Sunday, 30 September 2007

Time shifting

Odd night last night I was going to go to the Darren Hayman gig in the Pleasure Unit, which would have been odd with both me and Nat memories of seeing Darren Hayman and cos its been a long time since I was at The Pleasure Unit, the AllDayer 2004.

But then Nat came round for a cup of tea, no mean feat considering she lives in Glasgow. Couldn't stay long cos she kinda had a bus to catch. This long-distance relationship thing is working out a lot better than the last one, god bless continuous improvement.

So I filled her hot water bottle and her thermos, and sent her on her way. She somehow didn't get her bus, so I got her a Megabus ticket for an hour or so later. Phonecalls and texts.

Tea boy, originally uploaded by Nasty Lady Ho.

God bless the internet when it works.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Late night links

Really neat video on a new image resizing technique
Its up there with HDR photies, I wonder what the possibilities are if applied to audio

And Stephen Fry's blog
Me and Nat slept with him once, it was all warm and fuzzy

The end of an era

Looks like my record label, Ivan Lendil Music, home of The Plimptons, manc_ill_kid and sometimes The Just Joans, will be shutting down.

I'm in the middle of a huge CD making job and my printer has stopped working with the message, "Some parts of this printer have reached the end of their service life, please refer to printer documentation".

Now this came just after I'd bought £40 worth of ink and supplies, and printed out about 40% of the job. Damn you Epson and your Photo R300!

The girlfriend is somewhere out there in London, and I'm bawsdeep in trying to sort this printing. On the other hand I've done about as much as I can of the latest Plimpie video (NSFW link) I just need to do the end credits.

The label started back in 2004 when my Gran died and I used the inheritance to buy kits and stock to churn out CDs. But now the printer's knackered, my CD burner is on its last legs and we sold about 5 copies of the last album we put out. It was a phase

Friday, 28 September 2007


Night bus home with a belly full of Guinness and in my head is news of prolific accusations of stalking (fuck that shit) and a thread about me trying to download Bowlie.

Should I email comrade Kitchen quoting Freedom of Information Act and demanding a copy (fuck that shit I won anyway)

Back to the stalking accusation, any evidence or questionable occurances to justify it and no the comment thread of yesterday's blog post doesn't count.

I jab at my mobile phone at 3am a text message demanding an explanation, then click cancel cancel cancel. Fuck that shit.
Dinner with a friend from Scotland last night, was supposed to be cooking at mine, but after almost running out of petrol on the way to pick her up, I couldn't face it, so we headed to a nearby restaurant.

I was a bit of a bore, ranting and moaning, and standing on tables condeming womenkind as being "snakes with tits". Whilst some people might not say women are "snakes with tits", I bet after hearing the phrase, they might use it. I guess stabbing the waiter in the eye on the way out might have been a bit over top.

So after the industriousness of the otehr day, I get a phonecall pointing out I'd spelt "Octtober" on the CD design, so I'll have to spend a few hours going over them with Tip-Ex. I am a professional manufacturing engineer, this is my job.

I've been rather enjoying myself on Bowlie 2, seems to be mostly the same folk I lurk just behind at gigs. Which is rather neat.

Fifteen years I've been on messageboards, fifteen.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Mood swings all over the place

So I had the closest I get to a nervous breakdown at the weekend, there's only just so much pointless driving can do before owning a Smart Car doesn't seem quite so environmentally friendly.
Luckily Fiona saved my life by asking me to house-sit for her while she's away on holiday. She as the nicest house, and it'll be all mine for the next week or so. Finally I'll be able to do my laundry and cook food without The Fear. And its closer to town so I can get back in the gig-going tracksuit.

Last night I got my arse in gear making CDs. My room turned into a right little production line.
  • CD Burning on on PC

  • CD printing on my laptop

  • QC on my CD player

  • Packaging on my bed

  • Drawing pictures whilst waiting on bottlenecks

Got about 10 frames of animation done too, its starting to get easier as I perfect my technique. Rather than tracking points on keyframes, I track blobs. It gives more fluid movement and better scaling.

Also this NSFW
I gotta get out more and see friends.


Well that's terrifying,

I can't check it out right now cos its NOT SAFE FOR WORK, but this blog features some rather neat drawing of naked chicks. A kindred spirit to my post-it note site, but maybe a touch more explicit.

