Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mobile game review - Gordon Ramsay's Dash

This is a fun one. You play through levels of different restaurants in different locations around the world, and also you get sworn at by Gordon Ramsay.

Starting with Big Bay Burgers, you work through each level of each season of the game, with the difficulty increasing as you go along. Every so often there’s a new recipe to make and prepare, and you can also create VIP recipes to attract special customers to increase coinage, and maybe earn gold and ingredients.

You use the ingredients to create the recipes that attract the VIPs, who all have their own special boosts. For example, one VIP gives you the ability to carry more dishes, and another one gives you the ability to move around the restaurant at high speed.

You earn coins with each successful level, and 1-3 stars depending on how many coins you’ve earned and whether you’ve served all customers - for which you get a boost.

Earning VIP points and star points can also net you prizes in the form of coins and gold bars. You can duel other players, which is fun and you can also earn Wishelin Stars - watch out for when the Wishelin Inspector arrives, and complete the level he visits for coinage, gold and ingredients.

The game does have a few glitches which, for me, are pretty minor and tend to be related to the weekly events for some reason.

But if you like zoning out with a mobile game, and you’re a Gordon Ramsay fan, then this is definitely a game to check out.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sunday Post 73; It's Monday, What are you reading? 58

The Sunday Post - a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers - is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see. Last week was much the same as the week before, although I did manage to get a couple of blog posts done and posted, so that was pleasing. I've also decided to try and increase my typing speed - I touch-type about 50wpm at the moment and my goal is to get up to 70 with as few errors as possible. So I've been practicing that as well. I also got an Access for Dummies book out of the library - I want to see if I can teach myself database. I did a little bit on my course, but that was very much a surface skim. While I'm not working, I want to see if I can still keep my brain cranking.

I'm hoping to do an awesome ladies post this week, and a couple of reviews, depending on what I get finished - if anything. :)

I did have a phone interview on Tuesday, for a position that I had applied for previously. I got as far as the phone interview last time, but no further. This time, I actually prepared a bit better, and have made it to the in-person stage. My interview is on Tuesday morning. It's for a job that I know I would be good at and it's ideal for this stage in my life - they actually advertised it as perfect for someone either just entering the workforce, or looking for a change of career. Mentally, I waved my hands in the air and yelled ME ME PICK ME but I'll have to see how it goes.

Good thoughts, positive energy, prayers, kittens ... I will take them all. 

The SPCA was looking for volunteers last week for their new Op Shop, and I had a weirdly vivid dream that I went in to apply, but was laughed out of the store. I was thinking about going in as it's close to spawn's school, and it would give me retail experience. Perhaps After The Interview.

What else. Yesterday, spawn randomly decided he wanted to do some baking, so we made banana choc-chip muffins, and they turned out not too bad.

As for what I'm reading - I still have a bookmark in book 4 of the Game of Thrones series, and I started The Girl With Seven Names by Hyenseo Lee, about growing up in - and escaping from - North Korea.

Apart from the job interview on Tuesday, I'm not sure what this week will bring. Good news, hopefully.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Review - A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer

Star Trek novels are my go-to read when I need some pure escapism. With Star Trek: Voyager novels, I have a weakness for post-finale novels that explore what the crew are doing after returning from the Delta Quadrant.

I also read them randomly and out of order - pretty much the only series I do that with - so any references to previous stories, I just kind of roll with. Luckily, the way they tend to be written is that they reference previous events enough that you don’t get confused, but not so much that you get bogged down.

A Pocket Full of Lies has Commander Liam O’Donnell of the USS Demeter setting up a meeting with the Nihydron species in the Delta Quadrant. However, when the Nihydron see Admiral Kathryn Janeway, they are visibly shaken and retreat.

The mystery reaction is explained when another Kathryn Janeway is discovered - leading the war effort of the Rilnar against the Zahl on the planet Sormana.

Referencing back to The Year of Hell episode from the TV series, A Pocket Full of Lies explores how and why there are two Kathryn Janeways.

A Pocket Full of Lies was exactly what I wanted - pure Star Trek escapism with familiar characters and a really compelling storyline. It’s pretty far along the Voyager timeline in terms of the novels, but Beyer’s deft narrative touch meant I wasn’t confused and could just enjoy the story that was right in front of me.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The awesome ladies project 5 - Kassia of Constantinople

Kassia or Kassiani was born into a wealthy Constantinople family between about 805- 810AD.

She rejected the proposal of Theophilos, who was destined to become emperor at the time.

Instead, Kassia became a nun, founding a convent in the western part of Constantinople, where she was the first abbess.

She was a composer of religious poetry and also composed music. Unlike some of the other early musical ladies on here, many of Kassia’s works are still extant, and still used in Byzantine liturgy today.

The emperor Theophilos was an iconoclast, meaning he didn’t believe in the worship of icons, and Kassia suffered for her beliefs under his reign. When his son Michael III came to power, the iconoclastic period came to an end.

Kassia eventually settled on the Greek island of Kasos and her tomb and reliquary can be found in a church in the city of Panaghia.

Some of her works can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioWWIiG_sHc

I don’t understand the language at all but the music is lovely, and the harmonies are amazing. It’s the kind of music that makes you feel like you’re flying.

Source: (which also includes links to more of her compositions) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kassiani

Next up on the awesome ladies project is Chinese astronomer, Wang Zhenyi.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Sunday post 72; It's Monday, What are you reading? 57

The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to have a chat and a catch-up - is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see ... not that I had any particular plans for the week, but last week did not go to plan at all.

I sent spawn to school on Monday, half-noticing he had a few spots around his mouth, but not thinking anything of it. When I went to pick him up after school he said his friends had been teasing him about having chickenpox. Which he's not vaccinated against (though he is vaccinated), and which he hasn't had. 

