Sunday, July 8, 2018

BC Stack is Back with the Best Tech, Blogger, and Author Pack

BC Stack is Back with the Best Tech, Blogger, and Author Pack

It's BC Stack Week! It happens once a year and is like Black Friday for online tech, bloggers, and authors.

Blogging sure has come a long way, hasn’t it?

Remember when you wrote blog posts, had Google Adsense
On the side and a Circle of Moms badge in the sidebar?

It has never felt as much as a traditional business as it does now.

Creating and selling our own products, through Amazon?  This was a
pipe dream a few years ago. We are doing so now, though. This is a short video about what it is about.



Having remote teams complete tasks for you while you sleep?

Heck . . . setting up a custom chatbot on Messenger so you’re not
answering questions all day is a saving grace.

And are you storyboarding videos for your product launches?

Holy moly there is much to know and do in today’s blogging world.

I am getting the 2018 edition of BC Stack. All the stuff I mentioned above and 60 other products are being offered. For one price $37.



But the catch, you have to get it this week.

I can’t think of a better deal this week, this month or this year.

You can’t afford to miss out. You might not need everything, but some
of the products retail for more than $600. Every year I learn so much by participating in this great deal. I love learning!



Carolyn
BC Stack is Back with the Best Tech, Blogger, and Author Pack

Saturday, July 7, 2018

First They Were Children by David Butler Book Review

First, They Were Children: Origin Stories of 7 People Who Changed the World: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison by David Butler
First, They Were Children: Origin Stories of 7 People Who Changed the World: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison by David Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

People Who Have Changed the World Used to be Children 7 Unique Biographies and Author Observations

Of course, we all know famous people used to be children, but until reading this new book, I had not read short childhood biographies of people who changed the world, much less understood their common characteristics. The author does a service by writing this book for adults as it is true that there are biographies for children about these people.

The stories about the childhood of these geniuses have some striking and surprising commonalities, as well as interesting facts. All seven people did not have the exact same characteristics, but often four of them shared some trait or experience. Would we read this to try to develop such gifted people? No, as it is partly the time period of history, world events, and family life which combined to help them. Each person’s story is told until they are about age 21, then stops, as we all know the rest. The author’s observations chapter summarizes his thoughts. He provides a diagram of the traits for all of the people while showing which belong to each of the seven people. It does give one pause to think.

As a teacher, in the fall we would get our new class lists, and when we had maybe 15 boys and 7 girls, we would say it was preparation for a coming war. Who knows, but it stopped our possible complaining about how active our classes would be. What I mean is people are born at certain times and that the future doesn’t just happen all at once someday in the far future. A life starts at the beginning.

Yes, the times were important to allowing these people to excel in their chosen fields, as I read in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. But there was something going on from birth for each person, and the way was paved with a combination of intelligence, environment, family, and access to the technologies of the time. It began with perhaps being born with a large head, educated parents, or the conditions to foster curiosity and interest in learning. None of these people were complainers, and they all showed continued persistence, and had to deal with less than understanding teachers and principals. They all faced obstacles of some kind and, before reading this book, I had no idea how many things they each had to endure. Yes, luck was on their side, but they did not have completely easy lives. Reading this book shows how true it is when people say luck is how hard you work.

This book has implications for schools who may have gifted education courses to perhaps be more flexible about grade levels and have more willingness to try advanced curriculum with students who could possibly be mislabeled as having behavior issues. It was a near miss a few times for several of these people who obviously did make it through life, but not without having to change schools or be taught at home.

One interesting fact in the book is that some of the people were slow to speak, doing so at ages 3 or 4. I did teach several years of gifted education classes, and it was not unusual for a student to leave a challenge class to walk across the hall to the speech teacher. Of course, that doesn’t happen to all bright people, but it was interesting to me that it was one of the characteristics mentioned.

I recommend this book to bright secondary students struggling with the prescribed curriculum, parents dealing with gifted children and the related challenges, and schools looking to be more empathetic to very intellectual children. Often, it is a difficult road for children and families. This author understands.

Book Review First, They Were Children: Origin Stories of 7 People Who Changed the World: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison by David Butler

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Orphan Train Girl by Christina Baker Kline Book Review

Orphan Train Girl by Christina Baker Kline Book Review

Orphan-Train-Christina-Baker-Kline book review

This story really captured my heart and is still tugging at it! We adopted a daughter from Korea as an infant and so the topic of adoption is one familiar to me. I had no idea there were 250,000 American orphans on trains between 1854 and 1929. Most were new immigrants to this country. The author has met eleven of them. She has completed extensive research on the topic including travel to Ireland. This is such a powerful story told about an "older" girl of nine. Babies and older boys were adopted first, and many of the older children had to do extensive work (sometimes not being allowed to attend school). 

Orphan-Train-Christina-Baker-KlineMy interest in this topic began with a story a writing group member wrote about not knowing her heritage. She had her DNA tested as her mother was an orphan from one of these trains. At the age of two, her mother was sent from New York to Minnesota. Record keeping was not well done at the time and so little was known about what country her mother was from. Of course, Ancestry DNA testing is fairly vague. Only DNA testing from a doctor's office provides much information. Yet, the writer said she learned a few things and would have still tried the test had she realized it would not provide detailed information. 
In the book Orphan Train Girl, they are able to find photos and even news articles to help them figure out a few things. A young orphan is helping an older person who was one of these orphans as a community service project. The reason for the service project is not only based on good intentions, but the two characters become friends. The younger one knows how to research on Google to help create a somewhat dramatic ending. I'm not sure how often people could actually find very much information on this topic, though. 
My next read is the first version of the book. I had no idea I was reading an adaptation of the story for middle school students and that there was a different version which had been a best seller when I started reading. My interest is piqued!

Christina Baker Kline is the author of a New York Times bestseller A Piece of the World (2017), Christina’s World. Kline has written six other novels: Orphan Train, Orphan Train Girl, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines.. Her 2013 novel Orphan Train spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list. Her adaptation of Orphan Train for young readers is Orphan Train Girl. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Maple Grove Seniors are Self-Publishing Stories, eBooks, and Paperbacks

Maple Grove Seniors are Self-Publishing Stories, eBooks, and Paperbacks

Did you notice Frantic Mommy's blog post about the senior writers and all their publications? They have been a very busy bunch of writers! 


Check out the article and learn more.
Thank you for reading! Carolyn

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Minnesota Historical Society is a Trip Down Memory Lane

Minnesota Historical Society is a Trip Down Memory Lane

The artifacts and period displays at the Minnesota Historical Society trigger many memories of past events for the reminiscing writers of Maple Grove.


Do you remember candy machines like this one? 
candy machine at Minnesota Historical Society display only does not work

Only 5 cents! Your choice, Necco wafers, Junior Mints or Milk Duds.
Necco wafers only five cents in the historical display
Display cases abound at the museum. This one is about birch bark as an art form. 
birch bark art display case in St. Paul at the History Center

Maps and other informational brochures help visitors locate displays inside the museum, as well as providing facts and tips. 

maps of the museum help visitors find displays

Visual projectors were available long ago. I do not remember this kind, but other similar machines. Clever!

visual projector of long ago

There were World War exhibits which were well presented and shared historical facts. 

sample of world war exhibit
Remember the "good old days" of flying when passengers were king? 

Remember the "good old days" of flying when passengers were king

In Minnesota, cabins are a "thing" and always have been. This display tripped memories of vacations from decades long ago. My parents would rent rooms after midnight to save money when we went on family vacations. I think low late night rates are a thing of the past, but it made me wonder why the display had dark lighting. 

tourist cabins from long ago

Good memories and a fun day! We also highly recommend the cafeteria at the museum as the food is very good. 

Thank you for reading, Carolyn


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls Book and Audible Review

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls Book and Audible Review

Gary and Carolyn read and listened to this book, and here is what they think.

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls by Theodore Jerome Cohen
Our rating: 5 of 5 stars

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls Book and Audible Review
Carolyn's Thoughts
I have listened to the Audible version and also read the book. Both experiences were quite different to me. The audible version was an intense experience as the oral reader had the perfect voice which matched the genre, mystery suspense thriller -- which kept me on the edge of my seat although I had read the book. It would be good to listen when you have some time or want to exercise as it is not relaxing to hear about the stock market and healthcare "cure" corruption. It is fiction based on real events and it seemed more like I was an insider to the plot when listening to the spoken word. I felt more "in" the story through the listening experience.

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls (Martelli NYPD, #1)The book is good when you want to read quietly. I thought this book was going to be a story about financial information of stock market manipulations by big companies, but it also delved into the healthcare industry. If you have ever lost a loved one to cancer or knew someone who needed a promising drug, this is a must-read. Nonfiction events are woven into a narrative to enlighten the reader about how big pharmacy works while newer drugs with proven track records are defeated. Ill people need help and this book is discouraging about Wall Street, Washington DC, and big pharma. A sad story that teaches the information voters need to make informed decisions -- if only the "little people" had more power. The author worked to make this information entertaining and exciting while revealing disturbing information and truths.Great read! The author worked to make this information entertaining and exciting while revealing disturbing information and truths.

Gary's Thoughts, 5 Stars
"Important Information for Voters of Our Time"
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I just finished listening to this great Audible version of the book. Listening is a more engaging experience than simply reading quietly. The story information, while entertaining, is also based on nonfiction events surrounding especially the 2008 financial disaster and supposed cancer "cures" being widely promoted. The greedy truth behind this story is alarming. So much corruption went on and goes on.I hope this book helps others prevent or be taken advantage of by money schemes and schemers. Thanks for this truth!

Who was your favorite character and why?
Louis Martelli is a detective with a leg disability and yet is so clever and cunning as to be able to expose the criminals. He out-thinks everyone else and solves cases with finesse. Criminals walk right into the traps he sets.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The way the surveillance camera was placed was hysterical. The fact cancer drugs are more about greed than healing could make anyone cry.

Any additional comments?
A must read!

*Note: We are not affiliated and we do not earn money for our reviews. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences Book Review

End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences

Book Review
by 


End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences (Antarctic Murders, #3)End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences by Theodore Jerome Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally! The readers knew, the eventual hero knew, and it seemed obvious, but Munoz just was getting away with murder (literally) and robbery. This book seemed to be a fast read when it was so interesting as it builds and builds to the surprising end.

As an engineer, I appreciate the writing style of Theodore Jerome Cohen who always includes scientific and engineering information along with a mystery thriller! When reading, it makes sense and adds validity to the story to have details such as:

" . . . had replaced the center old CDC 1604 computer with a new Computer Data Corporation CDC 3000 computer."

A computer with core memory! Imagine that.

The reader will have a chance to translate some Spanish, French, and using knowledge of music literature as the plot thickens.

Fun and engaging read.


View all my reviews End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic ConsequencesEnd Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences by Theodore Jerome Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Immediately after finishing book 2 in this trilogy I had to read this title, book 3, End Game. I read it straight through and couldn't put it down. I was anxious to find out not "who done it" but how he (Munoz) might eventually get caught in this game of cat and mouse. There were no shreds of hard evidence at the end of book 2 although the reader learns what happened and how he got away with it all -- while still being held in high regard.

What a clever, smart villain people trust (Munoz)! Until the very end the story will keep you wondering how it can resolve and who might be hurt. Along the way, he does some very good deeds that are not very public so this was not for helping his cover-up. Of course, Munoz learned from the very best, his father -- unfortunately.

Included in the text are Spanish phrases and sentences which are fun to decipher if you have taken Spanish classes. There is some French, too. Anyone who was in orchestra or music classes at some time will start to remember their music literature as symphonies feature prominently in the plot. Oh, really, yes, and also so many "engineering/scientific" details to warm the hearts of those see the world that way such as:
"Candia, a man in his mid-40s, had grown up with the mainframe computer industry. He cut his teeth on the old IBM systems that used drum memories. He was still punching cards in the mid-1960s . . ."

You knew all those high school and college classes would come in handy someday!

Don't miss the ever outstanding Epilogues at the end of the Theodore Jerome Cohen books as it helps put everything about a book (or trilogy) in perspective and gives a glimpse into the future for the characters (Mr. Bernard Madoff, a New York-based stockbroker and investment adviser, is mentioned in this section). I love this component of the stories!

*Note: No reviews on this blog are monetized and we do not earn money for our opinions. 

BC Stack is Back with the Best Tech, Blogger, and Author Pack

BC Stack is Back with the Best Tech, Blogger, and Author Pack It's BC Stack Week! It happens once a year and is like Black Friday for ...