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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday Challenge: favorite food & recilpe

Wednesday challenge: Favorite food and recipe

I don't cook. I heat. For a couple of years I lived alone and got by with doing easy to fix stuff like Hamburger helper, tuna helper and such.

Here are a couple of things I came up with to heat.

1. Barbeque sloppy joes: Brown a pound of hamburger, smother with French's Cattleman's BBQ sauce, add diced bell pepper, chopped onions or dehydrated onions. Make sandwiches out of it.

2. Pineapple angle food cake: 1 can shredded pineapple, box of angle food cake. Mix pineapple in the cake mix. Bake as directed on the box.

3. Cheese and olive spread: Take a package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, mix with a small can of diced ripe olives. Mix and let set in the refrigerator of an hour. Use as a spread on bagels, on crackers, as a sandwich.

4. Green Chile dip: 1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese,  tub of sour crème, package of diced green chili. Mix ingredients, dive in. Got this from a Mexican Restaurant in Farmington, NM.

5. Pan fried fish. Take fileted tilapia or salmon or thawed frozen shrimp (I like larger ones with the tails off) Cook in a skillet in butter or olive oil cover with rosemary and garlic.

6. Spicy spaghetti: Fix noodles, instead of using tomato sauce try on can of El Pato sauce. Add frozen meatballs or ground hamburger or chicken strips.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Top Ten Harlan Ellison Books

For my top ten Tuesday I chose Harlan Ellison one of favorite authors.

Three essays on television: The Glass Teat, The Other Glass Teat and Watching. The first two are full of fire and vinegar as he lambasts the medium, politicians and society. He gives them both barrels. Watching he toned things down and stuck to just critiquing  television.

Short story anthologies of some of the weirdest, depressing, funny and  downright strange. All of them take you on a wild ride. His titles are say so much. A number of his top awards are for stories in these books. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Paingod and Other Stories, Deathbird Stories, The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World.

An absolute must have for any Harlan Ellison aficionado. I got mine from the SF book club for a song compared to what is would cost today. The Essential Ellison a 50-year retrospective.

Memos From Purgatory. An autobiographical work telling of him as a young man joining a street gang in New York before writing his first novel. It was turned into a teleplay as the first episode of Alfred Hitchock Presents with a young James Caan playing Harlan in 1960.

Lastly is Strange Wine another anthology of short stories.

This only scratches the surface of all the books of his I've read, and there are so many yet to read.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Wendi Zwaduk Bound by Desire

From the Wednesday blogger challenge I've discovered numerous authors plugging their books. I read some of them from time to time. If the story is not my cup of tea I'll not say anything. If I find one I like I'll post my thoughts. I prefer if the books are on KDP and free with Kindle Unlimited, but if the price isn't too high and it's around payday I'll spring for one if it catches my interest.

Wendi Zwaduk's Bound by Desire caught my eye.
This book is similar to 50 Shades of Grey in that the sexuality is BDSM. An intelligent middle aged woman gets divorced. She's running her own business and explores a submissive role to one of her employees who is a few years younger. This is the flip side of Christian Grey.
Stella leaves her controlling husband who repeatedly cheats on her and meets Wes Chase. He works in her IT department, but since he wants to own his own Vinyl record store moonlights as an escort a women's establishment and Dominant at a BDSM club.
Wes fell in love with Stella when he tried to pitch his record store idea to James, her husband at the time. Stella like his idea and tried to talk James into investing in it, but her husband refused by heaping abuse about not interfering in his business. Stella then decides to divorce him.
At a celebration of her divorce Stella meets up with Wes at the night club where he's an escort. He safe since she works for him and pays for his services for the night to keep her friends from picking for her.
Stella's been invited to her ex-husband's wedding and she decides showing up with a hunk like Wes would be a kind of revenge. She asks Wes to be her escort and offers to pay him. Wes turns the tables on her by saying he'll go for free if in the three weeks leading up to the wedding they fall in love.
The romance begins with many pitfalls and lots of kinky sex.
Wes  has an ex-girlfriend that doesn't want to let him go and Stella's ex-husband tries to control her life and break them up to add a little conflict.
There is no one trying to kill them or stalk them as is the main source of conflict is many women's romance novels which is refreshing.
The erotica was well written and arousing without being repetitive or mechanical. Overall an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Quotes from Books

This weeks challenge.
Favorite quotes from books.

