Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dustin Thomason

I read Dustin Thomason's book "12-21" last year, finishing it on 12/21/2012. Since the story deals with an apocalyptic disaster caused by an ancient civilization, I'd wanted to see if I could finish it before the pivotal date last year.

It was a fun book, but it wasn't spectacular. I liked Thomason's theory concerning viruses, but think it could have been presented in a plot line that would have been absolutely stunning.

When I read the Author's Notes and found that his theories were completely plausible, I was disappointed that he didn't construct a more medically-complex thriller.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celiac Disease

I've recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, so I'm on a huge learning curve trying to convert to a gluten free diet.

For the past 6 months, I've been having weird esophageal and peripheral neuropathy symptoms. My doctors have been wonderful about trying to find the diagnosis.

Originally we thought it might be a wheat allergy but my allergy tests were negative for that. We tried GERD medications that helped somewhat, but I still had the strange "full esophagus" feeling that caused me difficulty swallowing.  Anxiety medications didn't help much, either.

An upper GI showed no physical restrictions, so we decided to have an endoscopy (since I needed my 50-year-old colonoscopy screening anyway). That way I could have them both at the same time.

A tissue sample from the intestine showed "marked villous atrophy" suggestive of celiac, but non-diagnostic.  So we followed up with the blood testing, and it was positive.

Now I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Thank heavens for so many online resources, and thank heavens for so many gluten-free products!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Louis Bayard

I kept seeing  "The School of Night" by Louis Bayard in my book club magazine and always thought it looked really interesting, so while I'm in Elizabethan mode, I wanted to read it.

It's also another scavenger-hunt type of book dealing with clues about a lost letter written by Sir Walter Raleigh which mentions Shakespeare and the secretive (if it existed) School of Night.

It was very entertaining and page-turning. I love historical thrillers, especially those featuring real, notable people. This was the first book I've read by Louis Bayard, but I also have his book featuring Edgar Allan Poe on my to-read shelf.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Enrique Joven

I recently finished "The Book of God and Physics" by Enrique Joven and  enjoyed it.  It's a book about the Voynich Manuscript which is a 15th century manuscript written in code that has never been deciphered.

The book is written in the scavenger hunt style that I really enjoy, where one clue leads to the next, and so on. 

There are all sorts of theories about who wrote the Voynich Manuscript, who owned it, what the coded messages and drawings might mean. On Wikipedia, you can find pictures from the manuscript.  It's currently housed at Yale University. I wish I'd known about it since we lived near New Haven several years ago and it would have been awesome to see it (if it's on display).

The Voynich Manuscript and some of the same historical people are also mentioned in the book "Shadow of Night" by Deborah Harkness which is the second in the trilogy. It's mainly set in Elizabethan England. My sister gave it to me for a birthday present. Now I have to wait patiently for the final book.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

WYSIWYG8 WebBuilder

Since I was leaving Homestead's web design tool, in addition to Kompozer, I needed a web designer tool that would let me insert objects, size them, and  drag and drop them so I could design my layouts.

I also needed them to be intuitive and very easy to use. I didn't want to spend 3 months trying to learn the software.

So I downloaded and tried 12 different web tools.  I finally decided that the WYSIWYG8 program had the features I needed at a price that was reasonable.

I was able to install it and begin using it with no lengthy tutorials or instruction needed. So far, I've mainly used it to design layouts so when I'm in full redesign mode (or new design mode) I'll learn more of its capabilities.

(I'm in no way affiliated with Pablo Software Solutions. I'm just a happy customer sharing my views and experiences about a product I like)
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