10Q #6: Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

I’ve been doing incredibly well staying on my goals for the past few years. Like, really well. I want to keep that streak going. I just celebrated dropping to part-time at my day job, and I’d like to be fully self-sufficient by next year. That’s going to be a tough job, though, as I’ve got to not only keep pushing with the video work, but also pay off a significant chunk of revolving debt. Barbie and I are working together now, throwing bales of dynamite at this mountain that we’ve accumulated, so it’s going to be a challenge. We’re primed and ready–it’s time to take charge!

Previously

10Q #5: Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Two funerals inside of a week is enough to affect anyone. Next question, please.

I dare say that I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching as of late, and I’m simultaneously terrified and optimistic about the future. Check back with me next year.

Previously

10Q #4: Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?

Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?

This has been a quieter year for “world events”–at least in my sphere. I dare say the biggest issue that has impacted me is the burgeoning US trade war with China. Components that I use in my business are getting more expensive, so I have more overhead to contend with. Thankfully, I have a corporate sponsor that is willing to front the cost of so many components, but any of my personal projects have to be set aside until I get more funding.

Previously

10Q #3: Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

As I mentioned earlier, my maternal family lost two major figures this year–on the same day. It’s been a rough time, and it almost brought everyone together. Almost.

My paternal family had a similar struggle in late November 17. Granny is still hanging in there, and as verbally spry as she has been, but she’s “a tired old woman” [her words, not mine], and I fear we may not enjoy her company much longer.

Both cases have given me the swift kick in the butt that I needed to stop wasting my life working for employers that don’t care about me. It’s my time to get started. It’s my time to live my dream. It’s my time to control my destiny.

Previously

10Q #2: Is there something you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?

Is there something you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?

On the negative side, I wish I had spent more time with my family than I did–especially my “second family” consisting of my closest friends.

On a positive note, I am extremely proud of having pushed myself to take new chances. To follow pursuits. And to stop dedicating my life to people whose goals to not align with mine.

Previously

10Q #1: Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

This year has been one of massive changes–beginning with my Popie and my Big Mama passing on the same day just after New Year’s. There’s been quite a bit of controversy in my family in recent years, and this is the sort of thing that has caused it to really come to a head. I shan’t go into details, but suffice to say that being physically removed from the rest of the family is a nice position in which to be at this point. On top of this, my Granny suffered a stroke just after Thanksgiving last year, and having these happen in relatively quick succession has had a large impact on my life in general. I’ve taken a vow to stop procrastinating and wishing I could do certain things. I’m at a point in my life where I’m not waiting for things to happen anymore, and I am actively pursuing them. As such, I have made strides to improve my production work and monetize as much as I am able to as quickly as I am able.

To wit, this year I have enjoyed the opportunity to produce content in conjunction with element14 and Newark electronics, appearing on The Ben Heck Show, and ultimately becoming a host on the newly rebranded element14 Presents channel now that Ben has left the show. I have made many new friends through this endeavour and am well on the way to full-time creative entrepreneurship. I have reduced my hours at Bird Barrier in order to focus more on my sidelines, and I am transitioning into the lifestyle that I have always wanted to enjoy. There’s still much work to do, but I am on the right path!

Previously

For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8)

For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.64
book published: 1960
rating: 4
read at: 2018/09/06
date added: 2018/09/06
shelves:
review:

After the disappointing experiences with Goldfinger and Dr. No, Fleming seems to come back around to what made James Bond special in the first place. This collection of short stories, curated under the title For Your Eyes Only reads like Fleming revisited his fundamentals after two disappointing outings–focusing instead on the quintessential Bond tropes and those storytelling techniques that made the early works so great. The stories are tight, the action is gripping, the stakes are high, and Bond is really Bond–not some sub-par interloper traipsing through the French countryside or enjoying a quiet game of golf, making mistakes for the purpose of advancing the plot.

The one outlier in this collection is “Quantum of Solace”, a sort of story-within-a-story where the governor of Jamaica delivers a tale of woe and revenge between a goldbricking young woman and her milquetoast husband. It’s a comedy of life wrapped up in the mundane drudgery of white-collar Edwardian colonial politics, but it reads with sincerity and a polish that keeps you wondering just what will happen next to the unhappy couple. I feel like it serves as a subtle turning point in the Bond literary franchise. Bond learns a little something about “real” people, and we’re treated to a gossipy tale about the hidden despair in outwardly happy life in colonial Jamaica.

There’s a definite attitude change in the way Fleming treats Bond through these stories. Instead of just pushing Bond through another lackluster travelogue, Fleming plays with him in the way he does best. The stories are vignettes, rather like a “best of” collection, displaying the most interesting and exciting attributes of a Bond novel. Fleming has the luxury of dropping us into the middle of an adventure, without wasted exposition, and reinvigorates the interest both he and the reader have in this legendary character.

Pick up a copy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Goldfinger (James Bond, #7)

Goldfinger (James Bond, #7)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.81
book published: 1959
rating: 3
read at: 2018/09/03
date added: 2018/09/03
shelves:
review:

If Dr. No was Fleming’s “rusty Bond”, Goldfinger‘s Bond is downright incompetent.

On a lark, a tired and irritable Bond (possibly a reflection of Ian Fleming’s interest in writing at this point), takes an easy job to help a side character from Casino Royale uncover a card cheat by name of Auric Goldfinger (very creative, there, Ian). Bond disrupts the game and identifies himself as a threat–the first in a series of mistakes that sees Bond stumbling over every conceivable plot device in his eventual crash into the anti-climax of the raid on Fort Knox.

The plot makes little sense and the action scenes are unexciting. Fleming spends several chapters droning on about the intricacies of golf in an attempt to recapture the tense, exciting anticipation of the card game in Casino Royale that simply comes off long-winded and dull. Fleming then takes Bond on a leisurely drive across the French countryside disguised as the least-thrilling car chase in fiction. I hate to say it, but this Bond is simply boring. Even the big set piece production of the raid at Fort Knox has no teeth–it builds and builds, but is over too quickly and with too little action.

If Moonraker is the maximum ratio of the book being better than the film, Goldfinger is the maximum ratio of the film being better than the book. Skip this novel and just watch Sean Connery make the most of the source material.

Pick up a copy on Amazon and decide for yourself. (affiliate link)

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8BitDo NES30 Pro Controller Unboxing

In this archived video, we take a look at the 8BitDo NES30 Pro unboxing and see what kinds of goodies are inside. If you’re looking for the best Bluetooth controller for retro gaming, then look no further than the NES30 Pro series from 8BitDo. With shoulder buttons, 2 analog sticks, and a stylish design reminiscent of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the 8BitDo NES30 Pro Bluetooth controller is made for any retro gaming challenge you can throw at it!

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Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle