Open Blogging

You may also like...

48 Responses

  1. Here is a list of some of the books I have read this year.

    If you decide to buy any of these books, please come back here and use Michael’s Amazon sidebar ad. You can help him pay the bills that way.

    All are links to kindle editions unless otherwise noted. Some are free and a lot are reasonably priced.

  2. erunner says:

    I’ve joined a gym for ten dollars a month and I can quit when I choose. That’s great as compared to these contracts others offer. For the first time in my life I’m lifting weights. I do three reps at maybe seven stations that are for my upper body,abdomen, and legs.

    What’s pretty amazing is seeing men and women several years older than me and others into their 70’s keeping up with the young people. People there are so nice as they’ll go out of their way to show me the correct way to do the various machines and although they lift ten times more than me they could care less.

    I’ve done the treadmill once but for now I’m sticking with the exercise bikes as it involves no pounding of my knees. The water from the fountain is great and I’m able to drink 64 ounces on their dime each visit! Lots of televisions in front of each cardio station but I prefer my music.

    Showers are immaculate with personal dressing areas that includes a hair dryer. There’s a big sign that states if you’re grunting you better be in labor! It seems they don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable with slamming of the weights and grunting. People do grunt which is fine and no one complains. They provide paper towels and cleaner so you can clean up after you use a station which is nice.

    So I’m curious if you go to the gym and what your routine is. How many days a week do you go? What do you like to do? Etc. etc. etc. For such a low cost a gym seems like a great investment.

  3. Michael says:

    Thanks, Derek!

  4. Muff Potter says:

    @ Derek,

    I’ve become a Stephen Hunter fan. His newest book Sniper’s Honor is a good yarn with a good ending.

  5. I love Stephen Hunter.
    I have read most of his books.
    The latest was last year, The Third Bullet, a JFK Assassination theory book with Bob Lee Swagger.

  6. I woke up this morning with 4 generations sleeping over. Today is my mother in law’s 90th birthday and we are doing a party.

    I just got done setting up 6 tables, white linen table cloths, umbrellas and about 40 chairs out back along with 5 ice tubs for drinks, the Big John BBQ – just waiting for my son to bring the keg.

    I was telling my MIL if we think back – when we met I was 17 and she was 42 … yikes, my daughter is 40 next month.

    Well, just waiting for another 50 people to show up at 2.

  7. erunner says:

    Have a great day MLD.

  8. E,
    When everyone gets here, I am going in for a nap – no one will miss me with all those people wandering around. 🙂

  9. Xenia says:

    Derek, I am a great fan of HP Lovecraft, even though my view of the world is in 180 degree opposition to his. He sees the universe as existing without purpose and ultimately cruel and meaningless, full of monsters that evolved eons ago on other planets. Poor HP.

    You might enjoy the “HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast” which you can find on iTunes. It’s hosted by two chuckleheads who comment their way through every story HP ever wrote.

    I am going to get Tolkien’s Beowulf pretty soon. My husband is a very generous, kind-hearted man but occasionally (like all the time) I over-do it with the book-buying and have to back off for a month or so.

  10. Xenia says:

    I think one of the reasons I find Lovecraft so fascinating is that his universe is what the world could be like if there was no God.

  11. E,
    Not a big gym person.
    I actually get quite a bit of exercise at work. Before it fell of my belt and got lost, my pedometer was clocking me at between 3 miles and 6 miles a day of walking at work.
    Our facility is huge and I do have something ride between places and use it when I have to get parts from racks, but I like to keep active. The past couple of weeks have kept me very busy as we have had a lot of large quality problems.
    They hired on a young guy this week to help me and I am walking him into the ground. he complains about his feet hurting at the end of the day. 🙂
    The only thing that gets me is about the same as your problem. One place where we have parts is three stories high and I have a bad right knee. Those stairs make me feel it too. I could walk all day, but I wish I had less of the up and down stairs.

  12. Jean says:

    “If you’re grunting you better be in labor.”

    Priceless erunner.

  13. erunner says:

    Derek, men and women like you can get all the exercise they need on the job. What makes that tough is you don’t get to go when you feel up to it… you have to be there! My work was always sedentary so any exercise I got was after work which was tough at times with so much overtime.

    When I had physical therapy last year it was because my knees were beginning to buckle when I used the stairs. Thanks for sharing and now I’m off to the gym!

  14. Xenia says:

    These are the books I am working on now:

    The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, alphabetical version (for class)

    The Blessed Surgeon, the Life of St. Luke of Simferopol by Archdeacon Vasiliy Marushchak (St. Luke lived during the Stalinist era)

    The Strange Death of Heinrich Himmler by Hugh Thomas. (This book posits that Himmler did not commit suicide after being captured by the British, that the corpse was a look-alike and Himmler ran off and set about founding the Fourth Reich. I don’t believe this for a minute but the background info is pretty interesting.)

    Speaking of unlikely scenarios, I just finished a book on Area 51 that posits that the object that crashed in Roswell was nothing other than a flying saucer sent by Joseph Stalin to scare us Americans into some kind of panic. Again, a dumb conclusion but the background info was interesting.

    There are a lot of books like that, where the author compiles hundreds of pages of fascinating and mostly factual information and mashes it up to arrive at crazy conclusions. Holy Blood, Holy Grail is an example. Hundreds of pages of fascinating medieval curiosities and the conclusion? Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, escaped to France and His descendants founded the Merovingian dynasty.

