Book Report: Rogue Warrior: Seal Force Alpha by Richard Marcinko and John Weisman (1998)

Book coverLet’s get it right out of the way: In my book report for They Call Me Mercenary #7: Slave of the Warmonger, I dinged that volume for misspelling the name of the Browning Hi-Power.

Welp, this book:

On his thigh, I could see the butt of an old SAS-type Browning High Power pistol peeking through th eballistic nylon restraining strap.

So consider this volume officially dinged.

As with any of the Rogue Warrior novels, you know what you’re getting: A crassly composed, often vulgar voice describing a pretty tight military/suspense story. This book deals with the specialist SEAL team destroying a clandestine Chinese weapons ship only to discover that the tangos had their hands on a particularly Top Secret electronics weapon called Big Brother–which means someone in Washington has been working with the ChiComs. So Marcinko and crew have to stop a plot (dealing with the disputed Senkaku islands–here in the future, in 2017, we know all about those still-disputed islands, don’t we?).

It’s fast-paced and fun reading (if you can tolerate the voice, which is strangely part of the charm for me). Apparently, these books are still getting written and put out, and I have to wonder how they will evolve–in 1998, the main character has open disdain for the Clinton administration, for example–as history has unfolded. Sadly, they could just about recycle a number of the post-Cold War plots since the same hotspots from 1998 remain places of suspense in 2017.

Check out the foresight as to the hot things to come:

No, Dick–what you sometimes gotta do is take the Oriental approach. Use the discipline of Mindfulness. Let everything be everything, and in equal degrees of being.

In 2017, all the cool listicle and life-hack sites talk about mindfulness (as does this blog, as I end up reading a bunch of that stuff to relax).

As I have said or alluded, these books are scarily timely even after 20 years.

Book Report: Teachers: Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes edited by Patrick Regan (2001)

Book coverThe people behind this book built it to be a teacher-friendly gift for students to give their secret Santas and whatnot in the educational system. It collects quotes about education from a variety of classical sources, includes a jokes relating to schooling that cast teachers in a flattering light, and shares anecdotes from actual teachers about amusing incidents they encountered.

Although it’s a pretty thick little book–260+ pages–with only two short bits per page, it’s a pretty quick scan, amusing enough but not something that’s going to stick to your mental ribs.

So an amusing couple of hours of flipping, and nothing more. Unless you receive it as a gift and you’re a teacher, in which case it could be a memento.

Stuck in Reruns

You know, as I mentioned, I’m going through old posts and whatnot, and I notice that I used to comment on the news of the day every day.

Lately, though, my posts have been mostly music, mostly books, mostly life.

Why is that, you ask?

Well, it’s partly because I don’t want to sound like a crank on the Internet, and I don’t devote enough time to my commentary to not were I to jot a couple things here and there. Also, in the modern world, I can’t help but wonder if I would lose career opportunities based on my commentary. Although this site with its rich archives is still here, so any job opportunities I would lose I have already lost. And I’m thinking that the field that I am in has changed enough to leave me behind a bit as it were anyway.

Also, it’s partly because like reading a Rogue Warrior novel, I see the same things come up over and over again over the years, and I’d just be repeating myself.

A couple cases in point: From 2012, stories about local governments in St. Louis County and Republic looking to consolidate trash hauling to a single government-selected option. I know I’ve written at length about this as far back as my Suburban Journal days. Well, look, here the issue is again in Springfield. I wrote about it earlier this year even. What more do I have to say about it except to point out further examples?

I also spotted a story from 2008 about the Hidden Valley ski resort in St. Louis County clashing with local governments about blocking an amenity, and the resort threatened to or it will have no choice to shut down.

It just seems so dull to keep posting the same things, year after year, with little change.

Occam’s Razor Suggests Robur the Conqueror

BOOM! MYSTERY BLASTS RATTLING THE GLOBE:

Those are the questions experts and non-experts around the world are asking themselves in recent weeks as curiously loud mystery BOOMS have not only been hear around the world, but felt – shaking buildings and rattling nerves from Alabama to Michigan, Idaho to California, Russia to Denmark.

The Alabama boom last Tuesday at 1:39 CST was heard and felt through 11 counties, but an earthquake event has been ruled out.

The day after Alabamans were shaken by that incident, something similar occurred in Idaho. No explanation has been forthcoming from law enforcement officials there.

Then, last Saturday, much the same thing was reported in Michigan, according to various local newscast. Still no explanation.

