Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Book Report: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954, 1995)
A better title for this book would have been I Am Legend And Other Stories, as the book contains the 170 page novel that served as the source for the Will Smith movie as well as The Omega Man. However, I thought the whole book was the title story, which meant I expected the title story to extend the whole 300 some pages. When it ended at page 170, I was a little disappointed since I thought the book would carry on for another 130 pages of plot twists. Still, a decent book and worthy of making two films, although I bet neither of them end the way the book itself ends.

In addition to the title story, we get some other tales of varying length. An interesting note: one of the other stories, "Prey", also made it to the big screen in the film Trilogy of Terror. Of course, true fans of Matheson already knew this, but when I make connections like this between unrelated bits of knowledge in my head, I feel clever.

A good book, and I guess Matheson is well known for his work. It's punchy prose from horror pulp, and its terseness is quite different from Stephen King, which means it's a quicker read and just as rewarding. I'll have to monitor book fairs for more of Matheson's work, which is the second-best compliment I can give to a writer.

Books mentioned in this review:

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Joseph Kittinger, Jr, Award Winner Chris Everhart
A former Marine defends his camping children from a bear:
    The ex-Marine saved the lives of his three young sons when a 300-pound bear attacked their Georgia campsite last weekend.

    While cleaning up after dinner, the family came face to face with the large animal.

    "From out of nowhere we heard this loud crash," Everhart said on "Good Morning America." "For a second, I didn't know what it was, but I realized it was a bear. I went to the back of the Jeep to get my pots and pans to scare the bear off."

    At the same time, Everhart's 6-year-old son, Logan, tried to frighten the animal. Instead of running away, the bear turned on the boy. Logan's brother, Kyle, tried to help him.

    "I threw about five rocks at the bear to keep him away," Kyle Everhart said.

    Realizing his sons could be killed, Everhart grabbed a log and threw it at the bear's head, striking and killing him.
Gall as big as church bells.

On the other hand, you have to do what you have to do.

What Would ObamaCare Have Done To Lance Armstrong?
The patient:
    On October 2, 1996, at age 25, Armstrong was diagnosed with nonseminomatous testicular cancer. The cancer had spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain.
The treatment regimen:
    The standard chemotherapeutic regimen is BEP (Bleomycin, Etoposide and Cisplatin (or Platinol). Armstrong, however, chose an alternative, VIP (Etoposide, Ifosfamide, and Cisplatin), to avoid the lung toxicity associated with the drug Bleomycin. Armstrong had surgery on his brain tumors, which were necrotic, and an orchiectomy to remove his diseased testicle. After his surgery his doctor admitted that he had had less than a 50% survival chance.
I wonder if a government health program would have been so flexible.

Or would Lance Armstrong have received a couple of prescriptions for pain pills and the affected bureaucratic sympathy in a form letter?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
And Then Armed Amazon Agents Shot Will Collier's Dog and Seized the Book
Instapundit comments on the Amazon Kindle revoking license to books:
    The underlying issue here is that Amazon, among many others, see the rules for digital as different than those for other things. It would never have crossed Amazon’s collective mind to grab a physical book from you if the company had shipped you one that it did not have the right to sell.
I imagined the scenario if they had when Will Collier got his Harry Potter book early:
    With no disrespect meant to J. K. Rowling’s innumerable devotees, I'm not a particularly big Harry Potter fan. But I'd read two or three of the early books, and being as susceptible as the next guy to the hype for the last book in the series, I placed an order a few weeks ago at, the store that was offering the lowest price. Ironically, I didn’t even spring for expedited shipping.

    The first thing I thought upon seeing the book was, "Boy, somebody screwed up." Hallows is famously scheduled for release at midnight on July 21, more than four days after my copy arrived.
That would have ended very differently if booksellers did go to take back ill-gotten books with the ABA Black Ops team.

It's Not Censorship, It's Just A Bad Decision
Conservative merchandise not available for sale at Concord Mills mall in North Carolina:
    "Impeach Obama."

    "Al Qaeda’s favorite days: 9/11/01 and 11/04/08."

    "Work Harder. Obama needs the money."

    The bumper stickers and posters sold at "Free Market Warrior" at Concord Mills are meant to be “biting,” the kiosk’s owner Loren Spivack said.

    At least one passer-by found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.

    Whatever your opinion, the fact is this: At the end of July, "Free Market Warrior" will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain's owner shared e-mail correspondence with Newschannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not "neutral" enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew.
Meanwhile, Che shirts are probably still on sale at several of the trendy shops along with campaign merchandise from the current administration.

No word on whether the B. Dalton's will have to remove Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom because they're not neutral enough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Read It And Weep
HR 3200, Health Care Reform.

Accounting Isn't Their Strong Suit
Claire McCaskill's office responds to protestors reprehensibly:
    McCaskill's office manager locked the doors, pull down the blinds, called the cops and forced the protesters across the street.
Senator McCaskill explains:
    There was only one male staffer at the office on Friday, and I knew he wouldn’t do that. He is an Iraq veteran, who handles almost all of our case work for our veterans. He is soft spoken and hard working and just not the type to lose his cool.

    Mystery solved. Our office only occupies the first floor, and a marketing and advertising firm has the office space above us on the second floor. They acknowledged that one of the men that works in their offices made the gesture and they closed their blinds.(On the first floor our blinds are always closed). It's confusing because the signage makes it look like we occupy both floors.
However, previously, she said:
    On Friday, our office was short staffed(four were attending community events and meeting with people in the St Louis area), and the protestors were frustrated with our inability to meet with them when they arrived. They began banging on windows and doors and ringing the buzzer, so that the two staffers in the office could not focus on the phones, that were ringing constantly. They asked the police to help calm the situation, and when one of our staff got back to the office at around noon she met with representatives of the group, and we have scheduled another meeting with the group.
Claire McCaskill and her staffers seems to have a bit of trouble accounting for the number of workers in the office at the time. And that's a small office. Now, project that to the entirety of the Federal government. I think it's a good instance of how management skills scale.

(Link courtesy of Instapundit.)

Monday, July 20, 2009
Another Win for Transparency
The White House is holding an economic report behind its back so you don't see it.

How's that stabilization working?

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