Annual Blog Stats
Posts – 380 (↑61)
Words written – 185.5K (↓10.1K)
Views – 28.3K (↑1.1K)
Visitors – 7.5K (↓2K)
Followers – 400 (↓19)
Comments – 9.3K(↓1.5K)
Books read – 247 (↑ 54)
Pages read – 52769 (↑3.3K)
words read – 16487K (↑ 1.1K)
average rating – 3.23 (↓0.15)
General Life Thoughts:
The year in general sailed along for both Mrs B and me. We both ended up working more than usual (I think our average weekly was 42 or 43 hrs). Those extra hours made a big difference. Student loans are finished! So now we’re using that money to pay down extra on our mortgage. I’m hoping we can shave off 5-6 years off the loan life. That’s my next big life goal, to get that mortgage out of the way.
We helped out each month with super church (sunday school) and live streaming (so 2 sunday’s a month) and I’m finding my tolerance for the kids is waning. There is one parent who pretty much brings her kids to be babysat and they’re not disciplined at home so they’re not model kids. Thankfully, after having used the “nuclear option” once, (take them out of class and march them up the middle of the aisle and drop them back off to their mom in the middle of the sermon) they’re learning I mean business. They’re not bad kids, just unruly and undisciplined. But it’s exhausting and those Sunday’s I come home and flop on the couch. Streaming is easier but mainly because I refuse to treat it like a show. I use 4 camera angles and that’s it. I don’t zoom around, I don’t focus on people playing special music, etc, etc.
This year was just a blur. Not that good things didn’t happen, or bad things, but overall it went so fast that it was over before I realized what was going on. Which is fine when you’re concerned about who is elected to political offices, but not so fine when it comes to paying bills. Actually had one bill go to a bill collector because I completely forgot to pay it. Sigh, life moving faster isn’t necessarily a good thing.
One of the kids at church expressed interest in Magic earlier this year so I’ve been getting together with his Dad and him once or twice a month and turning him into a life long addict. Someone’s gotta do it, so it might as well be me 😀 Speaking of Magic, I began collecting the Mirage set from 1996. Along with 4th Edition, those cards are some of the iconic visual memories of my late teen years. Plus, collecting cards doesn’t take up nearly as much space as collecting books does, hahahahaa!
General Bookish Thoughts:
Looking at those numbers, man, did my book numbers go up! Part of that is because I was reading individual issues of comics all year (whereas I had only started doing that in July of 2021), but even that only accounts for about an extra 25, so I simply read MORE this year. The Pages and Words metric fully back that up. It didn’t “feel” like I had read more, but with not picking up any other new hobby, Reading picked up the slack.
The rating is down only a little bit from last year, but 2021’s rating was down from 2020’s, so I’m on a downward slide, albeit a very slight one. I think that is because I’m reading more. There are more crap books than fantastic books out there, so the more I read, the greater my chance of a getting a crap book. All it takes is ONE one star book in a month to drag the whole year down. And since I am so picky about handing out 5stars, well, it doesn’t surprise me. But as long as I stay above a 3star average, that means I’m enjoying the majority of what I read. I’ll try to be content with that.
With all of that being said, I only had FOUR 5star reads this year and all of them were re-reads. I had NINE 4.5star reads as well. On the other side, I only had TWO half star reads and NINE 1star reads. So I feel that I balanced everything out in the end.
With around 57 of the reads being re-reads (including ALL of the Bone comics), I’m still sticking around the 25% mark. I have a feeling that number is going to drop in ’23 as I am becoming more leery of re-reading my “old favorites” as I move into the phase of life (fully middle aged now) and all of my manga will be new to me as well. I am ok with this change.
Well, despite my issues with WP.com in 2021, I still came crawling back for more in 2022. To the point where I have a paid plan and Dotblog Site, sigh. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced some of the problems that I did last year, but I never count WP.com out of the problem fight. If they can’t make one problem get you, they’ll invent a whole new one, the wretches.
I have also realized that despite all of my complaining and grumbling, that I have nailed myself to WP.com. The finishing up of construction on The Hotel Bookstooge pretty much saw to that and the continued work on the Author Index is like putting up shutters on the windows. You only do that if you think you’re going to stay in the place for a while.
The Churn continues apace with other bloggers slowing down, stopping or just moving on to other hobbies. I have also done my own share of unfollowing this year and finding new bloggers to follow. If I could have one blogging wish for 2023, I wish that things would stay stable in that regards. That’s a vain wish though, knowing how unstable the world in general is right now.
So the long and short? I’m here, I’m standing tall (well, kind of) and I’m not planning on leaving. But I’ll still be complaining.
Blogspot continues to be my review backup. Not in any meaningful way, as I didn’t do any work on the old reviews, so it’s as big a mess as my WordPress used to be. But it’s there for me when WP.com does something truly stupendously stupid (like they seem to do 3-4 times a year) and is a good safety valve so I don’t feel that WP.com is my only option.
Partway through the year (July to be particular) I stopped crossposting my reviews to Librarything. I had given up on the platform as a social site in 2021 and thus it was pretty inevitable that I stopped using them all together. Guess I’m more surprised it took me as long as it did than anything.
Calibre continues to putter along offline just fine. It is what I now use to check up on anything in particular. Now that it has full database searching abilities, I can look for almost anything and with enough patience, find it. I am currently using version 6.9 and will be updating as the creator puts up new updates.
Best Book of the Year:
Without a question, A Christmas Carol read by Patrick Stewart. This is now my favorite version of this story and I suspect it will be an annual tradition.
Worst Book of the Year:
Definitely Flashman. He lies, murders and rapes his way through the book and we’re supposed to find it amusing. I definitely did not.
PLANS FOR 2023:
The Self-Study for my Level3 Certification didn’t work out at all in ’22. I think that really needs to be a top priority for this year. I’m just afraid that I’ll slack off again though and “do it next month” all year long.
The potential move to Georgia is now indefinitely put off. It’s going to take an emergency to get us down there and even then we’d have to think about it. It is going into a closet shelf in the very back of my mind for now.
Trying not to make many, if any, plans. Because situations are easier to handle when you don’t have expectations about them.
Drink a lot of Rockstar energy drinks. Because I can.
Continue working on my author index. Continue my Magic cards each Monday. So it’s going to be business as usual. I haven’t had a creative idea for some time about a long running series of blog posts, so I might end up not trying to do any. Which is too bad because long running series of posts is always easier to write and schedule than anything else.
I am going to try to do some more “arty” stuff but we’ll see how that pans out. I would like it to work but the logistics might be greater than anticipated.
Movies are still completely up in the air. There are so many movie reviewers out there. Besides, I don’t watch new stuff and even when I do watch stuff, I don’t really watch it that well. More like “listening to it” with glances up at the tv when there’s no dialogue to tell me what’s going on.
This might end up being a very sloggy blog year
Book Review Posts:
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Asterix and Cleopatra
- Gangdom’s Doom
- Napoleon of Notting Hill
- Bend Over Bloggers, WordPress Wants Your *ss
- [repost] PSA: Honesty and Book Reviewing
- Out of WordPress Jail
- The Hotel Bookstooge – Now Open for Business
- Writing Prompts – How to Disable Them on WordPress
Commentors + Runner Up:
- Dune: Part 1
- Fraggle Rock Season 1
- A Study in Pink (Sherlock Holmes)
- Event Horizon
- Muppets Most Wanted
Hall of Shame (5 least viewed posts)
- Ashnod’s Battle Gear – MTG 4th Edition
- Pigs and Apples
- Animate Artifact – MTG 4th Edition
- American Assassin
- Domino Pattern