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Topics - Bacardi Jim

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Book Klub: Outlander (series) / Outlander screensavers
« on: February 25, 2009, 12:35:31 pm »
I got a special request to make you folks some Outlander Kindle screensavers.  So here ya go.  The first one is a full cover of the UK version.  For the others, I just concentrated on the iconic image centered in the cover of each of the US versions.

I'm not quite done yet.  I hope to finish up tonight after work.

Enjoy. :)

Let's Talk Kindle! / Our K2 just arrived!
« on: February 23, 2009, 10:50:52 am »
It just got here!  We were utterly shocked, given that we just placed our order last Monday and we went with the slowest, cheapest shipping method.  (dogsled)  So we weren't expecting it to arrive before the weekend.  However, it turns out that they actually shipped last Thursday, so ours is here in its new home already!  We're naming him "Kvetch" after all the bitter invective people are hurling at the wonderful Amazon folks. :)

Not Quite Kindle / Golf season is back in swing
« on: February 20, 2009, 03:19:16 pm »
Any comments on Tiger coming back almost a year before his surgeon says he should?  Or how about Phil finally being tied for the lead after three crappy starting tournaments this year?

Not Quite Kindle / Sitcom Showdown
« on: February 14, 2009, 01:32:54 am »
We're starting with a Friends-off, but this is the place for sitcom trivia.

Not Quite Kindle / Decisions, decisions...
« on: February 06, 2009, 10:11:04 am »
I have a rare Friday off and The Abyss has been on for about half an hour.  (I've been watching.)  However, Midnight Run starts in another half-hour.  I've seen both films a zillion times, but I can't decide which one to enjoy today.

Not Quite Kindle / Jeopardy! test tonight!!!
« on: January 28, 2009, 09:48:54 am »
It's that time of year, goys and ghouls.  Jeopardy! is having its annual online test to qualify to be on the show.  (Actually the first in a two-stage process.)  The test is tonight!  So sign up now at

Best of luck to all.

And did anybody else see the medical editor get her butt kicked today? ;)

Forum Announcements & Tips / The new "News" feature
« on: January 24, 2009, 06:54:19 pm »
Pretty cool, Harvey.  8)

Not Quite Kindle / As an American, it is my duty to...
« on: January 22, 2009, 01:06:22 pm »
I ran across the following quotes in another thread, and they got me to thinking.

As an American, I feel strongly that I must support the President of the United States, even those presidents that I didn’t vote for or that I disagree with.

I personally will support President Obama whether I voted for or like him. I think as an American that is my duty.

This same sentiment has been expressed by others in other threads.

Frankly, I'm puzzled.  This ideal runs counter to everything I was ever taught about America and patriotism.  Millions of Americans have died in wars fighting against people who blindly supported their President, no matter what he said and did.  In fact, these people are so reviled that merely mentioning them by name causes fury and outrage.

It seems to me that the Founding Fathers had a wildly different idea about whether or not questioning our leadership was "patriotic."  Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."  Samuel Adams wrote, "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule."   A couple of hundred years later, Albert Einstein chimed in: “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

So, where do you stand?  What is your duty as a patriotic American--unquestioning support or your nation's leaders and policies or diligently questioning them?

Suggestions, Comments / Chat time limit
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:19:25 pm »
Any way of kicking someone out of chat after they've been sitting there inactive, pretending to be there for 12-72 hours but are actually asleep, at the Inauguration, in Bruges, on assignment for the CIA, or otherwise wasting bandwidth?

Not Quite Kindle / What have you done RIGHT today?
« on: January 14, 2009, 10:11:48 pm »
To heck with (edited to keep thread from being deleted) the self-pitying mea culpas of that other thread.  Surely there are some of us who go out each day and try to do better?!

In my case, I made peace with Jeff.  No small task.

Not Quite Kindle / The Big Chill
« on: January 13, 2009, 11:14:59 pm »
Just watched this movie for the umpteenth time on TCM.  MY GOD I love this movie!!!

The Book Corner / Black Wind--F. Paul Wilson--A review
« on: January 07, 2009, 10:18:32 pm »

Those of you who bother to read any of my posts on the book boards already know that I am a fan of F. Paul Wilson.  His novel The Tomb rest solidly in my list of my favorite novels of all time.  I am a rabid fan of both his incredible Adversary Cycle books and his ongoing Repairman Jack series.  So I was thrilled to get, as a Christmas present, a pristine DTB copy of Wilson’s “great lost novel” as a Christmas present.

