Rogue One: a Star Wars Story novelization byAlexander Freed

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The Magpie Library and Tea Room

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by [Freed, Alexander]

This novel was a must-buy for me after seeing Rogue One twice in the theaters in one week.  I had to know if it gave any insights into the characters and I needed to spend more time with Cassian, Jyn, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi and Kay-Two. So how did it stack up?

The writing was smooth and competent, so there was no hindrance to just picking up the book and sailing through the story. It was a quick read.  The plot and story beats followed the movie closely, with very few (if any) scenes that we hadn’t viewed on screen. Where it shone was in giving us the internal musings of many of the characters — both Jyn and Cassian gained more depth with this additional information.  Baze and Chirrut did not fare so well, with only one or two scenes giving us insight into their thoughts, but I hear that…

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How Now, Brown Cow? #socs

How to start this? I know…

I’ve told this joke here before:

Harry Potter: Voldemort’s got no nose!
Ron Weasley: How does he smell?
Harry Potter: Awful!
(Ron and Harry burst into laughter while Hermione stand with hands on hips, rolling her eyes)

I can’t claim credit for that joke; I stole it from Monty Python’s Flying Circus and changed it a little.

Created on Giphy from a Monty Python video.

A lot of jokes start with the word “how,” especially the light bulb jokes. I found a whole site dedicated to them. Here are some favorites:

  • How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
    Programmers don’t change light bulbs. That’s a hardware problem.
  • How many (insert ethnic group here) does it take a change a light bulb?
    Five. One to hold it and four to turn the ladder around and around.
  • How many science fiction writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two. One to screw in the light bulb, and one to say, “In 1876, Jules Verne had the first intimations that electrostatic power was a viable energy alternative. Hitherto, the only sources …”
  • How many Scotsmen does it take to change a light bulb?
    Scotsmen don’t change light bulbs. It’s cheaper to sit in the dark.
  • How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

By now, I’m sure you are trying to figure out how I decided to go with this. Simple: I saw the prompt, took the first thing that popped into my head, and ran with it. I do that every week. Surprised? If so, what surprises you most, that I do that every week, or that this is the stuff I came up with when the prompt was “how”?


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The Friday Five: More “Pain” songs

Last week I was complaining of terrible pain in my knee, which just managed to get worse no matter what I did. This morning (it’s Wednesday as I write this), I did something drastic: I put on a new pair of shoes. And presto!, the pain was gone. There’s some residual pain, as well as the pain that occurs naturally when you’re close to 61 and very overweight, but the really bad stuff is gone. I had bought the new pair in 2015, not long after I had bought the previous pair, meaning I had worn the old shoes daily for over a year, and they were no longer giving any support. So, off to Hitchcock Shoes to get another pair (or two) of 10-1/2 6E’s to wear when this pair goes. I’ve been buying my shoes there for years, because I’ve got big ol’ feet, and they sell New Balance and Dunham shoes, which fit really well and give me the support that the old ones stopped giving.

Anyway, I asked if you could think of any more songs with “pain” in the title. I managed to stump several of you, including Arlee, which is a TV first, as Mom used to say, and probably puts me in line for an award or something. Pat said all he could think of was the band House of Pain, who did the song “Jump Around,” and suggested doing “jump” next, so I will, and hold onto his suggestion fo another week.

We managed to come up with six songs between us that had “pain” in the title, and here they are:

Suicide is Painless (theme from M*A*S*H) – Johnny Mandel Thought of this one myself. Note: Suicide is NOT painless for the people left behind. From the movie and TV show.

Pain In My Heart – Otis Redding Dan said, “I thought The Rolling Stones had a pain song.” He went on to say that he found a cover of an Otis Redding song they had done of this one. This was the title track of his 1963 album, and as a single it rose to #61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tie You Up (The Pain Of Love) – The Rolling Stones After finding the last song based on what Dan told me, I found this other song, from The Stones’ 1983 album Undercover of the Night.

Love This Pain – Lady Antebellum Janet suggested this one. This is from their second studio album, 2010’s Need You Now. It wasn’t released as a single.

Painkiller – Judas Priest Jeanne Owens suggested this one, the title track from their 1990 album. It was released as a single, but no idea if it charted.

Feel No Pain – Sade Over on Twitter, user RelaxingSoundscape (who has a musical app that currently just runs on Android) saw that Alice Cooper’s “Pain” was removed (I’ll replace it soon) and suggesteed this instead, from Sade’s 1992 album Love Deluxe. It peaked at #59 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 1993.

And that’s your Friday Five for February 24, 2017.

I Went To The Fights And A Hockey Game Broke Out (Writer’s Workshop)

I followed hockey for a little while when I was in seventh and eighth grade. Never played it myself, because I can’t skate, and I’ve only been to one NHL game in my life (in 1970, Blackhawks vs. Canadiens). If there’s nothing else on TV besides hockey, and that happens to be where Mary stopped flipping around (she controls the remote in our house about half the time) I’ll watch it. Mary likes to read romance novels about hockey players (*ahem* to all you romance writers) and likes to watch them skate.

Chicago Blackhawks logo, copyright Chicago Blackhawks (source:

Thinking back on it, I wonder whether I was all that into the game or if I just wanted to see the players get in a fight and beat the crap out of each other. The Hawks had an enforcer named Keith Magnuson who did a better-than-average job of getting in fights. All of them did, to varying degrees, but Magnuson was exceptionally good at it. He managed to rack up 1,442 penalty minutes, many of those for fighting. He played ten years, and managed to spend over two games’ worth of minutes in the penalty box each year.

In the almost-30 years we’ve lived in Atlanta, we’ve had two hockey teams (the IHL Knights and the NHL Thrashers), neither of which is here any more. The Knights played here for four seasons before moving to Quebec, where they were the Quebec Rafales for two seasons before folding. Most notable about the Knights was that that they had Manon Rhéaume, a female goaltender who played 24 games in her seven-year IHL career. The coach of the Knights was Gene Ubriaco, who played for several years with the Blackhawks, mostly as someone who would serve bench penalties. The Thrashers were here from 1999-2011 and are now the Winnipeg Jets (the second incarnation). Before that, Atlanta had the Flames from 1972-1980 before they up and moved to Calgary. Suffice it to say, Atlanta isn’t a hockey town. Wasn’t much of an anything town when we moved here, come to think of it: the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks were all pretty awful when we got here. (The big cheer at Braves games was “Go Braves! And take the Falcons with you!”)

I only follow baseball now, the White Sox and the Braves. There isn’t a whole lot of fighting in baseball, but when it happens about seventy guys end up on the field, with both benches and bullpens clearing. There have been a few doozies, but I’ve only been at one game where a fight blew up. Back in 1968, Bill Melton of the White Sox slid a little too hard into Dick McAuliffe of the Tigers at second base, and McAuliffe, who had a temper problem anyway (in baseball terms, he was a real red-ass), took exception. Both benches and bullpens emptied for that one, but surprisingly, no one got thrown out.

I could go on, but there ain’t enough time…

The prompt was “Write a blog post inspired by the word: fight.” How’d I do?