Recommendation Tuesday – truLOCAL

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

After having some terrible luck with a certain company, we decided to look for other options.

If you’re in Ontario you might have seen the ads on facebook and other social media for truLOCAL. Unlike other companies where you have to buy a year’s worth of meat at once, truLOCAL is a subscription box that comes to your home on your schedule.

You can do every 2, 3, 4, or 6 weeks and they have 2 different sizes of box.

You decide what you want. Each box has a certain number of points and you select meat that has a number assigned. A package of two chicken breast is 2 points and so is a single fillet minion steak. Before every delivery you can go online and change what you want and try new things.

The meat is fantastic and the service is amazing. We commented that we had less chicken in one box and they made sure we had extra in the next delivery. They answer almost all questions asked on social media and are always friendly and polite.

I highly recommend this service!

Later Days,

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – Platoon of Power Squadron

Hello,

About four or so years ago I came across a youtuber called Weezy Waiter. He’s irreverent, silly, and arguably one of the best video editors from his generation of youtube.

He’s also part of a fantastic Super Hero series called POPS (Platoon of Power Squadron). Like a good webcomic, it ages and improves over time.

If you have a few hours to kill and love superhero origin stories as much as I do, go check it out. It’s insightful, funny, and really entertaining. Find all the information on their site:

http://platoonofpowersquadron.com/
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Later Days,
Éric

Keladry’s Room

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Some people put a lot of effort into a baby’s room. They pick out the right colours, paint the walls, murals, get special thingies, using those small room décor tips etc. Jen and I decided that was all awesome, but felt less personal. What we did instead was ask some fantastic artists to make things for the baby’s walls.

They are all fantastically talented and you should go buy their stuff.


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Big Hero 6 Painting – Gilove2dance Designs

Lindsay Coderre is a talented and versatile artist. She primaraly works digitally, but painted this amazing image of Hiro and Baymax that Keladry will always love. Her online store primarily has photo manipulation and design.

Lindsay is Keladry’s Aunt and one of her Godparents.

Dragon’s Den Painted Plaque – The Art Shop

This was given to us as a baby shower present from one of my in-law’s sisters. It’s great when even your extended family’s family know you well enough to get something so perfect.

It was made by the Art Shop. They have some fascinating pieces.


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Firefly Cross Stitch – Rebecca

My wife has an amazing super-power; it seems to run through her whole family. It’s the ability to make friends easily and anywhere. Jen met Rebecca on the bus and loved her TARDIS hat. They struck up a conversation and became friends.

She’s an extremely versatile crafter which can be seen on her Tumblr.

Rainbow Wall Hanging

This is from Jen’s room when she was a child. We have no idea where it’s from, but it’s adorable.


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Baby Dragon and Tardigrade – S. M. Carrière

The beautiful baby dragon print was painted digitally over our first ultrasound. It was done as a beautiful surprise. The Tardigrade we tried to commission, but she gave it to us as our baby shower present. Don’t you love the detail in the spacescape? So beautiful!

I’ve commissioned her to design me my first tattoo. I’m both excited and a little scared.

S. M. is Keladry’s other Godparent. She’s a talented author, artist, and all around wonderful person. Her newest book was written by votes on her blog and the profit goes to charity. Go buy it and read for a good cause!

TARDIS Lovey – Nerdy Needles

This soft and adorable TARDIS was given to us by the wonderful Nerdy Needles. She has a wide variety of knit and crotchet items. All wonderfully geeky.

Check out their facebook for all the cool stuff.

Dragon Name Plaque – 9five7 Pyrography

We commissioned this piece, and boy did 9five7 do an amazing job. It has the Hogwarts motto on it, Keladry’s name, and her date of birth. The dragon in the middle is really awesome and designed especially for her by the artist.

They do a huge variety of fandoms and I’ve never seen woodburning done so well. Check out their Facebook page and their Deviant art page for more amazing work.


So many talented people. Keladry is extremely lucky.

