July ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 20 ↑

Average Rating – 3.3stars ↑

Pages – 4059 ↓

Words – 1224.5K ↓

The Bad:
Isotopes – 1star DNF

The Good:
My Side of the Mountain – 4 stars
Madame Guillotine – 4 stars
Patient Zero – 4 stars
Gathering Storm – 4 stars


The Muppet Show Season Four was fantastic and laid to rest my fears of it burning out.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Manga & Comics:

Really hit the ground running with getting back into the visual medium. One Piece, while a re-read for the first bit, is just as amusing as ever and I think I’m going to do just fine with twice a month Manga Mondays.

The Spawn comics on the other hand, I just don’t know. They are pushing the boundaries of what I’ll accept for gruesome violence. I’m very conflicted at the moment.


I started using an insulin pump again after almost 13 years. It’s already making a difference and I’m generally feeling better. Being of a more hirsute nature there’s been a lot more shaving so the pod can stick to my body properly but man, the control is so much greater than I ever had with a needle. The picture below is of Kris Freeman, an olympic skier, who has type 1 diabetes. The pump is the white patch on his arm. It can also go on the belly and the thighs. I tried to find some other pictures, but they all tended to be of the skinny scantily clad women modeling the pod. Those kind of pictures don’t have a place on my blog. I was going to use a picture of myself modeling the pump but I didn’t want to make ol’ Kris there feel bad. You can tell he’s really trying but he’s just not up to my level, poor guy.

I read more “books” this month but with 5 of the 20 being comics that hit my Pages and Words numbers pretty hard. I’m ok with that though because it helped me fill in an entire month of Thursdays without having to be “creative” and come up with my own posts. While the writing well has definitely been filling up, I’m not really feeling the creativity. Once that comes back I’ll know I’m 100% back in the blogging game.

We got hit upside the head with some insurance stuff concerning the medication Mrs B has been taking for the last 8 or 9 years so we’re kind of in shock. That’s where our focus is at the moment and it’s going to necessitate some big life changes no matter how it gets resolved (new medication, new job/insurance or something we haven’t thought of yet, we just don’t know).

Plans for Next Month:

Definitely keeping Manga Monday going. I’ll let Spawn have it’s chance until the end of August and then decide if I’ll continue or not. If anyone has some suggestions for digital comics, I’m open to ideas.

I suspect August is going to be another review heavy month but I’m going to make an effort to add some non-review posts so it doesn’t become too heavy. I was thinking I hadn’t written any non-review posts for July but looking up above, there were 7 of them, so maybe August is going to be a carbon-copy of July?

The fifth and final season of the Muppet Show is on tap and I’ll continue my Project X series of posts. Trying to leave some days open for those “spontaneous” posts that pop out of me late at night (or used to anyway). So who knows what you’ll end up getting.

50 thoughts on “July ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

  1. Hope the missus and you will be oke. Much like you were willing to help us out last year when the first covid wave hit, please let me know if there is anything we can do for you. Having read the Ghosts series as well as the Reynolds novel in one month, i count as a personal win for me🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read digital comics on my laptop. An e-reader is too small for pictures and my eyes now.

      I’ve heard of 100 Bullets either by way of Wakizashi or Lashaan and the synopsis and their discussion of it didn’t sound like it was up my street.
      Thanks for the suggestion though.


        1. I’m looking for comics, whether DC, Marvel or Image or even something else. My manga is all set with One Piece.

          Lashaan, over at Bookidote, recently did a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review and I’m wondering about maybe trying the original stuff by Eastman & Laird.


            1. I’ve seen a couple of the new Swamp Thing’s reviewed by Paul Bowler and those were quite intriguing.

              I was not a fan of the Civil War idea, as I feel it came way too close to real world politics in terms of what powers the Government (whether national or worldwide) has and how they use them.

              As you can tell, I’m pretty picky. Which is why I don’t read any comics any more. Even trying to find stuff I’ll accept is tough going 🙂


    1. Just like Moses was the most humble man on earth, Bookstooge is the most modest 😉
      I do feel bad for new people who come onto my blog and see what appears to be brash arrogance but then I realize, if someone is put off by that, they probably wouldn’t like much else that i have to write either 😀

      Thanks. ‘we got a letter in the mail yesterday from the insurance that we’re hoping will clear some things up. Seems to be a massive case of ineptness on the dr’s staff, changes by the insurance and nobody telling us anything.


      1. Am I interpreting correctly that faults of the doctor’s staff could mean you have to change jobs or medicine to sort out the money problem? Or is there hope that because it was the fault of the dr’s staff you’ll be off the hook financially?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, if it is the staff’s ineptness, it means we can refile the paperwork, correctly this time, and get things covered.
          If it isn’t the staff, but the insurance company just deciding that they won’t cover X out of the blue when they have been for the last 9 years, then yeah, we’ll have to look for other healthcare options, which here in the US usually means a new job.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that was when the housing bubble here in the US imploded violently. Land surveying was/is tied to the housing market and so my hours were cut so much that I had to choose between my mortgage or health insurance. it was not a good time. Part time jobs supplied the money for necessities but part time jobs don’t supply health insurance.


  2. Oops, pressed enter by accident. I also wanted to wish you all the best with the money stuff. I don’t want to get into politics, but as a European the American healthcare system seems so stressful, and I’m told it still costs the American taxpayer more than most European systems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries. I know you’re not a rabid argumentative dick so I take your questions/comments as honest rather than anything else 🙂
      I don’t know how the EU healthcare system works beyond what I know from an online acquaintance or two over on Librarything, but here the Healthcare companies are amassing a great amount of power over peoples’ lives, and so people turn to the government. So for someone like me, that is the worst of all worlds.


