Category Archives: Accounting

REVIEW: The Hike by Drew Magary

The Hike by Drew Magary
Publishing information: Kindle
Publisher: Viking; 2 August 2016
ASIN: B01839Q436
Standalone
Copy: Out of pocket
Reviewer: Tyson

Amazon

Synopsis: “From the author of The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you’ve read before, weaving elements of folk tales and video games into a riveting, unforgettable adventure of what a man will endure to return to his family

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path.

At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.”

I don’t recall how The Hike made itself known to me. It may have been something I read from Jeff Vandermeer, or it could be from a list of books that I should be reading. Either way, I ended up purchasing this one and only knew what I read from the blurb on the Amazon page.

When I was a few chapters into the book I had debated about calling it quits as it is one of those tongue-in-cheek, smarter than you type books, or at least that is how it felt in the beginning. But knowing it was a short book, coming in at less than 300 pages, I knew it would be over quickly and I could put it out of my misery. However, as I continued to read the story of Ben and the smarminess disappeared and I started to find myself engrossed in the story.

While the “Producer” became a little predictable a little before the reveal, there is another little ending that was foreshadowed that I had forgotten about until Magary brought it back to my attention. It was this even, an event I won’t spoil for you, that made the whole adventure worth reading.

The Hike has a lot of great moments in it and once you get past the smugness of the beginning truly unfolds to be a decent little read that doesn’t get enough publicity. There are quite a lot of little nuances to the book that I would probably really pick up on if I were to do a re-read. Overall, The Hike won me over.

Overall 7/10

Tried and True Trick for Itchy Scalp

As a teenager, whenever I’d complain of dandruff or itchy scalp, my mother would tell me to douse my head in mouthwash. Though I hated to admit when she was right, this little trick worked every time. Even after I went away to college and discovered that the reason most every scalp/hair explanation or ritual my mother had proposed ended in epic failure was that my hair was actually “ethnic” (vis-a-vis birth culture discoveries/identity crisis) and could not be treated as simply White-person-curly hair, the mouthwash strategy remained a go-to for irritated scalp. Inevitably, the mouthwash will come in contact with hair, but it seems that hair, in any texture, doesn’t react–it made no difference whether my hair was relaxed, bleached, half-kinked, or all natural. The roots never complained.

Say you have dry winter head when December hits, which is what happens to me. Or after a workout your head itches to no end and you just washed your hair yesterday and can’t wash it again today or it will bloom into a giant, dried-out Afro. Get out the mouthwash. (Fluoride rinses do not work. Nor do non-alcohol based mouthwashes.) Pour a capful on your scalp, and immediately the minty liquid tingles and seals the pores. Rinse. Done. Problem-free scalp that lasts at least a week or two.

The only other thing I’ve found that comes close to soothing scalp is tea tree oil, but it doesn’t always work right away for me. Mostly I stick with the mouthwash, and every winter when I reach for the bottle of Scope before stepping in the shower I think, “Guess what, Mom? You were right.” 

過去進行形を使いこなす! – 実践で学ぶ英文法

 過去進行形「(過去形 be動詞) + ing」の構文を文法的に理解していても、どう使えば効果的なのかを抑えている学習者は少ないと思います。大抵の過去進行形の文の意味は、単純過去形でも表現できてしまいます。当記事では、過去進行形の効果的な使い方を理解し、より幅広く、自然な文章が書けるようになるためのヒントを説明しています。

過去進行形の定義

 まずは文法の復習です。過去進行形は過去のある時点で行われた動作や一定期間なされたイベントに対して使われます。

[基本形] 主語 + was/were + ~ing

(注)過去進行形の~ingの部分に使える動詞はAction verb (動作動詞)のみです。
 State verb(状態動詞)には単純過去を使います。

(OK) I was driving ~
(OK) She was listening ~
(NG) I was wanting to ~ => (OK) I wanted to ~
(NG) He was liking ~ => (OK) I liked ~

以下、過去進行形がよく使われる5つの場面別に例文を使って説明していきます。

利用場面1: (小説などの)背景描写

 過去進行形は小説などのクリエイティブライティングにおいて背景描写によく使われます。
継続性のある進行形を使うことで、単純過去に比べ、シーンがより活き活きしたイメージになります。

It was a dark night, but far from silent. The wind was whistling in the trees and the leaves were dancing along the ground with a strange, scraping sound.
それは暗い夜でしたが、静けさとは遠いものでした。風は木々の間をヒューヒューと吹きすさみ、葉は地面に沿っておかしなキーキーという音に併せて踊っていました。

利用場面2: 割り込みのあるシーン

 「過去進行形+イベント」の形で、背景のシーンと割り込みイベントを対比させ、イメージを明確化します。

I was taking a shower when the phone rang.
シャワーを浴びていたら、電話が鳴りました。

She was talking to Abdul when Tom came and interrupted her.
Tomが来て割り込んだとき、彼女はAbdulと話していました。

利用場面3: 過去に繰り返し起こったイベントや事柄

 時間的に継続していなくても、過去に繰り返し起きたことやイベントを表します。

I went to the London School of Music when I was 12 and, at that time, I was practicing the violin for four hours a day.
12歳のときに、ロンドン音楽学校へ通いました。その時、一日4時間バイオリンを練習していました。

利用場面 4: 気持ちの変化

 「こう思っていたけど(こうするつもりだったが)、やっぱりこうする」というときにwas/were going to ~ を使って気持ちの変化を表します。

I was going to go shopping but then it started to rain.
買い物に行くつもりでしたが、雨が降り始めました。(雨なので買い物をやめました)

They were going to spend their vacation in Hawaii but decided to stay in Japan instead.
彼らはハワイで休暇を過ごすつもりでしたが、代わりに日本で過ごすことにしました。

利用場面 5: 丁寧な言い方

 丁寧なトーンの表現に過去進行形を使うことがあります。例えば、I was wondering if ~という表現は、丁寧なトーンで何かを依頼するときの言い方です。I was wondering if ~は一種の定型句で、現在の依頼であっても過去進行形を使います。

I was wondering if you’d be able to send over the files today.
あなたがファイルを本日配布できるかどうかと思っているのですが。

以上、過去進行形の利用場面と例文を紹介させていただきました。ぜひ実際のライティングで使ってみてください!

Bennettcast


Rem-Blick bikecast




110 years ago, the Bennett and its predecessor, the Junior (which used ink rollers instead of a ribbon), sold in pretty good quantities. (Over 11,000 Juniors and 24,000 Bennetts were made from 1907 to 1913.)

You can find many web pages and videos that show the workings of the Bennett, so I’ll just post a few glimpses here.