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!

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bookstooge (Custom)

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September ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

15 Books

4677 Pages

3.27 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

Ghostly Echoes – ½ Star (Blatant Social Justice lies denying Biological Fact)

The Deaths of Tao – 2 Stars (Didn’t like Main Characters)

Empire – Unrated (definitely all me. Just didn’t care about the Warhammer Universe any more)

 

The Good:

The Pickwick Papers – 6 Stars (Perfect in Every Way)

Revelation Space – 4 Stars (Great Space Opera)

Hilldiggers – 4 Stars (Polity just keeps getting better and better)

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Started in on the Shaman King manga and read the first 2 volumes. I REALLY enjoyed them and am having to consider how much I want to read next month. Do I stick with 2 volumes and kind of ration my enjoyment or do I just dive on in and read a volume every week? I enjoyed it enough that a volume a week would not be a problem. It feels good to feel good about reading manga again 🙂

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

This month FELT wicked busy even though every single blog number says otherwise. My book numbers were the same as last month, my page numbers were actually down almost 150 pages, my post numbers were about the same, the comments section was down and a couple of the more active people I follow were either MIA or on a much reduced schedule.

The reason it felt so busy is because of work and real life. During the first week of this month my coworker gave his notice on Monday and was gone by Friday. This has left me as the sole full time Field Tech. It means I’m working by myself a LOT more and that means a lot more walking and not being nearly as efficient as a two man crew. I come home exhausted. I’ve also noticed some white in my goatee this month. I suspect the old salt-n-pepper look is only a year or so away.

The scheduling thing continues just fine but one unlooked for side effect is that it has effectively killed my desire for spontaneous writing. I used to write my reviews when I needed a post and if I needed a post or had verbal diarrhea, out came a non-review post. Now that I type on command for the book reviews, I just don’t feel like writing for fun. Kind of like jogging for a hobby versus training for a marathon. I’m going to give it to the end of the year and if it makes me continue feeling like blogging is work, then I’m going to ditch the scheduling and go back to the hodge podge of whenever I feel the heck like it. While scheduling is great, I prefer to fill my writing needs so it feels fun. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Ok, onto some of the posts. PSA: DNF was a decent one and I’m glad I got it out there. It also had the decency to generate a bunch of comments and I found out more about you all than I was expecting. It also was the top viewed post of the month (no surprise there!).

My 100 Book List post helped me continue my work on this blog and to be a good counterpart to my About Me section. I’ve stickied it to the side of my homepage so new people can easily find it when deciding to follow me or not. Preferably “not” so I don’t have to argue with them and show them how they are pretty much wrong about everything. It’s really tough being Mr Right.

And speaking of Mr Right, I’ve been Mr Right for 10 years this month. Mrs B and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary and we think we’ve got this whole marriage thing licked. Hahahahaa. Now that I’ve said that, watch, the next 10 years will be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

Not much else really. Didn’t have the urge to write beyond what I had to. Really hoping I can be more engaging in October, here and on others blogs.

 

Cover Love

None of this months crop really appealed to me. I think from a purely visual standpoint, A Shaman in Tokyo was the most striking, just like a manga should be.

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bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

PSA: Too Big To Comment

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If you’ve been alive for the past decade, you’ve heard all the “Too Big to Fail” jokes. Whether actually funny, ironic or just plain bitter.

But, that phrase got me to thinking. I like to comment on other peoples posts. Not ALL the time, but probably about 90%.  Some of the people I comment on can get a lot of comments on their posts, like Orangutan Librarian or Drew the Tattooed Book Geek.  That post of Drew’s I link to? It has 110 comments. 110. Now, if I “know” someone, that number wouldn’t be a deterrent at all, as I would expect them to to pay attention to me, the Great Bookstooge, who deigned to come to their blog and grace them with a comment. But for those I don’t know, who don’t know the greatness that is me, I have to admit, any post with over 15 comments by others, I’ll probably not comment on.

And this is where the “thinking” began.  Specifically, where is YOUR comment cut off limit? Do you comment differently, like I do, depending on the blog? Are you likely to comment on a blog no matter what? Or do you see a Certain Number and just wave off? Commenting in general has come up in previous posts, but this time around I’m interested in a particular data set. I plan on writing a data mining book and use this data to become fabulously wealthy.

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Get cracking folks, I won’t get very wealthy if you’re not doing the work for me!

 

 

My average Comment to Post ratio, according to the wordpress stats, is 20. Now, half of those are me, so call that 10 comments per post on average. Of course, book reviews of graphic novels and manga tend to have a lot fewer comments, and my non-review posts tend to bloat up pretty big. Mostly because I reply to every comment that people leave. At what number do you just think “nope, not commenting”?

