Just finished the book Daemon today (pronounced Demon, but refers to self-executing code running in the background mainly in the UNIX environment) and thought I would sit down and write some thoughts about it.
Daemon is about a series of murders that are committed by a computer program. The computer program was the creation of a billionaire computer game AI specialist and the twist is that he is dead. The computer program is running on its own through the Internet and all the computer games that people are playing. So, you can see why I was attracted to this book, having to do with the game industry.
While I thought it was a good book overall, I thought the plot wasn’t solid enough in some areas. It has a great premise and the book starts out by following the detective who is following the case and a computer expert who was under investigation, but cleared once the Daemon program was discovered to be the real culprit. The book would have been great if it continued to follow these two characters throughout the book.
However, half-way through it takes a weird twist and these two characters are pretty much absent for the second half of the book. Instead the author goes into describing how the Daemon is invading society, which is where the book slowed way down for me. Then, the last climatic scene of an attack by the Daemon feels really forced. The book didn’t really build up to a head, it just kind of happened.
Anyway, I’m being kind of vague about the second half of the book because I don’t want ruin it if anyone decides they want to read it. I recommend the book if you are into computers and computer games. It’s an interesting premise, but as Daniel Suarez’s first novel, I find it lacking a decent well rounded plot. I will read the sequel, Freedom™, but I probably won’t rush.
A few Fridays ago the Toyota Camry started to idle real rough and the Check Engine light came on. It appeared that the old car was finally on its last legs. We bought the Camry in early 2000 soon after we were married and Jennifer started a new job half-way across Houston. We thought it would be safer for her. Soon after we bought it, she was in an accident: rear-ended while waiting at a light. (This is pre-Frenchville so I don’t have any pictures online). She was okay, but we were worried about Abby, who was still inside Jennifer’s belly at the time. In fact I was waiting at her doctor’s appointment to check on the baby. This was also a time before mobile phones. She had one, but I didn’t. So, I had no idea where she was and why she was late. She finally rolled up to the doctor appointment crying and the back-end of the car totally smashed in. I was surprised she was even able to drive it from the west side of Houston to Clear Lake, where we were living at the time.
Well, it was time to say good-bye to the old Camry. We drove two of our girls home from the hospital after they were born in that car and it was pretty dependable over the ten years we owned it. We had already sunk a lot of money into the Sequoia and when the brakes went out and now potential issues with the engine, it was time.
Since we had had so many problems with the Sequoia, I had pretty much sworn off Toyota. I wanted to “buy American” and I wanted a truck again. I hadn’t actually had a new car that I could call “mine” since 1996, so this time I was going to be the one choosing the vehicle. The only condition I had was I wanted the Ford SYNC system so that I could throw away my old tape deck audio cable that I used to plug into my iPhone to listen to podcasts. It was time to move into the 2010’s and not the 1990’s. The SYNC system has a USB port so that it will index the songs on my iPhone and then I can play what I want through the voice activated system. For example, “Play artist Pink Floyd” or “Play playlist Podcasts”. It’s great. It also allows me to make phone calls hands-free.
I looked at several cars and trucks on the lot, but ended up with the Sports Trac. It was a combination Ford Explorer and pick-up truck. The cab is large enough for the whole family and I have room in the bed of the truck if I need to get something at Home Depot.
I’ve been driving it around for a week now and I’m loving it.
Can’t believe it, but Emily turned 8 this past Friday. Seems like just yesterday that we were moving to Florida (for the first time) right after she was born. She wanted to spend her birthday going out to eat at Kid Tropolis. Her birthday is always tough to have since it’s right after Christmas. This time the girls still haven’t even gone back to school from Christmas break, but Emily, being the shy girl that she is, just wanted to have a small gathering with family.
Kid Tropolis wasn’t all that great. I would describe it as a Chuck-E-Cheese knock-off. The pizza was actually worse, if that’s possible. We played a few games and tried to digest the food and then headed home so she could open presents and we could eat some cake. Someone must have told everyone she liked soccer, because that was definitely the main theme of all the presents.
Earlier in the day Emily got her ears pierced. Jennifer said she cried for a little bit, but she was all smiles when she showed me her ears once we met up for dinner. It’s going by fast and they are growing up quick, but as Abby told Jennifer the other day, “I’m just going to have to deal with it.”
Hope everyone had a save New Years Eve. For the first time, we went to a New Years Party. Our friends the Carbones invited us over to their house. We initially turned them down because we don’t really have a regular babysitter. We didn’t know there were actually going to be other families at the party with kids the girls’ age, but when Tom informed us as such, we accepted.
We had fun visiting and playing games. We played Apples to Apples, which neither Jennifer nor I had played before. It’s a word game where an adjective and read aloud and then each player gives a noun card from their hand to the player who is playing the judge. The judge then determines which adjective best describes the noun cards which was submitted. Low-and-behold, Jennifer and Emily were experts. They killed the rest of us taking 6 of the 12 rounds we played.
We were surprised all the girls were able to stay up until midnight. They looked beat and we left the party soon after midnight. Izzy fell asleep immediately when we got into the car. We had a great time and are grateful to the Carbones for the invite.