Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: The Mistborn Series

Mistborn Well of Ascension Hero of Ages
The Mistborn Series

By Brandon Sanderson

Published by TOR Fantasy

Mistborn: The Final Empire ISBN: 0765350386, 644 Pages

The Well of Ascension ISBN:0765316889, 796 Pages

The Hero of Ages ISBN: 0765356147, 724 Pages

Purchased all three books from my local bookstore

Product Description (from the back of Mistborn: The Final Empire): Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

General Review: The Mistborn Series is a fantastical, complex, dystopian story that has it all; love, betrayal, action, suspense and a sci-fi element. This series is fast-paced, addicting and will hold your attention until the very end.

Likes: I was extremely fascinated by the power of Allomancy. The author goes into great detail about the power of Allomancy. I also thought the author did an awesome job building the characters and their talents. And I liked the fact that the protagonist is a female.

Dislikes: There is absolutely nothing I disliked about this series. It’s that awesome!

Closing Comments: The Mistborn Series is a great fantasy series for hardcore fantasy fans and a great introduction to the genre if you’re new to fantasy. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good read.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Learning How to Find Geocaches

Earlier this week, I shared that I started a new hobby called Geocaching ( I mentioned that a friend and I went out last Saturday to find our first cache. We didn’t find it, but I was hooked on the search.

On Monday, I used my Geocaching iPhone App and discovered that there are a few near my work. So, after work I went in search of one a block away on a walking trail. I found it very quickly!! Here’s the pics of that find:

036 Do you see it? I didn’t at first. But after I moved the bush aside, I found…


My first Geocache!!!

Inside was a log book to sign, and a bunch of other stuff. I didn’t get a good look at everything inside because there were muggles (geospeak for non-geocachers) walking on the trail. I had enough time to sign the log book and and rehide the cache without being seen by others.

Since then, I have found 6 more!

I found this one next to the library, hiding behind a park bench. It only held a tiny log book, a quarter and a ring. I signed the log book and didn’t take or leave anything.

040 038

I found this one in a rock wall. It was an Altoids can! Again, I just signed the log book.

041 042

This one was a little tricky, because it’s right in front of a walk-in clinic at a bus stop on a very busy road. I went during my lunch hour, but there were so many people around, I left and came back later in the evening. It was hidden under the ledge.

044 045

I almost overlooked this geocache. It was hidden in a rock formation in the corner of a gravel parking lot. At first I didn’t see the black film canister.

050 046

Today, a friend and I went back to find the first geocache we tried to find. The trail was still muddy, but I wore better shoes. In one spot my foot sank above my ankle. A lot of the trail was overgrown. I have lots of little sticker bush cuts on my legs. But we were determined to find it. At last, we finally located it!!!

004Do you see it? My friend didn’t at first, but there was something that caught my eye…


YES!! Victory at last!!!

There was one other I found, but it was in a very public place. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by taking pictures of it, so I just signed the log book very quickly and returned it to its spot.

I’ve tried to find a handful more, but wasn’t able to locate them because of muggles, time constraints (I’ve been going on my lunch breaks) or I just can’t find the darn thing. When I have more time, I’m going to go back and try to find the caches.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am

just don't call me ma'am

Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am: How I Ditched The South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed To Survive My Twenties With (Most Of) My Dignity Still Intact

By: Anna Mitchael

ISBN: 9781580053167

256 Pages

Published by Seal Press

Received a review copy from Newman Communications

Product Description (from publication received from Newman Communications): Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact is Mitchael’s hilariously truthful tale about one woman and the choices that add up to be her twenty-something life. Detailing impulsive moves to new cities, domestic disasters, and even the occasional nervous breakdown, this is a book for every woman who has ever woken up one day and wondered how she ended up smack dab in the middle of a life she doesn’t completely recognize.

The story of a Southern girl who sets out to find a new home – and instead finds herself – Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a disarmingly humorous (and candidly honest) account of growing up…and it’s a tale in which each and every reader will see some part of themselves.

The General Review: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a witty, hilarious and honest biography of events that happened during her second decade. Mitchael candidly shares her biography with sarcasm, grace and Grandma’s wisdom.

Likes: I liked how easy it was to relate to the authors experiences. I also absolutely loved Mitchael’s writing style. She tells it exactly how she sees it and she doesn’t hold back.

Dislikes: There’s not much I disliked about this book. I would have like to have seen the events in her book depicted in chronological order.

Closing Comments: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a great read for any woman in her 20’s (or any age!) trying to find herself in this crazy world. I’m looking forward to seeing where life takes the author in her 30’s. She had a great blog – Congratulations to Anna on the arrival of your baby boy last month!!!

I Blinked and May Disappeared....

Wow! May flew by! I didn't do anything really exciting, but it seemed like I was busy all the time. Work is busy as always and I seem to find something to tie up my time after work. I haven't forgotten on book reviews. I plan on posting a book review very soon.

Here are 2 noteworthy activities I've done lately-

At the beginning of May I won tickets to see 2 Door Cinema Club. Here's a few pics:

Opening Band - Leadspeak

Opening Band - The Emergency

2 Door Cinema Club

I tried a new hobby this weekend. It's called Geocaching. Basically it's a treasure hunt, but you use GPS to locate the "cache". People hide the caches all over the world and post the GPS coordinates to the Geocaching website for other adventure seekers to find. If you have an iPhone, there's a spiffy app you can download that almost makes the hunting idiot-proof. I say almost because, well, you'll see.

This Saturday was finally sunny in the greater Seattle area. I called up a friend to invite him to go Geocaching with me. After explaining what it was, he was game. We picked a park and I used my fancy Geocaching app on my iPhone to locate caches in the area. While there were a few caches in the area, there weren't any parking spots. Apparently everyone was out enjoying the sun. So we decided to try a larger park. We found a parking spot and I located a geocache within 300 feet of the parking spot. After walking around for a while trying to find a trail into the woods, which is where the app is indicating the cache is, we find we're getting farther and farther away from the hidden cache. So we back-tracked and headed in a new direction. After walking for awhile we found another trail, but it looked overgrown. We ignored it and continued on our way. Still not any closer to the cache, we head back to the car to drive to a different part of the park. We got out of the car near a petting zoo and started walking toward the cache, hoping to find a trail. A petting zoo employee noticed us wandering around aimlessly looking at my phone and asked us if we were looking for a trail. She told us to go back to where we were originally, because there was no entrance to the trails from the petting zoo. We told her what we were looking for and she told us that the rangers may have removed the cache because tons of people were walking around with GPS devises and the hider of the cache didn't have permission to leave a cache at the park. Great, now we just wasted all afternoon looking for a cache that may or may not be hidden.

As we were leaving, we passed the trail we ignored earlier. I mentioned we should try it and see if the cache was removed or not. So we park again and explore the trail. We soon find out the the trail is muddy and is slighly washed out in one spot. We carefully make our way around the washed out spot and continue on our way. A short while later, the trail gets very steep and is very muddy. I can't go on because I'm just wearing flip flops (unless I want to slide down the trail on my butt), so I recommend turning around and attemping to find another cache somewhere else. He wants to continue on, so he heads up the trail with my phone, leaving me by myself in the middle of the woods. Without my phone. He's gone 15 minutes. And he didn't locate the cache.

The trip wasn't a total fail. It was fun to go hiking on a beautiful day and it was good to learn how to use the Geocaching app. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures because I was so focused on finding the cache. Now that I know what to expect, I'll take more pictures and share my experiences on my blog.