 

Later Days,

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – Scary Bear Soundtrack Indiegogo Campaign

Hello Imaginary Friends,

There’s an awesome band from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut called Scary Bear Soundtrack. They have a great mix of synth, guitar, and awesome vocals. They reached CBC’s top 4 for its Music’s Searchlight Contest. That’s 4rth out of over 3000 other indie bands.
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They’re crowdfunding their next album on Indiegogo (which seems appropriate for an indie band). They’ve already been funded and you can get a signed CD for $12 or a digital download of the album for $6.

Check out their Indiegogo Campaign!

Go support a great band and encourage a couple of great Canadian artists!

Éric

Call the Midwife – Recommendation Tuesday

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Is there any feeling worse than having a TV show you want to marathon and life getting in your way? If you answered NO! than you get me.

My wife and I just discovered BBC’s Call the Midwife. It’s just up my alley. I have a soft spot for shows that star strong, capable women.

More importantly I have a HUGE soft spot for good writing. Each character is thoroughly likeable and human. They have their good days and bad. It’s funny, touching, and sometimes sad. More than anything it’s hopeful and I can’t help but love that.

I haven’t been this engrossed in a non-genre TV show in years.

If you haven’t checked it out. Go do it now.

 

Have you seen Call the Midwife? What do you think?

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – Geek Market

Hey Gang,

Crazy week this week.

Big projects at work and lots of stuff going on at home. Mostly my wife is preparing for Ottawa Geek Market.

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While I panic about attending Can-Con she’s panicking about selling at Geek Market.

This year It’ll have panels and trivia nights and all kinds of awesome stuff. Also anyone attending Geek Market can get a discount on their membership for Can-Con.

What is Geek Market?

It’s a large arts, crafts, and memorabilia show that specializes in geeky stuff. Ranging from small stores like ours to larger stores like Lost Marbles.

All profits from the show go to charity. It’s a great place to pick up some Christmas gifts.

 

Go check it out.

Are you going to Geek Market?

What will you be looking for?

Eric

Recommendation Wednesday – Biodiesel Production Expansion Indiegogo

Ottawa Biofuel is a great local company that transforms used cooking oil into diesel fuel.

They’re currently running an Indiegogo campaign in order to update their equipment and expand their production.

They also make wonderful glycerine soap.

Even if you’re car-less, like me, it’s worth helping them out even for the 1 or 5 dollar pledge. You’ll be doing something good for the environment and helping out a great company.

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Go check it out,

Éric

Recomendation Wednesday – Silver Stag Entertainment

Hello,

This week’s Recommendation Wednesday is for a Webseries and web organization.

I’ve mentioned them before but Silver Stag Entertainment, is a great website that delves into Books, Movies, and all the awesome speculative fiction stuff.

Go ahead and follow them on:

Their Youtube channel has several great shows and covers book readings/launches.

Let me be honest with you; I’m an occasional contributor to their Nights at the Round Table (NatRT) show that reviews and discusses books and movies. So this is mildly self-serving but even if I wasn’t involved I would follow, subscribe, etc because the people who run it are awesome!

Silver Stag Entertainment has only been around for half a year now and I’m impressed with what they’ve been able to accomplish. I also look forward to seeing how they’ll grow and the wonderful things they’ll do in the future.

Enjoy the bloopers below.


Éric

Recommendation Wednesday – WereGeek

Hello my imaginary friends,

Last week I wrote ahead to make sure I had Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off from writing. I thought that was enough. I totally forgot about the fact that Monday was a vacation and that I should have worked ahead. Past Eric messing with present Eric again.

Of course it’s a short week and the workload can be described as “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” so I’m not getting as much done as I’d like.

For all those reasons I’m starting a new tradition: Recommendation Wednesday. Where it’s Wednesday and I recommend something.

This week’s recommendation is: WereGeek.

It’s the most balanced gaming/slice of life comic I’ve read. The characters are fun and believable and the gaming is exciting and makes me want to try new things. Plus there’s a healthy sprinkling of puns.

