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Garrett R. Winn

Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

 
 
Garrett R. Winn

Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

 
 
Garrett R. Winn
22 July 2011 @ 04:58 pm

This was an exciting read. It was more for pleasure than for analysis, so I shan’t include as much as normal.

This is about a reporter who is trying to find the truth about a murder, and he gets pulled in farther than he wants.

The action is pretty much non-stop and each short chapter seemed to end on a cliffhanger (making it hard to put down – but also frustrating when information was being withheld from me on purpose).

There wasn’t a lot of character development or deep thinking going on here, but then that is not what this book was for.

If you are squirmy about reading about brutal murders involving eyes, then you may want to pass on this one, otherwise I say give it a read!



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
14 July 2011 @ 03:29 pm

I had already read the Tamir triad/trilogy by Lynn and liked it, so I thought I’d start in on this one since I found it at my awesome library! I didn’t realize that this was set in the same "universe" except hundreds of years later (I think), so I was pleasantly surprised. And apparently, this one was written first even though it is chronologically later. So I found that a bit serendipitous. However, I don’t think that you need to read any other book before starting in on either series. They seem to be fairly well self-contained.

Setting: This is a medieval quest-type book, with some of the standard tropes of journeying from place to place and having a newcomer experience different parts of the world. There was some nice homage to Tolkien and Jordan in the setting and such, which was fun. I thought Lynn did well with depicting locations and telling what the characters saw – I didn’t feel confused or lost at all.

Plot: In some ways this is a boy’s coming of age story. But it is also a mystery, where they are trying to discover who is after them and who is responsible for certain "bad" deeds. There are lots of open plot lines to take us into the next book (I kind of wish it would have had even more of a resolution in this one though).

Conflict: All sorts of conflicts are going on here, from inter-personal to national. I was keep guessing through most of the book on many of the conflicts (and am still guessing on some). There are some moments where the author tries to create suspense when in the viewpoint of a character "in the know" that fell a bit flat for me because it felt like the facts were being hidden (the character knew but we don’t get details).

Character: This is one of the author’s strengths, I believe. I really liked the characters. Many of them felt real to me and acted real – even the psychotic ones.

Text: I could tell this was some of Lynn’s earlier work because the writing wasn’t quite as good as before, however it still held up rather nicely. There were some POV errors and confusion by switching POV within chapters and between paragraphs, but these were few and far between.



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
10 July 2011 @ 06:28 pm

Sometimes I don’t write a review immediately after finishing a book because I didn’t like the book or because it had some deep messages I was still working through or because I’m not sure what to make of the book. But, none of those apply to this book. I’ve just been so busy the past couple weeks that I haven’t had time to write up my review. I really loved reading this one. I had not read anything from Mr. Jakes before, so this was a real surprise and a treat. I got the book (along with several others) from my grandma about 4 years ago and put it in my to read pile. Grandma and I don’t exactly have the same tastes in literature, but I have liked some of the books she gave me. And this one surpassed all of them. In fact, I have several other books by Mr. Jakes in my to read pile and all of them seem to magically moved up towards the top!

This is a work of historical fiction, but the history mainly forms the backdrop as setting and providing some characters. It is mainly a story about a young lady who wants to be an actress (on Broadway) in the time period right before world war one.

Fritzi is a charming protagonist through most of the book (I did get a little fed up with her attitude toward her career and herself toward the end of the book, but that doesn’t mean she is unrealistic (in fact, this character flaw helps make her feel more real).

I look forward to reading more from this author.



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
09 July 2011 @ 10:47 pm

I made it home around 8:30 this evening after being gone since last Saturday (around noon). It has been a long week, but it is great to be back home and able to sleep in a nice bed. And to be back with the family. Of course, I’ll miss my scouter friends who were on staff with me, and my new scouter friends from the Cheyenne tribe – Go purple! – and the other great leaders I met and taught and learned from this last week.

Akela’s Council is an amazing training, and I get more and more impressed with the foresight and thought that has gone into it over the years (25, I believe). Every cub scout leader should attend the training!

