Tuesday, March 29, 2011

John 3:16--#20 finished

I guess this would be called Christian fiction and I would have to say it is not really my thing. It talked about the lives of several loosely connected people and how they have either gone astray from God or have come back to God. To me it all seemed a little cheesy and way over the top. But the story was decent the characters while kind of flat were nice people and in the end it all seemed to work out. Okay I can live with that but I am pretty sure I will not be reading anything else by the author, not that it was terrible but just not my cup of tea in what I am wanting to read.

I will be posting it on PBS & it should move, there are 19 WL last I checked.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Angel--#19 finished

This is the true story of an undercover ATF agent that infiltrated the Hells Angels. It was pretty amazing stuff and throughout I kept thinking about how much time away from his family he was giving up in this investigation. In the end while he says he would absolutely do it again to gain the knowledge of life he has learned, I have a hard time believing that. The dedication he gave to his job and the others on the team is really amazing and shows people some of what makes this a great country--dedicated people like this.

The other thing that struck me throughout the book is how small time the Hells Angels really seemed. Most of the leadership seemed old and passive--certainly not the threat they are often made out to be. I am sure each chapter is different but the overall leadership and direction seem really lacking in basic things like smarts, intensity and just overall capable members. It seems like most of the main HA characters had a very bad past but were during this time more of shells of their former selves. They still did drugs and ran guns and did intimidation things but no big bad operations really. Maybe it is because I just finished reading the Kings of Cocaine and after reading about the Columbians, the HA seem really small time.

There were some interesting observations in the book about the above also by Bird. At a couple of points he recognizes the members are really just loners or society misfits that have joined together and are now just a part of an organization not much different from people outside of HA. The have a complicated set of rules they have to run their clubs by and a set of leadership in place. It is funny how these anti-establishment types and made such an establishment type club.

I will be posting it on PBS but might wait a little while so I can send it off with others. I think there are still 13 WL for it so should move once posted. I am still reading John 3:16 and just started The End of Mr Y. Might start a 3rd book this weekend at some point.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3 miles

I did 3 miles on Monday that went pretty much just bad. I had eaten a big lunch & I don't think it was well digested by the time I was running so I ended up walking a lot. Oh well I got the 3 miles in. Also doing 6 miles on Sunday may have contributed as well.

Tonight then after work I did another 3 miles, it was better. Still not very good but better. First mile was around 12:30, 2nd 13:20 and 3rd around 13:40. Like I said not very good but the fact I am calling it better gives you an idea how bad Monday was. After a couple of very nice days, I guess it was nice today too but by the time I started running it was windy, a cold north wind. My ears were very cold by the time I finished & I had a headache when they started to thaw.

At least I am back to running some. One of my Lenten things was to run at least twice a week and so far so good on that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Long Run

I went for a long run today, the weather was great and figured now was the time. I went to Creve Coeur Park and did 6 miles. It was kind of rough but I was expecting that. The first mile was around 14:45 but that included a bathroom stop. The park was crowded and the regular bathroom was still closed for the season so I had to hit a porta potty about a 1/3 of a mile after starting. The 2nd mile was even slower at 15:25 but I will cut myself a little slack since I saw some deer in the woods in 2 different locations, 6 deer in total. Kind of fun to see them but it was difficult since their coats matched the color of the tree trunks.

The last 4 miles were something like 13:13, 13:17, 13:10 and 13:07, so while no great time in there, I will take them. It was very consistent times but slow, I really just wanted to get the miles in, time wasn't much of a factor. I am tired now but I did feel good and am very glad I got it in.

Kings of Cocaine--#18 finished

A very good book with a ton of information about the cocaine trade starting in the 1970s and running till the mid to late 1980s. Really a lot of amazing stuff in this book. Obviously the main focus was on the Columbian leaders, or the Medellin cartel. I knew of Escobar and I knew there were others too but didn't know how closely associated they all were and how they all worked in concert with one another to help their business.

It is really sad how much the whole drug trade has ruined lives here in the US and throughout the world. At some point people have to take personal responsibility for the actions in using illegal drugs and recognize that not only their own life being ruined or at least a ton of money wasted but also in the producer countries how it has ruined lives there. Like I said it is very sad.

One of the authors is Jeff Leen, he is a Ritenour grad and is now a major newspaper editor, I believe the Washington Post but not sure on that. I had read his newer book on the female wrestling champion from the '30s to the '50 or so. I was impressed at the amount of research for that book and I am again for this book. Hopefully another book will be written by him soon.

