Iskaral Pust

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  1. I missed out on all the raging controversy because I felt bored within the first 100 pages. Kellhaus' opening was a bit over the top but still interesting, and then it got horribly bogged down. I can't remember details well but it jumped from the super jedi-ninja monk to a western-proxy diplomat/spy in the Middle East-proxy, and a prostitute with a heart of gold, a holy war brewing and OMFG I've read this a thousand times before and Malazan (!) did it far better. (Am I remembering the right book?) The thematic elements had potential, albeit not that original, but the prose, dialogue and characters just felt so flat. Perhaps it would pay off it I stuck at it longer but if something's still really boring after 5 chapters or so then it's probably not going to get that much better.
  2. That post wouldn't even make it onto my top ten list in the enemy-spawning stakes. Maybe top five if restricted to just the Lit forum. But throwing some shade on Myshkin was a fun new twist.
  3. I really try to finish most books, probably from a compulsion to complete rather than any profound principle. Some notable examples where I just had to abandon a book midway through: - Bakker's first of the PoN trilogy; the prose and characters felt so trite and cliche. Not ridiculous, just dull and definitely not worth getting into a trilogy. - Eames' Kings Of The Wyld; if you write a parody spoof then it needs to actually be funny; the spoof concept alone does not make the book worth reading. Similar rule applies to books like Kerby, The Palace Job and many others that intend to be humorous but never draw a single laugh. - Thomas Cahill's Desert Of The Everlasting Hills; after enjoying the earlier books in this non-fiction history series, this installment saw the religiosity swell to nauseating levels. - Dan Brown's Inferno. Similarly every airport bestseller, or of that ilk, that I've picked up in the past twenty years. I honestly don't think I'm a literary snob like Myshkin, but how can people read that pap? - Stover's Blade Of Tyshalle; what a whiny melodrama of cliches. I still think all the praise for this is a prank like the Goodkind recs. I did actually finish Hurley's The Stars Are Legion, despite agreeing will the problems described by other posters here.
  4. I need to trawl back through this thread for recs. I just started season 2 of Serial and I can tell already it'll be another pointless, inconclusive musing about how can we know what really happened. I knew half way through season 1 that I should abandon it but I was too busy to find an alternative. Sarah Kanig is great, but these open-ended investigations don't grab me. You can do investigative journalism or you can do inconclusive philosophical meandering about imagine what if this happened to you, but they don't combine well. (I realize lots of people disagree because the series got a huge audience, but so does Dan Brown) Although S-town started really strongly, it descended into some cheap voyeurism by the end. I felt sad for John B., and even sadder that his personal tragedy was publicized like that.
  5. With all respect to strong competition from Sevilla and Maribor, the biggest loser tonight was good taste -- that Liverpool shirt color is rancid. I hope we don't wear it for the final when we win #6. Nice that we finally found our shooting boots but a pity we didn't spread the goals around a bit more when we were frustrated by Sevilla and Spartak.
  6. I finished Winter's Bone last night. It's pretty short at only ~200 pages (excluding the book club question fluff and sample chapters) but even so very noticeable that I finished it in three days after my last book dragged for three weeks. Very well written. The style echoes Cormac McCarthy, especially No Country For Old Men. Recommended.
  7. That's impressive Luke. A bit risky with only eight weeks to Worlds, but I'm glad it went well and you didn't detach your hamstring.
  8. Good. Practice and feeling comfortable make a big difference. Best of luck with it.
  9. I got to exercise both days of this weekend and switched up my usual pattern for some variety: I did squats, dead lifts, etc on Saturday and moved bench press, etc to Sunday. Saturday usually gets peak strength while Sunday suffers slightly from fatigue and stiffness after a big session The legs session on Saturday went amazing. I made some big progress from the prior session (after a gap of months before that). Despite some stiff legs and core today, my bench press, pull downs, etc all went really well and I maintained PB levels. I really want another midweek session this week to build some momentum.
  10. @MercurialCannibal glad to hear there's good fit options available. Go talk to them and see what it feels like. It's nice to see your current place trying to keep you too. Did your team disavow the union gripe? @sperry have you tried working with a friend, or even a recruiting consultant, to practice your interviews? If it hasn't gone well in the past, it's a bit strange to start huge interviews for you just hoping they'll go better than before without having actively done something to improve.
  11. I just finished the non-fiction American Colonies history by Alan Taylor. It's a worthy read but not exactly gripping. It took me 3-4 weeks to read it because my late-night reading saw me drop off to sleep very quickly each time. I really enjoyed the context of the geopolitics in Europe driving the race for colonies, and how the different governance and economic models influenced varied outcomes, and there was an expansive POV for the natives (colonists themselves, from much earlier), but too many chapters drifted into a repetitive recital of facts and incidents that delivered completeness of record at the expense of brevity and flow. I just started yesterday Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Really good so far, and noticeably compelling my attention and time much more than the last book. The setting, style and character feel similar to Cormac McCarthy.
  12. Bears win! There's a shocking amount of optimism around here about Trubiskey, but when you've wandered through the desert of Cutler, McCown and Glennon, you can understand why people are desperate for any hint of the promised land. Despite the close ending -- both wins of the season came in OT -- the Bears' defense dominated an anemic Ravens offense, and it was only freakish fuck-ups by special teams that allowed the Ravens to score anything more than a FG. Plus the Bears' running game was really solid, aside from one fumble. For some reason Flacco kept going after Kyle Fuller all game and got nothing -- can Joe only see to his right? If Trubiskey's role is mostly to hand the ball to Howard or Cohen, and occasionally threaten a play-action pass, then hopefully he can't go far wrong. He has practically no receivers to aim at anyway. Just stop the turnovers. He wasn't badly at fault for that fumble but should've been more careful at that stage of the game. With Rodgers injured now and the Bears still pretty hapless, the Vikings with their third string QB will be challenging the Lions for the division.
  13. Roku for TV, and iPad. I download episodes from Prime and Netflix on my iPad to watch during flights -- it's too physically uncomfortable to work on laptops during flights now, and I notice the seating discomfort more if I'm reading a book.
  14. The Handmaid's Tale sounded like misery porn. Even if very well done, it didn't sound appealing to watch. I would read the book (and have read several already by Atwood) but I doubt I'll sit and watch for 20+ hours. I don't watch Lifetime movies either. I'll wait and see if they get better. We had a subscription for a couple of years and watched almost nothing on it. I think we found a couple of lightweight comedies to try, which we had missed when they aired. But nothing that was worth sticking beyond a couple of episodes.
  15. You guys are missing the point. I didn't intend my comment to seem dismissive of people whose physical stature can be a significant social challenge and carry health consequences. Saying dwarf, little person or midget are all just as bad on that score. I would view dwarf as a scientific term for any stunted sub-group of a given class, e.g. dwarf trees, dwarf suns, or in this case an asset class that materially lags all others, without intending any reference to people of short stature (even if dwarf is medically correct, I would not want to label someone by their medical condition, and I thought that had long passed out of usage). Or else a dwarf is a fantasy non-human species whose feelings won't actually be hurt by my use of the term. I thought it was humorous to conflate the two, but that fell pretty flat. Saying "but who wants to be the tallest Hobbit?" is safer but seems like a non sequitur. I'll just steer clear of that quip in future.