Wednesday Wanderings: Captain America Battle Hymn, Star Wars and Kenny Loggins, Star Trek Reboot Promo, Marvel One Shot, and Please Vote for My Husband!

ChoppedChallengeCasserole

Okay, I’m going to add another “Captain America: Civil War” link here, just because this one is so serious and profound sounding, it’s amusing. Here is Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., and other members of the cast in a very Captain America patriotic promo:

Captain America Battle Hymn

Here’s a mash-up of Star Wars dogfights set to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”:

Danger Zone

CBS is doing a reboot of the Star Trek franchise, beginning in January 2017. It seems that it will be quite different from previous Trek series, while still keeping the basic premise intact. Here’s the first trailer released. It doesn’t tell us much, but, hey, I like the snazzy new logo!:

Star Trek Reboot

And, even though most of you have probably seen this, possibly many times, here’s the Marvel One-Shot “AFunny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer” because, well, Coulson….:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer

Last (but far from least) I’m going to do a bit of shameles promotion. My husband has entered the Food Network Chopped at Home Challenge. If he wins this or the next round, he gets to compete on TV in a Chopped challenge. There is a public voting aspect to it, and I’m asking you all to please vote for him at the link below. You can vote up to 5 times a day on each of your devices until 5 PM on June 13. Much appreciated!:

Chopped Challenge Vote

If you are interested in the full recipe, you can find it here:

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Poblanos and Cheese

Oh, yeah- that’s the casserole in the picture. The Sargento Cheese was one of the mandatory ingredients and had to be in the submitted picture. Doesn’t that look yummy?

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Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Monday Musings: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

IMG_0963

Well, so far, so good. I did some more planting around the townhouse this weekend. We don’t have a yard now so we are going to grow our tomatoes in a container this year. We got this one from Gardener’s Supply:

Tomato Planter

We got the plants on Saturday, and I set it up on Sunday. This is what it looks like now:

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And I did some herbs, too. Basil and chives:

On the decorative side, I potted up a hibiscus for the deck:

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In addition to the window box on the front porch, we now have this pretty pot on the steps:

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And we have this fuschia hanging on the deck, as well:

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I still have a barrel planter to do, but I need to think about what I want to put in there. Lots of color, I know that much.

I also did some maintenance on the window box- deadheading and cleaning it up some. I think the ranunculus are going to have to go. They are pretty, but they drop petals like crazy and then the plants look kind of ratty until another blossom opens. Maybe some zinnias? We’ll see.

If that tomato planter works out, we may add another next year and try some peppers. They are a bit spendy, but it’s a nice looking unit and could be a good solution to not having an actual dug garden here.

It’s been fun putting all these things together. The flowers all look so pretty, and I’m sure the tomatoes will be yummy!

======================================================
Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Friday Review: Burn Me Deadly (Eddie LaCrosse #2) by Alex Bledsoe

Burn Me Deadly (Eddie LaCrosse, #2)Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this second book in Bledsoe’s hard-boiled detective fantasy blend, we find freelance sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse returning to his offices above Angelina’s Tavern in Neceda. He almost runs over a young blonde woman running for her life. He agrees to help her, but they are attacked and left for dead before they can get to safety. Not only is Laura Lesperritt dead, but the assailants also killed his horse, the only horse that ever sort-of tolerated Eddie. Eddie detemines to find out what was behind Laura’s apparent kidnapping and death, and that investigation leads to crime bosses, a hidden cult, a scandal that touches the royal family, and more including the surfacing of some old secrets. To top it off, he has a member of the king’s guard watching his every move. It’s going to take every bit of Eddie’s resourcefulness to untangle the knots in this one.

I will start out by saying that Alex Bledsoe must have had me in mind when he wrote these books. I have been a fan of the hard-boiled detective genre of stories for years, and one of my main reading interests is fantasy. And when a cross like this is as well done as the Eddie LaCrosse books are, it’s pretty much guaranteed I will be a fan.

The plot here moves fairly quickly with very few slow spots. Characters are developed, at least the main players. Eddie is as tough and cynical as he should be, and still he has a vulnerability or two. A few of the minor characters are less so, but, really, the evil henchman is just that, so not much more is necessary. Gritty and dark describe the setting quite nicely, and the feeling of being in the underbelly of the city is quite real and fitting for the detective genre.

