Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vacation: Room 204

Welcome to Room 204 at the Super 8/Ramada Wheat Ridge (Denver).  we hope you enjoy your stay.  This sign will be the nicest experience of your stay.  You say you book sight unseen based on a Booking recommendation and a pool for your daughter?  Non-refundable, so make the best of it.



Smart guy - you checked for bed bugs, unlike one of the travels at Trip Advisor.  Sure, the toilet overflowed on the last day and you had to go tell the front desk staffer who seemed clueless about what to do even though you assured them you'd turned the water off so it wouldn't flood the room below.


It's a bad sign when even the vents are bent.  I wonder what someone was hiding up there.  Maybe this reviewer has an idea? (via Google)

"HOLY CRAP. YOU BETTER PROMISE ME KNOW ONE EVER GOES TO THIS PLACE YOU MIGHT GET PIMPED OUT SERIOUSLY. it was like watching cock roaches scatter in the night outside the window. ME and my friends took turns watching car and people go in and out after getting with what we assumed was prostitutes. There was plenty of Drug dealers and THE ROOMS WERE DISGUSTING AND SMELLED, the doors trimming were you shut and locked it looked as if it was kicked in a lot so they kept replacing the trimming. It felt unsafe even with the doors locked being there. If you're a family traveling looking for a decent price for a night this ain't worth it, spend the extra money and go somewhere nice this place is GHETTO. I live in Detroit and I wouldn't even stay here or wish this place of living on my worst enemy."



This hole isn't so bad - maybe it's just for a very big cable/satellite wire.  And maybe the ants coming out of it were laying the cable.  Then again, maybe it was a hidey hole.  What do you think reviewer #2?

"There was a group of young individuals in the lobby talking about a party they were having at the hotel. One individual was talking on his cell phone in the lobby, explaining how he could get any drug they wanted. We were apprehensive to stay as we did not want a loud party to interrupt our sleep."



Ah, the pool.  Looks nice from here.  But from here you can't see the health department sign on the gate declaring it closed down that last day.  Or the disappointed look on my daughter's face.  Other reviews seem to state that's almost always the case, and Eryn found a review describing homeless people bathing in it.  I suspect they weren't really homeless.  There seemed to be a bungalow full of migrant workers right next to the pool.  If their shower/bath facilities worked as well as ours, they were probably making due.  Albeit in a way the health department did not approve of.  Hey, other reviewer, didn't you want a place with a pool?

"Wanted a place with a pool. They advertised a pool but after I checked in we went to find the pool and they didn't have one. They used to but said it was in bad shape. I told them that is why I picked them to stay in and said I wanted a refund so I can find a place with a pool. The front desk lady acted like she couldn't do that and had to get special permission from someone on the phone. We just checked in.... I was serious and stood there with my kids and our luggage until I received a refund. She finally got a hold of someone and they offered to let me drive to another one of their locations that had a pool. I thought that was just so nice of them (sarcastic), but decided to go ahead since I was going to have to go find another hotel anyway with a pool (they offered me absolutely nothing for my inconvenience and acted like I was asking for a lot). I drove to the new location. The original location had a free full breakfast. This new location was in a bad neighborhood, did not have the same breakfast facility, and wasn't clean. But I was there and we were going to make the best of it. It did have a pool. We went into the room and it was so thick with cigarette smoke (and something else I'm not sure of) my sons and I couldn't breath (it was a non smoking room). The room was extremely dirty. The sheets had black spots and the cover to the bed had something hard and crusty on it. I felt like crying. We were in Denver because my uncle died and I wanted to have a relaxing night with some fun with my boys. The whole afternoon and going into night was the most frustrating I have had to ever deal with during travel. I'm not very picky, but this was bad. I decided to call the super 8 headquarters because I was hoping they would be able to refund my money because where I was at was not where I originally paid. The second location was comping my room since I already paid at the other place."



The nicest, cleanest light switch.  If you weren't willing to touch them, then you couldn't really see them.  At least at night.  Bonus.  That hair dryer doesn't do anything.  It's for show.  How clean was it other reviewer?

"I wouldn't even give this place one star. I'm here with my kids and fiance and let me just say ew. We asked for a non smoking room it smells like a bar the door doesn't look like it's secure and did I mention the twakers downstairs. Never again this is f***ING disgusting."



