Summer Reading

I have been reading quite a bit lately. I read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. I also finished Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. I’m reading a little from Montaigne’s Essays for my 10 year reading plan. And I’m back tracking and studying a little philosophy with some lectures from The Teaching Company called An Introduction to Greek Philosophy. Currently I’m working my way through Ayn Rand’s Atlus Shrugged. That is going to take me a while.

Great Books

I have started a 10 year reading plan that touches on a lot of great books. The plan is based on a volume of books called Great Books of the Western World. Here is a web site that takes about the reading plan and links to a yahoo group where we discuss the work. I’m reading Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book I right now. He is one weird duck.

Positive Proof

I have followed and enjoyed the work of Project Gutenberg since the early to mid nineties. I have always wanted to participate somehow, but always worried about taking on too much and letting down the project if I didn’t pull my weight, or if my interest should wane. Maybe up until a few years ago, that might have been a reasonable excuse, but not anymore.

People that want to help out can benefit from the synergy created by distributed proofreading. Participants can do as little or as much as they desire. I recently started proofing for pgdp.net and find it relaxing and enjoyable. Even if I just do one page a day, I know that I’m contributing to something lasting worth.

Socrates on death…

This is, perhaps, my favorite argument of Socrates, one that I have had for years, and now I find that Socrates had it long before me.

Moreover, we may hence conclude that there is great hope that death is a blessing. For to die is one of two things: for either the dead may be annihilated, and have no sensation of any thing whatever; or, as it is said, there are a certain change and passage of the soul from one place to another. And if it is a privation of all sensation, as it were a sleep in which the sleeper has no dream, death would be a wonderful gain. For I think that if any one, having selected a night in which he slept so soundly as not to have had a dream, and having compared this night with all the other nights and days of his life, should be required, on consideration, to say how many days and nights he had passed better and more pleasantly than this night throughout his life, I think that not only a private person, but even the great king himself, would find them easy to number, in comparison with other days and nights. If, therefore, death is a thing of this kind, I say it is a gain; for thus all futurity appears to be nothing more than one night. But if, on the other hand, death is a removal from hence to another place, and what is said be true, that all the dead are there, what greater blessing can there be than this, my judges? For if, on arriving at Hades, released from these who pretend to be judges, one shall find those who are true judges, and who are said to judge there, Minos and Rhadamanthus, Æacus and Triptolemus, and such others of the demi-gods as were just during their own life, would this be a sad removal? At what price would you not estimate a conference with Orpheus and Musæus, Hesiod and Homer? I indeed should be willing to die often, if this be true. For to me the sojourn there would be admirable, when I should meet with Palamedes, and Ajax, son of Telamon, and any other of the ancients who has died by an unjust sentence. The comparing my sufferings with theirs would, I think, be no unpleasing occupation. But the greatest pleasure would be to spend my time in questioning and examining the people there as I have done those here, and discovering who among them is wise, and who fancies himself to be so, but is not. At what price, my judges, would not any one estimate the opportunity of questioning him who led that mighty army against Troy, or Ulysses, or Sisyphus, or ten thousand others whom one might mention both men and women—with whom to converse and associate, and to question them, would be an inconceivable happiness? Surely for that the judges there do not condemn to death; for in other respects those who live there are more happy than those who are here, and are henceforth immortal, if, at least, what is said be true. —Project Gutenberg’s Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates, by Plato, 32

CD: Shatner – Has Been

A new CD arrived in the mail yesterday. I ordered William Shatner’s Has Been album from BMG. The album is much better than I expected. In fact, I expected that I would regret getting this CD. But this CD has a lot to offer. It is deep, contemplative, funny and so much more. Shatner’s voice reciting his poetry with a back drop of music of various genres works. Shatner put out another album back in 1968, The Transformed Man. His version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is even more psychedelic than the Beatles original. Although very original, his new album is more down to earth. It works.

Candy Diet?

Don’t tell my son and daughter about this …they will want to be Astronauts when they grow up, just so they can live on candy.

It seem that the astronauts on the International Space Station had to live on candy for 5 weeks for lack of other food.

Top holiday injury for men

According to a co-worker…who heard it on a CBS radio news update…the number one things that lands men in the emergency room during the holiday season is…drum roll please…stacking up, climbing on an falling from furniture. I don’t think we men would be so dumb as to actually stack up furniture and climb on it…would we? And even if we did, we would never fall. Now, excuse me while I adjust my neck brace.

0.5 watts of nothing but POWER

I made a contact last night using the K7DAV repeater located on Antelope Island. Started out on 2 watts, but stepped it down to 0.5 watts on my handheld radio using a mag mount on top of my roof, just to see if I could get through. K7JXY reported full quieting with 2 watts and only a little noise on 0.5 watts.

Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

Upon arriving at work this morning, I found that I was out of Dr Thunder, WalMarts cheap knock off of Dr Pepper. I don’t remember drinking the last one in my twelve pack. I don’t remember throwing the box away. Am I going crazy?

Anyway, it got me thinking about blessed Dr Pepper and all of the fakes. By some accounts there are 76 different imitations. Not all imitations are equal.

When ever I start ranting and raving about Dr Pepper, the same comment always comes up, “Isn’t that stuff made with prune juice?” The answer is no. Read the rest of the FAQ if you are interested.

Trivia…

There is not period (.) in Dr Pepper, it was dropped in the 50’s.

Dr Pepper is the oldest of the current major-brand soft drinks in the United States, created in 1885.

Dr Pepper itself was originally caffeine-free for the first 32 years it existed.

random thoughts, whims and musings