May ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ⭤

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.03 ⭤

Pages – 2735 ↓

Words – 817K ↓

The Bad:

The Gathering Flame – 1star read that killed the Mageworld series for me 😦

The King in Yellow Tales – 1star DNF of utter poetic insanity (and not the good kind!)

The Good:

Monster Hunter Bloodlines – 4.5stars of Cowboy Pirate Murder Ghost awesomeness!

Three – 4stars of pretty good re-read’ness

Movie:

Sherlock Season One was very enjoyable to watch but it was a good thing I did a buddy watch with SavageDave. I simply couldn’t blog very well about it. Every post was a real battle to write.

A Study in Pink, The Blind Banker and The Great Game.

The Muppet’s Wizard of Oz on the other hand, well, it was so bland and boring that it made oatmeal think it was Tabasco Man! and I was practically on cruise control for writing this. Easy-peasy.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

The month started off pretty good. Church was going along swimmingly, the weekends were filled with fun things (like the DOOM boardgame) and even work was going well.

While things overall went well, a couple of stress points hit me pretty hard. Nothing at all serious, just stupid things that I let mess with my head. Being an introspective introvert certainly has its downsides. I’m hoping that I’ve worked through them but I guess I’ll be finding out in the coming month :-/

The price of gas is starting to be a serious consideration now, as is the price of food. Trying to be much more “planned” in even our little trips (so no more 3 little trips to the grocery store because we feel like it) and list making for grocery shopping has become a “must” again.

Cover Love:

With all of the artwork that I’m putting up with the Magic the Gathering cards, I think I’ll be passing on this section for the rest of the year unless something REALLY stands out.

Plans for Next Month:

I am approaching word burn out. Many of my non-review posts this month were picture oriented and even the NOPE tag had me struggling and I left a bunch of the questions unanswered. To help combat that I’m going to be turning Mondays over to the MTG cards completely and moving the manga to another day. I will also be making my reviews very much of the Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down variety instead of writing a lot of what I thought. I’m hoping a month of “I liked this book” or “I didn’t like this book” will help my word well to recharge.

Also, back to one Muppet movie/show a month; no more Sherlock tv series. I just can’t do multiple movie reviews regularly.

April ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ↓

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.03 ↓

Pages – 3430 ↓

Words – 1043 ↓

The Bad:

Flashman – 1/2star of Pure Filth

Tales of Angria – 1star DNF

Wings of the Dove – 1star DNF

The Good:

A House of Gentlefolk – You know you’re having a rough month when a Russian novel is the best you can muster up at 4stars

Movie:

Fragglerock Season 4 was a great way to end the series!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

I started keeping track of my food intake again. Not trying to chart the carbs or calories but simply list everything I eat and drink. Simply being aware keeps me from mindlessly snacking and since I almost hit 170lbs at the dr’s office, well, time to start the food fight again.

Good news is that my diabetes is getting under some good tight control (my last hemoglobin A1C was 6,8) with the sensor and pump AND my eyes haven’t degraded in over 18 months, which means things are stable. The endocrinologist is happy, the retina specialist is happy and I’m happy!

Work has been much better. My coworker has stopped grumping so much and I got a raise, which is going straight into the massive tax hike we got stuck with this year. We owe a lot and I know EXACTLY who is to blame.

The reading bump I had gotten from getting covid back in January finally ended and I’m back to a bit more “realistic” numbers. The upside is that I won’t have to write so many reviews each month; the downside is that now I have to be more “creative” to come up with other things to write about. It might turn out to be a bit more work than expected. Of course, with how April went in terms of numbers (every number!), I’ll be glad to start a new month. This was the worst reading month I have had in a VERY LONG time 😦

With all that good stuff, there has to be something poopy too. WordPress. Of course. If you didn’t know, WordPress scrapped all of their plans, changed everything to a free or expensive plan and pretty much killed off the chance of any casual new blogger from starting out. Those who had existing plans can still renew them at the old rate, but there is no guarantee of how long that “promise” will last. Basically WP gave the free bloggers the old heave ho and told all the inexpensive plan users to pay more or fuck off. AND even now, a month later, pertinent details like pricing and addons are still a mystery. I have never seen a business transaction handled this badly. Never.

Cover Love:

None of the covers this month grabbed my attention, and since I don’t believe in the Participation Trophy mentality, NOBODY gets the cover love mention.

