Monthly Archives: December 2017

The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance by Tom Brady

The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak PerformanceThe TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance by Tom Brady

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay…this is an extended infomercial, but he’s playing at an MVP level at age 40 in a sport that has a half-life of what? 3-4 years? Thought I’d check it out.

Seemed like a lot of voodoo in the beginning, but I have to admit, he wore me down. Pliability. Say that 10,000 times fast. (He did.) “Lengthen and soften” – muscles, folks…get with the program! Sports improvement relies on repetition. Books, however, are hurt by it. And there is a lot of repetition. Often within a page or two, or even on the same page. But…he tries to get his points across. He’s a smart guy…odd that he never struck me as religious, but seems to be.

I don’t doubt his lifestyle and regimen have the positive benefits he touts. I also don’t doubt that I’ll never give up coffee or good craft beer, nor will I be hyper-focused on workouts.

But…A lot of what he says about the wrong approach to strength training makes sense to me. I think I’m going to give that pliability a shot.

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The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the WillowsThe Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful book I know all about yet have never read until now. Water Rat, Mole (“Onion sauce!”), quirky Toad, Otter, Badger… delightful.

I think every child (and every social media road rage “adult”) should read this…politeness as the norm? – what a virtuous concept!

My replacement copy is the Golden Anniversary edition with the beautiful color plates and line illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard. A special addition enhances the read.

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Soul Guide On Planet Earth by Ivan Antić – oh, dear…

Soul Guide On Planet EarthSoul Guide On Planet Earth by Ivan Antić

Oh, my…I knew my curiosity would someday be my downfall. Disclaimer #1: I asked for a copy of this book, because I was curious. Disclaimer #2: I got a ebook from the author through a Member Giveaway on Library Thing in exchange for a review, which he won’t like, I’m sure, and I hope won’t keep me from winning future offers on Library Thing…

Richard Dawkins coined an eponymous “law” he called Dawkins’ Law of the Conservation of Difficulty in The Devil’s Chaplain:

…obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity. Physics is a genuinely difficult and profound subject, so physicists need to – and do – work hard to make their language as simple as possible (‘but no simpler,’ rightly insisted Einstein). Other academics – some would point the finger at continental schools of literary criticism and social science – suffer from what Peter Medawar (I think) called Physics Envy. They want to be thought profound, but their subject is actually rather easy and shallow, so they have to language it up to redress the balance.

And then there are the, shall we say…spiritual…writers. Try this: “In every proportion the Divine divides itself over and over again, and forms the Divine of that particular proportion, once again in accordance with the holographic model, into smaller entities. This is how the Divine exists and rules all the galaxies, together with all the stars and all their planetary systems, as well as one Divine entity that rules every planet on which there is organic life.” Language-d up, for sure. But balance not redressed.

Antić likes throwing out Laws…especially numerical Laws…with nothing behind them (okay, languaging up behind them…i.e., “A certain number of laws rule every proportion which impose a set of conditions upon the proportion.”) Seems down from the Absolute, he says there are three laws for each layer (proportion) – galaxies, stars, Sun (apparently, not a star, as it has its own trinity of laws), planets, the Earth (again, not a planet because it, too, gets its own trinity of “laws”, the Moon. Ending with “This should explain why life on Earth is the way it is, hard and conditioned.” Explain? Yeah, not exactly.

Did you know that “Moon is a big electromagnet which with its motion induces the life energy on Earth.” {Head shakes} No geodynamic magnetism, and certainly no electrodynamic magnetism, but there is some slight crustal magnetism, so weak as to be essentially zero effect on the Earth, but…just wow.

Or this, ”

Souls incarnate in the smallest percentage in the so-called “primitive people” who, even to this day, seem to live a prehistoric life. They are incapable of developing culture of living nor do they develop themselves as personalities.

What the…? I’ll bet that if he bothered to learn their complex languages, spend significant time with them, they might surprise him with their personalities and cultures of living. But the narrative smacks of typical exclusive myopia of “enlightened” ones.

How about this?

The very act of childbirth is not a trauma for the soul but for the body, mostly because the wrong way of giving birth which is done today under the influence of the wrong medicine. For this reason souls are usually not present during those unpleasant moments, but are waiting nearby, but the trauma of birth stays in the body that gathers all the impressions, and later on when there is a bigger identification of the soul with the body the initial trauma can affect the soul.

