Friday, May 28, 10:56 CDT
Yes, I really should have updated this during the week, but, well... I was reading.

I'll be in Kansas for the weekend, after which the standard irregular updates will resume.

Cryptonomicon was excellent, if too short (too short? a 900+ page novel?), which I'll explain when I get back. Maybe I'll start writing reviews again, despite my lack of talent for same.

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 28

Sunday, May 23 17:08 CDT
Ahhh, freedom. Sort of.

School's out for the summer, about which I certainly can't complain. I might even have time to learn something now. Not to mention trying to update this page once in a while...

I saw Episode One again Friday night. I'd say it improves on a second viewing, and I picked up on a few things I missed before. Looking forward to seeing it again...

Figured I might as well put my lynx_bookmarks.html file up here. There's nothing special about it; just those sites I find myself visiting fairly often, or whatever I felt like tagging to come back to later. It might evolve over time... I'll try to keep the copy here current, at any rate.

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 23

Wednesday, May 19
~2:15: I go to bed, setting my alarm for 4:30.

~5:03: I wake up to hear "Brennen, it's 5:00... What time did you want to get up?" from my mom, who has an eery tendency to wake up around the time I'm usually going to sleep. Jump out of bed to notice my alarm clock blatantly not going off. Put on clothes from previous day, grab wallet, and run to car.

5:10: Slam car door, realize keys are not in ignition, yank door handle, and hear a loud *snap* as something breaks. Observe that door is, in fact, not going to open from the inside. Mutter several choice expletives while diving out passenger side door and running back to house for keys. Drive to town, hoping fervently that the car won't disintegrate around me for another couple days.

~5:20: Arrive in town. Wait 10 minutes for a friend to get ready, drive to other friend's house, pick up money to buy tickets for losers who aren't dedicated enough to skip school and wait 4 hours in line.

~5:40: Depart the bustling metropolis of Laurel, Nebraska for Sioux City, Iowa.

~6:30: Arrive at Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City. Note that there are 20-some individuals in line ahead of us. Think "It probably wouldn't have made any difference if we got here half an hour later." I go to a Burger King and buy greasy, unsatisfying, and generally worthless fast-food breakfast. Return to our place in line. Half an hour later, notice that it really wouldn't have made that much difference. Then again, it's the general principle of the thing.

~9:30: We've been waiting around 4 hours, sitting outside the theatre in the mall most of the time. A lame "best hits of the 70's, 80's, and today" radio station has set up shop and is trying to milk some publicity. We're repeatedly asked "You guys looking forward to seeing Star Wars?", and expected to yell for the microphone. We're offered bagels, cut into 6ths, as a bribe. Given that I forgot my copy of Cryptonomicon to read, sitting in line is actually a pleasant experience. People all around me talking about generally cool and geeky stuff. Then the line starts moving. Moment of extreme happiness as we actually get tickets.

~10:45: The lights go down. Theatre hushes expectantly. Some applause. Some trailers I don't remember very well... Adam Sandler's next flick, something called Titan A.E. that sounded cool (CGI animated series, maybe?), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (which looks hilarious)...

Fox logo thingy, with the giant letters and lights 'n stuff. Applause. LucasFilm logo. Expectant hush. Familiar blue letters on a black background... Blaring music... STAR WARS... Yellow letters scrolling... A few moments of purest geek bliss. And then...

Ignore the critics, the endless news coverage, the general hype. See This Movie. Form your own opinion.

Plot holes you could orbit the Death Star through. Continuity errors. Some outright stupidity. The most awe inspiring and gorgeous effects work I have ever seen. Lightsabre battles that are nothing short of beautiful. Things I don't want to let into my personal understanding of the Star Wars universe. Very poorly developed but still incredibly cool characters played by excellent actors. Ewan McGregor is Obi-Wan. Yoda lives! Should have been 90 minutes longer...

Much later...

14:37 (2:37 PM): Get to school just in time for the last period of the day. Wander around, talking to people about the movie and feeling utterly at peace. Probably a combination of sleep deprivation, caffeine, and some kind of post-Star Wars release. Talk at length with science teacher who saw it last night at 12:01; got home around 4. Deliver tickets I bought for the 7:00 showing. Decide, as soon as school's out for the summer, to get ahold of ye olde video projector and have an all night showing of Episodes IV-VI on the side of the garage.

~16:30 (4:30 PM): Arrive home. Shortly after walking in door, hear my alarm clock go off.

22:42 (10:42 PM): I do believe I've said more than enough. Maybe I'll post some spoiler-laden comments later on a separate page, but it can wait 'til I've grokked the movie a little better... Maybe after a second viewing...

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 19
tags: topics/sfnal

Monday, May 17, 18:38 CDT
Well, my updates have slowed to a pathetic crawl lately. If I have an excuse, it's probably school, and the sheer tonnage of homework I've been dealing with (or failing to deal with).

Graduation was yesterday... Depressingly enough, I've still got a year to go, but rather than dwelling on that, congratulations to everyone who's fortunate enough to be escaping the wasteland that is high school.

All sorts of stuff happening lately... A recent legal decision involving the export of crypto code is actually good news for once... The kind of thing that can make your whole day a little brighter, even if it will most likely be overturned by a higher court. (For some reason, I still haven't much faith in the intelligence of this country's legal system.)

And on the less pleasant side of things, it seems Australia is facing some heavy duty legislation of the "We must protect the children! Down with civil liberties on the Internet!" variety. There's more info and a petition that might do some good here.

Less than two days to go...

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 17

Sunday, May 9, 17:58 CDT
I finished A Song for Arbonne, by Guy Gavriel Kay, the other day. It's an excellent book by any standard I can think of, though (for me) it falls a bit short of Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan.

Well, the hype is ramping up to epic proportions. Everyone from Time to Popular Mechanics is running an Episode One cover. The merchandise will soon be impossible to escape. The first reviews are starting to roll in (see AICN). The backlash to follow is, of course, inevitable.

Nope, it ain't gonna be the greatest film of all time. Considering that it's probably the most anticipated in history, it can't help but be a letdown for huge numbers of people. Me included, in all likelihood.

I think that perhaps I'll just ignore the critics and the hype alike, from here on out, and just wait for the movie... 10 more days...

And it's looking like it's beginning to storm outside, so perhaps I'll just cut this update short.

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 9
tags: topics/guy-gavriel-kay, topics/reading

Tuesday, May 4, 23:55 CDT
I saw Go the other night. Not a great film or anything, but entertaining, with some *really* funny moments.

I finally got around to reading In the Beginning was the Command Line, an excellent essay by Neal Stephenson on OSes, interfaces, and assorted other stuff. Definitely worth the time.

A belated happy birthday to Gulthek, who turned 20 the other day... Geezer. ;)

15 days 'til Episode One...

p1k3 / 1999 / 5 / 4
tags: topics/neal-stephenson