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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2011
     
    Greetings friends! I have been woefully neglectful of the site of late, and in particular the forum. What used to be a thriving conversation has slowed to a trickle of updates. Even the blog had grown a bit stale of late. I can always tell when I'm feeling particularly uninspired because I end up relying on easy formula posts, like Link Dumps. I remembered this week that I had started a "series" of posts a while ago, and never really followed up on it. Well, I did follow up on it, but I only got halfway through the next post, and it's been sitting around, unfinished, ever since. This is partly because it was a long and involved post (and the series is obviously much larger and more wide-ranging). Anyway, I finally dedicated some time to finishing it off this afternoon. I probably could have spent some more time polishing the post, especially the final third or so, but what the hell? It's not a book, it's a blog!

    Funnily enough, I read the book that ultimately inspired the series about 2 years ago, and I read it because we were in the midst of a reorganization at work, with this massive and ambitious project that I could just tell was going to be a bear. Well, here I am two years later. Team is reorganized (and actually doing pretty well, I think), but that big project? Still not complete, though we are nearing the end (or so I hope). So despite taking 2 years to write the second post, I may actually be able to finish off the series before the project. That's probably not likely (we really are close to finishing off that project), but I am hoping to be a little more interesting on the blog in the short term (also, I know not all of you are into beer, but I've been keeping that blog updated pretty regularly too, and some of it is more general interest, though still beer focused).

    For reference, the book that inspired the series was The Mythical Man Month, by Fred Brooks. To a lesser extent, a book called Peopleware will also end up figuring prominently in the series (and indeed, it shows up towards the end of todays post), but I read that one after I came up with the idea for the series. There are a few other books that will also probably be featured in later posts as well. Ironically, I haven't even gotten to The Mythical Man Month in the posts yet - I've been spending all my time laying the groundwork. Heh.

    Speaking of books, I've been going at a pretty good clip this year. Depending on how you count them, I'm somewhere around 11-14 books read so far this year (how does one count Omnibus editions anyway?) Things tend to slow down a bit when I'm not reading trashy SF, but I'm still moving at a pretty good clip. I generally try to alternate fiction with non-fiction, but for a while (basically the vegas trip), I ended up focusing on fiction.

    Interestingly, if you're generous about the omnibus edition I mentioned earlier, I've seen about an equal amount of 2011 films (that's 14 movies). This is usually a little higher at this point in the year, but I've been going to movies in the theater less (and catching up with those early year movies on DVD/BD later in the year). Also, the I skipped the Philly film fest this year (though there's another in Octoberish timeframe, I think), which usually inflates numbers a bit.

    I'm actually seriously considering going to Fantastic Fest in Austin this year (Spence, I'll keep the forum updated on this front, so perhaps we can plan a quick get together that week...) My vacations of late have been pretty lame, and I've got a whole extra week this year, so I'll need to find some extra time to do stuff. I'm planning on a week sometime this summer, but I don't really have any set destinations. Fantastic Fest is in late September, so I definitely need to take something earlier than that. There might be some other, shorter trips in the works as well (to the beach, possibly to the Adirondacks).

    Let's see, what else is going on? I've started my annual exercise push. A little later than I had planned (I think the Vegas trip interrupted my schedule before I had even really established it, so I got lazy after that, until a couple weeks ago), but I seem to be sticking with it at this point. I still eat horribly, but I occasionally try to eat more healthy, with limited success.

    Well, that's enough rambling for now. Game of Thrones is coming on soon (the one series I really follow now) and I have to get some laundry started. How's everyone else doing? This place has certainly been dead lately, and I know people tend to visit less often than they used to (even I visit less often!), but if you see this, feel free to drop a line and say hi:) I hope you're all doing well!

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011
     
    Game of Thrones...I'm mildly jealous that you get to see the series. Jealous because I LOVED the books and wish I could see it now, instead of in a few months on Netflix. Only mildly jealous, because it will come out through netflix, and well...I could sign up for cable and HBO if I wanted to see it right this minute, I guess.

    I did get to see the preview online, and it was enough to start me re-reading the series, and thoroughly enjoying it. I zipped through Game of Thrones, and got about halfway into Clash of Kings...and then Phineas showed up a month ahead of schedule, and I've read a few pages here or there since then. Oh well, I'll finish my re-read before the next book comes out in July or thereabouts.

    So, aside from a mildly premature child, not that much has been going on, really. The last few months have been consumed by wife-pregnancy-stuff, and of course, now, free time, like sleep, is a thing of the past. Others assure me it will get better, and he is pretty damn cute.

    Prior to this month, I'd read a few books here or there, and seen a few movies, but nothing much that jumps out. I read a book called "Kingdom of Ohio" back a few months that was ok, but not great. Decent idea, alternate history/universes type plot, but weak execution and poor character development. I am very much looking forward to the new Stephenson book...

