Saturday, November 28, 2015

Whitechapel Gods | S. M. Peters


Victorian London has been taken over by two gods, Grandfather Clock, whose law iron, and Mama Engine, whose law is fire. Anyone who acts against the gods is either destroyed by the Boiler Men, soldiers of Grandfather Clock who gave their souls for bodies of iron, or they are taken directly to Grandfather Clock and made a part of his machine. Even those who don't act up are infested with a disease that replaces human parts with machines or they choke to death on the fumes of the machines of the gods. A group is devising a way to kill both of the gods and free London, but there are humans going against gods. 


Overall, this was a good, engaging read. I certainly wasn't expecting it to be as dark as it was, but the feel fits the form. You could not write a world like this, where the sun is blotted out, and not have a dark story.

The characters in this world are quite interesting. I appreciated that intelligence was the order of the day with three of the main characters. Intelligent characters make for more interesting stories and at no point did I feel any of the good guys were being dumb. Most of the characters were level-headed enough to handle surprises and make sure the obvious was expected.

That said, the ending was a little predictable and there were a handful of typos that took me out of the story. But it was still an entertaining read.

                Hoot! Hoo

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Funny Sci-Fi Movies | Sci-Fi Month


Last week I posted about 10 Scary Sci-Fi movies. Today, I'm going to list 10 Sci-Fi movies that made me laugh, whether they intended to be funny or not. I have to admit, it was a LOT more difficult to find funny sci-fi movies than scary ones, so some of these may be a bit of a stretch.

1. Evolution: I feel like this movie doesn't get as much credit as it should have. My family watched this in theaters and had a great time. I do wish they had gone with the alternate ending, though.

2. Men In Black: As a kid, this was one of the very few alien movies that I could watch without getting scared. 

3. Eight Legged Freaks: This is a movie you have to go into with absolutely zero expectations in order to have a good time. But it is still a good time. ^_^

4. They Live: I don't know if the creators of this movie intended for it to be so funny, but I had a great laugh.

5. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: There may be some who argue that this isn't Sci-Fi, but the time-travel alone makes it count for me.

6. Wall-E: Okay, yeah, this is more "cute" than "funny", but I'm still counting it.

7. Weird Science: This is a more recent watch for me, but the humor in this seems to be ageless. 

8. Serenity: Again, probably not the first thing you think of for a "funny" Sci-Fi Movie, but Serenity (and Firefly) wouldn't be what they are without their strong sense of humor.

9. The World's End: Again, a more recent watch, but so much fun. I appreciate movies where you can tell the actors had fun making the movie.

10. Ghostbusters: I feel like this is an iconic Funny Sci-Fi Movie. In so many ways, this movie set the standard for those that came after. 

I know I've left out a bunch, so tell me, what are some of your favorite Sci-Fi laughs?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Apple Pie | Recipe

Today's post is going to be my attempt to recreate my Great-Grandma B's apple pie recipe. This is partially in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas when I am the main baker. Fortunately I have some of Grandma B's own tools to help me out! Starting with the rolling mat that she used every time she made pie crusts.

First step is to mix up the ingredients for the pie crust: 2c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 3/4c. plus a little more lard/shortening (room temp). 1/4c. cold water. Then it needs to be rolled out. I'm actually using the same marble rolling pin that Grandma B used. And yes, it is quite heavy.

So, it's a good thing I'm getting some practice in because I've completely lost my instinct for proper water to flour ratios to keep the crust together without letting it get sticky. If you use too much flour, trying to keep it from sticking to stuff, it'll dry out and become weak. If you try to add moisture to it, it'll become very sticky and you won't be able to roll it out or get it from the mat to the pie pan.

As it is, I'm kinda running low on patience, so I'm just gonna piece together the bottom crust from what I rolled out. Use a bit of water here and there, and you can't tell.

Next up, slice up 4-6 apples (I'm going with granny smith) and mix them up with 1/2c. white sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/3c. flour until all the apple slices are covered. Then put them in the pie pan.

Next comes the top crust. I can't get away with piecing it together as much as I could the bottom crust, but I think I did an okay job for being so out of practice.

Then I bake the pie at 400degrees for 1 hour (or until brown & bubbly).

