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Showing posts from January, 2010

Sunday Salon - Random shots across the bow

Life sometimes seems like a never ending staircase.  You either walk, run, or take two at a time up the stairs, reach a landing, remember something you forgot, turn around and go back down or forge ahead and continue upward.  Or you sit down on the landing, rest awhile and enjoy a moment.   
Did you know the Washington Memorial has 898 steps, 50 landings and 193 stone memorial tablets dating from 1849.  And one face of the cap of the Memorial truly does say "Laus Deo".   The Eiffel Tower has 719 steps to reach the 2nd level.  There are 86 flights of stairs with a total of 1576 steps in the Empire State Building.  We walked a few of those flights. 
Innocuous facts you would think, but we are in the midst of studying George Washington and get carried off on side trips by an inquisitive young boy mind.  You never really know where that mind is going to take you and we have discovered some interesting and not so interesting things.   4th grade is proceeding slowly but surely. Jam…

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer

The Last Surgeon
Michael Palmer
Release date:  February 16, 2010

Author's description:  "Michael Palmer’s latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder—spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since.

Psych nurse Jillian Coates wants to find her sister’s killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she did—every bit save one. Belle has left Jillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity."
Michael Palmer's "The Last Surgeon" is a very interesting book. So interest…

Technology free week - time for an attitude adjustment!

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
------ Albert Einstein            

There are some days you just want to stop and smell the roses.  Walk away from the screen time and breath fresh air, ponder life, think, read, write and meander without the temptation of technology staring us in the face.  Periodically we have a technology week - no wii, no nintendo ds, no internet, no television.  Usually I end up doing it because the technology has taken over and becomes more important than everything else and we need an attitude adjustment. 

So while we are off, I will be concentrating on writing and hopefully make better progress with my current WIP Eyes in the Ashes. It is time to write some in-depth character profiles and interview my characters  so we may become better acquainted.  James has also been working on a story and has been procrastinating as well, so this will give him  time to finish it.  He is working on a fan fiction type of story about Mario Su…

Blogging Authors Reading Project

A reading project I can not resist. Florinda at the 3 R's Blog has come up with a wonderful project that is all about reading books by authors who blog.   I have been doing that for some time, slowly making my way through the authors who blog at Murderati  and Running with Quills just to name a couple.  
The guidelines are:
Go through your blog subscriptions, feed reader, or bookmarks, and note which of the blogs you read regularly are written by published authors.
Check your TBR collection and/or wish list to see if you have unread books by any of those authors.

Commit to reading a certain percentage (not number) of those books by December 31, 2010.Your reading list should be based on the author blogs you read and books you have at the time you sign up for the challenge, with one exception (see below*). You may find new author blogs during the year - I'm sure I will. The authors whose blogs you read may publish new books during 2010 - I know at least a couple of my own blog…

100 Greatest Science Fiction or Fantasy Novels of All Time?

I came across this list "100 Greatest Science Fiction or Fantasy Novels of all Time" on This Recording.  The list includes all the novel covers so if the title doesn't sound familiar, the cover may spark a cell or two of remembrance.  I've read about 20 of the books and have several more in my TBR pile waiting to be read.  Remarkably, there are a few authors and books I've never heard of such as Thomas Disch's Camp Concentration, Kingsley Amis The Alteration, Yves Maynard's The Book of Knights, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire or Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and The Margarita.   

What do you think?  Does A Clockwork Orange or Flowers for Algernon belong on the list? 

And this is interesting

Does it remind you of anything?   Lost Perhaps?  The diagram reminds me of the rooms below the Hatch

1. The Book of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe
2. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein 
3. The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
4. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin

Dune by Frank Herbert



Frank Herbert

Amazon:  Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughou…

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe

January 19, 1809 to October 7, 1849 

The Raven


Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at m…

Pinewood Derby - and the winners are.....!!!!!

Father - First Place (family)  
James 1st place Webelos and 2nd Place overall   
Alex (tiger cub)  1st place overall

I am so proud of my guys!   James came in first place in the Webelos division and came in second place overall.    Father came in first place in the Family and Friends division.  James received a trophy for Best Painted Car and he came in second by only a thousandth of a second.

Alex - 2.556 and James 2.557

The Competition

By the end of the races, all the Webelos were bouncing up and down in their chairs, cheering for James and chanting Mario, Mario, Mario.

But they were equally excited for tiger Cub Alex

Really!  I came in Second!!!

Best Painted - Mario and 2nd Place Trophy

I was equally proud of father who worked very hard on his car who came in first in the family and friends division

The trophy is very neat and he gets to keep it for one year.  He gets to add a tire with his name and date, then pass it on to the winner next year. 

So, what do the kids do to celebrate a…

Friday splash - Life in the Fast / Slow Lane

Friday Splash!

Yesterday I went to Kaiser to have my endoscopy.  Talk about nerve wracking.   No matter how hard I tried to relax, it was virtually impossible.  While on the outside you may looked relaxed, being hooked up to a bunch of monitors tells a different story.   "Oh, I'm fine, I'm not nervous at all." doesn't cut it.  Especially when you have three different nurses bustling about, hooking you up to this, that and the other and a doctor looking at you with a stern expression.  I'm beginning to think that's his natural look.  The G.I. specialist - I've only meet him twice.  Last month, in the emergency room when I got the steak stuck in my throat and yesterday when he did the endoscopy.  His question - "are you always this nervous?"    Hah!   

Due to the sedation, I miraculously feel asleep somewhere in the middle of the procedure.  What was particularly odd before I feel asleep was hearing myself burping a few times and the doctor s…

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

Bloggiesta Wrap Up!

I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I wanted to. This weekend was my Saturday to work at the shop and Sunday I spent most of the day working on my Art History homework. I sort of left it until the last minute and between that, grocery shopping, laundry, hubby and son wanting attention and life in general I didn't have a whole lot of time.

What I did accomplish:

Updated my header and color coordinated the rest of the blog to match.  Don't expect it to stay the same for the rest of 2010.  Just like I used to change the furniture around every couple months, I'll be updating the header every couple months. 

I updated several posts for the Linkbar including

Everything Science Fiction - It is where you'll find all my science fiction challenges such as Mind Voyages, 42 Challenge, Fantasy Reading, Sci Fi Experience, Speculative Fiction Challenge and Take a Dare challenge.

Challenges - which are all the rest of my challenges

2010 book reviews - where I…

bloggiesta Party - ch ch ch changes

hosted by Natasha of Maw's Books
January 8th, 9th and 10th, 2010

It's time for the 2nd annual Bloggiesta - get out your party hats, whip up some mexican food, mix up a few margarita's and join in the blogging marathon.   Bloggiesta is the brain child of Natasha and the purpose - to clean up and improve and make ch ch ch changes to your blog.   You know, those little things that have been nagging at the back of your mind.  Like changing your header, updating your links, improving your labels, etc. 

There are multiple things to do as suggested by Natasha:
Write reviews.Write backup posts for a rainy day.Write that great post idea from three months back.Work on series posts.Write guest posts.Put out invitations for guest posts.Conduct and edit author interviews.Create template posts for your future reads (ie: title, images, linking, tags, etc,) so you can open up, write review and post without being bogged down with technicalitiesClean up your tags, archives, books rev…

New Beginnings Wednesday - sticking to your resolutions

MizB always comes up with the most interesting challenges, memes and ideas, whether they are reading,  writing or life.   Now she has come up with New Beginnings Wednesday.  Every year we make resolutions and usually by the middle of the year they are forgotten.  I discovered that blogging about ideas and decisions ends up giving me accountability.....usually.  So, I'm going to bite the bullet, put my resolutions out there in writing for all to see and stick to them.   Notice I didn't say "try".    Ever since we started watching star wars with James, Yoda's mantra of "do or do not, there is no try" has stuck in my head.  It's actually quite effective.   Either I'm going to do it or I'm not.  For some odd reason I'm suddenly reminded of Helen Reddy's song, I Am Woman.

How New Beginnings will work:

First — post your list of New Years’ Resolutions.

Second — every week, on Wednesday, write a new post about how you’re doing with each of y…