I have posted it on PBS, it had 1 WL so will have to see when or if it gets accepted. Still reading No Angel, just under 100 pages on it and just started John 3:16. I may look at finding my next one but might not decide till later in the week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lloyd Ruby--#17 finished

Lloyd Ruby: The Greatest Driver Never to Win the Indy 500, is the title, in case you, like me, have no idea who Lloyd Ruby was. I am still not really sure who Lloyd Ruby really was now either. This book seems to be thrown together and really doesn't go into any depth of the person--it really is the same thing over and over. A good guy, unassuming, laid back, easy going Texan, loyal to a fault, handshake is his word, etc etc. Now it all may be true and I am sure much of it really was, but this book was nothing but that chapter after chapter. The book's main focus was on the Indy 500 but I don't understand why more wasn't told about the other races he ran through the season. I guess while it at least mentions someone that people might have forgotten, it is really too bad that this effort wasn't better.

Thinking about the Rube Foster book, the Negro League pitcher, it was hard for the author to find people that had ever met him. That book was basically a research of black newspapers and 2nd or 3rd hand information. The book had tended to describe games he pitched by the numbers, like innings, strikeouts, runs given up, walks, etc but at least that detail gave the reader a true understanding of his performance. This book only talked about Indy, I don't get it, Indy is not the only race out there. Oh well, the book is what it is and to me it is a disappointment.

I have posted it on PBS and there was 1 WL for it so hopefully I will be sending it off. I hadn't noticed it earlier but the author has autographed the book also, oh well. If it was a Lloyd Ruby autograph maybe but the author's autograph is not something very interesting to me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It was a good day today. Thomas had his reading club this morning & they said that he had a great day. They don't always say that but he tells me it was great--I guess their is a problem with how each define it usually. He did a book about Hockey & he loved it.

Right after reading club, we went to a SLU baseball game. It was against Northwestern. We got there a little late about 12:40 and it started at 12, it was just the end of the 2nd inning. It was still zero zero at that point. SLU played a sloppy game but was able to mount some comebacks, we left at 8th inning down 10 to 6 with Northwestern on up with players on base. I haven't checked but I would guess a loss. Score though wasn't the main thing for us, Thomas had fun and it was a good day to be out. The wind picked up a little right before we left, the score along with the wind was enough to call it.

Then after I got home I went out for a run at a local park. It was a different park than my mostly normal one. I have gone to it before but it is the hilly park, at least hilly to an out of shape person like me. I got 3 miles in, with the miles around 13:21, 12:35, 12:35, overall at 12:50--much better than I thought it would be. I am a little tired now but we have a movie we are watching once the kids are in bed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cod--#16 finished

A very good book about the history of Cod fishing. It is easy to read and has lots of information along with some very interesting recipes for cooking cod. The book is from 1997 so I will have to do some checking to see if the cod fishing levels have returned. At the time the book was written, cod numbers were down throughout the Atlantic.

Like I said it is an easy read and enjoyable with all the information presented in a very understandable fashion. I will be posting it on PBS, I think there were still either 4 or 5 WL for it so should have it mailed before long.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rules of Betrayal--#15 finished

This is the 3rd in the series about a spy wife and a doctor who didn't know his wife was a spy. The doctor has since been thrown into situations where he had to basically act like a spy. Well, in this book he officially becomes a spy. A fun read with a lot of very quick paced action. I will continue to look for future books in this series.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, there are around 40 WL for it so should move quick. Not sure if I will post it this week though, don't know if I really feel like getting to the post office. Might wait to see if a book from my shelf gets requested and I will post this & the Dara Torres book then.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eat This Book--#14 finished

This is a book about the year the author took to work as emcee on the Competitive Eating Circuit. Some funny stuff and also some rather just bizarre stuff as well. The whole way through the book I could not tell if the author was taking it all series or if it was like he was in on the joke. It was probably a little of both, I would guess. In getting to the know the eaters or gurgitators or whatever that word they call themselves, he sees how series they take it and how they do have a talent that most others simply do not. I see it as great, it is a talent but I don't really care. I guess there are people out there that do care because their are still events and media coverage of them.

A few different times in the book, it is mentioned how the Eating thing wants to be taken seriously as a sport or competition. What this is really saying, they hope to make a lot of money off of this. They also say how they are trying to get accepted as an Olympic sport--wow, that is just crazy. There are other crazy things mentioned in the book, like how they train and legends(stupid made up stories) that really is just stuff about how out of touch from reality everyone in the book is. Oh well, a fun enough book. It is a little dated, some of the eaters have retired and there are new eaters in place but still gives the reader a good bit of insight into this whole bizarre out of the mainstream culture.

I have posted it on PBS, there are no copies on the system but who knows how long it will be around--could be weeks or months and maybe years even. I will just have to wait it out.