More Babies. And Dogs. Okay, no dogs. But definitely babies. Okay fine, toddlers. Whatever. Get off my back.

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. I’ve been to and from NYC (photos to come if I ever get around to flickring them), crashed a friend’s house in Bowling Green, VA for our Fantasy Football draft, and am about to go on another grand adventure this weekend (Atlanta and Blacksburg in 24 hours). Busy, busy, busy. I bring you what has been observed by several people as being a “cute” picture. Which is funny, because out of the pictures I have recently taken, I don’t think this is one of the better shots. But who am I to argue with Simon’s adoring public? So I must share the cuteness (provided by the boy, not me).

Teaching Him Early

More Print Design

I designed this business card for an electrician friend of mine. He picked this from several options. The nice thing about this card is that it ties in with the Web site – which is not available for public viewing just yet. The design is finished, but the content needs to be written and plugged in. Once it has been, it ties in nicely with this card. I made sure that I ordered cards that were white on the back and had a coating that could be written on with a ballpoint pen, as business cards are often a de facto note pad at conferences meetings, etc. This is the card that he picked (and I liked best too, due to the tie-in with his Web site):

Collins Electric Business Card
And this is the one that was (in my mind, anyway) a very close second:

Collins Electric Business Card (Runner Up)
When the site is finished I’ll post about it here.

Soliciting Comments: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows US CoverFor anybody who fears spoilers – FEAR NOT! This post contains no spoilers. The comments, however, probably do (did I just guarantee that this post will sit at zero comments forever?). Avoid the comments if you haven’t read the book. For those of you who don’t want to read the longish post below, jump straight to the comments to discuss the book. (Or visit the temporarily resurrected Book Club if you want a more robust way to thread your discussion).

It’s been nearly a week and a half since the final installment of the Harry Potter series hit the shelves. If you’re a Harry Potter fan and you haven’t finished the book yet, I can fairly confidently say one of two things about you:

  1. You were out of the countryor
  2. You are a SLACKER.

Seriously. Read the book already. I picked up our copy on the morning of July 21. Kate (who will no doubt be grumpy that I’m making this bit of information available on the Internet) finished it at 4AM on July 22nd. That’s approximately 17 hours after getting the book. That’s COMMITMENT, people! I, after waiting for Kate to finish, took a leisurely 36 hours, give or take, to finish.

I’m not a book critic. I can’t speak to the Deathly Hallows’ place in the grand scheme of literary achievement. It’s doubtful I will find any hidden meaning, symbolism, or cleverly mythological or literary references that Rowling may have included. All I know is that it was a damn fun read.

I think that the reason that the book was so engrossing was that it was the culmination of 6 books of buildup. And for me, the real payoff wasn’t the advancement and resolution of the plot as much as it was seeing the characters that Rowling has so painstakingly built from the beginning of the series come into their own. In the Deathly Hallows, Rowling continues to build some characters in a manner you’d expect, and then takes others and totally flips them on their head.

The story itself was brilliant, action-packed, with the occasional twist and turn to make sure you’re paying attention. Kate and I were both motivated to return to look up specific scenes in the previous books while reading the Deathly Hallows. And if you haven’t read it, let me say this. Make sure you give yourself a good chunk of uninterrupted time to read the last 150-200 pages, because when things really get moving at that point and you WILL NOT want to put it down.

Naturally there are certain parts of the book that are a bit disappointing. It’s not perfect, but Rowling has completed the series in far more satisfying way than I would have thought possible. I am happy that I can confidently recommend the series as a whole to new readers (are there any actually out there?) and be confident that the ending lives up to the rest of the series.

My main motivation in writing this post was not to proclaim my geekdom to the world (too late), but rather to provide a forum where a smallish group of people could have a discussion about the book. Most of the online discussions on fan sites are so ridiculously large (thousands upon thousands of posts) that I just don’t even want to get involved. I thought that something more intimate would be nice. And it doesn’t get much more intimate than the small number of people who read this blog!

So use the comments section and tell me what you thought about the book. Spoilers will abound in the comments, I’m sure. So don’t read them if you haven’t read the book yet. Also, in case the comments become a little unwieldy for our discussion, I’ve actually temporarily resurrected the Book Club and created a forum for the Deathly Hallows. So lets talk! Lurkers – that means you!