Archive for August, 2008

Book Reviews

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2008 by Budd Black

Really good book that mixes the genres of mystery and science fiction.  This book takes place in the far future and the Earth is at its limits.  Man now lives in a completely enclosed eco system, in caves of steel you might say. Due to population, jobs are scarce and robots are feared for taking what little jobs there are.  Centuries ago people migrated to space, but due to eradication of disease and hence no immunities, migration was stopped.  Some "spacers" came back and live in a city right outside of New York, and one them was murdered.  Elijah, a New York plain clothes police detective, is partnered with R. Daneel, a robot from space town, to solve this murder. 

This book explores racism and classism as well as popultion management and robotics.  It is a quick and easy read.  I have never sought out who-dun-its, so I can't really say how it measures up there.  Asimov doesn't disappoint.

 

This was pretty good.  Hellboy is mainly an action adventure comic full of wit and sarcasm with a touch of x-files thrown in for suspense.  I really like the artistic stylings of this book.  The story isn't ground breaking but is very entertaining.  You just can't help but cheer for Hellboy.

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Independent Authors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 26, 2008 by Budd Black

As the president of a long standing book club.  I have received some freebies over the years from independent authors trying to get the word out on their books.  I have always tried to help these authors any way I could.  In that tradition, here are two science fiction books that were sent my way.  I won't bother to re-review them here because I am linking to the Amazon page where my reviews are very easy to find (they each have 5 reviews).  Check out the books, request them at your library, and spread the word. 

 

 

From the Shadows
K. B. Shaw

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My problems with the Olympics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 25, 2008 by Budd Black

You won't see me complaining about the gymnasts being too young.  If they can do all that stuff at 14 then go for it. 

My problem was with the interviews after a match when the athlet won silver or bronze.  Almost every interview I saw in this case had the athlete saying, "I couldn't have asked/wished for anything more".  Um. . . sure you could have.  You could have asked/wished for gold.  Maybe your limited thinking is why you didn't get it int he first place. 

I also hate the biting of the medals.  Why?  Checking to see if it is real?  If I was the IOC or the host nation, this would offend me.  Anyways, you don't konw where those medals have been. 

The expert commentators.  I hate when I see a dive or routine and go wow only to hear them say oh no and then go on about how they did it all wrong and then the judges give the person a good score.  Lets just get this straight, if you were so good, you would be a judge, but your not. 

I hate, absolutely hate, the bling.  Keri Walsh lost her ring during a match and I don't see how the track athletes run at all as they all step into the blocks looking like Mr. T.  One guy goes so far as to put his chain in his mouth.  I know exactly where the medal is going should he win one. 

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QotD: Chip Off The Old Block

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 22, 2008 by Budd Black

Which side of your family do you resemble more?

My side.  My wife's parents are Korean, so I look nothing like them.  What a silly question.

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I See Movies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 20, 2008 by Budd Black

If you like ultra violent blood spray movies than this one is for you.  It is a revenge movie that lives up to the Tokyo Shock title.  The main character's brother and his friend are killed by a gang that is led by the son of a Yakuza boss.  Oh the boss, his wife, and son are all Ninja as well.  The movie just gets more and more bloody from there.  This movie is not for the weak of heart or stomach. 

Forever the Moment-  This is a Korean movie.  A Korean sports movie.  A Korean sports movie about Olympic handball.  A Korean sports movie about women's Olympic handball.  Now that you don't want to see it let me tell you how good it is.  It is based on the true story of the 2004 women's Olympic handball team.  The team was put together with some veterans that some considered to be over the hill and some unproved rookies.  The coaching situation was uncertain until the late into training and even then the he and the players clashed at first.  Like all sports movies, this one is a feel good title.  I won't tell you how they did in the Olympics, but the movie does have footage of the real matches along with soundbites from several of the real players and the coach.  Great movie.

 

Another sports movie and yes another feel good movie.  This movie was just awesome.  How did I miss this movie for so long.  How did this one slip under the radar of everyone I know except for Mainmor who watched it accidently.  The first 20 or so minutes of this movie are uncomfortable as this 14 y/o boy is exploring puberty.  A lot of the time with his hands.  The story is about Ralph, whos father is dead and his mother has just slipped into a coma and looks as though she is battling cancer.  He goes to catholic school and is kind of an outcast.  He is told that it will take a miracle for his mother to ever wake up.  He relates this to the XC coach saying that it would be a miracle if anyone off of his team could win boston.  Ralph is encouraged by a vision of God telling him to win the race.  It was a great movie with some great child acting. 

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By Popular Demand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 16, 2008 by Budd Black

The kids are doing great.  Since the picture was taken Ally has received her yellow belt.  Ashli (giant slacker) is still an orange belt.  Ashli started her new school on July 22 and it is a lot tougher than normal schools.  We met the teacher and she told us what the kids will be doing this year.  They are going to really push the kids at this school.  They have to do a book report every week!   Ally is jealous because she wants to go to school too.  August, 5 was her 4th birthday and she is mad that she didn't get a pink Nintendo DS.  They both spent the night at a friends house last night.  This is Ally's first real slumber party and she was excited to go.  

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Adventures in changing oil

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 11, 2008 by Budd Black

So, I decided to change my own oil on my bike. I have done it on a car, how much different could it be right. Turns out not much different; I still get oil all over the place. Then I ran into the problems.

Lets start with buying a filter. First, I go to the local dealer/service joint down the road. I ask for the filter, the guy brings it out, I look in the box and ask where the o-rings are. He says there is only one (i know there are two) and that they don't have any in stock. Why buy filters and not have the o-ring in stock. I got the ninja250 suggested rotella synthetic ($20 for the 5qt jug). While I am at Walmart picking up the oil, I see a fram filter for my bike with o-rings included for less than half dealer prices. Pick it up too. Stop by autozone and get a torque wrench and a 6 pointed socket. Ride the bike around the block to get the oil warm and start loosening the drain plug.

Drain plugs are the most evil of all creations. it is impossible to get one off without getting oil all over yourself. this one was no different. Oil started coming out and I still had about 8 rotations to get the plug all the way out. Sure I could let the oil drain with the plug still half way in but I am paranoid about stuff settling back in the pan and want that free flowing oil to pull that stuff out, so I like to take the plug all the way out. Of course the bolt is too loose to use the ratchet anymore so it is time to get the hands dirty. So I am twisting away and plop it comes out, out of the whole and out of my hand. The drain plug in my pan isn't big enough for the 17mm bolt to go down. No worries right. Wrong!

The oil drains and I don't see the plug. I take the filter out and let the oil finish draining and look around in the pan, no plug. I look in the drain whole, no plug. I get my magnetic screwdriver and fish around no plug. I take a bucket and empty my drain pan into the bucket, no plug. I slowly poor the bucket back into the drain pan, no plug. I repeat the procedure, no plug. I look around on the ground, under things, shake the empty drain pan, no plug. I pretty much assume that I am going to have to buy a new plug when I decide to ruin my drain pan. I take out a knife and cut it open, to ensure to myself that it isn't in there. It is the only place I can think it could be. I cut open the pan and no plug.

I decide that it is lost but that I need to tighten up the filter screw before I clean up to ensure I don't forget about it when I get the new plug in the mail. After realizing it was easier to guestimate the metric reading than to use math to convert inch pounds (my wrench) to foot pounds (what the manual gives me) and still guestimate (the wrench goes from 120-240 and I needed 174). So I get on my back and lo and behold my drain plug is sitting on my lower fairing. So, more than an hour after I started the process, I was able to finish.

The bike is much smoother now. Go synthetic after 3k miles.

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