Photo Hunt Week 10: Books

Slice of heaven.

Ahh… something I truly love. Books.

This is only a sample of my collection… though at the moment, it’s truly not the impressive looking, since it’s confined to two bookshelves due to space. In truth, I don’t have that large of a collection… but I have a good sampling of Fiction and Epic Fantasy (my genres of choice), and I’ve tried, over the years, to collect most of it in hardcover. You can see on the top shelf my rows of paperback stacked on top of each other. Most of these books are from my days working at Hastings, and, unfortunately, have the tell-tale sign of free books from an employer: their covers have been removed.

You can see here that I use my bookshelf for more than just books, however, and have a few bits and pieces that I’ve been given and collected over the years, all of which are dear to my heart.

Just like books, really.

I, Geek.

I had another job shadow today.

I find it intriguing the number of kids that want to get into the computer field these days… but really don’t have a clue.

I know I’m a geek through and through. I started playing on computers in grade school… entering hundreds of lines of code on a TRS-80 so that I could play a text based Star Trek game. There weren’t any sort of courses or classes I could take to help me along my way. I played with computers because I loved them as a hobby.

I still do.

I just don’t really see that drive in the kids I’ve seen lately. We had one kid, last year, who was pretty good. A fellow geek, really.

For his senior project he built his own Beowulf cluster. Sure, with crappy hardware. But he did it on his own.

Now that’s pretty cool.

Two of my books came today. Charles de Lint’s Wolf Moon and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon. Wolf Moon looks like it should be a quick read, so I hope to start it soon. I just couldn’t pass up a book that involved two of my favorite things in the title.

Mists of Avalon is a little more intimidating, but is a book I’ve wanted to read for a long, long time. The reissue copy I have is quite stunning. The dust sleave is tastefully done, and the binding is high quality. Mainly, though, I’m just glad to have a copy of it finally.

I can tell I’ll be up late a few nights in the future.


I have the social skills of a rabid badger.

With schizophrenia.

I’ve also finished Wayfarer Redemption, and put in an order for four new books: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, Charles de Lint’s Wolf Moon, Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s The Ill-made Mute, and the second book in the Wayfarer Redemption series, Sara Douglas’s Enchanter.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed the first Sara Douglass book, and am looking forward to the next one. The world she creates is quite richly detailed, with a history and depth that is refreshing, but not overly complicated.

The description of the Star Gate was breath-taking. And I found myself even a little emotional as I got caught up in the story of the characters.

Which is always a good sign.

I’ve been wondering if I should buy a Nintendo DS today, too. Not for any practical reason, really. I’m a geek. I like gadgets.

And I want to play Nintendogs. I mean… check out that video in the bottom left. Puppy dogs… wearing pirate hats?

How kick ass is that?

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

It’s not hard to fathom what I’ve spent my time doing the past day or so. If you check the post before this one, you’ll see the progress meter for The Wayfarer Redemption has jumped from about 30% to 60%.

I’m pretty sure I’ll easily finish this book before the end of the week.

The bigger decision, I’m afraid, is figuring out what I’ll read next.

So… what else have I been up to? Not much, unfortunately. French bits have been one of those things in the back of my mind… something I constantly remind myself about, but haven’t pursued. I’ll have to buckle down soon and try to make some progress if I want to keep to my goals. And working on my exercise regimen has also been something I’ve had a hard time making time for.

I refuse to give up on my goals, however. Expect some progress very soon on both of these things.

As for my dream journal… I think I need to make a stationary trip and pick up some simple notebooks. I have one that was recently given to me by a very close friend… but I’m hoping I can use it for something even more personal soon. I’d like to pick up my written journal again, and the blank notebook will be needed to fill in once I finish the one I’ve been scribbling in for years now.

Dream journal just needs to be something simple. Functional. Something I can leave bedside without worrying about tripping over it or damaging it in some way. I’m hoping I can simply use it to jot down those floating fragments I find on waking, and use this blog, or something similar, to organize those thoughts into something cohesive.

So… though I tell myself sometimes that it doesn’t seem like I’m getting much done, big things are brewing.

A bevy of books.

I can now check off my second completed item from my 1001 Day Project page. I have finally compiled that long list of authors I’d like to read, and you can now find it under Authors and Books.

You’ll notice that most of the list is Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I’ve always been drawn to that genre of literature for some reason. As with most things, it is something that simply grew from my childhood, and I found myself consuming everything I could find by authors like C.S. Lewis, David Eddings, Peirs Anthony, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, Terry Brooks, J.R.R. Tolkien, and more. A lot of it was trash, but to my mind, it was still good. It was fodder for my imagination… and as an awkward kid growing up, that was all I needed.

I’ll still never know what Peirs Anthony books was doing in a Middle School library though. They always seemed a bit smutty for 12 year olds.

But then… I never seemed to mind.

