Sunday, 28 February 2010

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea is a tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis that has had little or no oxidation while being processed. Green tea originated in China four thousand years ago and was brought to Japan sometime in the 6th Century. Green
Tea is hand or machine picked, dried to remove moisture and then shaped by rolling or twisting. Because Green tea is processed less than other varieties of tea, it has a higher EGCG level; EGCG is a catechin, which helps protect the body from harmful free radicals. Recently many of the long- standing and acclaimed medicinal benefits of tea have been scientifically supported by the medical and academic research, constantly making Green tea a more popular and trendy beverage. Green tea, much like coffee, has a distinctive taste based on the province or region it is grown in. Therefore if you think you do not like green tea try some different varieties, especially Teaopia green teas that often list the origin of the tea. I rate my teas on a scale from 0 to 10; 0 I will never let pass my lips again. 10 I like to always keep on hand, 7-9 I like to have around and enjoy often.

My Favourite Green Teas:
1. Goji Green - Teaopia - 10
2. Pomegranate Green - Teaopia - 9
3. Cactus Fig - Teaopia - 9
4. Acai Green - Republic of Tea - 9
5. Spring Morning - Teaopia - 8
6. Black Raspberry Green - Republic of Tea - 8
7. Goji Green - Republic of Tea - 8
8. Earl Gray Green - Teaopia - 7
9. Dragon Well - Teaopia - 7
10. Temple of Heaven - Teaopia - 7

Articles in this Series:
0. Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party
1. Tea an Overview
2. Red Teas
3. Green Teas
4. White Teas
5. Black Teas
6. Matcha Tea

7. Yerba Mate
8. Fruit Blends
9. Wellness Blends
10. Herbal Teas
11. Purveyors of Fine Tea (my preferences.)
12. Custom Blending
13. My Favourite Teas

Top Ten Teas of 2010

Links:
Green Tea - Wikipedia
Photochemicals
University of Maryland Medical
Medicine Plus - Green Tea
Green Tea Truth
Teaopia
Republic of Tea


Saturday, 27 February 2010

Lockdown - Escape from Furnace I - Alexander Gordon Smith

Lockdown:
Escape from Furnace I

Alexander Gordon Smith (blog)
US Edition
Farrar Straus & Giroux
ISBN 9780374324919


UK Edition
Faber and Faber
ISBN 9780571240807

Some books just immediately impress you, either by their concept, the writing, or the overall skill in storytelling. This book does all three. Alexander Gordon Smith has started a series that looks to be amazing if this first book is any indication. It has been about 10 years since I got this excited about a series by the first book, and that time it was The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks.

The back story. At some point in the near future youth crime reaches epic heights. The populace responds strongly after the summer of slaughter, a period where youth murder rates soar. They create a new super max prison for young offenders, carved below the earth: Furnace. They say that below heaven is hell and below hell is furnace. There is now a zero tolerance policy on youth felons.

The story written in the first person narrative style, is the story of Alex Sawyer, a young criminal mostly responsible for break and enters and petty theft. Alex is framed for the murder of his criminal partner. Even though he is innocent, he is convicted and sent to Furnace. He arrives in Furnace, a terrifying dark hole carved from the earth, a place ruled by vicious gangs, and even more brutal guards. A place filled with horrifying creatures who come and steal boys from their cells in the night. A place with no hope and no future. Yet Alex struggles to maintain hope - that hope is escape, something believed to be impossible.

Alexander Gordon Smith does an amazing job of capturing the brutality of a prison environment, without going into too much gore. He tells a dark tale without becoming overly depressing. It is very well written.

The story is very well written for a first novel. It flows fast and furious, running the gauntlet of emotions, from hope to despair, from joy to gloomy submission. Once you start reading you won't want to put the book down. Unfortunately it races to a cliff hanger finish, leaving you wanting the next book, Solitary, right away, and it is not due out in North America until the fall. This book has made the list of my all-time favourite fiction novels and I highly recommend it. Just as a side note, I love the North American covers and that is what attracted me in the first place; if I had seen the UK covers I doubt I would have read the book. (US covers on left, UK covers on right.)

Books By Alexander Gordon Smith:

Escape from Furnace:
Lockdown
Solitary
Death Sentence
Fugitives
Execution
Execution Epilogue - Short Story
The Night Children - Short Story

Fury Series:
The Fury

The Inventors:
The Inventors
The Inventors And The City of Stolen Souls

Non-Fiction:
1001 Questions and Answers
Inspired Creative Writing: 52 Brilliant Ideas from the Master Wordsmiths
The Solar System
Family Quiz
Writing Bestselling Children's Books: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Inspiring Young Readers

The Art Of Furnace
Author Profile Interview With Alexander Gordon Smith

Friday, 26 February 2010

Red Teas - also known as Rooibos or Rooibosch

Red Teas - also known as Rooibos or Rooibosch

This herbal tea is from the Rooibos (scientific name Aspalathus linearis) plant, a broom-like member of the legume family. This tea can be consumed in either a more native green state or a fermented red state. The tea is
reddish brown if fermented, and greenish yellow if not. The green varieties tend to have a stronger and somewhat malty or nutty flavour compared to the red varieties. Rooibos is a naturally caffeine-free herbal, low in tannins and high in antioxidants. Rooibos is fairly new to North America, and becoming constantly more popular. It has been consumed in South Africa for generations. Research on Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability and hypertension. Also since Rooibos contains high levels of antioxidants it also helps boost the immune system, destroy free radicals and slow the aging process. Rooibos is the good choice for introducing children to tea and for those with caffeine sensitivities. Distinctly Tea, a company based out of Stratford Ontario, lists on their website which teas are acceptable for children and what should be avoided. Teaopia in their tea guide (click on cover to right) give some indications but not nearly as explicit. Rooibos can be consumed straight, or is often combined with fruit or other botanicals to create flavoured varieties. I rate my teas on a scale from 0 to 10; 0 I will never try again. 10, I like to always keep on hand.

My Favourite Red Teas:
1. Desert Sage - Republic of Tea - 10
2. Tangerine Dream - Teaopia - 10
3. Summer Breeze - Teaopia - 8
4. Ice Age - Teaopia - Teaopia - 7
5. Earl Gray Rooibos - Teaopia - 7
6. Kalahari - Teaopia - 7
7. Chakra Red Berry Rooibos - Stash - 6
8. Cranberry Pomegranate - Stash - 6
9. Fusion Red, White & Blueberry - Stash - 6
10. African Red Bush - Tazo - 5

Articles in this Series:
0. Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party
1. Tea an Overview

2. Red Teas
3. Green Teas
4. White Teas
5. Black Teas
6. Matcha Tea

7. Yerba Mate
8. Fruit Blends
9. Wellness Blends
10. Herbal Teas
11. Purveyors of Fine Tea (my preferences.)
12. Custom Blending
13. My Favourite Teas

Top Ten Teas of 2010

Links:
Rooibos - Wikipedia
Photochemicals
African Red Tea

Teaopia

Republic of Tea

Distinctly Tea
Stash Tea
Tazo

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Tea - An Overview

Tea - An Overview

I have always been a tea drinker, but until recently I found coffee easier and more convenient. Brew up a pot and drink it all was my motto. I have always kept 15 -30 types of tea at home, a mix of bagged tea and loose leaf teas. Yet over the last 2 years I have dropped my coffee intake to 1 cup a day and upped my tea intake to upwards of 6 to 8 cups a day. A big part of the change is thanks to Teaopia, and their Tea Master. It is convenient and easy to use and reuse. Their tea is a loose enough cut to be re-steeped between 2 and 4 times depending on the tea. But back to the topic at hand, tea. If you do a Google search on the 'benefits of tea' you get 16,400,000 results.

The earliest recorded consumption of tea is from around 10,000 BC. The first book on how to buy and prepare tea was by Wang Bo and is dated at 59BC. Today tea comes in hundreds of varieties and flavors, with something to suit almost any pallet. Next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage around the word. And much of what is consumed in North American is not truly tea from its first definition. It is tea based on the second definition. According to Encyclopedia Britannica tea is: a beverage produced by steeping in freshly boiled water the young leaves and leaf buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. At one point in history Britain ruled the world because it ruled the seas. One of the reasons it ruled the seas was to control the traffic of commodities from continent to continent. One way this was done was that the East India Company (aka East India Trading Company, English East India Company, and then the British East India Company) tried to monopolize the tea trade on a global scale. This led to the Tea Act in 1773 which in turn led to the Boston tea Party. But today tea is commonly considered almost any plant or botanicals steeped in hot water. Yet you might ask why would you drink tea?

