Friday, April 27, 2012

Retro Review #42: Everything Dinosaurs

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: Everything about dinosaurs!

MY REVIEW: I love this blog, and any fan of dinosaurs - from the toys to the movies to the real thing, will love it too. The main emphasis is on models of dinosaurs.

Sample post
Dolichorhynchops – Monster from the Western Interior Seaway
With the mysterious decline in Ichthyosaur numbers towards the end of the Cretaceous, a new type of marine reptile evolved to take their place as a predator of fish, squid and octopi in the shallow sea that covered much of North America. This sea is known as the Western Interior Seaway and at its greatest extent is effectively split the United States into two. Fossils of Dolichorhynchops have been found at a number of locations, but the most famous fossils and the holotype material come from Kansas.

This short-necked Plesiosaur is represented by a new model (CollectA) which will be available next year. A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commmented that although there had been one or two delays at the factory, the “Dollies” as they are affectionately called are going to be shipped into the Everything Dinosaur warehouse probably in February.

It is an interesting pose, scientists remain unsure as to whether this stiff-limbed, Plesiosaur could haul itself onto land like modern turtles. Or did this animal, which could grow to over five metres long spend its entire life in the water?

The jaws seemed to be lined with a lot of sharp, pointed teeth, just what is needed when you live on a diet of slippery marine creatures. We are not sure wherther Dolichorhynchops genera had this many teeth (perhaps as many as forty in the jaws) – we will have to “bone up” on this Late Cretaceous vertebrate.

--Mapusaurus Enters the Fray
--Neanderthal Figures from CollectA
--Kosmoceratops – Amazing Horned Dinosaur
--A Reminder about Christmas Posting Dates [posting as in mailing]
--Dolichorhynchops – Monster from the Western Interior Seaway
--Knocking T. rex of[f] its Perch

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breast Cancer - Fight for your life

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: This blog was created to help guide the newly diagnosed through fear, denial and then to survival and thriving. Know you are not alone. Many people survive breast cancer. Don't give up - ever!!! You're just too important to the people who love you.

MY REVIEW: If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer - or know someone who has, this is an invaluable blog.

The author is a breast cancer survivor - here's her story: I am a breast cancer survivor diagnosed in 2008. Two years later my breast cancer metastisized to my spine and liver. Current diagnosis is "NED" (No Evidence of Disease), but I know how fragile a diagnosis this can be. It's important to keep yourself at optimum health with diet and exercise to keep this disease at bay. It's not always easy, but you and I both need to group together so that we can SURVIVE and THRIVE.

So check it out.


Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Retro Review #44: Classic Mysteries





BLOG DESCRIPTION: Podcasts, reviews and conversations about fine mysteries worth reading and re-reading.

MY REVIEW: I love this blog. A definite must subscribe, if you are any kind of a mystery fan.

Truth to tell, I was raised on the classic mysteries Les Blatt talks about here, so much so that I return to them again and again, instead of the modern stuff written these days that is too gruesome for my taste, or just so much pap. (How many middle-aged women with cranky mothers or otherwise disfunctional families can operate a catering service or a bed and breakfast or a dog walking business and on and on).

Okay, inconsistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. I normally discourage subscribing to blogs that make you click on a link to be taken to the complete article... but with this blog, it's worth it. Also, a few of the reviews are podcasts, which you can't hear on the Kindle. But, when you come across a book and Blatt's prose makes you curious to know more, then you can bop on over to his website and take a listen.

-Book Printing: the way it was
-Looking back: Vintage Ngaio Marsh
-"Death of a Peer"
-Looking back: "Trent" and the Imperfect Detective
-Agatha Nominees
-"The Poisoned Chocolates Case"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Retro Review #44: Go with the Floski (phot)ography


MY RECOMMENDATION: YES, with reservations



BLOG DESCRIPTION: Technomads blogging the U.S.A. like never before photographing spectacular, compelling, offbeat, utterly unforgettable cool places. We're the new breed of geeky gypsies livin' the dream on the road by summer and skiing Tahoe in winter! New photos/videos are uploaded to our photo blog frequently, follow it today!

