One habit broken, starting a new one

it’s been over 30 days and I haven’t bitten one of my nails, so we’re going to say that that is done, Mission Accomplished! Unlike our President I doubt you’ll continue to hear about the struggle against my nails for the next 4 years when I say ‘Mission Accomplished’ I mean it! I’ve been biting my nails for as long as I can remember so I’m excited that I was able to break the habit. I have to admit that cutting them with a clipper is a hassle especially on my right hand, damn my dexterity! It does show a little more class than shoving them in my mouth…

Like I said in previous posts I’m going to try and start doing Zazen, specifically shikantaza, which according to Hardcore Zen translates into “just sitting”, he also calls it “the real deal” and “hardcore zen” I’m going to start tomorrow morning and do it for 20 minutes. Planning how to do it wasn’t that difficult. I just sit and look at a blank wall for twenty minutes, not trying to think, but letting thoughts come and go as they please. The important thing is to set up a consistent schedule and keep to it! I’ll report back to you all regularly on my progress.  We’ll see how this goes…

In other news I’m taking a break from non-fiction for a bit, it is just too depressing right now, especially Squandering America.

More Soonish…

The joy of “trash” fiction

I just finished reading Drew Karpyshyn’s Star Wars book, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. I haven’t read a Star Wars book since Timothy Zahn finished his first trilogy, the one with Thrawn in it. Anyhow, I like the Star Wars universe, it’s fun but it’s also incredibly shallow in ways. I’m not saying this to knock on Star Wars, it is a problem that most genre (sci-fi/fantasy) books and settings have. All the good guys are called light and look good and all the bad guys have called dark and are ugly, the exception to this is for evil women who are either young and beautiful or old and ugly. I think my readers are smart enough to pick out the sexism inherent in that fact. Anyhow I enjoyed the book it was quick, entertaining and about as far as you can get from what I have been reading (see my reading and what I recommend lists).

Of course the book suffers from what I just mentioned the story centers around a young man who names himself “bane” and is bald and pale evil. He begins his training in a Sith academy so that one day he can join the “brotherhood of darkness” and now he is embracing his evil. The book is good except when it gets bogged down in this completely cliche, shallow, parody of ethics and morality… Very few people ever see themselves as evil, they almost always believe what they are doing is good and right… I wholeheartedly believe that there are evil people, but they are rare, it is usually good, or misguided people doing evil things. I wish genre fiction could get past this so that great stories in fantastic places can have realistic people living in them as opposed to the cardboard cut outs we usually see…

Um, not going to put this on my “I Recommend” list…

But I did want to share my thoughts on the book with you!

Adventures in Paranormal Investigations by Joe Nickell – A great, if brief, collection of Mr. Nickell’s studies of various paranormal happenings across the globe in the service of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. The book will not convince true believers of their errors but skeptics will find his tales light and entertaining reading. Several times I would have liked a more thorough study or investigation done, or perhaps more of the author’s thoughts and insights… I guess we’ll have to wait for Mr. Nickell’s next “real” book for that!

You’ll always be able to read my review of it over at

Towers of Shame – Books

book tower

Here it is, all the books that have been stacking up around here. The ones I didn’t get to this year. I plan on reading them next year, of course this is just the base of the tower as I’m constantly collecting new books that will increase it’s height… *sigh*

I better get to work!

For those who cannot read the spines I’ve listed the titles.

On the left from the top: The Ten Books of Architecture, Reading like a Writer, The Wars of God and Men, A Wizard of Earthsea, The War of Art, Ilium, Lord Darcy, Underworld, Fingerprints of the God, Jesus of Nazareth, The Prince of the Marshes, Books on Trial, God’s Gold, Mister B. Gone, The Wolf of Wall Street, Day of Empire, Evil Genes, Blacklisted by History.

On the right from the top: Camber the Heretic, Mistborn, Saint Camber, Gaia, Across the Nightingale Floor, The Great Upheaval, Death and Burial in the Roman World, The World is Flat, The Human Touch, Atheism, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Breaking the Spell, The Works of Josephus, The Works of Philo.

%d bloggers like this: