Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Forgotten Kid's Shows

Just wanted to take a bit of time to talk about some of my favorite shows that it seems people forgot.

5. Liberty's Kids

It tells the story of the founding better than some adult documentaries.

4. Ghostwriter

Okay so I was like one of the only kids in town who liked educational programing. Sue me.

3. Extreme Ghostbusters

I should have put it on my reboot list. Fenris was scary. And you have Hellraiser imports. Why would do that to my young and innocent brain?

2. Fillmore!

CSI for kids.

1. Mighty Max

The show that made me a nerd, complete with Planet of the Apes, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea episodes.

March 28, 2011 Southfield City Council News Brief

Note: My tape recorder fell out of my backpack just prior to me leaving for last night's Southfield, Michigan city council meeting. So I am doing this slightly differently than how I normally do it.

The meeting started with a representation of National League of Cities Diversity Award. The award had previously been presented to the city council at last week's committee of the whole meeting. Also presented was the community service award for Southfield's Field Zone Youth Center.

The Mayor also presented a joint resolution for welcome Home Vietnam Veterans day which will be March 30

Next the council gave members of the community an opportunity to speak. Pamela Gerald, who has spoken at many meetings about similar issues, discussed ways she feels the city is wasting money. She would also speak in later portions of the meeting during public hearings.

After Gerald spoke, three woman separately came to the podium to support the proposed millage. Gloria Kennedy, one of the three women, saying, "It is imperative this millage be passed... I would like everyone here and watching on cable to join me and my association in voting yes."

Yolanda Haynes, another one of the three said, "I don't have the skills of Chuck Norris or Wonder Woman so I rely on the police"

During discussion of the consent agenda, Councilman Sidney Lantz questioned which part of the budget police vests were being paid with. He was not opposed to the purchase of new police vests but wanted to know why the money wasn't coming out of a different part of the budget.

Councilman Donald Fracassi was strongly opposed to the rezoning of an area to allow a McDonald's to be built there. Very close to the proposed McDonald's lies a residential complex. Fracassi was concerned that the noise and light of a drive-through would be discomforting to the residents. Councilwoman Taylor and an architect who had worked on the plan said that they had spoken with residents of the complex and it seemed as if they had few issues with it and is some cases were in support of the plan.

During the rezoning public hearing Gerald, spoke on abatements and Brownfield credits though a representative from McDonald's and the City council said that the company was receiving neither.

Ultimately the rezoning as well as a motion relating to the demolition of what currently lies where the McDonalds will be constructed passed.

The Council, in a close vote, also passed 180 day moratorium on Wind Turbines. Councilman Ken Siver expressed concern that a moratorium might send the message that the city does not want green technology. Councilman Fracassi was concerned that it seemed unfair that recently a car dealership was allowed to build wind turbines when another company roughly a year prior was not. The city attorney's office urged city council to accept this moratorium because while they are planning an alternative energy ordinance currently there are few ways for the city to regulate turbines.

Also towards the end of the meeting Councilman Lantz said that Councilman Siver's position as Deputy Superintendent for the Southfield Public School district was a conflict of interest.

Top 5 Kid Show (and 1 Movie) Reboots

As is obvious when talking about your favorite show from when you were a kid the nostalgia filter is in full force. In such full force you might not even be aware that your favorite show was brought back. Here are my top 5 kid show reboots. Note some of the reboots are canceled but they made the list.

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I was a turtles nerd in the '80s and early 90's but all I can really remember is the movie. That said I love the 2000's update.

4. The Spectacular Spider-man

On the one hand I don't want to have too many comic book inspired shows on here on the other, the new Spider-man show was awesome.

3. Superfriends/Justice League
The Timmverse rocked back in the day and the penultimate show in it was his update to the old superfriends cartoon. Aquaman is now a badass who cut off his own friggin' arm to save his kid.

2. He-Man Masters of the Universe

It so deserved another season.

1. Scooby Doo on Zombie Island
Scooby was starting to become a joke, until this came out and gave Mystery Inc some much needed cred.

And a kick-ass soundtrack didn't hurt.

Honorable mention goes to Quack Pack , A Goofy Movie, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest and and Wolverine and the X-men.

My Boring Life Part Two

Okay well first off I told my mother I would wash dishes so I should get on that.

I should also write up some of the stuff that happened at the city council meeting last night My tape recorder accidentally fell out of my bag before I left so I need to be a bit more detailed on this one. Nothing major happened, mostly a fairly lengthy conversation about whether the light and sound from a new McDonald's would be a detriment to the residents living near by.

I'm thinking of trying to post me reading a monologue from Othello, The Turk and the Venetian. And maybe goofing around on my guitar. I should also work a bit on Game.

I also told Dad I would help him post some pictures of himself on Facebook. He's asking me about whether certain stuff is appropriate for Facebook, but I hardly ever post pictures of myself on it so I wouldn't know. I do think that my parents have a tendency to be a bit too formal on it. You do not need to sign your name after you write on someones wall.

Before I do all that I'm thinking of making myself some breakfast. I didn't really cook yesterday though I made myself two sandwiches and ate a few bananas. I'm mildly hungry.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Boring Life

Well, I am once again finding myself in a general case of writer's block. I'm hoping the city council meeting I'm going to attend in two hours will cure me of that. Besides that I'm afraid that I am not in the mood to be the misanthrope. Nothing has happened in the last few days to make me see red. So here is some boring crap that's going on.

Over the weekend I played Civilization 5. I like it. I conquered pretty much all of Asia save Japan and have my eyes on Europe. I am however afraid that my wars have caused me to run up a huge deficit and am trying to get workers to construct roads to better allow trade in my newly conquered territories, mostly, what is geographically China.

I'm watching Dead Like me on Netflix. I really relate to George Lass.

I started practicing guitar again. I'll probably post me improvising a song later.

I raked some leaves and got 20 bucks Saturday.

Went to the store bought a case of green beans, but a can in the case was busted and I got rotten green bean juice on my jeans.

I'm working on Game but I already said that.

Um. Started re-reading the last book in Animorphs while I made dinner yesterday. I keep forgetting how much I liked that series as a kid.

Watched a few episodes of Linkara's History of Power Ranger's series.


That's about it. Sorry folks I'm just not that interesting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Game Bible: Part 2 Tech

Seed-A seed is a computer that can interact with a computer chip in the brain.

