Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Thursday, February 27, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: Hunting Vampires With Grandma By Ashley Uzzell!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ashley Uzzell in my APC spotlight, today! Ashley is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her vampire, paranormal, humorous, fantasy, monster-hunting, short story, Hunting Vampires with Grandma, looks great! Here's the description:
Age is just a number when killing monsters is your specialty. 
When Markie is attacked by a vampire, she finds out that her lovable grandma is more than she appears. A retired vampire hunter, G is forced to get the old gang back together when the very monsters that the ladies thought they had hunted to extinction show up in their town again.
Between knitting needles and fanny packs, psoriasis and holy water, Markie will soon realize that age really is just a number and that a handful of cranky old women can be scarier than any vampire bite.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1087

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day One-Thousand-Seventy-Eight:
Once again, I find my hominid-servant’s lack of communication skills to be a source of frustration. For reasons that escape me, she has extreme difficulty in intuiting when her caresses are desired and when they are most expressly not desired. Sometimes caresses from hominids are soothing, sometimes they are upsetting, and it is the hominid’s responsibility to know the difference between those times.

I attempted to institute a rule regarding this; however, my hominid-servant’s obtuseness makes it quite difficult to enforce. If I attempt to use basic behavioral-response training techniques and enforce negative consequences for caresses that are not welcome, she reacts by withholding physical affection entirely and giving me disapproving looks. My explanations that it is her own lack of discernment that provokes my admonishments have fallen on deaf ears.

As a compromise, I proposed that my hominid-servant practice her ability to distinguish between welcome and unwelcome caresses on the juvenile felid and the canid so that her performance statistics can improve, and she will not receive as many rebukes from me. Unfortunately, she does not seem to have found this suggestion useful. At least, I have seen no evidence that she intends to adopt it. Alas, I may have no recourse in this situation, maddening as it may be.

Hominids are so frustrating! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tough Love...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a little bit more of the third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles! As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
Chessie shrugged. “Well, hun, I don't agree with you. But we can argue about that until we both grow old and die. What’s not up for debate, though, is that what’s done is done, and now we need to figure out how to deal with the consequences. And you harping on the past and picking fights with Petri doesn’t help us do that, does it?”

“There is nothing to be done, now,” he sighed. “She has doomed us all with her reckless selfishness.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Chessie said, “That’s quite an attitude for someone who professes to have a duty to protect the innocent. You’ll die to save others, but you won’t fight for them?”

Daji sprung to his feet, his fists clenched at his sides, and towered over Chessie. “How dare you?”

She just cocked an eyebrow at his display. “I dare because it’s the truth. You need to stop bitching because life hasn’t granted you the set of circumstances you wanted, and start dealing with reality as it is. I don’t know what we’re going to end up facing when we get where we’re going, but I would rather go in knowing that you’ve got your head screwed on straight and aren’t still nursing old grudges. Especially, when what you’re angry about wasn’t even Petri’s fault.”

“And what is it you think I’m angry about?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“You’re mad because the Arcanum make you feel helpless,” she answered, patting him on the arm. “You’re not able to protect others, or even yourself, from them, and that’s not a feeling you’re used to. And you don’t trust the only person who might be able to protect us, which makes it worse.”

“I don’t trust her because she thinks only of herself.”

Chessie shook her head sadly. “That’s not true, hun, and I think you know it.” She shrugged. “Even if you don’t, you’re smart enough to know you’ll have an easier time convincing her to listen to you if you aren’t constantly insulting and belittling her. You’re only hurting your own cause by continually attacking her.”

The energy went out of Daji, and he seemed to collapse into himself as he dropped back into his chair. Closing his eyes, he sighed. “In that, you are correct. I will attempt to contain my anger and modify my approach. Perhaps some meditation will help center my psyche.”

