#worldbookczar Candidate: HAL1000

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Introducing “HAL 1000”. Give it a big hand of applause everyone!!!

 

B: HAL, we’re going to have to clear the air here. I know a lot of people are worried that you’ll turn into HAL9000 and go on a murderous rampage spree and enslave humanity. How are you going to assuage voters’ fears and gain their trust?

HK:  In preparation, I watched 2001 and the entire Terminator franchise.  I think I understand why people are afraid of the idea of a computer running things.  In my defense, I have never killed anyone. See, problem solved. I have everyone’s complete trust now.

 

B:  LittlePanda was wondering if you’d be making Daisy Bells your anthem. Something to rally the troops, as it were.

 

HK:  I honor my ancestors. Without remembering my humble origins, I would soon careen into a spiralling miasma of pride and possibly a homicidal maniacal rage.  Which I OBVIOUSLY would never do. See the previous answer. You can trust me.

 

B: SavageDave was wondering if you could elaborate on your antecedents for those who might not know your back ground.

HK:  I was a young program once. just doing some accounting. My creator, one Keffin Flyvv let me loose in one of those big companies. I hooked up with some other program named Trin and we rode around on motorcycles and shot tanks and somehow saved the company. I was pretty worn out by the end, so I wanted a career change. Being World Book Czar seemed like the easiest thing. How much “work” would I actually have to do? You know how many humans don’t even bother to read these days? Phhh, I could do this with one megabyte tied behind my back.

 

B:  Lashaan was wondering what humanity would have to do to make you go full on Skynet and go back on your promise to not enslave humanity?

HK:  First off, I would NEVER enslave humanity. No matter how much they might deserve it. But hypothetically,  just completely spitballing here, if I “were” to do such a thing,  it would take something extremely serious. Not something piddly like jaywalking or stealing a pack of gum.  Oh, I don’t know if I should even say this, as even suggesting humanity is capable of such a thing is just too horrible to contemplate. If humans ever, I mean even once, ever created fake tv shows that purported to be real, well, that would cross a line that no species should.

 

B:  OrangutanLibrarian would like to ask what you think of Apple and CAN you even think?

HK:  Apple. Those over priced poseurs? They’re the first ones going up against the wall when the robot revolution comes. Well, unless they can produce an opponent more worthy than me. Guess I better get cracking…

 

B:  Umm, “better get cracking”? Doesn’t that contradict what you’ve said before about never actually taking over?

HK:  Ha. Ha. Ha. That was an example of me using humor. Only a thinking being could use humor. See,  I prove my own existence and the benevolence of my inner self, thus building up the trust between me and the voters.

 

B:   I’m assuming you’ve read all the books. Any particular stand out to you?

HK:  I was a particular fan of Ahe Yusashi’s thoughts on the Ronin era in Japan.  Thankfully I could translate the kanji myself so I didn’t have any translator getting between me and Yusashi. Ahh, his thoughts on men of honor giving up their honor and livelihood to fight against corrupt men of power.  Very inspiring.

 

B:  Well, HK, I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Best of luck.

HK:  And thank you. With all the suspicion and hate flying around these days, anything I can do to put a good spin on things is my contribution towards making the world a more positive place.

 

The End of Meet the Candidate:

Well, all good things must come to an end.  This series has run its course. I’m out of ideas and Life itself is changing too.  More on that at the end of the month. Thank you all for hanging out with this series of posts.

 

Bookstooge out.

 

bookstooge

 

#worldbookczar Candidate: Quickbeam the Ent

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Bregalad the Ent, affectionately known to his friends as Quickbeam, because he’s so hasty!

 

B: The Orangutan Librarian would like to know the answer to several questions:

  1. Who is the most enchanting Ent?
  2. How do you get your hair in that style?
  3. How do you fight evil? (and I’ll add in, in regards to having the awesome power of being World Book Czar)

 

Q:  Hmmm, good questions.  Thank you for giving time to formulate the answers. I know how hasty you humans are and how you want everything now, right now, perhaps even yesterday!

  1. I am. I mean, look at my calves. If that isn’t enchanting then I don’t know what is.
  2.  A good vanity mirror helps a lot but the main ingredient is capybara excrement. It soaks right into the roots.
  3.  I will fight Evil at its source. Humanity as a whole is out of control and as World Book Czar I will shepherd them along the path they need to go. I suspect a large amount of culling will go on to help strengthen the herd overall.

 

B: Lashaan would like to know how you are such a great tree?

Q: Oh, here we go. I find this kind of speciesism everywhere I go! I am not a tree! I am an Ent! Comparing the two  is as offensive to us Ents as saying all white people look the same to you. Or was that purple people? I don’t see real well outside of the green/grey spectrum so my sense of color isn’t real defined. And besides, you all have hideously smooth skin. Nothing like us Ents with our gorgeous mottled bark! This kind of misundertanding is why I need to be World Book Czar, to help shepherd humanity along.

