Friday, August 1, 2008

In the past few days, since I've been stuck at home trying to recuperate, I've had a lot of time to read. I finished two books, the first one being "Eight Lives Down" by Chris Hunter and the second is "Don't Eat this Book" by Morgan Spurlock.
Morgan Spurlock is probably better known for his movie "Super-Size Me" and his television show "Thirty Days". "Don't Eat this Book" is pretty much what Spurlock went through doing the filming of the documentary, where he ate nothing but McDonalds for thirty days, and then ties his experience in with the state of nutrition in the nation today. It's probably not the best book on that topic, but it was a nice, fairly light read. He's a pretty funny guy, even when he goes on a multi-chapter long rant about the food industry.
"Eight Lives Down" is a memoir of a British soldier in Iraq during 2004. Chris Hunter is in charge of a bomb disposal unit, who are called out daily to diffuse bombs and try to catch the bad guys who are making them. This is a book that I would call a "dude" book or one that is definitely suitable for a guy who isn't really into reading, but likes either the army, bombs or exciting stories about other guys in dangerous places. I would place this in the same category as the "Time Bandit" which is about two brothers who king crab fish in Alaska and are on the show "The Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. It was quite interesting to read what a soldier goes through on a daily basis in Iraq, specifically the stresses that are placed on them emotionally and physically. It gave me a greater understanding of what is going on in Iraq or at least what was going on in Iraq in 2004. One of the most interesting aspects of the memoir was the interactions that Hunter had with the Iraqi civilians or at times the obvious restraint that he had to show to not interact with them.
I've also become quite addicted to Mark Bittman's blog on the New York Times. He makes cooking seem so simple that even I could make some of his recipes of the day.
It really is fantastic. It makes me realize that I need to get out my "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" (by Bittman) and start to actually cook some things out of it. I've decided that I'm going to try to make this:
which is an Indian style rice salad. It looks easy enough that even I could not mess it up. The videos that he posts are interesting to watch as well. That is what made me convinced that I could try this recipe, but I will have to wait until this weekend after a trip to the store.

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