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Friday, December 20, 2013

Obstacles by Christopher Michael Reardon



I enjoyed reading this book.  The action is fast paced and the goal of the main character is clear.  In the beginning, I had to work a bit to get into the story, but I was hooked when the adventure begun.  At times, I might have lost my place a few times, but I am likely to credit that to my three 3-hour exams in 27 hours-span.  I started reading this book 2 hours after I finished my 3rd exam.  I was desperate to decompress and read anything not law related.  

Having to work to get into the book does not mean the book is not good.  This book is good and entertaining.  It even reminded me a little bit on Diana Gabaldon's Voyager. I had to start and re-start reading that book about 7 times before I was hooked.  And then I read everything in that series.  There are thousands and thousands of pages on that book.

Christopher Reardon is a promising author.  I can almost see this book turning into a movie.  It lends itself well to having that sort of movement and scenario that would make a good movie.  I felt that way when I was reading Taken by Robert Crais.  And then, a few months after I had read that book, it was a movie with Bruce Willis in it.

If you also want to read this book, leave a comment and I'll send my copy to one of the commenter.  (If commenter is from overseas, I'll send you an e-book as printed books takes a long time to arrive.)

Description: A child will die. You're afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he's lost in paranoia.

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott's horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn't right.

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man's obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari's life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.

Death's claws shall not grasp Gari's soul.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gruntled



One day at work at Jon's company, he realized that everyone was talking to him.  "Excuse me Mr. Narrator but I can't hear you." Jon's company had a day where everyone cannot understand each other.  "Well did you hear what I said, TALK LOUDER!"  One particularly disgruntled person said, "If I cannot be heard, I might as well use some head phones the wesc headphones at musicians friend.  It is not like any one is letting me talk!"  Jon realized that all his co-worker found him quite annoying.  His co-workers cut him off mid-sentence.  Jon said,  "Thank you.  I can hear your insults loud and clear now. You do not have to tell me that you are wearing headphones.  I can see."  Time is up.  You know you did not help at all by complaining.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Almost There


Happiness right now means being ready for that exam tomorrow. I have been very irresponsible with my limited time.   But, I think spending time with my family is time well-spent.   I always feel this way.  Towards the end of a semester, or a pregnancy, or any activity...I just want it over--yesterday!  But alas, I cannot hurry time.

Now, back to studying LegReg, Wills, and FamilyLaw. Thursday at 931pm can't come fast enough for me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Going to Town on Online Shopping

On a walk around Garden of the Gods - a place I would totally hang out often if I live in Colorado Springs


So, my husband went to town on Amazon shopping. He bought different kinds of headphone. He listens to audio lectures and music a lot, so he's on a hunt for that perfect headset. One of the ones he really like is a Sennheiser headphones. It required an adopter because it came with that big thingy. So now, he'll be thrilled to get a matching new sennheiser microphones at musicians friend. Did I mention he also creates podcasts?  He's waited this long to get those electronics in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Life Is Beautiful

This postcard was waiting for me when I got home from an overnight stay in Fort Worth. I had two exams within 10 hours of each other, but the first one ended at 11pm. Hence, the overnight stay.

I have third exam today. After which, I'll only have two more. I'm that much closer to my goal.  Thanks to my husband and kids, my mother and my sister for helping me juggle all my bad in the air while I study for my finals. 

