Thursday, December 21, 2006
Elsewhere on the BBC: a woman with two wombs gives births to triplets (here) and a lizard experiences a virgin birth (here).
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
These past few week have been crazy -- gee, what else is new? Mommy and child have been sick. Since daddy has escaped this round, I'm wondering if it was what I had before and after the marathon. Having to stay home to take care of the little boy has been hard, though it has provided a few more days that I could use for Christmas shopping. Alas, those extra days haven't helped all that much. I still feel like a shopping incompetent. After four years, I still don't think I've mastered the art of buying gifts for my wife. Toy shopping for the boy is easy. Attempting to buy smelly soaps, clothing, or jewelry for the wife is another matter entirely.
In other news, we completed our most recent Slaying Solomon episode. The previous time we attempted Dungeon Crawl, yours truly came down with an asthma attack and we had to break for a trip to the emergency room. Wow, that was embarrassing. I haven't had an attack like that since I was about 10. Weird how I can run a marathon suffering from a respiratory infection and I can't be in the same room as a couple cats for more than a few hours.
Anyway, I hope we can wrap the fourth season by summer... when baby #2 is due to arrive! Yep, my wife is expecting. I'm more than a little apprehensive about having another child. Having one is hard enough! But we really wanted two children, so I'm sure we'll find a way to adapt. It will be hard at first, but it should get easier as the children grow older.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
My wife is in Europe for the week and it's time for me to experience life as a single parent. My wife's been traveling a lot throughout the fall, but this is the longest trip by far. More importantly, it's the first time she's been gone for two consecutive weekends. Weekends are doubly difficult because without extended family to help out, I basically don't have any time for myself (except for a short time after the little boy goes to sleep).
That being said, this weekend was an excellent time to bond with my son. With excellent weather, we made two trips into the District. The boy's too young to really appreciate museums just yet, but I was able to meet up with out-of-town friends who also have children. And having just started walking within the last few weeks, my son was having a ball wandering around the American Indian Museum. Today, we had even more fun at the zoo. Since I didn't have to worry about anybody else keeping up, I was able to quickly motor his stroller to all the big animals that I know he'd appreciate (and little animals too... he loved the small mammal house).
Alas, there is a still a part of me that is struggling with the demands of parenthood. Even with my wife home, I've lost most of the time I used to use for creativity. I find that I'm having a really hard time finding the time/energy to prepare for games, do personal technical projects, blog, and even continue studying my Chinese (which, I'm sorry to say, I haven't touched in months).
Friday, November 17, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
I am supposed to be running the Richmond Marathon tomorrow. I was going to run it last year, but I sustained a leg injury several weeks before the race and was unable to run. This year, my training has been going extraordinarily well. Just three weeks ago, I ran my last 20 mile training run at nearly race pace (too fast, according to Hal Higdon's program, but I felt really good). Then, as if the Fates couldn't possibly let things get too easy, my entire family came down with a really, really nasty cold (possible RSV). I've been feeling marginally better in the last few days. I ran 6 fast miles two days ago and spent about 10 minutes coughing afterwards. But i finally feel like I just might be able to run after all. This morning's easy two-miler felt comfortable...
...at least until I was hit by a car!
Yes, I was hit by a car this morning. I was running across an intersection about two blocks from my house and thought this guy saw me. Obviously, he didn't. As he blew through the stop sign, I had to vault the hood of his car. It happened almost in slow motion. The whole time I wasn't thinking about serious injury. I was just thinking, "Crap! I have my race tomorrow!"
Well, it looks like I'm ok. I wound up on the curb with my heart racing a hundred miles an hour. But I don't feel any i pain. The guy was obviously very freaked out and he gave me all his contact information. But I really think we both escaped a potentially bad situation - serious injury for me and a whole host legal troubles for him.
So I will be running tomorrow. Hopefully, I'm done with my pre-race scares.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
- Test flights should begin late next year.
