A short break from politics

And now, a few observations about things completely unrelated to either North American election:

  • That Wisdom book showed up today. Totally worth the money. It’s been a long time since I bought a “coffee table book”, but if I had a coffee table I’d be proud to leave this out on it.
  • You know where I’m find more interesting reading these days than Reddit, Digg, Slashdot, or Boing Boing? Sympoze. It’s a social bookmarking site for philosophers. Maybe not as broadly interesting as some of those other sites but right up my alley. I’ve got a tonne of stuff bookmarked for posting later.
  • I am too young1 to remember the video for Total Eclipse Of The Heart from the first time around, but that doesn’t matter in the modern world. Is it just me or is this a total kitchen sink production? Lots of spooky lighting, flying fabric, and running down hallways. Doves, gothic schools, Midwich cuckoos, trapped angels, wet boys, dancing ninjas, the Hellfire Club dinner, half-naked acrobat dancers, a dancing gang right out of Mad Max, mysterious sodden fencers, the Flying Cuckoo choir… did the angel boy turn into a vampire? Wow. Wait, there’s an angel again. What? Oh, it was all a dream… OR WAS IT.
  • One of the least fun aspects of my job? I have to care about things like this.
  • When I try to explain to people why Tam Lin is a great book, I usually use a line like “any book that makes you understand caring about the difference between translations of the classic must be good”, or I talk about the kind of society in which it just makes sense to try to put the Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock to music. But I think Jo Walton–whose reviews at Tor have shown that our tastes are often very much in line2–really nails it when she says “The central thing the book is doing is college as magic garden.”. She’s also right that it rewards rereading–it’s almost Wolfe-like in that way. So next time I’ll just point people to her review.
  • I normally rely on Kenneth Hite to provide me with all kinds of secret history material. However, I am equally happy to have him provide me a field-tested Tom Yum Kai recipe. And his review of Wolfe’s latest book is pretty good too.
  • My pattern over the last few years of only drinking on poker night, and even then only drinking a couple of bottles of high-end beer–gotta be able to drive home!–has already marked me as a lightweight; quite a change from back in the day. But, apparently even back in the day I wouldn’t have been much on the British scale.
  • It took me a long time to get on the Achewood bus. Probably because the content isn’t the most accessible if you try to jump on at a random point. However a little perseverance in the archives, and The Great Outdoor Fight, and I’m on the bus now. In fact, I ordered the set of all the books Onstad published himself, so I can catch up without needing to sit at the computer to do it. And now that I’m on the bus, I get to see the brilliant line in almost every update. I shouldn’t have doubted Butcher.
  • Déjà Vécu. That’s a new one. And the distinction between it and déjà vu is just the kind of pedantic quibble that I love. (You should hear me about nauseous vs nauseated.) Also, the Fregoli Delusion is a new one for me.
  • How to Drink Lambic Beer. Have I mentioned that I love living in the wiki world?
  • This is not politics. This is me being embarrassed by Atlantic Canada again. What, are we living in cave here? Is this the 1950s?
  • Is it wrong that the idea of a caffeine inhaler actually appeals to me? I look at this and think “I’d like the give that a try”–this might not be the most sensible reaction, actually. I am seriously thinking about ordering a couple of these to a friend’s place in Boston for pickup next time I go down there.
  • The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever. You know that thing I said about wiki world? Ditto.
  1. Alternately, my family was too poor when I was at the age to have cable channels.(back)
  2. I should really get those Farthing books, I guess.(back)

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3 Responses to “A short break from politics”

  1. Paul says:

    I wonder if a caffeine inhaler would knock out a migraine faster than the ‘dissolve in your mouth’ tablets which used to be carried by Excedrin (QuickTabs) or Maxalt or a similar product. Hmm.

    150mg of caffeine in a single hit. “Do not take more than 4 doses per 24 hour period.”

  2. Fred says:

    I was underwhelmed by Walton’s Farthing, agreeing with most of what Abigail Nussbaum wrote here. I’m not completely uninterested in reading the sequels, but they’re pretty low down on my list, no matter how interesting Walton’s reviews at Tor.com have been.

  3. Mr. McLaren says:

    Paul: yeah–the “potentially lethal” aspect does add a certain cachet, no?

    Fred: Well, I guess between you and Abigail I can move it down the list. I do find myself liking her taste as a reviewer, a lot, but that might not necessarily translate into liking her writing

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