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 :-/

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..

The Hotel Bookstooge – Now Open for Business

Back in 2018 I started working on my blog to neaten things up (Site Update). Four and a half years later, I have finished. All 4060 of the books I have read since April of 2000 now each have their own little room in The Hotel Bookstooge. (+/- for omnibus and the occasional stray manga volume I lost track of)

And the best part? They can’t check out NOR can they leave. Mwhaahahahahahaa.

I’d like to thank everyone of you who gets posts emailed to them for putting up with this construction. I know this added up to a LOT of emails over time (and sometimes even within just a couple of days) but you can rest assured, the last beam of lumber has been cut, the final coat of paint has been splashed on the walls and the staff have all been vetted and are ready to cater to my every whim. So please, enjoy!

I would say feel free to wander around and check out the over 4000 rooms, but there is a small cover fee to keep the riffraff out. I’m sure you understand. Oh, and watch out for security. I’ve set them on “kill” instead of “stun” because it’s more fun that way. That way as I watch you on the cameras I can be sure you’re genuinely terrified as you run screaming down the falls, begging for mercy and desperately trying to find the way out. My goodness, I’m already chortling in glee just thinking about it! Sounds like a great time, eh?

And to help you take the first step on your fun filled adventure, just click the following link which will take you to a random page on the blog. And THAT service is on the house! Yes, yes, I know, I’m just too generous.

CLIKCC MEE (or else. jus’ sayin’)

Of course, the only problem is what do I do next? I shall have to give that some serious thought. Cheers!

The Third Lynx (Quadrail #2) ★★★✬☆

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 Third Lynx
Series: Quadrail #2
Authors: Timothy Zahn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 266
Words: 99.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org & Me

The Third Lynx starts several months after the events of Night Train to Rigel. Having destroyed the hub world of the Modhri, Frank Campton is riding the Quadrail with Bayta, his traveling companion and friend, when a murder occurs on the Quadrail car which he is traveling on. The victim is a middle-aged man who had proposed a deal to Compton a few hours before.

Turns out some valuable art pieces of an unknown race are actually parts of a weapon that can go undetected through the Quadrail sensors. Frank and Bayta must capture the remaining pieces so it can’t be reverse engineered. They stop the pieces from falling into the hands of the Modhri’s walkers, only to discover there is a whole planet filled with the weapons, and not only weapons, but spaceships as well.

My Thoughts:

When I originally read this back in ’08 I stated that I hoped Zahn would dig a little deeper into the universe he’d created here. Having read the whole series I know he didn’t but oddly enough, knowing that actually allowed me to enjoy this a bit more this time around.

I wasn’t worried about trying to read a cracking fantastic scifi detective story. I just had to enjoy a decent sf detective who was as laid back as if he’d been smoking blunts his whole life. Despite many protestations to the contrary, at no time did Frank Compton ever come across as worried or afraid. I’m afraid he was lit to the max.

Whatever relationship Zahn was trying to create between Frank and Bayta came across as weird, uncomfortable and just plain awkward. It felt like watching two 13 year olds trying to talk to each other. It was almost as uncomfortable to read about as it seemed to be for them to actually do.

And I still had a good time reading this. Weird huh?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

9/11 – An Unbearable Weight of Remembrance

Another year, another day, another time to remember what happened. Last year I mentioned how hard it was getting to remember this. Not in terms of forgetting, but in terms of remembering in the face of a whole generation who it means literally nothing to.

I can remember growing up and wondering why Pearl Harbor Day was on the calendar. Sure, I knew that PHD had happened and it was a bad time but that was way back in my grandfather’s day. I was watching anime from japan and I had a sony dvd player for goodness sake. I could say “ohayo” with the best of them (that’s “good morning”). I couldn’t understand why People were still trying to remember something from so long ago.

Now I understand. And it is a weight upon my shoulders. Every year it gets heavier and becomes harder to even think about it, much less publicly remember it. And I will cry each year in private and wonder if I’m the only one left who is remembering and then the next day I will be fine and know that others were grieving as well. I am not alone in my pain and tears. So each year I post about it and then wonder if I’m being a middle aged fool. Until the next year rolls around and I repeat it all over again. I will drag these chains another year so that the kids don’t have to. They will get their own chains soon enough, no need to burden them with this. This is MY pain to deal with.

I will remember 9/11.

August ’22 Roundup & Rambling

Raw Data:

Novels – 15 ↑

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.33 ↑

Pages – 4125 ↓

Words – 1162K ↓

The Bad:

One Piece #28 – The only under 3star rating this whole month!

The Good:

A Season in Carcosa – 4.5stars of Almost Perfect cosmic horror

Movie:

The 2015 tv revival of The Muppets made them rude and crude instead of laughable and lovable.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Batched the first week of the month as Mrs B was still out in California visiting family. Got sick in the middle of the month for a couple of days and then worked and read, worked and read. I just felt super busy the whole month even when things were going fine.

Had a baptism at church, which was really nice, went to a company lunch one friday (which was great because we still got paid but didn’t have to work those 3hrs), visited the SDA church one Saturday and tried to get a game of boardgame Doom going with my brother.

WordPress “updated” in the background at some point this month and they broke the ability to copy/paste multiple items into the Title bar of a post. Since I c/p the title, series and rating, I had to figure out an alternate way. I emailed WP and they confirmed it was the update doing the breaking and they also confirmed it wouldn’t be fixed at least until the next update. So I had to start using blogger as my primary blog and then WP as the backup. Blogging is just becoming a hassle and WordPress seems fixed on their course of driving away the casual blogger. I am really stressed about it. It is cumulative stress too, so it doesn’t go away. The block editor, which I am used to, still makes me angry to use, WP’s various shenanigans with their plans and addons and crap and now something “basic” isn’t working. It feels like I am dragging a ball and chain behind me every time I go to blog and I am starting to really, really, really hate it.

