Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The 306 Greatest Books #118 - The Wealth of Nations

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

I think the best response for this book is what I had said about it when I started reading. I asked if it was possible for a book to be so very interesting yet so very boring at the same time. Now after finishing all 620 pages of it, I am reaffirmed of that opinion. The book is very long, longer than the 620 pages should have felt. And it was a drudge to get through. Many times he would talk about the price of one thing or another and how it has changed. This all being in British units, but the antiquated British units are no longer used, so I had a tendency to gloss over those parts. When it got interesting, I found myself invested in the narrative, more like a history textbook than a literary novel. What was really interesting was that this book seemed to be written over several years during the American Revolution. It was really amazing to watch how different America's impact on this book was depending on the date at which he was writing each section, from before the war until well into it. In the end though, the book felt more like a textbook or a scientific article than a story, which is fine, but he repeated himself so often that I feel this book could have been half the length and gotten across the same amount of material. I have heard that this is required reading for many in business school and I feel sorry for you. It may be a cornerstone of our economic system but it is tiresome to read through. This is very similar to how I felt The Origin of Species is to paleontologists, an important, long, slowly paced, bore.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2013 Personal Goals - Month 6 Update

Halfway done, really busy.


1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Yes, this has been on here since the beginning of me doing this. And yes, I do still hope to finish it.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 174.1.
Month 1 - 175.0
Month 2 - 175.9
Month 3 - 176.2 (too much work, not enough free time)
Month 4 - 177.7 (going the wrong way :-( )
Month 5 - I didn't even weigh myself this month
Month 6 - 180.8 (starting to work out again)

3. Read 1 of the Top Ten Books on Zane's List
Start - In the middle of The Stories of Anton Chekhov.

4. Read 5 books on the Sybervision Book List
Start - Current count is at 75.
Month 1 - In the middle of David Copperfield.
Month 2 - Still reading David Copperfield.
Month 3 - Finished David Copperfield. 4 to go. 
Month 5 - Currently reading The Wealth of Nations 
Month 6 - Still reading The Wealth of Nations

5. Read 5 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 45.
Month 1 - In the middle of David Copperfield and The Princess Diaries.
Month 2 - Finished The Princess Diaries. Still working on David Copperfield. 4 to go.
Month 3 - Finished David Copperfield. Working on Swallows and Amazons. 3 to go.
Month 4 - Still reading Swallows and Amazons.
Month 5 - Finished reading Swallows and Amazons. 2 to go. 

6. Update 1 Geological Movie Review
Start - The Day After Tomorrow still needs to be done.
Month 1 - The first part has been redone.
Month 2 - Still working slowly through it. Some more work has been done.
Month 3 - Slowly but surely working through it.
Month 5 - About 1/3rd of the way through the movie.
Month 6 - The movie is basically finished. I just need to polish it up and post it.

7. Finish 1 more Geological Movie Review
Start - Earthquake still looks like the best bet.

8. Watch 6 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 74.
Month 1 - Watched Duck Soup. 5 to go.

9. Watch 5 of the 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 26
Month 1 - Watched Duck Soup. 4 to go.

10. Finish 55 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 115 things on it, so this should cut it down by approximately half.
Month 1 - 9 Things done on the list. 46 left to go.
Month 2 - 12 total things done. 43 left to go.
Month 3 - 17 things done. 38 left to go.
Month 4 - 20 things done. 35 left to go.
Month 5 - 22 things done. 33 left to go.
Month 6 - 23 things done. 32 left to go.

11. Finish 8 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 20 things on it.
Month 1 - 1 thing done, fixed the carpet. 7 Things to go.
Month 6 - I actually am in the middle of working on 5 different projects. Some of which might get finished this month.

12. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it last year. Hopefully I can finish this part of it.
Month 2 - Sealed the milk jugs and placed them in the hovercraft. In the process of getting some wood I need for the outside that needs to be attached before skinning the top.
Month 5 - There is a hold up because I need a 1" x 4" treated lumber which does not seem to be sold in the western third of the country. Working on it though.

13. Get my Sprint Triathlon time under 1:25:00
Start - My current official best is 1:41:45.2

14. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30

15. Catalogue and Photograph the Comics portion of my Star Wars Collections
Start - Currently I have some of the comics photographed so if I get the time this should

Other things of note
 Still spending most of my time on my dissertation. I also spent a good chunk of my "work on other things" time on my Geological Movie Review of The Day After Tomorrow. So once that gets finished I will have one load off my back at least.