The Negative Voice
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2003-06-23 - 10:35 p.m.

Reading Weekend

You'd think that someone who's basically stayed home the last three days would have found time to write something, wouldn't you? With so many friends out of town for various reasons, I focused on reading and vegging out this weekend, and then worked from home today. Somehow it was only today that I actually got my weekend tasks done- getting my .308 rifle zeroed again, and applying for a longshot job at ADP. The paucity of jobs worth applying for doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that so many senior people are competing with me for them. I think that I can be as fascinatingly cool to a potential employer as anyone else my age, but when people with a decade more experience apply for the same job, I look a tad puerile.

Luckily my .308 doesn't care, and is now nicely zeroed for the cheap 168gr BTHP ammo Cabela's sells. I was amazed that the much more expensive Black Hills match ammo I bought shoots a full three inches higher at 100 yards. That moly-coated stuff must have some screaming velocity to it.

Other than that, I read the new Harry Potter and the new Michael Stover Star Wars novel. The new Potter was decent, although I found myself a little frustrated with its sheer length. I think Rowling could have cut 100 pages if she really tried, and that she should have at least tried harder. I do like the direction the general story arc seems to be taking, though, and I'll buy book six when it comes out.

I felt a bit more ambivalent about the Stover book. I loved Stover's Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle, and I think his brand of realism creates fascinating highlights when shown on the Star Wars universe. Some of the insights at the end of the book- which is called Shatterpoint, by the way- help a lot in fleshing out the things that happened before the original Star Wars movie. I especially like the suggestion that, due to their fundamental concern for all life, the Jedi Knights simply can't fight wars, and when they try, they will end up as something other than Jedi. That may help explain why Anakin can and does kill them all one day. But, having explained why I like the book, I have to say that I wish Stover was writing something truly original instead of pissing around in the Star Wars universe. What ever happened to the days when every new book had a new set of characters? Does nobody write standalone books anymore? Sheesh.

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