The shower/tub referred to above.  We didn't try it until morning when I realized the shower didn't work at all.  So I tried to take a bath, but there was no plug.  So I used a washcloth to stop it up.  But I was concerned it would overflow into that hole in the tub.  The sunglass-ed woman I saw bringing her breakfast back to her room despite admonitions not to (who was trying hard not to look at me) seemed to have it all worked out.  I'm pretty sure she hadn't taken a shower in an extremely long time.  She didn't look like she'd even been in the sun in a long time.


The door.  The frame had been pried up in several places with a crowbar and the chain was attached to this loose piece of framing.  I put several large items in front of the door before we went to bed so there would be some warning.  I was more worried about my father in law's car, but it remained unmolested.  The only shady characters I saw in the lot were the two janitors who spent an hour picking dirt out of cracks (literally about a handful) rather than picking up the obvious fast food trash in their lot.


Here's the plaster hitting the floor from the frame.  They sunk the frame an inch deep into the wall, so when it started to pull out it was pulling half the wall with it.  Fortunately, it was a relatively rain free and stranger free night unlike for this reviewer:

"The girl at the desk at no idea what to do when the tornado warning said to seek shelter. She also did not believe my husband when he said there was someone in the room we were assigned. We had to embarrass the people and ourselves!"



Did I forget anything?  The awful breakfast with the grease all over every surface and the two guys (one older, one younger with a family) arguing about who was more religious and what appropriately speaking tongues sounded like?  The people sort of sitting in chairs staring at people in the dark?  The customers showing up only to sit in the entry for 30-60 minutes despite their being no other customers?  The food on the walls in the other building?  The amazingly dirty carpets?  The smell of musty smoke everywhere?  If you're in the Denver area, buck up, spend some extra cash, and follow this international advice:

"Schmutzig, musste 30 Minuten auf das Personal warten um das Zimmer zu bekommen. Pool geschlossen. Einrichtung völlig veraltetet."


Vacation: Kearney, Nebraska

We drove to Colorado on vacation.  I had originally planned to bring my bicycle, but my wife swapped cars with my father in law, and I wasn't willing to put the first scratches on his new SUV with my bones rack.  Some day I'll have to get back out there with my bike, or fly in and rent one, and bike the trail between Vail and Breckenridge.  It's probably more just coasting, but it looked like a lot of fun (it was pouring as we came down the mountain, so that part wouldn't have been any fun).

On the way out we stopped at the halfway mark around Kearney, Nebraska.  My wife wanted to check out the Great Platte Archway, a pioneering museum that crosses the interstate and looks like it might have once been one of those commercial places that span highways.  Unfortunately, we rolled in with only an hour or so to spare on Saturday night and decided to wait until the next morning when it was supposed to open at 9 a.m. or so according to AAA.  But the Great Platte Archway doesn't read AAA, and didn't open until noon.  Well past our timeline for moseying on to Denver.  Instead, we just wandered around outside.  A number of other folks were using the AAA guidebook as well and were there with us, staring at the closed building.

I wandered around the grounds picking up trash and checking out what we could see.  We were assured by one couple who was there three hours too early that they'd been there a decade before and it was wonderful.  Good to know.  So here are pictures of us doing pretty much nothing.

The museum itself is pretty cool looking.  There seem to be two floors up there, although it could just be a very open space.  Who's to say.


This is the horse atop the right hand tower.  It looks a little like a flying Blucifer from the Denver airport, which Eryn had us go out of our way to say on the nighttime trip home.  No light up eyes though - at least not during the daytime, or the daytime prior to noon opening hours.


Jen and Eryn did spend a lot of time feeding the fish.  Perhaps just to mock all the folks fishing who were required to stay at least 50 yards away from the bridge.  I bet it's harder to fish when all the fish go to the bridge to eat.  There's a trail from here through town.  Missed bicycling opportunity #1.


A maze that was also closed.  Eryn said she would have liked to try it.  I picked up some geotagged trash just to show we were there and didn't bother to get lost.


Fortunately, there was a statue I could touch inappropriately and almost no one around to frown at me for it.


Eryn and Jen checking out some of the native and pioneer buildings near the museum along the bike path.  Jen thought that was a bunny hutch, but if it was, then you put the bunnies in and force them through the bottom until the chaff is out of the bunnies.  Maybe pioneers did that sort of things.  I can't really say.  I was more a Tudor/Stuart history guy.