Virtual Reality- One of the most common uses of the seed is the creation and use of virtual reality.

Time Dilation- While in virtual reality the seed can change people's perception of time.

Mental Division- While in virtual reality people can interact and project copies of themselves.

Personality Back Up - People can take a personality snapshot of themselves and recall that back up later as mental division.

Memory BackUp - The Seed can back up memories and project them in the virtual reality.

Downloads- People can use the seed to download information, images, and, video directly into the brain.

Communication- The seed allows for telepathic communication.

AI Avatar- The seed allows for a mental A.I Companion

Identity Authentication- The original use of the seed was to verify identity.

Altered Sensory Perception- Seeds can alter how human beings perceive sensory information such as temperature, light intensity, and sound and speed.

Environmental Measurement- Some seeds can independently measure their environment and relay that information directly to the brain.

Calculation / Data Manipulation- Seeds can quickly take data and calculator other values with it.

Time Keeping- The seed comes with a system clock.


If people want to they can download their personality backups or A.I.s into humanoid bodies.


People can project holograms. In conjunction with seeds it is even possible for people to transmit a projection of themselves into these holograms.

Game Bible: Part 1 Why I'm Writing Game

I'm trying to figure out where I want to go with Game so I thought I'd go back to the beginning. I'm typing up and editing my notes. What follows are them.

Game got started for four reasons.

1. I was working on another story, but the college student's life being the college student's life I had to put it down. It was a bit of a grim story, Orientation, and by the time I could pick it up again I was no longer in the mental place I needed to be in order to work on it.

2. I thought the technology in the matrix was really cool but realized narrativly the characters couldn't do anything cool with it because it was being used to enslave them. No matter how awesome the tech was it would always be portrayed in that series as the most devastating weapon of the machines.

3. I wanted a Magic the Gathering Tv show and thought to myself that in a way I already had one, Yu-Gi-Oh. Most of Yu-Gi-Oh isn't what I had in mind but there was one two part episode in Battle City Arc close to it, The Legendary Fisherman.

That episode had two likable characters, who respected each other, playing a fun game together. I really liked that and wished more sports movies would go that route than making the opposing character or team total douches.

4. As I wrote it I realized that I was setting it in college. The happiest moment of my life thus far was my first week at University of Michigan. There was so much to do and everybody was so cool. The weather was nice and class work hadn't set in yet. As a matter of fact I think University of Michigan even gave students that first week off. You could just enjoy Ann Arbor's environment. I wanted to capture that feeling at least to a degree.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Can we get Some Goddamn Bathrooms Please (Apparently Cursing in the Title also Gives Me More Hits)

I like going to Downtown Detroit. Not now, Not in winter. But come spring it's one of my favorite places to hang. It's fun to people watch at the library and Campus Martius. It's also fun to listen to what people are talking about. I admit it. I'm a bit of an eavesdrop. One thing always bugs me.

Get some gd public restrooms Detroit! I'm tired of walking three blocks every time I have to go. You want to improve downtown foot traffic? You need to provide basic services. And restrooms qualify as basic services!

Let's delve into the realm of the gross, shall we. Some folks go on the side of buildings in and alleys. That might not happen if we had a couple of restrooms you could duck into every block and a half or so.

Thank You from the Department of Common Sense.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seven Ladies: Prologue Draft 1

This is an old story I was working on in high school. I haven't worked on it in a while and have a bunch of other stuff in the queue. Even if I did, I decided to go into another direction and already rewrote the prologue a while ago. Anyway I thought it might be fun for you guys to read.

The Birth of the seven ladies and their Realms
There was first the immortal lady of the sky, Heathena who ruled over Acena and forged it into something great. In her domain knowledge and justice ruled. Eventually she fell in love married and gave birth to eight immortal daughters like herself and one son.

The daughters grew and soon wanted each of their own realms. Heathena gave into them and gave to each of them a portion of her own realm and giving them power over those realms but kept her great city in the sky. Each realm’s peoples and lands began to mirror the lady that ruled it.
The eldest Artemis’s realm quickly became covered with trees and beasts. Wild and beautiful she became the lady of the forest. Her people were like her, woodsmen and rangers. Whatever they needed they found in her woods, but if they took more that they needed, they were put under her form of justice in which they became the creature they wronged.

The second eldest, Chelani’s realm quickly froze and became tundra. Chelani had a heart of ice and thus became the lady of ice also known as the lady of the white desert. Ruthless and brutal she gave nothing to her people. Whatever they wanted to eat they had to hunt. Resources were scarce and warmth was nonexistent. Life was hard and the only law in the land became the law of survival.

Like her older sister Marseta was ruthless. Marseta was also harsh. Her land became a vast blazing hot desert of golden sand . She made her people into fierce warriors who became masters in the arts of war and battle. The lady of the desert’s people held deadly competitions to gain what they wished. It is their custom and belief that what they want should be grasped aggressively with strength and to prove that they are worthy of it they should be able to combat all who would take it away.

Cerhesta, the forth born believed that anything could be achieved with hard work and help great value in the bond of family Her realm had fertile soil that would provide all the people needed and wanted if they tilled and worked it. She became the lady of the plains. The people of the plain became farmers and raised families.

Myene believed that people should be around people. Her land became a large hub of Acena and so she became the lady of the city. Her city attracted merchants and business. The people there quickly learned to read each other and be perceptive so they could get the most out of a deal. The city people were extremely cleaver and worldly.

Apphesta loved art, skill beauty, and making things. Her land provided materials that could be crafted. Stone, which could create great statues, minerals that could be made into paint and metal which could form nearly anything existed in her realm. She became the lady of the mountain who could see anything and make it into what was needed by the hand or by the soul.

Playful Posidia was the second youngest and loved stories, song and adventures. She became the lady of the sea. Her people were sailors who told tales and sang songs on the oceans. They like her would sometimes be roguish but on the sea’s anything was fair.
The youngest Hadea was young and still trying to find herself when the tragedy struck.
The War Of the Seven Ladies
Marseta believed that she was the strongest and should have all the lands. She conquered Cerhesta’s farms easily and started to burn them. But her ambitions were larger than a few farms. Making the promise to her sisters that she would control the entire world she plunged all Acena into war.

Apphesta and Myene surrendered their lands out of fear. Apphesta did not want her art to be destroyed for it could never be replaced and Myene did not want her people to be destroyed for the same reason. The fought for Marseta against their will but they fought for her. Marseta was extremely pleased by their surrender. Apphesta had iron and a means to forage it into weapons. Myene had an ample supply of soldiers.

