Ken's Project Blog

October 17, 2011

Round the World – Pittsburgh

Filed under: Books,History,Round the World — Ken @ 6:00 am


Thursday, October 17

What is this? A telegram! “Belgic sails from San Francisco 24th instead of 28th.” Can we make it? Yes, travelling direct and via Omaha, and not seeing Denver as intended. All right! through we go, and here we are at St. Louis Friday morning, and off for Omaha to catch the Saturday morning train for San Francisco. If we miss but one connection we shall reach San Francisco too late. But we sha’n’t. Having courted the fickle goddess assiduously, and secured her smiles, we are not going to lose faith in her now, come what may. See if our good fortune doesn’t carry us through!

The above is an excerpt from Andrew Carnegie’s book “Round the World,” published in 1880, documenting his around-the-world journey. I am posting the daily updates on the 143rd anniversary of their entry date.


October 15, 2011

Round the World – New York

Filed under: Books,History,Round the World — Ken @ 8:09 am


Saturday, October 12, 1878.

Bang! click! the desk closes, the key turns, and good-bye for a year to my wards—that goodly cluster over which I have watched with parental solicitude for many a day; their several cribs full of records and labelled Union Iron Mills, Lucy Furnaces, Keystone Bridge Works, Union Forge, Cokevale Works, and last, but not least, that infant Hercules, the Edgar Thomson Steel Rail Works—good lusty bairns all, and well calculated to survive in The struggle for existence—great things are expected of them in The future, but for the present I bid them farewell; I’m off for a holiday, and the rise and fall of iron and steel “affecteth me not.”

Years ago, Vandy, Harry, and I, standing in the very bottom of the crater of Mount Vesuvius, where we had roasted eggs and drank to the success of our next trip, resolved that some day, instead of turning back as we had then to do, we would make a tour round the Ball. My first return to Scotland and journey through Europe was an epoch in my life, I had so early in my days determined to do it; to-day another epoch comes—our tour fulfils another youthful aspiration. There is a sense of supreme satisfaction in carrying out these early dreams which I think nothing else can give, it is such a triumph to realize one’s castles in the air. Other dreams remain, which in good time also must come to pass; for nothing can defeat these early inborn hopes, if one lives, and if death comes there is, until the latest day, the exaltation which comes from victory if one but continues true to his guiding star and manfully struggles on.

And now what to take for the long weary hours! for travellers know that sight-seeing is hard work, and that the ocean wave may become monotonous. I cannot carry a whole library with me. Yes, even this can be done; mother’s thoughtfulness solves the problem, for she gives me Shakespeare, in thirteen small handy volumes. Come, then, my Shakespeare, you alone of all the mighty past shall be my sole companion. I seek none else; there is no want when you are near, no mood when you are not welcome—a library indeed, and I look forward with great pleasure to many hours’ communion with you on lonely seas—a lover might as well sigh for more than his affianced as I for any but you. A twitch of conscience here. You ploughman bard, who are so much to me, are you then forgotten? No, no, Robin, no need of taking you in my trunk; I have you in my heart, from “A man’s a man for a that” to “My Nannie’s awa’.”

The above is an excerpt from Andrew Carnegie’s book “Round the World,” published in 1880, documenting his around-the-world journey. I am posting the daily updates on the 143rd anniversary of their entry date.

Round the World – Preface

Filed under: Books,History,Round the World — Ken @ 8:04 am




It seems almost unnecessary to say that “Round the World,” like “An American
Four-in-Hand in Britain,” was originally printed for private circulation. My
publishers having asked permission to give it to the public, I have been induced to
undertake the slight revision, and to make some additions necessary to fit the
original for general circulation, not so much by the favorable reception accorded to
the “Four-in-Hand” in England as well as in America, nor even by the flattering
words of the critics who have dealt so kindly with it, but chiefly because of many
valued letters which entire strangers have been so extremely good as to take the
trouble to write to me, and which indeed are still coming almost daily. Some of
these are from invalids who thank me for making the days during which they read the
book pass more brightly than before. Can any knowledge be sweeter to one than this?
These letters are precious to me, and it is their writers who are mainly responsible
for this second volume, especially since some who have thus written have asked where
it could be obtained and I have no copies to send to them, which it would have given
me a rare pleasure to be able to do.

