Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Report

So, what did you do this weekend? Here's my list of activities:

It is Sunday night and all is well. Not great, but pretty good. We got a lot accomplished this weekend, so I'll begin the run down.

Saturday Yvonne, Elizabeth, and William went to a plant sale at a local church then to swim class. Elizabeth had the pool to herself so she got some extra time to swim. Meanwhile, Dad and I worked on framing a pad for the small door to the shed. I had dug it out a week or so earlier, so it just needed framing. We leveled, squared, and sloped it how we wanted it and put some sand in the bottom.

In the evening (after cleaning up of course), we all went down to a different local church for their harvest festival. They had smoked a couple of pigs and had the usual fixin's (baked beans, cole slaw, rolls, cake, and lemonade). The music was a bit loud at times, but they stopped it often enough to play games that it wasn't an issue. And the food was good as was the company (rare is it that "church folk" are rude - can you tell we don't go to church?). The most interesting event of the evening was one of the ladies that played a game was born in Poland, raised in Russia, and walked 900 miles from a German concentration camp. Wow. Not what I expected to learn while at a church picnic.

Today was filled with more manual labor. Dad came back over and we finished the pad. Together, we hand mixed 10 and a half 80 pound bags of concrete. We poured it into the frame, mashed it down, tapped the sides, used a screed board, waited, troweled, waited more, cleaned the tools, waited more, tried to finish the edges, waited more, finished the edges, waited more, troweled one last time, and were done. Can you tell we had too much water in the mix?

But we finished that by about lunch time. Dad went home and I helped Yvonne and Elizabeth plant plants (from the plant sale yesterday). They had worked on it while Dad and I did the pad, so it was nearly done when I arrived. But we finished nearly all of the plants and still had time to make it inside to cleanup before the big Steeler game at 4.

And that's where things went sour. We lost. So much for being undefeated.

But, we got a lot done, so I guess I shouldn't complain. As Dad said, mark it on the calendar. We started and finished a project in 2 days. That's pretty amazing by itself.

Anywho, that's it for now. I should be back to normal blogging capacity next week.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Birthday Wishes

For those that don't know, my birthday is coming up shortly (as in next week). Normally, I'm not a very big birthday kind of person. After my 21st, it was all downhill for me as I felt that getting old was not fun.

Well, 10 years later and I still feel pretty much the same about getting older. But I'm hoping to use my blog as a medium to let everyone know what I want for my birthday. After all, it is all about me, isn't it?

Okay, maybe not, but at least give me one day a year. Sound like a deal?

So here's what I want (in no particular order):

1 - Go visit Paul's daily comic (technically it's Monday through Friday, but close enough). He's a decent artist and has a great sense of humor. And he's a fan and writer of speculative fiction (aka fantasy, sci-fi, etc.).

2 - Two books. Havoc by Jack DuBrul and Inferno by Troy Denning.

3 - Any amount of gift cards to Lowes. I have a feeling I'll be doing some home improvement shortly (broken porch steps, shed upgrades, etc.) and need all the help I can get.

4 - Any amount of gift cards to Kohls. I think I'll have to wait until Christmas to get them, but I may need to get some pajama pants this winter. I know, it's out of the norm for me, but I'm adjusting.

Everything else I'd ask for I doubt I'd get as it's a bit unreasonable and a little out of the price range of my readers (on the off chance you would like to invest a large sum of money in little-ol' me, you can read this post about buying the family farm).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who would you call in an emergency?

This pretty much says it all and is completely in line with my thinking. I follow this site on a regular basis and was lucky enough to get a copy of Kate's book through the guys at Fantasy Book Spot. She was great to talk to and is always on top of any RDA news.

Oh, and my mom comes tomorrow. Yeah!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Great day ends poorly

Today started great. I was awake before everyone else and got my shower in. Yvonne, Elizabeth, and William all went to Elizabeth's swim class so I had some time to myself. I organized the family history so all the scanned items were together. i didn't have as much scanned as I wanted, but it fit nicely in our new waterproof/fire resistant lock box. The other two totes will hopefully be scanned over time.

Dad brought some electrical wire and tools around lunch time. We all (all 5 of us) had lunch and went our separate ways. The four of us (me, Yvonne, Elizabeth, and William) all went into town to do some shopping. We couldn't find the car seat at Target (our main reason for going) but got a rain check. We did pick up a costume for Elizabeth (a witch with a broom), a new ceiling fan for the living room, and baffles for the attic. We also stopped for a very filling dinner of steak and baked potato with Cesar salad.

And how did such a great day end so poorly? Well, I can't sleep right now (it's 2330) and I just checked Google Reader and saw that Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash. And to top it all off, Nebraska is loosing 42-10 against USC.

I can only hope tomorrow's Steeler game against Buffalo will go much better.

