The WP Reader Just Changed On Me!

I was using the WP reader this afternoon, sometime between 4-5pm’ish and things were how they had always been. I took a nap, went to church small group and came back around 9pm and jumped on WP to see if anyone had said anything important, or amusing, or (hopefully) both. I refreshed my chrome session and voila, the WP reader changed drastically on me. It looked like the filthy app on my phone! At first I thought I had hit some hidden button and changed things, but no, I’m pretty sure WP just redesigned the Reader without telling any of its users.

Has it changed for any of you yet? I am still grasping at straws that I somehow did something that I can then undo. I do NOT like this “app” looking thing on my laptop. I am on an internet browser on a laptop, I want the full bloody thing, not some screwed up abortion that some miserable useless tech head thinks I should have.

I don’t need this kind of ridiculous crap at bed time :-/

Lucia In London (Mapp & Lucia #3) ★★★☆☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Lucia In London
Series: Mapp & Lucia #3
Authors: E.F. Benson
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humorous Fiction
Pages: 292
Words: 84K

★★★☆☆

The Second Confession (Nero Wolfe #15) ★★★✬☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Second Confession
Series: Nero Wolfe #15
Author: Rex Stout
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 199
Words: 73K

★★★✬☆

Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 3 ★★★★☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 3
Series: Gulag Archipelago
Authors: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 537
Words: 229.5K

★★★★☆

September ’22 Roundup & Rambling

Raw Data:

Novels – 21 ↑

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.07 ↓

Pages – 6116 ↑

Words – 1919K ↑

The Bad:

Dead Silence – 1star of totally awesome space horror RUINED by scyenze and romance

Hunting Zero – 1star read that killed this already dead series for me.

The Good:

American Assassin – The ONLY 4star read I had this month. sigh….

Movie:

Muppets Now, while quite enjoyable, had some serious flaws as an episodic show, in my opinion. There hasn’t been a season 2 yet and I doubt there ever will be.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

What a busy, busy month. The only way I got through all the blogging was knowing that October was going to be totally different (more on that in the next section). After August’s R&R and realizing I was on the edge of burnout, I spent this month strategizing. It helped me mentally and emotionally (you try being an introspective introvert who hates people yet still wants to be liked).

Work still continues to be the dominant part of both my and Mrs B’s life. We are both working overtime every week and the holiday season is approaching (Mrs B has already seen Christmas stuff getting readied to be out on the sales floor, boooo!). So Mrs B is only going to get busier and my own work shows ZERO slow down. We’re still running about 2 months behind (so if you call and hire us, we won’t be able to get there for 7-8 weeks) so this winter is probably going to be as busy as ever. I’m tired just thinking about it.

The weather started to change, which was much appreciated. Some mornings it was chilly enough so you could see your breath but the afternoons were still warm enough that t-shirts and shorts were more than enough. With the drought we’re having I don’t know what is going to happen for the foliage. Glad I’m not a leaf peeper.

Utilities are skyrocketing in price. The electrical company instituted a price hike that comes out to about a 50% across the board hike. It’s all in the “service” part of the bill so you can’t even offset it by trying to use less electricity. Once the cold weather hits and we have to turn on the furnace, and the natural gas bills start coming in, well, it’s going to be an expensive winter. Thank goodness I have 3 can of campbell’s chunky soup in reserve!

On the good side of things, Mrs B and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. God has truly blessed us together and we are so thankful He led us to the other. We don’t take it lightly. The stability we provide for each other is priceless.

I’ve also been playing the board game Doom with my brother every 3-6 weeks and that has been a blast. I keep taking pictures of the board and mini’s when we’re playing but my goodness, it is HARD to get even decent pix out of it, much less good ones. I’m going to keep trying though and maybe in the next month or two I’ll have a mini’s update about it.

The Hotel Bookstooge opened up fully for business. That project was probably the biggest one I’ve undertaken in regards to blogging in my whole experience so far. I’m very glad it’s finished and now all I have to do is decide what’s next!

Ended the month being sick with the flu and bronchitis. I was out of work all of last week and this week, while I went back, I was moving like a dead man. I can’t wait until I’m all better.

Plans for Next Month:

I’m still reading up a storm but for October, while I’ll be posting reviews, said reviews will only contain all the data I put in the very beginning. Pretty much going back to my roots of 2000-2001 and how I reviewed books then. That cuts about 90% of the writing so that pressure just isn’t on me. That will have the twofold effect of relieving the pressure and also letting my word well recharge. I won’t even be adding covers. We’re talking straight up text posts. LITTLE text posts too.

Depending on how that goes I might carry that format on for the rest of the year. Once my words get recharged and I keep on doing the minimum for reviews that will allow me to start writing some non-review posts again. It’s been months since I’ve written something based on an idea that popped into my head at 2pm or some such thing. I need the spontaneity back and I can’t do that if all my words go to just reviews. I’m a blogger, not just a book reviewer and it is time to take that aspect back.

I suspect October will be a recovery time for me and not a “hey, look at me blogging about Whatever” kind of month. Lots of tiny review posts. I’m hoping it will also help me to clear my head about blogging in general and using wordpress in particular. I’ll still be commenting away and if you have any questions on any of the reviews, I’ll be glad to answer, in the comments..