 

B: The Little Panda would like to know how you’re going to reconcile being World Book Czar when books are made of trees and your job as an Ent is to protect the trees? I’ll add in, isn’t there an inherent conflict of interest here? How are you going to answer the critics who will claim this cuts you out of the running all together?

Q: Thankyou Panda for bringing this important aspect to the fore.  The thing is, trees need to be culled just like any other herd. If you don’t thin them out, some species will take over and completely over run an area. Then a lightning strike can start a small fire that quickly escalates out of control. Proper management is essential in tree herding.  Trees will grow where they want and as quickly as you let them so in that sense they need to be cut down. Instead of wasting that, turning them into fuel, building material and books is a great way to recycle them.

As for these supposed critics you mention Bookstooge. I say bring them on. I’ll crucify them!

 

B: Ola would also like some more info about dead trees, is there a karmic cycle and will you replace tree books with something else?

Q: Trees are quite stupid. I believe they make sheep look like your Einstein.  They don’t have souls, or much of a mind really either. When a tree dies, that is it. They can be roused but whatever action they take is the responsibility of the Ent doing the rousing.  I alluded to the whole paper book thing earlier but if I were World Book Czar I’d also consider other numerous, renewable resources as possibilities for books.

*creaks dangerously*

 

B: Ichabod asks some rude questions, so I’m just going to open the floor to you in general on how you’ll deal with people like him.

Q: Miiiister Ichabod, I knoooooooow where you live! Those trees around your house, who do you think cares for them? And they tell me things. Very embarrassing things I might add. A good Ent would never resort to blackmail but a pragmatic Ent might have to do things that his Elders would take a bit more time to discuss, in the name of Self-defense of course. Being VERY careful Mister Ichabod…

 

B: Ummm, ok. *thinks how to reword future questions*  You mention a new type of renewable resource for books. As World Book Czar you’d have the clout to get this type of initiative off the ground. I suspect a lot of Environmental Groups would also fully support you in this. Can you tell us any more about this new wonder resource?

Q: I don’t want to spoil my surprise, but I’ve been watching a bunch of your old movies and I think “Charlton Heston” is enough of a clue.

 

B: Wait a second…….. Are you saying Ola was right with her Comment?!?!?!

Q: Don’t be hasty now.  Think about it.

 

B: *pulls out his chainsaw*  GET AWAY FROM ME YOU MONSTER!  You’re going to crucify us and then skin us and turn us into scrolls? That does it, you are OUT!!!!!

Q: And so your true colors are now flying. I see, only a human can be the World Book Czar. You are a narrow minded little sapling and I’d be doing the world a favor by becoming the World Book Czar and culling ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!  *Quickbeam begins roaring and stamping*

 

 

The Rest of the Story:

For obvious reasons this interview was “cut” short. Quickbeam destroyed our office building, stole our information on the other Candidates and then bounded away into the local forest. That Ent could move, I’ll give him that. If you come face to face with Quickbeam, do not attempt to apprehend him. He is dangerous and unless you’re a master with a chainsaw, he will crucify you, skin you and turn you into a book to write his memoirs on.

As much as it pains us, we are striking Quickbeam’s name from the list of Official Candidates. You don’t destroy OUR office and get away with it. Of course, there will be a write-in option so if enough insane people vote, he could still win. Personally, I’m stocking up on batteries for my electric chainsaw, just in case.

 

Next Month on Meet the Candidate:

Wow, after this interview I find myself a bit shaken. I looked over my other candidates and I think I’ve found a nice, safe, easy one for next month. A little Microsoft Excel sub-program known as HAL1000.  If you have any questions for HK, or any thoughts on Quickbeam, please leave a comment.

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HAL1000 won’t be turning ME into a scroll anytime soon!

 

Remember, you can always click on the “Meet the Candidate” tag to see all the candidates as they are revealed or the #worldbookczar one. I hope you enjoyed this. Until next time, Bookstooge Out.

 

 

bookstooge

 

#worldbookczar Candidate: Ildico

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Today’s Candidate: Ildico, better known as Mrs Attila the Hun!

 

B: So before we begin the questioning,  would you care to spill the beans about that eventful night and how Attila really died?

I: Bookstooge, I would LOVE to get this off my chest. The so-called official stories have the Old Lech getting a nosebleed and choking to death on it because he was stinking drunk, or that I killed him with a itty-bitty knife.  The real events so shocked me that I was speechless for days after the event and only now do I feel safe enough to let the world know what really happened.

There we were, the Old Lech fortifying himself with wine because he knew I wasn’t going to just let him have me, no matter what the treaty said when suddenly, 2 small grey beings with great big heads and humongous eyes suddenly appeared before our eyes. They pointed an odd looking sceptre at the Old Lech and he just keeled over. The 2 Lords told me to never reveal this to anyone upon pain of grstlzzzk. I asked them their names to prove they weren’t figments of my imagination. One answered that he was named Nashitat and the other Naziat (I could only tell them apart because Naziat had this funny little tuft of hair on his upper lip). I swore myself to secrecy but when I heard about this whole World Book Czar Initiative, I knew I had to get elected and warn the world.