Clearly, it is Robur the Conqueror in his Clipper in the Clouds:

Never had the sky been so much looked at since the appearance of man on the terrestrial globe. The night before an aerial trumpet had blared its brazen notes through space immediately over that part of Canada between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Some people had heard those notes as “Yankee Doodle,” others had heard them as “Rule Britannia,” and hence the quarrel between the Anglo-Saxons, which ended with the breakfast on Goat Island. Perhaps it was neither one nor the other of these patriotic tunes, but what was undoubted by all was that these extraordinary sounds had seemed to descend from the sky to the earth.

What could it be? Was it some exuberant aeronaut rejoicing on that sonorous instrument of which the Renommée makes such obstreperous use?

No! There was no balloon and there were no aeronauts. Some strange phenomenon had occurred in the higher zones of the atmosphere, a phenomenon of which neither the nature nor the cause could be explained. Today it appeared over America; forty-eight hours afterwards it was over Europe; a week later it was in Asia over the Celestial Empire.

Hence in every country of the world—empire, kingdom, or republic—there was anxiety which it was important to allay. If you hear in your house strange and inexplicable noises, do you not at once endeavor to discover the cause? And if your search is in vain, do you not leave your house and take up your quarters in another? But in this case the house was the terrestrial globe! There are no means of leaving that house for the moon or Mars, or Venus, or Jupiter, or any other planet of the solar system. And so of necessity we have to find out what it is that takes place, not in the infinite void, but within the atmospherical zones. In fact, if there is no air there is no noise, and as there was a noise—that famous trumpet, to wit—the phenomenon must occur in the air, the density of which invariably diminishes, and which does not extend for more than six miles round our spheroid.

(Link via.)

Book Report: Wisconsin: A Picture Memory text by Bill Harris (1996)

Book coverI’ve read a number of these Crescent Books picture books with the text by Bill Harris before (New York At Night, Florida: A Photographic Journey, New York: City of Many Dreams). So when I saw a book with images from my home state last month, I hopped on it.

This volume is pretty slim–64 pages in all–which makes me question the committment of the publishers. Wisconsin has varied landscapes, and one could easily do a whole book on the north, on the lake shore, along the Missouri river, and the prairie.

However, this book gives each a nod and a page or two along with three pages of pictures of Madison, a page of Milwaukee (including the interior of a brewery, natch). I was pleased with how many sites I’ve seen–I’ve been to La Crosse, I’ve been up north, and I’ve visited the Dells and the House on the Rock. I have seen the state capitol lit up at night, but I haven’t been to Madison by day–the only time I was in Madison was late on a Friday or Saturday night for a quick trip to the Pizza Pit and back to Milwaukee, so I didn’t really even notice the birds’ eye view of its position between its two lakes.

So I enjoyed the book. Certainly more than the Wisconsin-based football game during which I flipped through the volume.

I have more of these books, I think, and I kind of look forward to them. Perhaps I should find them amid the thousands of books I’ve got on my to-read shelves.

Also, extra poignant note: The book has a little sticky note inscription in it that says To Dad From Brian. As this is a 1996 edition of the book, my own father was already but a (fresh) memory for me then.

Book Report: Zobmondo! Created by Randy Horn (2001)

Book coverTo be entirely honest, I didn’t actually read this book.

I bought it because my beautiful wife and I, when we were young, took little quiz books along on rode trips and asked ourselves the little essay questions to amuse ourselves and to learn more about our partner as the miles rolled away. So somewhere along the line, I picked up this book to amuse ourselves again when we had older children and took road trips.

Well, the children are older now, and we sometimes drive a distance with them, but when we packed this little “Would you rather?” game, it was pretty clear that I had only read the back and had not read actual questions in the book, or if I did look at actual questions in the book, I must have accidentally landed on the things that weren’t particularly odious.

The first questions in the book are:

  • Would you rather chew on a wild rat’s severed tail for a half hour or thoroughly brush your teeth with a toothbrush from a prison’s community toothbrush bowl?
  • Would you rather bite into a piece of chocolate and find it filled with maggots or filled with pus?
  • Would you rather walk around all day with a dead mouse in your butt or a dead frog in your mouth?

