Monday, February 21, 2011
Lack of time for Geekdom, Harry Potter and Border's Bad Business Practices
I haven't had much time for blogging as of late. I tried to make up for that today. I still have part two of my Lin Carter series to finish up, plus a couple planned posts exploring Gilgamesh, Beowolf, The Odyssey and The Iliad as precursors to the genre of fantasy. I also have a few reviews of Phoenix Barony products to post, along with updates to my reading lists.
While I've had time to read the subjects at hand, home repairs/remodels and family business have ate into much of my time. I've been concentrating my "geek time" on preparations for my WFRP "The Enemy Within Campaign". On a side note, I've become once again engrossed with jig-saw puzzles. A good jig-saw puzzle to me is just as engaging as a great book. Both keep me up at night. I have also been rejuvenating my interest in painting miniatures as well and hope to post more on that soon (with pictures).
On the TV/Movies angle of my geekdom, I've been slogging though Conan: The Adventurer and I've been watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I didn't expect to enjoy Spartacus as much as I have, but have found it enjoyable. At this point, only three episodes in, I would describe it as 300 on Viagra with an unhealthy mix of steroids. On the movie scene, due to the looming tax season and having to watch every penny so I can pay my taxes, I haven't enjoyed as many trips to the theater as I would like. I did manage yesterday to make a rare family trip to one of my favorite second-run theaters, a lovely place called the Bear Tooth that features gourmet pizza and micro-brewed beer (consequently, two of my favorite things in life) to see Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part I. I had not paid any attention to the Harry Potter movies until lately. I viewed them as something I wouldn't enjoy, and consequently have not read any of the novels either. After seeing the trailers for Deathly Hallows, I was intrigued enough to Netflix the prequels and watch them in succession. Both of my children have enjoyed the Potter movies, and books in my son's case, in the past. They are older now, and to find a movie they are willing to watch with me is a serious family treat. All four of us went. My wife, who is decidedly not a geek and has not seen a single Potter movie, even enjoyed it. Aside from a brief altercation with a rude gentleman behind me that felt it his responsibility to give a running commentary throughout the entire flick, we enjoyed it greatly.
On a side note, my wife, daughter and I visited our local Border's Book Store. After reading last week's announcement that they would be closing some 200 of their super stores, I was convinced that ours would be one of those closing. I was right. This gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand, I do not often frequent Borders, or their competitor Barnes & Nobles. On a political level, I am anti-big-box stores. I prefer smaller "mom and pops" stores. My ultimate preference is for used book stores run by a few people that love books, and perhaps has a lazy cat sunning itself in a front window.
However, the prospect of up to 60% off was enough to lure us there to see what we could snag; unfortunately, by the time we got there, the vultures had picked over much of what was left. I had designs upon picking up a copy of Pathfinder (core rulebook), but while there was a copy left, two things kept me from picking it up. One, they were only offering 20% off - I can get a military discount of 15% off at a local hobby store that I like to haunt - and two, judging the size of the line, we were looking at a minimum of a one hour wait to purchase whatever we wanted. If my daughter or wife had found anything they wanted to make our wait in line worth it, I would have sucked it up and bought; however, the vultures had all ready picked over what they wanted. The wait just wasn't worth it.
Like I stated, I am not a Border's person. I don't appreciate their business practices, and prefer to frequent smaller local businesses; in addition, Borders is on the wrong side of town for me. If I choose to patron a big box store, Barnes & Nobles is much closer for me. I am sad though, as my community of Anchorage AK is small enough that the closing of a retail store such as Borders is a real kick in the family jewels. So while I will not personally miss Borders, I mourn for those that are now out of a job.