Kat Lange - A Talented Graphics Designer

It's been a long while since I blogged.  The easy excuse is I've been working on quite a few other projects and works keeping me tied up; but getting back into the swing of things, one item I definitely want to pass on is the wonderful work, blog, and website of Kat Lange Designs.  Her work is very dynamic, sharp,  and clean.  I've really been impressed with her designs, so much so, she did my author logo.  She also designed the logo for "Think Kings".  Here's her social media connections: website -  www.katlange.com; blog -  www.katlangedesigns.com, and Instagram - @katlangedesigns.

The logos seen below are representative of the ones she designed for myself and Think Kings.   So go and give her site a visit.


Journey to the World of Never Events

So why is it called the "Journey to the World of Never Events"?  It would have to be due to a reflections of all the things that never happened.  We always tend to look at our lives based upon what's going  on each day.  What happens if we focus on those things that haven't happened.  Would that change how we view our daily lives. Let's see, I didn't climb K2, Mount Everest, or the Matterhorn, but then again I'm not a mountain climber.  I didn't race in the Daytona 500, but then again I'n not a NASCAR driver.  So the journey could be infinite and I believe everyone is on their own ride.  

Talking to a friend, he mentioned something similar on a project he's working on called the land of Broken Dreams.   It was based on things he never got to do, or never went as planned.  Could both place exist in the same construct.  He's going to make an animation project out of it.  I think it'll be cool and link it to the blog when its completed.

Train Stories - Kansas to Los Angeles

Thought I'd throw on a couple of train story events during my travels over the last couple of years between Kansas City and L.A/Riverside Area. (And yes, the stories are real)


While standing in line at the lounge car to get a hot chocolate, a person with the appearance of a Rastafarian, slightly heavy, and almost perfect English is talking with another guy.  Both are in the line ahead of me. 

“Man, I really need to stop doing shrooms.  Last time some lady came up and asked, hey what happened to the whites of your eyes.’I went to go look in a mirror and my pupils were so large. Man, I looked like I was warping in and out of the mirror.  Man what a trip.  I can’t be doing that stuff anymore.”  He paused for a second, and then continued, “can’t wait till I get off the train so I can smoke some weed.”

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A passenger decides to talk to an Amish mother and father travelling with their toddler daughter. 
“So where are you guys from?”
“Illinois.”
“So what state did you get on at?” (Legitimate question)
“Illinois.”
“So what city did you get on at?”
“La Plata, there’s an Amish community near there.”
“So is there an Amish community in Illinois?”
“Yes, La Plata.”
“I didn’t know you could take a train?”
“It’s one of the ways we believe we can travel.  We’re needing to go to San Diego and then down to Mexico to visit a friend there for medical treatment.  He has cancer.”
“Oh…so what city are you travelling to?”
“San Diego.”
“Oh, is there an Amish community in San Diego.”
“No, we're going down to Mexico.”
“Oh, why you going to Mexico.”
“Going to visit to a friend who has cancer.”
“Oh, well hope you have fun down there.”
I can’t even explain the look on the Amish husband’s face.

Elements of a Good Independent Coffee House

Giant Coffee Cup

I know this next post was to be about the difference between Bad Sushi and a Bad day, when thinking about it, its quite evident.  So here are elements I consider of a good independent coffee house. 

  • The music isn't too loud.  You can sit back and enjoy the atmosphere, talk amongst friends, work on laptop, browse the web on your tablet, or meditate on the day. 
  • There's space to kick back, break out the laptop and work.  You don't feel crowded in and claustrophobic.
  • It doesn't feel like a chain store - there's a couple that come to mind, branding everywhere, and for one chain, small isn't small but tall, which in this universe, I thought tall and large were somewhat synonymous.  Also medium isn't medium, large isn't large.  If you're gonna use Venti (Italian for 20 oz), then convert to milliliters.  But hey, Italians use the metric system so they wouldn't have a 20 oz equivalent would they? (I don't know really...hmmm...now I'm just spouting off, do they have a 20 oz equivalent?)
  • Back on track, you don't feel like you're in a store front shop, but a place of relaxation. (This actually knocks off one or two more places I like to go…ughhh.)
  • The staff aren't dressed the same, but each wearing something unique with their own personality. We'll give you the smock or apron, but after that, the barristas don't look like cookie cutter company droids.