Well, we found something else to do on the trip

I guess the question for me is would I rather keep this book on my to-read shelves even though I won’t actually read it or put it on my read shelves even though I haven’t actually read it? Clearly, I’m migrating it to the read shelves (like I could ever give a book away!). Perhaps it will give my children some amusement someday, although given that some of the questions have sexual content and not just gross-out conundrums, I will try to keep it out of their grasps for a couple years yet.

So be warned: It’s more a book for road trips with Tom Green than with children or your sweetie.

The Inside Jokes Amid The Art At Nogglestead

I mentioned that I could not hear The Miracles sing “Love Machine” without thinking of chickens. I failed to mention that this commercial is my beautiful wife’s favorite commercial of all time, which will come in handy knowing that as our children like to ask for a favorite this or that regularly.

Here’s the commercial again for your reference:

Last Saturday, a boy and I had some time to kill before picking the other lad up from an activity, so we went to a local antique mall to do some Christmas shopping. Which means, mostly, buying things for ourselves and maybe a trinket or two for someone down the Christmas list.

I passed on a Rooster print with iron that I thought might go nicely for my aunt, whom I think has a rooster or chicken theme going. If not, she has a rooster or chicken theme from Brian going, since I bought her a large filigree chicken last year.

But we were also looking to replace something in our kitchen, a print in plastic frame that we had over our sink for years, far beyond the normal lifespan of this cheap particular bit of postery that I bought at a garage sale some decade or two ago.

So after passing it, I returned to the rooster art at the antique mall, and I thought it might do double duty: I would hang it up in the kitchen and see if it flew as a replacement, and if not, it would be great for Aunt Sandy.

Also, as I did so, I did not mention to Heather that I did; I expected her to say, “Is that a …. chicken?” when she saw it. That, in itself is an in-joke: Some decades ago, when she was a comely young HR staffer for the St. Louis County government, she would interview building inspectors by showing them a series of photos and asking them to identify possible violations. One of the photos had a chicken, which was back in those dark ages, not allowed within the county. One incredulous interviewee looked at the photo for building violations, and then said, “Is that…a chicken?” which my then beautiful girlfriend beautiful then-girlfriend, now-beautiful now-wife (::sweats the construction there::) repeated with the same intonation the fellow under interview used.

But she did not.

And, apparently, she now likes chickens in the kitchen. Art chickens, anyway. A couple of years ago, I did a woodburning of a rooster on a board and put a couple of hooks on it, and somehow it replaced a pair of paintings by my great grandmother on our dining room wall. When she saw the new rooster above the sink, she liked it (sorry, Aunt Sandy, unless you really don’t do chickens, in which case, hey, lucky for you!).

It took less than fourteen hours for the Denny’s commercial allusion to appear:

Which she also loved when she saw it on Sunday afternoon.

It stayed on the art work for the week because I was too busy and lazy to remove it, but I see that it has migrated to the woodburned rooster by her hand.

Perhaps I’ll end up being lazy enough that it will remain there until such time as our kitchen is filled enough with chickens that it can make a circuit regularly.

But I doubt, actually, that the tape will last that long. Nor her desire for more chickens in the kitchen.

The Hard Rock CD That The Blogosphere Insisted I Get

Danger Danger’s The Return of the Great Gildersleeves:

Well, all right, maybe not, but the old timey blogs pointed the way.

First, on the Facebook, Blackfive posted a song by eighties band Danger Danger:

I liked the sound–man, do I miss the eighties–so I bought the debut CD.

When I was thinking about picking up something else, I looked for another Danger Danger album, and their 2000 release was called The Return of the Great Gildersleeves.

If you’re a Lileks reader, you know who the Great Gildersleeves was. He posts about the old radio show all the time. Including today.

So I had to have it.

I don’t regret it; it’s a pretty good album.

So thanks to all those guys who I’ve been reading for years (one of whom actually visited our home in Casinoport, if you can believe it, making me like a real blogger back in the day) for the pointer.

“How’s the hard rock/songbird balance going these days, Brian J.?” you might ask.

Well, it’s not fifty/fifty these days.

Here are the last ten albums I got:

  • Danger Danger Return of the Great Guildersleeves
  • Fozzy Judas
  • Danger Danger Danger Danger
  • Disturbed Indestructible
  • Hellyeah Unden!able
  • Herb Alpert Music Volume 1
  • Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey Music from the Motion Picture
  • All That Remains A War You Cannot Win
  • Ozzy Osbourne No More Tears
  • Sacha Boutros Live from Hawaii

I just haven’t heard anything compelling on WSIE and have been looking for stuff to put on my iPod at the gym.

