Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just some updates

The Dog of Thunder warns you to stay away from his teddy monkey!
It is fifty degrees and sunny today in Madrid. Madrid has received about one inch of snow that melted the second it hit the ground this year resulting in zero accumulation.

In the abstract, Wendy and I miss snow. It will be nice to come back to Vermont and have a real Vermont winter next year. In reality, we miss snow but I know I’ll be plenty sick of it soon enough if snowfall next year is anything like this year. In Vermont, people have literally had to shovel snow every day for weeks on end this year in a record breaking snowfall winter.

The second eye surgery went well, adjusting the left eye and putting the new lens in the right eye without complications. It is now two weeks and a day later and I am experiencing everything I was told I would experience. Peripheral vision is a little weird, still sensitive to sunlight, lights in the dark have a halo around them, but the eyes are improving every day by minor amounts. I’m told it can be a month or two before everything settles down and my brain gets used to the new lenses. So far so good. While my vision isn’t perfect yet, I am now typing and reading without glasses for the first time in five years and I am loving it.

Rode the bike for thirty minutes yesterday, but not allowed to do light weight training for another week or two and another three before I can start to push it with any intensity.

My mom suggested a movie to us last week , called Priceless, and after an exhausting work day, we made some pistachio chicken and sat down to watch it last night. It is a French film with English subtitles. I love how foreign films break the formulae of Hollywood. You think the movie is going one direction then it goes in another and then off into even another direction. You never figure out what's going to happen next because it’s not what people expect. One reviewer remarked that it was very French. That it was a nice statement on French culture and mores and I have to agree. You have to suspend your disbelief a bit at the beginning with the way the male lead responds to circumstances spiraling out of his control, but they make it work. Considering it doesn’t follow any typical Hollywood formulae we (enjoyably) didn’t have a clue where the movie was going next and it had a few laugh out loud moments. One scene had us laughing for a good minute.

Right now I am reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, suggested to me by my friend Chris McMahon. The writing in it is generally very good and I love the main character so far. The beginning started out strong with a genius boy learning a vast variety of skills, including magic, as he traveled with his mother and father’s troupe of performers. Then his parents are killed and he makes his way to a city and becomes a beggar. For the next hundred pages…
Okay, I have no idea how many pages, I’m reading it on my iPhone which doesn’t have page counts. It could have been fifty but it felt like a hundred. At least. While in the city he spends three years as a beggar, somehow forgetting everything he ever learned about magic, fighting, herbalism, healing, acting, playing the lute or any number of skills that would have helped him not be a beggar and not be beaten so regularly. This part of the book infuriated me. Luckily he’s finally made his way out of the city and to the mage academy and it’s already back to being a great book. I am engrossed. I’ll let you know how the rest of it is.

Answers to some responses to last weeks “Torn” entry –
Sam R. Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying the writing. Make sure to check out this site further as there are a lot of things on here you might enjoy other than just the Magic content.
Al – Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll look into that right away. They should be available everywhere.

Mr Fantastic – Thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t looked into Magic Workstation for years. The last time I looked at it, it was just too rudimentary for me. Magic Online was 100x as expensive but also a 100x better. Hopefully that’s changed. Proxying cards doesn’t for me. The friends I have here don’t play Magic and the language barrier makes it tough for me to go to a shop and just play, especially since they have tournaments going on whenever the store is open. Yes, it is a lame excuse on my part which could be boiled down to “I just don’t like proxies and I’m lazy.” Magic could be a priority in my life right now if I had a better base of friends to play with so the writing was better. My writing style has always played off of reporting clever things my friends say or amusing things that happen at tournaments or on the road. I respect your opinion Mister Fantastic but I respectfully disagree that I’m just saying "It's so expensive, OMG!" Well, that is what I’m saying actually, and I stand by that, but thanks for giving me some options I hadn’t considered.
The next Anonymous poster agrees with me on that. Concerning the writing, I have not looked at Guy Gavriel Kay’s work but will, thank you for the suggestion.

That’s all for today.


  1. I loved "The Name of the Wind" so much that I read it a second time (something that I tend not to do). Yes, the whole part where Kvothe is a beggar was brutal the first reading through. On the second read through, it's still tough, but I realized it was much shorter than it seemed. Still waiting on his next book in the series. It's all sorts of delayed, unfortunately.

  2. It seems I have an account... Well, I'll have to try to remember to sign in before posting in the future. I am the anonymous above.

  3. The second book is out and kicks ass.