Although some of the ladies surrendered others fought Posidia who was mistress of the seas had a well armed navy and used it to bombard the coasts and pirate her sisters’ trade ships. Her ships could do anything on water. No ship was a match for Posidia’s ships.

Artemis knew that if Marseta ever possessed her forests she would burn them like she burned Cerhesta’s farms and that was a thought she could not bear. Her people used the skills they had learned within the forest, hunting, camping, and bow making to their advantage in the fight against Marseta. Artemis also sent her beasts into battle using them as soldiers just as well as humans.

Chelani was much like her sister. She believed that if anyone deserved ultimate power it was her. She refused to give up her lands. The life of cold and harsh perpetual winter had hardened her people. Her ice warriors were just as harsh as Marseta’s desert warriors. They used the spears the used for hunting as weapons.

In the war Hadea tried to stay neutral because she had nothing to lose she had few people in her land. However her sisters would not let her. The ladies rampaged through Hadea’s land burning it and salting it so nothing could ever live there.

Eventually Heathena became aware of the war. She was angered and ordered the sisters to put a stop to the war. The sisters were obligated to do as she asked for she was their mother and she still held dominion over the sky which was above all off their lands. Heathena drafted a written treaty that stated that the sisters were no longer to control armies and all lands would be returned under the jurisdiction to the lady that controlled it prior to the war.
The Birth of the Guardians
Each of the ladies had to obey the treaty but they still felt the need to have a military to defend them. Cerhesta came with a solution that only she could see. Her plan was that each lady would find a husband and have a child. That child would found a family that in every generation would have one person bonded to the lady, charged to protect her, her land and her honor. Also each guardian would be charged to lead the military of the ladies’ land.

Each lady would give the guardian a weapon and the ability to change into animal form that represented her. The guardian of the sky would have the form of an eagle and a gauntlet that could change into any weapon or armor the guardian could conceive.
The guardian of the desert would have the form of a lion and a scimitar that could become surrounded by fire.

The guardian of the forest would have a bow created arrows whenever it was nocked. Also the tip of the arrow created could do strange things to what ever it hit even if the target was only grazed. The guardian of the forest would have the form of a wolf.
The guardian of the city would have a dagger that grow or shrink to any size and the ability to change into a fox.

The guardian of the sea would have the ability to change into a dolphin as well as two twin swords that when used could make sounds that could do peculiar things and some times sound as if they were singing.

The guardian of the plains would have a sling that could not miss its mark and have the ability to turn into an ox.

The guardian of ice would have the form of an orca and a harpoon.
The guardian of the mountain would have a war hammer that could shatter even the thickest steal to pieces and be able to turn into a bear.

After the seven ladies war there were no more wars. Nobody wanted to relive the hell that was that conflict. Time passed and in every generation there were new guardians. The guardians became bored of life in Acena and all eventually decide to go to a new world. That world was called Earth. They would each find haven in a time and place that suited them.

The lady of the Grave

Hadea never forgave her sisters for what they did. In her mind they robed her of what her realm and her life could have been. Nothing could grow in her land. It became barren and a land of death. Eventually the souls of all those who died in the seven ladies war would become attracted to this land of death and would sympathize with the lady of the grave. To them their lives had been stolen by the folly of their former masters. She always secretly plotted to get revenge on her sisters but she had no chance of ever fulfilling her purpose of revenge with the guardians in place. When they left she saw an opportunity to take the land that should be hers and get revenge for what was done to her.

You Bastards Made Me Write About My Blog On My Blog. I Hate You.

You people. Yooooooou people! You always give me more hits when I talk about my blog than when I do anything else on my blog. Do you know how recursive that is? "Forget the literature. Forget the city hall meetings. How about a dude on the internet talking about the internet?"

Fine. Fine. I will talk about my blog on my blog. Ingrates.

In this post I'm talking about two things. First how my blog got started.

The Great Big Binder of Stuff.
The short version is this blog got started because I am a bad son.

The long version is that I had this great big binder of stuff I wrote, and as you can imagine, you ask your friends to read a great big binder of stuff you write the answer won't exactly be yes.

For a while I toyed with the idea of either trying to get a publisher or putting it online, but never did anything.

Then in the summer of '09 my mom wanted to do some gardening, but, and she is going to kill me for saying this, she's was getting older and her knees were starting to hurt. She wanted me to help her do the gardening. Yeah, I didn't want to so every time she would ask I would say I was doing this. By the end of the summer, I had most of that big binder of stuff digitized at least in drafts on blogger.

Next I want to talk about influences. Now Let me explain right now this blog isn't much but these are guys I look at and say you know I would kind of like do that or be like this.

Tech TV

Back in the day I loved Tech Tv. I could write an entire article on how Comcast screwed it over. But, while I had it was beautiful. It was a channel devoted to everything nerdy. It had computer tutorials

Tech News

Tech Reviews

and even shows about nerd culture before talking about nerd culture became cool.

It was beautiful. I might get a lot of grief but I also liked G4 before the two were merged, but that's a different story.

Why did I love these two channels. They didn't just inform me. They entertained me and in a lot of ways provided me with a mirror of myself. I could learn, "Hey. I'm not the only guy into this, or that."

TechTv isn't around any more but a lot the old personalities of the channel have their own projects. Kevin Rose and Patrick Norton broadcast on Revision3. Sarah Lane and Leo Laporte do their thing on Twit, and if I ever feel really really nostalgic I can always watch a bunch of the old shows on youtube.

Internet Content Makers
Beyond TechTV I'm also inspired by other internet content makers like those guys at That Guy With The Glasses who pretty much shot a feature length movie in 4 days.

I also really get inspired at the work the guys at Reckless Tortuga and Spill and the Guild do

The Early Stone

Most people now a days think of The Rolling Stone from what it was in the 90's mainly entertainment based but in the 60's up until about the 90's it was 50/50. It was a magazine about the counter culture and while it was about the culture it was also about the politics of the culture. You've got guys like Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe doing their. In the 2000's it started to recover a lot of it's old rep with stories like Generation Kill.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bonnie Bucqueroux Interview

Here is an old interview of Bonnie Bucqueroux I did for a class assignment about two and a half years. Enjoy. You can also download audio of it here.