Alina Pete has a great sense of humour and a great feel for characters. Go give it a read if you’re into gaming and like webcomics.

2006-11-27

 

Éric

Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince by S.M. Carrière

I’ve known S.M. Carrière for a little over a year now I should have read one of her books earlier.

Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince is an otherworld novel in line with Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Fairy series by O.R. Melling, or Jack of Kinrowan by Charles De Lint.

It borrows heavily from Welsh and Irish mythology to make a well-rounded and fascinating world.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Characters

I liked

There were a lot of characters in this novel but it didn’t distract from the main characters’ story arcs. I really enjoyed watching Ethan’s development from listless jock to Battle Prince. It was so well done that until I thought about it I didn’t see it happening.

I also liked the unabashedly strong and intelligent women in this book. It’s not easy to write a female warrior without falling into stereotypes. S.M. did it extremely well.

I didn’t like

There were a lot of characters and a few of the secondary ones felt like they had interesting stories to tell but never really got the chance to develop. O

There were two that bothered me the most. First was a character called Mitch, who was friends with Ethan. Their seemed to be more to the character and his odd submissiveness but his story ended with a handshake and a nod.

The other was a character called Joseph who was introduced around two thirds into the book. He was interesting and worked as an emotional foil for Ethan but felt like he didn’t need to be there.

The role that Joseph ended up playing in the end of the book was what I expected of Mitch after a step character arc.

For characters, I give it 3 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

The ease with which S.M. weaves mythology into her story is impressive and she manages to avoid info dumping by giving us tiny details throughout.

I particularly liked her use of vocabulary, in many otherworld novels or urban fantasies, the other keeps a very standard language akin to a hardboiled detective style. S.M. keeps the book’s voice in a tongue-in-cheek fantasy style that works perfectly with the story.

One of the strengths in this book is S.M.’s ability to write convincing dialogue. Each character has a unique voice that rings true and it makes it easier to follow which characters are which.

I was definitely taken back to a time I lived with three other guys during university.

I didn’t like

On TV, in movies, and in books I find great pride when I understand the language that the main characters don’t. However, when the opposite happens and I don’t understand, I feel kinda dumb. This book has a healthy dose of Welsh and Irish throughout. At times the conversations are long. Never do they last more than half a page but it still frustrated me.

One the other side of the coin, the author did put a translation for all these scenes at the back of the book. If I had noticed I wouldn’t have minded. I think the translations might have been better as footnotes.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Story

I liked

The story was a standard otherworld story but inversed. Instead of a regular everyday person falling into another world, a Queen fell into ours. I liked the inversion and I liked how well the character handled herself, it’s easy to think she’d panic and go nuts but she dealt pretty well.

Typically this story end after the character returns, or chooses not to return, to their own world, quite often with plot points dangling, and irritating me. The story reached that point and then proceeded to give us some extra action and extra story.

I didn’t like

The story was well crafted and other than the Mitch thing, there were only a few things that frustrated me. I felt that it was a little too neat at the end. I felt like too many people got what they deserved and all was right with the world. It rang true but it also felt like the author didn’t want to wright a sequel and made sure she didn’t have to.

I give the story 4 out of 5

Fun

I liked

The book was entertaining throughout. S.M. really knows how to keep your interest. Even through the parts that should have been slow, it was still fascinating.

I also liked the extremely subtle inclusion of herself. A character talks a lot about her roommate and I’m fairly certain that roommate is the author.

I didn’t like

This book was fun through and through. If I were to give it a fault it would be that it was a little too addictive.

I give it 5 out of 5 for fun

Overall

Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince is the perfect otherworld novel, with enough twist and turns to keep an aficionado of the genre happy. I’d happily recommend this as a “gateway drug” to fantasy novels.

The author weaves convincing character arcs with mythology and wonderful storytelling.

I highly recommend getting this book and devouring it. It’ll leave a smile on your face.

Final score is 75%