Survival Saturday – Cheese & Broccoli Soup Mix


For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!


Holy smokes, the last Survival Saturday post was WAY BACK IN MAY!!!!!!  Welp, the cold is here so the food is coming back.


Here’s a picture of today. Looks nice doesn’t it? What you can’t see is that this was the one 30minute period during daylight that it wasn’t pouring like the second Flood was coming.




It was a soup and bread kind of evening by the time we both got home.  So we chose Legacy’s Cheese and Broccoli Soup Mix with homemade bread bowls. Plus some stuff.




Ingredients & Allergens:



Nutritional Info:



Things Needed:

8 Cups of water

1 package Cheese & Broccoli Soup Mix


Optional Items:


Boule Bread cut into bread bowls



New York extra sharp cheddar cheese



Shot of Bang, pina colada flavor







Very easy to prepare. The whisk worked wonders and since this wasn’t a real heavy or thick soup, it just flowed together. It reminded me almost of a white sauce.  Mrs B said it reminded her of an alfredo sauce. I think that’s a pretty good comparison.

The boule bread was easy to cut and it scooped right out. It is tough to see the soup inside it, as they’re both pretty creme colored.


Boule Bread, looks like some kind of wierd anime hat!


That plate is approximately 10in (25cm) across, to give you some scale


I had cut up the cheese into small pieces and added it to mine. Even though this is pretty high in sodium, it is not salty tasting and rather bland. The sharp cheddar gave it a much needed dose of flavor.



Mrs B said it needed a little something to make it thicker. Maybe some kind of vegetables? Rice or potato would also have worked as a good filler if we weren’t using a bread bowl. Other than that, she was happy to eat it out of the bread bowl and used the scooped out bread as a dipper.

I had a little tiny bowl of the stuff by itself and it was decent. Warm and much thicker than say a campbell’s condensed soup.  The cheese made a huge difference in the bread bowl and I was happy to just eat the remnants of the bread bowl by dipping it into the pot of soup and finishing it off that way.


Lessons Learned:

The pina colada Bang, while my favorite, was a mistake. It was just too different and after 1 drink I just put it aside.  I’m wondering if the Lemon Drop Bang would have suited it better, as that flavor is just a tiny bit bitter and would have made the blandness of the soup more palatable.

Overall, we both were satisfied with what we ate while not being ecstatic. The portions were once again HUGE and for 2 people really bordered on just too much. We didn’t end up eating the whole package even though we at it twice. There was that much.




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–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–




Saints (Monster Hunter Memoirs #3) ★★★★☆

saints (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Saints
Series: Monster Hunter Memoirs #3
Author: John Ringo, Larry Correia
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
Format: Digital Edition



Chad blows up at MCB after the experience in New Orleans. This puts him on their Super Shit List and one of the agents starts making things personal. A bad scrying shows Chad is involved with a black magic group kidnapping virgins to raise an Old One. Turns out it is Chad’s brother but that makes Chad involved anyway. Chad takes down his brother and stops the ring. That’s enough proof for the agent AND Agent Franks. Franks beats Chad almost to death and hospitalizes him. Chad then sues MCB and while things are in full swing heads over to England to do some research at the Van Helsing Institute.

There he investigates why some of the occurrences are happening in New Orleans. Turns out, his brother has slightly awakened an Old One’s cocoon. The Agent in charge of MCB in New Orleans has taken MCB being sued by Chad extremely personal so he does nothing when even Earl Harbinger tells him there is a baby Old One about to wake up and eat the world. That means its up to MHI to toe the line again and stand between the Earth and total destruction. MHI wins. Was there any ever doubt? Of course, they get a little help from the Fey and a High Hunt.

The books ends with Earl taking over and describing the events at the Christmas Party where Ray Shackleford IV almost destroys MHI. Turns out it is Earl and Chad who close the Portal to the Old One and Chad gives his life to allow Earl to do so.

