Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Reads And Reviews


In addition to interviews, news and other things here, this is the complete list of the “May Reads And Reviews.” All reviews are mine and appear here on the blog unless otherwise noted….


“Cherokee Winter” by Troy D. Smith (Guest Reviewer Author Caroline Clemmons)

“Watch Me Die” (aka “The Man With the Iron On Badge”) by Lee Goldberg (FFB REVIEW-Barry Ergang)

“Capital Offense: A Bill Travis Mystery” by George Wier

“The Skeleton Box: A Starvation Lake Mystery” by Bryan Gruley

“The Troubleshooter” by Austin S. Camacho (FFB REVIEW)

“Burnt Offerings” by Michael Lister

“Warning Signs” by Jan Christensen

“Love Lies Bleeding” by Edmund Crispin (FFB REVIEW--Barry Ergang)

“BULL SPEC #7”  (Exclusive review at Tangent Online at http://www.tangentonline.com/ )

“The Feedstore Chronicles” by Travis Ervin

“Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens” by Lauren and Scott Ogden

“Tonight, I Said Goodbye” by Michael Kortya (FFB REVIEW)

“Chalkers” by Michael Bracken (Short Story E-Book Review)

“Simple Weeknight Favorites” by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

“Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook” by Debbie Macomber

“News Flash” by Michael Bracken (Short Story E-book Review)



My thanks to Caroline and Barry for allowing me to once again carry their excellent reviews at “Kevin’s Corner.”


Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Lesa's Latest Contest

This comes via Lesa Holstine.....


This week, I'm giving away copies of Steve Hamilton's Misery Bay and Victoria Houston's Dead Tease. Details are available on my blog at http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

-- Lesa Holstine

MICROW 7 - Summer 2012 - Call for Submissions

 Possible market opportunity....


not from here, are you?: MICROW 7 - Summer 2012 - Call for Submissions: MICROW Summer #7 Submission Period: June 1, 2012 through July 15, 2012 – target Publication date: August 15, 2012   microw@fullofcrow....

Scott and Graduation

Regardless of what happens with our rent and housing deal (at this point it does not look like we will make it) at least Scott will graduate. Finals are now totally done. Grades are starting to come in and he has passed or will pass everything as expected. Tomorrow he has to go and "check out" and then it truly is all finished.

Thankfully Sandi is here to see him graduate and Scott was able to do it despite everything here. 

It wouldn't have happened without the support of many who donated to our fund to keep us in place these past months. It also wouldn't have happened if the staff at Plano West hadn't worked so hard with Scott and us to make things as supportive as possible for him. With Sandi's cancer, my worsening health, the totally unnecessary lawsuit by Citibank/ Allen Adkins & Associates, and lots of other things, this past school year has been brutal. While we did the best we could, Plano West and those working with Scott were the stabilizing influence in his life.

We are very grateful to one and all for everything.


Kevin

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Please

Please, please "chipin" if you can.   We truly need your help and are begging. I don't know how to make it any plainer the real trouble we are in right now.

Review: "Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook" by Debbie Macomber


If you think about Christmas year round this just might be the book for you. With the subtitle “Favorite Recipes and Holiday Traditions from My Home To Yours” it is very clear that the subject is Christmas and nothing else.

After a brief introduction, the book is broken up into seven chapter sections devoted to the day itself and everything around that day. From various menu choices at breakfast in the “Merry Morning Breakfast” chapter to different types of teas and appetizers, to the “Christmas and Christmas Eve Dinner” chapter the day is covered food wise. Not to mention “Christmas Desserts” of all types as well as the many ideas in “Cooking with Grandma.”

A multi page index and several blank pages for your own recipes bring this good 240 page cookbook to a close. Lots of colorful photos, tips, small craft projects and delectable treats make this a good cookbook. The lack of nutritional information is disappointing and a negative to another wise excellent book.

Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook
Debbi Macomber
Harlequin
September 2011
Hardback
240 Pages
$29.95


Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library system.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Reviews

 Always nice when the author acknowledges the reviews....


