Tag Archives: Multiple Times

The legendary men I know.

ThanksI’m fortunate. I have not lost anyone to war…no one personal, no one dear. On the contrary, I am blessed to know marines and soldiers who’ve returned safely every time.

For that, I thank their comrades, particularly the ones who didn’t make it.

Here is what your blood bought for your brothers back home.
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How to reread Wheel of Time before A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

This article is dedicated to Carey Peters, Bruce Lecus, and Ryan Jones.

So you’re a Wheel of Time fan. The final book, A MEMORY OF LIGHT, is finally finished. Praise the Light! Only it’s been years since you’ve read the Wheel of Time, which contains rich mythology, heavy foreshadowing, and loads and loads of characters. And most of the books are long. Will Continuity Lock-Out keep you from enjoying the final volume?

Don’t panic; there are a variety of ways to enjoy this epic tale before Tarmon Gai’don. And most of them don’t require rereading the entire series from pages 1 to 10,670, though that is certainly an option. Brandon Sanderson did so multiple times while writing the penultimate novels, so you’re in good company.

The idea of skipping books or chapters will strike some as odd; I assure you, it’s warranted. I’d rather you enjoy what you can than skip the whole series.


I was furious that Jordan wrote a prequel with the series unfinished, and (at the time) most releases failing to resolve much. I haven’t read NEW SPRING and don’t plan to. It is omitted from this guide.

Why your first reading was worthless:

The series is an order of magnitude better on subsequent readings. To modern readers, Jordan is dry, long-winded and fills his books with pointless chapters, especially later in the series. Only upon rereading (or reviewing supplemental material) does it become clear just how much Jordan planned in advance. Chapters which seemed at first irrelevant actually fill critical niches in the chronology.

For example, I used to hate any chapters with Whitecloak or Forsaken POV. They seemed to progress nothing. But both are rarer than I originally believed, they just seem longer when you want to read more about Mat. What you can’t tell in a single reading is how important a particular event becomes to the main characters  along arcs that take 8+ books to resolve.

Whatever you think of his prose, Jordan was a master planner; the foreshadowing and resolutions in Wheel of Time are second to none. On page 204 of the first book, Jordan tells you what Mat will do at the end of Book 13 to resolve a dangling thread from Book 5. Jordan’s work is photomosaic: Single chapters and books are downright ugly until you can see the larger picture. There’s too much to digest in one reading.

Your Prime Directive

I’m outline options to get you started, but the cardinal rule for rereading WOT is:

Don’t read what you don’t enjoy.

If you hated a book, chapter, or character, skip it. Even on your first read. I would rather you enjoyed the remainder. Remember Sturgeon’s Law:

90% of everything is crud.

…and the fan corellary:

The remaining 10% is worth dying for.

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Critically Examining the Sims 3: Excellence is outdated

MediocrityThe folks at Maxis have got to be some of the WORST game programmers on the planet. They have high and lofty concepts for gaming but their delivery — to be quite frank — sucks.

When Sims 3 was released, registering for it gave you access to a “free town”. A month of troubleshooting, emails, and phone calls still has not enabled my game application to download objects from the Sims 3 website. These are objects that are being SOLD, by the way.

Maxis has just released patch 1.05 for Spore, finally introducing asymmetry. Let’s be honest: I’m thrilled with asymmetry. Anything that puts more control and creativity at the hands of the player is a win.

What I’m not thrilled with is that every time a Spore patch comes out, it causes my game to crash immediately upon loading, or “forgets” to include one of my installed expansions. The fix is usually a manual uninstall including editing the registry followed by a full reinstallation.

Patches are supposed to FIX annoyances like these, not cause them.

I have been trading emails and forum posts with Game Cam. Previously I have been impressed with Game Cam, using a fully paid for registered version for all my game-recording needs.

Currently, Game Cam will allow me to register but will not remove any of the restrictions imposed on unregistered users. The lady who tracks registrations insists she has no records of me EVER registering even though I have done so multiple times in the past — long before this problem arose.

Manual uninstalls with more regediting were advised as fixes, and a whole new version of the application was posted on the website. Nothing corrected the problem.

On the forum, I asked if my correspondant could recommend a more reliable program. He responded that I might have success with Fraps, but he did not know of a “more reliable” program.

Here’s a clue, guy: If Fraps works (so far it has, even though I’m out another $37 for the exact same type of software) and Game Cam doesn’t, that means Fraps is more reliable.

Wizards of the Coast announced their game-changing suite of software tools for release with 4th edition in June of 2008. As of July 2009, they have only released ONE of those tools, and have freely admitted abandoning two of the others.

Each of the above companies required purchases up front before it was possible to discover these problems. That’s how they remain in business. Even with shoddy workmanship, they keep my money.