jverkamp.com https://blog.jverkamp.com/ Recent content on jverkamp.com Hugo -- gohugo.io en-us Fri, 16 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Magical World of Strega Nona: A Treasury https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/16/the-magical-world-of-strega-nona-a-treasury/ Fri, 16 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/16/the-magical-world-of-strega-nona-a-treasury/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="23846060" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23846060.the-magical-world-of-strega-nona-a-treasury"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-magical-world-of-strega-nona-a-treasury.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Oh, these stories are absolutely delightful.</p> <blockquote> <p>In a town in Calabria, a long time ago, there lived an old lady everyone called Strega Nona, which meant &ldquo;Grandma Witch&rdquo;.</p> </blockquote> Crosslinks by Title in Hugo https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/15/crosslinks-by-title-in-hugo/ Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/15/crosslinks-by-title-in-hugo/ <p>Another quick Hugo post. One thing I miss about my previous blogging platform(s) was the ability to generate quick links between posts just by using the title of the post. So rather than this:</p> <a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/15/crosslinks-by-title-in-hugo/">a cool post</a> <div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#f8f8f2;background-color:#272822;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-markdown" data-lang="markdown">This is [<span style="color:#f92672">a cool post</span>](<span style="color:#a6e22e">{{&lt; ref &#34;2021-07-15-crosslinks-by-title-in-hugo&#34; &gt;}}</span>), go read it. </code></pre></div><p>You could do this:</p> <div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#f8f8f2;background-color:#272822;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-markdown" data-lang="markdown">This is {{&lt; <span style="color:#f92672">crosslink</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">title</span><span style="color:#f92672">=</span><span style="color:#e6db74">&#34;Crosslinks by Title in Hugo&#34;</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">text</span><span style="color:#f92672">=</span><span style="color:#e6db74">&#34;a cool post&#34;</span> &gt;}}. Or shorter: {{&lt; <span style="color:#f92672">crosslink</span> <span style="color:#960050;background-color:#1e0010">&#34;</span><span style="color:#a6e22e">Crosslinks</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">by</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">Title</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">in</span> <span style="color:#a6e22e">Hugo</span><span style="color:#960050;background-color:#1e0010">&#34;</span> &gt;}}. </code></pre></div><p>And it should just work.</p> Avengers: Age of Ultron https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/avengers-age-of-ultron/ Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/avengers-age-of-ultron/ Hawkeye: The city is flying and we&rsquo;re fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. Nothing makes sense. Age of Ultron is an odd movie. From the perspective of a summer blockbuster/action movie, it&rsquo;s solid. The opening action scene is wonderfully avengerful, there are all manner of awesome fights (the Hulk versus Iron Man fight and the final battle come to mind), and we get a few new characters. Loki https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/loki/ Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/loki/ Another MCU made for Disney+ TV outing. After the amazing WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki had a high bar to clear. In my nutshell: they nailed it. I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose. Loki (the character) is fascinating. He started out a well cast mostly villain of his own in Thor and became the first recurring villain in The Avengers. The Borrowers Aloft https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/the-borrowers-aloft/ Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/14/the-borrowers-aloft/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="816223" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/816223.the-borrowers-aloft"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-borrowers-aloft.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>A cute addition to the series. The Borrowers have made it to Little Fordham. We get a bit of backstory about the maker of the tiny town and of course there&rsquo;s a baddie making a town of his own. The Borrowers get Borrowernapped, they learn how to make a balloon, and they soar back home.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a lot to like about this series, especially the miniature worlds and how the Borrowers can use any manner of things in ways we never intended them. It&rsquo;s a fun world.</p> Gideon the Ninth https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/gideon-the-ninth/ Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/gideon-the-ninth/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="42036538" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42036538.gideon-the-ninth"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/gideon-the-ninth.jpg"></a> </figure> <blockquote> <p>One day eighteen years ago, Gideon&rsquo;s mother had tumbled down the middle of the shaft in a dragchute and a battered hazard suite, like some moth drifting slowly down into the dark. The suit had been out of power for a couple of minutes. The woman landed brain-dead. All the battery power had been sucked away by a bio-container plugged into the suit, the kind you&rsquo;d care a transplant limb in, and inside that container was Gideon, only a day old.</p> <p>This was obviously mysterious as hell.