October 1 seems to be a good date for me to formally announce that my personal website has moved again.
Back when I was still in college, I started my own website on a site called Geocities (which shut down a few years ago). They offered free webspace to anyone who wanted it. Considering I was new to this whole webmaster thing, it was great. For a while. Geocities eventually offered a paid upgrade to my site, which I gladly took advantage of.
Eventually, however, I outgrew Geocities, and started looking for alternatives. I found 1and1 which had a surprisingly large amount of web storage space, plus my own domain name, for the same amount of money I was paying for my Geocities upgrade. Switching was a no-brainer.
1and1 gave me the freedom to do pretty much anything I wanted with my site. But over time, the general maintenance of what I set up started to wear me down.
Long story short, I stumbled across Tumblr. What started as a quick and easy way to keep track of a few Tumblr subscriptions quickly took on most of my website duties. I can do my own content and let Tumblr do the hard work of maintaining the software. So I started moving my data over to Tumblr.
Earlier today, I officially switched my domain over from pointing to my 1and1 site to pointing to my Tumblr site. My domain will continue to be hosted on 1and1, but my website will not.
I’d like to say that this means that I will be more active in putting content on my website, but I’d hate to make a promise I can’t keep. Let’s just say, I’ll try to be more active.
In the meantime, enjoy the new site.
I just feel like bragging a bit. I hope you don’t mind.
The Hancock County Public Library, my local library, has summer reading programs not just for kids, but also for teens and adults. The program started May 31 and ends this Friday (Aug. 1). As I’ve done every year since moving into the county, I signed up.
I figured I’d have some fun and inflate my numbers a bit by sorting my sizable to-read list by book length and start reading the shortest books first (with some allowances for series). I apparently had built up quite a collection of novellas without realizing it (I’ve been reading almost entirely eBooks lately, so length isn’t immediately obvious like it would be for a printed book).
Late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I logged my 50th book of the summer reading program. That is, 50 books since May 31. Even though I’ve done it, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that number.
Fifty books in under two months.
Granted, the average length of the books I’ve read is only 85 pages, ranging from 18 pages (New York Times Bestselling author John Green's “The Space & The Cat and the Mouse”, which I bought during last December's Project for Awesome but arrived in perfect time for me to count it for the summer) to 174 pages (“Daniel’s Christmas” by M.L. Buchman). Well, “Sam Gunn Omnibus” by Ben Bova is, by far, the longest book, weighing in at nearly 800 pages. But by midnight the morning of May 31, I had read all but the last 30 pages. So that was my first book, but I’m only claiming 30 pages of that for the summer reading program.
Of the 50 books, 29 of them came off of StoryBundles, which I am somewhat addicted to. So I didn’t so much choose those books as they were chosen for me. An additional 11 are from authors that I discovered from reading StoryBundles, although these books weren’t actually in a bundle (well, 10 are from authors I’ve discovered, one is a prequel to a series I haven’t yet started). So 40 of the 50 books I’ve read this summer can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to StoryBundle.com.
The books were varied, covering sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, mystery, adventure, non-fiction, poetry, and so on. None of them were books I had read before.
The library offers a prize for those who read five books during the program. Because my early books were so short, I was able to claim my prize by noon on the first day. I read the final 30 pages of the “Sam Gunn Omnibus”, and then completely read books of 26 and 35 pages before going to sleep that night (it was a Friday night/Saturday morning, so I didn’t have to get up early) and read two books that were 42 pages each after waking up in the morning. Voila! Five books read by 11 a.m. My prize was… another book! I chose “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. I’d never read it, nor have I seen the movie, but it is now on my to-read list.
Strangely, my to-read list is actually longer now than it was on May 31 when I started. You’d think reading 50 books in two months would make a dent, but I’m adding faster than I can read. On May 31, I had 108 books on my to-read list. Today, I have 112. I’ve been adding books faster than I can read them, even at this breakneck pace.
I should be able to log another book or two, at least, by the end of the program Friday. Then my to-read list reverts back to first in, first out, and I’ll be taking on one of the longest books on my to-read list, “A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin (the sequel to “A Game of Thrones”). The only books I have in my reading list that are longer than “Kings” are the other books in that same “Song of Ice and Fire” series. So I’ll be going from one length extreme to the other.
In the meantime…. I READ 50 BOOKS IN UNDER TWO MONTHS! (I still can’t get over that.)
Here is the full list of the 50 books.
