Wednesday, September 28, 2005


In a previous blog, I listed my current reading material as Omega by Jack McDevitt, Forever Peace by Joe Haldemann, and Fractals by my wife Molly Blaisdell.  

Well, I’ve abandoned Forever Peace.  Sorry Mr. Haldemann.  I loved The Forever War.  I could hardly put that one down, but this one just didn’t hold my attention.  Part of the problem is that about halfway through the novel, the plot suddenly and drastically changes.  Probably Mr. Haldemann was going to bring the two plots together later in the novel in some way that would make it all make sense, but frankly, I didn’t care about the characters, and when the change came, all my desire to continue reading departed.

Jack McDevitt’s Omega had the opposite effect on me.  It’s first few chapters were hard for me to get through.  I thought them too slow and boring.  But, since I had loved Chindi so much, I was willing to slog through.  I kept thinking it would kick into high gear later, and I was right.  It’s clipping along now, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out for the Goompahs.  

I’m somewhere around half-way through Molly’s novel Fractals.  I can’t tell you anything about it or I’d have to kill you.  I am reading one chapter per day, as Molly goes through some editing that an editor has asked her to do.  The highest complement I can give is that last night when I came to the end of chapter 8, I had a hard time stopping there.  I really wanted to keep going! That’s a good sign!

Now, dear reader, you are no doubt on the edge of your seat wondering “Now that he’s not reading Forever Peace, what is he reading instead?” and “Is he only reading TWO books now, rather than THREE?” and “What is he doing with all those spare neurons?” Well, I won’t leave you wondering: I’ve started into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  In the days ahead I’ll let you know what I think about Ms. Rowling’s latest.

Until then, leave a comment! Do you think I misjudged Forever Peace?  Do you think I should have picked something other than Harry Potter to replace it?  

Have a great day!    

Monday, September 26, 2005

Corpse Bride Review

Greetings once again to all who read this.

Well, I promised movie reviews when I saw a movie, and this weekend I saw Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride with Jesse and Jack.  I was not nearly as excited about seeing this as I am about next month’s Wallace and Gromit, but still, I was looking forward to it.  I liked The Nightmare Before Christmas.

This was not as good as Nightmare.  That movie was great mainly because of the outlandish ideas it presented, and the way it made you care about Jack Skellington.  He wanted to be good, but just didn’t know how.  There was a tragedy to it.  Here Tim Burton tries to do the same thing with Emily, the corpse bride, but fails, in my opinion.  

This movie begins wonderfully, and keeps it up for some time.  Then there is a point about two-thirds or three-quarters through where it really starts to fall apart.  I can’t tell you what happens without giving too much away, but it has to do with a decision Victor makes.  You’ll probably know what I’m talking about when you see it.  The writers really paint themselves into a corner, and I remember thinking “there’s no way they can resolve this story well”, and I was right.  The end of the movie is very unsatisfying.  I’m trying to think of something to compare this to… Imagine if at the very end of Return of the King the producers just couldn’t stand to have Gollum die, so they fabricated an ending where Gollum and Frodo become great friends and go on to use the ring and bring everlasting peace and prosperity to Middle-earth, and Sam marries Eowyn and Elrond opens a Krispy Kreme with Gandalf.  And the epic-sounding music builds and everyone acts as if this is the end they were building to all along.  That’s how the end of this film felt.  Like something tacked on to quickly resolve everything and make everyone “happy”, while not actually resolving any of the problems brought up throughout the film.  Then they try to make it all seem so noble and meaningful, while I’m just sitting there with a big “huh?” in my head.

Well, there you have my review.  Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to read any comments you have, my dear reader.  Am I being too hard on the movie?  Did I miss something that really made the ending make sense?  Let’s have those comments!

Gotta get to work now, stay tuned here for more thrills to come!


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Blogger Tips and My Weird Dream

Greetings once again to all who read this.

This morning I spent about a half an hour trying to figure out why the Blogger plug-in for Microsoft Word wasn’t working, so my time is short right now… I might add some later though.

In case you are interested, I eventually figured out that for some reason the Blogger plug-in’s toolbar does not appear unless Outlook is closed before I open Word.  I know Outlook uses Word as its email editor, so my guess is that it opens Word in some special way that prevents the plug-in from loading, and then when I go to open Word it tries to be smart about things and presents me with the instance already running, sans Blogger plugin.

