Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Facts and Evidence and Hearsay

In this country, the law is all about facts and evidence.  You need those things to convict someone of a crime.  The evidence can even be circumstantial, but there needs to be a preponderance of it when all you've got is circumstantial.

Hearsay is flat out.  Opinions, too.

You cannot walk into a court room and say 'I heard someone say that the defendant committed the crime', anymore than you can walk in and say 'I think the defendant committed the crime' - unless you have evidence and facts to back up your assertions.

Seems to me that these days, people are using hearsay and opinions in place of facts and evidence.  Not in a real court, mind you, but in the court of public opinion.  You are tried and convicted without a shred of actual evidence.

"So and so said the person is a murderer, so it must be so."  "I heard someone say this person is a thief, so they are."  "Everyone knows he did what they say he did."  Ask about evidence and facts to prove the assertions and you may find yourself under their guns.

Oh, there's been a lot of hullabaloo about fake news.  If you don't try and convict someone without evidence, then fake news is about as damaging as a plastic spoon.  If you don't treat the media as a reliable witness, nothing they say can cause harm.  If you don't rely on the masses to tell you what is fact and what is fiction, then there's nothing to worry about.  And if you don't think celebrity equals authority, then you might be okay.

Except in this culture today, the news isn't questioned.  The media is truth.  If a whole bunch of people think something, then it must be fact.  And celebrities are gods.

Umm, yeah.

So, when you're out there reading and listening and deciding how to proceed, take a moment to figure out what reality is.  It might take some effort.  It might take you not believing a goddamn thing until actual facts are presented somewhere, somehow.  It takes work.

But it's worth it.

Try every case in the court of your own opinion and base those opinions on verifiable facts.  Demand evidence.  Ignore hearsay. 

Or continue on as you have done, thrashing around and waving your arms and huddling in the fear someone hopes you'll have because when you're afraid, you're easier to control.

Personally, I like knowing stuff and being certain for myself.  But that's me.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 4

Wow.  Looking back, Week 4 is a blur.  So let's work backward and see if I can't cobble that sucker back together...

Let's see.  Yesterday I spent the morning scrubbing floors by hand.  I was going to use my Swiffer WetJet thingie, but the little battery must've died.  No squirties.  So, I got out the tub of Clorox wipes and went to town.  The kitchen is done.  And that spot under the rug in the foyer because ew.  I also shook all the rugs.  Then I took a shower because between washing floors and shaking rugs, I was filthy.  The rest of the day I focused on laying around feeling ouchie.

Oh, wait, I did some editing work first thing.  Round 2.  Got the first page and a half of notes entered.  Later in the day, I did another page and a half of notes.  I'll enter those this morning.

And, oh yeah, I did finish Round 1 of the edits last week.  Got that last chapter rewritten.  Yay.

I read Silver James' Crash & Burn last week.  I haven't started any other books because I'm using my Kindle for editing.  Although, I guess I could use the old Kindle for editing and read on the new one.  Or I could pick up one of my hardcopy books and read that...  Derp.

Spent a couple hours fishing.  It was nice to be out at the lake, but then the wind came up and I really didn't feel like fighting the wind, so I came home.

Other than that?  We're hunkering down and holding tight in the chaos.

How were things for you last week?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 1/28/17

Okay, so last Fishing Report, I reported a landmark no-skunking fishing trip on Friday the 20th.  It was followed by a repeat on Saturday.  Same spot.  Same method - worm on a #2 hook set about 5' deep and about 10-15' from shore.  Same results.  Only this time I caught a 12" spotted bass and two small panfish about 4 and 5 inches respectively.  Both days the air temp was in the low to mid 60s and the water temp, according to the locals, was running in the upper 40s. 

I also went fishing on Tuesday, but that was a bust.  I started out at about 10am.  Sunny skies.  Unseasonably warm.  Calm.  The calm didn't last long.  The wind picked up to the point where casting out into the river was a crap shoot.  And when I could get the worm into the right places, no bites. 

The temperatures dropped out on the rest of the week, so I stayed home.  Which brings me to another subject...  Why I don't ice fish.

Now, when I was a wee lass in Michigan, I did have the occasion to go out ice fishing with my father.  I only remember once, but my memory for back then is swiss cheese, so there may have been more times.  I remember being cold.  I do not remember catching anything. 

Reason 1 for not ice fishing: COLD.  Since I'm no longer a wee lass, I can no longer shrug off the cold.  I don't like it and I don't want to.  Plus, it makes my joints ache.  Not worth it.  Not for me.

Reason 2?  Table Rock Lake is not a lake, strictly speaking.  It's a river that's been backed up by a dam.  Thus, it's always flowing and never freezes - at least not anywhere I've seen and even if I did happen to see a place that looked frozen over, I wouldn't want to walk on it and fall to my frigid, watery death. Thank you very much.  Not worth the risk.  Nut-uh. No way.

So, chances are you will never see an Ice Fishing Report here.  Not from me, anyway.  If I thought my Michigander brother had any inclination to guest post, perhaps that would be your chance to see anything about ice fishing here.  He ice fishes.  He posts pics on FB of his catches.  I'm happy for him.  But he's a hardier human than I. 

