Tag Archives: reading

Reading List

If you hop over to my library page, you’ll notice my reading list has grown considerably. That’s because I just added in all the books we bought at the annual book sale held by our local public library. There’s far too many for me to finish them all this year, but I hope to have read them all by the end of next year.

What’s your Circus Peanuts?

Some time ago, I was having a discussion with a friend where it came up that I like those nasty, orange candies known as circus peanuts.  I don’t really understand why I like them myself; I just do.  Since then, I’ve used the term “circus peanuts” in my head as mental shorthand for anything that I like which either isn’t any good and/or which I have no distinct reason for liking.  I bring this up because my faithful readers will probably notice I started reading a book which wasn’t on my list of planned books, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.  I will not pretend that this book has the greatest story, characters or writing in the world; however it is a book which I have read multiple times and always enjoyed.  I picked it up to read this morning as I looked over my unread book list and nothing on there appealed to me in the slightest.  So I went with a “circus peanuts” book to have something to read over my lunch hour at work. Then as  I was about to start reading the book, I started to wonder what other people’s circus peanuts might be.  What do you think?  What is your “circus peanuts”?

Bigots and Marriage

I had been considering righting up my feeling regarding this insane proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to steal the rights of a subset of American citizens. However I was catching up on the news in the blogsphere when I stumbled upon Mr. Scalzi’s discussion of the subject:

Why aren’t people asking the marriage bigots flat out what they have against marriage? Against married couples? And by what right are they able to say that couples who are already legally married should have their marriages declared null and void? This proposed amendment breaks up marriages. God damn it, people should be hollering this at the top their lungs every time one of those marriage bigots gets all sanctimonious about what marriage means. People ought to be getting these marriage bigots into a corner and getting them to admit that they need to destroy legal, loving marriages in order to accomplish their goals. We ought to be getting these marriage bigots admitting that they have to strip away rights these Americans already have to do what they want to do.

I highly recommend you read Mr. Scalzi’s post in full.

Update: The comment thread on Mr. Scalzi’s post is rather long. I hadn’t completed reading it yet, when I posted this article. Heck, I’m still working my way through it. However the reason for this update is one of Mr. Scalzi’s replies to a comment was so dead on that I simply must quote him again.

As I’ve said a number of times in the past, the most “activist” judicial ruling I can think of in recent times was Bush v. Gore, and I think it was wildly poorly decided. However, you don’t see me hopping up and down like a frog on a plate, bitching about that damned activist Judge Scalia, because in my opinion, regardless of whether I like the ruling or not, the judiciary was doing its proper role. So, basically, if I have to live with a piece of crap ruling like Bush v. Gore, my sympathy for boo-hoo conservates bitching about “activist judges” is around about zero.

Yeeouch

Over the weekend, Ariesna and I went to the CPL to check out their latest book sale. She got a bit ahead of me looking around as I was carrying out picks. I was about to move to the next room to catch up to her when it happened. Suddenly I felt a sharp, red-hot pain stabbing into my back. I managed to get over to Ariesna and set the books down, but it was something of a close call. We left the library shortly after that to go home and set me up with a heating pad. A bit of heat, some back pain meds and my back was feeling better. I took the day easy sitting down, reading a book.

I was still mighty tired the next day. Every time I had turned over in my sleep; I was half awakened by pain in my back. But awake eventually I was and into the shower I went. I’d just finished my shower and was drying off when another spasm ripped through my back. This one was much worse and nearly sent me to my knees. Ariesna came back and helped me. Then she called the doctor’s office and made an appointment to get me checked out. I spent the rest of the day lying down on a heating pad.

Monday, the doctor checked me out. He prescribed some pain killers and a muscle relaxant. He also set up an appointment for me to visit a physical therapist. That appointment was earlier today. The therapist was a really nice lady. She had me describe my problem. She then had me go through a series of stretches and movements to help her figure out exactly what is wrong. She told me she believes one of the discs in my spine (in the border area between the lumbar and thoracic) has a small tear.

She immediately moved to reassure me this is not something that will require surgery. I don’t think I was looking at her nervously, so I’m not entirely sure why she leaped to get that bit of information out. Though if I were to guess, I would say most of her patients are considerably older than I am and they do not like even the hint of possible surgery.

Anyway, she instructed me in doing a couple of light exercises designed to ease the tension in my back and which should improved the blood flow along the damaged area. She said these exercises should be enough for my back to heal itself correctly. Provided I keep in mind for my back to heal properly, I have to be extra cautious about it for a couple of months. She recommended I think about the damage like it was a broken bone. Even if I am feeling 100% in a few days or a week, I’m still to take it easy on my back.

Whee, such fun. Ah well, at least I haven’t promised to help anybody moving anytime soon. :p

Cellphones suck!

I confess. I’m a technophile. I like reading about new technologies and gadgets. Even better, I like owning new technologies and gadgets. And yet, I don’t have a cellphone of my own. I bought one for my wife but that was only because she was doing a lot of driving out into the boonies of Iowa as part of her degree program. The phone is a couple of years old now but I’m in no hurry to replace it. I’m in even less of a hurry to get one for myself.

Why? Because every cellphone I see out there sucks. The cellphone manufacturers are rushing to build in all sorts of extraneous functionality. This adds to the phone’s weight, size & complexity without providing any meaningful benefit.

Let’s look at a similar product for a moment, the iPod. In a field of hundreds, if not thousands, of MP3 players the iPod is the industry leader and it has the least functionality of the lot. While the other manufacturers have added FM tuners and recorders and god-only-knows what else; Apple has kept the iPod simple and it’s making them money hand over fist.

But what does the iPod have to do with cellphones? Besides that hideous ROKR thing? That’s simple, literally. By restricting the functionality of the device to the bare minimum, Apple gave consumers exactly what they wanted. While cellphone manufacturers keep throwing function after function into their phones in hopes that more people will plunk down $500 for their latest toy.

All those functions sound great, but really how many people actually use all of them? I cannot speak for everybody, but I would greatly appreciate a cellphone that simply promises:

  • Superior battery life
  • Excellent Reception
  • Easily fits in my pocket

However from all the adverts I see for cellphones; I have a feeling that is just too much to ask for. *sigh*

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