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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Balls Issue 11 Way of the Lord

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Book Review: Cosmos by Giles Sparrow 2006


ISBN-13: 978-1905204298
I saw this book at a used book store some years ago and got the biggest book boner I have ever had for one of the tallest if not largest books in my collection. Cosmos by Giles Sparrow is a beautiful coffee table book with wonderful images and information.

I noted that at the end of every page the sentence ended so there was no carry over. This wasn’t hard as the pages are so large and filled with images. On the down side the images on these pages are sensitive. You can smudge them with the moisture from your hand leaving dark spots that may or may not go away. You may want to handle this book with gloves.

Another down side is that this book was published before Pluto officially became a dwarf planet. However, the text mentions that Pluto should be a dwarf planet and names other planets of the type. 

I’m not the only one who liked this book. On my last check Amazon had the book rated with five stars over thirty five reviews. Used copies can be had for as little as four dollars plus shipping.

Who should read this book?

Those who love to look up at the stars.

Young aspiring astronomers.

Sci fi geeks who would like to know more about the stars.

Pages Read 220

Total Books read 2

Total Pages Read 555

Monday, December 22, 2014

Boring Man

10th April 2013

Dear Cassi,

The morning yielded training in professionalism that puts something of a damper of my

letters. I always knew that talking about work was a bad thing but now I’ll have to stop doing that all together or at least never mention clients even if I keep them anonymous.

With so little going on in my life that may strain things, but I still have a long history to relay. I haven’t talked about the past much but have intention to relay to you my life if for no other reason than for the betterment of my own memory.

Work is so much a large part of my life and I have been so careful about never saying the wrong thing about my clients. Still it would appear as though I need to tighten up my standards. I would never call myself a boring man as I always have something to do but interest comes with adventures, and I have few of those outside of work.

I guess what I’m saying I’m going to have to work not to bore you.

Keep your life moving, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ask a Fat Man

9th April 2013
Dear Cassi,
What is it with folks who like to make friends at the gym? On the last two occasions I have taken my exercise there a man came and talked to me for at least a half hour and asked me about health of all things. What motivates these questions is beyond me as I am no man to tell folks how to live.
When looking to better one’s health it would be wise to ask someone healthier than one’s self. Asking a bloated monster like me for health advice is like asking a drug addict how to quit. Then perhaps these folks just need someone to help them pass the time.
The fellow in question on this occasion never gave me his name but first asked me if running in the water was better than running on a treadmill. As we were both running in the pool I would think he knew my view, but I gave him my thoughts to be polite.
I run in the pool because it takes stress off my joints and so permits me to run longer. If I took the same time on a treadmill my back would hurt and my knees would sting. The cool of the water keeps my body from perspiring and so dehydrating. In the pool I can burn more calories than on a treadmill because I can work out so much longer without exhaustion.
Once I had told the man of this he then asked me what I did for a living. We spend some twenty minutes talking about the nature of the homeless and what I do at work. He told me that he came from China and that he was the only member of his family here in America. We spent some time on his religion, and I think he was hoping for a convert. To my surprise he was a Christian. This fellow did not at any length detail his religion. He only said that he prayed and that it helped.  
Our talk made the minutes tick by without notice and so made my workout more pleasant. It comes to me that whatever this man’s motives for reaching into my life he was not an intrusion.

Enjoy the little things,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

False Apologies

8th April 2013
Dear Cassi,
I thought I would never see the day that your ex-husband would issue an apology, but he did so even if he lied. The situation is a profound mystery but one of an academic nature. Does your ex-husband believe me to be so unsound of mind as to believe him over my memory?
By and large the more the issue stands that he states his reasoning as to save a long lost friendship. Odd as it may seem this is a selfish reason. Were a shred of human decency to pass into this fellows being, and he decided to compensate you for the pain he caused would it be right of him to expect you to take him back? No, not at all, as his act would be his payment of debts owed.
Were he to move heaven and earth to make things right with either of us this would not put things as they were before his transgression. They may make us as strangers on the street passing for whatever reason but not being friends.
How do we rebuild a friendship lost? I do not know. Were he to find a way to be the friend to me that I was to him, settle his debts, and never again transgress against me this may do to build again the bridges he has burnt. At the core of this remained the genuine desire to make things right, and this is something he is without.
As for me, I promised you that I would talk to this man, and I stand by what I say. In truth, I moved on long ago and never felt there was any possibility that he would try to make things right. My suspicions confirmed I may return to my life.

