My Week in Books, TV and Movies 10/12/18

It’s been an off week for me. I worked Sunday, off on Monday for the holiday, had an all day training at a different branch yesterday, I’m now the only person home and today I work with a very short staff and then I can finally relax. It was a short week, but not a great week. I need this weekend. I keep pretending like I’m going to go to a movie or actually leave the house, but I know I will spend all of my time on the couch reading or watching TV. OK, enough rambling – on to the review

Books – I read Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith. Smith is one of my favorite YA authors. If you haven’t read his books, go get Grasshopper Jungle or Winger now. Rabbit is more along the lines of Grasshopper. It’s weird(humans on a spaceship full of malfunctioning robots), but funny. I wasn’t sure about it at first and  thought it might be one of his first ones that disappointed me, but after the first couple of chapters I really liked it.

TV – First some TV news – New Amsterdam and FBI have both received full season orders, so that is a good sign as far as renewals go. I don’t think anything has been canceled yet. I think the only new show I watched this week was All American, a CW drama about a football player from Crenshaw who moves to Beverly Hills to play for Beverly Hills High. It will be my new “high school drama” show now that Riverdale has lost me.

Movies – We watched Deadpool 2. If you liked the first one, you will like this one. If you didn’t like the first one, don’t bother. I hope they do make an X Force movie next. That would be fun. I still wish Deadpool would make an Avengers appearance.

On Deck – I started Lethal White, the next book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith(JK Rowling) but I’ve always listened to them, so I might stop and wait for the audio. I don’t think I will watch a movie this week and TV will be catching up on DVR’ed shows.  There are a couple of new sitcoms I might try next week.

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My Week in Books, TV and Movies 10/5/18

Back to my normal posting schedule now that most of the TV premieres are over. One note before I start the review – ABC comedies Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless come back tonight. Both are very good.

Books: I finally read a book that made me want to keep reading. One of Us by Craig DiLouie. It takes place in the 80’s in a world where kids have been born with mutations and pushed in to homes where they become wards of the state and treated poorly. The kids start developing powers the government wants to use. Eventually, something happens at one home and town that pushes the tension between the “normals” and the “creepers” toward violence. It is very good. I also read Essex County by Jeff Lemire and Orange:Future by Ichigo Takano. Both graphic novels(one manga) and both also very good.

TV: I’ve posted a lot about TV lately. You can go back and look at those posts to get more detail on what I’ve watched. I did finish Mr Mercedes season 1 on DVD. It was one of the better Stephen King adaptations I’ve seen.  As far as the new shows go – Single Parents is the only new comedy I will definitely continue watching. New dramas – hard to judge based on one episode. The only ones I’ve watched twice are Magnum and New Amsterdam. I still like both.

Movies: We watched two movies this week. American Animals is the story of the theft from the special collections area of the Transylvania University library by four students. I was interested in this one because I once lived in Lexington. It was an interesting story with clips of the real guys talking about it. I liked it. We also watched the gender flipped remake of Overboard. I liked it a lot more than I expected. Eugenio Derbez was really good in the lead role. I was also pleasantly surprised that they had the Spanish speaking characters actually speak Spanish and used subtitles instead of pretending they would always speak English.

On Deck: We are watching Deadpool 2 tomorrow. I’ve started Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV(9/21)

It’s been an odd week for me. My work schedule was different. I’m at the end of my seven-day stretch with no day off. I’ve only had one day off in the last two weeks. I usually work one evening shift a week, but this week I worked two. I’m tired and sometimes I don’t know what day it is.  I’m going to use all of that as an excuse for not finishing a book this week. I did spend a lot of time in front of the TV.

Books – I’m still working my way through A Land More Kind Than This by Wiley Cash. I’m also re-reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman for my new book club at work. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by how much I had forgotten about Neverwhere since it’s been 20 years since I last read it. It has taken more time than it should to finish these two books.

TV –  In addition to watching episodes of the shows I’ve already talked about here, I started watching two shows on Netflix. I watched all of season two of American Vandal. I wasn’t sure if season two would be as good as the first, especially since most of the cast was new, but I really liked it. I might have liked it more than season one. I would recommend not eating during the first fw minutes of the first episode. Also, if you have issues with poop, maybe don’t watch at all. We also started watching Shooter after my wife rewatched the movie version. It is much better than I expected. I am wondering, though, how the story can span three seasons. I also watched the first three episodes of Mr Mercedes. So far, so good.

