Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Overwhelming stuff

As I noted in my last post, I have been commenting on other blogs, among other things. I've decided to stop dabbling around with cold fusion and get back to business. But the reality is that I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all that I have missed. All that I don't know. It's actually rather odd. Over the last few years, I have searched the Indianapolis Library catalogue for books regarding atheism, evolution, etc. I found some works by S.T. Joshi and little else. Actually, they have a number of the books I have lately become aware of, but without a title or author's name, that is - just using a subject for my searches were more or less fruitless.

Of course, what I have discovered is that there is a plethora of material to be had, and it's daunting. Unfortunately, I am not a fast reader. Nor am I able to devote much time on a day to day basis on reading; maybe a half hour or so. Consequently, it may take me a couple of weeks or more to read a single book. I spoke with a woman a few days ago who claimed to be a speed reader, and that she gets through 2 to 4 books every day. I could probably do that as well if I stuck to the likes of Benji's Dog House or Colby's Big Book of Horses. But, alas, I have moved on.

I have begun reading Richard Dawkin's Unweaving The Rainbow. His collective work alone is enough to keep me busy for months. I don't suppose I'll read all of his stuff, but, while his work seems to be very readable, it's not like reading John Grisham. I have also begun Michael Shermer's Science Friction which Noell, Agnostic Mom, had mentioned.

Concomitently, my wife has taken an interest in making Italian bread. She is of Italian heritage and her brother runs an Italian Restaurant. Her grandmother and great-grandmother made Italian bread which they sold in their small grocery in the old neighborhood back in the day. She is researching in an attempt to duplicate their efforts. I am doing some of the reading as well. Who of any of you all knows what a biga is?

Also, as my older son in Germany is attempting to get a singing career off the ground, I have wanted to begin reading Renee' Fleming's bio, The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer. Supposedly, she went through many of the same experiences my son is now living through. And she details a number of the technical problems she dealt with as a developing singer.

My younger son is waiting for responses from the 14 or 15 graduate schools he applied to. He has been admitted to a couple, and I find myself going onto their web sites to scope them out. Hmmm. Should my son go to school in Boston, Rhode Island or Florida or ??? Of course, it's not my decision, but it's fun to think about the different places he may wind up.

I know, I am not any more busy or harried than most anyone else. But there is my inherent laziness to factor in. I am pretty adept at vegging. I have become numb watching Antiques Road Show and the History Channel. I think there actually may be more "Law and Order" on TV than there is in all of our courts.

And there is the walking thing. By the way, I came in 16th out of about 2500 participants in last Saturday's 10K. And I walked! (16th slowest, that is.) That makes 15 losers out there in my book. I passed a guy at about the 2 mile post. As I came even with him he started making lame excuses. (Torn ACL indeed!) In my efforts to look good during my walks, I must admit that hard leather soled wing tips were probably a poor choice. I think I'll go with Birkenstock sandels for the 15K. Now that would make a statement, don't you think?



jazzycat said...

On your walking gear. One time I went hiking in some pretty tall mountains in Col. with all the gear.... hiking boots, back pack, several layers and rain gear. While I was huffing and puffing about a third of the way up a native Col. guy went jogging by me in shorts, sneakers, and dog with him. When I got half way up, He passed me again on his way back down. I knew then that I had a way to go before becoming a world class mountain climber.

BTW in that research you are doing let me know if you find an answer for.... "Why is there something rather than nothing"

Terry S said...

I am actually going to purchase some real walking shoes later today unless we get hit by a tornado. Yesterday, my son in Chicago purchases a pair of Brooks running shoes that he loves so much he may have gone to bed with them on. I found a dealer around where I live. They make walkers as well.

As to your "something rather than nothing" issue: I doubt that I will find an answer for that one. I don't know that anyone does. But, if I run across something, I'll certainly let you know.

Hope things are going well for you. I've kinda been out of the loop lately. Just kind of meandering. Maybe it's cabin fever. I am itching to get out into the yard, my garden, and so on. I bought some onion sets yesterday and hope to put them in the ground soon. It's got to dry out a little first, though.



Greg said...

