Archive for November, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all

November 22, 2007

Here’s hoping all of my American friends have had a happy Thanksgiving today. We celebrated with my family in Dallas, enjoying the traditional meal, some football in the back yard, and a great (if boring) Dallas Cowboys football game on the TV.
Long-time friend-of-the-blog Robbo reflects on what he is thankful for this year, in a nicely written piece. His co-Llama Steve also posts the Thanksgiving proclamations of Washington and Lincoln, reminding us of the heritage and original meaning of the holiday.
Another old friend of the blog, Timothy Sandefur, has a neat post and picture about how we have fulfilled many of the ideals of our forebears.
I’ve gone in a somewhat different direction than Robbo with my faith over the last couple of years, and my ordeals this year have done nothing to change that. But I still find my personal response to life and this awesome universe to be one of humble gratitude for my many blessings.
Just a few I celebrate today (and every day!):
1. My wonderful wife, a true life-partner who not only loves and supports me, but also completes me and makes me a better person than I would be without her presence.
2. My three healthy, brilliant, active, and ever-growing children, who make me burst with pride.
3. The gift of music, which enriches my life in the good times and sustains me in the bad.
4. A stable job that provides for my material needs while allowing me some degree of freedom and capacity for growth.
5. All those who serve our country and local communities. Our military, which puts their lives at risk keeping us safe from external enemies and our local fire, rescue, and police workers who help keep us safe in our homes and communities.
6. Last but not least, our country, which despite its occasional shortcomings, still shines as a beacon of liberty and hope for much of the world.

My Inner European

November 7, 2007

Via the oh-so-fashionably Italian Virginia Postrel:

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.
You’re up for just about anything.
Who’s Your Inner European?

John’s Reading Report (October 2007)

November 1, 2007

Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert.
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth. This is the first one of Roth’s books that I’ve read. I don’t usually seek out bestsellers or “literary” authors, but my prior alt-history reading habits led Amazon to recommend it for me. I liked it enough that I now intend to check out some of Roth’s other books. If you’re a fan, are there any that you would recommend?
The current issues of Architectural Digest, Dwell, and National Geographic.
In progress:
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett. Dennett is a wonderful author, and I’ve recently discovered that he is on the advisory board of The Center For Naturalism.
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens.
Still on deck:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
About seven months’ worth of Analog magazine.