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The Rewards Of Cheapness March 15, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball, Books, Food, Music.
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Even though today’s local yardsales were few & far between, I managed to find a nice new crop of books at a buck a pop which should provide some entertainment for my spring break. First was Great Wine Made Simple by Andrea Robinson, a very elaborate guide to all things vino. Granted, much of this is stuff I already know, but Master Sommelier Robinson’s ideas are always worth a look, and I have the feeling that it’s a volume I’ll be lending out to people from time to time whenever they want a quick edjuamaction on what Benjamin Franklin called the proof that God wants us to be happy (and this was before internet porn).

A couple of intriguing books on psychological themes: This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin, which looks like an interesting examination of the neuroscience dealing with music’s effect on the human brain, and De La Mettrie’s Ghost by Chris Nunn, which examines the notion of “free will” and (from my brief glance-through) seems to have the thesis that many of our decisions in life are guided by stories recorded in our memory. Good God, are we all being guided by television re-runs?? This ought to be a good read.

Now that spring is here, this young man’s thoughts turn to baseball. I found an older edition (2000) of Josh Leventhal’s wonderfully illustrated Take Me Out To The Ballpark, a pictorial history of all the major league stadiums past and present. It even has a short piece on McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island! (“I once knew a stadium from Pawtucket….”)

Finally, a nice collectable, the 1936 movie edition of Romeo & Juliet, containing the play, the screenplay, and some short pieces by some of the actors involved, such as Norma Shearer, John Barrymore & the legendary Irving Thalberg. Did you know that real-life fencing expert Basil Rathbone wins his ONLY screen swordfight in this movie? Yeah, sure you did.

And adding to the rewards of cheapness during the entire morning was the majority of time my new hybrid car spent in all-electric mode as I was driving around. So JAM IT, you Saudi bastards! :p

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