It doesn't look nearly as nice as Grandma B's, but the taste is spot on. It's a bit tart for Fluxxdog, but Veonoss absolutely loves it and I'm very happy with how it tastes. Still need to work on the crusts, though. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sci-Fi Month: Top Ten Scary Sci-Fi Movies


Hello! I know that I don't usually do "Top Ten" posts, but in honor of Sci-Fi Month, I figured I'd do a list of Scary Sci-Fi Movies. Every movie and game in this list was, at some point or another, too scary for me to watch. A couple of them are still too scary for me. Please keep in mind, I used to be a lot more sensitive to scary stuff than I am now so some of these movies I wasn't able to watch until recently.

1. Jurassic Park: This movie came out when I was in 4th grade and I ended up having to leave the theater during the velociraptors in the kitchen scene because it was just too scary for me. My brother still hasn't let me live this down.

2. Alien: I've only been able to watch this movie in the past year or so. Fortunately I'd seen enough parodies and knew enough of the overall plot that it made it less scary and, therefore, more enjoyable for me.
Alien (1979) Poster

3. Event Horizon: Funny enough, this was one was never actually too scary for me. I've been able to watch this one since I was in junior high or high school.

Event Horizon (1997) Poster

4. The Thing: This was the first scary movie my husband used to try to help me get over my fear of scary movies. Funny thing about the clay/animation models they used for the horror effects, they're still incredibly creepy!
The Thing (1982) Poster

5. Dawn of the Dead: I watched this movie in high school and for years, literally years, afterwards, every building I went into I immediately assessed for if there was a sudden zombie outbreak.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) Poster

6. Resident Evil: This series wasn't quite as bad for me as it could have been. I still had to stop watching after the 3rd or 4th movie, but part of that was boredom.

Resident Evil (2002) Poster

7. 28 Days Later (still haven't watched): Fast zombies? No thanks. I learned my lesson from Dawn of the Dead.
28 Days Later... (2002) Poster

8. The Fourth Kind (still haven't watched): The ads from this movie kept me awake with a baseball bat all night. I could not sleep until I saw the sun coming up and even then it was rough sleep. I've had "issues" with alien abduction stories since elementary school.

The Fourth Kind (2009) Poster

9. Arachnophobia: I actually didn't have arachnophobia until I saw this movie. I used to be quite fascinated by spiders. Then I saw this movie.

Arachnophobia (1990) Poster

10. Mars Attacks: This movie scared the hell outta me. I still cannot even look at the Martians without feeling impossibly creeped out. I know it's supposed to be a comedy, but I was too freaked out to laugh.

Mars Attacks! (1996) Poster

So, I clearly don't care for alien and zombie movies. Funny enough, Predator has never scared me. What sci-fi movies scare you?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chimera (Book 1 of the Weaver Series) | Vaun Murphrey

*Picture and ebook provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Cassandra has been locked up in an empty room since she was 5 years old. She has no idea where she is or why she was taken and has only vague memories of her life before. At age 13 she starts hearing a voice inside her head promising her that she is not insane and he will get her out.


I almost didn't get through the first chapter. it was that rough for Cassandra, but I'm glad I pushed through. After the first chapter, the book is highly engaging. I have a history of not liking books with teenagers as main characters, but Chimera is an exception. Everyone in this world has their head on their shoulders and is able to think things through. 

Murphrey does a good job of keeping all parts of this world working together smoothly. There is a LOT going on, and there were a few moments where I wanted to go "really? Now this?" But at the same time, nothing seemed too out there for this world. 

The book is entertaining, but I probably won't be picking up the sequel. 3.5 hoots!

                Hoot! Hoo

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bisausegg | Recipe Review

I'll be honest, I can't remember if Bisausegg was one of my mom's ideas or one she got from my Uncle, but it's quickly become a family favorite. We have it every Christmas morning after the presents have been opened. It really doesn't take a lot of work or time to make.

The first thing you want to do is get a small container of Pillsbury biscuits (or generic if you prefer). Rip each biscuit in half and place at the bottom of a greased pan to form the crust.

The next step is to cook up 1 lb of sausage and set it aside.

Then whip up about 12 eggs with a dash of milk. Cook the eggs for a couple of minutes. Do NOT cook them all the way through.

Next, you pour the eggs over the biscuit crust and sprinkle the sausage on top.

Finally, add as much shredded cheese as you want.

Then you bake everything at 375ยบ F for 20-25 minutes.

Like I said, this is a pretty simple recipe that really doesn't take a lot of time. It's gonna be on the regular Saturday Morning Breakfast rotation in my apartment. Just look at my husband's response: