17 March 2016

Scam Alert! Caller claimed to be Microsoft Technical Support

I kind of feel bad, but not really. You see, I am a full-time student, not currently working. For anyone who doesn't know me well, let me start by explaining that I have nearly 20 years experience working in the help desks and technical support departments for various companies.
So, this afternoon as I'm studying I get a phone call on my home phone. Usually, I look forward to my daily fun messing with telesales folk, but today I find myself running a little behind in my studies. The caller IDon the handset read: KENTUCKY. 
That's a new one, I thought to myself, so I picked up the phone.
The call began something like this: The man on the other end of the phone said in a thick Indian accent, "Hello, I am calling to speak to the owner of the computer, my name is Brian."
That made me chuckle under my breath, so I replied, "no, I'm sorry, Brian isn't here right now."
The man on the other end raised his voice a tad, apparently attempting to clearly state, "no, my name is Brian, I am..."
I cut him off, raising my voice just a tad, "No, I'm sorry. Brian is NOT here right now."
Impatience sounded in his voice, so I decided to permit the game, whatever it was going to be today, to continue.
He explained again that his name was Brian and to my amazement he was a technician from Microsoft, or so he said. Oh, this ought to be fun I thought to myself, already having an idea where this was going. He continued by telling me that they [Microsoft] have been receiving reports, sent from my computer telling them that it had a serious infection. (For a microsecond I contemplated asking him what type of antibiotic I should get my computer.)  He even went as far as to rattle off a string of letters and numbers, telling me that the string of characters was my registered Windows license number. After rambling off that supposed license number he quickly explained that there were multiple reports of my computer being infected and it was very serious.



(Hmm... ok, so I quickly checked the laptop that I've been using all day, and the Microsoft product key wasn't even close to matching what he gave me. Of course, I figured out this guy's motives from the beginning of the call. This guy was going to try to hijack my laptop. Unfortunately, for him he got a hold of a guy who knows a little more than the average person, and who has all kinds of free time.)
I calmly agreed that it sounded pretty serious. He said he would show me all of the problems, and asked me to hold down the Windows key and then press the letter 'R'. I thought to myself, "you could just ask me to get to the Run line," but I kept that to myself.
Brian then put me at ease by telling me that I should see a small window with a Run line and a couple of buttons. I said, "uh huh." He instructed me to type 'eventvwr' and click on OK. 
I thought to myself, "ok, you want me to open the Event Viewer? Intriguing..." I explained to him that I clicked on OK and a new window had opened. He confirmed that I was supposed to be looking at the Event Viewer window.
Next Brian told me I should expand the Custom Views folder on the left side of the screen. I rolled my eyes, having used this very tool while troubleshooting dozens upon dozens of calls during my past employment and while working on some problems I've experienced here at home.
"Please double click on the icon that says 'Administrative Events'," he requested, and followed with, "do you see Errors in the center box?"
Knowing well that every computer on the planet usually has a handful of errors in the Event Viewer, I said, "wow yeah, there's a bunch of errors."
The excitement picked up in his voice as he asked, "what does the Number of Events say at the top of the window?"
I looked up and answered, "the Number of Events says 32,682."
Brian's voice inflection took on the 'I told you so' sound and he said, "click on any of the errors that are listed there, and when it is highlighted press the Delete key on your keyboard."
I thought to myself for a brief moment and realized that he was sending me on a fools errand. You can't delete the entries from the Event Viewer! So, I switched things up a bit to throw him off guard. "Ok, I deleted the error, now what?"
His voice went silent for a moment, all I heard was a handful of people in the background pulling the same scam on other people. He started again to make sure he heard me right, "OK click on the Error listed in that window and when it is highlighted blue press your Delete key."
I insisted that I had just deleted another 'undeletable' log entry. Brian was dismayed. He came right out and said that it was impossible, that the entry should not have deleted. I smiled to myself with mischief in my eyes... "Oh yeah, I'm sorry the error is still there."
I was glad to hear the stress level fall away from his voice. I didn't want this guy to get all stressed out because of me.
He politely explained that the number I had read off to him before 32,682 was the number of infected files on my computer. I inhaled loudly and quickly as if I was in shock. Brian assured me that he would be able to help me out, though, so I shouldn't worry. "Oh thank goodness," I said.
Knowing as much as I do about computers, and having a very good idea what he was attempting to do, I wasn't shocked when he began guiding me down the "let me connect to your computer" path. He instructed me to hold the Windows key and press the letter 'R' again. Ok, the Run command window again I thought to myself. Then he requested that I type 'iexplore bit.do/mso' and click on OK. This is when I began having fun...
"Alright, I clicked on OK," I lied.
"What happened after you clicked on OK?" Brian asked.
"The Run window disappeared."
"What do you see now," he asked.
"Just the icons," I fibbed again.
He paused for a moment and had me go through the motions two more times. Each time I stretched the truth a bit when I told him that the Run window disappeared and I was back to looking at the icons on my desktop.
(It was about this point I wondered how long I could keep this guy on the phone.)
Next Brian asked me to bring up Internet Explorer. I almost said, "ewwww no way man, I only use Google Chrome or Firefox," but I didn't. Once the browser was up he asked me to type in that previous command 'iexplore bit.do/mso' and hit Enter. I took my time pretending to type it all in and press Enter. I said, "it's spinning..." and after pausing a few seconds I fibbed again and told him, "it says 'This page cannot be displayed'."
Brian was, for a moment, beside himself, the confusion was more than apparent in his voice. "How can that be?"


How can that be?

I smiled, but he couldn't see it. "Let me see if I can get to any other web page," I offered, trying to be as helpful as I could. "OK, Yahoo came up, it looks like my internet access is working."
He asked me to bring up Yahoo again in the browser.
I complied and let him know. Next Brian asked me to go to 'anydesk.com'. While pretending to type in the URL I thought to myself, "oh, you want to use some remote access software from the internet, well we can't have someone in a foreign country remoting into my computer..." I falsely reported, "now I'm getting a message 'Error 401, Not Authorized.'"
I think I heard one of the veins in Brian's forehead explode over the phone. "Can you go to Yahoo again," he asked.
"Sure," I said and paused, "Ok I have Yahoo up in front of me."
"Please do a search in Yahoo for 'anydesk.com'," Brian asked. His voice was sounding more than a bit stressed.
I actually performed a search using Yahoo, and let him know that I had results. After he asked me to look for 'anydesk.com' as one of the results, I fibbed again and said I didn't see it, and proceeded to read off the URL for every single page that came up on the list of results being careful to skip both entries for anydesk.com. So, he did a search on it on his computer and asked me to look at the first choice on the list.
"Oops, there it is!" I exclaimed with a hint of victory in my voice.
Brian's voice sounded with a sense of optimism as he asked me to click on the link for the page.
I said, "OK," paused for a few seconds and said, "Oooooh."
"What's wrong?" Brian asked.
I changed the tone and speed of my voice to sound as if I was reading word for word the message that was not on my screen, "HTTP Error 401, Not Authorized."
He asked if I could hold for a moment, to which I said, "sure!" After all, I'm in a comfy chair, and having a blast!
I heard him speaking in the background for a moment in an Indian dialect. Brian came back and explained that he was going to have to bring on another technician. Victory! I thought to myself. "Oh.... ok, sure," I said.
The new technician forgot to introduce himself. He tried to take me through the initial steps by providing me with the command to start a remote process, again. When I told him that the Run command window just disappeared and I was looking at my icons again, he gave up. Victory, or so I thought.
The new guy explained that they were going to have to send out software upgrades, and cd's, I'm not sure exactly what he said as I was finally losing interest. He went further to explain that there would be a cost involved of $177. I stalled for a moment, and he continued by instructing me to get my Visa or Mastercard. I almost laughed out loud at his impertinence, but I stifled it. I fibbed again explaining that I don't have a Mastercard or Visa.
The New Guy made a sound over the phone that resembled, "pfft." and proceeded to call me a liar, which I will now admit that I was lying. He basically said that everyone has a Visa or Mastercard.
"Uh, uh, not me," I continued the ruse with an attempt at throwing him off, "I only have a debit card and it's an American Express." I'm not even sure if there are American Express debit cards.
New Guy either blew off what I said or didn't understand and continued insisting that I must have a Visa or Mastercard. Finally, I made it sound like I was all flustered. "Alright, let me put you down for a minute and go get my wallet."
A quick click on a shortcut in my Google Chrome browser brought up Pandora. The default station was 80's pop, and New Guy began listening to Men Without Hats - "Safety Dance" as I laid the phone down on the computer speaker and began typing up the happenings of this phone call.

Unfortunately, New Guy gave up after listening to just over four minutes of 80's pop music. Oh well, better luck next time New Guy!

Total time I kept the scammer on the phone: Over 20 minutes.
Entertainment level reached: 100%

What do you do  upon receiving a call from a telemarketer?  Have any great ideas for dealing with those annoying telemarketers, share them below in the comments section.

23 July 2015

Question of the day...

Microsoft is offering their "NEW and Improved" Windows 10 for FREE as an upgrade.  As it stands, both my laptop and my tablet are running perfectly smooth with Windows 7 and Windows 8.  The question is: 

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 for free, or stay with what I have since everything is running fine?  Why would you or wouldn't you upgrade?

30 June 2015

Handicapped Scuba Diving in the Caymans

OK, first of all we didn't scuba dive in our wheelchairs, that would be just absurd.  But, we were scuba diving in the Caymans with the Dive Pirates!

It was kind of like summer camp, at least that's the way it felt in the beginning. My wife Zandra, my dive instructor Scott, and I arrived at the airport in Grand Cayman about an hour before our connecting flight was due to leave. When we turned the corner to the baggage claim we found a whole bunch of people, some in wheelchairs, and some not, wearing red t-shirts that looked identical to what we were wearing. We figured that these must have been some of the people that were going to Cayman Brach for the dive trip. These were some of our fellow Dive Pirates.

On the way from baggage claim to the terminal we
came across the list above.  Anything weird on that list?
After loading our luggage and dive equipment onto a cart we were ushered through customs and before we knew it we were lounging at the terminal. Red Dive Pirate tees were everywhere. One of the Dive Pirates' staff members, Charley, gave us the who's who, pointing out some of the people who are returning from the previous year, and some of the people who were first timers. She also introduced us to some of the other staff members who seemed to be as excited as I was about the upcoming week.

Sometimes meeting new people can be awkward for me. This was one of those times. I smiled and said my hellos, but kept quiet and people watched most of the time.

The connecting flight from Grand Cayman to The Brach was only 20 minutes. The funny part was that it took about 45 minutes for them to load up all of the wheelchair users along with all of the other passengers.

The plane landed on the runway at The Brach. It was dark.  During the summer months it gets dark sooner there, due to the proximity to the equator. Everyone rolled out of the airport to the curb, each of us laden with luggage. Outside some people were piling luggage into the bed of a pickup, while some of the Pirates climbed aboard a van, (one of the three taxis on the island). The process was slow, but most of us brought comfy chairs, so the wait wasn't so bad. Except for the fact that it had recently rained out, which prompted hordes of seemingly malnourished mosquitoes to flock to the airport for much needed sustenance. Besides the voracious blood suckers, we were also overcome by swarms of flying ants. That's what the locals referred to these insects that resembled ants with wings. Lucky for us they were not out to chew on the new arrivals, they were only out to buzz our ears and eyes. It was apparent that these flying ants live to drive everyone batty, and they were very talented.

Eventually we were all driven to the resort where we checked in, and passed out in our rooms. Traveling can be exhausting, and this day was no exception. We slept well, not knowing what to expect for the week to come.

Day 1


The first day we had a single dive scheduled for the afternoon. So, Zandra and I went to the dining room where we found a buffet covered with every kind of breakfast food you could imagine. I grabbed a plate and covered it with all of my favorites, which included scrambled eggs, tons of bacon, some hash browns, and some fruit salad with pineapple chunks.  Before I bellied up to the table, I filled a glass with one of my favorites, pineapple juice.

I inhaled this great, big pile of deliciousness in no time, following it all with a Dramamine tablet. The last thing I wanted to do is get sea sick on my first dive.  Or any dive for that matter.

All of the handicapped divers and our dive buddies broke up into four groups, one for each boat. Transferring us, in our wheelchairs, onto the boat was a little precarious. The process included four guys, each grabbing part of the wheelchair and carefully climbing onto the boat. This description does not adequately describe what it was like. What I failed to mention was that the waves rolling into short were somewhere between one to three feet tall. This meant that as they hoisted those of us in chairs into the boat, they had to remain balanced as the boat raised and lowered next to the stationary dock. Truth be told, it was only nerve racking that first day, as it was more than apparent that the guys were both strong and agile enough to safely lift us onto the boat. 



There weren't any pirates lost to Davy Jone's locker on the transfers to and from the boats for the entire week!

Our boat crew, Jeff and “Scuba” Steve were great! They were both very knowledgeable on the different dive sites and what to expect from each of the sites. Jeff drove the boat like a master and steered it through the channel that had been cut through the reef. That first day the waves coming in through the channel were monstrous. The boat climbed over each wave and came crashing down on the other side sending ocean water misting around us. I closed my eyes as I attempted to gain my sea legs, err my sea wheels.

video


A short while later we were out on the open sea heading for the first site. The boat was hooked to a buoy when we arrived and everyone began donning their wet-suits. Scuba Steve began describing the site, and drew an accurate depiction of the landscape underwater on a dry erase board. Some people grabbed amphibious cameras, while other people headed to the back of the boat. The boat crew scampered around, carrying BC's / Nitrox tanks to the back of the boat and helped everyone put it on.

I watched people sit on the edge of the boat fully equipped with their scuba gear. On the count of three each of them rolled off the back of the boat, or stepped off, depending on the diver, and splashed into the crystal clear blue water. “That's easy,” I thought to myself as I rolled up for my turn. Now, it's important to note that all of my scuba training up to this point had taken place in a pool, the deep end being a mere 12 feet. I sat on the edge and one of the boat crew stood behind me. I heard him say something like, OK your air is on, are you ready? I breathed through my regulator to verify the air was on and nodded my head. On the count of three I tucked my chin down to my chest and rolled forward into the water.

My face hit the water and a rush of adrenaline coursed through my body. I could see the bottom, somewhere around 50 feet below the surface. Panic. All I could do was panic. Oh yeah, another note. One summer day, back when I was 9 or 10 years old I drowned in a lake in New Hampshire. That ordeal rushed from a memory archived somewhere in a dark corner of my brain right into my consciousness. And even though my BC was inflated making me buoyant, and I could breath with through my regulator, I was still gripped with sheer panic. One of my dive buddies saw the look on my face and helped me upright. I began bobbing up and down in the waves like a cork. My stomach let me know that this bobbing sensation was making me feel sick.

The panic I felt demanded that I give up on this attempt to dive, and try the next one. I wanted back on the boat immediately.  In that instance my stomach spoke to me in a harsher volume. It told me that if I climbed back onto the boat, I would continue bobbing and I would be sea sick for sure. I made the quick decision, and gave the 'I'm OK” signal to my dive buddies, and dumped the air out of my BC, which quickly sent me below the surface.

To my surprise it only took me a brief moment to realize that everything was OK. I gathered up my composure and worked on some skills with Scott. Afterwards the three of us swam around to see what kind of marine life we could find. Low and behold, the three of us found an octopus, which, I was told later, is a rare find during a daytime dive.  It was fascinating to watch this eight legged creature slowly move around.  Among the other types of marine life we spotted a ray who was just sort of hanging out on the ocean floor.


Diving in the deep sea was amazing. Eventually it was time for us to return to the boat. Transferring a handicapped diver back onto the boat involved a large “sling”, for the lack of a better term, and the two boat crew lifted us out of the drink and onto our wheelchairs one at a time. Being one of the first back on the boat I positioned myself off to the side and clenched my eyes shut in an attempt to block out the motion created by the busy surf.

