Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Dance with Dragons

Ok, Ok, I know most of you are watching this series on HBO and this is book five of the series, so I am not going to put any spoilers in this, I promise.  I take it you can infer from the title that at least two if not all three of the dragons are alive and they may or may not be dancing.

First of all, this book is gigantic.  It is also very hard to get through.  I started this in March 2012 and finished in January 2013.  I had to stop, make base camp, restore my oxygen tanks and hire some sherpas to get though it.  Adhipa, dude, I couldn't have done it without you. You my bro.

Establishing that one or more of said dragons is still alive, let us also assume that a certain girl-queen is also alive... perchance.  Unfortunately in this book, said queen, has taken up residence in a trailer park.  While she may have gentlemen "callers" for some reason she cannot get her ass out of her double wide.  Meanwhile, her "dragon-dogs" are tied up in chains near the septic tank.  It is quite tragic.  Obviously she's got potential, she did get that associates degree from the community college, but until she believes in herself, she'll never get out.  Luckily, one of the dragon-dogs bites (sets fire) to the mailman and she moves on.   By the way, this is about 800 pages of trailer park drama (not drama).

A whole lot of other stuff happens but the reader is confused and apathetic.  Someone has gout.  Actually, the gout was introduced in book 4, he still has gout. There is no discernible reason for this character's affliction.  I think Book 6 involves auditing the Lannister's offshore accounts.  I may never know, especially after my sherpa, Adhipa, tells everyone in the village what we had to go through.  

Drink with mead or a horn of ale.  I think mead takes about 2 years to ferment.  Start making the mead the day you start the book.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


What do Eliot Spitzer, Oprah and David Blaine all have in common? Relevancy in 2007 and no one cares? The answer to that question is yes. But this book also uses these three as examples of people with varying degrees of willpower. Guess which one has more? If you don't remember who Eliot Spitzer is, that's ok. He was the former NY Attorney General busted for hiring a high-class call girl. Then he had a couple of cable political talk shows and neither did very well. I think he should try one more time with the head of the Republican party Rance Priebus and it should be called Rance and Spitz!

Anyway, Willpower, written by John Tierney using Roy Baumeister's research is a non-fiction book about our capacity for willpower. It turns out the central thesis is that willpower is a biochemical thing which can be depleted if you make too many decisions in one day. Apparently glucose restores it. So, if you are feeling low on willpower...eat candy. What about your diet, you ask? There is a chapter on that called, "Diet? Oh, you are so screwed." I think that Baumeister's research might have been underwritten by a generous grant from the Mars Family Foundation. Also, finding out that our willpower is simply a biochemical issue is like finding out the "Force" is simply stupid Midi-Chlorians. I'm pretty sure I've gained 8 pounds since reading this book. Overall, well written if you like this kind of "what makes us tick" kind of genre. Go ahead and read it. With a snickers.

Drink pairing? I recommend Dogfish Head's Burton Baton. While you may not be able to stop at one beer through willpower, at $7.00 a bottle, you will.