PS - We may be going to Edinboro for Homecoming this year. That should be fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kvothe - Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Of Beginnings and the Names of Things

We now see Kvothe and Chronicler working out the finer details of the story that’s about to be told. Also of note in this chapter is the use of a primitive short-hand. Chronicler uses it to write “faster than a man can talk.” Kvothe tests his system and even demands to learn it before he continues. We get an inkling of his intelligence as he learns it very quickly.

This is also where we can find the best part of the book, the part used on the dust cover. The part where we learn his name I pronounced “Quothe” and hoe names of things are important. In short, the cover art hooked me, these words reeled me in.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Family Treasure Hunt

So, this might be a meme floating out there somewhere, but I got the idea when I was checking out some family sites yesterday. Wouldn't it be neat to see how many people you could find from your own family? Guess my 8th place finish in the Virtual Globetrotting Scavenger Hunt went to my head.

So, here's the name of the game. Find as many photos of your family members out there as possible. Scoring and rules will be as follows:

- One (1) point for each family member photo.
- One (1) extra point for each photo with more than one family member. But you can't count the same person more than once.
- No sites can be used that are administered by yourself.
- Limit the photos to your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and first cousins (and try to avoid ancestors).
- All photos must have been taken after September 1, 2006 (just shy of a year ago).

The prize? Well, I don't have a prize. But let's see who can win.

My Family Treasure Hunt

Cousin Steve - 1 point

Cousin Glenn (Steve's brother) with unidentified woman - 1 point

Cousin Eric (playing guitar for his band) - 1 point

Aunt Marilyn with Cousin Cinda (her daughter) - 2 points + 1 extra point

Cousin Andy (second from left, Cinda's brother), Aunt Laurie (third from left), and Cousin Cinda (again) - 2 points + 1 extra point

Cousin Mark, Cousin Glenn (again), and Cousin Jeff (Jeff and Mark are brothers) - God, I hope I got those names right - 2 points + 1 extra point

Cousin Jared (and his wife Melissa) - 1 point

My mom (and Steve, her.....well, I'll let mom answer that one) - 1 point

The winner - Aunt Susie, Uncle Eric, Cousins Damon, Sunny, Jarod (again), Abram, and my mom (again) - 5 points + 1 extra point

Uncle Dan and Aunt Gail (far left, Cinda and Andy's father) and Uncle Gary (far right, mom's twin brother) - 3 points + 1 extra point

Total = 24 Points

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kvothe - Chapter 6

Chapter 6 – The Price for Remembering

This is one of the greatest chapters of the book. We learn a lot about Kvothe but not enough to know everything. A great tease of sorts. On top of this, we learn how well Kvothe can strong-arm someone by simply looking at them. We clearly see that Kvothe has lived a full life so far and is worthy of attention. Chronicler, the man that will be writing about him, also has a reputation of sorts as the premiere storyteller in the land. Watching them bandy words about like swords was fun.

Chronicler is on his way to meet an Earl but eventually gives in to Kvothe’s demands and requirements. While Kvothe was reluctant to tell his story, he exacted a price from Chronicler by telling him it would take three days to tell his story. Take note of this as this is directly related to this book is the first in a trilogy. Thus, this is the first “day” of the story. Yes, a few days have passed before, but this is the first day of storytelling.
--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend Report

Friday night was nothing exciting. At least nothing that I remember. I must be getting old.

Saturday morning I went over to Dad's to take a look at what goodies he brought back from his trip to Nebraska. Turns out he likely more than doubled the collection of family history we have. That was the good news. The bad news? There's even more that he left on the farm.

From there, Yvonne and I took Elizabeth to see Cinderella at the Riverside. They do a children's show on Saturdays and it was okay. A boxed lunch is okay for kids, but I was really hoping for more. And the performance was fine, just long. And not really my type of show. But Elizabeth had a good time and was conducting the music and trying to dance at times. Factor in the meltdown before leaving home (she didn't want anyone to take her picture) and the meltdown leaving the show (she wanted Cinderella to sign "Elizabeth" NOT "Cinderella") and it was about even on the fun scale.
Then I cut the grass (big surprise there). But it needed it and I wanted to cut it short in anticipation of the coming rains.

After that was dinner and a movie. The Last Mimzy was bizarre. Very bizarre. Like, more than THX-1138.

Sunday was shopping with Yvonne and William. He did pretty good but lets you know when he's hungry or messy. We're kind of in a routine, but nothing too set in stone. But I did get to take a good 2 hour nap. Couldn't get the Steeler game, but we won 34-7 over the Browns.

Anyways, that's about it. And in the spirit of Paul (but in reverse), what did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Kvothe - Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – Notes

Kvothe returns to the inn with the injured and unconscious Chronicler. Bast is upset that Kvothe went alone but is kind enough to help Kvothe stitch his wounds. Another short chapter, something you the reader should get used to.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Sleepy, so sleepy

With the exception of last night, I think I've had on average 3 hours of sleep a night. Not good for this old man.