Eryn looking like she just finished up a pioneer rap song.  Here I be, in my lean too teepee, You might think it's the funnies, but I'm all about chaffing bunnies. Word.


There's a big area inside this mound where you can get a lecture during open hours.  My best picture is actually the litterati picture I took from inside the Pawnee Hidatsa Lodge.  No set up - I try never to move the trash unless it's merely to flip it over to see who produced it.


And the wire bison.  These kept my wife busy for 20 minutes or so.  I bet she has a few hundred pictures on her camera.  I'm glad I don't have to sort them.  I took two - one of them I permanently deleted because it was a lot like the other one.  Go figure.  That was Kearney.  We stopped on the way back as well, but only long enough to grab breakfast at Perkins while we waited for the sun to come up because I was getting tired after driving all night.  I'm glad we hit the halfway point on the way out - straight through in a car was too much.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And then there was that...

Break is over.  I have fully enjoyed not blogging for a while, although it was primarily because I didn't feel like writing much at all, which is rather disappointing on the surface of it.  I don't feel like I was accomplishing many of my usual habits, but almost 20,000 pages of reading, almost 4,000 photos of trash, and a variety of exercising without much weight gain, and once again switching roles (projects) at work attests that it's not as bad as I suspect.  Then again, all that time I racked up on the Xbox playing first person Batman v. Joker FPS (Gotham City Impostors) makes it obvious I could have been writing on top of everything else without much of an effort.

C'est la vie.

In the normal course of this blog.  A role change took me out of blogging.  A vacation will get me back into it.  So I'm tagging my photos from our trip to Colorado.  In the meantime, here's a picture from my Litterati adventures in Colorado - I tried to geotag trash as we drove across the midwest.  This was at a rest stop and immediately caught my eye.  I'm certain it's random.  But it certainly looks like someone was up to a bit of kokopelli-based art.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tech Debt 101

A good article on Tech Debt. I had no idea what a puxadinho or a favela was before this article.

"The puxadinho is the standard pattern that builts up whole “favelas”, the brazilian slums."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Flooding

We drove to downtown St. Paul today to take the car for an open air ride, see the flooding at the Mississippi, have stomach-churning amounts of ice cream at the new Nelson's in St. Paul on Snelling (we shared two child sizes between the three of us and still couldn't finish), and do a bit of antiquing at the nearby stores on Snelling.

The Mississippi was wild, particularly as we were at the Showboat only 8 days ago.  At that time, you could walk out to the steamboat.  Today there was at least a block of water between the shore and the boat and the ticket office was deep in water.  You can see where the walkway down to the shoreline is in this photo - those flags mark the top of the stairs.


The Mississippi was actually down a little from where it must have crested.  Hopefully it will go down a bit more before all the water from later today kicks in. It looked like someone was dumping a bucket of water on the neighborhood.


There's the Showboat and the tickethouse.  Understandable why the U of MN is putting Jekyll and Hyde off for a while.


The playground.  We could see the St. Paul Yacht Club on the way to the park and it was way out into the water.  That's not unusual as it tends to go under with even a little bit of flooding, but it seemed excessive even for their location.  I usually ride down into St. Paul along the cliffs which come out at the Club.  There must be a mile or more of water along the trail which would stop passage even if the trail wasn't closed because the cliffs were loose.


This is the picture they're showing on the news. Now it's on my blog too.  They have receptions there.  I hear they moved a lot of weddings and receptions to lower town St. Paul to sooth the tears of upset brides to be.


It's the apocalypse.  Wildlife reclaiming what was previously a human area.  I'm surprised lions didn't start chasing us like something out of Will Smith in I Am Legend.  Swimming lions.


Not our footprints.  Going in the water is a no-no.  These are the footprints of two people who were yelled at by the mounted police.  Eryn was excited to see the police on horses.  She had no sympathy for the barefoot waders.  We left after talking to Kuz's cousin for a while, who was undoubtedly taking much better pictures with his 7200 than I was with my iPhone, to go find ice cream and an antique cat key hanger.  We pulled into the garage just as the rain came down.  Good timing to a good afternoon outing.

Good review

I'm disappointed Ming couldn’t do RAGBRAI this year, because I would have MUCH rather sat through Transformers Age of Extinction than the buddy female cop movie - The Heat - or Grown Ups 2 (there’s going to be a Grown Ups 3, Adam!).  All things equal on Rotten Tomatoes (Transformers is still 10% higher than Grown Ups 2, and despite not liking The Heat, it was magnitudes better than Grown Ups 2), I would have gotten an extra 45 minutes of air conditioning and time for an extra box of popcorn watching Age of Extinction.

