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December 14th, 2016

Starting tomorrow, my company is going to block access to all personal email sites and any site that you can upload things to. It's going to kill me to lose access to my gmail account during the day, but I really worry what other sites will be blocked. You can upload things to LJ and Tumblr, for example...

I guess I'll see tomorrow how much I vanish offline. :(


I'm on a quest to read the oldest books in my To Read pile. Instead of just picking one to read, I decided to keep picking from the six oldest books (the last page of the Kindle book list) until I reach one that I'll read the whole way through.

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Years ago, on my cruise to Alaska, there was a book club. Excited about the whole 'education at sea' aspect of the trip, as soon as I saw what those classes were (all about how to mix drinks, what drinks to try, how to throw great parties... so educational /sarcasm), my disappointment in the whole trip started. Then I got sick, then I was endlessly bored out of my mind (stuck on the ship for days at a time, no TV or Internet, little to do but drink), and I was in the middle of reading a different book so hadn't had time to read this one... Anyway, I never went to the book club. Also, as this was a book I would never have picked on my own, it sank and sank through my To Read pile.

I finally gave it a try. It read like a Master and Commander fanfic/knockoff. It wasn't badly written, but the main character was too perfect and the whole story just didn't hook me. I gave up 20% or so into it.

I usually try very hard to give a fair review, but in this case, every time I saw the book on my Kindle, I frowned and remembered how bad my cruise had been. So take my thoughts on this one with a grain of salt.

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

When I realized the Ex in this title was for zombies, I almost gave up on this book without giving it a chance. I'm really so completely and totally over zombies. It wasn't until a couple chapters into the book that I realized what the Ex meant, so I figured maybe they wouldn't be a big part of the story and so the book might work for me.

The plot followed a small group of survivors living on a Hollywood movie lot. What a fun idea! So they had a New York street, movie sets from various movies, mock-ups of Paris, etc. Plus, being a movie studio, the lot had good security, so that made sense.

The survivors had a couple superheroes in their numbers. (Though the zombies did as well.)

Story-wise, things were pretty typical (at least as far as I read), just the day-to-day survival of the group.

I thought I might finish this one, but I reached 20% or so and it hadn't hooked me, so I ended up abandoning it. Nothing at all wrong with it, and it had some fun ideas (and not too many zombies at all), but I just wasn't enjoying it.

Currently reading: Wolf's Cross which I'm enjoying a hell of a lot...and sadly only yesterday realized it's book two of the series. Oh well, I'll read the first one next.

TV: 3%

3% is a Brazilian "dystopian thriller" made by Netflix. Filmed there, it's of course not in English. The dubbing is pretty darned good, though not perfect.

It's a wonderfully dark show about a (world? country?) where most people live in worse than third world conditions. Once a year, the "Process" takes place -- a test that everyone of a certain age can take. You can only ever take it once, and only when you're X years old (I'd guess 18, based on the characters). It's a weeks long series of tests and interviews. The tests are grueling, and at the least are often psychological torture.

The subplot in the show is about a group working against that Process and the 3% who pass it and get to go live in an affluent place offshore.

While I loved the story, it was the characters that made this show work so well. All of them had motives, some characters had many, many of them. It was fun guessing who was doing what and why.

While I see that a second season of it is already being produced (and I'll happily watch it), it's nice that the first season is pretty self-contained. I see where there's room for the story to go, but if there were never any further seasons, I'd be happy as well.

You can watch 3% on Netflix or here.

I'm catching up on my TV shows! Next I need to finish Westworld.


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