10 Reasons to Drink Tea
  • Lose Weight, Stay Alert and Protect Your Heart: According to Health Canada's Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD), tea helps support and maintain weight loss, increases alertness and helps protect against cardiovascular disease.
  • Fight Diseases: Tea is high in antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins including EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), which help protect the body from harmful free radicals and cellular damage.
  • Drink to your Health: After water, tea is the healthiest beverage you can consume according to a panel of nutrition expects published in the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition.
  • Boost your Memory: New scientific research suggests that drinking tea may lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • Reduce Stress: The amino acid "L-theanine" found almost exclusively in tea is known to reduce stress and calm the mind, while keeping you more alert.
  • Age Gracefully: Beauty starts from the inside out. The antioxidants found in tea help slow down the aging process, making you look and feel great.
  • Lowers Cholesterol: Tea has been shown to reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL).
  • Ease Arthritis: Tea has been shown to prevent and reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Oral Health: Tea helps eliminate bad breath and is rich in fluoride, which strengthens teeth and protects tooth enamel.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking tea is a delicious way to help meet your recommended daily intake. Drinking tea may even be better than drinking water since it replenishes fluids and provides antioxidants.
I really upped my tea consumption when I stopped drinking coffee for a while a year ago. I went from about 17 shots of espresso a day to zero coffee overnight and went almost six months without a coffee. I rediscovered my love of tea in its endless varieties and styles. I found a few wonderful quotes about tea I wanted to share with you, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis and "Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company." - Author unknown. So I have wanted to write a series of articles on my love of tea. Over the next few weeks I plan on writing a few articles in this series they are:

Articles in this Series:
0. Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party
1. Tea an Overview
2. Red Teas
3. Green Teas
4. White Teas
5. Black Teas
6. Matcha Tea

7. Yerba Mate
8. Fruit Blends
9. Wellness Blends
10. Herbal Teas
11. Purveyors of Fine Tea (my preferences.)
12. Custom Blending
13. My Favourite Teas

Top Ten Teas of 2010

Some Online Tea Resources:
Tea - Wikipedia
AboutTea.com

Feel free to post comments and links to your favorite tea resources.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Blogs I Read 2010

Tech Blogs:
Jason W. Eckert
Rodney Buike
Born to Learn
MS Press
Microsoft Certified Master
In Tech We Trust
Professor Messer
Canadian IT Pro's
Consortio Services
Aware Geek
Helmers Blog
Talking About Windows
Go Certify blog
Train Signal Training
IT Career JumpStart

Book & Author Blogs:
10 Stories Up
A Garden of Books
Biblio's Bloggins
Blog Herald
Blogtrotter
Cecil Castellucci
Coffee Em - Emma Bull
Daily Eudemon
Holly Black
Kathy Shaidle - 5 Feet of Fury
Mad Women in the Forst
Neil Gaiman
Regina Doman
Robert Buettner
Robert J. Sawyer - Scifi Writer
Sci Fi Catholic
Sci-Fi Reader
Shelly's Book Shelf
Steven K.Z. Brust
Thursday Night Gumbo
Tom Reagan
Warrior of Light - Paulo Coelho
Warrior of Light Blog - Paulo Coelho
WelshCake


Health & Fitness Blogs and Sites:

Tony Horton
Beachbody
Carl Daikeler
The Straight Dope
Steve Edwards
Ultimate Fitness Gear Blog
Chalene Johnson
Real Fitness Nerd
Educated Vegetable
Dr. Oz
Body for Life
Sylvester Stallone
Dr. Kevin Vost
Body Fat Calculator
Steve Shaw's Muscle & Brawn
Life Isnt Over at 40
The Good Health Blog
IART
CanFit Pro
Dysfunctional Parrot
Mark's Daily Apple

