hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Archive for February, 2013

Guess What? The Debt Everyone Is Freaking Out About Does Not Exist

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 28, 2013

Guess What? The Debt Everyone Is Freaking Out About Does Not Exist | Alternet.

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Pat Summitt reflects on relationship with Geno Auriemma in book

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 26, 2013

Pat Summitt reflects on relationship with Geno Auriemma in book – ESPN.

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Trent Reznor Confirms New Nine Inch Nails Lineup, Tour

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 25, 2013

Trent Reznor Confirms New Nine Inch Nails Lineup, Tour – Yahoo! Music.

Rock on!

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A Review of Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 25, 2013

Humpty Dumpty in OaklandHumpty Dumpty in Oakland by Philip K. Dick

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like a total traitor, because I got through the first six chapters — to page 94 — and finally gave up. Philip K. Dick is one of my two favorite writers, the other being Charles Bukowski. I’ve ALWAYS loved his books, even if some are imperfect. This one, though, was simply dull.

It’s a well known fact that Dick hated being considered a sci fi hack and wanted to be considered a mainstream novelist. He wrote three mainstream novels, none of which were ever considered good enough to be published. He stuck with sci fi the rest of his bitter life. Humpty Dumpty in Oakland is one of these three mainstream novels, published after his death. It rambles, it’s unexciting, it doesn’t do much, it’s boring. An old body shop owner named Jim Fergesssen sells his shop to retire. A lot sub-letter who sells used cars named Al Miller is resentful and suspects something wrong is going on when Chris Harmon, a shady business owner gets involved with Jim’s affairs, trying to talk him into a risky real estate venture. Yep, that’s it. I just spent my entire lunch hour reading about Jim driving through northern California to find a housing development to scope it out for possible investment purposes. Quite different from your average Philip K. Dick craziness that ya know and love! I’ve read that if you can make it through the first 150 pages, the ending isn’t too bad, but I’m not willing to go that far. I feel guilty. This reminds me of Bukowski’s last book, Pulp, published around the time he died in 1994. A pulp mystery, it lacks in so many ways and doesn’t do the man justice. Perhaps this is Dick’s Pulp. Well, I’m now going to read another book of Dick’s published after his death — Radio Free Albemuth — a sort of precursor to Valis, apparently. It sounds pretty interesting. I hope I enjoy it infinitely more than this one. I suspect I will.

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“Sanvean” Live

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 25, 2013

Here is a video of Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance singing her mesmerizing “Sanvean” live in Atlanta at the concert I went to last year. The person who filmed it was sitting right beside us in the second row. There are nine DCD videos from that show he uploaded. Check them out!

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A Review of Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 25, 2013

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've LearnedNever Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned by Alan Alda

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a longtime M*A*S*H fan, I was elated when I found this book. I grew up loving Alan Alda’s character, Hawkeye, on M*A*S*H. He seemed so very cool, and the rest of the cast was awesome. So when I picked up the book, I was hoping for a lively autobiography complete with numerous M*A*S*H stories. BTW, it surprised me to see, while reading through Goodreads reviews, just how many people did NOT want that! It confirmed for me the fact that I’m a very different reader than most people. I like what most don’t, and dislike what most do. In this case, I wanted M*A*S*H stories while most people didn’t.

It’s painful, then, to say that the book barely mentions M*A*S*H. There’s a little over one chapter devoted to it about halfway through the book with barely any mention of cast mates or episodes, aside from one that he directed his father in. That was bitterly disappointing and it’s the reason I’ve knocked this book down from four stars to three. That said, it’s not a bad book. He spends a lot of his time telling us about his childhood, which seemed rather sad to me. He spent time with a mentally ill mother, a distant father, and he got beat up by the neighbor and school kids a lot. It’s amazing he’s as balanced as he is now! He spends a lot of time talking about religion, particularly Catholicism, which played a major role in his life. Indeed, I believe when he married his Jewish wife, it was in his Catholic church so he wouldn’t go to hell. The book discusses his struggles as an aspiring actor and writer and spends a lot of time on various plays he was in, both before fame and after. Strangely, when he gets to M*A*S*H, he basically glosses over it, as I said, and then moves on to Scientific American Frontiers, a show that he seems much more proud of. Isn’t that bizarre? The book basically ends with a harrowing tale of colon obstruction requiring colon re-sectioning while in Chile and his recovery from that with the support of his wife and daughters. It’s a good book, but it feels a little empty, a little hollow, like something major is missing, and it’s M*A*S*H that’s missing, which is a travesty. If you want to learn about Alan Alda, the person and writer, this is the book for you. If you want to learn about Alan Alda, Hawkeye on M*A*S*H, you’ve come to the wrong place.

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