Plans for Next Month:

Since I started reading Sherlock Holmes I wanted to watch the 2010 series by the BBC. I plan on watching Season One and reviewing each episode on Sundays. SavageDave will be joining in so your Sundays will be filled with more Sherlock than you can shake a stick at!

To keep the Muppet theme going for movies, I am also planning on watching the Muppet’s Wizard of Oz. Everything I’ve heard and seen leads me to believe this is going to be the worst Muppet movie I’ve ever laid eyes on, so hang on, because who knows what will happen!

March ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 17 ↑

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating 3.43 ↑

Pages – 5652 ↑

Words – 1825.5K ↑

The Bad:

Jim Henson: The Biography – 1star of Puff Piece’ry

Death-Reach 2 – 2.5stars of Mediocrity

The Good:

In the Court of the Yellow King – 4.5stars of Utterly Delicious Madness

Earth Unaware – 4.5stars of Card Writing at His Best

Movie:

Fraggle Rock Season 3 was just as fun, just as frenetic and just as loud as the previous 2 seasons.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

On the book side of things this was a great month. Numbers were up across the board and I read a lot. Of course, the month ended on a down note but I’m hoping that means April will be even better as I got the bad stuff out of the way.

Personally, this was a kick in the pants kind of month. Last Roundup&Ramblings I talked about how my coworker was super grumpy the whole month and was making it hard to enjoy work. It turns out he was dealing with a diverticulitis flareup but wasn’t telling anyone. He ended up in the emergency room and then came back to work the next week. I just shook my head and hoped he didn’t keel over while I was working with him.

My journal ran out and so I had to buy another one. Sadly, it took an extra week to get here and so I ran out. The horror of not having a journal to write in was pretty horrible and I think I’m shell shocked now. I’m hoping to do a post showing the new one sometime next month.

Taxes. I did our damnable taxes this month. That was yet another kick in the pants. We ended up having to pay a sizable amount over and above what had already been taken out in fething payroll taxes. I was spitting mad and if a politician had walked in front of me, just like Jason Bourne or John Wicke, I would have killed them with a pen. I know exactly why they went up and their names rhyme with *deleted*

Spring is definitely here. One day I was in shirt sleeves at work, no jacket, hat or gloves needed! Of course, the downside is that the deer ticks are now out and I have to inspect my clothing and myself every day after work and start keeping my work clothes in a separate clothes hamper for their own separate washing.

Cover Love:

Caves of Ice, a Ciaphas Cain novel by Sandy Mitchell. This is an alternate cover that really showcases the spirit of the book: violence on a frozen world with almost no hope of survival. Warhammer 40K really puts the “grim” in grimdark! and if you ever wondered what a chainsword looked like, well, now you know.

Plans for Next Month:

I am going to be starting up a new series of posts to take over from the Project X series, which will be ending. I have a scheduled post where I explain it all next Monday.

With 23 books this month, I’m probably going to ease up and not read quite as much in April. So there will either be days where I don’t post or the posts will be a bit lighter in tone as I ramble about whatever takes my fancy. With a couple of exceptions I have been writing non-stop since July of ’21. While no where near burn out, I want to make sure I am pacing myself appropriately.

[Repost] PSA: Bookstooge Speaks Out….On Narcissism

Before we get into the really deep parts of this post, we here at Bookstooge would like to reassure our readers that we in no way support Narcissism. Depending on how long you have been following us, we are sure you realize our selfless dedication to the eradication of Narcissism. In our eyes, nothing is worse than that yahoo who just keeps blabbing and blabbing about how great and wonderful they are. This post today, with the typical Bookstooge logic, clear sighted analysis and calm, cool & collected proficiency of a true expert, will totally debunk any argument that any narcissist might bring against us.

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Y’all better listen to that Bookstooge fella. He done know what he’s talking about!

The first thing is actually identifying a Narcissist. Now, most definitions are of a person who is obsessed with themselves. We deny that statement. A narcissist is someone who is wrongly obsessed with themselves. They think they are handsome/pretty when they’re just average. They think they are smart, when they aren’t even near to Einstein. They think they are clever, when they are actually boring and banal.

Basically, a narcissist is someone who thinks they are right when they are just plain wrong.  That is one of the few reasons that we here at Bookstooge know we’re not narcissists. We are never wrong.  It also doesn’t hurt that we are even more humble than Moses, the “most meek man on the face of the earth”. (Numbers 12:3).

