Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

On Reading

As recounted in Boswell’s biography, Samuel Johnson offers the following advice on reading:

A man should read whatever his immediate inclination prompts him to… If a man begins to read in the middle of a book, and feels an inclination to go on, let him not quit it, to go to the beginning. He may, perhaps, not feel again the inclination.

And in another place he says, on the advice that books, once started, should be read all the way through:

This is surely a strange advice; you may as well resolve that whatever men you happen to get acquainted with, you are to keep them for life. A book may be good for nothing; or there may be only one thing in it worth knowing; are we to read it all through?

C.S. Lewis, likewise, advised that one’s reading should be divided into two categories: what one has to read and what one likes to read, with no room left over for “what one thinks one should read though they don’t want to” (unfortunately I don’t have the quote handy, or I would use the exact words). Continue reading

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February 8, 2009 Posted by | Quotidian Matters | Leave a comment

Man’s Greatest Fear

The fear is that while walking along and enjoying the day, a ball from one of these groups will inadvertently roll your way. Everyone on the team has his eye on that ball, which is now at your feet. You must pick up the ball and return it to the team in a manner fitting to the game.

So, for example, you can’t kick a baseball or basketball back. You have to throw the baseball with accuracy to the guy holding up the glove. The basketball must be returned with one of those two-hand push things and done in a manner that defies gravity. The football must be returned so that it flies like a bullet with no odd twists and turns. The soccer ball must be kicked bang on and straight to the person who awaits its return.

This trick must be performed without any warm up whatsoever. As a man, you must be able to instantly become the greatest player of the game in question. Why must you do this? Because…well, because you are a man! Continue reading

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Quotidian Matters, Sports | Leave a comment

Video Games: The Cause of, And Solution to, All Life’s Problems

A while back I came across the following news item about how video games were leading couples to divorce:

Although best-selling online role-playing game World of Warcraft boasts over ten million subscribers, it’s also leaving in its wake an increasing list of casualties.

Even though she’s never played the game, 28 year-old Jocelyn is one of the fallen. A well-spoken California resident, she divorced her husband of six years after he developed a crippling addiction to the smash online RPG.

“He would get home from work at 6:00, start playing at 6:30, and he’d play until three a.m. Weekends were worse — it was from morning straight through until the middle of the night,” she told Yahoo! Games in an interview. “It took away all of our time that we spent together. I ceased to exist in his life.”

Continue reading

May 27, 2008 Posted by | Family, Marriage, Quotidian Matters | 2 Comments