Don’t let the “hard-boiled” description here turn you away if you are a fantasy fan, and, on the other side, don’t let the “fantasy” tag deter you detective fans. Both readers should find Eddie LaCrosse a satisfying read.

View all my reviews

=================================================================

Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Wednesday Wanderings: Medical Marvels

Research

A sampling of medical related news this week:

Nanotechnology. The stuff of science fiction, right? Maybe not, if this research proves out:

Nanotechnology and Disease

And here, a possible cure for viral infections. All of them:

Macromolecule Viral Infection Cure

Does acetaminophen reduce empathy? There is some evidence that it may:

Acetaminophen and Empathy

This article is interesting because of the possiblity of new methods of wound healing, but also- who knew we had so much in common with fruit flies?

Wound Healing Research

(Image from acomedu.com)
=========================================================
Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Monday Musings: Civil War, New Furniture, and Other Odd Bits

BearCubs

I saw “Captain America: Civil War” yesterday with our middle daughter. Thank you to her for giving me that as my Mother’s Day present! And thank you to Marvel for releasing a new movie right around this time for the past several years, since they have been my gifts those years, too.

I won’t say a lot about the movie, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who may not have seen it yet. People (at least those I know) have been very good about spoilers, and I don’t want to be the one to- ahem- “spoil” that. I will just say that it was oh, so very good. Plenty of action, as you would expect from a Marvel movie, some genuinely amusing moments, and lots of snappy dialogue. But there was also some really good character development in there, and some interesting things were learned. All in all, a very good movie. Oh, and I am #TeamCap, and after seeing the movie, rightly so. I was correct about a suspicion I had, and while I love Tony Stark to death, this was one time, well, see the movie. (And I guess I have to say that I am really #TeamHawkeye!)

We got a table, chairs, and umbrella for the deck this weekend. It’s nice. The BaldMan thought it was too big, but I think it will work out well, especially when we have company. It’s rectangular, and seats six, with a tile top. The umbrella we picked out matches the chairs really well. We had dinner out there on Saturday night, and sat out for a good while, just enjoying a bottle of wine and the evening. The dog was a bit confused, as we generally finish dinner, clean up, and sit in the living room rather than going back outside. He’s going to have to get used to that, because I think the set will get a lot of use this summer.

We also picked up more plants for the porch and deck. We got a pot with a decorative grass and pink and purple mini-petunias for the front steps, a hanging fuschia for the hook on the deck, and a hibiscus that I need to repot in the decorative container I picked out. That will also go on the deck, I think. I need to get a nicer container for my miniature rose, also. And the tomato planter has been ordered, so we will have that to work on soon. I am only doing the tomatoes this year. If this planter works out, I think I will add one or two next year for some peppers, and maybe cucumbers. I plan to grow herbs and greens on the plant stand in the basement. Not quite the big garden I used to have, but it will be enough for the two of us.

There was a mama bear and two cubs spotted on the lowest street of the development last week. The management office sent out an email with a picture of the cubs. There was also a link to some information about black bears in MA. I thought the most fascinating thing was that, if you encounter a bear, you should back away slowly, and talk to it calmly and quietly. Hmm. Not sure I could be really calm if I was facing a bear. From what the article said, black bears, even mothers with cubs, rarely attack. Mom will send the cubs up a tree and as long as you stay calm and don’t pose a true threat, they will just watch until you are gone. Lambeau, of course, wants to go find them. I have declined to oblige him.

And that’s about all for this week. How’s your week been?

(Photo is the bears that were spotted)

=========================================================

Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Wednesday Wanderings: Simply Marble-ous

Closeup view of a bag of marbles, shot against a white background

This week, we have a theme- marbles! See what some people have done with those little, colored glass balls.

Some wood, marbles, and magnets, and this is the neatest Rube Goldberg machine I’ve seen in a while:

Marbles and Magnets

Think a marble race would be boring? Listen to this play-by-play call of one, and you might change your mind:

Marble Race

This machine uses a hand crank and marbles to play music:

Marble Music Machine

Here’s a huge marble run with over 11,000 marbles:

Marble Run

(Image from askaboutsports.com)
==============================================================
Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Dubious arguments for killing copyright (#SFWApro)

It may not be perfect, but copyright is still perhaps the only way we can protect our work:

Fraser Sherman's Blog

So in the aftermath of Prince’s death it seems a lot of people went looking for YouTube clips and other free sources to share, and didn’t find them: Prince was aggressive about protecting his copyright and getting paid for his work. At the WaPo, Sonny Bunch criticizes the view that the music should be available free, so what Prince was doing is wrong.

