Sunday Morning Book Thread 02-24-2013: Flying Squid Edition [OregonMuse]


flying squid - 2.jpg
Flying Squid You Guys!

Good morning morons and moronettes to the creepy, weirdly unnatural yet humorous Sunday Morning Book Thread.

So I've heard that some of you read this thread on hand-held devices with really crappy browsers, and I say "really crappy" because apparently, when I do the photo caption using a small font, the really crappy browser somehow doesn't pick up the small font html closing tag, which results in all subsequent text being displayed in teeny tiny print, which renders the whole thing unreadable. If anyone knows of a workaround for this that will enable me to use the small font, please let me know. I use the html tag 'small' to display reduced-size font. In the meantime, I'll just not use the tiny font.


What I'm Reading

'Ette commenter Kathy from Kansas mentioned The Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy in the comments of last week's book thread. It's one of those books I've heard about for years, but have never gotten around to reading. So I splurged and plunked down $18.99 for the NOOK edition, which burned off the rest of my B&N gift card and then some. It's the story of the life of a medieval Norwegian woman from her 7th year until her death. Commenter notsothoreau says "it's a story about children that do what they want, making bad choices and marrying the wrong person." Yeah, it sounds like a "chick book", and it probably is, but I'm enjoying it, so there. The author, Sigrid Undset (1882-1949), won the Nobel Prize for Literature, partly for this and also for another work, The Master of Hestviken, a four-volume series published after the Lavransdatter books. And before you all start rolling your eyes, remember that this was in the 1920s, back when the Nobel prize was an honest achievement, before O'Sullivan's First Law had a chance to take effect, and thus before the Nobel selection process was hijacked and corrupted by lefty a*holes.

I also purchased Old Town by the Chinese writer Lin Zhe as a $1.99 daily Kindle deal. It's about "an ordinary family caught up in the maelstrom that was China's most recent century. [The] narrative ranges across the entire length of China, to California and back again, to the battlefields of the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance and the brutal 'struggle' sessions of the Cultural Revolution."

I think the reason I want to read this book is because I think I'm looking for the Chinese version of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. Perhaps such a person doesn't exist, but I think the horrors inflicted by Mao were way worse than anything the Soviets ever did (although not from lack of trying), and I would very much like to believe that there's a writer out there who can speak for the dead millions in China, and bear witness to the crimes committed against them.


Recommendations From Morons

Joseph Whitehall emailed me to recommend the classic work "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons Gibbon, which you can get for free for the Kindle. Whitehall then dishes up this tidbit: "Ben Franklin used to prick the author, who opposed the American Revolution". I did not know this. This might be fun to look into further. I'm so used to hearing the American side of the Revolution, but not so familiar with the counter-arguments advanced by our British opponents. I know that Samuel Johnson, a staunch monarchist, wrote a sharply-worded essay entitled "Taxation No Tyranny", attacking the legitimacy of the American Revolution, but I've only skimmed through it, not read it thoroughly.

___________


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, rumors, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at aoshqbookthread@gmail.com.

So what have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good. because life is too short to read lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 10:53 AM



Comments

1
OMG! Do I dare say it

Posted by: clonefan at February 24, 2013 10:54 AM (eKpRM)

2
I've been reading all the Dashiel Hammett and A.C. Doyle I can get my hands on lately.

Posted by: garrett at February 24, 2013 10:57 AM (ZNEWK)

3 I'm almost done with The Road to Serfdom. I picked up The Cello Suites, by Eric Siblin from Barnes and Noble the other day, and so far it's a decent read. It covers the life of Bach and his work writing The Cello Suites.
On the writing front, I finished the first draft of one short story at 15500 words. I'm working ona second story and have about 1800 words so far. I haven't really written anything in a long time, much less completed anything, so it feels good to be back in a groove.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 24, 2013 10:58 AM (PQgoW)

4 I'm reading a book about bacteria. They seem to have more probability of developing spines than the GOP leadership.

Posted by: epobirs at February 24, 2013 11:02 AM (kcfmt)

5
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFFWA) 2012 Nebula Awards nominees have been announced:

Novel

Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz '13)
Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl, CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Gave the Throne of the Crescent Moon a shot. Couldn't get into it.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at February 24, 2013 11:02 AM (kdS6q)

6 I need to get back to writing. Just do not see a way of interjecting my adventures with a dealership's service department into current story.

On the bright side, did manage to get some writing done while being held hostage by said dealership.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:03 AM (J8Sr0)

7 "Decline and Fall" is really good--even if you don't agree with Gibbon's interpretations, the man could turn a phrase.

"Soothe the offended majesty of the irritated deity...."

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at February 24, 2013 11:06 AM (7xFeq)

8 It's "Gibbon." JFC, you write for 20 years, weep when done, and they get your name wrong.

It's a literary miracle that with Dr Johnson on the other side, we still won. If they'd had twitter, we'd have been dead meat. Sumbitch invented the snark, and was always surrounded at the bar by a squadron of trained flying ones.

"Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for
anything we allow them short of hanging."

"Slavery is now no where more patiently endured, than in
countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty."

Sound like us, commenting on our fellow-citizens?

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:07 AM (qaVK+)

9 With Lord TFG, "Soothe the peeved majesty of the irradiated demi-godling."

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:08 AM (J8Sr0)

10 #5

Wow, I've really gotten detached from SF trends. The only name I recognize on that list is Robinson and I soured on him after slogging through that awful Mars trilogy in which nothing much happens at great length and detail.

Posted by: epobirs at February 24, 2013 11:08 AM (kcfmt)

11 I just finished Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy At Guadalcanal.

It's by James Hornfischer, the same guy who wrote The Last Stand of The Tin Can Sailors, and while the topic is fascinating, the writing just isn't coherent, especially compared to his last book.

Still, it's an interesting read.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:09 AM (GsoHv)

12 I read a couple of throw aways this week, "Warm Bodies" and "Silver Linings Playbook." The zombie had the more compelling story of redemption. Now, that I've read Silver Linings (but haven't seen the movie), I cannot understand the Oscar buzz for it. Maybe it is one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book.

Posted by: no good deed at February 24, 2013 11:09 AM (mjR67)

13 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:03 AM (J8Sr0)

Can I guess the plot?

Service department tries to cheat customer. Customer becomes irritated at said cheating?

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:10 AM (GsoHv)

14 Masters of Death - The Einsatzgruppen by Richard Rhodes

I have read many books on war crimes. However, this one is particularly sad because it includes so many examples of the small sadistic cruelties by the krauts. Worse, almost all of them got away with it. Remember, a life sentence in europe means they are released in a few years. I really don't understand how the nazis, the rwandans, the commies, etc., get to be so cruel.

Posted by: I chase him - I bite him at February 24, 2013 11:11 AM (6J6x7)

15 I'm reading The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Translated from Spanish, this is the book upon which Johnny Depp's The Ninth Gate is (very loosely) based.

As usual, the book smokes the movie (in fact, the movie varies so much as to be nigh-unrecognizable at points). Within a hundred pages you can see that Perez-Reverte either did a fuckload of research prior to writing this book, or is incredibly well-read; I suspect both. The book also has around a hundred subplots the movie utterly ignored, and really centers on the art of writing and bookmaking as much as the devilish metaplot. Good stuff, and recommended.

I Kindled this book based on a friend's recommendation. While I'm only two-thirds of the way through, I've already been sufficiently impressed to download another title by the same author, The Flanders Panel, which I gather is an art history thriller a la Iain Pears, who is another of my esoteric niche favorite authors (ah, Flavia di Stefano, be still my rapidly beating heart).

Posted by: Blacksheep at February 24, 2013 11:12 AM (bS6uW)

16 CBD, if you one of the primary sources for US DD ops in WWII. Then Theodore Roscoe's book 'United States Destroyer Operations in WWII' should fit the bill.
http://tinyurl.com/apn2m45

Sellers with the book can also be found on www.abebooks.com


Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:13 AM (J8Sr0)

17 Wow, the Roman Empire books are free! My dad had that when I was a kid. If I remember correctly it is long as shit.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:13 AM (wR+pz)

18 I happened upon "The Curse of Fu-Manchu" in a free mystery collection I downloaded on my Kindle last year. Written by Sax Roehmer, it is totally politically incorrect and full of spooky scenes in London and various British countryside locales.

As far as I can tell, the book has no purpose except an adventure/mystery/horror story. So I am enjoying it as an escape from the real adventure/mystery/horror which we are living through.


Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 11:14 AM (GoIUi)

19 Posted by: garrett at February 24, 2013 10:57 AM (ZNEWK)

Be sure to read "The Lost World" by ACD.


I am working through the complete Sherlock Holmes compendium and sampling Stephenson's "README" on the side.

Posted by: Hrothgar at February 24, 2013 11:16 AM (Cnqmv)

20 Actually, Neptune's Inferno is very good, a good deal of it, is based on the diaries of the father of a friend of mine, by contrast I found Tin Can Soldiers less interesting,

Posted by: archie goodwin at February 24, 2013 11:18 AM (Jsiw/)

21 Try "Life on a Young Planet" by Andrew H. Knoll if you want to get your biology and geology geek on.

The writer is a skilled scientist with a penchant for flowery prose. Mostly it works.

Posted by: eman at February 24, 2013 11:19 AM (fhVBc)

22 #19

You misspelled the misspelling.

Posted by: epobirs at February 24, 2013 11:19 AM (kcfmt)

23 Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:13 AM (wR+pz)



Being short of funds, I have tried a lot of free downloads. My main complaint is that a lot of them aren't well formatted and contain "transcription errors" or bad translations.

Posted by: Hrothgar at February 24, 2013 11:19 AM (Cnqmv)

24 @17

Well, Volume one and three are free, the complete set of six in $1.99. Which is still ridiculous.

I got Volume one to start.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:20 AM (wR+pz)

25 Can I guess the plot?Service department tries to cheat customer. Customer becomes irritated at said cheating?

It's a porn novel, so the ending is... different.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 24, 2013 11:20 AM (PQgoW)

26 Two Graves, the latest in the Preston-Child Pendergast series. Just started it, I assume it'll be okay, the series has flagged lately.

Posted by: Lincolntf at February 24, 2013 11:20 AM (ZshNr)

27 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:13 AM (J8Sr0)

I'll take a look, although my guess is that one of the reasons this book was less successful was that the detail available was incomplete.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:21 AM (GsoHv)

28 CBD. Fog light is out. Bulb is apparently a Ford only part. So order it.

Drive in Saturday morning in the Shelby to get the bulb for the car. Buy light and then go to service department to arrange work. Also need an oil change. So get in the service queue.

I no longer get annoyed at the service drones asking to rotate tires. So tell the blond cute female drone you can't rotate tires, different sizes front and back.

So go into waiting area and start working on story - had brought netbook. Finally break 60k barrier. Then the drone comes back to ask if I meant the headlight or fog light. Tell her the fog light. She goes 'oh they thought it was the headlight and took apart the front end.'

Some time later she comes back to report that its not a bulb problem. They replaced it and still not work. Then she parrots the defense of the clueless and says the mechanics think I put after market headlights in. I just looked at her and coldly informed her that its all stock. Then she sputters that perhaps its a broke wire and can I come back another day.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:21 AM (J8Sr0)

29 Re-reading The Bear and the Dragon.
It takes me to a fantasy land where we have a proper president.

Posted by: teej at February 24, 2013 11:21 AM (EWy0D)

30 Posted by: archie goodwin at February 24, 2013 11:18 AM (Jsiw/)

I disagree, but you have a personal connection (and a great one at that!), so.....

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:22 AM (GsoHv)

31 I found E. E. "Doc" Smith's Skylark series in Epub format. Yes it's hokey, yes it's actual pulp fiction, but darn the guy could write.

Posted by: TANSTAAFL at February 24, 2013 11:23 AM (52QEX)

32 Agreed @19 ... any and all Doyle is worth the time investment.

Doyle is a trip though, all that genius but ultimately a doppleganger. Holmes is his magnus opus, but obviously borrowed from Poe's Dupin. He made it into the Royal Academy of Sciences based on his work on Piltdown man, only to have it exposed as a fraud, thereby shaming Doyle who by then had been knighted.

Posted by: Blacksheep at February 24, 2013 11:23 AM (bS6uW)

33 I just finished Matterhorn and it was the closest thing to the life of a bush Marine I've read.

Posted by: Mr. Dave at February 24, 2013 11:23 AM (UAOFK)

34 I just finished reading "Void Moon" by Michael Connelly and "1356" by Bernard Cornwell this week. I'm looking forward to reading more by both authors and they both have a lot of books out there. I can't figure out how I missed these guys for so long.

Posted by: huerfano at February 24, 2013 11:24 AM (bAGA/)

35 @23

Most of my kindle stuff is free. It never ceases to amaze me the stuff that has gone out of copyright and is still great fun to read. Some of the classics are just a lot of fun. Aesop's fables are great fun.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:25 AM (wR+pz)

36 CBD, you might find what you thought of as original turns of phrase or details lifted word for word from Roscoe's book. I recently found such a case online about the four piper USS Stewart. The web article literally quoted two sentences from Roscoe but in the list of sources, Roscoe's book was not listed.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:26 AM (J8Sr0)

37 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:21 AM (J8Sr0)

Yeah....you are being polite. That "clueless" is carefully scripted to relieve you of your money.


Went to my local GM dealer to check a brake system light (Stabilitrack). They tell me that the brake fluid is fine, but the sensor is broken, and that I need a new brake computer and new brakes, because the pads are at 3mm.

About $1,500.

I left, and took it to a buddy's Volvo performance shop.

Lo and behold! It needed fluid, so we added some and the brake light went out! And guess what? The brake pads were at 6mm.

I call that planned thievery.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:27 AM (GsoHv)

38 Well it conveyed the close quarters combat, often firing at night,

Posted by: archie goodwin at February 24, 2013 11:29 AM (Jsiw/)

39 Posted by: Lincolntf at February 24, 2013 11:20 AM (ZshNr)

I'm grinding through Two Graves on the side. "Flagged" is generous; grinding to a halt is debatable. I can't even transition to Gideon Crew I'm so tired of this series. Too bad, because Pendergast as a whole is really fantastic stuff, especially Relic and Reliquary, but some of his later adventures are really good too (e.g., Brimstone).

My favorite P-C book is Riptide ... no Pendergast but the best pirate treasure thriller I've read.

Posted by: Blacksheep at February 24, 2013 11:30 AM (bS6uW)

40 @32 Doyle was a spiritualist too, and although he may have co-operated in the exposure of some fraudulent mediums, Houdini (who took this shit seriously you guys) pretty much made a monkey of him for his willing credulity.

Ouija-board mysticism was Uge 100 years ago, factors into the foundation of the modern liberal mode of thought, and got even worse in the 60's when Led Zep were Edgar Cayce disciples, for which I discounted them artistically, and always will.

This generation did not invent human sacrifice. It's a rich [and totally fake] tradition.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:31 AM (qaVK+)

41 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:26 AM (J8Sr0)

Please stop.

I have a stack of books about three feet high that I need to read.

Oh, hell.

It's on Alibris as well.


Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:32 AM (GsoHv)

42 You forgot Alistair Crowley. Who talked of sacrificing babies. "The wickedest man in England."

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:32 AM (J8Sr0)

43 @18

I happened upon "The Curse of Fu-Manchu" in a free mystery collection I downloaded on my Kindle last year. Written by Sax Roehmer, it is totally politically incorrect and full of spooky scenes in London and various British countryside locales....


Yes, yes, and yes.

I came across a collection of paperbacks at a used book store of Fu Manchu stories by Sax Roehmer.

Apparently, there was some minor revival of these in the late 60s/early seventies.

My gosh, what a hoot. Totally absolutely resolutely politically incorrect- but very well-written, fast-paced, adventure stories centered around that fiendish Chinese mandarin of crime- Dr Fu Manchu!

He makes Professor Moriarty look like one of the schemers on "Survivor".

Posted by: naturalfake at February 24, 2013 11:33 AM (G9qZk)

44 CBD, I plan to revisit dealership Monday. For a nice chat.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:33 AM (J8Sr0)

45 @35 Great fun indeed. Apuleius' The Golden Ass -- don't miss it.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:35 AM (qaVK+)

46 "I think the reason I want to read this book is because I think I'm looking for the Chinese version of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. "

I dated a Chinese woman back when I had hair on top of my head. She mentioned a few details of her ringside seat to the revolution.

Her parents both went to sleepover camp for a year. She mentioned something about her mother coming home to visit her.

It's one anecdote. Maybe they had different levels of camps.

Posted by: some penguin at February 24, 2013 11:35 AM (yViO5)

47 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:33 AM (J8Sr0)

I called twice and wrote once. Shockingly, they have ignored me.

