Book Review — The Stars My Destination

The Stars My DestinationThe Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic recommendation from a buddy, and I don’t regret picking it up immediately. It was full of complex characters, and a storyline that twisted and turned. In some ways, it reminded me of the Count of Monte Cristo and I’m sure Bester borrowed techniques from other classic literature that I can’t immediately recall. It had everything you could want from a good sci-fi book: oddball (extreme) characters, space travel, interstellar war, romance, and revenge!

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Book Review – Interrupt

InterruptInterrupt by Jeff Carlson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at how our ancestors and ancestors’ cousins might have evolved throughout thousands of years, and how some primal “inclinations” might reappear under certain circumstances. The characters were really interesting in this book, and the story is pretty fast paced. It’s an easy read (beach book), and entertaining at the same time. Nothing hugely notable, and some of the theories and suppositions were a bit of a stretch. Sometimes, I feel like most authors just glance over certain aspects of characters, which always leaves me unsatisfied. I got a little bit of that in this book, but not a bad vacation book.

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Book Review — The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really struggled to get into it at first as Rothfuss takes his time developing the story. In fact, I can’t believe he ended this book where he did, but it’s effective. I’m really looking forward to reading the next one. It’s not the typical book I’d be interested in, but the story keeps me fully engaged. I feel like I escape a bit when I read it. Quite nice.

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focused by pinkeerach
focused, a photo by pinkeerach on Flickr.

brewing afternoon

brewing afternoon by madEthelFlint
brewing afternoon, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

a great way to spend a gorgeous afternoon.

my kegs have giant holes in them!

my kegs have giant holes in them! by madEthelFlint
my kegs have giant holes in them!, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

first step in keggle conversion: complete! #homebrew

cleaning my glass carboy

cleaning my glass carboy by madEthelFlint
cleaning my glass carboy, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

pain perdu

pain perdu by madEthelFlint
pain perdu, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

happy new year!

a very merry ho (ho ho)

a very merry ho (ho ho) by madEthelFlint
a very merry ho (ho ho), a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

a very merry ho (ho ho)

Xmas at the lake

Xmas at the lake by madEthelFlint
Xmas at the lake, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

finally put lights on the back porch & deck! #merryxmas

merry and bright

merry and bright by madEthelFlint
merry and bright, a photo by madEthelFlint on Flickr.

Summer Vegetable Casserole

photo of finished summer vegetable casseroleI recently bought a huge eggplant from my local farmer’s market with the full intention of doing an eggplant parmesan. However, I got a hair up my ass when I found a recipe on Pinterest (which has since been deleted from the webs) for an easy casserole w/eggplant. I had some other summer veggies going to waste on the counter, and I needed to use them or toss. So I decided to spice things up.

Honestly, you can use whatever vegetables and seasoning you want. The idea is you half cook the veggies before you “casserole” them. Some optional additions: tofu, chopped onions, salt & pepper, herbs! Feel free to make it your own. My fiancee was amazed by this dish, and said it needs to be in the regular rotation. Cheap and tasty!


1 large eggplant, cubed
1-2 tbsp olive oil (depending on how much squash)
1 large bell pepper (I used green), diced
2-3 medium-to-large summer squash (I used yellow & zucchini), cubed
6-8oz. of mushrooms, sliced thick (they cook down)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used italian style)

Boil the eggplant for 10 minutes. Make sure you turn it occasionally. After 10 minutes, cool the eggplant, and then cube it.

Meanwhile, cut up the rest of the veggies. Heat the olive oil in a pan (skillet, 4qt pot, saute pan), and add the diced bell pepper. Cook on medium-high for a minute or so. Add the squash, and toss to ensure squash is coated in olive oil. Immediately, add the minced garlic to the squash & peppers, and continue to mix. After 5 minutes, add the mushrooms. Cook until squash is mostly cooked (“meat” is somewhat translucent), & remove from heat.

In a casserole dish, add a layer of eggplant, then a layer of the sauted vegetables, and finally the last of the eggplant. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Pour the can of tomato sauce evenly over the veggies. Sprinkle (heavily) the breadcrumb mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve over rice, polenta, pasta, or enjoy it on its own!

Valuable: day 6

My dog is awesome. When i was growing up, we had pets, but it was difficult to keep them indoors due to allergies throughout the family. Brain has taught me a lot about myself, something that i never expected from a dog. And having her with me anytime i am home feels amazing. Another living being so unlike a human yet completely able to communicate with me…even if it is primitive at times.

Valuable: day 5

I’m grateful for a really good job that not only pays the bills, but is also satisfying in so many other ways.

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