      1. We pay taxes and the government provides a system that works quite well and takes care of most costs. We don’t have this distrust of government in our ideological genes and, while its not perfect, the net result is much less financial stress for everybody.

        Is religion also a reason for distrust of government, or what exactly do you mean with “someone like me”?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “someone like me” refers to the fact that turning to the government is just as bad as the healthcare companies amassing such power. Like cutting of your leg to stop the spread of gangrene and then dying of blood loss because nobody put a tourniquet on you .

          Yeah, governmental distrust is built right into our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

          I would say religion definitely plays a big part. Our founding fathers, and most christians today, adhere to the doctrine of total depravity. Which is polar opposite that people are basically good and getting better. You obviously set things up quite differently depending on what view you take.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’ll comment here, so that you don’t need to repeat what you already said to Bart. First – I do hope it will all get sorted out, financially and medically. I have a cousin who has a pump like that, she got diabetes a few years ago, in her forties… but copes with it well, luckily.

            As to the wider issue of a healthcare system… it’s a pity it got so politicised. This is a field that can actually be measured quite reliably, both its costs and its effects (health in population and longevity). And the American system clearly has big issues – that’s true even to people that don’t see state healthcare as the solution. I’ve spent 6 weeks in American Southeast, and healthcare was the second most popular topic when I talked to people – the first being Trump, as it was 2019. It happened several times – someone I just met would say, a couple of minutes into the conversation: “oh, you’re from Europe, how does healthcare work where you’re from?”. There were people working full time (not salaried, but longer hours than I do on my salaried job) really afraid of getting sick, saying that would hit them financially… not all wanted sth similar to what most European countries have, but nobody was happy about the current state of affairs.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. It´s interesting that catholic priests in Belgium (and I guess most European countries) don´t subscribe to that doctrine. Maybe because our society is actually quite nice to live in, for most people?

    I think power of big companies for sure is a problem too, but how would you solve that without politics?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That doesn’t surprise me. The more christianity tries to fit itself to popular culture, the less relevant it is. Why be saved if things are good?

      That’s the question, isn’t it? Part of the problem, as I see it, is that government intervention has allowed corporations to do what they have. The more you complicate a code, the more loopholes get created. So we’d have to work it backwards. But at least 45% of Americans have no interest in that and since we’ve become a defacto democracy, it’s not possible.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. Ok, I’m beat so this is probably going to be shorter than I anticipated this morning. That’s ok.

                  Being saved means having one’s sins forgiven and the punishment taken on by Jesus Christ. It also involves taking on the Second Nature (as opposed to our first fallen human nature), the nature of Christ. While that is a process, it starts now and is something ongoing.
                  Even going to heaven is more about being able to go into God’s presence and worship Him than avoiding hell or whatever promises about heaven have been made in the Bible. It’s a matter of motivation I guess?

                  But as for the hear and now, I’ve heard it described this way. We’re all little green apples. Our goal is to grow into big red delicious apples. That won’t ultimately happen until Jesus’ second coming and Christians get their new bodies. But we won’t suddenly turn from a grain of dirt into a full fledged red delicious. Part of God’s redemptive plan is to make us part of it.

                  To make it personal it means that I am constantly praying for more mercy in my life towards others, to be more kind and generous and in general to become the kind of man that Jesus was when He was here on earth.

                  Shoot me an email at bookstooge at protonmail dotcom if you’ve got more questions or need some stuff clarified. If you’re all set, then no worries 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. That’s clear, thanks for elaborating. One final question: are there specific requisites for Christ’s second coming in your view, e.g. there need to be enough apples already that are nearing red?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. No worries to your comment below 😀

                      As for this question. Only God Himself knows the exact time and reason for the second coming. There are hints (ie, one or two verses) that talk about God being merciful and allowing things to go on until everyone who would be saved is, but I definitely don’t subscribe to the Mormon heresy of a big batch of souls up in the sky waiting to be born and that Jesus can’t come back until they’re all born.

                      The books of Daniel and Revelation are the 2 books that deal with the End Times (how I hate that those words, so over used nowadays) and from them we can glean that certain events are going to take place. But both those books are sign posts, not a road map.
                      Plus, prophecy seems to be as much for the Great Controversy as for us humans. But that’s a whole different subject, even if tangentially related 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. I started doing my roundup on the last day of the month so when the yearly wrap up came it was easy to find all my stats to add them up 😀

      At least you’ve got through some, right? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry about Mrs B’s insurance snag! Hope you’ll be able to resolve it relatively painlessly! And good job with the pump! From what I heard the comfort of the pump is just unparalleled compared to ne needle, and it keeps the levels more even all the time.
    Dare I suggest Constantine/Hellblazer as your new comic? 😉 TMNT is not bad. Also, some of the SW “Legends” stuff is not bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I’m amazed that that’s a pump on his arm. Technology has come a long way. Glad you’re more comfortable being back on it now. I’m sorry to hear about the medication for Mrs. B. It’s so ridiculous, isn’t it? Our healthcare really needs to be revamped. One of the medications my mom takes is like $680 a month. It’s a medication she has to have to. Who can afford it?

    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully blame health care companies and being “for profit” with stockholders, etc.

      Tech really has. My previous pump was all tubing and I chose not to go that way this time. Too much chance of snagging stuff while I’m working. And with stuff like tegaderm, I don’t even have to worry about sweating it off.

      Thanks, you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah man, the insurance stuff sounds annoying. I hope you guys can figure something out that will work for the better. As for comics, your interest in TMNT recently seems like a nice place to start. I also recall you once enjoyed the Bone comics. Maybe a revisit of that lil guy might be nice? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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