Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Never-Ending Story

The transition from cabin in the woods to perfect little house continues to continue...

There is still plenty of work to do in 2017:

  • Implement a more cost effective heating solution
  • Repair the driveway
  • Rebuild the steps from the drive to the lower yard
  • Finish sanding, caulking, and painting the exterior
  • Paint the front door
  • Continue landscaping
  • Plant more cover for the fences
  • Replace hopelessly stunted trees
  • Remodel bathroom (more on this later)
  • Expand the flagstone treatment in front of the fireplace
  • Replace carpet
  • Buy a garage

2017 Goodreads Resolution

A few more books, a little less screen time...

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. In progress [9]

Death's End, by Cixin Liu. In progress [8]

Truth in Religion: The Plurality of Religions and the Unity of Truth, by Mortimer Adler. In progress [7]

The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality, by Andre Comte-Sponville. My, what a fine "little book" this one is! Comte-Sponville reminds us that the search for meaning has long been - and will forever continues to be - conducted by the non-believer and the non-religious as well as the theist. He reminds the theist that atheism need not equal nihilism while reminding the atheist that non-belief need not entail fatalism. I plan to make gifts of this rich little volume to my favorite evangelical, my favorite Marxist, and many of the others I also love in between. I'll be reading "The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality" again. [6]

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Omar Khayyam. As with many volumes I finally have made time to read I wish that I'd read this many years ago. It stands as a worthy companion to the works of Rumi, Ecclesiastes, and the Tao Te Ching. [5]

Flintknapping: Making & Understanding Stone Tools, by John C. Whitaker. A rich resource for those who want to make stone tools or just understand their place in pre-history. [4]

An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar: Talking about God, the Universe, and Everything, by Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber. [3] A worthy effort by two evenly matched opponents, yet more enjoyable than most such exchanges in that authors Rauser and Schieber obviously respect each other. Not sure they got to choose their title. Schieber was called upon to defend the implications of a materialism I'm not sure he holds, while Rauser defended a God of the Philosophers (bare theism) rather than the trinitarian~monotheism of biblical Christianity. I'd buy a sequel, but next time I'd hold out for paper rather than use the Kindle app on my smartphone again.

Hiking the Southwest's Geology: Four Corners Region, by Ralph Lee Hopkins. [2] A marvelous and easily accessible guide to all the many features of the primordial past that lie beneath our feet and entertain our eyes with scenic vistas. This is one of our "Go-To" books we use to plan our road trips across the southwest. Highly recommended!

Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It, by Julia Keller. [1]  A social history about the man and his times, the application of patent law, the rise of industrialization, the internecine machinations of weapons procurement by the American military establishment, and the role of military technology applied to the acquisition and defense of empire. Regrettably, this book contains very details about the innovative gun itself, its evolutions, or its re-adoption in modernized form in the Jet Age. Not what I expected.

Let's read 48 books in 52 weeks...