And last night? I crashed on the couch around 9, went to bed around 9:30, and woke up at 6 this morning. But I'm still tired. I think I even fell asleep in the shower.

My goal for this weekend? To sleep more than 4 hours straight.

Maybe I'll go for a long drive...........

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Norwegian to English translator needed

Please contact me ( if you can translate handwritten letters from Norwegian (Norsk) into English.

Or you can go to this album and pick something to translate on your own. All I ask is you send me the translated text so I can give you credit!

Kvothe - Chapter 3 and Chapter 4

Chapter 3 – Wood and Word

Here we see Kvothe (aka Kote) receive his long awaited plank of wood he uses to mount a sword called Folly. We also see a bit more of Kvothe’s side-kick Bast. Both are interrupted by a large party that arrives at the inn looking for lodging and refreshment. A party of travelers. Included in this party is a young man who seems to know Kvothe’s true identity. But alas, he’s a little intoxicated. And with the help of some subterfuge by Kvothe and Bast, the young man and everyone else are fooled into thinking Kvothe is Kote, a simple innkeeper.

But more interesting than this is that we see Kvothe’s ability to concoct a lie so detailed yet so simple, he can convey it to Bast in just a few words. And with a bit of foretelling, we see Kvothe buy a pair of smithy gloves and apron.

Chapter 4 – Halfway to Newarre

We come back to the Chronicler as he’s walking along alone at night. He approachs a fire and discovers Kvothe baiting his trap for the scrael. He defeats them, but Chronicler takes a beating and doesn’t help much.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Birthdays - Yuck

I was a big fan of birthdays as a kid. When I turned seven, I still remember the chocolate chip cookie my Dad got with white and chocolate icing on it. It was so big we couldn't finish it. So we put it in the freezer in the garage. Where I repeatedly snuck to in order to take a bite before or after school. I think I also got a shirt with a big number 7 on it.

I know I got other neat and cool gifts, but for some reason that one sticks out.

And I remember my 18th birthday. Mostly because it was two days after I started dating Yvonne. I think the greatest gift she gave me then was the fact that she stuck around long enough to hold my hand (and no, she wasn't drunk). And there was my 21st birthday I was surprised by my Mom and Dad when I was in college. That was pretty neat (but I'm still not big on surprises).

But my birthdays have long since run together. There was even a period of a few years where I would have to stop and do the math to figure out how old I was. Is it 27 or 28? Well, thirty hit last year and I was not excited. Which means 31 is less than a month away and I'm still not excited. Hell, I'm more excited about the afore mentioned anniversary of dating Yvonne (it'll be 13 years on October 1st).

The idea of getting gifts at my age is, well, fun and sad at the same time. I love free stuff. But I hate asking for it.

Maybe this year I'll ask for $500,000 dollars. Yes, that's 5 zeroes after the 5. What would I do with it? Buy the family farm to ensure it would continue to stay in the family (123 years so far). But I would donate the house to the local museum or something so they can help me store and research family history, Nebraska history, pioneer history, and everything else under the sun that applies to the area.

I guess that's why I don't get big presents anymore. I tend to give them away.

Maybe I'll just ask for a Lowe's gift card instead.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kvothe - Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2

Prologue – A Silence of Three Parts

I tried to read this to my wife one day as she waited on the hospital bed. She didn’t like it. And I can see how most would not as it’s a bit deep on the metaphorical scale

Chapter 1 – A Place for Demons

We are introduced to the main character Kote, the innkeeper of the Waystone Inn located in a small town. Right away we can sense a stereotypical fantasy element in the inn. The innkeeper is serving food and drink while the locals tell tall tales. In the middle of one of these another local arrives having just survived an attack by a creature called a scrael. Scrael are apparently a stone-like spider large enough to kill a man and his horse but mysterious enough to be killed by iron. Even the disposal of the body affords a special pit and a fire.

We are also introduced to Kote’s servant/lackey/sidekick/assistant, Bast. I’m sure his role will play out more in future books, but for now, he’s simply as mysterious as Kote with few answers forthcoming.

Chapter 2 – A Beautiful Day

There is a short interlude of sorts from the Waystone Inn as we meet the Chronicler. He is being robbed by some highwaymen but his cunning is amazing as he hides his coin in his shoe, clothing, loaf of bread, and his ink jar.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Back in the saddle - after a fashion

I'm back at work today and will be the rest of the week. So please bear with me while I get things caught up and get back into the habit of blogging. Yes, I know you want more pictures, they're coming. Give me a day or two and I'll have them up.

In the meantime, I'll be posting more analysis momentarily.