My Thoughts:

This was a great wrapup to the trilogy. A nascent Old One growing under New Orleans? Man, how much more of a threat can you get than that? Everything leads up to that though, so the story goes from threat to threat to threat.

Everything isn’t directly connected, so things feel a little discombobulated sometimes. The whole thing with his brother ends so quickly that there was no tension and besides it leading into Chad getting the snot beat out of him, was rather anti-climactic.

Chad’s time in England was boring. It didn’t help that the story about the ghost and the super special metal was included in the Monster Hunter Files anthology so I kind of felt cheated. Him teaching was just as boring.

The final battle was EVERYTHING I want out of a Monster Hunter International fight. Guns, bombs, flamethrowers, Holy Water, and so many monsters. So many, many monsters. Ringo and Correia did a fantastic job of making this a pulse pounding fight!

The ending, with Chad’s sacrifice, was how this trilogy needed to end. Chad’s story had a beginning and this was his end. For all his philandering, dickheaded braggodocio and general arrogance, Chad goes out like a hero.

Overall, this was a worthwhile read in the MHI universe, even if a little bit off from Correia’s style.



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October ’18 Roundup & Ramblings




Raw Data:

17 Books

5773 Pages

2.97 Average Rating


The Bad:

Dust of Dreams (existential excrement by the boatload) – 1.5 Stars

Fail Harder (irresponsible jackasses who should die) – 1.5 Stars

Wizard’s First Rule (clunky writing that destroyed my memories) – 2 Stars


The Good:

A Thousand Words for Stranger (Telepathic Jane Austen in Space!) – 4 Stars



Tore through four volumes of Shaman King. Now that the setup is pretty much done, it’s shonen battles, which means some long slugging matches are coming up. Might end up slowing down my pace just a tad.


Miscellaneous And Personal:

While I read a bit more this month, it was ALL crap. My average was below 3stars for goodness sake. I am thankful for at least one 4star book.

Got Sick and kind of whimpered on for the last 10 days of the month. Didn’t read anyones posts, didn’t even reply to comments. Thankfully, that seems to be passing and I’m hoping to spring back into pure unadulterated Bookstooge Action this weekend with a Survival Saturday Post.

Did a Tag and a 6Degrees post. It was good to write some non-review stuff. Especially considering all the crap books I plowed through and then had to write about.

Surviving a Bad Book got some good numbers since I mentioned a book that a lot of people know. Always helps to stir the pot if everyone already has an opinion.

Other than that, this was a rainy blah month that crept along like a whipped cur and then threw up in my shoes. I am so thankful October is OVER WITH.


Cover Love

Once again, just like last month, no cover grabbed me and said “Worship me!”. I am including the Harpist in the Wind cover because I feel it really shows Darrell K. Sweet’s style. He did so many covers over the years and once you learn what his stuff looks like, you simply can’t miss it.




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77 Shadow Street ★★★☆½

77shadowstreet (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: 77 Shadow Street
Series: ———-
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Pages: 722
Format: Digital Edition


Synopsis: Spoilers

The Pendleton. Built back in the late 1800’s, it was the biggest mansion of its kind to date. Throughout the years, strange things have happened to those who lived there. Murders, kidnappings, disappearances, suicides, mental breakdowns. Now the Pendleton has been turned into a bunch of luxury condos. Now the residents are starting to see some really weird things. Now one old man who has done his research knows he must get everybody out of the building if any of them want to survive the next 24hrs.

A disparate group are brought together and through the mystery of Scyenze, are swept into the future to a world that is post-human. Post-anything in fact, except for The One. The One rules All, The One Knows All, The One IS All. Among the group is revealed the creator of The One and The One sows the seeds for its own birth, thus making sure of its own survival and the destruction of humanity.

The One hower, is NO match for 2 kids, an ex-Marine, a Honky-tonk song writer, a brilliant novelist, a blind man, 2 old ladies and their cats, a Scyenzist who swears he WON’T create The One and some others. Oh yeah, and one insane murdering hitman. The group survives and puts paid to the Scyenzist and some shadowy figure kills the other Scyenzist who could do the same.

