Category Archives: Thoughts


Back to Work

While I have enjoyed being on vacation this past week, it’s now time to get back to work. I have at least two book reviews to write this week, I’m almost finished with part 2 of my review of the songs of “Black Ribbons”, and I have a few insights from my vacation that I want to share as well. Oh – and I have quite a bit of TV to catch up on as well. Should be an action packed week – stay tuned for updates…


“My wireless mouse will imperil the plane??” – what I learned on the road this week

I travel a fair amount for my job – not as much now as I used to – but enough.  It never ceases to amaze me, the things that I learn when I do travel – things about myself, things about my traveling companions, things about the general public.  It can be quite an educational experience, and this last week was more educational than most.  It was a veritable cornucopia of discovery – so much so that I thought I might share it with you.  Some things were profound, some were annoying, some were just strange – I’ll let you be the judge as to which was which.


Another Birthday Dinner Debacle…

The evening started off pretty well.  The kids were behaving, it looked like the rain was going to hold off, and despite the crowd, we were seated quickly at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Johnny Carino’s (yes it’s a chain, and yes – we still enjoy it immensely).    Then there was a small tremor in the Force.  We waited for our server – and we waited – and we waited.  Right then I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we were in for a terrible dinner.  How did I know?  Simple – it was my birthday.  Dinner on my birthday is ALWAYS a disaster.

I guess disaster might be a bit strong. Let’s me put it this way – going out to dinner on my birthday is one of those traditions that we have stumbled into along the way.  We don’t really plan it in advance, but we try to go out for a nice dinner.  At some point over the last few years, my birthday dinner has become an exercise in bad service, bad food, scared children, and vomit.  Yes – I said vomit – and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that vomit and dinner is a combination that never leads to anything good.


Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards

I’m dipping my toe in the pool, and submitting this humble blog, “The Word Zombie” to be eligible for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards for 2010.  I’m entering the blog in two categories – “Best New Book Blog” and “Best Eclectic Book Blog”.  As part of the entry process, I need to highlight the five articles that I would like for the judges to consider when making their decision in both of the categories I am entering.  Those five articles are:

Book Review – “Atlas Shrugged” by  Ayn Rand

Book Review – “Ysabel” by Guy Gavriel Kay

Book Review – “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill

Thoughts – When is it okay to burn the American Flag?

Music Review – “Black Ribbons” by Shooter Jennings and Hierophant

I hope that you enjoy the articles and I welcome your feedback on both the articles themselves, and the site in general.  Thanks for your consideration!


“It’s a small world”? Maybe a little too small sometimes…

There was a recent story that made the internet rounds about a married couple who discovered that they had been visiting Disneyland as children, at the same time – 15 years before they met each other.  In an old family photo, the woman (as a young girl) can been seen posing for a picture with one of the Disney characters.  In the background, her future father-in-law can be seen pushing her future husband along in a stroller.  The couple didn’t discover the mind-blowing coincidence until they were going through old family photos, in preparation for their wedding.

Voutsinas family photo

It was a touching story, and it got me to thinking.  My wife and I also shared a similar, if unphotographed, almost rendezvous.  When going through concert tickets while we were dating we found that, when we were both in high school, we sat in the same section for a Poison concert.  What if we had met each other then?  Did we perhaps see each other?  If so, was she impressed with the height I was able to get out of my hair with a bottle of Aquanet?


Trying out a new site design. What do you think?

I’m trying out a new design for the site.  I wanted to make it a little more dynamic, but still maintain the feel that I started out with.  I’ve quickly learned that I could easily spend hours tweaking this and tweaking that – always finding just one more cool thing to try out.  It’s very addicitive.  So – I’m going to call it a night, at least for now.  I’m sure that I will find more stuff to tweak in the coming days and months.  For now though, I’m curious – what do you think of the changes?  Good? Bad?  Indifferent?  Let me know – I value your feedback.


I will be light on posts this week.

I’m traveling this week, so I will be a little light on getting posts updated.  The good news is, I was able to get most of my review of “Black Ribbons” by Shooter Jennings and Hierophant, on the plane (by the way – I’m loving the album even more as I continue to listen to it).  I’m a few pages away from completing “Horns” by Joe Hill, and should be able to get through most of my next book on the way home (not sure what it will be yet – I brought one paperback and my kindle with me, so I have options…).  I’ll get the two new reviews posted as soon as I can this weekend.


Bites from Twitter this week

  • Just finished reading "Heart-Shaped Box" by @joe_hill – great book. I'll have a full review posted on my blog soon. #
  • Listening to Black Ribbons by Shooter Jennings(@TennesseeWolf), and loving it. Working on a review-initial thoughts at #
  • Just started my next book – "Heart Shaped Box" by @joe_hill – I'm already loving it. #
  • I just finished book # 30 for 2010 – "The Quiet Road" by Annie Frame. I'll have a review posted soon. #

Bites from Twitter this week

  • Just posted my review of @SonsOfSylvia new album "Revelation". Great album, you should check it out. #
  • Almost finished reading my next book, and also working on a review of the album "Revelation" by @SonsOfSylvia #
  • Back to the grind today. Have to find time to finish my "Atlas Shrugged" review. #
  • An older post of mine – but appropriate, I think, to revisit on Memorial Day. #
  • Just finished watching the "24" season finale. Not as good as "Lost", but they stayed true to the spirit of the show. #

Bites from Twitter this week

  • Looks like the producers want Crystal to win. Lee got hosed on song choice. Crystal shined. #
  • Just finished "Atlas Shrugged". What an incredible book. In many ways, I'm glad I waited until now to read it. #
  • Gearing up for the "American Idol" finale tonight. Hope it doesn't suck… #
  • The more I marinate with it, the more I like last night's "Lost" finale. #
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