Archive for March, 2009

Vegan with a Vengeance

veganI am not vegan, nor am I a vegetarian, but I love cookbooks. I love to cook and I am willing to try all kinds of food . I found the cookbook on Unshelved (one of my favorite webcomics) , and I was curious. So I checked it out. This is a good cookbook. Everything I’ve tried is tasty and most everything is fairly simple. Occasional unusual ingredients , but nothing that is hard to find in the bay area. Here are the ingredients for a sauce used to cook potatoes . I’ve used on potatoes, chicken, and fish.

2 cloves of garlic , minced
3 TBSP soy sauce
1/4 c real maple syrup
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
2TBSP olive oil

mix it up and pour it over what ever you want to bake.

Request this cookbook here

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All I can say about this trailer is…wow. I really want to see this film.

Where the Wild Things Are – First Official Movie Trailer:

While some of the images are the same, this film is quite different from the story in the original book. I suspect that folks will enjoy it anyway.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs:

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gaggle_geeseFriday is here at last and it’s time for a little ‘did you know?’ courtesy of a gaggle of geese. Apparently, different animals have different names they like to call themselves when they’re in groups. Hence, a gaggle of geese. And a herd of cows. And a school of fish. So you already knew about those, right? Okay, but what about:

a clowder of cats
an ostentation of peacocks
a parliament of owls
a dole of doves
a bouquet of pheasants
a kettle of hawks
a leap of leopards
a sleuth of bears
a wedge of swans

And it doesn’t matter how big the group is, it could be ten or ten hundred.

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13 Very Cool Libraries

Thursday Thirteen #61

I have a keen interest in libraries. (hmmm…wonder why that is…) So, this week, I’m bringing you links to 13 Very Cool Libraries. Obviously, there are many more than I could ever list here, so please let me know about any cool libraries you are familiar with.

13 Libraries of Coolness:
1. The Library of Congress – If you have an American history project of some sort, check out their American Memory project.

2. Trinity College Library, Dublin – Home of the Book of Kells.

3. The British Library – Home of the Magna Carta, and you can read it online.

4. Bibliothèque nationale de France – They have a whole exhibition on the topic of King Arthur. (Mind you, it helps if you can read French, but they do offer a great deal of English translation.)

5. The National Library of Scotland – You can read the Last Letter of Mary Queen of Scots on their site.

6. Oxford University’s Bodleian Library – Among other things (you know that Tolkien worked at this University, yes?) they have an online exhibition about The Wind in the Willows.

7. National Library of Australia – Among other things, they offer a digital collection of early Australian printed music.

8. Library and Archives Canada – Home of the Canadian Genealogy Center.

9. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – Among other things, they offer digital access to important American Historical Documents.

10.NYPL – This well known library has, among other things, a digital collection of Native American portraiture.

11. LAPL – Check out the LAPL photo collection.

12. Mariposa County Library – Yosemite Valley Branch
– This tiny library branch may not have a huge collection (though they have excellent access through Interlibrary Loan) but if you live in Yosemite Valley, this place is Heaven on Earth.

13. Fremont Main Library – I’m cool, and I work here, therefore the library is cool. 😉 (We also have all sorts of programs, databases, and even a huge orange stuffed shark.

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Here is the March update on the current status of the “books to film” projects that have been mentioned on this blog to this point. I will try to do this once a month in order to follow each film until it reaches DVD. Please remember that release dates are subject to change, and that sometimes “Announced” films never get made.

If you have any news about an upcoming book to film adaptation, please comment and let me know.

The current “books to film” list:

1776: In development with a release date sometime in 2009.

Alice in Wonderland: This Tim Burton film is in post-production with a US release date on 5 March 2010. (Johnny Depp is apparently playing the Mad Hatter.)

The Amulet of Samarkand: In development with a theoretical release date in 2009.

Angels & Demons: In post-production and due in US theaters on 15 May 2009.

Atlas Shrugged: Status currently unknown, as the project has lost its director. Release date is now listed as 2011.

Beastly: In pre-production with a 2010 release date.

The Bell Jar: The status for this project is currently listed as in development with a theoretical release date listed as 2011.

The Boggart: In development. US theatrical release sometime in 2009.

Born to Rock: Announced with a release date sometime in 2010.

Chocky: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010. (I’ll be very interested to see this one as I saw the old TV miniseries of this title.)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Announced, with a U.S. release date of 10 December 2010.