MY REVIEW: I hate to give this blog a bad review, as the photos are pretty nice -- on their website. But with the greyscale of the Kindle, the photos really do suffer in translation.

Each post has several photos of each particular site.

Bookmark this blog if you like photos of American scenery. Try a Kindle subscription if you're satisfied with greyscale photos.

-Snow at Sierra in Tahoe
-Alice in Chains Concert
-Lake Tahoe, California
-Welcome to CAlifornia
-Mono Basin Scenic Area
-Crab Cooker Hot Spring, CA

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Retro Review #43: Ars Technica (science)





BLOG'S DESCRIPTION: Ars Technica offers news and reviews, analysis of technology trends, and expert advice on topics ranging from the most fundamental aspects of technology to the many ways technology is helping us enjoy our world.

MY REVIEW: If you're a gamer of any kind, this is the blog for you. Indeed, despite the blog's description on its Amazon webpage, that does seem to be it focus - the technology of gaming on computers, on ipads and Iphones, and so on.

Even if you're not into gaming, the technology covered here is interesting, and stuff that frankly, any member of a technological society needs to know about. Any gaming technology is also technology that will find its way into the real world eventually, from our movies to how our computers operate.

Check this blog out via the Kindle free two-week tryout, and I think you'll continue your subscription after that.

-The A4 and the A8: secrets of the iPad's brain
-They won't see you coming: the XAI Laser Mouse with LCD
-My oil droplet is smarter than your lab mouse
-Weird Science finds marriage can kill
-Week in gaming: Bad Company 2, Mario Galaxy 2, Steam
-Week in tech: we're all so predictable

Monday, April 16, 2012

Retro Review #42: Nanny Goats in Panties (humor)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Nanny Goats in Panties, published by Margaret Andrews


BLOG DESCRIPTION: This blog humorously observes the planet and its occupants, complains vociferously, participates in ironic self-destruction, and displays the occasional ruminant. With or without undergarments.

MY REVIEW: Well, the unifying theme of this blog is the author's liking of goats. And the photos she shares do make them look cute. (Well, babies of any species...well, most mammalian species, anyway, look cute). Other than that, she blogs about her day, and yes, it is indeed humorous. She does have a sharp sense of humor. Indeed, her entry entitled "The Dangers of Shopping Alone" is hilarious.

If I were the type of person who liked to have a smile with my morning coffee, before getting on with my day, I'd love this blog. It's a lot more amusing than those silly "Joke a day" blogs.

But then most humor blogs I've reviewed, such as Midlife Musings, to name only one, are funnier than those pointless "Joke a Day" blogs.

So I'd say give this blog a chance (in particular seek out "The Dangers of Shopping Alone" in the archives, if you're reading this review much after March 1, 2010).

Here's some sample paragraphs:
California is from Mars, Arizona is from Venus
Oh sure, when we checked in to the Hilton hotel in Tucson, Arizona, it seemed innocuous. Pretty, even.

We should have known when we bore witness to grass at this so-called hotel, that something was afoot. I don't know if you non-Arizonians know this, but people in many parts of Arizona, especially the desert-like Tucson area, do not have grass. Let alone the green variety.

What, you don't believe me? Have I ever lied to you? Okay, one time! But I was protecting not only myself but the poor frog too. I mean we were both young and stupid and he had his tadpoles to think of. I'm not proud of what I did, but we both moved on and I was sort of hoping you'd have more compassion than you are displaying right now, quite frankly. Also? I can't walk into my laundry room with the swamp photo wallpaper without breaking down, but I must soldier on because it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

So, besides that one time, have I ever lied to you? If you're hesitating, let me help you. The answer is no. I haven't. In fact, I have proof of said lack of grass in Arizona. Here is my Tucsonian friend's front yard, sans grass:

-The Dangers of Shopping Alone (March 1, 2010)
-Goat Thing of the Day: Goat-Minded Sheep (Feb 25, 2010)
-California is from Mars, Arizona is from Venus (Feb 22, 2010)
-Goat Thing of the Day: A Belated Valentine. And Childhood Goat Trauma (Feb 19, 2010)
-Tucson, Arizona is a Big Bully (Feb 17, 2010)

Mommy and Love

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: My name is Monica. I recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in International Studies and minor in Religious Studies. I am married to the most wonderful guy I know and we have a baby girl named Amelia June who was born July 10, 2011. I was inspired to start this blog due to my ability to talk non-stop about having a baby. I am so excited! Since I am younger many of my friends are not even thinking about having children, let alone being close to marriage so I can't ramble on and on expecting them to feel the same excitement. Hence, a new blog has been birthed!

