December 2015 Reading List

Here are the books I finished during the month of December, 2015. I never read the Harry Potter books before, so I decided to do that now — the first one hit in December. I’m getting them in digital format from the library, so most of them are on hold and it will probably be a few weeks between each one.

I also got in a decent amount of Michael Connelly (some would say an indecent amount).

  • The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly
  • Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
  • Angels Flight by Michael Connelly
  • The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
  • Split Second by Douglas E. Richards
  • A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly
  • The Job (Fox and O’Hare #3) by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
  • The Solomon Curse by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake
  • The Reversal by Michael Connelly
  • The Native People of Alaska by Steve J. Langdon
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

November 2015 Reading List

Here are the books I finished during the month of November, 2016. It’s more sparse than many months because school was heating up and I was getting ready for finals, etc.

I’ve read The Postman maybe a couple times before, but it was still a great read. And Great North Road by Hamilton was a pleasant surprise — stumbled across it and it kind of sucked me in and kept me there until I was done.

  • Missing You by Harlen Coben
  • Just One Look by Harlen Coben
  • The Postman by David Brin
  • Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
  • Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

October 2015 Reading List

Here are the books I finished during the month of October, 2015. I liked Armada better than I expected (based on Amazon reviews), but Cline’s Ready Player One is just too good. Sucks for him that he wrote his best work, first. 😉

Seeing this list made me realize I haven’t read the last book in The Passage Trilogy — due out in May 2016. Woot!

  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • Found by Harlan Coben
  • Hold Tight by Harlen Coben
  • Zer0es by Chuck Wendig
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • The Client by John Grisham

Anthro 200: Athabaskan Report

My last assignment in Anthropology 200 before starting my final exam (due Friday evening).

Just a quick page and a half with a look at the Athabaskan and their concept of “luck” when it comes to hunting.

One thing not in the report that I found interesting during my research, was the number of Athabaskan language groups — more than 50, including down in the Apache and Navajo areas of the southwest US. In other words, it’s probable the Apache and Navajo indians were Athabaskan people who migrated south from Alaska and Canada.

To this day people still leave Alaska for the dry heat of Arizona. 🙂


Price Positioning Map for TRR

For my final assignment in my Marketing class I had to create a price positioning map and “Discuss what your company can do differently with their pricing strategy to stay competitive; if the evidence suggests that they are doing well with their pricing strategy you must present the evidence in a clear and concise framework.”

That’s what I ended up with (single page PDF download) — the idea to create a course that includes the online videos PLUS live (via Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) mentoring and feedback is something I thing I will try after the first of the year.

The downside is that it really limits how many students I can have, but I just wonder if it isn’t a good way to increase my income and help the students that really want that extra touch.


Weapons and Warfare of the Tlingit

If you want to read about Weapons and Warfare of the Tlingit you can find it at the following link (a PDF file). It was the research paper for my Anthropology A200 class.

I thought I might get docked for adding humor and editorial comments to the paper, but nope. 🙂

College Game Development Internet Marketing Product Creation

Three Ring Ranch: The 4P’s

Three Ring Ranch 4 P’s

  • Place: Online business, which saves on inventory, rent, etc.
  • Products: Video tutorials that are aimed at beginning game developers.
  • Pricing: Competitive with similar offerings; price testing often.
  • Promotion: Focused on social media. Single worst P of the bunch.

Of the 4 P’s for Three Ring Ranch (TRR), the place is the easiest one to talk about because TRR is a digital-only company that exists online — there’s no physical storefront. However, there’s still the idea of “curb appeal” when people open the site in their browser, so looking good and making it easy to find the products is just as important online as in the real world. The TRR site is built on top of WordPress so it’s designed with ease-of-use in mind. There’s a link to the game development courses (the product) right on the home page.

The main products of TRR are online courses that teach game development. The video tutorials are self-paced so the customer can go as slow or fast as they like. Besides the videos, source code for the sample projects is included. Online courses are available for the Corona SDK and Unity tools.

Pricing for TRR products is based on current pricing of the competition plus the amount of material in each course. Due to the number of free courses available online (even though typically of lower quality) TRR is often price-testing the courses to try and find the “sweet spot” for each one — make the most sales, but don’t leave money on the table.

Finally, promotion for the TRR products is mostly an after-thought since the company is run by just one person and time is fleeting. Most promotional activities are tied to social media — answering questions on game development forums and Twitter, then including a link to the game development courses. If there’s one area TRR should improve on, it’s in promoting the current courses.


Anthro A200: Immigrants to Alaska

(From my Fall 2015 Anthropology mid-term exam.)

An ethnography is a description of the customs of different people and their culture. In looking at the history of Alaska Natives archaeology is an important part of building an ethnography because there are no written records to give us descriptions of life in Alaska hundreds and thousands of years ago. Discovering artifacts and features through archaeology (combined with educated guessing, verbal histories, etc.) helps us understand what life may have been like for the first people to arrive in Alaska.

Most theories say Alaska was settled between 50,000 and 15,000 years ago when seas were lower and an arctic grassland (Beringia) stretched between Siberia and Alaska. The first migration probably consisted of hunters following mammoth, bison, and other large animals. A site north of the Brooks Range (in use 12,000 years ago) has produced what appear to be chipped spear points, and microblades and arrowheads (dated to more than 11,500 years ago) have been found in the Tanana Valley.

While nobody knows exactly how natives in Alaska made their way south (boats along the coast or ice free corridors through the glaciers?) there is DNA proof that it happened. There are pockets of Indians down the western coast of the US and into Arizona who share DNA with Alaska natives. Couple that with the archaeological finds and it’s apparent that the Americas were populated by the people who first came from Siberia, across Beringia, into Alaska.

Miscellaneous Personal

September 2015 Reading List

Books I read during the month of September — and hey, there’s actually a non-fiction book in there this time (one of my school books).

Not sure why I’ve never read the Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly before now. There are 20+ and he’s been writing them since the early 90s. They’re the kind of books my Mom would have read, and she would have told me about them, so…

…it makes me wonder what other series/authors are out there waiting for me to find?

  • Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben
  • The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
  • The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
  • Agile Game Development with Scrum by Clinton Keith
  • Year Zero by Rob Reid
  • The King of Torts by John Grisham
  • The Racketeer by John Grisham
  • The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
  • Spencerville by Nelson DeMille
  • The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
  • The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
  • The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly
Miscellaneous Personal

August 2015 Reading List

Not sure I’ll do this next year — while I kind of like to look back and see what I’ve read, I can’t help thinking about how much “stuff” I could have gotten done if I hadn’t read all those books…

Eight of those books are rereads — I read them at some time during the past, Thanks to my lack of memory I enjoyed them all again and didn’t know “who done it” until I was supposed to.

  • Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
  • Nemesis by Catherine Coulter
  • Citizen Insane by Karen Cantwell
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline <== liked best
  • Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
  • Deep Down by Lee Child
  • Brain Jack by Brian Falkner
  • Seconds Away by Harlan Coben
  • The Killing Floor by Lee Child
  • Die Trying by Lee Child
  • Tripwire by Lee Child
  • Running Blind by Lee Child
  • Echo Burning by Lee Child
  • Without Fail by Lee Child