Reading…All Quiet on the Western Front

Reading “All Quiet on the Western Front”

I haven’t read this one before, although I’ve had the book for years.  Now I am.  Especially as my son is reading it as well as a school assignment.

Anti-war novel.  Should be read on a regular basis over and over by people who send very young men to war.  I’m reminded in ways of “The Red Badge of Courage.   Both coming of age novels.

Nice Quote

Recently posted to Facebook’s “The Christian Left” page:

“If you are not attracting the same people that Jesus attracted, your message needs to be fixed.”

Bravo and well said.

Plan B for the lawn

My quest to grow grass in front of my home’s sidewalk continues!

During the summer of 2010, the lawn in front of my house’s sidewalk…died.  Same thing with the lawn just in front of my house.

So I initiated Plan A:  Replace all the lawn with turf purchased from Home Depot.   After much work removing the old lawn and laying down the new turf, it looked beautiful.  It stayed looking beautiful for nearly a year…and then it all died.  Completely.   The direct sun and the lack of rain in midsummer killed it.

So…Plan B!  I ripped all that dead turf out…and laid down fertilized soil and heat-tolerant lawn seed.  Then I purchased a few “soaker” water hoses to water them.

Then Hurricane Irene made a visit.

the hurricane washed away about 60% of the plantings in front of the sidewalk.

Arrggh.  I think I’m cursed.

So…this weekend, I did it all over again.  Purchased fertilized soil and lawn seed.  Placed it all again.  I also picked up some straw from Agway’s and put that on top…hopefully to keep it from washing away again!!!!!

Here’s the lawn…or “to-be” lawn…with straw spread on top to hopefully keep the grass and fertilizer there!

October 5, 2011:  UPDATE The grass in growing in nicely.

Late November 2011 UPDATE:  Looks like the grass is fully grown in.  Looks great.  Let’s see if it lasts the dry season next summer!

Reading…The Father of Us All

also reading…

The Father of Us All by Victor Davis Hanson

The title comes from Heraclitus, who wrote, that war is “the father, the king of us all”.    It was time to read a book that challenges my assumptions, and this is exactly what this book does.  The author, a military historian, submits a series of essays defending the study of military history, asserting that the neglect of such a studies leads our society towards exactly those wars we wish to avoid.   Well written, the reader should be on the lookout for the author’s insertion of his personal politics into the overall narrative.

Reading…The Curious Incident

I seldom read one book at a time.

At the moment, I’m reading:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

I’ve listed to this curious book on audio and now just finished reading the actual book itself.   As the main character has Asperger’s, the reader gains an empathy for a main character that has fundamental challenges with just that trait.  An excellent way to gain an understanding of just how the mind of a person with Asperger’s syndrome works.  We know what’s going on even though the narrator often doesn’t.


American Civil War Reading

I’m working on a library of American Civil War readings.

Here’s my list so far:

    • Shelby Foote 
    • Stephen Oates
    • James McPherson
    • Benjamin Thomas for a good Lincoln study, His book on Lincoln is still a classic more than half a century after he wrote it. 
    • Bill Safire’s fictional account on Lincoln, which focuses on the beginning of the war. 
    • Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals”.
    • Garry Wills’ book on the Gettysburg Address is incredibly well put together.
    • Holzer has a good book on Lincoln’s speeches.
    • Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering” 
    • Shenk’s “Lincoln’s Melancholy” offers insights as to Lincoln’s personality.