We make holes in teeth!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Reach to the Wounded Healer

Take a few moments to look at this book and the reviews.

Got it? Ok, there are several things wrong with this page. First, this is not a 5 star book. How do I know this? Well, I read it. I read it because the author sent me a copy of it. He wanted me to review his book for him. Ok fine, I said, but beware I'm going to slam it if it sucks. Ok, he said.

The second thing wrong with that page is the 9 reviews there - every one of them. Take a few more moments to look at the comments, if you must. They're awful, assuredly posted by the author and friends of the author. Not a single user there has reviewed another book. Why? Because they're not people who review books, as becomes plainly obvious when you read any of the reviews. "Thanks to Ernest De L'Autin for sharing his talent in such an unselfish way." Are you kidding me? What drivel.

So my problem is this. This is the worst book I have ever read, by a long shot. There are so many problems with this book it would be a waste of time for me to sit here and list them. It would do neither of us any good. Besides, I've already dumped my opinion into a book review, the contents of which will eventually be edited and posted on, assuming that I do actually post the comments.

That's the problem. Do I post these comments? Do I say to the world that this book really sucks monkey balls? Because, honestly, it does. It's awful, and if you ask me my opinion, I have to say that it's awful. Of course, I'm not going to say it so harshly. But if you server someone dog shit for dinner, there's not much you can do to make it look, smell, or taste good.

I bounced around the idea of not submitting a review at all. I notice the book he sent me was number 1800+ of 2500 he printed up. I can only assume that the vast majority of those 1800 books were sent to people much like mine was sent to me. Of those 1800, only 9 reviews have made it to I have to imagine the vast majority who have read it feel the same as I do, thus the lack of reviews. Most people probably bite the bullet and decide they don't want to post a review after all, because the author seems like a good guy.

That's where the trouble is, in the fact that the author seems to be writing as an outlet, and this is what he produces. Well, let's be honest, the product sucks. In an email, he told me he was working on 38 other books. What the fuck? You can't even nail down 1 let alone 38. No wonder this one was so shallow and undeveloped. Data from Star Trek couldn't even keep 38 items straight at once - he pretty much topped out listening to 5 pieces of classical music at the same time. And no, I'm not a Star Trek fan, I just had a lot of free time in college.

I'll likely post the review, because I warned him I would. I also mentioned it would look more real with some balanced reviews, since they all (poorly) proclaim this book as brilliance in paper form. Well, I guess mine will help tip the scales in the other direction. Maybe it will encourage someone else to follow suit. That whole domino theory and all. Or maybe not. Maybe they'll collectively look at me and say, "Boy, that guy doesn't get it at all." Or rather, "That guy gets it but he's a real dick." Either way, at least I can say I'm being honest. And in being honest, this was an utter waste of my time, reading this book.

November Book Reviews

I submitted 6 book reviews to Amazon this month:

To See and See Again is the story of an Iranian-American woman who bounces back and forth between the 2 countries a few times. She's confused. 3 stars.

Native Tongue is my first foray into Carl Hiaasen, a quirky writer who pumps out novels by the boat load. This concerns human encroachment in Florida. Decent book, 3 stars.

Stories by Dostoevsky. Out of date, 2 stars.

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore. Another solid effort, love this guy's writing. 4 stars.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. A classic book by a classic author. 5 stars.

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Another classic book, very well worth the read.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Useful Link #2

By all rights, this should have been Useful Link #1. Hindsight.

Legend of BloodNinja

I still laugh every time I read this shit.

Useful Link #1

This is the first in a series of posts that will likely last a week or two. Maybe three.

The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

Monday, December 05, 2005

Snowalready Shopper Blocker

It's hard to believe on December 4th my yard is completely covered with snow. It's not the first snow of the year, that came on Thanksgiving morning and was gone by noon. But it is the first real snow of the year, where "real" is defined as it having some influence on my life other than for viewing pleasure only. Real this time means I had to leave a little earlier yesterday to be somewhere by 10:00, since the roads weren't actually plowed by then.

You might think this would be a verbal assault against the snow and cold, but it turns out that it helped me quite a bit yesterday. See, I had yesterday earmarked as my primary Christmas shopping day and the Bridgewater mall opened at 10:00. The show afforded me a blocker, so to speak, which allowed me all sorts of running room, blocking out the competition such that when I arrived at 10:00, the mall was barren of the usual insanity awaiting me there.

This worked out well, as I was able to leave by 11:15. As I was leaving people were streaming in, an assured nuclear meltdown of a riot-in-training for the noontime crowd. You can keep people at bay, but only for so long. I had a few other things to get a non-mall stores (yes, they still do exist). But I was completely done by 11:50, which means that I had to drive around Somerville for 10 minutes before going to the Super Saver Liquor Store, a true diamond in the rough in beer sales.

Back to the snow, which the beer may eventually help me get through but that's not at hand just yet. I live in New Jersey, not upstate New York where it starts snowing in July. We've had Christmas temperatures of 60 in years past. Waking up to a white earth isn't what I'm ready for right now. My master plan yesterday was to finish shopping then go for a bike ride. I would have passed 2000 miles for the year - a feat accomplished only once before. As it is, I now stand at roughly 1991 miles. I'm sure I'll make it, but as I sit here and they predict another 1-3 inches (or more depending on the level of sensationalism in your news of choice), I'm not thrilled by the possibility that I'll need to do it with 6 inches of snow on the ground.

What this portends is, well, absolutely nothing. People are surely measuring caterpillar lines and declaring a [good|bad] winter. I guess it keeps people talking. But you know it might be 50 again on Thursday, despite the weather gurus claiming otherwise. What do they know? They're not aiming for 2000 miles on the road bike for the year. They're trying to get you to watch TV.

That's what happens when winter falls - TV. I'm already finding myself a little stir crazy from it. I've almost completed my basement transformation, which consists of cleaning up the junk that takes up space with no use, wheeling my cooler down there and filling it with beer and ice, and bringing my bike tools and bike stand down. I also hooked up some old computer speakers with a setup that allows me to plug in my Ipod or a CD player. And the TV was already there, but it's parked in front of the treadmill so if I want to watch I need to earn it.

I'm not ready for the cold but it's coming either way. It served as a nice blocker yesterday and it will probably allow me to take the later train tomorrow, which makes my work day shorter and thus keeps me more sane. Once February rolls around though, I'll probably be skinning the paint off the walls with my teeth. Either that or I'll have to figure out a way to deal with this stuff.

Accommodation in aviemore