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

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

WC 072022 Weekend Getaway

 Today's challenge is to describe the perfect weekend getaway.

We're retired so we don't need to find time alone, we're alone together all the time. We really didn't quarantine during Covid, things didn't change that much.

So, to me the perfect weekend getaway would be to fly to Oklahoma City, we have a three day/ two-night free trip we haven't been able to use for the last year and its good for another year. 

My brother and his wife live in Oklahoma City and my wife's brother and wife live in Wichita, Kansas. We usually drive to Oklahoma and spend a night then on to Kansas for a night and drive home. It would be nice to fly and have them all meet at the hotel for a get together. Having our kids and grandkids there to meet their cousins would be a plus.

I wanted to do this in the Spring, but they were both busy. I'm trying to pull it off for the fall, there is no way I'm going there in Summer!

It would be nice for all of us to visit the memorial site where the Murrah Federal Building once stood.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

WC 071322


Today's challenge is Which character from a book you like to meet. Okay, one male, one female.

Captain-Pilate Blackthorne, or Anjin-San from Shogun.

Captain-Pilate Blackthorne lands in a hostile land, unable to speak the language, in a totally unfamiliar culture and by using his wits and knowledge he's able to not only survive but thrive.

Alexis Carew is a young girl from a planet on the fringe of civilization. She joins the Navy as a mid-shipman when the top brass doesn't think a woman belongs in the Navy at all much less as an officer. She has to fight the insubordination of the crew as well as the misogyny of the commanders and still do her job, which she not only accomplishes, but is able to advance.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Favorite Books

Plot: A ship crashes and the only survivor finds himself in a strange environment surrounded by strange looking inhabitants and he doesn't understand the language.
He's taken in and given a female interpreter so the natives can pump him for information.
He falls in love with his interpreter and finds out from her that they are in the middle of a civil war and his advanced technology and knowledge could be the deciding factor to win the war.
In a fight his interpreter is killed, but he helps his side win the war.

When I read James Clavel's book Shogun, I was thinking all through it that I've read this plot before. This was a couple of months before the mini-series was due out and I wanted to have read the book first.

Years earlier I joined the Science Fiction Book Club and one of the first books that came from there was Brothers of the Earth by C.J. Cherryh.
The ship was a spaceship, where he landed was a planet and the inhabitants were aliens.
There's a whole lot of differences between the books, sheer volume the most striking, but it's important to remember that just because the plot is the same (think all quest stories) the writing makes all the difference.
BTW, I read this book from cover to cover in a single night. It was that good. Wish to God that I could have said that about Shogun

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

WC070622 Famous person(s)


Today's challenge is: Have you ever met a famous person.

I posted a couple of weeks ago about Don Perkins passing away. He was an all-American football player at UNM and played for the Dallas Cowboys as at running back. He played in the days of Don Meridith, Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, and Tom Landry, when the 'boys were new and had growing pains. He played in the Ice Bowl game, was out by the time of their first Superbowl win.

After retiring he moved to Albuquerque. He spent time reading the sports on a local channel, worked with high school religious clubs like Young Life and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

My brother was the captain of the FCA at high school, I was in Junior high. He arranged for Don to come to our house and speak to the members of FCA. He forgot to tell Mom. When he showed up and Mom answered the door she was shocked to in her words, "See the biggest black man in my life."

This was the early sixties and Albuquerque was 50% Hispanic, 30% Anglo and the rest was black, Asian and Native American. My junior high and high school didn't have any blacks until I was a sophomore.

Bruce showed up with a carload of jocks just about that time.

I was also in Young Life, we'd meet at a house once a week, from our high school, usually on Thursday night. We'd sing songs, give testimony and pray. In the summer we'd have gatherings at a hotel banquet room with students from all over the city. Don Perkins came and spoke at a number of them and personally shook hands with everyone there.

I never asked him for his autograph, younger and dumber back then.

I've read all of Joseph Badal's books, he's a New York Times bestselling author that lives in Cedar Crest, the other side of Sandia Mountain. I bought two of them at Treasure House books in Old Town at his book signings. He writes spy thrillers similar to Tom Clancy. They are very good. 

