Author Archive

Scrapbook Saturday – May pt 2

Hop Jam + Ruben Studdard

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Book Review: Kludged Singularity

Kludged Singularity has a lot of twists and turns that you truly need to be unaware of for it to have the full impact, so it is hard to write this review and not give anything away, so I do apologize if I am being a bit vague.

This book has 2 main characters – Alan and Surendra. Both have been chosen based on their previous work records to be interviewed for a new position at their companies. Alan is “off site” in Orlando and Surendra is working on a vacation island that houses all the companies workers. I wasn’t sure at first if they were working for the same company or not and if their paths would cross. But once they do cross – things get really interesting.

Alan was a bit of a lazy genius – he created Kludge, software who could make sure his work stats were up to par and do some of the easier IT tasks for him while he used company time to improve on Kludge (think, Alexa) and do other non-work related activities – some of which could probably get him in legal trouble.

Surendra was more by the book and wanted for the promotion because of his attention to detail and doing things by company policy.

Alan ends up making a mistake at work, Surendra and his team end up involved… and it’s worth a read to find out what is going on. I do apologize for not going into more detail – but the gasps of shock I let out during reading this book were one of the reasons why I loved it so much and I’d hate to ruin that for anyone else!

If you are interested in AI or IT in even the slightest bit, then I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

About the Book

Alan is wasting his time in technical support, dreaming of the future. Accidentally releasing an advanced computer worm wasn’t how he imagined it would start. Now he’s just trying to hold everything together with digital duct tape and wishful thinking.

His employer’s sinister secrets throw a wrench in those plans as he learns the technological singularity is imminent. When “working to live” takes on a literal meaning Alan realizes the future may not be as bright as he’d hoped.

Alan fights to guide the future of humanity before control, and freedom, slip from his fingers forever.

Book Review: Who Is Alex Trebek?

We welcome Alex into our house every night at 7pm, but I must admit I didn’t know much about him.  This book does a great job of going back to the beginning – how his parents divorce affected him and how he at one point considered becoming a priest.  I had no idea that his career in the US is thanks in part to Alan Thicke or that he had a brother he didn’t meet or knew existed until he was 50 years old. (Cute story after they met and they realized they were “related to Alex Trebek!”) A quick read but a lot of great background and detail on his life.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

After a contestant wrote “We love you, Alex!” as his Final Jeopardy! answer, fans around the world quickly chimed in to proclaim their own love and support for beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. In the wake of his devastating cancer diagnosis, the moment provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on what the show — and the man – meant to them.

It was no surprise, since millions of devoted viewers have long considered Alex Trebek to be a part of their daily lives ever since he began hosting the show in 1984. Now, bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak gives readers a look at Trebek’s early life, his career, and his personal life throughout the years, drawing on many sources to tell his full story for the first time.

There are many surprises, like the fact that Trebek was almost 50 when he discovered that he had a half brother, as well as the revelation that for a short time he actually dreamed of becoming a priest. The native Canadian also struggled with depression after the failure of his first marriage, and for years afterward he despaired of ever having a family of his own until he met the woman who would become his soulmate.

Who Is Alex Trebek? is the first biography of the much-loved game show host, and as such, celebrates the man who has created a remarkable legacy that will live on in popular culture for generations to come.

Scrapbook Saturday – April 2018 pt 2 (*NSYNC)

NSYNC and Kinky Boots (I think that was April?)

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Book Review: Disney’s Land

I have been to Disneyland once and was interested in learning more about the conception and creation of it.  I didn’t realize that when Walt was envisioning this “amusement park” that others around the world (including Coney Island!) were on the decline and many of his family and friends thought that it was a ridiculous endeavor.  I think we all know who ended up being right in this scenario.  Things didn’t go perfectly or smoothly from the beginning, but eventually things righted themselves and worked out.  Definitely a lot of interesting history and behind the scenes information in this book, very in depth and I enjoyed reading it and now will have to plan another trip to Disneyland once traveling to CA will be safe again!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A propulsive history chronicling the conception and creation of Disneyland, the masterpiece California theme park, as told like never before by popular historian Richard Snow.

One day in the early 1950s, Walt Disney stood looking over 240 acres of farmland in Anaheim, California, and imagined building a park where people “could live among Mickey Mouse and Snow White in a world still powered by steam and fire for a day or a week or (if the visitor is slightly mad) forever.” Despite his wealth and fame, exactly no one wanted Disney to build such a park. Not his brother Roy, who ran the company’s finances; not the bankers; and not his wife, Lillian. Amusement parks at that time, such as Coney Island, were a generally despised business, sagging and sordid remnants of bygone days. Disney was told that he would only be heading toward financial ruin.

