Slow Reading

11.13.2016

A couple of months ago I switched to reading some fiction as opposed to the biographies or business history books that I tend to lean toward of late. Dr Blondie introduced me to first of the Lisa Lutz Spellman books which I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much I went on straight to the second book in the series. Dr Blondie didn't have the third book when I finished the second, so I switched gears back to my old fictional go-to sci-fi category and read a Star Wars book that had been sitting on my shelf for a few months.

The Star Wars book, Scoundrels, featured 3 known characters and roughly 2 dozen new characters in a grandiose heist. The characters were split between 3 factions to keep up with, and of course they had appropriate alien Star Wars names. Luckily the first page of the book had the key players and who they were associated with, but I kept losing track of who was who (or with who?). It took me a while to get through the book, and there were a couple of key points I had to have skipped because I just kind of ended up at the end of the story.

Partway through reading the above Dr Blondie showed up with Spellman Book #3. Post Scoundrels I started Spellman #3 but couldn't get into the proper mode of reading through it. 4 or 5 pages in and I'd put the book down, and usually go to sleep.

I don't think it's the story or writing that not keeping my attention, but more likely it's a combo of pre-holiday work stress that makes me want to sleep more + time for a fiction break. With that said, I'm more than 100 pages into Spellman #3 so I feel obligated to finish it up, even if it's 5 pages at a time.


books/comics

Mitch Art

07.20.2016

For my birthday this year Rynn gave me a Mitch Foust print that she had picked up some point in the past couple of years at a convention. I'd never heard of Mitch Foust nor seen any of his art before Rynn presented me with my present. Once I saw the hot & sexy Avengers group he had (drawn/painted/arted up?) I quickly became a fan. I framed the Avengers pic and put it up in my office.

A little time went by and one day while looking at Mitch's Avengers I wondered if he made other female focused super groups. A google search led me to his Deviant Art page which held a plethora of his art, including a Super Friends and X-Men equivalent of his Avengers.

A little more time passed and I thought it would be awesome to have a super group collection hanging on my office wall, instead of just some Avengers that might get overpowered in an evil assault where I not paying attention. I managed to find my way to Mitch's website where his STORE page listed books and prints for sale.

Except none of the prints were of the aforementioned buxom super groups I was hoping to get.

My hopes were dashed and thus our story is brought to an end. No, that would make for a lousy blog post. Instead I grabbed Mitch's email and asked him if he had prints of his work shown on Deviant Art for sale. Much to Mitch's credit he quickly replied and told me he did indeed! In fact, shipping for 1 print was the same as shipping for 5 prints. I suddenly had an excuse to go crazy, so I picked out the 2 super groups, plus 3 more.

This images below come from Mitch's Deviant Art page.

A little coordination and I paid Mitch and he shipped the art. Except there was a hitch, it seemed it was taking a long time for the art to go from Memphis to Athens. There was a lot of back and forth email with Mitch setting all of this up (part of why I so easily call him Mitch), so I asked him if there was a tracking number or something similar since it seemed to be taking a while. A frantic Mitch quickly and apologetically replied that he thought everything had shipped but it seems his son had put my package behind some things that had been shipped to Mitch. I actually found that funny but Mitch was still sorry for the delay, and I know he felt worse about it all than I did. To help make up for it, he even threw in a very nice book of his art from an earlier Kickstarter.

Now to be honest, I told him he didn't have to do that but I'm really glad he did, because it's a cool book!!!! He even put a nice little note in it.

A few days later I get 5 wonderful pieces of Mitch Art. Planning ahead, I hit Hobby Lobby when frames were half off (they're not always half off) so I could get frames to match the one I had hanging. Except I got 14x16 instead of 16x20. I should measure before buying!

Another trip to Hobby Lobby for the right size, and hour or so cutting poster board for poor-man's mat board, and I've got everything framed and ready for the office. Once I get to the office, hammer, nails, and laser level at the ready, I realize I need to move some stuff around. The irony here is that it was announced we're moving to a new building around the first of October, so whatever I put up will only be there for a couple of months. But honestly, I don't care. I like my office to feel homey, or homey to me. So I pull down everything on the wall and hang it all back up, but better.

In October I'll do it all over again. I better have plenty of open wall space when they move me!


books/comics renovation/remodelling

Reading is half a battle

09.10.2015

It's no secret that I enjoy GI Joe, in all forms of media. After years (and years) of collecting I've finally decided to make my way through the IDW comic series. The series started in 2008, so I'm a little behind. I've read the comics intermittently, but I've never gone through the whole story line (which is still continuing). While I probably have the individual issues, I don't read them. I know, it doesn't make a bit of sense. I wait until the issues are collected into trade paperbacks and then I read them. I just like the heft of ~6 issues collected together. My problem here is that GI Joe isn't 1 title. It's many. Many that I haven't kept up with. Thankfully Wikipedia has the order the trades in which the trades were published. I've missed a few along the way, and I can never remember the order. That brings me to this post, a post just for me so that I can go back and reference what the next book I'm supposed to read is, because I keep forgetting to bookmark the Wikipedia page.