I have another blog, Fricken' Fashionable where I give fashion tips and information for teen and young adult women. I have a small section on Maternity Fashion in case you're interested in cheap, easy ways to maintain your fashion style throughout pregnancy.

Please feel free to leave comments and/or personal experiences beneath individual posts. I respond quickly to those comments. :) If you don't want to leave a comment, I can also be reached by email. To remain updated with current posts please follow my blog and/or follow me on Twitter. ThAnKs!

My Interests
* Traveling, Foreign Languages, Culture, Religion, Philosophy
* Beach Volleyball, Swimming, Working Out [Health & Fitness]
* Hiking, Backpacking, Biking
* Gardening, Animals, Beautiful Sceneries
* Fashion, Style, Sewing, Beauty
* Reading, Writing, Blogging
* Music, Piano, Singing, Guitar
* Arts & Crafts, Decorating, DIY Projects
* Games, Being w/Family & Friends, Parties
* Cooking, Baking, Attempting New Recipes
* And many, many more!

This is a fun blog written by a new mommy, one with a wide variety of interests. Her posts aren't the run-of-the-mill mommy posts either, as evidenced below.

So check it out.

Sample post

What Do Baby Kicks Feel Like?
Before I could feel my baby move in my belly, I was always curious to know what women meant when they asked, "Do you feel flutters?" or "Do you feel the butterflies yet?" I didn't have a clue and I was dying to find out fast. I wanted to be included in this special moment that so many pregnant women were experiencing. The only thing I felt at 16 weeks pregnant was pressure in my lower abdomen, which many times turned out to be excess gas. Once or twice a week, I began feeling "something" in my belly. This "something" I knew to be the baby but I also thought my mind was playing tricks on me.
For any ladies in the same situation as I was, Have No Fear! You will feel tremendous amounts of movement sooner than you expect. I am currently in my first pregnancy and it took a good 20 weeks before I really began feeling my baby. Just try your best to be patient [very difficult I know!] and give your baby some time to grow! I am 30 weeks pregnant now and I will try to give you a better explanation of what these baby movements feel like.

Baby Movements are like...
* The feeling you get going down a roller coaster but much shorter.
* Someone is kicking you or giving you an elbow shove from the inside. [High chance this is actually happening!]
* Someone is smoothing out the inside of your belly with a door knob or end of a rolling pin.
* A baseball being pushed against & rolled around on the inside of your belly.
* A bunch of rustle & bustle deep down without touching the surface of your belly.
* Someone is flicking you on the inside.
* Something is trying to push itself outside of you. [When the movement gets further up near my ribs, I especially feel this way!]

Everyone begins feeling fetal movements at different times during their pregnancy. These feelings vary from person to person, so if you are already experiencing fetal movements and our feelings don't compare, don't worry. I'd be interested in hearing other comparisons for what these movements feel like. I have never felt "flutters" but I honestly think the movements compare to having butterflies in your stomach. Regardless, feeling my baby move is by far my favorite thing about being pregnant!

# 10 Things I Love About Being a Mommy
# Are You Spoiling Your Kids ROTTEN?
# Do Babies Dream in the Womb?
# 10 Things I Hate About Pregnancy
# 10 Things I Love About Pregnancy
# Milky Oatmeal Bath to Help Eczema
# What Do Baby Kicks Feel Like?
# Anyone Thinking About Getting Pregnant? [Here's my experiences so far.]
Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Retro Review #41: Murderati

I reviewed this blog two years ago, and the dates on the "Recent Posts" show that. But I viewed the blog today and it's still being updated on a regular basis, so if you're in to mysteries and mystery writers, check it out.



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Murderati, published by


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Through the eyes of today's leading mystery and crime writers, MURDERATI examines critical themes, historical archetypes and trends in publishing, marketing and the life of the published author.

