24 January 2022

Boomtown Quotes

 Selected quotes from Boomtown by Sam Anderson:

"Because the Land Run was, even by the standards of America, absurd. It was a very bad idea, executed very badly. Something like one hundred thousand settlers showed up to wait for the starting gun—roughly the entire population, at the time, of Indianapolis. It was far too many people for the amount of good land available, but from the very start, Oklahoma was an idea that far exceeded its reality."

"The Process is for people who trust time. Boom is for people who don’t."

19 January 2022

Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris Quotes

"The point of life, by our mutual measure, was to give it all we had. The only way we knew how to go was too far."

"Wasn’t that the most meaningful outcome of any kind of exploration? To reveal the old world—and ourselves—anew?"

"Most aspects of Oxford—from the twisting cobbled streets to Corsi’s lectures—encouraged digression, which is, after all, just a sideways method for stumbling on connection."

"After being on an achievement bender most of my life, the prospect of withdrawal, of doing anything without external approval, or better yet acclamation, kept me obediently between lines I couldn’t even recognize as lines. Isn’t that the final, most forceful triumph of borders? The way they make us accept as real and substantial what we can’t actually see?"

"...suggesting that borders are little more than collective myths—fictions that a certain number of people, for a certain period of time, believe are fact."

"We long our whole lives for things we’ve never known, places we’ve never been, abstractions that come alive to us in unexpected ways."

"The wildness of a place or experience isn’t in the place or experience, necessarily, but in you—your capacity to see it, feel it. In that sense, biking the Silk Road is an exercise in calibration. Anyone can recognize wildness on the Tibetan Plateau; the challenge is perceiving it in a roadside picnic area in Azerbaijan."

"I wondered whether we’re most alive in our moments of longing, the act of launching for a place we’re not certain to land."

"...the way Neil Armstrong said he could blot out the Earth from the moon with his thumb. “Did that make you feel really big?” someone asked him upon his return. “No,” the first moonwalker confessed in a rare candid moment. “It made me feel really, really small.”"

"He also included a photograph of someone climbing a jagged spire in the Alps.

“If the recipients recognize the silhouetted human figure, they may guess that it was both difficult and seemingly pointless to scale this rock needle. The only point would be the accomplishment of doing it. If this message is communicated, it will tell extraterrestrials something very important about us.”"

"And why not err on the side of audacity when it comes to this one and only life?"

"But exploration, more than anything, is like falling in love: the experience feels singular, unprecedented, and revolutionary, despite the fact that others have been there before."

"More cold gusts stripped the poplars of the few leaves they had left, the wind more alive than the branches it moved, and so big it could only be the mountains breathing."

13 December 2018

Start With Why by Simon Sinek - Notes

Define values as verbs rather than action
-> Not Integrity, but Always do the right thing / Not Innovation, but Look for new ways to do things

Have a clear sense of purpose and amazing discipline (Apple)

If you are competing against everyone, nobody will help you. If you are competing against yourself, everyone will help you.

17 July 2015

The Brothers Karamazov Quotes

The following are selected quotes from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

- "Fyodor Pavolovitch was drunk when he heard of his wife's death, and the story is that he ran out into the street and began shouting with joy, raising his hands to Heaven: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace," but others say he wept without restraint like a little child, so much so that people were sorry for him, in spite of the revulsion he inspired. It is quite possible that both versions were true, that he rejoiced at his release, and at the same time wept for her who released him. As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naive and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too." (5)

- "In his childhood and youth he was by no means expansive, and talked little indeed, but not from shyness or a sullen insociability; quite the contrary, from something different, from a sort of inner preoccupation entirely personal and unconcerned with other people, but so important to him that he seemed, as it were, to forget others on account of it." (14)

- "It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Even if he admits it, he admits it as a fact of nature till then unrecognized by him. Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith." (20)

- "'It's just the same story as a doctor once told me,' observed the elder. 'He was a young man getting on in years, and undoubtedly clever. He spoke as frankly as you, though in jest, in bitter jest. 'I love humanity,' he said, 'but I wonder at myself. The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.'" (49)