CrimeFictionWriter: Reviewed: Kevin R. Tipple reviewed " Chalkers " yesterday and " News Flash " today. Both stories are available from Untreed Reads. About "Chalkers,"...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sandi's Port Surgery

Sandi's port surgery is now scheduled for Monday, June 11th. We are told this should be a simple procedure that takes about twenty minutes all told. That is kind of hard to contemplate considering the port sits just under the skin on her left collarbone hooked into the major artery into her heart. She can't wait to get it out as she has been in constant mild to severe pain from it since it was put into her the day before Thanksgiving last November.

Hopefully we won't be homeless and she can do this as scheduled. Things don't look good at all as we are still a very long way from making the rent. Please, if at all possible, spread the word about our need for donations to pay for rent, utilities, etc. Things are very, very desperate right now.

Kevin

Short Story Review: "News Flash" by Michael Bracken


Diane Chalmers likes to keep the temperature in her house cold. Maybe that is because she spends so much time in front of the powerful television lights on the 6 and 10pm newscasts. Waco, Texas is a step up or down market wise in a television anchor career. For Diane Chalmers both her career and her marriage seemed headed down and Private Investigator Morris Ronald Boyette does not have any real answers for her.

She isn’t alone as he won’t have any easy answers for his next client who has a very familiar problem. Some things just can’t be fixed no matter what he does.

Available from Untreed Reads Publishing this short story is a powerful read with a certain sad inevitability to it. The sexism evidenced in the television industry where male anchors are allowed to grow old on air while female anchors are not allowed the same luxury in most cases is a strong theme throughout the work. So too is the fact that pain confirmed though proof often can’t easily be fixed regardless of status or position. Rich in details, the approximately three thousand word story (14 pages print) isn’t exactly a fun light read considering everything, but it is a good one.


Material supplied quite some time ago by the author in exchange for my objective review.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Barry's Book Sale

Barry has posted the below message elsewhere this morning. Since he has and things are very desperate I am reposting it here......


I've been adding (and will continue to add) to the lists of books I'm offering for sale at http://www.barryergangbooksforsale.yolasite.com/

Over the weekend I added quite a few in several categories, but especially in Poetry, which I'll be adding more to this afternoon. In case you've forgotten, I contribute 20% of the price of the books to Kevin Tipple's family's fund, so if you make a purchase for yourself, you're also helping out Kevin.

He and his family are down to crunch-time, folks. They're on the verge of being homeless. Try though they repeatedly have, they've been unable to get any assistance other than food stamps from the state of Texas. *Please* help them if you can either by buying some books from me or, preferably, by contributing directly to his fund, which you'll see on the left-hand side of his blog page:
http://kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com/

Thank you.

Best,
Barry


Review: "Simple Weeknight Favorites: More Than 200 No-Fuss Foolproof Meals"


Making food fast at home has been the theme of many cookbooks the last several years. Such is the idea here from the Editors at “America’s Test Kitchen” which is the home of “Cook’s Illustrated” and “Cook’s Country” Magazines. There is more information on both and the purpose behind the book in the introduction but the short version is they are trying to answer the age old question “What’s for Dinner?” as simply as possible.

The book is broken up into 11 sections (not counting the multipage index) based on a food choice. So there are sections on “Soups and Stews” (pages 2-26), “Poultry” (pages 52-91), “Vegetarian Entries” (pages 186-245), and “Stir-Fries, Curries & Asian Noodle” (pages 298-326), among other chapters. Each section features approximately a dozen or more recipes of varying complexity.

The recipes are detailed and often come with a recipe for a side if appropriate, an ingredient buying tip, or other useful information. Some recipes come with a color photograph of the finished dish but most do not. Also, unfortunately, the recipes do not come with any nutritional information at all regarding salt, fats, suggestions for ingredient changes, etc.  A seventeen page index brings this good cookbook to a close. While the meals are not always that simple there is something here for nearly every picky eater.

Simple Weeknight Favorites: More Than 200 No-Fuss Foolproof Meals
Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
March 2012
ISBN#978-1-936493-06-7
Paperback
352 Pages
$26.96


Material supplied by the Amazon Vine Program.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Short Story Review: "Chalkers" by Michael Bracken


Using chalk to send coded messages on the sidewalks at an unnamed Baptist university in Texas is a way for men with certain interests to contact other men with those same interests. It was done 40 years ago when the narrator had attended the conservative school and it is still the technique used now.