- Spaceship 2's passenger seats will rotate to provide the best angle for absorbing the high-G ride.
- The White Knight 2 mothership will have an identical cabin and will be used for passenger training flights (by that, I assume the mean "vomit comet" rides).
- Flights will feature 5 minutes of weightlessness.
- Virgin plans to offer lotteries and a reality TV show to provide access for those of us who can't afford the $200,000 price tag. (Woot!)
- Virgin eventually hopes to develop the technology for orbital flight and 1-hour London-Sydney flights.
And on the subject of X-Prize technology (Spaceship 1 won the X-Prize for commercial spaceflight last year), there's a new X-Prize for genetic research. The Archon X-Prize will pay out $10,000,000 to the team that is the first to decode 100 human genomes in 10 days. Furthermore, the X-Prize foundation plans to announce two new prizes per year starting in 2007.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
From my friend Steve...
Check out this video of a GM concept car that is
Pity that we will have to wait 10-20 years to see
something like this go into production.
Wow, finally something interesting coming out of Detroit.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Just a quick update from Michigan...
We're here visiting friends and family and tomorrow we will be celebrating Finn's first birthday (about a week early). The little boy is having a great time exploring his grandparents' houses but he could probably do without all the car-seat time. Mommy and daddy are having fun as well (and yippee, they were able to go to a Michigan football game for the first time in ages).
We'll be back in VA soon. Look for more updates then.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
- Physicists in Japan Plan to Create a New Universe in the Lab. I'm still a little sketchy on how they can prove that they actually did it, but the experiment sounds cool anyway. Also sounds like great gaming fodder.
- Science Reveals Secrets of Invisibility. Now this is wild. But wasn't this what the Philadelphia Experiment was all about?
- Remote-Controlled Humans. I've been aware of this technology for some time. Back when I worked in the gaming industry, I had hoped to get my hands on a prototype so that we could support it in our flight sim. But this is the first time that I had heard of people using it to control other people by stimulating their sense of direction.
- Powering Up, One Step at a Time. File this under "why didn't I think of that"? Imagine the energy potential of all those walking commuters!
- Researchers Using Waves to Write on Water. Now that's just plain nifty.
- Private Spaceport Plan up for Air. More news on the coming space-flight revolution.
- Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You. If only had $80K to spare... I would so love to have a Tesla Roadster. And brilliant choice for a name. Hopefully, they aren't using those same batteries that Dell is having so many problems with.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Well, I'm back. GenCon 2006 compared very favorably to GenCon 2005. It did seem to have a different vibe, though. Perhaps it was because I knew so many ENWorlders going in this time? Perhaps it was because I just knew what to expect? I dunno, but it did seem more relaxed (odd, since I hardly slept).
Unlike last year, I stuck with ENWorld pickup games and only paid for one event: True Dungeon (fun, as always). This years crop of games are described on this thread over at ENWorld. On Thursday morning, I played an antisocial government agent in Buttercup's Damnation Decade. The game was fun, but it did result in a Total Party Kill (TPK). Thursday night was time for Rel's brilliant Sky Galleons of Mars. I played Tex as a hyperactive hick last year, but I believe that I had more fun playing the imperturbable Captain Umbridge this time around. Friday morning's game was Old One's outstanding Blood Alter of Wodan (Grim Tales). As Leudonus, I finally got to play the brick and had a blast wading through Saxon mooks. Saturday's Risus game was cancelled (on account of a very late night TBR excursion), but I was very honored to be a part of PirateCat's all-star game of Mutants & Masterminds: Antiheroes. As "Killswitch", I was supposed to be the smartest man in the world. I fear I didn't do him justice, but I was just happy to bask in the "perfectness" of all the other player characters. I was especially fond of Kisnit's Migraine and the amazing exchange between PirateCat and KidCthulhu as Knockout's clueless parents. Finally, there was Alenda's Halfling Musketeers game. Of all the games, I may have had the most pure fun in this one. As the party swashbuckler in a swashbuckling game, I was able to pull of some really sweet moves. And playing alongside PirateCat really made my con.