Post Scrpt: Yeah I've been having some trouble with blip I don't know what to do with it. I'm weighing options right now. I'm posting a link where you can download audio of it. I'm also posting the embed code where you're suppose to be able to stream it, which won't work, but you might get it if you click around in related videos.

P.P.S. If you want to avoid all that you can also click here.

Stuff that Happened: A Quasi-Podcast Thing Episode 1 March 23, 2011

Forgive me for the roughness of this thing. I only decided to do it like 2 hours ago.

Just a quick run through of interesting stuff that happened.

Topics Include- Detroit Census Data -|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Gov Snyder's Budget- (Note I said he doled out the budget a week ago what I meant is that A Free Press article about the tax changes in it came out about w week ago)

Libyan Conflict -

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Audio for the Southfield Michigan March 21, 2011 City Council Meeting

Here is a raw audio from the March 21, 2011 Southfield CIty Council Meeting.

Topic Include
- 2 Liquor licenses. One for Lucky's Pub and Grille and another for McVee's Restaurant and Bar.

- The possibility and idea of a dog park in Southfield - The Park's and Recreation Master Plan

- A Planned Unit Development Ordinance, in particular several members including Councilman Lantz and Councilwoman Seymour were concerned that as worded the ordinance would remove the final approval of siteplans from city council.

- What would the city of Southfield have to do to in order to comply with new revenue sharing standards set by the state.
You can download an audio file of this meeting here and here.
You can see a packet for the meeting here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Budget 2.5: State Style

Okay so yesterday or today depending if you're a print or online guy, The Free Press rolled out an article about Michigan, Governor Snyder's proposed budget. I'll write something longer in a bit but here is the gist of it.

Here are some of the big things that I want to talk about.
1. The cuts - And boy howdy are there a lot of them.
2. He wants to get rid of the Michigan Business Tax and replace it with a 6 percent corporate income tax.
3. He wants to Tax pensions.
4. He wants to allow citizens to be able to get a better look at government performance through a website called Michigan Dashboard.
5. He wants to eliminate business tax credits.
6. He wants to reform revenue sharing, which distributes money to municipalities, townships, etc., through an incentive based program.
7.He wants to reform how the state handles retired public employee benefits.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Rise of the Niche Market and Community AKA Look at Me. I can Sound Smart and Talk about Anime at the Same Time.

Originally I was going to explain to all you folks in internet land what I mean when I say anime boom. It was going to be a mini-history lesson, but the more I thought about it the more it became apparent that a lot of the same things happened with other areas of intrest. I can get my academic on , talking about a sociological trend, and talk about anime on the internet. Cool beans.

First lets define some terms as I'm using them

Niche Market
Almost any hobby is going to require the people who take part in it to make purchases. If you're into music you buy CD's. There are certain hobbies that are mainstream and some not so mainstream. Almost everybody listens to music but you narrow the field when you start talking about people who play music.

The people who play music are going to be the ones who buy instruments and equipment. They want it, and are willing to pay for it, but because there are so few of them in a populace compared to every one else they are smaller market. Because of this smaller market not as many businesses are willing to get into the instrument selling business as the CD, okay I'm showing my age, mp3 selling business.

As a result especially back in the day, if you wanted to buy instruments, you were limited in what you could buy, and where you could buy it. There might be an awesome new drum pedal out there but that doesn't mean your local shop carries it. Or even that the store owner knows about it.

The niche market is a market that caters not to everyone but a small segment of the population. As a result it has a few economic peccadilloes. A lot of how the modern business runs is based on the economy of scale. It's cheaper to make and sell a lot of something than a smaller amount of it. If you can't sell tens of thousands of units you're hosed.

Niche Community
People like talking about what they're interested in, which is fine when you're talking about things that are common to a lot of people, like sports but there are a lot of things that aren't. I loved Magic the Gathering in High school, but I was the only kid who I knew of who played. Whenever I meet someone else who plays it instantly makes me want to start talking about the game, because I don't have the chance to that often. Not only that but it's an opportunity to not just talk but gain new information, find out about new strategies and cards I may not have considered. A niche community is a community driven by a common interest not held by the majority of those in geographic proximity.

The Anime Market as a case study
Back in the late 80's early 90's, slightly before my time here, it was rough getting your hands on anime. Most stores didn't carry it and in a local area so few people knew about it that even getting the name of that tittle you wanted was tough. I've heard stories comparing it to trying to get the new type of crack. You had to go to a dude ask him to give you his connect. Then, pay another dude who probably made a bootleg copy an amount of money that seems ridiculously exorbitant for just a few episodes.

The companies who are now household names in anime, Funimation, Pioneer etc, were just getting started or didn't exist yet. Nobody really knew how to make money getting anime across the waters. And because of that they didn't. Sure you had people who would pay for it, but you don't know how many, and you don't know where they are.

In the case of the market at least one huge thing changed. Cable. In the early days of cable it was devoted to the niche content market. Channels would devote themselves to a single area of expertise and market themselves based on that area of expertise. Here are the ones that have survived time. The Food channel, the Weather channel, the Discovery channel, the Travel channel, ESPN. If you were interested in these things they would provide you with the content and and information you needed to pursue those interests. These are the ones that are now more mainstream, Syfy, Cartoon Network, G4, Turner Classic Movies, Disney Channel.

If you had an interest in media content these would provide you with that specific type of media content. If you had an interest in some sort of hobby they would provide you with the information you needed to pursue it. They were in effect video trade magazines that had national distribution.

Cartoon Network did this for anime. Cartoon Network started as a way to capitalize on the back catalog of Hanna Barbara Cartoons, but started coming into its own when it started airing anime in it's Toonami block and original programming. It exposed anime to a new audience that quickly became interested in it, and made it easier for it's previous audience to experience it. (There was a bust that I will talk about in a later post, heck I want to talk about the consequences of this new market, but that will be in another post.)

The Anime Community
Previously if you were in a niche community you were bound by geography. You may have liked something but you didn't know everyone else liked it because you didn't have people to talk to about it. Que epic voice. Then came the internet. All of a sudden, if you liked Dragon Ball Z you could talk to or read from thousands of other people who liked Dragon Ball Z, and you could find out about shows that were like Dragon Ball Z that maybe you hadn't seen. It also gave who felt like they were outcasts other people who had similar interests to them. Well if you're an outcast because you were the only person you knew who liked something and you just found 100 people who like the same damn thing, then heeeeyyyyyy. Maybe you're not an outcast after all.

