Inspired by Colin M. Drysdale’s post entitled Preserving Knowledge, my imagination really took off.

In this world I live in today, I have hundreds of skills, some are common and some are not: writing SQL queries; setting up shows to record on my DVR; using a washing machine; make coffee with just the right amount of cream and sugar; I’m sure there are more, I just can’t think of any right now. Anyway, my point is, I got from Point A to Point B and accomplished XYZ today because of these skills. If the world goes bonkers tomorrow, I have nothing. Right now, I am in the magical world if IT, we make things work…things with code. When the oil rig roughnecks, hunters and mechanics become the elite, I will become useless…and uselessness leads to extinction.

I love learning. So, why don’t I put that passion to use learning skills? Not just how to survive, skinning a rabbit and building a fire, but how to live. I thought I would gather a list of skills that will be valuable should the need arises and cross reference it with practical skills I can utilize in my real life.

Mechanic
I will be honest with you, I should probably have my lesbian card revoked…I have never even seen the underside of my car. I haven’t even changed the tire, although I think I could do that if I never needed to (knock, knock, knock on wood).

I would like to start with the basics, changing the oil. It’s so easy and quick to stop at the closest lube shop, and they have an established disposal system. Perhaps one day in the cooler months I will bribe my mechanic cousin to come and give me an entry level introduction.

Another skill that could be important if I had to jump into the first available vehicle is how to drive a stick shift. Ages ago I tried, for about 4 minutes…I was like 12, don’t look at me that way. I don’t think I know anyone at present that drives a stick to help learn. But I think there might be schools for that…I need to investigate this a little more.

Gardening
Vegetation dies when I touch them; grass, flowers, plants, trees. I killed a cactus once. Animals? Now I am great with animals…but just can’t get vegetation to come around. It would be nice if I could step into my back yard and pick a bit of broccoli, or pluck a juicy apple. My grandmother could plant a rock and a raspberry bush would pop out. I love my grandmother dearly and I know she would love to pass along years of experience if I only ask.

Aside from learning how to successfully plant my own’stuff’, be it a corner lot or a flower pot, knowing what is edible when walking through the woods is a skill every GeoCacher (discussion for another time) should have in their bag of grey matter. I’m sure there are some sort of guides that can help me learn, I need to look into.

Fishing
I used to go fishing with my grandpa (miss you grandpa), but it really just consisted of me holding a pole and watching its bobber and talking. I have never liked fish, but not liking something is different than not eating the only thing available. I wish, I wish, I wish. I wish I had embrased the time I had with him. 

Which bait for what fish?
What fish are found in different regions?
How do I clean all the fish I’m going to catch?

I have cousins that enjoy fishing…I’m not sure I can trust them to not dump me out of the boat. I also have a nephew in some sort of fishing club through school and he keeps winning tournaments, and he wouldn’t intentionally dunk me…that sounds like a better plan.

I will say that there are plenty of skills that I don’t possess and don’t really see myself pursuing. Do I need to know how to fire a gun if the world goes crazy? Maybe, maybe not. As the all wise Xena to Gabrielle “the moment you pick up a weapon you become a target.” I’m not going to lay down and die, but a gun isn’t my style.

I like this topic. I would love to hear you practical skills list.

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Ice by Lyn Gardner

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Books
Tags: , ,

Alex and Maggie.  Detectives. Lesbian Attraction; frustration; denial; semi-plausible set of circumstances thrusting them back together into terrifying life or death isolation; super-sweet happy ending. Yep, Ice has it all…and that’s pretty much it.

The read is a nice easy fluff piece, unfortunately the characters are flat and a barely proposed plot props up the shell of a story. I don’t mind a quick read, I love them to cleanse the pallet from time to time. My issue with this story is there was actually the beginnings of a really great crime/action novel that happened to involve these two characters that struggled with their attraction, they could still end up in a cabin mid-blizzard and they can still have their sappy love story moments.

I might sound a little harsh, but I don’t mean to be cruel. I am being honest. I rarely read lesbian books for these very same reasons. Sarah Waters’ work is the epitome of plot and character development.

