2017 Winter January 2 Monday


55 degrees this morning, no walk, rain

Sometimes something is so obvious, I don’t see it.

As I have noted several times, I thought an outline etc. would be nice for the “Great Courses” i am listening to, something I could read prior to (and after) listening to a chapter to prepare me for the lecture and then to reinforce what I learned.

The Great Course on American Literature was 43 hours long, and, as I have noted, you don’t really retain a lot you listen to, but you retain a lot more if you have another means of learning the subject (in this case a written summary or transcript of the lecture to review before and after the lecture).

So, I e-mailed Audible. Then I thought to Google it and, or course, found out that my “library” of audiobooks has a little notation “PDF” on many of the “Great Courses” and some of the other books

Obviously, the “PDF” is a study guide you can either print out, or, as I did, just save it to my computer and read it at my leisure.

At least one study guide is 236 pages, so it’s not a small thing to have! I read some back information on the science fiction course, which helped a lot and also try to read froward from where I am now.

Although I don’t make New Year Resolutions, (I try to improve myself all year), I will make an effort to look for the obvious when i have a question about something.

From my experience as City Manager, i earned to appreciate people who took initiative and tried to find the answer themselves. Usually you learned something in the search as well as remember the answer better.

The science fiction course has really been an eye-opener. One of those things I really hesitated about before I got it and now I know how much I would regret it if I hadn’t gotten it. I didn’t think of myself as being much of a science fiction person and was surprised to fine I really was, as well as I learned about the strong influence of science fiction.

The lectures are currently on the effects of religion in science fiction, or maybe vice versa, since at least one “Church” was actually established as a result of a science fiction book.

One item that surprised me was the downplay of the “War of the Worlds” radio show panic. I can remember my Mom saying that she was in church and someone came running in with the news and they all decided they were in the right place!

I also remember reading it in the high school literature books that they played War of the Worlds later (I believe Ecuador) and they burned the radio station to the ground and a number of people were killed in the protest riots.

Of course, one of the theories is that Newspapers played the news up as a means to attack the “new news media” of radio and show how dangerous radio was.

Hitler even used it to rant about how it demonstrated the “decadence” of America. (Sound familiar to a similar lying, bigoted despot in today’s world?!)

I always try to think of the New Year as a time to reflect on the past year and consider the new year. Maybe because this has become somewhat of a continuos process the past several years, I didn’t consciously do it this year.

Or maybe it is because alternatives become more limited as you grow older, although I still feel like I have plenty of alternatives yet, thank goodness.

That’s it for now, Monday, January 2, 2017


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