</p> </blockquote> Guardians of the Galaxy https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/guardians-of-the-galaxy/ Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/guardians-of-the-galaxy/ I had forgotten just how fun Guardians of the Galaxy is. Back when I first reviewed it in 2014, it surprised me with how different it was and just how much it opened up the Marvel Universe. Well, we&rsquo;ve seen some pretty crazy things since then (Thor Ragnarok springs to mind), but it&rsquo;s still a pretty crazy movie. I mean, come on. It&rsquo;s a man obsessed with classic rock, a badass green woman assassin, an overly literal shirtless wrestler, a cybernetically enhanced racoon, and a speaking tree 1 2. Authority https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/12/authority/ Mon, 12 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/12/authority/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="18077769" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18077769.authority"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/authority.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>After how much I enjoyed <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="17934530" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17934530.annihilation">Annihilation</a>, I had high hopes for <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="18077769" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18077769.authority">Authority</a>. A chance to get out of Area X and explore the organization sending people in / to their deaths over and over again&hellip;</p> <p>But unfortunately, I just couldn&rsquo;t get into it. I missed the limited focus and the mystery of the first book. Even, for what very little we knew about them, the characters.</p> Tenet https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/06/tenet/ Tue, 06 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/06/tenet/ That &hellip; is a summer blockbuster. It&rsquo;s an absolutely bonkers plot. In a nutshell, the future is at war with the present (somehow) and there is technology that can &lsquo;invert&rsquo; people and things so that they experience time backwards. How exactly that works and what exactly happens when you mess with the past/future is&hellip; never entirely clear. But it certainly does make for some absolutely crazy action scenes where some things are going forward, some backward, people are in the same scene more than once and&hellip; Annihilation https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/01/annihilation/ Thu, 01 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/01/annihilation/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="17934530" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17934530.annihilation"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/annihilation.jpg"></a> </figure> <blockquote> <p>You must understand how I felt then, how the surveyor must have felt: We &gt; were scientists, trained to observe natural phenomena and the results of &gt; human activity. We had not been trained to encounter what appeared to be the &gt; uncanny. In unusual situations there can be a comfort in the presence of &gt; even someone you think might be your enemy. Now we had come close to the &gt; edges of something unprecedented, and less than a week into our mission we &gt; had lost not just the linguist at the border but our anthropologist and our &gt; psychologist.</p> </blockquote> <p>Now that is a fascinating sort of book. It&rsquo;s essentially a slice of life mixed with cosmic horror. The entire story follows an expedition into the mysterious, alien Area X. There&rsquo;s not really any overarching plot, other than exploring and perhaps surviving&hellip; and maybe if you&rsquo;re really really lucky, coming back without going mad.</p> Still Life https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/28/still-life/ Mon, 28 Jun 2021 08:18:07 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/28/still-life/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="30918623" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30918623.still-life"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/still-life.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Well, there&rsquo;s that. It&rsquo;s a bit out of genre for me&ndash;read by group choice, so I really don&rsquo;t know how it compares to it&rsquo;s peer books, but I enjoyed it well enough. It was certainly fascinating to read at the same time as <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="28962996" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28962996.six-wakes">Six Wakes</a> (which, to be honest, I enjoyed rather more).</p> <p>Overall, the plot is fine. It&rsquo;s a murder mystery. There are a few decent bits of interesting world building. It&rsquo;s a small town with what seems to me an unusually large art scene and number of bow hunters. There are some witchy bits which really made me wish this was actually subtle urban fantasy. And a few twists and turns along the way.</p> Ordering Board Game Geek GeekLists by Rank https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/28/ordering-board-game-geek-geeklists-by-rank/ Mon, 28 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/28/ordering-board-game-geek-geeklists-by-rank/ <p>A quick script.</p> <p>I play a lot of board games. With the whole COVID-19 mess, I&rsquo;ve been playing a lot on <a href="https://boardgamearena.com/">Board Game Arena</a>, which is a wonderful site. But one thing that&rsquo;s a bit lacking is having ratings / metadata about games to great games I&rsquo;ve just not heard about before. Where can you get lots of that data? <a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/">Board Game Geek</a>!</p> <p>The problem though, is merging the two. So, how do we do it? Well, this time around, I&rsquo;m going to start with <a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/252354/list-games-board-game-arena">this GeekList</a> that someone else maintains of BGA games on BGG. Which has the games, but no ranks. And apparently there are no ways to rank those by BGG (for some reason). But that&rsquo;s easy when you know a bit of scripting!