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9 ★★★☆☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9
Authors: Peter Laird & Kevin Eastman
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 36
Words: 3K



Synopsis:

This is a prequel comic of sorts, but I’m not sure exactly. There’s no April O’Neal or space triceratops or robots or even the Foot Clan, but there are ninja’s with machine guns.

A dying samurai must pass on his heritage to his grandson who lives in America. He possesses Splinter’s body and Splinter and the boys track down the grandson. And are all promptly attacked by gun ninjas. The Turtles save the day, allow the spiritual succession to happen and everyone goes home happy. Except the dead gun ninjas. Because it’s wicked hard to go home happy when you’re dead.

My Thoughts:

Thankfully this was directly involved with the TMNT even while being a standalone story. It was hokey though and was about as 80’s as you could ask for. Samurai, ghosts and machine guns. All together. If that doesn’t scream The 80’s to you, then maybe you’re just too young. Young’en.

While I enjoyed this more than the previous issue with Cerebus the grumpy and dumb aardvark, I am finding that I want an overarching storyline from the TMNT. I get all the standalone I need from the Groo and Asterix comics and don’t need it here. Just gotta hang on while the artists get their act together.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Conan and the Manhunters (Conan the Barbarian) ★★★✬☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Conan and the Manhunters
Series: Conan the Barbarian
Authors: John Maddox Roberts
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 197
Words: 88.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org & Me

Conan, imprisoned by a satrap named Torgat Khan, escapes and is reunited with a band of thieves he’s leading in the deserts southwest of Turan. Subsequently, the thieves plan on looting the Khan’s treasury, held in a vault beneath the newly built temple of the sinister cult of Ahriman, the priests of which hope to revive their ancient god. Persuaded that mystical aid will be needed to ensure success, Conan agrees on accepting the aid of a kind wizard named Volvolicus and his daughter, Layla. After stealing the Khan’s treasure, Conan is pursued by the Manhunters, a band of bounty hunters with specialized skills led by a captain even more powerful than Conan himself. Through his own skills, and those of his new allies, Conan thwarts his pursuers while preventing the resurrection of Ahriman.

My Thoughts:

In some ways this was better than I was expecting and in others it wasn’t as good. First the bad.

From the cover I was expecting Conan to fight some super duper evil monster thing. While there is a monster or two, they end up being on Conan’s side and are as much illusion as anything. Conan doesn’t fight any monsters like that. That was VERY disappointing.

The good is the cosmic horror side of things. Arhiman the evil is an entity of darkest evil, an old god and a tentacled horror. He was banished way back when from our plain of existence. A couple of his priests are trying to bring him back, but Conan’s first raid on the temple upsets things so that Ahriman won’t be brought back as a fully intelligent creature with all his memories. Instead, he’ll be a maddened maw of hunger, ready to devour the whole world. Fighting against that, how cool, eh?

I have to say, when Conan is fighting wizards is when he’s at his best. Mundane earthly problems are nice, but he really needs the “sorcery” for his sword to shine its brightest.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Capriccio (One Piece #30) ★★★✬☆

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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Capriccio
Series: One Piece #30
Arc: Skypiea #7
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 207
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Shandian Rhythm”

“Maxim”

“Conis”

“Pirate Luffy vs. Kami Eneru”

“Floating”

“Deathpiea”

“Desire”

“On the Front Line of Rescuing Love”

“Sorry”

“Capriccio”

To save her own skin, Nami convinces Eneru to take her with him. They leave for the golden ship, leaving the defeated combatants to their fate. After Luffy escapes from the giant snake, and learns what Eneru has done to his crew, he goes to meet Skypiea’s god in battle. Although initially confident that he can beat Luffy, Eneru soon finds that he is no match for the Straw Hat captain: Luffy’s rubber body makes him immune to all of Eneru’s lighting attacks. Rather than fight, Eneru traps Luffy in a prison of gold and throws him overboard, expecting the gold’s weight to keep him away. Eneru sets sail and prepares to destroy the island in the sky. He is briefly impeded in his efforts by the remaining Straw Hats, Usopp and Sanji, giving the inhabitants of Angel Island, who have learned of Eneru’s plans, time to evacuate.

My Thoughts:

Muuuuuch better. All of the cannon fodder have been expended so now we get Kami Eneru fighting against whoever opposes him. Which comes down to the Straw Hat Pirates. Eneru and Luffy have a tussle and beat the snot out of each other with the balance of the fight being like a teeter totter, first one then the other is winning. Eneru wipes the deck with the rest of the Straw Hats.

Eneru’s plan to destroy the sky island like he did his own sky island doesn’t make any rational sense. I get that he wants to leave and go be powerful down on the world beneath, but why destroy everything? Because he’s a psycho bitch, that’s why. He’s the very definition of power run amuck. Whoever his mother was did a terrible job. And his father? Should have spanked him. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that Eneru is very powerful and has had no check upon his power to this point.

The volume ends with the plan to destroy the island entering its final phase. While I know that Luffy and Crew are going to defeat Eneru, part of me hopes that he gets away mostly unscathed just so he can run into some other more powerful Pirate Lord and REALLY get his ass handed to him. Eneru needs to die and he needs to die painfully and gruesomely.

I actually want to read the next volume now. Which was not the case after the last couple and that is a really nice change.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.