 

5 Ways to Tell If Your Keys Want To Go on Vacation

1.) You keep losing them. Be real, they’re trying to give you a hint. You may think you’re becoming forgetful, but nope. They’re trying to sneak out.

2.) They act like they don’t work in the lock they’re intended for. This is their form of rebellion.

3.) They keep getting tangled amongst the other keychains, keyloops and anything else keeping you from finding the key you really need at the moment. Of course this is only the case if you have a whole crapload of keys and key rings on your keychain. A key ring with just a few keys is fine and the keys may not really need a vacation. The key siblings probably aren’t getting on each other nerves with just a few hanging around. However, if you do have a key ring with only a few keys, and keep forgetting where you put them, refer to rule 1.

4.) Everytime your reach into your purse or pocket to pull out your keys, you swear they poked you in some way. Now they’re getting obstinate and really want to go bad. You're just not getting the hint.

5.) They're bored. 

(Future Post - How to tell if you're having a bad day or ate bad Sushi; not as simple as you think)

Finally Getting to Posting the Review of 'Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios"

Well I got around to posting the review for the novel "The Book of Hours:  The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios".  All in all, compared to my previous post, its a must read.  Don't expect fast paced action-packed suspense but a well crafted story based on a simple historical book.  Interesting topic, and interesting story.  And apart from working on some notes from the sequel the The Fallen and the Elect, I think I'll try to attack a non-fiction book.  I started "The Black Swan" a while back, think I'll give it another go.  

Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother AlphaiosBook of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios by J.S. Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I extremely enjoyed “The Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphiaos” for what it didn’t have. The book didn’t have action packed scenes attempting to create the visual of an action movie. It didn’t crazy over the top characters to attempt and add color to the story. It didn’t have a fanciful plot adding plot twists in an attempt to keep the reader guessing. Is there anything wrong with these writing devices, of course not, especially if used correctly. Where this story succeeds is with simple story telling, although a couple of times a bit monotone. In all, this didn't take away from the story, the author was an excellent wordsmith. The characters were down to earth and well developed with realistic human frailties. The story pacing was methodical and deliberate, and at first I thought maybe a little slow, but the more I continued, the deeper it developed. It was cool to see the main character you would think to be out of his element, as the story progressed, the more you see he was very well in control of everything going on around him, but realizing there were many events he had no control over. I couldn’t put the book (Kindle) down.

View all my reviews

Never Did Review Yet of "The Book of Hours: The Beguilement...

I just realized I never accomplished the review for "Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios".  I had finished it a short while ago and kept reminding myself to ensure I did the review as I scanned over the previous entries.  I'll work on it tomorrow and then post the review on GoodReads, Smashwords and Amazon.  I'll just say briefly here, well worth the read, I definitely enjoyed the book.  Hmmm, would this count as a review or a rumination of a review? 

A Few Pics Traveling Cross Country

Well, during a recent trip across the country via the Southwest Chief.  One was while at the station stop in Albuquerque, passing through Colorado and crossing over the Mississippi River. I found some new features with my phone able to modify their look.  These are just a sample of those I think I'll post here in a short while. 

Finished "The Martian" and an Interesting Event

Well, I finished the Martian last night; it kept me up until 1 in the morning.  I must say it was quite interesting and kept me entertained.  I did have to wallow through some slow parts, especially as the author got to be very detailed oriented on the technical and science aspect during many of the situations.  Of course, that went in line with the story and the circumstances surrounding the protagonist.  I'll work to write a detailed review over the next couple of days.   

Onto another interesting event.  I stopped and got gas the other evening after getting off work.  After I inserted my plastic money in the slot, the display worked as it should and requested for me to select which grade of fuel.  Being the one not to waste money when I don't need to and the owner's manual says use the lowest octane, I'll definitely go with the owner's manual.  I start to pump the gas and the LCD screen stays at $0.00 and gallons 0.000.  Weird.  I try reinserting the nozzle, resetting the pump handle, and a couple of other attempted remedies.  Of course nothing happens.  Now is when I start hearing the cacophony of the other customers all mentioning something must be wrong, their pumps stop working as well.  One of the station attendants comes out carrying yellow and black caution tape.  Not a good sign.  She yells out "The pumps are down."  Great. Just as I finish placing the nozzle back into the pump and securing my gas cap, a customer who had walked in a couple of minutes earlier comes walking out and bellows, "Can you believe the gas station ran out of gas."  You should have seen the embarrassed look on the gas station attendant's face.