Movies – It took me a second to remember that I did actually watch a movie this week. We finally got around to watching The Greatest Showman. I knew that I would probably like it I tend to like musicals. I was surprised that my wife liked it. Besides Grease, I’m not sure she’s every really liked a movie musical.

On Deck – I hope to actually finish the two books I’m reading. I’m not sure what I will read next. There will be a lot of TV as the new fall season starts. My most anticipated shows are Magnum PI and Single Parents. I will report on those during my week of TV posts next week. With all the TV, I don’t know if I will watch a movie. I guess that depends on what DVDs I might get from the library.

Tater’s Weekly Wrap Up 9/1/17

Dogs – I have a dog. I love my dog, but I don’t need to take my dog everywhere with me. I don’t understand why people want to take their dogs everywhere. There are dogs in bars, dogs at outdoor concerts, dogs on vacation and even a Ravens football practice where bringing your dog was encouraged. Why are we doing this? I barely want to take my kids places with me and I don’t have to pick up their poop with a plastic bag. Why would I want to take my dog? I don’t get it.

FLOTUS’s Shoes – I don’t care what shoes the First Lady chose to wear while walking from the White House to the plane to fly to Texas. I’m not a fan of Trump and think he is a disaster as president, but this need to pick on everything his family does is ridiculous. The shoes she wore on the plane mean absolutely nothing. There was an entire article about it in the Post. That’s really, really stupid. I know horrible people said horrible things about the Obama family when he was in office. That does not make it right to pick on the Trump family at all. Take the high road when it comes to the family.

Customer Service – Two instances this week of really bad customer service. My daughter and her friends went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s. The person at the window was not very friendly and when they got home they discovered that the box for the chicken nuggets was filled with tartar sauce packages instead of food. They had to go back to get the nuggets and apparently got free apple pies in apology. Had I been there, the entire order would have been refunded. I’m also once again dealing with poor delivery service with the Washington Post. I still like to read the print edition, but will likely switch to digital because the carrier does not care if I get my paper on time. Delivery is getting more and more inconsistent lately. This happened last year and no one cared until I tracked down the head of customer care on Twitter. Once he was involved it got better. It looks like I might need to talk to him again. Good customer service can be hard to find.

Mini-Career Rant – I managed a one person branch of a library for 19 years. It was in jail, but I still managed it. I did all of the day today, supervised volunteers(inmates) and purchased the collection. No one seems to consider that real management because I didn’t officially supervise a staff and didn’t write evaluations. Somehow writing evaluation is now equated with management and leadership. You can teach anyone to write a decent evaluation. Real leadership is much harder.

Tater’s Weekly Wrap Up 8/24/17

Eclipse2017 – This was the week of the eclipse.  I had the option of going to the area of totality with a free place to stay. I didn’t do it. That was a mistake. There was no reason besides laziness and that is a poor excuse to not do something like that.  I was fortunate that I had decided a couple of months ago to take the day off in case I decided to drive to Kentucky and to just enjoy the eclipse away from work. Working at a place that had eclipse glasses for the public threatened to ruin the experience for all of us. I see posts on Facebook where people say they wish people would prepare for the second coming of Christ the way they prepared for the eclipse. If they did that a good portion of them would be at their local library demanding to know if he was there. Regardless, it was nice to sit on my porch and watch the eclipse. The weather worked out and we had plenty of clear skies.

America’s Got Talent – My daughter and I still like to watch the show. We enjoy the audition phase much more than the live shows, but we still watch and vote for the acts we like. It is very frustrating to watch these days for a couple of reasons. I hate that once we get to the live shows and the public starts to vote the majority of the acts going through are singers. There are so many singing shows around. It would be nice to see people with different talents going through. We enjoy the magicians and a good stand up comic and get bored when the entire shows is people singing. The other frustration is that the judges can’t really give a contestant constructive criticism, especially if they are a kid. Last night Mel B tried with a kid singer and the crowd starts booing her and the other judges and the host jump in to stop her and keep talking about how she’s only 9 years old. If she’s too young to hear constructive criticism she’s too young to be on a talent show with such a big prize. I miss the days when they had a mean judge.

Louise Linton – The Treasury Secretary’s wife posted a photo of herself getting off a US government-owned plane. She was dressed in really expensive clothes and tagged the designers in the post. Some random woman commented “glad we could pay for your little vacation #deplorable” which led to Linton going off on a rant about how much more she has contributed to the country via taxes and service.  It seems everyone is against Linton on this one, but I have a different take: 1. It likely cost no more for her to be on the plane than it would have if it was just her husband. I have no issue with her traveling with him. I travel with my wife when she goes to conferences. If she were flying on a government plane and I was offered a seat, I would not say no. 2. She’s rich. She will wear nice clothes. Everyone posts stuff online that makes them look good. 3. She’s right in her response in saying that maybe responding with positive message would be better, but I disagree that the positive would get more traction. People who post negative comments in situations like this get more publicity and I’m sure that’s what the commenter wanted. 4. I agree that the wife of a government official should think before responding to the public. It’s probably a good thing that she set her account to private now.

ESPN – ESPN has made the decision to move announcer Robert Lee from the UVA game to another game because his name is too similar to Robert E Lee. I don’t know what they think is going to happen. Do they really think people are too stupid to know that he has no connection to the statue? Especially since he isn’t white? Would anyone even notice? Half the time I don’t even know the names of the people announcing the games. When they put them on screen when they show them during breaks I will likely forget them when play starts(unless they are famous). This was a non-issue that ESPN decided to make an issue and all they’ve done is make themselves look stupid.

Weekly Trump Check – Still a horrible human being? Check. Still a bad president? Check. Still lying? Check. Still attacking the media? Check. Still an embarrassment to the country? Check.

My Weird, Rambling “Live” Weekly Wrap Up

Two weeks ago I decided I would start a post each week called the weekly wrap up. I would schedule it to post on Friday and throughout the week I would add my thoughts on things that happened.  Like pretty much everything else with my blogging, I failed. I didn’t start a post this week and didn’t jot down any thoughts on anything.  So, for this week I will try a “live” type of weekly wrap up.

It’s been a crazy week. We had a weekend of Nazi’s and white supremacists marching in Virginia. A woman protesting them killed when someone drove a car in to the crowd. We have a president who refuses to outright condemn the Nazi’s. On the personal side of things, work has been a crazy week of eclipse glasses hysteria. We handed out our first supply Monday morning and were out 3 minutes after we opened the doors. Most of our calls this week were people calling to see if we had glasses. We are handing more out tomorrow. I’m happy to say I won’t be there for that. I’m also happy to say that I decided a couple of months ago to take Monday off as well. I also got word early in the week that my brother was in the hospital with a “cardiac episode” that turned out to be a heart attack. He has been released from the hospital and says he is feeling good. Not the greatest news to wake up to. So, in summary, I submit that I was way to distracted to do a proper weekly wrap up this week.

Instead of some stuff I was going to write about being irritated with people who tend to post “stop talking about the stupid statue debate” and then proceed to talk about it constantly because what they really mean is that they want people to disagree with them to stop talking about it(I lied. I did write about it) I will end with this – Life is short. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Don’t live a life of regrets. Don’t live a life filled with hate. Make the most of every day. Love your neighbors. Make the world a better place. Take the time to spend time with friends and family. No one will say on their death bed that they wish they spent more time at work or that they wished they had spent a little more energy on hating people.

Tater’s Weekly Wrap Up 8/11/17

#YATwitter: A friend shared this article about the toxicity on Twitter regarding YA literature. It is a long, but fascinating article mostly dealing with the backlash about the book The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. There are so many things wrong with what’s happening there. Demanding a book be pulled and/or giving it bad reviews without actually reading the book. The attitude of “if I don’t like it no one should have it.” The anger at people who disagree with them. It’s all just so ridiculous. The new favorite American past time is being offended.

The End is Near: Two nations with nuclear weapons. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders in a pissing match. What could possibly go wrong.

Music: I bought a new car in May. The new car comes with a 6 month free trial of Sirius Radio. My wife has a subscription, so I knew about the 80’s station, Hair Nation, and all of the other classic rock type stations. With my subscription I discovered Underground Garage and 1st Wave, but also a station that plays 80’s and 90’s country and the Garth channel. I’ve discovered that I have missed my country roots. More often than not when scanning through my favorites I end up stopping on the country.  I guess it’s the Kentucky in me.

Ravens Game Frustrations: Last night was the first pre-season game for the Ravens. I take light rail in to the games. Every year there is at leat one game(usually more) where light rail is so messed up that it takes way too long to get to the city. Last night was one of those. I finally got to the stadium right as they were singing the national anthem. unfortunately, I still didn’t get in easily. The security lines were long and slow. Even the side entrance I use had a very long line. I watched as person after person had to stop for a bag check. I am apparently one of the few people who does not feel the need to carry a bag to the game. Why don’t they have an express line for me? The security people were very slow clearing people and once the people were cleared it seemed to take them forever to move out of the way for the next person. I got to my seats about 20 minutes after the game started. I will need to adjust my timing for the rest of the games if this is the new normal.