Monday, August 20, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

School has begun!  I'm already exhausted!  I volunteered (was volunTOLD?) to teach an extra class instead of taking a conference period.  Normally that is illegal in Texas; however, my district is paying me for it - pretty good money, too - and I signed a waiver to that effect.  I'm going to be super busy since all of my planning and preparation will be done before or after school, but I can handle (almost) anything for one year.  Today is only the second day, but I think I'm going to like my students!

My son is moving back to college today.  He is close enough that he can come home on weekends.  My daughter graduated in December, and her job allows her to work from home, so she will be here until she has saved enough to feel comfortable moving out.  I like having them both here.  My daughter, on the other hand, can't wait to move out!

 Basketball season starts in 57 days!  I'm excited about that.  I have enjoyed baseball season this year, too.  We used to go to games a lot, but we stopped when they had that huge steroid scandal.  Guess we're over it now!

And since it's a school night, and I should be doing work, I'll get to some school-themed funnies.
And my personal favorite:
That's all for this week!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book was, especially since I'd never heard of it until this summer. While it may be classified for tweens and teens, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I felt the author was consistent and engaging enough for adults.

The book begins with protagonist Reynie Muldoon, an orphan, being taken to an audition of sorts in response to an advertisement that asks, "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?". He is put through a series of tests, puzzles, mazes, and more and is selected, along with three other children, for a special mission. The other students are George "Sticky" Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire (who is very contrary).

Their special mission is to work for Mr. Benedict to find out what is going on at the Learning Institute of the Very Enlightened (L.I.V.E.) which is run by the evil genius Ledroptha Curtain, who we later learn is Mr. Benedict's long-lost twin brother. Curtain is sending out cryptic messages in preparation for "The Improvement." The Institute is located on Nomansan Island. Get it? No man's an island? I loved the puns in this book!

The Society infiltrates L.I.V.E. and learns what is happening at the school. They communicate with Mr. Benedict and his agents on the mainland via Morse Code with messages that are more like puzzles. Will the four children be able to stop Curtain's evil plan? Read and find out!

This book occasionally reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events, particularly the character Reynie who is similar to Krauss. It has a similar tone, although less sad, and a similar theme, with children outsmarting the evil adults. But... it is its own book. Despite the similarities, it is clearly a unique adventure that is sure to entertain any reader!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy for some random nonsense.

Well... I went back to work yesterday.  I was EXHAUSTED!  I was on my feet for most of the day as well as moving boxes and books, decorating my classroom, and running around taking care of our department.  T.I.R.E.D.  I can't believe the kids come in six days!

Nothing much has been going on other than that except my son and I toured Minute Maid Park last week.  It was both fun and interesting!  This is us sitting in the dugout.

My step-daughter set up a Go Fund Me page for her 3 year old doxie who needs surgery.  If you are so inclined to help, here is the link. Lilly's Surgery.

And because I'm so tired, I truly cannot think of anything else I want to say right now!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme, #1)The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the longest time, I thought I had already read this book. I was thinking it was part of Jefferson Bass's Body Farm series, but I finally figured out that it's not. It's a different series, a different author, and only now on my "read" list.

Lincoln Rhyme is a brilliant criminalist forced into early retirement when an accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Amelia Sachs is a police officer who meets Rhyme by accident. Earlier that morning, she had stopped a train on its tracks and prevented foot traffic from walking through a crime scene, until other officers showed up and overruled her decision. Rhyme has been asked to come out of retirement to help the NYPD find a sadistic killer who is leaving clues about each of his next victims at the crime scene, and he wants Sachs on the case with him. Rhyme convinces Sachs to be his eyes, hands, and feet as she walks the "grid" according to Rhyme's directions.

This killer is smart. He knows how to avoid leaving prints and trace evidence. The team learns that the unsub has an unusual fascination with bones and the underground, and he fancies old New York. Will Rhyme, Sachs, and a slew of detectives and experts be able to find the unsub? And how will the unsub react if he can't stump them with his clues?

This is a very cleverly detailed story, and it was hard to put down. Amelia Sachs is the first character we meet. We are then introduced to Lincoln Rhyme. Both characters are difficult to like, especially in the first third of the book or so. The story is so good, though, that it's easy to get around that. At least the characters are well-developed and not caricatures.

The story was convoluted, not difficult to follow, just so many meticulous details went into the plot. There are so many twists and turns that you most likely haven't read about in every other serial murder plot. I'm not sure if that means Jeffery Deaver's mind is crazy or crafty, or maybe, a little of both. (Just kidding.) You're definitely in for a bumpy ride! The only time it got predictable was near the end.

I really couldn't put it down, which must be why I read this almost 400 page book in five days. It usually takes much longer, but I was really hooked!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018


This is from our tour of Minute Maid Park today.

A view from the field.
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