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Somewhere Over the Reading Rainbow

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Oct 15 2012 · 175 views
Halo, Books
As mentioned last week, I had fallen a little behind on my reading goals, but I managed to finish Halo: Glasslands Friday night (early Saturday morning, technically). It was pretty enjoyable, and a good continuation of the Ghosts of Onyx. There were three main storylines: one following the Spartans, Dr. Halsey, and Chief Mendez as they try to learn more about the Dyson sphere they're trapped in, another following some Elites planning on overthrowing the Arbiter, and the last focusing on Kilo-5, an ONI team performing 'destabilization efforts.' They all intersect each other at various points, and there's some interesting twists along the way. It had quite the cliffhanger of an ending, so I'm looking forward to The Thursday War.

On Saturday proper, I started reading Primordium, and I finished it last night. Guess I'm back on track again. Primordium was excellent - it continued the story of Cryptum, but from a different narrative perspective and point of view, and answered a bunch of questions you had at the end of the first book. It ended with a huge reveal though, and now Silentium can't come soon enough. If you've read it and want to talk about it, feel free to PM me.

So tonight I'll be starting The Thursday War, and see where things pick up with Kilo-5. I'm hoping the remaining Spartan 2s and 3s make an appearance after they built their characters up so much in the other books. I'm figuring a week to go through that, then it'll be on to the graphic novels, since it seems like I'll have plenty of time!


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Reading Rainbow Bridge

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Oct 09 2012 · 213 views
Halo, Books
A little late on my update this week, thanks to yesterday's federal holiday. I finished Cryptum last Thursday, which was great I thought. A lot of interesting insight into the Forerunners. It was really a piece of hard science fiction that just happened to be set in the Halo universe. There were some connections to the games and other lore for people who really dig into things (like the Librarian, the Didact, and Mendicant Bias). The story itself really kept me turning pages, and when it ended I wanted to tear right into Primordium.

But I'm reading them in release order, so I went over to Glasslands next. It picks up about where Ghosts of Onyx left off. It's a big adjustment going from Cryptum to Glasslands - the former only really had one story thread and one main protagonist while the latter thus far has four story lines going on (at different time periods no less). I don't mind this, and some of my favorite stories have done this, but sometimes it's frustrating when they end a chapter on a cliffhanger and you have to wait three more chapters before you get back to those characters. I'm enjoying it so far, I just didn't get as much time to read this weekend because I had some friends visiting.

A little under a month to go, and about 2.75 books left. I think I can, I think I can...


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Tablet Research

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Oct 03 2012 · 415 views
tablet, Android
I've been toying with the idea of buying a tablet. Almost definitely Android. I'd like a 9"-10" one, but those seem like they're still a bit too expensive for my tastes. In the 7" space the Nexus 7 seems like the clear winner. I'll probably wait until the holiday shopping season to see if I can grab any good deals.

Does anyone out there have a tablet and want to offer suggestions or advice?

Thank you kindly!


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Reading Rainbow Unicorn Attack

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Oct 01 2012 · 237 views
Halo, Books
As anticipated, Halo Evolutions took me the majority of last week to get through. That's okay though, it's a great collection. I love the twist at the end of Palace Hotel - it may be my favorite just for that. Human Weakness and The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole are also good reads. But so are the other stories, so give the whole thing a try.

I started Cryptum last night, which is very different so far. I only got through a chapter, so I'll reserve my judgment for now. It's much shorter than Evolutions, so I'm hoping to have it done by the middle of the week or so and then move on to Glasslands. This is also the first book of this project that I haven't read before, so it's all new and exciting. I enjoying rereading books I read in the past, but experiencing new stories should not be avoided.

Which reminds me that my copy of The Thursday War should be arriving today.

Lots and lots and lots to read!


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The Reading Rainbow Connection

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Sep 24 2012 · 283 views
Halo, Books
Against all odds, and at the expense of some sleep last week, I finished both Contact Harvest and The Cole Protocol. Six books in three weeks! Halo Evolutions is up now though, and it's almost as long as both of those books combined, so I'm expecting it to take up this entire week.

Contact Harvest is interesting among the Halo books as it's the first where there are no Spartans involved. They don't even get mentioned at all. It makes sense, since the book takes place before they received their augmentations and went on any actual missions. There's lots of Sergeant Johnson though, and some other characters from Halo 2 and 3 as well. The books really give a lot of insight into the Covenant, especially the relationships between the Prophets, Elites, and Brutes.

The Cole Protocol does have some Spartans in it - the mysterious Gray Team who is mentioned in The Fall of Reach as being too far away to contact/recall. It also features Lieutenant Jacob Keyes and helps fill in the gaps of his life between helping Halsey collect the Spartan candidates and the inception of the 'Keyes Loop' maneuver. There's a lot of different factions in this one, all working together and stabbing each other in the back at different times. It makes for some interesting twists.

Looking at my calendar, I've got six weeks to go until release and five books to read, so I'm feeling pretty confident about making this. Setting goals FTW!


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Reading Rainbow All the Way Across the Sky

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Sep 17 2012 · 300 views
Halo, Books
So I finished Ghosts of Onyx last night and First Strike a couple days before that. It makes me sad that Eric Nylund hasn't written any more full-length novels since then, I really loved his take on the Halo universe. He's great at creating characters you actually care about and seems to have a good grasp of military lingo and tactics (not that I know from experience, but what he says seems plausible and doesn't completely conflict with the many former and active servicemen I've interacted with). Nylund is also able to go into the full-on scifi aspect too, when it comes to the Forerunners and what they left behind.

