Book Report 2015 Q3

A mixture of a growing Ebook library, tracking my goals in Goodreads, and Calibre’s ability to generate a catalog have made me decide to start tracking things quarterly in the book dimension as well. Here’s my second report.

Total Ebooks: 419 (includes catalogs; increase of 2 books)

Total Unread: 304 (decrease of 9)

Goodreads 2015 Challenge: 65 of 30 books complete. Last time I went way over. We’ll see what this year brings.

Goodreads Ratings:

5 stars: 15 books

4 stars: 32 books

3 stars: 13 books

2 stars: 5 books

Calibre Generated Stats:

404 authors (no change from last quarter) Authors

414 books (does not include catalogs; no change from last quarter) Books

44 Series (no change from last quarter) Series

506 tags (no change from last quarter) (Calibre calls them Genres) Listening Trends 2015 Q3

After getting to MGMT alphabetically, I tired of going through the list alphabetically. While I have rediscovered some music, I wanted to go back to my auto-playlists which would give me my favorites. I could always get back to going through things alphabetically in the future. One way to accomplish what I wanted was to see which songs don’t have a score – another would be to create a low score playlist I could run every once in a while to see if anything that had scored lowly was now something I wanted to hear.

The updated scrobbler now scrobbles my podcasts. On the one hand, sure, I’m spending time listening to that. On the other hand, the way it works ends up overcounting listens. Oh well.

  1. Anberlin (147 listens)
  2. Lionize (127 listens) – I wrote up a concert review in which they were one of the openers. I have to say that I have really enjoyed Jetpack Soundtrack and it has definitely earned it’s #2 spot.
  3. Reggie Watts (83 listens) – While I found the one episode of Comedy Bang Bang! that I’ve seen to be obnoxious, I find his humor as expressed in his sounds to be pretty funny. He also has a soul album that’s pretty good.
  4. Fall Out Boy (70 listens) – Because I have them on my phone, they get a lot of listens when I’m with the family. But I also finally got the latest album and have played that a few times.
  5. The Protomen (60 listens)
  6. Ignacio Cervantes (58 listens) – Both this one and the next one are from me exploring very old Cuban music.
  7. Acerina y Su Danzonera (54 listens)
  8. APM: Marketplace (54 listens)
  9. Five Iron Frenzy (51 listens)
  10. Giant Bomb (49 listens)
  11. MC Frontalot (43 listens)
  12. The Giant Beastcast (43 listens)
  13. Willy Chirino (40 listens)
  14. The Beatles (39 listens) – It’s only a matter of time before they take over the top spot.
  15. Louis Jordan (39 listens)


Total Songs (in my collection): 16088 (Up from 15709 ) – A decent jump, mostly from adding  in video game soundtracks as I completed the games.

Total Artists: 4626 (up from 4571 )

Total Albums: Amarok is glitching and refusing to say…

Average Songs Per Album: Can’t calculate

Average Songs Per Artist: 3.47 (up from 3.43)

Total Scrobbles at End of Quarter: 91,619

Total Scrobbles for this Quarter: 2912 – A bit less than last time, but I haven’t been listening to as much music.

The Final Coney Island Visit for the Summer

Coney Island is quite photogenic at night, but even I surprised myself (who had gone a few years ago specifically to take photos there are night) with just how photogenic when I got on the carousel with Scarlett (and her cousins). Here are some photos from that night:

My absolute favorite photo of the night:

Coney Island at Night 046

And we saw some fireworks!

Coney Island Fireworks 2015 005


Exploding Kittens

My wife and I love The Oatmeal. While I don’t find each strip funny, I certainly love strips like this one or this one. So I was extremely excited to back the Exploding Kittens kickstarter. Back when I first got it I took it to New York, excited to play it with my wife and her sister.

While I think the rules create a pretty interesting game, they got caught up on the cards themselves. So I don’t think I’m going to have anyone to play it with, but I do recommend it for its interesting rule set.


The local Olive Garden has added these devices to the tables. My first thought was to be annoyed at the fact that this thing takes up a significant chunk of the table. Then I messed with it a bit – it seems to be mostly a neat idea with one think that’s a bit out of place in a semi-classy joint like Olive Garden.

