Redwall

Redwall is a wonderful little tale.

It’s the tale of an abbey in the woods and the various woodland creatures who inhabit it (in a world seemingly devoid of humans). It’s a tale of good and evil. Of peaceful creatures and the times when peace is no longer enough. It’s a tale of piracy and plundering, of those with power taking whatever they wish from those without. It’s a tale of a prophecied warrior, and the tiny mouse ready to step into much larger shoes to do what’s right to protect his friends.

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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 17

Man this story is getting crazy. Another Homunculus (Sloth!), a giant transmutation circle under the whole country, more Von Hoenheim backstory, something wicked in the tunnel…

Man this series is good.

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Celtic Empire

And so it ends. I think I enjoyed the book more and rated it more highly knowing it was the last of the series, although I guess Dirk Cussler could easily continue it, given that he’s been the co-author on these books for years now. But for now, it’s over and it’s time for me to move on to other books.

Plotwise, there are a lot of threads that feel familiar, but there are only so many different ancient civilizations you can dig up treasures for–and I’m pretty sure Cussler hit them all. This time around, an ancient Egyptian princess apparently made it to Celtic Ireland somehow. A mummy is stolen, bioengineered bacteria try to take over the world, someone is taking militant feminism to an extreme, and wacky (destructive) highjinks ensue.

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Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Much like Saga, Vol. 1, Fables has been on my list to read for the longest time. I have a soft spot for genre mashups, so the idea of taking Fairy Tales and having them alive and well in a hidden corner of our real world? Wonderful!

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile introduces us to the setting and the characters, taking the guise of a classic murder mystery and throwing a few Fairy Tale specific wrenches in along the way.

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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 16

Oh man. A bit of fallout from the war, going north (it’s COLD!), and (re-)meeting another Armstrong. Exciting things and it doesn’t have to even been brainbreakingly weird!

Chapter 62: Beyond the Dream

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Observation Server

For a number of years now, I’ve been writing down my ‘observations’. Essentially, it’s a semi-structured set of text files that I keep in Dropbox. One for each day, in a folder by month. I record interesting people I see, things I did worth doing, and things my children did which were adorable.

After a while, I started wanting to look back, so first, I wrote a relatively simple script that would go back through my archives and send me everything I did 1/2/3/4/etc years ago. That worked well enough, but it ended up generating a lot of emails to go through some days. So the second generation is a server that can format those pages and display them as a nice webpage.

The most interesting part perhaps was dealing with the tarballs that I keep the archives in (they’re plain text, so they compress very well). I wanted to keep them compressed, so I had to decompress them in memory on the fly.

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Bicycle Mystery

Only a few weeks left in the summer, so the Boxcar Children are going on (another) adventure closer to home! This time, they’re going to ride their bikes to Aunt Jane’s and of course find a several mysteries (and a dog!) along the way. It’s really quite strange how close together everything is. They keep going by previous locations, such as Second Landing and Aunt Jane’s. New England I guess?

It’s a cute story and, given their current ages, seems entirely appropriate. Although just how old is Benny supposed to be to plan to ride up to 50 miles a day several days in a row? I don’t know if it’s something that would really make sense where we live in the midwest, but everything in New England is a bit more compact.

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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 15

Herein, we see the horror of the Ishvalan war. Just how terrifying living weapons of war–taught that the Isvalans are the ‘other’ and deserve to die– can be. Man this chapter hits hard.

It’s interesting to see the research Hiromu Arakawa did for this book.

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