Catholic Blogs:
A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars
Amateur Catholic - The B-Team
Approved Apparatins
Blazing Cat Fur
Bonfire of the Vanities - Fr. Martin Fox
Canadian Opus Dei
Cardinal Sean's Blog
Caritas Christi Urget Nos
Catholic Analysis
Catholic and Enjoying It!
Catholic Dads
Catholicism Holiness and Spirituality
Charlotte was Both - Amy Welborn
Christifideles
Cosmos-Liturgy-Sex
Crux of the Matter
Daily Mass Readings Podcast
God's Body - Matthew Lickona
God's Wonderful Love
Godzdogz - The English Dominican Studentate
Heirs in Hope
Hermeneutic of Continuity
Irish Catholic and Dangerous
just another day of Catholic pondering
la nouvelle theologie
Me monk. Me meander.
Michael Dubruiel
Once upon a time in opus dei
One Monk of the Order of St. Benedict
Opus Dei Blogs
Opus Dei Facts
Profound Gratitude
Real Life Rosary
Saint of the Day Quote
Some Have Hats
Spiritual Warfare
St. Blogs Parish
St. Peter's Helper
Standing on My Head
Swept Over
The Adventures of a Techie Nun
The Anchoress
The Ironic Catholic
The Shrine of the Holy Whapping
The Truth Will Make You Free
Tomorrow's Trust
Understanding The Scriptures - The Catholic Board
Universalis - Daily Liturgy
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor
Whispers in the Loggia
Wild Catholic Heart
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Young Fogeys

Friends Blogs:
Church History - D. Gray
Esgaroth's Journal - Alan
Java & Jesus - Denis Gray
Kat de jour
Liberdei - Justan Chan
Myriad Shades of Gray - Dennis Gray
Still Waking Up - Craig Martin
Sustainability is step one- Darcy Higgins
The Carioni's Adopt
The Corch - Keith Little
Tim B's Blog
Timmyson of the Physics Brigade
Valacosa's Thoughts - Michael L. Davenport

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party

I have been planning on writing a series of posts about tea for a while now. I have done my research started writing but keep getting busy with other stuff. But Teaopia current has a cross promotion with Tim Burton's new Alice In Wonderland film. So I thought I would start the ball rolling. At work there are a number of us who love loose-leaf tea. I have a shelf full of it behind my desk. I also stock even more kinds at home. At work we almost have a tea party every day, and whenever one of us finds a particularly good new tea we share it around the office. So without further ado here are some photos of my teas at both work and home.












The articles I plan on writing in my tea series are:

0. Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party
1. Tea an Overview
2. Red Teas
3. Green Teas
4. White Teas
5. Black Teas
6. Matcha Tea
7. Yerba Mate
8. Fruit Blends
9. Wellness Blends
10. Herbal Teas
11. Purveyors of Fine Tea (my preferences.)
12. Custom Blending
13. My Favourite Teas
Top Ten Teas of 2010

In each piece I will outline the benefits of that type of tea and highlight some of my favourites. So keep an eye out for a week of tea coming your way soon.


Saturday, 20 February 2010

On One Leg - Tony Horton One on One Volume 2 Disk 7

Tony Horton
One on One
Volume 2 Disk 7

On One Leg

Beachbody

I have heard a lot of negative feedback on this workout. And after doing it I was a little surprised. I found it a very good workout and really challenging. I have a weak ankle from an injury about a
decade back, and have small feet to begin with. Doing this workout pushed my balance and core stability to the limit. I found a good weight range about 1/3 to ½ my normal weight and just tried to do my best, as Tony always says.

Exercises:
Military press

Scissor Curls
Warrior Kickbacks
Swimmer Chain
Tree 21's
Bridge Extensions (Skull Crushers)
Spike Pike
Chair Extensions

You do three exercises on one leg then repeat on the other side, then three more and then the final two. Next is the bonus round.

Bonus Round:
Military tree
Extended Leg 21's
Warrior Kickbacks
Switch Leg Pikes

This is a good workout that has some great variety and works very different muscles. I don't see myself doing this every week, but will put it in every 4th week during my recovery week at the end of each phase. It is worth giving it a try even if just to change things up from time to time.

Equipment Needed:
Weights
Bands
Powerstands

To find out more about this series or other workouts in the collection follow the links below. I have created a random workout generator that uses 1 on 1's and P90X if your interested.

