Release Day Review: The Alpha’s Claim by Holley Trent

The Alpha's Claim
The Alpha’s Claim by Holley Trent
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 15th 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blub:
Jim West, the New York Coyote pack alpha, has successfully defended his territory from external threats for almost fifteen years. Pack politics may be a pain in his ass, but his command has never been doubted, his authority never questioned.

Until Teddy, an argumentative pancake-house server, challenges more than his patience. The lithe, pretty human calls to Jim’s baser instincts. He knows instantly Teddy is his mate – but the timing couldn’t be worse. Tension within his pack is growing, and adding a human mate to the mix could spark an uprising, with Teddy as the target.

Teddy’s smart mouth may heat Jim’s blood, but with a full moon only days away, getting Teddy to let down his guard and accept him – the man and the beast – is his main priority.

There’s no fighting the pull of a mate, but learning his lover is a literal predator might make Teddy run right into the danger Jim’s desperate to control.

This book is approximately 45,000 words.

Buy Links: Carina Press

Musings:

Continue reading

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Sense8: Season 2

I was just mentioning how these last little weeks have been crazy, yet I found the time to *cough*bing*cough* watch season 2 of Sense8. Well, it really was a situation of “watch this show or go crazy”. But forget about this, it’s not important.

What is important:

Who hasn’t seen it yet? Apparently no one because Reddit has been blowing up about it. And I would talk about it here but I’ll end up mentioning ALL of the spoilers. Seriously, they’re already swirling in my head, wanting to get out. Because it was so good!!!

I don’t want to, but I’m willing to wait another 2 years for season 3. Wachowski’s and Netflix, make this happen!

FCC SpeedRun: Still Learning!

I have proof that I’m learning!

I’ve been playing around in Angular for the speed run and it was going great until last week. Life got real real fast and that meant less time sitting in front of a screen coding / webinaring / reading / etc. This issue with that was it happened right before I was about to start my next project, the recipe box.

**For those just tuning in, the FCC Speedrun challenge is to complete as many FCC projects as possible in a short amount of time (approx. 4 weeks). Repo and rules are listed here.

The Quest

Oh, god, the quest is to just keep moving forward!

Things have been kinda mellowing out, which means me and my three true loves, my computer, phone, and kindle, have been able to reunite me with the internet on a more ongoing basis. However, there is an issue. Every time I attempt to get somewhere on the recipe box, my mind rebels.

Side note: I’m sure that since I want to be connected to the internet, that means I have four true loves. It’s more of a hinge relationship, since I know the internet through computer, phone and kindle. And love it the same, I do. But, I digress…

The Route

What route? I’m turned around in the Forest of Angular and the troll is just having the laugh of their life because they know the way.

Before I sit down, I know exactly what I need to do. I’ve written it out. I have diagrams. I have psuedocode. But as soon as my backside touches wood and I pick up an oar, the boat starts flooding. Some of my brain cells decide in that very moment that they need an immediate cruise in the opposite direction of where I’m going. And it’s a good thing they left when they did, because a few others pick that time to play real life “Purge” and start killing their neighbors. Others still just sit back with a drink (most likely Bacardi Rum and pineapple juice) while singing “I’ll never tell”.

And all of that is alright. All of that frustration and coder’s block is how I know I’m learning.

The Forest Creatures

Troll: my brain cells or Angular itself? Really no way to tell right now.

The Reward

  • +5 for not beating my head against a literal wall seeing as I’m already doing it figuratively.
  • +25 for actually blogging about it instead of thinking I already did or actually writing it down and then not posting it because “no one cares”, but I care so nana nana boo boo! (I’m kinda in my feelings right now if you couldn’t tell)

145 Points ~ Level 2

Journal

Can your side quest’s side quest have a side quest?

 

*FYI: The Purge is owned by Universal Studios and we all know I don’t own Bacardi *sigh*

FCC SpeedRun Project #1: Camper Leaderboard

Guess what! I came out the gate fast and hard! (Keep your dirty jokes to yourself *wink wink*)

For those just tuning in, the FCC Speedrun challenge is to complete as many FCC projects as possible in a short amount of time (approx. 4 weeks). Repo and rules are listed here. I started in the Data Visualization section, before hopefully *fingers crossed* moving on to the Back End Development section.

The Quest

The goal of this here challenge was to recreate the freeCodeCamp leaderboard and make it ‘functionally similar’. The app allows the user to change the view between users with the most brownie points (for completing challenges and helping others) in the past 30 days and the most total points.

