Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

December, 2011:

Christmas Eve Revelation

Me: Are we planning on going anywhere today?

Lori: No.

Me: Then why am I wrapping presents without an iced vodka drink?!?!? FFS!!!

(the situation has been remedied)

Review: The Magician King

The Magician King The Magician King by Lev Grossman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful follow-up to The Magician. Grossman continues the story of Quentin and his friends as they continue their magical adventures, but this time, Julia, his friend who never got into Brakebills, gets equal billing with Quentin, as we head back in numerous flashbacks to see her progression through the magical world that exists outside the academic structure of Brakebills.

Moving deftly between the gritty world of Julia’s past to the present day where Quentin and friends are adventuring, Grossman reunites old friends, introduces some new friends, unloads multiple surprises and twists, and captivates… but never disappoints. The Magician King is possibly (dare I say it) better than what came before.

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Christmas Animatronics

There’s something creepy about animatronic bears.

I was  at a friend’s mom’s Christmas party yesterday and her house is amazingly decorated with animatronic characters, four Christmas trees, animated villages, lights, bows, bells, garlands… the works. It’s wonderfully festive.

Some of the animatronic characters are in a bit of shadow and while looking at the slowly-moving bears, I was just a little bit creeped out… so I decided to run with it and took some video using my phone. Adding a bit of not-particularly-festive music changed the whole vibe from festive to disturbingly creepy.

There you have it!

I agree with Bachmann. Oh… nevermind.

In yesterday’s Republican debate, Michele Bachmann made an uncharacteristically lucid comment regarding Newt Gingrich’s claim that “I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization.” (Freddie and Fannie)

Said Bachmann…

You don’t need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling.

Gingrich comes off as very Clinton’esque when he makes his “I didn’t lobby” claims.

Of course, at another point during the debate, Bachmann headed back to her comfortable but loopy world of sunshine and rainbows.

I think it’s just outrageous to continue to say over and over throughout the debates that I don’t have my facts right, when it as a matter of fact, I do. I’m a serious candidate for president of the United States, and my facts are accurate.


That sounds very much like, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

The beauty of banjos…

When the only tool you have is a banjo, sooner or later, every problem starts to look like a hoedown.

– Mike Beucler

Review: The Magicians

The Magicians The Magicians by Lev Grossman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Magicians is an absolutely wonderful book that un-selfconciously references Harry Potter, Narnia, Tolkien, and other fantasy works somehow without being plagiaristic at all. The main characters are wonderfully developed… distinctively different people who complement each other and keep the story racing along without a single dull moment.

Grossman ties the entire book together with articulate grace, weaving seemingly insignificant events at the beginning of the book into key points of the entire over-arching storyline. The Magicians is a truly satisfying read that left me wanting more.

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