    I did get into watching The Tudors via netflix. It's far from historically accurate, and a bit...much with the sex, but still addictive TV. I'm officially sick of House...it used to be such a good show! There honestly isn't much I care about on TV anymore, but, at least Futurama is back again!

    Exercise...I was doing so well a few months ago, but I haven't done a thing since then. One of these days I'll get back into it...

    I do feel rather neglectful for not checking in and posting more...I always mean to, I just never get around to it!
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011
     
    Honestly, you're probably better off watching on DVD/streaming. I've come to hate following shows as they air. Every week, the episode ends and I go on a tirade of obscenity because I want to see what happens next. Gah.

    But the show is really good. If you get ondemand it might be worth getting HBO, then you can catch up right towards the end of the season. If you're not too sleep-deprived to take advantage, that is. Perhaps waiting for DVD is best!

    I've never seen the Tudors. Sex scenes aside, it's just never seemed that interesting. I like to watch an episode of House every now and again, but it's always seemed fairly ridiculous to me. I see it as great disposable entertainment. Something I can watch once and get a kick out of... usually while doing something else. Like ironing or folding laundry or something.

    Don't feel neglectful for not checking in! I mean, seriously, you've got way more important stuff going on, and probably will for a while. Also, you've kept up with the beer blog pretty well - I always look forward to your comments there (though again, more important things going on now!)

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2011
     
    Hello! I've been neglectful of here as well. Work went to hell a few months ago. It's been... interesting since then. It's a really long and complicated story so I'll spare the details. Plus it gets me stressed and angry. It has, in a way, put me in a better position as far as what my job actually is and what my resume is going to look like but I don't think I'll be at this company much longer, either out of frustration in the near term or mismanagement from the top in the long term.

    Other than that, things have been good. My girlfriend and I will be moving in together once my current lease ends. I'm a little sad to be leaving my apartment because IT'S AWESOME but I'd feel bad keeping her dog cooped up in here all day. I think her dog might be too big for the building owners to allow him anyway. He's not huge but he's not small like a chihuahua.

    I've had a bad habit of not finishing books the past few months I need to remedy. Haven't seen many movies either. My girlfriend and I did somehow plow through season after season of the X-Files because she was borrowing the DVDs from work. We were both super nerdy for it in the 90s. A lot of it actually holds up quite well. It's funny seeing the piles of paper files and bulky computers in the scenes now. I was saying if the series were made today, it'd be all ridiculously expensive and gigantic touchscreen interfaces and their arms would get tired after using them to scroll all the time Minority Report style.

    Took a trip to Denver a few weekends ago. I have some friends out there I hadn't seen in a while, so some friends from here and I went out to visit. Good times. Nothing exciting like skiing in the majestic countryside but it was a good group together. I think Denver has some thing with giant blue animals. Next to the airport there's a gigantic blue horse with red eyes my friend called 'Bluecifer' and downtown there's a gigantic blue bear looking into the convention centre. Don't know if they're related.

    Anyway, that's my story. Doesn't feel quite so interesting.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2011
     
    Greetings Dyre! Sorry to hear about work woes, but hopefully things will get better for you soon:)

    The X-Files is on Netflix watch instantly, so I will occasionally fire up an episode while I'm eating or something. I agree that a lot of it holds up pretty well. In particular, I think they did a good job with cinematography. It might be a bit overly dark occasionally, but at the time, it was amazing to see TV that was almost movie-quality. TV usually has a very flat sorta feel to it. Hard to explain. But the X-Files never had that feeling. It often felt like I was watching a movie. The only thing I've never really done was catch up on all the conspiracy episodes. I've always been a much bigger fan of the freak-of-the-weak type episode than the continuity stuff... though I am told that watching it all at once makes the continuity seem less insane. Perhaps someday I'll start watching those again (I've been skipping them this time around).

    Can Bluecifer make an appearance in my Crocoroid movie? I think it might class things up a bit.

    Good luck with the new apartment/house/living situation thing:)

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2011
     
    Now that you mention it, the cinematography is good and that does make a big difference. I never really thought about it but you're right, it doesn't have that flat shot feel a lot television has. Like someone actually thought about how things looked rather than just "is everybody I need in the shot?" I always liked the freak-of-the-week ones more myself. I thought they did a good job of going back to those when there were a bunch of conspiracy ones in a row. It always seemed like about when I was getting sick of the conspiracy stuff they'd cool off it for a while. I'd imagine it's different watching just those ones since you'd know what you're in for.

    Bluecifer does what Bluecifer wants. But, Bluecifer likes apples.

    Danke!