Beyond the gaming, I will say that once again, I was inspired by the people I met and saw. On the one hand, I observed every negative stereotype one would associate with gamers. The people made me thankful that I am fit, healthy, successful, and have an exciting life outside gaming. On the other hand, most of the people I interacted with were fantastically cool people who inspired me in so many ways to be a better person.
In the dealer hall, I was happy to come away with only a few purchases (I spent way too much in the previous years). This year's purchase was limited to a onesie for my son, some new dice, and Qin: The Warring States. The later is a fantastic wuxia game set in late Iron Age China, just as it was being unified for the first time. I don't know if I'll ever use the rules (which do look very playable), but I certainly hope to use the setting at some point, even if it is just for one-shots or dimension-hopping games. The book is absolutely loaded with excellent historical information about ancient China (which dovetails nicely with my studies of Chinese). It also doesn't hurt that the book is really, really handsome.
Lastly, I will also say that were were blessed with fantastic weather, which made my two marathon training runs very enjoyable. For some reason, I find Indianapolis to be a really cool city. I've known about the canal walk since my first year, but this year I discovered the trails along the river (one of which skirts the edge of the zoo).
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
We had a great session of D20 Dragonspire last Sunday. I've been meaning to write about it, but I had been hoping to update the site content first. I haven't posted a session summary yet, but I have started work on the character pages. More characters will follow as the players give me their updated sheets.
I am quite pleased with how my first Dungeons & Dragons campaign has started. The action has been fast and furious, thanks in large part to my use of character cards for organizing combat stats and initiative order. I've also set in motion (what I hope to be) an epic plot based on the five chromatic dragon types (if you don't know what I'm talking about, then you are not a D&D geek...move along). Originally, my intent was to run this epic plot with the online Risus Dragonspire group, but it is flat-out impossible to cover enough ground in online play (even using Risus). My revised goal is to have the face-to-face group cover the main plot, with the online group creating some important background events.
I'm also having a good time with adventure design. D&D provides a lot of built-in-structure, which is kind of liberating for someone who is used to much more open-ended systems. It's ridiculously easy to scale encounters and balance the awards given to each player character (though the baby dragon that the party has found has complicated that... more on that in future updates).
One final note: I can't recommend Tact-Tiles highly enough. A good grid system seems to be a requirement for D&D. Tact-Tiles are much easier to manage than a conventional Battlemat.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Looks like Blogger may be back to normal. Some of my old posts have finally been posted and the link to Circvs Maximvs is now visible in the list of links. Whew! I was worried that I was going to have to move to other blogging software. Until these recent problems, I have had nothing but good opinions of Blogger.
Alas, my posting for the next week or so is still going to be sparse due to a family vacation. But I hope to pick up where I left off when I return.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
My Charlottesville gaming friends first clued me into ENWorld, the RPG site that is the place go if you are at all into D&D or D20 games. Alas, even though I've met some amazing ENWorlders at GenCon and Game Days, I've never been one to hang out on the boards much. I simply don't play D&D/D20 enough and I really don't have time to troll the message boards when I should be a) working, b) preparing for actual games, and c) having a life with my family.
Interestingly enough, I'm starting to get sucked into Circvs Maximvs. CM is an uncensored ENWorld spin-off that seems to have a slightly tighter community. Rather, I should say that it is a community that seems to include most of the ENWorlders that I actually know from previous interactions. They are good people and the CM message boards are lively and interesting. Because they allow discussions of politics and religion, I find myself wanting to jump into discussions about things that really seem important. I mean I like talking about gaming and all, but most threads in gaming boards have absolutely no relevance to my games. Controversial topics, on the other hand, really get me riled up. And for some reason I can't stop playing the song game.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I haven't been around to update the website because the family and I have been in New Jersey for Memorial Day weekend. Not much to report, other than the boy really enjoyed hanging with his cousins, swimming in their pool, and playing at the beach. His parents finally got out to see another movie ( Mission Impossible III, which was very fun). His daddy also found the time to complete Christopher Priest's The Prestige (soon to be a major motion picture), as well as get well into Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides. Both books are loaded with cool ideas that I hope take advantage of in future games that I run (especially the Powers book... I really need to run a pirates game at some point).
