Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To Skin A Cat

Third times the charm don't they say? This is my third book review, I know I promised this wouldn't become a book blog, but whose to say where this blog leads. Besides, I like to read, thus new material for this beautiful blog.

To Skin A Cat is the third of a detective series by John Robinson. John takes on a topic that is not approached normally in society. It's one of those topics that is whispered about at the Garden Club by blue haired grandmothers and hits the majority of every computer in America, if not through actual navigation to the sites then through unwanted email. That unapproachable topic is pornography.

Mr. Robinson doesn't hit you over the head with righteousness and the Christian view of porno, but instead quietly shows you the effect it has on generations and just how easy it is to fall prey to its deception. His hero, Joe Box, goes through this battle and wins, in a big way.

Mr. Robinson's writing skill turns Joe Box into a great main character. He not only becomes your hero, but also your friend. When you turn the final page of the book, that empty feel comes over you like when you told your best bud goodbye. Mr. Robinson builds a great cast of characters, with some whom you think you know, but you don't until the end.

What I like about this book is that Joe Box is a Christian, and isn't made out to be some stupid hillbilly that can't put two words together or someone who has a false faith and makes Christianity look bad. Joe stands by his faith and his faith doesn't let him down.

Thank you Mr. Robinson, you have made my list of favorite books, right at the top along side Mr. Snyder.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Within A Buffalo's Breath

The Wichita Mountains are the oldest mountain range in the United States, or at least that is what those more learned than I claim. A big pile of boulders that stretch across the western section of Oklahoma has made it's own history over the years, now it was about to impose some history on me.

We were returning to our vehicle after hiking through the wildlife refuge, soaking in the beauty of this often overlooked natural wonderland. After all, if you want to go to the mountains, you go to the Rockies, right? As we approached the picnic area that we parked in, we were surprised, no we were terrified, that a herd of buffalo had decide to surround our car like the trail driver would circle the wagons. There must have been a hundred head relaxing in the sun, with the car smack in the middle of them.

My wife looked at me and asked the question that had already crossed my mind, "What are we going to do now? There's buffalo surrounding our car!"

No kidding darling, I glad you told me, "You stay here, I'll work my way to the car. If I make it to it, you take a long sweep around the herd and meet me at the road. I'll try to drive through them." I tried to sound brave, but I couldn't convince myself let along her.

My legs were shaking as I set off on my quest. As I approached the herd, the aroma of a hundred bison's bad breath turned my stomach. I climbed on a picnic table to form a path through the herd, from the picnic table to the dead scrub oak tree, which I believed was alive before the buffalo breath reached it. From the scrub oak over to the granite boulder, through the prairie dog town, over to the dry creek bed to the elm tree and over to my car.

As I stood on the picnic table a car turned into the picnic area. I don't know if they noticed me stuck on the table, but they quickly turned around and left. I quickly went over the route again and started a debate among my friends, Me, Myself and I, on whether I should run or just walk like nothing is wrong. Myself reminded Me that I could run ten yards without cramping up, so a slow walk won out.

I strolled over to the scrub oak and paused. The closest I came to a buffalo was about five yards, he rolled his big brown eyes over to me, snorted and quickly dismissed me. I was trying to remind myself if the outer animals of the herd acted like a sentry. I decided it wasn't the time to take up a psychological study, it was time to move.

About twenty yards off was the boulder, when I get there I'll climb to the top and hopefully make my presence know to the herd. To get there the only path ran between two buffalo that laid back to back. So off I strolled coming so close that I could see way too much detail of a pair of two thousand pound raging muscle. The dust was flying in the air as their tails smacked the ground in a beat that was reminiscent of the war drums that echoed through the mountains in years past. Their dark brown coat and mane matted with a layer of dust and mud. Fly's were buzzing around their eyes and ears. I tip-toed pass the lying giants and climbed up on the boulder.

As I reached the top, I looked over to the prairie dog town and there he was. I don't know if he was the leader of the pack or if he was just one of the guys, all I knew was that he was one huge dude and he was staring back at me. His breathing increased as did my blood pressure, he was becoming increasingly agitated with my presence. I was over half way to the car, I couldn't turn back now. Who is going to be the macho-man here? Who is going to be the real stud-muffin? I quickly decided on an alternate route, a straight thirty yard sprint to the car, with luck I can make it before my body realizes that I'm running and shuts down.