And that's it for this week's fishing report.  Take some time this week to enjoy the outdoors, even if you can't drown worms.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday This n That - Opinions Edition

I'm just gonna throw this out there.  Snape is not a romantic figure.  He's a stalker.  He couldn't have Lily, so he watched her from afar for years.  He was so obsessed his patronus charm became the same as hers.  He took his inability to have her out on her kid.  Yeah, if he really secretly cared about Harry, why the hell did he put Griffindor's sword under the ice of a river in the middle of the freakin' winter when he could've left it under a tree or a pile of leaves?  He was a snotty little boy who grew up into a snotty little man, and trying to make him into a heroic figure cheapens heroism.

The bullies of the world have gotten away with name calling for so long, it's now natural for the world to believe them when they call someone a name.  Especially when several of them gang up together.  And if you don't back down when they call you a name, they're happy to try to pound you into the ground so you'll give them your lunch money (or your self-esteem or your voice or your beliefs).  But the same holds true now as it did back on the playground.  Them calling you a name doesn't make it true.  And fuck them.

I'm sick to death of the rampant man-bashing going on right now. All these commercials where the wife is smug and superior while the husband is incompetent?  Yep, cut that shit out, too.  If the roles were switched and the commercials made the woman out to be stupid, there'd be such a public outcry it would be deafening.

For that matter, I'm tired of people who are supposed to love each other bashing on each other.  Then again, I've been tired of that crap for years.  I used to videotape weddings.  Yeah, you know where I'm going.  Cramming cake in your new spouse's face isn't funny and it's a shitty way to start what ought to be a lifelong partnership.  It's disrespectful and mean-spirited.  Cut it out. Maybe that's why people seem to think it's okay to say snotty, nasty things about their significant others - they started out being disrespectful.  Bleh.

Ugh.  That's enough. 

One final opinion... It was a beautiful day yesterday and it's going to be a beautiful day today.  Every day you wake up is a beautiful day, regardless of what else might be going on in your life or the world.  The alternative to waking up is dead.  And that's unacceptable.

Now, shoo.  Go enjoy your life.  Accomplish something.  Gaze at something pretty.  Sing a song.  Dance around the house.  Pet a furbaby.  Kiss someone.  Hug yourself.   (And if you've got something negative stuck in your craw that's preventing you from seeing the positives in life, let it out for petesakes*.)

*Just remember that if you're letting it out here, comments are subject to approval. =o)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's Good to Be Alive

Just a little reminder... It's good to be alive...


 "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)"
by Andy Grammer

Uh huh
Uh huh
Uh huh
Uh huh

I've been grinding so long, been trying this shit for years
And I got nothing to show, just climbing this rope right here
And if there's a man upstairs, he kept bringing me rain
But I've been sending up prayers and something's changed

I think I finally found my hallelujah
I've been waiting for this moment all my life
Now all my dreams are coming true, ya
I've been waiting for this moment

And it's good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Hallelujah, let that bass line move ya, say yeah
It's good to be alive right about now

I was dead in the water, nobody wanted me (Uh huh)
I was old news, I went cold as cold can be
But I kept throwing on coal tryna make that fire burn (Uh huh)
Sometimes you gotta get scars to get what you deserve (Uh huh)
I kept moving on and now I'm moving up (Uh huh)
Damn, I'm feeling blessed with all this love

I think I finally found my hallelujah
I've been waiting for this moment all my life
Now all my dreams are coming true, ya
I've been waiting for this moment

And it's good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Hallelujah, let that bass line move ya, say yeah
It's good to be alive right about now

I almost can-, cannot handle it
I could get u-, could get used to this
I almost can-, cannot handle it
I could get u-, could get used to this

I think I finally found my
(Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah)

And it's good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Hallelujah, let that bass line move ya, say yeah
It's good to be alive right about now

Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now
Good, good, good, good to be alive right about now

I'm still waiting for my moment, but it's still good to be alive right about now.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 3

Hello again and welcome to the Sunday Update with your host, B.E. Sanderson.

This past week, the nation saw a new episode of Adults Behaving Badly.  Personally, I had work to do and personal stuff to accomplish.


I got the first round of edits on Natural Causes almost to completion.  All I have left on this one is to rewrite that last chapter.  Which I will do today.  If I can figure out the best plan of attack for it.  I have one loose end to tie up and a denouement thing wherein all will be made clear.  I do not want this to end with anything even remotely akin to a cliffhanger.  There may be subsequent books, which I hope you will someday want to read but not because you are dying to find out what happened about X and Y.  I fucked up and unintentionally did that with Up Wish Creek, and I regret it.

Personal Stuff:

I read a neat book called Sleep Hollow: Rise and Ride Headless.  It was totally engrossing. 

I went fishing three times last week.  Wednesday was a bust.  Friday and Saturday were good days. 

On one of those fishing days, I had an interesting interaction with a couple of older dudes.  They said they were killing time.  That's cool.  We chatted about fishing.  Also cool.  Then one of them kept asking questions about where I lived.  I was vague as always.  Over that way.  Down the river.  Above the flood line from last year.  Yada yada yada.  Then he got a little weird and said something snotty like I was offending him by not trusting him enough to tell him where I lived.  Dude, in this world, no one gets to know where I live.  Hell, it was one of the first things my mother taught me - strangers do not get to know where you live.  It's stood me in good stead for almost 47 years and I see no reason to change. Anyway, he chilled out and pointed out where he thought was a good place to catch bluegills before the two of them went on their merry way.