For friends and family, we have more pictures of the boy posted here.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
"CO2: They Call it Pollution, We Call It Life."
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
I missed it on Saturday night, but SNL offered a glimpse at that parallel universe that was created in the wake of 2000 election debacle. Check it out here (courtesy of Crooks and Liars), it's a hoot.
(Be patient with the link, it's getting a lot of traffic)
Friday, May 12, 2006
A 16-year-old high school student has invented a new way of producing electricity by harnessing the brawny power of bacteria.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
"The transplanted white blood cells not only killed existing cancers, but also protected normal mice from what should have been lethal doses of highly aggressive new cancers."
Monday, May 08, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Earlier research on the hill, known as Visocica, found that it has perfectly shaped, 45-degree slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, and a flat top. Under layers of dirt, workers discovered a paved entrance plateau, entrances to tunnels and large stone blocks.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
A friend of mine just clued me in to the most most amazing use Google Maps (or similar service) that I've seen. Zillow allows you to enter an address and then view estimated home values superimposed on a satellite photograph of the neighborhood (along with the values of all the other houses in the neighborhood). It's a major time-suck, as I couldn't resists checking out our house, the homes of people I knew, and the neighborhoods where we are hoping to move. Fantastic.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I would describe myself as a left-leaning moderate. I lean right on economic issues and I strongly support free trade and responsible budgetary policy (something that used to be called conservative). On social issues, I lean a bit much more to the left. As you might imagine, the Bush years have been particularly hard on me.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Well, this has been a crazy weekend. All of my son's aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents came down to visit for a combined Easter/Baptism celebration. I love my relatives, but with the return of the little boy's ear infection, I was getting pretty stressed out over his well-being and the chaos in our house.
But now that everyone has left and my boy is on the mend, things are settling back to normal. Last night, my wife and I watched the only Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode that we had missed. Strike that, it was probably the only episode that I had missed. I'm fairly certain that she hasn't seen every episode. Strike that again. I'm fairly certain that she doesn't know if she's seen every episode. I'm the true geek in the family and I am the one who can actually identify the episodes by season and title.
The episode was the Lies My Parents Told Me. It featured various Spike flashbacks (Victorian England and 70's New York). Since we were such big fans of the character, I'm surprised it took so long for us to finally get to the episode. We've had the 7th season DVD for almost 6 months now. I guess I blame it on Netflix and the new baby. Every time we finally have time to watch something on TV, it's usually a movie on Netflix that we failed to see on the big screen.
Anyway, did anyone else notice that Spike's mother's doctor was Dr. Gull (from the various Jack the Ripper conspiracy theories)? And what was up with the actress who played Nikki Wood? Was she the same actress that was in Fool For Love? She had a vary odd look about her.
Friday, April 14, 2006
And do we want it?
For the uninitiated, Synthehol is a Star Trek creation - an alcohol with none of the negative side-effects of real alcohol. In this article, Professor David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, believes that there is no scientific reason why it cannot be created now.
I must admit my thoughts are mixed on the subject. In general, I'm all in favor of technological solutions to problems. And the problem of hangovers, liver damage, and memory loss due to alcohol consumption should be no exception. But if we had an alcohol with none of the side-effects, I suspect people would drink more. This would increase drunk-driving incidents and I have no idea what Synthehol would do to alcoholics. I'm not one to moralize about chemical recreation, so long as it doesn't put other people in danger. But it's probably going to happen, so I should stop worrying. And we've had many years of really educating people about the dangers of driving drunk, so perhaps this wouldn't really add to the problem?
