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“The Colony” by Fred Colton

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Watch out for Fred Colton. This guy is a beast in the thriller world of words and takes Word Hustler to a whole new level with his debut novel, The Colony. As someone who hasn’t read many thrillers, I found this one to have a “Mission Impossible” and “007” vibe that brings the big screen onto the page. I want to be best friends with some of these people, ones who run super fast in space and get face transplants to turn into an exact copy of another person and run around on the moon and deceive the government and…trust me, you just have to read the book to find out if America or China wins when it comes to colonizing up there.

Not going to lie. There are a lot of characters and a lot going on that sometimes makes it hard to keep track of everything, but this may just be a personal thing for me as well as I tend to have trouble keeping up with the haps with books with many characters. This is still kudos to Colton, though, as he seems knowledgeable about the technology, the space terms, and how politics and the government would run such a hypothetical global future so boy did his research for sure.

I could see Colton took aspects of his love of running in his real life into this story. I enjoyed the backstory about the brothers, Tom and Kyle, and the surprise at the end when it all comes together, truly a mesh of imagination, creativity, and reality at its best.

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Waldo Pizza

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Waldo Pizza

That, my friends, is pizza unique to Kansas City. These two slices of Waldo Pizza made a cameo appearance during my Django adventure. Waldo Pizza is especially good if you are a vegetarian because they have several options for more of a veggie pizza. The slice on the left is one of their spinach options and as someone who eats like an omnivore, the slice on the right is a meat option I got. I think there were bacon pieces on this one too.

Let me tell you both slices were yummy and this was my first time trying Waldo Pizza and I’m pretty sure it is not a chain restaurant. I have never seen or heard of it before moving to KC. I am definitely going back some time. I want to try the other toppings they have. They seem to have something for everyone.

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Django Girls KC: A hacker is a problem-solver

Going into Django Girls KC I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know I wanted to learn something new, meet new people, and have fun no matter what I’m doing. Mission accomplished!

The weekend of June 24-June 26, 2016 is one I will not soon forget. Part of being a developer is knowing how to solve problems using the computer, or how to be a hacker. Friday night at the install party I learned my first lesson in problem-solving: how to find the table I’m assigned to. Luckily for me, I made my first friend when I noticed someone just as lost as I was. With a little teamwork, we found our table, met the ladies we would be spending the weekend with and of course, our awesome mentor. It became clear right away teamwork would be one of the biggest themes of the workshop.

From getting Python installed to working through the Django Girls tutorial to socializing and networking with women in the IT field, it all comes down to how willing you are to ask for and accept help when you run into problems. While working through the tutorial, you need a lot of patience and it’s like what one of our mentors said, “You will get error messages, but you have the most fun when you find a new error message.”

I found it’s quite satisfying when you get a “It worked!” message. While I did not complete the whole tutorial on Saturday, I’m glad it’s available online and I can complete it at any time. The best part was making new friends and knowing this is only an introduction and I would not become a developer overnight. On top of that, as I listened to what each mentor had to say about volunteering at this workshop, I started to see not only do we need more women in this field, but also empowering women extends beyond this field into any field that may typically be dominated by men. It’s empowering to realize that yes, maybe as women we are built physically different from men, but there is no limit to what field we can go into. What this weekend taught me is you never know until you try. Why should we let men have all the fun?

I am so grateful to all the ladies and gents who lent their time to help me throughout this first-time coding experience. Who knows what step of the tutorial I would still be stuck on without them! And at the end of the day, it’s nice to go out to an arcade bar to put “work hard, play hard” into practice. 🙂

 

 

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Dude.

2015 is wrapping up and I feel different somehow. It feels like that time in college when I went to a pub with a friend for the first time just to try it and I ordered a Sex on the Beach and tried that for the first time as well. It wasn’t bad. I kind of still remember what the cocktail tastes like and I would have it again if the opportunity presented itself, but I had to take it home in a to-go cup and it sat in my fridge for a week, with me working on it daily before I finished the whole thing.

