There’s always another horizon…

I’m 56 years old and as my dear wife is fond of saying about herself, I’m of a certain age…

Today, I’m of a certain age at which I contemplate horizons. Oh, not what you think (though that “certain age” does lend itself to such ruminations)… we all have many horizons that we may or may not chase, and that we may not or may want to cross. Continue reading

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Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal with It? by David A. Weintraub

Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal with It?Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal with It? by David A. Weintraub

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I pulled a thread from a post I saw and eventually drilled down to this book by Weintraub. Be warned: the first word in the title really doesn’t come into play until 2/5 into the book. Weintraub spends that time talking mostly about detection of extraterrestrial life. Then he dives into religion in general and individual religions in specific.

Well, not exactly individual religions. Given that there are so many flavors of Christianity, he addresses many of the different sects in discrete chapters. And then he goes off in to the non-Christian religions. I was surprised to see Jainism and the Bahá’í Faith!

There is a lot of information packed into this book. Weintraub did his research, and this is rather academic. His conclusions might actually work in theory, but I suspect for the common practitioners of the different religions – most of whom that I’m encountered seem to not really know that much about their faiths that isn’t told to them from the pulpit or dais – might not agree with the doctrines.

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That’s Not All Folks: My Life in the Golden Age of Cartoons and Radio by Mel Blanc

That's Not All Folks: My Life in the Golden Age of Cartoons and RadioThat’s Not All Folks: My Life in the Golden Age of Cartoons and Radio by Mel Blanc

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was AI-suggested based on something I read and a quick look over on Open Library…voilà! For a Bugs Bunny nut, this was a wonderful read. Charming, candid, accessible…Blanc was an icon.

He talks about his early life, the years breaking into the voice acting business, and the shrewdness of his self-marketing. Lots of behind the scenes stories. Lots of insight (“The real challenge for any animated-film sound-effects man wasn’t to simulate realism but to defy it.”)

He had access to quite a number of people in Hollywood, radio and television, and they loved him for what he did. And he has a great sense of humor – nearly dying from a head-on collision only made it better. One story he tells about Marilyn Monroe:

An amusing anecdote about Marilyn, whom I met for the first time at an awards dinner. It goes without saying that she was stunning; I don’t think there was a pair of male eyes not glued to her as she moved through the banquet hall. The two of us were standing around chatting – she in breathy bursts, just like in her films – when a man interrupted us, steering her away by the elbow. “I want you to sit at my table and meet someone,” he said. It seemed more like an order than a request.
“I can’t,” she squealed.
“Why the hell not?”
“Because,” she said, glaring at him, “I can’t sit down. I’m sewn into this dress.”

And there were other sides not generally known… He loved cars, but he also collected timepieces. One was a 1510 piece that he got at a great price from a guy in need of cash, only to find out later how valuable it was. and half a lifetime later, he had collected more than four hundred (including one of Bugs, and even one of himself!)

Great story. Note: on the Open Library PDF scan, the last page is missing.

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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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