Geeky Godmother

Imagine, Inspire, Invention - Your GG is Here to Help

Once Upon a Time...

My random nattering about all things geek, including family, friends and what I find to be fantastic and fun!

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Geek Hero - TurboRoo

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I've haven't written one of these in a while. Someone has to be very special to catch my attention. This morning I was gobsmacked. Yes, that's right, I said gobsmacked .... when I found a photo of this little guy...


Tiny TurboRoo (Turbo for short)

(image by The Downtown Vet)


His owners brought him to The Downtown Vet Clinic very upset and not really wanting to euthanize him, but they didn't want him. Little Turbo was born without front legs, and he was the runt of the litter too. The vet hospital had them sign him over and decided that if there was nothing else wrong with him they would help him live a full life. Vet Technician Ashley Looper at the hospital adopted Turbo and the whole clinic helped her set him on the right path.


The first thing they did was build him his first wheels...


The Downtown Vet dismantled a Fishprice helicopter on wheels and

used a ferret harness and pipes from a toy welding kit.

(image by Amy Birk)


When Turbo's story hit the internet the vet clinic was approached by mechanical engineer Mark Deadrick who owns a 3D printing company. He was really enthusiastic about helping out. He made Turbo his first space age cart.


Deadrick actually sent three versions for them to try.

(image by Ashley Looper)



Look at him now!

(from TurboRoo Designs)


Turbo has grown into quite a fine fellow. He has become a little celebrity, as well as the inspiration and mascot of TurboRoo Designs, maker of 3D printed carts for dogs.


Oh course, all the wonderful humans who helped Turbo are the biggest heroes of this story. Kudos to each and every one of you!


All the best, your GG

The Fortress in Orion

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The first time I was introduced to author Mike Resnick was when his Weird West series was reviewed at my other website Steampunk Canada. At that time, I didn't realize that he also wrote science fiction. So what a surprise to receive his latest from Pyr Books called The Fortress in Orion.



War hero Colonel Nathan Pretorius has a record of success on dangerous behind-enemy-lines missions, missions that usually leave him in the hospital. Now he’s recruited for a near-impossible assignment that may well leave him dead.

 

At the cost of many lives, the Democracy has managed to clone and train General Michkag, one of the enemy's master strategists. Colonel Pretorius and a hand-picked team must kidnap the real Michkag if they can, assassinate him if they can’t, but no matter which, put the clone in his place, where he will misdirect the enemy’s forces and funnel vital information to the Democracy.

 

Against the odds, Pretorius, along with Cyborg Felix Ortega, computer expert Toni Levi, convict and contortionist Sally “Snake” Kowalski, the near-human empath Marlowe, the alien Gzychurlyx, and Madam Methuselah - the Dead Enders - must infiltrate the Fortress in Orion, accomplish their mission, and escape with their lives.


This is the first book in The Dead Enders series. It is very much an introduction to Colonel Pretorius and his team. I believe this is the very first book that I've ever read where almost the entire story is dialogue. After reading it I even went back through the book to see if I was mistaken, but no. I found perhaps four or five full paragraphs without dialogue. That's it. The rest of it is Pretorius working out plans with the team, giving instructions to the team, one of the team members talking about this, that or the other thing (all related to the story of course). There are also discussions about backstories with hints about how they got to be the way they are. Of course, there are a number of descriptive sentences also thrown in to keep the reader informed of the team's whereabouts, or how nasty their current encounter is.


Not to say I didn't enjoy the story. The dialogue brings the reader along on the mission and makes the story quite personal. Each character/team member has been well thought out and their talents are used appropriately. Colonel Pretorius is very much the brains of the operation and I love how he works on the fly. He never has a set plan, but generally goes with the flow. After him, it's their computer expert Toni aka "Pandora" who does the most work. She is constantly getting into the enemy's computer systems and hacking everything from their doors to their robot minions. Without her they would have been well and truly dead right at the beginning.