The country code for the card is SI for Slovenia. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Passionate

my son playing at a UIL - I forgot what that means..but it's a contest from different schools


There has not been music lessons for my kids for the last 6 weeks. I had five final exams and I needed the weekends to make sure I am adequately prepared. I have a son who plays the bass, and I think it would be great for him to play classic modulus bass guitars as well. Besides, it is certainly more portable that the orchestral bass. He is very passionate about his bass.  I think he could be passionate about bass guitars too. All bands need at least one.  He's really smart and fast learner in all things he set out to do.  He could be really good at this, too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kindle Fire HD Raffle for Charity

“I'm very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences.” – from Completely Flappable
Don’t you just hate it when you have a thousand little thoughts rattling around your brain, good for nothing but keeping you up at night? Ideas, worries, mental reminders for the next day? My voices can get pretty insistent, and mostly this is a nuisance, but sometimes it’s okay, when there’s a story idea or two among the ramblings. And rarely, very rarely, I get what I think is a really good idea, but one that I don't know what to do with. For instance, a while ago it occurred to me that it’s probably not governments or big corporations that wield the world’s greatest financial power. I think it’s us. All the little people together. Then I started wondering what could happen if we all decided to set 1 month of our incomes aside towards fixing this place up a bit. How many of the world’s problems could we actually solve permanently? Half of them, maybe? All of them? That's a pretty cool picture. But I’m a pretty dim light when it comes to implementing even small ideas, never mind the big ones. So I’m not sure how to get that ball rolling (heck, I'm not even sure where we keep the balls). But I can certainly start with myself. That’s easy enough (I’ve been in close contact with myself for years; I didn't have much trouble convincing myself.) So, this December, all proceeds of all my novels will go to Child Helpline International. The CHI is pretty cool because they support toll-free child helplines worldwide and they help highlight gaps in child protection systems. They do all this on donations (click the image below for more information.)
But what does all this have to do with you? Well, I'm raffling off some prizes and giving out some freebees to boost the donation (expenses out of my own pocket, not the donation :P ) So what's in it for you, besides that warm, fuzzy feeling you'll get knowing the Xmas presents you’re buying include an automatic donation? Well, how about I give you the new edition to the award winning No Hope for Gomez saga completely free?
And how about a Kindle Fire HD raffle ticket with every purchase while we’re at it?
Simply forward your receipt emails to nohopeforgomez@gmail.com to participate. And now, on to the pitch. This is the bit where I try to convince you, using only my words, that my novels don’t suck (or at least, not too much.) That they won’t only tickle your brain, but they’ll actually make your life better, if only marginally. That they are, in fact, worthy donation material. Here goes (fingers crossed)...
Paper: $6.08 Kindle:$2.99 (uk paper, kindle)

No Hope for Gomez!

Winner of the Forewords Book of the Year Awards, featured on Kirkus Best Indie List 2011, IBA and USA Book News Award nominee.

It's the age-old tale:   Boy meets girl.   Boy stalks girl.   Girl already has a stalker.   Boy becomes her stalker-stalker. We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly.

"Extremely witty writing containing keen insights into human nature." --California Chronicle "Challenges the way we think about, and interact with, the world around us." --Kirkus Discoveries "The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius."--Reader's Favorite

Unspent Time

Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%*

(*These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence)

Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time. Time that was allotted but never spent. In this realm we find the stories that could have been true. Such as the story of the designer of the color scheme used inside your shoe, or the story of Goki Feng Ho: the Chinese art of decoding the secret meaning of car license plates.
Paper: $6.08 Kindle:$2.99 ePub : $2.99 (uk paper, kindle)

“Captivating. Each story fired up my imagination.” – Alan H. Jordan, author. "Delightfully mad. Graham's vibrant characters shine from the first page." --Tahlia Newland, author.

Free with this event

Completely Flappable

“He’s completely flappable!” “Don’t you mean he’s unflappable?” “Not really. He can very easily be flapped.”

