Thursday, June 26, 2003

On The Potter

Sarah has asked my opinion on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and I thought I'd chime in. I'll try my best to keep it spoiler-free, but if you're waiting to read the book, you might want to skip this entry.

Sarah feels like the book's not well enough edited (could be lots shorter), and that Harry needs a good smack upside the head. As for the editing, I didn't see too many problems, but then I didn't read it from an editing standpoint, so it's possible I could have missed a few things. I certainly didn't feel the "jeez, this is going on too long" or "she could have said that in half the length" feelings, though. I suppose I'm one of those people who could read Rowling day in and day out: I was hating making progress through the book, because every page down was a page I couldn't look forward to any more. What can I say? I'm a fanboy -- I like her writing "voice." :-)

As for Harry being insufferable, well, try being fifteen and male sometime. That's the way it works. For that matter, I liked Harry passionate and hair-triggered; for a guy who's been through as much trouble and familial humiliation as he has, it was getting old that he took everything nobly and in stride. I was surprised that Rowling wrote Ron and Hermione mature enough to stand fast in the face of Harry's freak-outs, though; that might be the only believability chink in her characters' armor.

Put simply, I liked it. But, bummer: we've got to wait another year (or two, or three) for the next, and the series is scheduled to end after only two more books!


Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Free at Last

Bloody J. K. Rowling and her bloody Harry Potter books. I finally finished Order of the Phoenix last night at around 1:45 a.m., which means that starting today I can get back to a normal schedule. :-)

I want to write books so good people will lose sleep rather than put them down. I'm not sure I'd want the toothpaste and action figure deals, but I'd put up with a movie offer or two.


Monday, June 23, 2003

My World is in Boxes

Cardboard walls everywhere, strapping tape holding the pressure at bay...

The Move
Slowly but surely the fallout from the move is settling; I was able to get a sweet stout ("Rich's Sweet-Home-Alabama Housewarming Stout") into the fermenter yesterday, which was a welcome domestic task.

Enough has been removed from boxes that I'm able to live quasi-normally now, but things were touch-and-go for the preceding week. The move itself was astoundingly quick; the burly gentlemen who boxed up all my stuff and got it onto the truck performed a single-day miracle. Getting everything out of the boxes again is proving to be a much bigger job (especially considering it's only me this time. Heh.), but the theater room and kitchen are done for the most part.

So far the bed has stayed in the master bedroom, and the theater stuff in the smaller one, for lack of any idea how I'd move that bloody TV by myself as much as any other reason.

The fridge, washer and dryer arrived late Friday afternoon, and it was very good to be able to tackle things like laundry without a trip to the laundromat, and refrigeration without bags of ice in coolers (but the cooler you and Amy gave me will have an exalted place forever, Matt - a gift of excellent beer is always remembered here). :-D

I'm still riding the work-waves of the final trip to Richmond a week back; lots happened while I was gone, and lots is happening now that I'm back. (Thus the lack of recent blogging - there's been some late work, and of course lots to tire me out around the house.)

So yes, there's a lot going on, but becoming more easily handled by the day. :-D


Monday, June 16, 2003

Wotta Week

Life is beginning to smooth itself out again after the craziness of last week's move. All my stuff has made its way south (as have I), I've got my telephone and power and satellite TV and water and trash pickup arranged, with Matt and Amy's assistance I've got the computer desk, home theater and most of a bookshelf of books unpacked, but there's still a truly intimidating amount to do.

Ongoing Developments
Several appliances are winging their way to me (washer, dryer and refrigerator), and I'll need to buy and/or build several new bookshelves to handle the book overflow that I no longer wish to keep in boxes. Furniture in general is going to be interesting over the next year or so; my old blue sleeper sofa was left in Richmond quite on purpose (as it was held together with approximately a pound's worth of duct tape and incorporated cinder blocks in its final design), so it's high on the list of stuff to replace ASAP.

Refrigeration will also be interesting through this Friday. A sizeable cooler/mini-fridge followed me from Richmond, and I've acquired two new coolers since arriving here (one courtesy Matt and Amy, and filled with excellent beer no less), so I can keep matters afloat with occasional infusions of ice, but I have to take care not to end any meal with too much perishable food.

