Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mocha Dad



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION PAGE: Mocha Dad, published by Frederick J. Goodall


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Learning how to be a better father one day at a time.

MY REVIEW: I really enjoyed this blog. Mr. Goodall writes well, has a sense of humor, and so clearly loves his children. It helps that he also seems to have some pretty cute kids - well brought up and so well-behaved. These are stories that every Dad will enjoy reading. It's fun to see how much fun dads can have with their kids. I think moms, dads and even kids will enjoy this blog, and learn from it, too.

Rocking the Vote

Since my daughter, Nee, has been at her new school, she has really blossomed. I give most of the credit to her teacher, Mrs. Scott.

Mrs. Scott was the first teacher who has really nurtured Nee and pushed her out of her comfort zone. Under Mrs. Scott’s tutelage, Nee has done things that take courage, confidence, and determination.

I was shocked when she informed me that she had decided to run for Student Council. My eyes glazed over as “Hail to The Chief” started playing in my head.

“Don’t get all excited, Dad,” she said. “I’m only doing it because my teacher made me.”

“What do you mean by that?” I asked.

The world would be a better place if all politicians were so adorable.

“She said that I was lazy if I didn’t fill out the nomination form,” she said. “And I don’t want her to think I’m lazy.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked. “Being on the student council is a lot of responsibility.”

“What will I have to do?” she asked.

“You’ll be the voice for your classmates,” my wife, KayEm, explained. “You’ll help to make your school a better place.”

Nee thought about it for a while and then agreed to proceed. As a former student council member, her decision made me very happy.

-Rocking the Vote (Dad and his daughter, student council)
-Old School Hip Hop Meets New School Toddler (Dad and young son learning to dance)
-Freeway of Love (Dad and young son's love of cars)
-The Ultimate Player (checkers with 6 year old son and 8 year old daughter)
-25 Romantic Ideas For Men From Women

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Weight Loss Jedi



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Weight loss Jedi: Lose Weight and Get Fit , by Exxponent Media Network


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Weight-loss tips, equipments, and fitness gadgets.

MY REVIEW: This is a commercial site. What the authors do is describe and rate the "best" in a series of some kind of fitness equipment from push up bards to fitness games, etc. You can then purchase what you like, or at least go via links to the company's home page, to check out each piece of equipment further.

For those looking to lose weight and get fit, I recommend this blog - it lets you know what's out there in the terms of equipment and prices.

--5 Best iPhone Pedometer Applications
--11 Pull up Bars To Get Fit At Home
--9 Pushup Bars To Re-Shape Your Body
--11 Best Adjustable Dumbbells For Intense Weight Training
--7 Best Fitness Games For Wii
--6 Best Fan Exercise Bikes with Air Resistance

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New posting schedule

Now that I've got this new full-time job, I'll be posting in this blog twice a week - on Monday's and Wednesdays.

So the next post for this blog will be on Monday.

Thanks for your patience.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Posts resume this Wednesday

I'm a freelance writer and I am way behind on a job I have to do, so I won't be posting here until Wednesday..

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ancient Digger (archaeology)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Ancient Digger, by Lauren


BLOG DESCRIPTION: An interesting tour into the world of Archaeology and Science. My personal journey on the path to my Doctorate in Archaeology.

As an archaeology aficianado, I really love this blog. The author is an archaology student, and so she is all over the time periods, from the Titanic to ancient British history, etc., but I like that kind of stuff.

The author writes well, and her choices of topic are interesting and well thought out.

If you're interested in archaeology or just history, this is the blog for you.

Sample Post
Medieval Mason's Marks The End of Boxed Furniture
Gone are the days where quality furniture was carved out of one piece of solid wood, or a swivel office chair was already put together, included in the price of course.That must be by I adore the architectural and structural forms of archaeology, whereas things were just built better, and meant to last.

Mason’s Marks refer to marks made on the blocks of walling stone and on moulded stone as part of the construction process, and have been in use for centuries. Academics studying the use of the marks at the University of Warwick claim self-assembly furniture manufacturers could learn a lot from the ancient system and save thousands of pounds in production costs.

The marks are a sophisticated series of symbols which operated outside literacy and enabled instructions to be transferred between the designers and the constructors of buildings across the building world . The system is universal and different versions of Masons’ Marks have been found in use at various sites across the world, over a 4,000 year period.

Read and Watch the Video about the Mason Marks and the end of Flat Pack Furniture@PhysOrg

--Monday Ground Up: Archived Photography of the White Star Line and Her Ships
--TITANIC Tablet Unveiled - Seaman's Institute, Bishop Greer speaking (LOC)
--Medieval Mason's Marks The End of Boxed Furniture
--Heinrich Himmler, Nazi Occultism , and Astrology
--Oldest Remains of English Royalty Finally Confirmed

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cool Cat Teacher Blog


MY RECOMMENDATION: YES, with reservations

AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Cool Cat Teacher Blog, by Vicki Davis


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Award winning classroom technology teacher, IT director and parent talks about education, technology, students, teachers, effective use of technology, and how to connect students around the world with projects in meaningful global collaboration using powerful social media tools.

More than just teaching and technology, Cool Cat Teacher also shares inspiration and motivation for lifelong learning and harnessing tools in productive ways to improve your life!

Blogs, wikis, ebooks, iTouch's, cell phones, and virtual worlds are all part of this blog with real world examples from the classroom and around the world. It is time to stop blocking these amazing tools and using them in the classroom to promote learning!

Vicki Davis has three children and has created massive global collaborative projects including the Flat Classroom Project, Digiteen Digital Citizenship and has been featured by bestselling books by Thomas Friedman (the World is Flat), Don Tapscott (Grown Up Digital) and Curtis Bonk (the World is Open.)

She loves to have fun and use technology but also believes in balance. Stay up to date on current classroom practice with technology.

MY REVIEW: The author seems to post twice daily. One half of the posts are education and technology news, and are links - too much of a hassle to get on the web and read them. But the other post is a normal one, you get the entire feed, and it's worth reading if you're a teacher or a parent with kids in school.

School starts in only a month? Wow, how time flies.

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Retro Review: The Indie Spotlight





BLOG DESCRIPTION: A blog dedicated to showcasing Independent and Self Published authors for readers looking for fresh, new content.

MY REVIEW: Before I get into my complaints - which are more on the website than on the blog, let me say that I heartily recommend this blog to anyone who is a writer, wants to be a writer, or wants to know what the writing life is like.

Having said that...I found the title of the blog/website confusing, because to me, "Indies" are independent movies, whereas self-published books are...well, self-published books. "Selfies" maybe?

The website has more content then appears in the blog. For example there's an interview with Mark Jeffrey, author of the Max Quick series, that I never would have gotten to read if I hadn't visited the website as well as taken a look at the blog on Kindle. It appears that what gets fed to the Kindle is their "Features" section, and perhaps their "articles" section...

Truth to tell, I found the website poorly designed and confusing... although that just may be me. ; )

But, this is definitely another blog I'd prefer to read on the Kindle rather than at the website home, because it is just so much easier to take a look at the list of titles and decide which one you want to read, then to gaze at a bland and confusingly laid out website.

Each entry consists of a brief bio of an author, then an interview, and then an excerpt from the book in question. If you're interested in the writing process, and how writer's work, you'll enjoy this blog.

Here are a few paragraphs from the one article that fed through into my Kindle:
Logic vs Illogic – Hanging the Lanterns
by Edward C. Patterson

So you’ve finished your draft and have all your ducks in a row. You’re ready for the revision and, as you do your read-through, you begin to second-guess the logic of specific elements in your work. These logic flaws sometimes sneak up and stymie when you least expect them. Some are easy, continuity problems and relatively routine to fix. However, others are like quicksand. The more you try to resolve them, the more damage control you need to apply.

To my mind, there are four categories of logic lapses:

1. Continuity
2. Poor Research
3. Counter-active
4. Global

Continuity and Poor Research are the easiest to fix. They are also the elements most evident to editors, long before readers get their mitts on your book. Continuity is a lapse in memory. Simply put:

Paragraph one:

Tom inherited his wonderfully green eyes from his mother.

Paragraph two-hundred and eighty:

Suddenly, Tom’s eyes changed from blue to gold signifying the presence of Sydney’s spirit.

You might laugh, but I have in one of my novels a possession sequence, which has a blue-eyed character possessed by a green-eyed character. The effect was perfect, except I had the eye coloring wrong at two ends of the novel. Now because the continuity error was separated by nearly 200 pages, the reader may never had noticed, but never underestimate the reader.

The simpler paragraph-to-paragraph continuity lapses scarcely need mention. We all know that things that are pocketed are suddenly out in the open or pocketed twice. Characters leave twice, or never enter. However, in my opinion, the worse logic lapse is ignorance – the lack of proper research. Many times, we will make it up as we go along, and many times, we can get away with it. However, even if it is for short stretches, we, as authors, owe our readers a proper look and feel.

For example:

Sergeant O’Hara finished relieving himself in the muddy ditch, and then zipped up his fly.

Considering the above sentence is extracted from a Civil War novel, and the zipper wasn’t invented yet, it is anachronistic slop, which could have been avoided if the writer had taken some time to research Civil War uniforms in all their richness.