I made a variation of steak pizzaola yesterday.  It was a bust.  Not quite sure what happened, but the roast I used (instead of steak because it was cheaper) turned into a yucky, stringy, chewy mess and the sauce was bleh.  Of course, my go-to sauce is no longer available at my local Wallyworld and everything else I try is yuck.  (The roast isn't to blame either.  I bought a big one and cut it in half.  The first half was made into pot roast and it was tender and yummy.  The second half died an ignoble death drowned in mediocre sauce.)

Seeing loads of deer, turkeys, and eagles right now.  All of that makes me immensely happy. 

That's it for me.  What's up with you?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 1/21/17

Finally.  I was NOT skunked on a fishing trip.  Yesterday afternoon, I went out about 2pm to that same spot where I caught that walleye.  I fishing all over that place alternating between the same worm and a few lures for about 2 hours.  Nada.  Then I went back to the place where I caught the walleye.  At that time of the day, it was mostly in shade with a little wind.  Gnarly.  I started getting bites almost immediately, but I wasn't sealing the deal.  So, I went to a smaller hook.  (I was on a #1.  I think I went to a #2 - smooth shank because my stupid Wallyworld stopped carrying the 2s in a baitholding shank.  Bastards.)

Two, three casts and I got something hefty.  I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but it was fighting good, so I guessed either a walleye or a bass.  But it didn't jump, so I was leaning toward walleye.  Nope.  Bass.  Largemouth to be exact.  A thirteen-incher.  And FAT.  Little pudge-ball must be gorging on crawdad babies or something.  (Can't say exactly what the poundage was.  I don't carry a scale with me.  There's a chart at In Fisherman that says it was about 1.16 lbs.  Figure in the fatness and I'm gonna say 1.25 for that dude.)

About twenty minutes later, I caught a green sunfish that was a helluva fighter.  I figured I had a meal there for sure.  Nope.  Only 6".  Too bad it wasn't an inch or two bigger.  Thems good eatin'.

So, here's the skinny.  They were all biting about 5' deep and only about 10-15' from the shore, off chunk rock banks sloping toward the main channel of the river, at nearly dusk.  On nightcrawlers.  Better bite off the head half than the tail half.  Go figure.

Still, a beautiful day at the lake.  And I did finally catch some fish after over a month of total skunking.  Might go out again today.  We'll see.

Until next week, have many beautiful days and enjoy some quiet time in the outdoors, if you can.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday This n That

There are large number of people in the world who just need to get over it.  I'm not saying what 'it' is, but if you're like me, you already know.

Wite Out (tm) pens are awesome, but you cannot use them to write the letters back on your keyboard.  The letters just rub right back off again.  Other than that, I can't think of anything I'll use these pen thingies for.  I wish they'd made these back when they were relevant.

Sometimes I post status updates to FB wherein I'm trying to be funny and I get all sorts of advice.  #humorfail

Sitting on the rocky ledges fishing is not the best idea when it's cold outside.  The cold kind of seeps into your joints and you end up squunchy the next day.

I never did get in sync with the Fall time change.  I've been going to bed around 8pm and getting up around 4am.  This means all of my TV shows that come on at 9 are flat out.  I have a devil of a time just staying up until 9 this days.  10 ain't happenin'.  Lucky for me, it'll change back again in March.  Then maybe I won't miss Joe Kenda.

Back in my old Colorado life, I was talking with someone about the time change and they said the hardest part was getting the feedlot cows -- all 100,000 of them - onto the new schedule.  And I thought, ummm, wouldn't it be easier to adjust the humans?  If you fed the cows at 7am before the time change, feed them at 6am.  Etc., etc., etc.  Jus' sayin'.

That's it for me today.  Time for more coffee.

What's the this-n-that skinny from you today?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Type L for Lazy

I'm lazy.  There, I said it. (Okay, so maybe I've said it before.  It's a running theme in my life.)

My house is not spotless.

Right now, the sink is full of dishes.

I'm working on the edits for a book I should've had done weeks ago.

I don't make fancy dinners.  I don't create fancy desserts anymore.  In fact, I'm happy opening a can of beef stew and slapping it on the stove.  (Or microwaving a TV dinner, if there were better tasting cheap ones.)

This caused a bit of a clash when I first got married and went to live with my Type-A husband.  Over the years, I've picked up the pace some and he slowed down a bit, so we could meet somewhere closer to the middle and have a clash-free life.  (Actually, our clash-free life has more to do with him letting me be me and me letting him be him, but that's a whole nother story.)

It's not really a huge dealie-bob, this being lazy thing.  I step up when I need to step up.  Like when it was pouring rain and the water was running downhill toward our then-untreated foundation, I got out there with a shovel and helped Hubs dig a trench to direct the water off to one side.  I will go wash the dishes later this morning.  I always do.  And I'll set my ass here on and off throughout the day (and the next and the next) until this editing round is complete. 

But deep down, if I had my druthers, I'd be sitting in the recliner reading a book and watching TV all day.  Or fishing.  Or screwing off on the internet. 

I sit here sometimes and see how other people are conducting their non-lazy lives.  I stare at them in wonder.  And sometimes I remind myself that I can change if I want to.  Then I ramp up and work like the dickens and get a bunch of stuff done.  After which, I burn out and do nothing for an extended period of time.  They say new habits take 30 days to become entrenched.  Eh.  I've done months of ramped-up me and when the crash comes, it comes anyway. 

So, I just have to accept that I am who I am.  A Type-B (err... Type L?) person.  And I'll get done what I need to get done when I need to get it done - and not a moment sooner.  It might not make me the best-selling writer I want to be.  It might not get me in House Beautiful.  But it is what it is.

And now it's time to get off my lazy buns and wash the dishes - twelve hours late, but better late than never, right?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 2

Welcome to 2017 Week Two... Son of Week One.

It was a cold and dreary week here in SW MO.  (Wait... never start a story with the weather... Oh, screw it.)

In writing news, I did start inputting the edit notes for Natural Causes.  Just not last Sunday like I said I was going to.  Actually, I started Friday.  And worked like a champ then through last night.  Eighty-one pages edited, lame shit deleted and replacement scenes rewritten, typos fixed, timeline issues fixed, etc.  That amounts to 6 pages of handwritten notes done.  Eight pages to go - including rewriting the final chapter.  It's sitting at just over 60K words right now.  I expect that to go up a bit, but not a huge amount.  Unless that new last chapter ends up being way longer than the old version.  I should be able to get with my editor by the end of the month.  Fingers crossed her February is open.

I read three books last week.  Okay, I read two complete books and finished the one book I had started back in December.  One of those complete books fits my resolution to read 'new-to-me', less-than-popular authors.  Actually, if I remember right, it was a debut.  It was also by someone I've been blog following for years but lost touch with when they went to a sporadic blogging schedule.  (Good thing I still follow their blog, or I never would've seen that they published a book.)

I did go fishing once.  The temperature had gotten warmer, so I gave it a shot.  All I can say is that it was a lovely day.

We lost internet for a while on one of those days.  The day I went fishing, whichever that one was.  This provided an excellent opportunity to do some cleaning.  LOL

The ice storm they predicted never did hit here.  Loads of rain, but the temps stayed above freezing for us.  I feel really bad for everyone who actually got the ice.  And I hope they're okay. 

Wasted some time on genealogy stuff.  It's amazing how willing I am to dive into genealogy when I'm avoiding editing.  LOL.  I don't have the fundage for Ancestry right now, so I'm applying my Google-fu - which takes longer but can still be effective.

That's it for me over here.  How's stuff over there?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 1/14/17

Hey, All, and welcome to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Or maybe just lazy fisherman.

I only got out once this past week and caught nada.  I did have something totally strip a big nightcrawler off my hook, but I never saw the bite and when I cast back to the same location, it had either moved on or it was full.

Anyway, since I don't have anything scintillating to say, here are a few links to the people I go to when I want to learn about fishing...

Eric Prey - YouTube videos - He runs a guide service out of Branson, MO.  Straight, to the point, and no nonsense.  He tells where they are and what they're biting on.

Peter Wenners - YouTube videos - TRL fishing guide. He's a knowledgeable guy and has some great insights into the lake.

Timmy Horton - TV Show and Facebook videos - I just found his shows on NBC/SN and I really enjoy his presentation.  Loads of actual fishing and he tells you what he's using without making the whole show sound like one long infomercial.  I'm also following him on FB now and his show videos are awesome.

Ozark Anglers TRL Forum - local people posting about their fishing adventures.  What works for them, where it's working, pictures of the fish they're catching, local fishing news.  Good stuff.

I also watch Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston, etc.  The calm fisherman.  Can't stand the LOUD fishing dudes.  And I'm totally off watching Lindner.  He's all commercial and no fishing.  Like I said, I can tolerate a little product endorsement, as long as they show actual fishing.  The last time I watched Lindner, it was all product pimping and as soon as someone hooked a fish, they went to commercial.  Nope.

That's it for me this week.  I'd tell y'all to go drown some worms, but it's too freakin' cold.  Stay home, drink some cocoa, and watch fishing videos instead.  Spring will be here soon enough. 

Oh, and in case you missed it, I posted a recipe for Baked Crappie on Tuesday.  Good eatin'.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday This n That

We're supposed to have an ice storm on Friday.  I saw the radar forecast this morning, wherein it's all pink between here and Walmart, and was all like 'dammit, I knew I should've gone shopping yesterday'.  Then I remembered that this is not, in fact, Friday.  Derp.  Yes, I am going shopping today.

I'm not a fan of parrots.  Today's bird on my Bird a Day Calendar is a parrot.  Sometimes in life we have to put up with parrots to get through to the better birds.

Someone posted Steven Wright quotes on Facebook this morning.  Now, I'm feeling very 'Steven Wright-ish'.  It's a state of mind.  If you haven't been there, head for perfectly normal and turn right.

On the other hand, there are different fingers.  - Steven Wright

I've been playing around with the genealogy again (i.e. avoiding work).  I started talking to Mom about it and she says "Hey, see if you can find out what happened to my Uncle George."  "Why?"  "Because he disappeared right around the time we got married."  Okee.  I'd never heard this story.  Apparently my Great Uncle George just up and disappeared like 50 years ago, leaving behind Great Aunt Eileen and their young son.  I didn't find him, but I did find out he died in 1976.  See, this is why I like doing the genealogy.  I get to hear stories from Mom, things I say spark her memories, and I get to treasure hunt.