Never dwell in the past, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lost File

26th October 2014
Dear Cassi,
The strangest thing happened. I lost a letter file. I opened my computer and found it missing but no amount of searching revealed wherever I put the old file and so I’ve lost about two months worth of letters I never sent. Ah well, how many times do I need to tell you that I’ve been struggling with keeping the dishes clean?
For that matter, how much of my life’s records have been lost to my injuries of this year or simply my depression? This new development brings me not even one year closer to being caught up. In fact, I remain no less than nineteen months behind in the mailing of my letters. To put that into perspective, if I cleared one month worth of letters every week when I am done with what I have now I’d rack up another four months backlog.
To be clear, I did have my faced blooded some and have lost three pets then gained two more in the last year. Every battle feels hard fought and every day feels too short for work and too long in problems.
I keep trying to burn through my long held reserves only to fine the fuel wet and the matches old. So the piles of long held nonsense loom like hills on a long walk home. Well, here I have my walking stick in hand and on my back a heavy pack.

Walk on, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pony and Pickles

14th January 2013
Dear Cassi,
This week I was issued court paperwork stating that Pony-Girl will be applying for power of attorney over Pickles. Trusting a woman that tried to have me kicked out of a home that I own twice is absolutely crazy. Then, Pickles is absolutely crazy and the two were made for each other.
I can say with a high degree of certainty that this will come bite him in the tail. This family wrote me off as a loss seven years ago and now I think they can go about their business so long as it keeps free of me.
This is a group of people made for one another and the best raven I could ever have would be to give them to one another.

Sometimes you got to move on, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pony Girl

8th January 2013
Dear Cassi,

I took a great pain in avoiding the Pony Girl this morning but to no avail. The very site of my female blood sibling is revolting to me, but today I writhed in disgust at her actions which were in breach of the law.
Today the state inspector came to see what work Pony Girl had been so dissatisfied with in my washrooms. I will grant she was in good position to complain, but as I took solace in my email I heard he speak of how the work had not been finished. As she had ordered the work stopped I cannot mark this as a wise complaint.
There is no question that the fitting delivered were not as promised, but it is not the fault of the contractor that the job is left unfinished. Then Pony Girl and her husband’s rudeness to the contractor is another point of concern. She stated this by being combative and hard to work with and she was met with combat and difficulty.

Further to this, I told the inspector that I had something to add and he told me to wait until he had heard her statement. After hearing her he left, and I was never given the moment to speak.

This thing is a ponder keg and I have no idea as to the damage that will come of its explosion. It seems as if I have no path to take to change things and so I must ride the wave when it comes.

Worry over what you can change, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bad Air filter

5th January 2013
Dear Cassi,
As I said in my last letter I was forced to go to a mechanic I do not trust. I believe I left off at my having stopped in at an eatery spend time and then return to the mechanic. On arriving he suggested that I have my air filter changed. I told him that I had a K&N and that my air filter would live for the life of my car.
This bothered the man who felt that no air filter should last that long as then he could not charge for its replacement. My air filter is five time the cost of a normal one, but I have all confidence it can do as the manufacture says. I have felt the difference and talked to others who know it as well.

 It turns out I have a cabin air filter and that needed changing and a nail in my back tire.
I knew the tires to be on the old and worn side and so agreed to have them changed. He said that he would take me home as the repair would take two and a half hours. I told him I would take a walk.
Having just had breakfast and smelling like a homeless man I took to the streets of uptown not knowing where I was going. My back protested, but I was determined to make a use of my time. It came to me that even my stink was my own fault and that this long walk would help me to remember to act under my best interest.

As I moved along I stopped in front of a movie theater but seeing that I had just passed the show times of any soon airing film I walked on. I quickly came to a park which was nicely furnished and kept, but the public lavatory was devoid of tissue and in a stated I still hesitated to use.

At the pet shot I found a usable rest room and spent a time in it more drying the perspiration from my clothes than any other act. I do not understand how I became so filthy and ill smelling, but I know I was avoided because of my stench. I would not even rest my back end in my car when the work was done but used my jacket to cover the seat.