</p> The Sopranos: Season 2 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/27/the-sopranos-season-2/ Sun, 27 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/27/the-sopranos-season-2/ Man this show just keeps going. They actually lowered the amount of nudity a bit from Season 1 (as HBO tends to do), but the violence is still going strong… It’s fascinating (and solid writing) to see the fall out from the big events of season 1, along with entirely new plotlines with Janice (Tony’s brother), Richard Aprile (who’s got crazy eyes), Christopher really getting into (and out of) writing, and drama with the entire Soprano family/children. Generating a Book Bingo Chart in Hugo https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/26/generating-a-book-bingo-chart-in-hugo/ Sat, 26 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/26/generating-a-book-bingo-chart-in-hugo/ <p>Another <a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/01/2021-book-bingo/">r/Fantasy 2021 Book Bingo</a> post! How in the world am I generating this (updating) chart in Hugo?</p> <h1>2021 Book Bingo</h1> <table class="bingo"><tr><td> <p>SFF anthology or collection</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/03/26/attack-on-titan-vol.-1/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-1.jpg"> <figcaption>Attack on Titan, Vol. 1</figcaption> </figure> </a></td><td> <p>Set in Asia (Hard: by an Asian author)</p></td><td> <p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/wiki/index/a-to-z-genre-guide">r/Fantasy A to Z Genre Guide</a> (Hard: by a BIPOC author)</p></td><td> <p>Found Family (Hard: featuring an LGBTQ+ character)</p></td><td> <p>First person POV (Hard: Multiple)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>r/Fantasy Book Club (Hard: with participation)</p></td><td> <p>New to you author (Hard: haven&rsquo;t heard much about)</p></td><td> <p>Gothic Fantasy (Hard: not in the <a href="https://bookriot.com/gothic-fantasy/">Book Riot article</a>)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/09/mexican-gothic/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/mexican-gothic.jpg"> <figcaption>Mexican Gothic</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Backlist book (Hard: published before 2000)</p></td><td> <p>Revenge-seeking character (Hard: revenge as the major book plot)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>Mystery plot (Hard: not primary world urban fantasy)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/19/six-wakes/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/six-wakes.jpg"> <figcaption>Six Wakes</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Comfort read (Hard: that isn&rsquo;t a reread)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/13/wild-sign/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/wild-sign.jpg"> <figcaption>Wild Sign</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Debut novel (Hard: published in 2021)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/26/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra.jpg"> <figcaption>Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Cat squasher (500+ pages; Hard: 800+ pages)</p></td><td> <p>SFF-related nonfiction (Hard: published in the last 5 years)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>Latinx or Latin American author (Hard: with fewer than 1000 Goodreads ratings)</p></td><td> <p>Self published (Hard: with fewer than 50 Goodreads ratings)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/26/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra.jpg"> <figcaption>Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Forest setting (Hard: for the entire book)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/01/annihilation/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/annihilation.jpg"> <figcaption>Annihilation</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Genre mashup (Hard: of three or more genres)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/gideon-the-ninth/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/gideon-the-ninth.jpg"> <figcaption>Gideon the Ninth</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Has chapter titles of more than one word (Hard: for every chapter)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/21/the-midnight-library/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-midnight-library.jpg"> <figcaption>The Midnight Library</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>___ of ___ (Hard: and ___)</p></td><td> <p>First contact (Hard: that doesn&rsquo;t lead to war)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/15/project-hail-mary/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/project-hail-mary.jpg"> <figcaption>Project Hail Mary</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Trans or Nonbinary (Hard: protagonist)</p></td><td> <p>Debut author (Hard: with an AMA)</p></td><td> <p>Witches (Hard: as the main protagonist)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/11/a-great-and-terrible-beauty/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/a-great-and-terrible-beauty.jpg"> <figcaption>A Great and Terrible Beauty</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td></tr></table> A Generic Brute Force Backtracking Solver https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/25/a-generic-brute-force-backtracking-solver/ Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/25/a-generic-brute-force-backtracking-solver/ <p>One of the projects I&rsquo;ve had vaguely in the back of my head is a sort of generic puzzle solver. I really love puzzles, but of the pencil and paper and video game varieties. So I think it would be awesome to write out a definition of a puzzle (say how to play Sudoku), give it input, and have it give me an answer back.</p> <p>Well, I finally got around to trying it!</p> Categorizing r/Fantasy Book Bingo Books https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/24/categorizing-r/fantasy-book-bingo-books/ Thu, 24 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/24/categorizing-r/fantasy-book-bingo-books/ <p>I&rsquo;ve been working through the <a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/01/2021-book-bingo/">r/Fantasy 2021 Book Bingo</a> this year:</p> <h1>2021 Book Bingo</h1> <table class="bingo"><tr><td> <p>SFF anthology or collection</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/03/26/attack-on-titan-vol.