Yes, finding out Uncle George lived an additional 20 years without his family ever knowing where he was does piss me off.  Thankfully, he was not a blood relative.  Don't get me started on deadbeat dads.

Apropos of nothing: I need a shower.

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Baked Crappie

Yeah, I know.  When I told the Kid we were having crappie for dinner, she was all like 'What-ie?'  Crappie - pronounced 'croppy' - is a type of fish.  They're fun to catch and good eating (when caught in cold water*).  I've already panfried them, so I went in search of recipes to try something different.  I hit on several for baked crappie, so I adapted them to what I wanted.  Here's the recipe I came up with...

Baked Crappie

6 crappie fillets (from 10-11" crappies)
1 T margarine (divided into 6 pieces)
1 T lemon juice
Dill (to taste)
3 large tomato slices cut in half
Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line 9x13" baking dish with aluminum foil (for easier cleanup).  Lay fillets flat.  Place one piece of margarine on each fillet.  Sprinkle lemon juice over all fillets, as equally as possible.  Sprinkle dill over fillets.  Lay a half slice of tomato on each fillet.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese liberally over all.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.  (I did baked potatoes.)

I've done something similar with tilapia and with salmon, so if you don't have access to crappies, you can still try this recipe, if you want.  Might have to adjust cooking times depending on the fish.  Thick salmon takes longer.  Thin tilapia takes less.

* I've cooked crappies caught in warm water and the flesh isn't quite as firm, so not quite as satisfying a meal.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 1

The first week of 2017 is in the books now.  I never did a wrap up for 2016, so don't go looking for it.  Let's just move on to the now, shall we?  (Not that 2016 was particularly bad or good or whatever.)

Anyway, here's last week in a nutshell...

I have a new keyboard that is driving me bonkers.

Other than that, I finished the first edit pass on Natural Causes.  I have almost 14 pages of notes to input that include re-writing the entire ending because it's lame.  Not sure how long that will take.  I plan on starting that today.

I started reading again.  One book down for the year.  69 more to go.  And I got back into Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien - which I had started in December, but when I hit a boring part, I stalled.  I'm past that and it's really holding my interest now.  Silly me had forgotten that I do not have to read every word of every book.  Flipping past the dry parts, especially in historical novels is totally acceptable.  (Otherwise, I would never make it through a Hugo novel and that would be a damn shame.)

I also started back on my resolution from last year with a whole new drive and some additional clarity.  Average one book by one new-to-me, under-read author a month.  My first book this month fit the bill, so I'm good.

I haven't left the house in days.  It's been too freakin' cold.  I may have to hit the Wallyworld today or tomorrow, though.

Since I haven't left the house, I obviously haven't been fishing.

What did your first week look like?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 1/7/17

As you may have guessed, I did not go fishing last week.  I thought about it once since it seemed like it was going to be the last non-frigid day for a while, but I couldn't motivate my gumption and by the time I did get motivated, the temps had turned cold again. 

So, let's talk gear again. 

I mentioned before that Hubs and I got each other fishing stuff for Christmas.  Big bass stuff.  Or so the reviews go.  Here's what we got:

A kit of Yamamoto Senko baits.  6 colors in two different sizes (4" and 5").  Guaranteed to drive big bass wild.

A kit of offset hooks.  We went with the offbrand of these because ack, those suckers are expensive.  6 different sizes from 1 to 4/0, in three different colors.  (Not sure what difference color on a hook really makes, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.)

A kit of bullet sinkers.  Again, offbrand.  Sinkers are sinkers, right?

A pack of o-rings.  You may be saying to yourself, 'what the heck are o-rings for in fishing?'  Or maybe not.  For those saying it, they hold the artificial bait onto the hook for what they call 'whacky rig'.  Whacky rig is, I think, when you put the hook through the middle of the bait and let it dangle.  The o-ring keeps it from flying off when you cast, I guess.  Anyway, it was recommended so we bought some.

A pack of red beads.  For rigging.  I guess they keep the bullet weight from sliding down the line and bashing into your knot - thereby damaging the knot and making it less effective.  Plus, the red is attractive to fish (?).

A tackle bag with plastic divided boxes to store lures, etc.  It's quite handy and it's way lighter than the huge tackle box Hubs carries.  He had tons of fun sorting everything into it.  All the lures in their own little cubbies.  We also got two additional plastic boxes for additional lure storage.

Anyway, we're ready to go if the weather ever gets warm again.  Look out bass here we come!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 - Books Read

I dragged my feet a little getting the first book of 2017 finished.  I've set a goal for 70 books this year.  I'll adjust it as needed.

This year I'm going to try to use Goodreads links and if you're interested after clicking through there, then they have buy links.  I might forget, though, so don't be surprised by an Amazon link here and there.

As always, they're in reverse order, the * indicates ebook, yada yada.

ETA: # indicates an underappreciated, new-to-me author

Update 9/12/17: Popped it up to 80.
Update 10/3/17: Popped it up to 90.