I also had a fun time at our banquet Friday night (a Blue and Gold dinner) when I sat next to the mayor of Payson, Rick (Moore?). He is a very funny guy. And I was told by a couple different people that we act a lot alike. I’m not sure if that is good or bad ;-)

I loved being a den leader at AC this year. My den members were awesome. They kept me laughing. And they were very sweet. I learned a lot from them. Hopefully, they learned a little bit from me too – other than something about having craftiness in my testosterone-laden pinky, that is.

I may write more later, but this is all I can keep my eyes open for now.

Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
09 June 2011 @ 02:05 pm

No, this is not a post about tattoos. Plus, tattoo parlors don’t last long in Provo – there is only so much skin on a very very customers. Anyway, this is not about tattoos (but, note to self – Do a post on tattoos soon).Ink Cartridges

This is about printer ink.

You see, I just purchased some remanufactured (read, refilled) ink cartridges for my HP Photosmart Premium C309g-m. And after maybe 20 pages, the printer said the ink was gone.

Now, I have been having problems with this particular printer and refilled cartridges. Basically, the printer says that using them voids my warranty and then the printer steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that they are full. So, after a little use, the printed pages start looking horrible.

I took some of my other cartridges in (to, you guessed it, a place in Provo) to have them refilled (I now have 3 sets of cartridges).

I’ve done a bit of research and asked the guy who refilled my cartridges if there was a way around this, and the answer . . . No.

Why are we letting the printer companies get away with this?

I realize that the ink is where they are making most of their money, but they are charging WAY too much for printer ink. Some estimate the charge at $800 per gallon of ink. In other words – HUGE profits.

These practices are anti-consumer and monopolistic. Where is the attorney general? Is this naked greed going to stand?

Unfortunately, I can’t even boycott HP (which I am doing anyway because their particular method is especially onerous) because it is something that all the printer manufacturers are doing, apparently.

I’d like to know which ones I can do better with getting around this ridiculous restriction, though, so if anyone knows, I’m all ears.

And the real kicker is that warranty thing. HP says that the refilled or remanufactured cartridges are dangerous for my printer. What an outright lie! Come on HP, at least tell us the truth – you care more about your profits than about the consumer. I’ve been a loyal customer of HP cameras and printers for at least 15 years, but this is the last straw – no more HP for me!

They are in clear violation of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act:

“(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name.”

As stated at http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus01-businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law#Magnuson-Moss, this means,

“Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.

In order to keep your new Plenum Brand Vacuum Cleaner warranty in effect, you must use genuine Plenum Brand Filter Bags. Failure to have scheduled maintenance performed, at your expense, by the Great American Maintenance Company, Inc., voids this warranty.”

This is exactly what printer ink is to printers.

There is currently a class-action lawsuit against HP (I just found out in my searching – https://www.hpinkjetprintersettlement.com/) that is in the final stages and HP will be required to make some changes.

However, this does not appear to take this federal law into account. Instead, focusing on the messaging around how much ink is available.

I’m about ready to contact my law firm and start my own class action suit. Who’s with me?

Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

 
 
Garrett R. Winn
08 June 2011 @ 04:57 pm

Wow! An amazing first book for Bree Despain.

I was pulled through from beginning to end, and I thought I was sick of books about werewolves (sorry no vampires in this one).

Although I didn’t get totally tricked or surprised by any of the plot twists, it made me feel smart to know that it was coming (rather than boring me because it was only as expected).

The main character, Grace, felt real and properly conflicted, as well as spunky. I liked that.

I need to get the next book in the series so I can move it to the top of my stack!



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
08 June 2011 @ 04:53 pm

Normally I do a nice long review of each book I read, but I’ve been reading so fast, that I really don’t want to take the time to do that right now.

So, I’ll just say that I think Scott Card is getting better and better as a writer with each book.

Some may argue that his opinions come through more strongly, even pedantically, in his later novels, but I think that it is just his characters that have stronger opinions and are therefore more well-rounded. Those opinions may or may not be Scott Card’s.

This was a fun read and a very interesting magic system.

I am anxiously awaiting the next in the series.



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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Garrett R. Winn
03 May 2011 @ 03:18 pm

Even better than the first book!

Kept me reading until late and when I should have been grading papers instead.



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Originally published at Of Mice and Winn. Please leave any comments there.

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