Oct 052014

The Way of Kings.
Brandon Sanderson.
Google Books

Book Info

The Way of Kings
by Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 08/31/2010
ISBN-10: 0765326353
ISBN-13: 978-0765326355
Started: 10/05/2014
Finished: 10/10/2014
Source: Library
Reason: Recommended by my son, Geoff.
Format: audiobook

Publisher Synopsis

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soiless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Author Info
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris , the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law , Warbreaker , and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance , the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light , in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians series were released by Scholastic, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor s Soul , were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brings two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young

Oct 032014
Darin Warnick at Tri-City DIgital Photography Club

Darin Warnick at Tri-City DIgital Photography Club

Great presentation last night by Darin Warnick of Darin Warnick Photography and Level Up Photography workshops on everything from f-stops, focal lengths & shutter speeds to the technical aspects off-camera flash with an emphasis on creating portraits that stand out from the rest.

Always learn something when I get to hear Darin Warnick talk about photography. Last night at the Tri-Cities Digital Photography Club was no exception. One take-away: “Harsh light & soft light speaks more about the harshness/softness of the shadows cast by the light.” Duh. Now it makes sense.

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Oct 032014

Cory Doctorow.
Google Books

Amazing that this book was published in February 2013, months before the leaks from Edward Snowden went public in June 2013. It is at time hard to differentiate between reality and paranoia.

At times the detail is a bit excruciating but maybe not to those who have are not tech geeks.

It was also interesting to listen to the audiobook narrator, Wil Wheaton, read the section where the protagonist of the story meets Wil Wheaton at Burning Man.

Book Info

by Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Tor
Published: 02/05/2013
ISBN-10: 0765333708
ISBN-13: 978-0765333704
Started: 10/01/2014
Finished: 10/03/2014
Source: Library
Reason: Had read "Little Brother" and enjoyed it.
Format: audiobook

Publisher Synopsis

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.

Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

Author Info
Canadian-born Cory Doctorow has held policy positions with Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and been a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Southern California. He is a co-editor of the popular weblog BoingBoing (boingboing.net), which receives over three million visitors a month. His science fiction has won numerous awards, and his YA novel LITTLE BROTHER spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

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Sep 252014

RunningTimes- - Kamiakin Cross Country

Congrats to the Kamiakin Braves Distance Runners & Cross Country Boys in making the RunningTimes Top 10 (at #5).

Go Braves!

5. Kamiakin HS, Kennewick, Washington (NR)
Kamiakan won the Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 20 in Seattle with 36 points over defending NXN champ Gig Harbor (62) and previously No. 8-ranked Central Catholic (69). Senior Andy Snyder led the way in second place with a 15:14 5K.

Source: RunningTimes
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Sep 242014

My Current Fitbit Badges

My Current Fitbit Badges

One of the ways Fitbit tries to encourage their users is to hand out virtual badges for certain milestone achievements: steps in day, floors climbed, lifetime distance walked, and more. I have never been much of a badges kind of person but I do find myself wondering how soon I will be able to ‘best’ myself and earn a new badge.

I just earned the ‘250 Miles Lifetime Distance’ badge which isn’t too bad since I have had my Fitbit for less than a month and for someone who says he doesn’t care about badges, I have to admit I looked ahead and the next distance badge is given at 500 miles, so maybe sometime next month. Looks like I also need to hike up Badger Mountain some more so I can work on my lifetime floors climbed badges.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter; Pinterest;
Sep 232014

Fitbit 2014-09-21

Happy to see that I averaged over 20,000 steps per day. My goal is 16,000 (so I can hit 500,000 steps per month). Was really surprised that I hit 295 floors climbed in the week! Glad I decided to buy the Fitbit One that counts steps.

Shelly Edens just got her Fitbit Flex and she is working at pushing me off the top. Will be fun to see what I do this next week.

Sep 222014

Book Info

The Secret History
by Donna Tartt
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published: 09/01/1992
ISBN-10: 0449911519
ISBN-13: 978-1400031702
Started: 09/12/2014
Finished: 09/22/2014
Source: Library
Reason: Read "The Goldfinch" and this was also recommended. Became available on audiobook so got it from the library. The book is also on the Torchlight List: Around the World in 200 Books Also listed as a Top Teen book
Format: audiobook

Publisher Synopsis

The Secret History, the first novel by Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1992. A 75,000 print order was made for the first edition (as opposed to the usual 10,000 order for a debut novel), and the book became a bestseller.

Set in New England, The Secret History tells the story of a closely knit group of six classics students at a small, elite Vermont college, Hampden College, similar in many respects to Bennington College (in Bennington, Vermont) where Tartt was a student from 1982 to 1986.

The story is an inverted detective story, not a Whodunit but a Whydunit.

One of the six students is the story’s narrator, Richard Papen, who reflects, years later, on the situation that led to a murder within the group, the murder being confessed at the outset of the novel but the events otherwise revealed sequentially. In the opening chapter, as the reader is introduced to Papen, we are told of the death of student Edmund “Bunny” Corcoran, although few details are given initially. The novel explores the circumstances and lasting effects of Bunny’s death on the academically and socially isolated group of Classics students of which he was a part.

The impact on the students is ultimately destructive, and the potential promise of many young lives is lost to circumstance. The story parallels, in many ways, a Greek tragedy with fate dictating the very circumstances that lead to an escalation of already fermenting issues.

Source: Wikipedia

Author Info
Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Secret History and The Little Friend, which have been translated into thirty languages.

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Sep 182014

RingCentralAfter an update of the RingCentral software on a Windows 7 Professional machine the following message was received:

RingCentral Softphone encountered an error accessing your Local Messages. Please Contact your System Administrator to check your user access settings (Error 0).

It appears that something gets confused in RingCentral’s LocalStorage directory since you can navigate to this directory, C:\ProgramData\RingCentral\LocalStorage , and view all the files but the RingCentral software cannot.

The solution I found was:

  1. Close out of RingCentral completely
  2. Delete the LocalStorage directory and its contents: C:\ProgramData\RingCentral\LocalStorage
  3. Restart RingCentral

Source: RingCentral Community