90) Black Wolf's Revenge (Silver Wolf Clan #2) by Tera Shanley - Paranormal Romance*
89) One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane - Hard-boiled Crime
88) Ultimate Terror (Phoenix Force #9) by Gar Wilson - Military Action
87) Doc (Vampire Hunting Dog #1) by JA Campbell - Paranormal Suspense*#
86) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (12/10/17) - Literary
85) Assignment Unicorn (Sam Durell #41) by Edward Aarons (12/1/17) - Hard-boiled Crime
84) The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks (11/29/17) - Fantasy
83) The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie (11/16/17) - Mystery
82) Plague of Memory by SL Viehl (11/10/17) - SF
81) The Sound of Silence by Silver James (11/5/17) - Paranormal Romance*
80) The Cat Who Smelled a Rat by LJ Braun (10/31/17) - Mystery
79) Bloody Sunrise by Mickey Spillane (10/28/17) - Hard boiled Crime
78) Sleepy Hollow: General of the Dead (Jason Crane #3) (10/25/17)- YA Paranormal*
77) Sleepy Hollow: The Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane #2) (10/23/17) - YA Paranormal*
76) The Steep Ascent by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (10/19/17) - Literary
75) Darkship Renegades by Sarah A. Hoyt (10/15/17) - SF
74) The Defender of Rebel Falls by Erik Christensen (10/7/17) - Fantasy w/ SF tinge*#
73) The Cowboy's Christmas Proposition by Silver James (10/3/17) - Romance
72) The Cat Who Robbed a Bank by LJ Braun (10/2/17) - Mystery
71) The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by LJ Braun (9/28/17) - Mystery
70) The Time Machine by HG Wells (9/26/17) - Literature*
69) Dread Companion by Andre Norton (9/21/17) - SF
68) The Cat Who Said Cheese by LJ Braun (9/19/17) - Mystery
67) Against the Dark (The Associates #1) by Carolyn Crane (9/14/17) - Romantic Suspense*
66) Caught In Between by Allison L. Perry (9/14/17) - YA Paranormal*#
65) The Cat Who Blew the Whistle by LJ Braun (9/13/17) - Mystery
64) Even Witches Get the Blues by JD Winters & Dakota Kahn (9/11/17) - Paranormal Mystery*#
63) Bewitch Me by Amelia Blake (9/10/17) - YA Paranormal*#
62) Postmortem by Patricia Cornwall (9/8/17) - Suspense
61) Night Without End by Alistair MacLean (9/4/17) - Suspense
60) Assassin's Moon (Special Forces: Operation Alpha) by Silver James (9/3/17) - Paranormal Romance*
59) The Black Fawn by Jim Kjelgaard (8/29/17) - MG Adventure
58) The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill (8/28/17) - NF History WWII
57) The Cat Who Came to Breakfast by LJ Braun (8/24/17) - Mystery
56) Let Me Love You by Iris Blobel (8/20/17) - Romance*#
55) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (8/18/17) - Mystery
54) The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (8/15/17) - SF
53) The Cat Who Went Into The Closet by LJ Braun (8/9/17) - Mystery
52) The Cat Who Wasn't There by LJ Braun (8/7/17) - Mystery
51) Savaged Vows by Jennifer Lyon (8/5/17) - Romance*
50) Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense edited by Martin Greenberg (7/14/17) - Anthology
49) Claiming the Cowgirl's Baby by Silver James (7/10/17) - Romance
48) Savaged Dreams by Jennifer Lyon (6/23/17) - Romance*
47) The Cat Who Moved a Mountain by LJ Braun (6/18/17) - Mystery
46) Fireborn by Keri Arthur (6/18/17) - Paranormal Romance
45) Murder at the ABA by Isaac Asimov (6/16/17) - Mystery
44) The Third Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (6/15/17) - Fantasy
43) Rebel Ice by SL Viehl (6/12/17) - SF
42) Thunder Mountain by Zane Grey (6/10/17) - Western
41) Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford (6/9/17) - Mystery*
40) The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal by LJ Braun (6/8/17) - Mystery
39) The Cat Who Lived High by LJ Braun (6/7/17) - Mystery
38) Night Fire by Silver James (6/4/17) - Paranormal Suspense*
37) Brain Dead by Eileen Dreyer (6/3/17) - Suspense*#
36) The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (5/27/17) - Women's Fiction
35) The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by LJ Braun (5/25/17) - Mystery
34) The Cat Who Went Underground by LJ Braun (5/23/17) - Mystery
33) The Erection Set by Mickey Spillane (5/21/17) - Hard-boiled Crime
32) The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (5/19/17) - Historical
31) No One Lives Twice (Lexi Carmichael #1) by Julie Moffett (5/15/17) - Spy Thriller*
30) The Dragons of Spring Dawning by Weis & Hickman (5/11/17) - Fantasy
29) The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by LJ Braun (5/7/17) - Mystery
28) She's Gotta Be Mine (Cottonmouth #1) by Jennifer Skully (5/6/17) - Romance*
27) The Hitwoman Takes a Road Trip by JB Lynn (5/4/16) - Mystery*
26) Intrepid (Kris Longknife #7) by Mike Shepherd (5/3/17) - SF
25) Murder on the Menu by Nancy Skopin (4/30/17) - Mystery*
24) The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by LJ Braun (4/28/17) - Mystery
23) Calumet K by Merwin and Webster (4/27/17) - Literary*
22) The Thirteenth Man by JL Doty (4/21/15) - SF*#
21) Call of Duty (Joe Boxer #0) by Louis Scott (4/15/17) - Military Thriller*#
20) The Delta Factor by Mickey Spillane (4/14/17) - Crime Novel
19) Dead Before Dying by Kerry Schafer (4/12/17) - Paranormal Suspense*
18) Good, Bad, & Sexy by Jennifer Lyon (4/10/17) - Romance*
17) Make Them Pay by Allison Brennan (4/9/17) - Romantic Suspense
16) In for a Penny by Nagle & Browning (4/8/17) - Mystery*#
15) The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle (4/3/17) - Historical Fiction
14) Sex on the Beach Book Club by Jennifer Lyon (3/31/17) - Romance with Suspense*
13) Seal Moon (Operation Alpha Kindle World) by Silver James (3/30/17) - Paranormal Romance*
12) Redeemed by the Cowgirl by Silver James (3/9/17) - Romance
11) In Defense of Selfishness by Peter Schwartz (3/7/17) - Non-fiction
10) Scaling the Rim by Dorothy Grant (2/25/17) - SF*#
9) Granny Hooks a Crook by Julie Seedorf (2/14/17) - Mystery*#
8) Remember the Night (Nightriders 0) by Silver James (2/4/17) - Paranormal Romance*
7) Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (2/3/17) - Mystery
6) Crash & Burn (Dallas Fire & Rescue) by Silver James (1/23/17) - Paranormal Romance*
5) Sleepyhollow: Rise Headless and Ride by Richard Greaves (1/20/17) - Paranormal Suspense*#
4) When Ash Rains Down by Cecelia Earl (1/12/17) - YA Paranormal*#
3) Death Wish by Brian Garfield (1/11/17) - Action
2) Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien (1/9/17) - Historical Adventure
1) Death by High Heels by Violet Ingram (1/5/17) - Mystery*#

