Monday, December 31, 2007

The New World by Michael A. Stackpole

The New World by Michael A. Stackpole

The final book in the Age of Discovery series... and what a great ending! Taken as a whole this series is a meditation on magic, gods, and civilization in a fantasy world. A great example of world building.

As the plot lines began weaving back together near the end of the tale, I found myself smiling and even giggling with small details mentioned in the earlier books popping up again as key plot elements. For once I was even satisfied when I figured out plot twists in advance, probably because there were plenty I didn't see coming. I couldn't put these books down and felt at a loss when forced to.

This is the first series by Stackpole that I've read besides one of his X-Wing books. I became a fame of his a while before reading even the Star Wars novel by listening to his podcast The Secrets. Though I may never become a writer myself, I find the art and its mechanics fascinating.

Can't wait to find another book by Michael A. Stackpole to read.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Katie on a Blog

Gift from Uncle Bill, Aunt Ana, and Cousin James

Originally uploaded by FlipSide3.

Katie is getting some more publicity thanks to her Uncle and his family. Seems the scooter toy they bought for her is all fancy pants or something. At any rate it got her a mention on another blog besides ours.

Of course this isn't the first time she's found her way onto the net. The Dallas Morning News thought she looked cute next to R2-D2. That was during the Oct 2006 Comic Con.

I hope to make her famous... at least in the comic convention, star wars fan, renaissance faire circles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cartomancy by Michael A. Stackpole


The second in the Age of Discovery series... this installment twists some plots, pushes the conflict closer to the edge, and I couldn't put it down. Usually if I figure out the major plot twist before the end of the novel I feel let down and disappointed. Not this time. I figured out some of the twists, but there were even more surprises to get me going. Also I was so intrigued and excited about the things I did figure out in advance that it made it even better.

Went over to the library at my first opportunity after finishing this one looking for the next book in the series. Too bad it wasn't on the shelf. That is probably for the best as I'll work on a few other books in the interim.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dynamic Troubles with Basic Drives

Did you know... that XP Pro sets up hard drives differently than the Home version?

I was finishing up that computer for my folks and moved their big data drive over to the new (but old) PC. Everything seemed hooked up right, but the second drive didn't show up in the My Computer. After much searching and raised blood pressure, I found the problem. The Home version of XP cannot see drives formated as "Dynamic" drives. The Microsoft solution around this problem is to convert the drive into a "Basic" drive... which wipes the drive.

Of course this isn't acceptable, and made me very upset. So after a soda break where my brain flopped around in the helplessness of it all, I started another search to find a better solution than Microsoft's. I flirted with the idea of installing Pro, but that would ruin all the work I'd already done and generally make things much worse. In the end I found a page describing the use of an open source drive fixing software called TestDisk.

TestDisk went in and rewrote the partition information turning the drive into a basic drive, and boom I was back in business. What a night of trouble for such a little return.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Having Some Lunch at Midway Park

Midway Park, Euless, TX

Originally uploaded by FlipSide3.

Not the best picture, but let me say the view was much with the shiny in person.

I was just kicking back eating my lunch listening to the This Week in Science podcast. They had some cool discussions on evolution, empathy in mice vs humans (mice feel each others pain, while humans tend to bust out laughing), and some neat finding in brain science. Just started listening to this one and I have to say that it's a winner.

Also read another chapter in the book I'm devouring... I'll save telling the title until I'm done and make a post about it. Patience my friends, patience.

On the home front, tonight I have to work on my wife's PC... getting it ready to give to my parents since theirs is about to give up the ghost.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Daddy Geek's Lament

I have an Xbox 360 because my cousin is awesome and has a cool job. So I now have a cool geeky toy, but I've discovered a few things by getting this gift. One is that I spend way too much time trying to force this contraption to work the way I want it to, instead of changing my activities to match the way it works. The second thing is that I don't have any time to play with it anyway, and don't even know what to use it for if I did.

There was an update yesterday to allow the 360 to play even more movie files, music, etc... I was hoping to just stream some video podcasts over from my computer. Hasn't been working for me. Besides that I could use it to watch some movies, but then the home movies don't seem to work and I don't have time to watch movies much.

That's the thing though, I don't have time for such things anymore. Katie takes up time when I get home, then the wife usually has control of the TV, and what time left I spend on the computer (playing Guild Wars mostly) or reading a book. No time for media playing. Figure that in the end I'll mostly use it for playing music when I'm cleaning the house on weekends.

Oh, and as far as playing games on this game console... they cost $60 a pop and again I have no time. Not only that, but I've gotten so rusty that they're almost no fun. I'll have to stick with the classic games on my Wii, or some of the Live Arcade demos on the 360. Of course the most fun is to find a night to visit my awesome cousin and watch him play games... just more entertaining.