All posts by Rob Darnell

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

Hogwarts reminds me of Michigan School for the Deaf. Students living at the school and sleeping in the dormitory is one thing. But that’s not all of it.

At MSD, there were students from all-deaf families. Their parents were deaf, their siblings were deaf, their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were deaf. Several students who were my age had older or younger brothers and sisters at the school. And some of their parents worked at the school. So, yeah, I saw some pure deaf families.

And there were students who came from hearing families. I haven’t personally experienced this, but I heard that some of the students from the all-deaf families didn’t like it that deaf students from hearing families attended the school.

We see that attitude in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series.

Harry returns to Hogwarts for his second year of witchcraft and wizardry studies. This year, he learns an ugly term, mudblood, which is a reference to wizards and witches who come from Muggle families. The term is usually voiced by those from pureblood wizarding families, who are bigots toward the Muggle-born.

Well, the Chamber of Secrets was another fun book. It was quite funny in places, too. I laughed a lot while reading this one.

An Old Picture

My friend Megan found an old picture of me in the 1997 Michigan School for the Deaf yearbook. I didn’t know this picture existed. I didn’t get a yearbook that year, nor did I have my class picture taken. Nice to know I was still in the yearbook. Think I look good in this picture.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

I finally made it back to Hogwarts, but as a flunky, I guess. See, I have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone before. That would have been around 2004 or 2005. But I was in such a funk at the time and I think I had trouble grasping the story. When the Chamber of Secrets came up on my to-read list, I was trying to remember the Sorcerer’s Stone and I couldn’t. So, I decided to reread the Sorcerer’s Stone before starting the Chamber of Secrets.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series. Harry’s parents died when he was a year old and he lives with his aunt and uncle who are cruel to him. When he reaches the right age, he enrolls in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts, Harry is happy, but is he safe?

A fun book.

Now that I’ve written something about the Sorcerer’s Stone, I can start the Chamber of Secrets.

24-inch Slug Barrel

Back in November, I was talking to my dad about how I wanted to get a 24-inch slug barrel for my Mossberg 500. My 28-inch barrel just felt too long and I wasn’t crazy about the bead sights. I wanted something with a big blade sight, and since I prefer to use slugs, a slug barrel would serve me better.

I felt like Ralphie from A Christmas Story as I unwrapped this gift from my mom and dad today. I switched the barrels as soon as I got home.

Gatecrasher, by Stephen Graham King

Stephen Graham King really found a voice in The Maverick Heart Circle. I read Soul’s Blood last year and I just finished Gatecrasher. I hear Stephen is working on the third book of the series and I look forward to reading it. These books are fun and they’re easy to get into.

Keene, Lexa-Blue and Vrick visit a space station where a top secret project is being tested. But as secret as the project is, the wrong people know about it and they want to take it for themselves.

Gatecrasher is an action-packed, science fiction thriller. It makes me think of the Die Hard movies. I think that if the Maverick Heart novels ever found their way to a Hollywood producer, there’s a good chance movies will be made on them.

I really enjoyed the banter between Lexa-Blue and Vrick. When Keene and Lexa-Blue met Syoko for the first time, I was laughing so hard at the way Lexa-Blue described Vrick.