-1/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-1.jpg"> <figcaption>Attack on Titan, Vol. 1</figcaption> </figure> </a></td><td> <p>Set in Asia (Hard: by an Asian author)</p></td><td> <p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/wiki/index/a-to-z-genre-guide">r/Fantasy A to Z Genre Guide</a> (Hard: by a BIPOC author)</p></td><td> <p>Found Family (Hard: featuring an LGBTQ+ character)</p></td><td> <p>First person POV (Hard: Multiple)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>r/Fantasy Book Club (Hard: with participation)</p></td><td> <p>New to you author (Hard: haven&rsquo;t heard much about)</p></td><td> <p>Gothic Fantasy (Hard: not in the <a href="https://bookriot.com/gothic-fantasy/">Book Riot article</a>)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/09/mexican-gothic/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/mexican-gothic.jpg"> <figcaption>Mexican Gothic</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Backlist book (Hard: published before 2000)</p></td><td> <p>Revenge-seeking character (Hard: revenge as the major book plot)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>Mystery plot (Hard: not primary world urban fantasy)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/19/six-wakes/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/six-wakes.jpg"> <figcaption>Six Wakes</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Comfort read (Hard: that isn&rsquo;t a reread)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/13/wild-sign/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/wild-sign.jpg"> <figcaption>Wild Sign</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Debut novel (Hard: published in 2021)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/26/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra.jpg"> <figcaption>Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Cat squasher (500+ pages; Hard: 800+ pages)</p></td><td> <p>SFF-related nonfiction (Hard: published in the last 5 years)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>Latinx or Latin American author (Hard: with fewer than 1000 Goodreads ratings)</p></td><td> <p>Self published (Hard: with fewer than 50 Goodreads ratings)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/26/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/tales-of-nezura-book-1-the-zevolra.jpg"> <figcaption>Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Forest setting (Hard: for the entire book)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/01/annihilation/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/annihilation.jpg"> <figcaption>Annihilation</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Genre mashup (Hard: of three or more genres)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/07/13/gideon-the-ninth/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/gideon-the-ninth.jpg"> <figcaption>Gideon the Ninth</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Has chapter titles of more than one word (Hard: for every chapter)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/21/the-midnight-library/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-midnight-library.jpg"> <figcaption>The Midnight Library</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td></tr><tr><td> <p>___ of ___ (Hard: and ___)</p></td><td> <p>First contact (Hard: that doesn&rsquo;t lead to war)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/15/project-hail-mary/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/project-hail-mary.jpg"> <figcaption>Project Hail Mary</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td><td> <p>Trans or Nonbinary (Hard: protagonist)</p></td><td> <p>Debut author (Hard: with an AMA)</p></td><td> <p>Witches (Hard: as the main protagonist)</p><a href="https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/04/11/a-great-and-terrible-beauty/"> <figure> <img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/a-great-and-terrible-beauty.jpg"> <figcaption>A Great and Terrible Beauty</figcaption> </figure> </a><p>(Hard Mode)</p></td></tr></table> The Sweet Far Thing https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/22/the-sweet-far-thing/ Tue, 22 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/22/the-sweet-far-thing/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="127459" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/127459.the-sweet-far-thing"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-sweet-far-thing.jpg"></a> </figure> <blockquote> <p>With a sigh, I resign myself to combing through it page by page, though 502 pages is so many to wade through, and I curse authors who write such lengthy books when a few neat pages of prose would do.</p> <p>&ndash; Roughly halfway through a nearly 1000 page book</p> </blockquote> Six Wakes https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/19/six-wakes/ Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/19/six-wakes/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="28962996" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28962996.six-wakes"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/six-wakes.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>In a nutshell, <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="28962996" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28962996.six-wakes">Six Wakes</a> is a closed room murder mystery in SPACE! With clones! What that gives us is an absolutely wonderful variation on the tropes. Because of cloning technology, you can very well have a murder mystery where the cast wake up to the gruesome (zero gee) murder of &hellip; the entire cast. And because it&rsquo;s a generation ship in deep space, you very well know that one of the cast absolutely has to have been the muderer&hellip; Unless it was more than one.</p> <p>My favorite parts of the worldbuilding all really revolve around technology of cloning and how that can change the world in fascinating ways. For example, it&rsquo;s not uncommon for attendees at certain parties to end murdered. They&rsquo;ll wake up in the morning, restored from a backup the day before with little more than a feeling of &lsquo;that must have been one hell of a party&rsquo; plus some potential embarrassment and go about their lives.