Review: Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop
And Other Practical Advice in Our Campaign Against the Fairy Kingdom
Reginald Bakeley, Foreword by Clint Marsh
ISBN: 9781573245326
Book (Paperback)
Conari Press
208 pages
40 B&W illustrations
October 1, 2012

Product description:

Help is on the way! In the tradition of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl, Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop shows how to banish those pesky dark Fairy creatures who are ready to thwart every last pleasure, be it gardening, country hikes, or even getting a good night’s sleep.

In this charming guide, “fairy hunter” Reginald Bakeley offers practical instructions to clear your home and garden of these unsettling inhabitants, and banish them from your chicken coop and kitchen cupboard forever!

In Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop readers will discover:

  • Why a bustle in one’s hedgerow may be cause for alarm
  • Why a garden fumigator may come in handy on evenings at the pub
  • Why a toy merchant, a butcher, and a Freemason are among your best allies in the fight against the fey

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop is the only complete manual on how to identify, track, defend, and destroy those bothersome brownies, goblins, dwarves, scheming flower-fairies, and other nasty members of the fairy realm.

My thoughts:

I got a pretty good chuckle out of this book, any book that comes with a rubber chicken key-ring has to be special. I personally don’t have a problem with goblins or any other of the fairy-folk in my garden. My chupacabra Peppy does a pretty good job of keeping the fairy-folk out of the backyard. Sadly, he is less effective with squirrels.

While some of the advice is sound, I wonder just how practical it really is? For example, Reginald Bakeley suggests using Freemasons to to build a stone circle and divert a ley line away from your chicken coup. Does Bakeley really expect us to believe that Freemasons still exist?

All in all, it was good for a laugh and I highly recommend it. While it may not divert a ley line or give a useful gnome recipe, it will divert your attention away from the troubles of reality for a few hours and that truly is magic. I give Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop 4 1/2 gnomes out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Conari Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Corpse-Rat King

The Corpse-Rat King
by Lee Battersby

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (August 28, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0857662872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662873

Product description:

Marius dos Hellespont and his apprentice, Gerd, are professional looters of battlefields. When they stumble upon the corpse of the King of Scorby and Gerd is killed, Marius is mistaken for the monarch by one of the dead soldiers, is transported down to the Kingdom of the Dead. The dead need a King–the King is God’s representative, and someone needs to remind God where they are.

Marius is banished to the surface with one message: if he wants to recover his life he must find the dead a King. Which he fully intends to do. Just as soon as he stops running.

My thoughts:

I was really attracted to the cover art and an added bonus was reading a new author. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with an Angry Robot title, it can be done, but it’s hard. The Corpse-Rat King is yet another clever and funny title in a long line of books from Angry Robot.

As I’ve said before, I like my humor like I like my chocolate … dark. The Corpse-Rat King gave me plenty of those laugh out loud moments. I could imagine the main character played by Bruce Campbell. The story marched along at a fast pace with plenty of gags.

On the downside, I think the secondary characters were two-dimensional and should have been *ahem* fleshed out a little more. I think some of the gags were a little hit or miss.

The Corpse-Rat King is certainly a better than average book from a new author, and it managed to take my mind away from Hurricane Isaac, which by the way missed me. Having said that, I enjoy dark silly humor so let that be your guide. I give The Corpse-Rat King 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Angry Robot. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book of Shadows Tarot

As many of you know, I reviewed a zombie tarot recently. I really like the idea of presenting tarot in different ways and the Book of Shadows Tarot certainly is different.

Presentation of the twin Tarot decks: Book of Shadows Tarot, volume I and volume II: “As Above, So Below”.
The new masterpiece of Barbara Moore, to be released by Lo Scarabeo, as deck and kit edition, in September 2012.

Artwork by Krisinsky, Gabrielli and Rivolli (volume I, As Above) and Ariganello and Pastorello (volume II, So Below)
Filmmaking and editing by Sara Gardoncini.

Review: The Witches Almanac

The Witches’ Almanac: Issue 32
by Theitic

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: The Witches’ Almanac (July 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982432372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982432372

(Barry’s score 5 out of 5 stars)

Product description:

Since 1971, The Witches’ Almanac has been the source of fun, wisdom, trivia, and magical lore for hundreds of thousands of readers throughout the world. Modeled after the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it includes information related to the annual Moon Calendar (weather forecasts and horoscopes), as well as legends, rituals, herbal secrets, interviews, mystic incantations, interviews, and many a curious tale of good and evil. Although it is an annual publication, only about 15 percent of the content is specific to the date range of each issue.
Issue 32 (Spring 2013 – Spring 2014) theme’s is the Reflection of the Moon. Also included a articles on Amazonian dolphins, neem trees, tomfoolery and a Festival of Fools, Basque moon myths, Arachne weaving and the legendary Pied Piper.

Founded in 1971 by Elizabeth Pepper, the art director of Gourmet magazine for many years, The Witches’ Almanac is a witty, literate, and sophisticated publication that appeals to general readers as well as hard-core Wiccans. At one level, it is a pop reference that will fascinate anyone interested in folklore, mythology, and culture, but at another, it is the most sophisticated and wide-ranging annual guide for the Wiccan enthusiast.

