Book Review: The Tramp!


21371407The Tramp

Interesting Hubbard fantasy about a tramp, Doughface Jack. Jack is a bum who lives off trains and wanders about looking for the basic necessities of life. However this day, in escaping the law and running from a sheriff, he has an accident. An accident that nearly kills him but thanks to an old country doctor who knows a thing or two of surgery, puts his left and right hemispheres together and tops it off with a silver bowl. This somehow creates a man who puts out “meta rays.”

If Doughface is happy, people around him get cured of illnesses, the old become young again. But if he glares at you in anger or fear, you’re dead!

Interesting that through most of the story Jack is completely unaware of what he can do although others are certainly aware. Jack wanders about New York, starts accidentally killing animals, then the majority of New York’s finest. Not sure what to do, he cures a blind woman who can now see, is young and strong, and seeks revenge on those who wronged her.

She easily cons Jack into following her lead and soon she uses him as a weapon to take over the US government! What will the good doctor do now?

Typical pulp fiction of the day, but not just a story of power corrupting absolutely but with power, properly applied to help others, can perform miracles. A two-edged sword that keeps you guessing how this will end.

Recommended. Love to hear how the audio version of this sounds.

Where can I buy this?


Try these Amazon links:

Amazon Kindle:


New Edition Compilation:


Alternatives to your smartphone camera!


Instax MiniI know I wrote something on this earlier today, but felt that you need to know more about instant cameras such as Fujifilm Instax and Polaroid’s instant camera.


Yes, film is not dead.  Yes there are ways of sharing photos with actual PICTURES that you don’t have to wait forever to see.  It pops out of the camera.  And are a lot of fun! See Kodak’s instant camera for example.

Polaroid tried to have a analog/digital clone but it didn’t work out due to the battery life.  Polaroid was the original instant camera maker.  Remember the Land camera?

Fuji went for a younger audience that never had memory of film.  This was something new!  The current model I’m promoting, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera, is the top of the line model, with manual controls, can shoot black & white, and comes in many crazy colors.

  • Per their ad:
    Takes 2 – AA Batteries. Picture size-62 x 46mm. Viewfinder-Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot
    New Selfie Mirror,Shutter Shutter speed:1/60 sec.
    New Macro Lens adapter for close-ups – 35cm to 50cm
    Automatic exposure measurement. The camera signals the recommended aperture setting with a flashing LED. This helps capture the perfect photo every time.
    Takes 2 – AA Batteries (best with Polaroid AA batteries)

    Just click on the Amazon link and check them out, read the reviews.  I’d appreciate that!

Stylish, Fun at Parties & It’s Not Digital!


Film is Not Dead!  Fujifilm!

Rather than have Nikon and Canon give up on film altogether and concentrate on their DSLR and mirrorless line of cameras, there is one plucky company that is bucking the digital trend.  Fujifilm.  Yes, Fujifilm makes some amazing DSLR and mirrorless cameras, but they also make film for the analog photographer.

But there’s something else.

  Instant Cameras.

You may remember the old Polaroid Land camera that was discontinued some decades ago.  The concept to taking a photo with instant analog gratification is still a selling idea.  In fact Polaroid makes instant film cameras now in many fun colors: Polaroid Snap Touch Portable Instant Print Digital Camera

I mean, what is more magical than taking a photo and holding it in your hand?

Of all its array of instant cameras, I suggest the Fujifilm Instax Mini90 Neo Classic!


It’s the most full-featured of the Instax Mini family of cameras.

  The Instax Mini 9!  Flamingo Pink, Icy White, and many more colors.

See the YouTube video showing a quick overview and specifications of the Fujifilm Instax cameras:

Film Is Not Dead!


Review: Spender’s Guide to Debt Free Living!

The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record TimeThe Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record Time by Anna Newell Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was surprised at a few of the negative reviews here; obviously never even tried this method of getting out of debt.

The author is a photographer, writes blogs and wants to help others but has a problem with money. And I’m sure we can all relate to the false info about money out on the web and elsewhere. I picked this one up at the library (yes, free!) and learned quite a few things about this method and I bet it would work for most.

It’s called the Spend Fast. Rather than fasting on food you’re fasting on spending money. it’s part finding out what exactly you owe, what you’re spending money on every day, and making a Needs (rent, food) and Wants (latest iPhone!) and only spending on the Needs for, in the author’s case, a full year! In this journey she found out a lot about herself, her friends and her money habits. But you can’t argue with success; she actually paid off a lot of her debt.

Easy to read book and she has a free Facebook group for support. I’m giving it a shot. Recommended.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Octavia Gone (Alex Benedict Series Vol 8)- Jack McDevitt

Always liked Jack McDevitt’s adventures with Alex Benedict and his girl Friday Chase as they explored the universe in search of solving mysteries of the galaxies.

