Thursday, August 25, 2005

itty-bitty tech moment

I had a tech moment! Last night I was trying to figure out how to add a link to the image in yesterday's post. I'm using the photo function in Blogger so I don't have to host the images myself and several attempts (including highlighting all of the image code and then using the link button) failed.

Then inspiration struck -- Blogger sets up the images so that if you click on them you get the larger version of the image so. . . replacing the URL of the larger image with the URL I was aiming for created a clickable image. Voila. Now why the destination link has to be the first URL and not the second I'm not sure. I'm guessing there's something in the code logic that orders it that way, but hey, second attempt worked great. So now if you click on the book below it'll take you right to Chapters where you can order it. Nice.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I’m disappointed Douglas Copeland

I never thought I’d accuse Douglas Copeland of a cop-out bait-and-switch ending but I just finished reading Girlfriend in a Coma and I have to say, I’m disappointed. I expected better. Hey Nostradamus! was haunting and beautiful and made me think about things I hadn’t really considered before. It offered characters not lovable, or even likeable in some cases, but in the end ultimately forgivable. It made me rethink my ideas about forgiveness and hope and hopelessness. Microserfs was brilliant. I laughed and snickered and I secretly wished I was cool enough to grasp all of the tech geek references. I came out of both books feeling a little, not smarter, but better thought. In the truest sense I came away from them feeling better read.

No so with Girlfriend in a Coma. The book starts off well. Copeland pulls out what is still his best party trick -- showing us a neighbourhood not unlike our own proceeding to reveal it as a complex world of human tragedy that turns out to be oddly familiar. The main character - Karen - falls into a seventeen year coma and the book follows the lives of the people left behind. About halfway through Karen wakes up, learns she has a daughter and then out of nowhere the world ends. Just like that.

Copeland spends the second half of the book in “what does it all mean” navel-gazing which would have been so trendy if he had an answer at the end of it. I feel disappointed, let down. I sat there thinking “that’s it?” I wanted to recheck the cover, this is a Douglas Copeland book, right? I was expecting a big finish, a mental feast of “ah, but you see what you really think is this” and instead I’m left feeling like all I got was a Twinkie and cold coffee and a note that says “yeah, that’s it, go home.” I guess I should have gone with Shampoo Planet or Eleanor Rigby after all.

Next up is Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven which Issachar promises will be worth my time. [See, every now and then I go and do exactly what you told me to :P] I'm only a few pages into it, but so far, he's right.

Friday, August 05, 2005

dr. & mrs. colvin

We had a family wedding last week-end. While I think that both of my brothers are crazy to get married in really hot places at the end of July I am happy to say that their choices of spouse, in both cases, is flawless. Nice work gentlemen.

I had a little trouble downloading the images so these are hacked-together Firework-ed screen captures, but they'll do for now. Photography purists, please look away. . . :)

The family -- Colvins (and Colvinsons) on the right, Carlsons on the left. In the past year I have gained two sisters. I have a very small family so this addition represents a 13% increase in family. Not bad huh? (If you count parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses of siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and cousin's spouses on BOTH sides of my family there's a whopping 17 of us -- and that's AFTER both weddings :)

The new Dr. & Mrs. Mark & Rachel Colvin

Getting ready to change their world forever

Happy happy

I had to include this one of Dave and Janie because it's so them. D & J are both crazy and they are some of my favourite people in the world. If you're going to road trip for 6 hours, road trip with these two. Trust me. They bring SpongeBob Squarepants and tell stories and sometimes let you help name the baby (did I mention that I'm going to be an Aunt in January?)

Happy parents. Dave got married last July, Mark got married this July so now Mom thinks I should get married next July so she gets the hat trick. I think maybe she just wants to be able to send all the anniversary cards at once :)

Mom and Janie and me

Rachel and Mark dacinging their first dance. . . awww. They picked "At Last" as a wedding song, a classic. Nice choice.

What set of holiday pics would be complete without a crazy self portrait? Janie and Jody both had husbands in the wedding party so we had a little time on our hands and Janie had a camera and well...

All in all it was a great wedding and I am very happy I was able to be there. I think I would have walked to Arizona to be there, but fortunately it didn't come to that. Congratulations you guys!

Monday, August 01, 2005

return to Hogwarts

I'm probably the only person in North America reading book 4 of the Harry Potter series this week-end. I really enjoyed the first couple of books in the series but the Dementors in book 3 scared the crap out of me so I stopped reading them. Lately everyone has been commenting on how great the sixth installment is. It seems to be everywhere -- I counted seven people reading it on the plane last week. So I thought maybe it was time to give Rowling's story another shot. What better way to spend a long week-end than relaxing in the sun with a good book?

I am most of the way through The Goblet of Fire (yes, I know, I read slowly) and I have to say that I had forgotten how much fun it is to go to Hogwarts. I love the names of things and all the invented words. (And, to be honest, I love the idea of a castle where staircases and pictures move, where the ceiling looks like the sky and any misfortune can be solved in the sick wing, even if regrowing all the bones in your arm does hurt.) I love that she has made Harry just believable enough that a hundred pages from the end of the book I still wonder if just maybe Cedric will win the Triwizard Tournament even though I know that somehow Harry will be the hero in the end.

I'm glad that so far Rowling seems to still like her hero and hasn't written him into misery quite yet. I read once that by the end of the Anne of Green Gables series, Montgomery hated her heroine but was under contract to finish 6 books. I've read the series, and towards the end things certainly seem to go south for Anne. If something is in store for Harry, please remember that I'm most of the way through book 4 so no book 5 or 6 spoilers please. I think I'll finish my education at Hogwarts afterall.