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Friday, February 10, 2017

Toughen up Spartan Style

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in LifeSpartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life by Joe De Sena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mixed Martial arts is the fastest growing sport and right after that are obstacle course marathon’s that test the competitor in a variety of way. This book is about a certain type of obstacle race that is both grueling yet meant to be a vehicle for personal growth. I effect if serves to toughen one up and yet gives more.
The Spartan race is much like obstacle race and yet somewhat more. The competitors will slog thorough waist deep mud, go through ice cold water, crawl under barbed wire and scale a 12 foot wall that is covered with grease. Competitors are left out in the wilderness to find their way back. It developed of the “Death Race” which was far more intense and sometimes life threatening. The Spartan Race is not as dangerous but it is still tough. No less people come to these events in droves.
What drives people to do these somewhat beyond insane races? One is that going through something so tough gives one a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your confidence level goes up so much that anything after the Spartan Race seems easy. It forces you out of your comfort zone. The commitment forces you to train and you are not the same person you were after you cross the finish line.

Spartan Races go beyond just a group of people running an intensely challenging race. They have become a community, a community based on the warrior ideals of Sparta. The competitors goes against each other yet they help each other out. Even while people help each other it also fosters a sense of independence. The Spartan were a warrior society that took the hard way out. The youth were removed from the home at 6 or 7 and then sent to live in the wilderness on their own. It was either sink or swim. It was a rite of passage.

Spartans do not take eth easy way out in fact they go for the most stringent way. There are no shortcut on this path. It is al hard work to make you the best you can be. The author has lots to say in this book that could make your life better even if you do not ever wish to enter a Spartan Race. The author talks about exercise and diet, the two most important medicines to keep you well .He criticizes the alienation of modern kids to nature and slams down the helicopter parents who are so overprotective of their children. They need to toughen up and be ready for the outdoor world. He has a critical view of technology our over reliance on it. Most important of all is development of grit or determination to persevere despite the difficulty and in a nutshell that is hat people need to obtain. You will like this book as it is not a feel good New Agey book.




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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ghost Town of the Mountain West

Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, MontGhost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Mont by Philip Varney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author, Philip Varney, has written like 7 books on Ghost Towns. This book represent kind of like the best of the ghost towns. The guide covers the best ghost towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. The ghost town are in various state of repair, some are completely abandoned while some are partially inhabited. Believe it or not some are being regentfrified and rein habited. Other are converted to tourist attracting to bring in money, The author has divided the ghost towns up by state . The author gives a history of the town which includes how it is founded and it’s life over the time and it’s ultimate demise. After the history then you get the low down on what is there for the tourists to see. Finally there are directions on how to get there. Many of these towns have colorful history.

Exploration in the west started after the US purchased the land from France and the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped out the territory. Many people came out looking for silver and gold. The miner’s would come out and settle towns around the mining industry. Once the mines went dry of gold and silver dried up the town’s population would dwindle until it was nothing or almost nothing. The building would fall into various states of disrepair. Things would get worse because vandals would take things or destroy things for whatever reason. These historical landmarks have to be preserved.

The miner and settler faced hostile Native American, sickness and plague. It was definitely the Wild Wild West. I read this book in two days. If checking out ghost towns is your thing then this book is for you. Filled with plenty of color photographs this book makes for a good coffee table book. With the information of history this book is great if you just want to read up on the history of ghost towns then this book is it , even if you do not want to visit a ghost town. Of course after reading this book you will want to visit a ghost town


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and LifeMind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life by Sidney Harman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind Your Own Business


What follows from Sydney Harmon, CHief executive officer of Harmon Kadmon hi if speakers is part auto-biography , part how to run your business. Harmon Kadmon Speakers are used on almost every computer. THey make great hi-if speakers and the company was a pioneering company in making speaker. To start with there are two business models that represent two extremes in the business world. THe old model is top down administration where everything is rigid and creativity is lacking. Things get stuffy. The new model is technology based , very creative. In fact to creative that honesty is forsaken. Profit is the main thing even if the numbers have to be played with. Totally web based. Neither one is a perfect model and each have their flaws which is why Dr. Harmon is advising a third way that combines elements of these two business models.

