Dec 30, 2009

Books Read in December

  1. Homeland by R. A. Salvatore ~ very dark story line but very interesting. Drizzt is a drow. The drow are fanatical worshipers of the Spider Queen and will do anything to please her. The book begins with Drizzt's birth. His family is completely wiping out another drow family that fell out of favor with the Spider Queen as the 3rd living son he will be sacrificed to the Spider Queen to insure their success, but luckily/unluckily for Drizzt the elderboy is murdered so he becomes secondboy and his life is spared. As he grows up Drizzt can't accept the cruelty of his people so he flees into the Underdark with his only friend a mystical panther (Guenhwyvar).  
  2. Exile by R. A. Salvatore ~ After spending a number of years living alone in the Underdark Drizzit  reconnects with Belwar a gnome whose life he saved from a drow patrol.  He is able to spend some enjoyable time with the gnomes until Matron Malice sends the spirit-wraith of his Father, Zaknafein to kill Drizzit in order to regain the Spider Queen's favor. Drizzit flees into the Underdark once again although this time he is accompanied by his friend Belwar. They encounter Clacker a pech who was turned into a hook horror by a human wizard and befriend him. The three are then captured by mind flayers. After their escape they are attacked by the spirit-wraith and one of Drizzit's friends loses his life. Drizzit heeding Zaknafein's warning that Matron Malice will stop at nothing to see him dead decides to leave the known dangers of the Underdark for the unknown dangers of the surface.
  3. Sojourn by R. A. Salvatore - Drizzit meets prejudice on the surface but he also make new friends and finds a home.
  4. The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson ~ Enjoyable read.
  5. Legacies by F. Paul Wilson ~ Dr. Alicia Clayton inherits a house, a house that holds a secret that could revolutionize the world. Her half-brother and his Arab pals will do anything to prevent the secret from getting out. Can Jack discover the secret in time to save Alicia?
  6. Conspiracies by F. Paul Wilson - Lew's wife is missing and when she contacts him she insist that only Repairman Jack will be able to find her. Since the case seems simple enough Jack agrees to take it only to discover that nothing is what it seems.
  7. The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore - The barbarian tribes attack Ten Towns but thanks to Drizzit's advance warning the towns people defeat them with the help of the dwarfs. Bruenor decides to spare the barbarian boy, Wulfgar's life and takes him under his wing. Bruenor uses all his ability to fashion a magical ax for Wulfgar and gets Drizzit to teach him to fight. A mediocre wizard finds the Crystal Shard and uses it to summon a demon and fashion an army to destroy Ten Towns. Wulfgar returns to his barbarian tribe and challenges the King. After defeating the King Wulfgar persuades his people to aid Ten Towns. After surviving the battle Drizzit, Wulfgar, Bruenor and Rumblebelly  set off to find Bruenor's ancestrol home, Mithral Hall.
  8. Wicked Prey by John Sandford - Randy Whitcomb blames Davenport for putting him in a wheelchair and plans to kidnap Letty to get back at him. Of course Letty isn't your typical teen and throws a wrench in his plans all by herself. In the meantime Davenport is busy tracking down a gang of cop killers.
  9. Heat Lightning by John Sandford ~Someone is going around murdering men who were in Vietnam. Can Flowers find out who and why in time to stop them?
  10. Streams of Silver by R.A. Salvatore ~ Wulfgar, Bruenor & Drizzt set out to find Mithril Hall, Bruenor's birthplace. Regis joins them in order to escape  Artemis (the assassin sent after him). Artemis takes Catti-brie prisoner and sets out after them after joining forces with a powerful magician who is after the crystal shard and believes Drizzt either has it or knows where it is at. Believing Drizzt is dead the friends despair of escaping the dragon who drove Bruenor's clan out of Mithril Hall.

Dec 28, 2009

Before and After



Walls are primed ready to be painted.


Shelves will be torn out.



The wall are painted. I just love the Raspberry color.



I found this rug and I thought the wall picked up the colors from the poinsettias nicely, since it isn't too Christmasy I'll probably use it all winter.



The white trim sets off the raspberry walls nicely.



Starting work on the pantry.



Repairing the wall.



Wall primed.






New light fixture. They just had a light bulb in here no fixture at all.



Pantry walls painted blue. I love the contrast between the dark and light.



Hangers for the shelves in place.

We are almost finished. The trim still has to be painted, the laundry room door replaced and the water heater put back where it belongs. Maybe (fingers crossed) by New Years.



Dec 20, 2009

Dining with Alasandra

Mediterraneo great atmosphere and delicious food I enjoyed DOLMADES ~ grape leaves stuffed with lamb, rice, and Mediterranean spices; PIQUILLO PEPPERS red Piquillo peppers stuffed with honey goat cheese and SPANAKOPITA spinach and Feta cheese stuffed in a Phylo pastry. All three Tapas were yummy and I look forward to going back and trying other things on the menu.

Dec 12, 2009

Floored


The floor is down now and it looks really nice.




Unfortunately to put the floor down Hubby had to take the hot water heater out. I wound up taking a COLD bath the day my eldest son graduated from the University of South Alabama. Hubby was able to temporarily install the hot water heater and he takes the washer and dryer in and out so I can wash clothes during the week when he is at work and unable to work on the laundry room. The first coat of primer is on and it makes a HUGE difference. The walls had never been painted so anything is a huge improvement from when we moved in.

Dec 10, 2009

Promotion day arrives for white Conn. firefighters

Promotion day arrives for white Conn. firefighters - Nation Wire - SunHerald.com

A group of white firefighters who persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to sanction their promotions over black colleagues are receiving their new badges Thursday in a ceremony that provides symbolic recognition of their victory.


The high court ruled in June that New Haven officials violated white firefighters' civil rights when they threw out 2003 test results in which too few minorities did well.

The case became an issue in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled against the white firefighters when she served on a federal appeals court.

So glad the guys who earned the promotion finally received it.

Dec 5, 2009

The Laundry Room Gets It's Turn FINALLY



We have finally gotten around to remodeling the laundry room (sigh, it is the last room to be remodeled). This linoleum is what was originally in the dining room, kitchen and the bathrooms. We replaced the floors in the dining room and kitchen with laminate flooring and now we are putting the same flooring in the laundry room. We put tile in the bathrooms.

This is the flooring that will be in there. Unfortunately the renovations required taking the hot water heater out, so we are currently without hot water.

For some reason the walls were never painted in here. After seeing Barb's Raspberry Mud Room I was inspired. I took myself off to Lowe's to look at paint chips. And settled on you guessed it Raspberry. It matches the strawberries and raspberries in the border I have in the kitchen nicely not that it matters but depending on what we do with the kitchen cabinets I may use it in the kitchen too. We are going to leave the pantry door open. A folding door, which is what was in there when we bought the house, takes up to much room to open. We are going to paint the pantry the same (off-white) blue that is in the rest of the house. I think the contrast will look nice.

For those of you wondering why we are going to do anything with the kitchen cabinets as they are fairly NEW. We had them custom made by a local cabinet maker. He did a HORRIBLE JOB! The paint is peeling off the cabinets and all the trim he painted and some of the trim (that was suppose to be white is a dingy yellow). I am furious every time I look at them he didn't even bother to PRIME the cabinets before he painted them. They were a total waste of our money and IF I had it to do over I would have gotten the cabinets at Home Depot, somehow some way. You can read all about the nightmare here.

Nov 29, 2009

Alasandra's Cranberry Pumpkin Bread


1 small can, canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self rising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, milk, eggs and butter. Combine dry ingredients; stir into pumpkin mixture. Fold in walnuts and cranberries. Pour into a greased 9" X 5" X 3" loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nov 23, 2009

Thirteen Books I Read Recently

  1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski ~ Born mute Edgar has an idyllic childhood with the Sawtelle dogs until his Uncle Claude returns to destroy the world as he knows it. I found the book kinda weird and hard to get into.
  2. Dinosaurs in the Attic an Excursion into The American Museum of Natural History by Douglas J. Preston - I found the book to be interesting and informative.
  3. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornewll ~ A real page turner, the gang minus Rose is reunited in New York City.
  4. Dream Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon ~ Jericho (aka Cratus) a Titan helps the Oneroi broker a deal with Zeus to return their emotions, and rescue the Oneroi and Skoti from Noir and Azura all for the love of Delphine.
  5. The Winds of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson ~ Lady Jessica returns to Dune after receiving news that a blind Paul walked over into the desert.
  6. Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon ~ I had been looking forward to reading Fang & Aimee's story but I am very disappointed in it. First off Kenyon seems to have forgotten that Cherise Gautier was killed leading to Nick committing suicide and becoming a Dark Hunter, which then lead to the discovery he was the Malachai. Even though in Bad Moon Rising Thorn says the increased demon activity is due to the Malachai being unbound. Serious problem with her storyline there. My next major complaint is that Ash was there when Maman Peltier was wounded (saving Fang's life) and could have healed her but didn't. I am also annoyed with Savitar he revoked Sanctuary's license forever in a fit of pique (felt bad about it after he did it) which made the attack where Maman Peltier lost her life possible.
  7. Evidence by Jonathan Kellerman - Lots of twist and turns and plots within plots. A very good read.
  8. Never Again by John Ashcroft - Ashcroft defends the Patriot Act.
  9. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins ~ excellent book, very well written.
  10. The Web And The Stars Book 2 of the Timeweb Chronicles by Brian Herbert ~ This book was full of surprises and I liked it much better then Book 1 (mainly because I now know all the characters). If you are looking for a books to get a young person I do recommend this series. Noah's nephew becomes Doge of the Merchant Prince Alliance and forms an alliance with Noah and his Guardians. The Parvii Tesh will sacrifice her race for the good of the galaxy and the Tulyans will work with the humans to liberate the Aopoddae.
  11.  Webdancers Book 3 of The Time Web Chronicles by Brian Herbert ~ Tesh chooses to have Noah's baby. Noah evolves into something that isn't human and that has the power to control an Aopoddae weapon capable of great destruction. Parais risk her life to save Dux and Acey. And the Web Spinners are revealed as the greatest threat to the galaxy.
  12. The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell - Jean Baptiste Chandonne is back and badder then ever.
  13. Kindred In Death by J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) 16 year old Deena MacMasters is murdered by her "secret" boyfriend while her parents are away celebrating her Dad's promotion to Captain of the NYPSD.  Can Eve find out WHY and WHO before the killer kills again?

Nov 8, 2009

Dining with Alasandra

We went to The Olive Garden in D'Iberville for Hubby's birthday. The service was excellent and the place was packed but the food is only mediocre. I much prefer Capone's. I got the Venetian Apricot Chicken a grilled chicken breast in an apricot citrus sauce, served with broccoli, asparagus and diced tomatoes. The chicken breast OK and I did like the sauce but the broccoli and asparagus were tough. The salad it was served with was disappointing, but on the plus side they did keep us supplied with warm bread sticks.