My Librarything usage has also been dropping and since the few people I interacted with on a social level had dwindled as well, I began cutting back at LT soon after the month began. Starting this week I’ve cut the cord completely. One less place I have to copy/paste and keep track of information. I feel like I’m re-trenching on multiple fronts. That’s not good, because you only retrench when you’re in a war, and usually only when you are losing that war. Reviewing has become a war that I’m losing. While I know my moods affect how I feel about blogging, the fact that I am feeling this way at all about it is a big fat warning sign to me. I’ll be giving it all some serious consideration over the coming months.

Plans for Next Month:

September is going to be a very full blogging month. So much so that I’ll be double posting on Mondays. One will be the typical Magic the Gathering post and the next one will be a book review, hopefully at noon. Might be some timing issues due to WP being idiotic but it will at least go up on my site at noon.

I’ve got to write about September 11 and do the next Muppets thing and everything else will be book reviews, book reviews, book reviews. I have GOT to get caught up, so September gets to be the month I pack them all in. I know book review posts aren’t as fun to read, but my backlog has almost doubled between the reading time I had while in California and the sick time I had this month. So prepare yourselves to be socked between the eyes. If I feel the need to write some other non-book review stuff, well, then that’ll be another double posting day as well.

WordPress Woes

Just a little rant post to get things out of my system. WordPress has been misbehaving in little areas and it’s really annoying me. I don’t know if it is WP updating in the background (every time something goes wrong it seems like it is because they updated something without fully testing it and so they screw over hundreds of thousands of people all at once) or if it is my browser being updated or some of my plugins.

I use Chrome with adblockplus and Ublock Origin. So far they have played very nicely with WP. Every month or so I do have to clear my chrome cache or wp starts acting funny, but since I prefer to do that anyway as a security precaution, it’s never been an issue.

Recently, nothing I change in the editor has been sticking. When I select the “top tool” option to keep the tools stuck on the top of the post, the next time I enter the editor the toolbar is right back to being on each block. When I open the “category” option on the right, it doesn’t stay open like it used to nor does the “tag” option.

When I write a review, I write everything in OpenOffice and then copy/paste over here. I’ll copy the title and series into the title bar and then copy/paste the star rating after that. Today I am finding that I cannot do multiple copy/pastes into the title bar. If there is something written there and I go to copy/paste, it overwrites what is written there with what I am trying to copy/paste. So I had to copy/paste the title and series into notepad, THEN c/p the star rating into notepad and create one line and THEN c/p that into the title block of WP. That is total BS.

I tried using MS Edge with no addons to see if it was chrome, but the exact same thing happened. Couldn’t copy/paste multiple items. So I shot off an email to WP describing it and telling them to fix it.

I just want WP to work. Instead, they tinker and break things and lie about it to our faces and generally act like nothing is the matter. Little things like this DO matter. It adds up. I shouldn’t be stressing out over a damned hobby. Personally, I hope these issues are because of chrome and the plugins. I can fix those easily enough. But if it is WP, there’s nothing I can do but wait and hope they fix what they broke.

ps, I’m so annoyed I’m seeing red right now….

Binstagramm – An International Craze

Apparently, Binstagramming is the next big social media craze. Thankfully, amongst the WP4, we have our own Binstagramm expert, one Alex Gooderer. With one post Alex set the internet ablaze. Before I knew it, people were Binstagramming left and right. Posts, comments, it was everywhere! The pressure was intense and before I knew it, I too was caught up in this craze that was sweeping the world.

So without further ado, here is my amateurish attempt at Binstagramming. Technically, it’s a Dumpstergramm, but in the spirit of brotherhood and inclusiveness, I’m calling it close enough.

July ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ↓

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.17 ↓

Pages – 4271 ↑

Words – 1303.5K ↑

The Bad:

The Best of Lester Del Rey – 1/2star of the Worst!

Bethink Yourself – 1star DNF of war is bad, blah, blah, blah

The Good:

Pyrate Cthulhu Vol 1 – 4.5stars of awesome cosmic horror

Battlefield Earth – 5stars of nostalgia that has run its course

Movie:

Muppets Most Wanted was a fantastic movie and I loved it! Enough that I’ll be buying it on bluray.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Got sick at the beginning of the month and missed the July 4th extended weekend. That was a real bummer. Going to California for a couple of days was a nice relaxer time though. Other than that, work, work, work. With the housing market still being wicked hot (despite the best efforts of certain people), my work is NOT slowing down like I thought it might. Maybe later this year in winter I’ll get a break? I can hope.

On the book side of things, my numbers were looking pretty good. My average rating went down but with the various stinkers I had I was expecting that. So all the other numbers going up was great. I like my numbers going up.

On the blog side, the numbers are all over the place and still make no sense to me. Of course, it feels like people are either taking breaks or flaming out. In all honesty, it just takes one person leaving blogging to make me feel that way, so it’s not hard to get to that place, sigh. It is not hard to mess with my head 😉

One of the big lotteries here in the US, Mega Millions, got up to over 1 Billion dollars. Talk about a boatload of cash! I obviously didn’t win. But even if I had, I certainly wouldn’t be telling all of you and shouting it out on my blog, now would I? I might be one of the world’s biggest egotists, but I’m not that stupid 😀 But it was really fun to think what it would be like to win that.

Plans for Next Month:

I got nothing. Just trying to pump those reviews out and not fall too far behind. I’ve still got like 8 reviews to write just to get caught up and every day that passes brings yet another to write. Oh, I might try for a Binstagramm post. I hear it’s the next big thing online. One post and I’ll become an Internet Celebrity. But don’t worry, I won’t forget all you little people.