Sunday, September 18, 2011

Summer Reading

Earlier this summer, I was going to try and help my Dad's wife with a story she wrote a few years back. It is a love story set in Wyoming, around a family of ranchers. She wanted help embellishing the characters. I thought I would turn to a wonderful western epic for inspiration, so I pulled out "Lonesome Dove" and re-read it.

Man, I had forgotten what a monster this novel is. Beautiful, beautiful stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed going back to the cattle drive with Augustus and Call. If you have never read this book, I encourage you to pick it up.

Presently, I am knee-deep in a piece of literature that continues to be controversial and timely. I don't know why I never read any Ayn Rand (pronounced "Ine"- like "mine") before. Maybe because her writing style is so...dense? Intimidating?

Well, what with all that is going on in this country, both economically and politically, and since Ron and I saw the summer release of the independently produced movie of the first part of this novel, we picked up "Atlas Shrugged".

Dude, this is a chilling and mesmerizing cautionary tale that I think deserves to be read and pondered. At over 1200 pages, I'll be working on this until Christmas (I'm a slow reader because I have to move my lips as I read to sound out the big words). But, at 300+ pages into it, my head is spinning. It's just awesome that a novel written in the 1950's can feel so current and fresh.

I've mentioned this book to many of my liberal friends. They are AGHAST that I would waste my time on such crap. I'm stunned that they don't see the value in this work. I think it is remarkable (hence, I'm remarking on it. See how that works?).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Central Texas Is Burning

BASTROP, Texas — Texas officials say the number of homes destroyed by a massive wildfire raging east of Austin has risen to 1,554. They also say 17 people are unaccounted for.

Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering said Sunday the missing people could simply be out of town, but authorities have been unable to contact them.

County emergency management director Mike Fisher says the number of homes destroyed is expected to rise further as officials enter more areas where the fire has been extinguished.

The blaze in Bastrop erupted a week ago when blustering winds whipped up by Tropical Storm Lee blew over parched, drought-stricken Texas. The fire is the largest of more than 190 raging throughout the state.

A blaze has consumed more than 20,000 acres in a tri-county area north of Houston.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Skydiving Update!

Okay, here's the deal:

We're not going to skydive on Ron's birthday in October. It's not because we aren't doing well on the weight loss, it's because I'm afraid of screwing up my back, more than it is presently screwed up.

See, back in July I had a mishap at the gym. I was in the shower/wet area of the lockerroom, and I slipped and fell hard on my back. I don't blame the gym, I certainly could have been more careful. Well, my back is STILL causing me problems. It feels like the vertebrae in my lower spine got all compressed. Sometimes I get a stabbing pain deep in my right buttcheek. I am going to the doctor on Monday to report back to my Primary Care Physician that I have not fully recovered from the fall. My guess is that he'll send me to a specialist, and I'll have a bunch of physical therapy in my future. Maybe even chiropractic. Who knows? ...I guess I will after my appointment on Monday...

The point is: I'm well into my 50's, still overweight, and dealing with some medical issues with my back. How could landing on my feet from a jump, even if all goes smoothly, not be a risky thing for my condition? I'm all for Adventure and Fun and How Freaking Cool Is This?!? but I'm not a dumb ass.

Ron totally understands and supports this decision. Fact is, he MIGHT be a little relieved that he doesn't have to go through with it... although I COULD suggest that since it is HIS birthday, after all, HE could still jump without me.

That'll never happen.