Friday, February 26, 2010

A few more books

I finished Diabetes Type 2 & What To Do by Valentine and Toohey and this know-it-all learned a few things such as why I am hungry all the time and why losing weight is such a cumbrous process.
Connected   24 Hours In The Global Economy by Daniel Altman: Very interesting. Will I be able to retain the information I learned. Not likely. I don't have that kind of brain. So what kind of brain do I have? I always scored in the 99th and 98th percentiles of the Iowa basic skills test. So what? The tests are good predictors of how well you will take tests. They don't measure social smarts or musical smarts or body smarts or character traits such as perseverance or future state of health etc. Over the years I have managed to lengthen my three number short term memory to four numbers. Most people have a seven number short term memory. God made me the way he made me for His purposes, so I can't complain, but I sure wouldn't mind being given some social smarts. I just hurt my daughter-in-law again by being oblivious to nuances of things I say. I apologize, but I know I'll do it again sometime soon. Sigh. I hate hurting people.  Back to the original point. I don't understand things at the corporate and governmental level. I can cope with one on one most times. Groups are hopeless for me. After we leave a group meeting, my husband needs to explain what happened.
And I read some book about 20th century design that taught me nothing. I preferred From Your House To Bauhous.
Oh, and The Other by David Guterson: I love his elegant writing. I am about the same age as he and lived in Seattle for six years, from Ballard to the University District and back to Ballard again. So even though I did not care for a single character of his, I enjoyed going to all the places he mentioned and remembering the songs and events of that time, the 70s in the Pacific Northwest.
I am still working on Darwinian Fairytales which started out with arguments that sometimes seemed unfair and interesting but beside the point. Finally I realized that he was making a different point than I had anticipated. He was going after Malthus as interpreted by Darwinism. Now I'm in the part where the author is going after Dawkins and The Selfish Gene. I remember laughing all through The Selfish Gene, and I am enjoying reading someone who can explain why I was laughing a lot better than I can.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amazing What an Earache can do

I had an earache for several weeks that finally quit and transferred to the other side. I let it go thinking it might go away too. Instead it got too painful for me to chew and my sinuses never stopped draining and I felt sick. Went into a clinic and feel much much better today except I still can't chew hard, so how am I supposed to eat all my veggies? What happens if you blend celery? I'm about to find out. The sun is coming out so I think I'll go out and throw around some fertilizer.

I read The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwambe and Bryan Mealer.   How do I get this into the hands of everybody in North America and force them to read it!  What a story!!!!!!!!!  Favorite quote from the book: "I try, and I make it."  His story about how a three shelf library became this poor and starving boy's university is exactly why I want to build libraries in Africa.

Finished Bitter Scent by Michael Bar-Zohar.  Yi, yi ,yi, how amazing how many Nazis still run the world. Reading about corporations merges and splits and boycotts reminded me of how I wanted to boycott Monsanto, a truly evil company. So I went online to find out what companies where owned by Monsanto but not carrying that name so that I could carry out a comprehensive boycott. Whew. Mergers and splits and mergers and splits so that at the end of the shell game, if I understood correctly, Monsanto stood alone as a company that only handled the lawsuits of previous incarnations.  Sheeee.......  Now, I love genetic engineering of crops, but I hate companies that sue farmers that live downwind from engineered crops and receive pollen they did not even want for their crops.  And I can't help but wonder if producing corn that kills caterpillars is why I can't find butterflies anywhere in this town, let alone my butterfly friendly yard. And how do the scientists that developed the killer seed technology sleep at night?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A few more thoughts

I finished reading "a long way gone  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah: Ohhh God, Ohhh God, Ohhh God.

