Initial Review: 2015 Honda CRV-LX

We bought a new 2015 Honda CRV-LX yesterday to replace the old one, a 2006 CRV-EX. Here are our first thoughts.

Power: excellent.

It rides and drives beautifully, so much so that unless we watch carefully, it is easy to exceed the speed limit. The engine is quiet and powerful and the road noise is reduced, so you don’t realize how fast you are going. I’m sure with practice it will be easier to keep under control.

This has the same size engine; 2.4L 4-cyl, as the 2006, so it could be wear and tear on the old one or … more

“It begins with a dragon.” — A Play of Shadows by Julie E. Czerneda

Julie Czerneda’s A Play of Shadows brings us another chapter in the Night’s Edge fantasy series. I reviewed A Turn of Light, the first book in the Night’s Edge, here.

APoS picks up where AToL left off. The returning characters are just as vivid as when we last met them, plus new characters have joined the ensemble and fit in like a hand in glove. There are new dangers, new villains, new allies and, not new, but as yet un-met, family.

We meet Bannon’s two nephews, Semyn and Werfol, a pair … more

In Anticipation of Czerneda’s new fantasy

My next post was going to be a review of Julie Czerneda’s A Play of Shadows, the newest book in her Night’s Edge series.

Did you hear that ‘but’ there?

But, I got through the first chapter and was reminded of all the wonderful characters, so I had to stop and re-read A Turn of Light.

I’ve now finished Turn and I’m ready to start Play. The anticipation is building…

Stay tuned for further developments.


Review: Summer Wars (anime)

I’ll probably have to class this as a near-future SciFi film, although the focus is on the importance of family.

Summer Wars (2009) tells the story of Kenji Koiso, a math prodigy and junior at Kuonji High School. He is invited to the country for four days by a senior, Natsuki Shinohara, to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday.

It is not until he is introduced that he finds out he is supposed to be Natsuki’s fiancé. At first he is unwilling, but Natsuki convinces him it is only for four days. That first night, Kenji receives an email with an … more

Review: Clannad (anime)

I’ve just finished watching this anime series comprising 23 episodes and an OVA. The OVA is an alternative ending to the series.

Overall, I enjoyed it, although I felt there were a couple of problems, which I will go into later. There will probably be some spoilers at that time, but I will warn you before starting.

This would be what’s classified as a Slice of Life series. It isn’t my usual cup of tea, as I generally prefer speculative over realistic story lines. Now for those of you who have already seen this and are about to take me … more

Anime and Me

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of anime. There is quite a lot of anime out there, not all of it available in the U.S., so my sample size is quite small. My first exposure to anime was when a friend introduced me to Oh My Goddess. This was a five-episode OVA, originally released in 1993 on VHS tapes using the characters and situations of the AA! Megami-sama (Ah! My Goddess) manga.

It is a sweet, romantic comedy about the Goddess Belldandy who comes to grant a wish to a luckless college student. I love this and I re-watch it on a semi-regular basis. It doesn’t … more

Review: The Incrementalists

Read date: 11 January 2014

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White

This book is very different in setting than anything else I’ve read of Mr. Brust. Set in modern day Las Vegas, Nevada, it tells the story of Renee, the newest recruit to a world-spanning secret society, and Phil, one of the longest-lived members, who is her sponsor and trainer.

The goal of the Incrementalists is to make the world better, a little bit at a time. They do this by ‘nudging’ people who are at a pivot point in their lives.

Renee is the replacement for Celeste, who recently died, but … more

Review: Freedom™ by Daniel Suarez

completed: 27-Sept-2013

Freedom™ is the sequel to Daemon. I must admit I had left this book sitting around for three years waiting to be read because I wasn’t exactly happy with Daemon. I thought the ending was too downbeat. As a computer professional, I saw those who joined the Daemon’s darknet as, well, not to put too fine a point on it, as not-quite-traitors to the human race. They were joining with, and helping, a computer program against humans.

I finally decided to get this book out of my to-be-read pile. I am happy to say that what I thought … more

Book Review: My Life As a White Trash Zombie


My Life as a White Trash Zombie is the story of Angel Crawford, who wakes up in the hospital with no memory of why or how she got there. A package is delivered there with a cooler of strange drinks and a letter stating that she has job waiting for here at the city morgue, and a threat that if she doesn’t take it, the police will find out that she was in violation of her probation.

The rest of the book is about Angel finding out about her new life as … more

Movie Review: World War Z

View Date: 6/29/13

Some spoilers below.

World War Z is a fun, action romp, if you can ignore some logical inconsistencies.

Brad Pitt delivers an excellent performance as Gerry Lane, a man who gave up a globe-trotting life of adventure as a U.N. investigator in order to settle down and concentrate on his family–wife and two daughters. When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, he is forced back into his previous life in order to safeguard the family that means more to him than anything else.

He accompanies Andrew Fassbach, a virologist played by Elyes Gabel, protected by a SEAL … more