Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Short Review Of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows"

Okay, there's a short and a long review. The long review will be later.

My short review-

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" is the last book in J.R. Rowling's famous series of books about the English Wizarding world, and it's title character, Harry Potter. While the series, from how it was written, tried to end with a bang; it instead ended with a whimper. The book suffers from several Xanatos Roulettes, not the least of which is the other title "character" of the book-the famed Deathly Hollows.

The plotting suffered...there were hints that should have been dropped in earlier books, and earlier portions of the book, that weren't.

At the end, you feel glad that it ended-because the book ended in a major deus ex that would frustrate many readers. It felt like Rowling changed the rules of how magic worked...just so she could get the ending she wanted. Add to that a series compression of how it should have ended...which would have been a great "travelogue" sort of book.

Add to that the final annoyance, in my mind-the treatement of Snape. Everything about him, up until the last book, was a character that was trying to build up his own abilities so that when Volermort and Dumbledore finally slag each other, he's at the top of the heap. I kept looking at the character's end as being one like Kerr Avon, smiling as both sides realized that he's set them both up to kill each other off...

I think that I won't be able to come back to this book for a bit. How bad was it? I got it Saturday and pulled it from my bag for work (I have usually two hardcover and two or three paperback books for reading on public transit) tonight. This is the shortest time that I've ever had a book in my bag, not even making it through the week. I don't think I'll be reading it, any time soon again. It bothered me that much...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Short posts today, just to get things off my chest. More details as I have time.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows? IMHO, the book was about second from the worst in the series (#5 aka Order of the Phoenix annoyed me to no end, until about the last third). And, you read it and go back through the other books...and Rowling really, really sucks when she tries to do plotting. I'll discuss this in more depth, but let's just say that if this is was qualifies as "good fiction", I should work harder on trying to do a Heinlien-esque juvenile/young adult book.
  • I have dream of all the buses in San Francisco smelling like french fries. One of the biggest advantages of this would be that we'd be cutting off more of our dependence on foreign oil. So very much always a good thing.
  • Another Harry Potter comment...I really, really, really hate how Serverus Snape died at the end of the series. Up until the end, I always kept viewing his character as more of a Avon-type character-ultimately his loyalties were to himself, and nobody else, and he was running the hell out of all the other people.

    Damn it, I'm talking more about this book than I want to right now.
Will have my much more complete and complicated review of the last Harry Potter book up either tomorrow or Thursday.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

An Insult To Bottom Feeders

Let's see, Ted "I Never Met A Terrorist I Didn't Like" Rall is at it again.

I had to give it a day so I could think about keeping my temper. Not only is it a flat-out insult on American troops, it makes a direct comparison to American soldiers and Al-Qaeda "soldiers" and their ilk.

Last time I checked, America soldiers would use "hard" methods of interrogation, which we're allowed because many of these "insurgents"/terrorists are not protected by the Geneva Conventions up to about Article IV(which the US is not a signature of)-they are not a part of an organized military chain of command, openly wear their weapons and are identifiable as soldiers, make an effort to avoid civilian casualties, and several other factors.

We don't roast up the son of a local headman for dinner as a threat to remain "loyal" to the cause.

Nor do we just slaughter people and bury them in the groves. Even though I think many Iraqis wouldn't have a problem with us just stuffing many members of Al Qaeda in shallow graves coated with pig lard.

I really, really wonder what people like Ted Rall think. If they do "think". Do they believe because they're "progressive" and oh so socialist, they won't be touched by people like this?


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Big Easy Of The Big Easy

Just had this inspirational brainstorm. I was reading and thinking about "Life On Mars", and thought about this idea for a story...

Take a detective from New Orleans, who's partner just died. She's wanting to find out who killed him...and she has a new partner.

He's very much an "old school" cop. He dresses as much as you can, like he was from the '70s. He "interrogates" people in ways that a lot of cops aren't allowed these days. Has problems with cell phones and computers. Is a "bit" dirty (there's two scenes that reflects this-one is when she meets him, he's eating a meal, and the guy that owns the resturant won't take her money, cause "she's his friend". A second incident is when a guy tries to slip him a $100 to make a problem go away-he lights the bill on fire and stuffs it in the crook's pocket).

In short, he seems like he was resurrected from the '70s.

Which he was.

It turns out (we'll learn this as the series goes on) that he died in 1976, killed by six people-two he didn't know, his old partner, and three other people. All to keep the secret of a land deal that made them millions. When Hurricane Katrina hit...he came back from the dead.

By the end of first season, we learn that when he "brings to justice" the six that killed him, he gets to go on to Heaven. If he gets killed again (which can only happen if his head is cut off), he goes straight to Hell...

Interesting bits of drama, and there's also the whole "duck out of water" aspect to the story.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stupid, Stupid Greens...

(Stolen from Steve DenBeste...)

I do have to admit, it's a good idea. A company in California is building a solar farm, and on the one hand, that's a good thing. Supplies eighty megawatts over 640 acres. Of course, this is during sunlight hours...

Also, if my math is right, you're getting about 0.125 megawatts per acre. And, probably subsiding the solar power panel industry, which really needs to spend more in research to make solar panels tougher, more capable, lighter, and cheaper. And, while it will make the heart of any tranzi whom could get cancer from a dosage of heavy metals in water that requires major effort to find happy, it is a waste-worse yet, it's an arrogant waste.

Let's see. If my math is right, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant generates about 2.9 megawatts per acre. If you built the same facility on the same bit of ground as the solar plant, that would be 1856 megawatts-1.8 gigawatts, which is noticeable fraction of the State of California's power needs. Twenty nuclear power plants this size and you have the entire state's power needs and PG&E can get back into the buisness of selling power out of the state, which is why California's bills tended to be so low for so long.

(Yes, I know after deregulation that PG&E isn't in the power selling business-I think. Let me just use my ideas and thoughts here).

Of course, that would require us to build Evil Nuclear Reactors, which is kind of like invoking Satan to the Gaia-worshiping environmentalist Greens and Tranzis.

I wonder, seriously, how well this planet will work out in the end.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th Of July...

For those of you that are outside the United States...happy Wednesday.

For American citizens...the nation has been crazy, but we're still here, and not leaving any time soon.

So, for all of you that want America to go away, you can all come and kiss my lovely ass.