Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Fool Moon

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I seems safe to say I've become a full-fledged fan of the Dresden Files. I enjoyed the first book, Storm Front, a lot, and liked this one even more. Butcher's writing improved dramatically between books. Yes, a lot of the tropes are still there, but it's a genre story, there are going to be tropes. If you enjoy the genre you expect them and enjoy them accordingly; complaining about them would be like complaining about there being a monster in a monster movie. The characters and plots are fun, as is the dialogue. There are some nice twists. The world-building going on is interesting, and the end sets up further installments nicely. All in all, this is a very solid book. I think I've got a new book series obsession...

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'm Givin' Her All She's Got, Captain...

...but I need more time!

Here's a post I've promised for a week now: the one that rants about how there just aren't enough hours in the day anymore for me to do all the things I want to do. There are about six blog posts I've been meaning to write that are just too time-consuming at the moment. Seriously, there's one about TV shows that has grown to include eight different topics... at this point I think I might just wait until it hits ten and make it into a nice, neat list. I'm still hoping to hit a hundred posts in a year for the second time in my blogging career, but I just don't know anymore. And clearly there's no fiction-writing getting done at all.

There are also a stack of comics on my computer going back over a month now that I haven't been able to read. You know, I used to lament the change in writing style that took comics from something that used to take at least ten minutes an issue to read to something that can be breezed through in half the time in a lot of cases, or I'd never get anywhere. And in the same vein, books! I'm trying to keep up with my challenge to read at least fifty again this year, and so far I'm on track. Barely.

As for visual entertainment? I'm watching TV shows days after they air, trying to avoid spoilers and failing miserably. It's a good thing most shows are wrapping up for the season now or I just wouldn't be able to handle it. Of course new shows are starting soon too, so the cycle keeps going. And I'm so far behind on movies, there's just never any time for them!

Okay, full disclosure: that last one isn't true; I'm still seeing a movie a week or so in theaters and, before I started writing this blog on the work computer today I watched a movie on it, and will probably watch another or two before the day is over...

So what's to blame for all this falling by the wayside like this?

This job, for one thing. Ten-and-a-half-hour shifts, plus travel time each way, plus exhaustion and the need to sleep afterwards. It makes things impossible.

And then there's my girlfriend, who I have to spend the weekend with every weekend so none of these things get done. And as if that wasn't enough for her, I also have to take her out at least once during the week, too! Talk about time-consuming. Between her and work, there's just never any time anymore.

There's never any time!

In case you can't tell, this post is satirical in nature. While yes, it's true that I could use some more time to do some of the things I enjoy, there's no two ways around the fact that I love my life right now. I'm being paid extremely well to do...well, not a whole lot. Yes, the shifts are long right now, but this schedule gives me three-day weekends, and who doesn't love that? And I'm madly in love with my girlfriend and enjoy every moment we spend together and wouldn't trade them for anything. So yes, while there might not be enough time for everything I want to do (including blessed, miraculous sleep), I couldn't be happier.

Although I wouldn't mind getting through those comic books...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Rogues

RoguesRogues by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I sort of feel like a broken record when it comes to anthologies; I'm always saying the same things about how hard they are to review because each story is so different and the parts vs. the whole and all that stuff. This one is elevated above most of the other anthologies I've ever read by virtue of the fact that it features stories by George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and Gillian Flynn, all of which are amazing. I also enjoyed Joe Abercrombie's story, as well as the ones by Scott Lynch and Matthew Hughes, but were mostly disappointed by the rest of them. Still, this is a four-star anthology, one for each of those headliners. In fact, it would be worth it for a story from just one of those authors, let alone all four of them, and with three other good ones in there, it's well worth it.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mets Monday: 2014 Subway Series Game 1

I realize it isn't technically Monday, but last night was Monday and I was at the game last night so I'm writing about it today and calling it Monday. Sue me. Last night's game kicked off the 2014 Subway Series between my beloved Mets and the time from across the city, the Yankees. It was a night of firsts for me: the first time I went to a Subway Series game; the first time I've caught a game at the new Yankee Stadium; and the first time my girlfriend and I have gone to a game together.

One of us has bad taste in headgear. Hint: it's the cute one on the right.

It was a fun night. As a little background to last night's game, in last year's entry into the ongoing rivalry between these two teams, the Mets won all four games in a split-stadium series sweep (can you tell how much I really love alliteration?). With that in mind, going into game-time last night, I was hoping for another win to continue the dominance, since the Yankees seem to be the only thing my beleaguered Metsies have been able to dominate in the last year or two, while my wonderful love was hoping for a little retribution.

Except for the right-field corner, great seats. Well, and except for the people sitting around us...

Unfortunately for her, my streak of never wanting to see my girlfriend sad came to an end last night, as I got to enjoy another Mets victory. It was a real back-and-forth game, with the Mets drawing blood first and the Yankees answering back with a demoralizing grand slam. The Metsies crawled back to tie the game, only to see the Yanks pull ahead again... and the the Mets slowly crawled back to take the lead yet again, a lead they came damn close to blowing in the bottom of the ninth before a spectacular defensive gem by Lucas Duda at first base led to a game-saving, game-ending double play.

Farnsworth, however, who couldn't find the strike zone if the umpire held up a big red friggin' target, shouldn't be allowed to celebrate.