Once everyone was on the boat and the crew did a check and double check to verify that all of us were accounted for, we were off. To the next dive site we were headed. The boat skimmed across the surface of the clear blue ocean. The bow rose and fell over the waves as we encountered them. My stomach began protesting again. I motioned to one of the crew that I was about to lose my cookies. Not that I had cookies for breakfast. With lightening speed he shoved some sort of container into my hand just in time.

Needless to say, I skipped the next dive.

We made our way back to the resort just in time for lunch. Still a little bleh, I managed to eat some. One of the crew from another boat gave me some helpful tips to avoid sea sickness. First, be careful what you eat for breakfast. He said that I should avoid greasy foods such as eggs, bacon, or sausage. He also said that I should avoid certain types of citrus, such as pineapple. He warned me that I should keep my eyes open, something about being able to see the horizon helps to prevent sea sickness. And lastly, and most important, be sure to take one Dramamine tablet the night before the dive, and one first thing in the morning. 

Looking back at what I had for my first breakfast, it matched almost exactly what the crew member told me NOT to have. Each time I felt queasy on the boat I closed my eyes. Oh yeah, and there was the fact that I did not take Dramamine the night before.

Equipped with this new knowledge I managed to avoid being sea sick for the remainder of the time we were there.

Day 2

The next day was Monday. They schedule three dives two in the morning and one in the afternoon. I still had that initial rush each time I rolled off the boat and into the water, but each time it lessened. After a huge and tasty lunch we headed out again for the final dive of the day. When we completed that dive, and we were all on the boat, Scott announced that I had completed the mandatory requirements, and was now considered a certified class 2 diver. There were cheers, applause, and a bunch of congratulations.

By Tuesday everyone began loosening up as we all got to know each other. It was also Tuesday when I realized just how taxing scuba diving was on my upper body. Propelling myself with my arms was taxing on my shoulders.

Day 3

Wednesday, we rode with our fellow pirates out to the first dive site. The first dive was great. We saw all kinds of critters and fish. Some beautiful, some funny looking, but each of them were unique. Awesome to see up close and personal instead of on TV.


Once we were back on the boat I realized that my arms were done. I was not going to be able to dive again for the rest of the day. Zandra and I relaxed on the boat. The sun was warm and the breeze was cool and constant. It was the perfect conditions for relaxing, so that's what we did. This also allowed us to witness the incredible amount of work the crew does while the divers are diving. They were constantly moving, changing out spent tanks with full tanks. Those tanks were heavy.

About dining


As I mentioned briefly, the dining room had a buffet that was huge.  If the buffet bar was 20 feet long it was a mile.  Both lunch and dinner offered multiple types of salad, fresh, warm bread, several choices of entrees, and an assortment of desserts that would knock your socks off. That is, if you were wearing socks. Not many people wear socks at a scuba diving resort. Each meal featured several different side dishes and an ever changing array of entree choices.  It would be possible to actually gain weight on a scuba diving vacation with this much delicious food available for every meal.

This pic fails to capture the enormity of the buffet.
The dessert bar was out of this world. Each lunch and dinner boasted an assortment of mouth-watering treats ranging from baked goods, to ice cream, to I don't even know what. It was scrumptious!

The facility was never anything but cleaned spotless. The waitstaff always smiled and carried on pleasant conversation. Your glass of water rarely got to half empty as someone from the waitstaff would refill it before it got to that point.

But, I digress. After all, this was not a week in the Caymans for gorging ourselves. It was a week in the Cayman's with the Dive Pirates, “Conquering new territories” where we adventured into the depths of the ocean, saw some amazing marine life, and made new friends.

Evening Activities


When we weren't diving or stuffing our tummies with scrumptious meals, most of the pirates rested.  Naps were commonplace due to exhaustion brought on by the diving experience.  Throughout the week the Dive Pirates gathered, sometimes at the bar, and sometimes not at the bar.  

Most nights featured classroom training that some pirates took advantage of to learn about diving stress and rescue.  Other pirates enjoyed Bingo night.  

There was a great movie that was created over time by one of the photographers that accompanied us throughout the week.  The movie showed the development of a reef over several years time.  

Another evening was a costume ball, where the pirates were encouraged to dress up as their favorite super heroes.  Zandra and I dressed as Olive Oyl and Popeye.

