What I’ve Been Up To

It has been awhile since I updated the blog with a substantial exploration of anything, primarily because I have just been busy. There has been a lot going on – between ministry and working the second job – and I have not been happy with any of the content I have been generating.

Right now, I am on my way to work, but I stopped in at a little coffee shop on Route 3 called Hot Rize Café. I love coffee shops; they’re my favorite places in the world sometimes. They have a nice atmosphere, spacious seating and wi-fi. I look forward to making it a regular stop a couple of times a week.

I have not forgotten about the review of Radical Reformission, and I will get a chapter out later this week. To be honest, I have been reading some other books. Which ones?

A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

I must say that thus far, this is one of my favorite books on cosmology. I thoroughly enjoyed A Short History of Everything, but it was written by one of my all-time favorite authors – Bill Bryson – so the comparison is a bit unfair. All the same, this was an excellent read. Well, an excellent listen.

My city library is part of a wonderful network that allows patrons to download audiobooks. This has been fantastic for my commute back and forth to Merrimack every day. I download a book like A Briefer History of Time onto my MP3 player and my drive to work suddenly becomes research time. It blows people’s minds when I walk into work and they find out I’m listening to Stephen Hawking, not blasting out my ear drums with rock songs (although there are plenty of those on my MP3 player).

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian

If my library did not have downloadable audiobooks, I would have never made it through this book. It was a phenomenal story thoroughly buried in 13 hours of 18th century nautical terminology. To say I understood half of what I heard would be a gross overstatement.

All the same, the story and characters were phenomenal. I enjoyed the book much more than the movie they made a few years ago, which combined elements of this book and the 10th book of the series.

The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester

This is a history of the Oxford English Dictionary. Yes, it is a history of a dictionary. I know; I know. Let me explain. Last year, I read The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. It is a history of the English language, and it mentions this OED.

The OED was the first ever open source project. Tens of thousands of volunteers from around the world contributed over 5 MILLION quotations, allusions and definitions for this exhaustive attempt at compiling the English language. It required 71 years to complete, filled 12 thick folios, and was the largest project of its type to ever be attempted.

In order to comprehend the audacity and sheer magnitude of this project, just go over to www.oed.com and check out the project for OED Online. They have chosen to replace the printed version of the OED with a digital format because the new print edition would be so massive that it would be completely impractical.

And There You Have It…

So, that’s what I have been up to. I’m almost done with training at work (10 weeks fly by) which means I will be out of the classroom and on the call center floor, taking calls. Believe it or not, I think that will be less tiring than training.

Besides that, I’ve also been trying to learn how to set up my guitar – they’re extremely sensitive instruments if you want them to sound really good. And I’ve finally been able to get out and walk, which has been so nice you can’t even imagine. This winter was driving me nuts.

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One thought on “What I’ve Been Up To

  1. Ahhh… My quest for another person in this world who loves the works of Patrick O’Brian (or at least may one day come to love them) has come to an end! I’ve read (yes, “read” in the classical sense, not “listened to”) the first 10 books. The movie takes elements from a few different books in that first ten that I have noticed.

    At first I had to have A Sea of Words http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Words-Third-Companion-Seafaring/dp/0805066152/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b at hand when reading, but that need came less and less as I completed each book.

    Okay, anyway… Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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