Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday Reads and I’m Taking a Break…Sort of

Not much happens in my life. Well…not much INTERESTING. And it’s getting harder and harder to blog about all that uninteresting stuff. So, I figure why not take a break. I won’t not blog because if I’ve read a book, I’m still posting that. And I’ll still be around the blogosphere, reading and commenting when the mood strikes. So I won’t be gone, just not posting. At least for December. And except on Wednesday.

See? Only a sort-of break. J

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #52

Dates read: December 2-6
Title: Restore Me
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Distopian
Series:  Shatter Me #4
# of Pages: 435
Paper or plastic: Hard back
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: It’ been sixteen days since Juliette Ferrars killed the supreme commander of North America and took over as ruler of The Reestablishment on the continent.
    Sixteen days since she assassinated Warner’s father.
    Juliette thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45 and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and with so much power in her young hands, the world is watching her every move, waiting to see what happens next.
    Juliette and Warner have risked everything. But when tragedy strikes, they must confront the darkness that exists both around and inside them. Will they be able to control the power Juliette wields, or will it control them?
My thoughts: Do not read this book if you like your books to have an actual ending. This one did not (it’s way worse than a stupid cliffhanger). I like the series. Started it when the first one came out in 2011 and don’t remember any of them ending as badly as this one does (okay, I just re-read my review of book 2 and it did have a cliff hanger). I find it funny that book 3 was supposed to be the conclusion to the series. Now there’s a book 5 and 6 planned. I think I’ll wait until book 6 is out (or the last one, if that isn’t it) before I read anymore. That’s if I even bother. Oh, and don’t let that page count fool you. There are soooooo many blank pages between Juliette’s and Warner’s POV (yes, it’s in first person and they each have a POV), and the flip back and forth happens a lot.

It’s funny that Wednesday used to be the hardest day for me to blog. Then I came up with Wednesday Reads. Now it’s the easiest! I’ll just have to come up with something fun to blog about on the other days, but right now my brain isn’t functioning so well. I’ll blame it on the holidays. They always make a good excuse.

But at least I’m NOT using the holidays as an excuse for not exercising. I’m still at it every morning (except on the weekends when we have other plans) and I hope to continue this habit into 2019. I’m tired of feeling old and slow. And when the day comes for that heart surgery, I’d like to be in a better shape than I am now.

So… Reading anything good? After that last book I made sure to pick a romance to read next. Those always make me happy and right now I want happy.

Happy Reading!


Friday, December 7, 2018

The Survey Says...

AOL sent me a survey to find out how they’re doing. Hahahahaha! They weren’t giving me anything to do it (because that’s usually why I’ll do a survey—for free or discounted stuff), but I completed it anyway.

Yes, they got low marks. But then every e-mail service I use would get the same, so that’s nothing new. At the end they asked for comments and to give them my e-mail if I wanted to be paid to test stuff out for them.

Well, I didn’t want to do any testing, but I had comments. My major one being that when I comment on people’s Blogger posts, my e-mails automatically go into spam. Yes, even my own comments on my own blog!!

I really wish I knew why that is, because it’s really annoying.

I hit submit and got an error. Said the comment box wasn’t formatted correctly.

Formatted? It took me a moment to realize they only wanted my e-mail address.

Well, hell. Apparently AOL didn’t want my comments after all (and I so much wanted to give it to them, too!). Or they just don’t know what a comment box is. Foo on them!

Now I wish I’d given them LOWER marks.

So… Do you do surveys for free or only those where you get $$ off a meal or a free sandwich or something?

Happy Friday! And Happy Birthday to my sister (in case she reads my blog, which I don’t believe she does).


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday Reads and We Book Another Cruise!

Hubby and I already have cruises booked for Bermuda (8 days, Oct 2019) and Hawaii (14 days, Dec 2019). On Monday Carnival announced this awesome transatlantic cruise in June 2020 (16 days) leaving NYC with stops to Greenland, Iceland, Shetland Islands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and ending in London. On Tuesday we booked it! I’m so freakin’ excited.

Are we nuts? Probably. But this is a RARE cruise. We really didn’t want to miss it. And you know what? In less than two days, this cruise was already 80% full. I’m so glad we didn’t wait.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #51

Dates read: November 25-December 1
Title: Too Far Gone
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series:  Lucy Kincaid #14
# of Pages: 473
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When a man who appears mentally unstable holds a group of people hostage and dies in a shootout with the FBI, Special Agent Lucy Kincaid is assigned to investigate what happened. Up until two months ago, Charlie McMahon was a respected scientist—then his wife left him, he lost his job, and he was arrested for assaulting a former colleague. The one person who might have answers—his research assistant—has disappeared.
    While Lucy is investigating this bizarre case, her husband Sean is on top of the world: his son Jesse is visiting for the summer. They are having a blast, until someone follows them. Sean is positive that the surveillance is connected to Jesse’s stepfather—a man who had once laundered money for a violent drug cartel. But when Lucy and Jesse are run off the road, they begin to wonder if the attack is connected to Jesse…or Lucy’s current case.
    Nothing is what it seams—not the McMahon investigation or the car accident. As Sean and Lucy dig deep into the lives of everyone involved, one thing becomes clear: If they don’t find the truth fast, everyone they care about is in danger…
My thoughts: This series started out as romantic suspense. Now the romance is very light and it’s more just suspense. I’m okay with this. I love this family, these characters. It’s always a joy to return to. The suspense ain’t half bad, either!