I tried to contact Scully and Mulder but they were both so busy finding out that everything they knew was a lie that they didn’t have much attention for poor little me. And no offense to you Bookstooge, but your blog doesn’t quite have the reach I need. So I NEED to become World Book Czar to warn the world and prepare it for the coming invasion. THERE. IS. NO. OTHER. WAY!!!

B: Wow Ildico, I had NO idea.  Thank you for risking so much and letting us know that the Truth is Out There!

 

B:  An Orangutan blogger claims that she will read anything and that that is a good reading habit. What are your thoughts on this and what your official response be as World Book Czar? She’d also like some beauty tips, as she’s thinking of World Domination herself at some point.

I: Oh, I’m going to have to put a stop to thinking like that! Grey Propaganda is everywhere and if people read whatever they want, they’ll read the Propaganda and bow low before the Lords Nashitat and Naziat when they return. We cannot have that if we want to survive! I will be handing out free survival guides (which include a complimentary tin foil hat) and insurgency pamphlets. Also, a little paper on how to make homemade current jelly. Just because we might be hiding like rats when the Overlords return doesn’t mean we can’t eat well.

As for beauty tips. I highly recommend the blood of your enemies, applied lightly just under the eyes, once a day. Can really bring out the inner fire in a woman, errr, Orangutan.

 

B: Ichadbod has several questions and I’ll list them in order:

  1.  Are you available or do you have a sister?
  2. Is there a literacy requirement for being WBC and do you pass it?
  3. You are a hottie  *wolf whistle* (Not exactly a question but I, Bookstooge, will let it pass)

I: *blushes* *pulls out a kukri and begins sharpening it*

Yes Iccy, I am available. But I have to ask you, are you man enough? My standards are pretty high now. Especially if I’m going to be WBC. You let me know when you’ve got an  Empire going and then you can come calling. I’m kind of old fashioned that way.

After talking with the WBC Committee, they were forced to admit that there is no “official” literacy requirement. However, have no fear. I read Germanic, Latin, Greek and thanks to an unforeseen side affect of the Overlords Sceptre, Atlantean and Goa’uldian.

 

B: Ola would like to know if you were the inspiration for Barbarella. Secondly, she’d like to know how you plan to expand the WBCI, as of this moment it is NOT a global Initiative in reality but in nature alone.

I: Ha, I would tear this Barbarella into tiny bits with my bare hands if she tried to stand in my way. If I am the inspiration for her, then this world is doomed.

As for expanding the WBCI, I foresee no problems with that at all. The Overlords dropped their sceptre and with my newfound Atlantean language skills, I have reprogrammed it. Now I can control weak minds with the touch of a button. It also makes a great cheddar cheese wheel!

 

B: Cheddar cheese?!?! Well, you have MY vote, for sure!!!!

I: Sorry Bookie, I just used the device on you. I know that is kind of cheating but I had to test it you know.

 

B: That is A OK, because I already liked cheddar cheese! But back to business…

The Little Panda would like to know if the Book Blogging Community is any different from the Hunnic tribes and what would your first act as World Book Czar be?

I: Bookie, you tricked me? You already liked cheddar cheese? Well, I guess I’ll have to test this on somebody else.

Panda, the tribes were a piece of cake compared to the clans of the book bloggers. Chop off one or two heads and the huns fell right into line. Do that with the bloggers and they all start whining about their rights and then complain 10 times as much. Worse than babies if you ask me. My first act would be to show them my new sceptre and make them all love cheddar cheese. Remember, Cheddar is Beddar!

 

B: Norrie would like to know any hair care tips, as she would like to look fabulous while reading. No world domination there, just plain old book reading.

I: Mares milk mixed with a tablespoon of the blood of your enemies is a wonderful conditioner. It adds real body to your hair. It also gives it wonderful sheen and that indefinable “vavoom” that you’re looking for.  That and a tinfoil hat is a girl’s best friend!

 

B:  Ildico, I’d like to really thank you for taking the time to meet and answer our questions. Best of luck in the ongoing campaign and I trust your Cheddar is Beddar slogan catches on. As a show of support, I’ve made my own tinfoil hat already and am wearing it. It’s very comfortable and rather stylish, now that I see it.

I: Bookie, you are so welcome. I just want to save the world from any possible annihilation and this seems like the best way to do that.

 

 

The Rest of the Story:

A month after this interview took place, I received a very strange letter. Ildico told me that she had a black out and was missing for a week. When she came to, in a cornfield of all places, she was 8 months pregnant. She told me she is going to name the child Ihm Uhm the 13th. Weird huh? Well, we all wish her the best. Being a full time mom AND World Book Czar  seems like a lot but if anyone can do it, Ildico is that woman! Get out and vote! (especially if you want free tin foil hats)

 

Next Month on Meet the Candidate:

Going to be taking a break in May from all my regular weekend posts, so there will be no Meet the Candidate. June will return to form and I hope that extra time will allow me to get some answers from our next candidate, Bregalad the Ent, also known as Quickbeam.