"Sam Gunn Omnibus" by Ben Bova
"Beneath the Knowe" by Anthea Sharp
"Delirium (The Debt Collector #1)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"From Above" by Jeremy Robinson
"Leximandra Reports and Other Tales" by Charlotte E. English
"The Christmas Cuckoo" by Mary Jo Putney
"The War for Banks Island" by John Green
"The Monarch of the Glen" by Neil Gaiman
"Agony (The Debt Collector #2)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Ecstasy (The Debt Collector #3)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Broken (The Debt Collector #4)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Driven (The Debt Collector #5)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Fallen (The Debt Collector #6)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Promise (The Debt Collector #7)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Ruthless (The Debt Collector #8)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Passion (The Debt Collector #9)" by Susan Kaye Quinn
"Galatea" by Laura Leone
"Lock & Load" by Sean Black
"The Forever Gate Part One" by Isaac Hooke
"The Forever Gate Part Two" by Isaac Hooke
"The Forever Gate Part Three" by Isaac Hooke
"The Forever Gate Part Four" by Isaac Hooke
"The Forever Gate Part Five" by Isaac Hooke
"Melting Ice" by Stephanie Laurens
"The Trouble With Heroes" by Jo Beverley
"Northern Grit" by Steven Seville
"The Preacher’s Marsh" by David Niall Wilson
"Legion" by Brandon Sanderson
"Up on the Rooftop" by Kristine Grayson
"The Cerberus Protocol" by Joseph Nassise
"The Dead and Empty World" by Carrie Ryan
"Full Moonlight" by Vincent Zandri
"Mythical Creatures" by Kevin J. Anderson
"War of Independence" by John Fiske
"The Honey Month" by Amal El-Mohtar
"The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals
"Tainaron: Mail from Another City" by Leena Krohn
"Jagannath" by Karen Tidbeck
"Dead Man’s Resolution" by Thomas K. Carpenter
"Frank’s Independence Day" by M.L. Buchman
"Daniel’s Christmas" by M.L. Buchman
"Peter’s Christmas" by M.L. Buchman
"Broken Windchimes" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
"Nevermore - A Novel of Love, Loss and Edgar Allan Poe" by David Niall Wilson
"Blue Wizard is About to Die" by Seth "Fingers" Flynn Barkan
"The Space & The Cat and the Mouse" by John Green
"The Anime Club" by KC Green
"Frankenstein’s Girlfriend" by Christopher Golden
"Four: The Transfer" by Veronica Roth
"A Slow Year" by Ian Bogost
I’m getting ready to watch an early screening of “The Fault In Our Stars” this evening. The last early screening I attended was “The Dark Knight Rises.” Those are totally similar movies, right?
A little over a year ago, a website I follow (I don’t remember which one, I’m sorry), linked to a preview for a then-upcoming YouTube series called Mental Floss. The preview intrigued me, so I decided to subscribe. That would have been early-to-mid March 2013.
At the time, I had no idea who John Green was. And over the coming months as the Mental Floss videos came each week, I really enjoyed them. But I still had no idea who John Green really was.
And apparently, either YouTube was really bad at suggesting other videos, or I simply ignored them, but I continued to live in ignorance.
Fast forward to August 2, 2013. Another website I follow (or maybe the same one, I don’t remember this one, either) linked to a video John posted a year before that was “An Open Letter to Returning Students.” Having recognized John from the Mental Floss videos, I watched the video. And while doing so, I realized that the channel I was watching had well over 1,000 videos. Obviously, there was a lot that I was missing.
Within a week, I had educated myself pretty well on who both John and Hank Green were. I was subscribed to Vlogbrothers, Crash Course, SciShow, Hank’s Channel, and Hankgames. And while I watched the new videos as they came out, I made it a point to go back and watch the older videos. I also added “The Fault in Our Stars” to my reading list, and later added the rest of his books (I finally got around to reading “TFIOS” in December, and I read “Looking for Alaska” back in March, “Paper Towns” and “An Abundance of Katherines” are still coming).
YouTube seemed to make it easier for me to watch the videos in reverse order, which is what I did for the most part. But there were a lot of vidoes. Oh, granted, I skipped a few, mainly some of the longer ones (except for a small number of Hankgames videos, I don’t think I skipped anything that was shorter than 20 minutes).
But this morning, I officially finished. I officially worked my way back to Jan. 1, 2007, the very first Vlogbrothers video.
That’s a lot of videos in 10 months. And I just felt like bragging a little bit.
I may be relatively new to the party, but it is a party I’m glad I found.