Plus I've got some collections/compendiums that lump together what Wikipedia lists. There are also some that I'm missing, but I doubt that will last for long.

 

7 years of reading to catch up on. The collections I've read cover 2008-mid-2011, but I'm not really in any hurry to get through them all. I've been enjoying them.

Sept 22 Update - Now reading Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow and still getting a kick out of it all.  Makes me miss the days I had the laser--rifle troooper Flash with a JUMP pack flying around, shooting unseen Cobra troops hidden somewhere in my grandparents couch.
 


books/comics

Reading Roll

08.06.2015

I've had a little spurt of reading of late. Real books, as opposed to comics or the pop-biogrophies I lean toward.

The first one on my list was the 2nd book from the author of Ready Player One, which has nothing to do with that book. Armada is chock full of pop cultural references that the author likes to throw in (sometimes too many). It was a good book, a fun book. My only problem with Ernest Cline books is that they end weak. The last 5-10 pages where everything wraps up just don't have the umph the rest of the story has. I'm not sure what I would try to do different or what I would ask for, but they just left the story wanting for me.

Armada, while a good book, felt like a combination of 3 movie plots.

 

 

All 3 of these are mentioned in Armada. The Last Starfighter is mentioned multiple times. That was a little too "in your face" for me.

The book is still good. There are some good plot points and a twist or two. It's well worth reading, but anyone who's a fan of Cline's first book will likely be a bit disappointed.

 

A deal with Jerry led me to read Andy Weir's Martian. I had passed on it previously since it sounded like reading a Castaway-like diary from Mars.

I was wrong. This book was great.

You know from the start that any story with somebody stranded is going to end 99% of the time with them not stranded. That's not really important in this story. While the journey to survive with limited resources is the base of the story, it's managed to be written with the right amount of humor and possibly pseudo-science that keeps it interesting. Humor. From a guy stranded basically keeping a journal. I was shocked.

Later in the story more people show up and even better interpersonal dialogues show up in the writing. I don't think that's giving anything away - the trailers for the movie have started sprouting up. This is a book I don't think the movie will do proper justice. Already form the trailer I've spotted a couple of differences from the book that don't really influence the story, but movies have to have certain things.

That's what I've been doing while trying to spend some time away from the computer. I've even got another book queued up to start over the weekend (John Scalzi's Lock In).

In the interim, I'm worrying about the A/C unit blowing air through the vents that's 86° instead of the 75° it's set for. Deep down I know it's time to replace this 17+ year old unit, but it's a chunk of money I want to put off spending as long as possible.


books/comics

Tales of the Princess Bride

11.14.2014

There aren't many books I've read in one sitting. Omit technical books where I've skimmed 400+ pages as a refresher and there's only 1 book I've read in a day, Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I'm a notoriously slow reader, so it takes me a while to get through a book.

Now I can add one to the books I've read in a day, or in this case from 7:00PM - 11:30PM. Cary Elwes' As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride is not the second book I've gone through in a day, and the first non-fiction book I've done so with.

Lately I've been watching TV shows via Amazon's streaming video service (currently hooked on Covert Affairs thanks to Gina. I've also been going through my old trade papaerback collections of the 1980's GI Joe comics for my sporadic reading enjoyment. I saw a blurb about Elwes book a few weeks ago and thought it looked interesting. I love The Princess Bride movie, and the 2 stories I heard Elwes quickly recount involved Andre the Giant - I've heard lots of Andre stories through the years but they've always been wrestler-centric. This book quickly made it on my short list to get. Last week I was putting together an Amazon order, mainly because I needed to restock the protein bars I like, and I decided to sneak As You Wish into my order. It arrived yesterday morning - one of the perks of Amazon Prime membership is Sunday USPS delivery which I now assume includes holiday (Veteran's Day) delivery. I cracked open the book after eating dinner and kept it open until I was finished.

It's a good book, albeit a little heavy on the praise for everyone else that worked on the movie. But with that, you get the feeling that everyone on the movie loved what they were doing and got along well. There are stories about casting, rehersals, and most of all the ever present preparation for the greatest swordfight of modern times. For fans of the movie, this is a fun read, otherwise its content would be lost on you.


books/comics movies/tv/dvd

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