Some kids in our world have NO shoes . Look at our society you dumb pagan, people need to tell people about our creator now more than ever because our society has lost so much respect. As long as you're o.k. is what matters. You will beg again.

Terry S said...


You love to be irritating don't you? Yes, I guess I am a pagan. I am not an idolater, but I am irreligious, and a heathen. Guilty as charged.

I am not dumb.

I am aware that many people of all ages have no shoes, many that have nothing.

Do you wear shoes? Do you ever buy new shoes? How many shoes have you sent to anyone needing them? Or have you been too busy groveling before your god? You love your god? Great. Love him. It's your choice.

If you have an intelligent argument to make, make it. If not, take your name calling and shitty attitude and shove it.


Terry S said...

Everyone else,

Sorry about the above, but Gregg (not to be confused with Gregg100) tends to get under my skin. I suppose that's what he wants. If so, I guess I fell for it. He caught me at the wrong moment.
It did feel good, though.


Terry S said...


Have you done any mountain hiking recently? I have often thought I would like to do the Appalachan Trail - not the whole thing, but some of it - sometime.

I am fully familiar with the huffing and puffing. I used to get winded going DOWN stairs.

You don't have to aspire to world class status. The important thing is just to keep moving. Keep thinking, reading, loving, doing.
As I don't believe in the hereafter, it is the HEREANDNOW that I am most concerned with.

I do wish that I could just get rid of about 50 pounds hereandnow. But that's another story.

I did get some shoes today. I'll try them out tomorrow if the rain stops.

jazzycat said...

No, I don't do it anymore due to my irregular heartbeat and too many birthdays. It was one of the two (along with flying) most enjoyable things I have ever done. I wish I had discovered it sooner as I was 50 before I even started. The scenery in Colorado is awesome on hiking trails. I will post some of those photos taken directly from hiking trails soon.

I think you would enjoy it a lot if you enjoy the 10K walks. I never did any of the Appalachan Trail, but I wish that I had done some of it especially up in the Vermont area. My advice would be to go for it.

I side thing that always amused and pleased me about hiking was that it was free.

Jazzy Cat
I am puzzled by that Greg guy. It is hard to believe that he calls himself a Christian. He may just be pretending to give the rest of us a bad name. At any rate I would like to reach out to him and invite him to check out some of the Photo Meditations linked from my site.

jazzycat said...

If I could take the liberty to speak directly to Greg. I was very much an agnostic when I turned 50, but I became a believer. Quite frankly this kind of witnessing you are doing would not have been very helpful in my case.

Terry, I apologize for using your site to speak to someone else, but I am deeply troubled by his comments to you.

Jazzy Cat (redeemed, but still a sinner)

Terry S said...


It's fine with me if you want to communicate with gregg. I am not happy with my response to him, but he just irked me. He has made a # of similar comments on Agnostic Mom's site as well.

I enjoy walking. I do wish my knees didn't make it as painful an experience as it now does. Perhaps the new shoes will help.

Other than the cost of shoes and lesser things like good socks, pedometers, water bottles and so on, it is a relatively cheap and accessable activity. You don't need any special equipment, you don't have to have access to a gym, or a court or anything. I can just walk out the front door and walk the neighborhood.

Now hiking mountain trails could be rather more costly. I live in the corn belt. Standing on railroad tracks puts you above most of the landscape around here.
There is some wooded and rolling country south of Indy, but nothing that would come close to qualifying as "mountains."

If I recall, you do still fly, don't you? That's a great thing. A few months ago, one of my brother in-laws tried to talk me into going sky diving. He's gone a couple of times and wanted someone to new to go with him as neither of his sons would agree to go again. Apparently, their experiences were less than great. I was willing, but my wife was less so. As I am the sole source of income in our humble household, she wasn't wild about the prospect of me jumping out of an airplane. She pointed out that my life insurance policy would not pay if I died in a free fall. I was touched.

By the way I just remembered, if you click on Gregg's name, it will automatically take you to his site.

My wife has a niece who has done several wilderness trecks. She is a marathoner as well. She's around 30 and skinny as a rail. She even ran a marathon in Alaska a couple of years ago.

