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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Roland Daugherty's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, April 13th, 2014
2:23 pm
Style Watch: Electra Mustaine outside Jacobs Music Center in San Diego
Skip ahead to 2:00 to see Electra Mustaine in a stunning wine-red evening gown exiting the symphony hall through the backstage door.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
11:01 pm
Joy in the Morning
"Joy in the Morning" was only my second P.G.Wodehouse book. It's the one that has made me a life-long fan.

Funny and unendingly cleverly-worded, it made me laugh out loud several times.

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Monday, August 2nd, 2010
10:48 am
Super by Jim Lehrer
This book came into my life late one sleepless night watching the Charlie Rose show.

The guest was Jim Lehrer, who I recognized from television. What I didn't know was that he was a novelist as well.

He spoke about train movies and train books, and it turns out he's just completed a train story himself: Super.



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Thursday, July 29th, 2010
9:47 am
Tom Swift Jr: Tom Swift and His Flying Lab
This book, which I picked up as a treasure for just $1.00 as Wahrenbrock Book Shop was liquidating in downtown San Diego, turned out to be a kids book.

It was still mildly interesting. The pictures were cool.

Not really a fan, though.

The look and feel of the physical book are nice.

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
10:11 am
The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne du Maurier
Just finished Flight of the Falcon, a novel that I'd never heard of before.

The gentleman in the used bookstore in Long Beach where I bought it (all books $1) said he'd never heard of it before, either.

Of course the author is very famous: Daphne Du Maurier.


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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
12:22 am
The Grapes of Wrath
Finished The Grapes of Wrath today. Been working on it for a few months. Little bit at a time. Really enjoyed it.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Maybe the best. Except for Jane Eyre. Or David Copperfield.

No wonder it's a classic!

The picturesque descriptive writing with great attention to detail was wonderful.

I learned a few dirty jokes and got more familiar with the 1930's.

Cool because it was about California. My wife and I have driven through a lot of those back roads and have heard of Tulare, Shafter, etc.

Truly a classic.

Must read more Steinbeck.
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
10:34 am
A Painful Read
A return visit of mine loaned me a book: A History of God by Karen Armstrong.

He really enjoyed it, and wanted to share, so I accepted the loan.

Reading it, however, quickly proved to be repulsive and painful.

Here's an example of what I mean:

"During the nineteenth century, some German biblical scholars developled a critical method which discerned four different sources in the first five books of the Bible...This form of criticism has come in for a good deal of harsh treatment, but nobody has yet come up with a more satisfactory theory which explains why there are two quite different accounts of key biblical events such as the Creation and the Flood, and why the Bible sometimes contradicts itself." (p.12 1993 Gramercy Books edition)

That right there tells me that the book is not based upon actual study of the Bible itself, but rather study of the so-called "higher critics" she mentions.

Case in point:

Referring first to the account of Abraham attempting to offer up Isaac, she says,

"Yet to modern ears, this is a horrible story: it depicts God as a despotic and capricious sadist, and it is not surprising that many people today who have heard this tale as children reject such a deity. The myth of the Exodus from Egypt, when God led Moses and the children of Israel to freedom, is equally offensive to modern sensibilities." (ibid p.18)

She also calls Yahweh a "brutal, partial and murderous god", referring to the 10 plagues of Egypt, and how He drowned Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.

Okay, so what's the problem?

(1) Is Jehovah God a sadist because he asked Abraham to offer up his son Isaac? Either way, Isaac was safe, either Abraham would refuse to offer him up, or he would have attempted to, and Jehovah would have his angel stop the sacrifice. Whether she is aware of it or not, she does not mention that this was a picture of the sacrifice that Jehovah would offer of his very own son. Abraham pictures Jehovah, and Isaac the willing sacrificial lamb Jesus.

(2) Was Jehovah (Yahweh) really "brutal, partial and murderous?" Pharaoh had ample warning of the plagues, yet he repeatedly defied Jehovah. Was Jehovah just to let his hands drop in defeat? No, Jehovah was more powerful and He was not going to let Pharaoh have the upper hand. Would any army General have any different attitude? However, Jehovah of Armies was not like some human General. He repeatedly gave warning to Pharaoh to let his people go, and backed this up by a series of plagues, which played out one at a time. Pharaoh could have let the Israelites go free after the first plague! Then there would have been only one plague. The final plague which killed the firstborn of Egypt could have been avoided in two ways: In entirety by letting the lesson of the first 9 plagues sink in, and individually, by any person, even Egyptian, obeying God by painting the lambs blood on the door frame so that the angelic executioner would pass over.

