Topical Index of all Reviews

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Featured Reviews

Occam’s Fireaxe Episode 6: Love Letters

In today’s episode I go back to my early days as a Science Fiction fan and revisit Spider Robinson’s Callhan’s Bar series and talk a bit about what it meant to me at that point in time. I then take a look at the latest volume of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain...
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The Updated Home Office

I admit it. I’m… I’m… I’m a serial furniture re-arranger. There. I feel better. But it seems every few months the things that aren’t right about my office space start annoying me enough that I decide to dive in and fix them by moving stuff around. Which doesn’t really...
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Some recent Photography books I’ve read and how they’re changing my work

Books Discussed in this Article: Luong, Q.T.: Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks Wolfe, Art with Sheppard, Rob: Photographs from the Edge Rowell, Galen: Inner Game of Outdoor Photography duChemin, David: The Soul of the Camera...
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Understanding today through the past

That I’m choosing to (mostly) not talk about our current political situation online doesn’t mean I’m not interested or paying attention. I am, and in various ways it impacts me, but I’m doing what I feel I can offline to affect change rather than getting into...
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Occam’s Fireaxe #5: First Novels

I love finding a great first novel, and I love sharing those finds with others. When I was publishing OtherRealms, and later when I was reviewing books for Amazing Stories, I tried to make sure I covered as many authors as possible, so my policy was that at least 20%...
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What’s in my Camera Bag

(last update: August, 2017) I am a photographer that specializes in outdoor nature photography, especially birds, wildlife and landscapes. I've been shooting digital since 2005 and started as a Canon user, but starting in 2014 I started shifting my gear to the Fuji XT...
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Getting started in bird photography: Choose Your Weapons

(last update: August, 2017) I frequently get asked about about buying gear to get started in bird photography, primarily from people who have outgrown their point and shoots and are interested in upgrading. The reality is that you aren't going to go far in Bird...
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I hated History in High School

Books in this article Alexander Hamilton A People's History of the United States Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong The First World War: A Complete History The Second World War: A Complete History I think I'm like most kids in...
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My Emergency Kit

Like most intelligent people, I keep an emergency kit in the car. Since we live in Silicon Valley, we also have to worry about that next significant earthquake, and the authorities recommend everyone set up an emergency kit in case bad things happen. I've kept that...
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Summer Reading Recommendations

I recently had a friend ask me for summer reading suggestions, and we went back and forth for a bit on interests and what they’d already read. Out of that came a list of things I gave them, and I thought it might be fun to pass it along here as well as...
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New Toy: Synology DS216Play

About a year ago I finally took the dive and started using Plex to host and play my videos. This happened about the time I write about how iTunes was a dumpster fire, because, well, sigh. And still is. The good news is that my Synology NAS supports a Plex server, so I...
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Occam’s Fireaxe #3: A Big Bear Talking Ghosts

About this episode After a bit of an unplanned hiatus (sorry about that!) Occam's Fireaxe returns talking about two books: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal, a historical romance spy novel set in France during World War I, with ghosts. Sword at Sunset by Rosemary...
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2016 Favorite Podcasts

I’m compiling a few lists of favorite things as I exit 2016 and look forward to 2017 because I want to share these things with you in hopes that you’ll discover some new things that might make your favorites list for 2017. These lists are in no particular...
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Hate your battery charger? Switch to USB.

I have long hated the battery chargers that come with most cameras. They're big, bulky, expensive to replace, usually quite slow, and their user interfaces are inconsistent and inscrutable -- does that flashing LED mean it's charging, or is it done charging? Or is...
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Everything you know about eating is wrong

One way I get my head going on a new project is to ingest new information about the topic; it seems to get the brain chewing on the problem and gets me motivated to move forward. Often, I do this by finding a book or two on the topic to read and use that to kick...
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