2003-10-14 08:09:02

Two minor accomplishments today. I went to H&R Block to get my tax return done. As it turned out, my tax return was very simple to complete. The second minor accomplishment is that I finally had time to rework one of the sections of the paper I’m writing with TM and JI. Hopefully it reads a bit better now.

I had a most relaxing weekend. A portion of it was spent reading a book on a beach underneath a tree in Caloundra. Other bits of it were spent walking through Buderim forest and at Gardiner’s Falls in Maleny. Both of those places were fantastic. More photos to publish :).

I finished reading Prey by Michael Crichton. It got a little weird toward the end, but worth reading. However, I swear Crichton’s writing style is not as good as it used to be. It’s like he’s writing in such a way that minimal work will need to be done to convert the book into a screenplay. I’ve also finished reading the Penguin Classics edition of the Tao Te Ching, which has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now. There are some great pieces of advice, but there are other pieces of advice that I will never heed in a million years. For example,

Without stirring abroad
One can know the whole world;
Without looking out of the window
One can see the way of heaven.
The further one goes
The less one knows.
Therefore the sage knows without having to stir,
Identifies without having to see,
Accomplishes without having to act.

I’m sorry, but travelling is in my blood, and experiencing different places and cultures is the best education one can have in today’s world (IMHO). But then again the Tao Te Ching extols the virtues of keeping the masses uneducated. As I said, there’s bits that I agree with, and bits that I don’t. Having now read the Penguin Classics edition, which is a translation by D. C. Lau, I can say I prefer Stan Rosenthal’s translation. I read this quite some time ago. It’s much easier to read, and one gets the feeling that Rosenthal does a better job of translating the intended meaning of the passages than Lau. But of course, I can’t be sure of this.

I’m now reading He Died With a Felafel in His Hand by John Birmingham, courtesy of BJK. It’s been very amusing so far. The book tells of the share house accommodation experiences of the author. All the stories are supposed to be true, but I’m not entirely convinced. I mean, what are the chances of breaking up with your wife, moving to the Cocos Islands in an attempt to get as far away from her as possible (though it must be said, the Cocos Islands aren’t all that far away), only to have her turn up in the same place? Irony at its best, but hardly believable. Not that I care. It’s a very entertaining read, but very short by the looks of it. Hopefully by the time I finish reading it, Nigel will have finished The Count of Monte Cristo. But I don’t like my chances. He’s read 500 pages, so he’s got another 500 odd pages to go!