Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Ah yes, Waiting for Godot. Required reading in my freshman English class at Penn State. Made worse by the fact that it was a Saturday morning class. Don't ask me why I scheduled it that way.
The professor made the mistake of asking the class what their honest opinions were of WFD. I made the mistake of giving my honest opinion - that it made no sense, had no plot, and was a total waste of my time. Methinks that was likely NOT the answer he was seeking. I blame it on a hangover.
About 7-8 years ago, I went back an re-read it, this time with a better understanding of existentialism and what to expect. I found it to be a great play and thoroughly enjoyed it. My what a difference 40 years make.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Evil Sand Queen of Arizonistan, Jan Brewer, blinked this afternoon. In the face of a tsunami of threats of loss-of-business for the state, she vetoed the blatantly discriminatory bill SB 1062.
Let's be real. Brewer hasn't had a change of heart' she's just as much of a bigot as she ever was. But even tea-baggers will blink when threatened with loss of jobs and dollars. Which translates into a loss of votes.
So thank you, Governor Brewer, for doing the decent thing. Even though you didn't want to.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Chee was conscious again that Bales was waiting for him to say something. This white man’s custom of expecting a listener to do more than listen was contrary to Chee’s courteous Navajo conditioning. He’d first become aware of it his freshman year at the University of New Mexico. He’d dated a girl in his sociology class and she’d accused him of not listening to her, and it had taken two or three misunderstandings before he’d finally fathomed that while his people presume that if they’re talking, you are listening, white people require periodic reassurance. Deputy Bales was requiring such reassurance now, and Chee tried to think of something to say.
(from The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, February 24, 2014
I've read Infinite Jest. All the way through. It took me six weeks, but I'm proud of my accomplishment. And we will post any comic/cartoon that references it.
I had forgotten all about the "Wardine Be Cry" brouhaha. I don't recall finding it offensive. Probably I was just plodding through the pages when it came up, and I didn't want anything controversial to slow my progress.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
“I had to save Varus. He’s. . . important.”
I guessed he was. For all I knew, he may be a direct ancestor of mine and I couldn’t let him get killed now. Who knew what kind of paradox I’d create then. A “great, great, great times one hundred grandfather paradox,” or maybe I’d just wink out of existence. The universe might implode for all I knew. Or maybe I’d prove that grandfather paradoxes are nothing but shit science.
(from The Last Roman, by Edward Crichton)
5½*/10. The full review is here.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
“Michael. What are you thinking about?”
I am nothing.
“Tell me what that means.”
It means I am nothing special. I am nowhere special. I am in no special time. I would not know if the whole world were suddenly made one day older or one day younger. I would not know if the whole world were moved to the left this much. He hopped sideways, like a frog; briefly he grinned as a child. It means that the world was born, and will die, just as I will. He said this calmly, as if it were as obvious as the weather. (. . .)
“Tell me how you know that, Michael.”
Because the sky is dark at night.
(from Manifold Time by Stephen Baxter)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
One of my multiple personalities is Rex, a sheepdog in Wyoming. He doesn't blog much - lack of opposable thumbs and all that. But he did want me to post that he's still waiting for Flying Cars and Color TV. I've told him the technology for flying cars is still a long way off. And I just don't have the heart to tell him about Color TV's.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Death punctuates life
Cutting short what is known
The young are taken
The beautiful chosen and
Time stands still
Leaving a moment for thought
A pause to feel, accept, and understand
But why, the question why
Floods all thoughts
And kills understanding.
(from A Journey Begins, by Lawrence Sylou-Creutz Ojermark)
4½*/10. The full review is here.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Happy happy, Joy joy! We get Monday off for Presidents' Day. This is only the second year that my company has given us this holiday, but it makes for a pleasant break in the long stretch between the Christmas/New Years holidaze and Good Friday.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Yes, I like to write; hence the blogs. Yes, I can write, although I don't by any means hold the delusion that I can write professionally.
No, I don't dream of quitting my day job and writing full-time. There's something about the phrase "Starving Artist" that just doesn't appeal to me. And of course, I don't want my mortgage to be my Muse.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Ever wonder what London looked like way back in the 1740's? Well, here's an ultra-realistic painting by a dude named Giovanni Antonio Canal. Since his dad, Bernardo Canal, was also a painter, Giovanni became known as Canaletto, or "Little Canal".
He did a sh*tload of paintings in his life, of places all over Europe. The one above, apparently simply called "London" was in a booklet that came with a 4-LP Time-Life boxed set of records called "The Baroque Era", which I've just finished digitalizing.
I'll have more to say about the music once I've listened to it a few times. But for now, I'm simply in awe of Canaletto. Google-Image his name for a bunch of his paintings, and prepare to amazed.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
That the Beatles invaded America. And to celebrate it, there's a huge Beatles Special on TV tonight. With everybody who is anybody showing up.
Johnny Depp, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, Stevie Wonder, Keith Urban. And a gazillion more, I'm sure. The show's just getting started.
I readily admit that the impact the Fab Four had on music is second to none. And 500 years from now, the songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney will be recognized as the greatest of the last half of the 20th century.
But as for their music itself? I found it to be good, but not great. Too much "pop" and not enough "rock & roll" for my taste. And as for the half-century-old question, "Beatles or Stones", my answer has always been "The Doors".
Saturday, February 08, 2014
“Where’s my truck?”
They turned and found themselves facing a bullet head on an ICBM body lumpily stuffed into a black shirt and a brown suit. It was as though King Kong were making a break for it, hoping to smuggle himself back to his island disguised as a human being. And, just to make the picture complete, this marvel carried over his shoulder half a cow; half a naked cow, without its fur or head.
“Tiny!” Dortmunder said inaccurately. “We’re looking for you!”
(from Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Sunday, February 02, 2014
I've lived in the Valley of the Sun for 46 years. Once upon a very long time ago, I bicycled to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West from ASU (10+ miles) and back again, but I didn't take the tour back then.
Today we did. The architecture is amazing, but that's to be expected since FLW designed and built it. And the human-interest stories that the Tour Guide told us were just an added delight. I bought a couple t-shirts to memorialize the event.
If you have any interest in Architecture, and are in the Phoenix area, this is a highly recommended tour.