Review: Person of Interest on Freevee

With all of the talk about artificial intelligence, this older TV series, Person of Interest, now streaming on Freevee, seems oddly prophetic.

The series debuted on CBS in September 2011 and ran for 5 seasons until canceled in May 2016.


Starring Jim Caviezel as former CIA operative John Reese—a man presumed dead by the government agency who sent him to "take care of" traitors and others out to harm the USA—the action thriller is about a crime-fighting team that's somehow able to target violent offenders before they actually commit a crime.

With reclusive billionaire software genius Harold Finch, beautifully portrayed by Michael Emerson, Reese eventually recruits a couple of cops, a sociopathic computer hacker, and another CIA agent who was rescued before she was eliminated, the crime-fighting team rights wrongs, saves those targeted for elimination, and confronts crooked cops, gangs, evil politicians, terrorists, and other greedy evil-doers who care little about human life or an individuals rights.

They do all this because of the amazing computer software Finch created, aided by the billionaire's money, the cops' belief in law enforcement ideals, and the covert-ops training possessed by Reese and the other agent who ends up on the team.

Then there's the Belgian Malinois Reese rescues. This beautiful dog called Bear in the series is played by Graubaer's Bogar, and he is delightful.


In today's world when we've heard far too much about AI, you'll realize immediately that The Machine has to be an artificial intelligence, but don't let that deter you from watching this great action series.

The strength of this series and what makes it imminently binge-worthy is that everything is tied together from the opening scene to the ending which is the way it had to end based on the character's past. When I say it's all tied together, it's astrounding how a thread here and there in each episode gets added to the tapestry until the complete picture has been created.

With that kind of storytelling and the actors who are so believable, this is one of those series where you cannot keep from clicking "Next episode" until you realize that it's bedtime.

As previously mentioned, Michael Emerson is Harold Finch and Jim Caviezel is John Reese.

The other series regulars are: Kevin Chapman as Lionel Fusco, a crooked cop who wants to be a good cop; and Taraji P. Henson as NYPD homicide detective Joss Carter.

Later Amy Acker as sociopathic hacker Root who doesn't hesitate to kill to get what she wants and Sarah Shahi as Sameen Shaw, an Intelligence agent marked for death are added to the cast.

Brett Cullen as Finch's partner in the creation of The Machine makes an appearance every few episodes.

The one thing I really liked about the series is how they handled backstory. That was unique and made it possible to tell events from the past without bogging the story down.


It's rare you find an action series that is so believable. Great storytelling, great acting, and ripped from the headlines themes make this 13-year-old series seem far too realistic given what's happening in today's world.

If you're watching Person of Interest, what do you think?

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February Rafflecopter Is Closed

Yes, today was the last day to enter for a chance to win a Jane Austen Journal.

Only the Journal is the prize

I'll be out of the office for the first half of tomorrow. When I return, I'll begin verifying the entries so I can announce the winner as soon as possible.

Remember, I'll email the winner first and then post it to social media. By Thursday morning, I'll post it here on the blog.

Thank you to all who entered my February. I hope you'll stick around and read SlingWords and stay as subscribers to my newsletter and visit me on social media.

I have 3 ongoing projects I'm working on: formatting my ebooks for print, having audio editions of those books created, and diving into a new project—filing my income tax.

I won't be offering another Rafflecopter until at least one of those three projects is finalized.

In the meantime, stay up to date with news via my newsletter and this blog. I will be offering free books and possibly a giveaway on both venues.


Hope to see you all here Thursday if not before. Again, thanks for entering the February Rafflecopter Giveaway. 

Stephen Hawking's Fear Is Coming True

Do you remember when Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018, was asked what he thought was the biggest threat facing mankind? His answer, “Artificial Intelligence.”

In the last two weeks, I’ve been in on several email discussions about the effect of Artificial Intelligence on the Creative Arts like writing, graphic design, photography, and audio book narration just to name a few of the areas impacted by AI.

What do you think about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the world? Is it a boon to mankind or the first step toward Skynet destroying the world?

As an author, I know that AI has already become a problem. When AI came online and people started uploading dozens of books each day—obviously created by AI because it’s impossible for a human to write that many books and be ready to upload them—it took Amazon months before they set a limit on how many books could be uploaded in a day. 

