Military science fiction is my bread-and-butter. It’s the sub-genre I’ve always been drawn to, and have probably read the most from. So it’s a surprise that I’m just now reading this book, which, alongside Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, is a cornerstone of the genre. But here we are.

To cut to the chase, the book is as excellent as its numerous accolades would suggest. While I’ve always liked Starship Troopers, I think The Forever War may just supplant it at the top of my military science fiction hierarchy. This book is relatively light on politics, choosing to focus on the plight of the individual instead of the society. Politics and war are inseparable, of course, but Haldeman keeps it to the background.

Haldeman’s take on wars of the future is as realistic as he could make it for the time. Space travel is still mostly rooted in physics as we understand it today, with some small liberties to allow for interstellar travel using a version of wormholes. He paints a clear picture, but doesn’t get bogged down in the technical details.

The story is told from the first-person view of the main character, William Mandella, a victim of the first wave of conscription following the onset of the titular war. He is a mostly likeable every-man character with no glaring flaws to cause the reader to be unsympathetic to him. The only real biases present are that Mandella doesn’t really get homosexuality. He’s not opposed to it; it’s just not for him, and this causes some consternation later in the story.

The Forever War is very much a reflection of Haldeman’s experience as a veteran of the Vietnam War. He pays special attention the difficulty Mandella and the other veterans have reintegrating into a society that has (figuratively and literally) left them behind. The hopelessness and pointlessness of it all is a constant throughout the story. But The Forever War is much more than “The Vietnam War in space”. It has its own story to tell, and Haldeman tells it well. I definitely recommend giving it a read.

As I alluded to before, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling the last few days. Saturday and Sunday I went to Georgia with my father in law to pick up this handsome fella:

This is Rocky (I know it’s a stereotypical name. I didn’t pick it, so don’t @ me). He’s an eight week old Boxer and he’s as cute as can be. Especially since I don’t have to train him.

That was Saturday and Sunday. I got home last night around 7:30, took a shower, and promptly fell asleep.

Only to have to wake up this morning at 3 A.M. to catch a flight to Detroit for a customer visit. I’ve been workshopping with my team and the customer all day, and just now got to my hotel room. I’m waiting on my team to get settled, then we’re going to get dinner, and then I plan on coming back and passing out again. I have to get up tomorrow at 7 to catch my flight home. I’m fine with that since I’m usually up before then. I’ll be glad to get home so I can spend time with my wife and puppies and sleep in my own bed again

My agenda for the next several days:

  • Today: Drive to Georgia with my father-in-law to pick up a puppy.
  • Tomorrow: Drive home with said puppy.
  • Monday: Fly to Michigan for a customer workshop.
  • Tuesday: Fly home again.

So yeah, it’s going to be a busy few days.

Posted in Life | Syndication Links

Like much of the tech industry, my employer has had a bit of a rough patch lately (although exactly how rough is a topic of debate). I just started there in November of last year. My role is DevOps Consultant in the part of the company that basically does consulting (hence the title). The result of doing consulting work is that it can be… inconsistent. I had the misfortune to be hired right as the pipeline of new projects dried up, so I spent more time “on the bench” than would normally be expected for a new hire. As a matter of fact, I didn’t get my first independent assignment until March. I’m pretty sure that was just in time to save me from getting laid off.

Needless to say, it’s been stressful.

But on the bright side, it seems that the project pipeline is picking back up. Not to jinx it, but I’ve been requested for several new projects even though my current project doesn’t end until mid-June. That’s a big change from January and February when I was spending most of my time trying to make myself busy with learning and internal projects. Apparently my skills (web development, specifically) are in short supply.

So anyway. It is nice to be wanted.

Posted in Life | Syndication Links

I didn’t plan to watch this movie, although the previews caught my attention. Honestly, I almost never plan to watch any movie. But in this case my wife ambushed me with it by turning it on while we were eating dinner, declaring, “This looks like a Scott movie.”

She was right.

The plot isn’t going to surprise anyone. It’s a fairly standard grumpy old man redemption story. But it has Tom Hanks, and that alone makes it worth checking out. As expected, he delivers a brilliant performance as the title character. He is ably countered by Mariana Treviño’s Marisol, his stubborn new neighbor who won’t take no for an answer.

I admit that I’m a big softy, but this movie had me close to tears for a good half of it. I can definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a heart-warming story.


My brain has decided that Tom Holland and Lando Norris are the same person. I will not be taking questions at this time.

After a long weekend of travel and work at my mother’s house, it’s back to the grind.

Remember to set a sane timeout when creating network requests. Or else you wind up spending hours trying to figure out why your Lambda keeps failing.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning. Not exactly the ideal way to start what will be a very long day. We’re planning to drive out to see my mom and sister in Floyd this afternoon. That’s a six hour drive. We can’t leave until after noon because I have a meeting then, so the best case scenario is arriving there around 6 p.m.

Posted in Life | Syndication Links