Tag Archives: moving

Yesterday

Bah, I’m still a bit torked off about yesterday. At work1, there’s been a person who keeps sending up emails with the wrong code in the subject line. We use these codes to route the issues to the correct person and putting the wrong code on the email can mean a delay of at least a week before the issue gets looked at. Well, this same idjit2 sent an email asking for an update on one of those issues. Since I was running a process at the time; I looked over the issue, found it was mislableled, forwarded it over to the correct person and then spent probably 2 hours writing up a diplomatic response explaining the difference between two of the codes we use.
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Lovely Weather

Snowy Tree

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, I live in Iowa. The last couple of years we’ve had cold winters but haven’t really had that much snow. Apparently, Mother Nature was feeling it’s time to rectify that situation and we’ve been having quite the snowstorm. Seeing how I like taking pictures and dislike getting cold; here’s a quick shot I took out my bedroom window. I apologize for the grainess of the image, but I took the picture during my lunch hour and I didn’t have enough time to try removing the window screen before taking it. That and I didn’t want to stand around outside in the cold taking photos; unlike some people I’m not all that eager to suffer for my art. 😀

Review: Twilightners

This was a review that originally I was somewhat excited about writing. The novella was written by a friend of my and self-published through Lulu.com. After he received a few copies of the printed book; he put one of my desk with a note thanking me for my opinions on a rough draft some months back and asked me to give the final version a read. He’d also asked that I post my thoughts here on CoffeeBear.net.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the book happened at something of a bad time for me. I was busy with work getting things filed away and ready for me to take my 2 week trip to Japan. I’d started to read the book and was interested to see where it was going; as none of it looked familar to me. Alas in my hurry to pack, I forgot to stick the book in my bag. So for two weeks, I had to wait to finish the last half of the book. I was busy enough during those weeks to not particularly mind the delay but when I got back; I was busy for a while and didn’t immediately pick it back up. When I finally did; I remembered enough of the story that I could continue without starting over but my interest in the book had waned somewhat in the interval.1 After finishing it, I realized that wasn’t really a fair reading of the book and decided to set it aside for a time to let my memories of the book drain away to give it a fairer reading.

This review is based on that 2nd reading.

In 193 pages, Clifton appears to be trying to tell 3 seperate stories. That of Dr. Brian McKart, a scientist who believes a friend of his may dead and another is in danger while the mysterious Soo pushes him to solve a mystery. That of Sharon LaSalle, a woman who was attacked and was taken away under odd circumstances. And finally, that of Special Agent Grace Rainwater who was investigating Sharon’s disappearance. Dr. McKart’s story is the central one to this novella and it is interesting to see how Clifton twists and turns McKart’s view of reality until the man isn’t sure if he’s experiencing something truly beyond his understanding or whether he’s trapped in an ultimate virtual realty game. Clifton tries really hard to blur the line between reality and virtuality for Brian but upon multiple rereadings this seems to fall a bit flat. Maybe I am just not clicking with the metaphysicalness of the story but while Brian seems to be struggling to remain sane; I’m finding it difficult to believe he let himself get into the situation to begin with.

Sharon LaSalle’s story seems to be marginally more interesting as her disappearance from the normal world can be explained as either: being killed, being kidnapped & hooked to a VR simulator or as simply moving to an alternative plane of existance. Which really happened? You’ll need to read the book and judge for yourself; as I’m still puzzling it out. Sharon’s story doesn’t receive quite as many pages as Brian did and that’s a shame because these sections of the book seem more interesting to me.

Lastly there’s the story of Special Agent Grace Rainwater. Her story is the least fleshed out of all and boils down to a simple investigation of a complex matter but there’s several unanswered questions here (e.g. why does she work so hard at the case) that the novella would have really benefited from having answered.

Overall, I give this book 3.75 stars out of 5. Again given my background with the novella, my issues with the story might be just that. MY ISSUES. To know for sure, you’ll need to read it yourself. It’s an interesting premise but but the more I read it; the less I can sympathize with the main characters. For a first effort, I’d say it’s good work but I’d like to see more depth to the characters and something that would allow me to sympathize with them better.

This book is available from Lulu.com (more money goes to the author) and Amazon.com (CB.net gets a cut).

1 Sorry, Clif but them’s the breaks.

200 Things About Me

I’ve seen this meme in several different places. I finally decided to heck with it and that I’d do it myself. The items in bold are the ones I’ve done and the rest are viewable after the jump.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
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Welcome to CB.net!

Hi, I’m Mark (aka Manzabar1). If you want to know more about me; well, you’ll just have to keep reading this blog and see what you can learn as I go along.

I’ve had this domain for a short time now and finally plunked down the moolah to get a proper host for it (thank you Digital Sense Hosting).

I imagine if you’ve probably got some questions about the who/what/why of CoffeeBear.net, so here are some of the answers. If you have a question that’s not answered in this post; contact me and I’ll reply. Though if your question is too personal, then the reply might be no more than “I’m not going to answer that.”
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