Saturday, September 12, 2015

We Are Here

is a novel I'm reading now, a book by an author, Michael Marshall (aka Michael Marshall Smith), whose work I quite enjoy.  I'm always surprised at how few folks I know read his work, because it's generally quite good.

This one is a nice fusion of the suspense and supernatural sides of different works of Marshall's.  I'm not done with it yet, so I don't know how it will sort out, but so far it's chugging along nicely.

If you don't know this man's books, check 'em out.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fall movie release scheduling sucks

Summer usually rocks, with at least one major release a week and few collisions.  Fall is a different story, a hit-and-miss season of weekends that are sometimes barren and other times overloaded.

Nothing opening in the RTP area this weekend, for example, strongly tempts me.  Sure, I'll watch almost any film, but I'm not excited by any of today's new offerings.

Next weekend, on the other hand, brings three movies--Black Mass, Sicario, and Pawn Sacrifice--that I very much want to see, as well as one, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, that I will certainly view eventually.

I would greatly prefer it if the studios would do a better job of spreading around their big films.

Of course, the fall movie I most cannot wait to see does not open until November 6--but it just gained this new TV spot.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Salted dark chocolate with cookie gravel

is a new flavor the good people over at The Parlour in Durham are now serving, and you want to get some while you can.  Trust me on this.  Sarah alerted us to this new offering, so we picked up some, and, wow, is it good.  Rich and flavorful, this is the best chocolate offering ever from The Parlour.

Of course, once you're there, you may want to try their superb salted butter caramel, or their wonderful maple walnut, or any of the many other intriguing flavors on offer.

But don't miss this new chocolate ice cream.  I hope they make it a permanent part of their menu.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

This cracked me up

I rarely use this blog to share Internet stuff that made me laugh hard, but a relatively recent Tumblr site video really did, so I couldn't resist telling you about it.

Before I give you the URL, though, I want to apologize in advance to my friends and fans in the U.K.  I love it there, and I mean no slight or offense by this video; the guy who created it is just, to me, screamingly funny.

Having said that, and with the understanding that the language in this video is definitely NSFW, go here if you'd like to watch it.

I hope it works for you as much as it does for me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On the road again: DragonCon, Atlanta, day 6

I'm home.  The drive, which included breaks for a meal and a stretch, consumed a little over seven hours.  The traffic ranged from busy to intense but never hit full-on psycho, for which I was grateful.

I'm glad to be home.

I don't have much else to say tonight, so I'll leave you with this trailer, which I saw in the theater in Atlanta.  I was already going to catch The Hateful Eight, if only because Tarantino directed it, but now I'm awaiting it eagerly.


Monday, September 7, 2015

On the road again: DragonCon, Atlanta, day 5

I spent the vast majority of today in my room, either sleeping or working.  I didn't mind either one, because I needed to do both, but I also didn't see much of the con today.

Dinner led us to a local Basque-inspired restaurant, Cooks & Soldiers, about which I'd read many good things.  I may well do a full review of it later, but for now I will say that I was quite disappointed by the food.  It was decent, but with few exceptions it rarely rose above that level--and sank below it on two occasions.  If you want true Basque food, definitely do not go to Cooks & Soldiers, but if you're up for Basque-inspired food, it might be worth a look--but set your expectations low.

Dessert was delightful and spot on, as it always is when you go to a Jeni's ice creams shop.  The sun was setting as we were entering the shop, and the sky was lovely.

Click an image to see a larger version.

In the middle of the evening, I made my final rounds of the big fan gathering places.  The Hyatt's lobby was nearly entirely empty,

while a small group of hardy fans hung around the bar in the Marriott's atrium.

Overall, this year's DragonCon proved to be low-key fun, but enough so that I hope to return in 2016.

Tomorrow, the long drive home--and work when I'm not driving.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

On the road again: DragonCon, Atlanta, day 4

Waking up in the single digits is never a good thing for me.  Doing it on a Sunday is doubly bad.  Doing it on a Sunday at a convention--well, suffice to say that little could make me do this.  What made me arise early today was Publisher Toni treating the Baen authors and artists at DragonCon to a brunch at Pitty Pat's Porch, a nearby well-established Southern restaurant.  I went not for the food, though it was good basic brunch fare, but for Toni and the crew.

After brunch and a bit of rest, I joined a number of the same folks at the Baen Traveling Road Show. I talked about Onward, Drake!, the audience was good,

Click an image to see a larger version.

and everyone seemed to have a very good time.

My next event of the day--and my final commitment of the convention--was a reading.  Readings generally draw poorly.  Readings during con dinnertime--they scheduled me for 5:30 today--usually attract even fewer people.  When the reading is by me, I'm lucky if anyone who didn't arrive with me shows up.  Today, I was fortunate enough to have two people attend.  Both listened to the entire story--I read "All That's Left", my piece in Onward, Drake!--and both were gracious and interested.  My thanks to them for coming.

I headed from the reading to a local shopping area that included a movie theater.  After some decent ice cream--better than Jake's but nowhere near as good as Jeni's--at a Kilwin's, I caught The Transporter: Refueled in a Regal cinema with VIP seats.  The movie was exactly what you'd expect--big on action, little on smarts--and though not as good as the original, strong enough that I had a pleasant time watching it.  The seats, though, were fantastic, with huge cupholders, swinging trays, and the ability to recline almost to horizontal.

Afterward, I went on my usual evening walk.  Based purely on the size of the crowds in the Hyatt's lobby

and the Marriott's atrium

I believe Saturday night was the biggest night of the con.

Tomorrow, I will do a little con stuff and some work--but only after I sleep a very great amount indeed.


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