He also has a series of an ex-seal that's a doctor and has a drug lord that keeps trying to kill him. 

Another is about two female detectives in Albuquerque similar to Cagney and Lacy. 

The last person is only within Baptist circles and New Mexico politics.

Before I was a teacher, I was a music director at Edgewood Baptist Church. It's a spot in the road on your way into Albuquerque on I-40. 

I was working at a car dealership flagging technicians after they finished a repair and doing warranty. I was also teaching the adult Sunday school class before services.

My very first Sunday as teacher David King and his wife chose to attend and join the church. They were opening a real estate office in the town. 

He was the nephew of our then Governor Bruce King. He was working in the state cabinet. He was also the chairman of the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. One of the most influential of all the committees of the convention.

To say the least I was a little intimidated trying to teach the lesson that day.


Friday, July 01, 2022

Book Review: Echos of the Past


The beauty of Prime Unlimited. Three books considered as one on the rental list.

Peter Rimmer has a ten-book series set in Africa starting in the 1880's

The Pirate, Archibald Brigandshaw, owner of a major British shipping line wants the Brigandshaw family line to join the aristocracy. His oldest son Arthur he arranges to marry a poor aristocrat with title and mansion. Sir Henry Mandeville is a widower with a sixteen-year-old daughter, Emily. When Arthur weds her, and she has a son then a Brigandshaw inherits the castle, mansion and title.

Sounds rather Bridgerton at this point.

The hitch is that the Pirate's youngest son, Sebastian and Emily are in love and let nature take its course.

The Pirate sends his son on one of his ships to Bombay with orders he can't return for 18 months.

When the ship docks in Cape Town, the captain of the ship takes pity on the young man and gets an elephant hunter, who supplies him with tusks, to take him under his wing and train him to kill elephants. This is how Africa becomes the focus of the books.  

I'm on the second book Elephant Walk, which is the farm Sebastian creates in the Veld after he returns in the first book to kidnap Emily and his son Harry along with the nanny who marries Tinus Oosthuizen, the elephant hunter and sets up a farm next to Sebastian's.

The Pirate puts a price on Sebastian's head for kidnapping the heir to the title, even knowing the boy is not Arthur's son.

Sebastian gets arrested, as telegraph lines span the globe now, but is found not guilty when Emily testifies that Arthur never consummated the marriage preferring to live in London with his mistresses.  

It gets complicated, but the historical facts are astounding.

You know Cecil Rhodes was one miserable son-of-bitch. He insisted on building a railroad line from Cape Town to Cairo, this extended British control through the Boer States. This led to the Boer wars.

The Krugerand is the South African gold coin named after Paul Kruger, the Prime Minister of the South African Republic. He refused to let the British settlers coming into their country have the right to vote, which led to the war.

When the war turned against them, he fled to Europe with the national treasury. He's the guy they glorify by naming the gold coin after him.

You want to know why the dog paddle style of swimming is used. When swimming across rivers in Africa, don't splash! There are crocodiles.

Toss in a native witch with a pet leopard that pushes for a war against the white men and a bloody conflict. Sebastian's older brother, Nathan, who is a missionary and visits his brother to condemn him for living in sin with his older brother's wife. 

Tinus is a Boer and though he marries an English woman and lives in Rhodesia, he's a from a family line of Boers. He fights against the British. 

Sebastian sits it out and is condemned as a coward, but he's out in the boonies, it doesn't matter to him.

Echos of the Past ends with Tinus being caught, tried and hung as a traitor, not as a prisoner of war, who would be shot.

He led a raid on the British headquarters, took the British general captive, stripped all the officers down to their underwear and sent them packing.

The British general was not amused.

Elephant Walk deals with Sebastian's son Harry, who is at Oxford when he learns his father, Sebastian, was killed by a rogue elephant and has to return to Africa, this is set in the early 1900's leading up to WWI.

The writing is informative, and I love all the varied characters in Africa and England. 

These books are going to keep me busy for some time.