I almost forgot

On Tueaday I mailed out my request for waiver of the rule that requires my references be from the same county as me. Put it out priority so I can get delivery confirmation on when it arrives (I’ll check it tomorrow), and I included a SASE, also priority so hopefully I can track when they mail the response. We’ll see how long it takes.

Visitors to this blog

I’ve had fun the last couple weeks watching the visitors to this blog via SiteMeter.  I’ve gotten to “know” the regulars, but its always interesting to see where the remainder of folks wander through, from and to.  I have to admit to some surprise when I checked today and discovered that over the last couple days I’ve had hits from two different military establishments (the one from the Army Corp of Engineers actually spend some time too!) which I’ll admit is cool, but then this afternoon someone from a Law firm in MI stopped in briefly!  Well, I guess someone’s been following links!

Apollo and the wildlife

He’s been fascinated by the birds since he first saw them. His attempts to stalk up on the robins are totally worth the laugh.

He saw his first wild bunny a couple months ago and was very puzzled “wth is that? Hey! It moved! Does that mean I can chase it? Cool!” By this time he no longer hesitates when he see’s the wild rabbits, he just takes off after them. So far they’ve always gotten away, but I have to wonder for how much longer, he’s FAST!

Yesterday he saw his first baby bunnies, and was very peeved when I wouldn’t let him give chase. The babies are to cute, and he might actually be able to catch them.

Today he was so busy searching for baby bunnies that he completely missed the turkeys at the back of the yard in the shade near the stream. To bad, I’m looking forward to the mutual reactions when he spots his first wild turkeys. I can’t promise video though I’ll try, I suspect I’ll either be laughing to hard, or running to save him from the big birds!

More Puppy Videos

I promised a while back to try to get video of the puppy interacting with the cats.  This wasn’t quite what I wanted (Janie can STILL drive him across the house….) but I was able to grab the camera in time to catch this so I’ll take it.  In this case Trouble started it by grabbing (with claws) at the paws that passed by her, but she doesn’t appear to be actually upset by the results.

(please ignore the grubby carpet, I’m behind on vacuuming)

Wait, what??

Watching the news tonight and saw this.. Srsly folks?? Ipecac syrup?? Honey, if your daughter is making herself puke to the point of death then there were an awfull lot of signs and symptoms that you, as the ever loving mother, were oblivious too and where you could have stepped in, and didn’t. Stop blaming the rest of the world for your failure.

Edited to add:  If they can charge parents with cruelty and endangerment for refusing medical treatment for a child, how in hell do parents in situations like this avoid charges of at LEAST endangerment?

To the Spammer who…..Redux

Back in April I posted short note about an idiot who thought my “gun blog” ment I should buy ammo from him and share his links around.  Yah right.  I posted, put the company’s website on my “do not buy from” bookmarks and forgot about it.

Turns out that the same company that was spamming me, was spamming a bunch of other folks, and doing so in a way that is decidedly iffy if technically legal.  Go read the whole thing, as well as the first post on the subject over at Walls of the City.

Personally that set of information just made sure that I WON’T be buying anything from any of the associated sites.

H/T to Zercool

Request for info….

So, I ran across the Sottevest products the other day. I gotta say I like the concept, I already carry the smallest purse I can find, the only reason I haven’t ditched it enirely is that at some point I’ll forget to move stuff between pants pockets(the cops don’t like it when you tell them you don’t have your license on you cause yesterdays pants are in the dirty laundry). They’ve got lotsa reviews linked to from a bunch of sites….but anyone out there acually used any of this? Specifcally the coats and vests and the like? I’m hard on my clothes…..and it gets cold up here in the winter!

Made a 2nd batch of puppy cookies today

Couple changes, used ground turkey instead of duck cause its easier to find (Duck will stay a special treat), added a little bit of garlic, then, instead of mashing little balls flat, I rolled out the dough inbetween two sheets of parchment paper, then used a pizza cutter to seperate them into squares.  They ended up more like crackers then cookies this time, but he doesn’t care, and it was much easier.

Book Recommendations

On my previous post Helene asked for additional recommendations, seems we have similar tastes, at least to some degree, and she wants more.  I’m going to try to stick to urban fantasy for this, though no promises as I read anything that’ll stand still…..

Now this is going to be a long post, so I’m going to toss the rest below the fold for those of you who don’t want to scroll through it all.

So.  First off, as I mentioned previously, I highly recommend Patricia Briggs‘s Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson series, and its off-shoot Alpha and Omega:

Mercy was raised by wolves…..werewolves that is.  Her father was killed in a car accident before he knew her mother was pregnant, her mother barely knew her father.  When she realized she was pregnant she decided she WAS going to raise this child….till one day she stepped into the nursery, and found a coyote cub in place of her infant. In a world where magic, the fey, and other such creatures of the night are unknown to the general public Mercy’s mother still managed to track down someone who would be able to raise a child who could turn into a coyote….the Alpha of the werewolves.  Fast forward 25yrs, the fey have exposed themselves to the world, choosing to do so in a method under their control instead of being forced there by technology.  Some humans are enamored, some hate, but all acknowledge their existence.  What most humans don’t know is that there’s more than just the fey hiding in the shadows of life!  The werewolves are next to have to decide how to share their existence with the world, and somehow Mercy’s caught up in the middle.