</p> Project Hail Mary https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/15/project-hail-mary/ Tue, 15 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/15/project-hail-mary/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="54493401" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54493401.project-hail-mary"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/project-hail-mary.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Oh that&rsquo;s a wonderful book. If your read and enjoyed <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="18007564" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18007564.the-martian"> The Martian </a> , you&rsquo;ll almost certainly love <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="54493401" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54493401.project-hail-mary"> Project Hail Mary </a> . The sense of humor mixed with scientific/engineering problem solving is the main strength in both. Great fun.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s got a wonderful sense of humor:</p> Monsters in the Dark: The Making of X-COM: UFO Defense https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/14/monsters-in-the-dark-the-making-of-x-com-ufo-defense/ Mon, 14 Jun 2021 12:57:36 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/14/monsters-in-the-dark-the-making-of-x-com-ufo-defense/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="57863448" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57863448.monsters-in-the-dark-the-making-of-x-com-ufo-defense"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/monsters-in-the-dark-the-making-of-x-com-ufo-defense.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>X-COM holds a special place in my life. It was one of if not the very first computer games I bought. I played the heck out of that game; I bought the strategy guide (and got one for Apocalypse, even though I didn’t yet own it) and still fire up an emulator to give it a try every year or three. It’s just a wonderful tactics game, the like of which I’ve never really managed to find again—at least to my tastes.</p> <p>So when I saw the Kickstarter for a Monsters in the Dark, I knew I had to give it a go.</p> Crafting Interpreters https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/12/crafting-interpreters/ Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:43:58 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/12/crafting-interpreters/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="33969590" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33969590.crafting-interpreters"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/crafting-interpreters.png"></a> </figure> <p>Programming languages are something of a hobby of mine. Going as far back as undergrad, I’ve written a fair few interpreters and compilers over the years. I’ve never really gotten beyond a strong basic level, but I’ve always wanted to. Crafting Interpreters is a great book for exactly that.</p> <p>The book essentially walks you through two styles of interpreter of the same language: just an AST walking style written in Java (the sort I’ve done a few times) and then a much more optimized one based on bytecode. There was something to learn on both sections though, since the the introduced language (lox) includes higher order functions and closures—certainly more interesting bits of languages to implement.</p> Mexican Gothic https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/09/mexican-gothic/ Wed, 09 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/09/mexican-gothic/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="53152636" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53152636.mexican-gothic"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/mexican-gothic.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>The reviews of <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="53152636" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53152636.mexican-gothic"> Mexican Gothic </a> are &hellip; divided to say the least. There&rsquo;s more than a handfull of glowing five star reviews and a smaller but still significant number that just didn&rsquo;t get what the fuss was about. Halfway through&hellip; I totally get it.</p> <p>I think the main problem is the absolute tonal shift that happens about halfway through the book.</p> Taskmaster: Series 7 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/07/taskmaster-series-7/ Mon, 07 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/07/taskmaster-series-7/ Rounding out the first 8 series that are available directly on YouTube in the US, finally Series 7! Man this was a season. Man those are some characters. James Acaster has a barely contained rage beneath his humor (sometimes now so barely). Jessica Knappett, hilarious with some crazy outfits. Kerry Godliman: a wonderfully direct way to solving tasks. Phil Wang (and Phil Wang&rsquo;s wang). That outfit&hellip; it&rsquo;s certainly a thing. Attack on Titan, Vol. 25 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/attack-on-titan-vol.-25/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/attack-on-titan-vol.-25/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="36389570" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36389570.attack-on-titan-vol-25"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-25.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Continuing the story of the greater world, bringing everything together. Hatred and lies all aimed at eliminating Paradis and the people there&hellip; and only a small group from Paradis to try to stop them.</p> <p>Or perhaps more&hellip;</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 26 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/attack-on-titan-vol.-26/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/attack-on-titan-vol.-26/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="39196374" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39196374.attack-on-titan-vol-26"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-26.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Battles in the street! Killing enemy civilians! Wait&hellip; aren&rsquo;t Eren and the Survey Corps supposed to be the good guys?