And if you were a corporate executive, who wanted to license it you knew there was a market for Dragon Ball Z.

The end result of both is that you had a way to connect people who wanted a product with people had a product. Cool Beans. A market just opened.

Next time. The epic bust of the anime market.

Princesses Who Kick Ass

Alright The Escapist just put out it's editorial, The Princess Problem. Video games are motivationally driven. You need a goal, and save the princess is often the go to goal for the player, even if the princess is a flat and, all hell boring character. I agree, but I like royals in my fiction. Nothing says epic like a royal or "not exactly human" other.

Royals are connected to epic struggles that can forever change the course of human history. If you're in charge making the battle plans i.e. the King or the Queen then you're golden. And everybody has heard of stories where princes do daring do, but what about stories where princesses kick ass.

Here are my top 11 princesses who kick ass.
First. The Rules.
1. They have to be princesses at the time they at least start to kick ass. No queens.
2. Their kickassiness has to be at least somewhat violent. No administrators on this list. They need to have found evil, (or in one case good) and tried to destroy it.

11. Sorcha
Daughter of the Forest

Alright this one is debatable. Sorcha actually does find herself in crap tons of situations where she needs to be rescued, but. And this is a big but. It's her damn story. She's the hero and being the hero costs her a lot. She's not just the magic button used to send the hero on his quest. She doesn't want to put herself in danger. She wants to just go home but she canit because she's trying to do the rescuing. This is a retelling of an old, I mean before there was an America old, tale. And in the old tales there are rules. You can't just go stabbing magic with mundane weaponry. It doesn't work like that. Read the book. Sorcha is possibly more genre savvy than Mercy. She knows how the old tales run.

10. Kalix
Lonely Werewolf Girl

She would be the apparent head of the MacRinnalach werewolf clan, if she weren't' a chaotic neutral drug addict. Nobody is crazy enough to support her claim. She should be running things because for werewolves the strongest is in charge and she took out her old man, but last I checked, I'm only part way through he second book, not being in charge was fine by her.

9. Eowyn
Lord of the Rings, Movies

She's way down on the list of supporting characters. I'll admit it. Eowyn is here for one moment. One gloriously bad-ass moment. She killed a friggin' dragon. AAAAAnd the evil damn near immortal ringwraith that was riding it, and we're not talking any ringwraith here. We're talking the Witch King. She totally kicked his ass which is why she makes the list.

8. Shoukei
12 Kingdoms

First off. Shame. Shame, if you're an anime fan and you haven't seen this show. Shaaaaaame. Now that that's out of the way. Character development is pretty much the point of everything in the show. See Shoukei, was a princess, buuut there was a coup. The coup happened for good reason. 100,000 executions by the king's administration good reason. For the first half of her arc Shoukei's a whinny brat going on and on how it wasn't fair that the people cheered at her father's death and that she should still have the wealth and status she did as a princess. Then she sees how unfair the world can really be and how unfair it was under her father and for justice's sake takes part in a rebellion against another ax friendly tyrant.

7. Cagalli Yula
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed

Is she a supporting character? Yes but she isn't afraid to call the two heroes on their bullshit. She isn't going to let the two kill just each other on the battlefield.

6. Katrina

We all know singing bird chick from sleeping beauty. But this aint the Disney version. Ivan is no prince charming. Katrina takes one look at him and says something to the effect of, "Uh no. Just no." And it's not just standard princessy snobbishness either. Ivan, being from modern times well 1995ish, is ill equipped to be in a fairy tale. He's not a soldier, a mage, or a farmer. Heck even as a scribe he barely knows the language. As a result Katrina has to pick up the slack. Come the final battle with the witch, it's not prince charming doing the rescuing and leading the charge, it's the princess.

5. Kahlen Amnell
Sword of Truth Books

Okay I'm cheating a bit. Kahlen is technically a princess. She's the daughter of the king and when shit happens she does serve as queen, but for the majority of the series her other title, being more impressive than being a princess, makes her princess-hood moot. She spends the series kicking all kinds of ass, leading armies and just being a general bad ass, literally, when her writer hasn't drunken the kool-aid of crazy, and sometimes even then.

Let me focus on the first 3 books here. Or even better just the second. She's away from the her beau, and they both have their own sets problems. Problems that deal with swords, and the sticking the pointy end of said swords into evil.

4. Kida
Atlantis: Lost Empire

Atlantis was one hell of a Disney movie... that nobody remembers. Well at least it's not The Black Cauldron. High on crystal juice Kida stops a goddamn volcanic eruption. That's kickass. Anything involving volcanic eruptions is guaranteed epic. Even if you have crappy animators, which this by the way didn't, a volcanic eruption is going to be epic.

3. Azula
Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Tags: Avatar Episodes,Avatar,Avatar Games

Okay she's evil, but she is still a princess who in about the span of a week captured the enemy capital. And she shoots lightning from he fingertips. I don't mean a little like a Sith lord. I mean full on bolt of Zeus' lightning. She also almost killed the namesake of the series. I'm not talking the way most villains almost kill the hero. I mean he was actually dead there for a second.

2. Kaede
Tales of the Otori

I can't list every badass thing Kaede does through out the series, so I'm only going to talk about how the first book ends.

The villain has her locked in a castle where he can and will rape her. Now, while she knows the male protagonist and there is some chemistry there, he's headed to the castle for a totally different reason and doesn't even know she's there. Now while he's off trying to get vengeance, it's actually Kaede who does the villain in.

1. Leia Organa
Star Wars

Look she's contractually obligated to be on this list.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We Still Forge.

In this country we made things.
And we will make things still.
We will make tools for industry.
Words for the heart.
Tales for the soul.

What was made always came from the tools we had to guide in the forging.
And it does still. Instead of a hammer and forge.
We use the key and the processor.
Finding a faster.
Better Way

Friday, March 18, 2011

Game:Chapter 4 Draft 1 Fight

After a long night of writing down ideas for his class, Henri was cyber trancing with his girlfriend, he was lying down on a couch face up with his head in her lap in their mental apartment. The apartment was not unlike their real ones. It was small with plain walls and a hard wood floor. When the day was over and all that needed to be said and done was said and done, they liked to just sit, not talking but just being.

"So Han, what's the plan for tomorrow?"


"The game," Elizabeth said, while lightly punching his arm.

"Oh that, well you and the guys already know the rules, so I thought we'd improvise."