Luckily I have options around here, but many people don't.


Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:36 AM (GsoHv)

48 Moriarty and Fu-Manchu are allegories for the schemes of Satan plotting the downfall of man through crime and vice. It certainly beats the Dark Age tales of Everyman walking down a path to the village reciting prayers to ward off any possible malign influences and machinations of Satan.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:36 AM (J8Sr0)

49
Went to my local GM dealer to check a brake system light
(Stabilitrack). They tell me that the brake fluid is fine, but the
sensor is broken, and that I need a new brake computer and new brakes,
because the pads are at 3mm.

About $1,500.

I left, and took it to a buddy's Volvo performance shop.

Lo and behold! It needed fluid, so we added some and the brake light went out! And guess what? The brake pads were at 6mm.

I call that planned thievery.


GM dealers are becoming service crooks. My wife had almost the same experience. She has an Envoy. They told her the water pump was bad, which I thought was BS. She replace it for several hundred dollars and got a guarantee in WRITING on the part. Next year she shows up for an oil change, and guess what?

The dealer says she has a bad water pump. So she doesn't say anything, goes down with her receipt from last year with the written guarantee and suggested that they fix it ASAP. She also made it clear that she would be telling the owner about this BS.

They pray on women and old folks. Pretty disgusting.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:37 AM (wR+pz)

50 the series has flagged lately.

I agree. I barely made it through the last book. I don't know if I have it in me to start the next one.

Posted by: no good deed at February 24, 2013 11:37 AM (mjR67)

51 I'm a wicked fluffy penguin.

Posted by: fluffy at February 24, 2013 11:38 AM (yViO5)

52 Expect a lot more of that nickle-and-dime crap as Ocare and its effect on employer-employee relations heats up. Part--time mechanics? Part-time electricians? Part-time plumbers? 2014, brothers and sisters, will be a year for the history books.

Posted by: mrp at February 24, 2013 11:38 AM (HjPtV)

53 Posted by: Hrothgar at February 24, 2013 11:16 AM (Cnqmv)

Fun stuff!

I read the Complete Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid, but somebody mentioned that it was free on Kindle, so I grabbed it and have been rereading it.

The deductions are less impressive than when I was 13, but the glimpse into 19th century England is fascinating.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:38 AM (GsoHv)

54 My guilty pleasure is reading early 20th century potboilers like the Ruritania novels. Just finished reading "The Lightning Conductor", from 1903, featuring the adventure of traveling by motor-car through France and Italy, sometimes at speeds up to 30 mph! I kid you not. It was like reading an African tribe's account of discovering Europeans. This was before they had standardized little things like gearing and the steering mechanism, adding to the fun.

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (wfSF5)

55 20 Actually, Neptune's Inferno is very good, a good deal of it, is based on the diaries of the father of a friend of mine, by contrast I found Tin Can Soldiers less interesting,
Posted by: archie goodwin at February 24, 2013 11:18 AM (Jsiw/)

*******
I liked the Tin Can Sailors book, haven't read Neptune's Inferno.


And speaking of WWII diaries- I had mentioned a few weeks ago on the Book Thread about my reading the Anzio invasion and the liberation of Rome in "Fatal Decision" by Carlo D'Este and correlating it with my dad's diary from WWII.

For anyone interested, here's my dad's actual Journal entry from June 5, 1944:
"June 5 Rome is ours. We have it surrounded and occupied. The natives are delirious with joy. What with flag waving and flower throwing and shouting and ringing it is a great show.

Our battery moved from Velletri to the fair grounds SW of Rome. As soon as we closed in the new area 'Ace' Taylor took me for a flight over Rome. The main streets were thronged with people. The entrance to Vatican City was so crowded with people that we couldn't see the ground.

(Margin Note: This was the Pope's address welcoming the Allies. A lucky flight for us because flying over the Vatican is strictly forbidden. However this was a special occasion and passed uncensored.)

Rome is not badly bombed. Only the railroad yards show any amount of bombing. Our troops are moving well out with little opposition. All troops are advancing straight up the axis on rather narrow division fronts. The Air Corps is still raising Cain in the rear areas. Gerry seems very confused and disorganized."


My dad buzzed the Pope!! How awesome is that?

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (qqZuQ)

56 @48 Brilliant observation. Add in "The Faerie Queene" and "Pilgrim's Progress" (talk about bothe endes of ye olde Spectrumme) and their derivatives, and you have most of modern literature. To put a 60's I.T. spin on it, try "Giles Goat-Boy" by John Barth.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (qaVK+)

57 >>>>Apparently, there was some minor revival of these in the late 60s/early seventies.
<<<<<

Hammer films did a series of Fu Man Chu movies around that time with Christopher Lee as Fu. There is an old school Dr Who episode from the seventies called "The Talons of Wen Chiang" that is a really good Roehmer spoof. Tom Baker plays the Dr as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Nayland Smith.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (7xFeq)

58 They pray on women and old folks. Pretty disgusting.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:37 AM (wR+pz)

Yup.

The service writer who tried to steal from me was extremely attractive and was wearing a low-cut blouse. I enjoyed the view, (and she was well aware of what she was doing) so the morning wasn't a complete waste of time.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:41 AM (GsoHv)

59 #49 Older women are always seen as marks. I have to take care of all of this stuff since my husband works out of the country. We have a local mechanic who is a godsend as dealing with larger places leaves me with a major headache.


Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 11:41 AM (GoIUi)

60 I just finished rereading the Deathstalker series by Simon R. Green. I'm now reading the Quadrail series by Timothy Zahn.

Posted by: Joethefatman™ (@joethefatman1) at February 24, 2013 11:42 AM (MnSla)

61 I've written a manuscript that I'd like to get some feedback on before I look into getting it published. I figured the Moron Horde is well-suited for this because Morons (a) want more conservatives writing books; (b) are forthright in their opinions; and most importantly, (c) have way too much time on their hands.

If you are interested in reading a copy and letting me know what you think, contact me at jeffditz86[AT]gmail.com.

Posted by: The Lost Dutchman at February 24, 2013 11:43 AM (9F2c1)

62 48 Moriarty and Fu-Manchu are allegories for the schemes of Satan

*******

I've always wanted to write a story using an alligator as an allegory.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:43 AM (qqZuQ)

63 Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (qqZuQ)

So....how well does it correlate?

War must be the most difficult history to write, so these comparisons are fascinating.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:44 AM (GsoHv)

64 I don't really read, surprising no one.

Posted by: Truman, schmuman at February 24, 2013 11:45 AM (I2LwF)

65 @62 That's a croc.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:45 AM (qaVK+)

66 Quick: what was the bloodiest episode in French history: Vendee? the Terror? St Bartholomew? 100 Years War? Maybe the Frankish / Visigoth takeover?

Sisley Huddleston puts in an argument for the "liberation":
http://tinyurl.com/b28t9ma

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at February 24, 2013 11:45 AM (QTHTd)

67 I figured the Moron Horde is well-suited for this
because Morons (a) want more conservatives writing books; (b) are
forthright in their opinions; and most importantly, (c) have way too
much time on their hands.
want lots of lesbian pron and topless photos of moronettes.

Posted by: The Lost Dutchman at February 24, 2013 11:43 AM (9F2c1)

FIFY

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:46 AM (GsoHv)

68 Anna Puma, I never thought about those as being allegories for the schemes of Satan.

Of course, since I see all of life that way (particularly these last few years) it didn't seem unusual to me. HA!

Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 11:46 AM (GoIUi)

69 The wife told me there was a flying squid thread so I put away all the work I have to do today and came a' flying to the thread only to find out that it's a fucking book thread. It's outrageous I tell you, just outrageous and I will not stand for it. That's mis-advertisement; a bait and switch and there is not a fucking squid in this thread that I can see. I am enraged. As every flying squid followers should be. I telling you that we are not to be toyed with or mocked. It's not like we're nutty Sasquatch hunters or something. When the flying squid come for you Oregon Muse don't expect us to intervene and comunicate with them on your behalf!

Posted by: Squid Shaman at February 24, 2013 11:46 AM (KgD0C)

70 @62 Besides, already tried. By St Augustine...of Hippo.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:46 AM (qaVK+)

71 Yeah, "Warm Bodies" is supposed to be an okay movie. Need to get the book.

If you see "Cloud Atlas" lying around, burn it. With fire.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at February 24, 2013 11:50 AM (QTHTd)

72 The Terror may not have been the bloodiest if for no other reason than it was targeted on a individual basis (though the body count was significant, you just can't get to bloodiest unless you're wiping out everyone you come across for a good while).

I think it's the most dramatic French period, though, mainly because of the incredible reversals of fortune (heroes one day were guillotined the next) and "no way out of the city" aspects.

Posted by: Blacksheep at February 24, 2013 11:51 AM (bS6uW)

73 55 : Seamus MuldoonI may have mentioned it before,t war diary I've ever read is "With the Old Breed" by E. B. Sledge. Harrowing narration about the battle for Okinawa. I actually sent my Marine son a copywhile he was stationed there.

Posted by: TANSTAAFL at February 24, 2013 11:52 AM (52QEX)

74 An Al-a-Goreacle?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:53 AM (J8Sr0)

75 Democracy and Education by Dewey. I know, not ideologically approved, but I've found some good stuff within the third of the book I've read so far. He argues against an ossified system, which is ironic, since liberals are now defending an ossified system. We need to be turning this kind of stuff right back on them.

Posted by: Aaron at February 24, 2013 11:54 AM (Tlix5)

76 @67

Editor of the year award!

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:54 AM (wR+pz)

77 Miss Marple, I have occasional fits of almost being clever. This was one of them.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 11:55 AM (J8Sr0)

78 "1453" by Roger Crowley (of "Empires of the Sea"fame) tells the story of the Turkish siege and conquest of Constantinople which put an end to the Byzantine Empire. Jihad was pretty much the same then as it is now except that the media wasn't there to interpret it for us.

Posted by: Libra at February 24, 2013 11:55 AM (cMWZ+)

79 63 Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:40 AM (qqZuQ)So....how well does it correlate? War must be the most difficult history to write, so these comparisons are fascinating.
Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 11:44 AM (GsoHv)

*******

On the factual details, correlates quite well. Although obviously, any individual soldier only sees their individual part of the war. Some of what my dad included in his diary was either scuttlebutt or "news from the front" type of info rather than first hand eyewitness.
The obvious personal interest lies in trying to connect my own memories of my dad (the person) with this young 24-year-oldartillery officerliving the day-by-day drudgery of war. The personal anecdotes about what USO movie he saw starring whichever Hollywood starlet, or skinny dipping in the Mediterranean Sea near Naples, or ducking under a big pot of soup for covver during a shelling, or describing the after effects of an artillery shell hitting the officers' latrine are of interest for that reason. Not of great historical value in the "big picture" sense though.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:55 AM (qqZuQ)

80 Any chance we will get a Daytona thread with hot race chicks?

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:56 AM (wR+pz)

81 If y'all haven't read Flowershop in Baghdad yet, do yourself a favor and get it! It wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be, but it was absolutely fantastic. I started reading it when Thor went in for his surgery, and didn't put it down til I finished it. It's not my usual type of book, but it was just so darn good. Mike the Moose is a mighty fine writer!

And speaking of books by Morons, I loved Amy Lynn as well. I am always predisposed to like books based in the South, but it looks like everyone else enjoyed it, too. The typos and such didn't bother me; it seems to me that this sort of thing is the norm now. Thanks you Spellcheck, lazy editors and 2 generations of Liberal teachers. That being said, for your next book, OSP, (And there better be a next book!) Sabrina Chase seems to have a fantastic editor.

Read the new Flavia de Luce book, some new Ilona Andrews (Magic series), and various fluff suitable for light reading when deathly ill.

I will never, ever give up real books, but my basic Kindle is sooo much lighter than most books. Just propped it up and pushed a button; didn't have to worry about pages flopping over or anything. Also in love with being able to have hundreds of books on hand at any time.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at February 24, 2013 11:58 AM (Ixkum)

82 73 55 : Seamus MuldoonI may have mentioned it before,t war diary I've ever read is "With the Old Breed" by E. B. Sledge. Harrowing narration about the battle for Okinawa. I actually sent my Marine son a copywhile he was stationed there.
Posted by: TANSTAAFL at February 24, 2013 11:52 AM (52QEX)



Thanks, I'll give it a look.


Anna P. --
74 An Al-a-Goreacle?

Nice.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 11:59 AM (qqZuQ)

83 Chairman Mao was indeed every bit as bad, if not worse than other despots of his time. We just didn't hear about it since China was (and to a large extent still is) a very isolated society. There were no Western reporters to write about the mass killings, the slave labor, the arranged marriages, the rationing of food, all of the rest of it. What news we got was few and no given a lot of credibility.

Mao was a monster. And people may forgive Nixon for opening up relations with him, but I can't.

Posted by: navybrat at February 24, 2013 12:00 PM (ND6O6)

84 80
Any chance we will get a Daytona thread with hot race chicks?


Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 11:56 AM (wR+pz)

DUDE! Did you see that left turn he made?!!?!!

Posted by: Red Shirt at February 24, 2013 12:01 PM (FIDMq)

85 70 @62 Besides, already tried. By St Augustine...of Hippo.
Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 11:46 AM (qaVK+)

*****

Oh, yeah- well I never said I planned to be original.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 12:01 PM (qqZuQ)

86 OT but still: Shannon Bream is totally coming on to me.

Posted by: Blacksheep at February 24, 2013 12:02 PM (bS6uW)

87 Hey Tammy al-Thor!! How you doing? Glad you are doing well enough to post.

And rest assured OSP is busily working on a second Amy Lynn novel.

To be a proof reader is a difficult task. Sometimes things will slip by everyone. I still remember after the fourth reading of Clancy's Debt of Honor to find a goof I had skipped over before, apparently my brain doing auto-correct. One does not taxi 'into' the runway. One taxis 'onto' the runway. You may drive or taxi 'into' an intersection but never 'onto' an intersection.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 12:03 PM (J8Sr0)

88 Holy Crap! TAMMY LIVES!

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 24, 2013 12:04 PM (PQgoW)

89
If going all Scandihoovien interests anyone, Njáls Saga is a good choice: "Njáls Saga explores the consequences of vengeance as a defence of family honor by dealing with a blood feud spanning some 50 years."

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars at February 24, 2013 12:05 PM (Jcd0S)

90 With all the Moron authors coming out of the woodwork, could we convince Ace/the Cobs to have a book *writing* thread? Stuff like formatting for e-books, doing print versions, the arcana of ISBNs, care and feeding of editors, etc. I do all the formatting for my books and would be happy to contribute. Serious You Guys.

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at February 24, 2013 12:06 PM (wfSF5)

91 When I first heard NASCAR races were broadcast on radio down here, I laughed. I mean how boring would that be? But then I listened to part of a race and the broadcast was great. They have four teams of broadcasters that seamlessly switch reporting duties as the cars pass by their box. It's impressive.

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:06 PM (ZshNr)

92 With all the Moron authors coming out of the woodwork, could we convince Ace/the Cobs to have a book *writing* thread? Stuff like formatting for e-books, doing print versions, the arcana of ISBNs, care and feeding of editors, etc. I do all the formatting for my books and would be happy to contribute. Serious You Guys.

Your best bet is probably to write a post ahead of time and let the COBs know. If it's done then all they have to do is throw it up on the site.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 24, 2013 12:09 PM (PQgoW)

93 I can't decide which of these is the funniest.

http://www.ufunk.net/vrac/selection-du-weekend-24/

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 12:10 PM (J8Sr0)

94 I read OSP's book and the LodeStone Trilogy last week. I enjoyed Amy Lynn. OSP did a good job with the little vignettes giving backstory to the supporting characters. I've read mass sellers that mangle such things, its a treat to have an author provide that extra info and have it be a seamless part of the story. I was caught off guard at the end of the book where it becomes pure fantasy vs. "could of happened" although there was foreshadowing or call it a gradual change -- I just had failed to pick up on it. I'll buy the next book.

Lodestone Trilogy was pretty good SF. I got the first book as a freebie and like it enough to finish the trilogy but I may not pursue the sequels at all and for sure won't get them right away.

Posted by: Palerider at February 24, 2013 12:11 PM (vL0Nv)

95 liked not like. damn my poor proof-reading skills.

Posted by: Palerider at February 24, 2013 12:12 PM (vL0Nv)

96 I think the horrors inflicted by Mao were way worse than anything the Soviets ever did

But...but...they just didn't quite do communism the right way!

