Nov 24, 2015

How Unchristian - 'Jesus Is God; God is Satan'



Never mind that Allah is Arabic for God so what the Baptist Preacher's bigoted sign actually says is 'Jesus Is God; God is Satan'.

I wonder how Pastor, Chris Ashley and Gina Miller would feel if a sign outside a Muslim Mosque referred to Jesus as Satan? I am pretty sure they would be offended, heck they are part of the same group that is "offended" because Starbucks decided to use plain red cups for Christmas, they get their panties in a wad if you abbreviate Xmas, even though the X is Greek for Christ and most scholars agree that the first appearance of this abbreviation for Christmas dates to 1021. "

 But no according to Gina and her uneducated ilk the X is a conspiracy to take Christ out of Christmas and never mind wishing them a Happy Holiday, that's so offensive to them you can already hear them gnashing their teeth as the Holiday season gets under way.

But for some reason Gina Miller and Pastor Ashly think it is perfectly OK to actually say something offensive about another religion all the while claiming they are doing it for good. Pastor Ashly needs to get the voice in his head looked into because I am pretty sure the God of the Bible wouldn't tell him to insult a large number of people by comparing their God to Satan.
 

Nov 23, 2015

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1-3)

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1-3)A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully illustrated and charming. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a compilation of 3 short stories about Dunk and Egg.

The Hedge Knight begins with Dunk burying his mentor Ser Arlan of Pennytree. Arlan's dying act was to knight Dunk, his clumsy seventeen year old squire. Poor Dunk doesn't have much going for him, while Ser Arlan was an "honorable" knight and taught Dunk honor the feeble old man wasn't known for his fighting skills. Dunk heads to Ashford Castle where he hopes to win a tourney. Along the way he meets a young boy (Egg) he mistakes for a stable lad. Egg follows him to Ashford Castle and takes on the duties of Dunk's squire and suggest that Dunk is short for Duncan, and Ser Duncan the Tall is born. Duncan has trouble getting anyone to remember him or Ser Arlan but at last Prince Baelor Breakspear (Egg's Uncle) vouches for him so he can ride in the tourney. But before the tourney takes place he has to get the shield he inherited from Ser Arlan painted with his own sigil (coat of arms). He takes it to a young girl he is interested in and leaves Egg to pick it up. When Prince Aerion (Egg's older brother) attacks the girl Egg runs to get Duncan, who beats Aerion up, but it's a crime to lay hands on a Dragon Prince and Duncan finds himself thrown in the dungeon. Looking at losing a hand and foot the unskilled Duncan chooses to challenge Aerion to trial by combat. The coward Aerion invokes his right to a trial of seven, hoping that the unknown Duncan will not be able to find six other knights to fight with him. Aerion's Father Prince Maekar (a famous warrior) along with the three members of the King's Guard they have with them will fight with Aerion.

Duncan is one warrior short when Prince Baelor joins them to make seven. It's a fight to the death and Duncan's group is comprised of Ser Humfrey Hardyng (who broke his leg when Aerion deliberately killed his horse), Robyn Rhysling and Humfrey Beesbury a young knight and a one-eyed old man, The Laughing Storm aka Ser Lyonel Baratheon (a great warrior) and Raymund of House Fossoway a young squire who demands to be knighted when his cousin switches sides and fights for Prince Aerion. (Raymund's branch will become the green apples henceforth). Because they are so outmatched with only two experienced warriors Prince Baelor chooses to use the longer tourney lances in hopes of unhorsing their opponents while keeping their own saddles. Duncan is eventually able to get his hands on the coward Aerion and Prince Aerion yields but Maekar Targaryen gives his brother Baelor a mortal wound before the fight ends.

Maekar banishes Aerion to the Free Cities and ask Duncan to take Egg (Aegon) as his squire.

In The Sworn Sword Dunk and Egg are serving Ser Eustace. When the Red Widow dams the stream Ser Eustace sends Duncan to treat with her. Duncan learns that Ser Eustace has been less than truthful with him, but he still does his best for the old man. In the end Ser Eustace weds the young widow to Duncan's dismay.

In The Mystery Knight Dunk and Egg stop off at a wedding tourney. But Egg quickly surmises it's a tourney of traitors. When "the Fiddler" (The Pretender aka Daemon) becomes interested in Dunk after "dreaming" of him a plot is hatched to have Dunk killed. Dunk survives the attack but loses his horse and armor. With no way to earn money to redeem them it looks like Duncan's days as a knight are over, but when Egg attempts to get them back for him by showing his signet ring (identifying himself as Prince Aegon Targaryen). His famiy's foes plan to hold him hostage but the quick thinking Egg claims that Prince Maekar sent him and Duncan there as spies and that Maekar will be arriving with his soldiers any moment. The craven Butterwell switches sides and helps Egg escape, after Duncan comes for him and defeats Black Tom. With Egg safely away Duncan works with the loyal hedge knights to free Ser Glendon Ball, the bastard son of a whore who the traitors planned to pin the theft of the egg on. Ser Glendon Ball then challenges The Pretender to a trial by combat and wins. The Bloodraven aka Lord Rivers (Egg's cousin and the King's Hand) arrives to put down the rebellion. He gives Duncan and Egg the money they need to pay Duncan's debts and let's the two go on their way.

I hope to see more Duncan and Egg stories after ASOIF is finished. *Note Aemon (Jon Stark's mentor) at the wall is Egg's brother. 



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Nov 20, 2015

The Taming of the Queen (The Tudor Court, #4)

The Taming of the Queen (The Tudor Court, #4)The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kateryn Parr has to be the most boring woman who ever lived. Her cheif accomplishment seems to be managing to stay alive until Henry VIII died.

At first she spends her days as Queen in scholarship and writing but when Henry turns against her she gives up everything and becomes slavishly obedient to him in order to survive.

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Nov 14, 2015

Thumbs Down Ancient Harvest Culinary Ancient Grains



Butter & Parmesan Quinoa Blend is awfully bland. I was expecting there to be some sort of seasoning packet but there wasn't and the Parmesan was undetectable. Very bland and unappetizing. I will not be wasting my money on this product again.

Nov 11, 2015

New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan

New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century ManhattanNew York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan by Jill Lepore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a scholarly work not written to entertain.

It's an interesting look at slavery in Manhattan, the fear of slave uprisings that gripped the city and the conspiracy that resulted in thirteen black men being burned at the stake, seventeen being hanged and more than one hundred black men and women being thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.


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Nov 10, 2015

Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)

Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is heartbreaking.

Wax has to stop a kandra (Bleeder aka Paalm) who has gone mad and is set on destroying Elendel, overthrowing Harmony (Sazed) and freeing Wax. Bleeder is responsible for several deaths, but spares Wayne and Wax several times. At the last when Wax has Bleeder cornered he discovers that she is his lost love Lessie who Harmony sent to protect him in the Roughs and it was her love for him that drove her mad. Bleeder chooses to die rather then be under Harmony's control.

Hint that Bleeder may have been under the control of a new god Trell.

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Nov 7, 2015

Saturn Run

Saturn RunSaturn Run by John Sandford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sanders Heacock Darlington aka Sandy saves the book from utter boredom. This isn't Sandford's usual genre and the multitude of characters and all the techno geek stuff makes this book extremely hard to get into.

Sandy who is extremely wealthy and who appears to be a lazy beach bum working at Caltech Astrophysics Working Group due to "Daddy" buying him a position discovers a space ship visiting Saturn. His video skills as well as his military background earn him a spot on the Space Ship Richard Nixon, when it goes to investigate.

They race to get there before the Chinese but one mishap after another cuts it close. Getting there a few weeks before the Chinese they discover that Saturn is a refueling and trade station for other species. They trade for technological blueprints and get as much info as possible before leaving.

The Chines try to steal one of the small space craft orbiting Saturn and in the process blow it up. They are immediate thrown off the Trade Station without the chance to make repairs to their ship. They pursue the Nixon and ask for their assistance, but after they are taken aboard they take over the ship. Their demands the United States turn over all the alien technology they were able to amass. When they start killing people to get the technology Sandy destroys it.

The United State President makes a deal with the Chinese and the Nixon is scuttled in space and a story about an alien plague is fabricated to explain the deaths.

But Sandy's shit eating grin says he has a secret get out of jail card.





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Nov 2, 2015

Whispers

WhispersWhispers by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This isn't actually a new book but a reprint. First printing June 1996 revised August 2003 and I guess this is yet another revision.

16 years ago the Holland sisters concocted an alibi and agreed never to speak of what happened the night Harley Taggert died, but when their Father decides to run for office he hires a Private Investigator to find out what really happened that night.

Miranda aka Randa the oldest sister was involved with Hunter Riley (the stable hand) she was devastated when he disappeared after she told him she was pregnant. Now his body has been discovered and Randa realizes Riley intended to keep his promise to marry her. Determined to discover who killed him and why she suspects Weston Taggert, the man who claimed Riley was working for the Taggerts in Canada.

Tessa the youngest sister was involves with Weston Taggert until she realized it was her older sister he wanted. When she witnessed Weston brutally raping Randa she followed him to the marina and attacked him but to her dismay it was his younger brother she hit with the rock. Beliving she is responsible for Harley's death she finds it hard to live with herself.

Clair St. John is the middle sister and she returns with her two children almost 16 year old Sean and his younger sister after her ex-husband is convicted of statutory rape. Clair had ended her engagement to Harley the night he died, due to her growing attraction to Kane Moran. Their torrid affair ended when he joined the army. Now Kane is a journalist and he is determined to uncover the secrets buried 16 years ago, especially who killed his best friend Jack Songbird.

But the killer is equally determined to keep his secrets buried and protect his empire. Kane has one shot to save the woman he still loves and their son, ultimately their fate is in the hands of a mysterious stranger who may be the killer's hired gun.



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