Thursday This n That

I switched keyboards yesterday.  My old one had many of the letters rubbed off.  This one is different enough that it's kind of freaking my fingers out.  But I'll get used to it.  I always do.

It's too cold to fish.  I had a small window of not-cold day before yesterday, but I missed it.  This is bumming me out a little.

For Christmas, I got myself a new Bird-a-Day calendar.  Today's bird is the peregrine falcon.  Yay!

Yesterday, I put a general call out on FB for book recommendations.  I asked people to recommend books that haven't gotten enough well-deserved lovin'. So far, I've picked up three new books on the recommendations of FB friends and I started one yesterday.  It's a fast read and it's fun.  Just what I needed.  (BTW, it's Death by High Heels by Violet Ingram.)  The others I got were Time's Enemy by Jennette Marie Powell (free right now) and Sleepy Hollow: Rise Headless and Ride by Richard Gleaves.  I still have gift card money, so is there anything you might recommend?

The above kind of jump starts the resolution that I failed on last year - new to me authors who haven't quite gotten the lovin' they deserve.  We'll see how it goes this year. 

A friend of mine recommended a book that looked really interesting, but it was $7 for the ebook.  I wishlisted it because that's too rich for my blood right now.  I used to think nothing of slapping $7 for a paperback.  Now?  Yeah, the thought of that tweaks my miserly soul.  I got three books yesterday for under $5.  Maybe when I'm more financially fluid $7 per book won't make me nauseous.

We're supposed to get snow today.  Yah, like a tenth of an inch.  They're getting more to the north of us, which is bringing school closings.  Here?  Nada yet.  Yay.  I could be totally happy if we got no snow this year.  A dusting would be okay, though.  Hell, an inch or two wouldn't be awful.  As long as the temperatures don't dive to ungodly low levels.  And as long as I had plenty of warning so I could make sure all our staples are stocked up.  It's insanely hard to get out of the neighborhood when there's a lot of snow.  All the hills, ya know.

Well, that's it for me.  What have you got?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Last Year's Resolution Fail

Okay, so I made one resolution last year.  It was my 2016 Reading Resolution.  And I failed at it. 

I was supposed to read one new-to-me author a month.  Yeah.  About that.  I dropped the ball right out of the gate.  I didn't read any new authors in January. I didn't read any books at all in February, probably because I was getting ready to release In Deep Wish.  March?  I read one popular author I hadn't read before and one unknown author who was totally new to me.  In April, I read two books by a known author but a different pen name than I've read of hers before.  May was a total wash.  The month of June I read one new author.  I think I remembered my resolution in July because I read 6 new to me authors, but then I fell off the resolution wagon again. One in August, one in September, and then nothing for the rest of the year.  Well, unless you count famous authors I hadn't read before - like Thomas Harris and Daniel Defoe.

Umm, yeah, I didn't think they counted either.

I managed 81 books last year.  One would think I could slip a few newer authors in there.  Derp.

Oh, I do remember trying in January and February.  I bought a few new to me authors.  I started reading the books.  Meh.  I think that's part of what made me give up.  Well, that and my book-buying budget is so low as to be patheticful. (Yeah, that's a word.  My word.)

This year?  Well, this year ain't looking any better right now.  I've really been into older novels lately.  Hell, over half the books I read last year were older books.  I really should get over that and read some new stuff.  Maybe I'll get around the budget by reading free books and leaving reviews so I don't feel bad about taking advantage of a freebie.  (Yes, I do feel bad.  Authors should be paid.  But I get the reason we make them free sometimes. It drives sales.  Supposedly.)