Oct 8, 2009

Thirteen Books I read Recently

Thirteen Books I Read Recently

  1. Blasphemy by Douglas Preston ~ A bunch of Christian Fundamentalist create a mob intent on destroying Isabella (the most expensive machine ever built) and killing the scientist. With the help of some American Indians most of the scientist are able to escape.
  2. The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Palmer Lloyd is willing to pay anything to have the red meteor as part of his museum collection. He hires Eli Glinn to bring the meteor to New York. Unable to admit defeat Glinn will risk everything to complete his mission. Then McFarlane one of the few survivors of the ill fated expedition will discover that it wasn't a meteor at all............. (I sense a possible sequel)
  3. Smash Cut by Sandra Brown - A real page turner. Paul Wheeler was gunned down in an elevator who hired the killer? His nephew who expected to inherit his fortune or the lovely young lady he was spending his time with.
  4. Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen ~ When Tavak is trapped in an Egyptian tomb he emails the only person who can help computer whiz Rachel Kirby. Can the dynamic duo find Peseshet's tomb before the bad guys do.
  5. Deadlock by Iris Johansen ~When Emily Hudson is kidnapped only one man can save her. Can he win her heart too?
  6. The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson - The first in the Repairman Jack series. He is awesome, I am looking forward to reading more. Jack wins back his girlfriend by saving her daughter from an ancient curse.
  7. Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell - How the English won against all odds at Agincourt thanks to the archers.
  8. The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child - The immured anchorite sends the Agozyen out into the world in order to find the next Rinpoche. Pendergast must return the Agozyen to the monastery before the world is destroyed, and thanks to Constance Greene's secret when all appears lost Pendergast will receive help for an unlikely source.
  9. Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo - I didn't care for this book.
  10. Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincol Child ~ Sir William Macallan designed "The Water Pit" a deadly vault to hold the pirate Edward Ockham's treasure on Ragged Island. 30 years ago Malin Hatch's brother died on Ragged Island, his body was never recovered. Now Captain Neidelman is offering Malin a chance to recover his brother's body if he will allow the treasure hunter access to Ragged Island. But what if St. Michael's Sword is deadly to posses? Will anyone escape from Ragged Island alive?
  11. Thunderhead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child ~ This is the novel in which Nora meets Smithback for the first time. Nora receives a letter from her Father 16 years after his death telling of a lost Anasazi city he discovered. With the backing of Ernest Goddard she assembles an archaeological team and heads off into the wild to hunt for it. But the city turns out to hold a deadly secret.
  12. The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra ~ Great Book!!!!!! " A religion of love has moved alarmingly in the direction of hatred, although outright hatred may not be preached from the pulpit. What is preached is self-righteous intolerance."
  13. Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston - Sally & Tom Broadbent (from The Codex) are featured. While riding in the desert Tom hears gunshots and finds Stem Weathers shot in the back. With his dying breath Stem begs Tom to take his notebook to his daughter Robbie . Hoping to find a clue to Stem's identity in the notebook Tom takes it to ex-CIA agent Wyman Ford to decode. They then begin to search for the T-REX the code reveals but can they manage to stay alive with Stem Weathers' murder after them as well as a rogue government agency that wants them dead.

  14.  

Sep 21, 2009

Dining with Alasandra

It's been a long time since I have done a restaurant  review so I am going to mention two new places in Ocean Springs I have been too.

Capone's serves authentic Sicilian Italian Food. Drawbacks the place is hard to find and they only take cash. On the upside, an upscale decor and delicious food. I had the Eggplant Parmesan, served with salad & bread sticks. I choose the Gorgonzola Dressing to go with the salad and to be honest I would have been happy with just the salad and the bread sticks.

Shady's - I love their outdoor dining area. I had the Giggling Grouper Sandwich. I choose to have it grilled. It's served on a wheat roll with lettuce, tomato & creole mayo. Comes with homemade slaw. Very filling and delicious.

Sep 2, 2009

Great Letter to the Editor by Louis Fuchs

Blaming the deficit is disingenuous, at best
At Rep. Gene Taylor’s town hall meeting in Moss Point, there was a lot of loud and intimidating shouting against health care reform. I expected that. What surprised me was the amount of real anger expressed by many of the attendees, anger that went beyond the health care issue.

When Rep. Taylor tried to explain how the deficit progressed from where it was in the 1980s to where it is today, many in the crowd jeered and claimed that we’ve had problems for only the last six months. The crowd angrily demanded to know why Rep. Taylor voted for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and, before he could explain that he did so because she had promised to support his all-perils insurance proposal, they shouted him down.