Favourite Electronic Component Suppliers

Good online
RS Components
The Fuse Company
JPR Electronics
Rapid Electronics
JST Connectors

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Website idea No.127

Its like an electronic component price comparison database which has the parts, prices and descriptions of everything in RS Components, Maplin, Farnell, CPC, Digi-Key, etc. You just type in the part number for anything, or the description and it tells you the equivalent part number and price from all the other suppliers.

It shows where two suppliers sell exactly the same product, or similar products and you can gauge which supplier best suits the quantities you need.

Could be a straight-forward SQL implementation, probly MySQL, with tons of information. RS alone carries 100,000 products. Would need to be just UK based to start with.

I wonder if you could get a grant or something from the UK's industry government thingi.

Once its established you could charge a levy to all the main suppliers to be carried, and maybe a lower levy or free to smaller suppliers.

The end of days, end of days

Finally got round to writing up my school reunion thing...

How can it be a waste of time and really important, at the same time? I'm prejudicing this school reunion thing. After having driven for 5 hours I'm in the Lion car park opposite the school, debating in my head whether to go in and where to go in.

I'm telling myself I can't possibly drive 220 miles here in order to turn round and drive 220 miles home again, but in writing it down, the idea has merit.

It wouldn't be the first time or the worst time, that 840 mile trip to HDIF still bubbls up in my head from time to time.

Fuckit, I'll do another lap of the building then try my parent's place.

Do I even have the right day?

In Bolton town the sun was shining, rolls of flesh on display. Outside the Olde Man and Scythe there was Morris dancing, and I think I saw Jo Allen from the old Strathclyde/Lostock Arms axis.
Morris Dancing, Bolton, 001
It looks like wi-fi and the internet hasn't reached this town yet. I got five minuts into the librar/museum before it was slinging out time.

Where is everyone?

The Olde Man is the only place that hasn't changed. All the clubs have new names or are derelict The Jungle became Uropa, 5th Avenue became Jax, Hawthorns – IndieGo, and the Malt and Hops – Barristers.

Queens Park is still Queens Park.
Queens Park, Bolton, 007

Only on the way home do I regret not seeing people

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Falling Down

I'm falling, something in my head is on a slippery slope and I'm descending.

I had to go to the Sound and Vision Show at Heathrow, its about five miles from the house, but it took an hour and a half in the car. Out in London there are things happening today about which I knew very little, now I don't feel bad that I'm missing owt, I've missed many things. But all I've had to eat in the past 48 hours is a packet or two of digestive biscuits and its doing something to my head.

I've been stood at countless eateries, waiting to order food during this time, but I've bottled it and walked out before eating in any of them. I've lost the ability, socially, to order and eat food like regular human beings. I'm starving myself.

I need human interaction or I'll die soon, but I've lost the ability to do it. The girl's too far away, ad my friends are either non-existant or otherwise engaged. I've no internet access so I can't reach out that way. Instead I'm typing or scribbling in my notebook in the hope that at some point in the future the words will get onto my blog, and so that Natalie, Adam, frere, Jax, Idles, Nottingham, Spiral or anyone else will read it.

Digital killed the video *

Dear god, I just had a phone call from my mother, in tears, very upset because she missed the tennis on TV because she can't figure out how to use digital TV and the HDD/DVD/VHS video. There's two remote conrtrols, when the folk on the BBC say “its on the i channel now press the red button” she has a choice of about four red buttons to press, some of which start things recording, some don't do anything and some seem to delete all the channels.

I gave up on TV years ago, halfway through The West Wing when they started putting things on on times when I wasn't in, and it was easier to buy the DVD instead videoing it to watch later. I missed Heroes when it was first on a digital channel, and only caught it on terrestrial when the Beeb had a catch up weekend, even then I missed episodes 7-12, I'll get the DVD box set later.

My attitude, doesn't however help poor mother in tears, so she moves on to phoning my brother, but would he actually be able to help, I'm pretty sure he has his TV set up dfferently, he has a different time shift device (video recorder) and he has a Sky Box.