Dr. Harmon tells how he made money with his paper route and expanded it. He talks about candy shops and how they do business. He talks about how he worked with David Bogen for ten years and he discusses what he learned. During Word War Two he worked in the communications department. After that he would acquire a company with Kadmon. Together they revolutionized the speaker industry by making things sound better and by making the products easier to use. Remember technolgy is subservient to those who need to use it not the other way around. Later he would leave and join the Presidents cabinet as a technolgy minister and when he was done with that he would re acquire the company . He also taught at Friends World College and was involved in the Civl Rights movement when desegragation was being challenged by state . He felt threatened by the racists on several occasasins.
He was 84 when he wrote the short book that has acquired much acclaim.

His belief is that everyone who works for the company is like a jazz quartet , you have to make the music harmonious by listening too everyone. The executive need to know what is going on and see the whole picture. That means they go put on the production floor and do some work there and speak to the people. THe executive is to set an examp-le in integrity and honesty and the rest will follow suit. He believes in building up a quality of life for the employees by providing health care and education. He is against cooking the books t make companies look profitable. If the language is too strange ask the speaker to make it simpler. Writing helps you read your own mind and speeches should be done without liking at the notes.

A refreshing honest approach to business and I am not into business. Honesty is the best policy and this man seems to be a living avatar of that ideal .

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Monday, January 30, 2017

The Most Holy Death

La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of DeathLa Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of Death by Tomás Prower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She is the female grim reaper, worshiped in Mexico among the poor, oppressed and destitute. HEDr veneration has spread here and her followers are not limited to the Latino community but followers from all races. She is popular among criminals, law enforcement, drugs dealers, prostitutes and the lower economic class. What drives people into the arms of La Santa Muerte. For one she is non judge mental . She does not care who you are because death come for us all regardless. She will also answer your petitions with just no judgement. In other words if you ask for it you will get it.

This is in contrast to the practices of Wicca and the three fold law. In Wicca you cannot or are not supposed to do negative magic or magic that will harm someone and if the spirits do not think it is to your benefit then they will not grant your request. La Santa Muerte is different . She answers all your request . Even so the author talks about Karma and the law of equal exchange. If you do negative Magick against someone it will come back to you just the same. There is the law of exchange which means that if you get something you have too give something in return. The author has definitely dipped his feat into the pools of new paganism and immersed himself in the ways of Santa Muerte. The result could be a new path. Most followers of Santa Muerte are of the Catholic persuasion, although anyone can be a follower f Santa Muerte.

Death has been venerated since ancient times and death was not personified as evil, in fact the Greeks thought that Hades was a good guy . The Sumerians worshipped Ereskkigal and the Egyptians worked with her for gay Magic . Pluto was one who gave wealth. The Greeks had the three fates that last one was the crone who cut the cord determining the end of your life. In the Roman Pantheon she was called La Porce.

THe book covers the history of the following of Santa Muerta. At the end there are spells forgo love, money , protection and winning in court. There is a chapter on color correspondences, herbs and incense. The spell are easy to perform and not overly complicated. I also think you can use sme of the knowledge towards working with other deities. This book is great for someone who loves Santa Muerte and it is God for the ne pagan just getting introduced to her. Awesome for beginning and intermediate practitioners of Magic . Great book and I hope the author writes more.Hail Sana Muerte.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

South Pass Wyoming

South Pass and Its TalesSouth Pass and Its Tales by James L. Sherlock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book represent my first foray into American History. It deals with the founding of South Pass in Wyoming. The author , James Sherlock , collected the stories from his blind uncle. Peter , the blind uncle, used to tell tales in front of the hardware shop where he used to work. Despite being blind he knew where everything was in the store.

James Sherlock is an established family member. His relations played an important part in the towns life . They built a hotel, dance hall and several other businesses. His style is to first tell about the towns founding and then look at old houses and building and tell the tales and history associated with that building.

If you are a glutton for detail then this is your book. Not only does he relay the history but he also describes the materials used to build the building and what technique the construction workers used. Most of this went in one eye ball and out the other. many of the tails are amusing and show what life was like back in the early days.

The photographs give you a good picture of what it was like . Log cabins , dirt roads, horse and buggy . It was a land that could be rough yet had law and order. Disputes could be resolved peacefully or someone could get shot. That is how it works. There were threats from marauding Indians and the cold snowy winds of nature . A must read for those who love Wyoming.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Will the Real Monsters Please Stand Up

Monsters Among UsMonsters Among Us by Brad Steiger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who are the monsters that roam among us? Is it the vampires, werewolves and other creatures from our folklore? Or perhaps the most dangerous monster of all is mankind. After all I am more frightened of gang bangers, rapists and corrupt politicians than I am of werewolves and vampire. Of course if you are lost in the woods or you are swimming in the sea you might be afraid of some monsters coming out to get you. Back in the day we feared trolls, witches and dragons, that fear has seemed too subside.