And this is why we wish to speak out on this issue. People often conflate the idea of self-obsession with just plain pigheaded wrongness and this makes them wrong, leading to a vicious downward spiral of self-destruction and recriminations that is almost impossible to escape from. We here at Bookstooge realize that most people cannot break this cycle themselves.  We not only wish to highlight this problem, but would also like to offer a solution.

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STOP BEING WRONG

Seriously, how hard is that? I, errr,  WE do it all the time. Day in and day out. Week after week, month after month, as the years pile up. And you don’t see us with a swelled head or massive ego, oh no!

We do realize that people aren’t just going to stop being wrong all by themselves. After a lifetime’s habit built up, they simply can’t stop cold turkey. So besides our patent pending “Stop Being Wrong” solution, we also offer, for a VERY slight fee, our personalized Bookstooge Opinionator.  Join us and if you ever feel like you “might” be wrong, just send your personal Bookstooge Helper an email with your opinion. All Bookstooge Helpers are trained to the highest degree to detect right and wrong opinions. They will get back to you within 24hrs, often even sooner(!!!!), letting you know if your opinion is indeed right or wrong.

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The Bookstooge Opinionator Team: We make sure YOU are always Right!

Studies have shown that those who use this tool experience elation and the complete disappearance of fear in their online lives. This online experience often sublimates into the real world. You’d be surprised how many sports and movie stars, politicians and talkshow hosts have used and benefited from The Bookstooge Opinionator.  Admit it, you probably thought those talking heads on tv were just well informed, intelligent people. But nope, it is all thanks to our wonderful program.

To end this most beneficial of posts, if someone you love, or perhaps even yourself, might suffer, in the slightest, from that most dreaded ailment of Narcissism, it’s ok. We are here to solve your problems and get you back on track of Being Right, All the Time! (trademark pending)

February ’22 R&R

Raw Data:

Novels – 15 ⭤

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.40 ↓

Pages – 5220 ↑

Words – 1597K ↑

The Bad:

Hangman’s Holiday – 1star DNF is pretty bad.

Stryker’s War – 2.5stars. Galaxy’s Edge finally let me down 😦

The Good:

Wrath of Empire – 4.5stars of Epic Fantasy.

Carrying On His Will – 4.5stars of awesome manga. Good stuff!

Movie:

Fraggle Rock Season 2 was just as good as Season 1.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Rambling:

This month was very odd weather-wise. Somedays we’d get up to 60degrees, then the next week we’d be in the teens. It was just so changeable.

Work was rough, mainly because my coworker needs to retire but he is one of those people who can’t do “nothing” or even remain physically inactive for more than 10min, so he’s sick of his job and doesn’t actually need it but if he retires he’ll either be bored at home OR his wife will give him a honey-do list. So he’s been complaining the whole month. Makes it tough to enjoy your work when the other person is actively not enjoying it.

Outside of work was busy. We’re back to helping with sunday school once a month and we got sucked into helping out with the livestream video stuff. Our church upgraded the whole video system for covid tail end of ’20 and one lady has been running it by herself. She needed some help, so we’re helping with that once a month, which means we also have to deal with practice mid-week. And small groups started up. So yeah, a lot has been going on.

February has tended to be a lower activity month on the blog in terms of traffic over the last 5 years. For whatever reason, this year was a complete exception. I have had some of the best numbers that I have seen since I started blogging here on WP back in late ’16. I don’t know if Putin was worried that I’d get involved in the Ukraine situation and so was scoping me out, or if Xi Jinping was worried that I’d become Our Great Leader (he should be worried. That guy’s got a LOT of wrinkles, unlike me). But whatever the reason, this month was in the Top 5 months ever. Yeah, I like that! Oh, if you feel uncomfortable calling me Our Great Leader, you can always use the endearing Papa Bookstooge. I don’t mind, really.

In the book department, I felt good with what I read. While my average rating was down, I was not surprised because any month I get a 1star I always get a dip in the ratings. Now that I am done with Sanderson and Sayers, I can try some more new-to-me authors and maybe find the next gem that I can be effusive about, much like I have been for Neal Asher and currently am for Rex Stout. Wish me luck.

Cover Love:

Cthulhu Lies Dreaming perfectly captured the atmosphere shown on this cover. Beautiful, gloomy and slightly disturbing. A big thanks to Fraggle for her photo-work on removing all the extraneous text on the cover. This is how it should have been from the get-go!

