Thursday, November 25, 2004

No Turkey Day

My wife the hospital pharamacist told me yesterday am that she was not working 1st shift (7a-5p) on Thanksgiving, she was working 2nd shift (11a-9p). So, my Thanksgiving dinner options were 10a or 10p -- neither acceptable. So, turkey will be Friday at 2p. 1st time in my 53 years I have not pigged out on turkey and dressing on the last Thursday in November. It's just Not Right ...

Finished the 3rd novel of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, "The System of the World". Very nice read, all threads tied up or snipped nicely. Doubtful that I will ever reread this basically 3000 page novel again. So nice to see the value of thought and the Enlightment represented in such a positive light.

Thinking the other day about religion. Will it always be around, but maybe engineered into more meaningful forms -- ones that keep up with current knowledge instead of relying on old, old books? Read an article in the paper on a new Islamic terrorist group that trains in the desert with only 6th century technology, so they can really get that Mohammedan world-view -- how stupid is that? It boggles the mind, stop time, stop progress, everyone will be oh so much more comfortable? satisfied? what? who knows?

This made me think of the Cellar Christians (Cellar because organized religion has been outlawed) in what I believe to be the greatest science fiction novel ever written: "The Stars My Destination", by Alfred Bester. Funny, I just went to Barnes & Noble to pull the link, and all the reviews there also say "the greatest SF novel ever written" -- so I guess I am not alone in my opinion. It was originally published in 1956. I 1st read it in my early teens in an Anthony Boucher collection "A Treasure of Great Science Fiction", Vol 2. (This was published in 1958. It also had "Brain Wave" by Poul Anderson, a great story, in it. I actually picked up this and Vol 1 as well in hardback in a used bookstore 10 or so years ago.)

Anyway, I have reread "The Stars My Destination" at least 20 times since then. It is only about 160 pages. Every time I reread it, I marvel at how it has still maintained the edge it has. It would make a great movie (if Hollywood weren't obsessed with Philip K. Dick) -- great anti-hero protagonist, tons of action. I could never figure out who would play Gully Foyle tho, but the actor is now available. Russell Crowe would be perfect for the part. So, need to get that going ...

RIPing of CDs procedes apace. My wife is convinced I'm obsessed. Currently at 2400 tracks, 7 days, 13GB. I now have 3 objects of techno-lust (I'm so excited: I'm alive! I'm a consumer! I'm a real American! I have a reason to live, new things to buy!):

  1. A 40GB iPod for backup;
  2. A WiFi unit to talk to my wireless router to let me access my PC from the main stereo;
  3. A analog to digital input device, so I can rip my vinyl and tapes.
Life is good ...

No comments: