Short Film: Nebula

This should bring a smile to your face and lighten your day:

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Big Read Discussion #1 ~ Opening Remarks by Professor Prasch

I attended the first book discussion (a second one is scheduled in January) on the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien this past Wednesday night.  Please see my previous post about the kick off of the Big Read earlier this month.  As is my wont when I attend discussions like this, I record the proceedings so I can concentrate on the lecture and discussion fully.  I used to scribble notes constantly, but besides giving me a cramp, it also prevented me from participating and enjoying the experience.  I contacted both Terri and Professor Prasch to gain their permission to include the recording and my transcription of the first third of the evening.

A bit about the transcription process:  Earlier in my life (say a couple of decades ago), I spent years as a legal secretary.  Because I typed so fast, I inherited the most prolific attorneys in whatever office I happened to be employed at.  I got to a point where I could literally type faster than most people could talk and I actually increased the speed of my transcription equipment to save time.  Those days are long gone, but I still maintain a modicum of my once magical ability to race through a tape.  This transcription is mostly verbatim, but I have taken the liberty to clean up some of the structure of the professor’s remarks.  Professors and attorneys are very articulate when they speak, so please rest assured I only glossed over the occasional ‘um’ or ‘you know’ or ‘right? ‘ and other such phrases that all of us fall into when we are thinking and talking extemporaneously.  For completeness sake, I will include the original audio files if you prefer to listen rather than peruse the transcribed content.

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The Non-Integrated Society « L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Couple of good excerpts from Modesitt’s latest blog item (link above):

According to poll after poll, around 90% of all Americans are displeased, if not furious, with the American Congress. Yet in the last election, over 96% of all incumbents were re-elected. A little bit of cognitive dissonance there?


As I’ve noted more than a few times, all too many businesses seem unable or unwilling to integrate data and events that indicate that the insistence on higher short-term profits puts them on a long-term course for disaster and lower profits. GM’s faulty starter switch was a perfect example. Saving less than a dollar a car by installing substandard switches in roughly 30 million cars for more than ten years “saved” GM something like $30 million. GM has already paid the National Highway Transportation Board more than $35 million in fines and faces more than one billion dollars in costs, not including additional lawsuits by almost a thousand claimants.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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First Snowden. Then tracking you on wheels. Now spies on a plane. Yes, surveillance is everywhere | The Guardian

I first saw this latest revelation of our own government’s continued disregard for our privacy late last week.  I agree with this article’s closing question:

Why are my Senators and Congressmen silent on this issue?

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Book Review: Sword of Michael by Wynne (2.5 Stars)

The Sword of Michael by Marcus Wynne

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Marius Winter doesn’t walk the road of the shaman-warrior alone. He has powerful allies in the Other Realms and in ordinary reality. His spirit guides are a Lakota war-chief and medicine man, First In Front; Tigre, a powerful feminine spirit who appears as a white tiger; and Burt, a spirit raven who channels an old Jewish bookie from the Bronx.

Now Marius is targeted by a powerful sorcerer. In the battle for the souls of his friends and lover, he must storm the gates of the underworld and fight through the Seven Demi-Demons of Hell to the deepest dungeons to confront Belial himself.

My Thoughts:

I found myself skimming and skipping most of this book.  The first two-thirds seemed your standard urban fantasy with a supernatural flare, demons and angels, the old Holy War, tied into or growing out of the Fall of Atlantis.  The dialogue was forced and re-used one-liner clichés poorly.  After about the sixth time I’d read a ‘one-liner’ I just about gave up.  I forged on, but the ‘pay off’ didn’t pay as much as just felt off.

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Posted in 2 Star, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, New Releases, Ratings, Reading, Reviewing, Reviews, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Serving America over the Years


A bit of family history and years of service. Thanks!

Originally posted on As a Matter of Fancy:

Five members of our family (that we know of) served America in uniform:

* Jacob Zeuch (later to Zike), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, came to New York in 1776 in Company Four of the Erbprinz Regiment along with several thousand other Hessian soldiers to quell English King George III rebellious colonies. Jacob  deserted the king’s service and fought for the colonies before settling after the war in Jassamine County, Kentucky.

* John William Hodge, Jr., my great-great-grandfather, served with Company L, of the Fifth Regiment of Illinois Cavalry during the American Civil War.

* John H. Hodge, my grandfather, (pictured on the left, as a newly-inducted recruit) served in the United States Army from 1919 to 1945, mostly at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

* Ralph E. Andrea, my father (pictured in the center in World War Two garb) served from 1942-1968 in the Pacific during World War Two and continued to serve…

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Thank You Veterans

My sincerest thanks to all veterans for your service, dedication and courage.

Freedom is never free and I am forever grateful for the freedoms I enjoy that your sacrifice secures.

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