It was a mixed Christmas blessing.

Black Wind is first and foremost a saga.  In the span of 400 pages, it tells the story of a love quadrangle and two different family epics that become of paramount importance during the build up to the war against Japan in WWII.  The majority of the book involves two Japanese brothers, and the woman (Meiko) one loves and the other desires.  The elder brother (Hiroki) to whom Meiko is betrothed devotes himself to ancient Japanese rites, prophecies, and visions of eventual glory for Japan.  The younger brother (Matsuo) wins Meiko’s heart with his simple decency and honor.  But he cannot disgrace his family by loving his brother’s betrothed… until he does.

On the other side of the Pacific, there is Frank, Matsuo’s childhood friend who grew up with him and loved him like a brother, but abandoned Matsuo in a moment of need.

Before the novel is over, poor Meiko marries two of her three suitors and earns the undying enmity of one of them.

Classic Prime-time soap a la Dynasty, eh?

What saves the book and keeps it a page-turner is that we are given real facts and real-life characters during the build-up to the American involvement in WWII.  We are AT Pearl Harbor with Frank, knowing as readers that the Zeroes are coming and hoping Frank will get off base before they get there.  We are AT the firebombing of Tokyo with Matsuo and Meiko, praying they will be among the lucky survivors.  We know what is going to happen and we hold out hope for our flawed heroes and heroine.  Wilson shows us actual history playing out through the eyes of his characters in a gripping manner.  I'll add that his novel was incredibly well researched in its historical accuracy.  Even Wilson's more fictional-sounding "facts" and theories presented about how the American government itself was responsible for "inviting" a Japanese attack have since been at least partially validated and authenticated.

Interspersed, and more important at the end, is a supernatural element to the story.  There is a monastic Shinto cult that has powers of prescience and gains control over all of Japan.  They find a way of conjuring up the “Black Wind” of the title.. a deadly force that will destroy America.  That is, if is weren't for these chosen few intertwined people who keep alternately mucking up and fulfilling Divine Will and predestination.

I liked this book.  I read it in two days.

And I consider it among the lesser of the F. Paul Wilson books I’ve read.

It was well constructed, though his continual shifting-of-perspective got annoying and clumsy at times.  If you are a history buff at all, it kept you glued to the page to see how he’d present the next historical fact or personage.

It’s better than From Here to Eternity

And it is utterly and completely humorless.  And herein lays my great problem with the book.  Having kind of “backward discovered” Wilson, I came to love him as an accomplished master of mixing horror, science fiction, action, bloodshed, more horror, and humor (humor black as the Ace of Spades) in equal measure.  There is not one single laugh or smile in Black Wind.  When you aren’t cringing at the melodrama of the interweaving storylines, you are forced to witness the wartime atrocities and deceptions of both the Japanese and the Americans during WWII in brutal close-up.

Pretty good family saga.  Eventually pointless supernatural elements.  Good insights into WWII.  Good action sequences.  Nice use of our own foreknowledge to keep us turning pages.  Completely humorless.


I've always had a fascination with the great rock music of the past.  And, likewise, with the great album cover art we sat around and studied while we were high and listening to that music.

Below you will see the covers of 12 classic rock albums.  They have been altered so as to erase the name of the album and the artist/band from the cover.

How many do you recognize?  Can you name the album and the artist?

(I will be fair and admit that this is one of the tougher ones.  I've created over a dozen of these, but most of the easier ones are lost in the shifting digital sands of the past until I choose to re-create them.)

No rules for this first batch.  No limits.  Just name as many as you can as fast as you can.  He/she with the most right wins. :)


#1--Creedence Clearwater Revival - Gold - Elijsha
#2--Aerosmith - Get a Grip - Elijsha
#3--Iggy Pop - Brick by Brick - 1/2 credit to ScottBooks
#4--The Moody Blues - Long Distance Voyager - Elijsha
#5--Yes - Relayer - Elijsha
#6--Rush - Caress of Steel - Elijsha
#7--Ronny James Dio - Holy Diver - Elijsha
#8--Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die - MonaSW
#9--The Kinks - Come Dancing With The Kinks - Elijsha
#10--Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak - Elijsha
#11--The Yardbirds - Over Under Sideways Down - 1/2 credit to Brian A
#12--Velvet Underground - Loaded - Brian A

Not Quite Kindle / TSO was magnificent
« on: December 27, 2008, 12:36:03 am »
I can't say it was one of my greatest concerts ever, but it was certainly one of the best "shows" I've ever had the privilege to see.