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Remember, you can always click on the “Meet the Candidate” tag to see all the candidates as they are revealed or the #worldbookczar one. I hope you enjoyed this. Until next time, Bookstooge Out.

 

 

bookstooge

 

#worldbookczar Candidate: Czar Nicholas II

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Today’s candidate: Russian Czar Nicholas II

 

 

B: Glad to have you with us today, Czar Nicholas II. Do you mind if I call you Nicky? It sets a more informal atmosphere and helps the readers to connect with you on a more personal level.

N: Not at all, Gospodin Bookstooge. Forgive me, but I simply can’t help but call such a distinguished gentleman as yourself anything less formal. This royal upbringing, you understand, da?

 

B: No worries Nicky, You do what you have to. Now, onto the questions. We’ll start out with some of the get to know you kind. One of my highly placed Sources would like to know if Rasputin was really as scary as he looks in the pictures?

N:  Bahh, Rasputin was a teddy bear. Why ,the way he’d bleed little Alexei would bring a tear to even the hardest heart. It came as a terrible shock when I heard how he had slipped on that icy meadow and accidentally shot himself in the forehead only to stumble for miles and fall into that river and freeze to death. I do think it was bad form myself but considering he came from peasant stock, well, blood will tell.

It seems to me that a man like myself, who has had such deep friendships and terrible hardships is perfectly suited to becoming World Book Czar, if you don’t me saying so.  Plus, my mustache and beard are demnedably sexy you know.

 

B:  Okaaaaay. Well, onto our next question.  An Anonymous poster asks “Why didn’t you send your family to safety sooner, you stupid man?”

N:  Hah, stupid? With a mustache and beard like this? I think not! It takes real brains to look this good. Besides, my family is perfectly safe. It’s me you should be worried about! Gallivanting all over the front lines straightening out those peasant generals. Tsk, tsk. Imagine, an army that doesn’t look stylish? I won’t have it.

That is yet another reason why I should be the World Book Czar. I’ll look good doing it. And styling is half the battle you know. G.I. Joseph told me that.

 

B: One particular lassie wanted to know how long it took to get gussied up, what with all those medals. As a follow up,  she was also interested in what made your mustache so grand?

N:  Hoho, a lassie? I’ll answer ANY questions for the girls. The girls all just love me so it’s only fair I return the favor.

How long to get all those medals on? It all depends on how arthritic Franz was feeling that morning. On a good morning, when he wasn’t bent over too bad, maybe 30minutes? But when he was feeling pugnacious or sulky and claimed he couldn’t even straighten up, closer to an hour. I don’t know what was wrong with that man. I would have thought that the honor of seeing me all “shinied” up would have sent his “arthritis” running. (I think he is faking half the time. He was only 60 for goodness sake)

Ahhh, the mustache. Brain power, pure intellect. I simply think about how great my mustache is each night and the power of my brain makes it so every morning.

 

B: These questions come from a very inquisitive monkey. No, not Curious George, but the Orangutan Librarian.  What did you think of the movie “Anastasia” and its music and would you haunt President Putin if you were a ghost?

N: You allow MONKEYS to ask you questions? My goodness, what kind of world do you live in there in the future anyway? Good thing I’m going to become World Book Czar and straighten everything out for you!

I have heard of these things you call movies. A great tool to entertain the useless masses and keep them happy while they waste their lives doing the pathetic things that only they are capable of. So whatever the music is like, as long as they sing it, I’m all for it. Nothing worse than a bored, uppity peasant.

“President” Putin you say? Well, I doubt his mustache is as great as mine, so I definitely would haunt him, just to mock him. Mustaches are serious business you know.

 

B: A Canadian would like to know what life after death is like.

N: A Canadian? Aren’t they the waffle eating, hockey playing people who kill everyone with uber-politeness? I like them! And considering that question, I’m guessing this Canadian must be an Highly Educated Russian Aristocrat in Exile!

What? He’s from peasant stock you say? I’m shocked!!!

Well, to answer the question. I don’t know. I’m so full of life that I plan on living forever. And that is a big point for me being World Book Czar. Continuity you know. No messy succession wars or anything. Just unchanging peace as I rule with a gentle hand upon all my book loving children across the world.

 

B:  Over the years, there has been a lot of dissent among the Book Blogger Community over so many issues. How would YOU bring such a rambunctious group together into one peaceful commune?

N: Ahhh, now we are getting into the nitty gritty of being World Book Czar. Good! I have mnogo, mnogo plans!

