Monday, 8 December 2014

Firstborn - Brandon Sanderson

Firstborn
Brandon Sanderson
Tor
ISBN 9781429952989
AISN B003V4B4GQ


There are a few hallmarks of great stories, at lease in my opinion. One of the big one's for me is does the story stay with you. I finished this story about a month ago and yet it keep's coming back to me. I have now reread it. My first impressions were 'What an Incredible story!'. And that feeling has only intensified. This is likely the best science fiction short story I have ever read and to be honest probably the second best short story I have every read.

Two brothers who have never really met, Varion the greatest warrior the empire has ever known, and Dennison his younger brother, born while Varion was away at war. Varion who has never know defeat and Dennison who has never known victory.

This was an amazing story that really has stuck with me. I highly recommend it. Great writing, excellent characters and break neck pace. My only regret is that it is a short story. I would love to read longer versions of this story, or more stories with these characters.
 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Butternut and Spaghetti Squash Soup


Butternut and Spaghetti Squash Soup 

Made this fall soup this week, has a nice sweet and savoury flavour. 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp sage
2 tsp ground ginger
1 Large Butternut Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
6 medium Carrots
1 Large Onion
1L Organic Chicken Broth

Prep:

Halve and clean insides of Squash. Halve and peal onion, wash carrots. Rub down all with mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, about 1 tsp of each. Roast in oven for 45 minutes turning every 15 minutes. Once out of oven peal squash and cube all vegetables.


Cooking:

This soup can be done in the crock pot or on the stove top. Add cubed vegetables to crock pot or stove top pot. Cover with organic chicken broth, add rest of seasoning. If stove top simmer for 3 hours. If Crock pot cook for 8 hours on high or 12 hours on low. Once vegetables crumble with a fork purée either with an immersion blender or in batches.


I served garnished with a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning.


For this and other Gluten Free recipes I have collected check out this shared Evernote Notebook.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Clean Eating and More


Clean Eating and More

Based upon a number of recent conversations lately I have decided to put up this post. First I have made a lot of changes over the last 18 months, in my eating, exercise and more. I started doing DDP Yoga and went more than a year without missing a day on the mat. The big changes I made were going gluten free and for the most part avoiding dairy. I have also been reading books, watching documentaries and following blogs about health and nutrition. Here are some links and jumping off points for you.  

Dirty Dozen Clean 15 from David Suzuki

The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refer respectively to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Why do we care?

Pesticides are toxic by design! Different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption, cancer and brain toxicity.

But for most people, switching to organic produce is a gradual process. Because organic foods tend to be more expensive than their counterparts, making informed choices in the produce aisle helps minimize pesticide consumption while keeping the budget in check!

Should you avoid the dirty dozen?

Absolutely not! Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a healthier choice than processed foods. Besides, non-organic processed foods are sure to contain a slough of chemicals too! Instead, let the guide dictate your allocation of organic vs. non-organic purchases.

Why eat organic food?

All of this opens up a bigger discussion about the choice to eat organic food - and the reasons that not everyone does. Often, the decision comes down to bottom line.

Non-organic foods usually cost less money. But there are other costs - hidden costs - that have to be considered too. These include abstract factors like the cost of demanding more from the earth than it can produce and the long-term health costs associated with ingesting chemicals. Also included are tangible variables, like the government subsidization of industrial agriculture and our relative comfort (or discomfort) with foreign investment in commercial Canadian agriculture.

There are also ways to offset the increased out-of-pocket expenses incurred by prioritizing organic foods.

Committing to cooking whole foods from scratch - alongside careful meal planning, home gardening and food preservation - can largely counteract the cost of organic food purchases.
The process is gradual. Change takes time. And all of us have to work within our budgets.
Which is where the dirty dozen and the clean 15 come into play. The list is a resource to help you make the best choices for your health and for the earth, whatever your current budget or state of greenness.