My favorite review so far:
http://www.themarysue.com/transformers-age-of-extinction-review/

Ka-boom goes the bike

I went out for a ride in Eagan two days ago.  I was on the highline, a very hilly trail, and came across this sign.  We've had a lot of rain, I knew the routes along the cliffs at the Mississippi were closed, but I didn't expect to see a sign in Eagan, let alone on the highline.  But given how hilly it is, it's not all high, there are lows.  And it's named after the powerlines, not its general elevation.


I biked down the hill to take a look.  One of the ponds near Thomas Lake is overflowing.


I almost thought I'd dare the water to see how deep it got, after all it's not rushing water, and then I heard several people talk from the other side of the water.  They seemed a long, long way away.  And the trail still goes down a bit from here, so I suspect it gets pretty deep.


Back up the hill and around Eagan.  I was almost home, on the last little super-steep hill, when I had to turn down the hill because the two kids ahead of me stopped in the middle of the trail (and hill).  I gave the pedals one turn, clicked the gear which didn't even make a noise, and suddenly the chain is off and wrapping itself so tightly around something that I had a hard time dismounting on the hill.  I worked on it for a while, but then had to call my wife to come get me while I hauled the bike, front wheel only on the ground, to a known place to meet.  Here it is...hard to tell anything is wrong, but if it were a horse, it wouldn't be running any races.


Here's a close up - you can see where the chain slid inside the gears.  It's not coming out without dismantling the rings.  I thought about doing it myself, but there were some scrapes across the spokes, deeper than just a scratch, and I was worried about what it had done to the chain.  And the shifting, on inspection, was done for, and I'm not keen on fixing that.  So into the shop it went.  I get it back next week.  Probably just in time to take my car in for a repair (minor - I think a piece of metal is loose under it somewhere).


Here's my attempt to extricate the chain.


And the other hand.  Probably means it was overdue for a cleaning.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Musical Theater - Little Shop of Horrors by The 7th House Theater

My father in law posted elsewhere that he was going to see Little Shop of Horrors performed by 7th House Theater (Facebook link) at the Open Eye Figure Theatre (not too far from MIA).  Open Eye does a lot of puppet shows - they have a driveway series - and there's a cool bicycle-pulled puppet theater in their entry way (below).  7th House doesn't have a permanent location - there are only 7 members - so Open Eye was providing the venue.

I didn't know what to expect, but from the very first note it was amazing (I think that was Liz Hawkinson who kicked it off).  Everyone was an exceptional singer, and that was the focus of the play.  Some of the details were left to the imagination with some small visual aids (I don't want to spoil those parts) and it worked amazingly well.  The three background singers played many of the parts and when a part was minor, like Mr. Mushnik, players swapped the role with a small overlap in delivery to indicate ownership was passing to someone else (as well as handing around a mustache).  There was live piano and guitar and the pianist (Robert Frost) and guitarist (David Darrow) joined in the play.  David Darrow played a convincing psychopath DDS.

Maeve Moynihan did an amazing Audrey, and in the small Open Eye venue, her voice was everywhere.  Eryn (not in the play) got a treat in that Catherine W Noble was her teacher at the Children's Theater Company Percy Jackson acting class.  We had no idea she would be there and she remembered Eryn when we caught up with her after the play.  If I had any thought that Eryn might not be a theater geek despite initial interest, this weekend probably seals the deal for her between 7th House and the Centennial Showboat.

Grant Sorenson was Seymour (I really hadn't realized until last night that the character from Little Shop of Horrors might have something to do with the Krelborns from Malcolm in the Middle) and Gracie Kay Anderson was one of the three Ronette's with Catherine and Liz.  Both were just as solid as the rest of the cast.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

The bicycle puppet trailer.


Waiting for Little Shop to start.  The props and scenery didn't get much more elaborate than what you see, a plastic mustache on a stick, a plastic tarp, and a clever Audrey 2.  This should give you some idea of how close we were to the actors when they were down stage (I got that right - from the audience perspective, down stage is closest to me, upstage is back by the screen).