But I’ve got The Return of the Great Gildersleeves. If the blogosphere as any recommendations for songbirds, I’m all ears.

Prime Comestibles

I recently discovered José Olé Chicken and Cheese Tacquitos come in a strangely enumerated 37 pack:

What, did the authorities in Mexico gullotine frozen food makers that shipped 35 when the customer ordered 36?

Likely not. It’s probably not also signaling that this is a prime product.

I assume that it used to be a 40 pack but the quantity was reduced at some point (at the same or nearly the same low price!).

Still, they didn’t shrink it down to the even number.

Which means that in the future, barring some other reduction in quantity, there will be contention at Nogglestead as two strapping young men spar for the odd tacquito.

That’s What I Get For Trying To Read A Video Game Review

Over at StLToday.com, I saw a headline for a video game review that I thought I might to look at because it’s more interesting than the Web-based training I was taking concurrently.

The headline: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ (PS4) review: Extreme prejudice

How far did I make it into the review?

When “Wolfenstein” returned in May 2014 with reboot “The New Order,” the seminal first-person shooter series felt retro. But in the time since then, it has — sadly — become relevant.

That’s because “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus” arrives as the series’ longtime cannon fodder, Nazis, reassert their contemptible selves in American society. Emboldened months after “The New Order” by the reactionary fervor of GamerGate, they metastasized into one of the more vocal parts of the alt-right coalition that helped elect President Donald Trump last year. And after they shouted that “Jews will not replace us!” in Charlottesville this summer, Trump’s description of them as “very fine people” sanctioned their hateful rhetoric to a degree once unthinkable.

Not very far.

Behind the Scenes at MfBJN

It’s been a couple days (what, almost a week?) since I posted, but I have been working here behind the scenes at MfBJN.

As some of you might know, this blog has been around for over fourteen years. It started on Blogspot back before Blogger supported a title, not to mention categories. In 2010, I switched to WordPress and self-hosting (and moved my images from one site to another).

The result of the transition and the old timeyness of some posts meant that some images were missing from posts, many posts didn’t have titles, and none of them had categories. I’ve been working on them here and there, but I’ve started making an effort to catch up on them. So I’ve been reading individual posts from nine or ten years ago and reading comments (what? people used to comment here?), adding categories, and standardizing some tags.

So it seems like I’ve been working on the blog, but you haven’t seen any new content.

I’ll get back to it in a bit here. Thank you for your indulgence.

Book Report: Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack (2011)

Book coverI bought this book a week ago, and clearly I could not wait to get into it even though the Green Bay Packers did not actually play football last Sunday. As a matter of fact, I wanted to finish a book, any book, while I work my way through another lengthy omnibus edition and continued to toil away at a book on serious philosophy.

Clearly, this is any book, which is not to say it’s a any good book.

You know, I have bought and read books based on Internet sites before (heaven forbid, Bad Cat). Most of the Internet books I get have some textual angle, though, like The Official Darwin Awards or Jump the Shark, which fares better in book form than cat pictures with captions.

This book is a little different from that, though: It’s based on the Awkward Family Photos site, where families with odd props or out-of-date fashions post images of themselves (or get themselves posted) for the lulz. Frankly, I’ve not gotten a lot out of the site itself because laughing at pictures of other people ain’t really my bag, baby (but being amused by textual accounts of their deaths is a different thing entirely, apparently). So when the Web site operators, the nominal authors of this volume, extended the brand to pictures of people with dated fashions and pets as their props. And published at least one book of selections.

I finished the book in an hour or two of browsing, but I’ll probably forego getting others in the series or even books of this type (Internet-site photos with captions) in the future, aside from what I already own, because I don’t enjoy them and I can’t lie to myself and say I learned something from them.

But I’ll still get around to anything like this I already own. And I might revisit the proclamation if it’s coming around to football season, I’m still watching football, and I feel like I’m low on books to browse during sporting events. Because I am nothing if undisciplined.

Book Report: Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus by Karl Jaspers (1957, 1962)

Book coverThis book fits right into the reading I’ve been doing in Eastern philosophies, classical philosophy, and the Christian traditions. It is a part of a longer work (The Great Philosophers Volume I) by Existentialist philosopher Karl Jaspers, whom I tend to confuse with either Karl Poppers or Karl Barth. Theoretically, I’ll get to keeping them straight as I read them individually instead of as names in summary textbooks.

