Monday, August 30, 0:57 CDT
I got home on the morning of the 17th, around 7:00, after an 11 hour bus ride. I think it's safe to say that I won't Go Greyhound again any time in the near future.
School's been going for a week now. No big surprises there (yeah, it still sucks). My classes are as tough as they've ever been, which doesn't make much sense. Given my academic history (or the lack thereof), you'd think I'd have just taken shop and home ec classes and coasted through my senior year. But no-o-o-o...
I saw The 13th Warrior (Crichton's Eaters of the Dead) last night. It was better than I'd expected, but that's not saying much. In fairness, it had the feeling of something that at least had potential, and there were some cool scenes scattered in there. It did start me thinking about how cool a Beowulf movie could be, if it were done right. Which it wouldn't be, of course.
I've seen The Iron Giant twice now. A truly excellent movie. One of the best this year, in fact, and maybe the best animated film this country has ever seen. I'm not going to try writing a review. (This one on AICN, and this one do a better job than I could.) Suffice it to say that if you still have an chance to see it in a theater, do so. I'd love to go back a 3rd time, but of course it's gone from local theaters, having sunk like a rock at the box office.
Mystery Men was decent. Great idea, and plenty of talented actors. Maybe it didn't come together as well as it could have, but it's still worth seeing.
I finally got ahold of The Darkest Road (thanks Gul), final book in The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy G. Kay. There's no question his later work is better; and sure, Fionavar gets a little too Tolkienesque at times, but in the end, it really doesn't matter. This book is beautiful. It's sad, triumphant, and powerfully written, and I reccomend this series wholeheartedly.
After The Darkest Road, I read Count Zero, by William Gibson. It's not quite a sequel to Neuromancer, but it shares the world and some of the characters. Like Neuromancer, it took a while to drag me in, but once it did, it rocked. Sure, the flashy VR environments and cyberspace cowboys doing battle with big colorful shapes are completely unrealistic, but it's loads of fun to read.
I bought a copy of The Callahan Chronicals, a nice big trade paperback that contains the first 3 collections of Callahan's Place stories, by Spider Robinson. If you've never heard of Callahan's Place, it's the setting for the best SF bar stories ever written, period. (Higher praise than you might think.)
I'm still using my Palm3x to read e-texts. I'm working my way through The Three Musketeers right now (great so far). It's great to be able to pull up CSpotRun and read when I've got a few minutes to kill. It's also easier than lugging yet another book around, and teachers seem less likely to notice. ;)
I finally bought Linux in a Nutshell and Learning Perl, both from O'Reilly.
Linux in a Nutshell is a straightforward reference book with listings for most of the basic commands, and sections on Emacs, vi, Perl, bash, csh/tcsh, and some other stuff. It's already proven useful. Wish I'd had it earlier.
Learning Perl is more of a tutorial, meant to teach the basics of the language. From reading through the first chapter, it seems well written and informative. Not too textbook-ish. I only hope I actually know something by the time I've worked my way through it.
In general, the O'Reilly books seem quite good. And quite expensive. Maybe that's inevitable, but at these prices, it's gonna be a while before I can afford to build up a (paper) reference library.
I checked to see if our Mac could run the BeOS. No dice. It doesn't run on G3 processors, since Apple refuses to release info they need, and Be doesn't want to take the necessary steps to work around this. (I gather they don't want to spend the money to do it themselves, and since they want to stay proprietary, they can't use the work done by a free OS. Or something like that.) Looks like I'll be going with LinuxPPC, whenever I get a CD ordered. I suppose I could download it on a machine at school, but I understand a full install runs to around 500 megs.
There's a new episode of Daemonsong out.
Hmm... Just noticed a bit on AICN about the possibility of The Iron Giant getting some intelligent marketing and a re-release. We can only hope, I guess.
Well, there's quite a bit more I could write, but I'm starting to feel sleep deprived again, so I guess that's it for now. If there're errors here, I guess I can fix 'em later.