40 years ago something happened one night and Bryce Daniels vanished. The eleven remaining numbers of the group have hardly spoken to each other since. Now, thanks to a sidewalk message in chalk in their traditional spot outside the English Building, the remaining members of the group have been summoned to meet once again. Secrets will be revealed in this complex story from author Michael Bracken.


Along with his crime fiction, author Michael Bracken is perhaps best known for his confession style stories published in a variety of markets. Such is the case here in “Chalkers” as the entire story consists of narration without almost any dialogue. The one sentence of dialogue in the story is powerful because of the statement it contains but also because the one sentence explains almost everything. This short story of slightly more than two thousand words from Untreed Reads Publishing works on all levels and is a good one.



Material supplied quite some time ago by the author in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Memorial Day 2012

Simply put, please remember the reason for the day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Senior News----May 2012 Column


For some time now I have been writing a monthly book review column for the Senior News newspaper. The Senior News is aimed to the 50 and over crowd with news relevant to seniors regarding various issues, humor pieces, and my review column among other things. The newspaper is a giveaway at doctor offices, stores, etc. and can be received by via a paid subscription. There are multiple editions across the state of Texas and therefore there is some fluctuation in content in each area.

My column every month focuses on books of interest to the Texas audience. Therefore books selected for the column, fiction or non-fiction, are written by Texas residents, feature Texans in some way, or would have some other connection to the Texas based readership. At least two books are covered each month in the short space I am given.

Below is/was my May 2012 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers……
THE TERRITORY: A Mystery
Tricia Fields
A Thomas Dunne Book (Minotaur Books)
October 2011
ISBN # 978-0-312-61378-5
Hardback
278 Pages

Deep in southwest Texas where the closest town on the United States side is the distant Marfa sits the small town of Artemis, Texas. The remoteness, amidst the harsh desert beauty of southwest Texas, makes the townspeople vulnerable to the escalating drug war violence spilling out of Mexico. Something Police Chief Josie Gray knew long before that fateful summer evening when she watched violence explode across the river in the small Mexican city of Piedra Labrada. 

Unfortunately for her and her town a cartel leader is now in route to the hospital in Artemis via ambulance for emergency medical care as he holds dual US and Mexico citizenship. Despite being outnumbered and out gunned, somehow Chief Gray and her small force, are supposed to keep him and the medical team alive. The resulting attack on the hospital brings violence to the US side of the border in ways not seen before.

Despite the occasional travelogue feel, this is well written and engrossing book. Police Chief Gray and her small force are detailed complex characters and interesting as are many of the local residents. The setting plays a major role in the story from the first page to the end as expected with an author who captured the “2010 Tony Hillerman Award for Best First Mystery” with this novel. Filled with strong storylines, interesting characters, and a hint of romance for Chief Gray, and plenty of violence, this book is a powerfully good read. 


Nora 102 ½: A Lesson on Aging Well
June Shaw
CreateSpace (division of Amazon)
October 2011
ISBN# 978-1466382701
Paperback (also available via Kindle)
170 Pages


A certain author wrote long ago about how one should not go gently into the good night. Nora Shaw, mother of the author June Shaw, certainly did not go gently into that good night. “Nora 102 ½: A Lesson on Aging Well” tells the story of Nora with special emphasis on her life after 60. For Nora, life got really good in terms of energy and spirit after sixty and that keep her going for decade after decade.

Filled with memories and reminisces Nora 102 ½: A Lesson on Aging Well chronicles the life of one family and the family matriarch who became more and more active as she got older. She took each health setback as another minor hiccup to be overcome and just kept on going.  More than anything, the 170 page read is the heartwarming story of one woman and the family that loves her.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Honoring The Muse

In the morning our small local writers group will meet. I have not written any fiction in months---maybe a year now--- and have submitted only a couple of things since the first of the year. I certainly don't have anything for them to consider though they all have pieces for the rest of us to read and work on. I'm not sure I help my fellow writers at all. In fact, I am pretty sure I don't. They all have multiple books published and multiple published short stories at various markets.

Going is very physically painful and exhausting for me. If it wasn't for the help of the members who not only help me get place to place but put up with me and my limitations, I couldn't do it. Going will wipe me out for the weekend and then some as it takes days for me to come back to where I was.

There are many reasons not to go.

I'm going because it is time to honor the muse and writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. Of course, there are days when I wonder if sanity is way over rated.


