Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Don't think. Just write. OneWord is an elegant daily writing excercise. It is more than something fun to do while you are webbing. It's a happy pill for your brain.

Sometimes, Blogger fails in mysterious ways.

I am now a Notary Public in the state of South Carolina. As you can guess, I am quite proud of my new appointment. The following description of a notary public taken from the South Carolina Notary Handbook focuses on one of the qualities that I identified within my own character at a very early age. "A notary pubic is a person of proven integrity appointed and commissioned by the Governor to serve the public." Wow! Integrity and public service mentioned in the same sentence. Sounds pretty swell, huh? The South Carolina Notary Handbook is published by the American Society of Notaries.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

DVD Review - Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies - As a beginning student, I needed something that explained the postures in some detail. Sara's video does a great job of explaining the postures and how to breathe during your workout. I found it much easier to understand than other videos I had tried. I did find that after going through the video a few times, that there was a bit more patter than I needed. I now use the video as a reference. I skip to the beginning of each pose, do the pose for 6 or more breaths and then skip to the next chapter. It works great for me.
Basic Yoga Workout For Dummies

Book Review - Pomes All Sizes - Jack Kerouac - A must read for the serious Kerouac fan, Pomes is a "Why bother?" for everyone else. Ann Charters wrote, "The quality most pure in Kerouac was his grasp that life is really a dream." Nowhere is this more evident than in the random jottings that has been published as Pomes All Sizes. There are gems among his silly little haikus, and I truly enjoyed the first sequence of "Poems of the Buddhas of Old." Regrettably, much of the collection left me scratching my head. Was Jack just having a bit of fun with us, or was he so advanced that I still can not grasp the meaning? "Life is like a dream. / You only believe it's real / Cause you're born a sucker / For that kind of deal;" The journey through Pomes All Sizes is unpassable to all but the most devout.

Monday, February 17, 2003

www.Yanov.com is up and running. I could have had Yanov.com years ago, but decided against it. Then Ancestry.com picked it up and held on to it for a couple of years. I noticed a few weeks ago that it had once again become available so I picked it up. Now our family name is available to the extended family. If you are related to me and would like a FREE email forward, I can provide it. Send me an email and I will get it set up. If you would like webspace or an actual email account drop me a line and we will see what we can work out. I can be reached at Phil@PhilYanov.com, and of course Phil@Yanov.com.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Best place to learn the history of Valentines Day. The History Channel. (This should be no surprise.) You have no idea the trouble I am saving you. There may be more useful information on this site than all of the other "Valentines Day History" sites combined.

Why will I be writing book reviews? Years ago, I started the habit of trying to read at least one book a week. I remember being in the presence of a college professor who said that he read a book a day, and I can't figure out how I or he could keep up such a pace. Reading just one book a week is completely within reach, however. It really is not very difficult, at least when you are as curious as I am. My experiences in life leave me completely of the opinion that on almost every subject in life, including the business of living life, that there are people who know far more about it than me. It is my constant search for more information, mostly born out of the fear that I am missing some critical piece of information that keeps me reading. I am sure that other people know more than me, and I am doubly sure that if I could know what they know then I would somehow be just a bit happier. I could be just a tiny bit more content with my life, and even if that is impossible, I could figure out how to change my life sufficiently to be a little less miserable. I don't really know if any of that is possible, and quite frankly I don't actually know if being happier would be any good for me. I think it is worth a shot, however, and that is what keeps me striving. If I ever get anywhere I'll let you know.

As for reading a book a week, I have been pretty good at it. The truth is that I enjoy it. It doesn't seem like work at all to me. I find that I am a richer person, and if nothing else, it gives me something to talk about when having dinner with friends.

You know, I have read a lot of junk. If that is what it takes to make you read, then I think it is probably ok to start with junk. Junk reading is like junk food. A little goes a long way and it sure is easy to get tired of it. In the beginning of my reading regimen, I would make myself read a non-fiction book every other week. I kept to that regimen for a while and now I find that I need no such discipline. I am just not as interested in trashy science fiction as I once was. Now, I have to keep myself from reading only business books. I sure do enjoy learning from others in the business world, but I think that reading only within such a narrow subject range would make me dull company. I vary my reading diet from religion to anthropology, from business to citizenship, from art and drawing to poetry, and programming. The range has been a delight to me. That led me to decide to share my experience with others.

I have decided that as an experiment I will post short reviews of the books I read. I will even go back and review a few books that I have read previously. The goal of these "reviews" is to present what I learned from the book and what others may find useful as well. Writing the review will help cement the most notable points and most memorable quotes in my mind while presenting a few interesting bits for someone else to take a look at and determine whether they might like to read it as well.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Website News. I have just (nearly) completed the redesign of the website. I really hadn't spent much time in the past few years trying to make the site look nice. The site got cluttered and started looking shabby and more than a bit too busy. Spring it still weeks away, but I decided to do some cleanup. I have cleaned, trimmed, and most strikingly thrown a new coat of paint on the site. The color adds a lot of interest. Initial reviews have been positive. It is kind of funny, because I remember when I did the last revision that I really wanted the site to be white. I guess it suited my mood at the time, although I am not sure why. When I went at revising this time, however, I decided to use bold, natural, warm colors. You should see a certain Frank Lloyd Wright feel in the palette. The goal was to make a bold, striking, and fast loading website. A few pages have small java programs on them, but none of the pages have gratuitious, slow loading graphics. At this point I have cleaned up about 90% of what I want in the site. There are just a few more odds and ends to polish. More on that later...

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Movie Review: Asoka was my first experience in a Hindi film. It had the feel of being made for an English speaking audience, even though the dialogue is in Hindi with English subtitles. It is a great piece of dramatic storytelling. The sets and costumes are beautiful. The musical numbers were a bit of a surprise as I did not know what I was getting into when I rented the film. I found the film to be beautiful, lyrical, and historically significant. Learn more about Asoka at IMDB.