Let’s look at the positive aspect first – you can order drinks or ask for your drinks to be replenished. This helps to alleviate one of the biggest sources of annoyance when out to eat. You also pay on this device so if you’re completely done and don’t need boxes, you can just pay and leave. While a place with good service that isn’t swamped shouldn’t leave you wondering if you should skip the check because you’ve been waiting over 15 minutes for the check, it does occasionally happen. Again – happy customers.

Now, let’s look at the weird aspect of it – you can play games … for money. I don’t feel that belongs at an Olive Garden – that belongs at a sports bar. It also leaves me wondering what’s the point as everyone has cell phones full of free to play games. Who’s going to not bring their cell phone to a restaurant and then proceed to play games on this device?

So I like some aspects of it and wouldn’t mind seeing it at all but the most upscale restaurants (where you’re never without someone two seconds away from tending to your every need – Hello Baltimore’s Charleston restaurant), but I question the pay to play aspect of it.

The Papermoon Diner

When Dan and Katie were last in town, they invited Scarlett and I out to the Papermoon Diner. If you’ve seen John Waters movies and wondered if that Baltimore still exists, it certainly has one enclave at the Papermoon Diner. If you’ve been to a TGI Friday’s or a Chili’s you’ve seen restaurants with crap on the walls.

Tchotchkes from Office Space
Tchotchkes from Office Space

Well, the Papermoon Diner takes that and filters it through a Baltimore sensibility:

What about the food? It’s also all slightly different takes on what you’re used to and I wouldn’t quite call it diner food. I guess diner food crossed with Americana TGIF-type food, but I think it’s all locally sourced. It doesn’t matter because the staff is pretty friendly to substitutions. While I was there I heard the person behind me substitute so much in and out of what she ordered, that she essentially created her own dish.

I thought the food was OK – it was hard to know ahead of time if I’d like it because of the slightly esoteric nature of the ingredients. But the social aspect of the visit was a lot of fun and Scarlett was overwhelmed by all the stuff everywhere.

September 2015 Video Games Report

The Witcher ( 2 hours):

Yeah, so the first video I recorded in September is missing the video game footage. Whoops! Either way, I finished The Witcher this month. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, this is another game I tried thanks to the Giant Bomb guys – specifically Vinnie. I thought the game was overall a lot of fun. I feel  like the throughline of the story could probably have been done a little better. Even before I spent a couple months away from the game, I was only tenuously connected to how my actions were leading to anything being done other than being against the Salamandra. Still, the story was neat and the twist at the end was pretty crazy in a good way. I look forward to The Witcher 2, but I probably won’t get to it until 2016 due to some family stuff coming up over the next few months.

The Stanley Parable (2 hours):

This game hits incredibly close to home since I work in a cubicle farm. The devs have done an incredible job of mixing humor with despair and thriller elements. It’s last Bastion combined with Braid, but messing with FPS and exploration tropes rather than platformer tropes.

Tengami (2 hour):

This game is beautiful and, like a ballet, I’m not 100% sure of what the story was. Still, it was a very beautiful couple of hours.

Road Not Taken (1 hour):

In the video I mistakenly state that this is my first Roguelike. That was a mistake on my part – I forgot I’d played FTL for around 15 minutes. This is a game I’d looked forward to playing ever since buying it on a Humble Bundle. I enjoy the art style and the tone of the game. It’s also a great Roguelike for me to cut my teeth on (ignoring FTL which I played just to see what the fuss was all about) since it is puzzle-based and I do love me a good puzzle game. In the two playthroughs on this playlist at the time that I write this (there will be more videos if I play in future months) I haven’t even begun to take into consideration the crafting mechanic to solve puzzles. I’ve done it accidentally a few times, but I have yet to purposely combine a tree and fire, for example to create a tree that’s on fire.

Civilization 5 (30 min):


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (30 minutes);

Scarlett loves the game and also loves trolling by pausing the game over and over again.

Team Fortess 2 (30min):

Long Live the Queen (15 minutes):

As I explained at the end of the video, I can see that there are some pretty complex mechanics at work here. I think that’s probably the source of the great appeal that many seem to heap upon this game.