I can buy mother the Tim Henman's Greatest Hits DVD later. Right now my question is, does anyone have their Digital TV/Terrestrial TV/games console/HDD/DVD/VHS recorder system set up properly. So that they only use one remote control for going through the channels, accessing interactive features, recording and seting the video to record stuff in the future and can change to their games system, without having to get up and swap over SCART sockets? Is this actually possible?

Everyone I know either has parts of the system missing, or too many remotes, or has to get up to manually swap things over.

Is my mother, in her sixties, bless, 'er, doomed?

She was still in tears when she hung up. And I feel a wee bit guilty, not the usual post phonecall guilt where I'm just going through the motions, but genuine, damsel in distres and I'm hundreds of miles away and unable to help guilt.

Fuck, is that even justified?

Ah fukkit.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Its been almost a week since I spoke to Nat, and also a week since she spoke to me too. Likewise with my mum, but its getting on for a fortnight.
Its kind of like that conceit from the Die Hard movies where Bruce Willis doesn't phone his wife.

Friday, almost weekend time. Some gig at Monkey Chews tonight, Fiona can't make it cos her boyf's parents are around, so I'll go on my own, watch the bands, lurk in the shadows and escape into the night. Not sure whether to start driving up tonight, or tomorrow morning, but I feel strangely obliged to go to this Bolton School Reunion thing tomorrow, although my feelings are similar to that I feel before NPL or Bowlie meets.

What happened to my friendships with the folk there, did I drift away, did I do something, of is it just in my head. Like when Lynsey Mop accused me of being a hermit and that's why she stopped speaking to me, when cause and effect work both ways, I became a hermit cos people stopped speaking to me.

I know how my mum feels, its a case of making that step of wandering round saying "Hi, how you doing, I'm Chris,". Its hard sometimes.

I got a feed for the podcast, its here
now what?

If you wait long enough there'll always be a webcomic about everything in your head,
This from xkcd
and this from Sinfest

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Nice n Sleazy graffiti part 2
My phone's run out of credit so no phonecalls to the various women in my life (mum and girlf) until they get too desperate or worried and call me first. Yeah, I guess I should head out to a mobile-phone-topup-ery, but I too engrossed in drawing pictures.

Last night I drew about four second worth of animation, its a bit of a cracker, writhing honeys and boobs everywhere. Alas, Adam sent me th story board for the video how he wants it and there so little nuddity, I think I'm going to be dong two version of it.

I must say I'm disappointed by the levels of success and ubiquity that the podcast is getting over on LNFGIES. Hits per day has remained constant and theres no new links in. I'm doing a wee bit of spamming, but what I could really do with is more feedback and third-party coverage.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


A bit of a productive evening last night, doing this podcast.
The Indie Pop Program #1
It's a bit weird, one program I used said it was 55 minutes long, but MS Media Player says its 1 hour 5, sounds okay to me.
No permissions were requested, which I'm sure will bite my ass at some point, but right now, the tracklisting is as follows

Stars of Aviation - Marie Et L'Accordion
The Just Joans - Back to High School
The Plimptons - Japan
Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps - Jug-alicius Boner Jockeys
Camera Obscura - Lets get out of this Country
The Radio Dept - 1995
The Martial Arts - Exploding Crushing Inevitable
Herman Dune - I Wish That I Could See you Soon
DJ Unfit for Work - Love in These Times
The Deep Fried Wolfknuckles - 100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields cover)
The Sequins - No one ever dreams about me
My Little Airport - Smile like a Flower
Hong Kong in the 60s - Mirror of Ink

Also I managed to get out to a the Hermy Dunny gig and get the review written up and I draw a rudey picture.

New flatmate's moved in, only saw her this morning.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Herman Dune tonight, at the ULU, I think it's Londo's answer to Manchester University's Students Union. I haven't been to any gigs in like a week and I'm missing live music. Then again, I've been immersing myself in indiepop all day trying to find stuff to fill half an hour of PodCast without shamelessly raping Glasgow's blistering music scene.

Neat that The Just Joans are supporting Butcher Boy this Friday at the same place that Wedding was at the weekend there. That might have just earned them a place on PodCast #2.