Plans for Next Month:

Nothing new coming up at all. March, as far as the blog is concerned, looks like it is going to be a carbon copy of February. I’m ok with that.

Sometimes I Wonder About Me

Am I insane? I mean really. As I’m typing this I am having comment conversations with Dix (the Film Authority) about the Book of Secrets that he’s trying to rescue with chinese acrobats on Alex’s movie blog on a post about the Tempest, where Alex and I realized that there is a secret Island in the middle of Washington DC that only materializes once a year on Presidents Day. Meanwhile I’m talking with Otsy (Over the Shoulder) about him being Uncle Darth Otsy and how I’m his favoritest nephew.

There is a line between being insane and just having complete nonsense coming out of your finger tips. I regularly wonder if I cross that line. I guess that will just have to be one of Life’s Great Mysteries.

Good evening.

January ’22 Roundup n Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 15 ⭤

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.52 ↑

Pages – 4191 ↓

Words – 1302K ↓

The Bad:

Jerico’s Garrison Finish -2stars and where I parted ways with Max Brand.

The White Tree – 2.5stars of very amateurish writing that I smited with that review

The Good:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – 5stars of chocolatey goodness

Sins of Empire – 4.5stars of gritty flintlock fantasy

Movies:

Fraggle Rock Season One was quite different from the Muppet Show but still a blast.

Dune Part I was as good an adaption of the first half of the novel as I could wish for. Highly enjoyable.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Mrs B and I getting covid pretty much dominated this month. Once things got past the scary stage and we were home, I ended up doing a lot of reading and binge watching of Fraggle Rock. It’s why this month was so heavy on the book reviews. 21! I am hoping that since we’ve had covid once, if we get it again in the future that it will be milder. I guess we’ll find out 🙂

I decided to break out the novels from the graphic novels so this year I’ll be keeping track of them separately. Blogging, tracking, etc is an evolving thing and changes right along with me. With how I’ve got my manga and comics setup, the numbers shouldn’t really change that much, so it is more for the year end than any immediate data.

Plans for Next Month:

Pretty much the same old, same old. I will be changing how I title posts, so there isn’t such a plethora of info in them. I also plan on hiding the synopsis behind the (details) code so you have to click the details to see it. That way you won’t be bothered by spoilers or have to scroll forever to get to the My Thoughts part. I know some of the classics synopses from Wikipedia are like 10 pages long after all! I am hoping those 2 little changes will streamline the appearance of the reviews. We’ll see.

February is going to be just as full of reviews as January because of my 10days of downtime and with February being a shorter month, that means less non-review posts.

I am also beginning my journey into the CST program (certification program for work), so I have no idea how that is going to affect my blog time. I suspect this month will be a trial run for the next couple. I’m really hoping it will be less strenuous than I think it will be.

Bookstooge Reviews 2021

THE STATS:

Annual Blog Stats

Posts – 319 (↑29)
Words Written – 194.8K (↓3.2K)
Views – 27K (↑2K)
Visitors – 9.5K (↓0.5K)
Followers – 419 (↑40+)
Comments – 10.7K (↑2.4K)

Book Stats

Books read – 194 (↑38)
Average Rating – 3.38 (↓0.15)
Pages read – 49,401 (↓7.5K)
Words read – 15,361.5K (15 million rounded down) (↓1.5K)

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

General Bookish Thoughts:

That increase in Books Read is ALL due to me reading individual comics. The real story can be seen in the Pages and Words, as both of those went down. But this is exactly why I keep track of all 3 metrics. When 2 out of the 3 agree, that is the real story.

My rating dropping 0.15 isn’t concerning to me at all and seems more like a typical variation than some trend. Sticking with some series longer than I should have didn’t help either (looking at you, you forsaken Spawn!)

My interest in the Crime&Mystery genre really took off this year. With Alfred Hitchcock, Lord Peter Wimsey, Father Brown and Nero Wolfe, I had quite the uptick. In 2022 I plan on adding Ellery Queen to the mix too. Here’s a little picture showing my genre breakdown (according to Librarything anyway). Clickable to be readable if it’s not to you.

Re-reads. Between my manga reading, my Wheel of Time journey and Bone, almost 25% of my reading was re-reads. That’s almost exactly the same as last year so I guess I’ve found my balance of new vs re-read.

