My brother, the sicko

My brother sees Halloween as a mission.

A mission to create elaborate, custom-made costumes.

One year, he went as a man in the process of being struck by lightning, with glowing lightning bolt coming out of his head.

Last year, he went as one of those fortune teller machines like in the movie Big. He walked around with a huge box around him, coin slot, fortunes and all.

This year, he is a sick, sick man.

images here

All Hallow’s Eve

For the first time in my adult life, I’m living somewhere where there’s a good chance there will be trick or treaters coming to my door.

And I’m just tickled a tasteful shade of red about it.

Now is the time where we decide What Kind of Trick Or Treat House we will be. Will we be generous with the portions, or mindful of the children’s dental health? A few bits of candy corn or full-size chocolate bars? Stacey has purchased a couple big bags of an assortment of candies… do we give each kid one item, or drop a handful in their bag?

Decisions, decisions… though I’m leaning towards an all-out candyfest.

What time does this stuff happen nowadays, anyway?

Book Log – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Okay… I’m kind of embarrassed to be listing this one. But…

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

Okay. So I was in an airport a while back about to board a two hour flight and I had not brought a book. I rushed into one of those kiosky news stands that have about 7 books available. This was the only book that looked palatable, and hey, I liked the movie okay. It was that or some Jackie Collins rubbish.

I read a little bit of it on the flight, then took a nap.

It sat in my Unread Books pile for a long time. A year? Maybe more?

A couple weeks ago, I was looking for something mindless to read. Voila!

It’s a silly little book. The diary format is enjoyable. Every few days I would put it down and say “forget it, why am I bothering to read about this hopeless woman with self-help book addictions?” But I have a compulsion to finish any story I start, no matter how bad. I have very seldom been able to walk out in the middle of a movie or not finish a book without some severe mental reprecussions. One of the few exceptions is The Lord of the Rings, because for some reason, I just don’t care about those fat hobbits and their silly ring. I know I should, to be a geek worth a geek’s salt, but I don’t.

Six or seven months ago, I watched half of School of Rock with Jack Black, and it’s been nagging me ever since. I know it’s a mediocre movie with a predictable ending, but I still need to see it.

Anyway, I finished it. It’s done. If you like reading fairly witty books about pathetically neurotic women, then this is the book for you.

Shedding Light.

I’m going to completely shed light on the impetus for this post.

[09:31:01] : I wish someone offered a class.
[09:31:39] : Assertiveness training?
[09:31:42] : They do.
[09:32:00] : Or How To Navigate Customer Service.
[09:32:24] : And assertiveness training.
[09:32:32] : Hmmm…
[09:34:13] : You should take such a class.
[09:34:17] : Yes, you should.
[09:34:25] : You should, dammit! Don’t argue with me!
[09:34:30] : Is that what you’re asserting?
[09:34:55] : Well, if you want.
[09:35:58] : Evening at Emory has one.
[09:36:07] : The teacher has a website that lists her interests.
[09:36:29] : It lists quilting, baking bread and hiking.
[09:36:43] : Only I thought it said guilting, baking bread and hiking.
[09:36:48] : Which would have been funny.
[09:37:16] : Yes it would.
[09:37:54] : They have a memory class called Memory at Emory. How would I ever remember that name?
[09:37:56] : “No, don’t bother eating this bread I spent all day baking for you.”
[09:38:19] : I used to pronounce the first “m” in “mnemonic.”
[09:38:44] : I said it “muh-nuh-monic.”
[09:38:57] : I thought it was like that Muppet song.
[09:42:02] : heh heh.
[09:42:35] : But it’s an easy word to remember.
[09:43:01] : Yes.

Book Log – The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

This book is based upon a series of pamphlets originally published in 1926. Each pamphlet was a parable set in ancient Babylonia, and taught a lesson about the way to riches.

It’s a short book, and even so somewhat repetitive, as it was originally separately published essays.

Basically, the key lessons can be summed up as presented in the title essay, The Richest Man in Babylon:

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse
1. Start thy purse to fattening. (Put aside no less than 10% of your earnings as yours to keep, and, in theory, never spend.)
2. Control thy expenditures. (Live below your means)
3. Make thy gold multiply. (Invest!)
4. Guard thy treasures from loss. (Don’t make stupid investments! Don’t take on too much risk!)
5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment. (Buy your home, don’t rent! And grow vegetables in your yard!)
6. Insure a future income. (Make sure you’ve got money to retire on)
7. Increase thy ability to earn. (learn, grow, be good)

Nothing terribly surprising here, but it was told in an entertaining way. I would classify it as an inspirational book, if you need that extra kick to get your money stuff in order.

I sort of wish I had bought and read this book instead of any of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, because although the lessons are basically the same, Robert Kiyosaki is a guy who got rich telling people how to get rich.

Well Done, Mr. Bush

Well, I feel safer.

U.N. agency: Nuclear materials vanish in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) — Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons have disappeared from Iraq, warns the chief of the atomic watchdog agency for the United Nations.

Satellite imagery shows buildings that once housed high-precision equipment that could be used to make nuclear bombs have been dismantled, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council.

In the letter, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said that though some radioactive equipment taken from Iraq after the war’s start has shown up in other countries, none of the missing high-quality, dual-use equipment or materials has been found.

The American government prevented U.N. weapons inspectors from returning to Iraq — thereby blocking the IAEA from monitoring the high-tech equipment and materials — after the U.S.-led war was launched in March 2003.

Full Story at CNN