It was basically presented in two parts:  Act One was a loose storyline involving a wandering angel.  The music incorporated 90% of the wonderful album Christmas Eve and Other Stories, weaving together the wildly disparate songs into a tenuous but pleasing whole.  Act Two was sheer spectacle.

My hands are still so numb and swollen from clapping that I can barely type, and my voice is essentially gone for the next couple of days.


Suggestions, Comments / Chat audicons
« on: December 21, 2008, 09:52:20 pm »
There aren't very many yet.  Is there a way for us to upload/enable our own?  I know mIRC allows members to share wav's and triggers.  If not, can I at least offer this one to be added?

Not Quite Kindle / Jesus may be the "reason"...
« on: December 17, 2008, 11:21:48 pm »
...but he has nothing to do with the "season."

Get over it, folks.

Near as scholars can determine, Jesus (and there is a consensus that he existed) was born in late September or early October.

There are two reasons why we celebrate it during this season:

1) The early Christians were Jews.  They already had a minor holiday/miracle they celebrated at this time of year.  Perhaps you've heard of it?

2)  The early Jewish/Christian missionaries found themselves up against lots of pagans who already had a year-end celebration of the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) as the end of the old year, as it was the shortest day of the year.  They found it easier to make converts if rather than doing away with their thousand-of-years-old heathen celebration, these missionaries worked it in as a part of the New Christian Faith.  Adapting the "miracle" of Hanukkah to incorporate Christianity and still allow pagans to celebrate their ancient rituals made a perfect mesh.

People were celebrating the Winter Solstice and end of the year looooooong before Jesus was born.  Lying about when he was born just made things... you know... easier.

Jesus may be the reason, but it is Jews, Pagans and the earth's natural period of revolution around the Sun that are purely responsible for making it the "season."

Suggestions, Comments / "Recent Activity"
« on: December 14, 2008, 12:55:24 am »
I could be wrong, but I suspect that the forum software allows you to set a variable time for how long members are shown as being online after they leave and for how long they will show as being doing the same thing in the "Who's Online" page after they leave.  The current setting is 90 minutes.  Could we shorten that?  I don't like getting excited to see that someone is currently online only to discover that they left over an hour ago.

But the real annoyance is the "guests" (many of whom are spiders) who clutter up the "Who's Online" feature for pages and pages because they made one ten-second scan of a particular forum page and we have to know that for an hour and a half.

The KBoards Photo Gallery / Sherlock Holmes Screensavers
« on: December 12, 2008, 09:44:04 am »
Moving these over from my other thread to make them easier to find for anybody looking for one.

The KBoards Photo Gallery / Kiddie Lit screesavers
« on: December 12, 2008, 08:56:18 am »
Betsy suggested that I start categorizing my screensavers.  This thread is for the ones made to honor children's literature.

The KBoards Photo Gallery / More screensavers
« on: December 09, 2008, 09:44:49 pm »
Here are some more screensavers I made up tonight.  I'll probably keep adding to the thread as I get inspired.

Not Quite Kindle / Law & Order
« on: December 03, 2008, 11:08:10 am »
Huzzah!  It's "Ed and Lennie's Bad Day!"  (The actual title is "Couples.")  One of my favorite episodes! ;)

Xia:  Just because I think a book or movie is lame doesn't mean everybody will find it so.  Heck, I find A Christmas Story almost unwatchable and it's a beloved classic.  Remember: when it comes to books, movies, etc. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!

I mostly consider myself a fan of Neil Gaiman.  I am, in fact, halfway through reading his children's book Coraline.  It just happens that I found Stardust by far the weakest of the 5 1/2 Gaiman novels I've read so far.

However, now that you've discovered Terry Pratchett, you may be interested to know that he and Gaiman co-wrote a hilarious sendup of the movie The Omen entitled Good Omens.  (Not yet on Kindle.)  I consider it a must-read for fans of either author.

The KBoards Photo Gallery / LotR screensavers
« on: November 30, 2008, 03:20:08 pm »
Some of these are posted in another thread, but given how ambiguous the title of that thread is, I thought a separate unambiguously titled thread might make it easier for people who want them to find them.

Below are several Kindle "screensavers" I made based on artwork inspired by The Lord of the Rings.  They are all already sized to 600x800 for immediate use.


Not Quite Kindle / Led Zeppelin is the greatest band of all time
« on: November 27, 2008, 10:20:42 pm »
As long as I''m starting threads nobody will respond to...

I'm just sayin'...... they rule.

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