I'd already read that one in the Best American Sportswriting of the Century. It isn't that the writing is bad, though it's not great; its the choice of subject matter. I feel like sometimes certain sportswriters try to make their pieces about people rather than sports. I think perhaps they suffer from an inferiority complex of some type, as though sports were not a worthy subject for serious writing. They are, though-sports carry their own weight and each game features its own ready-made dramatic curve ripe for plucking. Anyway, Pierce focuses a lot of energy on people. They are people who are not very interesting (or at least Pierce fails to present them as such) except in terms of their sporting lives, and Pierce pains to shift his focus from feats of athleticism.

Over at defective yeti, Matt Baldwin has solicited reader suggestions for his 2005 reading pleasure, and I stole and borrowed a few selections from his list and the library (respectively) yesterday. Having read several of these titles (and one other with 100 pages to go!), I can say that the list appears to be solidly good.

Books Ranked Thus Far*
1. The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn
2. Brideshead Revisted, Waugh
3. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Malkiel
4. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark
5. The Book on Bush, Alterman and Brooks
6. Sports Guy, Pierce

*Rankings to Appear Every Third Book


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