Entries Tagged 'Books' ↓

Daily habit goals for 2017

Time Action
08:00 Wake
08:30 Brush teeth
Blood sugar
Start hot water
09:00 Make coffee
Make/eat protein breakfast*
09:15 Begin work
09:30 Medications (second cup)
11:00 Standup
11:30 Lunch: (tbd) calories and (tbd) carbs
13:00 Blood sugar
15:30 Snack
17:30 Chores
18:00 Dinner: (tbd) calories and (tbd) carbs
19:30 Free time for…
…Reading books
…Second walk
22:00 Brush teeth

* eggs, snack pack, peanut butter toast, cottage cheese, string cheese

All I Got For Xmas 2010

All I Got For Xmas 2010
Originally uploaded by rynosoft

Once again I had a very bountiful Christmas. Click the picture to see the details but my gifts included:

  • Earth: The Book
  • Microwave safe soup bowl
  • Soup spoons
  • Chopsticks
  • Microwave safe coffee cups
  • Instant coffee
  • My four favorite Beatles albums remastered
  • $75 in cash
  • Personal audio mixer
  • Let It Be…Naked
  • Sugar free candy
  • New earphones for my iPhone
  • Six pack of grilling sauces/rubs
  • Two iTunes gift certificates worth $45 (not pictured) – redeeming for various apps and songs
  • Amazon gift certificate for $50 (not pictured) – redeemed for iLife ’11

Thanks to Buddy, Leroy, Tom, Jan, Michelle & Ric, Tina, Thomas, Graham and the Kittens. I know I’m hard to shop for and appreciate when people do so anyway.

Doctor Spock’s backup band

Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 3:45 PM

Jackie's Tweet

Continue reading →


A friend sent me an invitation to join Shelfari, an interactive website for book lovers. The user interface reminds me of Lala and I immediately blew an hour putting in all the books I’ve read since 1998. Like most Web 2.0 sites, they provide a handy “widget” for displaying your profile on a blog. Here is mine:

Last chance for book selection

Hardly anybody has voted. As I mentioned earlier, I need a new book to take on vacation. Here are the choices:

Whether you have read any of these books or not, I want your opinion on which I should or should not take. Leave your vote in the comments.

Help Pick The Next Book

I expect to finish reading Dandelion Wine this week. After that I’ll be starting one of these books:



(Click for a larger version)



Have you read any of these books? Heard anything great about one? Please leave a comment with a recommendation for the next book for me to read. I’ll be taking this book with me on vacation to Iowa next week.

The Fountainhead

As you have probably noted from recent Vital Statistics postings, I’ve been reading Ayn Rand‘s The Fountainhead for about a month and a half. I’m enjoying it for the most part and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Rand invented a philosophy called objectivism and her novels are supposed to represent that philosophy. I became aware of Rand and her following some time after I graduated from college. I always wondered why I had never come upon Rand while majoring in Philosophy. Now that I’ve read her, I know the answer: lack of rigor.

Rand never makes a formal argument for her philosophy. Instead she writes her protaganists as representatives for objectivism and every other character as complete idiots who oppose it. Objectivism is all about self-interest and emphasizes the value of the individual over the group. Altruism, or serving others at the possible cost of one’s own interest, is abhorrent to Rand. The most loathsome villain in The Fountainhead is an altruist who manipulates people into donating time and/or money to help his various causes. Rand is careful to emphasize the means that he employs to achieve his charitable ends rather than discussing the ends, those who benefit from his heinous acts.

In The Fountainhead every character who is not a protaganist (and there are few of those) is either an antagonist or one of the great unwashed masses who accept that altruism is a reasonable goal for society to achieve. Rand’s chief tactic is to give the most negative “spin” possible to anti-objectivist arguments and then have the antagonist characters voice the “spun” argument. For me, this just weakens her argument because it’s clear that she either doesn’t understand the other side or that she won’t be able to stand up to real criticism.

The other troubling part of the story is the way that Rand manifests the interpersonal relationships of the characters. One of main characters is a woman in love with the protaganist who makes a concerted effort not to be with him while sabotaging his career as an architect. She even goes so far as to marry two other men (consecutively). The protaganist accepts this and still professes to love her. Of course, the origin of their love is even more disturbing since the sex scene in which Rand describes their first intimate encouter is pretty clearly the protaganist raping the female character.

The motivations for other characters are equally ambiguous. Another main character is a wealthy and powerful newspaper owner who makes it his business to drive men to ruin for no good reason sometimes. Later on his motivations become clearer, but they are no more believable. My conclusion is that Rand understood her fellow human beings so little that she was completely unable to voice the mind of “the other”.

Perhaps all of this was intentional, though, and it will all be resolved by the end. I still have a couple hundred pages to find out.