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From the Notebook

Cover of "Certain Prey"

Cover of Certain Prey

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. There’s been a lot of stuff to do inside and outside the house before winter sets in, and I’ve also been devoting a lot of time to NaNoWriMo. This has been the first time in a while that I’ve been able to devote a lot of time to a major writing project since the last major writing project. For this, the blog suffers.

Now the notes:

-Imagine if Ronald Reagan or Sarah Palin made a gaffe similar to Rick Perry’s in a debate. Reagan would have been labeled a dementia patient and it would have been the overwhelming theme of the media coverage of the election cycle, be it 1980 or 1984. Palin would have to suffer through weeks of constant negative coverage and commentary from the left bordering on misogyny. Which would not have been new to her. Perry is lucky he can give the ‘aw shucks, I’m justa country boy’ response and move on, despite the fact he’s been awful in every debate I’ve seen him in.

-Got to hear Jesse Ventura talk about the dismissal of his court case against the intrusive security measures on George Noory‘s Coast to Coast. And he made a lot of sense. His basic argument was constitutional, searches must be reasonable. And, in his specific case, it is unreasonable to subject a former governor and Navy veteran to either an intrusive patdown or naked images every time he flies (he has a titanium hip, so he can’t get through the metal detectors). He got a lot of negative press, but he’s right.

-I finished ‘Understanding Complexity‘ from The Great Courses, a 12 lecture series taught by Prof. Scott Page. It’s a wonderful course that introduces and simplifies the elements and consequences of complexity theory in a useful way.

-Read ‘The Rake’ by William F. Buckley Jr. It’s a political novel about the rise and fall of a charismatic politician whose aspirations exceed his moral character. A lot of fun, very easy read. I saw John Kerry in the antagonist, but I might be wrong.

-I am continuing to work through the Khan Academy video lists as well as their math exercises. Most recently, I finished Sal’s Currency Playlist. The most important lectures in the playlist deal with the international currency manipulation that China is currently practicing. It’s also short enough to go through comfortably in an afternoon.

-Had some movie recommendations piling up. For those interested in a microcosm of the current disaster that is our public schools, see: ‘The Lottery’ (a documentary about the NY Public school charter school lottery). I also liked Bill Murray’s performance in ‘Get Low’ and Mark Harmon in Certain Prey, based on John Sandford’s novel.

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