Goose the Blog 2.0

"Oh, ha! Sarcasm: The last refuge of sons of bitches!"


new photos

by John at 12/31/2007 02:48:00 PM

Photos from around Christmas, including a visit to a tree farm to kill a Christmas tree, the Choo Choo Barn 1300 sq. ft. model train layout, and Christmas day itself. Also, you might want to check out Wendy's portrait photography.



thirty second book reviews, vol. 4, no. 4

by John at 12/31/2007 02:19:00 PM

End of the year, I better get this out before time runs out.

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
In my mind I get Nick Hornby and Bruce Hornsby mixed up. I know they are different people, but because their names are similar they get lumped together under the same memory address or something. Hornby has a way of writing very realistic characters, which makes this book enjoyable. He also has interesting insight into memory and they way we recall our own life story. I recommend this - it will only take a few solid hours to read. Also, you've probably seen the movie and you know how it ends, so you won't feel stressed out worrying about what's going to happen.

About a Boy - Nick Hornby
Pretty much what I said above. I've never seen the whole film of this book, so I can't say how well it matches the novel. Again, it's really short and really readable. I enjoyed it a lot.

Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965 - Francis French
This was pretty good, too. As you can tell from the subtitle, it covers the Mercury and Vostok programs in the USA and USSR in detail, focusing on the biographies of the astronauts and cosmonauts that flew into space. It covers their life stories and whole careers, pretty much, so you often get some information about Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz missions as well, which just goes to show that some of these guys stuck around a long time and had a lot of influence. It took me a long time to finish this - more than a month, I think. It's pretty dense, but well-written. I learned a lot I never knew about the missions and the, of course, the people. Recommended if this kind of thing interests you, but not for a general audience, I think.

That's it. Not so many books this year. I've hardly read anything the last three months, which I blame on laziness and TV.



Buckaroo Zissou

by John at 12/23/2007 07:23:00 AM

I just finished watching The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (which I think was very underrated - I liked it even more this time than the first time I saw it).

Something occurred to me while I watched it. It has a lot in common with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (in no particular order):

1) About a team of misfits
2) Son helps father complete his life's work
3) Raid on enemy headquarters to recover a friend (not a team member) held hostage
4) Death of loved one(s) is avenged
5) Team walk at end to snappy music
6) It's ridiculous but played straight
7) Under-appreciated by audiences and critics
8) Jeff Goldblum costars

Okay, those points are common to a lot of films. But the team walk at the end!?! An undeniable homage. Just try to deny it. Go ahead, try. You know in your heart you cannot.

Merry Christmas!

Update: And just how great is Willem Dafoe in Zissou? I'll answer that: Really great.

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by John at 12/20/2007 07:53:00 AM

As you no doubt have noticed, I haven't blogged anything lately but kid pics.

However, this morning I read a blog post over on Pandagon that sent me to an article by Michael Pollan (author of Omnivore's Dilemma, which you should read if you haven't yet) in the NYT Magazine.

Pollan makes a good case that: 1) the word sustainability doesn't really mean anything anymore, because it means whatever we want it to mean* 2) industrial pig farming is responsible for new strains of MRSA circulating in the public and 3) industrial almond growing is the ultimate cause of Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees.

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon brings up an interesting point related to this. These systems are inherently unstable and unsustainable, and they are the logical result of capitalism. Is capitalism (at least the way we practice it, if not by its very nature) the enemy of sustainability? I've long that this may be the case, and I suspect I'm not alone in this. However, any discussion of alternate economic systems is forbidden, and generally degrades into accusations of communism or socialism. As if humans had already tried and failed at every other possible way to exchange goods and services, as if modern capitalism was our last and only hope.

Anyway, somethings to think about as you celebrate the Christmas and welcome 2008. Happy New Year, everyone!

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* At my company back in 1999 or so, sustainability became one of our goals. What it meant, however, depended on who was talking (or who was being talked to). To us researchers, it meant a decreasing environmental footprint, but to the money guys, it meant continued economic growth, e.g. stock price, revenue, and profits.

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even more new photos

by John at 12/13/2007 08:11:00 PM

Here are some new photos of the kids, and from our trip to Los Angeles to visit Wendy's family. Just click through the photos for more.



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