October ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books – 8

Pages – 2125

Average Rating – 2.88 Stars

 

The Bad:

Dark Sky – 1 Star DNF for Content

Places in the Darkness – 1 Star DNF for Content

 

The Good:

War Factory – 4 Stars of Polity Goodness!

The Ragged Man – 4 Stars of Authorial Improvement

 

Movie:

Watched two versions of Superman II. The Theatrical Cut and the (released recently on disc & digital) fired Director’s Cut. I surprised myself by favoring the Theatrical Edition over the Director’s Cut.

November will be Superman III. Now are these names original or what?!?!?

 

Book Give-Away:

Doing yet another Give-Away. This time 8 of the Myth Adventure books by Robert Asprin.  It’s open until November 16, so feel free to enter until then.

 

Survival Saturday:

With the weather changing and it getting colder outside, I’m probably going to try to resurrect this series for a couple of months. Of course, I’ll ease into things with something so easy that even I can’t mess it up for November.  Who wants a butter stick!?!? 😀 😀 😀

But seriously, it will be something extremely simple and probably not an actual survival food. Now I just have to figure out what this mythical “food” actually is.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Even though my average rating dropped below a 3, since I dnf’d both of the stinkers almost from the get-go, there was no wasted time or regrets. All it really does is puff up my book numbers from last month and drop my average rating I can live with that. I figure I’ll be culling existing series in November so I’m not reading things that don’t really grab me.

Work is. Started full time at Company New Mid-October. I’m reserving judgement until the New Years. Algebra is going along, but there are times it is really hard to stay motivated, especially when they’re teaching a concept that I KNOW I won’t need and I think to myself “What is the point of this?” I almost feel like a rebellious teenager! Weight Watchers is going fantastic and I continue to lose some weight every week. Slow and steady.

Here is a list of the various non-review posts I did:

 

Cover Love:

Warlock by Dean Koontz is this month’s winner. It doesn’t get more 70’s than this!

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September ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Using a new template and resolution setting at Ipiccy.com for my monthly photos. Hoping that gets rid of the cutting off of sides or tops that has been happening for quite some time now. We’ll see though.

 

Raw Data:

6 Books

2514 Pages

Average Rating of 3.67

 

The Bad:

The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard – 2 Stars worth of unmitigated dystopian sameness

 

The Good:

Odd Magic – 5 Stars of Greatness!

 

Movie:

Watched the 1978 version of Superman starring Christopher Reeve. Now he showed what Superman should look like. In October I plan on watching Superman II, both the theatrical cut and the director’s cut, based upon Irresponsible Reader’s recommendation.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

So as you can tell, if you’ve been following me for at least a couple of months, is that my book and page numbers were way down. Part of that was deliberate, as I began watching a youtube channel called Game Knights that centers around my other hobby, Magic the Gathering (a collectible card game).  I also began my transition over to the new Land Surveyor company and as they work 9hr days, I didn’t have as much time. I was also starting my Algebra Lessons and thankfully, while it is all the easy stuff that I can almost do in my head, I still have to pay attention to details. So there’s another 1/2-3/4 of an hr gone each day. Mrs B and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this month and have started a reading program to go through the Bible in one year. We chose the New Living translation to help shake things up and so far it has been going really well. Read that day’s selection and then talk about it in the evening.

So I’ve been busy with non-book stuff and while Game Knights won’t last beyond another month (they only produce 1 episode a month and I’ve only got 2 more episodes to catch up), the rest of the stuff I described will be my new normal.  Also turns out that the transitioning time over to Company New is going to be a lot shorter than originally expected. I start there full time October 14th.  That kind of came out of no-where so needless to say,  I’m a little shocked and overwhelmed. No seamless sliding from on company to the other I guess.

I did a Poll for Labor Day and while I won’t be doing that too often, it was fun to do something a little different. Just wish I could figure out how to get the poll INSIDE the post instead of having everyone having to go to the poll website.

Ola and Pio created the 7 Heavenly Virtues Tag and I completed that. A nice rounding out to the 7 Deadly Sins tag that made the rounds the other month.

I remembered 9/11. I think that speaks for itself.

I started the Lord of the Rings and finished up the Fellowship of the Ring. I had some fun making a parody of that with the Lord of the Toothepaste.

Did my (hopefully) monthly rendition of the #6degrees post and went from a gentleman to Saddam Hussein. Ha! I just love where these posts take me 🙂

Opened a Give-Away for the Mars/Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I want to thin my bookshelves so this might be a semi-regular thing.   It is open until October 19th. I’ll be doing another one October 20th, so if old Pulp SF isn’t your thing, stay tuned.