- "I am sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on stage. But active love is labor and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science. But I predict that just when you see with horror that in spite of all your efforts you are getting further from your goal instead of nearer to it - at that very moment I predict you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you," (50)

- "I understand too well, Ivan. One long to love with one's inside, with one's stomach. You said that so well and I am awfully glad that you have such a longing for life,' cried Alyosha. 'I think everyone should love life above everything in the world.'
'Love life more than the meaning of it?'
' Certainly, love it, regardless of logic as you say, it must be regardless of logic, and it's only then one will understand the meaning of it. I have thought so a long time. Half your work is done, Ivan, you love life, now you've only to try to do the second half and you are saved.'" (213)

03 November 2014

The Places in Between Quotes

The following are selected quotes from The Places In Between by Rory Stewart.

- "I offered Asad money but he was horrified. It seemed a six-hour round trip through a freezing storm and chest deep snow was the least he could do for a guest. I did not want to insult him but I was keen to repay him in some way. I insisted, feeling foolish. He refused five times but finally accepted out of politeness and gave the money to his companion.Then he wished me luck and turned up the hill into the face of the snowstorm." (221)

- "Babur writes upon his arrival:
'The people of Yakawlang, who had heard of us as we descended, carried us to their warm houses, brought out fat sheep for us, a superfluity of grain and hay for our horse, with abundance of wood and dried dung to kindle our fires. To pass from cold and snow into such a village and its warm houses, on escaping from want and suffering, to find such plenty of good bread and fat sheep as we did, is an enjoyment that can be conceived only by such as have suffered similar hardships or endured such heavy distress." (223)

- "Blair's handling and discussion of the Koran would have struck Ali as highly eccentric. In Ali's view, Blair could not have red the Koran because Blair could not read Arabic. Since the Koran, unlike the Bible, is the verbatim word of God, spoken through Muhammad in Arabic, a translation is not considered to be the Koran. At times, it has been considered blasphemous to translate it at all." (236)

- "Blair's confidently casual handling of the text was not supposed to be patronizing or presumptuous, but to display his sensitivity to Islamic culture. He seemed to assume the Koran resembled the Protestant Bible, which can be translated without problem; easily understood; freed of apocrypha; opened to interpretation by laypeople; and physically handled much like any other book. This assumption may be shared by other Christian commentators such as Bush. In November 2001, a photograph showed Bush casually dragging a Koran across the table with his unclean left hand, while the mullah who presented the book struggled to smile." (237)

Winterdance Quotes

The following are selected quotes from Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen.

- "There came a time of almost unbroken, back-breaking effort. God, it was staggering - all that had to be done.
With the realization that I knew nothing came the need to learn, and the best way to learn about running dogs - other than begging information - was to run dogs." (114)

- "She was beautiful in a way that only wild things can be beautiful."

28 May 2014

"The Hobbit" Quotes

Here are selected quotes from the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

- "The Hobby was a very well-to-do hobbit, and his name was Baggins. The Bagginses had lived in the neighborhood of The Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected; you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him."

- "Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a good deal of telling anyway."

- "There is nothing like looking, if you want to finding (or so Thorin said to the young dwarves). You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after."

- "It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait."

26 June 2013

"This Love Is Not For Cowards" Quotes

Here are selected quotes from the book This Love Is Not For Cowards: Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juárez by Robert Andrew Powell.