The World is Safe. For Now.


My Thoughts:

Despite the tone of my Synopsis, I rather enjoyed this. I called this a Horror/Thriller because while it had elements of Horror, they weren’t supernatural. However, when creatures shove black goop down your throat and turn you into more of them, what else do you call that? It sure isn’t slapstick comedy.

Having read the Frankenstein novels and the Odd Thomas series, I can see so many ideas that Koontz uses over and over. I think that would/will be a problem if I read a bunch of Koontz back to back or even with just a month of each other. I think with the spacing I have though it should be ok.

The Good Guys Win. That knocked my rating up a half star easily. It is refreshing. Obviously not everybody makes it and there is a big enough group that no particular outcome is telegraphed in terms of survival so I never felt like any particular character was safe (except for the 2 kids, especially the autistic girl). That bit of tension is nice and made the story have a bit of “snap” to it.

I have no desire to ever re-read this book but that is pretty much how I’ve felt about all of Koontz’s books. With the amount he’s turned out though, that really isn’t a problem. A solid fun read that was just scary enough for me but not really scary (which is how I like my scary books).



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Measure for Measure ★★★☆☆

measureformeasure (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Measure for Measure
Series: ———-
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Comedy
Pages: 96
Format: Digital Edition



Duke Somebody leaves his city-state in the hands of a man the Duke trusts, or so he says. His real plan is for the stand-in, Angelo, to enforce the moral laws of the land that the Duke has been ignoring. Thus the Duke will get a more moral populace without having the outrage directed against him.

Unfortunately for him, Angelo turns into a tyrant and condemns a man to death for fornication. When the doomed man’s sister pleads for mercy, Angelo says he’ll forego the death sentence if she’ll have sex with him. The Duke, disguised as a monk, over hears everything that is going on and sets things up so that a woman Angelo spurned years ago takes the sister place. Angelo is fooled but reneges on his word. The Duke reveals himself to the jailor and comes up with a plan to save the doomed man.

The Duke sets everything in motion, then “returns” publicly. The sister and spurned woman cry for justice, Angelo says everything is all lies and then the doomed man comes forth, not dead after all. Angelo is forced to marry the spurned woman, so she has all the legal rights of a wife. The Duke then sentences Angelo to die just like Angelo sentenced the doomed brother to die.

The sister marries the Duke and everything turns out alright for everyone who is good.


My Thoughts:

There was a lot of wordplay humor here that amused me. Almost no physical comedy so that also helped. The story of a hypocrite getting his just desserts is always a good one.

That being said, I think the Duke is an ass. He supposedly knows Angelo from all the way back “when” and even knows he spurned the poor girl when her dowry fell through and yet he seems so surprised at how Angelo acts once he’s in control.

The way Angelo is presented at first came across as a hard nosed, take no nonsense kind of guy. I was rooting for him in fact. Time somebody cleaned up the filth. But of course, nobody can actually be good if they want to enforce the laws, oh no! They’re heartless brutes who secretly break the law themselves at every turn. Now, doesn’t THAT narrative sound terribly familiar? Wouldn’t surprise me if Democrats read Shakespeare as a How To instead of as a warning.

The whole thing with the Duke and the sister getting married just made me laugh. She is going to be a nun but puts her final vows on hold so she can save her brother. A couple of days later the Duke pretty much says ‘Woman, marry me!” and she’s all “You got it, you sexy beast”. Somehow I wonder if she would have turned into a “Naughty” nun, hahahahaa.

Overall, this was MUCH more enjoyable than the previous plays. I needed that, as reading unlikeable plays time after time was getting a bit wearisome.



