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A review of something, be it artwork or product

Why "nerd culture must die" fails

A friend of mine shared a link to Pete Warden's article Why nerd culture must die on FB this evening. As usual, my response became too long for FB. So here it is…


REVIEW: M-Audio SP-2 Sustain Pedal

I bought an M-Audio SP-2 Sustain Pedal for my keyboard a couple of days ago. My old pedal finally broke irreparably after maybe 25 years, and I wanted a replacement right away… tl;dr: Not so good. Returned.


REVIEW: Proline PL1100 portable piano bench

The Proline PL1100 piano bench is a Guitar Center offering. It is comfortable, reasonably sturdy, lightweight and inexpensive.


REVIEW: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is great fun, and I recommend it. Surprisingly, it sometimes manages to avoid the pitfalls of a product-placement movie for Lego products and concentrate on telling a good story. The script is good, the voice acting is good, the music (by Mark Mothersbaugh) is excellent—honestly worth the price of admission in its own right. It is highly implausible that this film should be rated PG instead of G, but there you are.


REVIEW: Planters's Five Alarm Chili Dry Roasted Peanuts

I ate a six-ounce (170g) bag of Planters's new Five Alarm Chili Dry Roasted Peanuts this evening. Purchased for about $2.25, the peanuts were quite tasty. The nutrition information is mixed: for me the highlight was only 18g of non-fiber carbohydrates in the whole bag. Lots of sodium, though, and lots of fat; not clear to me whether those actually matter for most people, but some folks care. The "five alarm" part was, as expected, overrated. The peanuts were coated with a medium-spicy powder that contained a lot of chili and had a bit of a smokey flavor.


REVIEW: Gone Home (spoilers)

My son and I both finished the video game Gone Home in the last couple of days. Well, my boy helped me a bit to finish it.

Why did Ben and I buy Gone Home? It's a good question: the game is not either of our usual style. What it comes down to is that Steam made it available crazy cheap during their Winter Sale, and it got good reviews.

Bottom line: we're both glad we paid a couple of bucks and put in a couple of hours. Ben liked it a bit more than I did.


"Better than Tolkien"

I've looking for fantasy to read on an upcoming trip, so I Googled "all-time best fantasy" just now. I carefully inspected eight different lists: specifically all the relevant lists in the first page of search results. Of those eight lists, six were trash. Here's a meta-review…


Review: Light

A friend recently lent me the M. John Harrison novel Light. Sadly, it didn't work for me…


Review: Swindle

It seems like I've been posting a lot of negative stuff lately. I'm a naturally cranky, opinionated person, but there's lots of things I enjoy. I should report on them too.

I recently reviewed the worst juvie novel I've ever read—the "banned book" The Transall Saga. Today I have the happier task of reviewing a well-written and intriguing novel intended for a slightly younger age group. Gordon Korman's Swindle came to my attention today when my son brought it home from the school Book Fair, where apparently every kid in school bought a copy. I'm always suspicious of these sudden hits, but I read a couple of chapters of Swindle this morning.

I'm hooked…


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

This is a review of the first few minutes of the first episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It contains a spoiler—indeed, it spoiled the whole series for me—so please don't read beyond the break if you want to keep some badly-written TV SF fun until you see it for yourself…



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