It's a fantastic first adventure for the The Dead Enders series. I look forward to more of their missions. And I really want to learn more about Madam Methuselah. Definitely not enough time was spent with her.


You can get your own copy at amazon.ca


All the best, your GG

Canadian Midwinter Gardening?

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This time of year is when I miss my garden the most. It's winter/grey/black outstide, and of course people are sharing photos online of their gardens or meadows or vacations, and that makes it even worse.


But yesterday I got a little taste of what's to come and I have The Fairy Garden to thank for it.


Gardenzilla!!!


The tag for it actually says "The Great Garden Gnome Massacre". I'm hoping the squirrels will get the hint that if they don't stay out of my garden it will be the Great Squirrel Massacre!


You can get your own Gardenzilla from The Fairy Garden, but they also have lots of fun supplies to let you get creative with some indoor gardening over the cold months. Everything they sell is to build, as the name of the website implies, fairy gardens.  For those who may not know what a fairy garden is - you create small teeny scenes with live plants - about the size a fairy could live or hang out in.  Here are a few examples...


       

So adorable.


There are even seasonal items you can get for your garden. I love what they have for Halloween! You can make your very own spooky scene with a few of these...


          

Add a dark, crumbling old mansion and it will be perfect.

I'd probably leave it that way all year.  Mmmwwwahahaha....


My youngest has a few potted plants on the windowsill in her room. She's now thinking of repotting one that would be a perfect "tree" and having a go at creating her own.


If you've done this before or plan to, please share your photos with me. I'd love to see how creative people can get with their midwinter gardening!


All the best, your GG

Netflix 1 Star Wonders

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (1)

A few years back. We renovated the space off our kitchen into a library/television/family room. A place to snuggle up and read or watch something together. One of the things I really wanted at the time. and got, was Netflix. We only have access to Canadian Netflix, but we're quite in love with it. We love all the quirky shows it has from around the world.




Recently we decided to watch a number of their B movies. What I call their One Star Wonders. Over the last couple of weekends these are the movies we've watched with much laughter, whether it was meant to be funny or not...


Animals - It stars Marc Blucas. Remember him from Buffy?

The Crown and The Dragon: The Paladin

War of The Worlds: Goliath - steampunk animation

Bermuda Tentacles - This one stars Linda Hamilton (Terminator, Beauty & The Beast)

The Hybrid

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - a number of my geek friends will love that this stars Brandon Routh


Dylan's partner was the best part of the whole movie - he had the best lines!


We still have a number of goodies on our list to watch in the future...


Croczilla

Storage 24 - this one stars Noel Clarke who played Micky Smith in Dr. Who

The Revenant

Shark Week - not what you're thinking, trust me

Almost Human

The Man with The Iron Fists -  This one has 2 stars and some big name actors, so we'll see whether it makes the cut or not.


I'm home sick this week, so I may sneak in a couple while the others are at school and work. Now where's that popcorn maker?


All the best, your GG

Silverblind

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (4)

Silverblind by author Tina Connolly is the third book set in an alternate Victorian period where fey and humans both exist, as well as dwarves and other mythical creatures. While all three books contain a number of characters that move from one story to the next, I found Silverblind to be very much a separate story on its own. It was quite easy to read without having read the other two. It was also quite enyoyable.




Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to do field work, she releases her shape-changing fey powers to disguise herself as a boy.

 

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years, not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

 

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for.


The main aspects of the story that relate to the Victorian period are the attitudes about status, the roles of men and women in society, the idea that everything belongs to the Crown, and the belief in a superior species. What makes it an alternative world is very obvious by the inclusion of the fey and other creatures. I can't say it is at all steampunk in nature. The only steam in the story is that used by wyverns (smaller dragons) as a means of defence. I would say it is definitely a very fine fantasy.


