Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #128 - Critique of Pure Reason

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.






The Critique of Pure Reason is one of eight books under the "Philosophy" section in the Sybervision Book List. Traditionally, these, along with the Science books, have not fared too well in my opinion since I read these stories mainly for entertainment and judge them under that criterion. The most notable exception being Walden, which I greatly enjoyed. Well, the Critique of Pure Reason also has many of the same flaws as the other Philosophy or Science books. The text is often hard to decipher and the author frequently uses vocabulary words that the reader is more than likely never to encounter again. I stopped reading the chapter and section titles because they were more often than not undecipherable. I read the unabridged version of the text, and I can now understand why they have abridged versions. More than once I found myself thinking that the author takes 10-20 pages to say something that he sums up in one line, and likely could have been left at just that one line. This book would improve greatly with a good abridgment. As I trudged my way through the first half of the book, I thought that the book was essentially nonredeemable, with the author bloviating on about "simple" concepts that should have been wrapped up hundreds of pages earlier. Kant breaks down every possible concept imaginable using strictly a priori (independent of experience) reason. Starting with the second half though, he starts to explore the foundations of God and whether he exists or not using the a priori reasoning. In the end he concludes that no, you can neither prove or disprove the existence of God. I would equate this to one of the most fundamental Agnostic reading materials created and it actually got rather interesting to read (for the majority of the second half). In summary, although the text could use for quite a bit of shortening, I was pleasantly surprised about the topics that were addressed. Even though I would not recommend others to read this, I am glad I did. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 11 Update

11 months in. 1 to go.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2
Month 8 - 186.3
Month 9 - 181.4 - Yay, weight loss!
Month 10 - 180.4
Month 11 - 183.1 Yay Thanksgiving

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.
Month 8 - Finished The Way of All Flesh. 4 to go.
Month 9 - Finished The Tragedy of Faust. 3 to go.
Month 10 - Finished Tess of the D'Urbervilles. 2 to go.
Month 11 - Finished Lady of the Lake. 1 to go.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.
Month 8 - Finished 15/56. 41 to go.
Month 9 - Finished 19/56. 37 to go.
Month 10 - Finished 28/56. 28 to go.
Month 11 - Finished 34/56. 22 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.
Month 8 - Busy month, fixed 6 more things. 2 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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
Month 11 - Been working on organizing my comics for some time and finally got time to take some pictures. Need to finish up before the end of the month.

15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.
Month 8 - One of the manuscripts is in the preparation stages and should be submitted early this month.
Month 9 - One manuscript submitted. Now working on prepping the next one. 2 to go.
Month 10 - One more manuscript is all set to be submitted and should be done this week.
Month 11 - Second manuscript has been submitted.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      Again spent a large amount of my spare time organizing my Star Wars stuff which went into one of the tasks on the list. It's nice to have some spare time to work on things besides work.


-------------------------------------------Done-----------------------------------------------

(DONE) 5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.
Month 9 - Finished Watership Down. Done.

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #127 - The Lady of the Lake

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.



The Lady of the Lake is a story written as a rhyming poem where, for the most part, each line is eight syllables and every two lines rhyme throughout the entire poem. This structure is often interrupted though, when other aspects of the story take place, such as someone singing a song where the structure would change to every other line rhyming, or some other poetical construct. Structurally speaking this poem is a marvel to read. The poem is laid out fantastically and it is easy to get lost in the words on the page. Unfortunately, this is also a detriment to the story because I found it extremely difficult to follow due to getting lost in the words. Unlike Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, which I felt created a flowing poem and an easy to follow story, this story is very difficult to piece out of the poem. I had to read summaries of the chapters before and after reading them in order to fully understand what I had read. Also, many times the flow of the story would be interrupted by lines that were meant to rhyme but didn't. For instance "stood" and "blood" would be used as a rhyming pair and although they look like they should rhyme it really creates an incongruity within the flow. I wonder if perhaps some of these instances indicate that these words were pronounced differently back when this story was written. This also goes for words with extra syllables that didn't fit the pattern of the poem. It makes me stop and have to reread a line 3 or 4 times, breaking the flow of the story. As for the story, like I said, the story itself is difficult to piece out of this work and I wonder if that is even the reason it is on this list. I assume it is on the list because it is structurally a literary masterpiece but as a story I can not recommend it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 10 Update

