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Bookshot #178: Rhythm of War

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So far, the pattern of the Stormlight Archive has been more or less this: lots of book interspersed with interesting moments until you get to about the 75% mark, and then things trip into fast forward in the usual Sanderlanche and you wind up with a big, awesome payoff that makes the lots of book you just went through more or less worth it. Three books in and you kind of know what to expect when you're getting into a Sanderson book so, I picked up Rhythm of War (Book 4 of The Stormlight Archive) thinking I was going to get much the same formula and only this time, I didn't. Going into this one, I had seen a lot of chatter online that indicated people either liked it or hated it and I was curious about that, because about 25% of the way in, I was actually enjoying this one. Things were happening. There wasn't as much 'lots of book' in between key moments in the plot. It felt like it was moving a long as a pretty brisk clip. Yes, there were the flashbacks to build out

Netflix & Chill #107: American Fiction

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This movie finally made it to Prime Video. On a long, difficult afternoon, I decided that I was going to sit downstairs in the cool of my basement and watch it because I hadn't actually done that for a while and I'm so glad I did. American Fiction stars Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison, whom everyone calls Monk who is a highly-intelligent upper-class African American Professor and writer who lives in Los Angeles. His novels receive a ton of academic and critical praise but don't sell well and publishers have rejected his latest manuscript as not being 'black enough'. He gets placed on temporary leave after making one of his students cry over objecting to having to discuss a short story by Flannery O'Connor containing the 'n-word' in the title (the second weird intersection of what I am currently reading in real life and what I'm watching. Flannery is everywhere, apparently) and he is encouraged to go home to Boston and spend time

A Multi-Modal Avenue of The Saints

Y'all, I submitted something for publication. I've done that before in the past, but with my plan to activate paid subscriptions of my Substack later this year, I've been kind of keeping my powder dry when it comes to the submissions train this year. I'm not closing the door on it entirely, but I just don't think my writing fits what a lot of publications are looking for and while I understand rejections are a part of the process and have no problem with them whatsoever when I found myself spending more time submitting and less time actually writing stories, I started to wonder what it all was for. But sometimes, you stumble across something that just sticks in your brain so much you have to write something out and send it in. A link on Marginal Revolution led me to this call for submissions from The New Atlantis and I loved this challenge . I loved that they specifically wanted projects that could be achieved ('no pie in the sky') and as a kid who grew up p

Squawk Box: Fargo Season 5/Criminal Record

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Fargo Season 5: Fargo is one of those shows that the Missus and I started watching immediately when it debuted. We devoured Season 1 and although I remember starting Season 2, I don't remember the end of it at all and then we sort of... watched other things until we started seeing previews for Season 5. Jon Hamm, Jennifer Jason Leigh and- since we had just finished watching Ted Lasso and she was fresh in our minds, Juno Temple? Sign me up. Set in the fall of 2019, Juno Temple is Dorothy 'Dot' Lyon, who is a seemingly typical Midwestern housewife, living in Scandia, Minnesota who turns out to have a mysterious past when she accidentally tasers a police officer during a school board meeting which descended into a riot. Her husband Wayne (David Rysdahl) bails her out but her appearance in the criminal justice system sets off alarm bells for people from her past. She is soon kidnapped by Ole Munch (Sam Spruell) at the request of her estranged husband from a decade prior Sheriff

Bookshot #177: The Perfect Pass

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I think it was probably the closing of Iowa Wesleyan University that made me want to read this book. I can only think of one person I know ( The Quiet Man 's sister) who went to IWU down in Mt. Pleasant but the only other thing I ever knew about the place was that legendary football coach Hal Mumme along with Mike Leach helped develop the Air Raid system down there and as people usually mention, 'changed the face of football.' Other than that, I knew nothing. Nothing about IWU or really about the history of football in general- I mean, I've taken in a couple of seasons of Dead Letters now and have expanded my knowledge base about specific teams as a result, but the development of the game? It's ebb and flow? I didn't know about that. What I did know is that the author of this book, S.C. Gwynne wrote a fantastic book called Empire of The Summer Moon about the Comanches and I figured if I enjoyed the writing in that book (I did), then this book couldn't be t

Squawk Box: Ted Lasso Season 3/Shogun

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Ted Lasso Season 3:  It took us a while to get back around to the final season of Ted Lasso, but the Missus and I finally managed it. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this final season and I had seen decidedly mixed reviews of it, but having watched it I can say that I understand some of the criticisms of this final season, but don't really care all that much because I loved it. There have been whispers and hints on the internet that AFC Richmond might continue without Ted Lasso and I might have feelings on that because really and truly creative executives everywhere need to embrace the idea that it's okay for things to just end. I loved that they had a clear, three-season plan for this show. I was satisfied  Season Three opens with Richmond back in the Premier League, but picked to finish dead last and West Ham- now owned by Rebecca's ex Rupert (Anthony Head), and coached by the now apparently evil Nate (Nick Mohammed) is expected to finish in the Top 4- which

The Misinformation Train Leads To Conspiracy Brain

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I am a misinformation agnostic. If you rewind things back to 2016 and watch as the Establishment tried to come to grips with the fact that Trump had won and Clinton had lost, you could see a lot of grasping at straws and desperate pretzel-bending to avoid the obvious: they ran a candidate with incredibly high negatives who ran a campaign that wasn't that great and lost by the skin of her teeth because the other guy wasn't exactly that awesome either. That was obvious to me, but no, instead, it was social media. It was the Russian bots farms and the evil Facebook, it was... misinformation. The people, they didn't know. The people, they had been led astray. After a while, it became, the people, they're obviously racist and the whole Resistance Media Conglomerate just became increasingly clownish and impossible to take seriously.  I was a big believer in individual agency. People have their own reasons for voting the way they do and very little of them were talked about in