In this story we have a missing space station, gone the last 12 years, as it orbited a black hole.  Originally this was a science mission, but much in the way of speculation happened here.

Alex’s uncle Gabe, found after 7 years in a time warp (Yikes) searchs for an alien artifact left by one of the now gone space station above, the Octavia.  What’s the connection?

Unlike Chindi, Echo, Devils’ Eye, the story and plot are interesting but so slow, it’s like Jack is writing and so much exposition, not a lot of story, only at the end we get a quick yet somewhat unsatisfactory ending.

Recommended for Alex and Chase fans, but don’t expect gripping action or suspense.


Pituitary Gland Tumor Experience

I wrote a similar story last year with the surgery through the nose to handle my pituitary gland tumor.  The Pituitary Gland is the master gland of the body.  If you’re like me, you continued to have eye problems and headaches.

Though my sight did get better, the tumor continued to grow per MRI.  I went back to the hospital last week and this time had a more invasive Craniotomy.  Now I have staples, sutures and little plates keeping my bone cap together.  The Surgeon said she got it all, but will continue monitoring.

However, at 63 and lots of bedrest, by back and legs were weaker due to inactivity.  Even harder to even put on socks or walk!  But I’m making it slowly.

The whole thing is attitude.  You must be positive.  When you hear you need a craniotomy to get rid of a pituitary gland tumor (under the brain, not cancer) it can be a challenge at first.  But being in leg pain and  only laying on one side of my body or back is a strain.

So far, so good.  It is getting easier to get out of bed in the morning.  The staples are not pretty and I often wear a clean hat.  Also am beginning a walking regimen with use of a pedometer app on my iPhone.

Work is handling the insurance.  But it is still difficult to function at times.  I knew this would probably happen, and feel week.

Starting out on a mostly veggie and fruit diet, handling fiber, and taking my hormone and pain meds as per doctor prescription, being careful not to OD on these.  So far so good.

This is a bit of an update to the last June’s operation.  The transphenoidal (thru the nose) procedure was easier to recover from but was not completely effective in getting rid of the Macro Adenoma tumor.  Macro is BIG!

Many times this can be handled with drugs if it’s small enough.  More folks have these tumors than one realizes, since the symptoms come upon you in a sneaky way or are completely undetectible.

Symptoms:  Got headaches for no reason?  Eye sight peripheral vision turning white despite eye doctor saying nothing wrong with your eyes?  Get an MRI!  you’ll save your life.


Book Review: Typewriter in the Sky!

Typewriter in the SkyTypewriter in the Sky by L. Ron Hubbard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Typewriter in the Sky

Some folks have drawn a similarity between this novel, written in the 1940s and the 2006 film ‘Stranger Than Fiction’, which both involve living inside a novel.

In Mr. Hubbard’s novel though, Mike DeWolf actually gets transported to the novel’s universe, complete with Carribean islands, 16th century galleons and the occasional anachronism such as Steinway – Chicago pianos showing up in living rooms.

Mike is trying to find a way to change the ending before Harold Hackett writes an ending for the character he plays, an ending that means his death!

It’s a fun bit of pulp fiction, entertaining and holds interest. Mr. Hubbard has mastered sailing terms and they are peppered throughout the book, with a thankfully complete glossary added by the publisher, Galaxy Press.

View all my reviews

Book: The Calculating Stars

hQsB2vCKSHO8PDZXwBqGQ_thumb_19fdAn amazing character study of life, love, and the ugly side of 1950s society as Elma York reaches for the stars!

A few years ago I watched Hidden Figures, a play on words for a group of mathematicians who were instrumental in the space program. However in the early sixties, racial and female prejudice abounded. For these math geniuses were black and female.

In Mary Kowal’s story, which was being written before this film came out, there is a similar premise. With the Earth in trouble due to a meteor taking out a large chunk of the Eastern Seaboard, including Washington DC, a group of women, called “computers” (those who compute of course) worked on orbital vectors, etc. to get man into space – in 1952!

Alternate reality with Dewey not Truman president. At least he was until the meteor took out Washington. And the story centers around Elma York, genius math computer, who works at The International Space Agency in Kansas with other women. When the meteor hit, the black folks were left the fend for themselves and she made it right to help them get rescued. When Parker, the first man in space, gave her a hard time about “no women in space”, she worked to make that a reality.

There’s tons of prejudice in this book but it’s put across like it’s the expected thing in 1950s culture, and it was. The book has great dialogue, mild love scenes and some exciting space launches.

Really enjoyed this. Mary Kowal wrote the story The Lady Astronaut in which this book is a prequel, and The Fated Stars, my next one to read.

You’ll never put this down!

Hugo Winners and Nominees:

  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)