Tonight I'll be starting Contact Harvest. I recall enjoying it and the deeper look into Sergeant Johnson it provides, but honestly I'm looking past that and The Cole Protocol and onto Evolutions and then the newer books I haven't read yet. But there's lots of pages between me and those.

I really hope I can keep up this pace of two books per week, but I'm sure something is going to come up that will keep me from that. Still lots of time until November 6th though.


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Operation: RR Update

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Sep 09 2012 · 181 views
Halo, Books
It's been a week since I kicked off Operation: Reading Rainbow. So far I've finished The Fall of Reach and the Flood and started on First Strike.

Some thoughts:
-Man Fall of Reach is so good. It covers so much ground and does it so well.
-Why did Bungie try to shoehorn in all those retcons in Halo: Reach? It's like Star Wars - it wasn't broke, so why fix it?
-The Flood is definitely underrated. There are some slower parts, sure, but it really adds a lot more depth and backstory to Halo: CE.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the books. If I keep going at this rate I might even have time to reread the comics too.


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Operation: Reading Rainbow

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Sep 03 2012 · 245 views
Halo, Books
I realized yesterday that Halo 4 comes out in just over two months! How crazy is that? I still need to preorder my copy and make sure I take off from work. On the plus side though, the footage that came out of PAX this weekend helped me decide that I should go to the midnight opening for it.

But what I really thought of when I had this epiphany was that I'm still three books out of date in the Halo series. I haven't read Cryptum, Primordium, or Glasslands.

I've decided to rectify this by reading through all of the Halo novels in the next two months. I'm already over halfway through The Fall of Reach. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed it.

I'm looking forward to rereading some favorites and experiencing the works of the newest Halo authors.


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Milestones

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower, LEGO Con, Real Life Aug 01 2012 · 330 views
BrickFair, BFVA12, BZP, 11 years
Tomorrow is August 2, 2012. That will be the eleventh anniversary of my joining BZPower.

It is also the first day of BrickFair 2012 Virginia, the fifth such event held. (Congrats Todd!)

BrickFair 2012 Viriginia will be the tenth AFOL fan convention that I've attended.

Sunday, August 5 is my twenty-fifth birthday. A quarter-century!

Monday, August 6, will mark my eleventh year as a member of the BZPower Staff.

All this right after BZPower celebrated its eleventh anniversary.

It's crazy to think about all that - I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it all.

But I know one thing - I couldn't ask for a better group of people to celebrate it with than my friends from BZPower. I just wish more of you all could be there!


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Audiophilia

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Jul 03 2012 · 454 views
audiophile, headphone, earphone and 1 more...
A week or so ago I brought my car into the dealership for service and was sitting in the waiting area listening to some music when I realized someone was trying to talk to me and I couldn't even hear them. That reminded me how much I enjoy a good pair of noise-isolating earphones, which in turn reminded me how awesome it is to listen to music on quality equipment.

The phones in question were Etymotic hf2s, and I could not recommend them any more highly. Before these I owned a pair of Etymotic ER 6is, which have been sadly discontinued. What makes these so good? They create a seal with your ear that virtually cuts out all background noise, meaning you don't have to crank the volume up nearly as loud and can hear a lot more detail. If you've been using a pair of Apple earbuds or other cheapies and then switch to these, you'll be entering a whole new world of music. If you're looking at any of their other offerings (or those from another manufacturer), make you you look at ones with a balanced armature versus a dynamic driver, they perform much better. I don't recommend them on planes though, as the pressure changes combined with the seal they create can mess with your ears.

For home use (and planes) I use a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 Pros. They're closed back, over-ear cans. Compared to open-back ones, they're better for listening if you have other people around or are recording (like the Powercast) so you don't have any echo. They have a pretty good seal over my ears and help cut out a lot of noise. They're fairly low impedance too which means my iPod has no problem driving them.

Okay, I lied, also at home, I have an Astro A40 Audio System for gaming. They're open-back, over-ear cans. They have some more bass to them, which is good for gaming, and since it's a headset I can use it for in-game chat and such too. Astro makes some quality products and I suggest them if you want surround sound but don't have the space or if you don't want to bother roommates, siblings, or parents while gaming.

Finally, at work, I have a Sennheiser PC166 USB headset (apparently it's been discontinued). They're closed-back, on-ear cans, so they don't block out as much noise as the others, but they also don't bleed sound. Those are good things, because I need to hear phones ringing and people talking to me and don't want to bother co-workers with my music. I originally used the headset to record the BZPowercast, but have since moved on to a more advanced setup (detailed elsewhere in my blog).

So yeah, I think I might have a headphone problem, especially since I've had my eye on a pair of Sennheisers from their 5xx series for a while...






Welcome To My Blog

I'm glad to see you made the trip intact.

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Name:
Andrew
Alias:
Black Six
Join Date:
August 2, 2001
Staff Since:
August 6, 2001
Position:
BZPower Administrator
Forums Currently Moderated:
Bionicle RPG, LEGO RPG, News Discussion
Forums Previously Moderated:
Fan-Created Games, Promotions, Marketplace Banter, Storyline & Theories, Buy/Sell/Trade, probably some others
Other Responsibilities:
Making sure news is posted, keeping the forums running smoothly, learning the ways of server-burping.

Video Games!

Most Played Games (as of late):
  • Halo 4
  • Tiny Death Star
  • Plants vs Zombies 2
Currently Playing:
 
 

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It's A Trash Can!

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Comment Approval


Please note, due to people posting inappropriate comments in my blog in the past, I have chosen to approve all comments before they become publicly visible.

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Akano Toa of Electricity

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