October Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

October Photo a Day Challenges

I’m sticking with what has been working well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for August:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

Check out my Photo a Day history on Shuttercal where today I’ll post my 930th daily photos

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

Here are the most liked of September Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 2 comments

Monday Reading

This weekly reading roundup is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


Finished last week:

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges


The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny narrated by Ralph Cosham


Winding up this week:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I’m about 75% done with this one and really wish I could play hooky from work today to finish it.


Planning to finish next:

The Competition by Marcia Clark

The Competition by Marcia Clark

I like Clark’s series a lot and I’m looking forward to focusing on this one once I finish The Sparrow.


Continuing with:

Birdmen by Lawrence Goldstone

Birdmen by Lawrence Goldstone

This is my current non-fiction read and I’m enjoying learning about the early aviation pioneers.


Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

This is the book I’m reading on my phone. I tend to read it when I’m waiting in line or have a few minutes on the train and don’t want to haul a print book out. I haven’t read much of this one the past week or so but I hope to get through a couple of stories this week.

Currently listening to:

How To Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

How To Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

I know I already listened to this earlier this month on a road trip with The Hubster but yesterday I had another day on the road. After I finished The Long Way Home I just wasn’t ready to dive into another longer book. I knew I could get most of the way through this short one and it was such fun the first time that I decided to listen to it again.


Reviews posted last week:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update: The Saturday Night Edition

Posted by on Sep 27, 2014 in Blogging/Reading, photos, Uncategorized, Weekend Update | 3 comments


Currently //

Time // 9pm Saturday

Place // My recliner in the family room

Eating // had a late dinner of spaghetti

Drinking // chardonnay

Reading // I’m trying to finish up The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell for Trish’s Readalong. I’m hoping to finish it up by the 30th even though my post won’t be up until later in the week.

Listening // My current audiobook is The The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. I have a road trip Sunday so I’ll finish it up. I’m not sure yet what I’ll listen to next but I’ve got several options on the iPod.

Sharing // My favorite photo I took this week


Waiting for // The Hubster to get home. He was supposed to fly home from Chicago yesterday but the fire at the FAA facility turned Chicago airports into parking lots. He left early this morning and has gone from Chicago to Kansas City to Albuquerque to Phoenix and is currently on the way to Portland. Only 36 hours after he was originally supposed to get home yesterday.

Watching // Alternating between various college football games and rewatching The Musketeers.

Looking forward to // getting together with a couple of friends for lunch on Sunday.

Making // A baby afghan. I’m really happy with how this one is turning out


Anticipating // next weekend because there is absolutely nothing on our calendar and I’m fiercely protecting it to keep it that way.

What are you reading? What are you listening to? What are you doing?

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Nutshell Review – Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in 3 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Graphic Novel | 0 comments

Jack of Fables Vol. 4: Americana by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges with art by Russ Braun and Tony Akins


Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Series: #4 in the Jack of Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 20078
Pages: 12128
Source: Library



The Book:
This volume 4 is a compilation of issues 17-21 of the comic series.
From the back cover:


Though he can never seem to hang on to the riches that fall into his lap, that doesn’t stop the famous (and infamous) Jack of Fables from continuing to grab at them with both hands. Now, with the annoyingly persistent agents of his former jailer Mr. Revise still barking at his heels, Jack is on the trail of a fortune that promises to dwarf anything he’s ever managed to get his mitts on before. Finding the treasure, however, means venturing into the nearly forgotten lands of Americana, home to a dizzying array of colorful characters – as well as (naturally) one of the few figures even more dangerous than Mr. Revise!

My Thoughts:
I have figured out that the only thing I really don’t particularly like about this spin-off series from Fables is the main character. As I have continued with the series most of the story surrounding Jack (and his enormous ego) and his quest for wealth is actually pretty entertaining. I just wish Jack wasn’t in it. I do giggle a bit every time one of his great plans gets thwarted however.

Actually in this volume (it started in volume 3) my favorite parts are the daydreams of Babe the Blue Ox. For reasons explained in previous volumes, Babe is currently the size of a large dog. Periodically while the other characters are busy doing things Babe gets leashed to something to wait. His daydreams are hilarious.

Humpty Dumpty plays an important role in this one and he’s amusing me at this point too.

I liked the detour into the world of the American Fables who included Huck Finn and Natty Bumppo. The new villain who appears is definitely a danger fo Fables of all kinds and I’m actually looking forward to where the story will go next.

I just wish it could go without Jack.

78db5-rating_3stars Rating 3/5

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in 2014, 3.5 stars, Book Review, Shirley Jackson | 1 comment


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Genre: Suspense, Gothic Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 1984 (Originally published 1959)
Pages: 246
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A psychic researcher gathers a select group of people to spend some time at a haunted house for a research project.

Why I Read It:
This has been on my TBR list for ages and the readalong hosted by The Estella Society this month finally got me to buy a copy and read it.

The Book:
From the Publisher:

Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits…
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own…

My Thoughts:
I just love the way Shirley Jackson lets the tension build gradually and subtly. Beginning with an introduction of the characters and their arrival at Hill House the stage is set to for what Dr. Montague plans. “Dr. Montague‟s intentions with regard to Hill House derived from the methods of the intrepid nineteenth-century ghost hunters; he was going to go and live in Hill House and see what happened there.”

There is nothing gruesome or gory that happens, There is no real sighting of anything that could be termed a ghost. What there is however, is a series of incidents that might be readily explained away but also might be something truly creepy.

Eleanor is the one who is most troubled by what she hears and experiences at Hill House but how much of that is the house and how much is Eleanor being rather unstable? It’s hard to know but as the story continues it’s clear that no matter what the reason Eleanor is deeply affected by what is happening.

I liked the way the creepiness gradually increased. While at several points I was ready to dismiss this book as a light thriller it did leave me with a definite sense of unease. I’m glad I don’t have any visits to creepy old houses in my near future.

6a117-rating_35stars Rating 3.5/5

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