</p> <p><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attachments/aot-26-1.png" alt="AoT-26-1"></p> The Sopranos: Season 1 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/the-sopranos-season-1/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/04/the-sopranos-season-1/ After the crazy violence and nudity of Watchmen, you&rsquo;d think perhaps we&rsquo;d go for something a little more &hellip; safe for next time around. Nah. The Sopranos. It&rsquo;s one of the best rated TV shows of all time (on IMDb, only Breaking Bad (which I watched just before I started reviewing TV series), Avatar: The Last Airbender (it&rsquo;s great), and Game of Thrones (pre Season 8) are rated higher among fiction). The Borrowers Afloat https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/the-borrowers-afloat/ Thu, 03 Jun 2021 17:00:40 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/the-borrowers-afloat/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="145385" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/145385.the-borrowers-afloat"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-borrowers-afloat.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>That’s a cute little addition to the Borrower’s world. After being ousted from their first home to live out of doors for a book, the Borrowers get another chance at ‘civilization’, this time even with family around! But alas, all is soon to end and off they go on another adventure, trying to find another life.</p> <p>It’s a fun story, full of tiny adventures. While again, the ending and the frame story are by far the weakest parts of these books, they’re still great fun and well worth the read.</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 24 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/attack-on-titan-vol.-24/ Thu, 03 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/attack-on-titan-vol.-24/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="34773676" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34773676.attack-on-titan-vol-24"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-24.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Oh this extended world. The idea that there is a race of people (the Eldians) with a special power unique to their people which makes them makes them hated and feared, relegated to a suppressed class. Except a minor few that are brain washed and weaponized. It&rsquo;s a story we&rsquo;ve heard time and time again, even going back throughout history, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s a bad story. It&rsquo;s one that really needs to be told.</p> <p><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attachments/aot-24-1.png" alt="AoT-24-1"></p> Smoke Bitten https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/smoke-bitten/ Thu, 03 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/06/03/smoke-bitten/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="44571368" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44571368.smoke-bitten"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/smoke-bitten.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Two in a row! It&rsquo;s like Christmas! If Christmas was chuck full of creepy uberpowerful fae&hellip;</p> <p>One of the major plot threads is dealing with the fallout of <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="25026912" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25026912.storm-cursed"> Storm Cursed </a> . Mercy and co may have won the day, but in doing so they managed to tick off a great number of very powerful beings, lost a strong ally, and may have caused some permanent harm to Adam and Mercy&rsquo;s relationship. I really hated this at first&ndash;I&rsquo;ve loved how solid the relationships of the main characters are in these books, letting them deal with huge problems together&ndash;but by the end I&rsquo;m at least willing to see where this goes.</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 23 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/31/attack-on-titan-vol.-23/ Mon, 31 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/31/attack-on-titan-vol.-23/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="34773676" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34773676.attack-on-titan-vol-23"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-23.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>This is a fascinating change of scope. After so long on what we thought of as the entire world (although of course we&rsquo;d guessed it wasn&rsquo;t the case), now we have an entire much larger world, more advanced in a lot of ways both in science and knowing about Titans. Crazy times.</p> <p>Plus a bit more backstory of Reiner and a handful of new characters that purposely are training to be Titans, all to willingly take on the Titans for only 13 years.</p> Storm Cursed https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/31/storm-cursed/ Mon, 31 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/31/storm-cursed/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="25026912" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25026912.storm-cursed"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/storm-cursed.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>It&rsquo;s been a while since my last re-read/listen through the Mercy Thompson books. I had forgotten just host much things had been changing on a larger world building scale in the last few books: since Mercy put herself and her pack on the line defending the people and territory of the Columbia Basin, things have gotten complicated. And dark. And did I mention complicated?</p> <p>It&rsquo;s fascinating world building.</p> The Book Thief https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/30/the-book-thief/ Sun, 30 May 2021 09:11:39 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/30/the-book-thief/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="8120173" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8120173.the-book-thief"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/the-book-thief.jpg"></a> </figure> <blockquote> <p>I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.</p> </blockquote> <p>As grim and depressing as a book set around Nazi Germany narrated by death can be, I actually quite enjoyed this story. Zusak certainly has quite a way with words and the story is alternatively terrifying (in a way that makes you think) and touching (likewise).