Rewind/Fast Forward: August/September 2014

August 2014 RewindAs I’ve been doing this so far this year, I thought I’d look back at my previous month and ahead to my next month.

2014 Goals

So first here’s how I did in August on my goals for 2014: personal, blogging, reading, and social media – with thoughts on how I can improve on these for September.

Personal goals: Still not enough exercise and still want to go on bike rides with my wife. We’re both off this weekend (I, four days; she, five), starting Friday, so that might actually happen this Friday and Saturday.

Blog goals: Cut from 5 to 6 days a week to only 3 days a week. This week it only will be one: today, as I’m taking the weekend off and won’t be back here until next Thursday.

Reading goals: Still no reading challenges and still reading what I want.

Social media goals: Limiting myself to Facebook once a week, and took app off phone and tablet. Only exception this weekend as I’m taking it off of Facebook…except to post this today.

The highlights

Reading: Up to 40 books for the year. Discovering two authors new to me, both named Michael, Koryta and Robotham.
Watching: Guardians of the Galaxy.
Listening to: Spoon’s new album, They Want My Soul. FKA Twigs latest, LP1.
Photographing: Like last month, I’m still plugging away at the 100 Happy Days meme on Instagram. Sigh. ;) Trying to be happy and all that jazz. Only 16 days and then I can be back to being a miserable bastard. Top right photo is of neighbors’ dogs that I took care of twice this month, this was from the first time.
Doing: Hiking with Kim earlier in the month. Putting grill together with my dad and then having our first steak on it.
Saying: Most popular post this past month here on the blog: Trying to implement power from “Power of” books.

The view ahead

Like last month, I have a new (re)focus for the blog (see end of the post), but again we’ll see if it happens. Reading? Watching? Finishing our M*A*S*H marathon this weekend, starting tonight after work. Listening? Probably more machine music. :) Photographing? Keeping the course with #100happydays and contrary to what I said in the last section, continuing to post photos of people, places and things for which I am grateful even after the meme is over. Doing? Biking with Kim. Going to see my parents this weekend. Saying? At least one post on a Thursday, where I am sharing only my own thoughts and perhaps cross posting on Medium.

How about you? How was your month of August and what are you looking forward to in September? Read any good books, heard any good music, watched any good movies, taken any good photographs last month? And/or what do you have on tap for September?

Sunday Salon 8-24-14

Authors named Michael help me out of reading slump

Sometimes all you need to get out of a reading slump is an author new to you…or even two authors new to you.

Monday night/Tuesday morning I finished Tonight I Said Goodbye, the first Lincoln Perry novel, by Michael Koryta. Fellow Sunday Saloner Barbara Bartels on her blog last Sunday mentioned reading one of his standalone novels because Michael Connelly recommended Koryta on Amazon. Since like her, I like Connelly’s books, I thought I’d give Koryta a try, but with his first book. I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it, just as she liked the Koryta she read. I then put the next two in the series on hold on ebooks at The Free Library of Philadelphia.  (I also must give credit to SuziQOregon of the blog Whimpulsive for putting Koryta in my mind several years ago. Sorry that it took me so long to read anything by him, Miss Oregon. :))

Quick update: I read the second of Koryta’s Lincoln Perry series, Sorrow’s Anthem, Saturday afternoon, and will be on to the third one soon. Unfortunately, there are only four in the series, but he has other standalones so yaaay.

Then late Wednesday afternoon, I finished a book that my brother-in-law gave me with a pile of books last year, I think. I was home sick so late this morning, inspired by a post from another Sunday Saloner Athira, I decided to find a book to read off my own shelves since none of the ebooks I had on hold from The Free Library of Philadelphia were available yet. The book was Suspect by Michael Robotham, and it was so good that I’ll soon be on to his second one, Lost, which I picked up at our library’s book sale.

I only noticed as I was writing this that both authors are named Michael and the first one was recommended by another Michael, so I guess it doesn’t (didn’t) hurt if those authors are named Michael to get you out of your reading slump either.


Starting with this past Thursday, I have begun yet another new blogging schedule. Instead of five to six days a week, I will be posting only three days a week: Thursday with a new feature called Thursday’s Thoughts (click on the link to see this week’s first one to see what it’s all about), Friday with an oldie but a goodie Flashback Friday (ditto: clicking on link to see what it’s about), and Sunday with The Sunday Salon. The only change or perhaps switch back to how I had been doing it will be I also will share what I’ve watched and/or listened to for that previous link, either with a video clip or album track or both. Why the change? Without too much blogger navel gazing, I just will say with my work schedule, I can plan better earlier in the week to have posts up later in the week.


What helps you get out of a reading slump? Anything good lately that has helped you keep or get your reading mojo?

Flashback Friday 3: A cold, but a good weekend with The Wife

Each Friday, I use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen to ask for what am I most grateful this past week? I also sometimes ask: For what am I least grateful this past week?

Least grateful for:

Waking up with sore throat on Tuesday, staying home from work on Wednesday with cold, and as of Friday morning, may be lingering.

Most grateful for:

  • Spending last weekend with wife: dinner out Saturday night, movie Sunday afternoon, first use of grill Sunday night.
  • Being able to read a book on Wednesday. More on which book and another author I discovered this week on this coming Sunday’s Sunday Salon.
  • Upcoming four-day Labor Day Weekend with The Wife, starting with wings and a M*A*S*H marathon Thursday night.

Keeping it short and simple this week because I’m not feeling 100 percent. So what are you least grateful for and/or most grateful for this past week?

The digital diary of Bryan G. Robinson, once known as Unfinished Person.