I had forgotten what I wanted to add to West Oversea. I so much admire the missionaries who dared to go to my ancestors in Scotland and England. And considering how often the Vikings "visited" England, there might be some Viking or Danish blood in me as well. The murder rate was horrendous. The religion was horrendous. The people enjoyed slaughtering foreigners. Thank You, Jesus, for the people who went in Your Name to my people.
On one of the New Year Celebrations in Rwanda I was asked to speak, and so I told the people there were Christians in Africa long before there were Christians in the British Isles and how glad I was for the missionaries. I explained just how dark it got in England and how desperate the people became for light. They worshiped mistletoe and oak trees and burned people in wicker baskets. On New Years the king would have sex with a white horse in front of everybody. The people built huge bonfires and prayed for light. And I read the verse about the people in darkness who have seen a great light. And I thanked God for Jesus who is the great Light in our lives.

I finished On Combat: there is a book to go on the reference shelf.

Oh, and we think we found out where Frank's patients went. It seems the receptionist was not calling the patients about six-month appts. After Frank held a staff meeting and said the receptionist was the first person he would need to lay off, suddenly his days were full again.

And speaking of Frank, my best beloved, he and one of the Chinese Crested dogs had irreconcilable differences and so little Kip went to the Humane Society. I'll bet he wasn't there for ten minutes before he was picked up. If he went to a household without a man in it, I think he'll do fine. So now we have the Crested mix who looks like a muppet, and the house is quieter and less tense.

I pruned the plum tree to a height where I can reach the fruit and coated all the stubs with a no-sprout chemical. We'll see if it works. Prunus trees love to watersprout. I brought in some of the branches to force, and they are blooming beautifully.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bright Day

A cool and sunny day meant I could go out and do a batch of pruning.

Frank and I have been trading illnesses for a few weeks now and I've been muzzy headed and bereft of any accomplishments. I see that developing the habit of blogging will be difficult. I would much rather add witty comments on other people's blogs.

For Lent, I am giving up reading science-fiction, except of course for the editing of my stuff.

Frank started to read Accedia and Me, and he had a completely different take from me. He is not impressed with the desert fathers and the exploration of their minds and mental sins. He says their main sin was going off to be by themselves. They should have lost themselves in service to others instead of wondering why they didn't feel like praying anymore.

What I've read the last few weeks while laying in bed feeling accedic:

Isaac Asimov presents The Great SF Stories 17 (1955)  So, that the year Clarke's The Star came out.
The Starbridge by A.C. Crispin    Aliens! Sex! What's not to like? Well, as I have said earlier, I like sex, but not in my reading or in my movie viewing.
Her Majesty's Wizard by Christopher Stasheff: the first in the series. His writing got better.
Hunted by James Alan Gardner: Aliens! I liked it.
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz: Oh I did laugh. Bizarre and hilarious.
West Overseas by Lars Walker: I enjoyed it and learned how to pronounce some Norwegian words.
Dinotopia Lost by Alan Dean Foster: couldn't finish. Charming idea but maybe I was just too sick to get into it.
Arana's Visitor by Julie Rollins: I think this would be a good book for a junior high group to read and discuss.
What are the Chances? by Bart Holland: A fun review of odds and statistics.
The Hottest Urban Legends by Jan Brunvand: good grief, the stories we tell each other.
When The Sky Fell by Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr: If you are into military sf and enjoy every single detail of how things happen, this is the book for you. This was not the book for me. I like biology and medical details, not machinery so much. But one detail did bother me a lot: how do ships "list" in space? I have a brother-in-law who should like this book. He has large photographs of airplanes, jets on his wall. Now why I dislike photos of jets and like photos of bridges puzzles me. They are both highly engineered works of man to get people from one place to another. So why...
Project ULF by Stuart Clark: I don't know why a microbiologist who should know better would have his protagonists capture specimens for zoos in the most amateurish way possible. There's the broken-hearted male and the beautiful girl and aaargh! I just don't like thrillers. So why do I like the thrillers by Dean Koontz who does the same stuff other thriller writers do? I dunno.

I'm almost through On Combat which is fascinating. I'm working my way through The Book Of Absolutes. The social part was tough. The physics part is much easier. I'm going to see if I have the stamina to read The Book Of Absolutes into an MP3 so my philosopher son can hear it while he is working on his sculptures.