Posted by: Typical Liberal at February 24, 2013 12:12 PM (vbh31)

97 Man, I thought all the content-free threads were already posted....

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at February 24, 2013 12:15 PM (8qoXL)

98 @91 When I was a boy, you did not see the Indianapolis 500 without buying a ticket. There was a worldwide network of radio coverage. My family would sit together around a radio to listen. Every local paper had a reporter there, and a special sports section, to provide the photo input for the video you were producing in your mind.

I've been watching TV of the 500 since the closed-circuit days, when you had to buy a ticket to a sports arena to see it. Also been there quite a few times. Nothing has ever equalled the greatest spectacle of radio.

Oh, and since I mentioned Indianapolis:
Novi. We'll be back.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 12:16 PM (qaVK+)

99 Not trying to be a d-bag, but usually the SMBT makes me hit Amazon and spend money loading up the Kindle. The shelves are a little bare this morning, that's all.

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at February 24, 2013 12:16 PM (8qoXL)

100 96 I think the horrors inflicted by Mao were way worse than anything the Soviets ever did But...but...they just didn't quite do communism the right way!
Posted by: Typical Liberal at February 24, 2013 12:12 PM (vbh31)

*******

Heh- it sure seems they have been learning from their mistakes and are getting better at "doing communism". Not in the sense of better economic results or liberation of men, but in the sense of co-opting more of the general public and making it harder to oust the dictators. This will be a multi-generational struggle.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 12:17 PM (qqZuQ)

101
>>I've always wanted to write a story using an alligator as an allegory. <<

Ever read A Confederate General From Big Sur, by Richard Brautigan?

Posted by: garrett at February 24, 2013 12:20 PM (AJOhg)

102 "Taxation No Tyranny"

"with Foreword by Chief Justice John Roberts"

Posted by: t-bird at February 24, 2013 12:21 PM (FcR7P)

103 Random OT thought brought on by discussion of Chinese genocide. Do you think that the US would have used nuclear bombs on Western cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on Japanese cities? I had a very conservative, non PC teacher who used to tell me that we never would've done it, the "otherness" of the Japanese made it palatable. I get what he meant and sometimes wonder if he was right.

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:24 PM (ZshNr)

104 My bedtime reading now is «Khrushchev Remembers». It's excellent. Puts me right to sleep.

I read «Kristin Lavransdatter» because I was told it contained scientifically correct and graphic descriptions of the effects of the bubonic plague. It came as a release from the grip of death-by-indifference when she croaked in the Black Death, but the descriptions was finally there, on the last pages.

Posted by: Yngvar at February 24, 2013 12:25 PM (sv2MH)

105 Ah the book thread I have missed a lot. But I have been outside in the warm sunny weather for a change. It starts back to crap tommorow.

anyway on to books.

IFinsished OSP's Amy Lynn book. Now re-reading the first two Sword of Truth books. Amazon has them for free right now.


If any have not yet read OSP's Amy Lynn, here is a hearty get too it.

Posted by: Vic at February 24, 2013 12:27 PM (53z96)

106 I went to Daytona for twenty years, use to do some work for NASCAR. It is always fucking cold. Usually we stayed for the twins then went to the Keys to bone fish.

Too many fucking people on the big day. Fuck I had a parking pass and it took two hours to get out of the fucking race.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 12:27 PM (wR+pz)

107 2 Dashiel Hammett
I read a bunch of his detective/crime stories a few months ago. Also read much of Raymond Chandler, who was supposedly influenced by DH. I like RC's character development better., and in some stories I couldn't figure out where DH was trying to go.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:28 PM (CypDC)

108 Random OT thought brought on by discussion of Chinese genocide. Do you think that the US would have used nuclear bombs on Western cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on Japanese cities? I had a very conservative, non PC teacher who used to tell me that we never would've done it, the "otherness" of the Japanese made it palatable. I get what he meant and sometimes wonder if he was right.

Use? Yes, but it would have been a harder decision. More likely they would have tried to use them against enemy troop formations first.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at February 24, 2013 12:28 PM (PQgoW)

109 103: We and the UK did a pretty good job of fire-bombing Dresden and other German war industry cities, plus think of how poorly the average politician understands science -- they were better educated in the '40s but even so I doubt they could conceive what an atom bomb would do.

Posted by: Palerider at February 24, 2013 12:28 PM (vL0Nv)

110 Do you think that the US would have used nuclear bombs on Western cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on Japanese cities?

No, because we identify with Europe. Moscow? No problem.

Posted by: t-bird at February 24, 2013 12:29 PM (FcR7P)

111 Did anyone read the AE vanVogt sci-fi story in the sidebar, the weapon shop of Isher? I thought I had read it before, but it turns out there is another story, almost the same title, referring to the same events but from the PoV of another character. I think there may actually be a third story, from the point of view of the dude slingshotting thru time. I'll have to chase that one down.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:32 PM (CypDC)

112 If Hitler had nukes, England would be a radioactive wasteland today.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at February 24, 2013 12:32 PM (QTHTd)

113 103
Do you think that the US would have used nuclear bombs on Western cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on Japanese cities?

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:24 PM (ZshNr)


Well, Germany had already surrendered over two months before the Trinity test, and were obviously collapsing well before then. Assuming the bomb had been ready six months earlier, I think we would have used it on German cities, but Rome and Paris had already been liberated by then, so they were not an issue.

I really don't have any patience for the idea that we dropped them on Japan because of racism. That smacks too much of postmodern commie agitprop that white Westerners are uniquely evil. No, we dropped them on Japan because they Would.Not.Quit.Fighting.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 12:33 PM (sdi6R)

114 Well the bomb was devised in order to counteract the threat of the French Bomb, and we only have to look at Dresden, Hamburg, even Berlin, to see they didn't have many compunction, Rome might have been a different stories.

Posted by: archie goodwin at February 24, 2013 12:35 PM (Jsiw/)

115 Just starting the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn. I consider it a form of 'prepping'.

Posted by: ghostofhallelujah at February 24, 2013 12:36 PM (XvrTA)

116 More people died in LeMay's fire bomb attacks on Japan in one night that all the people that died in both A bomb attacks.


Same with Dresden and Hamburg. We didn't need the A bomb.

Phosphorus bombs did just fine.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 24, 2013 12:36 PM (wR+pz)

117 Rick I, it's a hypothetical, and obviously would have required a different course of the war. I don't think his point was "racism" so much as a more generic "otherness". Another thing he'd talk about was how the starving Ethiopians that were on every commercial break back then normalized the image of starving black kids in a way starving white kids had never been normalized.

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:36 PM (ZshNr)

118 15
"The Seville Communion" is also very good.
I read "Club Dumas" many years ago and was also disappointed with the movie. Gosh, how many years ago was that?

Posted by: Tuna at February 24, 2013 12:37 PM (M/TDA)

119 Do you think that the US would have used nuclear bombs on Western
cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on Japanese cities?


I recall reading somewhere that the Bomb was originally designed for use against Germany.

Posted by: Armando at February 24, 2013 12:37 PM (IDypm)

120 I plowed my way through The Master of Hestviken, and by the end of it was pretty sick of Ingunn Steinfinnsdottir. This was years ago, but even though I enjoyed the world it showed and many of the characters, after every screwup of hers (children do what they want, etc) Olav Audunsson still soldiered on being her husband, even though they weren't recognized as married except for the inconvenient fact that they'd had sex, and then in the process of getting that translated into being churched, Ingunn had a baby out of wedlock with some itinerant Icelander. Olav eventually had the epiphany that it was his lot in life to carry her puling carcass over every stinking mess she fell into while whining. It was kind of a letdown, epiphany-wise, after becoming immersed in the early Christian Norway Undset creates so well. Well, nasty, brutish and short, and so on. (except it's four books long)

Posted by: barbarausa at February 24, 2013 12:38 PM (WWeoI)

121 103 & 113
"The making of the atomic bomb", richard rhodes, is both technically and historically detailed. It is very difficult to conclude that we would not have used the bomb if it had been ready before D-land collapsed. At the time there was little distinction made between massive raids and using a single super-bomb, and the latter put fewer air crews at risk. the perception that nukes are somehow more horrific that firebombing a entire cities is a modern pany-waist conception.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:40 PM (CypDC)

122 The original pitch to FDR on building the atomic bomb was research being carried out by German scientists to build an atomic weapon. Signed off by no less than Albert Einstein. Luckily German efforts were hampered by Allied bombing, their research track that required heavy water, and repeated attacks on Telemark that made the required heavy water.

