Friday, October 9, 2009

Books on DS

A strange, yet intriguing, concept. Hopefully they do a little more than just transfer the text to the screen-- the interactive capabilities of the DS is really a large part of its charm. With the stylus and touchpad technology, it would be possible to allow the reader to be a bit more "active" in the story.

Thinking about it, the "ideal" book to put on a DS or other handheld would seem to be the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I loved those books as a kid, but the DS format would allow more seemless adventuring and also potentially some great graphics and mini-games to further immerse the reader.

Still, intriguing. We do check out DS games at the library, so I think we'll have to purchase a few of these when they come out to see how well they work and how much demand there is for them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rant or Rave: Audiobooks

Overall, I love audiobooks and generally rave about them. They make long trips much more enjoyable, and even the commute to and from work, or one of the many activities my kids are engaged in, more entertaining. Plus, I am "reading" works of literature that I doubt I would otherwise have found the time to begin, much less complete.

But there is a flaw in the audiobook appeal-- most of the books are read by a small number of narrators, a few hundred or so. Consequently, eventually you will hear a voice you have heard before reading to you. This isn't necessarily bad, but it is disconcerting. For example, I am currently listening to Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, which is fairly entertaining, but by no means a great book. It is being read by Richard Poe (one of the most common and popular of audiobook readers), who does a good job with the material. The problem is that the last book I heard Poe read was John Steinbeck's East of Eden.

Now, Dan Brown is a pretty good author with a knack for intrigue and puzzles. But he is not, by any stretch of the imagination, in the same league as John Steinbeck. Yet, hearing Poe's voice still brings back images and recollections of East of Eden and it takes a little bit of adjusting for me to shift gears to Angels and Demons. I suppose this is a testament to the quality and lasting resonance of Steinbeck's work, but it is still... weird.

So, a minor rant against... well, what? I'm not sure exactly. But whatever it is, I wish it would stop.

Diva's Still Got Game

Got give credit to Brett Favre. He can still play and the Vikings look very good.

That said, if he still played behind the Packers Offensive (and it is pretty offensive) line, he'd probably be dead now. That unit is awful. I believe Ted Thompson made the right call on moving forward with Aaron Rodgers despite the fact that Brett's skills clearly haven't deteriorated that much.

That said, I think Ted Thompson has done a lousy job of making sure our offensive line is both talented and deep. At this point, it is neither. Similarly, the defensive line. Not as bad as the O-line, but part of the appeal of the 3-4 was supposed to be a more effective pass rush. How's that been working out for us? Anybody seen ANY pass rush, much less an effective one?

Not too early to panic, but there is an old football adage that games are won and lost in the trenches, which is to say, on the offensive and defensive lines. Which is not terribly reassuring. As always, Gregg Easterbrook's take on the NFL is definitely worth a read-- and though he gives credit where credit is due to the diva, his overall take on Favre and the amount of attention he gets (and craves) is spot on, in my opinion.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Return of the Diva

So, there's this football game you might have heard about coming up Monday. Vikings vs. the Pack, with some old dude quarterbacking the Vikings. Not looking forward to the non-stop hype this weekend.

Should be a good game, though, and I really think the Packers will win-- if for no other reason than that the Vikings hired Mr. Noodle from Sesame Street to be their coach. And though I don't want Brett to get hurt, I wouldn't be at all upset if he were to play really, really awfully. A Pick-6 to Woodson or Harris would be a nice finishing touch, really.

For football news that only briefly touches on Brett Favre, check out this week's Tuesday Morning Quarterback. For my money, still the best weekly football essay out there. With a free, and clearly explained, global warming analysis to boot!

Meanwhile, the Brewers continue their long fade back into the depths of mediocrity and the Badgers look to continue their strong start to the season. And the leaves are changing. I guess fall is here!