But to be fair, there are elements in just about any romance set against the back drop of time travel that will sound the same upon a superficial description. And, at any rate, the reviews I've read of the film adaptation of Niffenegger's book suggest it is overly melodramatic and doesn't do justice to the plot. I think I'll skip for now. Sooner or later, it'll pop up on the Sci-Fi channel or TNT and I'll catch it then, complete with commercial breaks. And as far as the book goes, I might make time to read it someday. But right now my casual reading time is taken with Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli which is positively stupefying in its beauty of prose. And after that, let's just say that there is a long list.
I'm starting to get really jonesed up about class starting in a few more weeks. But I must wait. On the one hand, they're all topics that I'm really looking forward to leaning about. On the other hand, I'm really looking forward to a less grueling schedule. That may sound odd that adding classwork on top of work being less arduous. But I'll be cutting down to about half time hours at work. Even given an appropriate amount of studying, I don't think that adding classes to that will add more than it will take away from the number of things that must be done.
The semester was the first one that posed some difficult choices for me class wise. In the 2008/20009 academic year, three fourths of the graduate courses were on various writings of Thomas Aquinas. While I have a lot of respect for Aquinas as a thinker, I feel mostly done with him. Admittedly, I've barely scratched the depths of his thought and extant writings. And I do think that some familiarity with his ideas, especially his ideas that have so heavily influenced both law and the philosophy of natural law in the western tradition. But he's a horrible writer: terse, convoluted, overly wordy and lacking in style. Some of his works approach being readable, for example, On the Unicity of the Intellect. But its a struggle for me to pay attention.
But this semester, there are more courses offered that I want to take than I can take. Among the one's I'm leaving behind are a study of Plato's Timeaus, Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, Descartes on the passions of the soul, and a survey course on the topic of illumination. Nonetheless, a class taught on Hobbes' Leviathan by a keen scholar of phenomenological bent and a course on Avicenna's Metaphysics of the Healing by a notable scholar of medieval Arabic philosophy will veritably RTFO.
Speaking of future situations I must wait for, I also must wait for my new shoes. I ordered them a week and a half ago. That gives me four and half more weeks to wait. And, so, wait I shall.
I shocked and awed to see an interview with a CEO on the subject of management filled with common sense.
Ferris Bueller's Lessons on Life by the Man Reputed to Have Inspired the Character. I never got into Ferris Bueller's Day Off the way some people do. I didn't even know that it was directed by John Hughes. But I find the anecdotes from the movie far funnier when placed into a real life context. 10,000 miles off the odometer. Oops.
Nietzche famously said of religion ``God is dead'' and of science ``that His shadow remains.'' The NY Times has a nice piece the consciously compares the works of the ancient religion of the Mayans to the contemporary work of today's scientists, When Mortals Work on Cosmic Time. The most illustrative quote was at the end. CERN's spokesman James Gillies spoke of the impact that the project would have on human knowledge and hoped that ``we will have left a big enough imprint on science that people will not have to speculate on what the priesthood of CERN was up to''. Nietzsche would wager not.
I still can't get over how great this story is. Young novelist writes about a community he wishes was there. That community then comes into existence. I grew up in a mileau where my friends and I would mimic the people and communities we saw on screen that we could identify with to an extent far larger than most of the communities we lived in. To my knowledge none of those communities have sprouted like the tawqacore movement. It's a veritable dead poet society except with punk rock Muslims.
The advent of communications technology has made an old problem even more difficult. Is it real or is it astroturf? Perhaps Arlen Spector has the best path forward on it. ```A lot of it is grassroots and some of it was organized ... I'm very careful not to criticize the people who organized.'' As a tangent, a funny thing occurred to me while reading that article on Spector. The folks crying `censorship' are conflating the freedom of speech with being heard in a public forum. Those appear to me to be two separate things.
The Beeb has a heart breaking op/ed piece on Liberia
CNN has a nice piece on Sesame Street as a instrument of world peace. Some bits are really funny, ``When I saw Gerry Adams wearing a Cookie Monster watch, I knew we had made it in Northern Ireland.'' But other bits are both insightful and worrying, ``Anything the Muppets do, anything they say, any idea they transmit, the children accept.''
Best headline I've seen in ages: Cheney unloads on Bush. There is better coverage elsewhere. But that headline is golden.
In what I think is a first, I started the work week weighing less (173) than I ended the previous work week (174). For purposes of evaluating my weight, I always take my weight at the same time of day, in the same conditions (fresh after my workout) , and wearing the same clothing (my eyeglasses). Even if it isn't `fair' that I weigh myself after having sweating out a good deal of fluid, the important bit to me is that my weights are always comparable. But Tuesday, I was back up to 174. Then later in the week I hit a new low of 169.
And, as promised, hitting 169 means I must reveal a deep and dark secret. This is a secret I've told no one, for it has horrendous ramifications should word get out. Our bedroom scale is five pounds off. The first implication is obvious. It means I'm really clocking in 174 instead of 169. But that isn't really so bad. I can live with that. After all, it means I'm still scientifically demonstrated to be not fat. But there is another, far larger problem which I will not spell out here. But consider this: My wife also uses that scale. I shall never again mention this in public. And should anyone share my secret with my wife, my vengeance will be both swift and certain and you and your descendants to eight generations shall curse the day that you came in existence from nothing.
No changes in the morning weight lifting routines to speak of. I started drinking a few mouthfuls of water before each circuit. I get dizzy and lightheaded quite a bit less. But it's still hard. I sweat a lot. My upper body is sore a good portion of the day after I lift. But none of that is really new. My arms are starting to look less disproportionate compared to my legs. I guess that's news of a sort.
Still haven't got a new watch to time my morning run. Some of the mornings this week have been beautiful for being outside. With the days getting into the eighties and nineties with high humidity, the mornings have been a welcome relief. So have been a couple of the evenings. Last evening was a beautiful day to be out and about.
My eldest daughter recently came back from Alaska. The night she of her arrival, she was all moody, weepy and distraught. Little wonder. She had a journey of 24 hours involving boats, planes, layovers and about 3 hours of sleep. That's enough to make anyone more than a wee bit emotional. Return to a regular schedule should help her sort things out in fairly short order.
It sounds like she had a great time. Day to day projects included digging trenches, moving rocks, painting interiors and the like. Free time activities included wandering through the Alaskan wilderness, boating to Spruce Island to venerate the relics of Saint Herman, visiting the old WWII fortress on Kodiak Island, driving into town to go shopping at Wal-Mart, attracting stalkers, wrestling with greased bears in steel cages, and hunting Sara Palin's political enemies. I'm envious of a time and place where the sun doesn't set until ten or eleven and temperatures in the fifties and sixties during the summer.
Anyway, I'm glad to have her back. She's a good kid.
Some old cow-orkers of mine are in town this week. They're doing an implementation of facilities and maintenance management software at the FDIC. So one night I caught up with two of them, my former boss and a guy I would have to classify as one of the smartest and most capable men I've ever met. It was a good time. I got caught up on all the gossip, who had divorces, who had new girlfriends, who finally moved out of their parents' basements, what kind of business deals they were doing.
So this morning I woke up feeling a tiny bit nostalgic for Ohio. Not Ohio per se, but rather some of the people I know that still live there. Many of the people I miss the most left Ohio either before our family came out to DCia or shortly after. So its not like my homesicknesses could be cured by moving back even were I willing to do so.
Also, it was fun telling my old boss how much I pay in rent. Her eyes came so close to popping completely out of her head that I was already bending down to retrieve them from the floor. That's another thing Ohio has going for it, cheap land.
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