The book looks at each of the four aforementioned thinkers, giving a brief biography of each and then teasing out the thinkers’ focuses. Jaspers draws certain parallels between each–for example, that the thinkers themselves did not leave behind many writings, but instead their followers produced the texts associated with the each, which does highlight that the understanding of each is tainted by a hagiographic portrayal by their partisans.

A good, quick enough read and a quick summary view–although the Confucius section bogged me down quite as the primary text did. It can be a good starting point into these thinkers and help familiarize the reader with the various things they thought.

Deeper than this book report, anyway.

It makes me consider reading the whole The Great Philosophers set someday, but to be honest, I’m like a quarter of the way through volume 1 part 1 of Copleson’s History of Philosophy, so I won’t go out and look for it. But if I see it in a book sale….

Almost Like Big Trouble In Little China II

I watched the Eddie Murphy film The Golden Child again tonight as I had a spot of time.

It played on Showtime back in the day when we were out in the middle of nowhere and had nothing better to do than to watch the same films over and over again.

But as I watched it this time, again, I recognized several actors who overlapped between this film and Big Trouble In Little China:

Perhaps if I watch current movies, I would see crossover like this in character actors, but clearly I prefer the old timey films.

(Of course, if you’re a long-time reader, you probably remember when I noted the crossover actors between Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Coming to America back in the day. Holy cats, was that twelve years ago?)

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, But I’m Working On My Alibi Just In Case

For the second time this year, human body parts have been found at a location named in my poetry.

First, it was Bee Tree Park. Now, it’s Okauchee Lake in Wisconsin:

A body found floating in Okauchee Lake near Road J on Oct. 26 appears to have been missing its head, part of an arm and a foot, if a photo circulating on social media is to be believed.

Police declined to comment about the photo, but Police Chief James Wallis said, “It does appear that the body may have been in the lake for an extended period of time.”

The relevant poem: “Okauchee Light”:

Across the dark Okauchee lake, a light,
the marker for the end of someone’s dock,
is strangely lit at nearly twelve o’clock
and breaks the solid black that is the night.
From here, across the chilling April lake,
through busy bar room glass I see that glow,
but life or rooms beyond I’ll never know.
One light does not a utopia make.
Quite like your smile, that single man-made star:
Up there, on stage, you flash a smile at me,
and crinkle eyes to give the gesture weight,
but like the dock-end light, you are too far;
your glow is there for someone else to see,
and now, for me at least, it is too late.

If anything happens six miles south of Tonica, Illinois, I will probably be interviewed.

Weird that “Okauchee Light” did not appear in one of my chapbooks from the middle 1990s. It will appear in my forthcoming volume Coffeehouse Memories, due out whenever I get around to it.

Book Report: The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton (1922, 1986)

Book coverI picked up this book because I’ve heard of Chesterton, of course, and because I’m a big fan of the Bill Murray film The Man Who Knew Too Little. So this book is a two-fer: An intro to Chesterton and the knowledge of the source of the trope. It had been facing out of my hallway to-read bookshelves for a while, and I picked it up, hoping to get through a collection of short stories quickly. Oh, but no.

This volume collects eight connected short stories. Horne Fisher is a member of a well-connected British family whose members include several high-ranking government officials. Horne is the odd duck of the family, a dilettante that knows a lot of things and a lot of things about people. In each of the stories, someone gets murdered, and Fisher gets to the bottom of it, but the murderer goes free for the greater good of the country somewhow. Fisher has a confidante in journalist Harold Marsh who hears the crime solutions but also does not take action at his friend’s behest.

The style is a bit stilted, a bit more targeted perhaps to the aristocracy or to the intelligentsia than, say Rudyard Kipling or popular translations of Jules Verne. So I found it slower to read and easier to put down, which is why it took me a while to read the whole book even though it’s only 160 pages. I’d read something else in the interim and then a story in this book. This approach kept it from becoming too tedious.

At any rate, perhaps not the best lead into Chesterton’s work. Less approachable than Christie, and given that the criminals do not receive justice, unsatisfying. I was probably hindered by not knowing the exact period in which this was going on nor the conflicts alluded to. Even watching the entirety of Downton Abbey did not prepare me adequately. And I couldn’t hear Michelle Dockery’s voice reading it aloud (unlike Cotsold Mistress, where my imagining it helped me get through the book).

