Thursday, March 6, 2014

Songs of the Year

Here is just something I have been thinking about.













Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 2 Update

2 months in and making progress on some things at least.

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2

3. Read 1 of the Top Ten Books on Zane's List
Start - In the middle of The Stories of Anton Chekhov.

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.

6. Finish 1 more Geological Movie Review
Start - Earthquake still looks like the best bet.

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

11. Get my Sprint Triathlon time under 1:25:00
Start - My current official best is 1:41:45.2

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30

13. Catalogue and Photograph the Comics portion of my Star Wars Collections
Start - Currently I have some of the comics photographed so if I get the time this should

14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.

16. Defeat 5 console Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      February was much more sane than January. Gummy Bear is doing fantastic after her surgery and the therapies have been broken up between Veronica and I so it is a bit easier on both of us to go. I am still working 32 hours a week but now that things have calmed down I am working mostly just 4, 8 hour days giving me one day off to do therapy and research. Other than that I have just been chugging along, doing my analyses for my dissertation. Once those are done I should be able to wrap up the remainder of it fairly easily.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #121 - Vicky Angel

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.

This was the final of the Wilson books that are on the list (including The Story of Tracy Beaker, Double Act, and Girls in Love) and I must say this one was the worst one to read. The story focuses on a young teenage girl, Jade, who's best friend, Vicky, dies by being hit by a car during the first part of the book. She is then visited by her friend throughout the book as a "ghost" (however it may just be in her mind). The Vicky ghost gets progressively meaner throughout the story not allowing Jade to make any friends and causing her to be increasingly mean to everyone. On top of that Jade's mother is having an affair, which she discusses with Jade, and her father is perhaps a pedophile, obsessing over pictures of Vicky after she had died. It was like the author thought, how could I make things even more uncomfortable throughout the story. It is not like this is supposed to be higher literature either, this is a children's book. The writing itself is OK, fairly easy to read, but nothing exceptional. Perhaps the purpose of this book was to help children/teenagers come to grips with loosing a friend, however the way the story is written I think it would just end up making things worse. The story works out in the end but it is a very long, tortuous road to get there and there isn't much of an explanation as to why Vicky was being so mean by the end of the book. It blows my mind why any of these Wilson books made it onto this 100 Greatest Books list. They are just a transitory thing and I'm sure that if the list was redone today, they more than likely, would not make it on there. Thankfully I am done with them.