Then it took more months before they enacted a “filter” on the Kindle Digital Publishing upload page. Now you have to check a box if any part of the upload was created using AI. However, there’s no way to verify the answer is truthful.

That may be in the process of being changed because I’ve heard that some publishers are running uploaded content through software that will assess whether it was human-created or machine-created. That has created fear among authors that their human-created content may be labeled AI-produced, and they will end up banned by the publisher.


Nothing is ever easy in the writing and publishing world. It seems there are always new problems facing us. Graphic artists, photographers, and actors are having the same AI issues.

Companies like Apple are urging authors to create audio books for Findaway Voices with the author paying for narration by an actor. When you upload the completed audio book, they'll distribute the audio books through Spotify.

Sounds good until  you read their Terms of Service. They plan to take the file you upload and use it for machine learning, i.e., Artificial Intelligence. Eventually, they won't need humans to read audio books. That unemployment line of creative artists will continue to grow.


Amazon is now testing the waters of AI narration of audio books. I guess there’s no end to the threats facing creative artists. We may become as extinct as the Passenger Pigeon. 

What’s the answer? I don’t know. I’m just a working writer. Maybe we should all engage in a massive letter/email writing campaign telling Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all the other publishers that we don’t want machines writing our movies, books, and music. 

We don’t want “fake” people cast in movies. Yes, that’s out there too. I’ve seen videos of people interacting with other people, and it looks real. But it was all AI created. Actor Keanu Reeves has taken a stand with his contracts and has a clause that says basically AI-generated “actors” won’t be allowed.

With AI generated people in videos so realistic, how can you trust what you may see on YouTube? You could see a video of someone famous assaulting another person, or a politician taking a bribe, and it might be an AI fake. It's scary.


What are we going to do when we can’t trust what you see?

Review - True Detective - Night Country on Max

True Detective: Night Country is season 4 of the critcally-acclaimed Max series and stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis.

Other cast members and guest stars are: Finn Bennett, Fiona Shaw, Christopher Eccleston, Isabella Star LaBlanc, John Hawkes, Anna Lambe, Aka Niviâna, June Thiele, Diane Benson, and Joel D. Montgrand.

If moving, dramatic, and an oppressive atmosphere make up the kind of viewing experience you favor, you'll love this dark, gloomy mystery thriller.

Written and directed by showrunner Issa López, (spoiler alert) Night Country makes one believe something supernatural is at play. Or, at least it implies that ethnic people are more in touch with unseen energies or forces.

I suppose in the end, it's up to the viewer to decide if that is what happens in this story, or perhaps what happens is the result of human villainy.

With Foster as the police chief and Reis as an Alaskan state trooper attempting to solve the mystery of what happened to 8 research scientists at a remote Arctic station, the story is enhanced by the film noir effect of the "days of night" that are listed during each episode.

I'm pretty sure Night Country wouldn't be recommended by the Alaska Tourism bureau. In fact, after watching it, I definitely wouldn't want to visit a place that dark, cold, gloomy, and depressing.

Most lead characters in a story have secrets and emotional baggage to overcome and "grow" as people. These 6 episodes boast every single character as deeply flawed, haunted by the past, unable to communicate civilly, and in tense, strained relationships with everyone in their lives. It's hard to find a character to "like" or root for when they all appear to need serious mental and emotional help.


To find out what had actually happened to the scientists and another mystery that was even more compelling. Not for the characters who were their own worst enemies. 

The inconsistencies exhibited by the characters were irritating. Supposedly they were both smart law enforcement officers, but they did a lot of stupid things. 

The kind of things that makes the viewer do an eyeroll and ask aloud, "Why did they go into an ice cave without a rope or a way of rescue if they fell?"

Just one example. The answer of course was that the plot called for them to find a hidden means of escape. Like Darling Hubby said, "I'm just glad that's over!"

The last few minutes of the story seemed out of place considering the content of the 6 episodes. It was as if the director, producer, or the showrunner/writer—whoever had the power to make decisions—decided that there had to be something upbeat that showed Foster's character had changed.

So there were 2 scenes of her being affable—smiling and answering questions without blowing up and a scene of her smiling and laughing with her stepdaughter. I suppose that symbolized character growth. Oh, and the sun was also shining so the "days of night" had obviously ended.


Make no mistake, Foster and Reis gave stellar performances, but I would not watch this again. I know my review disagrees with the critics so maybe this is something you'd like? Like the old song goes, "Different strokes for different folks."

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Monday Magic - Make Music With Soundation

If you're struggling to find free music for videos, consider making your own.

Yes, in today's world there are many websites that offer the ability for you to put together your own sound: beats, instrumentals, loops, sounds, and special effects.

Soundation is one of those websites. They offer tutorials, samples, and even have a free plan so you can try it. If you like what you create, you can export it to your computer.

Besides the free plan, there are 3 tiers of subscriptions with the least expensive $4.99/month billed annually.

Take a look at Make Music on the menu bar. It's awesome what you can do.


If music is your thing, try making your own. You may be in for a delightful surprise. Like always, please read the Terms of Service so you'll know exactly what you can and cannot do and what it will cost you.

Several options to enter. Winner selected by Random draw. Giveaway ends Feb. 27, 2024.

Be the Best You

I have my morning cup of coffee in my hand, and I'm ready to give y'all some Love.

What do you do when you watch a video, read a blog, or hear someone say, "Go out there and be the best (whatever) possible"?

I roll my eyes because it's a meaningless platitude.

Wouldn't it be better advice to say, "If you can't be THE best, be YOUR best." I think that's true because being YOUR best is within the realm of possibilitiy.

Striving to be YOUR best allows for the reality that only one can be THE best, but anyone can learn, work, and try to improve to be YOUR best. Think about that. Don't waste time in attain the unattainable.

Wouldn’t your energy and time be better spent in trying to be the best you? You with your voice, your style, your personality, your skills, your experiences? You are the one and only original YOU. That's a great thing.


Forget about being the best. Work on being YOUR best. Be the best you.

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Cooking Conversion Chart-Imperial to Metric Formula

This is my last post about converting Imperial, or English, measurements to Metric.

Here are the 3 other Cooking Conversion Charts in case you missed those posts.

Conversion Chart: Liquid Spoon Measure to Milliliters

Conversion Chart: Liquid Cup Measures to Liters.

Today's chart gives the math formulas that should work if you didn't print the other posts and place in your cookbook.

Imperial or English Measurement to Metric Measurement

When a recipe calls for ( )       Multiply By               To Find ( )

teaspoons (tsp.)                           5.0                            milliliters (ml)

tablespoons (tbsp.)                    15.0                            milliliters (ml)

fluid ounces (fl. oz.)                 30.0                            milliliters (ml)

cups (c.)                                      0.24                          liters (l)

pints (pt.)                                    0.47                          liters (l)

quarts (qt.)                                  0.95                          liters (l) 

ounces (oz.)                              28.0                            grams (g) 

pounds (lb.)                                 0.45                          kilograms (kg)

Fahrenheit (F.)            first, subtract 32                      Celsius (C)                                                                                                   then multiply by 5/9


Next Saturday, I have a recipe to share. I hope these conversion charts help you with your cooking and baking. See you next weekend!

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Click to enter Joan's February Rafflecopter Giveaway 

If the winner is in the USA, the prize is this lovely Jane Austen Journal with the blank pages decorated with drawings and quotations from Jane Austen.

If the winner is outside the USA, the prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Several options to enter. Winner selected by Random draw. Giveaway closes Feb. 27, 2024.

Review - Appaloosa on Max

If you like traditional westerns, or at least western movies with a traditional feel to them, then you need to watch Appaloosa, a 2008 film based on the novel of the same name by Robert B. Parker.

Starring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, the screenplay was co-written by Harris and Robert Knott and won 4 awards including the Western Heritage Award in 2009.

Also starring Renee Zellweger as the woman who comes between them and Jeremy Irons as the villain, the story is set in the 1880s in the mining town of Appaloosa.

Virgil Cole (Harris) and his partner and friend Everett Hitch (Mortensen) are in the business of bring justice to the lawless towns of the Southwest—for a price.

The town's citizens are tired of rancher Randall Bragg (Irons) and his men bringing chaos and terror when they come to town. When a young and pretty widow (Zellweger) arrives by stage, she creates a complication for the two friends.

 Yes, the story has been told before, but the acting, the atmosphere, and the cinematography elevate the common story. Harris and Mortensen are perfect in the role. Even though you think you know what the outcome will be, you may be surprised.

This movie is showing on Mas and also Prime Video. It's even available on Amazon in BluRay at a low price.


We really enjoyed the movie. It was compelling with such honest and believable portrayals of the characters. If you like westerns of any type, you'll probably like it too.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click links in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

For a chance to win a Jane Austen Journal (if you reside in the USA) or a $10 Amazon Gift Card (if you reside outside the USA).
Winner chosen by random draw from eligible entries.
Entries will be verified for eligibility.
Giveaway closes February 27, 2024. 

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5 Random Nonessential Facts

I just found these kind of weird and kind of funny so of course I wanted to share them with you.

1. If you write the word stressed backwards, it spells desserts. How about that? The cure for being stressed is in the word!

2. The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

3. Jane Barbie was the woman who did the voice recordings for the Bell System. Maybe it really is a Barbie World?

4. 7.5 million toothpicks can be created from a cord of wood. Anyone actually know how much wood is a cord of wood? Leave a comment if you do.

5. Minus 40 degrees Celsius is exactly the same as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Is that really true? (Personal Note: It seems weird, but I'm too lazy to take the math formula to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius to find out.)


There you go. Some useless trivia to stump your friends with at the next party.

Several options to enter. Giveaway ends Feb. 27, 2024.

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Monday Magic--GetLinkInfo

Are you hesitant to click links that have been shortened? You know, those URLs that are tinyurl,,,,, etc.

If you sometimes wonder where such a link goes, you need to use GetLinkInfo.

This free online app is easy to use. Just paste the link in the Get Link Info box, and it will tell you where the link goes.

Bookmark the link so if you're ever concerned about clicking a link, just check it out with GetLinkInfo.


Since this is a review for an app that examines short links, this is a short post. Let me know if it was helpful.

Several options to enter. Winner selected by Random draw. Giveaway ends Feb. 27, 2024.

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Sunday Thoughts About Valentine's Day

Foundation of image: Sunday by J LloaPixabay
Valentine's Day—just a few days away—inspired today's post.

Cynics say Valentine's Day was a holiday created by the greeting card industry, but celebrating this day has been a part of our culture for a long time.

Some think this day is a tribute to the martyred Saint Valentine, but there's some controversy about that.

One version of the Saint Valentine story is that in the 3rd century, a priest was put to death on February 14 by Emperor Claudius II. He'd been convicted of marrying couples after the emperor had banned  marriage because he thought it distracted young soldiers.

The other version of the Saint Valentine story is that he was imprisoned and put to death in Rome because he tried to help Christians escape prison. 

Supposedly, he sent a message he wrote while in prison and signed it, "From your Valentine," which means it was the first valentine. I wonder if the Vatican can provide the real story.


Others claim the holiday is based on a Lupercalia, pagan fertility festival celebrated in  ancient Rome on February 15. 

The festival honored Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as Romulus and Remus who founded Rome. Those early Romans celebrated the festival by sacrificing animals.

Hmm. Seems some kind of sacrifice was always a hallmark of a festival in ancient times. 

Apparently, they also went around hitting women with animal hides because they thought it encouraged fertility. Some psycho guy must have come up with that.

Just give me a sweet Valentine card please! 


At the end of the 5th century, Roman Pope Gelasius officially declared February 14 as "St. Valentine's Day.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages when the holiday became linked to love and romance. Why then? Because it was a common belief in France and England that birds started mating on February 14.

The first known official record of a valentine being sent was a poem written by a French duke  in 1415 to his wife in which he called her, "My very gentle Valentine."

Handwritten messages of love continued through the centuries until mass-production of Valentine cards began in the 1840s which were sold by Esther Howland.

In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the heart-shaped box for Valentine's Day candy.


More than 250 million roses are grown for this holiday, more than 145 million cards are exchanged, and candy is the most common gift. Jewelry and a special evening out also are common to celebrate the day.


Whether you're a cynic or a romantic, take the opportunity on Valentine's Day to show those you love—spouse, sibling, parents, grandparents, or friends—how much they mean to you.

Several options to enter. Giveaway ends Feb. 27, 2024.

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