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Animal Farm – Quick Review and Thoughts Part 1

Animal Farm

Animal Farm (Photo credit: Ben Templesmith)

I started and finished George Orwell‘s Animal Farm a couple of weeks ago, through a library loaned audio book, but am just now finding the time to write about it.  Have I mentioned the I love the ecollection from the library?

Anyway – Animal Farm.  GREAT book!  4 out of 5 stars on my Goodreads.  Apparently most of America read this early in life, but it was never required reading during school for me so it took me a little longer to find it.  It’s a very quick story which I could see appealing to younger crowds for the simple reason that it focuses on a group of farm animals that revolt and create their own farming community.  However, there are so many societal and philosophical questions throughout the book, both subtle and some not so subtle, that I found myself taking notes on my thoughts.  It’s the first time I can remember a book, which wasn’t required reading, stirring such a reflective mood.

I’ll use the next few posts to review my overall thoughts, some of which may seem more of a rambling than anything else since I’m not sure I actually found any conclusive feelings to any of the themes I found within the book.  Themes such as

  • Society’s putting too much value on intelligence.
  • Does higher levels of intelligence open a person to more opportunities in life and if so, is that actually a good thing?
  • Does high intelligence automatically lead to abuse of those of lower levels?
  • Is capitalism a foregone conclusion?  If so, is that a good thing?
  • Are we destined to always separate ourselves into classes, whether that be social, political, or ethnic?

For those interested in watching a film version, here is a classic animated version of Animal Farm.

More to come…

Coffee – Random Thoughts

Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.  ~ Jonathan Swift

For some people its music, possibly of any persuasion.  For others its more meditative – yoga and such.  For me, undoubtedly, it’s coffee that calms me.

In my line of work, there are days where I’ll spend 6 hours or more on the road, with a few stops mixed in between.  And there’s no better company and no better way to wake up in the morning than with a little java and some talk radio.English: Cute coffee.

There’s a certain calmness that hits at around 7:30 each morning.  By then I’m normally out of traffic and several miles down the highway and whichever coffee I’ve bought that morning – whether it be Starbucks, McDonald’s, or gas station coffee – it’s finally cool enough to drink without scalding my tongue.  And the beauty is that it’s still too early for any phone calls.

The nice thing is that its become something that I go to whenever the day gets long or especially taxing.  On hot days – Hello iced coffee.  On stressful days – Grande Pike’s with sugar-free hazelnut.

Understanding that my morning routine is somewhat confined by four wheels and a windshield, and reading back through where this post has gone, I think I am a coffee addict.

Oh well, I’m facing a 300 mile day tomorrow.  So I’ll be seeing the smiling faces at the exit 14 McDonald’s once again – coffee black.

For an interesting read, check out The Women’s Petition Against Coffee.  “Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.”  There’s some truth there, to be sure.

Etsy Artist of the Month – March 2012

New posts have been a struggle these past two weeks, but I’m happy to get back on track with this one.  The Etsy Artist of the Month for March 2012 is Julia Stiles.  I know nothing more about Julia than what is shows in her Etsy profile.

That being said, one of my favorite techniques has always been ink and ink wash.  That’s actually how I found Julia’s profile.  When I check Etsy for new work, most times I’ll start by searching for handmade ink paintings or drawings.  Julia’s work was easily some of the best I’ve seen.

All of the examples below are still shown as for sale on her Etsy page, and each image will link through.  There are also many other prints in her store beyond the original artwork below.

Here’s my personal favorite:

Another example of ink and wash:

And lastly, a great example of the artist’s work in oil.

The Rabbit Hole

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