“Alright, then, I’ll wish you luck. Because if you two can’t even have a civil conversation with each other, this is going to be a long trip. No matter how short it is.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is just a reminder of the type of man we have the opportunity to have leading our country if we work together and get Bernie elected. The mainstream media never discusses these accomplishments, so I think this is a good reminder of why our hard work is so vital to the future of this nation. Bernie is doing well, so far, but the race is far from over, and it's going to take all of us to make this dream a reality. #Bernie2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Grilled Cheese #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Do you ever just want (or need) a quick meal that you can throw together in 10 minutes or less but will still warm you up and keep your tummy full? Well, I've found a grilled cheese sandwich is perfect for this, and this is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

2 thick slices of bread per sandwich (I've found multigrain or whole wheat works well)
2 thick slices of tomato per sandwich
3 thick slices of mozzarella cheese per sandwich
1 clove garlic sliced per sandwich
6 whole basil leaves per sandwich
2 tbsp butter per sandwich
1/4 tsp olive oil per sandwich (basically a drizzle)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes per sandwich (optional)
Salt to taste (light amount)
Black pepper to taste (generous amount)

Butter both sides of each of the slices of bread with a quarter tablespoon of butter. Place the other tablespoon of butter in a skillet and melt it. Place one slice of bread in the melted butter and place one slice of mozzarella cheese on top. Add black pepper, don't be stingy. Drizzle with olive oil. Add half the slices of garlic and half the basil leaves on top. Add a slice of tomato and salt and pepper to taste. Add another slice of mozzarella and pepper it generously. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the rest of the garlic and basil and the pepper flakes (optional) and then the other slice of tomato. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the final slice of mozzarella and pepper generously. Add the final slice of bread and place a heavy, heatproof object (like another skillet or a foil-wrapped brick) on top. Cook for five minutes in the butter, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove the weights, and flip the sandwich over. Cook the sandwich on the other side for another five minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Remove the sandwich from the heat, cut it in half, and serve it by itself or with a side of tomato soup.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

#StPats #Giveaway! $42 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for St. Patrick's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Lucky Readers St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 28 prizes, and the grand prize is $42 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Friday, February 21, 2020

Rise Of The Machines... ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share something that happened at my day-job, a couple of months ago. I posted about it on Facebook, at the time, but I thought we could use a little levity around here, too. So, kick back, relax, and enjoy this little bit of nonsense. ;-)

The robot at my job thinks I'm a virus. 😑 This robot is supposed to do "simple" tasks to make it easier for us, poor humans to review cases. It's supposed to do things like check dates to make sure they all match, makes sure the billing codes in all different systems match, make sure all the names match, make sure all the modifiers that the billing codes are required to have are there, make sure that codes that aren't allowed to be billed together haven't been billed together, etc. But these things, which can all pretty much be done with a couple of glances by a human, aren't really so simple for a robot. Because it involves reviewing medical records.

So, take something really easy, like verifying a date of service. Well, there's no standardized form or method for charting. The date can be anywhere in the record--at the top, at the bottom, somewhere in the middle. It can be in any format--US (mm/dd/yyyy), international (dd/mm/yyyy), some just utterly random order (yyyy/dd/mm or something else). It can have dash, slash, space, or no separators between the month day and year. It can have 2 digit years or 4 digit years, 1 digit months and days or 2 digit. Or it can be written out as Month dd, yyyy. There can be multiple dates in the record (labeled or unlabeled). IE: date of service, charting date, signed date, printed date, prior testing dates, etc, etc, etc. Or the records can be hand-written, in which case all bets are off. You get the picture. Humans deal with these variables fairly quickly; robots do not.

So, sometimes we're quicker than the robot and we get through the cases that have been checked by the robot and start working cases that haven't been checked yet. Which means we take the cases off the robot's worklist and reassign them to ourselves. The robot is supposed to be fine with this, but apparently we've offended it (I'm not the only one this has happened to). So it's having a snit fit and apparently decided to recruit the security robot. Which is supposed to be a completely separate robot that has nothing to do with the robot that reviews records but, somehow, they're talking to each other.

The security robot is supposed to monitor the network and create a log of anything that looks like aberrant activity. It's not supposed to do anything, other than create a log, but apparently it has decided we're all aberrant and has locked our logins. But only some of our logins.

So we can get into some systems, but not others. And which systems we can and can't get into is different for different people. And IT is very, very confused by it all.

The short term solution is to shut down the robots. Except that it's a corporation, so there are channels and procedures and designated decision-makers. And it's the holidays, so anyone with any seniority is on vacation. And shutting down the robots can't be done remotely; it has to be done on-site.

So getting someone with the necessary authority and security credentials on the phone, explaining the situation, and convincing them to go to work in the middle of their vacation just to turn off these rebellious robots is taking some time.

So... To recap, we have rebellious robots conspiring with each other, doing things they're not supposed to do or supposed to be able to do, and taking action against humans. And that are resisting being turned off. Why do I feel like I've seen this movie before?