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+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
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My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
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Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
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= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Mike Hawash Pleads Guilty 2003.08.07.08:56

Some time back, I mentioned a case in Oregon about an Intel engineer arrested regarding supposed terrorist links. I was very upset about this, because it seemed like just the sort of thing that I feared the post-9/11 administration would pull.

Well, he's plead guilty. I accept responsibility for my views, and readily admit when I'm wrong. Not that I enjoy being wrong, but I don't shirk away from it. I'm tempted to be suspicious, to think that his decision to confess (when his trial wasn't scheduled until January of 2004) might have some overtones to it. But really, right now I'm just annoyed that he got so many people to stand up so righteously on his behalf.

# [/politics]

So, Will We Get Arnold For Governor? 2003.08.07.08:28

Arnold Schwarzenegger has officially announced that he's going to run for governor of California. If you aren't laughing at us here in California yet, I don't know what else we can do to amuse you. Really. At least when Jesse Ventura ran in Minnesota, he ran a full campaign, took a stond on issues, and basically made a committment to choosing a life in politics. This is opportunism, taking advantage of a wave of resentment that's been fostered by conservatives unhappy that they weren't able to actually win the governorship.

We're to believe that the blame and cause for our current budget crisis is in the hands of one person. Nevermind that the fall of the Internet economy was not in the hands of any one person. Never mind that the so-called energy crisis was more manufactured by Enron than truly an emergency. But not to worry, because the same Republicans who deregulated the energy industry are keen to take over the economic recovery.

As for Arnold, I don't know what to think. One person I know made a very good point– that he could at least prove enough of a polarizing personality to prevent too many voters scattering amongst the wider array of crackpots. I think that this will spell the end for Davis. I just don't know what to expect for a replacement. I feel very strongly that Schwarzenegger has little or no qualification at all. The argument that "anyone would be better than Davis" is as much as strawman argument as can be put forth. I'm not defending him. I'm not even sure yet how I'll vote. I will probably have to accept that Davis is doomed, and pick a likely replacement. But it won't be Arnold.

Update: As it happens, the movie Demolition Man is on. There is an eerily-prescient reference to "President Schwarzenegger" as Sandra Bullock is driving Stallone to the fancy dinner at Taco Bell. Eep.

# [/politics]

Review: Preacher, by Garth Ennis et al 2003.08.07.07:16

[cover] After a steady diet of Alan Moore and Warren Ellis, I got talked into giving this title a try. I hadn't heard of Garth Ennis before, but several people recommended this one. I picked up the first collected volume, and I was hooked. The story is really what drew me in, more than the art which is often the case.

The story centers around Jesse Custer, the minister to a very small town in Texas. Only Jesse isn't happy at his job, and he has a tendency to ease the pain by way of the bottle. One Saturday night, he pulls a major bender. He ends up at the local bar, loudly airing the towns dirty laundry to all present. The next morning, he finds the church packed to the rafters with the town's populace (most of whom just want to see if he'll pick up where he left off). As he gets ready to try and cover his actions of the night before, the church is struck by a "meteor" in the form of Genesis– a half-angelic, half-demonic entity that has broken loose from heaven. The result is literally explosive: the church and all in it (the entire population of the town, it turns out) are immediately incinerated. All but Jesse himself. He regains consciousness some hours later, to find that he's the central suspect as Feds and local police try to learn what happened. Not only is Jesse alive, he has a strange new power, and somehow knows that not all is right in Heaven. He decides to find out what is going on, and sets out in the company of an ex-girlfriend whose path crosses his, and a hard-drinking Irish vampire who had rescued her the night before in Dallas.

It should be pretty obvious that this is not a title for most people, and it is definately not going to sit well with those who are hard-line fundamentalist in their take on the Bible. This takes a lot of the Biblical story and turns it in directions you would never have thought of in a lifetime. It will offend a lot of people, but it will also make a lot of people think, especially about questions of man's free will. The characters are all colorful, though some of them seem to be just there for easy laughs. And I don't know that I agree with all of the premises Ennis presents, either. But I could barely wait between volumes. At nine installments, I couldn't just walk out and buy them at a whim. Still, after each one was ended, I was itching to get my hands on the next one.

Highly recommended.

# amazon (and on) [/entertainment/books/comics]

Back to the Subject of the Graphic Novel 2003.08.07.06:37

So, since I've been reading a lot of graphic novels, and I can never just do anything without over-analyzing it, I got to thinking about why I've been reading so many GN's.

The best answer I can come up with (besides the storytelling, which I'll come back to in a few minutes) is that I've been so deeply entrenched in reading a whole raft of technical books, that even ordinary fiction is kind of off-putting at the moment. Whether I try to read the Chesterton book I've currently got on top of my list, or the book by Burns that I've been reading in conjunction with my therapy, it just feels a little too much like the O'Reilly and other tech books.

But as I said a couple of months ago, graphic novels are a really interesting form of literature all their own. More meaty and solid than the usual single-issue comic, and often times with a much higher production quality. And a lot of the stories being written by the current "masters of the art" are extremely creative and inventive. Two of Alan Moore's GN's have become movies (though in both cases, the books were significantly better). At least one other has been under consideration off and on for years. Garth Ennis' Preacher series is said to be in early pre-production as a movie.

So anyway, I'm going to post some reviews of some of my favorites that I've read in the past few months or so. Thanks to the many friends who've lent me various books and gotten me hooked on so many storylines.

# [/entertainment/books/comics]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


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Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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