BRexit Anxiety

I suspect there are a lot of folks on this side of the pond that didn’t know a whole lot about the referendum vote going on in Great Britain about leaving the EU. It was certainly news to me – mostly because I split my time evenly between desperately avoiding news reports on shootings and desperately avoiding news reports on the circus that our own political system has become. That pretty much means I don’t watch the news because that’s all they talk about. I make every attempt to read a number of different news sources when I can – but this wasn’t a big topic.

Well, not a big topic until now.

I have no idea what the long term consequences of this choice will be. Nobody does really. It’s the immediate that concerns me the most. Why? It just so happens I’ll be traveling to Great Britain next week.

Time for a family holiday – right in the middle of a mess.

I’m really hoping all this means on our travels is a better exchange rate for the dollar vs. the GBP. My only previous experience with overseas travel has been with the military. This will be the first time with my family – traveling on a passport, not a military ID.

We’ve traveled before – but in a time before the need for a passport for our neighbors. The wife and I have been to Canada and to Mexico. We took the kiddo to the Caribbean Islands with us. We’ve flown together inside the U.S. and did just fine. It still makes me worry about going someplace that is distinctly ‘not home’ when things are unsettled.

Stiff upper lip. Keep calm – we’re going. I can’t wait to share this with my family.


Time Traders

Time Traders (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #1-2)Time Traders by Andre Norton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is absolutely worth your time to go and grab this one.

I picked up the Baen Free Library version when I was in between other titles and was just drawn into this one. Fantastic fun idea – Time Agents. There are certain aspects of this book that date it, both in world view from the time (America’s greatest enemy) and in the descriptions of certain technology that was alien to the main characters. At one point in the book a set of headphones are described. I knew what they were, but the way they were described gave me a vision of some very old (from my point of view) headphones. I’m sure those would have been very cutting edge at the time. That is one of the dangers or drawbacks to describing any “super future” technology.

Despite all those things I was still in on the adventure. I could absolutely see this as a television series.

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Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1)The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I really wanted was the text of the book. What I ended up with was the graphic novel.

I find it a little irksome, but for the cost I’m just going to let it go. I eventually found the actual book and not a treatise on it or a graphic representation of it – the actual words. I read it and really, really enjoyed it.

I’d seen the film before I read the book and I watched the film again after I read the book. Despite the behind the screens issues of rights and payments (that I really don’t know all that much about, just that they exist and that things didn’t seem to be working in the author’s favor) I think this animated film stays closer to the text of the original book than any other I adaptation I can think of.

This is a genuine fairy tale. I have actually given my copy to my daughter and had her watch the movie as well. It’s well worth the effort to pick this one up and check out why it’s influenced so many folks over the years.

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I have fallen behind on my reviews – so I will be launching a few off here this week. IF you’re connected to me on Goodreads you’ll have seen all of these in the update feed!

Firefight (Reckoners, #2)Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t recall the actual date I finished reading this book. It was certainly in April, but I haven’t been able to sit and write up my thoughts on it until now.

I really enjoyed the book. It was a fast read. It built on the world from Steelheart and just kept plunging ahead. I totally bought into the main character and was along for the ride. I jumped from this book directly to the next one to wrap up the series.

IF you haven’t read Steelheart, go back and start there.

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Lo there do I see the line of my people…

I was lucky enough to have somebody offer me one of the Ancestry test kits. I can have my DNA tested. This will hopefully show… something. I’m not sure what form or format the results will take but it should be interesting. Seemed appropriate to do the test and get it ready to send in on Father’s Day.

One of my father’s friends said he wanted to know if his twin was actually his brother based on some questionable choices the one had made. I thought that was hilarious and a fun way to approach the topic, but I am genuinely curious about genealogy. On my father’s mother’s side of the family there is apparently some connection to Col. Prescott of Revolutionary War fame. That would be the “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” guy. Defending Bunker Hill against the British with no real supplies or reinforcements. I’m not certain what the specifics of that connection are, but Prescott was my grandmother’s maiden name. I know my family has that paperwork in a file. It’s a cool story / connection. I don’t know how strong or weak that connection really is and I’m certain there’s a lot of paperwork involved in making that connection more solid.