Kevin

FFB Review: "Tonight, I Said Goodbye" by Michael Koryta


Friday and that means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by the always wonderful Patti Abbott at her blog found at http://pattinase.blogspot.com/ If you are not reading her blog on a daily basis, you are making a serious mistake……

For John Weston, his life has been virtually destroyed. His son, Private Investigator, Wayne Weston, has been found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. His granddaughter, five-year-old Betsy Weston, and her mother, Julie Weston, are both missing. Media speculation, absent of any facts or evidence, is that Wayne killed his wife and daughter, disposed of the bodies, returned home and was so despondent that he committed suicide. John Weston does not believe any of it and wants Private Investigators Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard to get involved. He wants to know what happened and wants them to find Betsy and Julie.

John Weston knows the Police are actively working the case but his son knew of Lincoln Perry and had spoken highly of him and his partner. What Lincoln knows of the flamboyant Wayne Weston makes him feel differently about him, but there is no dispute that John Weston is suffering a living death. There are lots of reasons to stay out but one major reason to get involved and Lincoln finds himself agreeing to what John Weston wants. Before long, Joe Pritchard’s concerns about accepting the case pale in comparison to the clear and obvious fact that Wayne Weston made some very powerful enemies, both in public and in not so public areas. Enemies who will tolerate their presence and digging until they actually begin to make progress. Once that happens, the body count begins to steadily climb, as not only are the investigators targets but anyone they come into contact.

This novel quickly becomes a gripping read as one is pulled into this complex tale of powerful men, the Russia Mafia, murder, law enforcement corruption and good old basic evil. This is a powerful read, despite the author’s relative young twenty-one year old age, as the book works on all levels as if the author were much older. Despite some reviews, which have chastised the author for lack of character development, that simply isn’t the case. While the novel is primarily written from the viewpoint of Lincoln Perry, Joe Pritchard is also complex and given plenty of time before readers. Every debut novel has secrets about the main characters which will be fleshed out further later in the series and this novel is no exception.

That clear character development enhances a complex storyline with numerous twists and turns that reveal puzzles within puzzles. Just when it becomes clear who the enemies are, the author shakes things up and changes the stakes as well as the perceptions. Then, there is the final twist in the last few pages that hits with the literary effect of a sucker punch in the stomach. There is a reason why this novel won the “St. Martin’s Press/PWA Prize For Best First P.I. Novel.” If it isn’t clear already, the book is very good.


Tonight, I Said Goodbye 

Michael Koryta
http://www.michaelkoryta.com
Thomas Dunne Books
2004
ISBN # 0-312-33245-9
Hardback
290 Pages


This entire review first appeared online at the now defunct "The Vacantfunhouse."



Kevin R. Tipple © 2005, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Thy Own Self Be True






Yep....I am the adult version.

Centennial Class of 2012--SENIORS!!!

Scott was and always will be an original COMET and as such he has a star on the wall with his name on it.....

I used to be able to run up and down this hallway when Scott attended and when in later years I was privileged to sub at Centennial. It seemed to take forever yesterday ........


The celebration was held in the library......
and a small fraction of Scott's class as well as a half dozen teachers showed up. From other parents and a few kids we learned most of the kids graduated at the Winter Break and are already off at College. The picture below is of the kids that attended and a few of the Moms that were invited into the shot.

 Sandi worked the camera for all of these as I had my hands full just trying to move from one place to another. Wonderful to see some of the folks who worked with us and Scott from the very beginning to get us to this point in our lives. We tried to say thank you and express our appreciation but the full scope of how much of an impact certain folks had on things is impossible to explain or thank properly.


Kevin

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Desperate Times

Hope I can sleep tonight....leg and back is hurting really bad. Leg is very swollen and feels like it is on fire. I should have not gone to Scott's deal at Centennial Elementary (2012 graduating Seniors reunion party) as I can do so little now without suffering huge consequences. I really should have used the walker instead of my cane but it is so embarrassing to use the walker in public. 

Social Security Disability hearing is on June 19th. Hopefully we can raise the June rent so we still are here by then and my car is not repossessed by then so I can get to the hearing. 

I hate asking for help but, please, we truly need your help.