The final evening we spent together began with an awards ceremony where most, if not all of the divers were recognized for the different certifications that were earned throughout the week.  The awards were followed by a mouth watering BBQ dinner served outside.

What it's all about


The Dive Pirates Foundation is a not for profit organization made up of volunteers who are passionate for making it possible for those who are handicapped to become certified scuba divers.

Some of my family and friends, as well as people who I don't even know, generously donated to Dive Pirates so that I could be equipped with the necessary scuba gear, made it possible for me to be trained to become a certified scuba diver, and paid for the expenses for a mind blowing scuba trip to the Caymans.  

Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

I urge you to support the Dive Pirates Foundation so that other handicapped people can “Conquer new territories” and explore a part of the world most only dream about. Click here if you would like to donate and join as a diver or a friend of Dive Pirates.

If you would like to see some more of the pics taken during the trip, feel free to drop by my Facebook page and browse.



I can't wait to get back into the water! Maybe I'll see you under the sea!


04 September 2013

Red Sox - Yankees Rivalry Twisted

I have been a Red Sox fan since as long as I can recall. I remember in the 80's, listening to the game on the AM band of my Radio Shack head phones. Those were the days when Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Don Baylor, Bill Buckner, and the rest of the Sox would beat up on most of the teams in the American League.

To this day, some of the most watched games are between the Bosox and the Yanks. Fans from both sides stay glued to the television when these games are on. The fierce rivalry between the two teams and their fans began long before I was around. This is one of the most famous and perhaps the longest standing rivalry in all of baseball. These two teams are not the only who harbor such bitterness, in fact there are several other teams with strong rivalries. For instance there is no love loss between the Cubs and the Cardinals.  The Dodgers and Giants can't stand each other either.

Everyone has seen sports fans wearing shirts or hats with their team's emblem, boasting their team spirit. When you're traveling, as my wife and I were this past weekend, you see a lot of people advertising how much they love their team. The two facets that govern how much you are exposed to team logos are the size of the fan base and the location at the time.

While we were traveling I felt myself cringe each time I saw a shirt or a cap with the Yankees 'NY'. Each time I subconsciously set my jaw and clenched my fists tight. When the person passed the tension fell and I resumed my journey to the terminal.

It was only a short time into our layover in Philly that I got caught up in a daydream.  I imagined a change in the rules. A time when Major League Baseball used their power to influence certain state and federal laws. The MLB realized that the best way to increase ticket sales was to fuel the rivalries between teams and fans. The new law stated that if the fan of a team recognized a fan of a rival team due to team logos or other paraphernalia then it was legal to strike out at that fan. In short it was legal to beat the ever loving tar out of a fan of a rival team.

My wife and I are strolling through the airport. All of a sudden I spot two guys in their early 20's walking in the opposite direction. Both are wearing black baseball caps with the evil white letters 'NY'. I give into instinct and unleash a furious assault, my fists moving faster than can be seen landing several solid punches on both of the enemy fans. Less than a minute later, when the dust settles, two unconscious Yankee fans lie sprawled out on the floor as the Red Sox Fan Nation chalks up two more points. After straightening my shirt collar, my wife and I continue our journey to the United terminal.

Beating on the fan of a rival team seems perfectly right and perfectly reasonable. Although, the keyword here is 'rival'. I stress the keyword because there are some fans of certain teams that believe there exists a rivalry between their team and another. Let me give a for instance. There are some Tampa Bay Rays fans who believe there is a rivalry between the Rays and the Red Sox. I believe this all started when some tension arose between the two teams during a series a few years back. Some tension during a series is called competition.


Let's picture a second scenario. I'm at Lettuce Lake Park in Temple Terrace with my wife feeding the ducks when out of nowhere a Rays fan comes charging over to knock my block off. He has obviously spotted my Red Sox cap and this poor mislead Rays fan tries to lay the smack down. When he finally wakes up in the hospital and recovers from his injuries, he would be carted off to jail on attempted battery charges. And the time he ends up serving in prison is all because some Rays fans don't understand the difference between rivalry and extreme team envy.

