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Monday, February 20, 2017

Literary History of Trolls

Trolls: An Unnatural HistoryTrolls: An Unnatural History by John Lindow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trolls

Never before have I seen a book on the history of trolls, but here you finally have it. Trolls are part of the Scandinavian landscape and people seriously believe in them. Tell someone you saw a troll and not only will they not think you are nuts but they will believe you. Of course if your in the cultural milieu tricks of the eye can be interpreted as seeing a mystical creature like a troll. First mentioned in Norwegian -Vikiung Poetry a brave warrior runs into a female troll. Troll have a connection with magic in fact they can even be shape shifters. Trolls will teach people verses and songs but you better remember what they teach you or it could be fatal. Trolls are sometimes conflated with Giants or the Jotunheim. They are also thought t be formerly dead people who wise from the dead. People can be turned into trolls or trolls can shapeshift. They are not to bright.

The author covers trolls all the way through the Earliest trolls going through the Genre of Medieval trolls, folk lore trolls, fairy tale trolls, trolls in literature all the way to the present marketing schemes too sell troll dolls to children. As time progresses the trolls can become bigger and more unbelievable . THey have magic and sometimes witches use them for magical purposes. AS time rolls on the trolls become more benevolent and much cuter. They are not always giant monster , sometimes they are rather diminutive . In their earlier carnation they were portrayed as being quite harmful to people, but as the newer stories come it they become less and less harmful. They get to the point of being helpful too people if the people help them.
In the stories Trolls are depicted as eating people and other animals.

Trolls are definitely members of the fey community, sometimes it is hard t distinguish them from elves and dwarves cause al fairy species were deemed harmful to humans and names of fey species were turned around quite a bit. Somethings about Trolls cannot be attributed to other fey species. OF course trolls are conflated with dragon and the trolls can have multiple heads. When the sun comes up they either explode or turn to stone . Troll legends borrow from Greek mythology. You wil have strikes of where three trolls share the same eye. Much. The three fates from Greek mythology.

In various literatures Trolls are sometimes conflated with witches but mire often than not they are conflated with noon Christian people. Some literature call certain people trolls. Now a days the terms troll refers too different things, like someone who disrupts a group on the Internet and causes problem. Trolls can also be those cute little dolls. The trolls of old evoked fear much like the raggedy homeless person who lives under a bridge, is totally unkempt and may frighten animals and children. The troll has not gone away but it has evolved.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Toughen up Spartan Style

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in LifeSpartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life by Joe De Sena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mixed Martial arts is the fastest growing sport and right after that are obstacle course marathon’s that test the competitor in a variety of way. This book is about a certain type of obstacle race that is both grueling yet meant to be a vehicle for personal growth. I effect if serves to toughen one up and yet gives more.
The Spartan race is much like obstacle race and yet somewhat more. The competitors will slog thorough waist deep mud, go through ice cold water, crawl under barbed wire and scale a 12 foot wall that is covered with grease. Competitors are left out in the wilderness to find their way back. It developed of the “Death Race” which was far more intense and sometimes life threatening. The Spartan Race is not as dangerous but it is still tough. No less people come to these events in droves.
What drives people to do these somewhat beyond insane races? One is that going through something so tough gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your confidence level goes up so much that anything after the Spartan Race seems easy. It forces you out of your comfort zone. The commitment forces you to train and you are not the same person you were after you cross the finish line.

Spartan Races go beyond just a group of people running an intensely challenging race. They have become a community, a community based on the warrior ideals of Sparta. The competitors goes against each other yet they help each other out. Even while people help each other it also fosters a sense of independence. The Spartan were a warrior society that took the hard way out. The youth were removed from the home at 6 or 7 and then sent to live in the wilderness on their own. It was either sink or swim. It was a rite of passage.

