Category: Books

Obscure Sayin’ – Adam Clarke on the Book of Judges

I’m working on material for our Wednesday night study of the book of Judges. This isn’t going to make the cut, but it’s interesting: Adam Clarke on Judges 6 and the incident of Gideon asking for the signs of the golden fleece: Read more

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No, really – loading ALL my CDs into the iPod classic

I just recently moved, and the best thing about it, besides picking up 500 more square feet and a garage, is that I FOUND ABOUT 15 MISSING CDs! When I did the “load all the CDs into my iPod maneuver” earlier this year, I’d had the nagging feeling I was missing some. In fact, I knew for a fact I was, but I couldn’t put my hands on them. In the course of unpacking boxes, I found them. iTunes library complete!

In other news, I can now put my hands on all my books, too.

Best line in a book I’ve read lately

Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon is over a thousand pages long. Here’s one of the best passages in a very good book, in my opinion. Randy, a computer savant and one of the main characters, is recalling when he had to have his wisdom teeth out (as a bonus, this entire passage, which actually runs a good bit longer than this excerpt, is all to set up a comparison to a situation that Randy is now in, years later). He’s had a hard time finding a doctor because his wisdom teeth are large and in a precarious spot, but he finally learns about this doctor, and has come to his office for a consultation.

When he finally turned to face Randy, he had this priest-like aura about him, a kind of holy ecstasy, a feeling of cosmic symmetry revealed, as if Randy’s jaw, and his brilliant oral-surgery brain, had been carved out by the architect of the Universe fifteen billion years ago specifically so that they could run into each other, here and now, in front of this light box. He did not say anything like, “Randy let me just show you how close the roots of this one tooth are to the bundle of nerves that distinguishes you from a marmoset,” or “My schedule is incredibly full and I was thinking of going into the real estate business anyway,” or “Just a second while I call my lawyer ” He didn’t even say anything like, “Wow, those suckers are really in deep.” The young brilliant oral surgeon just said, “Okay,” stood there awkwardly for a few moments, and then walked out of the room in a display of social ineptness that totally cemented Randy’s faith in him.

What I love about this is that this is part of my assessment of computer types. I don’t entirely trust the ones with good social skills.

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Happy 4th

I will be playing alto sax on a nice, sunny (i.e. incredibly hot) stage at the park later, and there will be BBQ, a movie, etc., so don’t think me a total workaholic.

But right now I’m at the office “making license plates,” as I’ve come to call mundane work that can’t be sloughed off on someone else and still has to get done (hat tip for that term – Neal Stephenson, in the excellent book Cryptonomicon), and I’m getting a strange kick out of it. I had a whole lot of coffee this morning, I’m listening to Charlie Parker on my office stereo much louder than I could during business hours, and life is kind of serene…

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Nano, Nano

I just finished a novel. More like, a novella. I participated in Nanowrimo. No, you can’t read it.

And, yeah, another critical update for WP… argh.

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Team of Rivals

I’m reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s about Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet. Those he reached out to in hopes of saving the country, some of whom also happened to be his opponents in the 1860 presidential campaign.

Abraham Lincoln was an astute politician, but he probably wouldn’t get elected today. He dealt with the complex and real, as opposed to the simple and facile. He also demonstrated a lot of selflessness – a rare commodity in people, much less politicians.

It’s one of the longer, heavier books I’ve read lately, and it’s not over yet.

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Madeleine L’Engle 1918-2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/08/books/07cnd-lengle.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all

Her book A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first books I remember reading. I remember identifying with Meg, and feeling that Camazotz, the place where everyone and everything was exactly alike, had some resonance with the people and places I was growing up with. It did not, and does not, compare with anything I read as a child except the Narnia books. Read more