Showing posts from January, 2024

Knowledge Boost #6: Israel, A History

So, I accidentally deleted the entire, extremely long post I had writing up this book and I couldn't figure out a way to get it back, so, welcome to take two of this particular edition of Knowledge Boost, where I will try my damnedest not to delete it all again! Israel. A History By Martin Gilbert I know the basic outline of the existence of the state of Israel. I was around in the 90s for the Oslo Peace Process and it's I guess we would have to call it a collapse. I remember the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and I think I was inadvertently responsible for the local Catholic school leaving their flag at half mast not for a week but for the better part of a month after I reminded the Principal that the President wanted all the flags at half-mast to honor Rabin. (I don't think the Catholic High School was trying to be extra or anything. I just think they did it, kept doing it, and eventually someone was like, 'Why are we doing this again?') The point is, that I know

Bookshot #173: The System of the World

Okay, I haven't read everything that Neal Stephenson's ever written, but, I'm going to go ahead and plant this marker now: The Baroque Cycle might end up being the best and most ambitious thing he's ever written. It's been more than a few years since I finished Volume II of this series, The Confusion (and it seems like even longer since I read the first volume, Quicksilver ) but now that I finished the final volume, The System of the World, part of me immediately wants to go back and re-read the other two volumes because I have a feeling this is a trilogy of books that you could read multiple times and find different things to enjoy every single time. I suppose we should clear something up before I get too much further: this isn't really a trilogy. It's actually eight books that were combined into three for publishing convenience, which makes a certain amount of sense. So, however, break it down this series/trilogy/whatever you want to call it is a time-co

The Caucus Endorsements 2024

If Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada had been smarter about things, they would have formed a pact years ago and agreed to rotate the batting order for the first four contests and adjusted state laws as necessary to match. Had they done that, it would have been a lot harder for the national parties to come in and change the batting order as they see fit-- but in hindsight, everything is 20/20 and now we're here, in the waning days of the power and influence of the Iowa Caucuses. The Caucuses have never been a hill that I'm willing to die on. I do think that unless you drastically reform the current system, a small state must go first . If New York, Florida, or California had gone first in 2008, Obama would never have been President. Small states and I don't care which one it is, but states where politicians have to talk to voters face to face are a critical microscope to put potential Presidential candidates under. You find out all kinds of fascinating things.

10 For 2024: The Annual Exercise In... Futility?

So, we're back for another fun-filled trip around the sun and that means that ues, I'm going to indulge in the annual tradition of 'New Year, New Me' because I like it. I can't say that I'm the most goal-oriented person in the world, but these past few years I have become a big believer in lists. I have a list I make weekly of various things I need to do. I have a Google Drive full of random lists that I've started and abandoned. I've got a TBR List for the year- already up and running.  In short, I'm a list guy. This is my thing. If it's not your thing, then please, feel free to join the crowds of cynical gym rats who always complain about their gym being crowded with people trying to start their New Year off right. I'm a man, I'm 40 and this is my Live Laugh Love Pinterest Font sign, damn it.  But... interestingly: my trend line on these goals seems to be improving. So maybe this isn't the exercise in futility I once thought it was?