03 September 2013

Book Review: Jet – by Russell Blake

Jet, the main character of this book, has been living a peaceful life in Trinidad. She was once one of the most lethal operatives of the Mossad, until she faked her own death and passed into early retirement. Now, all of a sudden, there is a group of hitters on the island who have been sent to find and eliminate her. Jet has been out of action for some time, but her training kicks in as she deals with this wet work team. When the dust settles Jet begins her journey to find the person who wants her dead. She knows that taking out the one at the top is the only way she will get back to living in peace.

Will she be able to track down the source of these threats and stop them before she is ghosted? You will have to read Jet, written by Russell Blake, to find out.

This is a great book with cover to cover action that keeps the reader intrigued, needing to know what is going to happen next. The realistic description of weaponry, trade craft, and computer terminology makes the story more enjoyable than most in this genre.

I have mentioned before that I am not a reader of romance novels, so the slight romantic twist in the story was a negative point for me. It didn't seem like a necessary part of the story. Luckily the guns, and fight scenes, and great action sequences made it possible to gloss over the brief romantic parts.

If you like a good action/adventure/spy novel, then look no further. Jet is a great story that keeps the reader drawn into the story.

You can learn more about Russell Blake and the other books that he has written along with some new pieces that will soon be released at http://russellblake.com/ .

Cover art from Russell Blake's JET



As always you can find this and all the other books I have reviewed in the Like Troll With a “u” Book Review area. Choose your favorite genre and check out some of the eBooks that I have been reading.

29 August 2013

Book Review: A Body in the Backyard


Another book that I read while away was A Body in the Backyard by Elizabeth Spann Craig.  The story begins when Myrtle Clover's landscaper makes a startling discovery.  There's a dead body in Myrtle's backyard.  When the cops arrive they determine the cause of death to be death by garden gnome, but that's all they have to go on.

Myrtle loves being in the limelight for the hoity-toity garden parties she throws in her backyard, not for the discovery of a corpse in her garden.  Now this 80 something year old Mrs. Marple wannabe is determined to solve the mystery and bring a halt to the neighbors gossiping at her expense.  Myrtle doesn't have a driver's license, so she has to trick her friends and family into driving her around town to question her suspects.  Will Myrtle close the case or become the subject of gossip circles till the end of eternity?

This murder mystery is a light hearted story that keeps the reader guessing.  The author masterfully uses a sprinkling of humor throughout the book making the experience that much more enjoyable.

If you love a good murder mystery, then I recommend A Body in the Back Yard.  It will keep you chuckling while you turn the pages to find out who-dun-it.

You can learn more about Elizabeth Spann Craig's other books at http://elizabethspanncraig.com/

Cover art for Elizabeth Spann Craig's
A Body in the Backyard
As always you can find this and all the other books I have reviewed in the Like Troll With a “u” Book Review area. Choose your favorite genre and check out some of the eBooks that I have been reading.

27 August 2013

Book Review: Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park

I am happy to say that learning with Western Governors University is going great. The classes are challenging, but I am managing, with some hard work and focus, to overcome them. Some of the classes are not as difficult or time consuming as I had thought, so I have had time to do quite a bit of reading.

One of the books I read while away was Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park, written by William Bebb.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico there is a valley, and nestled within that valley is a rather large trailer park. It is that neighborhood into which the unwitting hero drives his truck to make his weekly pickup.  He chose the wrong day to make the pickup.  He figures this out when he finds himself in the epicenter of the birth of a zombie apocalypse.

There is plenty of action, and well thought out drama in this zombie story. Some great character development makes the reader feel like they know these people. The story gets a 4 out of 5 on the gore factor, but not because there's blood and guts left over on your safety goggles. The high score is attributed to the imagination used to incorporate the gore.


Overall, if you like a good zombie story, with good solid characters, and an even pace, then this is the book for you. Definitely worth picking up and reading if you are a zombie fanatic. Download the book to see if Josey makes it out of the trailer park before he becomes the next course on the zombie buffet.

As always you can find this and all the other books I have reviewed in the Like Troll With a “u” Book Review area. Choose your favorite genre and check out some of the eBooks that I have been reading.
Cover art from William Bebb's - Valley of Death