Friday, November 14, 2014

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

The next up on my reading of the 306 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 narrative, 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 reading. 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) 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!!!!