I’m not going to ask how he knows this (or anything else he’s stream of conscience-ing…) On “Some of the Characteristics and Problems of Young Souls”

First of all, it should be understood that young souls are not
merely born in primitive societies, nor are they mentally retarded people. [What???]We have already said that the soul does not incarnate in its entirety. People in primitive communities are most often animated by the smaller percentage of the consciousness of the souls, less than necessary for the forming of the complete personality, barely sufficient to give them life. That is why they do not have a developed karma or the drama of life, their life is usually based on physical survival. Young souls with a real incarnation are born side by side the developed ones, in the conditions where they can form a personality and go through all the karmic plots of the drama of life. Actually, young souls get more often born near the more developed souls, in conditions where they will be able to learn easier and receive tutoring.

If you had any doubts as to the author’s over-the-rainbow stream,…

Before people were so the conscious subjects were stars. They influenced the creation of matter in the form of planets on the cosmic plain. Planets then, as conscious subjects, influenced an even finer forming of matter into life energy, into all the living world on them, depending on its position and the connection with the other planets. The link between the micro and macrocosmic influences shows the science of astrology.

Yes, he said “science” of astrology.

This is not a simple read…oh, it reads like a simple read…but it is so deliberately obfuscatory, convoluted, meandering, incoherent that I wonder if the only one who thinks this makes any sense at all is the author. I’m pretty sure that the peyote of Carlos Castenada, the LSD of Robert Anton Wilson, or some other hallucinogenic/psychedelic won’t help either. Reminds me of the Postmodernism Generator (refresh…you’ll get a different “paper” with references every time!)

On the format, the epub I downloaded wouldn’t open, and the PDF was unfortunately unsearchable on my iPad, but uselessly searchable on my desktop, as my notes were all on the tablet. Would have made it easier to cross check, but then, maybe the point was that a reader shouldn’t do any checking.

If you are prohibited from using “evidenced-based” in your life, …read this. It will align perfectly. This really qualifies for one of my rather rare (24 out of 765 I’ve got on Goodreads) one star…but I’ll be generous – two. Oh, and Disclaimer #3: I’ve never found evidence for any such thing as a soul, or the abnormal (some call it “paranormal”), or Divine, or anything similar, … but there are extremely active imaginations…

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The Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak – finally read

The Goblin ReservationThe Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

File this under Books I Should Have Read Already. I carried around for more than 30 years (probably lots more) a worn paperback I got from a used bookstore, and it sat on a shelf next to Clarke, Anderson, Williamson, Blish, …unread. I started it a number of times, but never got that far and lost my well-traveled copy to a fire in 2013.

A decidedly odd book. Dated elements, but not overly so, given its oddness. I got a kick out of a subplot line involving the Goblins (actually, Little People…the traditional Irish type) and beer:

Scuttling down the path toward them came a tiny goblin, his multicolored, too-large shirt whipping in the wind of his headlong running. “The ale!” he screamed. “The ale!” He skidded to a halt in front of the three toiling up the path. “What of the ale?” panted Mr. O’Toole. “Do you mean to confess to me that you have been the sampling of it?” “It has gone sour,” wailed the little goblin. “The whole bewitched mess of it is sour.” “But ale can’t go sour,” protested Maxwell, grasping some sense of the tragedy that had taken place. Mr. O’Toole bounced upon the path in devastating anger. His face turned from brown to red to purple. His breath came gushing out in wheezing gasps. “It can, bedamned,” he shouted, “with a spell of wizardry!”

In 1969, Simak probably had no experience with Flanders ales, but then, if he’d ever had Guinness, well, that stuff is nasty sour and not in a good, intentional way.

I like Simak’s language he used for his Goblins:

“But these,” he said, “are dolorous topics on which to waste so glorious an autumn afternoon. So let us fasten our thoughts, rather, with great steadfastness, upon the foaming ale that awaits us on the hilltop.”

And a dig on fools who would chug:

He [O’Toole] put the mug to his mouth again and emptied it in several lusty gulps. He slammed it down on the table and looked at Maxwell’s mug, still full. “Drink up,” he urged. “Drink up, then I fill them yet again for a further wetting of the whistle.” “You go ahead,” Maxwell told him. “It’s a shame to drink ale the way you do. It should be tasted and appreciated.” Mr. O’Toole shrugged. “A pig I am, no doubt. But this be disenchanted ale and not one to linger over.”

Lost, for most readers I’m sure, among the narrative, Simak writes something I’ve been saying for much of my adult life…his main character Peter Maxwell observes:

“I do not like the word `intolerant,’ Mr. Marmaduke, because it implies that there is ground for tolerance and there is no such thing-not for you, nor me, nor any other creature in the universe.”

Wisdom in classic science fiction. It is there, you know.

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