Friday, August 26, 2016

Lights Out: A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

Who doesn't love a good conspiracy book once in a while?  Even better, the audio is read by Ted Koppel himself and I like to hear him talk.  In this book, Koppel explores the possibility of a cyber attack on our nation's power grid and the effect that could have.  He talks about the potential players who may be interested in and have the ability to launch a cyber attack, how the government and population might respond and who might be best suited to survive.

I gotta tell ya folks, if you start to really think about any of this stuff, it's pretty scary.  For years we, in my house,  have joked about a zombie apocalypse and becoming preppers, but the zombies really aren't the scariest thing that could happen.  Mostly because I don't actually think zombies will happen... But folks!  There are real threats out there!  According to Ted Koppel's research, there are holes in our system and lots of people out there who might be interested in taking advantage of those holes to our detriment.  Koppel interviewed preppers, people who didn't consider themselves preppers, and communities who were definitely more prepared than others.  It was very interesting to hear how some people live their lives in a way that is more independent than others.

I thought this book was insightful and interesting.  There were a few times when the facts got to be a little overwhelming, but you guys know me by now, if thinks get too wordy I may tune out for a minute.  I have a pretty sure attention span.  That being said, though, I listened to this book from start to finish in about a week.  I listened on my daily commute, which is my habit these days, but I also listened at the house while I was cleaning and organizing all the baby stuff.

I would definitely never say that my family is prepared for something like this, but I would like to think that we could adapt.  I have friends who are much more prepared than we are and we've talked and brainstormed and they've given me lots of good information.  While I would LOVE to be able to build a house off the grid, it's more for an economic reasoning than a prepper reasoning.

How do you think you would fair if the lights went out?  Do you have a plan? 

Meet Me at the Emotional Baggage Claim

I just finished this hysterical book by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.  In this group of essays, the mother and daughter tell stories from their own lives and give such a great prospective to the mother-daughter relationship.  Coming from a strong matriarchal family myself, I can totally relate to so many stories.  I liked this book so much and it was so easy to listen to that I finished it in 3 days!

I laughed through nearly this whole book and have already downloaded another audio by the duo.  I love the honesty in these stories, honesty about love, life, getting older and family.  So many of the stories struck such a cord with me because of my close relationship to my own mother, daughter, grandmother and sisters.  From the proper way to pack dishes to how to deal with the oldest generation, this book was packed with insight and laugh-out-loud humor.  I suggest you get your hands on this one and just relax and enjoy.  I look forward to reading others by these authors very soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Time to Declutter... Again

The company I work for is getting a new building this fall.  This means we will have to decide what is being moved to the new building and auction or trash the things that are being replaced.  The General Manager came in today to let my office know that this job will go much easier if we don't wait until the last minute and if we reduce the unnecessary things now.  He stared at me a whole lot through this conversation and repeated himself to try to drive home the point.  He knows me very well...

After this meeting, I got to looking around and deciding what would need to be boxed up and what we could shred and what just needed to go in the trash.  I took this picture as a small sample of why I REALLY should get started now...

There is a plastic chicken, a glow-in-the-dark alien, a bottle of gems, three shot glasses, a cupcake topper and a bottle of bubbles stuck between some of my personal mail. I've only mentioned the unnecessary things, where do I even come up with this stuff?!?  I also have a Rolodex, a paperclip holder and many random cards that should probably be in the Rolodex.  This is just the top of my monitor stand so I'm sure you can imagine what the rest of my desk looks like!  I don't even know what lives in the drawers other than the few things I access regularly.  And all this is just my desk!  I also have a storage closet and many, many storage cabinets that will need to be cleaned out.  I should have started this in the spring when they started construction on our new building!

Now I will be cleaning and organizing the office while cleaning and organizing the house preparing for babies.  I sure hope this nesting mentality kicks in soon!  Anyone have any tips or tricks to keep me from becoming overwhelmed?  I'm happy to hear them!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Looking back at the books I've completed this year, I should dub this the year of YA.  You know I skipped YA in my teen years, but I'm making up for it in my thirties.  I've completed the Smoke and Bone series, all the Harry Potter books, and now I've started a new YA series this year.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are fairy tale retelling in a steampunk fashion.  Now I didn't really know what steampunk meant when I started this series and I can't say that I 100% know at this point either, but if you can explain it to me, I'd love to hear it!  In this first book of the series, Cinder is a teenage cyborg mechanic who isn't well loved by her family and has few friends.  One day the prince of the land stumbles into her shop and needs his android repaired and Cinder's world is soon turned upside down.

There are lots of elements of old world mixed with futuristic aspects, which I think makes it steampunk?  Correct me if I'm wrong in this. To be honest, when finished the first chapter I had decided that this wasn't the book for me and I wasn't going to finish. It was very far out there and unrealistic to me, but then I remembered that I just finished Harry Potter and I usually read vampire books... when do I read anything realistic?  At some point I looked up and had just finished chapter 17, I guess I had committed!  This book was fast paced and keep my interest through the entire thing.  I finished in about 2 days and have requested the second book in the series on Overdrive, but there is a waiting list.

What is your favorite Steampunk novel?