Monday, July 15, 2019

Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game"--Ready For The Next Generation Of Readers...And Writers

The book sat on a table at SpikeCon. It lay among other books available for whomever wished to have one. There were several, many of which I'd never heard of.

But I had heard of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

I picked up the book and put it in my bag.

Hours later, after returning home, I unpacked it and gave it to my son.

He's fourteen, almost fifteen.

It was time.

Every genre has books that everyone interested in that genre must read. There are books people should read even if they're not necessarily interested in that genre. Ender's Game is one of those books. In fact, if you want to understand both today's authors of science fiction, and the books they're writing now in the genre, a good place to start is by reading Ender's Game. The reason why is simple--most authors in that genre have read the book.

When I asked my son what book he wanted me to write almost three year ago, he said he wanted to read a science fiction story. That's what I wrote. Chaser came about because of his answer. When I saw Card's book on the table, I wondered if he would like it. Turns out, the next day he was already several chapters in--and we didn't have to "remind him" to read it.

I have no idea if my son will turn out to be a writer--it's possible he may be. More likely, he'll be a reader and I'll be completely overjoyed if that's the case. But if he does turn into an author and he writes science fiction, I'm sure Ender's Game will have had an impact on him. I know it did on me and thousands of other writers out there.

It's that good.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Taking Advantage Of All The Accessories...

Tonight we grilled. I retrieved the Expert Grill, fired up the coals, and slapped down prepared meats. We hadn't barbecued in a while and it sounded good. We're still breaking in the grill--it's only months old. I'm still learning the intricacies of the cooker. So far, I've been impressed. I think it'll be a good one.

I remember putting the thing together. The last thing I added was the bottle opener. I loved that it included one, like an Expert Griller using an Expert Grill must have quick access to a bottle opener. I've admitted that I'm no expert when it comes to grilling, so I'm not sure if I must have a bottle in my hand as the meat turns from raw and poisonous to cooked and delicious.

To me, a bottle opener seems old fashioned. Like the scene from Back to the Future, where Marty can't twist the cap off his bottle of pop. He needs his father George to do it for him, and George completes the task like it's the easiest thing in the world to do.

As I put the grill together and I attached the small bottle opener to the side, I wondered if I would ever use it. Turns out, I did--nice attachment to have after all.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Little Known Fact...Cuisinart = Dutch For Delicious!

Okay, okay. I know Cuisinart is not Dutch for delicious. I've studied Danish and German and I know a few Dutch words.

Cuisinart is not one of them.

Last week we were given a wonderful gift--the gift of quick and easy-making ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet. Sure, we've had ice cream makers in the past, and I believe I once participated in using a hand-cranked ice cream making machine. Glad technology has pretty much eliminated those relics of the past.

We still have an ice cream maker that requires ice and salt. It's buried in the pantry, and it works, but it's a pain--not as much a pain as the hand-cranked model, but...well, you know what I mean.

Back when my wife and I got married, one of our wedding gifts was an ice cream maker. It was small, but it worked great. Instead of using ice and salt, you freeze a canister then add the ice cream ingredients into the canister while the maker churns it.

Looks like Cuisinart has improved the process. The maker included two canisters instead of one, and the canisters are bigger. You can keep one frozen in the fridge while making delicious sweet frozen treats in the other. And, we can make slushies. We've successfully made limeade slushies and lemonade slushies--we even tried Coca Cola slushies (they were not as good as the citrus ones...).

Yes, we've already used this thing a lot in the short time we've acquired it (thanks Carol for the fantastic gift!), and we don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. After all, is there a better time to make homemade desserts than when it's over 100 degrees outside?


Friday, July 12, 2019

Come See OMT's Peter Pan...It's A Fantastic Show!

I've been posting pictures from Ogden lately. There's a reason for this, and it's not just because the valley is full of amazingly photogenic locations and sights.

It's because my daughter and I are in a play that opens in just a few weeks.

Peter Pan

This is a show of firsts for me. It's the first show I've done in Ogden, unless you count my birth in Ogden over five decades ago. It's the first show I've down that wasn't in Centerville or Farmington. What it isn't, is the first time I've done this show. Years ago, I was fortunate enough to be part of a Peter Pan production at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre.

This time, I'm Jukes the pirate, not Cecco. I'm the pirate who gets killed first by Peter in Act III (sorry for the spoiler...).

I have had an amazing time learning the show all over again with an entirely new cast (but not director or choreographer...). Doing a show in a new theater in a new city gives us the opportunity to get to know more people.

