That’ll Preach!

Did I really expect to find a quote from Tom Sawyer? Maybe I did. And I had another one underlined, but this one struck me more than the other. Maybe I’ll post the second quote later this week, but I want you to take a look at this for a quick second. Read more

The Arts of Ancient China

According to Sun-Tzu, war must have been one of them! Can’t find that in any Arts and Crafts Show!

Art of War by Sun Tzu:

Rated A

 Anyone can gain help using this book.

 

Whether fighting an army of barbarians or fighting through an average day, Art of War not only gives many helpful hints for military strategy, but they can also be taken for use in everyday life. For example, Sun-Tzu states that if an army is treated like a child in need of constant care , the army will in return, honor you with respect and obedience. How true is this with any group of people? Whether it be a business you own or any person you work with, if they are treated in a respectable manner, they will in return work better with you.

One point he made was quite interesting to me. Those who fight with the most courage are those who believe there is no hope. If an army believes they are going to win, they may not fight with as much vigor. Why would they need to? They’re going to win anyway. But to those who think they’re losing, they will give the battle all they have.

The adage “sometimes the best offense is a good defense” was something Sun-Tzu highly believed in. (Not to mention General Patton…little FYI there)  His whole theory consisted of waging war without really having to fight. Preservation was key. He thought that wasting lives on long, drawn out attacks was useless not only for the army but also to the state. ($$$) Let the enemy weary themselves out with constant attacks instead.

I highly recommend the one translated by Ralph D. Sawyer. He’s added a great introduction and historical background to this work. He gives examples of how the ancient Chinese put into practice Sun-Tzu’s principles, and even gives a run down of who Sun-Tzu was. Did he even exist? So check this version out here.

Hopefully this will wet your appetite for more advice from the Chinese military genius. Of course you’re probably not in need of strategic advice in order to wage war with the invading Chu. But you might be surprised how much you may still be able to apply the concepts. Every once in a while, it will give you that AHAH moment when you discover something about your own tendencies or the tendencies of others. What’s also awesome is after reading, you will spot errors from other strategists and figure out why they failed! Who doesn’t want that!?

Whale of a Tale

As with all books, it’s a sad day when the last page is turned. It has been with me up the mountains, and has stayed by my side during late nights. As with every other novel, it has gone where I have gone. Now, I lay it to rest upon my shelves where it will be mourned for at least an hour to a day before I start on my next adventure.

Moby Dick- Herman Melville

Rated S – c

 Some cussing throughout

 

You may have heard many rumors about this leviathan sized novel which would unnerve even the greatest of bibliophiles. Rumors about its exhaustive detailing and constant plot interruptions. Hearing these, we run away and hide from the weariness of such a book. Instead, why doesn’t this invoke curiosity? What does Melville find so important to tell us that he jeopardizes his plot by interrupting it with details and useless facts?

These facts subsists almost wholly on the mighty whales and sea voyage life.  Did you know the whale’s spout isn’t connected to its throat? Also, it uses his spout to blow out air, not water. What we see instead is the air’s condensation. These are just a couple examples of the hidden gems inside Moby Dick…plus some research of my own. (I had to get questions answered! Things Melville could only speculate and theorize about are now common facts today. Throughout the book, his theories became my points of research.) Instead of looking at the details as constant interruptions, look at them as expanding our knowledge of these great creatures.

I’ve heard also that Moby Dick is to be considered as an allegory. Through Captain Ahab, we see our inner beings at their worst. We see what we could be when completely obsessed over evil and see it swallow us whole much like The Oath by Frank Peretti illustrates.

Melville’s work may only become enjoyable once our attitude of dread changes to one of an excitement to learn. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

Find your copy here.

 

A Quote Purely For The Humor Of It

This quote is specifically dedicated to my Canuck bestie, Kat. In a few words, our friendship could be described as a sarcastic sisterhood. Though we are separated by many miles, whenever we are able to visit, it’s as if no time has passed. We pick up where we left off. All seems so natural. No, we are not biological sisters, but sometimes, a friendship can be a thicker bond than blood. We also have that sort of relationship where you can’t get away with one word without being teased! Yes, our relationship thrives on sarcasm! Without it, I think both of our souls would dry up and waste away. So, in accordance with our silly conversation we had a few nights ago, I dedicate this quote to her. (it’s from her favorite book…said sarcastically)

” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 I love this quote purely for the humor of it! Like my best friend and I, it entirely consists of sarcasm.

 I think that’s why I’m drawn to Pride and Prejudice so much. I love the colorful characters *cough* Mr.& Mrs. Bennet *cough*, but why do I love them? It’s because each one represents the humor in us all. We are all silly in our own crazy way, and Pride and Prejudice helps us realize that. It gives us a chance to laugh at ourselves. Even the more serious types like Mr. Darcy have a humorous side to them. He might not intend to be funny, but he still enriches the story by his quirks.We giggle at his romantic awkwardness, but who here isn’t romantically challenged in some way? We laugh or groan at Mr. Collins, but who here hasn’t acted just as stupidly at least once in our life?

 If you are also a fan of this book, what do you love about it?

Weekly Quote

 

” All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never perhaps to see each other again.” – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

My imagination has always had a tendency to romanticize train rides. As I close my eyes and dream, I am transported inside the cabin of a vintage locomotive. The year is 1950. A host of strangers are traveling beside me. The person sitting to my opposite left is a blond haired woman where she is filling her time dreamily staring out the window. Beside her is a man. Maybe her husband? Or is he just another stranger known to no one else but himself? Sitting beside me is a young mother entertaining her small child by bouncing him on her knee. Who are these people? What are their stories? Where have these souls been and what secrets do they hold? This is what my imagination pictures.

Ms. Christie obviously had the same inclinations. She perfectly sums up the reasoning behind my own fascinations. Only in a vintage train can so many individuals from all over the world come together, share a roof for a small time, and then depart only to be strewn across the world again. Christie saw the possibilities. Hence, her masterpiece Murder on the Orient Express was born. It does not disappoint!