Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ah, I got the last book I ordered in the mail today - Tolkien and the Great War:  The Threshold of Middle-earth by John Garth.  Note:  I'm not recommending these books I list here - aside from The Sign of the Beaver, I haven't read these books yet.  The subject matter interests me, but I've heard praise and criticism on all of them.  Until I read them, I reserve judgement.

That reading list is quite long, so don't expect these finished soon.  But, I figure if I can find these books at a decent price, I might as well buy them. 

- Jim
Another short post, many of the nephews and nieces are over, and the things I do are pretty limited.  Well, that's not quite accurate, but they're not the things I'd originally planned to do.  We got to watch Band of Brothers on Thursday, so I can't really complain.

Anyway, I ordered a couple books and a cheap set of computer speakers.  The computer speakers were REALLY cheap and I ended up having to order the books so that I could get free shipping.  I've mentioned before that free shipping is probably a scam to get me to order more, but it's like a prize, and I must win it.


Anyway, I got Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, which was a favorite book of mine back in elementary school.  I have this vague notion that someday, with the right combination of books in my personal library, I can turn these kids into readers.  When I fail that, I will at least have some books that are pretty easy to read in a couple hours or so.  I also got The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.  Despite the fact that I read all the time, it bothers me that I've read so little of anything remotely considered classic.  I didn't realize it was so short though.  Wow.

Anyway, that's about it.  Unless you wanted to hear about my knee.  Hello?  Hello?  I thought so.

- Jim

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You know that deep down I love my family... right?  Well, uh... we're going to have some company over here for a while.  Blah blah blah story blah blah blah excuses blah blah blah kids over here.  I don't mind too much, I really do love them.  But, there will be less work getting done.  There will be less time for deadlines and things like that.  I imagine that the drama I try not to write about will be increased.

Supposedly it'll be short term.  I'm not disagreeing with that in theory, but reality doesn't often work the way we plan it.

Just a heads up.

- Jim

Monday, February 20, 2012

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Ancient Aliens on the History (now H2) channel.  While I accept some small details in the premise of the show, I consider it to be mostly trash and regularly shout at the television while it's on.  Still, they focus a lot of Egyptian and Mayan culture and monuments.  So much of the current shows on television focus on the Mayan Doomsday Prophesies, and this show is no exception.  That's unfortunate, because while I think that premise is hogwash as well, I like the focus on the Mayans period.

I don't know if that made sense.  It's late at night and I'm dying from allergies and loopy from allergy pills.  They don't seem to be helping though.

Despite a large (too large, I say) focus on the Mayan Doomsday crap, I like the tidbits you actually see on the history channel that have real historical relevance and accuracy.  What can I say?  I'm easily amused.

On a sadder note, today would have been my Mother's sixty-ninth birthday.  Though recent events have pushed that somewhat to the background, her loss is still felt every single day.  We cope.  We live on.  But we do so with heavier hearts and into a world that seems more dark. 

- Jim

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm in the process of reducing my social media exposure, not because I fear big brother or anything like that, but because I spend so much time on it.  Is the time wasted?  That's hard to say.  You could spend an evening at a friend's house talking and not doing anything more than watching a movie or playing cards, but the time wouldn't necessarily count as wasted.  In that sense, no, my time isn't really wasted online, but at the same time, my hands twitch because there's so much waiting to be done.

The process is imperfect and won't really affect this blog, but it does exist.  I'll probably spend more time using Twitter, since those feeds go here and to my Facebook page. 

It was always inevitable, I suppose, that I'm going to be unable to finish everything I wanted by the end of the arbitrary February deadline.  Health issues, social issues, family issues, as well as my own procrastination played a part.  In the end however, I was probably just too optimistic about what I could achieve.  Aside from a few days when I couldn't, I've worked a lot more than I did in the previous months at the end of last year.  But, it wasn't enough to make a difference.  Staying up late to try and keep up is catching up to me more than is allowing me to catch up.  I can stay awake for a long time, but there is a definite period when I lose the ability to do anything constructive. 

Oh yeah, I did want to mention that I finally entered the 20th century and bought a water filter for the kitchen sink.  I can now drink filtered water!  The real reason, of course, is that we have very hard water in this region and because I use a humidifier constantly, the house is covered in a fine film of lime dust that I am apparently powerless to keep ahead of.  Unfortunately, the dust is permeating even closed areas like CD and DVD cases as well as books.  I did it as much to protect media as I did to protect my health.

So, that's life around here.  G'luck, I'm off to finish another magazine.  Just uh... 31 to go after this!

- Jim