Cirque du Freak: This movie is reported to include the first three books of the series. It has been completed, and The U.S. release date was 23 October 2009, but has now disappeared.

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Not yet available on DVD.

Coraline: Not yet available on DVD.

The Cry of the Icemark: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2009.

Deal Breaker: Announced with a release date sometime in 2011.

Dinotrux: In development with a 2012 release date.

The Doubtful Guest: In development. U.S. theatrical release expected sometime in 2010.

Dragonriders of Pern: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

Dune: (Yes, another version of Dune.) Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Eye of the World: In development with a release date in 2011.

Fahrenheit 451: Announced with a release date in 2010 sometime.

Far from the Madding Crowd: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Giver: In development with a 2011 release date.

A Great and Terrible Beauty: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Great Gilly Hopkins: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I: Currently filming. Due in U.S. theaters on 19 November 2010.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Due in U.S. theaters on 17 July 2009.

He’s Just Not That Into You: Not yet on DVD.

The Hobbit: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2012.

Inkheart: Not yet on DVD.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Life of Pi: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

The Lovely Bones: In post-production. Due in U.S. theaters 11 December 2009.

Magic Kingdom for Sale: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010 sometime.

Marley & Me: DVD available on Mar 31, 2009.

Mars Needs Moms!: In pre-production with a release date in 2010.

Maximum Ride: In pre-production with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Monster Blood Tattoo: In Development. U.S. theatrical release sometime in 2010.

My Sister’s Keeper: Due in U.S. theaters on 26 June 2009.

Neuromancer: In development with a release date in 2011 sometime.

The NeverEnding Story: In development with a 2012 release date.

New Moon: Currently filming with a U.S. release date on 20 November 2009.

On the Road: Status currently listed a “Unknown” on the IMDB with a theoretical release date still listed as 2009.

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: In pre-production. U.S. theatrical release scheduled for 12 February 2010.

Race to Witch Mountain: Currently in U.S. theaters.

Ramona: In pre-production and due in U.S. theaters on 19 March 2010.

The Screwtape Letters: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Shantaram: In development and due in U.S. theaters sometime in 2011.

A Spell for Chameleon: In development with a theoretical release date in 2011.

Stargirl: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2009.

The Subtle Knife: Now listed as “Unknown” with a theoretical release date sometime in 2009.

The Sword of Shannara: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Tale of Despereaux: On DVD April 7, 2009.

The Thirteenth Hour: In development with a release date in 2011.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: In development with a theoretical release date in 2009.

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Completed with a U.S. release date on 14 August 2009.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn: In post-production with a U.S. theatrical release sometime in 2011.

The Tripods: In development with a 2012 release date.

Uglies: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag: In development with a 2011 release date.

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This unprecedented economic downturn has affected each of us in one way or another.  Many have lost their jobs, many are questioning their faith.  Here is a music video I’d like to share.  Hope it will inspire all of us.

The music video includes amateur musicians and singers, singing in various American locations.  The orignal version with highlights of the lyrics can be watched at http://www.bornagainamerican.org/

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Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce is the first book in the Circle of Magic series. I have read the book several times before, but this time I listened to the full cast audio presentation during my commute. Narrated by Tamora Pierce herself, the full cast presentation really brought an extra element of life to this Book on CD. The Circle of Magic series is about four children with magic that shows itself through everyday objects, such a spinning, metalwork, plants, and the weather. Sandry’s Book introduces us to Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar and what they can accomplish when they set their minds to it. A noble, a merchant, a trader, and a thief come together to form a family. In the process, they prove themselves very valuable to their new home.

Admittedly, I am a hardcore Tamora Pierce fan. I have most of her books in my collection. Part of the reason I love her work is that each series has its own focus and strength. This series concentrates upon four very different main characters that learn to work together when it’s most important. It takes place in a completely different world than the one in the Alanna books. Even the magic is different in this series. As with all of her books, the characterizations are very believable and the plot lines are well thought out. If you are a fan of fantasy, you should really give this book a try. It’s just that good.

(place hold)

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Review: Tacky the Penguin


Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is the story of a penguin that is a rather odd bird. While Tacky’s friends march in straight lines, his marching tends to be a bit more acrobatic. While his friends are expert divers, Tacky prefers a good cannon ball. Tacky even dresses differently from his comrades. Just look at him there on the cover of the book in his flowery shirt! Tacky is as different from the other penguins as it is possible to be. When big scary hunters come around, this turns out to be a very good thing indeed.