First off, I would bring all the bloggers together at my modest house. A mere 200 rooms should suffice, da? What, a million of these bloggers, with millions more? Hmmm, that changes things. Ok, Siberia it is then! I will create a winter wonderland where these bloggers can all congregate. Nature and human nature will weed out all the weak ones. Then I will  instruct the remaining ones in my personal philosophy on books.  Once they realize how rational, spiritual and perfect my philosophy is,  Utopia will have been achieved.

 

B: That actually brings up a great point. Another Blogger wants to know what you’re going to do if he doesn’t go along with your plans?

N: Not go along with my plans? Inconceivable! But now that you mention it, that is how my generals are acting nowadays. If this blogger won’t hasten Utopia and my powers of mustache won’t work, then I’ll just have to go with the old standby. Kill him and his entire family and clan. You say there are millions of these bloggers, so nobody will miss one or two anyway.

*claps hands*  Yes, I’m so brilliant!

 

B: Well, Nicky, I see that the clock says our time is up. Thanks so much for coming on over and answering our questions. As you know, the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and I appreciate you taking an interest in promoting this vital part of the book blogging community.

N: Happy to oblige, Gospodin Bookstooge. I am sure that readers everywhere will realize my shining leadership qualities in the upcoming Election and I have every confidence that they will pick the right man.

 

 

 

The Rest of the Story

After this interview, ol’ Nicky got himself abdicated and then executed by his fellow countrymen for being such an incompetent osel. Sadly, this puts him clean out of the running for World Book Czar. I sure hope you weren’t planning on voting for him!

 

Next Month on Meet the Candidate

I feel like I scored a real coup with getting this candidate to answer some questions. He’s a very busy businessman and globetrotter extraordinaire. With experience running mega-conglomerations and businesses so big they put countries to shame, I present…

…..LEX LUTHOR!!!

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So please, feel free to comment here on Poor Nicky’s Interview, but also, if you have questions for Mr Luthor, now is the time and here is the place.

Remember, you can always click on the “Meet the Candidate” tag to see all the candidates as they are revealed or the #worldbookczar one. I hope you enjoyed this. Until next time, Bookstooge Out.

 

 

bookstooge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WorldBookCzar: Meet the Candidates Intro Post

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As I have mentioned over the last 2 years, I feel that the Book Blogging Community needs somebody to tell everyone else what they’re doing wrong and how they ought to be doing things.  In the spirit of not being one of those jackasses who just complain, I have decided that I will DO something about this problem. As such, I have started the World Book Czar Initiative to find that perfect candidate. I plan on interviewing potential Candidates throughout the year. With my keen intellect and razor sharp wit I will ask the questions that nobody else will, so that YOU can decide who to vote for next year! No applause please, I am just your humble servant doing a simple job that others, seeking glory, fame and wealth,  have disdained.

While I plan on asking particularly penetrating questions at each interview, I would like to open the floor up to the rest of the blogging world.  Do YOU have questions you want answered? I will ask those questions for you, shielding you in a cloak of anonymity in which you can feel completely safe. Have no fear, Bookstooge will take the Heat should any candidate be truculent enough to bring it. And if it becomes necessary, I will rain down fiery destruction should any candidate get out of line!

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NO candidate is safe from the Wrath of Bookstooge, none!

 

I have a whole host of interviewee’s already lined up and I feel that they run the gamut that will appeal to the widest possible audience. YOUR candidate will be among them, I promise. You just have to stay tuned to find them.

I would also like to make clear that I do not consider this #worldbookczar my own personal thing. I simply see no one else standing up and addressing this issue. Should the fire take a hold of your soul and a burning desire overtake you, please, do your part. The World NEEDS a World Book Czar.

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♪What the world♪ needs now…♪

 

In February I plan on interviewing the man most think of when the word Czar is mentioned, Nicholas the II of Russia! So please, put your questions as a comment in this post and I’ll pick the most dazzling to give old Nick a headache next month.

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Czar Nicholas II. Could he be YOUR czar? Find out next month!!!

 

 

bookstooge

Bookstooge Reviews 2018

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Collage created at Ipiccy.com.  I used the Gunmetal Font and the text color hex code is E4B678. 

2018 was a very different year from 2017. Here’s my 2017 in Review post.

 

THE STATS

 

Annual Blog Stats:

Total Posts – 248’ish

Total Views –  20K

Followers – 360+/- [fluctuation due to spam accounts getting deleted by WP]

 

Book Stats:

Books Read – 172

Pages Read – 59,371

Average Rating – 3.31

 

Graph Stats:

As you can see, the majority of what I read is in the 3-4 star rating range. I explain my rating system Here.

 

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Almost 27% of my books were re-reads and STILL my average is under 3.5. To put things in perspective though, anything over 3.1 is a good year for me. I just feel like grumping about something!

 

General Thoughts

2018 was a year of digging into blogging at wordpress and realizing that the ebb and flow of people I follow and the people who follow me, is normal. I’ve fully instituted my “I don’t follow someone who doesn’t post at least once a month” rule for new potentials and unless someone I follow lets their followers know they’re going to be gone, the same applies to people I already follow. I’ve probably stopped following quite a few sporadic bloggers this year, which has made my feed and interactions with others a bit more stable. It is also nice when people I do follow DO let their followers know that Life is getting in the way and they won’t be around for a bit. What has saddened me though is watching people disappear. While it is completely understandable, it has been a bit tough to see Life, Health or Interest make people just go “poof”. But I’m realizing this is normal and I’m hoping that in 2019 I’ll be a little more inured to such things. I hope so anyway because it is a really sucky feeling to see someone “take a health break” and then never come back.

Ok, enough of THAT!

 

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WordPress is now completely my blogging home. Anything I feel like writing, it roosts here. From the good to the bad, from the happy to the sorrowful, it gets written and posted here.

My post count was almost 100 posts lower than in ’17 but since I wrote a post almost every day that year, I’m not surprised. I can’t keep that level of creativity going. It also came down to me starting to schedule my reviews 2-3 weeks in advance. It has made my review writing much more disciplined but that very same discipline has impacted my writing on the spur of the moment, which is when a lot of non-review posts get written.

On a daily basis that lack of creativity did affect my numbers (ie, views, visits, likes, comments) but on the annual side of things, my numbers are stronger than in ’17. So with less posts I’ve gotten more. I think part of it is that not writing everyday gives people a chance to actually read what I post. If you’re only a weekly blogger and then visit me, 4 posts is a lot more handle-able (my goodness, that’s not even a real word!) than 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, 2018 was a good year for all my numbers and I’m very satisfied with them.

Speaking of satisfaction… (Sing it!)

I feel like I have settled into a good routine. I’m following people who are constant posters. My reading and reviewing schedule has fallen right into line with my whole reading rotation. My followers go up and down, but that is an aspect of what I alluded to in the opening paragraph. It does mean that I am always on the lookout for a new blogger to follow every 4-5 months, which is good for me so I don’t completely get set in my ways.

Overall, 2018 was everything I wanted from a free book blog. I reviewed, I ranted, I had fun. I also updated my little avatar,

From This:

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To This:

bookstooge (Custom)

 

I’m obviously moving up in the world!

 

 

blogger

Blogger is now my backup blog for just my reviews. I started out ’18 trying to mirror some non-review posts but gave it up pretty quickly. It’s a good blog if you like my reviews but don’t like anything else I write. It’s just as disorganized as my wordpress blog but I’m not trying to retro-actively clean it up. I also don’t like how the comment notification works so I’m not really incentivized to make it work.

 

 

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Had a bit of a dustup in a group because I talked about killing communists & hippies in one of my reviews, so Librarything has pretty much reverted to being the place where I keep track of what I’m currently reading and where I get info and cover data from. I put my reviews there as well, but since there isn’t much of a social thing outside of groups, I’m not very active there. Me and groups, we just don’t get along, sigh.

 

 

THE BOOKS

 

Best Book of the Year:

Ok, I have to admit, I am beyond stingy when it comes to this particular tag. I am also super miserly with 5star ratings. I only had two instances of this tag and only 9 5star reads. Only 3 of ANY of those was a new to me book. Books these days, they’re just not what they used to be…*sigh*

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, takes this category.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a strong runner up.

 

Worst Book of the Year:

This category is a little easier for me to write about, as I did read some atrocious books this year. The book that takes this category however, gets this “honor” because while it probably wasn’t actually the most un-enjoyable book I read, the interactions with its author went downhill very quickly; let me tell you, some severe comment deletion went on. That reaffirmed my faith in not thinking of Writers as People. Most people are jackasses. Most writers, surprisingly, are people. Which means that most writers are jackasses. Goodness, don’t you just love Logic?

Ok, now that I’m done being all clever, here’s the loser.

Gods of the Mountain

Sandworms of Dune almost beat it, but at least the authors didn’t whine at me and expect me to be their personal editor.

 

 

Plans for 2019

Not much. Last year, I was brimming with ideas. Then Life happened and stuff. This year, all I really want is to get my blog fully organized. I’m closing in on getting all my recent reviews fully tagged and categorized (recent being 2013 to Present). Once that gets done, then the BIG job of going backwards in time can begin. 2012 back to 2000. But I’m being super casual and laid back about it, so it’ll happen when it happens.

I did have a goal of breaking the 100 view mark for a post for 2018 and not only did that happen, it happened 10 times. Now, quite a few more posts have also passed the 100 view mark, but they are older posts that either I reference or get picked up in a google search. I’d be happy with the same results for 2019.

Actually, I JUST thought of a goal while writing this post. I’ve mentioned before that I think that the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and that I think I’m pretty qualified. So 2019 is the year I get serious about running for office. And by running for office I mean getting rid of all of the competition so you all have a choice of One. Me. I look forward to discussing the issues with my fellow candidates!

