Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

2 January, 2018

“By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times.”

That’s a nice opening line for Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom“.

A quick read, a good read, an important read. The story of a girl on the 1965 Selma Voting Rights march.

 

Advertisements

Being Mortal

26 December, 2017

We assign Being Mortal – Atul Gawande to the med students. I figured I might as well give it a read. It’s a quick read, it’s an easy read, it’s a difficult topic, but one we as a society should think more about.

At first, really didn’t like looking to my future, where my body breaks down.
But, gave me a few things to think about:

  1. If time becomes short, what is most important to you?
  2. How much are you willing to go through to have a shot at being alive?
  3. What level of being alive is tolerable to you?
  4. What are my biggest fears & concerns?
  5. What goals are most important?
  6. What tradeoffs am I willing to make?
  7. What tradeoffs am I not willing to make?

Things I should think aboot while I’m healthy.

And, a conversation to have with the childrens, so that later in life, they don’t have to worry, “did we give up too soon, or did we prolong the suffering too long”, because they’ll have my thoughts on the matter.

There’s a philosophy in elderly care, to take a step back from “keep the patient alive at all costs” to let them enjoy their last days.

(Although, knowing my luck, I’ll be hit by a bus, because I’m being chased by a tiger.)

 

 

 

Out of Nowhere

2 December, 2017

Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian

I must have liked it, because when I got to the half-way point, I kept reading until I finished it at 2AM.  There were some great descriptions of soccer games.

catching up “Castle” and TWD

7 October, 2017

“Castle” by David Macaulay was one of my favs when I was young, I must have checked it out half a dozen times when I was in early elementary school. And so, I am sharing it with my childrens. I highly recommend. (Read it, it may save your life someday!) 

Side note: I wish that somebody in TheWalkingDead had read Castle when they were young.

I’ve no intention on watch the rest of the season of TheWalkingDead.

I hate baseball bat dude…. “I’m a super powerful bad-ass, and I have a loyal army that I lead…oh, you killed a bunch of my people, I’ll kill one of yours… oh, little Rick Jr just machine gunned my people, OK, I’ll take him under my wing…”  That guy is an idiot.

Oh.

I see now.

Idiot-Negan is the evil opposite of idiot-Rick.

I can see how someone might flock to a dangerous leader in times of crisis, if he kept them safe. But if he keeps letting his people get killed through stupidity.

Oh for f’s sake… I can just see it now… Trump tweets about TWD, “Finally, Hollywood gets what real leadership is like. Negan is strong leader. Rick isn’t so innocent.”

what I would like… humanity to pull together… and maybe Survivor / Gilligan’sIsland their way to a new tomorrow. What changes in society would there be if you zombiefied when you died. “Good night grandma, don’t forget to lock yourself inside your room.”

I can even see violence breaking out between competing groups… “hey this is our hunting grounds”… But just cannibalism for the sake of “worser” BigBad-of-the-Season. Meh.

AND for freakin’ frackin’… has none of the survivors ever read a book about a castle??? Every season the zombies burst through a flimsy wall. Did Rick look at the lovely wall by Deanna’s husband and say, “yup, this would totally stop the Governor and his tank?”

And in closing, Carol Ms “Hi-class-today-we’re-gonna-learn-about…are-they-gone…alright-kids- these-are-machetes…”  for President 2020. Because she’ll know how to survive in an apocalypse.

  • I’m sure all the gasoline, bleach, toilet paper, batteries, eye-glasses, tampons, condoms, aspirin, toothpaste, blank paper, pencils, guitar strings,… are gone.
  • Libraries are mostly burnt out.
  • How many people get botulism by poor canning?
  • How much non-GMO corn seed is out there in the world?
  • Blackberry vines should be covering most of the streets.
  • What happens if you get pecked by a crow that was chompin’ on zombie.

Wouldn’t you kinda have to be fascist:

  • “Roll call, where’s Bob? Security go check on Bob!”
  • “Nope, fertile women are not allowed to go out on patrol.”
  • “sure he beats his wife…but he’s a doctor, so we try to ignore it.”

Note…this was written in the middle of the season, and then I discovered one of the characters has a tiger. So I watched. Because. TIGERS!

I fear tigers. Two stories, which I pro’lly have told….but, hey, you’ve read this far, amirite

Christmas visiting my brother, in SanDiego. We went to the zoo, great zoo. We were in the valley of the cats, looking around, cool, the sun starting to set, and the tigers started to roar. My instinct was LEAVE NOW. I held MyBetterHalf’s hand, and pulled on her to get her walking a bit quicker. I wanted out of the valley. NOW. There was no rational, “this is a zoo”, there was primal flight signals going off in my brain.