Well. Okay. It wasn't chickenpox - it was hand, foot and mouth which is ALSO a very contagious virus. I talked to a nurse at my doctor's surgery who said there wasn't much point bringing him in unless he took a turn for the worse, so I ended up keeping him home last week.

He wasn't particularly ill, but it's contagious and I'd hate for him to pass it on to someone more vulnerable and less robust than he is. So I spent last week pretty much stuck at home and not doing a lot of anything. 

It turns out that a couple of girls in his class had had it a few weeks ago, which they - or their parents/caregivers - hadn't told the teacher. She discovered it had reared its ugly head when her baby contracted it. It's frustrating because to me it's common sense to inform the school if your child has something contagious. 

Luckily spawn's case was very mild, and he's back off to school tomorrow.

He also had his confirmation today and did extremely well. I'm not particularly religious, but I sent him to my old school out of sentimentality perhaps. But it has a small roll, which I like and for a school with about 100 pupils it also has an extremely diverse roll, which I think is important for him as well. Somehow I forgot about all the religious stuff that comes with a Catholic education - lol. The good thing is that he's embraced it for himself, and I figure when he's older he can choose his own path. 

I did apply for a few jobs last week, and there was a pop-up job market going with displays of vacancies and CV advice, etc, and I was able to go there on Monday. I've tweaked my CV - again - and. Well, who knows. I have a pre-interview phone interview tomorrow - for a job that I applied for a while ago but didn't get further than the phone interview, but when it came up again, I thought "what the hell".

I also started a new cross-stitch - I have a friend who is about to go to Wellington to attend police college. She's a little older than me, and it's a long-held dream of hers. She's been working hard for the past two years or so to get her fitness up to scratch and tick all the necessary boxes, so I'm doing this project for her. I was originally going to try and finish it before she headed up to Wellington, but that's impossible given its relative size, so now the goal is to finish it for her graduation in February. 

What else. I spent Friday stitching and mainlining the four-part series Britain's Bloody Crown, about the War of the Roses. It was really really really excellent and if anyone has any War of the Roses-related recs, I am here for them. I have The Sunne in Splendour and I started it a few years ago, but I need to get back to it.

This week the aim is to start blogging more. I meant to last week but ... well. I'm hoping for about four posts a week - that's the goal, anyway.

As for what I'm reading - I picked up a Star Trek: Voyager novel, called A Pocket Full of Lies. Star Trek novels are my go-to when I need absolute, pure escapism. This one is set post-series, and so far it's really good. I also finally ventured to start book 4 of Game of Thrones, so we'll see how that pans out. I was going to rent season 4 from the library, but it's out at the moment, so I got season 2 of Hannibal instead. I never finished season 3, and I really enjoyed Hannibal, so I'm hoping to go the full distance this time.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sunday Post 71; It's Monday, what are you reading? 57

The Sunday Post is a chance for bloggers to have a chat and catch-up about their weeks. It's hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Not much new last week. I had the job interview on Wednesday and I'm still waiting to hear back. I have no optimism left about the process at all, but who knows. I should hear something tomorrow.

I meant to blog more last week and I'm not sure why I didn't. Towards the end of the week - Thursday/Friday - spawn came down with a sore throat and fever so he was home from school on Friday. Other than that ... I'm not sure. I did finish the CSI novel I was reading which filled the procedural slot nicely. So hopefully I'll have a review up for that this week sometime.

I haven't really done much else, I don't think. For this week, there's a pop-up job market in town so I'm going to go to that and see what happens.

Other than that I need to figure out what I'm going to read next, I'm not sure at the moment. I'm also thinking of joining in with RIP XII, which is being hosted by https://mycapriciouslife.com/ and http://estellasrevenge.blogspot.co.nz/ this year.


What about you? What are you reading? How's your week?

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sunday Post 70; It's Monday, What are you reading? 56

The Sunday Post - a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is run by Kathryn, here: https://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Sorry for the double post today - I remembered that I had a review languishing in my docs and wanted to post it before this one went up.

Let's see ... nothing outstanding, I don't think, but that means nothing bad, so there's that. I went quizzing with my team on Wednesday night and we won, so that was fun. 

Spawn and I have been walking home from school a few days a week - I don't have my licence and (let me just say, if you have teens, encourage them to get their licence; I should have back in the day and I didn't and now ... blergh. anyway) - and so we've been walking home rather than rely on buses and taxis, the cost of which racks up very quickly.

It's a pain mostly because it's a good 30 minute walk, but on the other hand, we talk, which is great, and we also slay dragons. So there's an up side and a down side. My friend also suggested we could hunt Pokemon to help it go faster.

I missed out on an interview for a job I really wanted (archive assistant) but I also have a job interview this week for a part-time short contract job at the hospital. So cross fingers, prayer, good thoughts ... I will take all of it. I'm a big believer in the power of positive energy, wherever it comes from. :)

I actually managed to put up two book reviews (okay, so one was today, but who's counting), and I STILL haven't finished my latest awesome ladies post - hopefully that one will go up this week.

I'm also hoping to get another mobile game review up this week. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet; I'm trying to avoid doing match-3 games but there are so many. Maybe I'll do Gordon Ramsey's Dash.

For what I'm reading ... I caught half an episode of a CSI Miami repeat on TV and it put me in the mood for something procedural, so I got a CSI (Vegas) novel out of the library. It's pleasant and largely forgettable and very easy to read. I'm also re-watching Hannibal from the beginning because I never watched to the very end of season 3 for some reason. So my procedural mood is satisfied for now.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?