10 months in and starting to wind down for the year.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2
Month 8 - 186.3
Month 9 - 181.4 - Yay, weight loss!
Month 10 - 180.4

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.
Month 8 - Finished The Way of All Flesh. 4 to go.
Month 9 - Finished The Tragedy of Faust. 3 to go.
Month 10 - Finished Tess of the D'Urbervilles. 2 to go.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.
Month 8 - Finished 15/56. 41 to go.
Month 9 - Finished 19/56. 37 to go.
Month 10 - Finished 28/56. 28 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.
Month 8 - Busy month, fixed 6 more things. 2 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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

15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.
Month 8 - One of the manuscripts is in the preparation stages and should be submitted early this month.
Month 9 - One manuscript submitted. Now working on prepping the next one. 2 to go.
Month 10 - One more manuscript is all set to be submitted and should be done this week.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      Spent most of my month working on website updates which were desperately needed and started a new Star Wars domain, which I had been wanting to do. I also spent a good chunk of time organizing and redoing my Star Wars room, which has taking a majority of my free time to get to where I wanted it. It is almost set and I hope to have that updated by the end of the year as well.


-------------------------------------------Done-----------------------------------------------

(DONE) 5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.
Month 9 - Finished Watership Down. Done.

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #126 - Tess of the D'Urbervilles

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book Listthe BBC Book List, and My Book List





I am very conflicted with this book. First off, it is very well written and easy to read. This is a definite plus in my book. But rereading the summaries of the other Hardy books I had read so far (Far from the Madding Crowd and Return of the Native) I seemed to have similar feelings about them. All of the stories are well written but it is the story itself that I have problems with. First off, this is the best of the three Hardy books so far. But the problem is that Hardy likes to beat down the women in the book until the main character is almost not a character at all but just a plot device to drive the story forward. The story starts off with a peasant family by the name of Durbeyfield finding out they are actually descendants of the "great" house of D'Urberville. This gets them really nothing, however it propels the family forward into trying to get something from it and this is where the trouble starts. Tess is sent to another D'Urberville family thinking they are related, but in actuality they just took the name for prestige and she ends up getting pregnant out of wedlock. Her life is essentially ruined because of this but throughout the book there is a very interesting dynamic as many of the main characters are forced to face the harsh realities of Christian dogma and stigmas of the times. I found the way that the characters reacted to be rather truthful and interesting. Another problem I had with the pacing of the story would be that the plot of the story would be traveling along and then take a right turn when something would suddenly happen. It was often jarring throughout the story where the big events often felt rather forced. But part of these jarring instances was that the author would repeatedly bring back characters and ideas hinted at earlier in the book to play more pivotal parts later on. I did rather like that approach though. Overall, I would say that the story isn't "great" but it is a pretty good read and made me think a lot, which is not always a bad thing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 9 Update

9 months in. 3/4's of the year is over.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2
Month 8 - 186.3
Month 9 - 181.4 - Yay, weight loss!

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.
Month 8 - Finished The Way of All Flesh. 4 to go.
Month 9 - Finished The Tragedy of Faust. 3 to go.

(DONE) 5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.
Month 9 - Finished Watership Down. Done.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.
Month 8 - Finished 15/56. 41 to go.
Month 9 - Finished 19/56. 37 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.
Month 8 - Busy month, fixed 6 more things. 2 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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

15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.
Month 8 - One of the manuscripts is in the preparation stages and should be submitted early this month.
Month 9 - One manuscript submitted. Now working on prepping the next one. 2 to go.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      Again, it is just a matter of getting things under control, which I feel I have mostly done. The DVR is mostly cleaned up and I am catching up on many many projects left undone. Currently I am working on updating my website, which it is in some need of.


-------------------------------------------Done-----------------------------------------------

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #125 - Faust

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Faust (A.K.A. The Tragedy of Faust) by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List and the Norwegian Book List





Upon reading the first few sentences of Part 1, I was thinking, "Yea, I can really get into this". Part 1 was written in a poem like style very similar to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which I also loved. So I could see some promise in this. Then the story shifted and it mimicked Book of Job, which I didn't like, but I felt the concept was good and could see where they could improve upon it. Later on, the story morphed again, this time feeling very much like Dante's Inferno. Another story that I rather enjoyed. So in general, I had some promise for this story. Throughout part 1 I was riveted and excited to see where the story went. When I reached the end of part 1, the way several things were revealed was amazing. Initially I had thought we were supposed to guess at what happened but then the author revealed what happened afterwords, letting the information flow out in an unexpected way. Very enjoyable and satisfactory. IF the story had ended after part 1, this would be a 100% recommend. However, it didn't. The story of Faust is written as a play, although there are so many characters at some points I can't imaging it actually being acted out. Faust is a scholar who makes a deal with the devil, another main character, in exchange for excitement (as I interpreted it). He uses the devil throughout the story in order to get his way and eventually ruins a girls life. And so ends part 1. Part 2, was published after Goethe's death and feels in many ways, like someone else wrote it. Or at the very least, like a different story. The plot is all over the place, sometimes it has Faust, but often it doesn't. The text is difficult to understand at times, perhaps due to the translation, more likely due to the story. At least there are some weak threads which tie back to the first part, especially the image of a beautiful girl seen in Part 1, who reappears for a large portion within the middle of the story. However, the story is barely intelligible and doesn't contain the magic emphasized in Part 1. So in summary, Part 1 is a definite recommend, but I personally can find no reason for anyone to read Part 2. There is a wrap-up to the part 1 story within Act V of Part 2, but really, it isn't all that fulfilling. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #124 - Watership Down

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Watership Down by Richard Adams. This book can be found on the BBC Book List and My Personal Book List.




I had read Watership Down over a six month period to my daughter, reading about 4-8 pages a few nights a week. It is a long book to read like that but overall the story was straightforward enough that I was able to do this. There were not a lot of twists and turns that would require extensive knowledge of previous parts of the book to make sense of the ending. In general, the story follows a group of rabbits that leave their home due to the psychic feelings of one of the rabbits. They eventually make their way to a new home but realize that they don't have any female rabbits and need to recruit some of them as well. Although, this is a simple story it is by no means bad. I really loved the way it is written. The descriptions given throughout the story are fantastic and you really get to feel for these rabbits with their struggles. The story is gripping and you really do not know who is going to live and who is going to die. How might they get out of a certain situation? And even though many things that happened would be out of the ordinary in a rabbit's world, the author set it up so well that it made sense in the story. I enjoyed how the author treated the different species as well. Mostly, if an animal was a different species the language would appear broken to the rabbits since that was not their native tongue. It really isolated them from the rest of the animal kingdom but also set up some opportunities for these rabbits that other rabbit groups would not have thought of. Overall, this story is often referred to as a children's book, probably because it is written at a junior high level and also, it is about rabbits. I would not pigeon hole it, though. This is probably one of the best books I have read in the last few years, and if I was not reading it with my daughter, I probably would have finished it within a few days. A definite recommend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 8 Update

8 months in. That is all.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2
Month 8 - 186.3

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.
Month 8 - Finished The Way of All Flesh. 4 to go.

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.
Month 8 - Finished 15/56. 41 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.
Month 8 - Busy month, fixed 6 more things. 2 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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

15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.
Month 8 - One of the manuscripts is in the preparation stages and should be submitted early this month.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      Slowly getting things under control. I feel like I have much more time now to be able to work on the things on my lists and I feel I have a better handle of my time in order to do what I want, when I want.

-------------------------------------------Done-----------------------------------------------

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #123 - The Way of All Flesh

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.


When I first started reading The Way of All Flesh, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I read one chapter, then two days later I started reading the second chapter and realized that I had absolutely no clue what happened in the first chapter. So I reread it. After the second chapter, I had another two day break and the same thing happened again. It wasn't that the story was difficult to read or hard to understand, it was just utterly forgettable. After the first 50 pages though, the story got much better. I realized that the reason I kept forgetting what was happening was because each chapter jumped in time, but only a little. It wasn't noticeable until you realized that the previous chapter did not follow the next one directly. A little confusing, but like I said, it got better as the story became more linear. The story follows the life of a man, Ernest Pontifex, as he is raised, then becomes ordained, and eventually finds life outside of the church. However, the first 100 pages or so are focused on the Ernest's ancestors as told by a family friend and godfather to Ernest. I was surprised at the story though and how anti-Christianity it was. Ernest's parents were proper Christian folk, with his father being an ordained minister. However, they were lying, deceitfully, cruel, and always blameless in their own eyes. In essence, horrible parents. Later in the story, as Ernest becomes ordained, he eventually falls out of the church by studying various aspects of the Bible and finding them unbelievable. By the end he is writing books all about how wrong Christianity is. I had not expected that when I went into the book but actually found the anti-church motif it rather interesting. The writers portrayal of women though was a little less desirable. There were three women in the story, the horrible mother, the alcoholic wife, and the obnoxious sister. Not a good one among the bunch. Overall, the writing of the book is ok, not great. Some of the sentences are difficult to read and I had to reread several of them just because they were awkwardly phrased. But in the end I would say that the book was ok, not great but not horrible either. I just felt "meh" when I finished it. Not much of an endorsement, I know.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 7 Update

7 months in, and getting back to normal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!
 
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      My degree has officially been completed!!! (I am a PhD). So now I spend a lot of my free time catching up on my DVR shows (the 2 DVRs were down to less than 20% free space, so I wanted to watch some of that), and working on items on my list. As well as go to work. So all in all, it has been a catch up and refresh time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sith Lords Chronology

One of my pet projects has finally been updated for the first time in many years.


(in the Legends Timeline) is now up to date and probably as finalized as can be expected. As I state on the page:

As of April, 2014 the Expanded Universe was deemed non-canonical. From September, 2014 moving forward everything LucasFilm produces is considered part of the main Storyline. The old "EU" was then rendered "Legends". 

This is the chronology of the Sith Lords within the Legends universe. It is likely not to change much from this point forward since new Legends material is unlikely.

You can check out the Chronology by heading over to my website.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 6 update

6 months in, half way point check-in.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog 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

14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
 
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      The majority of the last 6 months has been spent working on my dissertation, of which was due to the thesis office on June 13th. That was turned in and now most of my time has been spent catching up on other things that fell by the wayside in the process.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #122 - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List and My Book List.


     My previous Mark Twain book (The Prince and the Pauper) was alright, but it left me wanting for the well known wit of Mark Twain. I got that wit in this book. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was everything that I had hoped The Prince and the Pauper would be and more. My only regret is that it took me so long to read because I had more important things going on. The story is written in the first person narrative of a man who is transported back in time to the 6th century from the 19th century. No time is spent discussing how he was transported back in time, which I assumed would eventually be resolved but it never was. Upon being transported back in time, he is almost immediately put to death. How he gets around this is pretending to be a sorcerer, even more powerful than Merlin (who in this book is completely incompetent). The Yankee proceeds to "improve" life back in the 6th century, trying to bring it up to "modern" 19th century standards. Twain makes almost everyone in the 6th century appear dimwitted, or even outright moronic, including King Arthur himself. This is not a trait I have seen attributed to these people of legend before and Twain was actually quite convincing in his representation of these characters. The biggest surprise was the ending, which I won't spoil, but I had assumed I knew exactly how the book was going to wind up, but as it turns out, I think I was wrong. It was rather vague though. Just like the time travel aspect at the beginning, the ending was never fully explained. One of the things that took me by surprise, though, was the strong anti-Catholic church feeling that the story kept bringing back. He even went so far as to try and convert all of England to a Protestant nation back in the 6th century. Overall, a very thoughtful, funny, and insightful book that will happily go on my must read list. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 3 Update

3 months in and still slogging through.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

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

13. 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

14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
 
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      The main goal of March was to finish up the analyses for my dissertation, which I completed. With that out of the way I can move on to finish compiling everything, writing the last remaining parts, and formatting it for the school and my committee. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Songs of the Year

Here is just something I have been thinking about.

