TOKYO (Reuters) - A debate over flying saucers has kept Japanese politicians occupied for much of this week, ensnaring top officials and drawing a promise from the defense minister to send out the army if Godzilla goes on a rampage.
...And a happy Valentine's Day??? Would you believe it, there we were on Sunday the 23rd in our local Walgreen's, and out on display was a header full of giant stuffed animals for Valentine's Day! What the hell is up with that? Why would anyone even dream of shopping for Valentine's Day before Xmas? Isn't there enough to worry about getting done without leapfrogging to the next holiday? This no break betwen holidays is really getting out of hand, at least give people a little breathing room before the next 'shopping holiday'. It didn't used to be like that back in prehistoric times, it really wasn't necessary to shop early for gift giving occassions that were months away, that's just being downright greedy. Besides, what's the point...are they expecting people to shop early, then lose the stuff and have to re-shop? Pretty soon, they'll have to combine the pre-Xmas sales with the after Xmas clearance sales, and then how will they tell them apart?
For the season. I find those signs that claim he is very annoying. Nothing in the Bible specifies a date when Christ was born; go ahead, I dare you to find anything that specifies a date. Christmas as a holiday was morphed from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia; a time when businesses closed, parties held, and gifts were exchanged in the name of the Roman god. The early Christians used the timing of Saturnalia (mid-December) to their own ends to win over the heathens. Interestingly, here in the U.S, many major religious denominations; Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, & Congregationalists ignored or actively discouraged Christmas as a holiday until the late 1800s. Most schools & businesses remained open, Congress met in session, and some churches closed on Christmas day to keep worshippers from commemorating it. In colonial New England the celebrating the holiday was actually made illegal, punishable by a fine. So may all the 'religious' people get off their high horses...
1) Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux: An overland trip from Cairo to Capetown as Paul stops at some places he'd taught at in the 60s/70s(?). A fascinating look at Africa on a human level, person to person. 2) Merlin's Godson by H Warner Munn: Merlin and the last Roman legionnaires leave Britain and come to the new world. No classic, but an interesting read. 3) Ash Wednesday by Chet Williams: Blue ghosts come to one town in Pennsylvania. What do the townspeople do? Apparently not much of anything. Not really a 'horror' novel in the usual sense of the word, more of a psychological look at the townspeople's reactions to the ghosts. 4) The Black Ice by Michael Connelly: Det. Harry Bosch encounters the latest drugs from Mexico. Well-written and interesting. I think this is the 2nd Harry Bosch story I've read, enjoyed them both. 5) A Cannibal In Manhattan by Tama Janowitz: Well, this was an odd one. Yes, there is a cannibal. No, he doesn't eat anyone - at least not on purpose. The book is more of a social satire by seeing how we live as seen through the eyes of the cannibal; who is not uneducated, just naive. But the real strange part is the photos that are in the book. Not taken for the book, but real photos, some from decades ago, that illustrate the novel. 6) The Cook by Harry Kressing: An old book (1965) about a cook, and the two families he interacts with. Can't really tell you much, because then it would give away the whole plot line. Suffice it to say "YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK" Look for it somewhere, bound to find a copy in a used book store somewhere.
1) Houston,Houston, Do You Read? by James Tiptree Jr: Interesting tale, actually a novella, about astronauts who go through a time warp and find a future of no men. 2) Souls by Joanna Russ: Vikings plunder an abbey; but the abbess is an alien. 3) Kipling's Works Vol.II by Rudyard Kipling: Contains 'The Phantom Rickshaw' and other tales of life in Colonial India. Interesting stuff, including some ghost stories, and also the story 'The Man Who Would Be King', later made into the movie with Michael Caine & Sean Connery. 4) A Case Of Lone Star by Kinky Freidman: Kinky goes after the 'Hank Williams Killer' in his latest adventure in NYC. Enjoyable mystery with a touch of humor. 5) University by Bentley Little: More demented stuff from one of the better horror writers. What if the University you went to was evil...not the people, the buildings themselves? 6) The Thieves Of Heaven by Richard Doetsch: Reformed thief steals the Keys of St Peter in order to save his wife. Interesting twist on the whole DaVinci Code genre.