The Alpha and Omega take up the story plot where it diverges in the first Mercy book, Moon Called, and tell the other half of the story you only hear about.  I highly recommend reading at least a couple of the Mercy books before reading any of the Alpha and Omega books as you’ll want the background.  Also, when you’re looking up Alpha and Omega books, be advised the first “book” was actually a short story published in an anthology titled On the Prowl.  It was later republished as a stand alone for the folks who wanted it.  Both series have some romance touches, but only enough to make their main characters human.  Its by no means the point of the stories.

Also as mentioned Jim Butcher‘s Dresden series.  If you like urban fantasy, mysteries, and things that get a bit dark you’ll love this set. Jim’s philosophy is to see how bad he can screw things up for Harry this time!

Lets see…..next up: Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld series isn’t bad, more romance than I prefer, and I got bored about book 5, but its got the requisite werewolves and vampires, and magic, and she does keep it different.

Gail Carriger‘s Parasol Protectorate series is a much lighter read than any of the so far mentioned books, but adds some interesting touches to the vampire/werewolf mythos that I’d not seen elsewhere.  Worth looking at anyway, so far there’s (I think?) only 3 books in the series, though a 4th is due shortly.

For a technically young adult read I suggest Diane Duane‘s So You Want to be a Wizard series, and its companion set Cat Wizards Trio.  They follow the life of a preteen as she discovers magic, and what it can, and can’t do!  Cat Wizards is just that, same world, but all those hints about how smart your pet is…..yah, turns out they’ve got nothing on reality!

Jennifer Estep has a new series titled the Elemental Assassin series.  Only 4 books so far, but a few short stories are floating around too.  Bit more romancy, but not bad.

Mark Del Franco‘s Conner Grey series isn’t bad either, a druid, who’s lost his powers, appears to be the only one who can save the world!  Not steller, but one I keep an eye out for to read when I’m bored.

Laura Anne Gilman‘s Retriever series is another totally worth the read.  Six books in the series, plus a couple shorts, and a side set with another two books and at least one short.  Retrievers are thieves, except they use magic to get what they want.  Its not all fun and games though, using to much magic makes you crazy!

CE Murphy‘s Urban Shaman series is worth picking up too: Joanne has grown up stubbornly ignoring her genetic heritage, half Native American, half Irish, and wanting nothing of either, she became a mechanic.  But when her mother contacts her out of nowhere, advising her to come to Ireland to her deathbed, she returns to the good’ole USA and finds things aren’t quite how she left them.  She may not have wanted her heritage, but its not letting her go!

Hmmm, that’s all that’s jumping out at me for Urban Fantasy, at least for the moment.  I might have to do this again for general fantasy and scifi though!

On a related side note, I got to meet Jim Butcher and Patty Briggs (and spouses) at a con a couple years ago, they’re all very nice people, and I got a bunch of stuff signed, so cool!

New Book!

So yesterday I  finally got to read a new book.  Its been out for a month or so and I finally got to pick it up.

Specifically Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Now first off “Ilona Andrews” is actually a husband wife writing team, and I gotta say they do good work.  Husband and I get along very well, but we’d never be able to pull that off, I’d probably kill him in short order.  So I find that particular fact to be very impressive.

The second interesting fact is that Magic Slays is book 5 of the Kate Daniels series.  I’ve stuck around through book 5, wow, there are a few authors that I do that with, but not many.   The others at the moment are Jim Butcher, and Patty Briggs. ( Infact I’ve been going slowly nuts since Butcher’s last book (number 12!) in the Dresden series, bastard ended it with a cliffhanger from hell (which he NEVER did before!!!!) and book 13 was supposed to be out two months ago…..sigh….just a couple more weeks and then I can find out happened!!!!)  *clears throat*  Sorry, back to Magic Slays.

The Kate Daniels series is urban fantasy, which doesn’t mean that it takes place in a major city (although it kinda does), it just means that it takes place in a setting recognizable from the real world.  Urban fantasy can take place in a farm house in the middle of no-where, but if that farmhouse and surroundings is a recognizable setting from the real world then its considered “urban fantasy.”  But in this case a major city is involved, Atlanta GA infact.

In Kate’s universe most of humans recorded history tech has ruled.  Magic hasn’t functioned, to the point where “magic” was a fairytale (ie: our world).  Till shortly before Kate’s parents met (I’m a bit iffy on the exact timing, not sure the books say).  Then Magic swung back.  Now the world lives in a fractured place where part of the time technology works just fine, the rest….magic rules.  Kate, raised in this fractured place, is very comfortable in it.  Raised by her step-father to function as a mercenary, to be able to fight and defend and keep herself alive in both the tech, and the magic.  And above all, keep herself secret, cause as soon as she brings attention to herself her REAL father will find out…..

The books feel like they’re a bit lighter read than Briggs or Butcher, but it could be a size issue, as its hard to compare size of books due to different fonts and the like.  Either way I enjoy them immensely.  There’s some romance touches, but its not the point of the story so thats ok, it just makes Kate more human.  I was a bit worried about Magic Slays as several of the reviews on Amazon talk about a specific instance halfway through that turn a whole BUNCH of previously KNOWN facts on their heads (and knocks Kate for a loop), that they weren’t happy about.  Once I knew what they were talking about though I really don’t see where they’re coming from.  Infact it makes very clear some specific issues that I’d wondered about before (what had appeared to be minor loose ends to me apparently weren’t obvious to these folks and they didn’t LIKE it when they became MAJOR loose ends that mattered).

At any rate the first book in the series is Magic Bites, and if you’ve liked urban fantasy at all previous to this I highly recommend this series.  If you’ve not read urban fantasy before you might find this a bit weird, but the authors do a good job at explanation and I promise the vampires don’t sparkle!