Ready Player 2018?

2017 wasn’t too bad to live through and it sure seemed to go pretty quickly (I’ll be 36 in April and the years just seem to go by quicker the older I get). After 11 days of a nice little staycation where I left my house as little as possible, but didn’t have to work for the holidays, 2018 is upon us. Other than politics, which 2017 at least helped me learn I need to pace myself in consuming certain types of media, the year went fairly well. I did get some decent work in on my Novel revision during my time off, I’ve got a good path forward, and powered through the chapter I was stuck on writing. But overall working on revision and writing in general was lacking in 2017. 2018 has plenty of opportunities for success in it and I plan on journaling more, blogging more, and writing and revising much much more!

My wife and I sold our first house and bought our 2nd in 2017. Moving sucks in general but it especially sucks when you’ve just bought a new house and have 5 days to get your old one ready to sell. It was quite a hectic few months in the fall but we got moved in and are now nice and settled. Our five dogs are doing much better in a .35 acre yard as opposed to a .17 acre yard. Having a shorter commute is also fantastic, but has definitely cut into my audiobook listening time. Oh well. Changes are a foot at work with a new assignment but Hanford treats me well so I can’t complain.

Border Collies
My wife and I saw this Icelandic tradition where you give books on Christmas eve and then hang out, read, and drink hot coco then rest of the evening. So we decided to partake and start it up in our family. Much to my surprise and delight she got me Ready Player One. Not only that but she got me a signed first edition copy. Getting a signed copy of Ready Player One was a hell of a way to start of this new tradition. Good luck topping this next year! We’ve added a stipulation moving forward that books for this new tradition should be signed (I got her a signed Joe Hill, Horns book) since both of ours were. I read almost half of RPO that first evening and had a hard time putting it down until I had finished it. I love this book so much! The movie comes out in March and I know its going to be different than the book but I’m still freaking stoked anyway. 2017 was apparently the year where I re-read a ton of books. I’ve just recently started up a book club to help find new authors so I don’t think I’m going to re-read as much in 2018 but I wouldn’t be surprised if I read RPO again after the movie.

My goal for 2017 was 40 books and I finished 28. Not quite where I want it to be but I’m going to set it at 40 again for 2018 and hopefully hit the goal this year. 2017 was definitely the year of the re-read for me. The books I re-read in 2017: Dune, Harry Potter books 2, 3, and 4, Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear and Ready Player One. I even ended up reading Name of the Wind twice in 2017 because they released the 10th anniversary edition at the end of the year. In 2017 I also got 3 books deep into The Expanse, tried out Terry Pratchett for the first time, read a new Crichton novel for the first time in a long time, and continued to read the Jim Butcher Furies and Dresden series. I also read quite a few Star Wars books, with Thrawn by Timothy Zahn being the best. I also made sure to read some comics in the form of Rat Queens and Calvin and Hobbes.

I started a book club with my buddy at work in late 2017. We’re looking for new authors and stories to read and decided to start with some Hugo Award winners. We’ve only read one book so far, The Fifth Season, but we’ve got a nice long list of potentials to be read and a goal to meet monthly. I’m currently finishing up our second entry, Blackout, for our book club and it’s interesting so far.

I also won this awesome Kindle Fire tablet through The Portalist that had 10 YA Sci-Fi Fantasy novels on it and got through several of those. I’ve been making myself use my e-readers more and I’m definitely getting used to it, but still prefer an actual book. It’s nice having options though, especially for travelling. Speaking of travelling, 2018 has some potential good times lined up. We also had some good R&R in Kauai this year, I got my tweet shown on the fan photos on the Mariner’s broadcast while at Waimea Canyon and it was so epic! I’m planning a 10th anniversary trip with my wife that may take us to Canada or maybe somewhere a little more tropical, we haven’t decided.

Joe-Waimea

I’’ve decided I’m going commit to going to at least one writing convention this year. I need to coordinate with my writing friend at work, Bob Brown. He has a new anthology out of political speculative fiction stories, Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths. Go check them out they’re a lot of great stories. If things go as planned 2018 could be big for my writing so networking sooner rather than later is going to be a good way to make sure things keep moving forward with Harbingers. I’m considering some projects for the blog to help with a regular writing schedule, it’s good to just write everyday that I can. More to come! That’s all I’ve got for now, I’m going to be utilizing Cuppa more this year and possibly even upgrading my blog, so expect to hear from me more. I’m considering posting chapters of Harbingers on the blog if it’s upgraded.

30!

I know it has been a while since I have posted, but it’s only because I am extremely lazy and like to play video games and watch TV too much.  Ridiculous excuses I know but here I am with another post!  I have been 30 for almost a month and SURPRISE it’s pretty much the same as being in my 20’s.  I do have a much fancier briefcase that Ellie bought me for my bday, it has an iPad pocket, is leather, and made by Orvis.  I like it a lot it makes me feel very professional.  I made sure to take it to my interview that I had with Emergency Preparedness last week, hopefully it gives me an edge over the other applicants because it is so badass.  I might be switching out of Operations and getting back into the EP side of things, with my same company.  I should find out next week if I got the job or not, I am hoping I get the offer and it has a nice raise to go along with it, we shall see.

I have finished the Hunger Games trilogy and it was fantastic, I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a quick yet exciting read.  I read the first book in one day and then savored the last 2 a little more and spread out the reading over a few weeks.  I have started on Stephen King’s IT, which Ellie has been harassing me to read for about 5 years now, it is slow going so far but I should be able to get into it more very soon.  I will probably finish SK’s The Dark Tower series after that I only have 2 more books to go, and then get into some more fantasy stuff after that either Game of Thrones or the Eragon series of books.  I haven’t written much on my novel lately but I have still been writing down ideas and details quite a bit so that has kept my creative juices on the project going.  I want to read more fantasy and sci-fi before I start writing again, and when I start writing make myself do at least 1000 words a day until I have a rough draft done.