Okay, so here's where I'm at. I've had this book for months, and had put it down as being repulsive and ignorant, but I'm thinking I should muddle through it, with my LiveJournal here as my companion. I can note down the parts that are clearly in error.

Paul, who loaned me the book, said he particularly likes the history of Mohammed of the Muslim religion. I'll try to get there.
9:30 am
IITYWYBAD?
Reading John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath".

Outstanding!

No wonder it's a classic.

Why do I like it?

It's full of rich, picturesque detail. I love the details.

Chapter 15 is my favorite, so far.

Opens up with a general description of diners on Route 66 in the Thirties, and finishes with a scene from some random migrant family stopping in with hopes of buying just a loaf of bread.

Anyway, on the first page of the chapter it mentions common cards set out, such as "Pies Like Mother Used to Make", "Eat Here and Keep Your Wife for a Pet", and "IITYWYBAD?"

So I was wondering what that last one meant. "The Google" answers:

"If I tell you, will you buy another drink?" (source: wiktionary)
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
2:45 pm
Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew #1: Sleepover Sleuthing
This is an odd book for me to have read. That's what my wife thought when I showed her what I was reading in bed last night. It's all about 8-year-old girls, in particular, the young Nancy Drew.

When I saw this book laying on the street and spun my bicycle around to pick it up, at first I thought it was a modern reprint of a classic Nancy Drew mystery (none of which I've ever read).

Since had so terribly enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Three Investigators books as a middle-schooler myself (Junior High, actually), I thought I'd give this one a try.

Not until I'd started out did I realize that it was 8-year-olds.

Light reading, but really well-done. Kept my interest. Enough mystery to keep my guessing about who of the three suspects at the sleep-over took Deirdre's "Hollywood Heather" CityGirls doll.

This story presents the first time Nancy Drew ever thought of solving mysteries, though she'd already had a reputation for being able to find things.

Enjoyed.

2:41 pm
Book Review: Maniac McGee
This book is for kids, like middle-schoolers.

A bit dated, I think it takes place maybe in the early 90's in New York City.

I enjoyed it because it's about racism. This white kid, an orphan, gets in some kind of trouble in his white neighborhood, and he runs over into the adjacent black neighborhood and makes some friends.

That makes it sound too pat, though. There are some nasty white racist kids, and some hardcore black racists, too, who don't change throughout the book.

Kind of like a legend, it held my attention.

2:36 pm
Book Review: Are You My Mother?
Picked up this book at a yard sale in Lemon Grove.

It's a pretty quick read, and the main reason I got it was to reminisce and relive the old memories of reading this book as a very young child.

Enjoyed the re-read, but I have so many books packing my house that I've GOT to get rid of them.

This one is going to GoodWill.

Monday, March 29th, 2010
7:54 pm
Review: Something Fishy by P.G. Wodehouse
This is my first novel by P.G. Wodehouse, and it's a fine introduction.

It takes place in 1955, though the prelude is a meeting that occurs in 1929.

Anyway, I liked it, it made me laugh out loud a number of times. Sheer joy!

This isn't so much a "review" as it is a "record" that I read my first P.G. Wodehouse book.
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
6:29 pm
review: "blink" by Malcolm Gladwell
This is my 3rd entry today, it's because I'm behind!

Today I finished "blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. More of the same good stuff: easy-to-read writing about very interesting things.

He talks about how our first impressions are often very correct, such as when trying to decided if a work of art is fake or not.

Then again he discusses why our first impressions can also be faulty, as he details the shooting of an unarmed man by police in the Bronx.

Good stuff!

5:39 pm
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Okay, this book rocks! Recommended by someone (MG) who I think thought I would like his writing style, well, he was certainly right.

Gladwell writes simply, logically, and conversationally. He writes about interesting stuff.

