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Crofton, MD, 21114

A long-running personal blog shared by two authors with completely different approaches to life. And a lot of large, beautiful photographs of dogs and nature and places we've traveled to. Rich in commentary and irreverant in style. 

Blog

We started blogging a long time ago. Our work hours never aligned with recommended psychotherapists and we needed to get our thoughts out. We are great friends, total opposites and long-time housemates. This was a way to communicate. With each other. With strangers. With consumer marketers. With sub-par meteorologists. With distant friends who wanted to see pictures of stuff we were up to.

This is the place. Our bucket of thoughts to share. You are welcome. 
(We realize that most of you are here for the dog pictures.)

You Are What You Read

Healey

So this is why I'm crazy. I have a pattern of choosing books that can sometimes be confused with 'a recipe for a sociopath.'

On one hand I want a book that is going to teach me something - but then on the other hand - I want a book that is going to put me in someone else’s messed up relationship.  So I don't have to be in one myself, ya know?  I don't have the time. I'm really important. 

Thankfully, I don’t look for books that contain all of those elements simultaneously (although Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country” would be a good example of that combination). Gawd, I love that book.

So this is what I’ve been reading lately:


When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants

Author: Freakonomics Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This book was recommended to me by Yenny.

It is not really a book. It is a podcast. And to make it worse I got the audiobook. So I paid $19.95 for an audio recording of a book about their “best of” podcast episodes… which are online for free.

I’m getting mad here just thinking about it again.  

It’s expensive to be dumb.

Save yourself the money and just listen to the Freakonomics podcast.


Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else

Author: Steve Lohr

This book sucked.

I know what you are going to say, “Gee Healey, were you expecting love scenes in the Big Data book?”  No. I didn’t expect love scenes. I expected something that would hold my attention. I am interested in Big Data as a subject matter and I wanted to learn more about it.

What I DIDN’T expect was that the producers of this audio book would choose a ROBOT VOICE AS THE FRICKING NARRATOR. {OhyestheyDID}

I never finished this book. Because my life has value and even the time spent in traffic on the beltway should be invested more wisely.

A ROBOT VOICE… unbelievable.


And One Last Thing ...

Author: Molly Harper

Excerpt:

"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."

Not surprisingly… I really enjoyed this book. (Be real, you saw that coming. I was swimming away from the sinking Big Data ship…)

This was a perfect fluff read. It had people with southern accents.  It had a woman with “Moxie” (southerners love that adjective). She had an almost totally forgotten second home on a lake (wha?) next to - you guessed it - a gorgeous, hunky, smart, lumberjack type man with a quick wit, an income, and a good relationship with his family. (Someone call Disney!) Sigh.

I equate this book to that Margarita mix that you can buy where it already has the booze in it and the volume is so big they outfitted it with a handle.

Good fun stuff that no one is overly proud of.


The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder

Author: Peter Zeihan

This book is hard. I mean I love the content. I WANT the content… but the delivery is very rich. I would read a paragraph or two with a big smile on my face and then I’m like “... wait, what did he say?

I really liked hearing about the post-war economic reconciliation and the Bretton Woods Summit. That party sounded hilarious… like a black and white Fred Astaire comedy set in a drafty old New Hampshire Hotel.

“What did that American just say? Can you repeat that? Why do I have no towels in my room? I am the Prime-Bloody-Minister of a country. I demand towels and a lamp in my room!” (paraphrase)

Lots to absorb in this book. So many perspectives - and not all American biased, happily. Zeihan not only records the past but does his bit of fortune telling, as well.

[Spoiler alert - The Russians don’t do well.]

I’m not sure I totally buy in to all of his predictions but the yarn is worth following to the end. It will give you an appreciation of developed waterways and cartography in general, that’s for sure. I should have gotten college credits for reading this.


It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

Author: D. Michael Abrashoff

I was pretending to date this guy for a week. I got the audio book and would revel in him for the duration of my commute. His authoritative voice. His knowledge of military words. His masculine swagger, his vague sweeping leadership insights, his forced humility. *Sigh.*

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this guy is TOTALLY hated by his peers, but when it was just me and him and the beltway… well, he came off super dreamy. I got this sense that my mom would (FINALLY) be happy with the man in my life.  

His stories were cute. They were kind of like Gidget-esque training videos. Though I suppose these would be more like cautionary tales for the Navy.

“So after I totally ignored my chain-of-commands DIRECT ORDER we all took shore leave and explored the beautiful city of Dubai by private bus.” 

That isn't an accurate excerpt from the book.

To be completely honest - I want that story to be true.  I ‘d like our service men and women to be treated (or at least paid) better than our Politicians. They certainly DO more for us.

And conversely I’d like a few Senators to take a public bus ride around a foreign city while being shot at. That will get you back in your seat at home for the vote, I bet.

“No triple holiday recess for you Senator?”


The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life

Author: Janice Kaplan

I am about halfway through this book and I really like it. Don't make fun of me. It's not as fluffy as you think it is.

I got it because it promised that it would help me "re-frame my perspective" on life's challenging moments and help me sleep better. Well who doesn't want THAT? Am I right???

It is well written, uses decent medical reference and supports a positive movement that can easily be shared. I know a LOT of toxic people who live and breathe on negativity and I love tips on how to not only maneuver around them - but coyly irritate them at the same time.

I have already bought a Gratitude Journal and started thanking the universe for things every night at bedtime. 

Yep, I'm better than you. I have a neat journal and positive outlook to prove it.