USA, Minnesota, Minneapolis – Angel Food

USA, Minnesota, Minneapolis - Angel Food

The third food establishment my wife and I visited in the Twin Cities area was Angel Food located at 86 S. 9th Street, Minneapolis, Mn 55402. We had a little difficulty finding Angel food as it does not have an external door. We drove by the site without seeing it and had to find a nearby place to park, then come back on foot. At walking speed we discovered that Angel Food lay within the first floor corridors of the building and we soon arrived at our destination.

USA, Minnesota, Minneapolis - Angel Food-2

There were several items available and we selected a few to have with coffee at the small counter side bar inside. Seating space was very limited. Most of their business seemed to be take out and deliveries. The items Angel Food had were good, but I think our earlier stops in the day (Nadia Cakes and Mojo Monkey) had over whelmed our taste buds and we were left a little disappointed. Had we made Angel Food our first stop of the day our opinions would likely have been higher.

That said, Angel Food did have some nice treats, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone in the area.


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New Addition to the Apple TV Lineup

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On Monday April 27, 2015 Apple added NBC Sports Live Extra to the lineup of channels on the Apple TV. Live sport events are streamed on this channel. Some programming is available without a subscription, but the live events will require a companion subscription on a cable network.

I am not much of a sports fan, so this addition is of little value to me, but I am glad to see that Apple continues to enhance the Apple TV product.

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Book Review of “Mindbridge”

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“Mindbridge” was released in 2014 on eBook, though originally published in 1976, and was written by Joe Haldeman (http://www.joehaldeman.com). Mr. Haldeman’s Science Fiction writing has been recognized with several awards and he has published more than 25 novels.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘PG’ as there are instances of Violence and some Mature Situations. This Science Fiction novel is set in a far future where Earth is colonizing other worlds. The primary character is Jacque Lefavre.

Lefavre is a Tamer with the Agency for Extraterrestrial Development (AED). Using Levant-Meyer Translation (LMT), the Tamers are sent for a short period of time to distant planets. Their purpose is to explore and eventually populate those planets. On a routine training mission to the planet Groombridge, an organism is discovered that allows the two humans touching it to read one another’s minds. Young Lefavre is one of the first and one of the most successful at using the mind reading abilities.

A few years later the Tamers encounter alien life on one of the worlds they are sent to explore. The life proves hostile and Lefavre is part of the team that attempts to capture one of these aliens and communicate with them using the Groombridge organism.

This is what I would term ‘Hard Science Fiction’. The story was well written and interesting, but frankly it did not engage me. This is the second of Mr. Haldeman’s books I have read and they are not the style that I enjoy reading. There were an assortment of reports, letters and transcripts in addition to the story prose in this novel. I felt that it was very choppy. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “King of Thieves”

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“King of Thieves” was published in 2015 and was written by Evan Currie. Mr. Currie is the author or co-author of 15 books. This is the first of his “Odyssey One: Star Rogue” series, which follows in the world he created for his “Odyssey One” series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence and Mature Language. This Science Fiction novel is set in a far future where Earth is colonizing other worlds, and has been attacked by an alien species. The primary characters are Captain Morgan Passer and Commander Daiyu Li.

Passer is now Captain of a Rogue Class destroyer star ship, the Autolycus, on it’s maiden voyage. The Autolycus has been sent on a deep space mission to scout a number of stars that data from the James Webb telescope has identified as anomalous. He has a history in the Confederation navy as a submarine commander. He is now leading his crew on a mission to uncover information on the alien species that nearly destroyed the Earth and humanity.

Li is from the Block and is a brilliant scientist, now she is First Office on the Autolycus. Li and Passer must work together, but history of their recent rivalry is hard to overcome.

The crew of the Autolycus consists of Block and Confederation personnel. People, who were at war with one another only a few years earlier. They now must struggle to overcome long established hatred as well as deal with the unknown threats that their exploration presents.

The story follows in the long cherished tradition of the “Star Trek” TV series, presenting new planets and new threats. The story really follows multiple characters as they explore space, and encounter new mysteries. I spent around 7 hours with the novel and really enjoyed it. It makes me want to go back and read the sister series as well as Mr. Curie’s other books. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “The Devil Will Come”

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“The Devil Will come” was published in 2014 and was written by Glenn Cooper (http://www.glenncooperbooks.com). Mr. Cooper has published 7 novels.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence and some Mature Language. This Thriller novel is set primarily in Rome, Italy. Different scenes in the novel are in contemporary times, the century after Jesus Christ was crucified, and in London of the 1500s.

The primary character is Elizabetta Celestino. Celestino first appears when she is an archeology graduate student. Soon after she begins investigating a newly uncovered part of the Rome catacombs, she and her fiancé are attacked. After he does Celestino leaves graduate school and becomes a nun. A decade later Celestino is asked by the church to assist with new discoveries in the catacombs that relate to her earlier research.

Since the early Roman times the Lemures, humans with a tail appendage, have been skulking in the shadows. They are evil and seek power at the expense of others. They also developed a hatred for the Catholic church since the time of Christ. A recent catacombs cave in has uncovered the remains of several of their kind from Roman times. They do all in their power to cover up the discovery and block any further investigation.