- "'When I was young, I wanted to travel abroad,' he tells me. 'I wanted to see more of the world. My mother gave me a card. It had a picture on the front and in the picture there was a desert. Nothing but sand. Except for this one flower growing. Where God places you, that's where you must do your work.'" (37)

- "The owner concludes with a line cribbed from Mike, of all people. The El Kartel captain has printed the phrase on those t-shirts he sells outside the stadium before every home game: Este Amor No Es Para Cobardes. The line is El Kartel's rallying cry, a testament to the strength of their bond with the Indios. It's Francisco Ibarra's rallying cry now, too, a statement that clearly speaks to a struggle that has nothing to do with soccer, and to a commitment to more than just a sports team." (70)

- "I'm often struck by the fluidity of the border. Radio signals flow freely in both directions. If I'm driving around Juarez at midday, I'm in the jungle with Jim Rome. In the morning and late afternoons I'm usually following Washington politics on NPR. Most nights, even when I'm in El Paso, I like to listen to Orbita radio out of Juarez, the most eclectic radio station in the world, home to a playlist that bounces from a French torch singer to Ozzy Osbourne to an Appalacian folk song. Juarenses ask for 'sodas' when they order a soft drink, using the English word although everyone else in Mexico says 'refrescos.'

Yet the border is so concrete. The woman who cuts my hair in Juarez has never set foot in El Paso despite living along La Frontera for thirty-six years, her entire life. When I'm surfing the Web at the burrito stand near my apartment, I can't watch clips of The Daily Show over the internet, because they are available only to people physically in the United States. Ken-tokey is unable to visit his girlfriend, Sofia, at her house in El Paso. To him and to hundreds of thousands of other Juarenses, the border is as impregnable as the Indios' defense against Cruz Azul. How impregnable? The U.S. government will kill to secure it." (113)

- "I find Paco's life story pretty interesting, even if he's young. His grandfather is passionately Mexican, yet we're speaking English in the car, a language Paco says he learned from watching television; his parents don't speak it. He's a Mexican, yet he's also an American, more and more so. He's a young man in both cultures in the Fussion sense, but he's also an unwitting pioneer. The rich and connected of Juarez are all setting up shop in El Paso these days. Even Paco's high school, the most elite prep school in Mexico, is opening its first American branch in El Paso." (133)

- "There is a toxic energy in Juarez. It flows underground, vibrating to the surface in scenes like this, scenes I witness in some form almost every day. Living here is like living in that Shirley Jackson short story. We accept that a few of us will be chosen for the daily killing ritual, that the likelihood of being chosen is very small, and that the killing is a cost of residency. We try to to wipe the violence from our minds, to "go about living as best we can." But it takes a toll, this game of chance. It flavors every aspect of our lives. A poison leaches into everything." (146)

- "It was a nice day and I wasn't in any particular hurry, so we talked for a while longer. She invited me over for dinner with her family whenever I'm free. She told me the violence is making her crazy, but she can't leave.
Our young people, they don't watch what they're doing, so we send them to El Paso. But we're all going to stay. We have a mission here. When our mission is up, then we'll go up.'
She pointed not north, to Franklin Mountain, but straight up, to the sky. What is her mission?
'To love people. To help people.'" (153)

- "The longer I've lived in Juarez, the more I feel the city's problems have little to do with gender. Girls are not being snatched off the street by serial killers or kidnapped and killed by U.S. Border Patrol officers making snuff films or whatever it was Gaspar de Alba conjured up for her mystery novel. The problem is that life itself in Juarez, across the board, has been devalued. Murder is effectively legal. You can kill almost anyone you want." (191)

03 March 2013

Book Review: "A March to Madness" by John Feinstein

This is a review of A March to Madness: A View from the Floor in the Atlantic Coast Conference by John Feinstein. It is one of the best college basketball books that I have ever read.

This is a book in which John Feinstein followed around the ACC teams for a season and talks about what happened, what they did, how they did it, etc.

It was a very interesting book that I really recommend reading, especially in conjunction with The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division I College Basketball, another book by Feinstein.. The differences and similarities really showcase the difference between low-major college basketball and perhaps the most powerful conference in the NCAA.

One obvious difference and part that I loved was seeing the differences in the conference tournaments. In the Patriot League Tournament he detailed, it was do-or-die every game, because there were no at-large bids. In the ACC Tournament, there were probably 2 teams that were really playing in games that they saw as "must-win." Quite a difference, obviously.