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Road Trip to Izumo (Shaman King #6) ★★★☆½ (Manga Monday)

roadtriptoizumo (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Road Trip to Izumo
Series: Shaman King #6
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Copy



Yoh and Faust conclude their match. Yoh tricks Faust into overextending his mana and manages to destroy Eliza’s corporeal form. This sends Faust into a rage and a monologue where we find out Faust’s history and that Eliza is actually his dead wife. Faust wants to become Shaman King to bring her back to life. Yoh uses up his mana to destroy Eliza and thus loses the match. Faust tries to kill Yoh even though the match is over. Yoh is saved by Ren Tao because Ren’s next fight is with Yoh.

Yoh realizes he simply isn’t powerful enough and so makes a trip to his hometown Izumo. There his grandfather sends him through a cave for a 7day journey in full sensory deprivation.

At the same time it is revealed that Monta is the heir to Japan’s largest Electronics company and his getting almost killed doesn’t sit real well with his family. His dad tries to bundle him to America but Monta decides last minute to not get on the plane and to go to Izumo He has the company of Wooden Sword Ryu who has decided that he wants Yoh’s grandfather to train him as a Shaman. They run into a young girl who is in training who can read the future through her spirit guides Conchi and Ponchi. C&P are dirty minded little tricksters who simply are bored. Anna shows up and takes control and straightens everything out.

Yoh comes forth from the cave much stronger but now has to finish his training with his Grandfather.

The book ends with Ren Tao talking about his family and how he wishes they all were dead.


My Thoughts:

I have a presentiment that most of the future “reviews” of Shaman King will consist more of the synopsis than anything else. That’s one of the pitfalls of a fighting shonen manga. The battles themselves become more important than the storyline. This hasn’t reached that level yet but the training, powering up, etc has begun in earnest and new tricks will be revealed in each book. It is expected now and thus plot will be taking a second seat.

The background of Monta was really odd, as him being a Magnates heir just doesn’t seem to fit him. Of course, him being just 12 somewhat mitigates that. Considering the Oyamada’s feelings about Yoh I suspect some drama will ensue in later books. OR they’ll just disappear and we’ll never see them again. There is certainly enough “family” drama going on what with the Asakuras and the Tao’s. Speaking of Ren Tao, his desire to be the Shaman King to end his family’s cycle of death and revenge seems a bit off too, as it did with Monta. Doing what they want doesn’t seem the way to oppose them. Definitely shows that he’s not invested emotionally in his family’s vendetta against “whomever”.

The little cartoon spirits of Conchi and Ponchi definitely reminded me of Ren & Stimpy. While I never watched that particular cartoon, my friends all did and I heard more than enough and saw more than enough. Their pairing with the shy and reserved Tamao, the future reader, is genius on the manga-ka’s part, as they don’t actually have to be that bad to look bad since they’re being compared to Tamao. She can barely talk she’s so shy. The manga-ka definitely is jumping around with his characters to find the right “comedic” character so we’ll see if these 2 make a splash or not.

I think next month I won’t be doing a volume every week. It was ok this month but honestly, it’s a bit much to keep it up. Well, I say that as I’m recovering from being sick so maybe when I’m healthy I’ll feel full of vim and vigor and say “Piss & Vinegar! Give me that manga!” I doubt it though.



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Stomach Flu


I have been out of commission this week due to having gastroenteritis.  It started Monday morning about 4am and I ended up in the ER by Tuesday.  I’m on 2 antibiotics that make me sick to my stomach and I can pretty much only handle rice and applesauce in small quantities. I don’t feel any better than I did Tuesday so I’m giving it until Monday (when the antibiotics run out) and then I’ll make another appointment with my doctor.

Thankfully, I’m not throwing up or other nasty symptoms, just not hungry and a slight pain in my lower left abdomen.  Do you have any idea how boring it is to eat white rice multiple days in a row? And we’re talking about 1/4cup or less of the stuff, just enough to help make me not feel nauseous when taking the meds? It is BORING!




On the plus side, I’ve lost about 5lbs and gotten some quality reading time. But I won’t be real active here online, as you might have noticed.


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