There is a thread here. We have monsters that we believe in. This book talks about sea monsters, UFO's, Big foot, dragons, werewolves and vampire . I might have missed a few.
What is the origin of these monsters? Are they products of a fertile imagination? Or perhaps there is a kernel of truth to these legends.Some would say they are survivors from earlier prehistoric times and have managed to stay hidden from mankinds general view. Sea Monster may very well be dinosaurs, or Bigfoot is a hominid remnant of earlier man. Scientists are discovering new species daily. Maybe these creatures exist in another realm or dimension and every so often they traipse into our realm. or their homes could be in caves or deep inside the Earth. The sea is fathom less and deep. It could well be the home of some surviving sea creatures. People report seeing things but gathering proper evidence can be a challenge. In Africa there are legends of Sauropods lurking the jungles. These creatures might be the basis of dragon legends. Of course so could giant snakes and mammoth bones. The Bigfoot or Yeti has been seen the world over. Numerous sightings have been reported yet obtaining solid proof is difficult. These creatures have been known to flee mankind,yet if cornered they will turn aggressive. Native American legends abound with these creatures who are known to hunt men, abduct women and practice a primitive religion. Could these guys be a Neanderthal hold over? Perhaps is such a creature, many descriptions render it similar to Bigfoot. When people used to go hunting or wage war they would wear different animal skins to obtain the animal power. People had rituals that could supposedly turn them into werewolves. Lycanthropia could be a form of psychosis. Vampires may exist but it is the human ghouls who should frighten us. Ghouls devour human flesh. There are stories of french soldiers dining on corpse flesh. A seductress who kills her lovers to dine on them. There is more where that came from. The book discusses in great detail curses, ghosts, the hollow earth theory and more. Ultimately you have to decide if this all real or bunk. What are the origins of these stories and who is the ultimate monster?


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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Transmuting the Tree of Life

Qabala Treatise: How to Navigate the Tree of Life for TransmutationQabala Treatise: How to Navigate the Tree of Life for Transmutation by Jymie Darling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What should have been a five star book written by a very experienced practitioner who know her stuff comes what could have been an awesome book on using the tree of life to transmute yourself and evolve. I got the kindle version and read it. Great information highly useable but there are several editing issues, especially toward the beginning. Pictures and illustration in several places of the book blot out entire paragraphs or sentences. Guess what you miss out on the information. I would advse that you do not get the kindle version through amazon but rather contact Panpipes magical supply in Hollywood and get the book. Other than that this book has awesome stuff that you can use, I myself took detailed notes cause I am gonna use this stuff.



The beginning of the book tells you ritual foundations and how to design a ritual an it’s phases. The book then goes into the four Qabblsitic worlds and their relation to the tree of life. There is some discussion of the sephirote but it I the thirty two paths that are the meat of this an you are given the tools you need to traverse the path but like a do it yourself kit you have to put it together. At the books beginning there is a correspondence of gods to the sephirot, most of the tree though are cut in half so you lose information. The book covers paths32-11 what happened t the first 10?



The structure I simple the path is discussed along with it’sgoals. Intelligencees are covered, alchemical works, tarots associations are covered along with animals an herbs. I will give example below.



Path 31: Shin the realm of judgment- Fire

Take something and transform it so you can take it in Connects Hod to Malchut. This involves taking stockinto what cn actually be achieved. Learning the new alongside the old. Path of perpetual intelligence cause it regulate the son and the moon.

Virtue: Planning and passion. Vice: Over critical Element is fire

Colors Aziluth: Seeing, Orange scarlet

Beriah: Detached, Vermillion

Yetzirah: Perseptive, Scarlett flecked with gold

Assiah: Caution, Vermillion flecked with emerald and crimson.

Tarot: Judgement

Affirmation: I respond to the universes call of my energy. I feel awakened (or alive) I live a just life

Magic structures: Pyramids, wings, sun, stars, moon

Myths: Study judgement myths, Hestia, Vestia. Vulcan

Herbs: Hyssop, Yarrow, dandelion, Balsam poplar, dragons blood, clove and pepper

Animal s the hawk

Great book to work with, I would advise that if you are a beginner then you should supplement this with other fuller volumes that give more additional insight. This book gets a 4 out of 5. 1 point off from editing errors.


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Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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