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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Harry Potter Questions Revealed

Despite the fact that the final Harry Potter book answered many questions, fans have been clamoring for more answers about the book series and its beloved characters. I am one of those fans.

So today, I came across a web chat between J.K. Rowling and her fans the other day. The transcript gives some great insights into what happens to these fictional people (at least in Rowling’s mind). Click here to read it. It’s a bit long, but for serious fans, I think you’ll find it worth your time. You may also be interested in a transcript from an interview on Dateline NBC that aired last night in a one hour special. 

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By the way, this picture is from the cover of the UK version of the 7th book. It’s obviously Ron, Harry and Hermione in the LeStrange’s vault at Gringotts with the goblin Griphook just behind Harry holding the ruby-handled sword of Gryffindor. The sores on the trio are from the red hot treasure that has been cursed to protect the Hufflepuff cup (which was a horcrux.

By the way, for those who have already read the book (or for those who are too lazy to read it) and want a succinct synopsis including major plot developments as well as a list of the horcruxes and how they were destroyed, go to Wikipedia, the online encylopedia.

Even though the last book has finally been released, I still have Potter-related things to look forward to. In just a few short weeks, I’m going to listen to the book on tape once my libary hold comes in. (I’m too cheap to buy the audio book, but I LOVE the reader Jim Dale.) In December 2008, the 6th movie comes out, in 2009 the theme park opens in Orlando and in the summer of 2010, the 7th movie will be released. So I have something “Potter” to look forward to for at least the next three years, not to mention the possible encyclopedia on the world of Harry Potter that Rowling may write in the future…

Okay, Andrew, now get back to work.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2007 in Popular Culture

 

Top Five Things I Won’t Miss About Scout Camp

Well, I’m back on the blog after almost one week off. During the past week, I’ve been out of touch because I had the privilege of spending my precious vacation time with 9 boys at scout camp on the shore of Bear Lake. I like to call it “consecrated vacation time” since it is vacation time spent with other people’s children instead of my own.

I arrived at the camp Tuesday afternoon after a quick trip to the area with my family and spent the rest of the week camping on the east shore of Bear Lake, helping the boys earn their merit badges and trying to do some teaching and interject some spirituality in fireside chats each evening. Our group also spent a great deal of time swimming, playing ultimate frisbee and boating in the beautiful blue water of the lake, which is often called the “Caribbean of the Rockies.” Overall, we had a great time and I’m glad I participated in the camp —  I developed much stronger relationships with the boys and the other adult leaders as we bonded through our shared experiences during our time together. 

However, here are a few things I won’t miss:

  • Sleeping on the ground for four consecutive nights in a tent with a snoring scoutmaster (thank goodness for my iPod which helped block out that noise).
  • Having to regularly nag and follow up with 12 year olds to get to their classes and to be nice to each other.
  • Eating fairly simple, easy-to-prepare food like macaroni and cheese and hot dogs with virtually no vegetables or fruit. (I gained as much as four pounds over the week since we were eating so many carbs, and I had little control over what I go to eat.)
  • Enduring the overwhelmingly pungent smell of the latrine, also known as the “K.Y.B.O.” which apparently stands for “Keep Your Bowels Open.”
  • Not having access to email, internet, blogs, financial data, etc. (I know, I’m an internet addict.)

For the most part, it was a relaxing week and a fairly nice way to start my post-MBA life… several days of very little to worry about, no homework, no work-work and a lot of time sitting on a camp chair with the sweet smell of sagebrush carried on the lake breeze while contemplating the mysteries of the universe – or at least the mysteries of the 12-year-old mind.

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Posted by on July 30, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Harry Potter Rocks!

Okay, so I finally got my hands on the seventh Harry Potter book. First, let me say that I’m not going to give away any spoilers here because I think that it’s much more fun for people to discover the secrets on their own. Having said that, let me give you a few general impressions.

I have to say I was totally satisfied with the way J.K. Rowling wrote this book. For one last time, I was able to visit many of the locations and recall many of the characters of the previous books. The plot was action-packed and full of twists and turns. Also, it was so nice to finally get closure on so many of the mysteries of the series with plenty of needed explanation (although I have to admit that I had to read a few parts a couple of times to make sure I got it).

Overall, I really loved the book and devoured it over a 48-hour period. It took me about 16 hours to get through nearly 800 pages at a rate of 50 per pages per hour since I was savoring it.

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Anyway, I was so excited for this book, I decided to go to one of those midnight parties at Barnes and Noble to see what it was like. Just for fun, I grabbed Parley’s wizard hat and my MBA graduation robe (I know, I’m a nerd) and drove over to the bookstore. I donned the “costume” and felt utterly ridiculous even though there were other people dressed up as well. I just kept thinking… “What am I doing here?”  and “I hope no one I know sees me.” (I guess I’m a Muggle after all.)

