Random Rants

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This would be a page of random rants from the dad...

A list of places I believe I've worked...

  • McDonalds
  • Un-named Microcomputer retail store
  • UofI Engineering Library
  • UofI Digital Computer Laboratory
  • Lowrey (x2)
  • TEHC
  • Cerka's Consulting Firm
  • Roland
  • Technics
  • The Whitewater Group
  • Groupworks
  • Alcar
  • FNBC
  • Symantec
  • AT&T

I know that there were several more, I just can't quite put my finger on them at the moment... Maybe, someday, I'll find a copy of one of my resumes, and add some more stuff.


I just finished the first book in the "Hyperion Cantos" (appropriately entitled "Hyperion") by Dan Simmons.

For a Sci-Fi/Fantasy with just a hint of horror overtones, it was a pretty good book. But I've got to admit that I was just a little let down by the Wizard of Oz reference with which it closed. But... I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt until I've read the second book in the series. The only thing I'm currently disappointed by is that the book was written as a series of stories, or tales, by a group of pilgrims on a pilgrimage / quest. The individual stories were fabulous. Great characters, great world building, great imagery. But the "glue story" was left pretty much unwrapped at the end of the book. In fact, the book closed right at a huge cliff-hanger. Pretty ugly marketing ploy. So, I'm off to read the second book, and then I'll be back to hand down a more informed judgement. I know that sometimes, it's not the author, but the publisher/editor/agent/? who makes those kinds of evil commercial necessity decisions. We'll see...

Plot: 3/5
Sub-plots: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Language/sex/violence: 3/5
Overall: ?/5

I should have thought to date these first entries... Or maybe I should just break down and start a 'blog. Bah Humbug!

I read "The Shack" in January. I know this book is one which seems to evoke strong opinions to either side. Either you love it, or you hate it. Well, I'm pretty firmly on the side of "I loved it". I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. It will definitely make you think. It's portrayal of the four main characters should really make you dig deep to see how your concept of these people matches up to what he's written in the book. I don't want to spoil it for you. If you haven't read it, just ask. I'll be glad to loan you my copy.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4/5
Language/Sex/Violence: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

I just finished reading "Under the Dome" by Stephen King. It was 1047 pages long. The first 950 pages were almost awesome. There was a bit, no more than a bit, there was a LOT of crude language, some thoroughly gross sex scenes, some seriously gratuitous violence, and just in general more over the top Stephen King than there needed to be. But the descriptions of the people, and the town, and the situation were very good. Small town politics and power mongering can get pretty ugly. The characters were fully fleshed out. In fact, if there was a single redeeming fact about this book, it would have to be that you could definitely believe in the people.

Then came that last 100 pages. I was horribly disappointed. The ending was entirely too much of a let-down. The resolution was just too far over the top into the realm of cliche for my taste. After the 900+ pages of build up, I expected something a bit more creative. If you've never read anything else by Stephen King, you might find it interesting. But I've read enough of his stuff to know that he can do a great deal better.

This whole experience felt like I was trapped in a nightmare with an author who was under a contract, and had to produce something, anything, to get the publisher off his back. Or maybe he just needed a new car. I don't know. Maybe he just wanted to smear enough trash around to get the publisher to cancel the rest of his contract.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 3/5
Language/sex/violence: 1/5
Overall: 2/5