I ease off the rock and slowly saunter towards my destination. My eyes are scanning the herd like the radar on a battleship. If one moves, I'll make the mad dash to the car with hopes that it will start. The big boys eyes never leave me as he follows my every step. Ten yards, no attention paid to me; twenty yards, I can see the finish line; thirty yards I step to my door to unlock it. Son of a sea cook! The keys are in the backpack. The backpack is on my wife's back. My wife's back is out by the road. I slid down in the dirt beside the car and curl up in the fetal position and decide that today is a good day to die.

A new sound reaches my ears. It's not really a sound but more of a noise. Engine noise. I look up and a ranger is driving through the herd over to me with my wife sitting beside him, dangling the keys in her hand.

After we drive out the ranger tells us that the car that pulled in and saw the herd also saw me on top of the picnic table. They drove to the information booth and reported to them who sent the ranger to save me. He was impressed that I actually walked among the herd. His last words as he drove off, "You know that a man was gored here last year don't ya?"
And that was the last thing I remember as day became night as my knees gave way.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Interview With Myself

An interview with Me, Myself, and I was scheduled for today. The interview was late starting due to I not showing up.

Me: Glad you accepted this interview, are you ready to get started?

Myself: Shouldn't we wait till I shows up.

Me: You know I, he'll be late, and we can't wait.

Myself: OK, begin the interrogation.

Me: How would you describe yourself?

Myself: It's Myself, not Yourself. Yourself lives down the block.

Me: OK, how would you describe Myself?

Myself: If I were on the outside looking in, I would say that Myself is a complicated person. A man of many talents but a master of none. A man who loves his God, his family and his country, and would die for any of them. A man who loves to make people laugh and sing in their soul. But what does I know, he didn't show up for this interview, so forget all that.

Me: What's your background?

Myself: Born to a pipe liner in Austin, Texas many moons ago. Raised in Kansas and settled in Oklahoma. I now work for an oil service company but don't tell my mom, she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse and I wouldn't want to disappoint her.

Me: If you could tell the world one thing what would it be?

Myself: Send me a dollar.

Me: Send you a dollar, that's kinda selfish.

Myself: If everyone in the world would send me a dollar, I wouldn't have to work, I could do many things to help those around me if I didn't have to work. I could sleep till noon if I didn't have to work.

Me: So that's your motivation, sleeping till noon.

Myself: Only on days that end in y.

I: Hey there guys, I'm sorry I'm late.

Me and Myself: Might know that you show up now that the work is finished!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Name Is Russell Fink

Ok, I'm doing it again. I know I said this wouldn't be a book review blog but there are a few books out there that I just need to talk about. This is one of them.

I met Michael Snyder on ChristianWriters.com. I asked a typical newbie question and he made a comment that helped steer me in the right direction. I thought what a cool dude and I checked out his bio, found his website and was amazed that he was a real honest to goodness published writer, with a honest to goodness published book, by a honest to goodness publishing company. I had to have that book.

This book is great, one of the best that I've read in a long while. I've been stuck in the mystery/thriller genre for a while and even though this has some mystery and intrigue, it will keep you laughing through the slight of hand humor that Mr. Snyder has.

Russell Fink is an artist, I can identify with that, that works at a job he hates, I can identify with that. He has a psychotic fiancee', an equally weird and psychotic family, a hypothermic friend and a clairvoyant basset hound. Mr. Snyder is a storyteller and this is storytelling at its best. Its honest, funny, and will grab your heart, as you'll soon identify with Russell Fink.

Go, right now, to Amazon and get this book. You won't be sorry.

Friday, July 4, 2008

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States:
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States:
"My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away...the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances His disciples in asserting that He was God."

George Washington, "Father of our Country", 1st President of the United States:
"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would...most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion."

So they now say that the founding fathers were not Christians, that the U.S.A. wasn't founded on Christian principles. They sought God's guidance and knew without it that they would fail. Did they fail? We wouldn't be here today on this fine July 4th if they had failed. They were of one mind, and that mind was focused on God and His leading. Whether you want to believe it or not, whether you hate Christianity because of it makes you feel guilty and you hate those Bible thumpers, this nation was "One nation under God". Today's leadership's lack of seeking God is what has gotten us in the mess the media says we are in. It's not Bush's fault alone, it is the fault of those who worship the political party over all else. If Jesus Himself was to walk into Congress and say "This is what you do to guide your nation", they would yell Him down and scoff at Him because He wasn't of their party. Mr. and Ms. Senator, Mr or Ms. Representative, Mr. President, look to our founding fathers and follow their example and their advice. We don't need another Republican or Democrat, we need God seekers, are you a big enough person to do that despite what the media says about you?