Five days into the 2015 Reading Challenge and I can already check off one of the boxes: A Mystery/Thriller.

Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1887 in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery novel “A Study in Scarlet.” For decades Doyle entertained readers with the wit and cynicism of the famous Baker Street detective. Over a century later, the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. endorsed a new Holmes adventure to be written by Anthony Horowitz. And what an adventure it is. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz captures the essence of a classic Sherlock Holmes novel, as well as the intensity and suspense of any modern mystery novel.

Holmes and Watson are first approached by a wealthy art dealer afraid that he is being followed by the remaining member of the Flat Cap Gang from America. During the course of the investigation into the identity of this individual, Holmes is entrapped in a far darker mystery, with perversion and immorality reaching to the highest levels of posh society and government.

I have to wonder what Doyle would think about this Holmes adventure.

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Let me start by saying I used to be fit and healthy with a balance of gym, sports, eating properly, and enjoying life. So I know that it takes a lot of hard work to be both healthy AND strong. The body knows its limits.

When I was 25 I began having health issues beginning with my heart. A decade and a hundred pounds later and I am trying to relearn it all. My limits are different now, but so are my goals. I need to realize that I will not be that 25 year old again, nor will I be any of the women pictured in this blog. But I can be healthy, and strong, and happy. I will not push myself until I puke, nor will I call myself lazy when I reach my limits.

Reembody

The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort…

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Dreams and Goals

Posted: September 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

I sit here on a Saturday morning, and I reflect on all the goals I put off til “tomorrow” throughout this week. Tomorrow hasn’t arrived, but another weekend has. “Tomorrows” accumulate without even realizing it, and only I can be held responsible.

Today has arrived. Today is the day goals are made, every Today is when dreams are achieved.

Let me start with “I don’t get it” and then try to redeem myself. I get the concept, sort of. I know Egyptian history and ancient religions, and I love sci-fi so I can suspend belief and accept a modern type society in an alternate universe. I think where I got lost (and lost interest) was when we were taken to the world of the gods and listening to their bickering.

So, this wasn’t a book for me. But there are thousands more out there just waiting for me to find them. And thousands of people just waiting to find and love this one. Happy hunting to us all

The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Books
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Urban dictionary.com defines ‘steampunk’ as:
A subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.

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In Mike Resnick’s novel The Buntline Special, steampunk goes West. I was extremely excited about this adventure. Steampunk has been around for a couple decades, but it is a relatively new favorite sub-genre of mine. Wild West, however, I have loved since I was a youngen’ watching old Gunsmoke reruns. So I thought “SWEET! This is gonna be awesome!” But it was just ‘meh.

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Over the years there have been many retellings of the Earp brothers, Doc Holiday, the Gunfight at the OK Corral, and life in Tombstone. Mike used much of this preestablished and common knowledge to jump directly into the well known characters and setting. Why spend pages reinventing the wheel?

Adding (or attempting to add) spice to another dime novel covering the famous Tombsone showdown is the introduction of Thomas Edison and Ned Buntline; inventors of electric street lamps, electric stage coaches, impenetrable brass, robotic prosthetics, and actually entire robotic women for Kate’s brothel. Steampunk, well done, is a seamless fusion; but in this instance I felt it was all so forced. While suspending belief is part of loving fiction, there is no structured and organized science behind these inventions…like a forcefield that can sense who is friend and who is foe. Throw in a few Native American medicine men casting curses, a vampire Bat Masterson, a zombie Johnny Ringo, and shape-shifting Apache braves and the story gets quite muddled.

After a lot of drinking, eating, gambling, more drinking, bickering, threats, technobable, there really wasn’t a whole lot of pow…which is what we really want from a Western, right?

My first impression of Mike Resnick is not high, but he has several more novels that may develop better.

Uncle Grandpa

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Misc
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They sure don’t make cartoons like they used to. I love the cartoons of my youth; He-Man and She-Ra, Transformers and Thundercats, Gummy Bears and Smurfs, and Scooby Doo reruns. These were good shows. Shows I still like to watch. Shows with depth.

I just watched about 3 minutes of a show with my 15 year old son, he laughed continuously and I could feel my brain cells popping one by one like bubble wrap. Uncle Grandpa. It hurt. Not only did it hurt my own brain, it hurt that my son found such humor in this.

Oh well, we all have guilty pleasures. Now we can meet in the middle of a generational gap and watch King of the Hill together.

So, it’s a lovely Saturday morning and I am back in my cozy Barnes and Noble chair, reading and weighing myself against the universe; this chair pulled up close against the wide window, the clear view of open Texas sky, the soft music playing at the edge of my consciousness, and my thoughts. Surrounded by thousands of books, I let myself go anywhere that calls to me.

Sitting here in this chair, surrounded by thousands of fictional friends, I feel strong. I feel that any decisions I make from this throne will be followed through, without question and without exception. But I will eventually have to leave my throne, I will become common once again. I fear the loss of the control I gain in my temporary world; as soon as I leave this world and step outside, noise rushes in. The noise of traffic and airplanes and the buzz of millions of voices; the decisions and the checkout lines; the the responsibility that comes with existing in the outside world.

I will miss my Saturday Morning World when I leave, but go home to a true life, a wife that loves and protects me, a son that makes me proud.