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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, September 21, 2020

TTT 092220

 Today's topic is my fall TBR list.

Tony Roberts has a new Casca book coming out. This was his last one. 

He has another for his Kastania Series. This was the sixth the seventh is due soon. 

Lastly another installment in his Dark Blade series. He finished his Siren Series.

Also waiting for the latest installment by Joseph Badal.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


 Today I made the decision to place my mother in hospice. She's been ailing since the middle of August. She's moving in with my family, and I have ten days before having to have all her belongings moved into storage from her apartment.

All that I'm going to have to do when she's gone is staggering. I expected my brother would be able to came and help, but he's out of state and New Mexico has a 14 day quarantine. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

WC 091620


This week is a book or books where you had to look up the most words.

My college professor, Mrs. Carter, in American Literature cautioned us when reading Emily Dickenson's poetry that "She wrote with lexicon in hand." It wasn't hyperbole.

Each book in the First Man in Rome series comes with a glossary at the end. Read it first. So much of the terms and Latin words and town names are explained there. Even after reading the glossary while going through the story I would check on some words and town or province names.

A fellow Wayland graduate, a couple of years ahead of me. He was a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and fired as too liberal when the fundamentalists took over. This was his response. Typical professor using a ten dollar word when a fifty cent one says the same thing.

This book is another one where the author is impeccably impressed with the longitudinity, magnitudnity and importnatudnity of his own verbosity.

I also hate it when the author writes pages on the nuances of a foreign language word by bloody word of a sentence. He makes his case on Socrates's reasons for staying and dying instead of going into exile. I always assumed it was to get away from Xantippe's nagging tongue.  

Friday, September 11, 2020

TTT 091520


Today's topic is about book covers.

There are some books I bought because something caught my eye on the cover.

A pretty face in uniform, a space epic with sailing ships in dark matter. I've read six of them so far and waiting for the seventh. The face is what caught my attention.

What caught my eye on this one was the color.

I bought this  one because I like the title.The cover made me wonder what it was about.

I also blog with the author.

Sometimes some cleavage sells me the book. The subject matter interested me too.

Sometimes book covers get updated. They can be quite different. Which one would you buy?

Some authors have a theme going on in their book covers.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

WC 090920


Topics I never get tired of talking about.


Hmmm, I taught history for 27 years. World history, U.S. History, New Mexico history, military history. I write historical novels. My wife rolls her eyes and tells anyone around us if history comes up and says, “Don’t get him started.”


Books: Why I love Top Ten Tuesdays and Wednesday Challenge is it’s all about books and talking about them. In fiction there’s: children’s books, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, murder mystery, thrillers, horror, romance, erotica, historical and more that all of us share our likes and dislikes.

Non-fiction: the topics are as endless as topics people are interested in. I like history, science, psychology, sociology, how to, gardening, and others as they pop up and catch my eye.


Faith: I’m willing to share my faith, if asked or the topic comes up, but I don’t force my beliefs on others and resent when someone tries to force theirs on me.


Here’s a tip to all the women who wonder, “How do you get a man to talk to you and share what’s on their mind?” My mother told this to my wife, and I wish she hadn’t? Mom told her to, “Put a paint brush in my hand, and while we’re painting the outside of the house or the inside, I’ll talk my head off.”

Do you have any idea how many times we’ve painted the house in the last forty years? It would have been so much cheaper and less time consuming if she’d said, “Pick a topic, ask a question and let me pontificate.”

Monday, September 07, 2020

TTT 090820


Books I wish I'd read as a child? 

This one stumped me for some time. The only children's books I can think of is Dr. Seuss.

Green Eggs and Ham, The Fox in Sox and the others I read to my kids and grandkids. They're great, but if they were around in the early 50's, my parents didn't read them to us. I vaguely remember The Cat in the Hat in grade school, but it didn't make that big of an impact on me.

Three children's books that came out as I was older that I like:

The Velveteen Rabbit

The Little Engine that Could

Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day.

Mom and Dad read to us plenty. When we would take long rides Mom would start a story, Bruce (my brother) would continue it and Dad would finish it. It helped pass the time.

 We had fairy tales and a children's poem book. I looked up the one I remember most:

This Is the Way the Ladies Ride

This is the way the ladies ride,
Tri, tre, tre, tree,
Tri, tre, tre, tree!
This is the way the ladies ride,
Tri, tre, tre, tre, tri-tre-tre-tree!

This is the way the gentlemen ride,
This is the way the gentlemen ride,

This is the way the farmers ride,
This is the way the farmers ride,

Sunday, September 06, 2020

 My backyard flowers:

Gladiolas before blooming.