WordPress this year was a real roller coaster. My experiment of going Dotcom and then UnDotcom’ing showed me that WP isn’t worth money. I had more problems when I was paying than I did with the free site. That is just mind boggling to me. The block editor has moved into the minor annoyance area of my life with the stupid code monkeys changing little pointless things every couple of months. Continual pin pricks of irritation all year long. Kind of like walking through a field of brambles at work.

I tried some other websites (which I didn’t blog about) and everything else was just as confusing as the block editor but with the added problem of not having a semi-decent social setup like here at WP. Coupled with me using Dropbox for my larger images (thus making space not an issue), it would appear that I’ll be at wordpress for the foreseeable future. And since my Under Construction Project is getting close to being finished, I’m just not going anywhere.

My numbers are relatively stable compared to last year and I seem to have reached the level that is comfortable. Doesn’t mean you won’t get posts from me moaning and pissing about how terrible things are on my blog, or the ones where I crow like a rooster about some accomplishment that I didn’t actually DO anything to achieve. But I am happy with my interactions here. I am looking forward to finding new bloggers in 2022 though, as The Churn has been just as active this year as in any of the past ones :-/

Blogger is my backup blog for reviews. There is no way to interact in a meaningful way as far as I can tell but I just post reviews so it doesn’t matter. Google just keeps shutting down various apps at random, so one day I’m sure blogger will get the axe too.

I still crosspost my reviews to LT. Back in June I abandoned LT as a social platform and currently have no meaningful social presence there.

Calibre continues to putter along just fine. The only news on this front this year is that the de-drm plugin has been taken over by another developer and forked into the no-drm plugin. I’m currently using Calibre 5.23 and frequently read the Calibre Forum. Having a free program that is a visual library of all my books that I’ve read over the years which stores all the data I want it to, and that can be backed up on a thumb drive or external harddrive and imported into such programs as Excel should the program ever go belly up (unlikely as that is how the creator makes his livelihood), is priceless.

THE BOOKS:

Best Book of the Year: New Evidences That Demand a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

Worst Book of the Year: Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters edited by Tim Marquitz

PLANS FOR 2022:

Personal:

Well, our move to Georgia has been put on hold, so my immediate plans (3 months or less) have been scuttled like a russian secret submarine. So we are in a holding pattern. I’m going to start the process to acquire my Level 3 certification for the NSPS program (National Society of Professional Surveyors) and as that is self-study, it’s going to take me longer than it might take somebody else. I don’t like self-study, as buckling down is hard to do.

Work has settled down for me. It has taken 2 bleeding years, so it is about time. Mrs B starts working days again in a week or two and I am really looking forward to that. Being able to see her for more than 20minutes as she gets up and gets ready for work as I’m getting ready for bed will be nice.

Blog:

As of right now, no changes. I was considering changing how I do my reviews so I didn’t have so much text (mainly in the synopsis part) but upon reflection, I’m going to keep sticking with it for now. I might try to use the Details html code a bit more though. I’m still considering if I want to make any changes to how I title book reviews. I’ll probably think some more about it in January and make a decision by February. No sense rushing around and doing a rubbishy job.

I plan on continuing my Muppet watch. It was a fantastic success in ’21, even the less than stellar ones, so I’m going forward. The more I watch, the more I find. I think I have found enough Muppet movies/shows to keep me going through ’22 and a good way into ’23. Amazing, as I had NO idea there was so much Muppet stuff out there. So expect to see that each month.

Project X runs out in April so I will be on the lookout for a new series of posts to do. My creativity is at an all time low though, so I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. Might do some arty posts with just a picture or maybe put a little effort into the Doom mini’s I bought a year ago. There are options, I just need to think of them. If there’s something you’d like to see on a monthly basis, let me know in the comments.

I do have some tentative Buddy Read/Watch options for 2022 and so as long as I don’t sit in a funk all year those will happen. Shoot me an email at myname at protonmail if you’re interested in doing something and I haven’t already contacted you.

I am also hoping to make more use of the WP4 than I did in ’21. When you have nutjobs like Dix, Alex and Fraggle just hanging around, I gotta put them to use somehow. Whether a collaborative post or just making fun, you can expect to see more antics in the comments and hopefully an extra post focusing on that Power Group. Plus, we’re all wicked good looking!

