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!

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.

The Trip

This is going to be a text heavy, picture-lite post. Mrs B took most of the pictures while I was out in California with her and since she’s not coming back for another 2 weeks, it’ll be at least that long before I get any 😀

Thursday’s Schedule:

  • Get up at 2:45am
  • get to the airport, park the car, check in luggage, breeze through security
  • I get the “special patdown” because my blood glucose sensor and insulin pump have sensitive enough electronics that the big whole body x-ray machine destroys them.
  • Get on the plane, read for 2.5hrs, land at Midway airport.
  • Sit around for 2.5hrs, eating and reading.
  • Get on the plane, fly to Ontario California airport. 4.5hrs of MORE reading
  • pick up our luggage and have the inlaws pick us up.
  • Go to their place and take a nap.
  • Got to Medieval Times for dinner and a show. I’ve been to Medieval Times once before about 15/16 years ago when Mrs B and I were courting. It was a blast then and I had a boatload of fun this time around too. Screamed myself hoarse in support of “our” knight, the Red Knight. Who turned out to be the good guy and won it all while defeating the evil Green Knight. Good stuff!
  • Go home and sack out like the dead

Friday I remembered why I didn’t go with Mrs B to visit her family very often. I am a list oriented, goal driven kind of guy. You make plans for a day, you stick to those plans. The first problem is that nobody in that family makes plans. They all have “ideas”. And they end up doing what they want at a whim. Thankfully, I had fully put myself in vacation mode, so it didn’t bother me, but I ended up sitting at home while they did various errands they had all forgotten about. I did go grocery shopping with them and fortified myself with an arsenal of caffeine drinks. Both Mrs B and I would sack out around 8pm (11pm our time, as there’s a 3hr time zone difference) and then wake up at 2-3am. It made for some very long days. Thankfully, naps were always in order 🙂

Saturday we went to a gothic cathedral SDA church in Perris Lake. Mrs B took a bunch of pictures so I’m sure at some point they’ll show up here. I found this one online, so you at least get an idea of what it looked like. It was about an hrs drive each way and we arrived at 9:30 and didn’t leave until a bit after 1pm.

We celebrated Mrs B’s birthday once we were home and thankfully her brother was up and about (he works the night shift) so he could join the festivities too. It was a nice family affair. I had plans for the evening, but made the mistake of laying down for a power nap at 7pm and next thing I knew it was 3am on Sunday morning! 😀

Sunday was when I had to fly home. They dropped me off at the airport where I got that special pat down again and then I read and read and read. I read on the plane, I read at the layovers, I read as much as possible. There were some delays so my flight didn’t arrive until about 2am, so I chugged a monster energy drink for the drive home and booked it.

Now I have today to recover, get fully back on East Coast Time and prepare to go back to work tomorrow. See you around…

♪Give Me a Ticket for an Aeroplane, ♪Ain’t Got Time to Take a Fast Train♪ Remix

One Score and Four Months ago Mrs B and I headed South to take a vacation and visit my parental pods. Tomorrow we embark on another adventure Out West to the violent and dangerous hills of California to visit the other set of parental pods. Sadly, this time around I will only be able to go for an extended weekend, but Mrs B will be able to take a full 2 weeks.

There will be posts going up while I’m gone but I will be incommunicado until sometime late next Monday, or possibly Tuesday (if the airlines screw me over like they have lots of other people in the last year).

Tata.

American Independence Day, July 4th

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

~ The American Declaration of Independence


I plan on posting the Declaration of Independence each year now. Too many people here in the United States of America have chosen security and pleasure over freedom and responsibility. God save us from ourselves.

Bookstooge | A Loner But Not Alone

A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled “Bookstooge | A Reviewer of One” and I thought it was high time to either repost it or update it. Reading through it I realized I needed an update style post instead of a repost. While some of the info in that post has changed (I’ll be touching on that later, especially in regards to other people), my own motivations and personal quirks have changed a bit too. And I wouldn’t want ANYONE to miss out knowing all about that kind of stuff.

So first off, other people. In the post previous mentioned, I had listed out 4 blogs where co-bloggers had really seemed to work out, even when life circumstances had changed. Well, those blogs have fallen victim to the usual outcome of co-blogging, which is what I was worried about back then. The Bibliosanctum is now carried on the capable shoulders of Mogsy alone. PCBushi is on life support and I haven’t seen the other Bushi’s in years. Lashaan valiantly tried to keep Bookidote going but eventually had to start his own site. And the Reading over the Shoulders brothers? Life priorities took them away from blogging completely. Nobody did anything wrong, it’s just that when you add another person to the blogging mix, you end up with 4 times the pressure, not just 2 times. I feel like my decision to stay solitary on the blogging journey has been fully justified.

