Random thoughts on a rainy Thursday

cole_empire.jpgIt is a cold, rainy afternoon over here. So, I have confined myself to my room. Curtains closed lights on, heater on. I just finished double checking my check list of things that I need to do. Tomorrow, I am headed north, to that mystical place called Oregon. Although it is only an hour or so away by plane, I have not thought of visiting that place before. I am doing it because my nephew decided to give up the rat race here and move to a more tranquil place. I can’t wait to see if it is as mellow as people claim.

On other topics, I have been steering into a book reading period. There is nothing to watch on TV and I am boycotting the cable company. Oh, by the way, if you are unhappy with the rising cost of your cable TV bill, try to do what I did. I showed up at the company’s office and politely asked what other options I have besides my current plan. Guess what? The representative offered to lower my bill by $15 for the next six months. So, instead of a rate increase, I got a rate cut. I guess I’ll think of something else when the six-month deadline arrives. Maybe pretend to be poorer?

Now, back to the books that I have read. The current one is titled “Day of Empire – How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance” by Amy Chua. See a synopsis here:. The book’s central thesis is that the world’s most successful superpowers are those that embrace diversity and tolerance. Hence, for example, the rise of the tiny nation of the Netherlands as a hyperpower was due to its tolerance of various minority groups. I did not know that the Netherlands used Jewish bankers to finance their Indian companies. By the same token, Spain almost became a hyperpower but for one tiny event: the Inquisition. I am not sure how much the United States is following those lessons or not. Who knows, maybe we’ll step out of the current go-it-alone mentality.

Another book is titled “Merle’s door: Lessons from a freethinking dog” by Ted Kerasote. See Mr. Kerasote’s website here:. It recounts the 13 years of Mr. Kerasote’s life with his dog Merle. More than it, Mr. Kerasote tries to give some theories dealing with our relationships with the canine specie. I find this book to be an excellent book, even if you are not the guardian of a dog. I do caution though, that you may not like the last chapter…because like all good things, there is an ending.

On that note, Oregon here I come.

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