Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Blog!

I've decided to switch to using Movable Type to create my blog. It offers much more sophisticated features and allows me to host the blog on my own site. I'm also creating a review blog with which to organize my reviews so as to allow for greater flexibility, updates, feedback, etc.

I'm immediately switching to using the personal blog. I'm gradually moving my old reviews into the review blog since that'll take a little time. I'm still playing with making the software do exactly what I want it to do, so bear with me! I'll leave this up so the old material will still be available, at least for a while.


I have two books I'm currently reading for review (well more than two actually, but two that are relevant at the moment): "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga Illustrated, Fourth Edition" and "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Yoga." I'm waiting until I've finished both of them (including working with their instructions a bit) to review them so I can compare and contrast them. So far my impression is that the CIGYI is a great intro book for folks who want a balanced and thorough introduction to yoga--asanas (postures), breathwork, meditation, history, and so on, with plenty of drawings and hints for working with the postures. The PIGY (oh dear... that's kind of an unfortunate acronym, don't you think?) is best as a reference guide for folks who have at least some experience with yoga--preferably with a teacher, and preferably with some of the advanced poses--and who want a guide to the asanas to help them do work at home, in the office, or during travel. Full reviews to come soon.

I've been lame about reading my email this week as I have a guest visiting from out-of-town; please don't worry about long response times as I expect to be spending time hanging out and doing stuff with her.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Guild Wars vs. WoW--the movie

Guild Wars vs. World of Warcraft is a movie--and a dance-off--comparing and contrasting two wildly popular MMORPGs in a most spectacular and absolutely hilarious fashion. It's worth watching again, and again, and again...

Link courtesy of Fark.com

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"The Arrogance of Ignorance"

A scathing and awesome article on the clueless and their arrogance. Okay, it's better than I make it sound. It puts into words some things that I've been thinking and talking about with others for a while. It reminds me of those people in World of Warcraft who, when confronted with, say, a guild recruitment plug in French, will demand that the poster immediately start speaking in English, as though by speaking a different language they were committing some sort of crime. Yikes.

However, lest you think I'm American-bashing, I see the same sort of poor behavior from folks in other countries in that milieu... usually while they're bashing Americans for poor behavior (ah the irony). America may in some ways have a jump on other countries with regards to some of these behaviors, but we're hardly alone--sadly it's a human thing, not a single-country thing.

Link courtesy of FARK.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Naming (Review)

Here it is, a review of The Complete Idiot's Guide to 30,000 Baby Names. Whether you're an expecting parent, a writer or a roleplayer, this is a fantastic source for interesting, unusual, and meaningful names. Just watch out for the one or two doozies that slipped through someone's common-sense filter...

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Atlanta Bread Company

I'd been curious to try the Atlanta Bread Company out, and since we decided to break our diet a bit this weekend we stopped by for breakfast.

Verdict: Awesome food, very nice ambience/decor, terrible service.

The croissants are incredibly tender and flaky. The hot chocolate is smooth and delicious. The cafe is spacious and beautiful.

However, the service left quite a bit to be desired, and normally I'm pretty forgiving, seeing as how, well, people are human and make mistakes.

First of all, the menu is located in the worst possible place, at the head of the line, such that if you don't already know what you want you have to hold things up in order to read it. This wouldn't have been quite as bad (we certainly did our best to decide/read quickly and to stay out of the way) except that the staff were clearly annoyed. Well, they could solve the problem pretty easily by putting paper menus at the end of the line, or moving the menu back a bit, neither of which was done.

My order came out fine, but my husband's didn't. They left out the hot chocolate. When we finally did get their attention and mentioned that he'd never gotten it, they acted like it was our fault somehow and it was a huge imposition for them to make it. Then they didn't give him the whipped cream option they'd given me, and didn't bother with a lid even though we'd gotten our breakfast to go (and when he asked for one, again, acted like it was a huge bother).

I get that teenagers are rarely happy to have to work, but I've been to plenty of places where they weren't actively rude and treating customers like burdens and impositions. I might expect that attitude at a McDonald's or something similar, but I don't usually expect it at a place where they strive for a more upscale ambience and the food is that good.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Watching the world spin

One of these days when I'm suffering from greater-than-normal insomnia I'll remember that I should check for a fever whether or not I'm feeling fine. That almost always turns out to be the culprit.

I'm working on several review products at the moment: the "Complete Idiot's Guide to 30,000 Baby Names", which seeems like it's also going to be a pretty cool way to find names for RPG and other fictional characters, although a few of those names I wouldn't give to a real child unless I wanted him to get into fights at school. I'm also reading "The Creative Dreamer", which is turning out to be a very cool book, although it'll take the full review to really explain. Finally, I'm playing around with a piece of software for writers called "Storyweaver", and hopefully soon I'll be able to let you know how that's going.

I found an incredibly amazing quote in that creative dreamer book that I just have to share with you:

You never paint what you see or think you see. You paint with a thousand vibrations the blow that struck you. --Nicholas de Stael

I could babble endlessly about the insight in that sentence, but I think it makes its point with far more beauty than anything I could add.

To add to that core conditioning book review I did recently, I discovered just how much good those exercises do me when I happened to skip them for a week. It wasn't until I woke up with my back a bit sore that I realized that it hadn't been sore since I'd started the exercises, which was the unusual part. So now I'm making sure to do them every 2-3 days.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Complete Idiot's Guide to Core Conditioning (Review)

Yes, two in one day, will wonders never cease: a review of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Core Conditioning. I have to admit, it's a pretty cool book.

And thank goodness, my blog seems to have (for the moment anyway) recovered from its seizure.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Cleaning

Well, I'll give this post a shot. There's a weird bug messing up my blog right now, so I don't have high hopes, but you never know. If things clear up later I'll come back and post more. Anyway, new review, of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cleaning. Soon to come: a review of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Core Conditioning.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Inspiration 8 (Review)

It's up--my review of Inspiration 8, what is possibly the coolest piece of software ever. If you're a teacher, a student, a writer, or a game master, you owe it to yourself to at least look at this piece of software.