I like this book. The illustrations are just plain cute. How can you resist a penguin in a flower-print shirt? My favorite image is of Tacky in his bathing suit doing a cannon ball into the ocean. He even has a bathing cap. I really enjoyed reading this book aloud. You can easily switch back and forth between a posh and a plebeian accent for the different penguins. I’m thinking that kids will love this one. Tacky the Penguin is the story of a penguin who is not afraid to be different. He even sings strange songs badly, and doesn’t care. If this story has a message, it is that being different is good. That is a point of view that I can support.

(Place a hold here)

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13 Things I Like About Doctor Who

Thursday Thirteen #60

As some of you may already know, I love Doctor Who. So, for this week’s Thursday Thirteen I present you with thirteen reasons why. They aren’t in order and they aren’t the only reasons (The Doctor has had way more than 13 companions), but they are certainly some of the big ones. And anyway, I’m home sick, so I wanted to share one of my comfort shows with you.

13 Things I Like About Doctor Who:
1. The TARDIS – It can go anywhere in Time and Space and it’s small enough to park anywhere, while being the size of a small city on the inside. How can you beat that type of craft?

2. The Sonic Screwdriver – It can open almost anything and do a lot besides. Plus, the one from the new show can be used as a flashlight.

3. Regeneration – Not only is this a clever device that allows different actors to play the lead role, it’s also an interesting storytelling vehicle. Imagine, a race of people that can survive most death blows simply by becoming someone else.

4. Gallifreyan Writing (as seen in the new show) – It’s really complex looking, and it resembles the inside workings of a clock. It’s also beautiful. I’d love to use some of it to decorate my room.

5. The Daleks – Just think about this: The most feared classic baddie looks like a pepperpot, and yet has incredible destructive power. You used to be able to escape them by running up some stairs, but they’ve been able to fly since the 7th Doctor’s day. The new series has only increased their battle prowess. Not bad for an adversary that has been around since the second story of the show.

6. The Seal of Rassilon – First of all, it’s pretty (Yes, this is the tattoo I want to get if I ever manage to get the money and the guts together.) Rassilon was one of the founders of Time Lord society, and he has an awful lot of items that carry his name. The Seal is the nicest looking one.

7. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart – The Brigadier is one of the few of the Doctor’s friends who has seen several of his different incarnations. They’ve worked together for UNIT. And all he wants is to meet an alien menace that isn’t immune to bullets.

8. The Ninth Doctor – The First Doctor of the New Series was a dark and brooding man with a leather coat and an abrasive manner. He’d seen too much death and destruction, but he was still The Doctor. He was also amused by all sorts of things. Christopher Eccleston did an excellent job bringing The Doctor back to life. Fantastic.

9. The Tenth Doctor – David Tennant’s Doctor has in many ways refined the two main parts of The Doctor’s personality as seen in the 9th Doctor. He can be hyper, silly, and child-like, and he can be hard, angry, and vengeful. Don’t make him angry. Oh, and listen when he gives you that one warning. He means it.

10. Rose – I really enjoyed watching the transformation of Rose’s character. She went from a danger-prone shop girl to a woman who could do things for herself and managed to save The Doctor (and, you know, the world) a couple of times.

11. The Fourth Doctor – Tom Baker’s Doctor was my first Doctor. You always remember your first Doctor. He was the clever one, all teeth, curls, and long scarf. I’m still holding out hope that he might appear in the new series in some capacity or other.

12. Captain Jack Harkness – I just adore this character. He’s sexy, good-looking, good-hearted, and smart. I’m really happy that he got his own show.

13. The Weeping Angels – I can never get statues for my garden, now. These baddies seriously freaked me out. Which, of course, makes them an excellent baddie. A whole generation of children will grow up looking at statues suspiciously.

What is your favorite show?

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Now  I love to read , but sometimes you want someone else to do the work, especially if the book is supposed to be ‘good for  you’.  May I suggest have the author read to you?  Here is Neil Gaiman reading his Newbery Medal winning book, The Graveyard Book.

Want something more dramatic?  Why not listen to some dramatic readings from Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, The 2008 Newbery winner.

And there is always the old fashioned way, why not watch a movie? Here is the movie trailer from one of my favorite Newbery books, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Wait… You want to know more about the book before you see a movie?   Head on over to the Children’s blog for a review.

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