Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Belaboring

So it's September. 2014 is blazing along nicely, it seems.

The rugrats are all in school, causing all sorts of traffic hell.

Labor Day is behind us and with it, the delightful days of sloth. I took a five day weekend and my only regret was my empty bank account.

Oh, and maybe watching "Into the Dalek". Yeesh, that was a bad episode. I'm getting soured on the Capaldi Doctor pretty quickly. I expected the first episode to suck, but the obligatory Dalek one was just a horrible mishmash of stupid.

Working my way through "Among Thieves" by Douglas Hulick. Delightful read thus far. I expect I'll pick up the next book after I finish this one. I'm trying to savor it and take my time. I have a small backlog of books for when I do finish, but still, I'm in no rush.

I can't freakin' believe it's September already.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review: "Into the Dalek"

Yeah.... I'm not even sure how to review this.

I'm not even sure doing spoilers would help or hurt.

It's... um... yeah. It's got Daleks and if you took a dozen classic Dalek episodes and put them in a blender. And... yeah.

I got nothin'.

It's episode two of the Capaldi era and I'm seeing lots of choppy, weak writing thus far.

Not really interested in delving into this one.

Please let them stop with the Daleks. Good lord...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm all shook up

I was sound asleep and rather enjoying it.

First came dim perception of something amiss. I think it was the windows rattling. That's usually the case.

Then came the shaking. It wasn't too crazy, but it was enough for me to awaken and realize an earthquake was going on. And it went on for a bit.

I didn't hear the sound of breaking glass or car alarms, so I went back to sleep pretty quickly.

I'm a California boy. I have my moments of being blase about earthquakes.

Hours later I stirred, got up, and eventually turned on the TV as I wolfed down breakfast.

Apparently there was a 6.1 quake up in the American Canyon area.

6.1 is... not small. Huh.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: "Deep Breath"

So... yeah. Series Eight of "Doctor Who" started today.

Peter Capaldi's premier episode was written by Steven Moffatt.

Aaaaaand... reactions that follow are going to be just loaded with spoilers and opinions. I shall endeavor to conceal all the spoilers behind obscuring text (highlight to read), but do keep in mind this doesn't do jack on handhelds, so...




















































Still there? Let's see if my trick works.








The episode opens with a T-Rex in Victorian London. We get our obligatory disoriented-new-Doctor schtick done by Capaldi and we get our Madam Vastra and the gang. There's a series of spontaneous human combustion events going on instigated by a weird, clockwork man for reasons.

The Doctor, now seeming to take on a rather sinister new personality, goes about his standard, random and chaotic investigations. In the meantime, Clara is having the standard female companion reaction to a new Doctor. She's freaking out. In fairness, the Doctor is giving her some reasons to freak out.

Turns out the clockwork man is a homicidal robot-cyborg-thing using humans as spare parts to build giant balloons and rebuild itself as a human-ish being. For... um... reasons.

Yeah.

So Moffatt tried his best to go for a nice, dark villain. He got somewhere in the neighborhood but the entire episode felt a bit navel-gazing with his references to the "Girl in the Fireplace". The writing seemed too proud of the past reference, leaving the villain feeling a bit flat.

Capaldi and Coleman did great in their roles. The new 12th (13th?) Doctor's incarnation felt a bit choppy, but I credit that to first episode jitters. Capaldi has a lot of promise as an intriguing future Doctor.

Certainly Moffatt gives Capaldi's Doctor a decidedly sinister air. He's got more of a dangerous feel than Hurt's "War Doctor" ever had. And he's certainly willing to take extreme measures.

I can't say I'm warming to Clara. I like Jenna Coleman as an actress and I think the only reason I can stomach the character of Clara at all is due to Coleman giving her some sort of charm, but the 21st Century "version" of Clara has always sort of left me cold. In this episode, she went from sort of a zero to being annoyingly-whiny. To her credit, she didn't consistently stay whiny. There was good bits when the character was convincingly scared.

Still, the episode felt a bit choppy. The ending was vaguely unsatisfying and the Vastra gang inclusion felt like a pandering afterthought.

I did like the TARDIS interior redesign.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the odd character added at the end of the episode.

I guess we'll see how it goes.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A sign of the endtimes?



Hayen Christiansen and Nicholas Cage together in a sword flick. Sort of set in China. I think. With Cage doing a bad English accent.

Will this be "so bad it's funny-good" or will it be "oh god, please let me claw out the memory centers of my brain through my eyes" bad?

Is it a sign there's no god or a sign that there is a god?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: "Seven Forges" by James A. Moore

On an Amazon recommendation, I picked up "Seven Forges", a fantasy novel by James A. Moore.

I finished it about an hour ago.

Thoughts: So "Seven Forges" is ostensibly about a mercenary named Merros Dulver and his meeting a strange, gray-skinned people who live in a forbidding place called the Seven Forges, set amidst an icy wasteland of monsters and not much else.

The story is slow going, at first. Lots of setup as Dulver gets to know the mysterious inhabitants of the Seven Forges. And there's much (chapters and chapters of much) description of how badass these gray-skinned people are.

It's an entertaining read, if a bit plodding in parts. It diverges about a third through the book to a different point-of-view character then about halfway through, jumps to more POV characters. By the last quarter of the book, there's shit actually going down and multiple POVs introduced.

I can't say that I ever really got a good feel for any of the characters, save the later-added Andover who gets horribly mauled a few pages after his introduction.

Moore's narrative style is engaging enough, but I found the introduction and evolution of the characters left me cold. The end of the book was an obvious lead-in to the next novel but also sort of left me with a "huh, that's it?" kind of feeling.

I'm honestly not sure if I'll pick up the next book in the series. It was an okay diversion, but I can't say I care about any of the characters or what happens to them.

A hard read after the likes of Anthony Ryan and Jim Butcher.

Ia Ia Cthulhu fhtagn!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Also: a happy celebration of the spawning forth of the demi-lich known as "Mackie". We who continue to exist in another corner of reality also celebrate the dark shadow you cast across reality. A toast of something appropriately dark shall be made before the stars fall out of alignment.