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text 2018-11-23 21:12
24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 - Penance Day, Task 4 (In the Desert: Egypt, with an Addendum for Moonlight)

As many here know, I've lived in Southern California for a while, which is of course largely a desert region, and traveled throughout the American Southwest from there -- but the last time I visited a desert was when I took my mom to Egypt a few years ago:




Abu Simbel:

Sunrise in the desert, and our "caravan" of 40 or so tourist buses (as a prevention against armed attacks -- by terrorists or robbers -- the only way, other than flying, that you were permitted to travel to Abu Simbel at the time; the "caravan" was heavily guarded by police)

Entrances to the temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari

Temple of Ramses II

Temple of Nefertari
(photography not permitted inside either temple)


Temple of Hatshepsut:

Hatshepsut depicted as a pharaoh, in the traditional manner ... and in a rare instance, as a woman

Head sculpture of the goddess Isis

Wall paintings, depicting Hatshepsut's army (glorifying her military conquests), as well as the 3 sacred symbols: Uas (salvation, the sceptre of the gods), Djet, or Zet (stability, the backbone of Osiris), and Ankh (life, eternity)


Valley of the Kings:

Model of the Valley of the Kings: each of the dots represents a tomb ... and excavations are still continuing

"KV 62" -- the most famous of them all

Tutankhamun's burial chamber (not my own photo: source here)



Entrance to the temple compound and Alley of Rams

Great Hypostyle Hall
The photo doesn't really do the height of these columns justice (no photo could); they totally dwarf us humans ... we don't reach much higher than the bottom pedestal and the lower part of the actual column

Toppled obelisk of Hatshepsut, and scarab altar (for luck, you're supposed to circle it -- seven times IIRC)

Statue of Sekhmet, the lion goddess, and colored relief of Ankh with two falcons (or eagles -- not sure)

Looking back towards the main compound from the other end of the temple district




For Moonlight, as a follow-up to her Day of Penance post: San Xavier del Bac, way back when I visited ... and without trying to touch up or re-colorize the photos in any way.  Though they're not quite as ancient as they look; they were just taken with a cheap camera (my very first one).  So you'll just have to take it on faith that the sky was as brightly blue as in your photos and the church as gleaming white! :)


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text 2018-11-21 22:30
24 Festive Tasks, Door 8 - Day of Penance
Luck of the Draw - Kate Clayborn
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World - Michael Lewis
All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis - Joe Nocera,Bethany McLean
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald
Polio: An American Story - David Oshinsky
Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It - Gina Kolata
Homefront Hero - Allie Pleiter
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter

Penance Day


Book: I chose Luck of the Draw (Chance of a Lifetime #2) by Kate Clayborn. 


Task #1

My guilty pleasure reading is what I call the diseases and disasters genre. Doesn't matter if the disaster happened long ago or more recently, I just love to read a deep dive into those situations. Ditto for diseases. I also really like it when my fiction has diseases and disasters as part of the story and the characters have to overcome some serious stuff on their way to love and HEA. 


Non-fiction: Most of Michael Lewis' books, All the Devils Are Here, Polio: An American Story, Flu


Fiction: Homefront Hero and Mission of Hope by Allie Pleiter (former has Spanish flu plotline, the latter takes place right after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake)


Task #2

I know I am going to get some shit thrown my way, but my favorite team EVER is 

Image result for new york yankees logo

My daughter's T-Ball team was the NYY and I was so happy to see her enjoy playing baseball while dressed out in my favorite team's jersey this summer. My heart hurt a little when they didn't beat the dirty socks in the playoffs, but there is always next year.



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review 2018-10-30 20:50
Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission #6) by Amelia Autin
Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission) - Amelia Autin


I really liked the first half of this book and the characters. Then in the second half the characterizations of both the hero and heroine went into stereotypical Harlequin mode. The heroine's descent was more acute - she faced any tough conversation or situation by either crying or spreading her legs. The hero was actually a pretty good guy, tough but open minded and open hearted. Then he just got secretive so he could protect the little lady bullshit. I ended up skimming most of the last 25% of the book. The ending was okay, but not enough for me to want to read the rest in the series.

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review 2018-10-22 12:15
Modernes Märchen mit einigen Längen
Die wundersame Mission des Harry Crane: ... Die wundersame Mission des Harry Crane: Roman (insel taschenbuch) - Jon Cohen,Alexandra Kranefeld

Beth stirbt überraschend und hinterlässt ihren Mann Harry. Dean stirbt überraschend am selben Tag und hinterlässt seine Frau Amanda und die gemeinsame Tochter Oriana. Nach einem schrecklichen Jahr der Trauer treffen die drei durch einen Zufall aufeinander und helfen sich gegenseitig dabei, den Weg zurück ins Leben zu finden. Dabei spielen ein Baumhaus, ein Vogel und ein riesiger Haufen Goldmünzen eine wichtige Rolle.

Wenn die drei Protagonisten interagieren, entstehen wirklich schöne, berührende und märchenhafte Momente. Jeder der Drei geht mit seinem persönlichen Verlust komplett anders um, was zu interessanten Spannungen führt. Gerade im ersten Drittel verliert sich die Geschichte jedoch viel zu oft in Nebensächlichkeiten. Einzelnen Nebenfiguren werden hier ganze Kapitel gewidmet, um sie vorzustellen. Für mein Empfinden wurde der Spannungsbogen dabei jedes Mal auf Null zurückgesetzt. Ja, die Nebencharaktere sind für den Verlauf der weiteren Geschichte durchaus wichtig, aber auf viele der Infos aus deren Kindheit und sonstiger Vergangenheit hätte ich ohne Probleme verzichten können. Mir wäre es lieber gewesen, wenn die Vorstellung dieser Charaktere besser in die gesamte Geschichte eingewebt worden wäre. Zudem wird teilweise extrem plakativ betont, wer „gut“, aber arm, und wer „böse“ und geldgierig ist. Als dann Harrys Gold auftaucht, ist das Ende ein bisschen arg absehbar. Auch die Naturbeschreibungen waren mir teilweise zu viel. Bäume spielen zwar eine wichtige Rolle in Harrys Leben und in der Verarbeitung seiner Trauer, aber manche Stellen haben sich unnötig repetitiv angefühlt.

Die Stärken des Romans liegen für meinen Geschmack in den leisen, zwischenmenschlichen Momenten rund um Harry, Amanda und Oriana. Leider hat der Autor das Buch mit vielen Nebensächlichkeiten auf über 500 Seiten unnötig aufgebläht.

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url 2018-09-03 15:30
50 Things to Throw Out Now (and How to Dispose of Them)
Source: www.livestrong.com/article/1011777-50-things-throw-out-now-and-dispose-them/?reload=1
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