TOP 5:

Book Review Posts:

Non-Review Posts:

Commentors + Runner Up:

Movies/TV:

The Hall of Shame:

December ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 21 ↑

Average Rating – 3.43 ↑

Pages – 4582 ↑

Words – 1449.5K ↑

The Bad:

Hard Day’s Knight – 1star of poorly written blasphemy (noticing a theme in these lower ratings are you? Me too)

Department 19 – 1.5stars of Blasphemous Youthful stupidity (sigh)

The Good:

A Christmas Carol narrated by Tim Curry – 4.5stars of of a wonderful earful

Meanest Man in the East (One Piece #11) – 4.5stars First time One Piece has made it into this position

Movie:

Muppet Treasure Island was a blast. And with it now being winter and snowy here, some tropical weather, even if only onscreen, was quite welcome!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Bookwise, this month was nothing but up, up and up! Even with the two stinkers I read, my average rating was up from last month and all the other metrics were up too. Part of that, I have to admit, was because I tried to stuff in as many books as possible from this year so as to not carry them over into 2022, but even with that taken into consideration, I read a lot this month.

Got sick the first week of the month and thought it was covid but thankfully was able to get one of those quick tests and it was negative. Still felt like crap for the whole week. Right after that was when my computer died, so that was a real kick in the pants, sigh Let me tell you, a decent computer is expensive nowadays. I paid less for my first car back in 2000 for goodness sake!

Our plans for moving have been scuttled for the foreseeable future. Lack of job prospects and affordable housing put paid to being all done by March. We’re going to look again next fall. sigh.

Plans for Next Month:

Write the Year in Review Post. Which has to go up tomorrow! Aye yi yi!!!!!

Beyond that, I just can’t plan. That post is just too big. Probably should have started it earlier, hahahaha.

November ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16 (Same as October)

Average Rating – 3.28 ↑

Pages – 3260 ↓

Words – 1058K ↑

The Bad:

Best SF of the Year #1 – 1star of DNF’ness

Kaiju Rising – 1/2star of blasphemy and human wickedness

The Good:

Mistborn – 5stars of awesome re-reading

When Worlds Collides – 5stars of more awesome re-reading

Movie:

Both Muppets Tonight Season Two and The Illusionist were enjoyable. One of those people who only put up links to other peoples’ content linked to The Illusionist at some point so I’m going to have to start putting up some legalese before each movie review now to discourage scraping scumbags like that. When a site is nothing but links to other bloggers, I’d gladly do violence to that parasitic, scum sucking, braindead, idiotic jackass who is wasting the very air that belongs to me.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

November was a very expensive month for us. We had some unexpected auto stuff happen (no accidents, thankfully, just wear and tear that finally caught up to us) and Mrs B had some dental stuff (which was actually more expensive than the bleeding car work. go figure). Plus some other medical bills.

Not only is Mrs B now working nights but she’s working overtime. And I don’t sleep well when she’s not around. So she’s tired from nights and overwork and I’m tired from work and not getting enough sleep. We are doing the absolute bare minimum to get by.

We got rid of the bookcases that had held all the books we got rid of last month. I had emailed and texted the lady that we were up on the third floor and she needed to bring someone to help her. I meet her down at the door to let her into the building and she’s this fat old lady who can barely walk up the 3 flights of stairs. And the person she brought with her? Was her older, fatter sister. I was sure she was going to have a heart attack and die on me. We got all the bookcases out of our place and into the hallway and then Mrs B and I left. I wanted no part of it. The old lady had ignored what I’d told her and I suspect she thought she could guilt me into helping her. I hope I taught her a lesson. When we got back, all the bookcases were gone and no dead bodies were lying on the ground. So another successful Craigslist transaction!

For work, I’ve begun crew chief’ing full time (ie, being in charge of one crew) and working with a new kid, who I call Slow Boy, because he moves at a glacial pace except at the end of the day when he’s heading back to the van. It is frustrating working with somebody who won’t give it their all when it’s needed. Also, the day before Thanksgiving the licensed surveyor (the head of the Survey Department) took me aside and asked me if I’d like to further my status in the CST program. I’ve been a Level II Field Tech since ’06 and would love to get to Level III. But it is going to take some work and some coordination with my current employee.

Plans for Next Month:

Survive.

I stopped reading Spawn so now I need to choose another comic. Bone and Asterix are fine but I’d like another one. I’m going to choose either Groo or TMNT. But that won’t happen until January I think. December is just too busy with everything else to start something new.

I’ve got most of December’s posts already planned out and about half of them written. I just don’t know how December is going to go so I’m playing things by ear. Thanks for your patience.