 

Cover Love:

A Patricia McKillip book with a Kinuko Craft cover? This month’s cover love winner is simply a no brainer.

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August ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books: 13

Pages: 3578

Average Rating: 2.92

 

The Bad:

Torchship Captain – 1/2 star

Empire of Silence – 1 Star

 

The Good:

The Mating Season – 4 1/2 Stars

Galactic North – 4 1/2 Stars

 

Miscellaneous:

My pagenumbers and average really sucked this month. Having several dnf’s and quite a few low rating books just dragged everything down. It did lead to a lot of clearing on my kindle and tbr though, so that is good I guess.  I’ve also decided to get rid of the Ravenloft series, even though I stated in Dance of the Dead that I was going to give it one more chance. With the changes I’ll be talking about later in the post I literally don’t have time to give chances to series that already have a proven bad track record.

I did another “Quote” post and I have to say, I rather like doing that. Kind of an update about what I’m currently reading. Does double duty. Always glad to let posts do more of the work around here. It’s about time they started carrying their weight!

I Won some writing gloves that keep your hands warm in the winter. Of course, with it being high summer now I’ll have to wait a couple of days months before winter actually arrives. I have high hopes for them though. Even if they were made by wu jiao at midnight, at Chairman Mao’s grave.

Got back on the #6Degrees bandwagon. I’m hoping to do this more often, at least every other month, instead of the completely random inclusions that I’ve been doing. It’s fun, it allows me to go through my backlog of old reviews and it helps motivate me to add links to old reviews here on WordPress. Win, win, win for everyone. The problem with bandwagons is that it is pretty easy to fall off of them. If it gets too bad, I might have to join #6degreesAnonymous and get myself on a 6step program.

Wrote up the last #worldbookczar post and interviewed HAL1000. Seemed like a pretty trust’able accounting program. I mean, any program created by Keffin Flyyv and who worked with Trin, well, if you can’t trust THAT program, who can you trust?

Had another Book Catch post. Thanks again to all of you who suggested the term Book Catch. I’m really liking it and it works perfectly. Of course, THIS book catch wasn’t one that had me all excited or anything. Quite the opposite. However, it is the perfect lead in to the changes I’ve been not so subtly hinting at all month.

 

Personal:

This will probably be a tad long, so bear with me.

I’ve been working at my current employer since 2000. Went part time from ’08-15 when the economy tanked (land surveying is the first hit when things go bad, especially when what is going bad is mortgages). I was certified as a Field Tech, level II back in ’06 (there are approximately 5 levels) and had some hazy notion of eventually getting my State Surveyor’s License and moving into more of an office position. That all kind of just fell aside and nothing has ever come of it. When I came back full time to surveying in ’15 I started working with older guys (50’s+) and realized that I didn’t want to be a 60 year old out in the field. Mentioned to my boss about maybe moving up to a Level IV and got response something like “That is a great idea. Go for it”. Not being a self-starter or one who easily figures things out on my own, that kind of died. I need some guidance and direction.

Then last year our second full time field guy left for another company (where he was promptly let go after a couple of weeks) and I was stuck with doing the work with either the robotic instrument or having a couple of the office people fill in a day here, a day there on jobs where 2 people were absolutely necessary. I kept waiting for another field crew guy to be hired but when it hadn’t happened by March of this year I realized it wasn’t going to.  I updated my resume but still didn’t do anything. I’m a creature of habit and getting out of a rut 19 years old was beyond me. In May or June I stopped working on Fridays because I was just worn out.

In June one of the main people in the office gave his notice (he’d been with the company over 25 years) and I was kind of expecting to be drawn in and trained to take over some of his responsibilities. Well, when nothing happened, once again, I realized I had to make some changes. So I sent out my resume to 3 other survey companies. Had several interviews and accepted an offer from one of them. Not a pay increase, but working with another full time field crew and the promise to start me as an Office Tech AND the promise to guide me through the process of getting my license (if that is what I really want) really made me happy. Company New has a guy transitioning out and I’ll be slowly transitioning in from 1 day a week until full time probably by the end of the year. That’ll give my old company plenty of time figure out what to do.

What this means is that I’ll be working more (45 hour weeks is the standard at the new company, where I’ve been doing 35’ish at the old) and once home working on my very rusty math skills. Algebra, geometry and trigonometry, here I come. I figure an hour each evening for math lessons.  So a lot less time for reading and blogging. Once I start full time in ’20, I figure I’ll be lucky to do 2 books a week and it’s probably going to be more realistic to plan on 60-75 books a year. I also suspect that the number of people I follow in wordpress is going to drop as I have less time for blog reading. I have no idea how that is going to go, but just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I’ll probably not be as active.

It is going to be a lifestyle change that will affect my online time. Exactly how everything is going to change is really unknown (even with me boldly stating what I did in the last paragraph) and until the changes happen, it is all conjecture. But change is in the air and it WILL affect my reading and blogging. Just wanted to give you all fair warning. I certainly don’t plan on disappearing though (which seems to happen to many bloggers when things change) so no fears on that end of the scale.

Thank you for reading.

 

Cover Love:

This month’s cover love is for one of the books that I dnf’d. Figures. Great looking cover though!

empireofsilence

 

 

bookstooge (Custom)

July ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

17 Books

4703 Pages

Average Rating of 3.29

 

The Bad:

The last couple of volumes of Shaman King

 

The Good:

Death Wish – 5 Stars & Best Book of the Year tag

O Jerusalem! – 4.5 Stars and a wonderful way to kick off my foray into Non-fiction

Dark Intelligence – 4.5 Stars and Neal Asher just doesn’t disappoint.

 

Manga:

Oh, what do I say about this? I knew I had to binge read Shaman King to get through it but realizing the series had been cancelled and the manga-ka having to wrap things up in 1 volume made for an extremely messy end. It also made for a bleeding month of boringness for those of you who regularly follow me. My numbers did take a big hit because of how I crammed 12 volumes in but I knew that going in. I would like to thank you all who read, liked and/or commented on them all. I know for a fact that it wasn’t easy from your end either and I appreciate the tip of the hat of support.

Now that Shaman King is done, I think I’m done with manga for the foreseeable future. I might read the occasional volume here or there, but nothing like what I attempted with Oh My Goddess or Shaman King.  I’ve changed enough that 90% of manga is no longer targeted towards me and I just need to realize that.

 

Movie:

Didn’t do a specific movie only post but did review both of the Death Wish movies in comparison to each other and the book. A Triple Shot of Death Wishes. You didn’t ask for it, but I gave it to you anyway!

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Did a really fun Ratings as Sandwiches post that I had a blast writing. Because of it, I’ve been eating toasted tomato sandwiches every week now, so good!  Wrote my own version of the End of the World As We Know It and realized I’m just not any sort of musician, not even a bad one.  Started the month off right with a Quote from Death Wish and that seemed to set the tone for my reading. If I was a Roman Catholic, I might have taken the Seven Deadly (Book) Sins post more seriously, but alas, as a Protestant, I didn’t.

August is going to be filled with Mrs B traveling to see her Parental Pods and one of my Parental Pods making a swing through the area. Thankfully, I’m staying put so no one has to worry that the planet will go out of orbit due to all this excessive “traveling” business that is going on.

♪Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,♪
♪When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?♪
♪When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,♪
♪Will your anchor drift or firm remain?♪

That’s me,  Bookstooge, your friendly, neighborhood planet anchor. Remember kids, Gravity is a conspiracy by The Man to keep you down!

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Quickbeam went off the deep end and made me reaffirm my lofty goal of paving the planet. Next month will be with HAL 1000 and I suspect that will be the final WBCI post. Much like the Surviving a Bad Book series, the WBCI is running out of steam.

 

Cover Love:

Dark Intelligence wins this one. Asher writes great SF and some of his covers are pure SF’ness itself. I love it!

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June ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

15 Books

5099 Pages

Average Rating: 3.30

 

The Bad:

Valor – 1 Star DNF

The Hyena and the Hawk – 2 Star disappointment from one of my favorite authors

 

The Good:

Target Rich Environment – 5 Stars all the way!

The Hobbit – 5 Stars and the good times are rolling!

Our Mutual Friend – 4 1/2 stars kept the party going!

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

I only did TWO non-review posts this month. One was a Currently Reading (which I liked doing and I might try to do those a bit more often) and the other was the Fall from Grace about Star Wars and Bookstooge. A truly masterful yet tragically poignant post.

However, when I have two 5star reads AND a 4 1/2star read, well, you know it was a good month of reading. I deliberately wrote a review almost every other day and cut out almost all tv watching this month so I could read a couple of extra books. Of course, with Our Mutual Friend my page count went pretty high too. So another statistic that went swimmingly. My average rating was down from last month, but with a lot of middle of the road books you can’t expect anything else. Plus, 1star books totally destroy a month’s rating; they’re worse than the titanic!

Yet I didn’t read one single volume of Shaman King nor did I really want to.  I found that alarming because I started the series so strong and I really want to finish it. so I’ve decided to finish off the series in July. I know I’ll burn myself out on the series and on manga in general, but I’ve been approaching that point anyway so might as well go for the gusto, as one little boy named Calvin would say. This does mean that your feed is going to be packed with manga. I’ll try to post a couple of other type posts throughout July but you are getting your warning here and now. I do expect my numbers to plummet so I’ve prepared my mind for the onslaught of not being so famous for a month. It will be a real trial for me but I guess being humble is something we all need once in a while.

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Cover Love:

As much as I despised the book, Valor had the best looking cover. It is pure awesome sauce from a visual standpoint!

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May ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

3428 Pages

3.38 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

The Wrecking Crew – 1.5 stars

 

The Good:

Kellanved’s Reach – 4 stars

 

Movie:

Didn’t do a real movie review,  just reviewed a fake movie that I made up in my head. Sometimes those are the best kind of movies, and sometimes, like John Hobo, they’re the worst kind!

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Man, this month was something. Readingwise, it was middle of the road land the whole month. My average was up but that was because I didn’t read more than one stinker this month. I’d prefer my average to go up because I read so many SUPER books.

The car situation has been rectified. We went down to 1 car for a couple of weeks and I did double duty driving Mrs B to work and picking her up as well as taking myself to and from work. Very thankful we got another car and that it passed inspection with no issues.

Non-review writing, I feel like I wrote up a storm, even while the reality is that I just changed from doing scheduled things to whatever crossed my mind. I did a Currently Reading post to show you all the list of what I rotate through,  revealed My Secret Identity,  talked about Chainsaws & Guns (from a real perspective, not a psycho mass murdering perspective), posted how Mrs B saved me from a Life of Crime, did a Book Catch and then had a good talk/discussion PSA post about Commenting on Other’s Comments.

I enjoyed writing this month and I have a feeling I’ll be stopping any monthly type of non-review post.  Not sure if that means I’ll be writing less or not though. Working on my backlog of old reviews takes a lot out of me, even when I don’t have to type very much at all. Just writing those little bits is enough to dry up the well of my writing desire. Of course, the alternative is to have posts like John Hobo every week. Nobody deserves that!

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Didn’t write one up this month but I do plan on having Quickbeam the Ent on for June. Please look forward to it.

 

Cover Love:

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Reusing the pix from my Book catch post but I really liked the cover to Kellanved’s Reach. Best book of the month and best looking cover. Given all the middle of the road stuff, I guess I’m ok with this.

 

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April ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 3732

Average Rating – 3.21

 

The Bad:

The Hatching – 1/2 Star

Malice – 2 1/2 Stars

 

The Good:

In the Forests of Serre – 5 Stars

Hard Times – 4 1/2 Stars

 

Movie:

Elektra was bad, but in the “so bad it’s fun to watch and make fun of” vein of badness. With movies like this though, it is a wonder that Super Hero movies ever made it off the ground.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Let’s see, what did I do this month? A bunch of crap, that is what. A 6Degrees Post, wished everyone a Happy Resurrection Day and then posted about my latest endeavor in the world of Magic the Gathering.

I have to admit, this month I pretty much mailed it in, as I just didn’t feel like writing and let my 3 week buffer disappear down to zero. I’m writing this post the night before instead of like 10 days.  That lack of desire to write is why I’m not going to be doing my usual weekend routine posts in May. I need a break from a schedule and I’m going to try to break out of this writing blahh’ness by just writing spur of the moment and see what happens.  I’ve been averaging about 2 posts every 3 days for the last several months and I think I need to bust loose and pretend to be creative again for a bit. Even if I completely fall on my face, I’ll be fine with that. I just need to do something different, as I’m falling into a routine and getting sick of it. Who knows, maybe I’ll go REALLY wild and post a review ON THE WEEKEND! I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Or am I? *scary ghost noises*  See, that is what I need to be writing like instead of stifling my soul with corporate posts like political World Book Czar posts and stuff. I gotta be free!

On a personal note, one of our cars unexpectedly didn’t pass inspection and so we’ve spent all of April looking for another. No luck and we might end up just eating the repair cost to get the car fixed and passed for another year. Unfortunately, every car we’ve checked out this month has fallen through in one way or another. Blah! One of the things both Mrs B and I feel strongly about is not going into debt, with a few exceptions. Car payments on a new car is not one of those exceptions. So the next 2 years are going to be interesting (as we already know that our other car isn’t going to pass next year. It barely passed this year and by next year will be really rusted out and not road worthy)

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Ildico gave us good reason to fear the Great Unknown reaches of space. If Attila the Hun isn’t safe, NOBODY is.  Thankfully, Ildico promises a free tinfoil hat to everyone when she becomes World Book Czar.  Now there’s a woman you can feel confident voting for!

 

Cover Love:

forestofserre

While I posted this in the review, In the Forests of Serre,  I still find it absolutely amazing. Beauty feeds the soul indeed. Sadly, feeding the soul doesn’t help with a writing slump.

 

 

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