</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 22 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/30/attack-on-titan-vol.-22/ Sun, 30 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/30/attack-on-titan-vol.-22/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="35895462" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35895462.attack-on-titan-vol-22"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-22.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Well that&rsquo;s a switch. We have a notebook talking about Eren&rsquo;s father&rsquo;s life outside of the walls, just how large the rest of the world is, and how the Attack Titan came to be.</p> <p>Now what in the world are they going to do?</p> Stargate Atlantis: Season 1 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/29/stargate-atlantis-season-1/ Sat, 29 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/29/stargate-atlantis-season-1/ And so it begins again. While Stargate SG-1 really has a solid place in my heart, in a way I like Atlantis even better. I don&rsquo;t think it could have been what it is without SG-1, but with it, it&rsquo;s made even better. You have a generally optimistic can do attitude, backed up by McKay quite often saving the day (which is crazy coming off SG-1, I forgot how annoying he is and just how much he grows throughout the seasons of Atlantis). Captain America: The Winter Soldier https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/27/captain-america-the-winter-soldier/ Thu, 27 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/27/captain-america-the-winter-soldier/ From one of the weakest MCU movies to one of the strongest. I loved the first solo entry of Captain American and the second is even better. Much like last time, I very much enjoyed this movie. It&rsquo;s a solid contrast against the first Captain America (blind optimistic patriotism versus a darker world, where even your friends&hellip; might not be). It&rsquo;s made all the better having already seen the future of Sam and Bucky/The Winter Soldier now. Attack on Titan, Vol. 21 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/attack-on-titan-vol.-21/ Wed, 26 May 2021 00:00:21 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/attack-on-titan-vol.-21/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="34892210" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34892210.attack-on-titan-vol-21"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-21.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>So close and yet so far. So many are dead, trying to (did they succeed after all) to take down the Beast Titan. And now they have a choice. Theoretically, they can steal one of the Titan&rsquo;s abilities and save one of their own&hellip;</p> <p>But who?</p> Taskmaster: Series 1 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/taskmaster-series-1/ Wed, 26 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/taskmaster-series-1/ Finally back to where it all began. We have a bit of trying to find the show&rsquo;s footing. I think Romesh Ranganathan was my favorite this series. Favorite task: Episode 1, Task 2: Eat as much watermelon as possible in one minute. HULK SMASH! Also, totally throwing up. It&rsquo;s probably the weakest season, but it more than gets a pass for all the wonderful things that came to be later. Taskmaster: Series 6 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/taskmaster-series-6/ Wed, 26 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/26/taskmaster-series-6/ I really like most of the people in this season. Alice Levine seems straight laced and perhaps sweet until she throws something at you out of left field. Asim Chaudhry hit the &lsquo;you&rsquo;re going to lose now&rsquo;, although didn&rsquo;t actually end up coming in last. Tim Vine though&hellip; oh Tim Vine. There always has to be one in a crazy outfit and he performs most of the tasks in some sort of safari outfit and hat. Taskmaster: Series 4 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/23/taskmaster-series-4/ Sun, 23 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/23/taskmaster-series-4/ Oh Noel Fielding. You&rsquo;re &hellip; a class all your own. I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;ve seen many other people that had so very many 1 and 5 point tasks with little in between. Having Mel Giedroyc there as well (also from the Great British Bake Off) was extra amusing. Another favorite of mine though was Hugh Dennis. So very British sense of humor. Favorite tasks: Episode 1, Task 1: Most unusual autograph on the most unusual vegetable. Fire Touched https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/18/fire-touched/ Tue, 18 May 2021 10:53:24 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/18/fire-touched/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="25776210" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25776210.fire-touched"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/fire-touched.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>In some ways, Fire Touched manages to back down from the scale of the previous two books. We&rsquo;re no longer fighting primordial spirits or gods, but rather &ldquo;just&rdquo; the Fae. Of course, as we see through the course of the book, there are some Fae who might as well be gods.</p> <p>On the other hand, this book as many as any that came before will really change the shape of the future of the universe that Briggs is building. In a nutshell, the wolves are going politically toe to toe with the Fae. Anything more than that would be even more a spoiler, but it&rsquo;s still another interesting bit of worldbuilding.</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 20 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/17/attack-on-titan-vol.-20/ Mon, 17 May 2021 20:00:20 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/17/attack-on-titan-vol.-20/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="29496367" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29496367.attack-on-titan-vol-20"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-20.