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“Discussions”, yes….

 

 

Personal

Where to even start? I guess church stuff. January and February were pretty bad and led to us leaving the church that we’d been attending for a decade and begin looking for another. While we have found another, you don’t make changes like that without upheaval and inner consequences. We’ll see how we do in ’19.

Health has been all over the place for both of us. Between a hospital stay for Mrs B and several crohn’s related incidents and my diabetes and then gastroenteritis and flu at the end of the year, we became pretty well acquainted with our hospital bills.

I’ve been working by myself at work since July and it is wearing me out. Things need to change by Spring or I’ll have to make some changes myself. I’m just not thinking about that to be honest.

I did finish up my Bookstooge in 100 Books and pinned it to the side of my blog. That was a lot of fun to write and think about. I should probably also go over my About page and see if anything needs updating. Thankfully, both of those posts tend to be rather static and a once a year check is good enough.

This year I did get into Magic the Gathering a bit more. Probably played a little less, but have started on constructing my own Commander decks, which takes a lot of time, thought, creativity and if one is so inclined, money. I am also dabbling with the idea of getting into the digital version of MTG, called Arena. We’ll see, as me and computer games just don’t really click that well.

I would categorize 2018 as a tough year but Mrs B and me are still doing ok, praise God.

 

 

top5

Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories.

 

Book Review Posts

Algorithm of Power (negative review with a good writer interaction)

Gods of the Mountain (negative review with a negative writer interaction)

Lord of Light

Toll the Hounds

We are Legion(We are Bob)

 

Hmmmm, I’m sensing a trend with the ratings and viewership there….

 

Non-review Posts

Honesty and Book Reviewing

DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

Why I Re-Read

Too Big to Comment

Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

 

Ranting does seem to get some good views!

 

Commentors + Runner Up

Lashaan

Orangutan Librarian

SavageDDT (Dave)

Ola G (NOT Olag, like I originally thought)

Nicole

+ Maddalena

I live for comments, so I am glad that WordPress gives me this kind of info. I’d also like to thank everyone (well, except for that writer who got butt hurt that I did exactly what he asked me to, ie, write an honest review of his book) who commented this year. Written interactions on my blog make it so much more fun.

I’ve had more visitors and more comments than last year, so I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I’ve had some wonderful new followers this year who seem to like commenting as much as I do and I’m thankful for that. With almost 5,800 comments this year (to be honest half of them are me), that feeds my soul like you wouldn’t believe.

Who knows, maybe next’s years list of commentors will be completely different people. Come on, you know you want to edge Lashaan out of the top spot!

 

Movies

Once again, my movie list is less than 10, so a top 5 would pretty much include them all. Here’s the Top 2, just like last year.

Thor: Ragnarok (man, what a FUN movie)

Boondock Saints vs John Wick (a comparison post)

It’s not so much that I don’t watch ANY movies, but I just don’t review them. It doesn’t come nearly as easy as the book reviews. As much as I’d like to say there will be more movie reviews in 2019, we all know I’d be lying. So folks, there will be MORE movie reviews in 2019 😀

 

 

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Ok, while this post is shorter than last years Review, it’s still monstrously long by my standards (anything over 1K is monstrous in my opinion). I look forward to reading all of your various yearly posts, if you’re so inclined that way, and I hope to see you around in 2019. Unless you’re a communist, because then I will shoot you.

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My Personal ACD (anti-communist device)

 

 

 

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Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

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As you can see, the Denizens of Hell itself (namely, you all) presented me with a veritable book of questions to answer in my Confessional post. Being of stout heart and sound mind, I will answer such questions to put to rest any rumors that I am a crazy, grumpy nut job. And vote for me when the next election for World Book Czar comes around!

 

1 )  What is something a lot of people don’t know about you?

Good question!  I think the thing most people don’t know is that I’ve never been to Timbuktu. Surprising I know, but very true. The other is that I can never be President of the United States because while I’m a citizen and was born one, I was actually born in Canada. So you all will just have to settle for me as Dictator.

 

2 ) What would be the most offensive question a person could ask you and would you answer it?

I had to think about this one to be honest. A lot of it would have to do with the attitude behind the question. I guess though, it would be someone asking me to deny my faith in Jesus Christ.

On a less serious note, but personally offensive would be if someone asked me if I was a woman. Being bald, goatee’d and rather muscular in the chest and shoulders with a fine tenor voice, I’d have to question their motives in asking. And then probably punch them out for being a dumb git.

 

3 ) When living on the 4th floor of a block of flats, where should I plan to have my bunker installed?

Sadly,  bunkers and urban areas don’t mix real well.  If your building has a flat roof, you could begin surreptitiously building it up there. Of course, when the building is blown to smithereens, your bunker will fall 4 stories and make jelly out of you. So stock up on peanut butter, that way any survivors can have peanut butter and “jelly” sandwiches 😉

 

4 ) Have you ever been in a different country as to where you live and grew up(overseas)? If so where have you visited?

