January 2017 Reading Challenges Update – A Great Start!

A Great Start for 2017 – Seven Books Read – Three in Progress

So at the start of January I wrote a post outlining my proposed reads for the  month. Typically, I read the number of books that I have proposed to read, but often the books read are not those which were proposed. I usually find and  sneak in one or two books that I discover or think of during the month. But so far in 2017, I have done well, reading four out of the five books that I had proposed. Here are the five books that I said I was going to read in January. (Links are to My Reviews)

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The Critic – Enzo Files # 2 – Peter May

The Critic - Peter May

The Critic – (Enzo Files #2) Another Winner from Peter May

So over the last few days I’ve spent a lot of time looking forward to what I want to read and back at what I’ve read. What I have actually missed though is to write about the book that I just finished. Actually, I read the majority of the book in 2016, but I didn’t finish it until New Year’s Day! So it is Book #1 of 2017!  Anyway the book was The Critic by Peter May. It is the second book in May’s Enzo Files series featuring Scottish exile and former forensic specialist Enzo Macleod.

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Debate #1, H.L.Mencken & the Election of 1920

Thoughts about Last Night’s Debate, H.L. Mencken and the Election of 1920

So my wife and I didn’t watch the debate last night. The reason we didn’t watch, was we figured we knew how it would end. Hillary would do well and Trump not so well. But in the end even if Hillary blew him away and Trump was awful it wouldn’t matter to Trump’s supporters. We both believe that Trump speaks the truth when he says he could shot and kill someone in Times Square and people would still vote for him!

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Thoughts About Donald Trump and Reconstruction

America’s Founding Radical Concept

On November 19,1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, one of the greatest political speeches in American history. The speech opened with……

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

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Music from 1970: The Use of Ashes – Pearl Before Swine

Thoughts about 70s Music led me to – Pearl Before Swine

I was thinking about music in the late 60s and early 70s this morning.My thoughts quickly turned to one of my favorite bands, Pearls Before Swine. During those years the underground music scene was exploding. Typically AM commercial  radio stations played pop music that was singles oriented. Underground music was album oriented and the tracks played were usually much more complex and  longer. As the popularity of underground music grew several Philadelphia radio stations adopted the underground music format. Both  WDAS and WMMR made the switch.To me the beauty of the format was the ability of the DJ to play just about anything HE wanted to play.  WIBG’s  DJ Hy Lit led the transition on WDAS and Dave Herman and his Marconi Experiment paved the way at WMMR.

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Was I Really Raised by the TV Families of the 1950s?

So many times through the years my wife has questioned where I came from. She asks the question because in many ways I am nothing like my parents. My response is – I was raised in various TV families of the 1950s.

Those of us born in the early 1950s were members of the first generation where television was a big part of our lives. Unlike today where there are a gazillion networks and programs our television viewing was limited to the big three networks ABC, NBC, and CBS. Later in the 60s PBS was added along with various UHF stations. But in the 1950s TV was new, exciting and exploding!!

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The Winter Fortress – How Nine Norwegians Saved the World!!

The Winter Fortress - Neal Bascomb
The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb – Neal Bascomb

The Winter Fortress recounts the tale of the 1942 sabotage of the Vemork hydroelectric plant in Norway. The plant was one of the few places in the world that produced heavy water. Nazi Germany wanted all the heavy water that Norway could produce.. Heavy water was a key element for the production of an atomic bomb. I never had really heard of the mission before reading the book, but now I feel that I lived through it! Bascomb did a great job researching and writing The Winter Fortress, The book reads more like an action novel than a work of non-fiction.

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A Brisk Evening Walk Listening to “Midnight Motel” from Jack Ingram

Can A Good Walk Start Me Running Again?

This summer has been bad for running. I just can’t seem to get back into the groove. It appears to be a combination of things. First July and August were both hot months. And when you couple the heat with the fact that my wife and I usually don’t get home from babysitting at least one to two nights a week past six o’clock, You start to see why, I can’t seem to make myself find the time to get out and run. Hopefully, when the temperatures cool off a little this month, I can make myself start-up again!

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The Van Buren Sisters motorcycle across the U.S.

July 5, 1916 – The Van Buren Sisters Begin Their Motorcycle Trip across America

On July 5, 1916,the Van Buren sisters Augusta and Adeline (Gussie and Addie) began day two of their 60-day motorcycle journey from New York City to Los Angeles. The “Society Girls” were descendants of President Martin Van Buren. At the time of their trek both women were in their 20s and active in the national Preparedness Movement. The women wanted to prove that women could ride as well as men and should be allowed to serve as military dispatch riders. As such men would be freed up for other tasks. Additionally, they hoped to remove one of the primary arguments for denying women the right to vote. They dressed in military-style leggings and leather riding britches for the ride. Such dress was taboo for women at the time. From Wikipedia….

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Smorgasblog Episode 2 – July 1st – Gettysburg, Lexell’s Comet and Juno!

On July  1st – The Battle of Gettysburg Began, Lexell’s Comet passes close, and Juno nears Jupiter!

As I reviewed the events that occurred on July 1st throughout history this morning, the first event that came to mind was the start of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863…. From Wikipedia….

The Battle of Gettysburg] was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war[13] and is often described as the war’s turning point.[14] Union Maj. Gen. George Meade‘s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee‘s Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee’s attempt to invade the North.

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