Tuesday, March 28, 22:55 CST
I've been doing a terrible job updating this lately. To no one's surprise.

Drove down to Lincoln with my dad Thursday afternoon, then visited UNL Friday. Who knows, I might actually go to college there. I've definitely decided, though, that I don't have a comp sci major in me. Calculus. *shudder*

While we were in town, I picked up a copy of Lord of Emperors, the second half of Guy Gavriel Kay's The Sarantine Mosaic. Finished it some time Sunday afternoon, then wandered around in a post-book daze. It probably doesn't need to be said that this is an incredible book. Big, powerful, moving, poetic, tragic... Choose your favorite adjective. If there's anything wrong here, it's that this could have been a trilogy. There's so much going on, so many characters moving through the story, that it sometimes feels a little rushed, incomplete. (And now that I think about it, I wonder if this wasn't intentional... Nah. I'm probably imagining things.) Not that it matters by the time you're fighting tears so you can finish the last few pages.

I saw The Cider House Rules Saturday night. Not a comfortable movie to watch, and it's got some things to say about abortion that you might or might not agree with (ok, it's downright propagandistic (is that a word?)). But overall I thought it was good, and definitely well acted.

S'pose I could ramble about the Oscars, but I'm pretty sure I don't have anything original to say. I watched the show for all of 3 minutes, just long enough to notice Alan Ball picking up the award for American Beauty's script. Glad AB did so well, and it seems like overall the Oscars went to better flicks than they have been since I've been paying attention. A function, I'm pretty sure, of 1999 being the best movie year I can remember. Of course, they also managed to ignore plenty... *mutter* Iron Giant *mutter*

(Hmm. American Beauty's script, with some differences from the final film, courtesy of a link on Drew's Script-O-Rama.)

I downloaded Opera 4.0 beta 1 for Windows a couple of days ago. Haven't used it much, but it seems pretty cool. There aren't a whole lot of obvious differences, aside from the completely unnecessary addition of an e-mail client, but it apparently has a bunch of new stuff under the hood. I don't think I'm likely to pay for the Windows version, if they actually charge current 3.x users for 4.0, but I'm kind of tempted by the Linux port, if/when it ever gets here. Opera is pretty much the best browser out there, IMO. (It ain't Free Software, but it's definitely Software That Doesn't Suck.)

Gee, if I were an obscenely overvalued Linux company, I just might be wondering what kind of resources it'd take to get Opera Software to open up their flagship product. Just on the off chance that Mozilla doesn't turn out to be the killer browser everyone's hoping for but not expecting. But then what do I know?

I'm so hopelessly behind the times (and perversely proud of it) that I'm *still* using Lynx most of the time. Which reminds me, Lynx actually has some competition these days. I think I've mentioned w3m here before, a nifty little file viewer grown into a text browser that can handle tables and frames. Then there's Links, a Lynx clone with an unfortunate name and some cool features (DEB's or RPM's (somewhere in that directory)).

And now I'm going to go grout.

p1k3 / 2000 / 3 / 28
tags: topics/fantasy, topics/guy-gavriel-kay, topics/reading

Monday, March 20 (posted later)
The Ford Taurus sucks. Like a fat kid trying to pull a McDonald's pseudo-milkshake uphill through 50 yards of garden hose. More specifically, riding in the back seat of one for 6 hours with 2 other people, sucks.

Nothing much happened last week. At least, I don't think much happened last week.

Left Friday night for a quiz bowl tournament in Savannah, Missouri. Stayed in a Drury Inn in St. Joseph (getting maybe 3 hours of sleep), then drove to Savannah and spent all day at the Savannah high school. We didn't do too badly - won 2 of 4 matches, made it into the single elimination tournament and (not surprisingly) got eliminated in the first round. I have to admit to taking a childish pleasure in watching the team that beat us get slaughtered later on. Something about the deer-in-the-headlights look that people who take this stuff really seriously get on their faces when they're beaten.

(The secret of quiz bowl and academic competitions: Take it too seriously, and you might as well stay home playing Trivial Pursuit alone and administer electrical shocks to yourself for wrong answers. You'll have at least as much fun, and no one else will have to watch you cry.)

We drove into Kansas City Saturday afternoon. Killed a few hours, and went to a comedy club that night, which was cool.

Sunday, we drove home and I went to bed.

And now it's Spring.

I graduate in 50 days. No more high school. And 'bout time (nothing like flunking 7th grade to drag things out). Still, I keep getting the feeling I missed something. And it's not like I have the faintest clue what I want to do with my life now.

p1k3 / 2000 / 3 / 20

Wednesday, March 8, 22:50 CST
Sleep? Who needs sleep?

I read Idoru, by William Gibson, Monday night. Worth a read, but I don't think it's in the same league as Neuromancer or Count Zero. Interesting ideas, and some very cool stuff, but not always that well expressed. After 300 pages or so, I got the feeling that I really ought to have more of a clue what was going on, in some kind of depth. Or at least the sense that a payoff was on the way. The last 80 pages didn't do much to change that feeling. More atmosphere would've helped, or less of a sense that Gibson was faking it in terms of tech stuff.

(What's it about? Well, there's a massively famous band, one of whose members wants to marry an artificially created Japanese pop star, a member of the band's fan club named Chia Pet McKenzie sent to Japan to check out the rumors, and a guy named Laney who has an intuitive ability to sense patterns in massive amounts of information... That doesn't tell you much. It *is* worth reading.)

p1k3 / 2000 / 3 / 8
tags: topics/reading

Friday, March 3, 18:30 CST
I got the latch on the driver's side door of my car fixed yesterday. I can now exit the car on the right (left) side for the first time since May 19 of last year...

p1k3 / 2000 / 3 / 3

Wednesday, March 1, 23:01 CST
I'm downloading the latest milestone build of Mozilla... Been quite a while since I took a look at it, and I have actually heard some positive stuff. It'd be pretty cool if it actually did turn out to be the standards-compliant, blazing fast, non sucky browser everybody wishes for but doesn't really expect. Figure I should at least give it a chance, maybe send off a few bug reports or something.

Hmm. Looks like I need to upgrade a bunch of stuff. Figures.

Yep, Vim is cool.

p1k3 / 2000 / 3 / 1