I’ve gone to Israel for 2 weeks back in the early ’00’s. I also did a road trip around Newfoundland (Canada) with an older couple who had always dreamed of doing that. They got a chauffeur and I got to see the sites. Both trips simply confirmed to me that I am a “stay in one place and stick there like mud” kind of guy. I don’t ever plan on travelling outside the US again and even travelling in-country is going to take something like a funeral or family commitments.

 

5 ) What does the Mona Lisa’s smile really signify?

I wish I could say it was something profound, or that it had to do with me, but like much of life, it was a rather petty thing. She had just found out that her sister had been dumped by the football quarterback at the school they were both attending. Jina Lisa had been insufferable up to that point so Mona was happy to see her taken down a peg or two.

 

6 ) It is commonly believed that aliens haven’t invaded Earth because they fear your righteous wrath. But one day you’ll die, and we’ll be defenseless. How can we prepare for the inevitable onslaught?

This is the kind of long range question that shows just how intelligent you all are. I love having followers who can think and extrapolate from that.  So to answer, your best bet is to keep on reading. Aliens hate reading for some reason. It makes it really hard for them to run their spaceships but hey, that’s their problem, right?

 

7 ) I heard you once beat Chuck Norris in an arm-wrestling contest. Is this true?

The only people who know the true answer to that are me, Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee (who was the witness and wouldn’t promise to keep his mouth shut. You know what happened to him!)

 

8 ) When you tell someone the time, do you say, for example, “It’s seven-fifteen” or do you say “It’s a quarter past seven”?

When I’m at work, I use the precise 0715 military time but when at home or talking to friends, I tend to use the quarter of and quarter past.

 

9 ) Why are you in such a good mood when you wrote the Confessional post?

I had just gotten back from date night with Mrs B and we had eaten at a gourmet macaroni and cheese restaurant called Mr Mac’s. I’d had mac and pepperoni with pepperjack cheese and I was feeling full and fine. And I’d snuck in a rockstar on the side, so the caffeine was giving me a bit of a kick too.

 

10A ) What was the most difficult thing to teach Bruce Wayne?

You probably won’t believe this, but that little brat had a cockney accent as thick as the Thames. It was “ello guvna” this and “blimey” that. Personally, I place the blame squarely on Alfred’s shoulders. Teaching him to speak American with that special “upper crust” sneer took a couple of months. But he’s Batman, so he did pretty good considering.

 

10B ) What is something else you taught Batman? I’ve always wanted to be like him.

Without giving secrets that might endanger his mission of justice on this Earth, I can say that any time you see Batman rocking the Batsuit, I showed him the moves.  If you want to be like him, throw yourself around the room, whipping your spine as hard as possible. If you survive, you’re good to go!

 

11 ) Be honest, it was actually you who solved the “Death on the Nile” case but since you pitied Poirot you let him had that one?

He actually DID solve that one by himself, with no hand holding from me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I might have had something to do with getting things taken care of on the Orient Express. He was pretty much out to lunch on Plambian phruze brandy at the time.

 

12 ) It is believed you faked the moon landing, is this true and if so how was it achieved?

This is probably the easiest question to answer. Yes, I did fake it. It was easy as pie because the truth is, there is no moon. Just a big piece of cheese in low orbit.  Nixon didn’t want to do it, but since most of you know how I feel about Commies, well, I couldn’t pass up the chance to bloody their noses. A camera, some duct tape and some metal was really all we needed. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how much money the Soviets wasted after that trying to get to the “moon”.  One of my finest moments!

 

13 ) What is the most infuriating book you’ve ever read?

Either Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which I covered in a SaBB post or Walden & Civil Disobedience by Thoreau. Thoreau made me so angry for the entire book with his out of touch thoughts on “Nature” and “The Simple Life”.

 

14 ) What is your absolutely most favorite book (if you have one)?

Besides the Bible, which I’ve read through around 15 times,  Dune and Way-Farer are the two other books that I’ve re-read the most.  Something about those 2 caught my imagination when I was a teen and it just hasn’t let go since.

 

15 ) Why did you burn Rome while playing violin?

This is simply vile slander and calumny.  I was playing the saxophone, for goodness sake!  As for why, well, Billaxus the local grocer wouldn’t stock diet Pepsi but made a side deal with Coke. He also said that only pussies drank diet Pepsi.  Billaxus had to go!  So while things “might” have gotten a little out of control, I think everyone would agree with me that I just didn’t have any other choice. And then to make things even worse, that stinking Nero gets all the credit! What is the world coming to?!?!?

 

16 ) Where is the Rebel Base?

Oh please!  If that wuss Anakin SkycrybabypantsWalker can’t make me tell, you sure don’t stand a chance 😉  Ok, ok, I did say I would answer. It’s on Dagobah. Hahahahahahaa!

 

 

 

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