Friday, April 20, 2018

Heartwarming Cat Video Friday!

Here's a couple of cute cat videos I found on Youtube. One's about how some cats react to members of the family coming home for the first time in a while, and the other is about the first meeting between two cats. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Funny Cat Video Wednesday!

It's technically Thursday, but I've been so busy lately and Wednesday is usually so busy. Here's this week's funny cat video!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Funny Cat Video Wednesday – On a Thursday haha

So, I've been thinking – I love cats and one of my favourite things to do is look up good cat videos when I can't seem to get myself to do anything else. Somehow, after watching a few good videos, I feel that I'm able to get all those "to do"s done. And because of that, I want to start sharing some of the funny cat videos I find here on my blog. The scheduling would probably be Monday – Wednesday – Friday, but today's Thursday. I've been too busy to get this started on the right day, lol. But I want to put smiles on people's faces, so here you go!

(I graduate at the end of the month! Woo hoo!)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Are Digital Screens Actually Bad For Kids?

This is one of the most controversial questions bouncing around between adults these days. During my teenage years, I was guilty of spending too much time on the computer, though my phone didn't serve as much more to me than a music player and a tool to contact other people with.

It was an old iPhone 3-ish that lasted up until a couple months before I went to college when its ringtone silencer switch would buzz constantly as if I were switching it on and off constantly. I bugged my mom so much that she gave me her phone (she couldn't understand it since she went from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so she was going to be switching back to an iPhone again).

Are digital screens bad for kids? has been a question that has been bouncing around since I became old enough to really start contemplating what it would be like to have kids. What rules would I set? How strict will I be? Will I be as strict as my parents?

The last thing I want to be a mirror-copy of my parents in terms of raising a child. Don't get me wrong, my parents did a fantastic job despite the circumstances, but there are some things I'm going to do differently.

Like, I'm not going to let my kids be on a screen differently – in terms of today. My kind of screen growing up was the old box-like televisions and the New Super Nintendo, Gamecube, and Nintendo 64. (I can hardly believe that I was 6 when the Gamecube came out). At one point, the only time I was allowed to play video games was on Saturday, so I didn't spend much time behind a screen (especially when we moved to Powell River. They only had one internet provider so only a certain amount of people could be on the internet at the same time).

Side note: I still can't believe that I once lived at a time where you couldn't be on the internet and the telephone at the same time...

Anyway, times have changed drastically in the last 15–20 years, and now one of the most pressing questions is 'are screens bad for kids'????

I thought this video made some good points.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The More I Learn About Them...

...the more I want to swim with them.

Most would remember that scene in Star Trek: The Voyage Home where Spock jumps into the humpback whale enclosure and mind-melds with the whales, right?

When I saw that scene for the first time a couple of years ago, I was overcome with an intense desire to go and swim with whales. Honestly, the Star Trek movie wasn't the instigator of this desire, because I know that this desire began when I was a kid when I watched all three Free Willy movies – movies about the relationship between a boy, the west-coast aboriginals, and the orca named Willy. Long story short, the movies involved the kid swimming with Willy. A lot.

I always thought it would be really cool to swim with whales, but Mom managed to convince me that orcas are relatively dangerous, and then she showed me a video where an orca got a little too overenthusiastic and was jumping on his handler over and over. So... my desire to swim with whales jumped out the window... until I watched the Star Trek movie.

Recently, I came across a short Youtube video of humpback whales fighting to save a grey whale and her calf from a pod of orcas (so I guess orcas can be big jerks?). I wasn't specifically looking for videos of whales, I was actually looking for information on something else (which I can't remember), and the story the video was on was on the same website.

I guess I just never realized how vicious killer whales can be. Like, I've heard that orcas hunt dolphins – which I've always found rather strange since orcas are not whales, but actually are part of the dolphin genetic family (though don't ask me how or why). It's always made it seem rather cannibalistic.

After watching this video, I was curious. Was it true? Did humpback whales actively go to the rescue of other, smaller creatures who were in mortal danger?

Recommended videos popped up, and so I clicked on one after another, all related to humpbacks and how they helped those smaller than them. Then I came across the video of a humpback whale trying to save a diver from a threat she wasn't even aware of.

