Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Writing and Fishing

So I've been trying to earn a few more bucks on Helium the last few days. I got paid $12 (woo-hoo!) a couple days ago, and I got a PayPal account all set up, and my $12 is burning a whole in... well, I want to spend it. Actually, I'm still not convinced it's real. It's money from the internet. All of my instincts tell me money from the internet isn't real. So I'm anxious to convert my internet money into some real products. Specifically fishing-related products.

The hang-up, and why I want to earn a little more money, is that shipping is $4.95 up to a certain limit. So I want to get as much stuff as possible to spread the shipping cost out. Despite the fact that I'm not sure it's real, I still gotta be responsible with my internet money.

Speaking of fishing-related products, Michelle's dad bought a boat last weekend! It's a 14' Sears Gamefisher (used of course), with a trailer. Should make this summer's outings a little more comfortable!

In other news, Astonishing X-Men just keeps getting better. I laughed out loud a few times, and the story is getting more and more engrossing. On the other side of the literary world, To Kill a Mockingbird has been fantastic as well. Harper Lee builds the kid perspective into the narration so well that it still catches me off guard sometimes. I know I'm probably supposed to like him and all, but I hope that as a father I'll be half as smart as Atticus Finch. I'm just finishing Part 1, but I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully you're enjoying spring if it's come yet - I heard Alberta got a blizzard recently! I'd say neener-neener-neener, but the weather would probably go south (no pun intended) before I got done.

I'll leave you with the best bumper sticker I've seen recently:
Homer, Alaska:
A quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life of the Beloved

I picked up Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved a few days ago. Michelle and I started reading it together a couple of months ago, but it fell by the wayside. For some reason it really connected with me this time. It's a small book, and it's very easy to read. At the same time, there are profound truths on every page. It's the type of classic that I think I will appreciate more every time I re-read it.

I started reading a new genre today: the graphic novel. I picked up Astonishing X-Men: Gifted this evening on my way home. In this case a graphic novel is six comic books bound together, but on the plus side there aren't any annoying adds or anything. So far it's pretty good. I got thinking about comics because Michelle and I started watching the first season of Heroes. It's been pretty engrossing so far.

Interesting fact I recently learned: Google is willing to give away their 411 service (1-800-goog-411) because they use it to improve their voice recognition algorithms. How smart is that? So next time you call goog-411, make sure to try out your best Sylvester Stallone accent. Learn that Google.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Done Winston Churchill!

Yesterday I finished reading Winston Churchill: An Informal Study of Greatness by Robert Lewis Taylor. It was published in 1952 in the US, and I picked up my copy at Gold Beach Books in Gold Beach, Oregon, last February. I had been interested in Churchill for a while, and I liked the idea of buying a book used, and I found one, and it was only six dollars, so I went for it. It has taken me over a year to finish reading it, but that's not really a reflection on the quality of the writing. I just googled Mr. Taylor, and apparently his 1958 novel The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters won the Pulitzer prize for fiction. He also wrote for the New Yorker and the Saturday Evening Post. Pretty good taste, I'd say, by the book buyers at Gold Beach.

Winston Churhill was actually quite funny, and I laughed out loud a lot. Taylor spends a ton of time on Churhill's early life, from childhood until his political career began. In contrast, there were only about 20 pages about World War II, maybe because the book was written only a few years after it's conclusion. The author also points out, several times, Churchill's personal policy against giving free interviews or information out to journalists; apparently, if anyone was going to make money writing about Churchill it was going to be Churchill. All in all I enjoyed the book, but I also kind of feel like I got a monkey off my back. If you're interested, drop me a line and I'll lend it to you.

I've now started To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - should be interesting. I've wanted to read it ever since seeing Benny and Joon, in which Joon references Boo Radley, a character in the novel. Actually, probably half of my motivation for reading classics is so I get all the jokes and references in pop culture. I don't know what the other half is.

In other news, Michelle and I watched This is Spinal Tap last night. I was surprised that I hadn't seen it before with Mike, Luke, Tony, Joel, or the rest of the Red Deer crew. It seemed right up they're alley. What's up guys?