Enjoy the last day of 2013 and best wishes for the New Year

Scholastic is kind enough to include me on its mailing list — given the dearth of reviewed books this year I’m not sure how long that will last.  Their holiday card features a beautiful Kazu Kibuishi drawing of Christmas with Harry Potter:

photo (4)


Best wishes to everyone for the new year — I find it hard to believe we’re moving from 2013 to 2014 (these still sound like science fiction years to my 20th century born ears) but there it is.

A Quantum of Snow

photo (3)

Washington DC is known for its political gridlock.  It also suffers from snow-induced gridlock and it doesn’t take much of the fluffy white stuff to shut things down.  Today is one of those days, when a lightly drifting stream of snow has shut down offices, schools and induced a slightly panicked style of driving among the local denizens.

I just finished reading John Scalzi’s latest novel, The Human Division, which was originally published online in a serialized form. Ten years ago I would have definitely made an effort to read it online, but life is too busy these days to consume anything on time. I get to it when I get to it, I guess.

Scalzi is entertaining. He is deft with words and more often than not I am sync with his sense of humor. I know now that I am going to find his books a comfortable, enjoyable read.  This one was as well and an interesting addition to the universe he crafted in his first novel Old Man’s War.  It had a very open-ended ending, however, which to say the least, was deeply unsatisfying. It was mitigated somewhat by the episodic nature of the chapters (a result no doubt of the online serialization of it) but I was definitely frustrated by how many questions were left not only unresolved but barely even moved in the direction of resolution.

I would still recommend it to fans of Scalzi because it is a good read and you’re already invested in the first four novels set in the same universe.  But I sure hope he’s intent on coming back to this universe again in the future.

Now that’s how you Sonic

I’m glad I stuck with Hijinks Ensue. The less schticky, more character driven strips of recent vintage are really good and just an approach that resonates much more with me. This one is a great example of layering in some clever pop culture references in a way that still builds the relationship between the characters.

Don’t Send Me Someone Else’s Email

Thanks xkcd!  So it’s not just happening to me?  I wondered if anyone else had this kind of thing happen to them. I have been included on family-wide emails to a clan of Mormons for years despite trying to explain to them that they HAVE THE WRONG EMAIL ADDRESS.  I tried for a year or so to correct things — I certainly don’t want the email and I figured some relative was missing out on them — but it never seemed to stick so I gave up.  I don’t read them but they do still come by on a regular basis.

Oh well…