Tag Archives: thoughts

Random Thoughts

I’ve been bad about posting anything here, so here’s a collection of random thoughts that have occurred to me since my last posting.

  • For several years I carried a PDA to keep track of appointments, jot down notes and to have important phone numbers/addresses handy. I started off with a Handspring Visor Platinum, later switched over to a Sonly Clie for a color screen and rechargeable battery. Eventually the Clie started giving me problems so I started leaving it at home more & more. Instead I carried around my “paper brain”, a 3×5 spiral bound notebook. It worked alright but pages kept getting ripped whenever people needed scrap paper. Over time it became a ragged shadow of its former self and needed replacement. A couple of weeks back I finally did replace it; this time I picked up a Moleskine or as I’ve taken to call it “my snobby paper brain”. The Moleskine was about 3 times as expensive as my old “paper brain” and I’ve read numerous articles online from devotees of these notebooks. Those articles had aroused my curiosity. I find the paper to be very smooth and pleasant to write upon, though I do need to find a pen/ink to use which doesn’t bleed through so much. I’ve been writing…
    • character ideas for games I’m playing
    • dreams I’ve had
    • things I need to get done
    • grocery lists

    … and little things like that. It’s stuff which if I ever developed the more interesting bits could end up here, but for the most part is too mundane to make me want to post it.

  • I used a print out of a Windows BSOD and a black robe I still have from several years ago to be the Blue Screen of Death for my office’s Halloween festivities. The costume netted me third place and a $10 Target gift card. Whee!
  • We were down about a third in the number of kids coming by the house last night for Halloween. Maybe the massive number of kids last year was them checking us out since it was our first year there. Or maybe something else happened, but I thought we gave out good candy and we were stocked up to give more this year. Heck, we had an entire bag left unopened after we stopped for the night. Ah well, it’ll make the office happy as I’ll bring all the candy to work to get rid of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s candy I like (saltwater taffy to be specific) but it’s a 5lb bag and I don’t need all those calories.

Update: I forgot to mention when I someday fill up my current Moleskine, I do plan to buy another one but next time will get the grid paper version vs the ruled paper version I have now. I think the grid will be more conducive to sketching than the lines, while still having something there to keep my written words running straight across the page.

Also I meant to talk about the new light fixture I finally got installed in our upstairs hallway. When we moved into the house, there was a floresent light in the hallway. But the bulb was never plugged into the fixture as there’s no switch for it1. So we bought a simple light fixture with a built-in switch. I got the old fixture taken down but in doing so found that the screws to hold the new fixture wouldn’t fit into the electrical box in the wall. I bought a new electrical box, but when I took out the old one I got another surprise. The old box was screwed into scraps of wood to kind of clamp the box to the drywall and as soon as I had the screws out of them… the bits of wood fell down inside the wall. *insert swearing here* Putting in the new light got put off for a while… basically until I had a chat with my father-in-law. He told me what kind of electrical box to buy and the next weekend I had the light installed.

1 Technically, there is a switch at the bottom of the stairs but turning it off kills all power to the upstairs.

Quick Update

Apologies to all my faithful readers, I’ve been busy working on some new features for the ICON 30 website (with some massive help from Aizuchi. For extra pain, we’re into our next beta cycle at work; so I’m considerably busier there. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve had a bit of a cold that just isn’t going away. Ye olde Advil Cold & Sinus beats it down for a while, but it seems to keep coming back. If it doesn’t go away by this time next week, I’ll probably be making an appointment with the doctor to get checked out. *sigh*

I did get one break since my last real post and that was last weekend’s AnimeIowa. I was rather disappointed with this year’s con. The programming track was only sparsely filled and I didn’t see anything in it that interested me1. So I mostly hung out with people I knew at the con and tried to help out the con photographer2. Mostly, I just helped tear-down/setup his gear in different rooms. *shrug* It was no big deal and I got to see pretty much all of the costumes. As usual, some were fabulous and some were…. not. Of course some of the best were in the Masquerade, and the Masquerade was the main reason we went this year. A friend of ours was in charge of it and overall it appeared to go fairly well. However there were a few problems; most of which I did not hear about until after the con was over. The main thing that I noticed was the costumers wouldn’t shut up. It may seem a bit harsh, but they all know they’re supposed to keep quiet while in the green room and we had to constantly go around asking them to be quiet throughout the whole Masquerade. *sigh* If you know the rules in advance, have them re-explained to you when you show up shortly before the Masquerade then why do you have to continually break them? *grrr*

As for the rest of the con, the dealer’s room was smaller this year and unless you wanted Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist merchandise; you were pretty much out of luck. Since they didn’t have as many dealers; the con-com put the Artists’ Alley inside the dealer’s room. This was a bright idea and I ended up buying some magnets from the guy who does the FAUB webcomic. I was not familiar with the webcomic prior to this year’s AnimeIowa but I really liked the artwork in the magnets and have since read through their entire archive of webcomics and added it to my Portal page.

I didn’t have much desire to go into any of the video rooms, but I did find one playing Bubblegum Crisis which was kind of nice. Though I didn’t get to stay around long as that was just before I had to help Wookie move his gear from the hall cosplay judging room to the green room for the Masquerade.

All in all, it was a disappointing weekend. *shrug* Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In more current news, I’ve finally gotten caught up in listing to all the podcasts I’ve downloaded. It’s nice to listen to them and actually hear other people’s thoughts on current events while the events are still current. Along those lines, the jazz mashup from the episode# 240 of the Daily Source Code was extremely cool. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got time to write for now.

1 I should say nothing on Saturday or Sunday as I wasn’t there Friday.
2 Wookie comes to the con and takes pictures of all the Hall Cosplay entries & after the con puts them on a site where people can order prints if they want them. Also, Wookie’s a fun guy to hang around the con with.

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.

Search strings that lead you here…

I was just looking over my site logs and noticed the section showing what sorts of searches had lead people to the site:

    Top 10 Total Search Strings

  1. hogwarts sorting hat myers-briggs
  2. fursuit yiffing video
  3. dvp320f/17 manual
  4. site:coffeebear.net
  5. anime movies by osamu tekuza
  6. dvp320f
  7. dvp320f/17
  8. honda accord vcd stero player
  9. https://www.coffeebear.net/archives/category/reviews/books/
  10. ian spiers

In response:

  1. Ok, I get the point. I’ll stop relying on quizzes so much when I don’t feel like writing up a real post.
  2. Umm, I don’t know what that means and I’m frightened to think of what it could.
  3. Sorry, I don’t know where to find a manual of this player on line but you can read my thoughts about it here.
  4. If you know the name of the site why are you bothering to search for it?
  5. Umm, I’m pretty sure that should be Osamu Tezuka and he’s done many wonderful films.
  6. See Reply# 3.
  7. See Reply# 3.
  8. I do drive a Honda Accord but it doesn’t have a VCD player in it, though there is the crappy factory installed stero (which needs to be replaced).
  9. I read books and I post my thoughts on them. What need is there to search for a specific link?
  10. I think you’re really looking for Brown Equals Terrorist

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