Game Day

I absolutely love playing board games with friends. We invited a bunch of people over for games last night.

We also played Forbidden Desert by Matt Leacock, Star Trek: Catan by Klaus Teuber, and 7 Wonders (with the Cities expansion) by Antoine Bauza.

Password Protected Baby Photos

So it’s still news to a lot of folks that my wife and I are expecting a baby. One of the things we’ve talked about is how we’re going to distribute info about this kiddo as it grows up. So many people our age put all kinds of pictures up on Facebook and other social media, but once you do that you really lose a lot of control over what can happen to that photo.

And honestly, how many of us would’ve wanted our baby pictures out on the internet everywhere when we come into adulthood? My child doesn’t know its stance on privacy yet, so I’d rather err on the side of caution until their old enough to make their own choices. That said, I’m not foolish enough to keep grandparents away from photos of grandchild.

So here’s our plan!

Free Blog at

Shocking, right? I blog at and it’s a really great hammer for lots of web-related nails. I need place to put things on the internet – I can do it for free here.

Public Posts That Aren’t Embarrassing

Just a story about something that happened? Public. It’s all good. I don’t think my kiddo will hate me for sharing stories as much as sharing photos.

Password-Protected Posts for Photos

We’ll give out a password to our family (and friends that ask us for it) and use the password protection available on every post or page, just always the same password. This makes the photos totally available for the folks we actually want to see them, but not the weirdos on the internet and definitely not the marketing department in Facebook HQ. Grandparents won’t even need an account.

An aunt uploaded this baby photo of me to Facebook. I've decided to handle it.
An aunt uploaded this baby photo of me to Facebook. I’ve decided to handle it.

Alex, have you setup this site yet?

Nope. This is more a notice that this sort of thing is possible when you actually own your site instead of trusting other services with it.

Learning to Blog

The editorial folks at have done a lot of work making Blogging University courses, teaching folks how to make the most of their shiny new WordPress blogs. They’re really helpful and include a commons area to interact with the other folks taking the course and help from staff members like me. And they’re free!

I’ll be volunteering in a Blogging 101 course this July:

Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size blogging assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community.

You’ll walk away with a stronger focus for your blog, several published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience, a grasp of blogging etiquette — and a bunch of new friends.

Learn more about the courses going on in July (we have a 201 writing course, too!) and how to register here:

July in Blogging U.: Blogging 101 and 201

I’m Back

I love Ber’s sense of humor. Right now the parasite is the size of a lemon and will grow into tiny human sometime in December. Parasite to be named later.

Brews and Ewes

So I took a bit of a hiatus.  Partly due to the fact that the books I had recently read weren’t review quality.

But mostly due to the fact that I’ve been sick for the past 2.5 months…

Its a parasite

parasite house MD funny

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The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

I enjoyed Old Man’s War so much, I immediately requested the sequel from my local library. The Ghost Brigades did not disappoint. And while so many franchises will rely on its charismatic main character, Scalzi didn’t feel the need to do so – it’s a credit to the wonderful universe he’s created. We take on this adventure from a new perspective, that of the CDF’s Special Forces – often called ‘The Ghost Brigades’ by the rest of the military. I would’ve been perfectly happy to read more about John Perry, but pleasantly surprised to see he only had to be barely mentioned to keep the two books tied together.

Hardcover edition of The Ghost Bridages by John Scalzi, on loan from the Louisville Free Public Library
Hardcover edition of The Ghost Bridages by John Scalzi, on loan from the Louisville Free Public Library

What is the same is the great formula of storytelling. The narrative has just the right amount of foreshadowing, rising and falling action, and explosion-fueled climax. You’ll guess what’s coming, and have a joyous “a ha!” when you realize you didn’t see it coming.

The characters of this book are oddly more appealing to me than they were in Old Man’s War. The 2nd Platoon seemed a lot more relatable than the ‘Old Farts.’ Maybe that’s just a testament to how young I actually am.

If you enjoy science fiction or military fiction and aren’t caught up on Scalzi, holy cow, now is the time to join me. I don’t want to give away any plot here because it’s just too enjoyable. You may have noticed my pace of reading this year — and how I’ve done a lot more in June than in the earlier parts of the year. John Scalzi earns the credit for that.

Seriously. A fan, I have become. Book 3 is on request already! I’m gonna try to squeeze in some non-fiction quickly while I wait.

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

Amazon ; Goodreads ; Wikipedia