Thursday, August 09, 2012

3592 I am strong!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One quiet word to a wise man is better than a year of pleading with a fool.


I have grown stronger in my advanced age!  Today I easily carried $100 worth of groceries in four bags looped over my left arm!  One arm!

I can remember when I struggled to carry $20 worth in two arms.

3591 A sad truth.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"[I]f I want to have a thought of mine preserved for eternity, I put it on my blog;
if I don’t care if I ever see it again, I put it on Twitter."
-- John Scalzi -- 


I have never watched "Real Housewives of New Jersey".  I don't want to, either.  This morning, three of the women from the show were on "The View".

My new solidly lower middle class NJ neighborhood is full of housewives.  I desperately want to say that, like Snooki and the rest of the group on "Jersey Shore", there's nobody like that in my neighborhood.  Nobody who looks like, talks like, dresses like, acts like that. 

I am distressed to admit that, yeah, there are several of them.


3590 A physician in the 11th century

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mart Gross, biologist, on what behaviors get noted or discounted:
"Theory determines what you see."


If cheerleading is a sport, and romping on a mat waving ribbons on a stick is a sport, how is ballet not a sport?  I don't understand.


I am now reading The Physician, by Noah Gordon, on the Kindle.  His novel Shaman,  based in the American west, in the 19th century, won the first James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction in 1993.  The Physician is also full of historical detail.  I have copied one of the reader reviews, as a description: 
This engrossing book traces the life of 11th century Englishman, Robert Cole. Cole begins as a normal child, is quickly orphaned, and is then apprenticed to a barber-surgeon. As he travels throughout England with his master, the reader is introduced to all aspects of English peasant life. Family life, morality, religion, sexuality, medicine, xenophobia and history are all presented in an interesting, subtle, and easily read writing style. When Cole grows up and decides to be a physician, he comes in contact with Jewish doctors who explain to him that the best universities are in Moslem-ruled Persia, where no Christian may go. Determined to learn, Cole overcomes this obstacle by pretending to be a Jew. As he travels and studies in Persia, the same questions of lifestyle are addressed, only this time within the Jewish and Moslem communities. This is a great read for anyone who likes adventurous stories about growing up, or who is interested in sociology, religion, medicine, or history.

Hard to tell on the Kindle, but it's apparently a big book, judging by the price for tree-based (new price/lowest used price).  Um, why is the paperback more expensive than the hardcover?

Kindle Edition $9.99  
Expand Hardcover --  
Expand Paperback --  
Mass Market Paperback --  

Yeouch!  I got it for $1.99 on one of those 24-hour sales.  It's so well written I'm running out of clean dishes and laundry.

Monday, August 06, 2012

3589 A question of morality

Monday, August 6, 2012

In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
--  Isaac Asimov   --


One of the books I have been reading has a set of topics for discussion at the end, one of which, details aside, asks if all people should be held to the same standards of morality, or should circumstances and a person's life experiences be taken into consideration?


That's such a simple question, but not something we tend to think about when we make judgements about people.  We just do it.  If their standards are not ours, we take circumstances and the other person's life into consideration and understand and excuse them, or we don't and we condemn them.

After thinking about it, I realize that my own morality, my standard for myself, has gotten tighter over the years, but I am less likely to hold others to my standard.  I am more likely to be understanding (often), to the point of not even considering the deviations of others to be failings.  In fact, when you take conditions, circumstances, and needs into consideration, I can often find a kind of high morality behind even base acts.


A friend mentioned to me that his son had been convicted of a felony, and asked if that mattered to me.  I said no, it didn't matter to me what he may have done, what matters is what he is doing now.  And that's really true.  I didn't even ask what the felony was.

I like me.   That's not a terrible thing.  Sometimes I drive people nuts by asking why they do or did something.  They say it doesn't matter, but to me it does.  I need to understand why.  I need to understand where it fits in their life experience.

The greatest frustration is when I don't understand.