The Pope dies of cancer and the Catholic church prepares to elect a new Pope. Just days before the conclave is to gather, the remains in the catacombs are uncovered revealing humans with tails. The Vatican wants to keep this quiet afraid of what the public reaction will be. They ask (more like order) Celestino to assist with the investigation.

The Lemures are avid believers in astrology and there is a long standing prediction that there will only be 112 more Popes after the prediction is made. That means that the new Pope to be elected will be the last. They set about using their accumulated power and wealth to make sure that the prediction will come true. They will let no one stand in their way, and more than one person falls victim to their ruthless efforts.

This Thriller deals heavily with the Catholic church and the Vatican, as well as the long standing conspiracy of the Lemures to stay hidden, yet acquire wealth and power. This originally seemed to be leaning towards the occult, but it turned out to be a straight Thriller. I spent a little less than 8 hours with this novel and enjoyed it. It reminded me a little of Dan Brown’s “Robert Langdon” series of novels, but came at the plot from an angle different enough to make this novel unique. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

USA, Minnesota, St. Paul – Mojo Monkey

USA, Minnesota, St. Paul - Mojo Monkey

My wife had business in St. Paul and I tagged along as she had to stay over the weekend. We made a day of searching out interesting places and appetizing food.

Our second stop was at Mojo Monkey. A bakery specializing in donuts which we had found recommended by one of the Cable Food programs. They had a nice and very tasty selection of donuts, and good coffee. This small bakery is located at 1169 7th Street West, St. Paul, MN 55102.

If you are in the St. Paul, Minnesota area and looking for something sweet I highly recommend a visit to Mojo Monkey.


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OS X App Review – Tweak and Tuneup

I came across Tweak and Tuneup by Systweak Software earlier today the thought I would give it a try. It is currently available for free download from the Mac App Store and has high review scores.

It installed fine, but I immediately ran into problems with the software. The first thing that it does is attempt to identify the user’s home directory, which fails on my system. Unfortunately the software is not smart enough to understand my system configuration. When I installed an SSD as the boot drive, I configured the system to use the original 500GB drive for user space through a symbolic link. I am guessing that the App is unable to identify my home directory because of this.

If you are willing to give the App a try (it has a 4.5/5 user rating in the App store) now is a good time. As I have mentioned in other articles, freeing your boot drive of clutter is key to keeping your Mac in good working order.


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CLI – cat

The cat command is used to ‘concatenate and print files’. Here, the term ‘print’ simply means to display the content of a file to the
standard output device, typically the console. This command is only useful with common text files.

An example of its use is:

Johns-Mac-mini:~
jpurvis$ ls Desktop/
BitTorrent Sync    Scott       jpurvis alias
IMG_0204.jpg    cat.txt       w.jpg
Johns-Mac-mini:~ jpurvis$ cat Desktop/cat.txt
This is a test of the ‘cat’ command

This command is useful to display the content of a file.

The Apple Man page for the ln command can be seen here.


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Short Story Review of “The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear”

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“The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear” was published in 2014 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (http://www.ericvanlustbader.com/thriller/content/index.asp). Mr. Linnear has published more than 40 novels. This is a Short Story in the “Nicholas Linnear/Ninja” series.

I obtained a galley of this short story for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this story as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence. This Thriller Short Story is set in contemporary Shanghai, China.

The primary character in the series, Nicholas Linnear, is unexpectedly attacked by unknown forces. He thwarts the attack, and goes on the offensive to find the man who he thinks is behind the attack. But he soon discovers that all is not what it seems.

This is a nice return of Nicholas Linnear after 20 years. I have read and enjoyed many of the books in this series. Much of the old Linnear can be found in this story. However the short format, I read the story in 45 minutes, really limits how full the story can be. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Dreaming Spies”

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“Dreaming Spies” was published in 2015 and was written by Laura R. King (http://www.laurierking.com). Ms. King has published 25 mystery novels, 13 in the “Mary Russell” series of which this is the latest.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘PG’ as there are minor instances of Violence and Mature Situations. This Mystery novel is set on a steamer from India to Japan, as well as in England in the early 1920s. The main characters are Sherlock Holmes, Mary Russell and Haruki Sato.

Holmes and much younger (24) wife Russell are bound from India to Japan on a steamer after finishing a case. Aboard the steamer they encounter a man, Earl Darly, Holmes knows to be involved in blackmail back in England. They begin an investigation of the man and his family to uncover who his current target is.

Russell makes friends with a young Japanese woman, Sato. Sato teaches Holmes and Russell much about Japan. They soon discover that there is much more to Sato. She comes, in fact, from a long line of Japan’s elite Ninja. Nor is Sato’s presence on the ship an accident. Once in Japan, Holmes and Russell are engaged to recover a book. The object of Darly’s current blackmail scheme.

This mystery leads Holmes and Russell from steamer, across Japan and finally to Oxford in England. The story winds through the culture of Japan and some history of Oxford. Holmes and Russell use all of their skills to investigate and pursue the book in question. The plot leads through many twists and turns, keeping the reader from guessing too much. There is obviously a lot of history I missed in the series when I jumped in and started with #14, but the book stands well by itself. The story reminded me a lot of those of Holmes written by Sir Author Conan Doyl. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).