From work: We’ve got lots of new people in our group. As a getting-to-know-you event, next Wednesday our boss is taking us shooting, then drinking.
I love my boss.
(A very deep part of me thinks that ought to be spelled shootin’ and drinkin’)
Reading Material: Collapse by Jared Diamond – highly recommended. It’s a volume of case studies on societies which have failed, societies which almost failed but got themselves out of hot water quickly, and societies which are still in transit. Very insightful as to the different ways people can blow themselves to hell, and good at extracting some general principles from it. It’s given me a very different perspective on various issues, especially on the right way to manage resource use.
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami – I’d never read any of his short stories before. Quite surreal at times; very good. The subjects range from the quotidian (a man seeing his sister move towards marriage, the author recounting his job mowing lawns in high school), told with Murakami’s slightly wistful tone, to the somewhat surreal. (A story – not the title story! – about a man who works in an elephant factory)
Desolation Island by Patrick O’Brian – very naval. Just started it. Notable for being able to use the following lines in an actually meaningful context:
“But if you had heard him speak of wombats – oh, just in passing, and not with any sense of ill-usage – it would have brought tears to your eyes. Oh, Jack, he is so very low.”