Yesterday I started what I hope will become a regular exercise program (it’s been long overdue). Walked on the treadmill and worked the upper body (started out light—don’t want to overdo anything). Today I’ll walk the treadmill and work the legs. This is in my house, too (no trips to the fitness center). I’m determined to stick with it because I really need to get back in some sort of healthy shape. And as long as I don’t start out too hard (and get myself too sore), I should do okay. Also, I get to read while I’m on the treadmill, which helps my reading and walking (sure passes the time easier!).

So… Are you trying to start something healthy before the new year gets here? I really should start eating healthier, too, but hey, one step at a time. Right?

Happy Reading!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Football and Pictures of my Christmas Tree

I watched the horrible, horrible Steelers game last night and failed to write today’s post. Okay, more like just forgot, period, since I could have written this while watching the game. Probably just as well I didn’t. That game put me in a pissy mood.

At least the Rams won their game, and are the NFC West champs! Yay!

I’m really happy OSU won and became the Big Ten champions on Saturday. Kind of feel like they got a slap in the face by putting a 2-loss team (a team that lost their conference champion game), ahead of them in the rankings, but oh well. They’re going to the Rose Bowl. Can’t complain too much about that. Go Bucks!!

I decorated the house and tree this weekend (so I wasn’t a total slob just watching sports). Here are some pictures.

This is the first year since 1992 that we haven't had a fireplace to hang the stockings. I think I found a suitable replacement (as long as I don't need inside the cabinet). In this pic, the tree is up, but not decorated (it's a pre-lit tree, so that part of decorating is easy).

Here's a picture of the completely decorated tree. I like how I have lots of room to walk around it! Didn't have that luxury in the old house (at least not where we could see it all the time).

Every year we purchase dated ornaments (have been doing this since our first Christmas as a married couple). In 2003, we started adding a dated Steelers ornament. This one is the ornament I bought at the local Hallmark store. It has a penguin on it!

Here's our dated Steelers ornament. We get them from the Danbury Mint. In fact, they just automatically mail it to us and I had to search for last year's order so the new one would come to the correct house! The things you don't realize when you move until it's almost too late.

So… Are you ready for Christmas? Do you buy dated ornaments? I have most of my shopping done (shocker, huh?) and now the tree is ready for presents. Guess I have to now wrap some stuff. That part I don’t like so much.

Happy Monday!


Friday, November 30, 2018

I Find it Sad...

People have a problem with romance
I love romance. It’s why I write it. Those happy endings make me feel good. Even good beginnings do, like watching someone propose. But when did being romantic in public become intolerable?

A man wants to sing and propose to his significant other on a cruise, in the main dining room, during elegant night. The person he asked, asked for opinions from cruise-goers (this was all via Facebook, by the way).

I couldn’t believe how many people were against this. That it would “ruin” their dinner. Really? I was just flabbergasted at the responses.

The more I’m on Facebook, the more ugly people I encounter. It’s horrible! Why can’t people be nice? It’s a freakin’ cruise; you’re supposed to have FUN. A few minutes away from your meal (which usually isn’t the case—the wait staff entertains diners between dinner & dessert so this request isn’t that much different) can’t be THAT bad. It’s like no one wants to share in someone else’s joy anymore. Sheesh!

Maybe I’m just becoming an old grumpy person. But this really irritated me. And made me sad.

And I was going to end the post with this, until I came across…

People trust websites more than faxes
Bowker, the company that issues ISBNs, got hacked during May through October of this year (yes, during—it wasn’t discovered until October). Lots of people’s credit cards and other personal info were obtained illegally and Bowker shut their website down to stop the hack.

I guess their website is back up now but you can’t purchase the ISBNs from their site until they get the issue resolved. Instead, you have to fax the order in.

It was kind of funny (in a sad way) how so many authors do not TRUST faxes. It wasn’t all that long ago where it was the ONLY way to send in orders. Well, that and MAIL it in. And you know what? I don’t remember people getting hacked all that much back then. Probably because it was HARDER to do. But hey, but what do I know?

Bowker does say that if you don’t want to include your credit card info on the fax order, just to write “call me” and they’ll call you for it.

Hmmm… it wasn’t all that long ago people didn’t trust their phones to give out that information, either.

Apparently I am on a roll, because I also came across…

People trust “the cloud” more than their own disc drives
Software companies who promise you that you can get your documents wherever you are, on whatever device you want, appeal to a lot of people (not me). What’s funny is that these people are SURPRISED when their documents go missing.

I mean, one little hiccup from the software company can cause anything to happen. To depend on them to keep your documents safe at all times is unrealistic.

Yes, I e-mail my manuscripts to myself, which in essence is in “the cloud.” But it’s not the ONLY place I store them. I’ve lost e-mails before, I’ll lose them again I’m sure. Because I don’t trust OTHERS to keep what’s important to ME safe.

Am I old school? Hardly. If I were, I’d PRINT OUT my manuscript every night (or worse, use a—gasp—typewriter). I’m not that bad. I only print it out when I’m finished. Haha!

I don’t like using software that can ONLY be accessed via the Internet when I want to use it (and I won’t use it for my manuscripts). I lose the Internet more often than I like.

Thanks for letting me rant today. Sometimes you just get hit with a bunch of crazy stuff and you want to share.

So… Do you hate public romance? Distrust faxes? Love “the cloud”? Why?

Happy Friday!