Dresden: I just finished book eight of the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. The next book comes out 2/5 in paperback. This has been a fantastic series, with ongoing character development, constant cliff hangers and a believable supernatural world. It has been a lot of fun and I'll miss it by mid-February when I've caught up with the series after reading book nine. I'll be starting on his fantasy series in the next couple of days. The Dresden Files RPG is due out Gencon-ish, according to my sources. It's by Evil Hat Productions, creator of Spirit of the Century. It will use a Fate based system, similar to SotC, including a much better developed magic system.
Press: The Economist is still my main source for news, but I've been reading web based news to keep up with primary election results. A couple things struck me this week: Bill Clinton tried to define the South Carolina primary debate as a race thing, and after the Obama win, the news articles have ran with the spin. I'm starting to recall that slimy feeling I used to get when it came to the Clintons. I've also noticed on my Google home page that of the 5,000+ article choices, the RussiaToday news keeps popping to the top. Lately they've been harping on election problems, such as questionable voting machines. I like independent news, but these seem to be stories that don't exist elsewhere, and with the Russian media tightly controlled by the Russian government, this seems to be an attempt to show that American democracy is messy too, just like the messy (rigged) Russian democracy. The old tricks are the new tricks. I have more confidence in objectivity from Al Jazeera than an outfit like RussiaToday.
Flix: I've seen a few really good foreign films lately. Kung Fu Hustle was a very funny Kung Fu parody with some crazy special effects scenes. I don't buy a lot of DVD's but this one I'll be getting. Curse of the Golden Flower was a Shakespearean like Kung Fu drama with epic battle scenes that rivaled Return of the King. It didn't evoke a lot of strong emotion for me, but the film was an amazing spectacle. I just wish it was more engaging. The same director did House of Flying Daggers, which found me surfing the web half way through after some ridiculous plot twists. Yawn. Black Book is a Dutch movie about a Jewish woman during the Nazi occupation. It's full of unexpected twists and turns that make you swear it must be based on real events. It was an intense, often violent film that took a couple sittings to finish. Coming up in my queue of foreign films: Layer Cake, 2046 and Shaolin Soccer.
Painting: Back to gnoblar trappers for my Ogre Kingdoms army. I've got three of eight painted and really dislike the models, almost enough to remove them from my list. I needed them for my first D&D adventure in June, otherwise I would probably ditch them.