Jacob Beser, ECM operator who flew both atomic missions, wished the weapon had been used on Germany.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 24, 2013 12:41 PM (J8Sr0)

123 #79 I think your father's diary has great historical significance, although not in the way you meant it.

My nephew got interested in World War II from seeing photos my dad took in North Africa and Italy. (I have a great picture of him as a tech sergeant with his platoon eating in a restaurant in Rome. Who knows, he might have met your father, although he was head of a quartermaster unit with a rag tag bunch of guys who were from all over the country. Tailors, mechanics, carpenters, etc. They repaired everything but weapons.)

I think it is often difficult for people to connect the old guys at the VFW with the youngsters who fought in Europe. Diaries like your father's make kids realize that those were REAL people in that war, just like them.

That is why the preservation of those old photos, letters, and diaries is of such importance. Their sacrifices, and also the fun they had when they were able, are part of a story that should be remembered.

Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 12:43 PM (GoIUi)

124 @67:

Good point! Sadly, my photography skills aren't very good, so you'll have to settle for my writing.

Posted by: The Lost Dutchman at February 24, 2013 12:43 PM (9F2c1)

125
Flying squid = flying calimari, brought home with the shotgun.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie ® at February 24, 2013 12:44 PM (1hM1d)

126 All of these points about the Euro nuke bring me back to Mr. Woods class. Good times.

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:47 PM (ZshNr)

127 One of my favorite topics is "engineering history". Richard Rhodes does a great job with "making of the atomic bomb" and "dark sun" (post WW2 h-bomb). David McCollough wrote "the great bridge" about the Brooklin Bridge, and "Path between the seas", regarding the Panama Canal.

Any good books out there on the early space program? Already read The Right Stuff.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:47 PM (CypDC)

128 "I'm looking for the Chinese version of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn."

I haven't read it for awhile, but I highly recommend Three Swans by Jung Chang. It's a long, good read that follows three generations of women's lives--the grandmother, who was a concubine, the mother, who was one of Mao's soldiers, and the author herself, Jung Chang. It's an extraordinary look at what Chinese life was like, especially during the Mao era. The descriptions of the grandmother having her feet bound still makes me shudder. This book will weigh heavily on you for years afterward.

I see they now have a Kindle version, too.

http://tinyurl.com/anyohe2

Posted by: Guy in London at February 24, 2013 12:48 PM (dniUc)

129 #98 The 500 on the radio was one of the traditions of Memorial Day, even though I grew up in Indianapolis. My dad never could stand crowds, so he never went.

When I was a young Air Force wife in West Berlin, hearing the 500 on the Armed Forces Network made me the most homesick I ever got, especially when the opening ceremonies with "Back Home Again in Indiana."

Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 12:48 PM (GoIUi)

130 121
At the time there was little distinction made between massive raids and using a single super-bomb, and the latter put fewer air crews at risk.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:40 PM (CypDC)


That's an excellent point.

To expand on my #113, if the bomb had been ready in January, I think we definitely would have used it against Germany. If it wasn't ready until March or April, then maybe not, since the end of the war in Europe was clearly in sight.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 12:48 PM (sdi6R)

131 Reading a biography of Thomas Becket by John Guy. Very suspenseful even though you know what the outcome will be.

Posted by: Tuna at February 24, 2013 12:50 PM (M/TDA)

132 "No, we dropped them on Japan because they Would.Not.Quit.Fighting."

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 12:33 PM (sdi6R)

+100

And everything else is revisionist bullshit.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 24, 2013 12:52 PM (GsoHv)

133 "If anyone knows of a workaround for this"

How about 21st-century software, both for content development and for the blog itself?

Nah.

Posted by: hannitys_hybrid at February 24, 2013 12:52 PM (MmH0Z)

134 130 While the firebombing raids were very effective, there were hundreds of planes involved with multiple waves by the final days. Seriously (ahem, you guys) the Bomb must have looked pretty attractive to those numbed by the years of carnage. It's not just a trope that the A-bomb saved lives.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:53 PM (CypDC)

135 Seamus Muldoon: Your father wrote as well as you do. I love reading about the soldiers point of view. My father was in WW2, at the tail end, and was sent to Europe, but always wanted to be in the Pacific theatre. He became a scholar of the Pacific battles and read everything he could on that part of the war. I got my love of history from him and my grandfather, who always told me to read what has happened to find out that it will happen again if we let it.

Posted by: megthered at February 24, 2013 12:55 PM (iR4Dg)

136 Do you think that the US would have used nuclear
bombs on Western cities (Berlin, Paris, Rome) as readily as we did on
Japanese cities? I had a very conservative, non PC teacher who used to
tell me that we never would've done it, the "otherness" of the Japanese
made it palatable. I get what he meant and sometimes wonder if he was
right.

Posted by: lincolntf at February 24, 2013 12:24 PM (ZshNr)


It's a moot point because they wouldn't fucking give up and the nation was tired of war and wasn't willing to have a bunch of additional deaths and maimings while trying to win the old fashioned way. Does anybody think Hitler wouldn't have used it on the rest of Europe if he'd not gotten rid of all the Jooos that could've probably done it for him? It would've been bottled sunshine time for everybody then.

Regarding what I'm reading, Europe Central continues to be outstanding. I'm currently in a story about how Stalin fucked over Shostakovich before WW2. Just a superb collection of vignettes about how fucked up things were in the Soviet Union and Germany pre and post WW2. And I'm still less than a quarter of the way through it.

Another book I just started is "Escaping the Delta" by Elijah Ward that takes a look at how the concept of the blues has been tailored through the ages. First of all, no blacks gave a rat's ass about the concept of poor blues players in the South. That was pretty much the idea of white people seeing it through their own preconceptions. For example, the commie pricks loved to see it as a manifestation of oppressed people having a voice whereas most contemporary blacks just wanted to have a good time and fuck being reminded about hard times which they had more than enough of. There's tons of that type of argument in it, most of which rings true to me. The blues was just another pop form of selling records.

Posted by: Captain Hate at February 24, 2013 12:55 PM (l4sEE)

137 127
Any good books out there on the early space program? Already read The Right Stuff.

Posted by: Rule #2 at February 24, 2013 12:47 PM (CypDC)


Ah! Now we're talking.

The Viking Rocket Story by Milton W. Rosen
Project Vanguard by Kurt R. Stehling
The Mighty Thor by Julian Hartt
Atlas: The Story of a Missile by John L. Chapman
Atlas: The Ultimate Weapon by Chuck Walker

The first four are long out of print, but I found them on Alibris and AbeBooks.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 12:56 PM (sdi6R)

138 Rick I, it's a hypothetical, and obviously would have required a
different course of the war. I don't think his point was "racism" so
much as a more generic "otherness". Another thing he'd talk about was
how the starving Ethiopians that were on every commercial break back
then normalized the image of starving black kids in a way starving white
kids had never been normalized.


He's looking at it in the wrong way. It was designed to evoke sympathy in whites. Image of starving black kid: Poor benighted person besieged by poverty. Image of starving white kid: His parents should get a job.

Regarding the Imperial Japanese, it was their racism and xenophobia that led to the bomb even being considered. Any normal country would have surrendered after their only ally did.

He might have had a point in that America had no major fighting ally in the region.

At the time there was little distinction made between massive raids and
using a single super-bomb, and the latter put fewer air crews at risk.
the perception that nukes are somehow more horrific that firebombing a
entire cities is a modern pany-waist conception.


Exactly. It's only now that we consider an atomic bomb to be verboten (in part because they are much more powerful) but killing people in another way would be better?

Frankly, I think that Truman showed remarkable restraint with the A-bombs. We hit shipmaking cities -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- as opposed to mere population centers like Tokyo and Osaka.

Posted by: AmishDude at February 24, 2013 01:10 PM (xSegX)

139 A lot of Germany's targets worth the candle were in occupied territory. And we had "allies" downwind. So the question becomes, would you nuke an ally. Hitler might have used one on the Russians, but not France or England. He was even squeamish about poison gas (on the battlefield) because they'd explained to him what "prevailing wind" meant.

The atom bomb was "invented" by Hungarian Jews, who thought it up in London. Let's not get carried away with who it would have been used on, had the world not been so lucky as to have the Americans develop it. We were the pacifists.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 01:11 PM (qaVK+)

140 Finished Edgar Rice Burrough's "The Outlaw of Torn" a stolen prince adventure set in Plantagenet (I think) England. Also am now up-to-date on the web-comic "Freefall".

