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Saxon Tales April 26, 2010

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Bernard Cornwell is my fav historical fiction author. Did the best King Arthur ever, and his saxon tales of alfred the great and uhtred is outstanding.  I did a little tribute page here.

Vikings are cool.

The Pacific March 14, 2010

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Gettin’ jazzed for the premiere of  “The Pacific” tonight on HBO.  I’ve been following the development of this for quite awhile.  I’ve always wanted hollywood to do something on the pacific war with the japanese, and I think they’ve always shied away from it because of the brutality and the whole nastiness of it.   Also, there’s a lot of racism about it, given the nature of the enemies.  Hooray for HBO!  Good thing I already watched this week’s “Spartacus” on fri night.

One of the books they used (& characters) is E.B.Sledge’s book, “With The Old    Breed at Pelileu and Okinawa.”  A great book.  It was actually written pretty much as a diary.  It wasn’t until years later that his kids convinced him to turn it into a book.

Spring Break! April 4, 2009

Posted by spencerd in books, comics/graphics, marvel, PS3, video games, xbox 360, zune.
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Unlike many, I look forward to spring break to catch up on some movies, books, and comics that I don’t get to during the work weeks.  Let’s see:

*build my son’s Vexplorer RC “robot”

*watch the “Tales of the Black Freighter” dvd (watchmen)

*turn one of my machines into a dual boot machine, (xp and ubuntu)

*play guitar hero metallica

*play Web of Shadows

*play horde on GOW2

*see how much a tuneup of my truck ‘s gonna cost

*get Watchmen: the motion comic on my Zune

* finish “The Day of Battle” by rick atkinson

*catch up on comics

The Omega Man February 8, 2009

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One of my fav films from my childhood was/is “The Omega Man,” starring Charlton Heston as Dr. Robert Neville.  For kicks, I bought it on blu-ray for 12 bucks or something like that.  It was cool seeing it in such clarity, especially the downtown scenes.  I have to admit, though, that the scenes with “The Family” at night and in their hive were TOO clear!  it takes away from some of the mysteriousness of the film.  Anyway,  I thought I would post why this movie, as 70’ish as it may be, is a superior film to “I am Legend,” that came out last year.

1.  The idea that the mutants are simply people who are slowly dying from radiation sickness and can’t stand the light is much more believable than cartoon super-zombies who can move like the flash,

2. Finding Rosalind Cash in the store is much more life-like and believable than a woman just happening to find you when you’re about to get killed by zombies.

3. The woodstock scene says more about what the movie is trying to say than anything in the Smith movie.

4. The final Christ image is more powerful than anything in the Smith movie, although I am glad they didn’t try to replicate it.

There you have it.  My expert opinion.

omega

new line -up January 31, 2009

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Right now, I’m finishing up “Blood and Thunder,” by Hampton Sides.  It’s an excellent read about the opening and annexation of the western U.S.  I have so many books lined up right now, it’s amazing.  Sometimes I go through a drought where I really have a hard time finding something I am interested in reading, but now is not one of those times. I have Bernard Cornwell’s latest, Agincourt” up next.

Here’s some of my future line-up”

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Neil Gaiman

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Daemon – Daniel Suarez

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World – Jack Weatherford

The World Without Us – Alan Weisman

Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil – Robert Zubrin

Genghis: Lords of the Bow – Conn Iggulden

“The Mist” April 12, 2008

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I watched “The Mist” last night, having read the novella years ago. Pretty decent flick, good acting and pretty tense in parts. I’m sure many who saw this just looked at it as dinosaurs invade, which is my only real complaint about the film. As I remember, King’s story was kind of a homage to H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu myths, which I read years ago also. The tentacle scene evoked some imagery of that, but everything else was pretty much a dinosaur or insect thing. I know, it’s a minor quibble, and most don’t even know what I’m talking about when I mention Cthulhu, but I do think it’s my only major complaint when it comes to the movie. Of course, the real monsters in the movie aren’t the monsters, and I remember that being one of the focal points of the story also. Marcia-Gaye Hardin, or whatever her name is, did a nice job as the religious wacko. I don’t remember if the ending of the story is the same as the book, but it is quite an ending. If you haven’t seen it, and you like tense horror films, you could do much worse. I give it 3 out of 5 hammers.

Genghis Khan March 30, 2008

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Just finished Genghis Khan: Birth of an Empire, by Conn Iggulden. Not having a lot of historical knowledge about Genghis, I thought it might be a good read, and it was. Seems like it was researched pretty good, and, while, historical fiction, had a good grounding in fact. Iggulden is the guy who wrote the “Dangerous Book for Boys” that you seen in sam’s club and costcos.

genghis.jpg

Currently reading February 7, 2008

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I’m about 3/4 of the way through “Pillars of the Earth’ by Ken Follett. No, I didn’t buy it because of oprah. I laughed when I saw it on the shelves as her pick. I had already bought it at costco a few months earlier, but hadn’t started it yet. I like to have at least 2 books waiting around for me at any given time. I get nervous it I don’t. I know, it’s weird, but that’s me. Anyway, it has been a very good read. That time period (12th century) in English history is very interesting to me.

Next up is “Sword Song” by Bernard Cornwell, probably my fav historical fiction author.

Sword Song January 1, 2008

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swordsong.jpg

I’m anxiously awaiting this book, by a guy named Bernard Cornwell. He’s my favorite “historical fiction” author, and this is book #4 of the “Saxon Chronicles.” It stars Uhtred, a half Dane, half Saxon warrior who is instrumental in events in England around the year 880, during what is the creation of the kingdom of England. Yes, a pretty important event in the history of the world.

Cornwell’s retelling of the Arthurian legend is what first attracted me to his writing. “The Winter King” is the first of a three-volume set retelling that iconic legend, and it’s the best one of all the Arthur sagas out there, bar none.

First, and foremost, he’s an accomplished historian. Secondly, his characters shine as brightly as any ever created. Treat yourself to some grand historical fiction, and check out one of his many books.

Here’s a link to one.

Hood October 21, 2007

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Just picked up a couple of new books. I was panicking, as I was running low on reading materials. I got the book Hood, by stephen lawhead, and Pillars of the Earth by ken follett.

I also picked up Fables graphic novel #6, a great series.

oh yeah, here’s a cool thor cover.

thor 169