The fact that the whale surfaced after she had climbed back onto the boat to check to see if she was okay made my heart warm in such a way that I was moved to tears. It suddenly wanted to rush outside and jump out into the ocean and go swimming with one of these gentle giants. Unfortunately, I haven't lived near the ocean for over ten years, I don't live near any water, and I live nowhere near where these guys swim.

This research has stoaked my desire to swim with whales to a small fire, and so swimming with whales has been added to my bucket list. It's things like these that also reminds me that interesting research can be found in places other than what pertains to my writing, volcanoes, weather, and sci-fi.

What did we do to deserve whales?

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Most Noble Heir

A Most Noble Heir. Susan Anne Mason. 2018. Bethany House Publishers. Pages: 369. [Source: Netgalley / Bethany House Publishers Review Program]


When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl's heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope – believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father's demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan's new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.



I shouldn't have to say this warning, but if you haven't read the book and don't want to be spoiled, don't read!

When I was first introduced to this book through an email from Bethany House Publishers, I was super excited. The synopsis made the book sound fantastic, so I found myself waiting impatiently to see whether or not I would make it onto the reading list and be sent a link to the book on Netgalley.

The story began rather well. Nolan Price is one of the stable boys of Stainsby Hall, and friends with servants such as the earl's personal blacksmith, the other stable boys, and most of the other servants of the hall. He's in love with the kitchen maid Hannah, and his mother is the head housemaid. He has only one enemy - one of the footmen, who seemed determined to woo Hannah, despite the fact that Hannah has told him no several times and that she's Nolan's girlfriend.

This book was really good for about the first-half. I felt myself connecting with Nolan, and I was so excited for him to get the farm he wanted so he could marry Hannah and leave his job as a servant of the Stainsby household.

But as things started to happen the prose shifted a little in style, in my opinion, and I started to feel a bit disconnected from the whole story. Hannah's blatant mistrust of Nolan after he agreed to learn from his biological father after he found out who he was seemed extremely out of place since she's known him since she was 14 years old.

On top of that, the revelation of Hannah's insecurities of whether or not she was loved by her mother and others seemed like it came too late in the story. There weren't enough hints building up to the revelation of that fact.

The whole story had so many side-plots surrounding the main one. The main plot was the whole thing about Nolan and his father, learning to become the heir his father desired. There were at least three side-plots – one involving Hannah's family, another involving Nolan's relationship with Hannah, and one involving Nolan's biological father, Edward, and Hannah's aunt, Iris.

There was also another side-plot, but it didn't pop up until my kindle said I was 97% of the way through the book. There were the obvious seeds of the beginning of this plot near the beginning of the story when Nolan first met his half-sisters and his half-brother-in-law, but Nolan didn't seem to dwell on it for very long. The only reminder of it seemed to be the random threatening notes that, also, Nolan didn't seem to really worry about.

I hate that I had to be so nit-picky with this story, since it kept me enthralled to the point I could hardly put it down even though I read most of this on my Digital Media Retreat! I brought my kindle to a camp and retreat centre in the middle of an extremely isolated valley, and could hardly put it down even when I was dragged about to different activities out in the middle of hip-deep snow.

Unfortunately, the thing that bugged me the most was how disconnected I felt from the characters when things started to pick up. I feel the story could have been stronger if we could have been inside the heads of the characters a bit more.

All in all, though, it was done rather well for a story that took place in England and written by a Canadian who may or may not have ever been to England...

I apologize this took me so long to write! I finished reading this story back before March even began! My only excuse is that college has been killer. In a bad way. I've been so busy that I've found it hard to breathe.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Century of Books

A Century of Books
This is a challenge that bloggers Stuck in a Book and The Captive Reader are attempting to do this year. I decided to do it as well, to challenge myself to read more and not spend all my time staring blankly at my computer when I'm not writing.

I really need to read more. So I decided to read a century of books spanning from 1919 to 2018 because I'm not sure I have or will be able to find books only existing in the 20th Century. Oh well. Maybe next year I'll be able to attempt the 20th Century, when I'm not juggling college.

Time: Well, I want to give myself a year, maybe 18 months because I'm getting a job when I go back to college, and then I'll be trying to get an internship for my practicum after I graduate.

1967 - The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett
2002 – The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership by Steven B. Sample
2018 – A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason

Heartwarming Cat Video Friday!

Here's a couple of cute cat videos I found on Youtube. One's about how some cats react to members of the family coming home for the...