Monthly Archives: May 2009

Book: Running Blind

runningblind.jpeg Finally, a Lee Child book that disappointed me. It was still a fun read, and I learned much more about the character of Jack Reacher. But “Running Blind” lacked the action of the other three Reacher novels I read.

Plus, the ending was very unsatisfying. It was like a Raymond Chandler or Ross MacDonald book, where you’re strung along–and enjoying the ride–but not sure where things are headed. Then, in the last few pages, the hero gives a big explanation of what happened and how he pieced together various clues. 

That happened in “Running Blind.” We got to the end, and in a lengthy dialogue at the crime scene, Reacher explained how he already had things figured out, using obscure clues dropped here and there in the book. 

This type of stuff, to me, doesn’t treat the reader fairly. Everything should unfold so that the reader puts things together simultaneously with the lead character. It shouldn’t all be hidden from the reader, and then divulged neatly at the end. That’s how I feel about it.

But nothing will stop me from reading the other Jack Reacher books. He’s a tremendous character, and Lee Child keeps you engaged. I devoured “Running Blind” in a few days, all 460 pages. I just didn’t like the ending (or the relative lack of mayhem).

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Making Things Realistic for Sean Hannity

A few weeks ago, I heard Sean Hannity offer to be waterboarded “for the troops,” as a way to show that waterboarding isn’t torture. Blubbermouth Keith Olberman has hounded him about that, offering to pay out $1000 for every second that Hannity endured waterboarding.

Both of these polar-opposite idiots miss the point.

Waterboarding is not done by itself, and it’s not done on healthy people. For Sean Hannity to get the full impact of what Cheney convinced Bush to permit, this would need to happen:

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The Handicapped White House Communications Office

Michael Scherer posted about “The White House’s Low Tech Secret.” As the world embraces social networking, those sites are off-limits to White House officials, at least from their work computers. No Twitter, no Facebook, no MySpace, etc. All blocked. So Robert Gibbs is unable to participate in, and exert influence in, these conversations.

I’m sure they’re working on bringing the 1978 Presidental Records Act into the 21st Century.

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Uh, Maybe I Should Switch Back….

Senator Specter: Welcome to the bottom of the barrel, the lowest rung of the ladder, the ground floor, the rookie room, irrelevance, powerlessness, Death Valley. Happy now?

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Good News for Farmers

Maria Bartiromo interviewed financial wiz Jim Rogers for the March 9 issue of BusinessWeek. It was a lively interview. 

  • Rogers says of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers: “These are people who think the only solution is to save their friends on Wall Street rather than to save 300 million Americans.”
  • He’s against bailouts, contending that companies–whether banks or car companies–should be allowed to go bankrupt. 

But he ended with these comments about agriculture, which I found quite interesting.

“I really think agriculture is going to be the best place to be. Agriculture’s been a horrible business for 30 years. For decades, the money shufflers, the paper shufflers, have been the captains of the universe. That is now changing. The people who produce real things [will be on top]. 

“You’re going to see stockbrokers driving taxis. The smart ones will learn to drive tractors, because they’ll be working for the farmers. It’s going to be the 29-year-old farmers who have the Lamborghinis. So you should find yourself a nice farmer and hook up with him or her, because that’s where the money’s going to be in the next couple of decades.”

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Stand by Me, Around the World

This is really cool. Notice how it almost sounds like a single performer, and yet, they incorporated people from separate recording sessions all around the world. Very seamless.

Playing For Change | Song Around The World “Stand By Me” from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

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Boys Do This, Girls do That

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Wow, times have changed. This snapshot is from a 1970s children’s book. That surprises me, frankly. I would think more like a 1940s book. But anyway….

Click on the photo and take a look. It’ll enlarge, and with some minor squinting, you can read the print.

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Just to be Safe

I had the sniffles this morning. Maybe I should go to the hospital. Might be Swine Flu. Or maybe H1N1, whatever that is. I had bacon for breakfast Saturday. Maybe that’s where I got it.

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The Alley Cleanup

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My very dirty shirt, proof that I was working (or else rolling around in mud).

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About half of our group. Six persons weren’t here, and one (me) was taking the photo. Standing in front of the heaping full dumpster. L-r: Pam,Jeff Jacobs, Lisa Sutton, Terry Sutton, RJ, Tim Hallman.

This morning, about a dozen people from Anchor Church did something for the neighborhood: cleaned up the alley that runs behind the church (and a long ways in either direction). We took the part of the alley on our block, which is probably a quarter-mile long.

In three hours, we filled a whole dumpster with junk. Much of it was tree branches, victims of the ice storm earlier this year. But there was all kinds of other stuff, too.

After filling the dumpster, we drove a couple miles to a lady’s house and thoroughly raked her yard, filling a trailer with more wood and debris.

It was a great way to serve our neighborhood. And there were some neat God-moments as we interacted with our neighbors.

Tonight, Pam and I ache. We’ll sleep well.

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Books: Two by Gregory MacDonald

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I read these Gregory MacDonald books back-to-back. MacDonald also wrote the Fletch books (I’ve read just one), but I’d heard that the Flynn books were even better.

Well, that may not be saying much. I didn’t care much for either of these books, “Flynn’s In” or “The Buck Passes Flynn.” A lot of leaps at cleverness fell short. The writing and the plots just weren’t engaging to me. 

Flynn is a Boston cop who’s also part of a secret organization that sends him on missions to combat world-class bad guys. Whatever.

There are two more Flynn books. I think I’ll pass.

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