I think its just that the Indie pop scene is too small. Indie MP3 and Tweenet are the towers of the web, I think it could all be about a thalassocracy, who controls the sea routes, I shall be the malevolent dictator for life.
So I arrived in Glasgow on Saturday morning around 11am and sought out Moss Bros to hire kilty stuff.
A phonecall from Alan brought me to the 13th Note for coffee and to go over the CD inlay. My cold was getting worse briefly as I headed over to the old flat to pick up the big cinema projector and take it over to the storage locker, I managed to hack ver my wrist of the cracked lens cover, damn you Barco, and it was't until 3pm that I rolled up at the missus's.

We chilled for a few hours timelessly watching Spaced, until it was time to get ready and head out to a wedding.
We didn't stay long, I was mindful that the long I stayed there ill, the more people I'd be giving my germs to and the more disruption to their lives I'd bring. So we said our hello's, Nat had a dance and we got a taxi back to her's to eat chinese food and watch the Heros catch up weekender.

And that was my weekend.



Monday, 17 September 2007

Pondering Scale part 1

So a colleague at works in convinced there's ways to ake money out of the gig review website, but I reckon the scene is too small, the constituency is only a hundred or so people, rather than the thousands required to reap profit.

So how big is the constituency? and how to find out the size?

First stop is Technorati to check out other similar sites in the local-core and Indiepop spheres. Technorati rates sites by 'Authority' which is the number of other sites which link into each site. I'm finding sites in this constituency by searching for the same bands:

Indie MP3 - Authority 234
PopCop - Authority 20
Bowlie - Authority 16
Manic Pop Thrills - Authority 15
Too Much Applepie - Authority 12
Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy - Authority 12
C64 Take-Away - Authority 9
Not Quite Rocket Science - Authority 8

That's it really for the long-tail and mid-tail, well, there's a handfull of personal blogs too and bands own, but I feel awkward counting them.

Now, as an authority twelve blog I get about 20 unique hits per day. I an only assume thems with less Authority get less, and thems with more get more. It probably grows exponentially, with Indie MP3 being the top of the heap for indie, before you get into the realms of Drowned In Sound and Pitchfork, on who's turf I can't tread.

I'm one man. I write 95% of the reviews on the site and have no taste in music so to speak.

Traffic's been pretty constant for the past seven months, spikey when there's have been controvertial reviews, but in order to increase traffic, I'm going to have tio change the mix.

and that's why I'm gonna do a webcast. I have a handful of bootleggish exclusive content I can sling on, and the surreal/controversial stuff I can sprout should be a draw, the rest I can nick from MySpace.


This driving, this relentless driving. Its killing me, its not healthy in so many ways. I'm already dying of the cold, having infected everyone at work.

But, dear go, its so far, not like the old late night drives to and from Livingston, but hundreds of miles. I'll drive for hours and stop for a break and realise I still have hours to go.

And then the same, on the way home, only with more traffic, and at a slower pace and more in a hurry to get home before the morning.

There's nothing on the radio and this KLF tape has engrained itself in my soul, I can still hear Last Train to Transcentral when its switched off.

For company I have conversations in my head with ex-girlfriends and people I don't usually talk to. One and a half-sided conversations, completely unrealistic with intelligent replies and "so why is that?" questions, rather than the passive submissive reality fading into silence.

Heck, its why I'm pulled up on a hard shoulder, scrawling into my note book at 1am, just to shut out the thoughts.

Then again, I come up with ideas at times like this. Like sticking my full nae on the gig review website. And also doing podcasts, named "Radio 2's Indiepop Show" one hour of my take on it all. Maybe have studio guests. Fiona talking about the band she saw theother day, and promises of live sessions coming up in the next hour.

Ooh, ooh, I need to get in touch with Pete Ball or the Strath Manu course and demand they give kids SQL training and start a pHD project to create an MRPII/ERP for manufacturing program that can be used by idiots, using MySQL

Friday, 14 September 2007


Still pouring through the manufacturing production line in my bedroom churning out CDs and packing, its thrilling stuff, but I got distracted by pictures of nekkit women again, could be the start of my next internet phenomenom.

Facebook tells me that next weekend there's a ten year reunion thing in Bolton, and it looks like a load of my mob are going. I seem to have lost touch with most of the guys from chool, apart from Timbo who I caught up with on MSN until the house intenet got cut off, Sapna who was around Glasgow and the late Big Tom. Facebook notwithstanding, I seem to have let them slip during the last ten years.