Volume 1, Disk 1: Plyo Legs
Volume 1, Disk 2: Power 90® Road Warrior
Volume 1, Disk 3: Killer Abs

Volume 1, Disk 4: Just Arms
Volume 1, Disk 5: 30-15: The Upper-Body Massacre
Volume 1, Disk 6: Fountain of Youth
Volume 1, Disk 7: Super Cardio

Volume 1, Disk 8: Mammoth UML
Volume 1, Disk 9: Bun Shaper
Volume 1, Disk 10: Medicine Ball Core Cardio
Volume 1, Disk 11: Recovery 4 Results

Volume 1, Disk 12: Diamond Delts
Volume 1, Bonus Disk - Holiday Workout

Volume 2, Bonus Disk - Pay It Forward
Volume 2, Disk 1: Cardio Intervals
Volume 2, Disk 2: Core Ball Sandwich
Volume 2, Disk 3: Patience "Hummingbird"
Volume 2, Disk 4: 10-Minute Crusher Pack

Volume 2, Disk 5: Butt and Belly (I Dare You)
Volume 2, Disk 6: Back and Belly
Volume 2, Disk 7: On One Leg
Volume 2, Disk 8: Iso Abs
Volume 2, Disk 9: Cardio Confusion - Mason's Choice
Volume 2, Disk 10: 100/30/20
Volume 2, Disk 11: On One Leg 4 legs
Volume 2, Disk 12: Upper Body Balance


Volume 3, Disk 1: Chest, Back & Balls
Volume 3, Disk 2: ARX2 (Ab-Ripper X 2)
Volume 3, Disk 3: Shoulders and Arms MC2
Volume 3, Disk 4: Base and Back
Volume 3, Disk 5: Yoga MC2
Volume 3, Disk 6: Plyocide
Volume 3, Disk 7: Stretch And Recovery
Volume 3, Disk 8: V Sculpt
Volume 3, Disk 9: Core Synergistics MC2
Volume 3, Disk 10: UBX
Volume 3, Disk 11: PAP
Volume 3, Disk 12: Total Body X











(Disclaimer: I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Art of Manliness - 100 Books

The Art of Manliness
Brent & Kate McKay
How Press
ISBN 978 1600614620

I am currently reading a really good book, the Art of Manliness by Brent and Kate McKay. I am enjoying it immensely. One of the first things I flipped to was a list of 100 Manly Books. I love books and I love lists so I decided to srat my comments about this book with it's book list.
(The complete list of what I have read since October of 1995 is here.) Hat tips to James Hahn and Nod who both have mentioned the book and got me interested in it.

One Hundred Books Every man Should Read:

The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
1984 by George Orwell
The Republic by Plato
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Rise of Theodore Rooosevelt by Edmund Morris
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Dharma Burns by Jack Kerouac
The Iliad and Odyssey by Homer
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Lord of the Flies by William Goldring
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
American Boy's Handy Book by Daniel Carter Beard
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by John Krakauer
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
The Autobiography of Malcom X
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch
The Bible
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
The Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Histories by Herodotus
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
The Frontier in American Distory by Frederick Jackson Turner
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Ulysses by James Joyse
The Young Man's Guide by William Alcott
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Steppenwolf by Hermann Hessee
The Book of Deeds of Arms and Chivalry by Christine de Pizan
The Art of Warfare by Sun Tzu
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
The Thin Red Line by James Jones
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Adventure of Huckleberry and Fin by Mark Twain
The Politics by Aristotle
Boy Scouts Handbook: The First Edition 1911
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
The Crisis by Winston Churchill
The Naked and The Dead by Norma Mailer
This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Tarzan and the Apes by Edgard Rice Burrough
Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Hamlet by Shakespeare
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Native Son by Richard Wright
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Armour
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Oil by Upton Sinclair
Fear and Trembling by Sören Kierkegaard
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I have read 51 out of the 100, some I had to for school. Some of the authors I have read their complete works. A few of the books I have even read in numerous english translations. Post a comment and let em know how your did. Keep an eye out for more comments and thoughts as I read this book, I plan on doing a few posts about it as I process some of it's wisdom.

Previous Posts About Book and Reading Lists:
A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan by: Fr. John McCloskey
Another Catholic Reading List
BBC The Big Read - Top 200 Books
Meme 100 Books 2009-02-25
Meme 100 Books 2007-04-28

My Lists:
Top Ten Lists
All Books Read Each Year
Favorite Books Year Each Year
Favorite Authors Year Each Year
All Movies Watched Each Year
Favorite Movies Each Year

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk) - Hank Zipzer Book 14 - Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk)
Hank Zipzer Book 14
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Penguin Canada
ISBN 9780448443768

Out of the 16 books available in the Zipzer series, this is now my favourite for a few reasons. First, Hank really begins to accept his learning disability; he also chooses to seek extra help for it. Now true, there is a female interest that draws him to that option but when a young person chooses reading gym over Tae Kwon Do, you know something serious is up. Hank has his first crush and Zoe is in the reading gym also. Hank also tries to keep this change in after-school activities a secret from his dad. But best of all Hank learns how to describe his life with his learning challenges and how it feels to live and struggle with them day in and day out. In learning to admit he has a problem and really working on it, Hank learns how to communicate his struggles and feelings that have been pent up for years.

What is remarkable about this book, and the series as a whole, is the ability by the authors to capture the essence of struggling with a learning disability. I was diagnosed in grade 2 because of a very persistent teacher, but many people are now being diagnosed in college, university and even in the workforce. I know many people who were not diagnosed in school and feel the way Hank does, but they did not know why. These books, even though written for children, are excellent for anyone struggling with learning disabilities, no matter their age. For they will help them see it is not just them and in Hank will see a mirror of some of their own experiences. These books are wonderfully written and are also fun to read. I highly recommend them.


Books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer Books:
1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?
2. I Got a "D" in Salami
3. Day of the Iguana
4.
Zippety Zinger
5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip
6. Holy Enchilada!
7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!
8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?
9.
My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail
11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Went Down
12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip
13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!
14. Life of Me
15. A Tail of Two Tails
16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm On My Way, Mom!
17. A Brand-New Me!


Ghost Buddy Books:
1. Zero to Hero
2. Mind If I Read Your Mind?
3. How to Scare the Pants off Your Pets

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Well at least sort of. I have migrated to Blogger custom domain, from FTP Publishing. I have created a new hidden blog, hacked the template, imported my old posts and gone through over 300 posts and put the pictures back in. Once I have finished the last 370 posts I will take down the temp back up. New posts should be appearing next week and then back to posting every 1 to 3 days.

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

My Homepage
My Blog
LinkedIN

CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+, Security+
Microsoft MCSE, MCSA, MCP, MCTS, MCITP, MOS

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it."
- Leo Rosten

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Blogger to end FTP service Part 2


I have made a back up of this blog at srmcevoy.ca. That is the first in a few steps. Second I have created a hidden blogger blog with new templates and attempted to recreate the look and feel of this blog. I am about 99% satisfied with it (about 12 hours of design work). Next I will need to apply that template to this blog and redirect it to blogger hosting and test. If that goes well, there should be minimal disruption to this blog. What will take the longest is going through almost 700 posts and putting the book covers and other pictures back in. Thanks for your patience during the transition. New content is developed and should be reappearing soon.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Blogger to end FTP service

Yesterday(January 28th 2010) I recieved and email from Google\Blogger stating they are ending the FTP service. The migration must take place by March 22nd. Not a lot of time in my opinion but I am just a simple blogger. I am currently looking at the different options:

1. Leave this blog where it is and start over again. (Not desirable I have been using this blog since 2005, first hosted at blogger, then migrated to UW, then custom domain becuase of trafic levels.)
2. Migrate to Blogger hosting and hope for the best.
3. Migrate to Wordpress and stay hosted but lose all my link backs, page url's and search rankings.
4. As of yet undertrmined.

I spent a lot of time over the last 5 years changing the look and feel of this blog. Getting it just the way I wanted. Hacked the layout to get three columns custom images and more. I will with a few exceptions stop posting new content here until I figure this out. I am playing in both blogger and wordpress to see if I can get a design and feel I like. But for now all is on hold!

Steven