January



February




March



April




May



June



July



August



September



October



November


December



Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 2 Update

2 months in and making progress on some things at least.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

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

13. 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

14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
 
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.

16. Defeat 5 console Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      February was much more sane than January. Gummy Bear is doing fantastic after her surgery and the therapies have been broken up between Veronica and I so it is a bit easier on both of us to go. I am still working 32 hours a week but now that things have calmed down I am working mostly just 4, 8 hour days giving me one day off to do therapy and research. Other than that I have just been chugging along, doing my analyses for my dissertation. Once those are done I should be able to wrap up the remainder of it fairly easily.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #121 - Vicky Angel

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.


     This was the final of the Wilson books that are on the list (including The Story of Tracy Beaker, Double Act, and Girls in Love) and I must say this one was the worst one to read. The story focuses on a young teenage girl, Jade, who's best friend, Vicky, dies by being hit by a car during the first part of the book. She is then visited by her friend throughout the book as a "ghost" (however it may just be in her mind). The Vicky ghost gets progressively meaner throughout the story not allowing Jade to make any friends and causing her to be increasingly mean to everyone. On top of that Jade's mother is having an affair, which she discusses with Jade, and her father is perhaps a pedophile, obsessing over pictures of Vicky after she had died. It was like the author thought, how could I make things even more uncomfortable throughout the story. It is not like this is supposed to be higher literature either, this is a children's book. The writing itself is ok, fairly easy to read, but nothing exceptional. Perhaps the purpose of this book was to help children/teenagers come to grips with loosing a friend, however the way the story is written I think it would just end up making things worse. The story works out in the end but it is a very long, tortuous road to get there and there isn't much of an explanation as to why Vicky was being so mean by the end of the book. It blows my mind why any of these Wilson books made it onto this 100 Greatest Books list. They are just a transitory thing and I'm sure that if the list was redone today, they more than likely would not make it on there. Thankfully I am done with them.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Humor - Medical School

This was sent to me a while ago and was a newspaper article written by my ungrad advisor's brother.

Would doctors today be so observant? C Josh Young 2004

My dad went to Harvard Medical School when its faculty was a Who's Who of the most famous doctors and medical scientists in America. Although from a poor family, by dint of hard work and a keen mind, my father graduated in the top half of a class dominated by graduates of fancy prep schools and the country's most prestigious universities. One story he liked to tell was about his last lab class at Harvard. Spring was in the air, and the students were excited to be moving on. Most had already received their next assignments as interns at hospitals around the country.

The students filed into the laboratory, but were disappointed to see the hard nosed professor had still more work for them. Other professors  had yielded to the inevitable, and either dismissed classes early that day, or allowed the students to spend their final hour reminiscing. It should have come as little wonder, however, that their toughest professor still wouldn't let up.

There were warm and fragrant breezes outside, but in the chilly, tiled lab, a tepid yellow specimen sat waiting at each lab station. What possible tests could they run on urine, that they hadn't performed a hundred times before, they wondered.

"Gentlemen," the crusty old prof. began with his usual formality, "as you know, this will be your final laboratory class at Harvard. Today is my last chance to improve your feeble minds and give some hope to the poor patients you will one day serve." The students eyed each other, as if daring one another to make some smart remark, but in those days faculty members tolerated no dissent, and a wisecrack might be grounds enough to fail the course. You could have heard a pin drop.

"If I have taught you anything this semester," the ancient professor droned on, "I hope it is the paramount importance of observation. It is central to your future work as physicians, and without it, the best medicines will be useless in your hands.

"Observation has been a part of medicine since the time of Hippocrates, and it will be a part of medicine when you are all long gone," the professor predicted.

"Today, as proof of the lasting validity of one's powers of observation, we will discuss the classic test for diabetes," he continued ominously.

At this, some of the better informed students became noticeably alarmed.

"For generations, indeed, for centuries, before science devised the modern tests for diabetes, which you have learned and practiced all year, the only way healers could assess imbalances of blood sugars was by tasting the patient's urine."

