Tag: reading

Reading: A Queer History of the United States

The author is Michael Bronski. The impetus to read it comes from someone getting the audio version. And because both our tablets are signed in as me i got the two the audio and text versions.

I’m 40 pages in and he covers from the early 15th centuries on. I’m up to the period between the Revolutionary and Civil wars. It’s fascinating how privacy and public get further refined even in the 21st century. It even talks about the concept of the other. Cool stuff.

Currently Reading: Two books

So at the moment I’m reading two books. With 2+ hours of commute time each day I must have something to keep me occupied.

So the first book is titled “Data and Goliath: ” by Bruce Schneier, he’s a security expert and cryptographer. I had to get it after they discussed it on AT&T ThreatTraq.

The book is a good read on privacy and how it’s being violated by the very technology we love. Just in the first couple chapters I’ve highlighted a whole bunch of stuff.

For example – I turn OFF location services on my phones. Fuck the NSA if they want to track me. Really. But the NSA deserves more derision for monitoring call meta data, emails, etc.

The other book is titled “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires” by Tim Wu. Touched on all sorts of communication disruptions. For example I was fascinated to learn that when the Bell System was in in it’s infancy the lead investor attempted to sell all the patents to Western Union for the paltry sum of $100,000. The CEO of Western Union scoffed at the idea. But WU turned around a year or so later – adopted the Edison microphone and had close to 60,000 phones out there. Bell of course filed suit against WU – talk about a David vs. Goliath moment – tiny Bell System versus WU. But they won and history saved the WU attempt to make it so phone service would just be used to enhance telegram service.

It’s interesting – the more books I read in this genre, the Amazon recommendations get more pointed. It’s fascinating stuff to read.


Currently Reading: How I Paid for College: A novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater

I got it because it was mentioned on BosGuy’s Blog. Went over to Amazon, started reading it and decided it was worth the price. Clicked buy and it was instantly on my Fire HD6.

Now this book is seriously funny. Marc Acito (A fellow Italian-American) is a great humorous writer. I’m 43% into the book and I’ll likely finish it tonight, having just gotten it yesterday.

What I will say is the protagonist in this book – his dad must have known mine. Which is why I don’t speak to my father anymore. Only difference between the protagonist and me is I never got into musical theater even if I did get scary high grades all through my education – in fact the only reason I got a 3.82 GPA in college was because there were a few classes I just didn’t give a flying fuck about them, prime among them the Legal Environment of Business. That class REALLY frosted my ass.

But the book is riotously funny. Reading it one the train home I had to stop myself from laughing out loud on several occasions. But at home I read it and I’m asked what’s so funny.

Acito’s writing reminds me a bit of David Sedaris work, or even Douglas Adams. A complete irreverence for the Catholic church which i have in spaced, but the lead character in the book – even dons priestly attire and uses it to maximum advantage. Me – I never had that in me. Getting alcohol was never a problem – particularly when I worked right next to a liquor store and knew their people so as long as the cash was green we had beer and ale.

It’s under ten bucks so go get it and laugh your ass off.

Please read me a story ! MEME


 Here are my own answers.

1. Describe your favorite place to cozy-up with a good book.

Stretched out here on the leather recliner, or in bed I like to read a little bit before I drift off to sleep. 

2. What do you read when you’re on the toilet?

Depends – if it’s a book I’m really into then yes. But otherwise no, get in, wipe, flush, wash hands. 

3. Do you read when taking a bath?

Being that I rarely take a bath but I do shower and reading would be problematic. But with electronics I suppose anything is possible. I’m one step from turning my current XP box into a kitchen computer but then I could waterproof it and make it a Kindle reader in the shower. Hmmm, choices! 

4. If you can, do you read when at the gym?

No I do not. I tend to need music at the gym, when I do go. But then the music is almost always on for me. 

5. Do you still read newspapers and or magazines?

I read Make magazine and QST an amateur radio publication of the American Radio Relay League aka ARRL. I’m kd1s@arrl.net

6. What are your favorite genres to read?

Science Fiction, Historical/Political, Technical and believe it or not religious texts. Need to be well armed in that respect. 

7. Do you read one book at a time or can you read several?  I can read a few at a time. But if it’s a real page turner I’ll tend to plow through one. 

8. If you start a book, do you finish it no matter what?

I finish most everything I buy. But there are some – they’re just too badly written or boring that I might not ever finish them. 

9. Did your parents read to you when you were growing up? Yes and no. They taught me how to read and then supplied me with a steady supply of books to read. 

10. Have you read to your kids/nephews/nieces?

Haven’t had a real chance to do so. 

11. How do you feel about reading books vs. using electronic devices? Have your feelings evolved from one or two years ago? 

Paper based books – I’ve got a ton of them ranging technical, Science Fiction, historical/political etc. But my collection on Kindle is getting pretty huge. I like the convenience of being able to read any book at any time either on the PC or phone. And I can see a future in the very near term where paper books will be a thing of the past. 


When was the last time you looked at or read an adult magazine to satisfy yourself? When was the last time you even saw one? 

I cannot honestly remember the last time I looked at one or even saw one. Now as a youth I had quite the collection of magazines and videotapes. But they’ve all been sold off or thrown out. 

Ten Books Meme

So here are my ten:

1) Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein

2) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy – Douglas Adama

3) The Adolescence of P-1 by Thomas Ryan (You can read the whole book by clicking the link – it’s sort of heavy on IBM 360/370 jargon but the basic principle is easily readable.

4) Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

5) The Dreyfus Affair – Peter Lefcourt

6) A Queer History of the United States – Michael Bronski

7) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

8) The Number of the Best – Robert Heinlein

9) Christopher and His Kind – Christopher Isherwood

10) Job: A Comedy of Justice – Robert Heinlein