Gomez has never been on a date. In his 27 years on the planet he’s never been able to quite close the deal. For some reason, circumstances always conspire to make his meet-ups with women less than official dates. But now a blond German girl with freckles has moved into his building and he decides it’s time to get his act together.
If you've read this far, you're already my hero ;) I hope you like my idea enough to join me in this fun adventure. Let's see how much we can raise this Xmas ;) Kind regards, Graham Parke

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Is An App World Out There

a shop window at Manitou Springs..that's my 4th child's head

My husband was lured by Nokia Lumia because he wanted the 50 GB camera on the phone. I wanted the bigger camera (GB-size) too, but considering my life runs by apps lately, I cannot leave iPhone until other platforms have as many apps as.  My class notes is available all over my devices with DropBox. I know that other phones have it, but it is not as easy to use.  Ease of use is important to me.   That said, ff you are a real estate agent, check out goconnect iphone app. It is an amazing app. In fact, if I was not bound for law school, I would consider turning into a real estate agent so I could use this app. On the other hand, it might just be final exam panic talking. Still, that app is amazing.  I know because I have tried it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

On The Way to Pikes Peak


I found it surprising that nothing grew on top of Pikes Peak.  Somehow, I imagined it full of pine trees!  But it was filled with rocks and Boulders.  I guess when it's that high up, atmosphere and top soil is pretty thin.

I was just thinking about it today.  I have final exam in 6 days. I have 3 in a row. The stakes are high.  Law Review Journal is at stake!  The free entrance that is.  Otherwise, I could always write on, but auto-entrance is way nicer, I think.

Wish me luck!

Looking For A Ring?

 
 When I first got my wedding ring, my finger size barely made it to 4.  Then I have five children, gain lots of weight, and now, I need a 6.  During my pregnancies, I have reached size 7.  I am still wearing that wedding band, but it keeps falling off. In fact, I was reaching for something in class the other day, and off my ring flew, hit my professor's nicely polished cowboy boots.  It landed 3 inches safely his heels.  My professor did not miss a beat.  I thought my husband should check out Reeds.com wedding ring sets for my new ring. I bet they would have my size.  I am just wearing my plain platinum band, but it has lots of scratches it in.  Platinum might be the strongest metal to hold on to your solitaire, but I would pick a different metal for a plain band. I'd go for gold or silver.  Still, this wedding band is not so bad, but I would not mind a new one.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Today' Flower


my roses are blooming again

orchid from Tom Thumb
I am thrilled to see my rose bush is blooming again. I thought for sure that it was dead last summer when all the leaves fell off the bush.  It is fast become a tree...and I have no clue how to trim it.  The orchids are from the grocery store.  I have about one dozen small ones in my home. They are all rescued orchid which I got from Lowes Home Improvement Store.  Rescued because they were almost dead when I got them.  However, I lost 6 of them after about a year.  I either watered them too much, or not enough, or perhaps, my children decided to give it soda or orange juice -- I am not sure.  But, the bottom line is, my once healthy rescue orchid are now dead.

Anyway, I thought I'd take a break from taking practice exams and post my flowers today. I have back-to-back five finals starting December 3.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Camera Critters

 
I am not really sure if Angry Birds candy qualify as a camera critter, but it sure was very sweet and delicious so long as the gag reflex does not kick from so much sugar.

 
My study buddy. He stares are me and then barks if I take my eyes off the pages of the book, or when I pick up my iPhone.

 
He he is wrapped up in blanket because my kids thinks he's a doll...and this lovely dog would let them.
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If I Could Keep Time In A Bottle


 

It is that time of year when I have this panicky feeling in my chest.  This is how much time I have til my first exam.  I have five.  The first three are bunched so close together, that if I am not ready by the 3rd of December, I am likely to have the grades I do not want.  I can pass with what I have now, but that is not my goal.  I want better than passing. I want my As.  So, I better have a game plan and stick to it.  That hearbeat that you hear is mine.  It beats just a bit faster each time I think about how it is going to be if I keep messing up my schedule and watch TV on weekends!

It's A Musical Family


I have gone through so many storage device. I take many pictures.  I need  a place to store them.  There are plenty of choices, but having to make a choice is quite difficult.  I did not realized that I still need a power source for them. Sometimes, I find it too much of a bother having to find a free outlet.    We are a musical family, and soon, we will need better instruments and device to record all these creativity.  My 9 year old had decided to play the cello because his only sister plays the violin, his older brother plays the bass.  I was thrilled to hear that my budding cello player is going to be good enough to compete at the all-city-band competition next year.  There is a good chance he'll win. Yay!

