For years I have been pretending this RFID blocking passport case is protecting me from a phantom menace.
M. Sid Kelly's Used Aliens is a fantastic, hilarious tour of what can go wrong when prospecting planets for admission to the Galactic Pool.
Kelly does a fantastic job of introducing his universe, the varied aliens and wild personalities that populate the Galactic Pool. The history of the Pool is violent, unjust and filled with wacky ironies so it should be no surprise that things go wrong when they begin to observe the planet "Dirt." Some how a beautiful clone from Bounty and an humanoid hating Dnooblian windup helping a human live his dream of hosting a bass fishing tv show.
M. Sid Kelly's Used Aliens reminded me a lot of Red Dwarf or the Hitchhiker's Guide, so this is an extremely high recommendation. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
This wireless charging station keeps my Xbox One controllers functional. I hate using disposables in the controllers and swapping batteries is no fun.
I really only play Destiny on the Xbox One at this point, but my controllers were often dead. I think the self power off timer in the units isn't very good as it seems the batteries go dead once every week or two. This base station comes with 2 rechargeable batteries that contact when you set them in its cradle. All my dead battery problems are solved.
My daughter and I just baked a batch of our favorite, Bavarian-style, soft pretzels. Making them is so quick and easy. Writing this post takes longer than making a batch.
Jason and Hannah's pretzel recipe
- 2 1/4 cups AP or bread flour
- ¾ cup of warm water
- 1 tsp bread yeast
- 1 Tbs brown sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Additionally: Baking Soda, and Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF.
Mix yeast and brown sugar in the ¾ cup of warm water and let proof for 10 minutes.
Put flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Add liquid. Knead until the ball of dough has picked up all the loose flour and is smooth.
Start a 3-5 quart pot of water boiling. Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Let boil.
Roll out pretzels. I suggest taking golf ball sized balls of dough and rolling them in your hand until the string of dough is about the diameter of a grease pencil or sharpie. Then twist into pretzels.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or your favorite non-stick method. Boil pretzels in the baking soda water mixture for 10-15 seconds each. My rule is to let them sink to the bottom and then retrieve a few seconds after they float to the surface. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet.
Immediately before placing in the oven, sprinkle with salt to your preference. Bake for 18-19 minutes.
I suggest serving with mustard, Hannah thinks putting something so disgusting on a pretzel is craziness.
Makes 6. Feel free to double the recipe.
James Islington's first novel, The Shadow Of What Was Lost is an epic fantasy. I read this slowly to catch all the detail and appreciate the wonderful world building and terrific characters.
Islington introduces us to a world where magic users have been suborned and ostracized. 20 years previous something disrupted the power of the seemingly all-powerful Augurs, and allowed normal folks a chance to upset the balance of power. As the tenuous society they've built begins to unravel, Davian, Wirr and Asha, three students at one of the last schools for Gifted users of Essence are dragged into the middle of a generations long battle against an enemy no one wants to believe exists.
Islington has a wonderful way of revealing detail. I really enjoy it, he seems to be opening each storyline, as well as world building and explaining the magic/lore of Andarra at a perfect pace. It keeps me wanting more and more, I am looking forward to seeing the story continue.