Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Other, Cooler Wizard Named "Harry"

About a year ago, my sister recomended a series of fantasy books to me, about a wizard that freelances as a Private Investigator to make ends meet. I was never interested enough in that Potter kid to bother picking up one of his books, but this sounded a little more realistic, and I needed something to read in order to get me through George R.R. Martin's epic writer's block that keeps him from delivering A Dance with Dragons, or Robert Jordan's terminal case of Dead that prevented him from finishing the Wheel of Time series (Next WoT book via Brandon Sanderson due out this fall!).

So I picked up the first book with some old B&N gift cards I had lying around and gave it look through. I was curious by the end of the first chapter, drawn in by the second, and unwittingly gave up an entire Saturday to finish it after the third.

Harry Dresden has an office in the City of Chicago, where he gets by on contract work form the Special Investigations team of the CPD, and the occasional divining request to find lost objects. Other fun things discussed are:
  • How to trap a fairy
  • Modern Technology:Wizards :: Snails:Salt
  • Why you shouldn't tell your name to a wizard or any creature from the Nevernever.
  • Potions: General principals on mixing and brewing
Thankfully absent are Quiddich games*, British brats, and Wizard boarding schools. It's a light little read, so pick it up if that kind of thing interests you.

*When Potter decides to form a Quiddich league that uses Australian Indoor Rules, I might get on board.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Internet Tries to Guess My Location

A lot of advertising on the web attempts to guess your location based on your IP Address. Since I moved out here. I'm constantly amused by the precision, or lack thereof, on the ads.

"Salt Lake City Dad whitens his teeth by doing one simple thing. Click here to find out the secret, you butter-spitting yellow toothed baffoon!" The closest you can Get is Salt Lake? Try again, Bucko.

"Draper Mom makes %320,0000 a year by sitting on her fat ass and playing Windows Solitare on her computer. Click here for a lazily lucrative lifestyle that has NOTHING to do with whoring our overpriced products over the intterwebs!" We've gone from from Salt Lake proper, to the greater SLC metro area and it's suburbs. I'm not sure if that's better or worse. NEXT!

"Granger woman drops 300 pounds in a weekend by following this one easy tip that we won't bother to print in this ad. Click here with your sausage fingers to find out how!" Getting closer! At least you landed in Wyoming this time!

"Lyman man gets epic huge p3n!$ by taking a daily suppliment of stuff the FDA would destroy on sight, along with anything and anyone within a 20 mile radus! Unless you enjoy being hung like a housefly, click here and let our servers download our spambot software on your machine right now! HURRY!" This is the best I've seen, a mere six miles from Mountain View. Congratulations, malware distributor, and I'll be sure to look out for the guy with the the 18" wang!