Violin Solo at Half-time Show


My daughter used to play for the orchestra. However, she was longing for a newer songs to play than the orchestra is playing.  As a result, this year, my daughter gave up being a concert master to play with the band.  She's happy to bang away on a marimba.  She's a whole lot busier too.  There's a game almost every Friday night.  This band has certainly changed the way our Friday nights go.  The conductor or whatever you call the person who directs the band, thought it might be a great idea to have her play the violin.  I wonder if what we have is going to be enough to get her heard over the volume of people and other loud band instruments.  I am excited for her.  It is not every day one gets an offer to play solo about something.  I am actually looking forward to it.  My daughter's band playlist includes music from Twilight, the movie.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rainy and Cloudy Fall

I like taking pictures when the clouds look wet and gray. I just don't like to drive in it.  I drive past this sight four days a week, but most of the time, it is near midnight.  The view is quite different.  And, since I am alone in the car, I cannot take night picture while driving.  It doesn't seem safe. These are taken with my iPhone 5. No editing or filters.  I like the subtle brush strokes of the clouds.  These are my sky watch.



Monday, September 23, 2013

A Birthday Weekend

I have two children having birthday this weekend. The girl turned sixteen on the 21st, and my 3rd child, a boy, turned 12 today.  They both said no to a birthday party, but they both wanted to spend time at the rock climbing gym.  Four out of 5 children went with me. The youngest boy decided not to go.  This is my Ruby Red Tuesday entry.

The girl is my eldest child, and the boy in red is my second child.  He belayed for his sister last Sunday.  The boy in blue in the back, middle is my 4th child.  He's 9, and he's preferred to use the  auto-belay.  It seemed like he didn't quite trust anybody not to drop him too fast on the way down.  I was told by his summer guitar camp teachers that he's got an extraordinary talent of playing the guitar.  I always take what teachers told me with a grain (or a bucket of salt) because I think teachers like to say nice things about your kids.  However, when others who heard him play say the same, I am starting to believe that maybe he really is good at guitars.

This is my 14 year old boy.  He excels at leadership. He has a knack for herding recalcitrant kids.  Must come with the territory of having three younger brothers, all of them headstrong.

I have to say that my children have an unusual athletic prowess and aptitude to learn.  No matter what they undertake: physical things or instrumental learning, they will excel at it.  It has always been that way, and I take it for granted until someone reminds me that this is the the normal way of things.  It just happen to be normal for my children.

This boy in blue is 12 years old today.  He's scary smart (said one of his teacher).  He has a high functioning autism, but he's getting more and more social each year.  He's also got an extraordinary aptitude in math, sciences and an extraordinary capacity to use words I thought I would never hear outside a book.

Needless to say, I am quite proud of my kids.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Things Thursday

This was taken at New Mexico's Mount Capulin volcano monument. We drove up and walked down to the crater floor.  They have signs about snakes, but we did not find any.  After about half an hour of wandering around the place, we were ready to leave when a park ranger started giving talk about types of volcanic debris that comes out during the explosion.  He even had samples of them and we could hold it and examine it while he was talking about it.

It was literally a small sign, well, several signs really after leaving Colorado and heading south to Texas.  But it was an after-thought of a detour.  And for such a little thing, we ended up with so much.  Memories of the children enjoying the walk to the crater floor and the look of slight disappointment that it was not spewing smoke.  After all, it used to be a volcano.  So, I'm glad to find Little Things Thursday meme because now, I can recall this detour from our trip.  An after thought that turned out to be a lovely memory.