Her sister's husband is also a marathoner. He qualified for the Boston this year. That guy gets my goat. He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him. When he runs, he wears one of those body suits - lycra or whatever - and looks great in it. I can only imagine the figure I would cut in such attire. It wouldn't be pretty. I stick to loose fitting shorts and oversized t-shirts. Ya gotta leave something to the imagination.

I think you had mentioned your heart problem before. That's unfortunate. Our bodies don't always cooperate with our desires. I hope that it's something you have under control.

I used to love ice skating. I was actually pretty good at it. I went with my kids about a year ago. It was tough, to say the least. Neither of my kids skate, so I still looked pretty good by comparison, but man! I thought my feet were going to explode. I used to be able to skate backwards as well or better than forwards. But no more. I couldn't even remember how to do it. That was a bit dis-heartening. Maybe I'll try again sometime, though.

Did you get bad weather yesterday? We got some heavy rain and wind yesterday and last night from a system that came out of the gulf. For an hour or so we had sustained winds of around 50mph. I know that's not hurricane worthy, but it was still substantial. Of course, we rarely get heavy straight line winds. Our problem is tornados. One ripped through here a couple of years ago and came within about 3 blocks of our house. Unlike the hurricanes, tornados are very concentrated and localized. I could lose my house, and the home next door or across the street could get away without a scratch. That particular tornado cut a straight swath from about 60 miles southwest of Indy to about 40 miles northeast. Amazingly, no one was killed, and only a few serious injuries resulted from it.
Nothing akin to the devastation your neighbors along the gulf coast received.

How close did all of that come to affecting where you live? Did you dodge the bullit as it were, or was your community hit as well? I can't imagine what that must have been like.


jazzycat said...

Hi Terry,
I've got strong legs and good knees. Loan me your heart and I'll loan you my knees..... They tell me that A-fib is a very common irregular heart-beat and is not life threatening. I think Bush senior has it. It just makes mountain hiking a bit difficult although I did one in 01 near Telluride. I do swim a lot for some cardio exercise.

Man, I think your wife is right about that sky-diving stuff. Although I was a pilot, I don't think I could do that. I do not fly anymore... The C-130's were the last I flew.

That hurricane was something. There were thousands upon thousands of trees blown down 150-200 miles north of the coast. I'm near Jackson, Ms and I was shocked at the wind velocity. It was a Cat. 1 here.

Take care, and I would encourage you to keep the walking exercise going.

Jazzy Cat

Terry S said...

I did take a pass on the skydiving. I used to swim a good deal as a kid - I was even on a diving team for 1 summer at a local club. But I never learned how to swim properly. Actually, I never learned how to breathe without getting a mouthfull of water. I went out to do a long walk this AM to try out my new shoes. I went to a school track. The moment I arrived, the sky fell with heavy rain. I didn't want to expose the new footwear to excessive water as I'm not sure I like them yet. Of course, later, when I was stuck at a birthday party for my twin sister and brother in-laws, the sun broke through and didn't rain the rest of the afternoon. Now the forecast for much of tomorrow is more rain.

Did you try to access gregg's blog?
I can't really figure the guy out.


jazzycat said...

yes, I did. At first I thought he may be from a anti-Christian perspective trying to do harm to Christians. However, after visiting his site and reading his post, I believe he is troubled. I would hope that he would seek counsel from some orthodox Christian pastor about how Jesus interacted with people. The ole saying, "hate the sin, but love the sinner" would be a good start.... bearing in mind that we all are sinners.

noell said...

Terry, I just read in my paper about the tornadoes out there. You made it ok?

I don't know what a biga is.

Greg's an idiot.

It is crazy how difficult it is to find the books you want. You have to find the right people to learn where to go. But there is a lot of reading out there.

I am still reading Science Friction. I used to spend a lot more time reading actual books, but since I started my blog I do more internet reading. I wish I gave more time to my books. I just squeeze 20 minutes in here and there.

Shermer has a book called, "Why People Believe Weird Things" (I think?) that sounds even better than Science Friction. None of my books stores had it, though. I'll be ordering it off Amazon later.

Have you read Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World?" That's a good one.