Pride and Prejudice

I was tempted to take it as part of my Litterati collection.  It was obviously abandoned outside Kowalski's.  Maybe the possibility of being an old maid and not having a good dowry hit too close to home for a reader.  But I hope someone has the sense, maybe even the sensibility, to come back for it later.  Obviously, that's only good manners.

It's a happy bunny life - semantic analysis?

I always see this book on the shelf as I walk through the R&D department, which I'm doing a lot more again since I switched back to the team I was on 2.5 years ago.  It's a recent change, only the last week, and it's been a challenge trying to transition and get things cleaned up as I move between teams.  There's always a lot in the air I don't want to leave for the next person to get my role.  Fortunately, the new team is in better shape now than when I was last there.  Seems like that pesky 1.5 FTEs of support with a hard push down is gone (and any extenuating issues), as well as offshore coordination and one of the teams that was fun, but not a good fit (resulted in a lot of context switching).

My first task has been getting new contractors interviewed.  Keeping your capacity where it should be is always right near the top of any list at work.  We're still date driven despite being agile, so every time you're short a resource, it's muddling up your existing resource load (I know - demand should fit capacity within an iteration and delivery is reduced to meet capacity, in theory -  but you don't need to have a debate with me about why that doesn't always hold true).  One of the very few externals we brought in for a quick onsite interview couldn't even explain MVC.  Another wasn't familiar with Using.  And just in case you feel that's esoteric language keyword knowledge, that's just an example, not the only question.  I sometimes get the impression they're pulled into consulting for a very VERY specific purpose - such as practical implementation of existing MVC, or because the actual developer left for a better job - and never make the effort to go back and learn any of the language basics, or even their framework or pattern basics.  Don't believe me?  Then I'll let you interview the one who couldn't differentiate between abstract and interface next time.  I'd have accepted a rant about why you can have multiple interfaces but there isn't multiple inheritance in C#, despite it not being completely the point. Anything to show you were interested in your language of choice and were thinking about your craft.  Particularly at contractor rates.

Back to it's happy bunny Life.  Get One.  I've always thought it was there for semantic analysis purposes.  After all, it's in the R&D space and we do a lot of work with content.  I've been to presentations by co-workers where someone talks through million by million citation grids, groupings, big data, and RDF.  And happy bunny is sitting there right next to the anti patterns book and two shelves of books and academic journals with stern warnings that it's not your library; don't take the books.  I pictured one of the R&D folks I know running their algorithms and big data analysis vs. a content set where happy bunny was one of a million items, and then opening the book to validate the search worked against happy bunny as an edge case (yes, the edge case is the happy bunny path in this case  - my love of irony has influenced my perception about why the book is there).  But given all the five star reviews on Amazon for happy bunny, I'm now of the opinion that someone in R&D probably just really likes happy bunny and it cheers them up after a day full of algorithms and comparing elastic engines.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Minnesota Centennial Show Boat - Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde

Last night we went to Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Showboat near Harriet Island in St. Paul.  It was the opening night of the show, put on by University of Minnesota students.  My wife and I had been to the showboat before, to see Dracula but I believe our last visit was in something like 1992, before we were married.  We both remember it being closer to the Minneapolis campus and infested with spiders.

Jekyll and Hyde was performed as a melodrama with olios inbetween.  I'd never heard of an olio, but was pleasantly surprised.  They were hilarious.  The show itself was full of great humor, but the olios really stole the show and "The Calendar Parade" and "The Saga of Two Little Sausages" had me laughing.  All of them were amusing.  I highly recommend the show, but after their opening night they're on hiatus for nine days while the Mississippi River crests.

I was joking with Kyle on Facebook that I sort of felt like I was in Bioshock Infinite.  There was even a barbershop quartet as part of the olio "Marriage a Cinq"  He said if I had to throw a ball at a minority I should get out my skyhook and go to town.


This view, more than most, made me think of Bioshock.  It's like all the empty decks where you're looking for trashcans to pilfer.


Panorama of the river.  The water was speeding along.  At one point, just as it was getting dark, a large tree was going past me as I was standing at the rail, with a noise that sounded like a monster had breeched, the whole thing sudden vanished.  A few minutes later, one limb popped back up above the water.  I would not want to be in the water right now, or in the next week as it crests.


It's a little less Bioshock when Eryn is posing with her umbrella, although if she'd had a dress and could manipulate dimensional barriers, it might have been a different story.


There were two boats on the river pulling in as we went to the play.  I wonder if Tall Brad is up on that bridge somewhere...


Nice picture from the showboat of downtown St. Paul.


The stage before the show.  Almost all the scenery was painted.  There were amusing scenes where someone would pretend like a painting was a 3-dimensional prop.


Intermission.  The cathedral in the dark from the showboat.


There were a number of informational displays about Jekyll and Hyde.  One was about how Hyde was portrayed through the years.  It included Doofenshmirtz's failed attempt to make himself a monster.


The title painting which came down between scenes and after the Monty Python-esque ending.  Wonderful vaudeville and a lot of energy.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Daddy Daughter Work Week

Eryn is at work this week for an Eagan TV class in the basement. We hang out in the morning and eat donuts from the treat list box, drink coffee and coffee-like cooler drinks, and she reads while I try to make it through the 80 pieces of email I get between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  She also drew me this parade of cats on one of my white boards.

During standup, one of my leads told me he saw her in the entry way and said hi.  And then he added, and Diane's daughter.  And then he added, well not just her, all the little girls, together.  And then he stopped to ponder what he was saying and said, "Now I sound like some sort of predator.  I'm just going to shut up."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird


I enjoyed New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, edited by Paula Guran.  She made a very good selection of stories. None of them was out and out bad, which is usually the case with Cthulhu fiction.

"Lesser Demons" by Norman Partridge wasn't the best, but I reference it because as a short story, it was much better than the whole The Strain trilogy that's coming out as a t.v. series soon and was analogous.  Evil stuff shows up, guy has to fight it.  Pretty straight forward.  Except for once it's not vampires or zombies, but Cthulu-esque monsters and infection.  I read The Strain series back in 2012 just before I got hurt.  The idea that it might have been the last thing I ever read still bothers me.  It read like it was set up for a tv show or movie.  Apparently I'm not the only one who thought so.

I liked Steve Duffy's "The Oram County Whoosit" which read like a western tall tale.  And I'd read "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman before, a mash up of Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu where the royal families are the monsters returned.  It belongs in any good collection. I was startled to see references that were in the first episode of BBCs Sherlock, meaning I obviously have not been a particularly voracious Holmes reader during my life.  "The Essayist in the Wilderness" by William Browning Spencer was my favorite.  The idea that a pretentious English major would know so little about nature that he'd leave strings for himself to find his way home and would have no idea that crayfish would strip off their shells to dance while appendages wobbled on their backs is amusing.  That they'd snap each other together and apart like jigsaw puzzles to make bigger crayfish and then hunt frog sacrifices in order to share the organs, the best crayfish getting the frog skin to wear like a little cloak...well, that's pretty creepy.  And when they start to dance in the pest control spray, they definitely have a Cthulhu quality.

Mieville's "Details" was interesting in that echoed a very specific HP Lovecraft theme about cracks and corners being dangerous entry points into the beyond.  However, Kim Newman's "Another Fish Story" struck me as more like his writing, coming right after "Details" in the collection.  "Another Fish Story" involved a sort of Cthulhu anti-Christ who was angling (ha - fishy) for a slow death for humanity by all the ills afflicting modern society.  Because of his desire for a particular lingering hell for humanity, he was making deals to derail other possible hells, like a merfolk/Ia flooding of the West Coast.  Charlie Manson makes an appearance, as does Lon Chaney, Jr., who I knew almost nothing about, but the details of his personality are spelled out pretty well after looking at the Wikipedia biography.  The story definitely had aspects of Perdido Street Station or The Scar.

"Mongoose" by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette was science fiction where there was bleed over from the Cthulhu dimensions.  Enjoyable.  And "A Colder War" by Charles Stross posited an alternate cold war/history where the great powers had discovered the great powers from beyond and were trying to harness forces they didn't understand and couldn't possibly control.  Analogous to the real cold war and nuclear weapons.

A good diversion, but I'm excited to get back to something with more substance.  As an addendum, here's an amusing story I saw from Fail Blog today about a book store (Waterstones on Oxford Street) with a Necronomicon problem.  [Waterstones' Twitter Feed].

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I wonder if he's looking for a place to hide out while he's on the lamb.  It reminds me that I remember Uncle Raccoon!  He used to come play poker at our house in Klammath Falls.  Or maybe those were just shifty cousins my folks were feeding playing cards to.  (picture from The Chive)