Also, because I really needed to do something short that does not involve a plaintiff or a defendant. 
one of the samples, and I could not remember the name

at Mount Capulin, 1st week of August

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Anti-Camera Daughter

I was thrilled that my daughter posed for me last Sunday.  She would usually run the other way when I have my camera up.  I am glad that phase seem to be over.  We went to Rockwall outdoor mall. It is by a lake. We had a nice lunch at Ruby Tuesday with a friend.  We even get to walk to the lighthouse after the meal.

This fountain was located at the front of the mall. Cinemark theather is located behind her.  We did not have time to see any movie.  But, I can see that on a cooler day, this would be a good place to just walk around and think.

I will be back. It was only an hour round trip.
Just directly outside the restaurant

at the fountain in front

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Red Shortage

There is never going to be a RubyTuesday shortage here. It has become our family tradition to wear red when we go to Six Flags Over Texas.  Hence, red shirts every where.  I have no clue how it got started, but I have a feeling Target is to blame.  About 9 years ago, I bought some red shirts which says,
"Someday, I'll be your boss"
 I bought so many that when my 5th child turned 4, he started wearing that red shirt, too.  And then it just become a habit.  I like the visibility. My husband does, too.




Friday, September 13, 2013

Shod It!


 “She had the underwear of a thirteen-year-old, as well, he thought. He glanced back at her. But the shoes of a courtesan.”
― Anne Stuart, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes

I always have this on-going love-affair for shoes. One time, I have over 200 pairs. I was horrified at the number. So, I donated the lot to Goodwill, leaving me with just two dozens.  However,less than a year later, my collection was growing again.  It did not take me too long to accumulate more. I now settled for a good number. Three dozen at any one time, including flip-flops and sneakers.  I think that is a decent number.

I really love the spikes on this shoes pictured below.  I would buy one if I found a pair that fits.   It also looks like it has a comfortable arch. I do not like those shoes with too high of an arch. It does not feel sexy when I wear them because I cannot get past the pain.

a pair of shoe from one of the shops in Union Square

almost got a pair, but they don't have my size

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Skywatching at Pike's Peak

Some sky watch pictures I took on our August vacation to Colorado Springs.  I somehow thought that at the top of the mountain I would see a lot of trees.  That is not the case. It is very barren out there.  The view is still very singular.  I am now wondering if all mountain tops are like that, nearly barren, rocky and cold.

We had a lot of fun riding up the mountain on the trip.  I saw many animals on the way.  I am particularly impressed with the squirrel from Colorado. They look weird.  Other animals that I thought were squirrels turned out to be not. My kids assured me I saw a beaver.

I felt the thin air at the mountain top.  It made my head dizzy.  However, my children seem to take to it okay as they were still rushing to and fro all over the place.  I was careful to look over the sides of the steep drops. I believe I was dizzy enough to tumble down, head over heels. 

on the way to Pike's Peak -- this is Colorado's gravel

at the peak of Pikes Peak, but still inside the train

the train we rode to Pike's Peak, a cog-railway train

the air was very thin here, view towards Colorado Springs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I for Invention

My boys decided to build a bridge using boxes and tapes.  After about 20 minutes of planning, they came up with a prototype.  They wanted to build a bridge strong enough to hang 2 40-pound dumb bells.  I was not quite sure why that particular set of weights.  But, with tape, I thought they could not do it.  I decided to let them find out for themselves.

After two days, they found out that they need ropes and tapes together.  So, my ABC Wednesday is the boy's invention about a box and loads of sticky tape.

And, for not particular reason at all, or maybe because it itches, I got a bug bite on my left triceps.  I have no idea what kind of bug, but it sure is itchy and the welt is getting bigger.




Monday, September 9, 2013

Walk Like Silly Walk

Here are my Ruby Red entry.  We were just leaving Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, Colorado after almost 8 hours of hanging around there.  Evidently, they still have left-over energy.  What a fun day it was.  It also happens to the the day my sister gave birth to her 3rd child, a girl named Eve.  She was supposed to arrive a week after.  So, I missed it.