Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Cap and Trade + Nationalized Health Care = Crazy Delicious
Hey, let's do it like the Canadians:
    The Lower Mainland's health authorities will have to dig more than $4 million a year out of their already stretched budgets to pay B.C.'s carbon tax and offset their carbon footprints.

    Critics say the payments mean the government's strategy to fight climate change will further exacerbate a crisis in health funding.

    "You have public hospitals cutting services to pay a tax that goes to another 100 per cent government-owned agency," NDP health critic Adrian Dix said.
(Link seen on Surber.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009
It's a Fundemic!
WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years:
    The World Health Organization declared a swine flu pandemic Thursday - the first global flu epidemic in 41 years - as infections in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere climbed to nearly 30,000 cases.

    The long-awaited pandemic announcement is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. WHO will now ask drugmakers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine, which it said would available after September. The declaration will also prompt governments to devote more money toward efforts to contain the virus.
The difference between yesterday and today? A proclamation from above.

Book Report: Yes Sir, That's My Baby photos by Josef A. Schneider (?)
This book is a slender Hallmark version of the book listed below. Child photographer Josef Schneider has taken photos of children with odd expressions on their faces, and they threw in word and thought balloons to ascribe wry thoughts to the children. Mildly amusing.

It's not a coloring book that I'm counting towards my yearly reading total, but I am counting it.

Books related to this review:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Book Report: Devil's Holiday by Fred Malloy (1952)
Well, this was a book in a plain brown wrapper.

The cheap binding mirrors a Walter J. Black sort of binding. A novel title like Devil's Holiday and an author named Fred Malloy, I was sure someone was going to get icepicked. But you learn something new every day. Like that there was a lurid genre of what they called sleaze or soft-core pornography featuring tawdry, descriptive scenes of seduction as it were. In 2009, you wouldn't call this pornography. But fifty years ago, apparently, hoo-whee!

The book centers on the afternoon, evening, and night of Christmas Eve. Young couple (almost 30, so Old Married Couple in 1950s books) is kinda on the rocks. When husband came back from the war, he was different and the wife had almost taken a lover in his absence, but did not. The afternoon of Christmas Eve, the husband gets together with a young woman from the office and, after heavy drinking, they spend the afternoon in a hotel. He leaves his wife's Christmas gift in a cab with her, and he starts fruitlessly seeking her to find it. She returns it to the wife, and the husband's infidelity is thrown in her face. So she goes out on the town to get even and to give him grounds for a divorce because she loves him and doesn't want him to be the villain in the divorce. So he goes out to a dive bar, hooks up with a ruffian from Missouri, and they drink, get into a fight, and try to meet women.

The characters at the root have a basic love for each other but cannot communicate it, and they're swept into a series of poor decisions that are fueled by the constraints of the norms of the time and more alcohol than it would take to kill me and preserve me.

I don't know what it says about its times that the relatively tepid sensual descriptions in the book were considered sleazy or pornographic. I also don't know what it says about our times that 1950s sleaze has more conflicted characterizations and internal dilemmas in a simple plot than in much contemporary fiction of a more lofty-goaled but still genre fiction.

I might try this author again if I stumble over another one of his works, but I gather they're pretty rare.

Books mentioned in this review:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Book Report: Nintendo Role-Playing Games by Christopher Lampton (1991)
This is a book aimed at the middle-school or early high-school market, and it describes, briefly and zealously, some of the role-playing games available for the original NES. These include The Legend of Zelda, Shadowgate, Ultima, Dragon Warrior, and whatnot. Each has a couple of pages that includes some information about the storyline, a bit of comment on the game play, and tips that range from knowledgeable and insightful to vague, general, or obvious, possibly depending upon whether the author played the game before writing it up.

I'd call it a walk down memory lane, but that's cliche and I was not an NES guy. But it did give me the urge to install a new role-playing game. Or maybe install one that I bought in the past when I've had this passing urge. Or maybe hook up an NES and run through one of these games. Instead, I've started a game of Civilization IV which I'll probably abandon in a couple of days. Face it, gaming's not high on my priority list these days.

But I liked the book. A simple read.

Books mentioned in this review:

All the Cool Kids Like It
If Tam K. and Jay G., former ECD where I used to work, agree this is the bomb, I must post it so the last amongst you can see it:

You are welcome.

Claim of 600,000 "jobs created or saved" + ACORN = 632,092 new workers with names like Mickey Mouse, Peter Parker, and Iluv Obama.

Monday, June 08, 2009
Book Report: One Knee Equals Two Feet by John Madden with Dave Anderson (1986)
This is an insightful book from 1986, the beginning almost of Madden's commenting career. He was fresh off of his years coaching the Raiders and being one of the all-time greatest coaches in the game. Within it, he describes the elements of each position, including coaching, and describes what he thinks makes a successful player at that position and who are the all-time best at that position (through 1985). Unfortunately, that means a lot of Chicago Bear loving, including extolling the virtues of Jim McMahon. Or Ed. Whichever wore glasses and was flaky. Or dark glasses and was flaky. Of course, if he wrote the book in 2006, he'd be all about Brett Favre, who played the game like quarterbacks did before they were drones radio-controlled by the coaches on the sidelines.

The best insight from the book: Madden had to teach his linemen to be aggressive. Unlike linebackers, who were sort of normal-sized, linemen where huge from birth and were conditioned throughout their youth to be gentle and to not use their size to their physical advantage. So he had to teach them otherwise. Fascinating insight.

A good book if you're into football at all. Even if nobody gets icepicked in it.

Books mentioned in this review:

Things Brian Likes
The pen-and-ink drawings of Gary Gackstatter.

As seen at Old Trees' Art and Air fair this weekend, where the Good Citizens of Webster Groves did not even suspect that a wicked individualist Republican walked amongst them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009
Noggle On Your Driveway
The Webster-Kirkwood Times published a letter from me on Friday. I missed it in my review of the paper, but a neighbor commented on it.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."