So I'll probly roll up to Bolton and put in an appearance, lurking in the shadows and leaving after a token round of hey how's it going. I have this nagging suspicion in the back of my head that I was a bully at school or at least a bore, who folk would chose not to stay in touch with, at least that explains all the non-replies on Facebook.

I thought I could just have a weekend on my own, chilling out doing what I wanna do instead of rushing up and down the country, but alas, next weekend is also a high end audio show which I ought to go to. Could it put pay to Bolton?

Thursday, 13 September 2007


Still getting ill, the nose has started doing its thing.

I spent many hours last night eing a good little production engineer, making up CDs. My bedroom is a factory, two computers, a cutting area, disc burning and design studio, all running in parallel, with just me sweltering in the middle.

I've got to get a load done for the weekend, head to Glasgow, shift the last of my stuff out of the old flat, and go to the missus's wedding thing. Its going to be murder. I'm planning on going to Twee as Fuck on Friday night, then head north over night after the bands, and do the flat stuff on Saturday morning, oh and stopping off to get my kilt paraphenelia.

The Metro
thing morning leads with a story about how drug dealers are targeting teenagers with watered down cocaine. I'm not exactly straight edge myself, but I don't do drugs, I find them and people who do them kind of repugnant. You take drugs if you're ill, if you're no ill, you don't need them.

I have a great deal of respect for the straight edge kids, but maybe their passive rejection isn't enough, maybe they should take up arms and kick the crap out of the pushers, the dealers and the entire industry.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Turning for the worse

Coming down with a cold, could be a bad one.

Not hot water at the flat, run out of toilet paper too.

Had dinner with da last night at the Chinese place, and found a computer monitor in the street.

Thinking of renaming the gig review website "The Terrorist Threat Report" just to be controversial. Ooh saw Steve Lemaqc at the Bearsuit gig last night, but I think he was only there to see Ida Maria

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


So the missus came through to visit for the weekend, it was late on Friday night and there was a party at my house as a flatmate was moving out. Even when we arrived round midnight it was pretty neat. All gangstered up, and eating nibbly food and the missus chatting with the flatmates and the dog and things and stuff.

Saturday saw us heading out to a Thai restaurant near Tottenham Court Road, Babasa, or something and meeting up with some of her friends, mostly other escapees from Glasgow. Time passed and we headed to a neat wee Spanish pub just off Oxford Street, and sat discovering the joys of AQA the question answering text message service. So Prince was going to play the after show party on Sunday night.
For the rest of the afternoon, we went to check out Their Hearts We Full Of Spring at The Windmill in Brixton, and then on to Natalie's friend Jenny's house to hangout. We all dozed off in front of the telly, some Stephen Fry Night on BBC3.

Sunday we trekked back to the house in Alperton, freshened up, then back out to the O2 Arena to cinema and the her to the Prince gig. Alas, the cinema times were crap.

Monday morning we parted tearfully and I headed into work exhausted.

Now I'm on the free version of Oracle, OracleXE, trying to teach myself SQL and just doing quick and dirty database things rather than planning it properly. I reckon I can fix anything that's wrong later, I just eed to get the basic framework down.

Robbie, in SQL how can I do a LOV which is just one list from another table?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Those were the times

Ooh, did I mention that Fiona brought out a copy of Shag Times the other night. An actual genuine 2002 copy. I was mortified, but it was kind of neat. She had a letter I'd sent her with it saying not to leave it on a shelf collecting dust for the next five years, which I think is exactly what she did. Well, she and a succession of flatmates had read it and Dom made a start.

Is that what happened to the past five years?

Wandering round Shepherds Bush last night, I was going to meet flatmate Nick but he cancelled so I got off the underground in the 'Bush and txted Ralf to no avail, so it was just me bumbling around, fending drunken txts from 'er up north.

Gig tonight at Tufnell's again, different bands, its worth a shot. I was thinking about videoing bits of it and doing talking segments reviewing it, as well as just the usual writing thing.

Ooh, where to I take the missus out over the weekend to show her the cool places and clubs of this fair city? Any indie clubnights or just stay home roasting vegetables.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

What a great meal, Fiona is a damned fine cook, I barely noticed it was vegetarian lasagna. And even how, twelve hours later I can feel it keeping me full.

Her new lodger type person, Mairi, is jolly interesting, a very eloquent astrophysicist, who also likes music. There was vague mullings of putting together a band, I fear it could be called The Frisbees, and have mostly female singing, and I'd get thrown out in less than a fortnight for being both too punk and too crap.

Still no internet at home, maybe I should keep it up for a few months as a cover for re-registering on bowlie, god bless AOL's dynamic IP addresses

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

15:47 Tuesday – Weird feeling of loss and insecurity, wondering where it went wrong. What went wrong, what did I do. Whilst not being sure exactly what the source of the insecurity was. The word “solidarity” rolled round my head, not sure with whom, or why, to what end and what benefits.

Elements of rage and confusion.

Dinner with friends later if I can get across town. What happened to the friend of the past five years? Was it truly so transient, as Jax would say? If I'd have known I wouldn't have paid so much. And how can I get to Charing Cross?


Craziness on the underground today with strikes abound. Its causing disruption for millions of Londoners cos the members of one union want reassurances about their jobs. I'd fire the lot of them and get in folk who aren't going to cause disruptions.

If you want to piss of your employers in the hope it'll give you job security try doing it in a way thats nice to the customers, like by have a free fares day or something.

Finally paid my rent last night and the landlord sez the internet should be back tonight. Good stuff, I could feel my whole personality changing as I ploughed through reading books. Its not healthy all this reading, those nude women aren't going to draw themselves on stolen office stationary.

Monday, 3 September 2007


What a thrilling and action packed weekend.

All starting on friday just as I finished work and got a text from my friend Rowan who was down in London from Glasgow with her husband to see Sonic Youth, They beckoned me out to Camden, where we trawled through a few pubs, including The Good Mixer, it reminds me of the crowd from Sleazies, decamped to The Lauriston.

I managed to squeeze in an hour in an internet café too, just procrastinating. There are strange things afoot, and without knowing much about anything, its hard to fit the pieces together.

Saturday saw me wandering to Oxford Street to pick up a teach yersel Polish book, and getting a text from Fiona fae uni beckoning me to her flat to play X-Box with her boyfriend, in return they fed me and took me along to a barbecue in Ealing. The boyfriend Dom was pummelling me on the games and pummelling me for information about how to make money in the hi-fi industry reckon the answer is using environmentalism as a differentiator.

So this barbecue was for another Strathclyde alumni's birthday, no idea who she was but she said I looked familiar, cue Fiona joshing about me being in a band. They even gave me a lift back to my flat.

So Jill, Jax's friend, has been filling me with dread, socialising with Natalie, I'm pretty sure no good can come of this, but if I stay hundreds of miles away and keep my head down, maybe she'll forget about me. Damned monkey spheres.

Text message from brother and family on Sunday, beckoning me to a shopping mall, The Lakeside, near Dartford Crossing, which I assumed was near Dartford, south of the river aye? So I took the Southern Circular, expecting it to be just as useful as the Northern Circular. No chance, its the deformed runt-like little sister of the northern ring road. Took me straight through Clapham Common, and down windy roads, with a million junctions and traffic lights. Finally I emerged near Dartford to discover that I was on the wrong side of the damned river mate, and had to pay to get to the other side. Barstards.
It was nice seeing my niece and everyone, once again she was shy at first, but during lunch I took her out to watch the boats on the lake and the cadet kids canoeing, which enthralled her.

Over coffee later in the afternoon I snatched a swift bit of wifi internet to find the location of this evening's gig, and bade farewell to the family, the wean barely notice I'd gone.

Parked in a residential area near Euston and chatted to ma as I wandered to the gig, got there late, got bored, drew pictures, and scribbled.

Got home at about eleven, remembering I hadn't eaten all day, and well, kind of scared to use the kitchen at this time of night. I ought to get a packet of choccy digestives to keep in my room for these frequent situations. Or, more responsibly, start using the kitchen to cook food. This irregular eating and quality of food is killing me.

Ooh, I finished Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows at some point, and started Terry Brooks's Armageddon's Children, Genesis of Shannara. Potter was thrilling to the end, but a bit of a cheesy cop out ending, Snape resolved himself honourably. I think I identify with him a little more than I did in the earlier books. Its been decades since I read a Shannara book, this one's more post-apocalyptic than the fantasy of the earlier books.