So, if you're in the area and want to see first-rate entertainment, chick: HERE for more details on the show, ticket prices, and performances. Come on--check out the show! You won't be sorry!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Anticipation...Even Dogs Feel It

When you have a house with two dogs and two cats, and almost none can be in the same room at the same time and your house is not very big. Well, what you have there is a houseful of trouble.

With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "Pet."

It also rhymes with the "T" sound in kitty and puppy and doggie.

We've got one old dog and one young dog, one old cat and a kitten. Only the two dogs can be together in the same room, and that's a recent development. The old dog is most likely not long for this earth and then we'll only have three pets. Things may get easier by a factor of one.

But two of these animals we hope will become friends. The problem is, the big one could eat the little one...literally. We're waiting for the kitten to get a little bigger before he meets the poodle. Right now, the kitten stays sometimes in our bedroom and the dog knows where the kitten is. The dog spends hours sitting in front of the door and when the kitten comes close to the door, the dog really freaks out.

We're hoping the kitten can come out and play with the dog to save our sanity (and the door..). We know it'll happen. It's just a matter of time.

And patience.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I Can Deny It No More...Our "Little" Town Is No Longer Little

"I noticed when I came home that traffic was building up through town. There must be an accident on the interstate."

These were the words my wife told my daughter as we snarfed down our dinner. We had planned on leaving early for tonight's rehearsal.

Turns out we needed to leave a lot earlier.

Except for three years, I've lived all my fifty-three and a half years in Utah. I think the population of the planet, when I was born, was about half of what it is today. And I know the population of our state has more than quadrupled in that time. When my parents bought a beautiful plot of land on a mountain back in the late 1960s, our little town was just that...little. I think there were only a few thousand people who called Farmington home.

Funny thing--if you provide food, water, jobs to people, they end up marrying and producing kids, which, in turn, produce kids of their own. And those kids want to live where they grew up, many of them anyway. I know our town has been growing. Fields where we once wandered and played as kids are long gone, replaced by homes, schools, stores, and movie theaters Most of the time the growth hasn't affected us too much. I no longer commute and we don't travel very much as a general rule.

So, when times comes to hit the road during rush hour or if there's an accident on the main roads, I keep thinking to myself, "Where did all these people come from?" The truth is, Most have been here a long time and more are joining them every day.

We made to to our destination only a few minutes late, which, considering the circumstances, was amazing. And next time, as I'm sitting in my home, away from busy roads, I need to think--there's more people out there than I realize. Once I hit the road, I end up joining them. I wonder if anyone else asks themselves where I came from?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Beau Peterson's "Slayer Of The Sea"...A Book Review

Slayer of the Sea

There was a time when I listened to audiobooks, a lot of audiobooks, like averaging "a book or two a week" lot of audiobooks. It's been so long since I read/listened to anything, I can't remember the last book I read/listened to.

Until today.

Today I began and finished a book, and I remember why I used to go through so many books--it's because I love taking that story and making it a part of me, seeing the scenes in my mind, allowing the voice and words of strangers to become part of me, to fulfill me. What an honor it is to be part of the creative process.

The book I read was Beau Peterson's Slayer of the Sea, from Immortal Works.

What a fantastic little story!

I've never met Mr. Peterson so I don't know how he would pitch his book. If someone asked me, I'd stay it's a story reminiscent of Melville or Verne. A tale of man vs. monster on the high seas. You can order it by clicking: HERE. The books title comes from the name of the ship, Slayer of the Sea. Rowan Donchaad is obsessed with hunting, not whales or sharks, but leviathans, creatures so nasty--and so well described--you can almost smell their stench from the printed/audible words. Peterson puts you on the ship as well as in the minds of the characters. There's battles and blood, pride and humility, victory and defeat.

I am not a water person. Sure, I spent every single summer day at an enormous swimming pool in my hometown, but I also live in the second driest state (not talking about alcohol here, but I could be...) in the country. I watch shows and read books about men, women, and children who live on the sea or make their living on the water. It's a world I don't understand. Peterson put me in that world, showed me a glimpse of the adventure that is the sea. Any book that can do that is a successful one.

The audiobook is a mere three hours and forty minutes. It is narrated wonderfully by Montgomery Que. Pick up the book, or download the audiobook if you'd like an action-filled story of a world full of imagination. 

Yes, today I returned to a life of reading. Why did I stay away so long?