I hope you feel comfortable leaving comments here. I try to treat each one as a conversation between you and me and while I know I don’t always succeed at that, that is what I aim for.

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Dr Bookstooge is here for you!

 

 

 

And just in case you think I don’t work hard and totally deserve all your money that you’ve earned, here’s a snowy picture of a steep hill in the woods.

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This picture is pretty self-explanatory as to why I deserve your money…

 

 

 

bookstooge

 

This Week in Review

Man, what a load of a week. It just started bad and never really recovered. Hence my lack of posts for most of the week. Prepare for some whining!

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whah, whah, whah!

 

Monday. Working in the road, setting the new centerline for the Town, so they could begin construction. Almost got run over by some jerk in a large utility van/truck. I had a can of spraypaint in my hand and let off a jet. THAT got him to stop. Then had a verbal altercation with him as he was justifying himself about not giving a damn about me actually being in the road. Had a talk with my boss, as almost tagging vehicles is NOT company approved action. I knew that was coming though, and agreed, so it was ok. But still, getting talked to by your boss, no matter how necessary, is never “fun”.

Wednesday I was working sick, as was Mrs Bookstooge. We were a real matched pair that day.

old-couple

Not quite that old, but I’m definitely that grumpy looking!

 

Thursday I found an embedded, partially engorged deer tick on my thigh. When I removed it, it didn’t look like the head came out, so I had to head to Urgent Care to get that taken care. They put me on doxycycline and that’s been making my stomach upset.

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Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting!

 

Then, on top of all that, I’ve been dealing with hardware and software issues at work. Some of our survey equipment is pushing 12years and so it’s starting to fail. I bought a new to us data collector and getting it updated, connected, configured, etc, etc has been a real process. I’m still not done and will have to come into the office after Sundown tomorrow to finish things up.

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And after writing 18-19 posts in the last 3 weeks, I was feeling some word burnout. Not bad, but definitely didn’t want to just sit down and start typing stuff up, like this post  *grin*

Saturday is going to be church, then the above mentioned work after Sabbath. Sunday I’m climbing a local mountain with some guys from church. That’ll be fun, if it doesn’t kill us. 40degrees is going to be the high temperature and once we get above the treeline I suspect the windchill will be well below freezing. I’m no Idris Elba, but I’ll give him a run for his money!

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bookstooge

Vermin Supreme Gives You “The Finger”

One of the “benefits” of living in a place like New Hampshire is that we get all the people who are too crazy for even a hellhole like Massachusetts to handle [someday I’ll enlighten you all on what’ll happen if I ever became Governator of New Hampshire]. One particular “blessing” is a political nutjob who is named Vermin Supreme. He’s run for President several times and his signature look is a big boot on his head and he’s run on  “A Pony for Every Citizen” platform.

He’s great. He’s an anarchist who is just trying to show people how ridiculous things are. While I’d gladly throw him in an asylum, I agree with his overall outlook on the political process, ie, it’s ridiculous.

Another perk of living in NH is that sometimes while working I have a couple of spare minutes on my hands and you know what they say about the devil and idle hands. Today I decided to make a Vermin Supreme Finger Puppet.

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TADA  Free Ponies for EVERBODY!!!!!!

It is stunning what a professional like myself can do with a discarded piece of plastic, a permanent marker and a camera phone.

 

bookstooge

Das Schizzle Jost Gotreil!

So somebody at our office screwed up.  A week long job was due August 3rd and we just found out about it today. Got pulled from another job to start it. Going to be working sunday, then early each day and late each day next week until it gets done. So there will be no real weekend for me. Blah.

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So if I leave some snarky comments on anyones’ blog,  please have mercy.

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bookstooge

When the Going gets Cold, Bookstooge gets Going…

inside to his nice warm, comfy couch!

*reality check*

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Unfortunately, my boss sometimes has a say in things and he’s more likely to say “Get out there and earn your livelihood!” than “Sure, take the day off, paid. Here’s a hot cup of cocoa too.”  Bosses are kind of funny that way I have found. All focused on getting work done instead of handing out free money to me. One of those mysteries of life I guess.

But it sure was a cold one yesterday! It was 15degrees and with the windchills, closer to 0, all day. That’s in Fahrenheit. Celsius would be negative 9degrees to negative 18degrees with the windchill. And we’d just gotten a foot of snow. Man, sometimes I really love New England. And Sunday afternoon into Monday we’ve got another storm on the way. Possibly another foot of snow with that. I am NOT working Monday 🙂

 

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Man, I love those guys, they’re like  Grumpy Cat before Grumpy Cat existed. All right, it’s time to head out. Have a great Saturday folks.