UPDATE
After reading this commentary on prologues, I will say that Ice has a great prologue. Effective in setting the place, introducing characters, and establishing the timeline.

WHODUNNIT TV Series

Posted: August 23, 2013 in Books

A couple of months ago I reviewed WHODUNNIT: Murder in Mystery Manor; a companion book to the television show. While the topic centered around a psychopath killing off guests one by one, it was written in a light-hearted manner that made for easy reading.

Recently, the ABC reality competition series WHODUNNIT? aired here in the states; with the final episode airing on August 18, 2013.  Unlike in the book, the contestants knew they were coming to a competition, hoping to walk away with $250,000. One by one (and occasionally multiple) the murderer staged the death of one of the contestants; until there were two, the murderer and the lone survivor. Apparently there was a UK television version that aired between 1972 and 1978, I’m not sure how that game was played though.

Like the book, the show centered around death and survival, but in an almost childlike way…if that makes any sense. Contestants, knowing that this TV show isn’t actually going to kill anyone, scream and react to staged death scenes and scramble to solve riddles as if they are in actual danger. Most of the show is campy (Giles…just everything about him and his “stoic serious” tone), and totally developed for bubblegum entertainment. Yes, I watched it…on hulu plus…while doing other stuff.

I heard there is another book, so I wonder if that means there will be another series.

 

 

Solitude

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

Insight

image

ALERT ALERT
This is a judgment free zone. I have no agenda or soapbox with this post.

I am a history geek – well let’s face it, I’m all kinds of geeky. Seeing a map like this ignites my passion to learn about these people that are gone; to know the stories they passed through the generations. I find it amazing how many cultures and languages existed. Europeans have a better concept of this that I do living here in the United States.

I will be honest with you, I do feel a loss for humanity that these societies have largely been lost. There are lost cultures around the world, but obviously these have more leave me with a greater sense of longing being the land I live in.

The First North Americans series by husband and wife co-authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear have contributed to the legacy of many of these people. While a fictional series, these authors have done their archeological homework when developing their characters and societies. I very much enjoy these books, and while I know they are largely fictional, each book gives me a glimpse into what life was like in these areas of North America.

When the Bottom Drops Out

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Health
Tags: ,

You’re going along day by day; you wake up, live your life, experience the highs and lows, laugh and talk, and you go to bed. The alarm goes off and you do it all again.

Living with mental illness often feel like you are living on the seat of a dunk tank. Every moment that passes you by is a softball thrown at the target, and any one of them could hit the mark and BAM the bottom falls out and you are drowning. You don’t even know which ball it was that hit the mark, and it doesn’t really matter. The fact is you are trying to surface, fighting to get your head above water so you can breathe.

Labels don’t matter; depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia. What matters is what you do when the bottom falls out, because at some point it WILL fall out. Do you have someone there, someone ready to pull you to the surface, and willing to get wet in the process? Do you have a goal to climb out and dry off?

Life keeps going, and softballs keep getting launched. Some days it is easier to climb back onto the seat than others. But for me, there is too much awesomeness in this world to give up.

I’m not really sure how to write a synopsis of this story, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Let’s see, there is this secret society that has infiltrated governments world wide, and for a hundred years (I think) they have had a extra secret agenda to find the lost city of Atlantis that the believe is under the Rock of Gibraltar… And also buried in the Antarctic…. and try to use its massively deadly security system they call The Bell to wipe out MOST of the human race, while doing experiments to find special people with a specific gene they call the Atlantis Gene in order to build a race of super humans that can kill the sleeping Atlaneans. Toss in some stasis tubes, autistic children, ape-men, the spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ on the cross, and a whole lot of other crazy stuff and you have a heck of an adventure!!

I think I really liked this book. I think i liked it a lot. I’m not totally certain because I’m not sure I really picked up on everything that was happening. I like to think I’m generally pretty quick on the uptake…but I feel like I missed stuff. And then I got to the end and took a huge breath, letting it out slowly….it felt like it was the first time I had breathed since beginning the adventure, and I realize THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES!?!

A.G. Riddle has packed a crazy adventure into this book and I will absolutely be reading the next in the series….but I need to go read a comic book or something to decompress.