At the risk of drawing the professor's wrath, a few involuntary murmurs could be heard.

"Yes, Gentlemen, back then, a healer would have to taste a patient's urine, and determine by taste and smell what treatment was indicated." Outright groans went up as the professor deliberately dipped his finger in the beaker before him, swirling it around a bit for effect. He then raised his hand to his lips, gave a tentative lick, smiled, and licked again.

As if tasting a wine to judge its age and origin, the professor gave a quizzical look, and then spewed out voluminous facts about the relative tastes of urine. The students frantically scribbled notes. If the urine was sweet, it meant this; a bitter flavor indicated that; a strong salty taste, in the absence of sweetness, meant a quite different diagnosis was in order.

Then, finally, came the moment of truth.

Raising his beaker of urine, as if in a toast to the future graduates, the professor instructed his students to proceed.

"Tut, tut, now. Overcome your petty aversions, Gentlemen, and do as I just demonstrated, so you can test your powers of observation. Fresh urine is sterile, after all, and none of you will consume enough toxins to make you sick."

One by one the students proceeded with the experiment, some grimacing, others making an effort to show no emotion at all. A few strangely smiled.

"Now, Gentlemen," the professor finally continued, when he was satisfied each of them had dipped and licked, "those of you who are truly observant, will have noticed that, while I dipped my index finger into the urine in the beaker before me, it was actually a different finger which I licked.

"Thank you, Gentlemen. Class dismissed!"


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Humor - Gerbil Joke

This was sent to me a while ago but it is even funnier now that I live in Salt Lake City.

Flaming Projectile Gerbil -- An actual article from the LA Times

"In retrospect, lighting the match was my big mistake. But I was only trying to retrieve the Gerbil," Eric Tomaszewski told bemused doctors in the Severe Burns Unit of Salt Lake City Hospital. Tomaszewski and his homosexual partner Andrew (Kiki) Farnom, had been admitted for emergency treatment after a felching session had gone seriously wrong. "I pushed a cardboard tube up his rectum and slipped Raggot, our gerbil, in." he explained. "As usual, Kiki shouted out 'Armageddon,' my cue that he'd had enough. I tried to retrieve Raggot but he wouldn't come out again, so I peered into the tube and struck a match, thinking that the light might attract him." At a hushed press conference, a hospital spokesman described what happened next. "The match ignited a pocket of intestinal gas and a flame shot out of the tubing, igniting Mr. Tomaszewski's hair and severely burning his face. It also set fire to the gerbil's fur and whiskers which in turn ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the intestine, propelling the rodent out like a cannonball." Tomaszewski suffered second degree burns and a broken nose from the impact of the gerbil, while Farnom suffered first and second degree burns to his anus and lower intestinal tract.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Although, further research indicates that this is likely made up, it doesn't mean that it still isn't funny:

http://www.snopes.com/risque/homosex/gerbil.asp 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Humor - Late Night Alcohol Lecture

Stopped by police @ 2am. An elderly man was stopped by the police around 2 am and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

The man replied, "I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late."

The officer then asked, "Really? Who's giving that lecture at this time of night?"

The man replied, "That would be my wife."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Humor - Clever Bumper Stickers

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

A day without sunshine is like ... night.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted then used against you.

I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.

Honk if you love peace and quiet.

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

You can't have everything, where would you put it?

Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world's population.

The things that come to those who wait are usually the things left by those who got there first.

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 1 Update

1 month down and back to not being able to do anything :-).
----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0

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

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.

5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.

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

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

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

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

13. 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

14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
 
15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.

