Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Egyptian



I don't know if other's have noticed it, but when you live in a very isolated place and have no job, it's easy to lose track of the time. I frequently don't know what day of the week it is.  There's nothing to remind me of it.  Even the television programs I watch are recorded by my faithful satellite receiver with no action required on my part.

 This week I missed doing posts on Monday and Tuesday.  I am pretty sure, though not certain, I didn't even check my email. So today I caught up on that.  If you wrote me lately and I didn't respond, you should have an email in your inbox today.  If you don't , let me know because it means somehow I missed you.

Part of the reason I lost track is that I have been reading one of my favorite books again. Like the Hornblower series, I have books that I first read as a teenager and periodically I still read them again.

The Egyptian is one of those.  It dates back to 1949, and my first edition is now getting pretty beat up. Not surprising, since I hauled it all over the world with me, both on floats, exercise deployments, and permanent change of station postings in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

When you are "embarked troops" on a Gator Navy vessel, you have a lot of time for smoking, gambling (verbotten but widely engaged in), and reading. There is not a lot else to do til you get where you are going.

One reason I like this particular book is that the trials and travails of the protagonist largely revolve around bad choices in female companionship, a problem I frequently encountered until I met my wife and settled down. I empathize with the guy and I think most men would.

It 's realistic, too, in that after many perilous adventures, the hero gets the short end of the stick as a reward for his service. Some things never change I guess.

It's good to be Pharaoh.






20 comments:

  1. I lose days when there are no appointments.

    Love the picture.

    I shall look for that book.

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    1. Gail, I'm the same. Unless there's some overweening reason to remember a specific day, why bother? They just flow together. The month is punctuated not by numbers on a calendar, but by events.

      I'm not sure you would like the Egyptian, but you might. It's more of a man's book, about wars and power struggles and the interaction between self serving individuals. You might though, especially if you like ancient history because it's very well researched.

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  2. Even though I am not isolated, I tend to lose track of days as well when I am living alone. I will get involved with reading a book or sewing on a quilt, look up and discover that the eastern sky is beginning to show signs of daybreak. I think I like not having to keep to a schedule. Now that Number One Son is staying with me for a while, I sort of keep track because he is on a work schedule. If he is home I know the weekend has arrived. I'm pretty sure when he moves out I will be back to having to check to see what day of the week it is. :)

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    1. For retired people, it's really kind of irrelevant, isn't it. The only day that has any special meaning for me anymore is Sunday. I try to avoid doing any chores other than those that are essential, and I make an effort to just relax and enjoy the day. If I have something going on that is worrisome, I try not to think of it.

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  3. Even with two jobs, I sometimes get the day wrong! They tend to blend together sometimes.

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    1. Maybe it's because you have two jobs, Lisa. I can remember doing that. I worked one job during the day and one at night, right after we came up here. I didn't do it long though, as soon as we could afford to do so I gave up the night job . Those are so hard on a person.

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  4. . . . and now I've got to chase down another book. I'm glad I've been lucky in love. Well, luck is part of it, but so is a low BS tollerance. There are guy/girl mind games I just refused to play.

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    1. Im sure your local library can get it for you. It's pretty well known and was made into a successful Hollywood movie. I think you will find that the lead character is not very good at dealing with women, and gets himself manipulated into deeds that no one would normally be involved in. He's an idealist, and those people never fare well in life, regardless of the period of history they live in.

      A better known book by the author is The Roman, which never got a lot of traction until it was made intp an "epic" production with a star studded cast. It's a good book too, but I think The Egyptian is better.

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  5. I would loose track of time to! I do sometimes now and I work, and living in a populated area. I've never been good with time. My husband remembers our anniversary when I forget. I'm horrible.

    I love stories on Egyptians, and their art. I'd probably like this book!

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    1. I think you would like it Alissa. It's very believable and those were interesting times. I can usually remember things like birthdays, but I'm bad about trivial issues such as where did I put the car keys?

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  6. hi
    daughter was just talking to me today about 'bottom rungers'.
    i asked why i was one since i don't have the characteristics.
    she said it is because i am an idealist, and that idealism is not rooted in reality.
    that is some food for thought.
    as you wrote, idealists don't always come through life well.
    i wish i had still had the same training in honesty, integrity, er cetera but had also been trained well in knowledge that life is not fair, that the victor is not always the white hat guy, and that other humans don't necessarily subscribe to an honor code or a code of morality unless it serves some manipulative purpose by their appearing to be honorable.
    i'm 66 but still lots of blinders on my eyes.
    hope younger people can have their eyes opened sooner so they can be not only innocent as doves, but wise as the serpents they will spend their lives dealing with.

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    1. Not long ago, a friend of mine told me I was a romantic because my view of life is totally out of sync with the modern world. I may be a bit of a Don Quixote, but we are all products of the times we grew up in and the values we grew up in.

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  7. Hey Harry.

    (captaincrunch)


    I really liked the book 'The Martian"

    It gets a bit technical but when technology is your survival, it has to be a major part of the plot. The plot by the way is an astronaut is missing and believed to be dead during an emergency escape from Mars. The astronaut wakes up injured but able to move. Communications equipment is destroyed on Mars and his comrades blast out of orbit back to Earth.
    His only hope of rescue is the next manned Mars mission that's due to return in 500 days and he has 30 days of food. You can watch the movie preview on youtube, 'The Martian"
    Now the book was really good, but technical. We talk about all kinds of survival stuff etc, etc, etc.
    Martian survival would be the ultimate. No air, no water. Carbon dioxide atmosphere, 150 below zero. The most hostile environment.

    Try Naked and Afraid on Mars. Now that would be interesting:)

    Voted off the island in Survivor, hell' Imagined being 'voted out the airlock'

    Hey Harry,

    Peter Sellers played three roles in Dr. Strangelove.

    RAF, Commander Mandrake, The President and our favorite madman, Dr. Strangelove.
    Peter Sellers should have gotten the Academy award for pulling that off.

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    1. Peter Seller's was a great actor. His pink panther shows are among my favorites. According to his kids the "real" Peter Seller's was pretty mean and unpleasant though.

      I remember you telling me about that movie. Sounds like something I would enjoy so I am keeping an eye out for it.

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  8. Harry - we often have to check the computer's email to know what day it is - bahahahah! we have missed events because we thought they were "tomorrow". but now that jam is working we have to be more aware of what day it is and whatnot...which i hate...i love not knowing.

    this month and september are full of events for us so i have to be more aware of the dates. we're expecting some kind of crazy rainstorm here now...just waiting for it to start so that we can see how bad it is.

    sending much love to you as always! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. We are in the middle of a big thunderstorm here tonight. No lightning yet though. I saw J's post about the rain at night and his field expedient repairs. He is a very handy fellow to have around.

      It's pretty nice not having to worry about the date but his business is doing so well it's worth having to look at a calendar sometimes! :-)

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  9. Sounds like Homer's odyssey...especially the ending. --T

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  10. Odysseus was smart but Sinuhe is a good guy who is a sucker. His adventures are as interesting and more believable.

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  11. I know what you mean about losing track of time. I only wonder why I think I must accomplish so much every day. I am retired, after all. Glad I may have inspired you to get out and about a bit. I hate to leave here, but when I do, I usually have a very good time.

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    1. Inger, I'm going to start going out even less. It seems to me that the hassles out there in "the world" just aren't worth the effort. Wish I had some open land I could walk around in like you do. Here everything is heavily wooded and you have to stay on trails.

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