When Scott Lemieux linked approvingly to the article at Lawyers, Guns and Money, he got a lot of comments with a lot of disagreement. None of the counter-arguments were good, and several of them were old. Breaking it down:

•I don’t get paid for work I did twenty years ago, why should writers or musicians?

Because their work is actually earning someone money.

•Yeah, it’s fine if the writer gets copyright, but the heirs are just greedy and grasping to want royalties!

As someone else put…

View original post 549 more words

Monday Musings: Pretty Pictures

IMG_0938[1]

Just a few pictures I have taken recently on my walks with Lambeau. Spring is springing right along here in MA.

 

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IMG_0927

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IMG_0938[1]

This my window box- ranunculus, white bacopa, and yellow and blue pansies. I like pansies with faces better than the solid color ones.

IMG_0950

And just because it has decided it likes its new home, here is the spider plant I have had for years. It is now up here in my office. Looks pretty happy, doesn’t it?

IMG_0942

I hope all the mothers out there, whoever and whatever your children are, where they came from, or how you acqured them, had a most lovely and beautiful Mother’s Day yesterday!

=====================================================

Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Friday Review: Under the Empyrean Sky (Heartland Trilogy #1) by Chuck Wendig

Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy, #1)Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cael lives in the Heartland, the vast stretch of country that once was home to many farms, family owned and growing everything that could be farmed. Now, it is all owned by the Empyrean, and the only crop that is grown is genetically engineered corn, which is used to make the corn syrup that provides the wealth to keep the Empyrean flotillas floating high above the common people. Cael and his crew of scavengers are out on their ship, looking for old machinery and parts to sell when they discover a secret garden of illegal vegetables. Cael sees the bounty as his way out of the dismal existence the Empyrean forces the Heartlanders to endure. Instead, he finds a rebellion, a new connection to family, and the chance to make a difference.

I read recently that Wendig considers himself a horror writer. I don’t know if I would say that for all his work, although some definitely has a creepy aspect. This dystopian tale perhaps walks a line that comes close to horror, with its not-quite-sentient-but-certainly-aware engineered corn, and the Blight, a disease that turns people into almost plants. It’s quite an interesting concept, and touches on many of today’s controversial issues in both climate and food production. And it pains a somewhat scary picture. But not one without hope. That sliver of light does exist to push Cael and his friends on, even when they don’t realize it.

The plot moves quickly once it gets going. It is a bit slow at the front end, but once the story is set-up, it gains momentum. Characters are well written, if not exceptional. The setting is the star here, at least for me. The Heartland is bleak and unfriendly. The people who are little more than forced labor for the Empyrean rulers are hard and tough. Most have a fatalistic attitude about everything. The Empyrean flotillas are like distant stars- too far to touch, a dream of wealth and power that most on the ground can never achieve. There is some mention of sex, but nothing explicit. The books are aimed at older teenagers, so that is not unexpected. There is also a fair bit of cursing, but, again, teenagers do curse, and, if you have read any of Wendig’s other books, the language should not be a surprise.

All in all, this was a good read and sets up the next book nicely.

View all my reviews
======================================================

Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

Wednesday Wanderings: Toy Car You Can Own, Water on Mars, Weasel Halts Physics Research, and Wine Needle

littletykecar

It didn’t quite work out as planned, but that could be your good luck (if you have an extra $32,000 laying around, that is):

Toy Car

We now know a lot more about the flowing water on Mars, and it is pretty fascinating stuff:

Water on Mars

Oh, those wascally weasels (and do click on the last link in the article for a bit of amusement):

Weasels and Physics Don’t Mix

Ever have that stupid cork shatter on you when you go to pull it out? Or find that the taste of the wine left in the bottle has deteriorated before you can finish it? Here’s your solution:

Wine Needle

(Image from buzzfeed.com)

===================================================

Available now:

 

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

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