I hope they will like it as they did the other. Some friends consider it better;
others prefer the “Four-in-Hand.” I think them different. While coaching I was more
joyously happy; during the journey round the World I was gaining more knowledge; but
if my readers like me half as well in the latter as in the former mood, I shall have
only too much cause to subscribe myself with sincere thanks,

Most gratefully,


“Think on thy friends when thou haply see’st
Some rare, noteworthy object in thy travels,
Wish them partakers of thy happiness.”

The above is an excerpt from Andrew Carnegie’s book “Round the World,” published in 1880, documenting his around-the-world journey. I am posting the daily updates on the 143rd anniversary of their entry date.

October 12, 2011

Book Review: OneNote 2010 Quick & Easy

Filed under: Books — Ken @ 10:49 pm

If you are reading this review, you most likely fall into one of two camps – either you are fan of Microsoft OneNote 2010 and use it on a regular basis, or you are more likely one of the countless millions of Microsoft Office users that have installed, but never used, OneNote 2010 along with the rest of the Microsoft Office Suite – this book, Microsoft OneNote 2010 Plain & Simple
is aimed squarely at both groups.

For those who have occasionally worked with OneNote 2010, there is typically a sense that you are only scratching the surface of it’s capabilities – this book will expose you to all the significant features of the product in a quick, “Let me show you how to do that” manner that I find very useful. Those with a bit more experience with the product will find new ways to accomplish tasks, and find useful introductions to features in the product you might not be aware of.

If you are new to OneNote 2010 this book provides a great overview of the many ways you can use OneNote 2010 to collect and organize your notes and research items. OneNote 2010 is tightly integrated into all the other Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.), and once you get a handle on working with OneNote 2010 you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever got along without it.

There are a few notable chapters that really stand out in my opinion – the chapters on using the research tools included with OneNote 2010 (such as the dictionary, thesauruses, and translation tools), on sharing OneNote 2010 with others co-authors, and on working with the Office Web App version of OneNote 2010. What I didn’t find coverage of was the iPad OneNote “app” Microsoft has made available – but I’m not certain this “app” is anything more than a proof of concept exercise, rather than a fully supported Microsoft offering, so it’s omission may have been for good reason. Failing to include coverage of this “app” doesn’t detract from the book in anyway.

As I understand it, OneNote was developed originally as an in-house project for Microsoft employees, and once it gained widespread use inside Microsoft it was included in the Office Suite, but finding any books that cover this program has typically been challenging. With the release of Microsoft OneNote 2010 Plain & Simple you now have a great resource available to you.

The author Peter Weverka previously authored a book on OneNote 2003, and his latest effort builds on his knowledge and experience with the product over the years – I found this book to be very accessible, comprehensive, and well-written. Highly recommended for anyone either just starting out with OpenNote 2010 or for those hoping to learn more about it.

February 6, 2011

The New Road To Serfdom

Filed under: Books,Political — Ken @ 6:26 pm

Daniel Hannan MEP (see above video), wrote a book last year that I read just a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share it with you here. The book The New Road to Serfdom is a cautionary tale about what has happened in Great Britain (and the European Union) and could happen here in the United States if we are not careful.

I found the book interesting, readable, and familiar – the cautionary tales repeat stories and concerns voiced by many conservative Americans in the last few years, but were frequently dismissed by people on the left arguing either that conservatives “didn’t know what they are talking about” or “sure, that’s bad – but we would never do that”… It turns out that conservative (typically) did know what they were talking about, and that the concerns voiced by the left have been shown to be the likely, predictable, conclusion to many policies the left wants to implement.

For those who agree with the conservative position, it arms them with facts, figures and first-hand accounts to back up their concerns. For those who are left of the conservative position, this book will have little or no impact – why would they read it? They “just know” their positions are correct, they have a firm belief in their government taking care of their needs, looking out for them and having their best interests at heart. Good luck with that…


The Book: The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America

Daniel Hannan at The Telegraph UK

YouTube video: Daniel Hannan MEP: The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government

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