The Route

So I’d already picked out the general route I was taking when I picked my stack. So of course I needed to make sure my Angular game was on point. Before I knew about the challenge, I’d decided to pick it up, so I’d already been about a week into learning. I’m in the beginnings of the Angular 4 (formerly Angular 2) – The Complete Guide course on Udemy. Maximilian Schwarzmüller is an amazing teacher and I recommend his course!

Of course, with a jump in and figure it out attitude, I just knew I was ready to take off on this journey. But… Angular appears to be a massive framework, not to be tackled in one week. Damn that half buried tree root!

Initial Project

The initial setup was not at all complicated since the CLI does just about all the work. The longest part is waiting for the npm to install the dependencies.

Next was the components. Again, pretty straightforward since not many were needed.

Where things started to get hairy was the service. I hadn’t gotten to the services section of the Angular course yet, but I knew enough from reading around that it was needed to pull in data on the campers.

Mix-in Sass

Oh, yeah… Did I forget to mention that I’m supposed to use Sass?

Never touched Webpack before. Didn’t even know where to start to try to use Sass in Angular. Trees closing in on me. Big balls with legs hanging from branches. Pretty sure they’re spiders. And since I’m working on my RL spider phobia, I took a page from that book. Try not to panic. They’re more scared of you than you are of them. If it’s not on you yet, you still have time.

Turns out that they were more scared of me. Three hours on Google yielded quite a few tutorials on how to changes .css extensions to .sass and go add dependencies to Webpack. A side-eyed, frustrated 5 minute search at 6 am the next morning revealed a simple two line solution. StackOverflow for the win!

A Dash (or All) of Material

I added in Bootstrap, but wanted to use Material also. It was fairly simple to add but there were a few installs and imports needed before things started coming together.

The Forest Creatures

Services aka the tree root:

  • Contrary to popular belief, it was not adorably cute like Groot (who else can’t wait to see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2″???)
  • Angular just updated from v2 to v4 and while they might not have been breaking changes, there was still enough of a difference that following a tutorial made from just a month before the update can trip a beginner up.
  • Pay attention to importing the following:
import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
import 'rxjs/Rx';
import { Observable } from 'rxjs/Rx';

Sass via Webpack aka the huge spiders in the trees:

  • Worse than the tree root, because ewwww spiders! Actually this was more like “WTF, I need a shower because spiders!”
  • New projects: ng new project-name --style=scss
  • Existing projects: ng set defaults.styleExt scss and remember to change existing .css files to .sass
    • Make sure to update all .ts files and the angular-cli.json file

Material aka The Mystical Colorer:

  • Magical from the eyes of a beginner because of all the things pulled out of thin air to add a little color to life
  • npm install --save @angular/material @angular/animations hammerjs
  • npm install --save-dev @types/hammerjs

The Reward

  • +30 ability to set up a basic Angular app.
  • +10 basic understanding of services
  • +15 using Sass (I’m claiming 10 of those points for the research involved!)
  • +10 for adding Material
  • +50 finished project #1

115 Points ~ Level 2 achieved!!

When did programming turn into a RPG? Is there a programming RPG? If there is, could someone point me in the right direction, because that sounds like it could be fun!

Journal:

View the source code here

See the live demo on Surge

Find Francesco Agnoletto (Kornil) awesome repository of favicons

 

*FYI: Groot/Guardians of the Galaxy belong to Marvel/Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios

Calling All Book Recommenders

Can someone help me out? Please! I need FF books!! I’ve got a shit ton of MM and MF books to read, and tend to cycle through them to keep from getting in a rut. I was cycling in FF books but slowed them down because none of them pulled me in.

About me:

I’m feeling disillusioned, waiting on that one amazing book that will lead to more amazing reads. Having progressed to my bliss point with MF and MM books, I’m looking to further my relationship with FF books. While I like light and fluffy stories, my true loves lean more to the dark side. Not really a mainstream kinda person. My favorite time to read is right before bed to wind down from the day.

Perfect Match:

A paranormal fiction, preferably with werewolves. If not paranormal, a nice dark/taboo fiction will do. Hope to read you soon!

FCC Speedrun – Day 1

Who knew red pandas had a need for speed?

red panda sleeping

So speedy up there is the mascot for my Chingu cohort. And I’m about to push him out the tree so we can get this show on the road! (Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll land on his feet)

This challenge is thanks to P1xt, who made the challenge to push herself last month, Chance who started the awesome Chingu groups and all the others that help and motivate!

