Sunday, May 8, 2016

Why I Love America And Why I Love To Blog -- Reason #92 -- This Is Really Cool -- May 8, 2016

I think I vaguely recall reading about this once upon a time, a long time ago, but if I did I had completely forgotten. Years ago when trying to learn something about an "unusual" name in the Bakken I looked up Slawson -- maybe I will try to find that post, later.

Whatever. I mention all that because a reader just sent this comment:
Jamba Juice is actually a division of the Slawson Family Corp. Listed under their "Wellness" division on the Slawson Corp website. FYI
Wow, so cool.

Googling, from the Slawson Companies website -- who says you can't do it all?
OILFIELD INNOVATOR, COMMUNITY BUILDER, JAMBA JUICER WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL? From its inception in 1957 as an oil and gas exploration company – a wildcatter in industry lingo – Slawson Companies has diversified into commercial and residential real estate development, restaurants and hotels. Today 950 people in 10 states work for the family-owned company, where being a good corporate citizen is more than just a pipe dream.
And then this at the top of the website:
“The Slawson Family wishes to extend their sincere condolences to the family of Aubrey McClendon. Aubrey was a driving force and visionary in the oil and gas industry, building Chesapeake Energy from its infancy in 1989 into to the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States. Aubrey’s vision, persistence and dedication were not limited to his business endeavors but extended to his community. We are lucky to have had Aubrey as a member of our oil and gas community and even luckier to have had him as a dear family friend. We will miss him.”
How incredibly poignant on so many levels. How incredibly classy.

Obviously the site/contents are dynamic and the above may not be there later. 

This came up because I noted that Jamba Juice headquarters was moving from California to Texas; I did not know/mention that Jamba Juice was part of Slawson. A reader caught that. Much appreciated.

All's Well With The World

I have two bike routes I take on a regular basis.  Both are almost exactly the same distance: one is exactly 5.0 miles; the other is 5.2. The former is entirely urban and a bit dicey with the traffic due to road construction; the other route is "rural", looping around the north side of DFW airport.

The "urban" route swings along three small farms. The first farm has always had cattle on the land; I suppose about 40 head counting the calves in the spring. But for the longest time this spring, they have been absent. It appeared they had been sold. But today, off in the distance I saw them. So, that was good.

The second farm had five horses last year that were always out to pasture. My hunch is that they were older horses living out their last few years. The owner treats them incredibly well. The horses are not out in the pasture on the hottest days of summer but are always out when the weather is nice and a bit cooler.

This year there is one horse missing. He/she is so consistently missing I assume he/she is gone forever, having passed away sometime over the winter.

Finally, the third farm with pasture on both sides of the road. Like the first farm I had not seen the cattle this spring. It was all very strange. But today the herd was back, about 20 head, it appears with an occasional calf. The huge bull that I normally see in another fenced off field was not out.

But with cattle back at both farms and four horses out in the pasture, all is right and well with the world.

Bob Dylan Phase

I'm back in my Bob Dylan phase, just for the record. More on that later, perhaps. But not likely.


The books I'm reading now:
  • Atom: An Odyssey From The Big Bang To Life On Earth ... And Beyond, Lawrence M. Krauss, c. 2001
  • The Violinist's Thumb, And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, Sam Kean, c. 2012,
  • The Wright Style, A New Edition: Recreating the Spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, Carla Lind, c. 1992
  • Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, Leonard Mlodinow (2012) 
Krauss is a bit hard to read. It's not the subject matter; it's his style. And it seems there is a significant typographical error which has really confused me. I noted it the first time I read the book; I'm reading it much more slowly the second time around and the error (?) continues to confuse me. I won't say more because it would be way too difficult to explain.

My favorite of the four: Kean. He might be a bit flippant but overall it's really good. Before reading it, I would recommend reading a wiki entry on DNA, then James Watson's book on DNA; and then this book. The title is obviously a take-off on Stephen Jay Gould's The Panda's Thumb.

Lind's The Wright Style is simply a coffee-table book that I enjoy paging through and reading bits and pieces now and then.

Finally, Subliminal. It looked good at Barnes and Noble but I haven't really gotten into it yet. My hunch is that it will dovetail in a strange sort of way with Kean's book on DNA.


While reading Kean (see above), I came across Lewis Carroll's use of "writhing," page 72.

I vaguely recall a connection with JRR Tolkien. From JRR Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, p. 37:
Art noveau, descended from Arts and Crafts, appears in the stylings of landscape pictures such as The Valeof Sirion, which Hammond and Scull compare to the work of Danish fairy-story illustrator Kay Nielsen. The writhing forms of illustrator Arthur Rackham have often been perceived in Tolkien's depictions of trees. 
The reference to art noveau, and Arts and Crafts, is a dot that connects, of all things to The Wright Style. Frank Lloyd Wright was a student of the Arts and Crafts movement.

But it turns out that it was "closer to home."  "Wrigthe" is discussed in depth in a book I have read a couple of times and is one of my favorite in my library: JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century. In this book, the author argues that "writhe" has given rise to several other words: wreath, wroth, and wrath.
What has anger got to do with writhing, with being twisted? Clearly -- and there are parallels to this - the word is an old dead metaphor which suggests that wrath is a state of being twisted up inside.

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