Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nothing special

I just saw the words, Jimmy Firenipples, and I'm not sure I want to delve any further into the mystery. I think the words are enough to get stuck in my brain.

One of my gifts arrived (finally) yesterday despite the Priority Mail guarantee of 1-2 days. This took a week, which is, to my mind, far outside the 1-2 day guarantee, especially since the package sat here in Colorado Springs for 4 days. I'm not pleased with the post office or their service. Every time they raise the rates, and they just got ANOTHER rate hike this month, the service gets worse and I get to pay even more for it. I may have to switch to UPS or FedEx to get packages to where they are going since the post office doesn't seem competent or capable of doing the job. Reminds me of Obama, who also costs more and more all the time and does less and less, except for lying, which he does a lot. So much so that he earned Lie of the Year from Politifact.

A reporter asked Obama what he thought about being called the liar of the year and his answer, true to form, was yet another ad for Obamacare and how it would be fixed. Now how does that have anything to do with the question, "How do you feel about being called the Liar of the Year?" Someone I am acquainted with asked on Facebook whether it was him or does Obama really never answer questions. No, Obama doesn't answer questions, but he will lead you around the barn and through the brambles while he smiles and uses a lot of words that mean absolutely nothing and never gets close to an answer. He does that really well.

One thing that Obama is going to have to answer is why he uses Harrison J. Bounel's social security number instead of his own? A Massachusetts judge has ordered Social Security and the White House to provide documentation and answers. I think this time, unless a deal is done under the table and behind the backs of the American taxpayers yet again, a straight answer will have to be given. Of course, this will have serious implications if it is found that Obama is guilty of fraud. On such a national scale, that kind of fraud will end his political career and his freedom very quickly and we will be stuck with Joe Biden in the office of President of the US unless something happens to him and John Boehner steps into the Oval Office. Talk about a fine kettle of fish -- smelly, decaying, rotten fish at that. I'm sure Obama and his crew will find a way to side step this faux political scandal. Whatever happens, I wonder how many other skeletons will fall out of Obama's cabinet and how many questions will finally be answered. Should be an interesting year in 2014.

Funny, but I didn't intend to get into politics or yet another Obama scandal, but it jumped right out there. What I intended to do was muse on a comment a friend of mine made during a phone call last night. She opened my Yule gift last night and was pleased with the contents of the package. She got the leopard I cross stitched and always meant for her to have. She said it will go well in her library - when the remodel is finally finished and everything can finally be hung.

She said I cross stitch at the speed of light. I think it's a rather slow light, but I am beginning to wonder if I do stitch faster than most people. I follow a blog called The Speedy Stitcher and she is quite fast, except that her projects tend to be small items like biscornu and tiny mice about 2-3 inches high and not much bigger around. I could finish one of those in a couple of hours, or an afternoon come to that. The projects I make are much larger and much more complex, like Xmas stockings, which take me about a month to finish, unless they are Brittercup designs. Those are much quicker and much less detailed and take me a week at the outside. I don't stitch constantly since I have a job and other things to do as well. I have been known to do a very complicated and detailed piece in 2 weeks, but I didn't have a job then and worked about 8 hours on the piece. The longest I have taken to finish a cross stitch pattern is 2 months, but that was very large and very detailed and had hundreds of beads to be attached.

I don't know that I'm quick as much as focused when I cross stitch, except when there is a big mistake that has to be fixed or I'm working in unfamiliar territory and have to design as I stitch. That's a whole different situation altogether. The only thing I can say -- and did say to my friend -- is that I am good with my hands. Always have been. So, take good with hands and add in a healthy splash of tunnel vision (focus), add a dash of determination to finish whatever I've started (family issues - don't go there), and sheer joy at the task and I have a lot of finished pieces, most of which end up as gifts. It's a good combination for getting things done.

In the end, for me, it's all about giving someone a gift they will treasure and enjoy for years and that makes it all worthwhile.

That is all. Disperse.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

REVIEW: Have Wormhole, Will Travel by Tony McFadden

Australia gave us Mad Max in a post apocalyptic world. Now there is Tony McFadden with a new twist on history and physics and vampires. By the way, there is no such thing as vampires, just aliens who gave Bram Stoker the idea for vampires. Or at least that is the way the story goes.

Take two tall, pale-skinned, and very strong aliens who have been on Earth for 400 years as advance scouts for their own planet 20 light years away, add 3 very lovely and unusual fan girls convinced Callum and his partner are vampires, throw in a mad scientist who thinks he can create wormholes and you have a world on the brink of destruction. It seems Callum's bosses back on his home planet are ready to direct a neutron star through a wormhole in Earth's direction if they can conceivably create wormholes to be used as a means of going to the home planet to steal their resources and wage war. They have destroyed other emerging technological societies and they are ready to do it again. Their only problem is Callum who has come to see Earth as a lovely planet to spend the rest of his very long life on -- and he is strongly to attracted to one of the fan girls, the martial arts teacher and fitness buff who owns her own business and just happens to be living with the not so mad scientist. He has a choice to make and he is running out of time. Earth's slated for destruction.

Tony McFadden uses Sydney, Australia and the surrounding areas to set her story, except for a few quick trips to the home planet quarantine chamber, and creates not only a plausible story but one that is fascinating and full of science and adventure. Who knew aliens have been watching us right here on our own planet and have quashed some of the best technological advances all to keep us in the Thules? (That's toolies to the uninformed.)

The scientist has a brilliant mind and and an ego to match and Jackie, the martial arts teacher and studio/dojo owner, is not as stupid as the scientist thinks. The other two fan girls are not quite so clueless either and they provide some of the humor and gum for the works. Three aliens, the ones on planet, are part of the story, but so is the elder in the quarantine chamber on the home planet and he is a bit one-dimensional as all villains and elders entrenched in a certain way of thinking and doing things. Add in an autocratic administrator of the university and a general of the armed forces with their own single-minded goals and you have a corner of the world where things get interesting quickly. McFadden hasn't stinted on the science either, even if there isn't enough of it to help anyone make a wormhole with cold fusion to power it. A genius or two might come up with the means to take us off planet and explore the universe with just those clues.

Have Wormhole, Will Travel is an inventive, funny, serious, and eminently fast read that satisfies and astonishes in equal measure. Aside from the one-dimensional characters, I'd say the book is just the beginning of a new friendship for a whole new bunch of science and fiction buffs, and the odd fan boy/girl. Well done. Now, when will Tony McFadden write something else I can devour? I really liked this modern urban science fiction as much as I enjoyed Mad Max.