16. Defeat 5 console Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

       So, January was a very busy month. I started my new job working 32 hours a week doing GIS work currently and hopefully will take on some paleo consulting eventually. My daughter also had spinal surgery that put her up in the hosptial for a week and a half. On a positive note she was supposed to be in there 2-3 weeks and was doing SO well that they sent her home super early. She also was able to go back to school a week and a half earlier than expected which freed up much of the time that was devoted to her care. I have also been working steadily on finishing up the analyses and writing of my dissertation in the other time of which I wasn't working, taking care of my daughter, and/or sleeping. So, needless to say, January was busy but so far we are chugging ahead with the dissertation with the hopes to make tremendous strides this month.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Humor - Great Quotes

1) "Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house."
* Steven Seagal

(2) "The problem with the designated driver program is, it's not a desirable job. But if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house."
* Jeff Foxworthy

(3) "See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time."
 * Robin Williams

 (4) "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base."
 * Dave Barry

(5) "What do people mean when they say the computer went down on them?
 * Marilyn Pittman

(6) "Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp."
 * Bob Ettinger

 (7) "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, gee, mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim."
 * Paula Poundstone

 (8) "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: Uh, duh!"
 * Conan O'Brien

 (9) "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, oh my goodness, I could be eating a slow learner."
 *Lynda Montgomery

 (10) "The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner."
 * Roseanne

 (11) "I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west."
 * Richard Jeni

 (12) "If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead."
 * Johnny Carson

 (13) "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography."
 * Paul Rodriguez

 (14) "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty, and that's the law."
 * Jerry Seinfeld

 (15) "In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic? Do tall people burn slower?"
 * Warren Hutcherson

(16) "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same."
 * Oscar Wilde

 (17) "Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet."
 * Mae West

 (18) "Suppose you were an idiot . . . And suppose you were a member of Congress . . . But I repeat myself."
 * Mark Twain

 (19) "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Kuwait."
 * A. Whitney Brown

 (20) "Ah, yes, divorce . . . from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."
 * Robin Williams

 (21) "Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself."
 * Roseanne

 (22) "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'"
 * Dave Barry

 (23) "If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."
 * George Carlin

 (24) Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the Aspirin
 bottle: "Take two Aspirin" and "Keep away from children."
* Author Unknown

 (25) "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
* Drew Carey

 (26) "When I die, I want to die like my grandmother who died peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car."
 * Author Unknown



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #120 - The Prince and the Pauper

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.



Perhaps when the story was written it was original in it's premise but I feel it may have been over used in today's society. The basic plot is that a pauper dreams of seeing the prince one day, they meet, exchange clothes and find out they are identical. So much so that no one can tell the difference. The majority of the story then follows the prince as he tries to make his way back to the throne. I thought the story was enjoyable and short enough for a rather simple premise. However, I was disappointed by the end. I felt that the prince had built up some really great grudges by the end of the story and I couldn't wait to see what happened to those people but it was just written off with a few lines. I am also not sure what it is about Twain's writing and his "legacy" but I feel that none of his stories (at least the ones I have read) possess the wit that is supposed to be a hallmark of Mark Twain. The book was well written and fun but I was expecting something a little more clever witted/ humorous. Another problem I had with his writing was that in times when he would simulate a "historical observation" the text was rather dense and confusing to the point that I had a tendency to skim over those parts because I couldn't quite follow what was going on. On a whole, this was a nice, quick, enjoyable story but not one I would call one of Twain's best.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Humor - Chicken soup for the alcoholic soul‏

Deep Thought: Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
--by Jack Handy

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
--Frank Sinatra

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.
--William Butler Yeats

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
--Ernest Hemingway 

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
--Ernest Hemingway

Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.
--Catherine Zandonella

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
--Ambrose Bierce 

Reality is an illusion that occurs due to lack of alcohol.
--Anonymous

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.
--W.C. Fields

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?
--W.C. Fields

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
--Henny Youngman

Life is a waste of time, time is a waste of life, so get wasted all of the time and have the time of your life.
-- Michelle Mastrolacasa

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
--Tom Waits

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?
--Stephen Wright

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
Sooooo, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!
-- Brian O'Rourke

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
--Frank Zappa

Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.
--Winston Churchill

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
--Benjamin Franklin

If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.
--Deep Thought, Jack Handy

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
--Dave Barry

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
--Humphrey Bogart

Why is American beer served cold? So you can distinguish it from urine.
--David Moulton

Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.
--Kaiser Wilhelm

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet, tasty beer.
--Homer Simpson

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
--Dave Barry

All right, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me - so let's just do this and I'll get back to killing you with beer.
--Homer Simpson