What has changed however is me. I still fully stand behind myself as a Reviewer of One. But I have come to realize that I simply cannot go it a lone. I could not write into a void any more. I am ALSO not a spur of the moment writer any more. In fact,, as I type this, it is actually 3 weeks in the past. Hello citizens of the future! * waves * If I write 2 posts a month spur of the moment, or even the night before, that’s about as close to the edge as I get now.

Everything else stands though. I don’t want to share my blog with anyone. I only want posts that glorify me. I still want to be top dog and not have to worry about a co-blogger stealing all my awesomeness. In the words of the famous visionary Matrix Lincoln “I have a dream! That every blogger can write just as they want to and be totally awesome at it, dude.”

Matrix Lincoln said it, that settles it!

I have realized that over the last 5 years I have stayed A Loner in terms of writing but when it comes to blogging, I cannot do it Alone. (see, that right there is pure blogging gold!) That is part of why it feels personal every time a blogger stops blogging even though I know it isn’t. Sometimes how things are all mixed up inside of us really leaves me scratching my head wondering how we all survive getting out bed in the morning, much less function in a group.

Be that as it may. I stand here a testament to the power of sheer willpower and stubbornness of the dedicated but casual blogger. I am a Loner but I am NOT ALONE.

Blessed Resurrection Day!

death_defeated

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:5-10

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me….

….13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain….

….19 If in Christ we have hope[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep….

I Corinthians 15:3-8, 13-14, 19-20

Resurrection Day is one of the few days in the year where I lay aside my normal pessimism,  melancholy and general New England dourness and simply celebrate the Hope I have in Jesus Christ.

God bless you all.

How I Got Into Anime & Manga

How did I get into anime and manga? That’s a good question. Personally, I blame it ALL on the evils of tv, that damnable machine that brainwashes the masses. Yessirree bob, it’s all the fault of tv!

Back when I was young(er) I saw an episode or two of two shows that made a huge impression on me in terms of visualization. The first and easier to remember was Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Now, I have no idea WHICH version of Harlock I saw, as the rights to various incarnations are a complete mess to track down. But I remember a pirate ship, IN SPACE and a tough looking dude with an eyepatch. That makes an impression. Secondly, and more importantly, I remembered a single scene. There was a guy, on a motorcycle, racing through a forest with some sort of giant robot/monster coming after him. It turned out to be a scene from Robotech, specifically the scene from Robotech: New Generation where commander Scott Bernard is being hunted by the Invid. While not directly making me an anime fan, they made such an impression that how they looked always stuck with me.

When I graduated from bibleschool in 2000, I started working and rented a room from a couple at church. They had cable and I was introduced to Toonami and the wonders of Tenchi Muyo, Dragonball Z and the like. The internet was really taking off and forums were popping up like crazy. I watched Tenchi and became an ardent anime fan. I started ordering dvd’s as they became available. I began educating myself on what was available, what was coming and what it all meant. Witch Hunter Robin, RahXephon, Lodoss, Serial Experiments Lain, I watched them all and bought them. I pretty much spent almost all of my disposable income (but never a jot more) on anime. I bought t-shirts, wall scrolls, posters and constantly talked about what I was watching to my group of friends. One of my friends even wrote a parody blog post about how my anime evangelism had made her the ward of a rich old lady. It was a joke among us all and I didn’t mind because anime spoke to my very soul.

At some point I realized that not only was there anime, with its expensive and slow to release dvd’s, but there was manga, the book form. It was cheaper, had more story per volume and tended to come out a bit quicker. I also discovered the wonderful Dark Horse versions of Akira and that totally hooked me. I was a goner after that.

Not the versions I bought originally. Hardcover manga is EXPENSIVE.

Then I got married and the need for the romantic that was within me was pretty much fulfilled. I had my own Deedlit now. I didn’t need to live or dream vicariously. So my intake of anime dropped off quite precipitously. Then came the collapse of the housing bubble and our entertainment budget went to zero. So we were using the library a lot more and low and behold they had lots and lots and lots of manga. In 2009 alone I read close to 300 volumes. During that time I discovered that manga had a vast array of sub-genres and that some worked quite well for me (slice of life like Yotsuba) and that not ALL manga was for me. It allowed me to read it from a different perspective than I had from before I was married. It wasn’t a better or worse perspective, just different.

After my experiment with trying to re-read Oh My Goddess! and realizing the romantic side of things not only doesn’t interest me, it actually annoys me, I needed more adventure. Thus was my journey brought up to date when I started on One Piece. That should keep me going for years to come and if I need a break, I’ve got some other options all lined up.

I think that pretty much sums it all up. Au revoir and sayonara until the next post!

ps,
sorry for all the pix. I guess I kind of went crazy….