Spartans do not take eth easy way out in fact they go for the most stringent way. There are no shortcut on this path. It is al hard work to make you the best you can be. The author has lots to say in this book that could make your life better even if you do not ever wish to enter a Spartan Race. The author talks about exercise and diet, the two most important medicines to keep you well .He criticizes the alienation of modern kids to nature and slams down the helicopter parents who are so overprotective of their children. They need to toughen up and be ready for the outdoor world. He has a critical view of technology our over reliance on it. Most important of all is development of grit or determination to persevere despite the difficulty and in a nutshell that is hat people need to obtain. You will like this book as it is not a feel good New Agey book.




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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ghost Town of the Mountain West

Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, MontGhost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Mont by Philip Varney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author, Philip Varney, has written like 7 books on Ghost Towns. This book represent kind of like the best of the ghost towns. The guide covers the best ghost towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. The ghost town are in various state of repair, some are completely abandoned while some are partially inhabited. Believe it or not some are being regentfrified and rein habited. Other are converted to tourist attracting to bring in money, The author has divided the ghost towns up by state . The author gives a history of the town which includes how it is founded and it’s life over the time and it’s ultimate demise. After the history then you get the low down on what is there for the tourists to see. Finally there are directions on how to get there. Many of these towns have colorful history.

Exploration in the west started after the US purchased the land from France and the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped out the territory. Many people came out looking for silver and gold. The miner’s would come out and settle towns around the mining industry. Once the mines went dry of gold and silver dried up the town’s population would dwindle until it was nothing or almost nothing. The building would fall into various states of disrepair. Things would get worse because vandals would take things or destroy things for whatever reason. These historical landmarks have to be preserved.

The miner and settler faced hostile Native American, sickness and plague. It was definitely the Wild Wild West. I read this book in two days. If checking out ghost towns is your thing then this book is for you. Filled with plenty of color photographs this book makes for a good coffee table book. With the information of history this book is great if you just want to read up on the history of ghost towns then this book is it , even if you do not want to visit a ghost town. Of course after reading this book you will want to visit a ghost town


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and LifeMind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life by Sidney Harman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind Your Own Business


What follows from Sydney Harmon, CHief executive officer of Harmon Kadmon hi if speakers is part auto-biography , part how to run your business. Harmon Kadmon Speakers are used on almost every computer. THey make great hi-if speakers and the company was a pioneering company in making speaker. To start with there are two business models that represent two extremes in the business world. THe old model is top down administration where everything is rigid and creativity is lacking. Things get stuffy. The new model is technology based , very creative. In fact to creative that honesty is forsaken. Profit is the main thing even if the numbers have to be played with. Totally web based. Neither one is a perfect model and each have their flaws which is why Dr. Harmon is advising a third way that combines elements of these two business models.

Dr. Harmon tells how he made money with his paper route and expanded it. He talks about candy shops and how they do business. He talks about how he worked with David Bogen for ten years and he discusses what he learned. During Word War Two he worked in the communications department. After that he would acquire a company with Kadmon. Together they revolutionized the speaker industry by making things sound better and by making the products easier to use. Remember technolgy is subservient to those who need to use it not the other way around. Later he would leave and join the Presidents cabinet as a technolgy minister and when he was done with that he would re acquire the company . He also taught at Friends World College and was involved in the Civl Rights movement when desegragation was being challenged by state . He felt threatened by the racists on several occasasins.
He was 84 when he wrote the short book that has acquired much acclaim.

His belief is that everyone who works for the company is like a jazz quartet , you have to make the music harmonious by listening too everyone. The executive need to know what is going on and see the whole picture. That means they go put on the production floor and do some work there and speak to the people. THe executive is to set an examp-le in integrity and honesty and the rest will follow suit. He believes in building up a quality of life for the employees by providing health care and education. He is against cooking the books t make companies look profitable. If the language is too strange ask the speaker to make it simpler. Writing helps you read your own mind and speeches should be done without liking at the notes.

A refreshing honest approach to business and I am not into business. Honesty is the best policy and this man seems to be a living avatar of that ideal .

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Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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