Review: "Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought Tolerant Choices for All Climates" by Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden


Water supplies and drought are increasingly serious issues across large sections of the country and especially here in Texas. As noted in the introduction, the 200 plants in this book are plants that can survive and thrive on one inch of water every two weeks during their peak growing times. Obviously, brand new plants will need more water to get going and during cooler weather these established plants will need much less.

As noted in the subtitle these are 200 plants that can work anywhere. Broken down into 11 chapters that cover trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, ground covers, and more here is a huge variety here in plant materials and appearances. There is certain to be several selections that will fit your particular situation. Each chapter features numerous specimens in large colorful pictures with their Latin names, explanation of shade and light needs, how fast or slow the plants grow, zone recommendations, and detailed notes on each plant. In each case there are also design idea recommendations and a listing of related plants to the one being covered.

A seven page index pulls the 249 page book together. Each section of plant types is color coded for ease of use. Another nice touch is the use of numerous symbols with each plant making it clear in a glance what you are looking for. Colorful and well done, Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought Tolerant Choices for All Climates serves not only as a handy reference guide but a beautiful book to inspire you to transform your landscape into a sustainable one that will be an envy of all and environmentally aware.

Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought Tolerant Choices for All Climates
Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden
Timber Press
Sept. 2011
ISBN# 978-1-60469-169-6
Paperback
249 pages
$24.95


Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sandi's Thyroid Biopsy Results

All five samples have come back CLEAN! No sign at all of any cancer whatsoever. Nothing, nada, zip.

They want to do a followup that may or may not include another painful biopsy deal in about three months. So the end of July and early August is looking busy as that is also when they want to do another full body PET Scan to check on things.

At this point everything has come back indicting she is in remission for the two nasty types of Non Hodgkins Lymphomas she had and no sign of any other new cancer. Still needs to have the echo cardiogram scheduled and done to make sure the chemotherapy has not done any new damage to her heart. And she still has to have the surgery to remove the port out of her chest. But, all things considered, things are looking up for Sandi's health at this point.

This was the best possible news we could have gotten. Sandi's comment was, "I told you so." I still can't quite believe it. I really want to believe but to be told this after all the indications otherwise is pretty amazing.

Because we are back online Sandi was able to update her blog from home today. As always she has a lot of pictures. In this case her blog deal is on items she recently has been making the last couple of weeks. The link to check it out is http://lady-sandra.blogspot.com/2012/05/more-finished-projects2.html


Kevin

And We're Back!

I have had computer connectivity problems since Friday around noon that finally were fixed late yesterday evening around 8 by Verizon. Seems that the signal was not getting to this building most of the time and since we are the only Verizon customer with a landline (as well as the only Verizon customer on this side of the property) they were not getting any error reports. It is nice to be back and I hope it stays that way.

Now if maintenance would show up and fix the washing machine which failed last Wednesday morning it would be good. Apparently the apartment supplied ten year old washer is waiting for a circuit board. Apparently the circuit board tells the washer to turn the water on. I don't want to launch missiles. I just want to wash clothes, towels, etc.  Considering how much we had to do because a toilet broke and flooded the bathroom floor and then some, it would be nice to have the washer back.

I would be remiss if I didn't also publicly say thank you to the several people who have donated to our fund. Things are really bad money wise and we truly desperately need your help to survive here another month. Any donation at all is very gratefully appreciated. 


Kevin

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: "The Feedstore Chronicles" by Travis Ervin


Building on his experience working at a feedstore as a teen, Texas author Terry Ervin fictionalized those years and all involved to come up with this often funny coming of age tale. Except for references to the author and two former pro wrestlers, The Feedstore Chronicles is fiction. Despite the fact it is fiction, the book on occasion will strike a strong resonance with you if you are of a certain age and grew up in Texas. 
It is the spring of 1989 and the young narrator, Travis, is all of sixteen. Travis has a crush on the nubile Samantha Black who is a certain cheerleader at Caprock High School.  Doyle Suggs, thirty, twice divorced, runs Pearl’s Feed and Seed in Amarillo, Texas. Travis believes that if he had some cash from working he might have a chance with her. So, he gets a minimum wage job at the feedstore and soon learns there are very nasty jobs at the store. Not all of the nasty ones involve Doyle’s dog “Snuggles.”