What I really like about this story are the female characters. They are very strong and independent. At the beginning Dorie feels that she has to be "one of the guys" to be strong and worthy to fit in with society. But as the story progresses she learns to find the strength within herself - and as a young woman not a man - from the many examples that surround her: her stepmother Jane protests for better working conditions for nurses at the risk of being arrested; her friend Jacqueline is a brilliant artist and also sapphic; and her friend Stella, who is dwarven, never complains that everything is meant for those of human stature. There is also Dr. Moira O'Donnell who runs a medical clinic for poor women. Even the baddie, Annika, doesn't use her good looks to get what she wants, she uses her brain instead.


In the end Dorie becomes the badass knight in shining armour and the tables are turned on who saves whom.


I have already recommended it to my youngest daughter. Really, I recommend Silverblind to everyone who likes fantasy.  AND...


I just happen to have a copy to GIVEAWAY! Simply comment below that you would like to be entered. I will randomly pick the winner on Friday, January 16th.


All the best, your GG

GG Storytime

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I love books.


Over the past 5 years I have had the great opportunity to do something I love, and at the same time give my opinion about the books I've read. I have reviewed books for Steampunk Canada, Capital Geek Girls, and of course here at Geeky Godmother.


My next bunch of books for review.


At the same time, I have become something of a cheerleader for geek families. They have so much fun together. Geek parents have a blast reliving their youth through their children. They also get to share with them favourite movies, animation, superheroes and more. The same goes for other older geeks whether they be grandparents, aunts, uncles or family friends. The kids get to spend time with their favourite people having fun, dressing up, and meeting others who enjoy the same things.


The number of geek families at events such as Ottawa Comiccon, Ottawa Geek Market, and Pop Expo has increased each year. One of my favourite things to do at these events is talk to the families and find out what they most enjoy doing and how being geeky brings them closer together. One thing I often find out while talking to them is that after a time the younger ones get overwhelmed. They get wound up and often need a break from the sounds, sights, and general rush of the event. Many families end up having to leave earlier than they would like because of this.


Wanting to help these families is a big reason why I came up with Geeky Godmother's Storytime. I brought my plan to a number of parents and they loved the idea of a quiet activity just for their little ones. Something to entertain them and to help them (and their parents) unwind so they can spend more time at the event. But of course your GG wouldn't read just any old stories. All the books will be geek related. I hope to collect from many different authors and for a number of different age groups.


First books in the GG Storytime collection


My lovely husband felt I should have some for a more mature audience as well, so guess what I got for Christmas...


Definitely for an older crowd.


Geeky Godmother's Storytime will also be available for charity events that help kids and their families. Look for your GG with her geeky library at events very soon!


All the best, your GG

Review: The Lady

Posted on December 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Once in a while, as those who read my reviews on a regular basis know, I end up getting the second volume in a book series without having been given the first book to read. There have been times where I can't get into the book because the story is already so deep that I can't look over the edge to see how it got there.




Pyr recently sent me The Lady, which happens to be the second in a series by Canadian author K.V. Johansen.


While it is a continuation of the first book in the series, it has a couple of advantages that helped me get into the story without having to contact them and ask for the first book. There are two maps - one of the land in general and one of the town where at least half of the action happens. The other advantage is called the "Dramatis Personae" - basically a glossary of characters. The glossary in incredibly detailed and I was able to find every person I had a question about and learn more about them. This really helped me to get more involved in their story.


There were also many references made to how people got where they were in this part of the series. I wasn't left drifting and wondering. Which can be bad, because I make up all kinds of weird and wonderful stories that the author may not like for her creation.


Best of all, the story is really good. Very detailed. So many characters and places, it's like an epic movie. It made me think of something like the old classics - Ben Hur or Cleopatra. I also loved the way the author approached magic. There is human wizardly magic and that of the many demons and gods/goddesses. As well, nothing is black and white. Demons can do good things, Gods can be mad. It keeps you guessing and curious to the very end.


I obviously recommend you begin at the beginning, but I'm quite sure that if the first is as good as the second book in this series, then you're going to enjoy the whole journey from start to finish.


You can get your own copy at Amazon


All the best, your GG


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