I remember telling my friends about that experience and they were shocked, especially the guys. It still makes me laugh when I think of that moment. They told me it wouldn’t be hard to beat me in a drinking game and they are right, even if we never tried it. That won’t be necessary.

I’m doing the same thing now with a slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. It’s their Peppermint Bark Cheesecake and I haven’t been able to finish it in one sitting so it’s sitting in the fridge until it’s all done, me working on it daily. It probably won’t take a whole week, but a couple of days nevertheless. It’s incredible how rich a single slice of cheesecake is. Incredible.

But yeah, this is what I feel like—like 2015 is the year I’ve experienced something richly new and I’m taking my time feeling it out, still with many uncertainties hanging over my head. I’m enjoying the ride though. Just riding this wave out coolly, like Crush from “Finding Nemo.”

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http://showbizgeek.com/finding-nemo-faces-behind-the-voices/

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coming out alive

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http://visionwidget.com/creative-beer-advertising.html

“We’re like a beer commercial.”

Now those are words I have never heard any of my girl friends say to me. But I have often thought of what it would be like to really look like a beer commercial. At least, up close and personal, vicariously. Maybe I like to live vicariously through others because I’m a scaredy cat. It’s like I need to know someone is going to experience something and come out alive before I can experience the same thing. Without that safety I don’t want to find out what’s like to be first. If you can guarantee I can get in a NASCAR car, race it, and come out alive, I’ll do it. Otherwise it’s one of those activities I’ll have to add to the “Don’t Try This At Home” list.

So this may not be the same thing, but it’s like I have to do things like a man before I’ll ever be satisfied with being a woman. And that’s not going to make me very attractive to many men. Which is probably why I’m going to die an old maid someday. Men like to feel needed, even if they know you can do everything yourself. Well, fine, then the only thing I’ll need help with from a man is lifting heavy objects and yeah, that other thing I can’t do by myself. But what man truly would want to be a boy toy?

Alright, give me that beer commercial challenge instead. :/

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trial and error

chips

Reduced Guilt is what it’s called. Like you can actually measure guilt. Like it can be this edible thing you consume to make yourself feel better. Wait. But guilt isn’t supposed to make you feel better. It’s supposed to make you feel worse. I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s just that I saw this bag of potato chips and I knew it was special. Trader Joe’s is cool like that. You can get all sorts of neat snacks you can’t really find anywhere else. I’d like to think a bag of Reduced Guilt potato chips is something you can have that makes you feel less guilty about whatever it is you feel really bad about. Wouldn’t it be grand if life worked like that?

But then if such a magical bag of chips actually existed, wouldn’t it remove responsibility? No. It would be responsible for people doing whatever they wanted without consequences. Or with consequences and not having to care so much anymore. So bad chips. Bad! Or maybe the guilt is eating the chips in the first place and these kind lessen the pain of that.

Psh. Of course they are. And we’re back to the literal. Here’s to my lame attempt to take a photo of something and uncover something hidden deeper like I’m a real writer or something. Cheers!

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One Last Time

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Today I watched a man on stage play his guitar for possibly the last time in his life. He’s about to get hand surgery and no one knows if he’ll still be able to play the guitar after the procedure. Then I thought about my hands. What would I do if I could never write again?

I think that man was very brave going on stage—no words, just strummed strings. It’s like that gun pointed at your head demanding a response. Will he ever play again? Then I wondered how many women his hand had played the way he played his guitar. I tried silently reprimanding my thoughts for even coming up with this idea, but they wouldn’t listen because that’s just me.

Maybe the only woman his hand ever played with was his wife.

Maybe it reminded me of Holden Caulfield (you are my best friend if you know what part of the book I’m talking about).

Afterwards, I went to feed Belly (that’s my car in case you don’t know) and gave her a quick wash with my hand. It was warm and comfortable under the sun, a nice respite from the October cold and I never appreciated a functioning hand more than this.