Plain Speaking by Harry Truman: Behind every successful man is a good woman and a surprised mother-in-law.

Mark Twain Tonight by Hal Holbrook: I think the devil is much reviled. You have to say something good about someone who can control three fourths of the world's population and all of the politicians.

De Provedencia: Lucius Annaeus Seneca: It is not the man has too little that is poor, but the man who hankers after more. You ask what is the proper limit of a person's wealth? First what is essential, and second, having what is enough.

Cross of Gold Speech by William Jennings Bryan 1896: There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, there prosperity will find its way up through every class that rests upon them.

Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich: One cannot be strong without love. For love is not an irrelevant emotion; it is the blood of life.

Kurt Vonnegut's Law: multiple sources. 90% of everything is crap.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman:
Life is pain, anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
Learn to live with disappointment.
As you wish.

National Love Proverbs :
German: Love knows hidden paths.
Spanish: He who finds not love, finds nothing.
Scottish: A pennyweight o' love is worth a pound o' law.
English: Love will find a way.
American: Love makes the world go round.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

I missed the moon landing.

I was fifteen that day. I lied about my age to get a job at Taco Bell in June of '69. I worked there for three weeks in the night shift as I was going to driving school. It paid 75 cents an hour, but all you could eat for free. They lost on the deal. There was a Dairy Queen next to us and we'd swap food for banana splits and parfaits (they had them back then.) Everything on the menu was a quarter. What I loved they don't have now. It was called a bell beefer. Ground hamburger with red chile and shredded cheese. They were good. The problem was we were only allowed 30 minutes to clean up after closing and the lady I worked with did nothing be piddle around and smoke. I had to clock out and it took another hour to get everything done. My mom meanwhile was waiting out in the car for me until 1am. She said there were times she would have paid me the 75 cents an hour not to work. Believe or not I got fired. Talk about a blessing.
I got another job in a few days at Ham's A&W root beer drive-in. It was kind of the Sonic of that day. I was paid $1.15/hour and it was within walking distance of home. We could have all the root beer or soft drinks for free everything else was charged to our paychecks. After a week of drinking root beer I noticed that the skin around my Adam's apple was tight. When I mentioned it at work they all said they stopped drinking the root beer too for that reason and switched to water. I still love A&W root beer, but now it's diet.
 I was working there the day of the moon landing and learned about it the next day when I got up.
I worked the drinks and took the orders off the intercom. There were two car hops, a guy with me at the drink station and cooks behind us. It took about ten minutes after we closed to clean up, but the coolers where we kept the glass mugs had a stainless steel top and the counters were stainless steal. The last thing we did was wipe them down with pure ammonia. Talk about leaving with a buzz.
When I took the order I also had to add up the amount owed. If I added up wrong and it was more than ordered the car hop would catch it from the customer, have to bring it back with to get the right amount and then go back to collect. They also didn't get a tip. On a busy night this stacked things up and I caught hell. If I was short it came out of my paycheck. I quickly learned to double and triple check my figures.
Once Mom, my brother and sister came. I could see them from the window at the order station. One of the items we were out of so I said, "Mom, we don't have that today."
The other guy at the soda station came unglued. "You don't talk to customers that way!"
I said, "That's my mother."
One of the car hops was waiting for an order, she'd just graduated high school. She said, "That's really your mother?"
I said, "Yes."
"Good," she said. "I want to take it out. I'm going to tell her she's going to be a grandmother."
I learned that summer, the one before I started high school as a sophomore. They had Junior highs back then. That the last place I ever wanted to work again was in food. My next job was working at a Skaggs Drug store.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fictional Worlds I'd like to visit.

Wednesday challenge for today is which fictional world I'd like to visit or live.

I've already mentioned my desire to have a fire lizard so Pern would be a natural.
I'd love to live in the Shire of Middle Earth, not too sure about the rest of it.
The flying cars and McDonald's of Fifth Element, not too sure about being a taxi driver there, though.

Here's some worlds by Tony Roberts I'd love to visit:
Kastania: A ruling family trying to restore a crumbling empire back to glory while beset with enemies from without and within.