While working after school making money did not do anything to get him any closer to Samantha it did let him see the world through the eyes of his boss Doyle Suggs. Doyle believes that every woman on the planet is his to bed. He is active and makes every effort to get laid on a daily basis with as many women as possible. When necessary, he is more than willing to work out a trade of some of the store product on credit for some intimate time with the ladies. Doyle also likes practical jokes, to harass his small stuff of Travis and Jerry, and to be the boss and play favorites. As the months turn into years and Travis works closer and closer to High School graduation he learns the good, the bad, and the downright ugly and smelly from Doyle.

There is no great summing up of this book that is possible. No great mysteries are solved, no meaning of life is pronounced, and no great revelations are explained. Something that was made clear from word one of the introduction. The Feedstore Chronicles is a fun read and an ode to a time when, as pimply faced Texas teens, we knew it all. For Travis it also meant he met and married the woman of his dreams. For me it means I still can’t walk into Burger King without shuddering just a little.

Occasionally graphic in terms of language and physical descriptions, this is a book of interconnected stories. Stories that have been fictionalized massively to protect those involved. Stories much like what you would tell while sitting around with your buddies and drinking beer. A fun read that does not take itself seriously nor has any deep meaning or symbolism.

Read it for fun and enjoy.

The Feedstore Chronicles
Travis Erwin
TAG Publishing, LLC
2011
ISBN 978-1-934606-31-5
Paperback (also available on Kindle)
206 Pages
$14.95


Material in the form of a PDF supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Breakdown City


Everybody has those days when one thing after another breaks down. This is our tale of woe…..

Earlier in the week one of the toilets started leaking. Not the best way to start the day at 6am by stepping into water all over the bathroom floor. Karl got the water shut off and we all got the water mopped up before it flooded elsewhere into our apartment or the neighbors. Took a couple of days but maintenance fixed that by replacing the water line into the toilet and putting a new bracket on it. So, the toilet once again worked.

Along Wednesday or so the stair case rail came off the wall in the midst of one my falls.  I think the rail gave way and helped cause my fall because the brackets snapped when I leaned on it. But, maybe I fell onto it first. Not really sure it all happened so quick but falling all over the stairs was not helpful. New brackets had to be installed and they were giving me something to hang onto on the stairs.

Wednesday the knob on the washer literally came off in Karl’s hand. That meant the washer was down and we had a ton of laundry to do. Maintenance came, put the knob back on, and discovered the water still would not come on. Parts, including a new circuit board, have now been ordered and are supposedly on the way. Meanwhile we remain washerless so some things got washed in the bathtub today and hung out on the rail outside to dry. I suggested to Sandi that we give the neighbors something else to talk about by flying a few of her bras off the rails but she declined and was not amused.

You know, when we were dating I used to be hilarious. Sandi often tells me now I am not funny. I have no idea what happened.

Friday the Verizon modem went out taking out the DSL connection and removing us from the internet. Karl still has a deal with T-Mobile since he has a cell phone with them so he came up with a workaround using some gizmo that is a “T-Mobile Hotspot” to get us back online though things are really slow and sporadic. In the meantime he talked to Verizon and they shipped in a new modem yesterday. The kid can’t read or write above second grade but he sure can talk tech with these guys!

So the modem arrives, instructions are followed, and we still have nothing. Made multiple attempts and still nothing at all. No point in calling anyone over the weekend as there is nothing they can or will do. It remains down, doing the same thing the other one did, so despite their assurances it was not the phone line and it was the modem, it looks like Verizon was wrong. This is not the first time we have had major issues with them and I am not a happy camper.

Neither is Sandi who was trying to update her blog today at http://lady-sandra.blogspot.com/ which she was finally able to do. She also managed to get into her store at http://www.sanditipple.ioffer.com/ and lower some things again to try and raise some money. So, please take a look if you get a chance.

Finally and hopefully last thing---this afternoon I am sitting on the end of our bed and suddenly there is a huge crunch and the bed lurches downward. I get up to discover that the wheel on one corner of the bedframe along with the supporting material of the frame had all broken and ejected out from underneath the bed. Sigh. Just from sitting there.

Needless to say with all this going on I didn’t get to work on review stuff like I wanted to do this weekend. Hopefully that will change over the next couple of days because losing time just puts me further and further behind. It is also very discouraging and I don’t need any help being depressed these days. Can do that all of my own without any help!

Kevin