Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Memories of the Future

Info and Picture taken from Amazon


From Encounter at Farpoint to Datalore, relive the first half of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s unintentionally hilarious first season through the eyes, ears and memories of cast member and fan Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) as he shares his unique perspective in the episode guide you didn’t even know you were dying to read. 
ENJOY snarky episode recaps! 
EXPAND your Technobabble vocabulary! 
AMUSE your friends with quotable dialog! 
BOLDLY go behind the scenes!

So I heard about this book online, bought and read it in about 4 hours yesterday. I could have taken a nap because a truely amazing miracle happened and both of my boys slept at the same time, for the same amount of time. But no, I was too busy laughing at Wil Wheaton being snarky.

If you're a fan of Wil Wheaton in general and a fan of Star Trek: Next Generation then I highly recommend this book. I love all the snarky retelling of the episodes and the honesty that Wheaton inserts throughout the entire thing.

Now, I came to my love of ST:TNG late in game. When the episodes originally aired, I was 1 year old. It wasn't until my college years and into adult hood that I got to see the entire series. And I, unlike many others, liked Weasley Crusher. I had no idea until reading this book why people hated that character so much.

Wheaton puts an interesting spin on everything that happened while making those first 12 episodes and now I want to re-watch that first half of the first season to see if I now notice all those little things he pointed out.

So if you're a TNG fan, I suggest you read this book. It's only 138 pages long. And I really hope Wheaton continues to write these.

Also, in related news, this happened on Twitter yesterday. :D

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Joys (?) of Potty Training

Oh potty training. We started training Will two weeks ago. I thought I was prepared. I thought I had a plan, but within the first couple days it all went down the toilet, so to speak. ;)

I originally planed to do this every 15 minute thing. Where you load him up on salty foods and water or juice and then make him sit on the toilet every 15 minutes. Well that didn't work. William would just wait until I put his pants back on and then to pee. So then I tried something that people had suggested to me a few times but I was scared to try. I just let him run around half naked for a couple days.

And yes, there were some wonderfully epic accidents, but it worked. Will learned it was better to go in the potty then face Mommy's wrath. Cookies helped enforce that. :)

So he's got going pee in the potty down well, and only in the last couple days has he figured out that it's better to poop in the potty than in the pants.

He's a smart kid and I knew he'd get it, but that first week was rough, for me. I was convinced that he'd get it within the first day or two, so when that didn't happen I started stressing out. Like a lot. I took his slow learning to mean that I was a bad mom in some way. I know now that was stupid thinking, but at the time it was really eating me up.

But now things are going really well. He's starting to use the potty without even telling me until he's done. We haven't tackled night time stuff yet. I figure we need to get the routine down for day time before we go there. So for now he's still sleeps in pull ups.

I know we're not done training, but he's making good progress and that makes me happy. Now the next step is getting this kid to sleep all night and not try to get into bed with us at 3 in the morning. But that's another post for another time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review: Wool

Info & Picture from Amazon


This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.


Over on the AW Forums in the Sci-fi/Fantasy section there a monthly book discussion thread. I try to participate when I can. :) And this month they book that was chosen was Wool. It wasn't my first choice but I don't regret it.

Normally I'm not one for dystopia. It's always so dark and bleak, or at least the summaries sound that way, and thus I don't pick them up to read them. Now Wool is a collection of short stories and novellas. The first one is pretty bleak but it get better and it becomes more and more interesting.

By the middle of the book I was dying to know all the answers. Why was humanity stuck in under ground silos? What happened to the Earth to make it so awful on the surface? Why weren't the people in charge telling their people the truth? Howey did a good job in keeping me guessing.

He also created some great characters. Even the ones that you don't see much of are well rounded, fleshed out people. And of course, the main character, Juliette, is a fun and interesting character to follow. She fights for what is right and is not afraid of a little hard work or struggle to get what she needs. She's a good strong female lead.

And the end of the book, wow, I did not see that coming. I honestly wasn't sure if everything would end happy or not. The first couple stories in the book don't end on a happy note at all, so I had no idea how the whole thing would turn out.

In the end I really enjoyed the read. There's more to this series and I'm very curious to read it. So I'll be adding those to my massive To Be Read pile.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Judas Unchained

(Info & Pic taken from Amazon)


Peter F. Hamilton’s superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes–and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora’s Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy. 

The Prime are the Commonwealth’s worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.

Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist–the Starflyer–has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along, and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth–agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?

Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.

This will be humanity’s finest hour–or its last gasp.


I'm giving this one 4 stars for a lot of the same reasons I gave Pandora's Star 4 stars. You can't read one without the other. I get the feeling that when Hamilton wrote this story it was all one big manuscript that had to be cut into two books. But I'd give the story all together a definite 5 stars.

Judas Unchained picked up where Pandora's Star left off. You're dealing with all the same characters with the same problems. And what makes this so magical is that Hamilton manages to bring pretty much every character into the final conflict in one way or another. And that final battle takes a long time and I was honestly not sure if the good guys would win or not.

But what amazes me most about these two books is from a writing perspective. There is so much creativity here. So many characters and worlds and alien races, I can't even imagine how Hamilton kept track of all of it while he was writing.

Anyway, if you like space opera on an epic scale, then you'll like this. There's something for everyone within these two books.

Well, thanks for reading, and have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Is Here!

2013 is here and that means it's time to set new goals and see how quickly I forget them. ;P

Last year was a good and stressful year. Jacob was born in April and we moved to our new place in August. We saw a lot of family this year. Both sides came in the spring or summer to see Jacob and then we visited everyone for the holidays.

I'm looking forward to this year in hopes that it will be a quieter and more peaceful kind of year. I know that the world and our country is in some turmoil right now, and it doesn't look like it will get that much better this year, but if I can keep my home and family in a happy place then all is well.

So how am I going to do that? Well I've got 6 things I want to accomplish this year. Some are just for me and some are for my family as a whole, and I really believe I can do it this year. And here they are:

Kricket's 2013 Resolutions

  1. Begin getting out of debt. We're finally in a place this year were we can start saving and getting rid of these credit cards and student loans hanging over our heads. I'm really excited about this.
  2. Create a more structured routine. It's hard to stick to a schedule with kids, especially with a baby, but everyone needs structure and I want to create more of that this year. No more living my days by the seat of my pants, it's too easy to be lazy that way.
  3. Potty train Will. I hope to start that in the next couple weeks. I really want to get Will into preschool this fall and he'll need to be potty trained before that. He's ready, I'm almost ready, Let's Do This!
  4. Go to the temple once a month. Daniel and I have been slacking on this. Having small children is a great excuse not to go as often as we should, but no more! We will schedule this and find someone to watch the kids and all will be well.
  5. Finish first draft of Dragons in Space. I'll talk more about this in my writing blog tomorrow.
  6. Read at least 25 books. I've never kept track of how many books I read but I really should. I figured 25 was a good number to start with. I'll probably read more. I've got three books right now I want to read, just having a hard time deciding which to read first.

And that's it folks! Finances, home life, kids, spirituality, writing, reading, I think I covered all the basics of my life. :)

So what are some of your goals for this new year? Tell me in the comments, this blog isn't just about me you know (okay, stop looking so shocked).

Happy New Year and have a good week!