Thursday, May 29, 2008


     After a long day of presenting oral arguments, deposing witnesses or meeting with clients, I like nothing better than coming home and settling down for the evening with a good novel.  I am particularly fond of those authors who are capable of vivid development of the fictional characters presented and the environments in which they exist.  I've recently come across two novels in this mold that I enjoyed very much.  

     Just last night I finished The Distant Echo, by Val McDermid.  Ms. McDermid has become one of my favorite writers.  She is particularly adept at creating plots that are filled with intrigue and suspense.  McDermid is from Scotland, and her novels are typically set either there or in England.  While reading her books, I enjoy becoming immersed in her terminology from the United Kingdom.  I've been heard recently speaking about pulling my vehicle into a car park (a parking lot), snacking on some crisps (potato chips),  and picking up a pack of fags (cigarettes).  The unusual terminology is never distracting to me.  To the contrary, it seems to add to the flavor of the novel.  The Distant Echo is a good read indeed.   

     I also recently read Beyond the Stars, by William David Ross.  I had not previously read anything by Ross, but I found this book to be quite worthwhile.  (My brother Jonathan turned me on to it.)  Beyond the Stars is a historically based novel about Native American Indians and their struggle to survive in the high Dakota plains after the arrival of the white folks.  It is well-written and thought provoking.  The book is described as an epic of the American West.  Reading it made me want to head out west for a hiking and camping trip.  It also made me want to learn more about Native American heritage and traditions.  Reading it was time very well spent.  

     I heartily recommend The Distant Echo or Beyond the Stars to you for the next time you are preparing to settle down into your favorite reading chair.  While you're at it, you might just want to enjoy some crisps.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


     Does anyone else remember Johnny West?  He was a toy action figure, similar to G.I. Joe, except that he was a cowboy.  When I was a wee lad growing up on Borden Road, he was my constant companion.  I concocted many imaginary scenarios for him, and we had numerous exciting adventures together in my bedroom and in the woods behind my house. Oh, the battles that we fought!

     As I recall, there were a variety of other characters available in the Johnny West collection, including some other cowboys, indians, soldiers, and even some cowgirls.  I believe that I had only a horse and an indian to go along with my Johnny, but I longed for all of the figures.  As it was, Johnny and G.I. Joe sometimes found themselves paired, either as allies or as enemies.  

     I don't know whatever happened to my Johnny.  He was probably discarded as I grew older and graduated on to books, sports and the like.  I'm not sure what made me think of Johnny West today, but I'm glad that I did.  After all, he was an old friend.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Congratulatons to Tristan and Mickey, who recently announced their engagement. They plan to be married in July of 2009, and I couldn't be happier about it. Mickey is a great guy, and I am looking forward to having him as my son in law. More details later.
For now, I am off to Annapolis to watch Brendan participate in the legendary Herndon Climb tomorrow. Once the climb has been completed, he will be a Plebe no more. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


The following unique story, recently documented on You Tube and around the Internet, has been the subject of much debate lately among sports enthusiasts. Some feel that the assisting players from Central Washington are heroes, having demonstrated great unselfishness and sportsmanship. Others feel that they gave too much, undermining the serious nature of their sport. After you watch the video, let me know what you think.

As for me, I vote that they are heroes. I think that the players and coaches from Central Washington demonstrated great character, and didn't give away anything that hadn't been rightfully earned. This story makes me feel "EXTRY" good, as Andy Griffith would say. I can tell you that I would be quite proud of Mallory Holtman, if she were my daughter. The same goes for Liz Wallace, the shortstop. Your thoughts are welcome. Did Mallory and Liz go too far? Or are they a great example of what sportsmanship is all about? What think ye?

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