Fox Glove

Gladiolas in full bloom

Two planters with various flowers

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

WC 090220


Topics that make me stop reading.

These are some things that make me put a book down.


1.     Gross descriptions. If it makes me want to throw up, forget it.

2.     Gore. Why I avoid most horror stories.

3.     Excessive description of clothing, flora and fauna, food, furniture, etc.

4.     Repetitive sexual encounters. It spices up a story, but if there are multiple episodes it gets boring. Doesn't apply to erotica.

5.     Gratuitous violence. There doesn't need to be an excessive body count. A person's death need to have emotion about the person.

6.     Excessive internal dialogue. Someone thinking things though for pages and pages before asking a question or answering one.

7.     Angst. Pages and pages of self-doubt, guilt, recriminations.

8.     Rant books. Someone going on and on about how they feel life is so unfair and how hard they have it.

9.     Historical novels with faulty history. Know the time period. Do your research.

10.  Formula. Every detective gets suspended just when they're about to solve the case. When in a small space someone has to have claustrophobia and flips out. Splitting up in a haunted house. False scares.

Monday, August 31, 2020

TTT 090120

Today’s topic:

Books that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.)


The Miracle of the Moringa Tree. Every part of this fast-growing tree is edible.

It has 7 times more Vitamin C as there are in oranges.

3 times more iron as spinach.

3 times the potassium as bananas.

4 times more Vitamin A as carrots.

4 times the calcium and twice the protein as milk.

The oil from the tree can be used for cooking, and/or fuel. Even as diesel fuel. The leaves can be eaten, put in salads and crushed into flour. The roots taste like horse radish. The seeds make a tasty snack. It is truly a miracle tree.

Take a plastic two-liter bottle, put crushed seeds in the bottom and pour water in. Leave it set in sunlight for two hours. Strain the seeds out of the bottle and you have drinkable water.

In Kenya women have taken 50-gallon drums, made a layer of seeds, then sand, another layer of seed and sand up to the top of the drum. They pour in water and drain from the bottom. They then sell the purified water. When the barrel becomes polluted, they sell what’s inside to farmers which they use it as fertilizer.

In Honduras they have small shelters filled with two-liter bottles of fresh water for use after a hurricane.

In the Philippines, because the trees grow very tall, they plant them around the edges of coffee plantations. They provide shade for the coffee trees and food for the workers.

The trees are being grown in California and Arizona. The roots have water and freeze in cold weather. They are a tropical plant, but it’s the tropics that have the greatest world hunger.

Apple of Success:

Does a young woman stay in a small town teaching 2nd graders or use her talents to make it in the big city and rise up the ladder of success. Will she find love, happiness and success. Had to sneak my book into this.

Random book titles.

This one's free with unlimited



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Human Sacrifices free e-book.


Starting tomorrow, 08/27/20 this book will be available for free at Amazon

Wednesday Challenge: 082620


Today's challenge is the strangest thing or things I've eaten.

I remember trying dirt once. I had a Bic pen in my mouth one time while thinking and the ink came up into my mouth. Made me barf.

Once my mother cooked a Sunday dinner with what we thought was a nice pot roast. She asked how we liked it and we all said it was great, then she told us it was Beef Tongue. We didn't eat a single bite afterwards.

I tied sushi once, sorry too raw for my taste.

A secret Santa gift one year was green chile and red chile jam. Not bad. A burger joint here has green chile in their tartar sauce during Lent. It's really good. A pizza parlor has green chile ranch dressing. Yum. Freddie's hamburgers has a jalapeno French fry sauce, it's got a bite.

Hank Bruce has a book about the Maringa Tree and had his wife bake Writers2writers chocolate chip cookies made with Maringa flour, they were delicious. Wal-Mart has Maringa flour in the pharmacy.

I like Calamari in tempura.

For a while my father raised rabbits and we dined on them. Their legs have a lot more meat on them than chickens, and I like drumsticks.

Had frog legs once in Juarez. Also on the other side of the border had a dish with three round browned balls. It was meat and mushrooms fried in beer foam. They were the size of small meat balls. I thought why so much for three bites. Two of them filled me up.

When I was in Junior High the school system had a scandal. It was revealed that for six months the hamburger meat they were serving was actually horse meat. I couldn't tell the difference.

 Costco sells buffalo burgers, and they're tasty, but a little too expensive.

The only way I like venison is in barbeque sauce.

Elk tastes like beef.

Never adventurous for antelope, did have a restaurant that served it. Same with bear meat.

Family member that lived in Alaska sent down some caribou meat. She said to eat it with Russian dressing. The only thing close was French dressing around here, and it was pretty good.