This list is a huge thing for me, though. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time, because as the years pass, I watch myself read less and less. All that responsibility, work, and the day to day grind has dampened my imagination… and the enjoyment of something I have always considered a deep part of my soul.

Being able to read again will be much like simply finding myself again.

Some may find it strange that I can find myself inbetween the pages of something completely fictionalized. I never did like the constrains of reality, though.

I have to thank Vicky for a few of the titles and authors on this list. Our love of all things bookish was one of the things that cemented our friendship early on, and is still something I cherish to this day. Her book collection is awe-inspiring to me, and I would love to have even half the books she has managed to accumulate over the years. You are not only a bibliophile, but an inspiration.

Now I just need to read another chapter before bed.

Winds of change.

Spring has arrived.

There’s no fanfare of flowers or lush greenery to signal its arrival. Nothing overt that you can sense while looking out the window as you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Not even the slight upshift in temperature constitutes the telling factor.

It’s the wind.

The past few days have brought 20mph winds, on average… with gusts up to 40mph in some areas. Othello itself isn’t too bad… but in Royal City, where I work, the wind whips through the valley its nestled in with incredible speed. It’s the true sign that spring has come. In a month or so it will die down and the more visible aspects of spring will show their faces.

Generally I don’t mind this type of weather. Though it does make me wonder why I don’t cut my hair shorter this time of year.

As for work bits, things progress. You may have noticed that there is a new book in my “Currently Reading” section. This is something my supervisor at work actually purchased for me, so it’s not a leisure reading item by any stretch. There’s a serious need for a QoS strategy at Royal, and I’m the person that’s going to have to implement it. And though I know the basics of QoS, I have no clue how to go about implementing something large scale on a predominately Cisco network.

I plan to change that shortcoming in the following weeks.

It has, however, made me question my certification path choice. I do want to get the CCSP certification eventually, as the network security side of things really interests me. And I seem to have a knack for understanding concepts in that area of networking. But the CCIP looks interesting now as well. Especially considering the QoS test is one of the required modules for it.

Either way, I’d be stupid not to take the QoS test after studying up for it, implementing a strategy for Royal, and having the material fresh in my mind. Even if it’s the only test I take in that certification tree.

And I know this must be incredibly boring to most of you.

It’s good to have finally found the weekend, though. I do have some goals for this weekend, beyond just getting some time to read. There’s a package assembled here that was meant to go overseas weeks ago. It’s my top priority to make sure that it does. I also would like to find some time to work on some cosmetic aspects of this blog, since there are some minor issues that are irritating me here and there.

Otherwise, I hope to just enjoy myself, catch up with some friends, and be buffeted by the winds of spring.

I’ll miss you, winter.

Assorted Bits

It’s been a long day. Longer than it actually was, as strange as that may sound. Having a four day weekend was good in ways… but also very, very bad. I have managed to shift my sleeping schedule by several hours, and I think I paid for it today.

In short, my biological clock is screwed.

Hopefully getting to sleep before 1am tonight will be the first step in the right direction in that regard. Honestly, I’m tempted to stay up and play with things here… do some work on a theme for my blog and work on some other finishing touches…

But that whole being responsible thing always kicks me in the ass. Work comes first.

I have, at least, managed to do a couple things tonight. On the blog front, I’ve added a little sidebar snippet that will show what books I’m currently reading. It still needs some formatting help, but I’m just glad to have a little something there for now. At the moment, I’ve started The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglas. I’m not that far into it yet… I’m hoping this weekend will give me some extended time with it and put me well into my first book completed for my 1001 Day Project. There are already some fond memories associated with this book, so I’m actually quite excited about digging into it. There’s another book as well that I’d like a chance to start over and read all the way through, that being Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Soon I’ll go through and do a proper list of books and authors I want to read in the coming months.

I expect it to be a long list.

Also tonight, Shawn and I held in impromptu game night, and played our first couple of rounds of the Pirates Constructible Strategy Game. We had an absolute blast. I’m a sucker for these types of games. I was an avid fan of Magic: The Gathering before the rule changes with every minor edition drove me nuts. There was a small club of us in School that would gather together when we had the chance to compare cards and play eachother. I loved it because my parents thought the game was purely the work of satan. I had to hide my cards or they would confiscate them. After High School, I had somewhat lost interest in the game and gave all my cards to my little brother. He’s at least doubled my collection, if not tripled. And I’ve discovered some of those original cards I gave him are worth quite a bit of money. I didn’t have very many first edition cards, but I did have a few.

Anyway, Pirates strikes that same compulsion in me… that desire to assemble every ship possible. And I mean… how cool is that? You actually construct pirate ships. It’s like a dream from when I was a kid. Add to that the fact that the game actually has some very deep strategy to it, with the ability to ram opposing ships, and even tow derelict ships.

I think I’m hooked. Now I just need to show some restraint and avoid buying boxes of booster packs.

I’m not compulsive. Really.