7 October 2012

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Movies: Loopers was excellent, on par with Inception and On Time for good entertaining movies with actual plots and thought provocation. In a completely different way the new Dredd and Resident Evil movies were quite entertaining and all the more so because they almost entirely lacked a plot or any provocation to thinking -- in fact the blessedly brief moments when they relaxed on the fan service to attempt such things were the low points of either film.

The fan service was particularly strong with the new RE movie. Lovely lovely ridiculous costumes ... including one in my new favourite shade of purple. Almost worth her character being blonde this movie rather than the much better dirty brunette hairstyle of other films. Another positive note is that Ms. Jovovich has put on a little weight and looks much better for it.

Gaming: The new Batman film was disappointing but Arkham City looks to be as good as hyped. Guild Wars 2 launched well and is every bit as excellent as one would expect from the team at ArenaNet. I look forward to playing alot morw GW2 in the future but for now most of my game time is being spent trying to finish the story of my primary toon in The Old Republic while my attention holds / before the game dies. Steam brings many goodies, such as a new X-COM game from Firaxis (!) and the indie "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" FTL and I keep buying the Humble Bundles (and you should too) and hardly playing any of them.

Books: Reamde was excellent. It's an easy recommendation for anyone who has read Stephenson before and hearkens back to Cryptonomicon in many ways (all good) with a more mature and skilled writer (and only one time setting, with some mild flashbacks). It's quite the thriller and as might be expected quite educational about all sorts of things. Also read recently of his are Some Remarks, a collection of letters and essays (not quite a pre-death Grumbles but very interesting) and some bits from the Foreworld.

Stephenson and several notable co-conspirators have channeled their interest in historical science fiction and martial arts into a ambitious project. It's one I knew of and did not subscribe to but I am enjoying the output. I'm reading volume two of The Mongoliad and quite enjoying it, though it seems a great deal slimmer than the first volume. Among other pleasant surprises is how compelling the character of the Khagan (Khan of Khans) has been.

I've also recently read, in novels, the latest Rachel Morgan book. It was fine overall, though I must say I am looking forward to the series winding up soon. The author is having trouble balancing 10 books worth of powerlevelling of the heroine (now actually a goddess of sorts) and her allies versus making a compelling antagonist and a readable plot.

Manga:ナナとカオル gets a new character in book 16 and that's really adding to the fun of what was already a great read and good kana practice (from the sound effects and signs).

Comics: I've been enjoying reading comics on my Kindle Fire from Amazon and Comixology both. In addition to more than $20 of tasty classic Witchblade collections (Origins V1-3), a Dr Who, Star Trek crossover (?!), I've dipped my toe into Batman books as well. The Arkham City collection of all the game tie-in comics was brilliant, not only setting up the characters and story, bridging the two games, but beautifully drawn. I got it from Amazon: Batman: Arkham City. Further if you have ever enjoyed a Batman comic then Hush is not to be missed.

Alas, all of the complaints about the Comixology Kindle Fire Comics app are true. Most damning is how few of the comics available online show up in the Kindle app for reading even after purchase.

Telly:Revolution continues to teeter on the edge between watchable schlock and terrible drama. Grimm is still good as the second season rolls along. The new American Holmes show Elementary is showing hopeful signs two episodes in, but they have a heavy burden with the Great Detective. I teared up a bit at the end of the Dr. Who season finale.

With October some of the best shows are coming back on the air both top-notch and delicious schlock alike ... and almost all on the BBC. The new American Horror Story show looks to be even better than the first show and the new Bedlam isn't too bad. One of my all-time favourite guilty pleasures shows Hex is being replayed Saturdays and there's more yet to come. The not-a-real-Tivo is getting a good workout.

I manage to watch a Rachel Maddow about twice a week but she watches all of them. She has a stronger stomach I guess. Please on't misunderstand I adore and strongly respect Ms Maddow as one of the few journalists standing, but I have to limit my exposure to political news. The last dosage had me ruminating about the constitutional definition of treason and foaming a bit.

Studies: I'm making minimal progress on my year-long NSM studies themselves because I'm studying packet analysis (and soon Snort) for my 503 class and preparing lessons, labs, and teaching another class (401) in weekly chunks. I'm elated to be teaching but I'm still struggling to juggle it all around work and home. Oh and I got my CISSP, finally.

Moved: Still unpacking in rare fits and spurts. We're starting into a new phase of arranging and putting away of things that will likely run the month but may result in some books finally getting shelved. I have discovered three items (so far) borrowed/misplaced by others and need to conspire to drawn their attention to this fact...

How about any of you lot? Any good reads of late?

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