Just started "The Martian"

Ok, ok, ok, I know I said I would go through more indie/self-published authors on my reading list, but I've been hearing so much buzz about "The Martian", I said, I got try it.  I just got started and am now about 15% through. (Gotta luv the % completed on Kindle).  At first it seemed it was going to be a long drawn out castaway narrative, but its changing and is turning out to be quite interesting. Maybe interesting is too non-descriptive.  How about engaging.  Yes, that's it, engaging.

Catching up on my reading

I have to say, I've been away for a while catching up on my reading list.  I've moved more towards indie and self-published authors and can say I've found one interesting gem.  It's not a fast, action-packed read, but mind provoking.  Another book, was turning out to be a fun read, but then...left turn into a weird place.  I'll be writing reviews on Good Read and Think Kings on both, one is called "The Blizzard", and the other "Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios"

The Legacy of Angels

Ok, now is the time to get serious.  I've been working on providing background information for "The Fallen and the Elect" in regards to angelic history.  I think I'll begin with a section with fragments to be titled "The Legacy of Angels".  It should unveil the point of view for on the one of the primary characters in the book.  

View of the day...

Of course I won't start to post what I viewed during the day everyday, but today while ruminating at my desk this morning after running some errands, I saw a yellow butterfly float by the patio window.  Haven't seen one around here in eons.  Hummingbirds however, that's a different story.  I see them all the time, especially while I'm doing my morning walk/jog.

Techno Entry - Time Warner/Comcast Merger?

Like many other customers of Time Warner, I received an email announcing of a pending merger.  I found it ironic actually.  Here's an excerpt of the letter:

Above all, this merger will benefit you, our customers. Our two companies have been behind many of the innovative services that you enjoy every day—digital cable TV, high-speed Internet, DVRs, Video On Demand and WiFi in the home and on-the-go—to name just a few. The combined company will innovate faster and deploy even better products and features, including a superior video guide, faster Broadband Internet speeds and even more WiFi access points so you can access the Internet wherever you go. 

We expect the merger to close around the end of 2014. In the meantime, all of us at Time Warner Cable remain committed to providing you with great TV, ultra-fast Internet, rock solid phone service and innovative home security and monitoring. And we will continue to make significant investments to improve reliability and to enhance our customer service."

So the question is knowing of what happens when companies merge and attempt expand services, will they truly make significant investments to improve reliability/enhance customer service and continue to "air-quotes" innovate?  It seems when an elephant consumes an elephant, it continues to remain slow, lumber-some, and slow to meet the challenges of the customer.  Their focus is preservation of the whole.  Of course you want to preserve the company to maximize profit, but when you have a large beast to satiate, the focus is keeping the beast alive.  Many large companies fail to forget responsiveness to customers and maintaining their interests is the best long term goal.  Macy's always focused on customer service and remained relevant with a limited number of slow years.   Yet how many times have we've heard of poor customer from so many large companies? (Forgive the generalizations) The point is, a merger is not always a positive event for the customer.

Future Direction of Next Work

Now comes the fun part.  As I lean in the direction of working on "House Xrion", I wonder if working on the sequel to "The Fallen and the Elect" would be more interesting.  Either way, I enjoy writing so I come out ahead.  More so, I hope the readers are enjoying the works, and let me know either way what they enjoy, and what could be improved.   So those of you who bought my books, happy reading as I begin to buckle in (ugghhh...I used a cliche...) and press on.

Opposite End of Writing Scale

Now I'm at the opposite end of the writer's dilemma.  It's not that I'm not having an idea on what to write about, but so many ideas keep flooding my head, I'm finding it hard to sort through the thoughts and capture them down.  First there's the sequel for the Fallen and the Elect.  Then there's the sequel for North of Elysium (that still needs to be proofed now that its had its first edit run.  A whole new story line is building as well from a short story I had developed years ago.  Its going to be based on "The House Xrion".  More to come on that.  Hmmm...I'll figure it out.