"We need a plan."

"Don't worry about it. We'll have time to come up with one in the war room, and the terrain is randomized so any plan we came up with we would have to adapt on the spot."

"Fair enough, but you should probably at least get some sleep," Elizabeth said, kissing Henri's forehead.

"You're probably right, but I do some of my best work on caffeine. A few more minutes won't cost us the game."

"Still, if I believe your stories of the old days we are in for one hell of a fight."
The first to arrive to the mutual war room were Henri and Seamus.

"Sup," Henri said.

"That's all you can say."

"Hey, it's too early to be verbose."

"Heard that brother. While kicking your ass I'm going to have to listen to battle track number 9."

"'Symphony of Destruction'? I'm going with 'Battle Without Honor or Humanity myself.' I know your girl and your cousin. So who else you get to roll in your crew?

"I let my cousin handle it."

"Man, you do live on the edge."

"Heads up we have incoming."
The two turned their heads, to see Alexandria and Silvia materializing into the war room.

"Universe is on his way I'm sad to say," Silvia said.
At nearly the same time Zach arrived with two others, a boy and a girl.

"I know you." said the girl.

"You two are students of mine, Jo and Mr. I have to."

"Call me Mike."

"Got it. "

"Alright let's generate that map," Hank said.

The walls of the common war room began to shift into what appeared to be glass windows. Outside there was an endless craggy desert landscape. The war room was positioned a great height above the ground.

"We already decided you guys would be the defenders. Go do what you need to do," Silvia said.

With that Hammer's team shifted away. They were still in the room but they could neither perceive, nor be perceived by Silver's team.

"That point," said Hammer pointing to a mesa in the distance," I think that is where we should set up. It's not as high as the war room but it's higher than most everything else. Heck it's even high enough that their mortars might not be able to reach us."

"That's wishful thinking. And heck what's to say they don't grab a chopper with their points?" Liz said," I say we dig tunnels under the sand, create a system of ropes that we can use the tension to determine where they are and strike like a trap-door spider, quick and clean."

Jo and Mike looked at each other scared.

"I don't know if we have the time for that."

"We do if we all get started. Then two will be spotters keeping an eye on the ropes, two of us will mobilize, and whoever is left can man a sniper rifle on the that mesa you seem so determined to climb," Liz said.

"Standard Rook - Vet team up?" Hank said

"Why not? Jo you're with me. We'll ride out on a jeep. I'm driving you're shooting."

"Zach, you and Mike are our spotters. You'll be on the mesa with me but all you're doing is telling us where you see movement. Jo and me are doing the shooting," said Hank.

"Ah come on. I wanna make stuff go boom," said Zach.

"You heard 'em. But that gives me an idea. Instead of ropes we put in small mines. Not powerful enough to knock 'em out, but enough to give off a poof of sand. Zach you know how to calculate distance based on how tall the blasts appear to you."

"I don't want small explosions! I want a Fourth of July extravaganza!"

"Zach!" both Liz and Hank said simultaneously.

"Alright I'll mine the northwest quadrant, Zach you take the Southwest, the rooks will handle the Northeast and Hammer here will take the Southeast." said Liz

"Did I mention how much I love you when you talk tactics?"

"No and don't. This isn't the time Han."

Some Days I wish I was Evil

Sometimes I will write a facebook wall post and it will lead to other thoughts and other posts in a spiderwebby wibbly wobly... eh screw it here is what I wrote last night, with some edits.

Yep this sums up my current mood.

Ah nothing says "I will conquer you, crush your every hope and your every dream. I will eviscerate you at my whim. I will salt your farms. I will burn your libraries. I will not only end you but end even the knowledge of your existence" like the good or (not so good) imperial march

Okay I'm officially starting to scare myself.

Then again.

On the one hand no one fears nice guys. For once in my life I would like to have someone go. "You know what? Greg is someone you don't want to piss off." That would be nice. Just once. On the other. I know my darker inclinations and I don't like them. I know my brain on evil and it a'int nice.

I'm a stone cold cynic. Oh, I try to act like I'm not, but there's a part of me, a big part, that thinks that in this world if you want to get anything done, in this world if you want to come out on top, in this world if you don't want to be the small and the weak hoping to just get by and not get pushed around and had by the bigger men, you got to do a little dirt.

But, I've already had my Scrooge realization.

What I would prefer is respect. Fear can lead to respect but fear can also lead to hatred and I like being liked too much.

The question I have to ask myself is in this day and age, in a non-violent and for that matter non-sociopathic way, how does someone become a badass.

By gum I think I've got it. I shall re-familiarize myself with the ways of the Vulcan. Though that brings its own set of problems.

At the end of the day I just wish people would realize I am not a tame lion.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Youtube, and Anti-Corporate Rhetoric

Before I get into this I would like to say, most days I am a chaotic good anti-authoritarian dude who thinks that the powers that be should sod off, and let folks do what they're going to do. Annoyance makes me shift into lawful good where I want to wag my finger and say, " You... You can't do that. It's just not right." This is one of my lawful good posts. Enjoy.

I admit it. I waste a lot of time watching music videos on Youtube. Now there are a lot of stupid comments on Youtube, but this one is devoted to one special subset of stupidity, People who in the music video comments cry out about the ads. I'm not talking about those guys who just complain about them being a little annoying. Heck I am one of those guys. I'm talking about those jerkwads who think the concept of advertising is an affront to anything artistic.

I'll be honest. I think that as it stands copyright law in the U.S. needs some work, especially with the advent of the internet and new technology, but I understand why we have it. Most people think that copyright is just about making sure you give due credit, but actually it's about making sure that only the people who make a work, and the people they give permission to can profit from it though exclusive distribution rights. Like I said I think in this day and age we need to re-examine what that means, but this post isn't about that.

Youtube has costs. For any website to be able to handle the scale of users and content that Youtube does, massive amounts of bandwidth and server space are required. That costs money. Youtube is owned by Google and they've always made their money though advertising. That's why it costs us, the end user, bupkis to do a Google search. The same thing goes for Vevo, except for the ownership thing.

For years people have said that the reason why the record companies suck is that they don't offer online distribution for a reasonable cost. On Vevo they're doing just that. You don't even need a cable subscription like in the old days to watch music videos. Of course, MTV is no longer music television. That's another rant. Annnywaaaaay. It's frickin' free. It doesn't get more reasonable than free. Unless those idiots think they should pay us for the to listen to music. Everybody thinks things should be free on the internet and honestly I agree. The price we pay for that is sometimes we have to watch a 30 second ad.