The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)
Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes

The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)
Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

Next Wheat Belly- Dr. William Davis

I have been collecting Gluten free recipes for 18 Months.
General GF Food Stuff
With links to original sources.
Smoothies

Some other great links:
Christina Russell - Body Rebooted
Stacey Morris 
Reboot with Joe - Juicing for Weight-loss and Health

Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

Peace and Strength!
Yours, learning to be
Steven R. McEvoy

  Book Reviews and More
  Yogi By Accident
  McEvoy's Musings
  LinkedIN
  Twitter/SRMcEvoy 
  Twitter/YogiByAccident 

CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+, Security+
Microsoft MCSE, MCSA, MCP, MCTS, MCITP, MOS
Apple ACTC, ACSP, ACA
DDP Yoga Certified Instructor

"Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria."
           Mike Aquilina

"No tea cup is big enough nor book long enough for me to be satisfied." 
           C.S. Lewis

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left over I buy food and clothes!"
           Erasmus




Saturday, 8 November 2014

Carrot and Butternut Squash with Sage and Ginger Soup


Carrot and Butternut Squash with Sage and Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
5 cups rainbow carrots, peeled and chopped
2 butternut squash (about 4 cups or 2 lbs), chopped
2 cups rainbow peppers stemmed and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon sage rubbed
1/2 inch piece fresh turmeric pealed and grated
8 cups bone broth or beef or vegtable
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
5-7 fresh sage leaves

This soup can be done in the crock pot or on the stove top. For the crock pot I used the juices from a roast with potatoes and carrots as my stock. Sauté carrots until tender, sauté  butternut squash until browned and tender, sauté  rainbow peppers and tomatoes. Add all to crock pot and add seasoning add more stock as needed until vegetables are covered. Cook for 5 hours on high or 9 hours on low. Puree with an immersion blender or blend in batches. put back in crock pot and add juice and zest of 1 lemon mixing well. If you want to lighten the color, add 1/2 cup cream or sour cream. Serve and garnish with a spoon of hemp hearts and more lemon zest.

Note: if you are cooking on the stove top you might need to add half again to the sage, ginger and turmeric.

The recipe based on Carrot and Ginger Soup with Lemon Zest by Amy Myers MD.




For this and other Gluten Free recipes I have collected check out this shared Evernote Notebook.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blast Off – Tony Abbott and Joanne L. Scribner - Danger Guys Book 2

Blast Off
Danger Guys Book 2
Tony Abbott (Author)
Joanne L. Scribner (Illustrator)
Open Road Media
ISBN 9781480486348

It is great to see these older stories from Tony Abbot back in print. Open Road Media had republished in their entirety Two of Tony Abbot's earliest series, both Danger Guys and Weird Zone. There are 6 books in this series and I have read the first two, they are fun stories they children enjoy. They are geared to a slightly younger audience than some of his other books. They are good reads, that I am enjoying sharing with my son. 

This is the second adventure of Zeek Pilinsky and Noodle -  aka Henry Newton. This story begins with Zeek and Henry realizing that the carnival is in town. As soon as they hear the sounds from the fair, they head that way. But like in the first adventure things do not go as planned. They go for a rocket ride and really end up going for a rocket ride. They "We cartwheeled over the library. Then we corkscrewed around the town hall dome about ten times. Finally we were jerked backward in our seats and we sailed up over Main Street." p.14 The rocket zooms around town and ends up in a secret lair on their school grounds and they end up in the clutches of Mr. Vazny a former science teacher calling himself Morbius. He plans on bombing the town and using the rocket he just stole from the carnival to do so. It's up to the danger guys to save the day again.


This is a fun fast paced story. It is a good chapter book for beginner readers. The book comes in at 51 pages with a number of wonderful illustrations by Joanne L. Scribner. It also has the first three chapters of the next book to hook young readers. Give Zeek and Noodles a shot and I am sure you will enjoy their adventures.