Still, I can say I’ve read some Chesterton now, which probably makes it worth the fifty cents or dollar I paid for the book. You can find fairly inexpensive editions on Amazon as noted below.

Book Report: Pets’ Letters To God translated by Mark Bricklin (1999)

Book coverI bought this book on Friday, and in that very post I pointed out the lack of recent book reporting. So I grabbed one of the thin, browseable books from that stack and flipped through it even though it’s a bye week for the Green Bay Packers.

This book collects a number of little letters as though they were written by pets to God. There must be some sort of cutesy collection of children doing this sort of thing for this collection to piggyback on, but I’ve avoided it. Probably for similar reasons that I like jokes with talking dogs but not talking children. Which was true even before I had children of my own.

At any rate, the book is about what you expect: something along the lines of I Could Pee On This and with about the same amusement factor. Which is to say some things were amusing, most were not, and I didn’t get dumber reading it.

So worth your time if you’re me. Or if this is your bag, baby.

Interesting note: The author’s bio indicates he is the former editor of Pets: Part of the Family, Prevention, and Men’s Health magazines. Actually, that’s all the bio. One would think a former editor would have weightier things to write about, but I guess not. Or this fills the time and the bank account. Maybe he’s a professional. Unlike your humble host, who mostly writes this as a gift to myself in four years, when I’ll page through these posts and find them amusing in an I Could Pee On This way. If, in four years, I can still access this site given I’m not sure how to convert it to https.

Good Book Hunting, Friday, October 27, 2017: Friends of the Clever Library Book Sale

Friday closed out the semi-annual book sale season here in the Springfield area. The trifecta of the Friends of the Christian County, the Springfield-Greene County, and Clever Library(ies) provide the basic three book sales we hit in the spring and the fall. Things like the Lebanon-Laclede County or Polk County libraries, an hour away, are the outliers.

This season, like so many, we hit all three, with the trip down to the Clever fire station closing it out.

It’s the smallest of the three sales, but I managed to find a couple things.

I got:

  • Teachers Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes, something put together to be a gift to a teacher but something I’ll flip through while watching a football game.
     
  • The Essential Kabbalah, a book on the Jewish mystical tradition.
     
  • Pets’ Letters to God, a Hallmark humor thing, also for flipping through during football games.
     
  • Assumed Identity by David Morrell. I’ve read First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II and have since collected a couple more by this author, but I’ve yet to read them. But by adding more to my to-read shelves, I’m adding to the statistical chances that I’ll actually pick one up.
     
  • A Catholic Guide to the Bible by Father Oscar Lukefahr. I’m currently working my way through the Orthodox Study Bible, which is the like the Director’s Cut of the Christian Bible, and this book should give me a traditional Catholic perspective on it. The sale had many books by Father Lukefahr, but I only bought this one.
     
  • Awkward Family Pet Photos, something to flip through during football games probably based on the Internet site.
     
  • The Life of Greece by Will Durant. I’m creeping up on a set of his Story of Civilization books. Someday.
     
  • Mythopoeikon, a collection of paintings, etchings, book jacket, and record sleeve covers by artist Patrick Woodroffe. I’ve never heard of him. Perhaps I’ll recognize something as I flip through the book during football games. Some three or four years from now, probably.
     
  • Making Bead and Wire Jewelry by Dawn Cusick. Remember those days long ago when I did stuff like this? My book buying remembers.
     
  • Wisconsin: A Picture Memory with text by Bill Harris. The pictures probably won’t align with my memories, but will kind of rhyme.

Not purchased: Any of the John Sandford Prey novels I might lack; the Tibetan Book of the Dead; a book on competitive running.

I also picked up a couple of DVDs: A four pack of WWII movies including Tora! Tora! Tora! because I’ve seen it memed a bit lately, but mostly because it includes Von Ryan’s Express which I bought during my eBay listing days and sometimes use as test data for this Web site I test. As part of my testing, I learned Frank Sinatra was in the film version, which I now own. I also got Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels because, well, in my recent Jason Statham film watching, I was going to quip on Facebook that I’d even watch Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels if Jason Statham was in it, and lo! He actually is. So I will have to watch it.

At any rate, with a couple of books for the children and, I presume, something for my beautiful wife (although I’m not sure where they went), we spent several sawbucks, but the Clever Library needs all the friends it can get.

So I should probably sit down and read some books here soon. It’s been a while since you’ve seen a book report, ainna?