Rules of the speedrun (I picked the ones I deemed most important):

  1.  This is not a challenge/contest against the other participants. This is a challenge with yourself. The goal is to push, get kicked out of the comfort zone and learn as much as possible. Where you are now is not where you should be in 4 weeks. Even if you were only able to complete one project, that’s progress!
  2. Runs from April 18th until May 19th
  3. There’s 2 phases
    • Phase 1: Complete as many of the FCC Projects as you can in a four week period.
    • Phase 2: Integrate all of the FCC Projects you created in Phase 1 into one comprehensive single page portfolio application.
  4. During phase 1, challengers can collaborate, but phase 2 is an individual effort.
  5. Pick a stack and stick to it!
  6. For each project, write a blog post about working on it.
  7. Help others understand and dang it ask for help when you need it.
  8. If you pair with someone, credit them in your repo and blog post.
  9.  Give it your all, but remember to have fun!

My Speedrun progress:

  • I kinda started on the Camper Leaderboard yesterday. We were allowed to start early and I’m glad I did. Angular is fun and all, but I can’t help looking at it cross-eyed. It looks so easy when following a tutorial.

Which Fork to Take? Left or Right?

How about both?

Since my programming abilities are climbing, it’s been past time for me to start building other skills. Mainly the soft skills, like communication through writing.

You’d think that’d be an easy one for me, but no. I’ve found that while I might understand or know how to put something together doesn’t mean I know how to explain it to someone else. So since you were standing off in the forest, doing a bad job of hiding, you’ve been tagged to be my test bunnies!

As previously mentioned somewhere on this blog, I’ve been doing FreeCodeCamp. I’ve adjusted my timeline on that as I needed/still need to veer off to do deeper learning on certain concepts instead of stopping in the middle of a project to learn them.

I’ve completed the API projects for the back end portion and have moved to the data visualization part to learn Angular before moving into the full stack projects.

I started in the web dev cohort of CoderGirl (FYI they have an information session coming up on May 6th) back in January. It’s awesome! Although I’ve been able to go through some of the beginning lessons easier because I’ve been learning the last year, it’s still very beneficial.

Having mentors to answer questions, having teammates to bounce questions, ideas and resources off of, and the fact that I’m not coding alone in my house all the time have made a difference. We’ve started 3 projects so far in the learning track and I can’t wait for the project track that’s coming up!

Third, I’m in a Chingu Cohort, started by Chance via the FCC forums. Px1t, who is bad ass and very helpful and forthcoming with information, did a speedrun last month. So we’re doing one in the cohort starting this week. I was on the fence but signed up because even if I only get one project done, it’ll be more than what I have done now.

I’ve decided to go with the MEAN (Mongodb, Express, Angular, & Node) stack because even though I was leaning toward using Vue.js as my frontend framework for this, I’d like to continue to tackle and continue to put the hurt on Angular.

As you can see, the amount of interests/projects are piling up, and that’s just within the tech lane. Good thing I’m a great plate-spinner!

Moving Forward

Hello People’s!!!

It’s been a while, I know. Lately it’s​ seemed like my river narrowed out, tree roots are popping up out of nowhere then it took a 90 degree turn, so I’ve been hitting the banks and having a hard time finding a good route through the junk.

I haven’t been writing, reading as much, or drawing. BUT, my programming ability has shot to new heights. Nowhere near calling myself an expert, but I can confidently f#ck some sh*t up!

On the more personal front, I have written some things down, but most of it stays in my head. I thinking of “cleaning” some of  a it up and posting my thoughts here. Although after last night, I think some things will start to clear up if I can get the courage to move forward.
A friend gave myself and a couple other friends tarot readings last night. And before I’d even told her my question, she’d told me all about the thing that is blocking my way forward and what I’d have to do to set myself back on my way.

The thing about it that I’ve know for years what my way forward was but it means:

1. Going forward with no kind of safety net and forging some kind of new net.

2. Breaking away from someone who was/is a vital part of my life, but has never really necessarily had my best interests in mind unless it was somehow able to benefit them also.

Funny how having it all laid out in front of you before you’ve even said a word can make you pay attention to the intuition you’ve been ignoring for oh so long.

The only problem I can see with this path is that because my current livelihood is so tied up in dealing with this person, that it’s going to take a massive amount of planning and tree uprooting to get around the big a$$  blockage.

Release Day Review: Half by Eli Lang

Half
Half by Eli Lang
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 13, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, M/M

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blub:
Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.

I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.

But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.

Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing

Musings:
Continue reading

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Promotional poster for A Series of Unfortunate Events

This book series, turned movie, turned TV series is now available on Netflix. And it was everything I hoped it would be!!

I’ve read the books and seen the movie (which I noticed got a lot of hate, but I loved it), and the series lives up to the books. It’s just as silly and frustrating. The actors are on point. The only thing I didn’t like is that it ended at 8 episodes. Neil, what are you doing? I hope it’s making a season 2!