• bad books running

    The Worst Books I Read In 2015

    Original Review You know, you read about how agents are hungry for new ideas, new writers, for diverse voices, for innovative styles. And then something like this comes along and gets popular and you wonder how much bullshit that is. Hey, I understand. I want to write something that sells. But not like this. I can think of very few redeeming things about this book, and they are mere sprinkles. My hate is nowhere near the Jackie Morse Kessler type, but everything about this book feels like a step backwards. The characters are uninteresting and fall into the same tropes as Twilight – girl hates nice guy, then likes him. The…

  • bad books running

    Worst 3 Books I Read in 2013

    The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor(original review) I had originally taken this book off my to-read shelf, then put it back when I saw it was at my local library. I should have left it off. It’s so uninspiring and meaningless. It has nothing to do with The Beatles. The main character encounters no obstacles, then decides to give up her great life because a Disney ending demands it. I hate books that have a great concept but don’t use it. Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler(original review) Speaking of great concepts never used… I also read Loss this year and could have put it up there. But Breath…

  • cops cartoon logo

    Are Cops Just Grown-Up Bullies?

    I wasn’t originally going to post this editorial, but I heard something recently that made me revisit it (and I’ll get to that later). I hate to disparage anyone in the corps that protects our country. Events like Hurricane Sandy and multiple psycho shootings (Aurora, Empire State Building, the Wisconsin Sikh temple) show how necessary a police force is. I guess the problem isn’t the big things, it’s the little things. But what is the deal with the police’s public image? Do you watch PSAs? They’re more about intimidation and scare tactics than protecting people. I know drunk driving is illegal and dangerous. But the message isn’t “please protect yourself”, it’s…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: May – June 2012

    Columbine by Dave Cullen I don’t know what you can say about a book like this. Columbine was the word poised on the lips of any high schooler. Everyone asked themselves if they were a potential victim. It got to the point where my sociology professors refused to read any papers about Columbine because they had read so many. Everyone spent the next 2-3 years asking why, how, and what can we do to prevent it from happening again. No one got any answers. And now it seems like everyone’s almost forgotten about the small-town tragedy. It’s especially important to me because it happened in my senior year of high…

  • dustin hoffman exasperated

    The Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

    The other day, my wife was talking about the worst movies that her parents had ever seen (the winner was something called Zardoz). But then she said their worst movie probably wouldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve seen. She tells the truth — The Evil Dead, Night of the Creeps, and Dragon Half are just some of the staples in my DVD library. And those are the ones I like. Even though it’s easy to make a bad movie, no one’s really sure how. Some involved people whose head was up their own ass, making “films” with a “message”. Some knew they were making trash and didn’t care. Some…

  • verizon logo

    Second Old Man Rant in a Row

    I hate to make two crochety old man rants in a row, but half an hour of my life was taken away yesterday by an incompetent “customer service representative” who sounded all of a disaffected female teenager. Listen up all you big companies: we can tell when you’re not being sincere. All this, “I definitely understand your problem.” “I can totally sympathize with your problem.” “I understand your frustration.” We know you don’t give a rip about us. We’re just another customer to you. We know that because WE have jobs too and WE deal with faceless customer units all the time too. Customer aren’t people, they’re customers. They have…

  • Code =/= A Story

    Computer code is not a story. When it comes to written text in the King’s English (or other spoken language) there are certain rules about plagiarizing. These are set in place to make sure that creative works are not claimed by someone else or using them for some reason that was not given permission. But computer code is not a creative work. They are not the same thing. Sure, there are issues regarding copyright and piracy, but that’s really only for software packages. Generally, you pay for those, and by claiming them as your own or pirating them, you are depriving someone of funds they would have otherwise received for…

  • superhero mash-up

    Heroes vs. Villains

    So here’s some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. Last week at In-Law dinner, we started talking about Michael Jackson. My father-in-law starts ranting, as he often does, about how people could still be worshiping him when he’s a proven pedophile, a drug addict, and overall questionable person. He repeatedly brought up the example, as he often does, of what if you had a priest that was well-known for doing good deeds in the community, donating to charity, overall great guy who did so much, but he’s a pedophile. Of course, I didn’t argue with him then, because he’s one of those types of people who are…

  • A Call to Arms (Reaching for Cell Phones)

    People. This is an announcement. If you have a cell phone, YOU MUST HAVE IT WITH YOU AND TURNED ON. That is what it’s there for. If you don’t have it on you, or it’s off, then its just a plastic brick in your pocket. Its useless. And you’re useless. For god’s sake, this is what you bought a cell phone for – so people could contact you whenever they need to. You didn’t buy it so you could call people whenever you wanted, you bought it so people can contact you when they need to. Do you think people see a cell phone and think “gee, now I can…

  • Death to Two Spaces

    I have a new mission in life. Grammar Girl solidified it. I have to start putting one space after the end of a sentence and not two. This sucks. I haven’t written a single sentence in this paragraph so far without doing it (I’ve corrected it each time). I’ve been hearing this in various places, but I never really followed it. I hadn’t gotten enough of a consensus on whether it was proper or not. Grammar Girl says that two spaces was the way cavemen wrote on their typewriters. They included two spaces because the fonts were monospaced, and they needed enough space to distinguish when a new sentence started.…