January 25, 2007

Book Round-Up #2

Someday I'll get the hang of writing entries for individual books. Someday.

What to Eat by Marion Nestle (via Chris King

A very good walk down the ailes of grocery stores, explaining labeling, pricing and positioning. Some of the things she writes about are pretty basic: sizes are inconsistent and you have to do your own calculations, processed foods are not healthy choices, soft drinks are empty calories. Others she had covered in Food Politics, so I had encountered them before: supplements are (largely) unregulated, baby formula is, for the most part, not necessary, and the government agencies are held in abeyance by corporate interests. There wasn't much that I hadn't previously encountered, but the explainations such as Natural vs. Organic meats were clear and enlightening. Highly recommended for anyone who purchases food.

Wildside by Steven Gould

What if there was a gate to an Earth where neither humanity nor any other human-conscious analouge evolved? What if this gate was in the control of a just-out -of-High-School Texas youth? The resurrection of passenger pigeons would occur, of course. A fluffy book that made for a good night's read, Gould touches on climate change and new areas potentially open for exploitation, but does so quickly as the book's on the slimmer side. Worth reading once, but Jumper and Reflex are more worth the time.

Finder by Emma Bull

I don't have too much patience with urban fantasy for reasons that I've never bothered to explore. Maybe it seems a little too much like LARPing to me. Whatever. This is the story of Orient, a human who has the ability to find things that are known to exist by either him or the person asking him to find. Over the course of the story he finds a motorcycle, some drug users, some answers. Also, love. I liked this book a decent bit, mainly because Bull is a good writer (see War for the Oaks and especially Freedom and Necessity, co-written with Stephen Brust)

January 23, 2007

I'm going slightly mad

I've never enjoyed being wrong so much. I don't know when I'll turn on ESPN and not randomly proclaim "Bears!" Hell, I don't know when I'll not decide to randomly chant "Bears" to myself. All I remember of the '85 Bears is an episode, seemingly late at night with loud bangings of pots and pans and knowing in the way a child of four can that our guys did good. I know a lot about that team, but not so much with the personal remembrance.

Other than the occasional decrying of poor officiating, I seldom yell at the television when I'm watching football (I do, however, constantly tell the announcers to shut up. They don't.), so I was rather surprised to notice that I was getting a tad bit hoarse near halftime, and that scratchiness was threatening to take up permanent residence in my vocal repertoire. I also don't watch games in bars often, so maybe this exuberance has more to do with atmosphere than a previously unknown facet of my personality. I don't care.

Super Bowl. Bears! Awesome.

January 21, 2007

Quick Football Thoughts

I've tried to forget that the Bears are still playing football, because my productivity would suffer otherwise. Thank you Australian Open. You rock.

Anyway, there are two results to today that I'd be happy with. Sadly for me, both require the Bears to win. I haven't been confident in the defense since Tommy Harris went dow. There's too much room 8-15 yards down the field too often for the Bears to be dominant, and Mark Anderson and Tank Johnson don't provide the same up the middle pressure and versatility that Harris did. This will be a problem today.

Image from ESPN.com

I agree with the ESPN experts on the Bears chances (snowball:hell, Iraq:mess), but I expect the Patriots to be in Miami in two weeks time, and Manning ending up watching the game from home. Again.

I hope to be wrong about the Bears, and either AFC result, provided a Bears win, is fine with me. Rematch of Superbowl XX? Bears v Colts, both teams I watch every single chance I get? Awesome. Either way, I'm happy.

January 19, 2007

Friday Food Blogging take 2

This entire photo set makes me really hungry for cupcakes and Settlers. I know I haven't reached my RDA for either of those things in a long, long time. Seriously Awesome

Friday Food Blogging part 1

The past two mornings, I've made the Most Delicious Cream of Wheat Ever. There are no pictures because, well, it's Cream of Wheat, but if tastes could be transmitted via ftp, http or even gopher I'd have set some aside.

The best part about this, it's easy.

Step 1: Make Cream of Wheat per box instructions.
Step 2: Dice 1/2 to 1 apple per serving
Step 3: Heat apple pieces in pan over medium
Step 4: Add a Kahlua and a little water to keep the apples from sticking
Step 5: When the apples are soft, and there isn't an abundance of liquid with them, add it all to the waiting Cream of Wheat
Step 6: Profit Enjoy.

There's no need to add any sugar, the apples have plenty and the Kahlua adds a nice little bit of unusual yet delicious flavor to the entire thing.

January 11, 2007

The Catch-up

I've intended to keep a book log for a bit more than a year now, and that road's nicely paved by now. What's kept me from actually following through is a combination of laziness (shocker!) and not knowing where to start. Hopefully, by doing a quick recap of what I've read in the past few weeks, I can get a little bit of inertia.

So for now, here's the (very, very brief) recaps:

The Forever War and Camouflage by Joe Haldeman

Both are quick reads dealing with war, violence and communicaion. If it weren't for a rather male oriented view of women in military service, The Forever War would be a signifcantly better novel, entirely due to the ambiguity at the end of the war. As it is, every time the problematic part of The Forever War came up, I focused on it a little too much, especially considering it had little to do with the plot of the novel.

1491 by Charles C. Mann

An overview of current thought on the Indian civilizations in terms of population size, and technological and cultural complexities before and slightly after Columbus. Well researched and very clearly presented with nice rhetorical touches, this is a really excellent book.

The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney

The title says a lot about the book, but Mooney's pretty balanced in his approach to the topic, noting instances of Democratic abuses of science and scientific phrasings. Plus, he talks about doing shots. Party on, Chris!

Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut by James Marcus

A light, entertaining read. Marcus seems to be trying to make his time at Amazon a little bit more literary, or possibly he's using words and phrasings that he knew wouldn't fly too well in short reviews, because the book is peppered with nicely erudite sentences that try just a little too hard. Fun though.

Jumper by Steven Gould

This is the precursor to Reflex which I read about a year ago. Davy Rice discovers he can teleport ("jump") when he's 17 and awainting a whooping via his dad's belt buckle. The story then traces his attempts to escape from the shadow if the trauma of his life. I very much enjoyed the book, reading it all last night.

January 05, 2007


Stolen from Uncertain Principles:

I'm a mess
I'm a Mindless Idiot
I'm a Wheel
I'm Always in Love
I'm Bound for the Promised Land
I'm crying
I'm Finding it Harder to be a Gengleman
I'm Getting Back into Getting back into You
I'm Glad
I'm Going Slightly Mad
I'm Going to Change the World
I'm Goint to Memphis
I'm Gonna See You
I'm Having a Heart Attack
I'm in Love with my Car
I'm John Kerry
I'm Leavin' Now
I'm Lonely (But I ain't that lonely yet)
I'm Looking Through You
I'm Not Angry
I'm Not Bitter
I'm Not Here
I'm Not in Love
I'm Not Sacred of You
I'm Old Fashioned
I'm On Fire
I'm Only Sleeping
I'm Sailin
I'm Set Free
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
I'm So Open
I'm So Tired
I'm Sorry I Love You
I'm Still Your Fag
I'm The Man Who Loves You
I'm Tounge-Tied
I'm Totally Not Down With Rob's Alien
I'm Waiting (Leeanne's Song)
I'm Waiting for the Day
I'm Waiting for the Man
I'm With Her
I'm Your Kind of Guy
I'm Your Man