I’m deeply interested in tracking the Hardenbrook name back. I’d really like to know more about that family line, but it comes to a sudden stop with my grandfather’s mother. From what I’ve been told she didn’t have much good to say about the man carrying the Hardenbrook name and… declined to speak further about it. EVER. Combine that with an apparent records fire somewhere along the way and I doubt there’s much of a chance to find out any real connections. Some of the difficulty of genealogy is stories being passed down by tradition without a lot of documentation to back them up. Some of the difficulty is that the people in question don’t want to talk about the past (great-grandma shut that one down) or aren’t able to any more (because they’re gone now).

There are times when I think any time machine would be used just to track down family lines. Would be a neat thing to know. I’ll settle for seeing what the results are when my DNA test comes back. Maybe there will be some kind of surprise in there!


Late To The Party

Somewhere beyond the ringing in my ears there was purple and giggles. This indicated popularity and enjoyment and avoidance of the dog park but I had no knowledge of the dog park. I did not know about Night Vale. You should know about Night Vale.

IF you enjoy weird, horrifying, wonderful, random things then I suggest you tune your dial dear listener to the community radio for Night Vale. There are many things to recommend this, not the least of those things being the penalty for being caught not listening to the mandatory broadcasts or the court ordered amputations for overdue library books. These are important things. These are lovely things.

I strive to catch up. I started way back at the beginning so my time line will be different than your time line but there should be points where these intersect and an understanding can be made.

I have only ever liked the weather once. All of the other weather would have been better if replaced with a constant low moan with static in the background. Nobody is perfect. Except perhaps Carlos.

Even when the weather is bad, it is still better than Desert Bluffs. Those guys are awful.

Go to Night Vale. Listen. Learn. Enjoy.


Man and Machine

I mentioned in my previous post that I was really looking to get back into my writing and laying down some words. Well, some of that is with particular goals in mind. I’ve been invited to be part of the Man and Machine project!

There is a Kickstarter campaign. I’m behind (as previously noted) BUT still want to recommend that you go to the page and check out the stretch goals. I would love to have a new mission patch!

I’m working on my story for this collection and I’m really excited about it. Take a couple of minutes and check it out.

Check out the Kickstarter!

Check out the Kickstarter!

Random Bits and It Could Have Been Worse

I’ve made a sincere attempt to pare down the number of things going on in my life lately. I really want (and need) to get into more of my personal projects. I need to get more writing done. I’ve got a couple of year and a half old art projects that I’m desperate to finish. I’m working on it.

Little things keep cropping up. Thankfully all of these things land in the “it could have been worse” category. There are some that I won’t post here – stuff that won’t be public knowledge – but here are a couple of examples:

Just found out today that the washing machine needed a new pump. Why would it need a new pump? Because a sock go sucked into the impeller and jammed the whole thing tight of course. So – it’s 150 bucks, but it could have been a lot worse. I can tell you that we were able to cover that repair bill AND we don’t have to go shopping for a new and far more costly washing machine that likely doesn’t work the way we want. Happy with paying that money out? Not exactly, but it beats 500.


Yesterday I got a call from my lovely wife that she had been in a car accident. That’s the sort of thing that immediately sets my world on “wobble” and I start to not think clearly. Fortunately it was an extremely minor fender bender – from her point of view. Somebody hit the car behind her really hard (hard enough for that guy to head to the hospital to get checked out) and that car bumped into hers. Loud bang, no real damage. What it cost was some time standing around waiting for the police to show up and get everything written up. Again – could have been significantly worse. I’m SUPER thankful that’s all it was. There’s a spot to buff out on the back of the car and a phone call to clear up some paperwork. I’ll take it.

I suspect most people wouldn’t land these in the “good” category, but I do. I’d much rather the lesser of the choices. What it has done is made a week when I had nothing really going on and was planning to write bunches much less hospitable to writing time. I suspect I’m going to squeeze some in while I’m catching up on laundry…

That’s where I am right now. I’m going to get some reviews done and posted to try to catch up as well – I’ve actually got a few to write up. I’ve got some promotional stuff I NEED to get posted as well.

Most of all I just need to get some creative stuff out there. Watch out – here it comes!