Saturday Scramble

Woke up a bit late, 8 am, and got straight to work on my laundry. Made pancakes. Cleaned the garage a bit and put away the Christmas wreaths, before realizing that it was just too cold to try and use wood glue with any expectation of success.

I picked up the plywood to build the wide shelf/counter/desktop for the craftroom on Friday. But it’s an 11-foot span and I’m going to have to join two boards to make that work. In this weather, with no heat in the garage and no room in the basement, trying to put that together is just asking for a mess. I don’t want to fight with it. So, rather than making a mess that would just end up with me frustrated and needing to spend more money, I decided to let it be.

Instead, I moved the stuff back into the craftroom, straightened the basement,  put my tools in a reasonably organized pile, and brought in the new elliptical machine we found at the Salvation Army. I’ve been looking at them for a while, but they’re not cheap. This one is crap, but it’s cheap. If we use it with any regularity, then we can justify getting a better one. I don’t want another treadmill situation, here. We have enough places to hang laundry.

I finished listening to American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard (Narrated by: Walter Dixon, 12 hrs and 52 mins). It was a very interesting book and one that I am sure I will revisit in the future. See, the problem with listening to a book like this while driving around, is that you tend to miss things or not quite catch the particulars. So, I will go back to it again, because it really is a fascinating look at history from a different perspective.

An illuminating history of North America’s 11 rival cultural regions that explodes the red state/blue state myth.

North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn’t confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent, each staking out mutually exclusive territory.

In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another.

Woodard reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent’s history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the “blue county/red county” maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America’s myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.

©2011 Colin Woodward (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

I saw this map and an article explaining it and I wanted to know more. Now I do. The writing was interesting and not a dry historical text. The narration was well done and pleasant to listen to. And the information was eye opening. Red states and blue states certainly don’t cover the dynamic here. I also found the future predictions of these nations to be interesting and provocative.

american nations

I finished up some administrative stuff on my various websites, tried to work out the difference between arohen.com and ronnmccarrick.com (there isn’t one at this time), and worked on some graphics. Now I’m off to eat dinner and do some homework. Later.