Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Should not exist

This is snagged from an online account from a guy that admits it should not have been taken.  However, since it was I get to show some of the duty perks I get, like working to keep certain companions from overzealous fans.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cheap and used book

From a Goodwill in Lynnwood.  Does not appear to have been read much.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I still suck at this game

Playing it all these years later did not improve my scores.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A great view for reading

Seattle Public Library.
10th Floor.
Taken April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reign season opener

Seattle Reign FC 3
Boston Breakers 0
NWSL Regular Season
Memorial Stadium - Seattle, WA
April 13, 2014

The field paint over the football lines is much better in person than the images reveal here.

Seattle gets one from a PK.

Pretty good flow of play.  I thought the Seattle midfield did a much better job of controlling the game and using different attack approaches than Boston did.

Abandoned fields

A now overgrown green on what was once the first hole at Ballinger Golf Course.

What was once the 4th hole and 2nd hole depending on the era.

I have a lot of stories about Ballinger Golf Course from after JiB early AM weekend rounds to actually getting married at the clubhouse.  Now it is overgrown.

This is the field and entrance to what was once Lynnwood High School.

I played a lot of games and attending 4th of July with my kids on numerous occasions at the old LHS.  It is just sitting there rotting with rumors about future land use.  It sits right across the street from a major shopping center amid much development.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Devon Monk - Stone Cold: A Broken Magic Novel

Devon Monk - Stone Cold: A Broken Magic Novel

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Whether in physics or in magic this axiom holds true.

Shame wields Death Magic while Terric wields Life Magic and between them is balance. Well, at least sometimes there is at least some sense of balance.  They are Soul Complements and they struggle with it mightily.

But, magic is healed, fixed, and whole.  It is also now far less useful and powerful. Sort of. It is far less useful and powerful unless you control one of the few people who can still wield or break magic. It is far less useful and powerful unless you control Soul Complements. Killing off Soul Complements will make those few who can control magic and magic users even more powerful.

Stone Cold is an apt title because our narrator Shame is desperately fighting against being just that.  He wields Death Magic; it draws on his desires, it soothes him with death’s caress, and he knows it sometimes has control over him and makes him a monster. In the hands of a monster it would be horrific, but Shame is more than just that magic he wields.  He has a Soul Complement in Terric that wields Life Magic and can help him balance himself, but wielding magic as Soul Complements has its own dangers.

Soul Complements are in danger and are being eliminated. Too many plot points would be spoilers.

Real world Portland, OR continues to be the setting.  Portland is a town I get to visit regularly and I now find myself picturing the locations as they have been described. When in downtown Portland I cannot help but look up at a rooftop to see if I am being followed now.

Part of the draw of Monk’s take on magic as a source of energy has been the blending of science with the magic, how it has been researched and worked with technology.  Magic has a price to wield because there has to be some sort of balancing counter to the use of energy.  It is not merely something that exists and is a useful storytelling piece. The implication that magic is merely another form of energy that can be channeled and used, but also can be bottled up and stored like a battery is integral to the overall back story of the world created here.

There is so much about this book and series I can rave about.  Devon Monk has managed to continue her first person narrative from the earlier Allie Beckstrom books, switching POV genders in the process without losing the sense we are in the same world. Allie and other previous series characters continue to be represented and it is interesting to see them from the different POV of a character that has gone through shared experiences.  There is a feeling of familiarity and yet difference to what happened before that is a draw.  It is not Rashomon where all is different, but it definitely gives a different sense of what the shared experiences mean to other characters.

Stone Cold was released on April 1, 2014 by Roc Books


Q & A With Devon Monk

How specific are you about Landmarks in PDX?  Or are you trying to give a more general feel?

I wanted to give a general feel and just sprinkle a few landmarks in here and there.

Changing POV from a female lead for 9 books to a male lead in the same universe
where the characters interact in the next two, what were the challenges?

The gender switch was fun, as I enjoy writing from both male and female points of view. What was even more fun and different about writing Shame (as compared to Allie) is his view on the world is sort of point-loaded and brief. Everything in the world around him is noted and dismissed with one word or thought, which is often funny. Allie observes every detail, sound, and scent of her surroundings.

By having a two book series in the same universe, were you concerned about accessibility?

A little. My hope was to write these two books so they could stand on their own and the reader wouldn't need to know the Allie books to enjoy them. I've seen readers report that they can, indeed, be read without knowing the other series, but those who have read the Allie Beckstrom book agree that it makes reading the spinoff series even richer.

Role of the ghost, was she Shame's conscience?

She was his failure. His biggest fear. She was a constant sign of his weakness. I think she became his conscience as time went on.

The very notion of a Death Magic user out of control as a lead character
doing horrible things, were you concerned he could be the bad guy and
the lead character at the same time?

There was a line to walk there, and my editor had to reel me back from it a bit. But I think Shame is funny enough, and broken enough, and even noble enough (when push comes to shove) that his darkness and light balance out in the end.

Soul Compliments take on issues of gender and sexuality.  Do you get any push back on that?

Not at all.

In Broken Magic it is Govt conspiracies after Secret Organizations in the Allie books, was that an organic or conscious choice?

Organic. Exposing all (well, most) of the dirty secrets of the Secret Organization triggered the government's response, and then things got interesting.

Physics.  For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Is the magic price rooted in that?

Yes. Or at least action = consequences, which is a heck of a lot of fun when magic is involved.

Friday, April 04, 2014

ECCC 2014

Emerald City Comicon 2014
March 28-30, 2014

For me the con is basically this island up on the sixth floor with the celeb guests and keeping things moving as Floor Caption of the Minions.

However ...

This year I had to adjust my mobile role in favour of a stationary one due to an ankle injury.  If I moved at all people would yell at me.  Minions got attendees in line to yell at me. I was sitting inside, even when moving.

I ran into students, colleagues, old friends, people I only know from con work.  Someone referred to my hair as a Silvery Waterfall of Joy.  People joked about how I accidentally wore pants on Saturday and they didn't recognize me. 

I got a chance (long story) to be a stage hand for Night Vale.  Friends in the audience looked up and there I was grabbing mike stands as Night Vale signed off so The Thrilling Adventure Hour could go on. This is my life.

In the end we made the celebs basically happy and several of them left with green Minion shirts.  They would not want souvenirs of a bad experience. I was exhausted and glad I had slogged through it. The trade off of being in a position where I get to fist bump Q and joke with some of the celebs is that I miss out on Bone downstairs or things like that.  It's basically a fair trade. 

My perch. My albatross.

Lines are a math problem of time and people and movement.

Cecil from backstage at the Welcome To Night Vale show on Friday night.

Cecil with Molly Quinn from The Thrilling Adventure hour.

With Kyle from Kirby Krackle.

The calm before the storm. 

Opening Night

Seattle Mariners 10
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3
Safeco Field Open House
March 31, 2014

The M's charged a buck, handed out tee shirts, and had the road opener on the big screen.  Sit wherever you want and just hang out was the idea.  I did not get a chance to stay for more than a few innings. The turnout was pretty good. Cano got a huge pop when he came on the screen the first time.

This is something that needs to be repeated.

Watching the first inning from the railing inside the Mariners dugout.

Ground level from the warning track in left center.