At a different zoo, (Isaquah has a zoo!!), at Christmas. Me & MrC were hanging out by the tiger, in a cage. I was cool. I realized it was a thick cave. I was staring at the tiger, maybe trying to get over my fear. And it noticed my stare. It stared back. It did not blink. Were were close, and I could realize that the tiger was at least seven or eight feet long, and those iron bars were only a few inches thick. I gathered MrC and we wandered off down the path. Just don’t agitate a tiger. OK, lesson learned. And I looked back, note, we had walked away for about a minute. And the tiger was still staring at me. GET OUT NOW, was my emotion.

Between Shades of Gray

28 June, 2017

Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray

“When the rest of the world finds out what the Soviets are doing, they will put an end to all of this.”  

A story of a young girl, trying to survive, during WW2, when the Soviets sent her and her family to Siberia. I’m glad I read it. It is a good read, a quick read. I am also glad that I read while the sun was shining, and not during the gloom of winter.

I recommend.

 

 

 

Under a Graveyard Sky

9 June, 2017

Love the title of John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky.

Zombie book, so it had that in it’s favor. It was entertainment. I will agree with someone who said “as if Tom Clancy wrote a zombie apocalypse”. Well crafted, well researched. A bit politically condescending at times, and I notice because I don’t really agree with his politics, LOL. The good guys are saints, the liberals are fools. And all that training you did with your kids and their guns pay off.

It is a amusing that the commander is sending his 15 year old daughter into combat, and doesn’t seem that worried about it. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I worry when I send my kids across the street to check the mail. But maybe in a zombie apocalypse you realize that we are already dead, and the only chance we have is by being fearless.

They live on boats for months, but somehow don’t run out of food…or toilet paper.

One important lesson from the book, after missions, they would have an immediate debrief, what went wrong? what can we do better?  Nothing personal, all could bring up points, all were listened to. Every team should do that. But I bet, many cases, after a game most folks either want to point fingers after a loss, or bask in the glory after a win. (I recently learned the German generals during WW1 were great at sharing lessons learned with their colleagues.)

 

Walk Two Moons

14 May, 2017

finished up the family book club book, Sharon Creech’s “Walk Two Moons”

I had to pause reading it, because I didn’t feel like crying at a restaurant, just saying.

There was a sentence that I liked, I shared with MrG and he liked it too: “We walked through the tiny living room into the miniature kitchen and upstairs into my father’s pint-sized bedroom and on into my pocket-sized bedroom and into the wee bathroom.”

A good book.

Weapons of Math Destruction

28 March, 2017

Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

by Cathy O’Neil, Ph.D   (in math)

Good book, cheesy title.

 

One of the things I like to remind people, professional sports uses data to make choices in hiring. And they fail often. They have data on how fast, how far, how strong, we have video of the players performing the very job that we want them to do. And still, we get Darko getting picked above Wade or Bosh. We get  Richard Sherman being picked in the fifth round, Tom Brady getting picked in the sixth round.  O’Neil doesn’t mention this, but does talk about how companies will use proxy data to make predictions, such as “Do you have good credit?” for employee applications, or “Are you a good student?” for insurance rates.

She talks about feedback loops, such as sending more cops to “high crime areas”, where, they find more criminal activity, and thus need to send more cops. And often the crimes are minor, such as public drunkenness, or jaywalking. She asks, what if we had a “zero-tolerance strategy in finance. They would arrest people for even the slightest infraction, whether it was chiseling investors on 401ks, providing misleading guidance, or committing petty frauds. Perhaps SWAT teams would descend on Greenwich, Connecticut. They would go undercover in the taverns around Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange.”  (I recently heard, “in poor neighborhoods kids are getting arrested for marijuana and underage drinking, things that happen every Friday night in a frat.”)

I learned of the “Flutie effect”. Exciting football game, Flutie makes a great pass to win, more attention to the school, more applicants, leads to lower acceptance rate, which leads to more prestige, which raises ratings of the school as “better”.

 

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

17 March, 2017

Well, that was a comedic yarn. Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Death Defying Pepper Roux.

 

The One and Only Ivan

11 March, 2017

When I was a child in South Tacoma, we would sometimes go to the B&I. I saw Ivan. He didn’t seem happy in a small grey cage.

Just finished reading Katherine Applegate’s The One & Only Ivan to the childrens. It was a pleasure to read, well written, time well spent with my childrens. And, even though a “kid’s” book, dealt with weighty themes like cages, freedom, family, death, fear, animal cruelty, economic stress…and if you were paying attention hints of divorce, poverty, alcoholism too.

I recommend reading it.