My thoughts:

I used to be a big journal, pim, or almanac user but only over the last year have I returned to the low tech books to manage my personal information. Business cards, to-do lists, and recipes are tucked away into my almanac until they are filed away properly. Imagine the reaction when a friend reads the cover … “The Witches’ Almanac.”

The title alone will generate some interesting discussions, but the articles make great conversational fodder over lunch. I think my favorite article was “The Proper Topper” which covered steampunk. Obviously, Wiccans will find the almanac interesting, but I think anyone who is esoterically minded will enjoy it.

Really cool eye popping interior art, the cover art by Ogmios MacMerlin, and a myriad of articles makes this almanac a cut above the rest. I highly recommend it and give it a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Witches’ Almanac ( I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Absinthe Curacao Frappe Recipe

It looks as though tropical storm/hurricane Isaac may pass me by as it whirls it’s way west of me. It’s an odd sight watching one neighbor board up his house while another leaves freshly pruned branches all over his yard. Let’s just say that it made for an interest and loud discussion. Some of you may feel the need for a hurricane party.

Here is another absinthe recipe called “Absinthe Curacao Frappe Recipe.”


  • 1 oz Absinthe
  • 1/2 oz Curacao
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Orange Juice
  • 1 slice Orange

Mix together with crushed ice and add orange slice.

Pagan zodiac in ancient synagogues

This mosaic of the zodiac wheel was found at Beth Alpha, but it is only one of over a half-dozen pagan zodiacs found in ancient synagogues. What does that say about the ancient Jewish community?

This one includes Sol Invictus on his chariot riding across the sky. Clearly, some synagogues had no problems with pagan symbols.

In my mailbox: Reaper

Earlier this week I told you about receiving the book “Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop” and the rubber chicken key-ring swag. This morning I found a rain-soaked package on my front porch. I don’t know why the UPS dude can’t take a few seconds to tuck it between the front door and the storm door. At any rate, the interior was wrapped with plastic and dry.


Reaper is set in a world a breath away from our own. After the death of her mother, Wendy is attempting to fill her mother’s shoes and discovering that the prospect is far more difficult than she ever imagined. Learning that she is part of a powerful and ancient family of Reapers that her mother had forsaken is just the first surprise – Wendy soon discovers that the San Francisco Bay Never is filled with political powers and factions both previously unknown and completely mysterious to Wendy. Since both her mother and Piotr are gone, Wendy must struggle to maneuver between the machinations of the dead and the dark intentions of her living Reaper family.

Eventually betrayed and made sick unto death, the clock is ticking before Wendy will fall – she has only a matter of days to unravel the mysteries her mother left behind and to convince her wary family to accept her as one of their own.

I am still working on pecan pick up duty, but there really isn’t much left. The squirrels have devoured this seasons pecans. With tropical storm or perhaps Hurricane Isaac coming, I doubt that I would have gotten very many pecans anyway. I just hope that it doesn’t damage my oranges.

I snapped a pic of one of the little bastards hanging upside-down eating my pecans. They have little fear of Peppy and will actually drop nuts and pieces of pecan on him.

Now, I just have to clean up the place for Sunday breakfast.

Of Isaac and squirrels

I may not be online for a while due to Isaac. It seems that the storm is swirling its way toward my neck of the woods. While I doubt that the storm will be much, I’m taking it seriously enough to prepare. If Gnostalgia does go silent for a few days next week, you’ll know why.

Some of my weekend with be picking up pecans thanks to my buddies the squirrels. I had planned to take a picture of the pecans on the tree, however, those damn squirrels have cleaned out the tree in just a couple of days. That being said, there are a lot on the ground. I imagine that my neighbors would appreciate it if I stored away anything that could be a projectile in a storm. Aside from that, I’m basically ready. This ain’t my first rodeo.

The Paradigm Symposium

English: Writer Erich von Däniken. Česky: Spis...
English: Writer Erich von Däniken. Česky: Spisovatel Erich von Däniken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the ancient days, a symposium was a drinking party. The word literally means “to drink together.” In this case, the Paradigm Symposium will pull together Ancient Aliens, Alien Cosmology, Archeology, Anthropology, and other fields into a beverage fit for the (chariots of the) Gods.

As you can tell from the counter on my sidebar, time is ticking away. The event will be held October 18-21 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will play host to a mind-blowing list of celebrities.

That is a mere scratch on the surface of the myriad of celebrities who will be on hand. The list reads like a paranormal geek’s “who’s who”. The host is Scott Alan Roberts who most paranormal geeks will remember as the former editor of TAPS Paranormal Magazine, the current editor of Intrepid Magazine, and the author of The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim: The Untold Story of Fallen Angels, Giants on the Earth, and Their Extraterrestrial Origins.

For more information about The Paradigm Symposium, check out the website (link) or visit the Intrepid Magazine site (link). I’d recommend a visit to Intrepid for nothing more than the spooky looking picture of Stanton Friedman.

All in all, it looks like a blast but plan ahead.

No GH Halloween special this year?

I wondered if there would be a Halloween special without Grant. Jason Hawes just tweeted, “I’ve chosen 2spend this Halloween with my family. 2many years apart on R favorite holiday.Plz retweet! TY 4understanding! #MuchLove

Circling the drain …

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