Wednesday, May 31, 2017

August Reads

More long car trips (it is 3ish hours down to Ft. Pickett, where I had to go twice this month) plus more walking plus more working out equals more books read.

December Reads


  • Battle Cruiser (Lost Colonies Trilogy #1) by B.V. Larson
    • A giant solar flare knocks a rapidly expanding Earth back, affecting the technology as well as the transportation system that Earth used to get to its colonies 160 years before the start of this book. The main character, LCDR Sparhawk, is a member of the ruling (this is a hereditary democracy (not that we can comment, Bush family for example), complicated by cloning. They are called *cough* Public Servants *cough* and Sparhawk has rebelled and joined the Space Guard) families and after long isolation the universe is coming to visit the Earth again. As it often happens, a lot of big activities all center around our hero.
      Overall a fun read, complicated by... interesting politics and some really odd 180's by some characters, this story kept me entertained for a long day of driving. (3/5)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files #7) by Charles Stross
    • This story changes a lot of the Laundry Universe. While the last book introduced giving the perspective of a non-Bob character, this one pretty much removes him from the equation completely (except for a few references and borrows Bob's most notable sidekicks, Pinky and Brain). Told from the perspective of Alex, the moderately capable vampire (don't be silly, Vampires don't exist) and in Leeds (vs London). So much happens that my head is spinning a bit and I am deeply curious how things, given that the Laundry basically gets aired by the time everything is done.
      This is probably the most approachable (and one of the top 3 of the series) book of the series other than the first book, since while it helps to have read the first 6 books you really could come into this book cold and be able to understand what is going on. (4/5)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quite (from being so busy)

Kids, travel (work and my wife's), work all combine to kill my blogging time. I still go through a lot of books (mostly Audible) which you can see if you become friends with me on Goodreads ( https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10193172-daniel )

Work has a lot of stuff going on.. That's about all I can say there. My part-time (hah!) job with the Army has taken some turns. I finally attended the first part of the Signal Captains Career Course (it was nice to see Fort Gordon again after a 9 year gap), got notified that I have been selected to be the BDE S6 (Main Communication guy for a 4,000 person Brigade), of course finally got my Command position posted (so I can move on to new job) and did the myriad of things that I basically have to do to support both positions.The good news is that I should get promoted to Major out of this, so that should be fun.

Kids are doing well and running my wife and I ragged. They are so smart, energetic and clever that we have to work hard to keep ahead of them.

I am going to try to post more now that I seem to have moved past the crazy busy hump, it is good to exercise my writing in something other than work.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Saving

This past Friday was a reminder why I have an account labeled "House Savings Account"(HSA). Now you may say, Daniel, you already have a house, why would you have a house savings account? Because even though you already have a house, doesn't mean that you won't have unexpected (or expected) expenses in maintaining that house.

My HVAC (13 year old heat pump) decided to give up the ghost. And yes, I could get the basic one for maybe 4k less than the top of the line, but in the end there are advantages of putting in the top of the line for a system that consumes 40-60% of my home energy costs. So shortly (having it go down over the holidays is difficult) a healthy chunk (all actually, but I have other cash accounts) 11k will be leaving my accounts. In the time we have bought this house (less than 3 years) we have had to replace the roof, an outside door and the washer and dryer. This is why every month I put 200 dollars into to my HSA (as well as its other friend accounts, travel and car maintenance).

So while it may sometimes look like I have extra un-invested money laying around, we are prepped when life comes up