James Herriot's Treasury for Children

Well that’s a lovely connection

James Harriot (pen name for James Alfred Wight) was rural veterinarian in the middle of the 20th century in rural England. Once he turned 50 his wife encouraged him to follow his dreams and actually write a book, so he took his lifetime of experiences and stories and … started writing about football. Which didn’t work out. Eventually, he turned back to what he knew best with stories of the life and times of a country vet.

read more...


Shadow Hunt

It was bad enough that Americans insisted on driving themselves everywhere, but Los Angeles in particular seemed to depend on individual cars the way other, more intelligent cities depended on public transportation. And their reward for this individualism was to spend hours of every day in gridlock. Petra thought it was a perfect example of American “independence”—selfish, lazy, and with a complete lack of foresight.

Not entirely wrong.

read more...


Treasure

How do you connect a plane crash based on two overlapping terrorist plots, hidden mob-like family, a Mexican revolution based on bringing back the might of the Aztec empire, an Egyptian revolution based on fundamental Islam, a Roman ship far from where any Roman ship has any right to be, and the lost Library of Alexandria?

Carefully. Very very carefully.

read more...


Blood Gamble

Which is how I ended up being the only one who could help. As a null, I don’t have any particular magic powers—just the opposite, really. I negate all the magic within a certain radius around me, creating a magic-free bubble that has me as its center. In theory, if Marko stayed within that area, I could keep him human for a short time, and he and his wife could make a baby the old-fashioned way. Assuming, of course, we could all get past the extreme awkwardness that would be involved.

It was weird, but it was far from the weirdest thing I’d done lately. The leaders of the Los Angeles vampires, werewolves, and witches all paid me a retainer to clean up supernatural problems that arose in the city. When things were quiet, as they’d been for the past couple of months, I was free to pick up freelance work.

Most of the time this involved shepherding vampires around during daylight activities, but two weeks earlier, I had been paid to attend a witch’s beach volleyball tournament so I could make sure her opponent wasn’t using magic to cheat. A few days before that, I’d accompanied a crowd-shy werewolf to a taping of his favorite sitcom, to help him stay calm in the midst of all that teeming humanity. I might have actually enjoyed that outing, except the sitcom was one of those “fat slovenly husband vs. shrill anorexic wife” crapfests. Freelance work could be kind of a gamble.

read more...


Midnight Curse

When I finished Boundary Crossed and the sequels in 2017, I enjoyed them enough to put Melissa F. Olson’s other books on my ever expanding to-read list. Last year, I randomly choose Midnight Curse to read and finally got to it this year–not realizing that it’s actually the second Scarlett Bernard series. Dead Spots is the first (even before Boundary Crossed actually).

It doesn’t actually matter that much, at least so far, but there are a number of references to previous events that I expect I would already know about. So it goes. It’s actually kind of nice not to go through Scarlett first finding out about the Old World and getting acclimated and just start out in the middle of everything. Plus, having the protagonist that basically cleans up messes and neutralizes anyone else in the Old World is pretty cool. Also, she’s wonderfully snarky.

read more...


Rack::Cors Configuration Tricks

cyu’s Rack::Cors middleware is rather handy if want to control your CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) settings in a Ruby-on-Rails project. Previously, there was a fairly major issue where :credentials => true was the default (which you generally do not want), but there were also some more complicated tweaks that I wanted to make.

One problem I recently had to deal with was wanting to:

  • Allow CORS connections from arbitrary domains (this site functions as an API)
  • Do not allow CORS from http domains at all
  • Only allow cookies (Access-Control-Allow-Credentials) to be sent for sibling subdomains
  • Prevent cookies from being sent from specific sibling subdomains (that are actually run by a third party)
  • On development (non-production) versions of the site, allow credentials from localhost

read more...


Cyclops

Okay, Cussler really jumped the shark (over the moon?) in Cyclops . After the mind control plot of Deep Six , I figured things would stay a bit more grounded this time around.

Nah. Moon colonies. A plot to take over Cuba. El Dorado (or rather La Dorada!). Conversations with Fidel Casto. It’s all here. And it’s completely ridiculous. I wish there’d been a bit more focus on one or two of the plotlines (particular La Dorada, that’s the Pitt I prefer), but so it goes.

read more...


Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon

Franny, you are the genuine article. You are solid. You are certain. You are like a refrigerator. You hum.

Francine Poulet is the greatest Animal Control Officer in Gizzford County and now she has to go up against her own worst enemy: self doubt, panic attacks, and facing your fears. Also a ghost racoon. But that’s not really what the story is about.

read more...


That Which Other Men Cannot Do

And so it ends (for now).

What they have not yet seen, is that we are willing to go above and beyond, to take that extra step, to cross the furthest line…that we are willing to do what other men cannot do…what the Jung already do. That is a valid reason to attack the Jung home system.

read more...


Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?

I’ve started reading chapter books to my children at night. They get to chose (from what we have) and this is where we begin. I don’t think I could have chosen a better first book.

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? tells the story of Baby Lincoln striking out on her own, taking a Necessary Journey by train to… well, it doesn’t really matter in the end, does it? (Fluxom. They’re going to Fluxom.)

read more...