MY REVIEW: I enjoyed this blog very much, and recommend it highly. As an aspiring fiction writer, I found this blog extremely interesting, and I think you'll find it so as well. In addition, if you're just a mystery fan, rather than an author, you'll find this of interest just to know how writers think and create.

Some sample paragraphs:
Yesterday, I made the time to attend my local RWA meeting where New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Day spoke about heroines. Alyssa is a talented paranormal romance writer who has a reputation for writing alpha heros AND alpha heroines. I asked her permission to talk about her workshop on this blog because I think it would benefit ALL writers, not simply romance or romantic suspense authors.

Alyssa's workshop was hugely inspirational and beneficial to me. A lot of people might think that after 13 published books why would I want to attend a craft workshop? The same reason why I bought Donald Maass' FIRE IN FICTION last summer--I am still learning. While I believe my strength in writing is centered around my heroines, I also believe that all writers, no matter what their level or how many books under their belt, published or unpublished, can learn something simply by listening to others. Sometimes it's not like we learn something particularly new, but we are given a new way of looking at something we know and it broadens our perceptions and our craft.

Yesterday was just such a day for me.

I write strong heroines. My hardest characters are the heroines who are not in a naturally kick-ass professional. For example, Julia Chandler (prosecutor in SEE NO EVIL) or Robin McKenna (night club owner in KILLING FEAR.) Why? Because when your heroine has a role like cop or FBI Agent or P.I. reader expectations are that the character knows how to take care of themselves, that they are independent and strong-willed. Female cops are not wimps, for the most part, and I don't have to convince my readers that Detective Carina Kincaid (SPEAK NO EVIL) knows how to investigate a murder. I can simply put her in the middle of the investigation and give her the label "detective" and readers get it.

-Do-it-yourselfing (general entry on people who DIY) (March 1, 2010)
-What would Princess Leia do? (The Alpha heroine) [Ed, was Princess Leia an ALpha heroine????] (Feb 28, 2010)
-The Fairy Tale structure (fairy tale memes used in modern day mystery fiction) (Feb 27, 2010)
-Ramblin on... (thinking about her new novel) (Feb 26, 2010)
-The reality of reality (notes on location and setting) (Feb 25, 2010)
-It's alive

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Retro Review #40: Vertical Junkie



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION PAGE: Sean's Mountain Adventure Update


BLOG DESCRIPTION: First hand ski touring and climbing reports from Rainier, Crystal and points east

MY REVIEW: This was a young blog, only 17 posts in 2009, and one in January. It could have been interesting, but perhaps the author had unrealistic expectations on how long it would take to build up a readership. Unless an author is very lucky, it takes at least three months for a blog to pick up a regular readership, and that only after posting at least three times a week during each week of those three months.

I'll keep an eye on it...if the author ever revives it, I'll let you know.

RECENT ARTICLES: (two years old, but I've just checked and this blog is alive and well, so check it out!)
-Big White Ski Resort (Jan 5, 2010)
-Finally Some weather (Dec 31, 2010)
-Teanaway Dec 19 (Dec 22, 2010)
Stevens Pass Nov 14 (Nov 17, 2010)
I hate the fall! (Nov 5, 2010)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Retro Review #39: NASA Watch



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: NASA Watch, published by Keith Cowling


BLOG DESCRIPTION: NASA Watch is the leading industry news site for NASA with over 13 years experience. We cover daily news including space exploration, policy, budgets, commercial space, congress and much more.

MY REVIEW: It is absolutely imperative that people keep up with the space programs - albeit not only of the United States but also of other countries as well. Somebody is going to establish bases on the Moon, somebody is going to establish bases on Mars. Hopefully it will be by peaceful means, and for peaceful uses. In any event, NASA Watch is an excellent blog, chock full of all kinds of information, written for the layperson.

Of course, new readers may have to do some research on acronyms used. Who is ATK, for example? I think it's Alliant Techsystems - a company I actually used to work for, back when it was a defense subscontractor located out of Minneapolis, and not ATK Spacecraft systems, located out of Hampton, Virginia.

I cannot recommend this blog highly enough.