In this book he makes the case that exceptional people, such as Bill Gates, the Beatles, etc. are not necessarily outstandingly more intelligent or talented than others, but rather are "outliers" (laying outside the average field of accomplishment) because of the opportunities afforded them, by family and circumstances.

He speaks of the 10,000 hours required to become an expert at anything. (The Beatles got lots of practice in Hamburg, Germany, and Bill Gates as a kid got lots of computer time).

One really cool feature of the book is how he explains the cultural/ethnic reasons for the spate of Korean Airlines crashes in the 80's and 90's.

Awesome book! I read Blink next (will review that soon) and am going on to The Tipping Point and the fourth book he has, which I can't recall the name of right now.

4:45 pm
Captain Blood
Recommended by a good friend after I'd raved about Magnus the Magnificent, this book Captain Blood is a true classic.

I liked the character, who was not interested in fighting, really, but was rather forced into it.

He's cool because he's a doctor, so even in bad circumstances, such as slavery, he comes out on top because his services are in demand.

Unrelenting hatred of Captain Blood of the father of the woman he loves is pretty intense and a theme throughout the book.

Which do I like better, Magnus or Blood? Magnus is more twisty, and Magnus is more vulnerable. Magnus is my favorite of the two.

That doesn't take anything away from how much I loved Captain Blood, though!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
11:09 am
Book Review: Pigeons, The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird


Forgot to post this, though I finished the book a few weeks ago. Maybe 3 weeks ago.

Loved this book, which I obtained for a dime at the local Friends of the Library sale, missing its dust jacket.

It's relatively new (2006) and really explores the fascinating world of pigeons and the people who race them, fly them, shoot them, and eat them.

One of the coolest chapters is "Mike and Me" about his efforts to get an interview with a most unexpected pigeon lover: Mike Tyson, former world heavyweight champion of the world.

I'm keeping this one. It's got some cool stuff about the history of pigeons in World War II.

Anyway... I loved pigeons before this, and now I love them more!

Interesting fact learned: public feeding of pigeons from park benches is the number one cause of overpopulation of pigeons. With plenty of food, they have more time to court and mate, and so that's exactly what they do.

Another thing learned: poisoning to reduce pigeon populations does not work. Total exclusion, using netting, is the only sure way to get rid of them. A complementary technique to reduce populations in cities is to provide dovecotes (pigeon houses) in various places around the outskirts of the city, and encourage feeding there.
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
1:11 pm
Review: Forbidden Area
Recently finished Forbidden Area by Pat Frank.

A tight little cold war era thriller.

Enjoyed it thoroughly!

I liked how the mystery of how the B-99 bombers were disappearing was slowly revealed.

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Monday, January 25th, 2010
11:57 am
Review: Magnus the Magnificent
I have just finished reading a book that has simply blown me away with its greatness!

This was a book I'd picked up at a Friends of the Library Sale for a dime. Really, I would not have bought it were it not for the awesome tactile experience I had when touching the cover! It's hard to describe the cover... a rough fabric, almost like burlap, but really good to the touch.

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Thursday, January 14th, 2010
1:01 pm
loving my book: Magnus the Magnificent
Grabbed this book for a dime from the Friends of the Library bookstore, mainly because the red fabric cover felt really cool. Rough, like burlap, is not an exact description, but it felt really good.

However, the story is magnificent! About a quarter done, and it's a twisty story set in England and Spain during the time of Elizabeth and the imprisoned Mary the Queen of Scots.

Learning alot about the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism in Europe during the year 1584!
Saturday, December 19th, 2009
11:50 am
Book Review: An American Guerrilla in the Philippines
A few days ago I finished reading the 1945 book An American Guerrilla in the Philippines by Ira Wolfert. Published in 1945, it's the account of Lt. Illif David Richardson of the Navy and his exploits in Japanese-occupied Philippines during World War II.

It was easy and pleasant reading, and fascinating to see how the Filipo people lived during the 1940's and during the middle of the war. Plenty of action, a little romance, and some natural history.

This hardcover book I got at the Friends of the Library book sale seems to be a treasure. Looking at Amazon, there are paperbacks from 1945 and some 1967 and 1980, but no 1945 hardcovers.

Here are some photographs:

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