Add in the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina and the severe recession, and you have a recipe for stress. Throw in some lies about “death panels,” and people can succumb to fear and anger.

The vested interests that stand to profit billions will do anything to destroy meaningful reform and preserve a system where they control the market.

Congress did not seem concerned about the deficit when they provided tax breaks to large corporations or when they were building F-22 fighter planes that the Defense Department did not want. Now, when we’re talking about providing adequate health care to all Americans, they are concerned about the deficit. They are disingenuous at best.


We have been trying to introduce health care legislation since the time of Teddy Roosevelt. It is time to finally do the right thing and make health care for all Americans a priority. Put it in the budget along with everything else. The people of this country will breathe a sigh of relief over not having to worry about whether they can see a doctor or not, whether an insurance company will deny coverage for a procedure they’ve already had, whether they will face bankruptcy and, finally, whether they will live or die at the hands of profit-seeking insurance companies.


LOUIS FUCHS
Diamondhead

Jul 12, 2009

The Supreme Court Decides the New Haven Firefighter Case

The test results should NOT have been thrown out and the WHITE and Hispanic applicants who scored highest should have gotten the job promotions. No one should be denied a promotion because their skin is the wrong color.

The Supreme Court Decides the New Haven Firefighter Case


The Court ruled 5-4 for the eighteen white (including one Hispanic) firefighter plaintiffs. The majority held that an employer can invoke fear of "disparate impact" litigation by minority applicants as a defense to a charge that discarding the results was itself an act of unlawful discrimination. However, the lead opinion written by Justice Kennedy announced that the defense is only available where the employer has a "strong basis in evidence" for fearing disparate impact liability. The majority further found that the record in Ricci did not meet this standard.


It looks as if the test results were thrown out to appease African American Rev Boise Kimber.

Alito’s opinion notes Kimber’s heavy hand



No stranger to local controversy, the (African American) Rev. Boise Kimber landed an unlikely national role Monday in dueling opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court, probing the extent to which the politically connected pastor may have influenced decision makers in the civil rights case of 20 (19 white and 1 Hispanic) city firefighters.

Kimber seems to have plenty of political clout.

Kimber Gets Off The (Towing) Hook


A politically connected marshal let a politically connected minister off the hook when the dreaded Plate Hunter came to snatch his car The Rev. Boise Kimber, a key mayoral ally and powerbroker in the city’s black community as well as a fire commissioner, was having a late dinner Wednesday evening at Portofino’s Restaurant and Bar on State Street. Meanwhile, the Lombard Motors towing crew prowled the streets to snatch the parked vehicles of scofflaws with unpaid parking tickets.

The Lombard crew had begun to position the flatbed for removal when out popped Kimber into the street.

“He engaged the tow truck agent and the marshal,” Piscitelli said. Kimber and Criscuolo exchanged words. Then Criscuolo reversed the towing order and let Kimber go free.


So apparently Kimber decided he wanted African-Americans who didn't do as well on the test as the White and Hispanic candidates to get the job and used his clout to get the test results thrown out.

Jun 20, 2009

Dining with Alasandra

For our 22nd anniversary we dined at Anthony's Under the Oaks in Ocean Springs. I had the grilled fish topped with crab-meat and asparagus, which was delicious. Hubby had the peppercorn steak (they held the peppercorns at his request) which he enjoyed. Both came with a salad and the remoulade sauce was delicious. Hubby who hardly ever eats dressing on his salad elected to have some. The entree also came with grilled vegetables and a stuffed potato which were scrumptious.



Afterwards we stopped by Coffee & More to pick up some chocolate mousse for dessert.

Mar 29, 2009

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) linked to a rare vaginal cancer.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a drug once prescribed during pregnancy to prevent miscarriages or premature deliveries. In the U.S. an estimated 5 to 10 million persons were exposed to DES from 1938 to 1971, including pregnant women prescribed DES and their children. In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised physicians to stop prescribing DES because it was linked to a rare vaginal cancer.