For myself, I wonder about the effect on taste. It doesn't sound like you make Synthehol beverages in the same way as good old-fashion alcoholic beverages. I don't expect fine syntheholic wines or beers.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Sign me up for cool Regeneration Powers!
This article in the NYTimes (registration required) surveys the work to exploit the power of regeneration that is present in most animals, to some degree. Oddly, it fails to mention the exciting work done with the Murphy Roths Large (MRL) mouse, which has a Highlander-esque ability to recover from injury. Not familiar with Connor MacMouse of the clan MacMouse? Check out this article on the BBC.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.
If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing.
"My personal goal is to put a robot in every home by 2010," said Oh Sang Rok, manager of the ministry's intelligent service robot project.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
On Sunday, I finally got around to watching Mirrormask. As huge fan of Neil Gaiman, I was not disappointed. I found that the film had Neil Gaiman's fingerprints all over it. It was dreamy, weird, creepy, and beautiful. The visual stylings of Dave McKean were indispensable to the film. I can't imagine a more perfect visual artist for working the Gaimanesque magic. There were many moments that felt like I was watching something right out of The Sandman.
Despite the amazing effects, the film had a very "indie" feel. That's good and it's bad. It was more imaginative and thought-provoking then a mainstream movie, but it also seemed to lack something in the energy department. It was almost too dreamy. Then again, I was tending a fussy little boy at the time I was watching it, so I couldn't give it my full attention. Under ideal viewing conditions, my praise would likely have been unqualified.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Spore will be such a game. Check out this video of Will Wright giving a demo at last year's GDC. I must buy this game when it comes out.
(Of course, I'm assuming I'll be able to run it on my two year-old laptop. If not, I may need to play it after hours at work.)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
I loved that in GURPS you could create any type of character you wanted. I also loved the way that its combat system actually seemed to reflect the action of what was going on in a fight, whereas D&D had cheesy notions such as armor that could help you avoid blows, or hit point totals that made it impossible for most characters to be killed by anything short of ridiculous amounts of damage. But the best thing about GURPS was that the magic system was capable of being fit to more interesting models, ones that actually reflected literary or occult source material better than D&D 's antiquated Vancian model. I especially loved the magic system that was introduced in GURPS Voodoo and later perfected in GURPS Spirits. To this day, it is one of may favorite magic systems.
So, throughout most of the 90's, I was a bit of a system snob. I looked down on D&D and those that played it. Things started to change when I realized that gaming is, first and foremost, a social activity. The people you play with are more important than the systems you use. One of my friends was running an AD&D 2nd Edition game and I eagerly joined. I still hated the system (and 2nd Edition AD&D is the worst incarnation of that game...ever), but the game was pretty good and the company was excellent. Slowly, my snobbery was falling away.
What finally killed my anti-D&D prejudice was the simultaneous release of D&D 3e and the gathering of a new group of friends to play it in Charlottesville. My good friend Nakia is a excellent game master. He proved that even though 3e retained some things that annoyed me, a really good fantasy game could still be run using it.
That brings me to the present. I have a new favorite system to run (Risus), and my long running Slaying Solomon game uses the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. But I'm also a part-time player in a D&D 3.5 game and I am considering running a D&D/D20 version of my Dragonspire game. While preparing for this new game, I have been forced to confront many of the things I don't like about D&D. Things that have stopped irritating me as a player still really get under my skin as a GM. But it's not my old gripes that bother me so much as my new gripe: it takes too long to prepare D&D games. I've been spoiled by Risus and BtVSRPG, and even GURPS would probably annoy me now.
