Thanks to author Betsy Dornbusch – EMISSARY


, , , , , , , , , ,

A big thanks to Betsy Dornbusch, @betsydornbusch, author of The Seven Eyes series, for sending over an autographed copy of EMISSARY: THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SEVEN EYES!

Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when cursed black magic took his wife and his honor away, he fought past his own despair and grief, and carved out a new life in Akrasia. His bloody, unlikely path, chronicled in Exile: The First Book of the Seven Eyes, led him to a new love, and a throne.

Draken has seen too much blood . . . the blood of friends and of enemies alike. Peace is what he wants. Now he must leave his wife and newborn child in an attempt to forge an uneasy peace between the Monoean King and the kingdom of Akrasia. The long bloody shadow of Akrasia’s violent past hangs over his efforts like a shroud. But there are other forces at work. Peace is not something everybody wants . . . not even in the seemingly straightforward kingdom of Draken’s birth.

Factions both known and unknown to Draken vie to undermine his efforts and throw the kingdom into civil war. Forces from his days in the Black Guard prove to be the most enigmatic, and a bloody tide threatens to engulf Draken’s every step.



Bose CineMate 15 review


, , , , , , , , , , , ,



Summary …. by price:

$599 (full retail): 5/10

$299 (factory refurb): 8/10

Yes, you read that correctly. The product improved with a lower price.😀



The refurb was purchased at the Bose store during Black Friday 2015.  At $599 you keep walking.  But at $299 it was worth taking an auditory sample.

The sound is great.  It’s not surround sound, nor are there connections to add surround speakers, but the center speaker does impressive work with voice, soundtrack and music in the typical living room.

The highs are crisp and the mids are clean with good separation between the two.  Another soundbar/subwoofer combo I had was muddled.  It was also only $99 on Black Friday ($149 retail).  A soundbar/subwoofer combo worth spending any money will be, in my estimation, $250+.  Otherwise just save your $250 and use the TV speakers.  I’m serious.

The subwoofer pounds nicely and the system has an abundance of useful power, ie: no distortion in scenes such as the ones in Edge of Tomorrow.  A rotary dial on the back of the subwoofer for adjusting bass level is the ONLY adjustment available in the system.

Who is this package for?  The person looking for a clean, compact design for a small space.

The unit comes with four rubber feet with adhesive that you press on to the four legs.  These rubber feet isolate the sub from the floor.  They also prevent the sub from sliding … and they work extremely well!.
The ‘strap’ on top is Gorilla duct tape that I added.  It’s the easiest way to pick the thing up!

The system has three controls:
Bass setting

That’s it. No Bluetooth, no different equalization options and the subwoofer is wired.

The package does come with an optical cable and multi-function Bose remote.  I don’t know how well that works as I use a Harmony One remote I purchased several years ago.  The One does operate the Bose just fine.  After all, it’s just a volume control lol.

It’s an easy hookup. You have three inputs on the back of the small center speaker: RCA, digital coax and optical.
You can use the coax OR the digital, i.e. not both, with the RCA (say, for a CD player).

I run the optical only.

The system is intended for home theater use (vs use as a pure stereo system).

The most streamlined connection would be for all your inputs; set-top box, media box (like Apple TV), Blu-ray player, etc to connect to your TV.

Then run the optical audio output from the TV to the CineMate 15.

As you can imagine the Bose CineMate 15 is intended for use with later model gear.   Most everything five years old or newer, that connects with HDMI, should be fine.

The connection process is: TV cable to center speaker, then the permanently attached, thick double cable from the center speaker down to where it separates into two connections that plug into the subwoofer.  The subwoofer plugs into wall power.

BoseCineMate15-9276 BoseCineMate15-9277

BoseCineMate15-9281 BoseCineMate15-9282


Here it as part of a 46″ flatscreen setup:


We went into orbit!


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Our AMSAT Fox-1A satellite on board NROL55

Our AMSAT Fox-1A satellite on board NROL55

That’s right sports fans.  We went into orbit.

Yep … Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

Our Amateur Radio satellite, Fox-1A (now officially AO-85), hitched a ride on #NROL55 this morning out of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Anyone with a ham radio license can utilize the transceiver on board the satellite, at least once we complete testing and confirm full functionality.  The satellite is currently transmitting telemetry.

  • FM mode
  • UHF uplink: 435.180 MHz, PL tone 67 Hz
  • VHF downlink: 145.980 MHz.  This is the frequency on which you listen.

Lotsa moar details (PDF): Fox-1A Operating Guide

AMSAT blog posting: Announcement



I chatted with a New York Times Bestselling Author


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Myself and Peter V. Brett (black shirt)

Myself and Peter V. Brett (black shirt)

We knew each other in high school, graduated together ….

Peter V. Brett, @PVBrett, author of The Warded Man series and more, tweeted that he was in Orlando for the SFSE2015 conference.

Hmmm ….. that’s only 3.5 hours. It always cool to catch up with people from high school and college. I grew up in New Rochelle, NY and many stayed in that area. Here in Miami, FL it seems to be just me lol.

He mentioned he would be in Author’s Avenue from 10-Noon. So at 630am I was enroute.

We ended up chatting for about 45 minutes and naturally we spoke about being an author and publishing and so forth.

Early on in our conversation he mentioned a specific book that helped set the foundation to getting his stories on the New York Times Besteller list:

Writing to Sell by Scott Meredith

With the things he learned in that book he dusted off his fourth attempt at storytelling, cut 2/3’ds out of it, rewrote and shortened the story.

That fourth book, the one his agent was able to sell to Random House, was The Warded Man.

The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle

Be sure to check him out.🙂

My copy of Writing to Sell is already on its way to me.😀