Another difference was a lot of the players themselves. In The Last Amateurs, the academic lives of the players were frequently discussed. In this book, there were far less references to any type of academics, and more to attitude problems of a lot of the players. Not say that Feinstein cast them into a bad light, because he didn't, but the differences between big-time and small-time college basketball were evident.

Overall, one of the most interesting books I've read, and definitely one of the best college basketball books I've read. If you get a chance, I definitely recommend you take a gander at it.

18 February 2013

Book Review: The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri

I got the chance to read The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First by Jonah Keri and thought this it was a fantastic book.

The book begins by talking about the early parts of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays franchise - how they came to be, and how they first ran things under the initial owner and general manager. It was a period marked by futility, alternating strategies, and a lot of losing. Fans lost interest, and the D-Rays were a joke of an MLB franchise.

Around the mid 2000s, they were sold to a buyer that had a history on Wall Street. The people he hired to run the team also had extensive experience on Wall Street, which is where the title of the book comes from. It talks about some of the areas where the Rays looked for inefficiencies in the market to build the baseball team, since they knew they would not have the financial resources to compete against teams like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.

The book's most obvious comparison is Moneyball by Michael Lewis. It wants to be like that, and reaches out for the same fans that liked Moneyball. It is not that good - the detail into what makes the Rays successful is not shown in nearly as much detail as Lewis' famous book, but it is a great look into an MLB franchise. I would recommend it to baseball fans.

08 January 2013

"Your Money or Your Life" Quotes

Here are selected quotes from Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, one of the best personal finance books ever written.

- "For many of us, however, 'growing up' has meant outgrowing our dreams. The aspiration to write a great book has shrunk to writing advertising copy. The dream of being an inspiring preacher has evolved into being an administrator and mediator between the factions of the congregation. Instead of really knowing who their patients are, how the patients live or the challenges in their lives, doctors today are plagued with back-to-back fifteen minute patient visits and malpractice suits. The dream of traveling around the world becomes two weeks a year of hitting the tourist traps. Living a fulfilling and meaningful life seems almost impossible, given the requirements of simply meeting day-to-day needs and problems. Yet, at one time or another practically every one of us has had a dream of what we wanted our lives to be.

Wherever you are, take a few moments now to reflect upon your dreams. So many of us have spent so many hours, days and years of our lives devoted to someone else's agenda that it may be hard to get in touch with our dreams. So many of us have whittled away at our uniqueness so that we could be square pegs in square holes that it seems slightly self-indulgent to wonder what kind of hole we would be inclined to carve for ourselves. Indulge yourself now. Stare out a window. Shut your eyes. And envision what would be a truly fulfilling life for you. To help you get started on your journey, ask yourself the following questions:

- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What have you always wanted to do that you haven't done yet?
- What have you done in your life that you are really proud of?
- If you knew you were going to die within a year, how would you spend that year?
- What brings you the most fulfillment - and how is that related to money?
- If you didn't have to work for a living, what would you do with your time?" (109-110)

- “If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.”

- “Waste lies not in the number of possessions but in the failure to enjoy them.”

- “Americans used to be 'citizens.' Now we are 'consumers.”

"The Screwtape Letters" Quotes by CS Lewis

Here are selected quotes from The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It is one of the best Christian books I have ever read.

- "Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office." (16)

- "He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them." (28)

- "Provided that any of those neighbors sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion therefore be somehow ridiculous." (12)

"Pippi Longstocking" Quotes by Astrid Lindgren

Here are selected quotes Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

- "The children came to a perfume shop. In the show window was a large jar of freckle salve, and beside the jar was a sign, which read: DO YOU SUFFER FROM FRECKLES?

What does the sign say?” ask Pippi. She couldn’t read very well because she didn’t want to go to school as other children did.
It says, ‘Do you suffer from freckles?’” said Annika.
Does it indeed?” said Pippi thoughtfully. “Well, a civil question deserves a civil answer. Let’s go in.”

