The problem with bookstores

Posted by me on Thursday, the 8th day of November, anno domini 2007 at 9:58 PM, local time.

Another quote from iGoogle’s quote-a-day:

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
  - Henry Ward Beecher

I’m thinking that even these quotes must be given to people based on Google’s huge database of knowledge of everyone’s habits and behaviors? ‘Cause I sure do seem to get a lot of quotes about how I buy too many books. I mean, seriously, I feel bad enough already. Ah well.

Maybe I should go buy a book to make myself feel better?

(A few hours later…)

Now that I’ve done that, I do feel much better. Hopefully, I will get to read the books I have bought soon and can comment on them. They are both things I have not seen before, and I am quite excited that they might both be rather good. Only time will tell!

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Snow! (and something about Canadia land)

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 6th day of November, anno domini 2007 at 1:55 PM, local time.

So, yesterday, it tried really hard to snow here in Rochester, and it did flurry a bit on three separate occasions throughout the day. I was very proud. Soon we’ll have real snow, on the ground and everything!

Then, I saw Andy’s away messages telling me to go look at the MichiganTech webcams. Apparently it snowed there fairly good. The ground is pretty much covered, though it looks like only an inch or so, and it doesn’t appear to snowing at the moment. Very much not fair. But, they always get snow first (and more, obviously) so I really shouldn’t be too surprised. It does make me want to go play in the snow though. From the looks of the forecast here, it will be quite some time yet before we get any accumulation.

On another note, I saw someone else’s away message as well, and it was pretty funny. I am pretty sure its from a movie somewhere, but I can’t remember which one. It was a quote: “No! Don’t you get it? If you die in Canada, you die in REAL LIFE!”

Hilarious.

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xkcd

Why is Google Mocking Me?
Why is Google Mocking Me?

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 5th day of December, anno domini 2006 at 1:00 PM, local time.

Based on the last few quotes of the day on my google homepage, I have determined that they are deliberately mocking me and my habits. Here is today’s quote:

To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser. – Robertson Davies

I mean, seriously, that’s just not nice. I’ve never made disparaging remarks about google, and so shouldn’t have to expect them to make such remarks about me.

On another book related note, I have finally managed to pick up the book club book, Time Enough For Love by Heinlein, again and started reading it. Our first meeting for the book is this Friday, and I have about 200 pages short of where I need to be for it. But, progress was finally made. And, the little short sub-story was very entertaining. It was subtitled as “The Man Who Was Too Lazy To Fail.” It was fantastic. The motivations of this guy seem very familiar… I have heard laziness being called the Engineer’s Disease, and I am no longer ashamed that it is so!

Anyway, my opinion of the book is improving. It has points where it is a bit of tedious crazy Heinlein-ness, but by and large it appears to be shaping up as the kind of book where some old cantankerous fellow is interviewed by a much younger man for insights into life and living in general. One must deal with the old fellow’s occasional oddities and eccentricities, as well as his antiquated notions and not-quite politically correct ideas, but there are a lot of fun, interesting, and useful stories to hear from him.

But, I am not very far in the book, so who knows if it will stay that way for very long.

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engineer's disease
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Lots of Books

Posted by me on Monday, the 4th day of December, anno domini 2006 at 10:17 PM, local time.

So I found this quote on my google homepage today. Its accuracy is remarkable, yet somehow depressing. Oh well.

Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them. – Arnold Lobel

On another book related note, yesterday, when I foolishly went to the bookstore, I purchased a couple more books, which is unremarkable in and of itself. However, one of these books was a small collection of poems by Tim Burton (whom you might recall from such movies as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride). I thought, well, I like his movies, they are touchingly surreal; surely his poetry will be similar. And so I brought it home.

It was definitely surreal. But rather than being touching, most of it was just disturbing. The art was very familiar as Burton’s, the poems were all short doggerel at best, but the topics were downright grotesque. I am slightly disturbed. Note, Kyle, if you are reading this, this is definitely a book that you would enjoy. Everyone else reading this, I would recommend perusing a bit so you are fully aware of Mr. Burton’s psychotic tendencies, but only do so on an empty stomach and only if you are of healthy constitution in general.

On a completely unrelated note, yes, it has been months since I last updated this. Yes, I plan to continue to update it on the same loose schedule. And yes, if anyone still bothers to come here and read these things when updates do happen, I do appreciate each and every one of them.

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One night in a club called the Shakin’ Hand…

Posted by me on Thursday, the 1st day of June, anno domini 2006 at 9:50 PM, local time.

It’s funny how the mind works. I read a random “funny” quote on the quote-a-day thing on my google homepage which had to do with “Let there be light…” This led to a random chord flipping through my mind, followed by some more chords, and some words, tonal inflections of the singer’s voice, lyrics, and soon I had the entire AC/DC song, “Let there be Rock” flowing through my head, full with guitar, bass, drums, and singing. Start to finish.

I was not displeased, and the route to get there from the quote was not all that complicated, but it was strange how the things from the song started to come piece by piece until they were all there again, as though I had just finished listening to the song. I don’t know if this has any relevance, but it was an interesting experience, and seriously, just means everyone really should go out and listen to that song :-) Or read the bible. Maybe even both.

Note: The unboundbible.org has its uses, but it is not the best I have found. 1) You can’t link into it for a specific verse with specific translations and 2) the Strong number concordance interface is weak. I may have a better one bookmarked on a different computer. I shall have to find that and mention it here (or add it to my sidebar of links).

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Sechsunddreissig Strategien

Posted by me on Monday, the 23rd day of January, anno domini 2006 at 9:05 PM, local time.

So, while I hope to not get into the habit of just regurgitating things to this site, I thought it might be worthwhile to list the 36 strategies. They are unlikely to be part of your standard education, and they can help us all in many things, from playing Go to the business world. Not to mention, of course, war.

Anyway, here are the standard thirty-six, without explanation (which is likely to cause some confusion :-)

  • Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.
  • Surround Wei to rescue Zhao.
  • Borrow one’s hand to kill.
  • Make your enemy tire himself out while conserving energy.
  • Use the opportunity of fire to rob others.
  • Feign an attack in the east and attack in the west.
  • Create something from nothing.
  • Secretly utilize the Chen Chang passage.
  • Watch the fires burning across the river.
  • Knife sheathed in a smile.
  • Plum tree sacrifices for the Peach tree.
  • Stealing a goat along the way.
  • Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it.
  • Borrow another’s corpse to resurrect the soul.
  • Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair.
  • In order to capture, one must let loose.
  • Tossing out a brick to get a jade.
  • Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief.
  • Remove the firewood under the cooking pot.
  • Fish in disturbed waters.
  • Slough off the cicada’s shell.
  • Shut the door to catch the thief.
  • Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbor.
  • Obtain safe passage to conquer the Kingdom of Guo.
  • Replace the beams with rotten timbers.
  • Point at the mulberry and curse the locust.
  • Pretend to be a pig in order to eat the tiger.
  • Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof.
  • Deck the tree with false blossoms.
  • Make the host and the guest exchange places.
  • The beauty trap.
  • Empty fort.
  • Let the enemy’s own spy sow discord in the enemy camp.
  • Inflict injury on one’s self to win the enemy’s trust.
  • Chain together the enemy’s ships.
  • If All Else Fails, Retreat.

Now, you may have noticed that some of these appear to be completely worthless. But they’re good stuff, trust me. Take some time to think them over. Mull, mull, mull.

That is all. Gute Nacht.

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