The Dirtbombs - Party Store Review

Party Store
The Dirtbombs

It's different. Not bad. But different. For the last decade the Dirtbombs have been the front runners of Detroit garage rock, and you hear the garage rock in there. It's not gone. It's just rapped in a techno flavored package that can seem jarring on a first listen. The tracks are good, but if you're expecting "Chains of Love" and "Wreck My Flow," that's not what this album is. The Dirtbombs have always been about taking Detroit's musical heritage and turning it into their own style. They've already touched on the Motown sound and the protopunk stylings of MC5 and Iggy Pop, but here they go into Detroit's electronica past. Like I said it can be weird if you listen to the Dirtbombs as the righteous upholders of dirty rock in a time of pop, but the tracks are actually really good and well worth a listen.

Stories I would be looking into if I were actually putting my major to use. 3/16/2011

Just a quick run through of issues present in my fair city, Southfield that deserve looking into.

Abatements- In the last regular city council meeting, Councilman Lantz and a woman at the meeting expressed displeasure at the tax abatements the city was giving out. The impression that I got was that other city council members felt that abatements bring jobs to the city. I should look into how city tax abatements affect the local economy.

Loss of Money in the City's Schools - In the last school board meeting the CFO of the school board painted a dire picture of the school's budget. How much money less money is the school district bringing as compared to when I was a student.

Loss of Money Due to the Real Estate Crisis-Due to the real-estate crisis neither the city nor the schools are bringing as much money as they used to. How much money was lost due to falling property values?

Open Enrollment Tuition- At the last few school board meetings I saw a lot of angry parents. They were upset that the district is no longer going to help them pay if they wish for their students to go to schools in other districts.

How the State Budget and Fiscal Policy is going to affect the Local Government - The School Board is concerned with cuts in the budget and the city government is concerned with State Senate Bill 0034 which would eliminate the personal property tax.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Technorati Claim Token

Name on the Tin


Miles' top Album Picks of the Month February into March

Yeah I was originally going to just link Youtube vids to the top ten singles on billboard for the week but there are only 2 songs on that list I like so I instead decided to throw out a couple albums that came out in a month or so I think are worth a listen.
6. Exene Cervenka - The Excitement of Maybe

5. Dropkick Murphy's Going out of Style

4. The Dirtbombs -The Party Store

3. Raekwon - Shaolin vs Wu Tang

2. Travis Barker -Give the Drummer Some

1.Adele- 21

Game: Dead on Arrival

Note: This is a preview for an idea I had for a story. It came from a dream and I'm writing it here mostly so I don't forget it later. It takes place in the Game continuity after the events of Game: Start which isn't even done yet. Heck I don't even remember if I named it Game Start on here or just on the word file.

Beta Report
Game: Cabalsoft Dead on Arrival DLC Pack
Player: Seamus Zelaney
Gamertag: Forge

I liked to play your space MMORPG Cross not for the combat, but for the economic aspects of game. I viewed myself as a merchant traveling the stars. To be honest I had forgotten I had signed up for this beta until you guys flipped the switch.

One day while piloting my craft in Cross I came across an unusual space station. It's hard to describe what drew me to it. It was just odd. I docked my craft at one of the bays but immediately after I connected it started to degrade. My instruments reported a breach in the hull and the craft leaking air.

I left my ship and entered the station. I first saw a young woman not much older than myself. She seemed to be wearing standard space marine gear. I asked her, "PC or NPC?"

"I'm PC Damn it. That fucker!"


"When I got here there was this little purple blob monster. I know how these things run. So I stepped on it to crush it, but now my boot's stuck to the floor. That thing is still alive and it won't let go. Damn it. It even hurts. The games never hurt. At least not like this. Fuck."

The girl took out a side arm and tried to aim it at the blob without hitting her foot.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"Shut up. It's all I can think of at the moment."
She then fired.

Shooting the creature did nothing but soon after we heard a noise. Then we saw it, around the corridor corner, what looked like hundreds of blobs rushing towards her. In that moment I realized two things. I had no weapons and the girl had no chance. I ran.

As I looked behind me I saw as the blobs converged upon the girl. After that I only looked forward.

As I ran I realized that the corridor was patterned in a square. If I continued to run as I was, I would end up right back where I started, but there were three exits, the docking station which was now a dead end, a stairwell and an elevator. I figured the doors would protect me so I tried the elevator hoping it would open quickly before those things had a chance to show me what exactly they did to her.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Come at me my musical enemy.

Ah, Mars Bringer of War. Now that's real music. Anyway this the post where I get all my Black Eyed Peas rage out. Yes it will be juvenile and nick picky, and vindictive but...

Lets get started shall we. First off let me say that I used to love the Peas. Also I have nothing against artists who decide to change styles, except Common. He lost his mind on Universal Mind Control. I loved Brodie Dale in the Distillers and I love her still in Spinnerette.
Old Brody

New Brody

Same could be said about Linkin Park.

Old Linkin Park

New Linkin Park

The problem is it seems to me that the Peas stopped trying when they changed styles. It just feels like those other bands were trying to get out of their comfort zone while the Peas felt that going the direction they went in was easier. Which brings me to one of the big reasons why I dislike them. Around the same time as The Peas' Album Energy Never Dies (The E.N.D.) came out The electronica Kings The Prodigy came out with a better album, Invaders Must Die. I don't mean kind of better. We're talking Vanilla Ice vs Run-D.M.C. better here.

Guess which one got more stateside air play that summer. Yeah the Peas were everywhere even though their album sucked, and worse the critics gave them a pass on that shit. What the hell.

And here I go with Fergie. Fergie is in the cadre of songstresses who can sing, but refuse to. Check out Slash's rerecording of Paridise City on his eponymous album . As much as I am loath to admit it, I hate Fergie less than I hate Axl and am willing to reluctantly admit that while she doesn't top him she does a decent job with the song.

My problem with the Peas is basically since Monkey Business they stopped trying, and why should I blame them. The public eats their shit up. They've become a bad parody of themselves and people are just going with it. It's like a bad dream and I can't wake up.

Old Peas

Middle Peas

New Peas


This is my feeling.

My Thoughts on The Union

Well I've been avoiding it, but I have a serious case of writer's block and it's about the only thing I can think to write about. The Union.

First let me say I hold no illusions of being balanced in this one. The reason why I was avoiding it is that I am the result of two generations of union men. My mother, my father, and my grandfather all belonged to unions. I can't stand on a soup box and decry how the union is ruining America when I owe that nice middle-class childhood and that nice college education I had to the union.

Note: Shameless plug following
I tried to be fair and balanced when I did that project on the '95 Newspaper strike, but I can't call unionized public workers greedy and selfish when my mother, the saint she is, is a retired union school teacher.

I have heard conflicting reports on public sector and private sector pay and benifits, based on education levels and state vs federal and whatsits and whosits and slim slam shabloo. But lets assume the public sector does make more. The number I keep hearing thrown out is $6000 a year.

Based on the language I keep hearing being tossed around you would think we were talking about the Wall Street bankers. $6000/ 12 months= $500 a month. We are talking a $500 a month difference here.

Now comes the question of benefits and pensions and that's a pickler. I have to go with personal experience on that one. Back in the day when my mom would talk about union contract negotiations almost every time the same thing would happen. The state would be broke, you see and would ask teachers for a pay cut or at least a halt on pay increases, and would promise them better pensions in return for accepting those terms.. Note: I was mistaken the state didn't promise the teachers a better pension, but the local government did promise them that they would pay better them later if they took pay cuts or halts to pay increases.

To me that seems like a fair deal and it seems unfair for people to renege on that now.

I think the problem is mostly one of perception. Back in the old days in an industrial economy it was obvious what the union did. The union created a standard for everyone in terms of pay, conditions, and safety. But what does it do in a post-industrial economy.

Now days folks are going, "Why do we still have a union?" At the end of the day I believe that unions can still be and are a force for good by not only defining pay but the conditions of the work environment ensuring worker safety, productivity, and prosperity.

That said, the caveats in the second paragraph do apply.

P.S. Teachers do not stop work at 3:00. I remember my mom getting home late working with tutoring programs and staff meetings and working late in the night checking papers and writing lesson plans.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Legends of Old

One of the reasons I like the Mercy Thompson series is because as it goes on it becomes more and more clear that Mercy is starting to become a modern day legend of old. When I say legend of old I mean your Heracles, Cuchulain. Beowulf, Arthur, Robin Hood, Gilgamesh and Simple Ivan. (If you haven't figured it out through my hero and antihero's post I'm obsessed with hero archetypes and folklore.) Here is why I think that.

5. The Fae
The books well establish that Mercy is living in a world filled with "other". And some of that other is old enough to have interacted with the heros of legend. Heck Zee who is a fairly prominent supporting character, also known as the Dark Smith of Drontheim already has his legends and in the books Mercy has already met Baba Yaga.

Now days folks don't like other in their stories but back in the day the sure fire way to show something epic was going on was to throw in a wee bit of the fair folk.

Uncle Mike, aka The Greenman, (though the series hasn't said it, he shows up quite a bit in lore) also said this in Blood Bound

"My apologies... I was amused as much at myself as at your use of language. Even after all this time, I keep forgetting that heroes can be found in unlikely places and persons - like mechanics who can turn into coyotes."

Coming from a dude who has probably known his fair share of legends personally, that means something.

4. Genre Savy
Mercy has access to a hell of a lot more of the stories or at least fragments of the stories than her heroic predecessors ever did, and she knows to do her research before tanglin' with the baddies or even the more vague other. The thing about other is that you never really know its plans or even motives but most of the time it operates by rules. But even then a lot of the people in the old stories also were aware of the rules of their stories too. Never ever turn away an old woman for any type of favor. If you're living in a world of other it will bite you in the ass.

Don't cut deals with beings of evil. Again it will bite you in the patute.

Note The Disney retellings mostly lose the genre savvy but the protagonists in the old stories were smarter and more genre savvy. And also they were way more twisted. Grimm is an appropriate name.

Mercy definitely fits the pattern of a hero who knows when she's not exactly dealing with the mundane. Heck it's even one of the few abilities she has, that makes here slightly other herself. She can smell magic.

3.Magic Artifacts and Weapons.
No real explanation needed here. If a magical weapon lets you use it to slay a being of evil. You're in the hero club.

2. Episodic Nature of the Books.
Now days with TV and movies we get this thing called narrative structure. A lot of the old tales though were just told night to night. One night you might get the Nemean Lion next night you might get the Hippolyta's Girdle. Up until the advent of the printing press nobody really cared if there was a flow from one story to the other. In a lot of ways the Mercy Thompson series is like that. To be a hero of old you can't just have one story you need about a dozen all of equal badassatude.

The next one has huge spoilers. So I'm writing it in white. Highlight it to read it.

1. She's now a freakin' demigod.
The reveal of River Marked is that Mercy is more or less literally the daughter of Coyote. With a capital C and a "the". In the old tales if you were a god's kid you had two choices. Monster or hero. Fate a'int giving you a third option on that one. The powers that be will find a way to put you in the shit. Ask our good buddy Heracles. He tried to settle down, have a wife and kids, next thing you know he's got furies. I've said it before, and I'll say it again the Greek gods were dicks.

I'm telling you she's ruthless.

River Marked Book Review

River Marked

Patricia Briggs

I've been waiting a year. It finally came. Here is what I think. First off overall I like Patricia Briggs' River Marked, but overall it's a book with problems. Mainly serious pacing problems.

I stuck with it because I like the Mercy Thompson series. I know what it's like when the books start getting good, but it took way too long. In my head I kept comparing this book to here pervious Blood Bound. which is a much more tightly paced book. In Blood Bound the action starts to pick up almost immediately around page 4 while in River Marked it's more around page 60 and even then the action doesn't really get underway until well past the 100 mark.

I have to be honest if it weren't for the fact that I am a fan of the series I wouldn't have kept reading.

Part of the problem is that the first half of the book spends way too much time focusing on the romance between the two main characters. Which isn't to say the romance in and of itself is bad, but it dominates that first half. I feel like Briggs started writing couldn't figure out what the plot should be, wrote the obvious, eventually, figured it out and then didn't take out the filler.

That said if you are a fan of the series there is a reveal that makes it entirely worth it. The reveal itself is really well executed. It takes what the audience knows and what they know they don't know and pushes into awesome. I'm hoping Briggs will dig into the ramifications of that reveal in the next couple of books.

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