She opened the door and entered the shop, closely followed by Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi went right up to her. “No!” she said decidedly.

What is it you want?” asked the lady.
No,” said Pippi once more.
I don’t understand what you mean,” said the lady.
No, I don’t suffer from freckles,” said Pippi.

Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, “But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!”

I know it,” said Pippi, “but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.”

She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, “But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars."

06 January 2013

"Story of a Soul" Quotes by St. Therese de Lisieux

Here are selected quotes from Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux by St. Therese de Lisieux. It is one of the best Christian books ever written, in my opinion.

- "This desire might seem presumptuous, seeing how week and imperfect I was and still am, even after eight years as a nun, yet I always feel the same fearless uncertainty that I shall become a great saint. I'm not relying on my own merits, as I have none, but I put my hope in Him who is goodness and holiness Himself. It is He alone who, satisfied with my feeble efforts, will raise me to Him, will clothe me with His infinite merits, and will make me a saint." (37-38)

- "She showed me how one could achieve sanctity by being faithful in the smallest matters." (39)

- "Sometimes I felt lonely, very lonely, but then peace and courage would come back to me if I repeated the line: 'The world's thy ship and not thy home.'" (48)

- "It's absolutely true that 'nothing is impossible to love, for love is convinced it may and can do all things.'" (64)

27 October 2012

Best Baseball Books

There are many great baseball books out there, as it is a genre that has seen a hundred years worth of literature. Here is a list of some of the best baseball books.

1. Roger Kahn - The Boys of Summer
This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love. - Quotes from The Boys of Summer

2. Michael Lewis - Moneyball
Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball and a tale of the search for new baseball knowledge—insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money.

3. David Halberstam - October 1964
October 1964 should be a hit with old-time baseball fans, who'll relish the opportunity to relive that year's to-die-for World Series, when the dynastic but aging New York Yankees squared off against the upstart St. Louis Cardinals. It should be a hit with younger students of the game, who'll eat up the vivid portrayals of legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees and Bob Gibson and Lou Brock of the Cardinals. Most of all, however, David Halberstam's new book should be a hit with anyone interested in understanding the important interplay between sports and society.

4. Bill Veeck - Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.

5. Lawrence Ritter - The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It
Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, rawer, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental classic The Glory of Their Times, the golden era of our national pastime comes alive through the vibrant words of those who played and lived the game.

6. Bill James - The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
When Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the "holy book of baseball." Now, baseball's beloved "Sultan of Stats" (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium.

7. David Halberstam - Summer of '49
The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports rivalry unequaled in the annals of athletic competition. The awesome New York Yankees and the indomitable Boston Red Sox were fighting for supremacy of baseball's American League, and an aging Joe DiMaggio and a brash, headstrong hitting phenomenon named Ted Williams led their respective teams in a classic pennant duel of almost mythic proportions—one that would be decided in an explosive head-to-head confrontation on the last day of the season.

8. Jim Bouton - Ball Four
When first published in 1970, Ball Four stunned the sports world. The commissioner, executives, and players were shocked. Sportswriters called author Jim Bouton a traitor and "social leper." Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force him to declare the book untrue. Fans, however, loved the book. And serious critics called it an important social document. Today, Jim Bouton is still not invited to Oldtimer's Days at Yankee Stadium. But his landmark book is still being read by people who don'tordinarily follow baseball.

9. Bernard Malamud - The Natural
The Natural, Bernard Malamud’s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material—the story of a superbly gifted “natural” at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era—and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work. Four decades later, Alfred Kazin’s comment still holds true: “Malamud has done something which—now that he has done it!—looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology.”

10. Roger Angell - The Summer Game
The Summer Game, Roger Angell’s first book on the sport, changed baseball writing forever. Thoughtful, funny, appreciative of the elegance of the game and the passions invested by players and fans, it goes beyond the usual sports reporter’s beat to examine baseball’s complex place in our American psyche.

11. Jonah Keri - The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First
What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League championship happens—the culmination of one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history.