-Canadian Space Agency waits for government direction
-Robert McCall [space artist obit]
-Acts of Desperation [ATK sniping at NASA)
-Congressional Flak on NASA's plans
-JSC Job Loss Update (re Obama's termination of the Constellation Program. JSC = Johnson Space Center)

Monday, April 9, 2012

It never ends redux

Now my computer monitor is going on the fritz...shorts out every few seconds and then comes back on...

I'll buy a new one tomorrow, and will get my posts started then!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Pause

So sorry to have missed so many days of posting - unexpected family matters cropped up.

And now it's Easter, so more family matters.

Will get back on track Monday.

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baseball blogs

I shared retro reviews of a few baseball blogs yesterday. I'm not going to share a review of every SB Nation blog. (SB Nation is some kind of website that hosts baseball team blogs, every team has one. And then there are blogs from other people devoted to their own particular team)

So if you're a fan of a particular baseball team, go to Amazon's Kindle page and do a search for it. You will see the SB Blog devoted to that team, and chances are you'll see at least a couple more for each team.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Retro Review #38: Over the Monster (Boston Red Sox)


MY RECOMMENDATION: Yes, with reservations



BLOG DESCRIPTION: Over the Monster is your source for the latest Red Sox news and game recaps. This blog provides a forum for passionate fans all year round.

MY REVIEW: There is such a wealth of information fed by this blog to your Kindle, that at a cost of 99 cents a month to have it delivered, it's not a bad deal, especially if you're a diehard Red Sox fan.

Unfortunately, like most of the SportsBlog Nation blogs, many of the features available on the website aren't available on the Kindle. There's videos, audio, and probably even game threads that you won't see unless you actually visit this blog web's page.

However, I frankly anticipate that once the season actually begins and the posts really start coming, they'll mostly be text-based, and Kindle users will be able to enjoy having the articles delivered directly to their Kindle.

-Sox can't overcome Mill's implosion
-Listenin' in on the Red Sox (audio)
-Watch live: Nomar Garciaparra press conference
-Who is Yu Dervish and why doesn't he come to America to play for the Yankees (video)
-Nomar Garciaparra to sign with Red Sox, retire
-Tim Wakefield, Red Sox blank Marlins, 9-0

Retro Review #37: Pindtripe alley


MY RECOMMENDATION: YES if you're a Yankee fan. Boo hiss if you're not!



BLOG DESCRIPTION: Pinstripe Alley is your source for the latest Yankees news and game recaps. This blog provides a forum for passionate fans all year round.

MY REVIEW: Okay, I really, really dislike the Yankees (boo, hiss!) but there’s no denying that they’re a great team and they’ve got tons of fans. And those tons of fans will want to subscribe to this blog, just to get all the news about the team in one place. I personally don’t care for bloggers who use words like “suckitude”, but that’s the current generation for ya!

This is another blog hosted on Sportsblog Nation.

Unlike FishStripes (which I also reviewed today), which had only one author, Craig (at least at this time in the year); Pinstripe Alley appears to have several – Travis G., jscape2000, CrazyYankeeChick, and so on.

Some of these blog entries are the kind where you have to click on a link to go to a webpage to see the full story, but so many of them are the full article, so I’ll give that a pass.

THE GOOD: Lots of fans giving their own perspective of the Yankees. Well written, informative. These fans know their stuff.

THE BAD: Well, it is a Yankees blog!

  • Enjoy this, Yankee fans. It is diehard Red Sox fans Ben Affleck and Matt Damon portraying Yankee … (pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich in ‘The Trade’, a movie about the wife swap between the two former Yankees (Feb 20, 2010)
  • Saturday News: the tools of ignorance – a series of paras with links to more info on the web (Feb 20, 2010)
  • AJ Burnett’s face when he found out Jose Molina had signed with the Toronto Blue Jays (with accompanying photo) (Feb 19, 2010)
  • On Escaping the Demonic Nether Regions of the Off-season – a fun post by Crazy YankeeChick. (well, she calls the Red Sox the Sux, and I really disike when fans disrespect other clubs that way…but Yankees fans will love it….(Feb 19, 2010)
  • How will the schedule affect the 5th starter?(Feb 19, 2010)