  
Books By Tony Abbott:

Goofballs
1. The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder (2012)
2. The Startling Story of the Stolen Statue (2012)
3. Superhero Silliness (2012)
4. The Mysterious Talent Show Mystery (2013)

5. The Scary Story of the Ha-Ha-Haunted House (2013) 

Underworlds:
1. The Battle Begins (2012)
2. When Monsters Escape (2012)
3. Revenge of the Scorpion King (2013)
4. The Ice Dragon (2013)


Danger Guys
1. Danger Guys (1994)
2. Danger Guys Blast Off (1994)
3. Hollywood Halloween (1994)
4. Danger Guys Hit the Beach (1995)
5. Danger Guys on Ice (1995)
6. Danger Guys and the Golden Lizard (1996)

Time Surfers
1. Space Bingo (1996)
2. Orbit Wipeout! (1995)
3. Mondo Meltdown (1996)
4. Into the Zonk Zone! (1996)
5. Splash Crash (1997)
6. Zero Hour (1997)
7. Shock Wave (1997)
8. Doom Star (1997)

Weird Zone
1. Zombie Surf Commandos from Mars (1996)
2. The Incredible Shrinking Kid (1996)
3. The Beast from Beneath the Cafeteria! (1996)
4. Attack of the Alien Mole Invaders! (1996)
5. The Brain That Wouldn't Obey! (1996)
6. Gigantopus from Planet X! (1997)
7. Cosmic Boy Versus Mezmo Head! (1997)
8. Revenge of the Tiki Men! (1997)

Secrets of Droon
1. The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (1999)
2. Journey to the Volcano Palace (1999)
3. The Mysterious Island (1999)
4. City in the Clouds (1999)
5. The Great Ice Battle (1999)
6. The Sleeping Giant of Goll (2000)
7. Into the Land of the Lost (2000)
8. The Golden Wasp (2000)
9. Tower of the Elf King (2000)
10. Quest for the Queen (2000)
11. The Hawk Bandits of Tarkoom (2000)
12. Under the Serpent Sea (2001)
13. The Mask of Maliban (2001)
14. Voyage of the Jaffa Wind (2002)
15. The Moon Scroll (2002)
16. The Knights of Silversnow (2002)
Special Edition 1. The Magic Escapes (2002)
17. Dream Thief (2003)
18. Search for the Dragon Ship (2003)
19. The Coiled Viper (2003)
20. In The Ice Caves of Krog (2003)
21. Flight of the Genie (2003)
Special Edition 2. Wizard or Witch? (2004)
22. The Isle of Mists (2004)
23. The Fortress of the Treasure Queen (2004)
24. Race To Doobesh (2005)
25. The Riddle Of Zorfendorf Castle (2005)
Special Edition 3. Voyagers of the Silver Sand (2005)
26. The Moon Dragon (2006)
27. The Chariot of Queen Zara (2006)
28. In the Shadow of Goll (2006)
Special Edition 4. Sorcerer (2006)
29. Pirates of the Purple Dawn (2007)
30. Escape from Jabar-Loo (2007)
31. Queen of Shadowthorn (2007)
Special Edition 5. Moon Magic (2008)
32. Treasure of the Orkins (2008)
33. Flight of the Blue Serpent (2008)
34. In the City of Dreams (2009)
Special Edition 6. Crown of Wizards (2009)
35. The Lost Empire Of Koomba (2009)
36. Knights of the Ruby Wand (2010)
Special Edition 7. The Genie King (2010)
Special Edition 8. The Final Quest (2010)

Don't Touch That Remote
1. Sitcom School (1999)
2. The Fake Teacher (1999)
3. Stinky Business (announced, not published)
4. Freak Week (announced, not published)

Cracked Classics
1. Trapped in Transylvania: Dracula (2002)
2. Mississippi River Blues: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2002)
3. What a Trip!: Around the World in Eighty Days (2002)
4. Humbug Holiday: A Christmas Carol (2002)

5. X Marks the Spot: Treasure Island (2003)
6. Crushing on a Capulet: Romeo and Juliet (2003)

Haunting of Derek Stone
1. City of the Dead (2009)
2. Bayou Dogs (2009)
3. The Red House (2009)
4. The Ghost Road (2009)



The Copernicus Legacy

The Forbidden Stone (2013)

The Serpent's Curse (2014


Novels
Kringle (2005)
Firegirl (2006)
The Postcard (2008)
Lunch-Box Dream (2011)

Author profile interview with Tony Abbott.