-Gail Smith - The Cattle on a Thousand Hills (Feb 25, 2010)
-Kristen J. Tsetsi - Homefront (Feb 24, 2010)
-K. Raven Rozier - Last Door (Feb 23, 2010)
-J. Dean - The Summoning of Clade Josso (Feb 22, 2010)
-Logoc vs Illogic - Hanging the Lanterns (Feb 21, 2010)
-Dana E. Donovan - Abandoned (Feb 20, 2010)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free Kindle Book!: The Sound of Many Waters

The Sound of Many Waters

I just downloaded it today, and haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's free only until December 6, so why not download it now if it sounds interesting to you? After that, the cost for the book is only $3.99 for the Kindle edition. It's also available on Paperback.

The Sound of Many Waters follows two interwoven journeys separated by four centuries.
Dominic, a ruthless New World conquistador, is the proud captain of a gold-filled galleon sailing home to Spain. But when a hurricane sinks his ship off the coast of La Florida and the native Timucuans take him captive, Dominic must fight to survive in an unfamiliar world.

In the present day, Capt. Zane Fisher--a recovering addict--cannot seem to escape the shadow of his tragic past. When a peculiar client charters his boat for what seems like a routine fishing trip off the coast of Palm Beach, they find a mysterious floating package and Zane is forced to flee into Florida's dark underbelly. Despite the four centuries that divide them, Dominic and Zane each discover the same extraordinary secret--one kept hidden in the wilds of Florida for eons--and their stories converge in an incredible way.

Bicycle Touring Pro



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Bicycle Touring Pro, by Darren Alff


BLOG DESCRIPTION: is a website aimed at those interested in bicycle touring and long distance travel.

Here you will find:

- A repository of useful articles for bicycle travelers. The articles are aimed to help you with all aspects of planning, preparing for and executing a short or long distance bicycle tour.

- A collection of audio recordings about long distance travel. You can listen to the recordings at any time through your computer speakers.

- Fresh content is added regularly. New content includes audio interviews with bicycle tourists and long distance travelers, how-to instructional articles and videos, as well as news and information from the world of bicycle travel.

MY REVIEW: Readers really get the trifecta with this blog - bicycling tips, bicycling gear and travel info.

The articles are well written, informative, and illustrated with photos. You get no-holds-barred reviews of new cycling gear, as well as reviews of travel destinations.

I enjoyed this blog a lot, every serious bicyclist will.

Kindle Readers – Get Free Lodging For Your Travels
You can now download The Ultimate Guide To Free Lodging for the Amazon Kindle. Click...

The Bicycle Touring Pro’s 4×9 List
I saw this on Alastair Humphrey’s website. He saw it on Ben Saunders’....

Hybrid Backpack – The All Purpose Bicycle Carrier
The Hybrid Backpack is a product designed to help you carry odd-sized items on your...

The Village Of Arrow Rock: A National Historic Landmark
The tiny village of Arrow Rock is located 13 miles north of I-70 on Hwy 41 in Saline...

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Lost tales of Mercia (web fiction serial)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: The Lost Tales of Mercia Webserial, by Jayden Woods


BLOG DESCRIPTION: “The Lost Tales of Mercia” is a series of ten short stories set in England near the end of the Viking Age. Though fictional, they are heavily researched and feature many real historical figures as described in the ancient texts of the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.” They are intended to portray what might have and could have happened. These quick reads will entertain and educate at the same time. Read the stories in any order; though interconnected, they do not follow each other chronologically, and each tale stands alone.

The stories will be released every other Tuesday until October 5th. On that day the full book, "Eadric the Grasper," releases on
MY REVIEW: I love historical novels, and this is an excellent one. Well-researched and well written. Cost for the blog is only $1.99 a month (the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks!) and for that you get a complete novel without having to wait until October.

Since you get a 2-week free subscription to decide if you like it, why not check it out and see what you think of the writing and the story?

Sample post:
History of the Danelaw

AKA the Danelagh, Seven Burroughs, Five Burghs, Seven Towns

The “Danelaw,” a term referring to the areas of ancient England in which the Danes ordained the law, originated near the year 880 A.D. During this time, King Alfred of the West Saxons and King Guthrum of the Vikings fought until both sides experienced severe losses. Most notably, Alfred defeated Gurthrum in the 878 Battle of Ethandun. But by then, many Danes had already settled throughout northeastern England.

The two Kings attempted to reach some semblance of peace with another. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states in its entry for 880 A.D.: “This year went the army from Cirencester into East-Anglia, where they settled, and divided the land.” The year the actual treaty took place is a matter of debate, but Kevin Crossley-Holland states it thus:

“… after he had beaten them at Edington, Alfred seems to have regained the initiative to such a degree that the Danes decided to make peace with him. As part of the new understanding between Alfred and Guthrum, the leader of the Danes agreed to be christened. In 886, the two men drew up a momentous treaty dividing England into two parts – Wessex and Danelaw.”

–Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Anglo-Saxon World, pg. 36


--History of the Danelaw
--The Fifth Lost Tale: Alfgifu the Orphan
--History of Athelward the Historian
--The Fourth Lost Tale: Athelward the Historian

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death