His Dark Elf series:
A dark elf princess trying to find her kind after being raised by humans.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Favorite Authors List

I read lots of books and always have. There was a time I focused on an author and read everything of his or her that I could find in a book exchange. It's still there, you take in a sack full of books and for less than a dollar you walk out with a hand full. As a teacher with two small kids that's all I could afford at the time. Here are some of the authors I gorged myself on.

Isaac Asimov: I don't think it's possible to read everything he wrote. I grew up on his science fiction, branched out into his history books, anthologies then his science books, read his magazine. Perhaps the greatest author of all time.

James A. Michener: I hit a brick wall with him. I read and read and read, book after book and barely made a dint in what was still out there to read. The books are so long and time consuming I gave up. When I was teaching World History I hit ever used book store I could find and picked up around fifty copies of the book and used it as a text book with a short story over most of the time periods covered.

Harrold Robbins: He was my guilty pleasure. 1950'-60s porn in accompaniment to Playboy. My wife is a huge Elvis fan and when his movies came out on VHS she had to buy them. I was surprised when watching King Creole, considered Elvis's best movie. It was Robbins A Stone For Danny Fisher. It was after reading everything he'd written up to that time I thought I could tackle Michener.

Harlan Ellison: I was going through a divorce and the life I envisioned evaporated. I was depressed. There was a book store across from a park I took my dog to run around and went in. It was a childrens and science fiction store. A wonderful lady, now deceased, recommended Death Bird Stories. It is a collection of the most depressing stories you'll ever find. His words expressed what I was feeling and the weight of my despair lifted. I was hooked on him for life. I have a shelf full of his books and treasure them.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Favorite non-fiction books

I am immensely enjoying Lydia Schoch's blog especially the Wednesday challenges. It makes me think about a number of things I've read, gives me the opportunity to write about them and learn about other authors and books to read in the future.

This weeks is my favorite non-fiction books.

Future Shock and Third Wave by Alvin Toffler. In the movie 9 to 5, most of the changes to the work places implemented come from the Third Wave.

Death of a President by William Manchester. I was ten when Kennedy was assassinated. I started reading this book on the tenth anniversary. It had a profound impact on me.

Strategy by H. D. Liddell-Hart

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Face of Battle, The First World War, A History of Warfare, Fields of Battle by John Keegan

I taught history for 27 years. World History fascinates me the most.

A number of plays, books and movies have come from this 4 box set:
The Conquering Family, The Magnificent Century, The Three Edwards and the Last of the Plantagenets by Thomas B. Costain

History books by Isaac Asimov: These are the most detailed, yet easy to read history books you'll ever find. Alas they were sold to libraries and not the general public and are scarce as hens teeth today.
The Greeks a Glorious Adventure, The Roman Republic, The Roman Empire, The Egyptians, The Near East,  The Dark Ages,  The Shaping of France, The Shaping of England 

Elizabeth The Great by Elizabeth Jenkins
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

In theology: Eschatology or the study of end times.
I am not looking forward to the Rapture and don't believe in a literal thousand year reign of Christ on this Earth. I was before I read the following books.

Worthy is the Lamb by Ray Summers. This book has two parts. The first explains apocalyptic literature from books like Daniel, Ezekiel in the Bible and apocryphal books like Enoch. The second part is a detailed interpretation of Revelation. This book lays out the amillennial interpretation of eschatology. It's basis is that Revelation was written to people living two thousand years in the past and had to mean something to them. To interpret it properly you have to understand the context in which it was written

Victorious Eschatology by Harold R. Eberle and Martin Trench. These writers don't refer to their interpretation as Amillenial, but as Preterist and Partial Preterist, but they're pretty close.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Books to movies

Today's challenge by Lydia is: What books would you like to see turned into a movie or series.

1. The Dragon Riders series of books by Anne McCaffery. There are books with dragons and books about the harpers who have fire lizards as pets.

2. The Casca the Eternal Mercenary series of books, now at 49 and counting. TV series on History Channel or Sci Fi could do a book every three of four episodes.

3. The First Man in Rome series, by Colleen McCullagh. The history channel, or BBC could do a cheap daily soap opera like I Claudius. The series runs from the rise of Marius to the ascension of Octavian after the deaths of Anthony and Cleopatra. This could run for decades.

4. The Source by James Michener. It's a series of short stories held together by the discovery of artifacts by archaeologists. Each short story could be an episode that would cover two or three seasons on the Networks or four to five on the shorter series of cable channels.