  15. Michael says:


    I thought “Murder City” was up next…

  16. Xenia says:

    Yeah, that too. Both of them.

  17. X’s #11,
    I think you are spot on on Lovecraft’s universe. I don’t quite know why I like his stories so much, but he could definitely craft a really good short story.
    “Awake in the Nightland” is four novellas with sometimes a similar theme as Lovecraft even though his showcases the endurance of the human will a bit more. The writer in this case is a Christian though. He based his book on an older book called “The Nightland” by William Hope Hodgson published in 1912. I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, but it is free as a kindle edition.

    The best thing about Beowulf, was the commentary. I learned a lot from it.

  18. Yeah, I think “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” is what “The DaVinci Code” was based on.

  19. Dude says:

    I walk about 2and 3miles a day.Spent 20 years in the Infantry .My legs don’t have the gump any more.Yet after a long morning walk,I feel good all day long…54 years old and my blood pressure runs 120/70…life is good.

  20. Xenia says:

    Derek, that sounds like something I would like.

    Another Lovecraftian theme is that the world we see is just the surface of something that is very ancient and evil and if we knew what was really going on, we’d go insane. That’s why so many of his main characters wind up in an insane asylum.

    Thanks for the link to The Nightland. I am fetching it now!

  21. Xenia says:

    My conscience is telling me that I must read Murder City first!

  22. Michael says:


    Always go with your conscience… 🙂

  23. Anne says:

    Just received notice from library that The Devil’s Highway I was on waitlist for is in. After waiting over a month for it, I am now hesitant to fetch it and read it. Not sure I want to know anymore than I already do about another tragic situation that breaks my heart and increases my sense of powerlessness to do anything about.

  24. Michael says:


    It’s a tough read.
    “Murder City” is even harder.
    What these books do is empower you to think beyond the rhetoric…and once informed you can help other do the same.
    Change comes with knowledge first…

  25. Anne says:

    Michael, as you probably know, my thoughts are already so far beyond the rhetoric and as you have experienced, my efforts to share what I have learned don’t usually endear me to others 😉 I admire your tenacity and perseverance even when you are weary beyond words in well doing.

  26. Xenia says:

    I just discovered that Murder City is available now at my local library so I am off to fetch it.

    See you all later!

  27. Anne says:

    I am encouraged that this and other books regarding border issues you have recommended are in demand and on waitlists at the library.

  28. Michael says:


    I’ve had to relearn that sad truth over the last few weeks.
    I came to grips with it the other day…I’m all in even if I lose what I have left.
    You’re one of my inspirations…

  29. Michael says:

    Anne, I didn’t know that about the libraries…that is encouraging.

  30. Anne says:


  31. Hey e,
    Have you seen “A Winter’s Tale” and if so do you think I should take a chance on watching it?

  32. erunner says:

    Dude, sounds like you’re in great shape and your blood pressure makes me jealous! 🙂

  33. erunner says:

    Derek, I just watched it last night! It got poor reviews but I loved it. Lots of big names in the movie which is a love story with a lot of fantasy thrown in and some pretty dark stuff as you’ll see with Russell Crowe. The love interest in the movie is played by one of the daughters in Downton Abbey.

  34. Xenia says:

    Back with the book.

    I was hot and tired from my walk to the library (I don’t drive) so I sat down in a comfy chair and read the first few chapters. As with his other book (Devil’s Highway), I was initially irritated by his writing style but as with the other book, I got used to it and realized it helped tell the story very well and is appropriate.

    I am probably going to have nightmares tonight…..

  35. Michael says:


    His style tends to either grab people or repel them.
    It is like air and water to me.
    Very interested in a review later…

  36. Dude says:

    Your blog was very helpful to me in overcoming some really bad teaching I adhered to for many years.
    A blessing sent your way.

  37. Xenia says:

    Michael, the other book initially drove me crazy because I like history told in a linear fashion and he jumped all over the place but when he did finally bring everything together in the end I realized it was a terrific way to tell that particular story. He was interested in telling the stories of individuals rather than presenting us with a timeline although there was a very helpful map-timeline.

  38. Michael says:


    They’re both great storytellers.
    The border tends to attract them for some reason…

  39. Xenia says:

    When you read a book on kindle you tend to forget who the author is because you don’t see the cover all the time, just the text. I did know, but forgot, that Charles Bowden did not write both of them.

  40. Jean says:

    I don’t have a book to share today folks. However, with all the discussion of Luther of late, I decided to watch Martin Luther (1953), staring Niall MacGinnis. My review is this: Goose Bumps!

    For Amazon Prime members, it’s free (my favorite price).

    I mighty fortress is our God…. Amen!

  41. erunner says:

    A friend on FB habitually posts stuff about Iraq. He chooses to post articles with the most gruesome pictures you can think of that you can’t avoid seeing as you go through your feed. The last three show people hanging, several bodies in pools of blood and then today a picture of maybe six heads severed from their bodies. I get it. Just don’t beat me over the head with it.

  42. Thanks for the review, E!

  43. London says:

    Ecru near, just unfollow that person or report the images.

  44. London says:

    Ecru near= erunner

  45. erunner says:

    London, I went ahead and unfollowed him. I may private message him as well. Hope you’re well.

  46. erunner says:

    Dude, thanks for sharing that. Even though I shut down the blog a few months ago there is still almost as much traffic there as in the months prior. It’s nice that people are still dropping by and hopefully being encouraged.

  47. Nonnie says:

    I’m still sending folks to your site, Erunner. There is such excellent resources there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading