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, July 29, 2005


Little Children, Tom Perrotta

Finished Mid-July. Another in the fine line of Defective Yeti selections. This is a fairly good book that is mostly about an affair between married parents who meet on a playground, and also a little bit about the impact of an accused child murderer and molester moving into a community, and a little bit about a moderately crazy former cop. I like the writing, but the characters don't really pan out into reality, which is a common problem for a lot of authors, most famously my own fiction attempts. The molester and the cop in particular don't act like real people, and that's a pretty devastating blow to the message. Still, there's some good to reccommend here: The affair and the affected families ring true and end satisfactorily, and there is a certain humor and flair to the writing that I enjoyed. A good beach read for the late summer, female, moderately intellectual but not high-falutin', unable-to-find-anything-better, aging and perhaps a little bored with her spouse beach-reading demographic.

Pattern Recognition, William Gibson

Finished mid-July. On Defective Yeti list. Mediocre Sci-Fi-ish stuff from a renowned author who I had not yet read. It's high concept, and therefore plot heavy, and I didn't really like the plot. There's a marketing exec, see, and she's chasing down information regarding an internet phenomenon which consists of anonymous, tremendously good short pieces of film, referred to as "footage." Footage is found in various strange places on the net, and a thriving BBS community is devoted to deciphering its origins and meaning. Her search leads her across the globe, and is only slightly less boring than it sounds. One big problem is that there's a lot of Robert Ludlum/James Bond spy vs. spy skullduggery, and Gibson doesn't do that so well. Maybe I like my sci-fi to be mostly about aliens and spaceships, rather than my genre-busting fantasy preferences. Also, somehow feels dated in a way that I can't really explain, especially since it came out in '03. Avoid.

The Time Traveller's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

Finished Mid July. Tremendously good book from top to bottom. I finished this in about thirty hours, real time. I cried when it was over. Thank you Annie, thank you LN(even though I'd finished it by your recommendation), thank you Defective Yeti list. Drop what you're doing and go read it right now. You won't be sad.

Books Ranked Thus Far*
1. The Time Traveller's Wife, Niffenegger
2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Clarke
3. The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn
4. The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq
5. Brideshead Revisted, Waugh
6. Blue Blood, Conlon
7. Oracle Night, Auster
8. Oryx and Crake, Atwood
9. Fermata, Baker
10. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Malkiel
11. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark
12. The Book on Bush, Alterman and Brooks
13. Savage Love, Savage
14. Design For The Real World, Papanek (technically unfinished)
15. Sports Guy, Pierce

*Rankings to Appear Every Third Book

Blue Blood, Edward Conlon

Finished Mid-July. I first picked it up because I liked the pretty blue police hat on the cover. This book details the first ten years of Colon's career on the NYPD. He's a Harvard grad, so he can write a little bit, but not so much that you're really impressed. Some of the book focused on the history of the department and the history of Conlon's family(his family has a storied police background), which I found fairly uninteresting. The parts that I really liked were about the politics and day to day lives of a police officer-the procedures, the hours, the people. I've long been a Law and Order junkie, and before that Homicide, so I eat that stuff up. If cop work pleases you, highly recommended. Otherwise, pass-it's not like it's fabulous literature or anything.

Savage Love, Dan Savage

Finished early July. Yes, I'm behind. This is a compliation of Savage's sex advice columns from the late 90's and early 00's, available from the onion and an alternative weekly newspaper near you. Not much to say here-this is the sort of useless, waste of time book that I used to read a lot when I was about 14. Nothing ground-breaking or terribly shocking, he's pushed the envelope pretty far in terms of content since this book was published. I whipped through it quickly and it left little impression. I think maybe the delay in writing these reviews was because subconciously I knew that I had to write this one next. Urf.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Notes on The Fray/Ben Folds/Weezer Concert

7/22, Saavis Center, St. Louis

General Notes:
We had floor seats, which when we first arrived meant actually sitting physically on the floor, until the opener came on. Alison and I were among the older people in the audience, which I thought was fairly sad for a couple of artists who have been fairly big since we were pre-teens. We shared a $4.75 Sierra Mist, thus following the time-honored tradition of getting really fucked up on sugar for a concert to enhance the experience. We were about twenty yards from the stage, in perfect position to see Ben, unless you were closer to Alison height than Kevin, in which case you saw many young hipster body parts and glimpses of Folds-hair.

The Fray
Set List-Three originals, Come Together.

Piano alt-rock, drawing inevitable Coldplay comparisons. I thought Come Together was rocking, and an inappropriate choice for when you're a little known band with only four songs to impress me with. Mr. Fray Frontman had a nice voice and an easy stage manner...right before they began to play when the stage was dark, he called out in a mocking lilt: "I played Ben Folds' piannnnnnnooooooo!" which is known to be a no-no.

Big Ben
Set List(In Order)-

InBetween Days(Cure Cover from Speed Graphic)
Bitches Ain't Shit(Dr. Dre Cover, Single from iTunes only or bonus track on vinyl version of Songs for Silverman)
Still Fighting It
Rocking the Suburbs
Not the Same

The mix was unspectacular-too much bass and not enough vocals and piano-though perhaps I'm just spoiled from the solo tours. I believe the monitors were too low also-he was off key at times, like he couldn't hear himself. This is the fifth time I've seen Ben, and the first time he hasn't played Brick, which was exciting-though you'd think he was touring off Rocking the Suburbs with half the set list pulled from that album, and two covers. Rockin' the Suburbs the song featured nice bootyshaking and "You better watch out because I'm gonna say FUCK"-ing from the new bassist, and Ben changed the last chorus to "Rocking the Suburbs, just like Rivers Cuomo does...", which was a nice homage. Bitches ain't Shit was tremendous, and I'm not going to say anything else about it because he'll likely do it in Columbus in three weeks, and I want Tim to be surprised :) Ben needs to cut out the crowd participation songs-i.e. Not the Same-as they don't work with the noise of rhythm section, and it's also been three years since the live album came out now and the crowd wasn't quite sure what to do. Granted, with Weezer headlining, it wasn't his show and maybe it'll work better in Columbus. Good Job Ben!

Set List(Not in Order)-

My Name is Jonas
No One Else
Buddy Holly
The Sweater Song
Say It Ain't So
Surf Wax America
Why Bother
El Scorcho
Hash Pipe
Island in The Sun
Fall Together
Beverly Hills
Perfect Situation
Hold Me
We Are All On Drugs

Rivers is a weird, weird guy, all manic on stage. He started several songs by saying their titles all weird first, like "I want a girl...who will laugh...FOR NO ONE ELSE" Toward the end, The Fray came out all shirtless and goofed around onstage and hung the bras that people(well, girls) were throwing at Rivers on his guitar, which was cool. After that song, Rivers was all like "That was pretty awesome" The guitarist went through about ten different guitars, which was pretty dumb I thought. It's not like Weezer songs have all these different crazy rhythm guitar parts. It was a solid show, and it was nice to be so close.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005



Yesterday, as I stood out front of work having a post-lunch cigarette, a pretty young girl walked past me. Several seconds later, a young man trailed after her calling, "Hey, Miss Lady, hey Miss Lady." He walked up behind her and sort of started grabbing her and touching her and talking to her, and she kept pushing him away. This continued as they walked down the block, out of sight, and I said to myself, well, maybe I better follow them and see what's what. I walked briskly down the block to find him with her in a headlock, halfway down a side street, with her sort of struggling away. I said, "Hey,what's going on, are you ok?" She says she's fine, low and quiet, and the dude turned around, angry, started going on about what I was doing walking up on them, how come I'm all walking up on them like that. I'm almost twice his size, so I'm not afraid, but I don't say anything, just let him ramble. While he was jawing at me, she just started walking away, not another word from her. There were two old men on the corner, and one of them says to me, "I guess she's his girlfriend, but I don't like the look of it either." And we watch as the kid turns and chases her down and starts in with his thing again. The men and I look at each other and shrug, and I walk back to work. I hope she's ok.

Today, post-lunch-cigarette, a car pulls up to the traffic light, and it's just blasting gospel music, and the woman in the car is singing right along with it, at the top of her lungs. And she is awful. And I feel bad, because all the people wandering around are irritated and laughing at her. But I think, hey...Jesus still loves her.

Last week, post-lunch cigarette, when I walk out there's a paddy wagon and another cop car, with two cops standing around chilling out. There's a dude in the back of the wagon, cuffed and sullen. The cops stand around for a few more minutes, then they let the man out of the back, uncuff him, talk to him for a minute, and then drive off. He comes over and stands next to me. Doesn't say anything. Then he asks me for a cigarette. It's an offer I can't refuse.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Stuff I Laughed At

Walking back from coffee shop, Alison and I pass a hipster boy wearing a t-shirt that said, "Local Celebrity"
Me: I didn't recognize him, did you?
Alison: Nope.

LN: "I feel that writers like Michael Crichton and Stephen King belong in the class of Authors I Liked Before I Studied Actual Literature."

The entirety of Clint's email: "Hey Kevin, I was just wondering when you were going to arrive back in scenic Columbus, OH. I'm sitting here trying to find a job. Let's be poor together."

After I told a (purposely) terrible joke at work:
Shaun: Man, that's a joke my mom would have told.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Panda Pang strategy guide

As you can see, I have free time and computer access today.

First, go play Panda Pang, it rules, as I mentioned a few weeks ago.

Now. Up until the last level, Panda Pang is fairly easy. If you play a few times, you will probably be able to reach the last stage with little difficulty. These tips are for surviving the last stage, but are generally good for the whole game.

The name of the game is fire control. You cannot be in a position where you need to shoot and you're out of ammo. Just as important, if you go off shooting every which way, you will divide the slimes so many times that death will be unavoidable. Shoot with precision and in a limited fashion.

Be patient. You will want to destroy the smaller slimes first. Sometimes, the smaller slimes will be right on top of the bigger ones. Wait for those slimes to separate themselves from the bigger slimes-this will always happen eventually.

Use the sides. The bigger slimes will not be able to kill you against the sides unless they bounce perfectly. Pause on the sides, shoot some smaller slimes, recharge your gun. But don't linger too long-eventually, a big slime will aim for you, and there isn't much you can do at that point.

This goes without saying, but avoid the bomb. Sometimes, however, you will pick up the bomb accidently. Don't panic. As the slimes explode, they will drop lots of goodies. Pick them up-you might find enough stops and power-ups to have a chance. Try to create a space in which there are no slimes, and move with that space as the slimes bounce, chipping away at the swarm as you do. Understand, though, that you are most likely fucked. The powerups will help you out next time around, so grab as many as you can. If the choice is between dying and picking up the bomb, pick up the bomb.

The question mark is not always a bad thing. Weaker weapons will help your fire control, in that it will take more missed shots to divide a big slime that you aren't ready for, and will run out of ammo slower. That said, I avoid the question mark if possible. It's simply too difficult to dodge for long enough to kill all the slimes with a weak weapon.

The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq

Finished June 05. On Defective Yeti List. I really liked this book a lot. It's a French translation, and the humor and sentence structure shows. The book follows, for the most part, two screwed up brothers through their screwed up lives, featuring interesting sexual escapades, interesting family dysfunction, interesting malaise and depression, and through it all wildy good turns of phrase and side anecdotes. One of the brothers turns out to be a fairly important guy, which when I reached the end allowed me to revisit all that had happened in a new light, which I found quite exciting. Basically, check out that Defective Yeti list; for the most part, they're all winners.

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

*Rankings to Appear Every Third Book

Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

Finished June 05. Another in the fabulous Defective Yeti lineup. This is definitely a reasonably good book. Atwood has a very distinctive writing style. Her dialogue is very spare, replaced by expository pages and the inner thoughts of characters. This book is set in a near future, where economic and social stratification have continued to divide America to the point where the high income citizens never leave their airtight, security-patrolled compounds, owned by the massive corporations that employ them. Genetic engineering is rampant in this society, as are thousands of drug and gene therapy resistant microbes. This society is not terribly far from our own, which is certainly part of Atwood's point. Part of the book follows Snowman, a human who seems to be one of the few survivors of an epic disaster, while the rest follows Jimmy, who seems to be Snowman before the disaster. The ending is boilerplate and satisfactory. Again, this is a book that I enjoyed reading, but didn't move me the way great books can.

Fermata, Nicholson Baker

Finished June/05. On the Defective Yeti List. This book is about a guy who can stop time, through various mechanical and physical triggers that he can control fairly absolutely. Mostly, he uses this ability for sexual voyeurism, as I dare say most of us would. The first third of the book is interesting; it deals with the moral consequences of this behavior; the day-to-day exposition of the lead character's life, I found interesting. About halfway through, the book disintegrates into a series of extremely graphic sexual fantasies, which are at times enthralling and well-written, but all semblance of plot and purpose to the book are lost. The ending is abrupt and untidy and ultimately unsatisfying. Awesomely true statement: This book is worse than some I've read, yet at the same time, better than others.

The Cavs will sign Larry Hughes, a slightly injury prone, tall for his position, high scoring, defensively excellent 2 guard, who unfortunately cannot shoot the three very well. On a good team, he would be third banana. On the Cavs, he'll be #2, unless the Big Z resigns. Here's hoping. If Z man comes back, they still need a point guard, and surveying the free agency ranks, there aren't really any available. It looks like they're still a player short.


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