Friday, November 12, 2010

Condensed Thoughts, and Other Things

Yesterday I started once again to try to clean up my study. Have you ever noticed that when you try to clean up a huge mess, it always seems to get worse before it gets better?

Of course you did, because you've been living through the Great Recession.

But anyhow, I spent all day yesterday working on trying to bring order to the chaos of my study. I can now see large sections of the surface of my desk, and have rearranged the distribution of computer monitors, printers, and radios in an attempt to maximize desktop space and reduce strain on my eyes and neck as I work. Agnes is coming home from Germany on Wednesday. I hope to be finished by then.

I discovered this morning, on reading my daily Writers' Almanac e-mail from Garrison Keillor, that today marks the birthday in 1889 of DeWitt Wallace. So what?, you ask. Well, let me tell you...

Mr Wallace was concerned that people were not reading enough - that there was plenty of good material available in the many periodicals that were published, but the long hours that most people had to work didn't leave enough time to read all the enriching things that were out there. One day, Mr Wallace had the idea that the best articles available in many other magazines could be edited down to their essentials and the condensed versions published in a single magazine that would allow the reader to maximize his or her reading time. Mr Wallace published the first issue of his magazine in February 1922, and it went on to become the most successful magazine of all time.

Mr Wallace's magazine is, of course, Readers' Digest.

The Readers' Digest concept of condensed books and articles reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke about taking a speed reading course. "I read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

Moving on to other short topics for a cold November Friday morning...

Courtesy of my friend Bob, a topical photo:

No other comment needed.

I need to get moving so that I can get to the office and get a head start on the day so that the evening will come faster. There's dancing to be done, you know. And then comes the weekend, when there will be leaves to be raked, a house to be cleaned, and all sorts of other fun things.

Just a swingin' bachelor, that's me.

Have a good day. Tomorrow is Cartoon Saturday - be here. More thoughts then.



John said...

Those trucks have some good sayings...a local one says "We're No. 1 at moving No. 2"

Leslie David said...

Lindsey Graham served in the military and he's still a fool.

Bandit said...

Great photo! there's a local porta-potty company here with the slogan "we want your stinking business."

If you are interested, you can google Weston, MO to see articles of how they blocked out Westboro.

KathyA said...

The top of my desk seems to have the ability to gather stuff on its own.

You really think you can be done by Wednesday?

Love the sign on the truck.

So with Agnes in Germany, you dance alone???

Raquel's World said...

Good history on the Readers Digest.

Mike said...

"I can now see large sections of the surface of my desk"

Can you be at my house by this weekend?

Bilbo said...

John - I've seen that one, too. Another classic!

Leslie - no comment necessary.

Bandit - that's another good slogan. And let's hear it for the real heroes of Weston, MO!

KathyA - Who dances alone? The ladies are always happy to have an extra man on the dance floor!

Raquel - thanks!

Mike - only if there's beer and food.