All in all, though, I think this blogging thing is pretty cool.  I did some looking around and found out that I can have people (such as you, my dear readers) alerted when I post new entries, and even have the entries themselves emailed to you, so if you want any of that, please let me know! (for your records, my email address is

I’m feeling kinda funny this morning.  Last night I had a weird dream.  It was one of those very-vivid dreams that seem real for several moments after you wake up.  In addition to that, it was one of only a few times I can remember in which I fell asleep in the dream and dreamed a second, equally vivid dream within the dream.  

In my dream-within-a-dream I was driving a mustang convertible I had borrowed from my cousin-in-law Reese, and got into an accident on the way to my office.  I then got out of the car and was running down the sidewalk toward my office building (which for some reason was my old office in Kirkland) to call Reese. I was very upset and worried about everything that was happening, when suddenly it occurred to me that I was only dreaming! I stopped running and looked around. The sun was shining and it was very bright.  All the office buildings were around me, and I could feel the heat of the sun on my face, but the realization that I was dreaming was becoming stronger and I began to realize I was waking up.  I swooned a little and started to fall over.  It was so real.  As I fell, I felt myself fall into my sleeping body.
As I said, this was a dream-within-a-dream, so the sleeping body I fell into was not my real body, but merely my first-level-dream body, which was asleep in the borrowed Mustang convertible, which was now safely parked in the parking lot of my office.  I had fallen asleep in my car.  This is something I sometimes do, especially if I stayed up late the previous night and had to get up early to take Josiah to school.  I was so relieved to find that the borrowed car was safe and all my troubles had merely been a dream.  I lay in the seat for a few minutes and thought about that.  How real the dream had been and how wonderful it felt to be able to simply wake up and find that all my problems had disappeared.

I then got out of the Mustang and began to walk to my office (still my old Kirkland office).  As I walked I turned and looked back at the Mustang and a single thought hit me like a thunderclap.  Reese does not have a Mustang. I can’t express to you how that thought felt.  It was like a mild shock of horror.  Maybe something like the shock you got when you first realized Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense, but there was some plain old scare mixed in.  I remember that the Mustang started to shake, and become sort of two-dimensional, like it was a movie.  The way it was shaking was somehow menacing in itself.  I felt like it was trying to tell me something.  As I woke up (for real this time – I think), that was what was on my mind – that the shaking of the Mustang had some hidden, ominous meaning.

When I woke up, I lay there for a while just feeling the room around me.  It was really weird.  I still felt groggy, and the feeling was very like the swooning feeling I had had in the dream-within-a-dream before “waking up”.

For most of my commute to work this morning, that’s what I thought about.  How real the dream had seemed, and how did I know I was not still dreaming? It seemed quite likely, especially that first half-hour or so after waking up, that I might wake up once again and find myself in some other life.  And what did that shaking Mustang mean?  

If you know what the Mustang was trying to tell me, could you please write me at  I would be very grateful.  But write quickly.  Before I wake up again.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Thoughts About Diabetes and Blogging

Greetings once again to all who read this.

It’s Wednesday morning, and I’ve just arrived at my office. I took Josiah to school earlier than usual this morning because he needed to stop by and purchase a doughnut for “a science project”. Of course, we didn’t just buy one doughnut.

So we walk into the grocery store and all these fresh, warm doughnuts are sitting out on racks, emitting an odor that can only be described as “intoxicating”. And since I’m type-2 diabetic, I’m thinking about that word’s etymological connection with the word “toxic”. Josiah grabs a couple (one for now and one for his science project) and I am faced with a dilemma which I now must face continually: do I indulge myself now and possibly suffer some kind of consequences later, or do I abstain and still possibly suffer the consequences for all my past indulgences? And does it really matter?

Now, before I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, I would have grabbed two doughnuts without giving it a thought. I’d have grabbed the biggest apple fritter in the case, and probably a blueberry cake doughnut. Those were always my favorite. This morning, however, I pick the smallest plain cake doughnut I can see.

That seems to be my tactic now. I indulge, but only a little. Or perhaps I should say “less than I would have before diabetes”.

Now I wonder what my readers are thinking… Some are probably thinking “Oh my GOD! The guy’s diabetic and he ate a doughnut?!” Am I like a guy who smokes through the hole in his throat? Should I even say any of this stuff? To be honest, I don’t really know what I think about this myself. Perhaps some of my readers know what I should do. There’s an idea. If you have advice for me, please write! My email address is

Well, enough about that.

The other thing I thought about on my way to work this morning was this blog. I was thinking about ways I could make this more interesting – you know, attract more readers and so on. I could have movie and book reviews, for example. Or talk about philosophy. Maybe offer to answer reader’s questions. Maybe other things…

What I sort-of decided was that I would do all of those things.

When I see a movie, or read a book, I’ll review it. When I get a question from a reader, I’ll answer it. And of course, I’ll talk about faith and philosophy because, well, it’s what I do anyway.

So, dear readers, please feel free to write me with your questions and comments at the aforementioned email address. If there’s anything you want me to talk about, let me know. If you think I’m full of crap and should just shut up, let me know that too (but I’m not and I won’t, so there).

And I hope you all have a great day!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My First Entry

Greetings to all who read this...

It's lunchtime on a Tuesday (9/20/2005). I found out this morning that my nephew Josh Bizeau has a blog here, and spent time time reading it, and thought to myself: "This is interesting and cool! I want to do this too!" Also, my wife Molly has had a blog here for some time ( , and I can't let her be more hi-tech than I am!!

So, you can thank Josh and Molly, or blame them as your fancy dictates.

What am I thinking about today? Well, for one thing I'm waiting for a software project build, so I can test some bug fixes I made. I'd tell you all about that, but when my bosses found out I was discussing company secrets on a public internet site, I'd probably get the ol' can. So suffice it to say that my software project had some minor glitches, and I have fixed them, but need to test the fixes. How exciting, eh?

Since we're talking about software.... For all you computer users out there (that's all of you, I assume), let me pass on a little truth which you may not have discovered yet. It's a LAW, meaning that it is always true, for all times and places. And like gravity, if you don't know this law, it may often drag you down. I first heard this from a wise old veteran when I was just starting out in the software industry, and I've been a software engineer for coming up on 20 years and it's still just as true. Here it is:

"There's no such thing as 'good software'".

That's it. See, software companies are always trying to sell you on the idea of "good software". They will always tell you that THEIR software is the "good" software, but they are LYING. There is no such thing as good software.

This law can also be stated, with equal veracity as:

"All software is crap."

That's how I usually state it when I experience its effects. Sometimes I use more colorful metaphors (yes, I'm a Trekkie too), but I'm trying to cut back.

And that's enough about that. What else am I musing upon? How about what I'm reading? I'm actually reading three books concurrently. One is Omega by JackMcDevitt. It's sort of a sequel to Chindi which I recently read. I highly recommend both these. Excellent sci-fi!

Another book I'm currently reading is Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman. It's another sci-fi novel. This one's by the same author as The Forever War which won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel. The Forever War is a truly great masterpiece. So far I'm not far enough into Forever Peace to tell much about it, but it's certainly got my interest. It's not a sequel to the former book, despite the similar title. The two novels apparently have nothing to do with each other.

The third book I'm reading is Fractals which is a fantasy/sci-fi novel that my wife Molly ( is working on. It is really great! She's implementing some improvements that a big-time editor (whom I will not name, but trust me, we're talkin' BIG-TIME) recommended, and I must say the changes are for the better! In a month or two, she'll be sending the new manuscript back to this editor, and by this time next year you'll be seeing it at your local Barnes and Noble!

Now for what I'm listening to. Right at this moment I'm listening to U2's "Wild Honey" from their album All That You Can't Leave Behind. U2's probably my favorite band right now. For a long time it was Enigma (run out right now and get La Roi Est Mort, Vive La Roi, it's so awesome!) but their latest album, Voyageur was a real let-down. After four awesome albums, they go and release this thing that sounds like an amatuer with a synthesizer. It was a sad day.

Another of my favorite bands is Coldplay. From the moment I first heard "Clocks" I was hooked, and now I have all their albums.

Well. lunchtime is over and my build is finished. I've gotta do some work now, but as my favorite cyborg-governor is fond of saying, I'll be back.