But the place is very close to functional, and as a result I've taken several opportunities to stop and smell the roses. My cute little back yard (best term for it, I'm afraid) is aching for some sort of grilling apparatus, and so far only about half of my beer-brewing equipment has surfaced. I'm itching to get a brew moving, though, so I'm going to make a concerted effort tonight to get all the gear, well, in gear, so's I can hold a proper housewarming event once I thrash the bigger piles of boxes into submission over the next few weeks.

Space Utilization
The house is holding up to repeated inspection; the high ceilings (10+ feet) and big master bedroom are wonderful to have and use. The guest bedroom is a bit small for my home theater needs, though, and it's taking a great deal of self-control to avoid switching the master bedroom's contents for those of the theater room for the better space. I'm probably thinking too much, but here's my worry: what would it say about me if I were willing to bump myself into a smaller (more cramped, actually) room in order to have more space for my audio-visual stuff?

But there's so much more room in the master bedroom! I could entertain if the theater were in there! But then there'd be the matter of that spiffy master bathroom going to waste...

Of course it'd also mean moving that 260-lb. TV set again...


Sunday, June 08, 2003

Wastin' Away Again in Memory-Lane-A-Ville

Weird how environment can affect mood. I've only been back in Richmond a day, and I can already feel old attitudes, old views, old thought-paths reasserting themselves. I feel like lounging around, playing videogames and watching TV all day instead of getting after life or discovering my surroundings.

A better vindication of the decision to get the H-E-double-hockeysticks out of Richmond is difficult to imagine. :-)

Still, it was good to visit with Chuck and chat with Bob; tonight and tomorrow (between social visits and other errands) will be devoted to breaking down furniture for the movers and doing a spot of cleaning.

Dinner time!


Friday, June 06, 2003

Rich is Once Again a Homeowner

Got all the signing done today, and I have now closed upon the house! The whole process was refreshingly painless, except for some confusion about exactly what city/town I was physically located in, versus my mailing address (which we knew was different).

Things eventually got straightened out, but not before an hour'd been spent. Oh yeah, and *I* was the person who discovered the error. My realtor's been wonderful, but my loan broker seems to need some help with his firm's attention to detail. Didn't help that the person we had on the phone from the lender was being a cast-iron jerk about the accuracy of the address, either.

But the deed is done, and had I my stuff, I could move in over the weekend. Since I don't have my stuff, I'll be flying to Richmond tomorrow to go get it. :-)

Pictures to come!


[Edit: Blogger confused itself royally on Thursday/Friday, so this is only hitting screens Saturday.]

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Trundling Along

Not too much to report lately; work has gotten interesting (lots of CSS knowledge entering the brain in a short period), the Day of Closing continues to approach, and otherwise all's right with the world.

I do need to make an appointment with the vet so Sushi's got a place to stay while I zip to Richmond and back, and get the apartment packed up, and coordinate the last few basics with the moving company, but otherwise life is steady and moving forward.

Sorry posts haven't been more interesting, but it's been right busy around here...


Monday, June 02, 2003


I just spent two hours chasing down a stupid JavaScript bug I introduced when I tried to get cute and making an HTML form work spiffily rather than simply.


Weekend Recap
I did not make it to any splendiferous beer places Friday night - I had some errands to run, and by the time I got home I wasn't in the mood for much more in the way of Friday crowds.

Had a good weekend - Saturday was a big day for reading (I'm working through The Book of Jhereg, which was given to me for my birthday last month) and doing fun things like laundry and tidying up the apartment. I did catch another showing of The Matrix Reloaded after Tripp called, having seen it and had inordinate amounts of fun. :-)

Yesterday's golf game was quite enjoyable too, if only because I was one of the less-skilled people there, and thus a great source of comedy material. But nevertheless I had a great time! Why is everyone so down on golf? I didn't find it boring at all; trying to get the ball going where you want it to is hard, and as such it was a constant challenge. Boring to watch, certainly, but playing it was tough and fun.

So there.

The Weeks Ahead
Should be an interesting week -- there's plenty on the work slate, including another demo tomorrow morning, and then lots of revision to do before Friday, when I close on the house. I fly back to Richmond to supervise the move on Saturday, and will be there through Tuesday cleaning up the apartment as best I can before releasing it to the rental office. Then I fly back to Birmingham on Wednesday to supervise the offloading of everything into the new place.

Urf. Lots to do. Anyway, it gets interesting from here. :-)