I'm persisting, mostly out of my desire to prove to myself that I can run a D&D game that is as cool to my players as Nakia's game was for me. That, and I'd like to be comfortable running D&D when I get a chance to participate in "round-robin" games with the cool ENWorld folks at GenCon or Game Days.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
- A found image of a snow covered mountain (because most of my adventure travel revolves around snowy mountains).
- A clip from the Castle Falkenstein supplement, Sixguns & Sorcery. Not only is it very relevant to my Silverlode game (which I'll be running at NC Game Day), but it also depicts an Anasazi cliff-dwelling (which also relates to some recent adventure travel).
- The third clip is a gloomy castle from a Brotherhood of the Wolf wallpaper. Not the greatest of films, it was nevertheless very inspirational to me and wound up influencing numerous roleplaying projects.
- Replacing an image of the Golden Compass from the first His Dark Materials novel (one of the best fantasy series ever), is a clip from the cover of Neil Gaiman's Smoke & Mirrors. Neil Gaiman's work is hugely important to me. In fact, I think I can say with confidence that he is my absolute favorite sotryteller, whatever the medium.
- Finally, there is a Christoper Shy image from a GURPS Transhuman Space supplement. Besides representing a fine gaming supplement with a well-imagined future history, the image also stands in for my deep and abiding interest in transhumanism and the promise of accelerating technological change.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Found this article on slashdot...
"We realize that this is a radical conclusion -- that we may have evidence for liquid water within a body so small and so cold," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. "However, if we are right, we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms."
Wow. This is potentially huge and important. It makes funding NASA robotic exploration missions even more important.
It's been a goal of mine to learn another language for some time now. My wife, expert world traveler that she is, can speak French, Spanish, and bits of German. Whereas my knowledge of foreign languages has been limited to two years of high school French and phrasebook knowledge of Russian, Italian, and German. But languages have always interested me. In high school, I tried to learn Elvish from the appendix of The Lord of the Rings. I tried to pick up Esperanto for a game of GURPS Riverworld. I tried to learn Welsh for a brief Celtophile (is that a word?) phase. And I've been very interested in natural language processing and constructed languages for fantasy worlds [see this site for the coolest conlang site on the web].
But thus far, I can't say that I actually know another language. I want that to change. I want to travel to a foreign country and be the one to converse with the locals. I also think that knowing a language is an important part of being a good global citizen. To that end, I've decided to study Chinese. Why Chinese? Because I think the 21st century is going to be the Chinese Century (just like the 20th was the American Century). Chinese is spoken by something like a quarter of the world's population and may even open up some interesting career opportunities in the future. Chinese culture is cool and interesting (and I can study the language while watching kick-ass wuxia films). If my son picks up some Chinese with me, then that he might have some exciting opportunities as well.
How am I going about this? I bought Rosetta Stone for a start. This CD ROM immersive course is really cool in that it jump-starts your comprehension of the language right away. The draw-back is that it offers no reference material for studying grammar or vocabulary. For that, I am relying on Chinese for Dummies (I'm so embarrassed). I also picked up a book on 250 important Chinese characters, since learning the written language is so very important to understanding the spoken language. I suspect that next year I will enroll in an actual class.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
"All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. . . With each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not." (125)
- Almost everything by Neil Gaiman, prose and graphic novel, including the coplete Sandman collection
- Alan Moore's Watchmen, Promethea, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and others)
- The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (red leather collected edition)
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (leatherbound collected version)
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: A Novel, by Susanna Clarke
- The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
- A leather bound collected edition of Dracula and Frankenstein
- Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.
- The Baroque Cycle, Cryptonomicon, and Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson
- A collected version of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser stories
- The recent Harry Potter books (I borrowed the earlier ones)
- Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling
- Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
- A History of God, by Karen Armstrong
- The Age of Spiritual Machines, by Ray Kurzweil
- An enormous rpg collection featuring many books for GURPS, Vampire, Dungeons & Dragons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Castle Falkenstein, Warhammer FRP, and In Nomine