Still working on "Dirty Laundry" by a Horde commenter and "I Used to Know That" which is a compilation of all the general facts one should know as a high school graduate (some of the math and science facts are stuff I never did end up learning) but I've forgotten the author's name.

Starting to get caught up on the archives of the web-comic "Sluggy Freelance". I only have 8 more years worth at this point, so figure it'll take me a couple weeks since it's a daily strip. Also started "Japanese Fairy Tales" I read some folktales from Japan in elementary school and am curious to see if anything is familiar.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at February 24, 2013 01:12 PM (wbeNt)

141 That is why the preservation of those old photos, letters, and diaries is of such importance. Their sacrifices, and also the fun they had when they were able, are part of a story that should be remembered.
Posted by: Miss Marple at February 24, 2013 12:43 PM (GoIUi)

*******

Well stated Miss M. Thanks.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 01:13 PM (qqZuQ)

142 To expand on my #113, if the bomb had been ready in January, I think we
definitely would have used it against Germany. If it wasn't ready until
March or April, then maybe not, since the end of the war in Europe was
clearly in sight.


Suppose you're faced with the decision: execute the D-Day invasion or A-bomb Berlin?

FDR would have dropped the bomb.

So would I.

Posted by: AmishDude at February 24, 2013 01:14 PM (xSegX)

143 http://amzn.to/13DXoH0

The Metaphysical Club

I picked this up in the airport several years back and then I lent it out. Just got it back and so I am reviewing some of the more interesting parts.

Menand's great grandfather was the dude my home town was named after. So I had to pick it up.

The book opens with the politics of the slavery.

Posted by: sTevo at February 24, 2013 01:15 PM (VMcEw)

144 More people died in LeMay's fire bomb attacks on Japan in one night that all the people that died in both A bomb attacks. Same with Dresden and Hamburg. We didn't need the A bomb. Phosphorus bombs did just fine.
Gotta disagree; the use of the atomic bomb was inpart predicated on psychology. 1 bomb, 1 aircraft wreaks almost if not as much destruction and death as an aentire raid using 100 aircraft. The Japanese had no idea how many more we had and no idea that 1 plane could only carry 1 bomb.

Posted by: CrotchetyOldJarhead at February 24, 2013 01:16 PM (GarEL)

145 142 AmishDude
Yes, I agree.

I left out the year in my comment that you quoted, but I meant 1945.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 01:20 PM (sdi6R)

146 135 Seamus Muldoon: Your father wrote as well as you do. I love reading about the soldiers point of view. My father was in WW2, at the tail end, and was sent to Europe, but always wanted to be in the Pacific theatre. He became a scholar of the Pacific battles and read everything he could on that part of the war. I got my love of history from him and my grandfather, who always told me to read what has happened to find out that it will happen again if we let it.
Posted by: megthered at February 24, 2013 12:55 PM (iR4Dg)

*******

Good for your dad and grandfather.

I sometimes feel that I have failed to live up to the standards set by my parents' generation. That feeling still acts as a motivator for me personally.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 01:20 PM (qqZuQ)

147 I had first read of the Franklin/Gibbon meeting reading the old paper version of the Atlantic Monthly.

Here's something off the net although it lacks the pittiness of the Atlantic's version:

"On one occasion, Franklin was dining at a Paris restaurant and learned
that Edward Gibbon, the British historian who chronicled ancient Rome’s
decline and fall, was there, too. Franklin invited Gibbon to his table,
but Gibbon declined, saying that since he was loyal to George III, he
wouldn’t speak with a rebel. Franklin replied that if Gibbon ever wanted
to write a history of Britain’s decline and fall, he would provide
ample materials."

Posted by: Whitehall at February 24, 2013 01:21 PM (1+mGd)

148 "Frankly, I think that Truman showed remarkable restraint with the A-bombs. We hit shipmaking cities -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- as opposed to mere population centers like Tokyo and Osaka."

There wasn't enough of Tokyo or Osaka left after the Lemay firebombing raids to make a difference.

IIRC, James Jones made the argument that if Truman had NOT used atomic weapons before the executions of Operations Olympic and Coronet, he would have been impeached and convicted.


Posted by: mrp at February 24, 2013 01:22 PM (HjPtV)

149 Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at February 24, 2013 11:58 AM (Ixkum)

Tammy! Tammy, Tammy, TAMMY!

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at February 24, 2013 01:23 PM (wbeNt)

150 Muldoon, my dad's Infantry Division Association just published its last newsletter, each edition of which had at least one guy's memoir of an action in it. I've been reading it since the 50's.

Several of those serialized memoirs ended up as books, some better than others. The single biggest thing I noticed was that, reading the same unit's idea of itself over 50-some years, you watched the WWII generation rant, rave, mature, and age. Their war lasted 3 years. They had another 60 to think it over.

The one that set me up straight was in the late 60's, an account of how a major dirt road behind Elsenborn being recently re-graded shortly before the kickoff of the Ardennes counter-offensive was proof positive that the green divisions were used as bait, and Ike and Monty had some sort of strategy to draw Jerry in and cut off the pocket. That theory was rolled around for several years in the letters column, and (it seems to me) didn't leach out entirely until the History Channel era, when the accomplishments of the division in its brief retreat were finally acknowledged.

At the time, it was a classic illustration of the arrival of "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" in the consciousness of yon greatest generation.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 01:28 PM (qaVK+)

151 I just finished "The Last Child" by John Hart. Very good writing although the occasional word choice bothered me, and plenty of good plot twists. I did not see the end coming.

Just started "Gone Girl" but if it ends up being a tale of two adults deliberately mistreating each other, I doubt if I'll finish it. It took long enough for the library to get it to me to cause me to doubt its worth, just based on how popular it has been in Seattle.

Most of what I have on reserve next is books on weaving and slipcovers and other fiber-related subjects so maybe I can tackle my enormous, floor-cracking backlog.

Posted by: Tonestaple at February 24, 2013 01:33 PM (IJ9UA)

152 Polli Polli POLLI! How is my baby sis??? And her babies?

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at February 24, 2013 01:33 PM (Ixkum)

153 152 We're okay. Not as disgustingly healthy as in previous years, but getting by.

So, so happy you're up to posting. Was getting really worried. What's this about Thor having surgery? Is he doing okay?

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at February 24, 2013 01:41 PM (wbeNt)

154 It's been a sickly winter for all, I think! Hopefully we'll all be 100% come spring.

And yes, Thor's fine, thank you for asking. Very minor surgery. In and out, less than 30 minutes for the actual surgery. (Umbilical hernia repair)

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at February 24, 2013 01:47 PM (Ixkum)

155 150 ...Their war lasted 3 years. They had another 60 to think it over.
Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 01:28 PM (qaVK+)


*******
Comatus-
I guess that's why I find the original writings so interesting. Not nearly as much filtering or revisionism going on. That perspective of how they saw it as it was happening is vital.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 01:55 PM (qqZuQ)

156 Hi, Tammy. Good to see you here again. I hope that means you're getting better.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:03 PM (sdi6R)

157 Off topic:

I would like to call upon my imaginary Internet friends. We developed a sudden, pronounced natural gas leak. We have called the gas company emergency line, and I am out in front of the house sitting in my car with my cat. I have left the front door open. Is there anything else I should do?

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 02:03 PM (gBOQE)

158 127
Any good books out there on the early space program? Already read The Right Stuff.

--------

Have you read "Apollo" by Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox? Although it's nominally about the Apollo program, it begins at the beginning.

Posted by: Assault Citizen Anachronda at February 24, 2013 02:03 PM (1c58W)

159 Also, shouldn't someone be here by now?

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 02:03 PM (gBOQE)

160 Fiction: Just finished reading Christopher Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" (which formed the seed of the musical Cabaret). A portrait of a very weird place and time: Germany on the verge of Hitler's rise to power.

Nonfiction: Tyler Cowan's _An Economist Gets Lunch_, a pretty interesting book about food, and how to find a good cheap lunch, and why America has good barbecue but French food is always expensive. He does a good job of knocking down and kicking the "locavore" fad, but also feels it necessary to include some boilerplate liberal pieties about that old debbil carbon. Overall, it's enjoyable.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 24, 2013 02:05 PM (gLX1p)

161 Mindy: I hope you turned off anything with an igniter or a pilot light.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 24, 2013 02:06 PM (gLX1p)

162 Mindy:
Open the windows, maybe.

How long ago did you call the emergency number?