Anyway, I'm NOT making a resolution this year.  What happens will happen. 

What about you?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Must Read List

I'm reposting this to update my blog links.

Top fiction books I think every adult should read at least once in their lifetime:(alphabetical by title, unless I think you should read the author's works, then by last name)

Aesop’s Fables*
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll*
Animal Farm – George Orwell*
Anything by Jane Austen*
Beowulf - Anonymous*
Big Red – Jim Kjelgaard*
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley*
Bulfinch’s Mythology – Thomas Bulfinch
Call of the Wild – Jack London*
Calumet K – Merwin & Webster*
Candide - Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales – Thomas Chaucer*
Anything by Agatha Christie*
The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis*
Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmund Rosten*
All of the books by Dante
Either The DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons by Dan Brown*
Anything by Charles Dickens* (with the exception of the Edwin Drood mystery)
Don Quixote – Miguel Cervantes*
Anything by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle*
Anything by Alexandre Dumas*
At least one book by Daphne duMaurier*
El Cid – Robert Krepps
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card*
Any book by Erle Stanley Gardner*
Exodus – Leon Uris*
The Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett*
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury*
Any book by Ian Fleming*
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley*
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Good Earth – Pearl Buck*
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald*
Gulliver’s Travels – Johnathan Swift*
The Harry Potter Novels – J.K. Rowling*
Anything by O. Henry*
The Horatio Hornblower books – C.S. Forrester
Anything by Victor Hugo*
I, The Jury – Mickey Spillane*
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov*
Idylls of the King – Alfred Lord Tennyson*
The Iliad and The Odyssey – Homer
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte*
The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan*
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling*
King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper*
Le Morte D’Arthur (find a good translation) – Thomas Mallory*
Any book by Sinclair Lewis*
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott*
Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad
Any book by James Michener
The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Brown*
Moby Dick – Herman Melville*
The Mummy – Anne Rice*
National Velvet – Enid Bagnold
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck*
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway*
The Once and Future King – T.H. White*
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey*
Paradise Lost – John Milton
Patriot Games – Tom Clancy*
Peter Pan – JM Barrie
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde*
The Pillars of Earth - Ken Follett*
Complete Works – Edgar Allan Poe*
The Prince - Machiavelli
The Promise and/or The Chosen – Chaim Potok*
The Rabbit Novels – John Updike
Everything by Ayn Rand*
Riders of the Purple Sage – Zane Grey*
Rip Van Winkle – Washington Irving
Robin Hood – Howard Pyle*
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe*
The Scarlet Letter – Hawthorne*
The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
The Searchers – Alan le May*
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett*
A Separate Peace – John Knowles
The complete works – William Shakespeare*
The Song of Roland - Anonymous*
Shogun - James Clavell
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Anything by Mickey Spillane*

Stardoc series - S.L. Viehl*
State of Fear – Michael Crichton*
Anything by Robert Louis Stevenson*
Tarzan – Edgar Rice Burroughs*
The Thornbirds - Colleen McCullough*
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee*
To Sir With Love – E.B. Braithwaite*
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute*
Anything by J.R.R. Tolkien*
Anything by Tolstoy
Trustee from the Toolroom – Nevil Shute*
Any book by Mark Twain*
Two Years Before the Mast – R.H. Dana
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Everything by Jules Verne*
The Walking Drum – Louis L’Amour*
War of the Worlds – HG Wells*
The Warden – Anthony Trollope
Watership Down – Richard Adams*
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne*
The World According to Garp – John Irving*
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Water for Elephants - Sarah Gruen*

(The asterisk denotes books I have read. At some point, I'm hoping to read them all. If I made a list of all the books I was planning on reading, it would be twice this long. And if I made a list of every book I've already read, I'd be here all day.)

Sunday Update - Week 52

First off, Happy New Year!

I was going to make this a 'Year in Review' post, but since nothing really major happened in 2016, and I have a bad memory which would mean going back through a year's worth of posts, this is just going to be about the last week of the year.

I'm now almost halfway through on this initial edit notes pass for Natural Causes.  (Yeah, I know.  I said I wanted to have this done by the end of the year, but my gumption went south.  Maybe by the end of the first week of 2017.)  I'm not finding anything that's making me want to throw the Kindle, so that's good.  I did find an additional body I forgot about.  I either need to delete him or weave him back into the rest of the story.  But for the most part, no big plot holes.

I didn't read anything last week.

I didn't get any further in working on Early Grave.

Fishing was a skunk fest.

Christmas was a nice way to start the week.  We're still eating ham.  I might freeze the rest for later use.  I already froze the bones and some chunky bits for making soup.  It hasn't really been cold enough to want to spend all day making ham n bean soup, though.  There's still one piece of cake left.  That's for Hubs to eat today.

I did make a huge pot of chili yesterday.  Got it all into the slow cooker in the morning.  In the afternoon, I went fishing and by the time I got home, it was ready to eat.  Awesome.

Thanks to everyone for all the nice Christmas cards.  They're arranged around the base of my Christmas tree.  I even got some after Christmas, which was cool.  =o)

And that's it for me.  Anything you'd like to share about the last week of the year? 

(For the record, I woke up at 2:52am this morning.  I guess I subconsciously wanted to start the new year early.  Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.)