Mar 4, 2009

Disappointed

Two worthy bills are dead

DEAD
SEX EDUCATION - House Bill 234 would allow the state to establish a sex education program in two public school districts.

I guess Mississippi really doesn't want to do anything to lower teenage pregnancies. It seems we are determined to stick with abstinence only programs even with clear evidence those programs are not working.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Senate Bill 2300 would increase the homestead exemption from $75,000 to $100,000 for people who are over 65 or totally disabled.

This really should have passed. Many elderly people are losing their homes because they can't afford to pay the taxes on them. And please note these aren't people who went out and bought homes they couldn't afford. Many have owned their homes for years and they were not worth that much when they bought them. Now with the raise in property values their taxes have sky rocketed. I also think they needed to do something to lower the tax bite for the rest of us too. The artificial inflation of property values is killing our economy.

School accountability and charter schools are still alive.

Mar 3, 2009

Sore Losers

The nuts over at World Nut (err I mean Net) Daily are still insisting that President Obama isn't qualified to be our President.

Contrary to what the nuts say Obama has produced a valid birth certificate. You can check for yourself at Snopes.com.

To answer the dual citizenship question. From FactCheck.org

The Rocky Mountain News did in fact run an online article asserting that Barack Obama holds both American and Kenyan citizenship. The article was incorrect, and the paper removed the item from the article and ran a correction. The paper's editor, John Temple, formally apologized for the error in an Aug. 15, 2007, column. Neither the correction nor the apology has prevented the column from circulating across the Internet as part of the latest set of baseless rumors that Obama is ineligible to run for president.


But the paper failed to note that the Kenyan Constitution prohibits dual citizenship for adults. Kenya recognizes dual citizenship for children, but Kenya's Constitution specifies that at age 21, Kenyan citizens who possesses citizenship in more than one country automatically lose their Kenyan citizenship unless they formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982..”


HT: HERP&ES

Feb 22, 2009

Toxic religion injures our nation

Read Toxic religion injures our nation in the Fay Observer.

Quaker minister and author Philip Gulley once said, “History has shown that there are two ways to destroy a nation. It can either be bombed back to the Stone Age or handed over to fundamentalists, who then do what they do best — dismantle progress, demonize women, science, homosexuals, and crush dissent — all the while claiming to be victims of religious bigotry when others seek to curb their excesses.”



HT: HERP&ES

Jan 30, 2009

Jan 17, 2009

Verizon STINKS!!!!!

I am so annoyed with Verizon. After Katrina Bell South informed us it would be 6 months before our land line was fixed so we told them not to bother and got cell phones for everyone in the family.

Up until this week that has worked fine for us. Now I don't have a signal. I can't even text and hubby is out of town. I called Verizon and apparently they have acquired Alltel and are doing something to the towers. All I know is my phone doesn't have reliable service. Tonight I got to talk to Hubby for like 2 seconds and then I lost the signal, and that is when he finally got through he had tried to caller earlier and I didn't even show a missed call. Most of the time I have to wait 30 minutes or more before I can get a signal again so I can dial out, and half the time when I try to send a text it says message delivery failed. this STINKS!!!! Why should I get LOUSY SERVICE for over a week just because Verizon decided to buy another company???????

Jan 13, 2009

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month




January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and TEAL is the color that represents Cervical and Ovarian Cancer. You can get your Think TEAL shirt here and help support research and raise awareness for Cervical and Ovarian Cancer. I challenge you to go TEAL for January (If you want to turn your blog TEAL the Html code is #008080).

Jan 5, 2009

Delta Queen nominated as endangered historic site

I had a chance to see it when it was in Vicksburg. I hope they are able to save it.
The historic riverboat Delta Queen has been nominated to become one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Landing on the exclusive annual list could save the steamboat from likely decay.

The 82-year-old sternwheeler is scheduled to shut down because Congress has refused to grant another exemption from a federal law that bans more than 50 overnight passengers on boats that are largely made of wood. The exemption expired on Oct. 31.


Read more here.