As far as Yankee Stadium goes, I don't remember my few trips to the original to compare the new one, but I can say I like Citi Field much better. Citi Field felt roomier to me, with better sight lines and more things to enjoy, like a much larger food and drink selection.  As I said to my girlfriend, the two stadiums seem to be designed on different profit plans: Yankee Stadium is built around getting as many people into the ballpark as possible, while Citi Field seems designed more around getting your money through concessions and activities. Neither is right or wrong, and they both still end up costing you an arm and a leg. I will say this though: never in all the games I've gone to at Citi Field have I been sold sodas and waters well past the expiration dates on the bottles the way I was at Yankee Stadium last night, so that's some major points lost to Yankee Stadium.

Hell, even the awful vendors in the toilet bowl of baseball, Shea Stadium, never stooped that low.

But back to what's important. There are still three more games to go in this year's Subway Series.

Let's go Mets!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - The Adversary

The Adversary (The Sundering, #3)The Adversary by Erin M. Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this is the third book in The Sundering series, it's also the continuation of the series of stories Erin M. Evans told with these characters before. As such, it's entirely possible there are plenty of other readers like me who had never read any of her other stories and are only reading this one because they started the series with the first entry by R. A. Salvatore. Unfortunately, it seems no one told Evans that, as the first third or so of this book is a jumbled mess of poorly-explained exposition that is only effective at telling the audience absolutely nothing about these characters and their relationships other than that they know each other. It picks up a bit after that once the book's story picks up and becomes more important than the back story; there's decent action and a fun, twisting plot, and the characters are enjoyable. It's a little over-long and drags in places, but the end picks up. Overall I felt like this book was effective as part of The Sundering, but it didn't do anything at all in terms of making me want to read any of this author's other stories with these characters.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

300th Post: A Tricentennial Retrospective

That's right, folks. Shootin' Straighter Than a Stormtrooper hits its three hundredth post today. I don't know about you, but that seems like kind of a big deal to me, even if it took forever; my first post dropped on April 16th, 2010, just over four years ago. I'm sure I could have reached this point much sooner, but as I mentioned yesterday, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day (and yes, that blog is still coming, unless of course it isn't, because of, well, ibid, your honor...), but I digress. As a way to celebrate this milestone, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the highlights my blog has had over the years.

To start, we're going to briefly revisit my one hundredth blog post, where I analyzed my life and my goals a bit. I have no idea why I didn't to the same at two hundred, but whatever. Check that post out for a second, and then come back. I'll wait.

Ready? Okay. Find a job with decent pay and benefits? I think my job with Google, while just temp for now, covers it, as I get health and benefits through the agency and the job pays more than any I've ever had. As for number two, well, let's just say I love my girlfriend very much. She's an amazing woman. I haven't made much headway on the loans bit yet because the job is still new, and likewise on the moving out part, but the wheels are certainly in motion. As for dieting, well, I haven't been paying much attention to what I eat or anything lately but I'm still about forty pounds less than what my average was before 2012, so I'm calling it a win. Likewise a win is that I really have been writing more; not necessarily stuff evidenced by blog posts or lack of same, but, well, there are secrets. And attempted secrets that sometimes fail. But still. More writing! My life is a very good place right now. I haven't been this happy in, well, maybe ever. It's a nice feeling.

Next in this little look back, I thought I'd list the most popular entry in each of my blog categories (I'm leaving out The Week's Best because I can't remember the last time I touched that, and also Recommended Reading Challenge, because that's all part of Lit Bits anyway). So here's the list:

At the Movies: The Human Centipede 2 and a Halloween Marathon Update

Creativities: Your Online Dating Profile and What You're Doing Wrong: A Guide for Women

Fiction Fridays: Biggs and Wedge Occult Occurrences: Like a Whore in Church

Life Unexpected: The Job Search Tango

Lit Bits: Goodreads Book Review - Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

Mets Monday: Opening Day 2014

Random Goodies: Choose the New Stormtrooper II

Retroblogs: The World Went Topsy-Turvy

Tales from the Tube: The 10 Best Geek TV Shows of 2012

The Joy of Comics: Morning Glories: The Best Comics You Really Should be Reading

So those are the most popular posts in each category, but what are the most popular ones of all? You can see those any time on the left-hand side of this page, so don't expect me to do all the work for you!

That's it for my little retrospective, because I'm tired and I have work tomorrow and a lot to do still tonight. So here's to another retrospective to come, and all the blog posts in between.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy Star Wars Day!

Clearly, Star Wars is a big thing to me, right? So here we are, Star Wars Day 2014. I wanted to do a big write-up today but, well, I'm in New Jersey on my cell at the moment and there just aren't enough hours in the day anymore (a topic of another blog that is coming soon, I swear) so instead of a write-up, today we'll celebrate with the internet's favorite thing: memes!

For more, some really hysterical, check this page out. And until next time...

May the Fourth be with you!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Storm Front

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the longest time and without any good reason, I'd avoided the Dresden Files series. Even though the idea of a modern detective wizard plays right into my wheelhouse, I never bothered to give it a shot. Then I read the Dangerous Women anthology and Jim Butcher's short story therein and was immediately interested in reading more... and I'm glad I did. This book is really entertaining. Yes, it falls into a lot of the tropes of the genre and doesn't do much of anything new, but for a first novel from an author just finding his footing, it's not a bad outing at all. Fun characters set in an environment that slowly unfurls around you in a story that is full of memorable scenes and the promise of better things to come once the set-up of the first novel is out of the way. I'm definitely interested in reading the rest of the series now.

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