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>You know; it is really quite impressive that the Survey Corps has been doing even this well against there Collosus/Armorered/Beast Titans. Human intellect and all those strengths. Oy.</p> <p>But then&hellip; sacrifices and boom sticks.</p> Attack on Titan, Vol. 19 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/17/attack-on-titan-vol.-19/ Mon, 17 May 2021 00:00:19 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/17/attack-on-titan-vol.-19/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="27833731" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27833731.attack-on-titan-vol-19"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-19.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Take the wall! Fight fight Titan fight! Crazy new technology to level the playing field. Fun times.</p> <p>Among the more fascinating bits is finding out even more crazy things that the Human/Titans can do with their powers. It remains believable but insane levels of power. You do sort of get why they view ‘normal’ humanity as something less to be eradicated.</p> McCormick's Creek 2021 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/16/mccormicks-creek-2021/ Sun, 16 May 2021 15:27:15 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/16/mccormicks-creek-2021/ Another camping trip with a number of other families. Great fun. Beautiful&ndash;if a touch cool&ndash;weather. View on Flickr Rebel Angels https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/14/rebel-angels/ Fri, 14 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/14/rebel-angels/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="51428" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51428.rebel-angels"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/rebel-angels.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Goodness. That&rsquo;s quite a story.</p> <p>While <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="3682" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3682.a-great-and-terrible-beauty">A Great and Terrible Beauty</a> primarily focused around the boarding school life with hints of a relatively benign magic (with a fair few hints of darkness under the surface), Rebel Angels expands the world both to the greater society of the time and delves much deeper into the dark, creepy bits of the Realms&ndash;not the least of which is Pippa. Dead&hellip; but not? It&rsquo;s a way to deal with loss, but there&rsquo;s no way this is possible going to end well.</p> Thor: The Dark World https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/12/thor-the-dark-world/ Wed, 12 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/12/thor-the-dark-world/ One problem that comic book universes in general and the MCU in specific have always had is that of scale. How in the world do you have a man in a suit, a literal &lsquo;god&rsquo;, a rage monster, a super soldier, and a couple &hellip; regular people ever interact on the same scale? For the most part, it&rsquo;s hand waved away. Everyone is paired up with an opponent of roughly the same power level and we move on with our lives. Taskmaster: Series 2 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/11/taskmaster-series-2/ Tue, 11 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/11/taskmaster-series-2/ Back one more! Richard Osman is just wonderful in this season. He can really give Greg Davies a run for his money. But I think even better is Katherine Ryan. She&rsquo;s snarky and hilarious. I wish they had more than one woman on the earlier seasons, but if you only have one, she was a good one! Favorite tasks: Episode 1, Task 2: Place three exercise balls on a yoga mat on top of a hill. Watchmen https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/11/watchmen/ Tue, 11 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/11/watchmen/ Oof. On one hand, Watchmen is a very HBO show. Violence all over the place, blood spraying, nudity (both male and female), language. On another hand, it&rsquo;s Watchmen. At first, it feels like a completely new story set in the same world. There are vague comments relating to the series, but where the graphic novel (I need to reread that) and movie were set decades ago closer to where Watchmen&rsquo;s Alternate Reality splits, this show starts and mostly stays in the world of the 2010s America. Attack on Titan, Vol. 18 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/08/attack-on-titan-vol.-18/ Sat, 08 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/08/attack-on-titan-vol.-18/ <figure class="cover-image"> <a data-goodreads-type="book" data-goodreads-id="29746529" href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29746529.attack-on-titan-vol-18"><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attack-on-titan-vol-18.jpg"></a> </figure> <p>Man things just keep getting crazier and more cliffhangery. (It&rsquo;s totally a word).</p> <p><img src="https://blog.jverkamp.com/embeds/books/attachments/aot-18-1.png" alt="AoT-18-1"></p> Taskmaster: Series 3 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/07/taskmaster-series-3/ Fri, 07 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/07/taskmaster-series-3/ Further back! Season 3! I don&rsquo;t have as much to say about the contestants this time around, except for Paul Chowdhry. Such a resting emotionless face&hellip; unless he&rsquo;s full of a deep rage. It makes it hilarious. And he got robbed&hellip; It&rsquo;s starting to seem kinda racist. Perhaps it&rsquo;s just my own viewing order? A few favorite moments: Episode 1, Task 3: Propel a pea the furthest distance and land on a red carpet. Iron Man 3 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/05/iron-man-3/ Wed, 05 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.jverkamp.com/2021/05/05/iron-man-3/ For some reason, I Iron Man 3 as a fairly week entry, but looking back to when I last watched it in theaters&hellip; I actually liked it about as much then I do now. On one hand, I really do still think they absolutely nailed Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man. He can do both funny and broken pretty well and has more than a few chances for each this time around.