fiatgirl.com

February, 2007

The Education of Ronald Reagan

This book, listed on the left, is an interesting view into Reagan's life prior to the presidency. The author focuses on his years with G.E. and the corporate culture that influenced his speaking style and conversion from liberal to conservative. It also outlines the grass-roots-style lobbying by officials at G.E. who sought to influence everything from work behavior to voting behavior of company employees.

I had an interesting experience with this book at my gym. As I was dressing after my workout, I talked with a woman who was eyeing the title of the book. She asked me if I was a Republican, as if only someone with a certain political bent would read such a thing.

I also read What's The Matter With Kansas?, a book with a different point of view of the conservative agenda, but she wouldn't know that. It's very interesting to me that on this first contact with another reader, I should see a hint of the extreme alienation between the right and left. Can't we all just get along?

Another review of this book noted bias in the author's viewpoint that favored the influences and their outcomes on Reagan. Check out the comments.

If you have visited this site before, you probably know that I read and am interested in books covering a pretty wide range of subjects. Maybe I should call it "The Education of Erika Lockhart" instead of "fiatgirl.com". My point is, we don't become educated by reading only one kind of thing, or recoiling in horror that someone working out in the same gym could possibly be reading a book with a conservative slant. Try reading Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Routledge Classics), for a little perspective on liberalism as a precursor to events in Nazi Germany, or Profscam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education, by Charles Sykes, where he talks about how "professors are not only indifferent to good teaching, but also actively hostile to it" (from the book jacket).

I'll confess that I have been reading a lot of books with a conservative bias but, living in San Francisco as I do, with the substance-abusing, cheating mayor and ordinances prohibiting smoking in parks unless you are rich, fining stores for using plastic bags, and requiring a two-month posting period and $100 to remove a tree that's dropping heavy branches on the sidewalk in storms, I find that I need a health dose of it just to try to keep things in perspective. I can't help but think that if our elected officials picked up a shovel for a day, had to drive across town by themselves, waited in line at the DMV, or read a book with a different point of view, they might make better decisions.

On the lighter side (ha, ha), check out Working on the Edge: Surviving In the World's Most Dangerous Profession: King Crab Fishing on Alaska's HighSeas by Spike Walker, and find out about some people without much time to worry about all this political stuff!

Or, how about The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling, by Daniel D. Chiras. I've got a couple of solar panels, and might be more likely to install more if it were not for Pacific Gas and Electric's sweetheart deal with California that allows them to keep any solar-generated power that you don't use yourself without paying for it.

One final note: Check out The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition, by Jenkins, which explains some things you probably never thought to ask about why we sterilize water for use in our toilets. (Ouch - my liberal background is showing...)

Time for a new look.

As I redo things, the site will be a jumbled mess, I'm afraid, with varying styles and functions. I apologize in advance for missing pages, overlapping sections, etc. But, I do this for fun! I hope you can still find information of interest to you.

By the way, thanks to all the visitors who keep coming back.

I'm trying out this new Amazon.com store thing so some of the collection links now go to new pages where I put books without long, personalized reviews, books I want to read but haven't read yet, and various other items that don't really belong in the "books" category.

It's going to take awhile - I'm simultaneously trying to learn Visual Basic, CSS, SQL, and ASP.net. I hope it will result in a better web site!

By the way, this site will look best with FireFox - IE is quirky, according to the book I'm reading - and I'm barely handling the basics! By the way, the book shown at right is very helpful. I've been trying to learn by way of on-line tutorials, which have been very helpful, but this book puts a lot of things in perspective. I really recommend it.

Download Firefox

Firefox is a great browser. It came out with tabbed browsing before IE. My pages look better in it. According to all I've read and heard, it's much more secure. I've never had any problems using it. It has a pop-up blocker that workes really well.

Here's my header in FireFox ...

fiatgirl-header-firefox.jpg

... and here it is in Internet Explorer:

Hint: Look at the "g"

pictures/fiatgirl-header-ie.jpg

Watch Picker and Watch Clock Programs

For the Watch Picker and Watch Clock demo versions, click on "Programs" in the menu above.