books, TV

Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

It’s not historical fiction, however. The olde English dialogue is anachronistic.

But for some reason, the story works.

Anticipate an adaptation for the screen.

Two time frames:

Late 1700s London. An apothecary who sells poisons only to kill misbehaving men. And her curious 12-year-old assistant.

Modern day London. An American woman who’s whose marriage is disintegrating — by chance — decides to investigate the apothecary.


books, climate change, hiking

Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire by Trina Moyles  

Trina Moyles is a northern Alberta woman who decided to write a book about climate change and the resulting increase in forest fires.

Forest fires are one of the few outdoor “dangers” that truly worries me when hiking and cycling.

Over several 5-month summers alone in fire towers, it evolved into more of a life memoir.

And Trina has had a very interesting life.

While searching for smoke, Trina unravels under the pressure of a long-distance relationship–and a dawning awareness of the environmental crisis that climate change is producing in the boreal. Through megafires, lightning storms, and stunning encounters with wildlife, she learns to survive at the fire tower by forging deep connections with nature and with an extraordinary community of people dedicated to wildfire detection and combat. In isolation, she discovers a kind of self-awareness–and freedom–that only solitude can deliver.  …


I learned a lot. And found the book very entertaining.

Canadian Geographic REVIEW.


The Mandalorian – season 1

With a new subscription to Disney+ , I finally got the chance to watch Mandalorian.

Though not a big Star Wars franchise fan, I did enjoy season 1.

It’s silly, escapist Western space cowboy TV — but with excellent production values. Entertaining — as was Firefly.

Beginning five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Galactic Empire, The Mandalorian follows Din Djarin, a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

He is hired by remnant Imperial forces to retrieve the child Grogu (Baby Yoda), but instead goes on the run to protect the infant …

Nick Nolte was a good choice for the voice of Kuiil. An interesting character.

Gina Carano as Cara Dune, a former Rebel shock trooper-turned-mercenary is good too.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The Guide by Peter Heller

“Peter Heller is the poet laureate of the literary thriller.” —Michael Koryta

An endorsement by Koryta was good enough for me.

“The Guide is a literary work and a paean to fishing, as inspiring as A River Runs Through It… Poetic… Engaging….”
—Sandra Dallas, Denver Post

He gives us fast-paced action and intrigue, interspersed with closely observed, reflective nature writing. Speed up for the crime-solving, slow down for the Zen.”
—Julia Rubin, Associated Press

The hype sounded good. AND Heller can write. I did enjoy his description of trout fishing. The Zen.

The plot itself is dumb. WAY too over the top.



Traveller and Other Stories by Stuart Neville

Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published …, Stuart Neville has … achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers.

… Neville offers readers a collection of his short fiction—twelve chilling stories that traverse and blend the genres of noir, horror, and speculative fiction, and which bring the history and lore of Neville’s native Northern Ireland to glittering life. …




Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Clint EastwoodTelly SavalasDon RicklesCarroll O’Connor, and Donald Sutherland.

The first ADULT feature film I’d ever seen was a classic. My Mom took me though I was underage at the time.

I loved it.

Kelly’s Heroes – a group of World War II American soldiers who go AWOL to rob a bank behind enemy lines. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

Quite good. The first in a series of 28 Eve Duncan novels, so far.

After losing her beloved child to a serial killer, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan survives by focusing on her career.

The best in her field at rebuilding faces from bare skull bones, Eve specializes in identifying missing children.

When billionaire John Logan requests her help in identifying an adult skull, Eve–already swamped with work–tells Logan that she isn’t interested. But when he volunteers to donate a large sum of money to a charity for missing children in exchange for her time, Eve reluctantly agrees.

Logan neglects to tell her that there are powerful, desperate people who are determined to keep the skull’s true identity a secret at any cost.
cycling, food, friends, hiking, travel

visiting Newport, Oregon

I happily joined in the Adlard family and friends vacation to Newport, Oregon following our climb of Mt Adams, Washington.

Newport only has a population of 11,000 yet is a big tourist destination. Great beaches.

Here’s the vista from their rented beach house deck.

We enjoyed cycling the HUGE beach. (VIDEO)

It’s WINDY so Kites and Kite Surfing are popular.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

That’s close to Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area. A fun stop.

Oregon Coast Aquarium is well worth a visit too.

We had 3 terrific dinners at seafood restaurants on Newport’s Historic Bayfront. Research for Chef Dave Adlard.

Local Ocean was great. Clearwater Restaurant, as well.

“Dead Guy” burger at Rogue

Tom enjoyed our stop at the Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits factory. We did well, as well, at a boutique wine tasting shop.

Dave cycles every day. So our group cycled every day.

The iconic image of Newport is the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Art Deco and Art Moderne design motifs as well as forms borrowed from Gothic architecture.

When you have destinations like Newport, who needs Hawaii? 😀