Our little pup Ember is not so little anymore, she turned 5 months old recently and is a joy to be around and watch grow up.  She is pretty much the smartest dog ever and is one of the cutest to boot.  We let her sleep on the bed last night for the first time and she did very well.  I think she can definitely be a bed dog since Cedar likes to crawl under the bed instead of sleep on it, Moss is just too big, and Scully snores like a chainsaw.  Having a bed dog would be nice I think especially if we can wrangle up a King size sometime soon.

Other interesting things that are going on in my life atm are I got accepted into Law School in Boise but will not be going.  Finished my online classes for the semester this week and I am glad to have the summer off, from here on out I will be taking summer courses to finish in 2014.  Started playing Softball with a team at work and ran a 15k at the end of March, my legs were sore for a week.  My best friends Bachelor Party and Wedding are quickly approaching.  We are hitting up Sunriver Oregon and my families vacation house for the Bachelor Party and the wedding is in Coeur d’Alene on the lake, going to be pretty epic.  Might even get a tattoo in Bend while we are there for the Bachelor Party.  My diet is still doing fairly well, didn’t quite make it under 200 pounds like I wanted before my Bday but I should be below 200 in time for the wedding, we are still rocking the Atkins and its going very well I just need to exercise more.  I will try to update this monthly, at a minimum, from now on so I don’t take 4 months in between posts.

Almost February?!?!?

I can’t believe it is almost February already, oh how the time does fly when were having fun.  It has been pretty hectic around the cook household lately, with the puppy and the 3 other mongrels all vying for attention.  Puppy is learning A LOT, Ellie has taught her sit, down, stand, touch, spin, twirl, and started working on some agility training.  She is very smart and turns 9 weeks old today.  Moss is the greatest babysitter ever he is patient and plays with her and lets her bite his lips! ow!!  Scully and Cedar are still under the hope that she will disappear so they choose to ignore her.  Scully is the worst but seems to be showing signs of coming around, Cedar is her normal self but is doing much better than I thought she would.  Here is a video that Ellie made with our new Camcorder (which I plan to use some this weekend) of Ember and her new tricks.

In other happenings, I have started my second semester at University of Alaska Fairbanks, working towards turning my Associates in Disaster Preparedness into a Bachelor’s of Emergency Management.  This semester I am taking Economics and Marketing, so far I think I will really enjoy both of these classes and they both seem very interesting and useful.  Lots of homework to do but I finished my econ HW early this week and just have Marketing to deal with this weekend.

In TOR related news our new PC came and I got it all setup after 2 days and the sound finally working after 3, oh the joys of buying a PC i had to put together myself.  It was actually kind of fun, though frustrating at times, to build it myself since I have never done that before, and it saved me several hundred dollars.  Ellie has started playing TOR with me and seems to be really enjoying her Trooper she started, I have been playing mine along side her and am also really enjoying it, I will be making Havana a healer and Ellie will be doing DPS on Heleyna.  Landen is getting quite geared out in PvP gear, he is up to 10 purples and I have almost 400 expertise and am starting to own more in Warzones.  Though the Empire still greatly outnumbers us on the server and they seem to have better gear I really like PvP still, I cant wait until we have more 50’s and can do some PvE though, we are slowly yet surely making progress on that and I hope in a couple of months we will have enough to run Operations.

In other news, my buddy Keith finally set the date to get married and has the location and everything picked out.  I will be the best man!  I am excited yet nervous because I am going to have to give a speech, but since I know both Keith and Julie I figure it won’t be too hard, and I will make Ellie help me.  They are getting married in Coeur d’Alene, the town we all met 10 years ago, and the location of the ceremony is a house on the lake, and the reception will be on top of a building over looking the lake.  It will be a blast and I already got it approved to take work off for those days!  I am in charge of doin the bachelor party and I am trying to get Sunriver but if that doesnt work I may have to just do something in Vegas or Boise, we shall see.

I have a busy weekend left house cleaning, reading, writing, TOR, videoing, and HW.  Now time for some Hubbys!!

First!!!!

I need to do some work on the blog still, but it is officially up and running!  I spent the day watching football and hanging out with the wife, it was a very relaxing way to spend a Sunday.  I am about to play some Old Republic but I wanted to stop in here first and get this first post going.

It is a littler over a week into 2012 and Ellie and I are still rocking the no drinking, we have saved probably about a hundred bucks from not buying alcohol and I have lost 4 pounds since the beginning of the year.  99 days until I turn 30 and my goal is to be below 200 pounds by then, sitting at 208 pounds currently.  I have been fairly consistent with rocking the elliptical and that makes me very happy, I hope to be in decent enough shape to go for some runs with Moss once spring hits.  I played a little game while watching football yesterday and today, I would do push-ups every time any points were scored.  I did 41 yesterday from the Cincinnati v Houston game and then 52 today from the Denver v Pittsburgh game.  I am very very sore, my core needs a lot of work but slow and steady wins the race.

In other news we found out yesterday the new addition we will be having to our family.  She is a tri-colored Border Collie and Ellie will be going to pick her up in a few weeks.  Ellie has dubbed our casa the House of Tri and I think it fits perfectly since all of our mongrels are black, white and brown (well technically Scully is Brindle but she still has all those colors).  It is my long work week this week but we are heading down to Sunriver with our friends Autumn and Jair for a little R & R next weekend so I am most definitely looking forward to that.  No Old Republic next weekend will suck so I guess its time to hit it hard right now, I will work on getting the blog more up to date this next week and hopefully post some more.