But Walt persevered, initially financing the park against his own life insurance policy and later with sponsorship from ABC and the sale of thousands and thousands of Davy Crockett coonskin caps. Disney assembled a talented team of engineers, architects, artists, animators, landscapers, and even a retired admiral to transform his ideas into a soaring yet soothing wonderland of a park. The catch was that they had only a year and a day in which to build it.

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates…and the first day was a disaster. Disney was nearly suicidal with grief that he had failed on a grand scale. But the curious masses kept coming, and the rest is entertainment history. Eight hundred million visitors have flocked to the park since then. In Disney’s Land, Richard Snow brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story, a wild ride from vision to realization, and an epic of innovation and error that reflects the uniqueness of the man determined to build “the happiest place on earth” with a watchmaker’s precision, an artist’s conviction, and the desperate, high-hearted recklessness of a riverboat gambler.

Book Review: Tiger Wars

If you’re like me, you may want to go back to simpler times during quarantine when everyone was obsessing over binging Tiger King and the war between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin.  So to try and make it last a little big longer, I decided to read Tiger Wars – which goes a lot more in depth about both Joe and Carole and their lives and their Zoos/Sactuaries.

While the story follows similarly to the Netflix series, there is a lot more backstory that I found to be very helpful with rounding out their stories a little bit more.  Still off the wall and absolutely insane though.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Discover the shocking story of Joe Exotic versus Carole Baskin, as seen on the Netflix phenomenon, Tiger King.
The global smash-hit Netflix documentary mini-series, Tiger King, introduced viewers to the weird, crazy and chaotic life of private zoo owner and big cat breeder, Joe Exotic, and his war against Carole Baskin.

Baskin, who runs the Big Cat Rescue in Florida, a sanctuary for abused and abandoned wild cats, waged a long legal battle to have Joe’s exotic animal park in Oklahoma shut down for the maltreatment of his animals. But Carole had her own dark past and Joe wasn’t going down without a fight; he responded by plotting to have her murdered.

Tiger Wars delves deeper into this stranger-than-fiction tale and tells the shocking story of this big cat war, the cult-like characters involved and the spiral of obsession that landed Joe Exotic in jail and exposed the dark heart of America’s big cat obsession.

Book Review: You Look So Much Better in Person

True Stories of Absurdity and Success

You Look So Much Better in Person is an autobiography from Al Roker, who you probably know from The Today Show! The book tells all about how his career got its start with each chapter or “Altruism”.  This was a quick read but very amusing and interesting! I’ve always liked Al so it was nice to read more about how he got his start and the challenges he faced.  I also really liked hearing his behind the scenes take on what it was like playing Old Joe in Waitress! (The only show on Broadway I have seen twice!)  He also tells a great story about the ONE time he overslept and didn’t get up at his usual 3:45am wake up time. (I can’t even imagine being up that early – let alone doing it thousands of days in a row, yikes!)

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Today coanchor Al Roker presents an entertaining guide to achieving a life of happiness and success through the power of “yes!”
These days, the road to success can feel jam-packed with scheduling, networking, nonstop hustle, and flat-out absurdity. And no one knows that better than Al Roker-beloved cohost of the Today Show, weatherperson extraordinaire, and the man we all secretly wish we could turn to for wisdom and wisecracks in our everyday lives. From his college days as a polyester-suit clad weather forecaster in Syracuse to battling and buttering up the “Butter Man” during the legendary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Al has learned worthwhile lessons over a long successful career. And now, for the first time, Al is ready to unleash savvy advice on how to embrace happiness and the power of saying “yes,” alongside a host of humorous tips and tricks about how to succeed in life.

In You Look So Much Better in Person, Al teaches us how we can weather the storm of life, no matter how torrential the downpour, and shares anecdotes from his own treasure trove of memories in the spotlight. And it hasn’t always been easy-believe it or not, even Al has been yelled at by his boss, suffered an emotional breakdown at work, and told he’d be better suited in another position. Within these pages, he looks back on his own career and shares valuable “Altruisms” that can be applied to our own endeavors, such as how to:

· Navigate the special hell that is socializing

· Craft the perfect comeback line during a confrontation-and know when to use it

· Get up early and actually make the most of your time

· Cry at work without freaking people out

· And much, much more!

Packed to the brim with cackle-inducing and cringeworthy behind-the-scenes insight and observations from over four decades in the media, this book reminds us all that long-term success in our personal lives and our careers is just within reach. You Look So Much Better in Person will leave you laughing out loud and inspired, and feeling not alone amidst life’s best and worst moments.

Scrapbook Saturday – March

Hanson at Sea World, Andy Grammer, Chrissy Metz, O-Town, The Last Bandoleros, Trent Harmon, Jeff Dye

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