The parking lot was completely full as I walked into the packed store. Inside, I saw little children dressed up as Gryffindors, an old man dressed as Mad-Eye Moody and several women with colorful hair dressed as Tonks. Even with the others dressed up, I felt foolish in my Potter garb, but I’m glad I had the experience of seeing how other people acted in the situation. Anyway, I didn’t stay long because I had intended to buy my copy at Wal-Mart down the street (cheaper, you know.)

When I arrived at Wal-Mart, the parking lot was full there too.  I decided not to wear the costume this time since I had already felt silly at Barne and Noble. As I entered the store, I saw a huge line that wrapped around the store. Just after midnight there were screams of delight as the several pallets full of books were uncovered. Once I had bought mine, I raced home and began to read. I read unill 2:30 and went to bed. Then I woke at 6:30 and resumed reading for blocks of time throughout the day on Saturday. I finished it at our condo in Bear Lake last night. What a great way to celebrate the end of my MBA — a great book and a trip to Bear Lake with my family…

Thanks to J.K. Rowling for creating this magical world that so many have enjoyed for the past 10 years!

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2007 in Popular Culture

 

Video iPods are Way Cool

Okay, so in previous blogs I have lamented the loss of my iPod Nano in the washing machine, and I have drooled over the iPhone but decided that it was just too expensive and that despite the way cool features, I just couldn’t justify the monthly service charges.

This week, I found a great solution. A young man in my ward offered to sell me a video iPod that he got from a pawn shop. A new one costs upwards of $300 and he sold it to me for a mere $80, and this 30 GB beauty is in excellent condition.

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How did I justify the purchase? Well, I’ve really missed using my iPod in various situations, and I’ve been looking for a replacement. I thought about buying a used 1 GB iPod Nano from a co-worker for $75, but I’m glad I held out. This thing stores 30 GB of data. Right now I have 3,500 audio files and 5,200 pictures, along with some videos that I have saved there. I’m still trying to figure out how to transfer a couple of my favorite DVDs to the device, but I did buy a TV eposide on iTunes and it played beautifully.

I got a little money from my mom for my MBA graduation (last class tonight) and so I figured I would splurge. Oh electronic devices, how I love you! May you continue to get smaller, more powerful and more useful with each passing year.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2007 in Technology

 

Enduring to the Educational End

Approximatly 64 hours from now, you may address me as Master Lambert. Yes, on Thursday, July 19 at 10:00 p.m. I will be officially done with my MBA from the University of Utah. I have only two class sessions left — one on Wednesday, one on Thursday — along with a final group presentation and a final exam. Once that’s over, I will officially get my diploma and will be able to proudly display this picture which shows my proudly standing next to my good buddy, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Truth be told, Senator Hatch has absolutely no idea who I am, except that I’m an MBA who asked if he would pose for a picture with me on graduation day…

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Anyway, I have been struggling to endure to the end in my educational persuits. I’ve been studying for school now for nearly two and a half years, and I’m more than ready to be done. From my studying for the G-MAT in late 2004 / early 2005, to the refresher math course I had to take before beginning the program, to the official start of the program in August 2005, I have been going to school now (in some form or other) for 30 months and I’m ready to be done. And this Thursday, I will be! Of course, learning is a lifelong pursuit and so I’ll never be done with my education. But as for classrooms, text books, professors and group school projects, I am nearly done.

So be prepared to call me Master Andrew Lambert, at least for a day or two…

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Isn’t She Cute?

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I love this little person! She’s so cute.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2007 in Family

 

Order of the Phoenix is Excellent

Okay, I’m kind of embarassed to admit this, but I played “hookey” from work today and went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I had a professional seminar at a hotel downtown and after it was over, I didn’t want to have to go all the way back to my office before coming up to the U for class. I had a couple of hours and the thought struck me: “Why don’t I see when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is playing next.” The next thing I knew, I was buying a ticket to it on the cool computer kiosks at the Megaplex theaters at the Gateway. Am I glad I did it? Oh yes! It was incredible. I loved it.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been anticipating the 7th book much more than the 5th movie because it’s new material and the 5th book was my least favorite. (I thought it was a bit too long and Harry was too cranky — having said that I still enjoyed that book very much.) Anyway, the movie was a crisp 2 hours and 18 minutes, and I thouroughly enjoyed every bit of it.

The acting was very good (except for Malfoy, but he’s never been very good, too much of a caricature) and the Luna Lovegood and Dolores Umbridge characters were excellent. Umbridge is the woman you love to hate and the actress who played her was fabulous.

My favorite scenes were Fred and George setting off fireworks and ditching school, a very funny scene with Filch trying to catch the “D.A.” entering the Room of Requirements, and the final battle scene at the Ministry of Magic.

I would have liked to have seen more of the actual “Order of the Phoenix” and a few other things that were in the book, but I understand the need to not include everything for the sake of good movie storytelling.

While not perfect, I recommend the movie to Potter-lovers. It met all my expectations and was a real visual treat.

The only bad part was having to admit to my wife afterwards that I’d seen it without her… 🙂 

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2007 in Popular Culture