Saturday, June 30, 2012
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
I received this book as a gift from a good friend of mine who told me, "I know you will LOVE this book." He was right. I'm a huge fan of retro arcade games and still love to play classic video games. This book is written for anyone who is nostalgic for 1980s culture, from video games to music and movies. Aside from the 80s references, this book is a really fun adventure story that I couldn't put down.
The story is set in the near future where life on Earth is less than ideal. The destruction of the environment leads to global wars over natural resources, which leads to increased poverty worldwide. Most people escape to the virtual world known as OASIS. When its creator passes away, he announces that his vast fortune will be left to the sole participant who can be the first to find all of the Easter eggs that he hid within OASIS. The novel follows the journey of a teenage boy and the rivals that he faces to solve the clues to fight for the prize.
Cline's writing style is fairly straight-forward making this an easier read (a great summer read!). He does a fantastic job of setting the scene and perfectly describing both worlds - the physical world and the one inside the video game.
I didn't find the cultural references jarring as some other reviewers felt; the games and movies that he mentions fit perfectly within the narrative. I think it definitely helps to have a knowledge of the references - many people who are under age 25 may be lost. My generation does tend to feel nostalgic towards these games and movies, so I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I didn't feel like Cline was "name-dropping" at all as the references contributed to the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to anyone who considers themselves to be even slightly nerdy for classic video games or retro culture from the 1980s.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Imagine that you've worked for months on a sweater with some beautiful yarn that you love. You finish the sweater, block the sweater and finally get to try that sweater on. The problem is.... for some reason, that sweater has turned into some sort of gigantic maxi-dress-sized blob of knitting that hangs ridiculously from your body. That's what happened to me recently - this project introduced me to the horrific world of Frogging.
The image above was the sweater part-way finished...and the very first picture shows that the sweater has been transformed back into a giant ball of wool. Fear not, I will cast on those stitches again now that I've double and triple checked my gauge, plus I intend on making it a smaller size in general!
I found a great article on Knitty about frogging as I had no idea how this term originated. As frogs make the sound, "rip it, rip it", knitters who have completely messed up their knitting rip out all of those precious stitches.
The article did have a very valuable tip if you just need to rip out a few rows - it made me think to myself, "why didn't I think of that before!". I highly recommend checking out the article since pretty much every knitter has had to rip out some stitches in the past, and this method makes it way easier to do.
Hopefully you haven't had to frog an entire project before! I will just try to learn from my mistakes and I hope to eventually make a beautiful sweater from this wool...I am determined!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I've been visiting these ducklings once every few days when I go for a bike ride as they live along the bicycle path that I ride near my house. It is amazing to see how much they've grown!
|Momma Duck sitting at the head of the pack|
|Look at how cute our legs are as we lounge in the sunshine!|
|All lined up|
They like to sit in a row with the Mom at the front. Often times, they all pile on top of one another or sit really closely next to each other. It is adorable!
|Going for a big stretch!|
|Still squawking after stretching|
|All of the babies with their mother in the back.|