Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Recent Read Number 3

"Mullen scratched his head. 'But There isn't a police box by -'
The Doctor shushed him. 'Trust me, Inspector.'
He looked at them both, steely-eyed. 'Now, when I say run, run.'"

Just this afternoon (Wednesday 31 May, 2006) I finished my re-read of this Doctor Who Series book "Illegal Alien" . Even though I don't normally like stories set in WWII England this has the bonus feature of being Sci-Fi with The Doctor and Ace, a couple of strange characters and an old enemy The Cybermen. A wonderful read. I enjoyed it much better this time reading it than I did when I first read it six? Years ago? I wasn't sure if I had read it before, so I started to read it and sure enough by the second page I realized I had read it before. In typical 7th Doctor fashion, the Doctor is mysterious and seems to not only be playing games (Particularly Chess) but also one step ahead of everyone else. Except he isn't one step ahead of his enemies. In typical Ace fashion she runs off in excitement over something and gets caught up in some tangled web that requires help from the Doctor. Oh did I mention The Cybermen are in this one? I don't normally like the Cybermen stories but this one is pretty darn good.

"Illegal Alien" by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 1997 BBC Books (279 pages)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Recent Read Number 2

"The Grail story is everywhere, but it is hidden."

On Wednesday night (24 May, 2006) I finished reading the controversial The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Wow! What a story. OK so many of the historical and religious "facts" this book claims as being accurate, aren't totally accurate. First off this is a work of fiction, it is not intended to be a replacement for the Bible or to be a reliable text book for historical and cultural arts studies. It is a fast paced murder mystery, treasure hunt, police chase novel. I won't give any details of the plot away, but I will say that there are a few surprises toward the end of the book and at the end of the book.

If you read this book, or see the movie that is based on it, you need to remember that it is a work of fiction. Even though the book claims some things as fact, historians and religious experts are tearing those claims apart. I am looking forward to seeing the movie sometime, but probably after it hits the DVD market. I also plan on getting and reading the author's other book Angels & Demons which has the same main character.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 2003 Anchor Books Mass Market Edition (Paperback version 489 pages.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Need to Blog More Often

First off, I know its the wee hours of the morning. I had one of those take a nap for all night, nights.

I need to improve on my blogging here and do it more often. Some months I've just barely had one entry and that is only because I've made a personal vow to myself that I would have at least one entry per month. That way there won't be any missing months in the archives. There are a few blogs of people I don't even know that I read daily or almost daily. Some of them are updated every day others are not. The ones that are not updated I sometimes will explore their archives to a point before I started reading their blog, or to search for something I recall having read there.

OK so I will try to set a goal for myself, of blogging at least once a week. Hopefully I'll blog more often, but I will make myself no guarantees. Adding my "A Recent Read" entries will help that and also help me read more often, hopefully. Speaking of "A Recent Read" I finished reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Oh and I signed up on a book collection database and started filling in my book collection, just as I did with my DVD collection over at I need to work on my CD/Record collections over at and only problem with these type of databases is it takes a long time to enter in the collection if you have a large one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Da Vinci Cold!

Imagine if Gilda Radner were still alive (she'd be closer to the age of her character in this little sketch).

The scene is The Weekend Update set (from Saturday Night Live) with anchor Chevy Chase.

Chevy has just given the lastest news in iraq.

CHEVY: And now with this weeks editorial is Miss Emily Litella. Emily.

EMILY: Thank you Mr. Chase. What is all this I hear about the Da Vinci Cold? Why is it causing such a ruckus. The poor guy was a regular human being, of course he would get the occasional cold. He probably drank tea to get better and had wine with every meal. A nice warm toddy to keep his tootsies warm at night and...

CHEVY: (Interupting) Miss Litella. Thats The Da Vinci Code! Not Cold. Code, Its The Da Vinci Code.

EMILY: What? The Da Vinci Code?

CHEVY: Yes The Da Vinci Code.

EMILY: Oh. Well that is very different then. Never Mind.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Angels In The Clouds!

I'm sure at some point in your life you have looked up in the sky at the clouds and seen one shaped like a bunny or a dog, a horse or maybe like a human face, or some other physical shape. I often have seen familiar shapes in the clouds. Many times I see clouds shaped like horses or like a bearded man's face, or perhaps one entirely shaped like a human. Many times when I see one that looks like a face or a human, I think that it must be an angel looking down on us. An angel looking for someone in distress to save, or perhaps looking a sad child to chear-up. Or they maybe are just trying to say "Hello, God Loves you, you know." On the other end of the spectrum when the clouds are gloomy, gray and so dark they are almost black, it puts a little bit of fear in me. Perhaps those clouds are deamons looking to cause trouble. Often when I see fronts of clean white clouds near the dark clouds of an approaching storm, I imagine a great battle between the Angels and Demons in those clouds.

Either my imagination is getting stronger or the clouds are taking on symbolic shapes more often. More and more I find myself looking to the skies and appreciating whatever forms the clouds happen to be taking at that particular moment.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Recent Read Number 1

"As Congressman Washburne once told me, a lie can walk from Maine to Georgia before the truth has a chance to put on its boots."

I have recently finished reading a very interesting book. Grant Speaks by Ev Ehrlich.

Based very loosely on the life and times of Ulysses S. Grant and Grant's autobiography "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses Grant" this book takes it one step farther. During his last dying days Grant decides to set the record straight and admits to being an impostor and living a lie. It seems that when he was a young lad growing up in a small Ohio town there was another young man named Ulysses Grant who came from a more prominent family that was richer and more respected in the town than the youth who would become a great Military leader and U.S. President. To tell the two boys named Ulysses Grant apart friends and family nicknamed them 'Useful' and 'Useless'. Fate takes a wicked turn when 'Useful' Grant is leaving town to head toward West Point, a tragic accident kills his parents and causes 'Useful' to lose his memory. In his confusion he thinks he killed this couple he doesn't realize are his parents and he flees. Seeing this as an opportunity for his 'Useless' son Mr. Grant (a tanner by trade) convinces his less respected good for nothing son to take the place of this other Ulysses Grant. The rest is as they say history.

In his end notes the author mentions that the basic facts of the book historical, personal and military are true, but he of course took some liberties. He also added a few characters, like 'Useful' Grant into the mix of real-life historical people who lived during Grant's time.

Readers of this book should remember it is mostly fiction, even though many of the events Ulysses Grant actually lived through. I would suggest that you brush up on your US History, American Civil War History and the life and times of Ulysses S. Grant before attempting to read this book. It isn't necessary, but it would keep one from getting terribly confused.

Now I'm not sure if he was such a foul mouth in real life, but in this book General Sherman cusses up a storm. I'm not sure if some of those words were used in the 19th century or not.

Grant Speaks 2000 by Ev Ehrlich published by Warner Books (Hardcover 395 pages)

NEXT: I am now in the process of reading Dan Brown's controversial book The Da Vinci Code (paperback edition). Its a fictional novel folks. The 'clues' that Da Vinci put in his artwork and all these secret societies are speculation based on unfounded myths as well as the whole Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene business. Of course atheists say Jesus and Christianity is all speculation and unfounded myth. So whose truth do you believe?