Crimes of Education (via Whatever)

Crimes of Education I’ve been getting a lot of e-mail asking for my thoughts about Kelley Williams-Bolar, the woman here in Ohio who was recently sentenced to to ten days in prison (of which apparently she served nine) and now has a felony record because she and her father listed the father’s residence as the primary residence of her children, in order that the kids could go to school in a better school district. As I understand it, idea here is that because she did … Read More

via Whatever

Happy 150th Kansas!

Kansas 150
Kansas 150

My home state turned 150 today.  I live within three miles of the First City in Kansas, also known as Leavenworth, and within ten miles of Fort Leavenworth, first established in 1827.  Except for a dozen years spent in the Wichita area, I’ve lived in Leavenworth County, Kansas all my life.

For a brief history and a look back over the last century and a half, visit Wikipedia‘s page for Kansas.

For information on events occurring today to celebrate the sesquicentennial, visit the official Kansas 150 web site.

And don’t forget to sing our state song, the quintessential and unofficial anthem of the American West:  Home on the Range

FBCS 2011 Upcoming Reads Montage

February is just four days away.

On the first, we start reading Feist‘s the Riftwar Saga series with Magician: Apprentice.

On the fifteenth, we will start reading Erikson‘s Malazan Book of the Fallen series with Gardens of the Moon.

Both of these series will keep us occupied, discussing and debating for the rest of 2011.  Come join in the fun.  Don’t feel pressured to read and/or discuss both series … unless you desire to.

Fantasy Book Club Series’s to-read book montage for 2011

Fantasy Book Club Series 200 members

Can’t resist the lure of an epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery, heroic…

Books we plan to read

Magician: Apprentice Gardens of the Moon Magician: Master
Deadhouse Gates Silverthorn Memories of Ice
A Darkness at Sethanon House of Chains Daughter of the Empire
Midnight Tides Servant of the Empire The Bonehunters
Mistress of the Empire Reaper's Gale Prince of the Blood
Toll the Hounds The King's Buccaneer Dust of Dreams

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The Irresistable Aroma of Fresh Baked Bread

Sunday afternoon, while Terry and Sean practiced in the band room downstairs, I baked three loaves of bread.  My first loaf, baked for my dad who graciously cleared my driveway yesterday, is the ever popular White Sandwich Bread, pictured here:

White Sandwich Bread
White Sandwich Bread

Immediately following dad’s loaf, I baked my hubby his favorite, which he refers to as trashy wheat bread, but I call Honey Wheat Bread (pictured below):

Honey Wheat Bread
Honey Wheat Bread

The last loaf, and my personal (at least recently) favorite is Rustic Sourdough, modified slightly to mix and rise in the bread machine and produce only one perfect loaf, shown below:

Rustic Sourdough
Rustic Sourdough

So I filled the house with the smell of fresh baked bread and tortured Sean in the process.  Terry even tried to sell my bread to him (at outlandish outrageous prices), but Sean did not succumb to the temptation.

Later in the week, I may try a variety I haven’t baked in years … Cracked Wheat.

Restaurant Review: Blue Pig BBQ (Ardmore, Oklahoma)

On our return trip from Texas, Saturday, 22 January 2011, Terry and I passed through Ardmore, Oklahoma just in time for lunch.  After cruising through the main drags of the city, we ended up back at the first exit from I-35 and decided to try the Blue Pig BBQ establishment.

Blue Pig BBQ in Ardmore, OK
Blue Pig BBQ in Ardmore, OK

The advertised special for Saturdays included catfish, something I hadn’t eaten since an after work dinner gathering at Jazz at the Legends with my former carpool buddy a few months ago.   When I asked our waitress about the special, she reluctantly informed me they were already out of catfish (and it wasn’t even noon yet!).

So, I scrambled to select my second choice, and settled on a hot link sandwich and sweet baked beans.  Terry asked the waitress which she preferred, the pulled pork of the chopped brisket.  She indicated the latter.  Terry ordered the chopped brisket and sweet baked beans.  We also ordered onion rings as an appetizer.

Our appetizer arrived promptly and we enjoyed the treat, soon followed by our sandwiches and sides.  My hotlink was a garden variety offering on a plain white hamburger bun.  Being a bread fanatic, I just shake my head at why barbecue places don’t offer better bread.  Another oddity, instead of plates (paper, styrofoam or otherwise), our food was served on a paper lined serving tray.  A bit of an ‘ich’ factor for me, but I survived.

While I wasn’t overwhelmed by my hotlink sandwich, the beans proved above average (slightly below Famous Dave’s Wilbur beans and even farther below Jack Stack’s beans which are the apex of baked bean heaven).

An interesting short lunch (we were completely stuffed and ready to hit the road in about thirty minutes) but not a repeat stop for us on our next trip to Texas.

Recovering from Our Mad Dash North Yesterday

We cut short or trip to Texas, visiting our kids in Plano and Denton, due to forecast inclement winter weather for today (Sunday).  We crossed into the Flint Hills at 5:15 pm on I-35 northbound yesterday and reached the Matfield Green Service Center a few minutes later.  Just in time for the start of a spectacular prairie sunset:

Flint Hills Sunset
Flint Hills Sunset

To see the other photos I took with the normal and telephoto lenses for the Pentax K100D, please follow this link:  Flint Hills Sunset Saturday Evening 22 Jan 2011

And Now, For No Particular Reason, a Rant About Facebook (via Whatever)

Scalzi on Facebook

A friend of mine noted recently that I seemed a little antagonistic about Facebook recently — mostly on my Facebook account, which is some irony for you — and wanted to know what I had against it. The answer is simple enough: Facebook is what happens to the Web when you hit it with the stupid stick. It’s a dumbed-down version of the functionality the Web already had, just not all in one place at one time. Facebook has made substandard versions … Read More

via Whatever

SciFi & Fantasy Book Club (GoodReads) February 2011 Fantasy Theme Poll

February Fantasy Theme Selection Poll
GoodReads Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club


SciFi and Fantasy Book Club’s currently-reading book montage

SciFi and Fantasy Book Club 4224 members

Welcome to the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club!

Books we’re currently reading

The Lions of al-RassanThe Lions of al-Rassan
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Start date: January 1, 2011 

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Final Jeopardy: Law

From last Thursday on Jeopardy, I was a bit surprised none of the three contestants (none of whom were attorneys)  got the answer right.

The final category was Law and the  clue was: In 1790 the USA’s 1st law governing this protection gave it a term of 14 years; today it can extend well over a century.

The first contestant stated: “What are Patents?” … wrong

The second contestant stated: “What is haebius corpus?” … wrong

The third contestant stated: “What is witness protection?” … wrong

The correct answer was: “What is a copyright?” … which my husband can confirm I got way before the end of the thirty second song.

Kudos to Terry for getting “What is amnesty?” from this clue: This pardon, especially for political offenses against government, is from a Greek word for “forgetting” in the category From the Greek.


FBCS Run-Off Poll: Riftwar v. Malazan

Fantasy Book Club Series’s read book montage

Fantasy Book Club Series 193 members

Can’t resist the lure of a soaring epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery,…

Books we’ve read

Stormed FortressStormed Fortress
by Janny Wurts
Start date: December 1, 2010

Traitor's KnotTraitor’s Knot
by Janny Wurts
Start date: November 1, 2010

Peril's GatePeril’s Gate
by Janny Wurts
Start date: October 1, 2010

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