Keep clean, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fish in the Rear-view

4th January 2012
Dear Cassi,
There come times in my life that I know myself to be a masochist. Today was a day of that nature as I chose to chastise myself for my failings in the nature of a long walk. It began as the simple need to take my car to have the oil changed.
It was on my way there that the computer told me that the oil had breathed its last, and needed change. For the duration of the car ride the miles counted ticking away as if a bomb would go off under my hood.
I arrived at my mechanic to find the building abandoned and had no option but to return to the shop that had worked on my old car and caused my buying a new one. The building there had long been left still but this because they had flourished rather than wilted and now needed a bigger facility. 
When I arrived at this new shop with its white walls and red door, so much
like a hospital to me, I learned that I would have to wait passed normal business open for a supervisor. Still in uniform and with the breath of the night on me with its stale body odors I found an eatery to settle a hunger I did not have.
The was a feel to this place I well understood as I watched the aquariums that kept lonely patroness company on cold mornings like this. I ate paid and left but knew the day was long from over.

Stay strong, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Pit

2nd January 2013
Dear Cassi,
Pony Girl came again today as some interloper into my home. She, Pickles, and the fellow from across the street, Ken, were cleaning as I sat in my room with the kittens. I immerged to find that Ken had cleaned the mess of wood chips he had left in the back yard and that the kitchen floor had been mopped.
It comes to me that Pickles is a slob until Pony Girl arrives and my two siblings become more of a use together. Why all the interest in the state of my home now troubles me. I feel as if I’m watching them dig a pit to drop me into to fight some new beast they’ve found.
Pony Girl has always been one to do what she wishes, call it help, then demand twice the worth of her “service” as gratitude. Her version of ‘Help’ has always been so costly. Much as when Alan ‘gave’ me that old white car and then Pony Girl demanded my slavery for my accepting the thing. I had argued with them saying that I didn’t want the car, took it to shut them up, was heckled until I returned it to them, and they were angry with me.

This event prompted the old man to give his little girl thirty thousand dollars to move away from me. She got another thirty thousand after that from what I understand. The spooled never grow into people I guess. They just make their way in life as parasites. 

What an ugly world we live in that kindness can be a word be use to mask abuse. Then, when we look at the grand nature of things my little life is just an ugly place in an even worse world.
Whatever comes I will meet it was best I can. Whatever happens next I’ll take it like an adult. The fight will be hard, but what part of my life hasn’t been?

Stay safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

National Geographic Vol. 1 Review

Book Review:1 of 5,000

National geographic vol. 1

Favorite quote issue: 1 page: 60 paragraph 1 The survey of the coast By Herbert G. Orden.

“To know these things only approximately will not suffice, for precision is practiced now in the art of war, as well as in the arts of peace.”

In reading this early text by The National Geographic Society I was first struck by the few images and dry nature of the words which made the reading hard. The vocabulary was different form modern day and more poetic and refined but still readable. The volume is much easier to get through if one clicks the “Read this Book Aloud” function in the upper right hand corner.

The articles describing surveying of land and waterways are of little interest given that they describe the quality of maps drawn but informative in how the explain the usefulness of an understanding of geography and navigation. Explained is the idea that safe navigation will make trade much more profitable and defense much more practical.

The jewel in the this collection of works was the article on the present and future of Africa which yields an understanding of slavery as it was practiced in 1888 and the barbarism there seen. If further describes the slaver practiced outside the United States of America, and this topic being missing from my education fascinated me.

I can recommend skimming this work rather than reading and picking out what is best and interesting.

Books read 1

Total Pages Read 335

Monday, December 1, 2014

Going Over Old Mail

30th August 2014
Dear Cassi,
The day has been hot and my soul weary from the heat and exertion. As I am so large a man I carry a heave load in myself, and as I have built up so much fat I have so built up a reserve on junk and nonsense.
I’ve spent some of my day pouring over old files and in so editing the letters I intended to male back in January of 2013. This was a file of broken thoughts as some of these letters were far from finished and others were just notes.
To add to this obstacle there is a small maze of old files covering these letters. Back then I had a file marked letters and a another marked ‘letters two’ but now I have a new file for every month to keep things strait. Went I finely mail the things I file them by date.
Why not just file by date to start with? Well, then I wouldn’t remember what I’ve mailed.

Keep your head in the game, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal