Friday, December 26, 2008


     My professional responsibilities have not left me with much time for leisure reading of late.  I have, however, recently managed to read a very good novel that is worthy of mention.  Whiteout, by Ken Follett, is an engrossing page turner that provided me with several hours of reading pleasure.  

     I have written before about my fondness for Ken Follett's writing.  He has a rare talent for creating characters who capture the reader's interest.  As I am reading one of Follett's novels, I often find myself genuinely intrigued in his characters, wondering what they are thinking and what they will do next.  The characters in Whiteout fit that description, living through a plot that is both unpredictable and thrilling.  

     The novel is set around a medical research laboratory in Scotland.  Much of the action takes place during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.  The plot is frightening largely because it deals with the threat of biological terrorism.  When coupled with the evil that we have come to understand to lurk in the hearts of men, this presents a truly terrifying scenario that seems all too possible and realistic in our modern world.  

     The action in Whiteout revolves largely around Toni Gallo.  She is a strong, athletic and resourceful person, a former police officer, who now serves as the director of security at the laboratory.  The reader develops a significant empathy with and for Toni as she struggles to combat the evil forces that seek to unleash biological terror upon the unsuspecting world. 

     Whiteout is a very good read indeed.  Its plot twists and turns will have you reading from the edge of your chair.  I strongly recommend this novel to you for the next time you have an opportunity to escape into the world of well-written fiction.  

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Saturday, December 20, 2008


     Today is my birthday.  I am the same age as our country's president-elect.  I have much to celebrate this year and intend to do so, at least in part, by enjoying a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal.  I have loved Cap'n Crunch since I was a kid, but I almost never allow myself to have it because of the calories and high sugar content.  

     But I will allow myself a special dispensation today.  And if you are inclined to celebrate with me, then I invite you to pull up a chair and enjoy a delicious bowl of Cap'n Crunch for yourself.  As the folks at Schlitz used to tell us:  You only go around once, so you've got to go for all the gusto you can.

      To everyone reading this post, I wish you much gusto in life, now and always.  Skoal!

Monday, December 15, 2008


     It has now been one month since the new YMCA opened in New Albany, and I am ready to declare it an unqualified success.  The facility is beautiful, spacious and inviting.  It has been host to amazing crowds thus far and, if the initial trend continues, I foresee a much more healthy and fit population soon in Floyd County and its environs.  

     I have been hitting the new Y at least three or four days a week, although I intend to increase it to five or six soon.  I am enjoying the cardio equipment, and especially the elliptical trainers.  (I have a good supply of weightlifting equipment at home, and so I usually do much of my lifting there.)  I have also become very fond of the yoga classes.  I had always wanted to try yoga, and am finding that I enjoy it very much.  It is cleansing for both the mind and body.  It challenges my muscles in a way unlike anything that I've ever done before.  

     The only negative comment that I have about the new facility concerns the men's locker room.  It is too small and cramped. The lockers themselves are too small.  The locker room seems to be poorly designed, and it cannot comfortably accommodate the number of patrons jockeying for position on a daily basis.  I'm hoping that the problem will be alleviated somewhat when the initial excitement about the facility wanes, and others are not visiting quite as often. 

     The problem with the locker room notwithstanding, I am very enthused about our new Y.  It is a local treasure.  And it was worth the wait.