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:06 PM (sdi6R)

163 @157 Did you turn the furnace off so it won't "call for heat"? If you didn't, don't go back in now. And you might want to move about a half-block away.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 02:06 PM (qaVK+)

164 I'm asking you all about the gas leak situation because all of my friends are in church. I'd be there too, except our water heater broke down last night, and I'm not prepared to be seen in public.

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 02:08 PM (gBOQE)

165 I didn't get to turn off the heat because I was afraid to touch the thermostat

Thank God my husband just got here.

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 02:10 PM (gBOQE)

166 Regarding bombs atomickal, I don't buy the notion that we wouldn't have used it on Germany. That sucker probably had Hitler's name painted on the casing right up to the moment he blew his brains out.

For one thing, before Germany quit there was always the hope that the example of knocking them out of the war might convince the Japanese, and of course it would free up our allies.

I don't think fallout really registered on anyone's mind back then. The extent and effects of fallout were discovered as a result of the 1950s aboveground tests.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 24, 2013 02:10 PM (gLX1p)

167 I'm guessing that the water heater and gas leak may be related.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:10 PM (sdi6R)

168 Mindy: Don't go in the house, but shut off your power NOW.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 24, 2013 02:11 PM (gLX1p)

169 How do you shut off the power without going in the house? My circuit breaker box is in the laundry room, just a few feet from the furnace and the water heater.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:13 PM (sdi6R)

170 Since we haven't heard from Mindy, I guess the gas company has arrived by now.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:18 PM (sdi6R)

171 If you like Lavransdatter, check out Knut Hamsun. Yes, he turned nazi in the end, but he wrote some damn fine books. Especially the August-trilogy is good. (And thats a leftie lurker saying that.)

Posted by: Fnord at February 24, 2013 02:18 PM (ROVCZ)

172 After the Rape of Nanking, biological experiments on Chinese, the Bataan Death March, the murder of US airmen etc., I think the Japanese got exactly what they earned.

Posted by: Ook? at February 24, 2013 02:19 PM (OQpzc)

173 Don't want to leave anyone in suspense--gas guy and fire dept arrived and everything is under control. We haven't blown up.

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 02:21 PM (gBOQE)

174 Thank you for that Mindy. Since we have a lot of high-pressure gas plumbers here, we're going to need a full report later. Sounds like you done good.

Posted by: comatus at February 24, 2013 02:23 PM (qaVK+)

175 Glad to hear it, Mindy!

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:31 PM (sdi6R)

176 Getting back to space books, which I was talking about in #137, I just now ordered "First Into Outer Space" by Theodore J Gordon. It's about the three Thor-Able Pioneer launches to the Moon in 1958. They all failed, but they were the first U.S. attempts. The first one, on August 17, 1958, was mankind's very first attempt to launch a rocket to the Moon.

This book was published in 1959, and it is also out of print. It was recommended to me by the space photo collector extraordinaire Art LeBrun.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2013 02:41 PM (sdi6R)

177 Thanks for the Sax Rohmer recommendations. I've seen his books on public domain sites and always thought they must be bad. Now I'm going to try them.

Posted by: microcosme at February 24, 2013 03:11 PM (0dTjV)

178 Okay, here's the report:

The reason the entire house stunk so bad is because the scent they add to natural gas is REALLY stinky. We were not anywhere near combustion.

The leak was coming from our stove (the regulator or control box), so we have shut off the gas line to the stove. Gas guy checked the whole house and everything else is fine.

We are just having a blast this weekend -- we need a water heater and a stove now. Our budget is a shambles since our income has been slashed and our expenses have skyrocketed due to Obama policies. I'm so discouraged, although thankful that our house is intact. I'm also thankful for friends with whom we have lined up shower privileges.

Thanks for the advice and support, especially since our local friends were unavailable for awhile.

Posted by: Mindy at February 24, 2013 03:23 PM (gBOQE)

179 Seamus Muldoon, i read your book and got a kick out of it. Good job.

Posted by: fastfreefall at February 24, 2013 03:26 PM (Tz35j)

180 Just finished Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon (1152 pages of excellence!) that I believe I found because it was mentioned in one of the Sunday book threads. Jumped directly into Stephenson's Quicksilver due to loving his incredible writing. Don't know how I missed this terrific author … thanks for the tip.

Posted by: jix at February 24, 2013 04:20 PM (iGpXz)

181 179 Seamus Muldoon, i read your book and got a kick out of it. Good job.
Posted by: fastfreefall at February 24, 2013 03:26 PM (Tz35j)

*****

Thanks FFF- glad you enjoyed it. "Mmmmmmm, Little Smokies!"

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at February 24, 2013 04:25 PM (qqZuQ)

182 180 jix. Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver were all-night reads (two days each) and worth it. It has become difficult recently to find sci-fan authors of Stephenson's caliber.

Posted by: I'd rather be surfin at February 24, 2013 05:02 PM (g5wi5)

183 Glad you're safe Mindy. Praying for your family too.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at February 24, 2013 06:19 PM (wbeNt)

184 Just finished The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. Really enjoyed them. I watched the Bogart movie of The Big Sleep too. Meh.
Prior to that I had read The Monster Hunter International books by Larry Correia. I had heard about them for a couple of years, but had no interest in sci-fi fantasy by self published authors about hunting monsters. Then I read his defense of the 2nd amd. linked here on AOSHQ. I tried one of his books on a whim, and it was great. The Grimnoir series is even better. Well, long post on a dead thread, but I for one go back and dig through old book threads, I suppose if you are reading this, you do too.

Posted by: matt in maine at February 24, 2013 06:28 PM (dcLM4)

185 I've read Knut Hamsun. I think he did Hunger, which is about a student slowly starving to death. I believe I've read another of his books but can't think of the title right now. Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag is another cheerful Scandinavian saga of immigrants to America. I used to read Scandinavian sagas, so I tend to enjoy the depression of these writers. Someone recommended Independent People by Halldor Laxness, which is good but a hard book to read.

Poul Anderson (the scifi writer) wrote a version of Njal's Saga that was one of my late husband's favorite books.

I'm reading "Waging Heavy Peace" by Neil Young. Yes,I know he's a libtard but it's light reading. Next up is Coolidge by Amity Shlaes.

Posted by: notsothoreau at February 24, 2013 06:44 PM (Lqy/e)

186 182 I'd rather be surfin. I don't really read much sci-fan/sci-fi except the classics such as Heinlein and a couple by Asimov and Clarke. Maybe that's how I missed Stephenson for so long. Snow Crash is now on my amazon wish list, so I'm branching out a bit. Have you read it?

Posted by: jix at February 24, 2013 06:51 PM (iGpXz)

187 I just got a (reprint) copy of "Bayonet Exercise," by Richard F. Burton, Lieutenant Bombay Army, originally published in 1853.

Top that.

Posted by: John W. at February 24, 2013 08:17 PM (K7KaF)

188 Regarding the firebombing raids in Japan, LeMay commented in "Mission With LeMay" that he stopped them only because he ran out of incendiaries and that had his supply held out, the Japanese might have surrendered before the atomic bomb was used.

A little OT, but an interesting datum. LeMay's rationale for area-bombing Japanese cities was that Japan had dispersed much of its war production throughout civilian areas. He mentions standing in a burned-out residential area after the war and seeing nothing sticking out of the rubble except drill presses.

Posted by: PersonFromPorlock at February 24, 2013 10:16 PM (5hNpF)

189 Oregon Muse,

You just made my day (yes, it's been that kind of day where I don't get around to checking AoSHQ until midnight). I'm glad to be the last of a long series of folks urging you to read Kristin Lavransdatter!

I don't consider Kristin a "chick book" any more than I would consider The Brothers Karamazov a "guy book." They're both universal.

Happy reading, and have a great week!

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at February 25, 2013 12:46 AM (F0o5k)

190 jix at February 24, 2013 06:51 PM (iGpXz)

Snow Crash is classic Stephenson for with the creation of mind-bending worlds. His original concepts have been raided by Hollywood scriptwriters for ideas or plot lines that pop up in various films. You will recognize them as you read it, so I won't spoil your fun.

Posted by: I'd rather be surfin at February 25, 2013 12:47 AM (g5wi5)

191 I'm re-reading Kristin, as we speak.

Who's the bigger idiot: Kristin Lavransdatter or Anna Karenina? Discuss.

Posted by: Sal at February 25, 2013 04:40 PM (P4UK2)






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